“Shri Rama personally gave liberation to Shabari, the vulture Jatayu and those who performed wonderful devotional service, whereas the holy name has liberated countless wretches; a fact well-established in the Vedas, which sing of its glories.” (Dohavali, 32)
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सबरी गीध सुसेवकनि सुगति दीन्हि रघुनाथ |
नाम उधारे अमित खल बेद बिदित गुन गाथ ||
sabarī gīdha susevakani sugati dīnhi raghunātha |
nāma udhāre amita khala beda bidita guna gātha ||
“If you ever listen to people who made it in a rock band, to the point that they no longer need an outside job, there is a common theme in what led them down that path. They first recognized the typical pattern through life, and they didn’t want to go through with it.
“The pattern is that you go to school, try to get good grades, and then end up in college, if you are lucky. From there, you try to settle into a good company somewhere, make a career out of it, and start a family. You live that way for some time, retire, and then wait for death.
“These musicians didn’t want to go that route. They wanted to live in the moment, as they defined it. They wanted to venture out. They wanted to travel the world. They didn’t want to be tied down by so many responsibilities and rules.
“I bring this up because I see a similar complaint with regards to spiritual life. In the bhakti tradition, there is the heavy emphasis on chanting the holy names. Honor the maha-mantra to the point that you make a routine out of chanting: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“There is no coming of age or rite of passage, necessarily. The sooner the better, as far as the spiritual guide is concerned. Stay away from the most harmful behaviors in terms of effects on consciousness. No meat-eating. No gambling. No intoxication. No illicit sex.
“In other words, no fun. At least that is how someone on the outside is going to view it. They think of it like giving up on life. Why spoil the fun? Do you see what I mean? What if someone wants to experience more?”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada asks another question in this regard. If you have association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, what else do you want? What could be better than this reward? What other experience could match up? Everything else would fall short, by a large factor.
That is one way to understand the experience of chanting the holy names. That sacred sound is purna. It is complete. There is nothing lacking. It may appear simplistic, trivial, or not as important as other practices in spiritual life.
We know from traditions like Govardhana Puja that there is no difference between God and His land. Through honoring prasadam, we see that there is no difference between God and the food offered to Him. We know from the deity that there is no difference between the transcendental form and the person it represents.
In the same way, the holy name is identical to the person it addresses. Though He has no name in the sense that nothing limits Him, these names are endearing. They can be used as a way to call out to God, and He will certainly listen.
Goswami Tulsidas claims that the holy name is greater than God Himself. This is when comparing against physical travels. Bhagavan is known to appear in this world, from time to time. While He is here, He liberates others through His presence.
For instance, in the avatara of Shri Rama there is interaction with the woman known as Ahalya. She gets liberated from a curse through contact with Rama’s lotus feet. The female ascetic Shabari receives liberation after offering food from the forest for Rama to eat.
In comparison, the holy name has liberated many more people, when running the tally through the course of recorded history. To reiterate, what more could a person ask for? The rest of the bhakti culture is for establishing the proper consciousness to the point where recognition takes place. The more a person follows genuine spiritual life, the more they practically realize the potency of the holy name.
Image that early to retire,
How anyone to inspire?
Since like quickly quitting,
More so the elderly befitting.
But acharya to explain,
That everything in holy name.
Ahalya and Shabari through contact making,
But countless others through japa taking.
Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram