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Chanting Hare Krishna

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Item Code: NAU940
Author: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Pashupada
Publisher: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9789386956521
Pages: 246
Other Details 8.00 X 5.00 inch
Weight 200 gm
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nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale Srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine

We offer our respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine

Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

vancha-kalpa-tarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah

We offer respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord, who can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and are full of compassion for the fallen conditioned souls.

Sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda Sri-advaita gadadhara Srivasaadi-gaura -bhakta-vrnda

We offer our obeisances to Sri Krsna Caitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa and all others in the line of devotion.

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare . iti sodasakam namnam kali-kalmasa-nasanam natah parataropayah sarva-vedesu drsyate

"The sixteen words Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare are especially meant for counteracting the contaminations of Kali (the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy). These sixteen names composed of thirty-two syllables are the only means to counteract the evil effects of Kali-yuga. After searching through all the Vedic literature, one cannot find a method of religion more sublime for this age than the chanting of Hare Krsna."

Of course, there are many books by Srila Prabhupada and his disciples on the chanting of Hare Krishna and one may question the necessity for another one. This present edition can be explained in the following way. This book is a humble attempt by the publishers to put Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on chanting in a format that takes the reader progressively from the most basic teachings through different stages and types of chanting and ultimately to the perfection of chanting and the final test at the time of death. Naturally, it is not meant to include all of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as that would take many volumes and they can already be found in other books and in the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase. We should mention here that we are deeply indebted to the Bhaktivedanta Archives for their tremendous work of making Srila Prabhupada available through the Vedabase without which this book would never have been possible. However, what is being attempted here is a shortened and concise gathering of some of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions to make a book that is both easy to approach and an easy-to-read guide on chanting. We are hopeful that the audience will find it both elucidatory and inspiring, be one a total newcomer to chanting or even an advanced and longtime disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Our goal is to provide a collection of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings that will encourage the newcomer to take up chanting; the serious chanter to understand the significance of initiation and the ten offenses; the newly initiated to practice more strictly, seriously and sincerely; the practiced devotees to chant more themselves and then take to the streets to spread the glories of the holy names to others; and the older, senior devotees to relish and increase their taste in chanting the holy names in preparing for the time of death.

Srila Prabhupada named his movement the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Yet everyone knew it as, and Srila Prabhupada himself called it, "the Hare Krishna Movement." He took pride in calling his disciples "the Hare Krishna people."

"In 1966 this movement was registered in New York, and from 1966 it is spreading. So within four or five years it has spread all over the world. We have got branches in every part of the globe. And at least, these people know there is a movement, Krsna consciousness, and we are welcome everywhere as Krsna conscious people, ‘Hare Krsna People.’ Our name is ‘Hare Krsna People."

"Actually we experienced this when we came to preach the Hare Krsna movement in the West. When we came to New York in 1965, we never expected that the Hare Krsna maha- mantra would be accepted in this country. Nonetheless, we invited people to our storefront to join in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, and the Lord’s holy name is so attractive that simply by coming to our storefront in New York, fortunate young people became Krsna conscious. "


Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the great apostle of love of God and the father of the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord, advented Himself at Sridhama Mayapura, a quarter in the city of Navadvipa in Bengal, on the Phalguni Pirnima evening in the year 1407 Sakabda (corresponding to February 1486 by the Christian calendar). lt was by the will of the Lord that there was a lunar eclipse on that evening. During the hours of eclipse it was the custom of the Hindu public to take bath in the Ganges or any other sacred river and chant the Vedic mantras for purification. When Lord Caitanya was born during the lunar eclipse, all India was roaring with the holy sound of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. These sixteen names of the Lord are mentioned in many Puranas and Upanisads, and they are described as the Taraka-brahma nama of this age. It is recommended in the Sastras (revealed scriptures) that offenseless chanting of these holy names of the Lord can deliver a fallen soul from material bondage. There are innumerable names of the Lord both in India and outside, and all of them are equally good because all of them indicate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But because these sixteen are especially recommended for this age, people should take advantage of them and follow the path of the great Acaryas [saintly teachers] who attained success by practicing the rules of the sasiras.

The simultaneous occurrence of the Lord’s appearance and the lunar eclipse indicated the distinctive mission of the Lord. This mission was to preach the importance of chanting the holy names of the Lord in this age of Kali (quarrel). In this present age, quarrels take place even over trifles, and therefore the sastras have recommended for this age a common platform for realization, namely chanting the holy names of the Lord. People can hold meetings to glorify the Lord in their respective languages and with melodious songs, and if such performances are executed in an offenseless manner, it is certain that the participants will gradually attain spiritual perfection without having to undergo more rigorous methods. At such meetings everyone, the learned and the foolish, the rich and the poor, the Hindus and the Muslims, the Englishmen and the Indians, and the candalas [dog eaters] and the brahmanas [priestly class], can all hear the transcendental sounds and thus cleanse the dust of material association fromthe mirror of the heart. To confirm the Lord’s mission, all the people of the world will accept the holy name of the Lord as the common platform for the universal religion of mankind. In other words, the advent of the holy name took place along with the advent of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

When the Lord was on the lap of His mother, He would at once stop crying as soon as the ladies surrounding Him chanted the holy names and clapped their hands. This peculiar incident was observed by the neighbors with awe and veneration. Sometimes the young girls took pleasure in making the Lord cry and then stopping Him by chanting the holy name. So from His very childhood the Lord began to preach the importance of the holy name. In His early age Lord Sri Caitanya was known as Nimai. This name was given by His beloved mother because the Lord took His birth beneath a neem tree in the courtyard of His paternal house. When the Lord was offered solid food at the age of six months in the anna-prasana ceremony, the Lord indicated His future activities. At this time it was customary to offer the child both coins and books in order to get some indication of the future tendencies of the child. The Lord was offered on one side coins and on the other the Srimaa- Bhagavatam. The Lord accepted the Bhagavatam instead of the coins.

[Later on in life] the Lord was then married with great pomp and gaiety, and at this time He began to preach the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord at Navadvipa. Some of the brahmanas became envious of His popularity, and they put many hindrances on His path. They were so jealous that they finally took the matter before the Muslim magistrate at Navadvipa. Bengal was then governed by Pathans, and the governor of the province was Nawab Hussain Shah. The Muslim magistrate of Navadvipa took up the complaints of the brahmanas seriously, and at first he warned the followers of Nimai Pandita not to chant loudly the name of Hari. But Lord Caitanya asked His followers to disobey the orders of the Kazi, and they went on with their sankirtana (chanting) party as usual. The magistrate then sent constables who interrupted a sankirtana and broke some of the mrdangas (drums). When Nimai Pandita heard of this incident He organized a party for civil disobedience. He is the pioneer of the civil disobedience movement in India for the right cause. He organized a procession of one hundred thousand men with thousands of mrdangas and karatalas (hand cymbals), and this procession passed over the roads of Navadvipa in defiance of the Kazi who had issued the order. Finally the procession reached the house of the Kazi, who went upstairs out of fear of the masses. The great crowds assembled at the Kazi’s house displayed a violent temper, but the Lord asked them to be peaceful.


Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896, in Calcutta, India. His father, Gour Mohan De, and his mother, Rajani, were great devotees of Lord Krsna (Vaisnavas) and from birth they trained their son in devotional service. They named him Abhay Charan: one who is fearless having taken shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. Gour Mohan desired his son to become a pure Vaisnava and always prayed to Radharani that She bless Abhay. As a baby, an astrologer read his chart. "When this child reaches the age of seventy, he will cross the ocean, become a great exponent of religion, and open 108 temples." Who could have envisioned that this and much more would actually happen?

When Abhay was only five he wanted to hold a Rathayatra festival in the neighbourhood. (Ratha-yatra is a festival in which the Deity form of the Lord is seated in a chariot and pulled through the streets). His father arranged for a cart and Abhay’s desire was fulfilled. At six years of age Abhay’s father gave him a set of Radha Krsna Deities to worship. He learned mrdanga and other Vaisnava arts, even cooking. During his studies at Scottish Churches College in Calcutta, his father arranged for his marriage. After graduating he refused to accept his degree as he had become a sympathiser of Gandhi's policy of non-cooperation with the British. Still his father secured for him a good job in pharmaceuticals.

In 1922, when Abhay was twenty-five, the most significant event occurred. He met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja. Even before any formal introduction, as Abhay and his friend were offering their obeisances, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta addressed them, "You are educated young men. Why don’t you preach Lord Caitanya’s message throughout the whole world?" Abhay was shocked by his boldness. He sat and listened to the lecture. Afterwards, as Abhay was a follower of Gandhi at that time, he challenged Srila Bhaktisiddhanta that with India still under British rule, who would listen to Caitanya’s message? Srila Bhaktisiddhanta soundly defeated him. "Krsna consciousness doesn’t have to wait for a change in politics, nor is it dependent on who rules. Krsna consciousness is so important — so exclusively important — that it can not wait." Abhay was convinced that he had at last met his guru. "Il accepted him as my spiritual master immediately. Not officially, but in my heart I was thinking that I have met a very nice saintly person."

In this way Abhay, now a married man, carried on as a householder, always thinking of Krsna and his spiritual master, but doing business to maintain his family. In 1933 at Allahabad, he took formal initiation and his relationship with his spiritual master’s mission continued to deepen and unfold. Then, fifteen years after their first meeting, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta passed away from this mortal world on January 1, 1937. He had been spending his last days reading Caitanya-caritamta and chanting on his beads. When a doctor had visited him, wanting to give him an injection, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta had protested, "Why are you disturbing me in this way? Simply chant Hare Krsna, that’s all."

As the years passed by, and with his children grown up, Abhay’s desire and determination to serve his spiritual master’s mission increased. Abhay spent more and more of his time working to spread the message of Krsna consciousness. For years he had spent much of his time away from home, travelling on business. Now he would dedicate his whole time to preaching. In 1954 he left the business to his family and moved to Jhansi. After his efforts in Jhansi failed to materialize he eventually moved to Vrndavana, the holy birth place of Lord Krsna. There he spent his time writing books and performing bhajana (worship of the Lord).

Soon after, in 1959, Abhay accepted the renounced order of life, sannyasa, and became A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. He then moved to the Radha-Damodara Temple in Vrndavana where he began the momentous task of translating and writing commentary to the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the most important book for Vaisnavas. Living as a mendicant, he struggled to publish and print the First Canto, complete in three volumes. Finally in 1965, with the books printed, he felt confident it was the time to go to the West to preach. With much difficulty, he eventually secured a free passage by cargo ship to New York, from Mrs. Morarji, owner of Scindia Steamship Company. After obtaining his passport and visa, he boarded the Jaladuta steamship in Calcutta, on August 13, 1965. Several trunks of Srimad-Bhagavatams were loaded aboard en _ route.

On the journey, Bhaktivedanta Swami suffered two heart attacks. He thought he would die, should another one occur, but Krsna appeared to him in a dream, rowing a boat and telling him not to fear, but to come along. The rest of the journey was smooth. On the voyage, he wrote his famous poem, "Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna," in which he revealed his complete dependence on the Lord and his feeling of total humility. Upon arrival in Boston on September 17, 1965 he wrote another poem, "Markine Bhagavat Dharma: Preaching Krsna Consciousness in America." In this poem, Srila Prabhupada petitions the Lord for His mercy to guide him. Feeling completely incapable alone, he knew only Krsna could fulfill his mission. Forty-three years after receiving the order from his spiritual master to preach in the West.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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