na niskrtair uditair brahma-vadibhis
tatha visuddhyaty aghavan vratadibhih
yatha harer nama-padair udahrtais
“By following the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies or undergoing atonement, sinful men do not become as purified as by chanting once the holy name of Lord Hari. Although ritualistic atonement may free one from sinful reactions, it does not awaken devotional service, unlike the chanting of the Lord’s names, which reminds one of the Lord’s fame, qualities, attributes, pastimes, and paraphernalia.”
Every one of us who is in this material world is sinful. So we have to be purified. The best purification process is devotional service. And the purification process begins when you have no more any material desires (anyabhilasita-sunyam). Then the purification begins. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. [“Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.”] Nirmalam. Malam means sinful reaction. If you want to become completely free from all contamination of this material world . . . Contamination means associating with the different modes of material nature—sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. Even if you are associating with sattva-guna, it is still contamination—what to speak of the others, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. Those who are contaminated by rajo-guna and tamo-guna are fully engaged in lusty desires and greediness. Tada rajas-tamo bhavah kama-lobhadayas ca ye. (SB 1.2.19) Kama, lobha, rajas, tamah. The whole world is infected with rajo-guna and tamo-guna. Therefore people are simply absorbed in kama and lobha, lusty desires and greediness. Not that only the poor man is hankering after money. Even the richest man in this material world is also hankering. Lobha: “I want more. I want more.”
Krishna assures that yoga-ksemam vahamy aham. (Gita 9.22) [“Those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.”] Tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham: “If one is fully surrendered, I supply him personally; I carry his personal necessities” (yoga-ksemam vahamy aham). “Not that I ask somebody, but I carry Myself.” He is giving assurance. So why we should be hankering after other things to become happy? It is foolishness. Krishna assures, tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham.
This is the special mercy for the unalloyed devotee. “Unalloyed devotee” means anyabhilasita-sunyam. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11) [“One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Krishna favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.”] Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.2) Upadhi means [designation,] artificially “I am the husband of this wife.” “I am the father of these children.” “I am an inhabitant of America.” “I am American.” “I am Hindu.” “I am Muslim.” “I am Christian.” “I am brahman.” “I am fat.” “I am thin.” “I am white.” “I am black.” So many things. These are all upadhis. So, one has to become free from these upadhis. “I am not this. I am not that. I am not this.” Then what you are? Gopi-bhartur pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasa. (Cc Madhya 13.80) [“I am not a brahman, I am not a kshatriya, I am not a vaishya, or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmachari, a householder, a vanaprastha, or a sannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, the maintainer of the gopis.”] When one becomes like that—“I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna, gopi-bhartuh”—this is called parampara system. This is our real identification. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam. So if you want to be happy, you cannot become happy by your so-called endeavor, by tidbits: “This I will do and I will be happy.” No, this is all nonsense. You can be happy only when you fully surrender to Krishna without any abhilasa.
Even the big, big karmis who are able to perform big, big costly sacrifices . . . Karmis do big, big. You will find even nowadays . . . Of course, there are no yajnic brahmans at the present moment. Still, if you advertise, “Here there will be big yajna,” you will get lots of brahmans immediately: “Oh, there will be yajna.” But in the Kali-yuga there is no yajnic brahman. No yajna will be successful. Krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih. (SB 12.3.52) Makha means yajna. You cannot perform yajna now. It is not possible. Where is the ghee? Where is the grain? People are starving without food grains. How you can . . . Formerly tons and tons of food grains and ghee were sacrificed. That is yajna. So, this is not possible. Up to Treta-yuga it was possible. Krte yad dhyayato visnum. Meditation—this is a farce. So many foolish people are misled by rascals: “meditation.” What meditation? Meditation is such an easy thing? Valmiki Muni meditated for sixty thousand years. Then he got perfection. So who will get that opportunity? It is all farce. Meditation is farce. Yajna, so-called yajna, is also a farce, because there is no yajnic brahman. The yajnic brahman would ignite fire by mantra, not matches. So where is that yajnic brahman? So, this is not possible.
krte yad dhyayato visnum
tretayam yajato makhaih
kalau tad dhari-kirtanat
[“Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Visnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvapara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.”] This is the shastric injunction. You have to take this process. If you want to be perfect, you have to take the shastra-vidhi. If you don’t take,
yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya
na sa siddhim avapnoti
na sukham na param gatim
[“He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.”] If you don’t accept the injunction in the shastras, especially when Krishna, the Supreme Lord, is instructing you in the Bhagavad-gita, the essence of all shastra. You take that, then you will be happy. Otherwise not.
Here it is said that aghavan, the sinful man, cannot be purified by simply these ritualistic ceremonies, atonement, or keeping some vow, vratah. Then how it is possible? Yatha harer nama. Therefore it is recommended, harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam, kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva—the same thing. [“In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.”] You will never find the injunctions of the shastra contradictory. In the Brhan-naradiya Purana it is said, and in Srimad-Bhagavatam also the same thing. The Brhan-naradiya Purana says, harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam, and here in Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said, yatha harer nama-padair udahrtaih tad uttamasloka-gunopalambhakam. Harer nama means the chanting of the holy name. That is simple. But when you chant harer nama, gradually you understand what is Hari, what is His form, what are His qualities, what are His activities. Then you can understand.
Because without harer nama your heart is dirty. Ceto-darpana-marjanam. (Siksastaka 1) Unless your heart is cleansed, you cannot understand what is Hari, what is His name, what is His form, what are His qualities, what are His activities. You cannot understand. Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234) If you utilize your blunt nonsense senses, you cannot understand Krishna. Therefore people are not understanding Krishna, neither they are understanding the value of hari-nama. Because their senses are blunt, contaminated with these mayic qualities, they cannot understand. But this is the only way—ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. You have to be purified, and this is the only method: chant Hare Krishna. Then you will be gradually purified. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. (SB 1.2.17) [“Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”] If you hear, if you chant about Krishna, Uttamasloka, as it is said, tad uttamasloka-gunopalambhakam, so many benefits are there.
So, the Hare Krishna movement is so important that everyone should take it very seriously. Kirtaniyah sada harih.
trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
[“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”] This is the instruction of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Difficult . . . It is padam padam yad vipadam—danger at every step. (SB 10.14.58) In this material world there is only vipada; there is no sampada. Foolishly we think, “Now I am very nice.” What is nice? You have to die next moment. What is nice? But these foolish people say, “Yes, I am nice.” You ask anybody, “How are you?” “Yes, very nice.” What is that nice? You are going to die tomorrow. Still nice. This is going on. So, it is padam padam yad vipadam They are making scientific research to become happy, but these rascals, they do not know how to stop death. So what is the nice? But they have no brain to understand. Krishna says, “These are the problems, My dear sir. You scientists, you are trying so many things.” Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam. (Gita 13.9) “First of all find out what is your problem.” Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi: you have to take birth, you have to die, you have to suffer from disease, you have to become old. Stop these first of all; then talk of scientific advancement. Otherwise you are nonsense.