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The correct method of Harinam Sadhana from Bhajan Pranali in Harinam Chintamani. How to quickly go from Namabhasa to Namarasa and from Kanistha to Uttama?
The correct method of Harinam Sadhana from Harinam Chintamani’s Bhajan Pranali (Chp 15) will be described here. You will find the answer on how to quickly go from Namabhasa to Namarasa and thus from Kanistha to Uttama.
● The Five Stages of Remembrance
Srila Prabhupada quotes his own Gurudeva Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in Nectar of Instruction, Verse 8:
“When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaraṇāvasthā, the stage of remembering. Recollection (smarana), absorption (dharana), meditation (dhyana), constant remembrance (anusmriti), and trance (samadhi) are the five items of progressive kṛṣṇa-smaraṇa.”
“At first, remembrance of Kṛṣṇa may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmṛti.”
“By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmṛti one enters the stage of samādhi, or spiritual trance. After smaraṇa-daśā or samādhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position.”
● The Intensity of Remembrance in These 5 Stages
Smarana or recollection means drop by drop remembrance with bigger breaks. Dharana or absorption means bigger drops of remembrance with very few breaks. Dhyana or meditation means a thin continuous flow of remembrance with very rare breaks.
Anusmriti or constant remembrance means a thick continuous flow of remembrance with no breaks at all. And finally, Samadhi or trance means fully entering into that object of our remembrance in our spiritual form.
● No One Can Skip Stages
When we open a tap, first the water flows drop by drop and then becomes a flow with no breaks. We can’t go into Dharana or absorption in Harinam without mastering Smarana or recollection first, and so on. Sometimes we lose patience and just want to skip directly to Samadhi, but that is not possible.
We cannot skip the steps or stages. If we try to jump like that, we will not get the real thing (dusta phala karibe arjana). Our advancement in remembering Harinam will only be illusory in our own imagination. And if we patiently follow the proper sequence of these steps, then nothing else except the Harinam Sadhana described below and mercy is required to enter the eternal pastimes in our spiritual form.
● First Focus Only on Recollection
So how to advance in these five stages of remembrance in Harinam? By fully focusing on Recollection or Smarana first. Let us not be artifically greedy to jump to the higher stages of remembrance, as it is simply not possible to force our entry into the pastimes.
And how do we do that? By trying to first awaken the remembrance of the divine form of Krishna while chanting Harinam. This is recommended in the final 15th Chapter of Harinam Chintamani known as Bhajan Pranali, which is its very essence, as follows:
● How To Start Harinam Sadhana?
nāma-nāmī eka tattva viśvāsa kariyā |
daśa aparādha chāḍi nirjane basiyā ||42||
“With strong faith that Harinam and Krishna are the Same, try to avoid the ten offenses and sit alone.”
sadhana krama ei. antarmukha bhakta-mahashaya prathame dasha aparadha tyaga purvaka kevala nama smarana o kirtanera nairantarya sadhana karibena. spashta nama uccharana-purvaka smarana-kirtana karibena. (bhaktivinoda bhashya)
“The proper method of Harinam Sadhana is as follows. The introvert and serious devotee first tries to give up the ten offenses and focuses ONLY on remembering and singing Harinam as constantly as possible and doing kirtana-remembrance with correct and clear pronunciation.”
● How To Unite Krishna’s Form With Harinam
ati svalpa dine nāma ha-iyā sadaya |
śrī-śyāmasundara-rūpe hayena udaya ||43||
“Then within a very few days, Harinam will be merciful upon you. And the form of Sri Shyamsundar will spontaneously arise in your heart while chanting.”
nama spashta, sthira, o sukhakar haile, sri shyamsundarera rupa dhyana karibena. haste mala sankhya, mane va mukhe krishna-namanusandhana karite karite namartha je rupa taha chinnayane darshan karite thakibena. athava srimurtira sanmukhe basiya rupa darshan o nama smaranadi karibena. (bhaktivinoda bhashya)
“When you come to the point of chanting Harinam with clear pronunciation, steadily without interruptions, and joyfully; please make an effort to meditate on the form of Sri Shyamsundara.”
“With japa mala in your hands, and after searching and searching for the divine meanings of Harinam with your mind and mouth, you will be able to behold with your transcendental eyes the first true meaning of Harinam which is Krishna’s Form. Another way to make Krishna’s Form One with Harinam is to sit in front of a (Realistic) Painting or a Deity and behold Krishna’s Form while remembering Harinam.”
jabe nāma-rūpe aikya hayata sādhane |
nāma laite rūpa āise citte sarva-kṣaṇe ||44||
“When you achieve this Oneness of Harinam and Krishna’s Form, then that Form will constantly arise in your consciousness while chanting or hearing Harinam.”
● How To Add Krishna’s Qualities To Harinam and His Form
tāra kichu dine rūpe guṇa kari yoga |
śrī-nāma smaraṇe guṇa karaya sambhoga ||45||
“After that, try to seek out the 64 qualities of Krishna in your remembrance while chanting Harinam, which in turn has already become One with Krishna’s Form. And try to merge these 64 qualities with Harinam and Krishna’s Form.”
namera sahita rupa ekatva prapta haileo krishna-guna sakala smarane aanite abhyasa karibena. (bhaktivinoda bhashya)
“When Krishna’s Form has united with Harinam, endeavor to bring all the 64 qualities of Krishna into remembrance while chanting Harinam.”
svalpa-dine nāma rūpa guṇa eka haya |
nāma laite sarva-kṣaṇe tinera udaya ||46||
“Again in a few days, Harinam, Krishna’s Form, and Krishna’s Qualities will become One. And as soon as you chant or hear Harinam, all Three will arise at every moment.”
● How To Unite Krishna’s Pastimes With Harinam, Form, and Qualities
mantra dhyāna mayī ei nāma upāsanā |
prāthamika dhārā jāni kare vibhāvanā ||47||
“Then you will enter into the preliminary visualization and meditational worship of the divine Pastimes of Krishna in His Yogapeeth, etc. in Harinam known as mantradhyanmayi upasana.”
● How Does Hare Krishna Nama Rasa Arise?
nama, rupa o guna ekatva abhyasta haile prathame mantradhyanmayi lilara smarana kariya tahara nama-rupa-gunera sahita aika kariya laibena. ei samayei nama rasera udaya haya. mantradhyanmayi bhavana dridha haile svarasiki ashtakala lila dhyana karite karite sampurna rasodaya haibe. (bhaktivinoda bhashya)
“When Harinam, Krishna’s Form, and Krishna’s Qualities have become One with each other in your remembrance, then first remember the Mantradhyanmayi Lila while chanting and try to also make it One with the Three. This is when Hare Krishna Nama Rasa truly arises.”
“When you get fixed in this Mantradhyanmayi Lila remembrance while chanting, then take up the repeated remembrance of Svarasiki Ashtakaliya Lila and by that complete Rasa will fully arise.”
● How Does One Progress From Kanishtha to Uttama?
ei sadhanera arambha-kale sadhaka praya kanishtha bhava prapta. anativilambe sadhaka uttama sadhu-sange madhyama bhakta haiya, avasheshe uttama bhakta madhye parinita hana. kanisthavasthaya kichu dina namabhyasa haya. namabhyase anartha dura hailei shuddha namadhikara o vaishnava sevadhikara haya. (bhaktivinoda bhashya)
“When one begins this Harinam Sadhana, one is a kanistha or neophyte devotee. But without much delay, by following this Sadhana correctly and by the association of an uttama devotee, one will become a madhyama devotee. And at the end of this Harinam Sadhana, one will be counted among the uttama devotees.”
“In the kanistha stage, one will have to practice this Harinam Sadhana for some time. When the anarthas or unwanted desires go away by this Harinam Sadhana, one gets the qualification to chant pure Harinam and to truly serve the Vaishnavas.”
● One Has to Make An Effort to Remember While Chanting
Srila Namacharya Haridasa Thakura states in Harinam Chintamani 15.43 to Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu Himself and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains it elaborately in his commentary as follows:
shyamsundarera rupa DHYANA KARIBENA
”MAKE AN EFFORT TO MEDITATE on the form of Sri Shyamsundara“
mane va mukhe krishna-NAMANUSANDHANA KARITE KARITE
”after SEARCHING AND SEARCHING AFTER THE DIVINE MEANINGS of Harinam with your mind and mouth“
All other instructions given by all other Acharyas in their books, letters, and conversations are subservient, secondary to, should be understood in relation to, and cannot contradict the above clearcut instructions of Srila Namacharya Haridasa Thakura himself, which are directly endorsed by the Supreme Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
No one is a greater authority on Harinam than Haridasa Thakura, I think we all agree with that. So why are we arguing here that we don’t have to think of Krishnaʼs form and pastimes while chanting or singing Harinam?
Secondly, when Harinam Chintamani instructs us to start meditating on Krishnaʼs form and search after meanings of Harinam after our chanting has become steady, clear, and blissful; the remembrance of Krishnaʼs form while chanting is no longer artificial.
Some spontaneity is already there as our chanting has become blissful or sukhakar. So that should be combined with our effort to search for the meanings of Harinam.
And yes the effort should be there to remember, otherwise what is the use of the free will given to every soul by the Lord in the form of the choice to remember the Lord or to forget Him at every second. sai vai manah krishna padavindayoh..
How is it possible that all the scriptures instruct us to remember the Lord 24/7, but we should not remember anything at the time of chanting and just hear the sound? Isn’t that a contradiction?
● THE GOAL OF CHANTING IS TO REMEMBER THE LORD 24/7 NOT JUST HEAR THE SOUND
Srila Prabhupada in Gita Intro: There is no difference, because Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa’s name are nondifferent. In the absolute status there is no difference between reference and referent. Therefore we have to practice remembering the Lord always, twenty-four hours a day, by chanting His names and molding our life’s activities in such a way that we can remember Him always.