[Advaita-l] What does "Hare Krishna" Mean?

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 19 17:39:52 CDT 2003

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Oct 2003, Manikantan S wrote:
> >
> > When Such a simple thing can give moksha to a ordinary
> > man, why should he study all the other works of great
> > people.
> >
> Because it can't.  There is no "magic spell" that can give anyone
> moksha.
> Bondage is caused by ignorance so only the opposite of ignorance can
> result in liberation.  It's not a question of whether one recites one
> name
> or 100,000, if it is done without jnana it will not avail.

The fact that the mere chanting of the Lord's name *without* any other
conscious effort (such as meditation on the Deity) can confer
liberation is mentioned in the shrImad BhAgavatam. I read this not in
an ISKCON flyer, but in a Kanchi-Math-based publication, so this
actually has scriptural support, which is difficult to debunk. I just
surfed the 'net to find the source and came across this:

(It's from ISKCON, but the reference to scripture can easily be

Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and
death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy
name of Krishna, which is feared by fear personified.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.14)

But Ramana Maharshi does not agree with the above. He taught that the
chanting of the Lord's name ought to be done with *remembrance* of the
Lord. Taking the Lord's name in vain is prohibited.

Question: How should I carry on japa?

Maharshi: One should not use the name of God mechanically and
superficially without the feeling of devotion.

Yet RM teaches that the names of God are indeed effective:
Question: People give some names to God and say that the name is sacred
and repetitions of the name bestows merit on the individual. Can it be

Maharshi: Why not? You bear a name to which you answer. But your body
was not born with that name written on it, nor did it say to any one
that it bore such and such a name. And yet a name is given to you and
you answer to that name, because you have identified yourself with the
name. Therefore the name signifies something and it is not a mere
fiction. Similarly, God's name is effective. Repetition of the name is
remembrance of what it signifies. Hence its merit.   -Talks With Sri
Ramana Maharshi


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