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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Oct 20 14:58:52 CDT 2003

On Sun, 19 Oct 2003, S Jayanarayanan wrote:

> 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:
> ----------
> http://www.iskcon.com/basics/gloriesofname.html
> (It's from ISKCON, but the reference to scripture can easily be
> verified)
> 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)

ApannaH saMsrtiM  ghorAM yannAm vivasho grNan |
tataH sadyo vimuchyeta yadbibheti svayaM bhayaM || 14 ||

Those who have fallen into the terrible depths [of samsara] can even at
the time of death be released by taking the name which is feared by Fear

1.  Nothing in this shloka says anything about taking the name
   unconsciously. In fact 'taking' need not necessarily refer to chanting.

2.  Needless to say no mantra in particular is 'the' name.  While it is
   obvious from the context that it is the name of Vishnu which is being
   refered too, there is no reason why it exclusively has to be Krshna and
   not Vasudeva or Narasimha or any other.

3. 'released' may refer to release from rebirth which is not the final
   liberation in Advaita Vedanta.  We also believe in krama mukti in which
   a soul is free of a body but continues gaining jnana in a higher world
   like Vaikuntha until the final complete mukti.  This shloka is open
   to interpretation either way.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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