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

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 20 16:56:01 CDT 2003

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> 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
> Himself.

The word "vivashaH" can mean, according to Apte's Sanskrit Dictionary,
"helpless" or "uncontrolled" or "dead". Or as I read in another place,
"a state of swooning". The words "sadyo vimuchyeta" speaks directly of
"immediate liberation". 

But that's not the only verse, there are umpteen more, I just searched
again (in ISKCON, no less) and found other verses, maybe you can help
with the Sanskrit original on these also:

Knowingly or unknowingly chanting the name of the One praised in the
verses is that which, like fire does with dry grass, burns to ashes the
sins of a person. (6.2.18)

Any person in distress who accidentally heard of, or whatever fallen
soul who just for fun could chant or repeat His name, will instantly
see the endless sinful of human association vanquished; of whom else
but Lord Ananta Sesa should any seeker of salvation take shelter?
(BhAgavatam 5.25.11)

> 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.

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