Question: I have a question regarding the following verse: sanketyam parihasyam va stobham helanam eva va vaikuntha-nama-grahanam aseshagha-haram viduh: “One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins …
Question: I have a question regarding the following verse: sanketyam parihasyam va stobham helanam eva va vaikuntha-nama-grahanam aseshagha-haram viduh: “One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly [to indicate something else], jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures.” (SB 6.2.14) Srila Prabhupada does not give a commentary on this verse and I was wondering if Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur has said something further on its meaning.
Answer: He adds that none of these things should be offensive. Otherwise he only explains the meaning of these terms.
Q: As you know, many devotees of Krsna are lecturing and doing kirtan at various studios in the USA and Europe. Some conservative devotees feel that we shouldn’t compromise our Vaisnava philosophy one iota while others are more liberal and are encouraging yogis to chant even if it has the above mentioned flaws. Any thoughts on this matter, specifically in regards to the above mentioned verse?
A: Well, the real thing is to know the purpose behind chanting. Its primary purpose is devotion to the Lord – to do it for His pleasure. It is not a means of entertainment, which is usually the case. Even many conservative devotees fall prey to this tendency.
The above mentioned verse is not an injunction to chant in this manner but an explanation of the power of the name. You can chant in Yoga centers or wherever, if your intention is proper, and ultimately you should let it be known. Sometimes I also chant but I also explain the meaning and purpose of chanting.
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Many of the actions we do in our life to get the feeling of superiority. Introspect and try to see this subtle truth. It is not the guru’s job to point it out to you, even if he sees it. It is your job to see it and take responsibility for it yourself.