SECRET MEANING OF THE HOLY NAMES
The holy name of the Lord, composed of the thirty-two syllable maha-mantra, is an aspect of transcendental samadhi, as one meditates on the name, form, and pastimes of the Supreme Lord; one develops a deeper understanding of the Maha-nantra. The name ‘Hare’ means the ‘internal potency’ of Lord Krishna which also known as ‘hladini-shakti’, which is manifest in the form of Shrimati Radharani, the eternal consort of Lord Krishna. The name ‘Krishna’ means ‘the reservoir of all pleasure’, or in other words the ‘Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna’. The name ‘Rama’ means Lord Krishna, the ‘one who gives pleasure to Radharani’, or in other words, Radha-ramana. The Sanskrit word ‘rama’ means ‘pleasure’. Therefore, in the advanced stages of chanting the holy name, one will automatically think of the divine lovers Radha and Krishna as soon as one begins to chant.
These forms are authorized by the Vedas and are non-different from the Supreme Lord Himself and are called the Arch-murti or Archa-vigraha, the manifestation of the Lord in material elements like marble, astha-dhatu (eight metals), or wood. This form of meditation or dhyana on the Archa-vigraha, is the topmost aspect of samadhi, which should be practiced by those performing the various aspects of sankirta, including; nama-kirtan, bhajan, and japa. By focusing the mind on the transcendental form of the Deity, while chanting the holy names is certainly one of the most effective means of bhakti-yoga meditation. The chanting of the holy name is also the most direct method of self-realization that has ever been revealed and is the special gift of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and meant for the spiritual emancipation of the fallen masses of Kali-yuga. The following verse from the Shrimad Bhagavatam, written some five thousand years ago, predicted the appearance of the ‘Golden Avatara’ Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. “In the Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of the sankirtana-yajna.” (SB.11.5.32)
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THE SECRET MEANING OF SANKIRTAN
The performance of sankirtan is an expression of pure love for Radha and Krishna, and is an aspect of the transcendental rasa-lila, the divine ‘dance of love’, enjoyed by the Radha and Krishna and their intimate associates, the gopis, in the spiritual world. The rasa-lila is considered to be the pinnacle of all spiritual attainment. To be intimately connected with the Lord as his divine lover and to be able to dance to the beat of the drums and the chanting of kirtan directly with Krishna, in the ecstatic rasa-lila, is the fervent desire of all liberated saints and perfected yogis. Even Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune is engaged in penance in order to achieve this opportunity of entering the rasa-lila to dance with Krishna. Similarly, the pleasure derived from chanting and dancing in sankirtan is called kirtan-rasa, and it is the equivalent of the rasa-lila enjoyed by the gopis of Vrindavana. Therefore, to take part in nama-sankirtan is equal to taking part in the rasa-lila pastimes of Radha and Krishna, as one their eternal associates. There is no equivalent in any other yoga system to this transcendental pastime of kirtan-rasa which is a manifestation of the liberated platform of maha-samadhi, the final samadhi that is achieved at the time of death by the perfected yogis and pure devotees of the Lord.
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