Adi-lilaChapter 8: The Author Receives the Orders of Krishna and Guru

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 8.25

tad asma-saram hridayam batedam

yad grihyamanair hari-namadheyaih

na vikriyetatha yada vikaro

netre jalam gatra-ruheshu harshah


tat -- that; asma-saram -- as hard as iron; hridayam -- heart; bata -- O; idam -- this; yat -- which; grihyamanaih -- in spite of taking the chanting; hari-namadheyaih -- meditating on the holy name of the Lord; na -- does not; vikriyeta -- change; atha -- thus; yada -- when; vikarah -- transformation; netre -- in the eyes; jalam -- tears; gatra-ruheshu -- in the pores of the body; harshah -- ecstasy.


"If one's heart does not change, tears do not flow from his eyes, his body does not shiver, and his bodily hairs do not stand on end as he chants the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, it should be understood that his heart is as hard as iron. This is due to his offenses at the lotus feet of the Lord's holy name."


Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, commenting on this verse, which is a quotation from Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.24), remarks that sometimes a maha-bhagavata, or very advanced devotee, does not manifest such transcendental symptoms as tears in the eyes, whereas sometimes a kanishtha-adhikari, a neophyte devotee, displays them artificially. This does not mean, however, that the neophyte is more advanced than the maha-bhagavata devotee. The test of the real change of heart that takes place when one chants the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is that one becomes detached from material enjoyment. This is the real change. Bhaktir paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (Bhag. 11.2.42). If one is actually advancing in spiritual life, he must become very much detached from material enjoyment. If it is sometimes found that a kanishtha-adhikari (neophyte devotee) shows artificial tears in his eyes while chanting the Hare Krishna mantra but is still completely attached to material things, his heart has not really changed. The change must be manifested in terms of one's real activities.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness