Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Mukunda-mālā-stotra 26
tattvaḿ bruvāṇāni paraḿ parastān
madhu kṣarantīva mudāvahāni
prāvartaya prāñjalir asmi jihve
tattvam — the truth; bruvāṇāni — which speak; param — supreme; parastāt — beyond everything superior; madhu — honey; kṣaranti — dripping; iva — as if; mudā — joy; avahāni — bringing; prāvartaya — please recite; prāñjaliḥ — with joined palms; asmi — I am; jihve — O tongue; nāmāni — the names; nārāyaṇa-gocarāṇi — which refer to Lord Nārāyaṇa.
My dear tongue, I stand before you with joined palms and beg you to recite the names of Lord Nārāyaṇa. These names describing the Supreme Absolute Truth bring great pleasure, as if exuding honey.
At first our tongues may be unwilling to chant the Lord's names. Describing the neophyte chanter, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura states, "Some bear only the burden; others appreciate the true worth of things." Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī also recognizes the plight of the beginner and encourages him to pursue his chanting even though it seems dry and unpleasant: "The holy name, character, pastimes, and activities of Kṛṣṇa are all transcendentally sweet like sugar candy. Although the tongue of one afflicted by the jaundice of avidyā, ignorance, cannot taste anything sweet, it is wonderful that if a person simply chants these sweet names carefully every day, a natural relish awakens within his tongue, and his disease is gradually destroyed at the root" (Nectar of Instruction 7).
We may also take heart in the example of Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Although born in a Muslim family, he received the mercy of the holy name and began to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa constantly. In this way he achieved the highest perfection of love of Godhead. Indeed, he was such an exalted devotee that Lord Caitanya Himself praised him "as if speaking with five mouths." We cannot imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura, but it is encouraging to know that although one may be lowborn, one can overcome all obstacles by the mercy of the holy name. Moreover, Haridāsa Ṭhākura always remained very humble and wanted to remain aware of his material disqualifications. He therefore did not want to associate too intimately with Lord Caitanya, and he did not attempt to enter the temple at Jagannātha Purī. Cultivating humility in the mood of Haridāsa Ṭhākura is an absolute requirement for one who wishes to taste the nectar of the holy name and to chant constantly.
The honey within the holy name is remembrance of Kṛṣṇa. That is why chanting the name brings ecstasy. As Śrīla Prabhupāda writes, "The more one chants the names of Kṛṣṇa, the more one becomes attached. Thus service by śravaṇa and kīrtana, hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa, is the beginning. The next process is smaraṇa — always remembering Kṛṣṇa. When one is perfect in hearing and chanting, he will always remember Kṛṣṇa. In this third stage he becomes the greatest yogī" (The Matchless Gift, p. 89). Whether we are still at the beginning stage of bhakti, afflicted with avidyā, or whether we are starting to appreciate "the true worth of things," let us all go on chanting the holy names of the Lord. And let us relish verses from the authorized devotees who tell us of the honey in the holy name, such as this one by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī:
jayati jayati nāmānanda-rūpaḿ murārer
katham api sakṛd āttaḿ mukti-daḿ prāṇināḿ yat
paramam amṛtam ekaḿ jīvanaḿ bhūṣaṇaḿ me
"All glories, all glories to the all-blissful holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which causes the devotee to give up all conventional religious duties, meditation, and worship. When somehow or other uttered even once by a living entity, the holy name awards him liberation. The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is the highest nectar. It is my very life and my only treasure" (Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta 1.9).
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari