“Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Krishna expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.” (Lord Chaitanya, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya 20.12)Download this episode (right click and save)
If I have one hundred dollars, there is only so much I can do with it. Once the money is spent, it is gone. The only way to purchase the same items is to again come into possession of the same amount of money. Such are the ways of the material world; there is a limit to everything. Not everyone can be satisfied, and so on the other side of happiness is sadness. The space in the realm of transcendental bliss is not limited, however. It can expand to an infinite size. In our present circumstances this expansion takes place through the chanting of the holy names of Krishna.
Imagine this situation. You come home from a hard day at work. You are both exhausted and starving. When you put the keys to the house and the car in the drawer in the kitchen, which is your usual spot, you notice a cheesecake sitting on the table. It is a full cake. It looks like it just got delivered. It is still cold, so someone must have either left it out or brought it inside from wherever it came. You decide to have a slice. You’re not authorized to eat it; someone could have brought it home for another reason. But you’re so hungry and it looks so tempting. You decide that you’re going to dig in.
Before you know it, the entire cheesecake has found its way into your belly. Your wife comes home and sees the evidence of your crime still smeared a little on your face. She loses it. She starts yelling at you, telling you that the cheesecake was supposed to be for the company that was coming over the next night. Now she had nothing to offer them. The entire pie is gone.
Indeed, even in commerce in modern times there are only a certain number of jobs available at a time. There is competition for a position, and only one person wins. One person finds happiness, which then automatically causes another’s sadness.
Spiritual life is inherently different. For starters, it applies to every single living creature. It is available for them to live in. It is like an apartment complex with an unlimited number of vacancies. Try to consider all the life forms that you encounter on a daily basis. Then take that number and multiply it by the number of human beings you know to be roaming the planet. They too witness so many forms of life. Spiritual life is available for each one of these beings.
And that life is blissful. It must be. If it is not, then it is lacking the spiritual touch. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that the ocean of transcendental bliss expands through the chanting of the holy names. One person finds spiritual life through repeating the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. They always think of the beloved Gopala, the protector of the cows, who is all-attractive and thus aptly named Krishna. They think of His merciful form of Jagannatha, who is the Lord of the universe, and who enjoys so many food preparations in his home in Puri, which is also known as Purushottama-kshetra.
But this is bliss for only one person. This individual has surpassed the neophyte understanding which only knows of a supreme controller referred to by a vague term such as “God.” This person has moved along from the understanding of the impersonal Brahman, which due to its lack of perceptible features is very difficult to understand for one who is embodied.
“For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 12.5)
The soul in transcendental bliss derives their happiness from knowing that God is Bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Having found this highest knowledge doesn’t mean that others are restricted from it. This is no race to first; it is simply a personal victory. And from that lofty achievement, the liberated soul does not hog the glory for themselves. They open the floodgates for the ocean of transcendental bliss to flow.
And how do they do this? Through the very chanting of the holy names. This was Lord Chaitanya’s mission. He is the greatest lord, Mahaprabhu, and He is the most munificent of all incarnations of Godhead, maha-vadanyaya. He easily gives prema, or love, for Krishna. He does this through the chanting of the holy names. He does this through empowering His closest associates to do the same. And in the process the ocean of bliss expands, and more and more souls find the happiness that otherwise eludes them.
If accidentally to eat the whole pie,
To leave others hungry act of my.
In spiritual life not the case,
To first there is no race.
Chanting holy names in bliss abound,
Then to share with others what they’ve found.
Through same chanting of Krishna done,
So that left behind there to be none.