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Chanting the Holy Names

Chanting the Holy Name - The Supreme Intelligence of the Intelligent

By Sacinandana Swami

The Bhagavatam tells us in its philosophical language:

The process of bhakti is the supreme intelligence of the intelligent and the cleverness of the most clever, for by following it one can in this very life make use of the temporary and unreal body to achieve Me, the eternal reality. (SB 11.29.22)

Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that this verse is the touchstone amongst verses and the essence of the Lord´s teachings. If this verse shines in one´s heart, such a person will shine in the assembly of devotees.

In the material world, one is considered to be intelligent if with a minimum investment one achieves great results. For example, if one obtains one million gold coins by investing only one coin, than such a person is considered to be highly intelligent.

Krishna once told his friend Uddhava that amongst all those who are intelligent, He considers his devotee to be the most intelligent, since by offering his/her temporary body in devotional service - which is here today and gone tomorrow - it is possible to attain Him forever. Krishna said:

The inhabitants of planet earth, who are mortal, can become my devotees and offer me their bodies which are not worth much and which are prone to old age and disease. In exchange, I, the fountainhead of overflowing joy and sweetness, give Myself to them together with my priceless ornaments, bracelets and crown.

Then He further clarifies:

Giving one´s body to the Lord means to engage the ear and all other organs in serving Me by nicely hearing and chanting my glories. If one can remember Me while doing this, it is even better. (Paraphrased from Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura´s commentary on the afore-mentioned verse and verse 12.3.51)

One can also engage the hands and other limbs in the service of the Lord, but the Lord is even attained if one just offers only one part of the body. The most useful part in this connection is the tongue because in this Age of Darkness, all processes of devotional service bow down before the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord, which is considered the king of them all. Just as limbs are connected to the body, all the processes of bhakti grow from chanting the Lord´s name.

Thus, Chanting alone includes all other practices, just as the body includes arms, hands, legs, feet and the head.

What intelligent person, therefore, will not engage himself/herself in nicely chanting the Names of the Lord? 

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