Experiences of an extraordinary pleasure
by Amit Jayant Deshmukh
The current period in the history of mankind is known as the Kaliyuga which is considered as the darkest age of spiritual ignorance. According to the Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi Lila (7.76), the only way for making spiritual advancement in the age of Kali is to meditate on the holy names of Lord Krishna. The sixteen names of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare are mentioned in the Kali Shantarana Upanishad (5). When the person starts feeling an extraordinary pleasure while chanting and attentively hearing the Hare Krishna sound vibration, he is said to be making spiritual progress.
It is stated in the Bhagavad-Gita (9.2), that the execution of devotional service to Lord Krishna is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare offenselessly feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all the material contamination which is within the heart since millions of lifetimes.
The eleven offenses which are to be avoided while chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu are mentioned in the Padma Purana, Brahma Khanda (25.15 - 18) -
1) To blaspheme the devotees who have dedicated their lives to chanting
ing the holy names of the Lord Krishna. The holy name, who is identical with Krishna, will never tolerate such blasphemous activities.
2) To consider the names of Lord Shiva or Lord Brahma to be on
an equal level with the holy names of Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna.
3) To disobey the orders of the spiritual master or to consider
him an ordinary person.
4) To blaspheme the Vedic literatures or literatures in pursuance
of the Vedic version.
5) To give some interpretation to the holy names of Lord Krishna.
6) To consider the glories of the holy names of Lord Krishna to be an imagination.
7) To think that the Hare Krishna mantra can counteract all sinful
reactions and one may therefore go on with his sinful activities
and at the same time chant the Hare Krsna mantra to neutralize
them is the greatest offense at the lotus feet of the holy names of Lord Krishna.
8) To consider the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra to be
one of the auspicious ritualistic mantras mentioned in the Vedas
as fruitive activity.
9) It is an offense to preach the glories of the holy names of Lord Krishna to the faithless people.
10) If one has heard the glories of the transcendental holy name
of Lord Krishna but nevertheless continues in a materialistic concept
of life, thinking " I am this body and everything belonging to this
body is mine, " and does not show respect and love for the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, that is considered as an offense.
11) It is also an offense to be inattentive while chanting the Hare Krishna
The Hare Krishna chanting should be loud enough to be heard by oneself. It is the nature of the mind to get distracted from attentively hearing the Hare Krishna prayer. Each time the mind gets distracted, one should with patience and determination bring the mind back to the Hare Krishna sound vibration. The Philosophy shows us the way to make spiritual progress but the actual realization comes through the meditation of the Hare Krishna prayer. Honey can be described in words but unless the person actually tastes it, he will never really know what the honey is all about. Hare Krishna meditation should atleast be attempted with an open mind. An intelligent person never blindly rejects anything without giving it a try atleast once.
This extraordinary pleasure helps the person to have real experiences on the soul platform. Real faith in anything extraordinary comes through direct experience of a higher reality or through the company of those who have attained that faith. Sex is one of the highest materialistic pleasures experienced in this material world. The materialistic pleasures can be experienced only on the bodily or the mental platform but not on the spiritual platform. All the temporary materialistic pleasures in this world are mingled with pain. According to the Bhagavad-Gita (13.9), Birth, Old Age, Disease and Death are the real problems of life which cause pain to the living beings. These real problems are common for all. Poverty and Unemployment are the relative problems of life as they may not be common for all.
Bhagavad-Gita (8.15) informs us about the temporary and an overall miserable nature of this material world. The existence of the spiritual world has been mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gita (15.6). The inhabitants in the Spiritual world don't have to suffer the miseries caused by birth, old age, disease and death. According to the Bhagavad-Gita (8.16), it is said that from the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place, but one who attains the Krishna's spiritual planet never has to take birth repeatedly in the material existence. An intelligent person tries to permanently shift to the spiritual world which consists of an eternal life, full of knowledge and bliss. Hare Krishna prayer is one way of getting an entry into the spiritual dimension.
One should atleast know some basic spiritual knowledge from the holy scriptures before attempting the Hare Krishna meditation. According to the Bhagavata Purana (12.13.23), the congregational chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna is considered as the religion for this era in which we are currently residing.
Bhagavad-Gita, chapter number 8, verse number 15.
Bhagavad-Gita, chapter number 8, verse number 16.
Bhagavad-Gita, chapter number 9, verse number 2.
Bhagavad-Gita, chapter number 13, verse number 9.
Bhagavad-Gita, chapter number 15, verse number 6.
Bhagavata Purana, canto number 12, chapter number 13, verse number 23.
Kali Shantarana Upanishad, verse number 5.
Padma Purana, Brahma Khanda, chapter number 25, verse numbers 15 to 18.
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi Lila section, chapter number 7, verse number 76.