In his Anubhāṣya, Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī says that the actual effect that will be visible as soon as one achieves transcendental knowledge is that he will immediately become free from the clutches of māyā and fully engage in the service of the Lord. Unless one serves the Supreme Personality of Godhead Mukunda, one cannot become free from fruitive activities under the external energy. However, when one chants the holy name of the Lord offenselessly, one can realize a transcendental position that is completely aloof from the material conception of life. Rendering service to the Lord, a devotee relates to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in one of five relationships—namely, śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya or mādhurya—and thus he relishes transcendental bliss in that relationship. Such a relationship certainly transcends the body and mind. When one realizes that the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Supreme Person, he becomes completely eligible to chant the holy name of the Lord. Such an ecstatic chanter and dancer must be considered to have a direct relationship with the Lord.
According to the Vedic principles, there are three stages of spiritual advancement, namely, sambandha-jñāna, abhidheya and prayojana. Sambandha-jñāna refers to establishing one’s original relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, abhidheya refers to acting according to that constitutional relationship, and prayojana is the ultimate goal of life, which is to develop love of Godhead (premā pum-artho mahān). If one adheres to the regulative principles under the order of the spiritual master, he very easily achieves the ultimate goal of his life. A person who is addicted to the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra very easily gets the opportunity to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. There is no need for such a person to understand the grammatical jugglery in which Māyāvādī sannyāsīs generally indulge. Śrī Śaṅkarācārya also stressed this point: na hi na hi rakṣati ḍukṛñ karaṇe. “Simply by juggling grammatical suffixes and prefixes one cannot save himself from the clutches of death.” The grammatical word jugglers cannot bewilder a devotee who engages in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Simply addressing the energy of the Supreme Lord as Hare and the Lord Himself as Kṛṣṇa very soon situates the Lord within the heart of the devotee. By thus addressing Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, one directly engages in His Lordship’s service. The essence of all revealed scriptures and all knowledge is present when one addresses the Lord and His energy by the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, for this transcendental vibration can completely liberate a conditioned soul and directly engage him in the service of the Lord.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu presented Himself as a grand fool, yet He maintained that all the words that He had heard from His spiritual master strictly followed the principles stated by Vyāsadeva in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 1.7.6).
- anarthopaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje
- lokasyājānato vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām
“The material miseries of a living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyāsadeva compiled this Vedic literature [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam], which is in relation to the Supreme Truth.” One can overcome all misconceptions and entanglement in the material world by practicing bhakti-yoga, and therefore Vyāsadeva, acting on the instruction of Śrī Nārada, has very kindly introduced Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to relieve the conditioned souls from the clutches of māyā. Lord Caitanya’s spiritual master instructed Him, therefore, that one must read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam regularly and with scrutiny to gradually become attached to the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
The holy name and the Lord are identical. One who is completely free from the clutches of māyā can understand this fact. This knowledge, which is achieved by the mercy of the spiritual master, places one on the supreme transcendental platform. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu presented Himself as a fool because prior to accepting the shelter of a spiritual master He could not understand that simply by chanting one can be relieved from all material conditions. But as soon as He became a faithful servant of His spiritual master and followed his instructions, He very easily saw the path of liberation. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra must be understood to be devoid of all offenses. The ten offenses against the holy name are as follows: (1) to blaspheme a devotee of the Lord, (2) to consider the Lord and the demigods to be on the same level or to think that there are many gods, (3) to neglect the orders of the spiritual master, (4) to minimize the authority of scriptures (Vedas), (5) to interpret the holy name of God, (6) to commit sins on the strength of chanting, (7) to instruct the glories of the Lord’s name to the unfaithful, (8) to compare the chanting of the holy name with material piety, (9) to be inattentive while chanting the holy name, and (10) to be attached to material things in spite of chanting the holy name.