TEXT 257
mukti-hetuka taraka haya 'rama-nama'
'krsna-nama' paraka hana kare prema-dana
mukti-hetuka—the cause of liberation; taraka—deliverer; haya—is; rama-nama—the holy name of Lord Rama; krsna-nama—the holy name of Lord Krsna; paraka—that which gets one to the other side of the ocean of nescience; hana—being; kare—gives; prema-dana—the gift of love of Krsna.
"The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation, but the holy name of Krsna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience and at last gives one ecstatic love of Krsna.
In an indirect way, this verse explains the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. The Hare Krsna maha-mantra-Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare-includes both the holy name of Lord Krsna and the name of Lord Rama. Lord Rama gives one the opportunity to be liberated, but simply by liberation one does not get actual spiritual benefit. Sometimes if one is liberated from the material world but has no shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna, one falls down to the material world again. Liberation is like a state of convalescence, in which one is free from a fever but is still not healthy. Even in the stage of convalescence, if one is not very careful, one may have a relapse. Similarly, liberation does not offer as much security as the shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna. It is stated in the sastra:
ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas
tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah
aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah
patanty adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah
"O Lord, the intelligence of those who think themselves liberated but who have no devotion is impure. Even though they rise to the highest point of liberation by dint of severe penances and austerities, they are sure to fall down again into material existence, for they do not take shelter at Your lotus feet." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.32) Yusmad-anghrayah refers to the lotus feet of Krsna. If one does not take shelter of Krsna's lotus feet, he falls down (patanty adhah), even from liberation. The Hare Krsna maha-mantra, however, gives liberation and at the same time offers shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna. If one takes shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna after liberation, he develops his dormant ecstatic love for Krsna. That is the highest perfection of life.

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