TEXT 71
tāra madhye sarva-śreṣṭha nāma-saṅkīrtana
niraparādhe nāma laile pāya prema-dhana
SYNONYMS
tāra madhye—of the nine different types of devotional service; sarva-śreṣṭha—the most important of all; nāma-saṅkīrtana—chanting of the holy name of the Lord; niraparādhe—without offenses; nāma laile—if one chants the holy name; pāya—he gets; prema-dhana—the most valuable ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa.
TRANSLATION
"Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the holy name of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offenses, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of Godhead."
PURPORT
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī Prabhu gives the following directions in his Bhakti-sandarbha (270):
iyaṁ ca kīrtanākhyā bhaktir bhagavato dravya-jāti-guṇa-kriyābhir dīna-janaika-viṣayāpāra-karuṇā-mayīti śruti-purāṇādi-viśrutiḥ. ataeva kalau svabhāvata evātidīneṣu lokeṣu āvirbhūya tān anāyāsenaiva tat tad yuga-gata-mahā-sādhanānāṁ sarvam eva phalaṁ dadānā sā kṛtārthayati. yata eva tayaiva kalau bhagavato viśeṣataś ca santoṣo bhavati.
"Chanting the holy name is the chief means of attaining love of Godhead. This chanting or devotional service does not depend on any paraphernalia, nor on one's having taken birth in a good family. By humility and meekness one attracts the attention of Kṛṣṇa. That is the verdict of all the Vedas. Therefore if one becomes very humble and meek, he can easily attain the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa in this age of Kali. That is the fulfillment of all great sacrifices, penances and austerities because when one achieves ecstatic love of Godhead, he attains the complete perfection of life. Therefore whatever one does in executing devotional service must be accompanied with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord." The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa-Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare-has been praised by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in his Nāmāṣṭaka (verse 1):
nikhila-śruti-mauli-ratna-mālā-
dyuti-nīrājita-pāda-paṅkajānta
ayi mukta-kulair upāsyamānaṁ
paritas tvāṁ hari-nāma saṁśrayāmi
"O Hari-nāma! The tips of the toes of Your lotus feet are constantly being worshiped by the glowing radiance emanating from the string of gems known as the Upaniṣads, the crown jewels of all the Vedas. You are eternally adored by liberated souls such as Nārada and Śukadeva. O Hari-nāma! I take complete shelter of You."
Similarly, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī has praised the chanting of the holy name as follows in his Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta (Chapter One, verse 9):
jayati jayati nāmānanda-rūpaṁ murārer
viramita-nija-dharma-dhyāna-pūjādi-yatnam
kathamapi sakṛd-āttaṁ muktidaṁ prāṇīnāṁ yat
paramam amṛtam ekaṁ jīvanaṁ bhūṣaṇaṁ me
"All glories, all glories to the all-blissful holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which causes the devotee to give up all conventional religious duties, meditation and worship. When somehow or other uttered even once by a living entity, the holy name awards him liberation. The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is the highest nectar. It is my very life and my only treasure."
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.1.11) Śukadeva Gosvāmī says:
etan nirvidyamānānām
icchatām akuto-bhayam
yogināṁ nṛpa nirṇītaṁ
harer nāmānukīrtanam
"O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge."
Similarly, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said in His Śikṣāṣṭaka(3):
tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
"One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." Regarding the ten offenses in chanting the holy name, one may refer to the Ādi-līlā, Chapter Eight, verse 24.

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