prabhu kahe,--"yanra mukhe suni eka-bara
krsna-nama, sei pujya,--srestha sabakara"
prabhu kahe—Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied; yanra mukhe—in whose mouth; suni—I hear; eka-bara—once; krsna-nama—the holy name of Lord Krsna; sei pujya—he is worshipable; srestha sabakara—the best of all human beings.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "Whoever chants the holy name of Krsna just once is worshipable and is the topmost human being.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna once, a person becomes perfect. Such a person is understood to be a Vaisnava. With such faith and belief, one may begin a life of Krsna consciousness, but an ordinary person cannot chant the holy name of Krsna with such faith. This is confirmed by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Upadesamrta: krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta. One should accept the holy name of Krsna to be identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Transcendence Himself. The holy name of Krsna is also identical with Krsna and is also cintamani. The name Krsna is the personification of sound perfectly transcendental and eternally liberated from material contamination. One should understand that the name Krsna and Krsna are identical. Having such faith, one must continue to chant the holy name. When one is situated on the neophyte platform, one cannot understand the devotional ingredients of a pure, unalloyed devotee. However, when the novice engages in devotional service-especially in Deity worship-and follows the order of a bona fide spiritual master, he becomes a pure devotee. Anyone can take advantage of hearing about Krsna consciousness from a pure devotee and thus gradually become purified.
A devotee who believes that the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Lord is a pure devotee, even though he may be in the neophyte stage. By his association, others may also become Vaisnavas.
One is known as a materialistic devotee if he simply worships the Deity of Hari with faith but does not show proper respect to the devotees and to others. This is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.47):
arcayam eva haraye
pujam yah sraddhayehate
na tad-bhaktesu canyesu
sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah
"Anyone who engages with faith in the worship of the Deity of Hari but does not show proper respect to the devotees and to others is known as a materialistic devotee." However, by associating with a neophyte devotee who believes that the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Lord, one can become a devotee also. When Lord Caitanya was teaching Sanatana Gosvami, He said:
sraddhavan jana haya bhakti-adhikari
'uttama', 'madhyama;', 'kanistha'--sraddha-anusari
yahara komala-sraddha, se 'kanistha' jana
krame krame tenho bhakta ha-ibe 'uttama'
"A person who has attained firm faith is a real candidate for advancing in Krsna consciousness. According to the faith, there are first-class, second-class and neophyte devotees. One who has preliminary faith is called kanistha, or a neophyte. The neophyte, however, can become an advanced devotee if he strictly follows the regulative principles set down by the spiritual master. The pure devotee whose faith advances becomes a madhyama-adhikari and uttama-adhikari." (Cc. Madhya 22.64,69-70)
It is thus concluded that even a neophyte devotee is superior to the karmis and jnanis because he has full faith in chanting the holy name of the Lord. A karmi or a jnani, regardless of his greatness, has no faith in Lord Visnu, His holy name or His devotional service. One may be advanced religiously, but if he is not trained in devotional service, he has very little credit on the transcendental platform. Even a neophyte devotee engaged in Deity worship in accordance with the regulations set forth by the spiritual master is in a position superior to that of the fruitive worker and speculative philosopher.
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