(This is an excerpt for H.H. Mahanidhi Swami’s lecture series on Caitanya Caritamrta, Kartik 2006, Part 2, Lecture 2)
Chanting Krsna's name without cease or without end is always appropriate for everyone at every stage of development. So Mahaprabhu said, “This is the way to keep from becoming proud.”
Because part of being proud is you have to announce your glories. You have to speak something.
“Do you know what happened to me?”
No, really? What happened?”
Or someone may tell something about their glories. They’ll say, “I did this and I did that and this happened to me and that happened to me.”
And you’ll say, “Yes, yes, yes.” And you are only waiting for a chance to announce your glories and what happened to you. “That’s really interesting, that’s really exciting what happened to you. Do you know what happened to me?”
And then he says, “Oh, do tell.”
And then you say, “You did this much, I did this much!” and “You did this much, then I did this much!”
It's called one-up-manship. However far up you are, I a little bit more up that you are, man; one-up-manship.
So this is the rally of pride, or the circus of pride which people move in. So it necessitates some announcements, some speaking about your own accomplishments, experiences, realizations. We remember when we first joined ISKCON in Los Angeles, there was one devotee that was always telling about his realizations. “Oh, Krsnadasa, I had these realizations yesterday.”
I kept thinking – ‘Wow, he has so many realizations, he is highly realized!’ I was a new devotee so I was thinking, ‘He is really highly realized. Everyday he is having 5-10 realizations and all I am doing is chanting Hare Krsna and trying to sell a few books and take prasadam and take rest and hear some classes and read. I am not realizing anything. I am just going on… day to night… sunrise to sunset.’ I kept thinking, ‘Krsna why can’t get these realizations? He has so many realizations!’
I was awed by him because he always had so many realizations he was sharing. Then after a few years he left! He merged into the mahamaya. And I was thinking – ‘I don’t know what was the conclusion of all his realizations?’
But everyone was very impressed. So this is an expression of his pride - that he had these realizations and he would always phrase it like that – “Oh Prabhus, listen to this realization I had.” And so if there is some pride there, we may have realizations and certainly we should have and we do have and we can share them, but it should be done in a way that it doesn’t make anyone feel bad or put us in a better position. Sharing is an expression of love, not an expression of ego, not an expression of envy.
The devotee’s mood is to always put everyone else up, not to put himself up. Because Lord Caitanya has already identified our position. Our position is sunicena, sunici, nici means low, or down and su means very down.
So Lord Caitanya is saying, “Please assume your positions.” On an airplane they tell everyone – “Please fasten your seat belts, we are going to land.”
So everyone takes that position of fastening their seat belt. So in Krsna consciousness, in Gaudiya Vedanta, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is advising everyone – “Please take your position” right? Sunicena. Fasten a seatbelt around your ego.
Of course, at least in our case, we need a really big seat belt! I don’t think they make them. The standard aircraft seat belt will not fit around the width or length or depth or whatever of our ego. But He is saying, “Get down Mister. Lower than a straw on the street,” trnad api sunicena. Trnad means a piece of grass which we are sitting on, so we should go to the grass and ask him, “Please move over a little bit,” because we want to sit underneath him and that’s our position.
So in preaching, or in attempting to help others or share with others we should be operating from this position. Our base of operation should be sunicena sthana. Sthana means a place of humility. Our preaching work is done from the base of humility, not from the top of the Himalayas.
So Lord Caitanya said, “Don’t worry. If you are always chanting Hare Krsna you will never become unnecessarily proud.” na habe abhimana. Because he used the word, abhimana. He said I am afraid of abhimana. He said, “Na habe, it won't happen, abhimana will not happen.”
Where is the chance if you are nirantara ‘krsna’ ‘krsna’?
When Lord Caitanya was cleaning Gundica, everyone was throwing water here and there and squeegees and moving the water all around, cleaning the Gundica temple, and no one was saying anything but, “Hari Hari,” “Hari Hari,” “Hari Hari,” “Hari Hari.” “Hari Hari” means throw the water on the ceiling, “Hari Hari” means push it along the floor, “Hari Hari” means sweep it out the door, “Hari Hari” means bring more water…
So they were communicating everything simply by saying “Hari Hari”.
So if the only sound that comes out of our mouth is Krsna's name, then we won't get in trouble. When we stop chanting then the trouble starts.
We remember years ago in America there was this phenomenon of ‘deprogramming’ where these parents would catch their children with some thugs or gundas, heavy people, then they would try to deprogram them. So we interviewed one of these leading deprogrammer type people, his name was Ted Patrick. And he said on national television – “I seen these Harry Krsna's. They gots to chant. They gots to chant. If they stop chanting’, they stop thinking’, if they stop thinking’ then they would be stopped chanting’. So they have to always be chanting’!”
It was very humorous with his accent, which was like somewhat a colored accent, lets say. His accent was colored with various inflections. So if they stopped chanting, they would start thinking. But actually our chanting is the perfect expression of our highest conception. Because thinking means conception and when your thinking brings you to the highest conception, that highest conception is called the Krsna conception. This is a term that Bhaktiraksaka Sridhara deva used to use - The ‘Krsna conception.’
So this is a sign of intelligence. Intelligence will lead us to surrender, surrender to whom? Not to anyone of this world, but to surrender to the absolute Person. And when we surrender to Sri Krsna then that is the proper intelligence. That is the fullest expression of thought. When thought brings us to God and thought brings us to surrender, then we surrender to God and say, “Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna He!” there is nothing more.
Of course, no chance for false ego. There is no airtime for false ego. All the airspace has been taken by krsna nama. nirantara krsna nama, ‘krsna’ ‘krsna’ lao