namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krsna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
Krsna, the Supreme Lord, is absolute. In the absolute realm, there is no difference between the object and its nomenclature. In the relative realm, where we are presently situated, the substance and the name are separated. There is water in the glass... you say "water", I call it "voda". A German folk calls it "Wasser" and an Israeli will say "maim". One says "aqua" another says "eau". Yet, none of these names and designations can bring satisfaction to a thirsty man. Simply by chanting the "water-water-mantra" you cannot quench your thirst. You have to actually take the glass and drink. The name is different from the substance. But on the absolute platform there is no such difference. Krsna-name and Krsna-person are the same. Krsna's form, Krsna's name, Krsna's abode, Krsna's paraphernalia, Krsna's pastimes, Krsna's cows, Krsna's devotees, they are all non-different from Krsna.
This is the way of contacting God, Krsna, in this Age of Kali. We are unable to perform mystic yoga, meditation with undeviated mind, deep study of the scriptures, opulent sacrifices or any of the processes that were feasible for God-realization in the past ages. Our lives are short, our memories flawed, our intelligence covered and our hearts are full of anxiety. Therefore, out of His causeless mercy, the Lord makes Himself available to one and all through His sound incarnation, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
By chanting this transcendental vibration one immediately enters the absolute realm and contacts God, Krsna. Krsna dances on one's tongue and manifests in one's heart. Krsna is always in everyone's heart, shining like the sun, but by the chanting method the cloud which covers our vision of the Krsna-sun is removed. When the sun of Krsna rises within the heart, all the impurities and material contamination of the consciousness are gradually purified. Thus one becomes free from illusion of material identification and realizes his original spiritual nature as an eternal loving servant of Krsna.
Krsna, God, is unlimited and, therefore, His names also know no end. The names of God are in connection with His transcendental forms, qualities, activities etc. Because His forms, qualities and activities are infinite, His names are also innumerable.
"Krsna" means "All-attractive". Krsna attracts everyone. There are six qualities of a person, which attract others. We are attracted to beauty, knowledge, wealth, strength, fame and renunciation. We all look for these qualities in this world and persons who manifest them and supply our hankering become our friends, lovers, business-partners etc. But we should know that everyone's attractive features in whatever proportions are simply a reflection of the unlimited beauty, knowledge, wealth, strength, fame and renunciation present in and manifested by the Personality of Godhead, Krsna. By chanting the holy names - Hare Krsna Hare Rama - we dive into the ocean of unlimited spiritual opulence and attraction and thus find the fountainhead which will satisfy all our desires.
There is no one more beautiful, opulent, powerful, famous, wise and detached than Krsna and because He is not different from His holy name, the chanter of the maha-mantra - Hare Krsna - at once connects to the reservoir of all these qualities. Sañaya said to Dhrtarasṭra before the Kuruksetra battle:
"Wherever there is Krsna, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion." (Bg. 18.78)
Krsna is present wherever His names are chanted sincerely and that is why a devotee doesn't ever have to worry about what comes next. He is under the protection and guidance of the Supreme Lord. There are no hard and fast rules concerning the way of chanting Hare Krsna. One should, nevertheless, learn about the process of pure and offenseless chanting and engage in that way, to achieve the ultimate goal of life, which is love of Krsna.
Although Krsna is so merciful, that He allows Himself to be approached in this most convenient, pleasurable and simple method of chanting, we, the people of this age, have not so much attraction for hearing and chanting the holy names of the Lord. That is the influence of maya. There is a clear path to perfection, liberation and fulfilment of all our desires, but we put obstacles to our progress. One should try to understand his position as a tiny speck of dust in the fathomless universe, as being eternally a subordinate to someone or something, as desirous of an eternal life of happiness and take to this opportunity so kindly presented by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Chant Hare Krsna!
"Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that each and every name of God is as powerful as God. Because God is Absolute, therefore there is no difference between His name, form, pastimes. Nothing is different from God. That is absolute knowledge. Advaya-jñana. So if you chant the holy name of God, that means you are directly in touch with God. Because the name is not different from God. Try to understand. Similarly, if you touch fire, it will act. If you do not know or know what is the quality of fire, it doesn't matter; if you touch fire, it will act. Similarly, if you actually chant the holy name of God, it will act.
The example is, just like you put a iron rod in the fire, it becomes warm, warmer, and gradually it becomes red hot. By the association of fire, the iron rod becomes fire. Iron rod is not fire, but by association with the fire, it becomes as good as fire so that when it is red hot, you touch anywhere, the iron rod will burn. Similarly, if you keep yourself always in touch with God, then gradually you become godly. You do not become God, but you become godly. And as soon as you become godly, then all your godly qualifications will come out. This is the science. Try to understand."
(Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita 2.11 lecture, Aug 1st 1972, Glasgow)