by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 1, English translation, including commentary (vritti). The Bhajana-rahasya is a compilation of verses describing the mercy of the eight pairs of names (Yugala-nama) of the Maha-mantra. This is text 1 belonging to the chapter “Dvitiya-yama-sadhana (Pratah-kaliya-bhajana)” representing the first six dandas of the morning: approximately 6.00 a.m.–8.30 a.m.

Text 1

There is no consideration of proper or improper time in regard to chanting the Lord’s names, which are fully endowed with all potencies. This is described in the second verse of Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka:

नाम्नाम् अकारि बहुधा निज-सर्व-शक्तिस् तत्रार्पिता नियमितः स्मरणे न कालः
एतादृशी तव कृपा भगवन् ममापि दुर्दैवम् ईदृशम् इहाजनि नानुरागः

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ

O Bhagavān, Your names bestow all auspiciousness upon the living entites. Therefore, for their benefit, You are eternally manifest as Your innumerable names, such as Rāma, Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Mukunda, Mādhava, Govinda and Dāmodara. You have invested those names with all the potencies of Their respective forms. Out of Your causeless mercy, You have not even imposed any restrictions on the remembrance of these names, as is the case with certain prayers and mantras that must be chanted at specific times (sandhyā-vandana). In other words, the holy name of Bhagavān can be chanted and remembered at any time of the day or night. This is the arrangement You have made, O Prabhu, thus releasing a torrent of causeless mercy upon the jīvas. But, I am so unfortunate that I commit many offences when chanting Your name (nāma-aparādha);thus no attachment for Your holy name has awakened within me, even though Your name is so easily accessible and bestows all good fortune.

अनेक लोकेर वाञ्छा अनेक प्रकार
कृपाते करिल अनेक नामेर प्रचार

aneka lokera vāñchā aneka prakāra
kṛpāte karila aneka nāmera pracāra

खाइते शुइते यथा तथा नाम लय
देश-काल-नियम नाहि सर्व-सिद्धि हय

khāite śuite yathā tathā nāma laya
deśa-kāla-niyama nāhi sarva-siddhi haya

सर्व-शक्ति नामे दिल करिया विभाग
आमार दुर्दैव नामे नाहि अनुराग

sarva-śakti nāme dila kariyā vibhāga
āmāra durdaiva nāme nāhi anurāga

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

The innumerable people in this material world have many different kinds of desires. Even so, Bhagavān is supremely merciful and appears in this world as His different names, to fulfil these various desires. All perfection is attained by harināma, even if it is chanted while eating, drinking, sleeping or moving about. Furthermore, the benefits it bestows are beyond any consideration of place, time, rules and so forth. All of the Supreme Lord’s potencies are invested in His names.

The holy names are of two kinds: primary (mukhya ) and secondary (gauṇa). Names related to the material world, like brahma, Paramātmā and Jagadīśa, are secondary. Primary names are also of two kinds: those that are endowed with majesty (aiśvarya-para) and those that overf low with sweetness (mādhurya-para). Names like Hari, Nārāyaṇa and Vāsudeva are full of opulence, and names like Kṛṣṇa, Madana-mohana, Govinda, Gopīnātha and Rādhā-ramaṇa are full of sweetness. From the names of Śrī Bhagavān that are related to this world (that is, the secondary names), one attains sense enjoyment (bhoga) and liberation (mokṣa ), from aiśvarya-para names one attains the aiśvarya-prema of Vaikuṇṭha, and from mādhurya-para names one attains vraja-prema. The sādhaka chanting harināma will take shelter of a specific name according to his own mood and will thus have his heart’s desire fulfilled.

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