The stages of nama (both nama japa and nama sankitana) are of 3 types:
- Nama Aparadha
- Nama Abhas
- Shuddh Nama
At nama-aparadha level, we might be chanting with the 10 offences or often for our material gain. This is a selfish type of chanting where if Krishna presents a test or struggle before us, we will stop chanting or neglect it altogether. It is more of a deal to gain materially to chant. It also might be to please or show-off to others or for recognition. This is nama aparadha. Nama-aparadha sankirtana is where the person leading or participating in the kirtan sings in melodious tunes for attracting a crowd and not for the pleasure of the Lordships. Even though this is the beginning stage of nama-japa or nama-sankirtana, nama is so powerful that it destroys the accumulated karma, cleans the heart of devotee and guides internally with causeless mercy depending on the devotee's sincerity.
At nama-abhas level, the devotee is just chanting the holy names without any personal desire as such. It is a semblance of the holy name but not laden with rasa or prema. It is a neutral stage where devotee hears every syllable and meditates on the holy name without any other thought. A devotee can come to this stage by disciplined practice (vaidhi bhakti) and own strength. Now comes the most important one.
Shuddh nama or pure names of Lord is the stage where Shri Harinam Prabhu, who is non-different from inner potency (or Sri Radha) of Lord dances on the lips of a devotee by His causeless mercy. This nama descends from Goloka Vrindavan and has full rasa of inner nitya-lilas of the Divine Couple, and is the rasa which our guru-shishya paramapara, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada have mercifully given us. This never stops on the tongue of the devotee, and at this stage, the devotee is a shudh or pure Rasika Vaishnav.
Shuddh nama sankirtana or shuddh nama japa is done only by Rasika Vaishnavas who have completely realised their personal individual relationship (swarup) with the Divine Couple by the causeless mercy of holy names, Vrindavan Dham, Sri Guru and Gauranga.
To go deeper in inner pastimes of Lord and fully realise one's individual identity with the Divine Couple, one must humbly surrender to a Rasika Vaishnavas like Srila Prabhupada, Aindra Prabhu or as per your calling and listen to their vani (instructions or lectures) and participate in their shuddh nama sankiratna which is laden with vraja prema bhakti. Kali Yuga has given us benediction of sound equipment like earphones or Bluetooth speakers where we can listen to kirtan of Rasika Vaishnavs 247. This shuddh nama goes deep down in the heart of the devotee (where the Paramatma is situated in every individual) and directs them to vraja-prema.
Only shudh nama will mercifully manifest the innermost confidential aspects of vraja-prema bhakti not even attainable to big yogis or demigods.
Hence, take shelter of nama by Rasika Vaishnavas. In this process, do not look down on other sadhakas (practising devotees) that they are not Rasika and not chanting shudh nama. We just have to look for our goal - that is the service of Divine Couple by pleasing our guru-shishya-paramapara. To be very frank, we are all Kali-yuga rejects, as stated by Sripad Aindra Prabhu in most of his lectures. He says to focus, refocus and constantly refocus on nama and meditation of Divine Couple.
The book 'Demystifying The Mystical Vrindavan' is the essence and crux of this entire website.
If you are considering to dive into the final goal of our Vedic Scriptures and spiritual life, and if Radharani inspires you, do get a copy of the book .
P.S. This post is a part of the article Why listening to kirtan of Srila Prabhupada, Aindra Prabhu and Rasika Vaishnavas (and surrendering to them) help attain Vrindavan Prema Rasa quicker?
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