By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
There are different kinds of sins, one of which is stealing. Thieves and burglars are very sinful. Another sinful activity is drunkenness. Those who are addicted to intoxication and stealing are condemned by the Vishnudūtas. Other examples of sins are being unfaithful to one’s friends, killing a brāhmana or Vaishnava, dishonoring one’s spiritual master or teacher, killing a woman, killing a king, and killing a cow. These are among the worst sins. But the Vishnudūtas (messengers of Lord Vishnu, or God) say that even though a person has committed many such sins, if he utters the holy name of Nārāyana even once, he at once becomes free from sinful reactions.
Śrīdhara Svāmī says, “Chanting the holy name of Nārāyana, Lord Hari, not only counteracted all of Ajāmila’s sinful reactions, but it made him eligible to become liberated, and therefore at the time of death he was transferred to the spiritual world.” Chanting the holy name of Krishna counteracts all sins—more than one can possibly commit. Because Ajāmila had chanted the holy name without offense, and because he chanted sincerely, he completely freed himself from all sinful reactions. This is why we are stressing the chanting of Hare Krishna so much. Pious activities, austerity, sacrifice—everything is done simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. There is no need of any other process of yoga, atonement, or austerity and penance. Simply by chanting without offense one achieves the results of all other ritualistic performances prescribed in the Vedas.
OFFENCELESS CHANTING OF THE HOLY NAME IS EFFECTIVE
Previously, when engaged in sinful activities to maintain his family, Ajāmila chanted the name of Nārāyana, but he did so without offense. To chant the holy name of the Lord just to counteract one’s sinful activities, or to commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name, is offensive (nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhih). But although Ajāmila engaged in sinful activities, he never chanted the holy name of Nārāyana to counteract them; he simply chanted the name Nārāyana to call Continue reading
[An excerpt from “A Second Chance – The Story of a Near-Death Experience”, available at your nearest Hare Krishna Center]