By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
koti aśvamedha eka krishna nāma sama
yei kahe, se pāsandī, dande tāre yama
koti—ten million; aśvamedha—horse sacrifices; eka—one; krishna—of Lord Krishna; nāma—name; sama—equal to; yei—one who; kahe—says; se—he; pāsandī—atheist; dande—punishes; tāre—him; yama—Yamarāja.
One who says that ten million aśvamedha sacrifices are equal to the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna is undoubtedly an atheist. He is sure to be punished by Yamarāja.
In the list of the ten kinds of offenses in chanting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hare Krishna, the eighth offense is dharma-vrata-tyāga-hutādi-sarva-śubha-kriyā-sāmyam api pramādah. One should never consider the chanting of the holy name of Godhead equal to pious activities like giving charity to brāhmanas or saintly persons, opening charitable educational institutions, distributing free food and so on. The results of pious activities do not equal the results of chanting the holy name of Krishna.
The Vedic scriptures say:
go-koti-dānam grahane khagasya
govinda-kīrter na samam śatāmśaih
“Even if one distributes ten million cows in charity during an eclipse of the sun, lives at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamunā for millions of years, or gives a mountain of gold in sacrifice to the brāhmanas, he does not earn one hundredth part of the merit derived from chanting Hare Krishna.”
In other words, one who accepts the chanting of Hare Krishna to be some kind of pious activity is completely misled. Of course, it is pious; but the real fact is that Krishna and His name, being transcendental, are far above all mundane pious activity. Pious activity is on the material platform, but chanting of the holy name of Krishna is completely on the spiritual plane. Therefore, although pāsandīs do not understand this, pious activity can never compare to the chanting of the holy name.
[Bhaktivedanta Purport to Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi Lila Chapter 3 verse 79]