Archive for the 'Imitation' Category

Hallowed be Thy Name…
3 November 2009

I just saw a blog by Vineet Chander called ‘OmSweetOm’. It was all about a new Halloween costume based on the Hare Krishna look:

Hallowing the Holy Name

Hallowing the Holy Name

Inevitably there are calls to protest this ‘insult’ to Krishna consciousness and Hinduism. Vineet gives a reasonable perspective on why he thinks we should not, but he misses the real point.

According to the Caitanya Caritamrta if a person somehow chants the holy names, even in joking, they get transcendental benefit:

Adi 17.200

sei haite jihva mora bale ‘hari’ ‘hari’

iccha nahi, tabu bale, — ki upaya kari


“‘Since that time, my tongue also always vibrates the sound “Hari, Hari.” I have no desire to say it, but still my tongue says it. I do not know what to do.’


Sometimes demoniac nonbelievers, not understanding the potency of the holy name, make fun of the Vaisnavas when the Vaisnavas chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. This joking is also beneficial for such persons. Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sixth Canto, Second Chapter, verse 14, indicates that the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, even in joking, in the course of ordinary discussion, in indicating something extraneous, or in negligence, is called namabhasa, which is chanting that is almost on the transcendental stage. This namabhasa stage is better than namaparadha. Namabhasa awakens the supreme remembrance of Lord Visnu. When one remembers Lord Visnu, he becomes free from material enjoyment. Thus he gradually comes forward toward the transcendental service of the Lord and becomes eligible to chant the holy name of the Lord in the transcendental position.”

Vineet’s article got it right, although he didn’t fully explain why the ‘halloween Haris” is Ok. Srila Prabhupada gives the explanation above. To chant Hare Krishna is better than to not chant Hare Krishna, even if it is done in jest, which the Halloweeners most certainly do. They are chanting Hare Krishna throughout the Halloween festival which they may never have done otherwise.

Think about it–they spend at least a few hours imitating a Hare Krishna devotee. Now think about another great imitator and the result she got…


Srila Prabhupada was always pleased to see Krishna’s names chanted, even in apparently adverse circumstances. It reminds me of when I was with him in Calcutta on February 5th 1977. An article had come out in a Boston newspaper asking whether the Hare Krishna devotees were good or bad:

[Note: excerpted directly from my original diary. This has not yet edited or been published]

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