At least five thousand years ago, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa expressed His desire that everyone surrender to Him (sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66)). Why is it that people cannot do this? Kṛṣṇa assures, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ: “I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” Everyone is suffering from the results of sinful activities, but Kṛṣṇa says that if one surrenders unto Him, He will protect one from sinful reactions. Modern civilization, however, is interested neither in Kṛṣṇa nor in getting relief from sinful acts. Therefore men are suffering. Surrender is the ultimate instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā, but for one who cannot surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, it is better to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra constantly, under the instruction of Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we are teaching our followers to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra continuously on beads. Even those who are not accustomed to this practice are advised to chant at least sixteen rounds on their beads so that they may be trained. Otherwise, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended:
- tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
- amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
“One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.” Sadā means “always.” Haridāsa Ṭhākura says, nirantara nāma lao: “Chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without stopping.” Although Kṛṣṇa wants everyone to surrender to His lotus feet, because of people’s sinful activities they cannot do this. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ: (BG 7.15) rascals and fools, the lowest of men, who engage in sinful activities, cannot suddenly surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Nevertheless, if they begin chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and rendering service unto the tulasī plant, they will very soon be able to surrender. One’s real duty is to surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, but if one is unable to do so, he should adopt this process, as introduced by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His most confidential servant, Nāmācārya Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura. This is the way to achieve success in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.