We wish to advance in Bhakti. We wish to chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra purely. We wish to obtain love of Godhead in this very lifetime. What shall we do? Some say, worship Tulasi Maharani regularly. Some recommend regular reading and hearing. While some suggest Kirtan in the association of advanced devotees. It is said that the quality of chanting is the thermometer of Bhakti. So we judge the effectiveness of a particular advice by analyzing its impact on the quality of our chanting. And, to be honest, we are ready to follow and adopt any spiritual practice which improves the quality of our chanting. Shrila Prabhupad recommended us to chant to the Pancha Tattva mantra before beginning our Harinam rounds precisely for the same reason. It is said that Shrila Jagannath das Babaji established the importance of chanting the Pancha Tattva mantra before chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra.
Why did he do so?
To make Harinam offenseless.
Did anyone oppose it?
Shrila Prabhupad writes,
“When chanting the names of the Pancatattva, one should fully offer his obeisances:
sri−krsna−caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri−advaita gadadhara srivasadi−gaura−bhakta−vrnda.
By such chanting one is blessed with the competency to chant the Hare Krsna maha mantra without offense.
– Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 7.168
Everyone wholeheartedly accepts the Pancha Tattva mantra because it assists the Hare Krishna mahamantra. The six goswamis of Vrindavan have not emphasized its importance so much in their writings that it must be chanted before the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Still nobody opposed the Gaudiya Vaishnav Gurus who introduced and recommended this extremely merciful mantra, especially Shrila Jagannath das Babaji. Nobody termed it as concoction or invention. Everybody could understand that the names of Pancha Tattva were more appropriate for the fallen souls of Kali Yug and there was no Rasabhas in the Pancha Tattva mantra.
The rationale for chanting the Pancha Tattva mantra is provided by Shrila Prabhupad as follows,
“Considering the position of the people of this age, however, the chanting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s name is more essential than the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha mantra because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the most magnanimous incarnation and His mercy is very easily achieved. Therefore one must first take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by chanting
sri−krsna−caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri−advaita gadadhara srivasadi−gaura−bhakta−vrnda.”
(Sri Caitanya caritamrta Adi lila 8.29−31)
We must accept the most merciful spiritual practice of Nitai Vayulekhan along similar lines. There is no doubt that Nitai is even more merciful than Gaur and His mercy is received most easily. And there is no trace of Rasabhas or any other philosophical error in taking shelter of निताइ nam. We are ready to adopt everything to improve the quality of our Harinam chanting then why such a bias against Nitai’s name? Why such a bias against that personality who is the greatest wholesale distributor of pure Harinam in the past, present, and future? Please have faith in this process and reap the astonishing results. We must remember that the Acaryas warn against only those practices which are against the philosophical conclusions of our Paramapara. They themselves introduced many practices according to the time, place, and circumstance, but none of them were against the shuddha-siddhant. Similarly, Nitai Vayulekhan is also the need of the hour and nobody can challenge its effectiveness on the basis of siddhant. One may reject it only because it is ‘new’. But let me tell you one thing, at a particular point of time in history, the Pancha Tattva mantra was also ‘new’. I hope you got the clue.
‘New’ and ‘Old’ maybe a criterion of accepting or rejecting a process but ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ is surely a much higher criterion for the same. When Gauranga Mahaprabhu appeared, Sankirtan was also a ‘new’ practice for the people to attain God-realization. But still He preached it widely knowing its effectiveness and appropriateness for Kali Yug. Joy Nitai.
Worthless disciple of Shrila Nitaipreshthji,