Sabdera Sakti

The Potency of Transcendental Sound Vibration


by Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja



We know that one who has sakti, potency is indeed saktimana, the possessor of sakti. Therefore, that sound (word) which is endowed with sakti is saktimana Himself. What is the doubt in this? Since material sound is of an unconscious, inert nature, its potency is limited and it cannot act independently.  However, sound vibration of the transcendental world has inconceivable sakti.  Being free from any tinge or obstruction of maya, transcendental sound is non-different from the source of the sound Himself and, being unprecedentedly potent, can accomplish that which is extremely difficult to accomplish. In other words, it can make the impossible possible.  It is said in the scriptures.


nama cintamanih krsnas

caitanya-rasa vigraha

purnah suddho nitya-mukto

‘bhinnatvan nama naminoh 1

                        (B.R.S. Eastern Wave 2/108)


1 The holy name of Krsna is a transcendental blissful wish-fulfilling jewel, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasures.  Krsna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows.  It is not a material name, it is not subject to any material condition, and it is not less powerful than Krsna Himself.  Since Krsna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. This is because the name of Krsn and Krsna Himself are identical.



kali-kale nama-rupe krsna-avatara

nama haite haya sarva-jagat-nistara 2


2 In this age of Kali, Sri Krsna has incarnated as His holy name, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Simply by chanting the holy name one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered.


Bhagavan Sri Krsna has manifested Himself in this world in the form of sabda-brahma. Sabda brahma Sri Hari is a completely nirguna entity. We humans born in this world of the material modes of nature are, therefore, not able to recognize Him, nor are we able to experience His unlimited sakti and sweetness. Being born of the material modes our material senses are specifically qualified to experience only material form, taste, smell, sound and touch.  The substance which is born of material modes, the senses, cannot help us to approach the entity which is beyond the modes—Bhagavan.  Therefore, by these material senses we only experience mundane and temporary objects.  If, with our material senses, we remain absorbed in worldliness, then it is completely impossible for us to revive our conscious state.  Therefore, while not transgressing the limits of the bare necessity of our association. With material objects it is proper for us to strive in the direction of realizing the nirguna entity.  Is is improper for us to remain restlessly anxious to realize our own svarupa as well as that of our atma’s supreme relatives, Hari, guru and Vaisnavas?  Will our fellow friends not give any consideration to these thoughts?  If one cannot develop his consciousness to the state of his constitutional position, what is the benefit of his attaining human birth?


It is said that realization of the nirguna-vastu  transcendental reality, comes in only one way-through our ears.  In order to bestow mercy pon us, the spiritually enlivening and potent hari-katha  or vaikuntha-sabda from the lips of living and spiritually enlightened sadus appears in this world (the realm of human perception). If we wholeheartedly receive that Bhagavan coming in the form of sabda through out ears, then, after passing through the path of the ears, this sabda-brahma  enters the core of our heart.  Then, having completely destroyed the dirt and darkness of the heart, He Himself undoubtedly established His transcendental pure throne therein.


The nirguna entity or sound can come to this world of material modes out of His own sweet will.  That entity or sound appears in this material realm for the supreme welfare of the whole world.  This vaikuntha-sabda  appears in this world by means of srauta patha, the guru parampara. It floods out as rivers through the lips of Sri Gurudeva or Vaisnava, both of whom are the embodiment of saccidananda (spiritual strength, knowledge and bliss).  Therefore, the spiritualized tongue of the sadhu, which is chastely engaged in bhagavata kritana, is called the mother of Sri Nama. 


Many people have the opinion that when this nirguna sound comes to this world from the  transcendental plane, It has to accept the form of an entity born of the material modes.  However, one can easily understand that this speculative, unchaste conception is anti-devotional and opposed to conclusive scriptural truths.  The efforts of such people to secretly establish the supremely beautiful and all-potent controller of maya as subordinate to may , or to doubt the unlimited all-potent nature of Sri Bhagavan, is the display of their foolishness.  Therefore, it is said that since the supreme absolute reality as sabda-brahma is the supreme independent autocrat, His transcendental nature is never lost.  The sound vibration emanating from the lips of a sadhu is fully conscious, spiritually enlivening, and unlimitedly powerful.  On the other hand, whatever is spoken by people like us, whose senses are composed of inert matter and born of material energy, is all worldly.  Material sound emerges from the material sky, remains there for some period of time, and finally merges back into the material sky.  This sound vibration pervades the material sky for the purpose of sense gratification, and it manifests only to put us in trouble.  Eating, drinking, sleeping, indulging in sex and after that dying are the only activities of this world.  However, the sound which enters into our ears through the srauta patha, guru parampara . has such a super mundane and enchanting power that once it enters the heart through the  medium of the ears it causes the constitutional spiritual nature of the human being to blossom.  This transcendental sound comes to this universe of fourteen planetary systems, from Vaikuntha, after penetrating through Brahmaloka.  It liberates the jiva from maya, and captivates him in the transcendental loving service of Sri Bhagavan. Passing though Viraja and Brahmaloka, it again takes him back to Vaikuntha. This is the sabda-sakti or potency of the nama. Transcendental sound alone is the worshpable entity , and the only support for each and every jiva.  Apart from   surrendering to this sabda-brahma, there is no other means of deliverance or welfare for the jiva. Therefore, Sriman Mahaprabhu has said:


hare krsna hare krsna, ksna krsna hare hare

hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare


prabhu kahe, kahilama ei mahamantra

iha jpaapa giya sabe kariya nirbandha 3

(C.B. Madhya 23.76-77)


iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe sabar

sarva ksana bala ithe vidhi nahi ara 4

(C.B. Madhya 23.78)


ki bhojane ki sayane kiba jagarane

aharnisa cinta krsna balaha vadane 5

(C.B. Madhya 28.28)


3 Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘I have given you this maha mantra. All of you should continue to chant a fixed number of rounds.


4 By chanting this maha-mantra, every one of you will attain all types of perfection. Continue to chant at every moment. There are no hard and fast rules for chanting.


5 While eating, sleeping or being awake, day and night, you should engage your mind in thinking about Krsna and your mouth in chanting His name.



krsna-mantra haite habe samsara-mocana

krsna-nama haite pabe krsnera carana 6

            (C.c. Adi 7.73)


                                                              kali-kali nama –rupe krsna –avatara

                                                              nama haite haya sarva-jagat-nistam 7

(C.c. Adi 17.22)


                                                                  nama bina kali kale hani ara dharma

                                                                    sarva mantra sara nama ei sastra marma 8

(C.c. Adi 7.74)



                                                                 kubuddhi chadiya kara sravana-kirtana

                                                                        acirate pabe tabe krsna-prema dhana 9

                                                                                                       (c.c. Antya 4.65)




By neglecting or remaining indifferent to this sabda brahma, and by showing one’s ‘courage’ by adopting the impure sound of this mundane world, one will definitely be put into trouble.  If one is not fortunate enough, he cannot understand the glories of the sabda. Unfortunate persons think that they have heard hari-katha. In the real sense, however, they have not heard at all.  They are completely deceived.  If, by good fortune, we develop a service attitude for bhajaniya vastu Sri Bhagavan, only then will this

hari-katha enter our ears.  In other words, only then can we hear it, retain it, and understand it.  Therefore, our foremost duty is to give full attention to that source, the self-realized soul (whose intrinsic function of loving Krsna has fully awakened) from  whom the spiritually enlightening hari-katha is manifesting.  In this world there are lakhs and lakhs of societies, whose members are simply exercising their tongues and minds in

anu-svara-visarga,  the matter of grammar and punctuation [i.e. they are wasting their energies in grammatical calculation]. They cannot realize  the real meaning of the spiritually enlivening sound coming down from paravyoma –the spiritual sky.  Despite acting as speakers of hari-katha , day by day they are drowning in the pool of sense enjoyment.  Hence it is imperative to completely give up bad association, asadhu-sanga, and discuss scripture (sabda-brahma) in sadhu sanga. As the sastra says:


tato duhsangam utsriya

satsu sajjeta buddhiman

santa evasya chindanti

mano-vyasangam uktibhih 10

(S.B. 11.26.26)



6 By chanting the Krsna-mantra one can obtain freedom from material existence.  By chanting Krsna’s name, one will attain His lotus feet.


7 In this Age of Kali, Sri Krsna has appeared as His holy name.  By chanting the holy name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered.


8 In this Age of Kali, there is no religious principle other than the chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all Vedic mantras. This is the purport of all scripture.


9 Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Sri Sanatana Gosvami, “Give up all your illogical, anti-devotional thoughts, for they are unfavorable for getting shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna. Meticulously engage yourself in chanting and hearing. By this, you will very soon achieve the supreme wealth—Krsna prema. 


10 An intelligent person should therefore reject all bad association, and instead take the association of saintly devotees whose words cut off the excessive material attachment of one’s mind.

Translated from Sri Gaudiya Patrika
by the Rays of The Harmonist team.
Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 7 Winter 2000

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