Chakra Discussions

The Importance of Hari Nama

by Sarvopama dasa

Posted May 18, 2009

Kanva Prabhu writes a really nice article titled If ISKCON Was Based On Love. It really seems to me he is describing the ISKCON I joined back in '71. I was welcomed into any temple I visited in just the way he describes. To even a greater degree I was welcomed by the devotees out on the street any time I happened to come across a Hari Nama party. They smilingly invited me to join in and participate to my heart's content and often even had some sweets to share. What a wonderful experience that was and what an excellent introduction to Krishna consciousness.

Now I'm wondering what happened to Hari Nama. I think Srila Prabhpada built the Krishna Consciousness movement on Hari Nama. Thousands of members joined. Hundreds of them became book distributors, millions of books went out to the conditioned souls and then Srila Prabhpada went into samadhi in '77 and they told me to sell stickers and record albums. Hari Nama wasn't even mentioned anymore.

It's nearly impossible to have a bhakta program without Hari Nama. If I hadn't gone out on Hari Nama when I was a bhakta I would have found some dark corner off somewhere in the temple and dozed all day.

Without Hari Nama we are likely to find fault with one another. Where can there be any loveā Srila Prabhpada said to be like a lion on the chase and a lamb at home. Without Hari Nama it is exactly the other way around. When we proudly and happily went out together on Hari Nama we were empowering one another and had a high level of mutual respect and admiration for one another. When we came back to the temple we had energy for getting the temple ready for all the people we had invited back. We didn't have any energy for quarreling or bickering. There was a surplus of love. We can regain it simply by going out on Hari Nama. Hari Nama is Srila Prabhupada's number one priority. Right after it come keeping the temple clean and attractive and chanting sixteen rounds.

Sarvopama dasa ACBSP
ISKCON Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat, India