Importance of chanting the Holy names of the Lord

tara madhye sarva-srestha nama-sankirtana
niraparadhe nama laile paya prema-dhana

“Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the holy name of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offenses, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of Godhead.”

PURPORT

Srila Jiva Gosvami Prabhu gives the following directions in his Bhakti-sandarbha (270):

iyam ca kirtanakhya bhaktir bhagavato dravya-jati-guna-kriyabhir dina-janaika-visayapara-karuna-mayiti sruti-puranadi-visrutih. ata eva kalau svabhavata evati-dinesu lokesu avirbhuya tan anayasenaiva tat-tad-yuga-gata-maha-sadhananam sarvam eva phalam dadana sa krtarthayati. yata eva tayaiva kalau bhagavato visesatas ca santoso bhavati.

“Chanting the holy name is the chief means of attaining love of Godhead. This chanting or devotional service does not depend on any paraphernalia, nor on one’s having taken birth in a good family. By humility and meekness one attracts the attention of Krishna. That is the verdict of all the Vedas. Therefore if one becomes very humble and meek, he can easily attain the lotus feet of Krishna in this Age of Kali. That is the fulfillment of all great sacrifices, penances and austerities because when one achieves ecstatic love of Godhead, he attains the complete perfection of life. Therefore whatever one does in executing devotional service must be accompanied by the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.” the chanting of the holy name of the Lord – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare – has been praised by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Namastaka (verse 1):

nikhila-sruti-mauli-ratna-mala-
dyuti-nirajita-pada-pankajanta
ayi mukta-kulair upasyamanam
paritas tvam hari-nama samsrayami

“O Hari-nama! The tips of the toes of Your lotus feet are constantly being worshiped by the glowing radiance emanating from the string of gems known as the Upanisads, the crown jewels of all the Vedas. You are eternally adored by liberated souls such as Narada and Sukadeva. O Hari-nama! I take complete shelter of You.”

Similarly, Srila Sanatana Gosvami has praised the chanting of the holy name as follows in his Brhad-bhagavatamrta (1.1.9):

jayati jayati namananda-rupam murarer
viramita-nija-dharma-dhyana-pujadi-yatnam
katham api sakrd attam mukti-dam praninam yat
paramam amrtam ekam jivanam bhusanam me

“All glories, all glories to the all-blissful holy name of Sri Krishna, which causes the devotee to give up all conventional religious duties, meditation and worship. When somehow or other uttered even once by a living entity, the holy name awards him liberation. The holy name of Krishna is the highest nectar. It is my very life and my only treasure.”

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.11) Sukadeva Gosvami says:

etan nirvidyamananam icchatam akuto-bhayam
yoginam nrpa nirnitam harer namanukirtanam

“O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.”

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (6.3.22) Yamaraja says:

etavan eva loke ‘smin
pumsam dharmah parah smrtah
bhakti-yogo bhagavati
tan-nama-grahanadibhih

“Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society.”

Similarly, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said in His Siksastaka (3):

trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina mana-dena kirtaniyah sada harih

[Cc. Adi 17.31]

“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.” Regarding the ten offenses in chanting the holy name, one may refer to Adi-lila, Chapter Eight, verse 24.

– Chaitanya-charitamrita Antya 4.71 Purport