Nama Hatta: Marketplace of the Holy Name

BY: HAREKRSNA.COM

Hari Sankirtana


“O hear Me, hear Me Nityananda! Hear Me Haridasa! Simply disseminate My order everywhere. Go from house to house and beg the residents as follows: Speak about Krsna, worship Krsna and teach others about Krsna."

Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 13.8-9


Feb 13, CANADA (SUN) — In August of 1891 the Thakura received approval for a two-year furlough. He wanted to preach the glories of the holy name for the benefit of humanity. His base for this preaching effort was Godruma-dvipa, which the Thakura dubbed the Nama-hatta, ‘the market place of the Holy Name’. He traveled with Sri Ramsevak Chattopadhyaya Bhaktibhrnga, his old friend, as well as Sri Sitanatha Dasa Mahapatra and Sri Sital Bhrtya. They chanted in many places, gave lectures and made devotees. The Thakura describes this period with happiness:

    “At this time in the month of Avin, Ramsevak Babu, Sita nath and Sital Bhritya all took a ship to Ramjivanpur for chanting and lectures… In many places in Ramjivanpur we chanted and spoke, and we were very happy. From there, we went to Kayapath Badanganja, where we lectured. In that place all of the devotees, brahmanas and panditas were pleased. Having stayed thirteen days in that area, and concluding with a lecture program in Ghatal, we returned. We performed nama-sankirtana everywhere. After coming to my house in Calcutta, I proceeded to Surabhi-kunja and we performed a great deal of sankirtana there too.”

In his lifetime the Thakura established over five-hundred Nama-hatta sangas (associations), and in his original Nama-hatta essay entitled, Sri Sri Godruma-kalpatavi, he describes the structure of the Nama-hatta. The spirit of his endeavor exactly matched the mood of Lord Nityananda, Who was personally ordered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to preach in Bengal. Lord Caitanya directed Him thus:

Suno suno Nityananda, suno haridasa,
Sarvatra amara ajna koroha prakasa,
Prati ghare ghare giya koro ei bhiksa,
Bolo Krsna, bjaha Krsna, koro Krsna siksa

“O hear Me, hear Me Nityananda! Hear Me Haridasa! Simply disseminate My order everywhere. Go from house to house and beg the residents as follows: Speak about Krsna, worship Krsna and teach others about Krsna."

Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 13.8-9

In his Nama-hatta essay the Thakura always describes himself as the sweeper of the market-place of the Holy Name. In that market-place in Godruma-dvipa, the storehouse is the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the principal trader is Sri Nityananda Prabhu. The co-principal trader in Bengal is Sri Advaita Prabhup; in Vrandavana, Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis; in Jagannath Puri, Sri Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya. The store-keepers in Bengal are Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Srimati Visnupriya and Srimati Jahnava Thakurani; in Vrndavana, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami; in Jagannatha Puri, Sri Paramananda Puri. Following this explanation is a description of the transcendental currency of the market: the various levels of devotion are compared to paisa (the smallest denomination), to annas (an anna equals about six paisa) and to silver coins, the prema (pure love of God) to the most valuable denomination, the gold coin. The qualifications for membership are also specified, techniques for chanting are detailed, etc.

Excerpt from “The Seventh Goswami: A Biography of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura” by Rupavilasa Dasa



Commodities for Sale in the Market

The Holy Name (nama) is compared to sugarcane juice.

The Holy Name imbued with the Lord's form (rupa-yukta-nama) is compared to liquid molasses (gur).

The Holy Name imbued with the Lord's qualities (guna-yukta-nama) is compared to solid molasses.

The Holy Name imbued with the Lord's pastimes (lila-yukta-nama) is compared to sugar.

The Holy Name imbued with transcendental mellow (rasita-nama) is compared to rock candy.

The Holy Name imbued with the full potency of all transcendental mellows (sarva-rasa-yukta-nama) is compared to lozenges made from rock candy.


Description of the Transcendental Currency

Sraddha (faith) is compared to a paisa (a small coin worth only 2-5 cents) by which the Holy Name can be be purchased.


Nistha (steady devotional service) is compared to two annas or a 1/8 silver coin by which the Holy Name imbued with the Lord's form (rupa-yukta-nama) can be purchased.


Ruci (taste) is compared to four annas or a 1/4 silver coin by which the Holy Name imbued with the Lord's qualities (guna-yukta-nama) can be purchased.



Asakti (attachment) is compared to a 1/2 silver coin by which the Holy Name imbued with the Lord's pastimes (lila-yukta-nama) can be purchased.



Bhava or Rati (preliminary ecstatic love of Godhead) is compared to a silver coin by which the Holy Name imbued with transcendental mellow (rasita-yukta-nama) can be purchased.


Prema (pure love of Godhead) is compared to a golden coin by which the Holy Name imbued with the full potency of all transcendental mellows (sarva-rasa-yukta-nama) can be purchased.

According to the price one pays one will receive the corresponding commodity. But there is a mystery here: when the customer pays and gets the Holy Name and chants the Holy Name, by the mercy of the owner and His partners, the customer gets back his original payment multiplied many times over.


Rules of Payment

"Rupees, Paisa, Silver or Gold Coins are not the real currency to purchase the commodities sold in the market place of the Holy Name. Transcendental faith and the like is the only acceptable currency. Anyone who tries to purchase the above commodities with ordinary material currency makes a great mistake."



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