By Dhanurdhara Swami:(originally posted at Bhakticollective.com) The following is an interview with Sripad Aindra das made in 2009 for the forthcoming book Kirtan Meditations – The Mood and Technique of Bhakti Kirtan compiled by Dhanurdhara Swami and Akincana Krishna dasa. Due to the unexpected loss of this great soul I decided to release his interview quite before the editing has been finished. More can be read at wavesofdevotion.com. I hope it gives some pleasure and solace to the congregation of the devotees feeling the loss of this great soul. Dhanurdhara Swami
Chanting with purity
Harinam-sankirtan means to loudly chant the holy name for the benefit of others. We should seriously consider to what extent we are benefiting others, and also to what extent we are benefiting ourselves. There is apparent kirtan and real kirtan. Only sankirtan where the pure name is chanted is real sankirtan. If someone is making offenses to the name, simply articulating the syllables “Hare Krishna,” that is not real sankirtan. One must thus carefully consider the offenses to be avoided in the matter of chanting.
Can you talk about the different types of chanting?
There is bhukti-nama, offensive chanting, which results in material gain; there is mukti-nama, shadow chanting, which results in liberation, and there is prema-nama, pure chanting, which results in prema-bhakti, pure love of Godhead.
Bhukti-nama means offensive chanting. By chanting offensively, you can benefit others only by increasing their material piety. Bhaktivinoda Thakura therefore states that a pure devotee should not participate in kirtan led by offenders to the holy name. Who are those offenders? Those who do kirtan for ulterior motives–who chant for money, or to augment their sex appeal, or do it for name and fame. Such chanting can at best result in material gratification.