The act of chanting the Holy Name and the result (cause and effect) are the same. Chanting is both the means and the result. One of the main problems we encounter with the process of chanting the Holy Name is that we anticipate some result. This is because we are projecting the exploitive material conception, which we are accustomed to work under, onto the spiritual platform.
In sex, intercourse is the culmination, essence of all material activities, and volumes of books are written as to how to get sex, how to maintain sex, and the aftermath of sex. Similarly, the Holy Name is the essence of all spiritual practices and philosophies. Volumes of scriptures exist simply to bring us to the point of chanting the Holy Name, and volumes exist describing the effect of chanting and the result of not chanting.
In order to succeed at any undertaking, it must be done exclusively and perpetually. Be it music, sport, business or in our case devotional service.
Hearing and chanting are the mainstays of devotional life. All other activities are derivatives of these two: shravanam kirtanam [hearing and chanting]. Without hearing and chanting, everything else becomes or remains karma. As opium is the mainstay of all other narcotics, the Holy Name is the mainstay of all devotional practices.
Lord Chaitanya did not establish any temples or install any Deities. He did not preach (lecture) in public. He simply propagated the sankirtan movement.
Shravanam kirtanam means Krishna is using our body to vibrate the holy Name, and we, the soul, as part and parcel of Krishna, are hearing the vibration and in this way Krishna reveals Himself to the sincere devotee who has surrendered to the process of shravanam kirtanam. Thus everything else follows as a natural transcendental consequence of hearing and chanting.
If Krishna and His Holy Name are identical, then when we hear and chant Krishna’s Holy Name, it is Krishna that is chanting and Krishna that is hearing and secondly or simultaneously, the soul is also hearing and chanting due to its being part and parcel of Krishna. What exactly is our role in the hearing and chanting process of Krishna’s Holy Name? It is simply submission, surrender, because Krishna is always VIBRATING or living, and we are but parts and parcels of the Supreme Living Being, Krishna, and thus we are either submissive or unsubmissive, conscious or unconscious.
The vibration of Krishna’s Holy Name (Krishna) is ETERNALLY VIBRATING EVERYWHERE. We need only to hear the vibration from the lips of a PURE DEVOTEE of Krishna, and then lend our body as an instrument for vibrating Krishna’s Holy Name, exactly as the radio waves are always in the ether. We need only to turn on our radio, and the vibration is then made audible.
Chanting the Holy Name is a matter of lending our body as a receiver and transmitter. We do not chant. We are not the doers; we are simply the submissive instrument for Krishna’s vibrating His Name, message, etc. in this material world.
Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, illicit sex, meat eating and gambling are very destructive to the instrument of this material body, rendering it useless for transmission and receiving the transcendental vibration of Krishna’s Holy Name. Therefore these things are forbidden.
A one-cent blank piece of paper passed through the government mint printing press, printed with “$100” impressions is immediately worth thousands of dollars. Similarly, ordinary food, prepared and offered to Krishna, becomes spiritual.