When a person loudly chants the glories of the Lord’s activities, qualities, form, etc., his chanting is called saṅkīrtana. Saṅkīrtana also refers to the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord.
In the Viṣṇu-dharma there is a statement glorifying this process of congregational chanting:
“My dear King, this word kṛṣṇa is so auspicious that anyone who chants this holy name immediately gets rid of the resultant actions of sinful activities from many, many births.”
That is a fact. There is the following statement in Caitanya-caritāmṛta:
“A person who chants the holy name of Kṛṣṇa once can counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform.”
A sinful man can perform many, many sinful activities, but he is unable to perform so many that they cannot be wiped out by one single uttering of kṛṣṇa.
In the Seventh Canto, ninth chapter, verse 18 of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Mahārāja Prahlāda offers the following prayers to the Lord:
“My dear Lord Nṛsiṁha, if I can be elevated to the position of Your servant, then it will be possible for me to hear about Your activities. You are the supreme friend, the supreme worshipable Deity. Your pastimes are transcendental, and simply by hearing of them one can counteract all his sinful activities. Therefore, I shall not care for all those sinful activities, because simply by hearing about Your pastimes I shall get out of all the contamination of material attachment.”
There are many songs about the Lord’s activities. For example, there is the Brahma-saṁhitā, sung by Lord Brahmā; Nārada Pañcarātra, sung by Nārada Muni; and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, sung by Śukadeva Gosvāmī. If these songs are heard by any person, he can easily get out of the clutches of material contamination. There should be no difficulty in hearing these songs of God. They are coming down from many, many millions of years ago, and people are still taking advantage of them. So why, at this time, should one not take full advantage and thus become liberated?
In the First Canto, fifth chapter, verse 22 of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Nārada Muni tells his disciple Vyāsadeva,
“My dear Vyāsa, you should know that persons who are engaged in executing austerities and penances, studying the Vedas, performing big sacrifices, chanting the hymns of the Vedas, speculating on transcendental knowledge and performing charitable functions have for all their auspicious activities simply to gain a place in the association of devotees and chant the glories of the Lord.”
It is indicated here that chanting about and glorifying the Lord is the ultimate activity of the living entity.
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