About four decades ago a Bollywood film actor-cum-director-cum-storywriter-cum-hero cum . . . decided to exploit the growing popularity of the Hare Krishna movement, more particularly in the Western world. His formula was simple: make a movie about an innocent Indian teenager who is captivated by drug-crazed hippies and is forced to take drugs and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had launched his sankirtana (congregational chanting) movement in Bengal, about five hundred years ago, he had met similar opposition from the establishment. He and His followers would meet in the house of Srivasa Pandita and chant the maha-mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, all night long. Onlookers wondered as to what these people do all night and how they could be so happy. How can they continue to chant continuously day after day, night after night? Certainly, they must be engaged in black tantric rituals involving wine and women, they concluded. Thus they offended Srivasa Pandita, one of the devotees, and as a result their leader contracted leprosy. Srivasa Pandita, of course, later forgave him and relieved him of his malady.

Similarly, we are not sad to learn that someone has decided to re-launch the same “dum maro dum” song in a remix version. Obviously their only desire to make a lot of money but it is interesting to see how these actions ultimately are used by the Lord for the highest benefit of mankind. When Srila Prabhupada was informed about the popularity of this song he assured the devotees that the Holy Name of the Lord is so powerful that it will act even without the intention of the chanter. The Srimad-Bhagavatam assures us, “One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly [to indicate something else], jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures.”

Someone may raise an issue that this song is ridiculing your movement, still how is it that you are unfazed?

Well, this concern can be addressed by the simple statement of Rupa Goswami: Yena kena prakarena manah Krishna nivesayet. “First of all fix your mind, somehow or other, on Lord Krishna.” All the other rules and regulations needed to purify your life can be added later. Other rules and regulations include strict norms about eating, sleeping, cleaning oneself, etc. Since this is the degraded age of Kali (the age of quarrel and hypocrisy), there is no other path other than chanting Lord Krishna’s holy name. Thus anyone who chants Krishna’s name (even if it is a cinema song) will be benefitted – his miseries will certainly come to an end. Just chant in the morning and evening the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Syamananda Dasa