HARI OM Dhaba
By Kavicandra Swami
While traveling from Vrindavan to Delhi the drivers regularly stop at the “HARI OM Dhaba” for tea. There is a big CD shop there and they are always broadcasting cinema music. Most of the time I hear songs with lots of “RADHE RADHE” being sung. When I first heard devotees signing like that in some temples, I wondered where the songs and tunes came from. As I moved around in India I learned that they were popular cinema songs. I sometimes worry about what “new” thing will come next.
I think that rather than borrowing from the “sinema sampradaya” we should learn and follow what our acarya’s have given to us. Srila Prabhupada gave us the HARE KRSNA maha mantra and taught us as follows:
“Jayadvaita: … names of Krsna as the spiritual master or the acaryas have chanted them, but sometimes I’ll hear that our devotees will be chanting Krsna’s name in different ways that I haven’t heard, in kirtana.
Prabhupada: I do not follow what you say.
Jayadvaita: Just like sometimes we’ll hear our men. They’ll be chanting… Like yesterday I heard that someone was chanting, “Nitai-Gaura, Nitai-Gaura, Nitai-Nitai-Gaura.” Like that, I’ll hear different mantras. Someone is chanting: “Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Radhe,” like that, at kirtana.
Prabhupada: Well, that is not done by the acaryas. But there is no harm chanting “Radhe.” But sometimes it is degraded to make something new, invention. Therefore better to stick to “Hare Krsna” and to “Sri-Krsna Caitanya Prabhupada-Nityananda.” Otherwise… Just like the sahajiyas, they have invented: “Nitai-Gaura Radhe Syama, Hare Krsna Hare Rama.” These things will come gradually. But they are not approved. They are called chara kirtana (?), means “concocted kirtana.” But there is no harm chanting “Radhe, Nitai-Gaura.” So better stick to this Panca-tattva, and maha-mantra. Just like “Nitai Gaura Radhe Syama, Hare Krsna Hare Rama.” There is “Nitai-Gaura, Radhe Syama,” but it is not approved. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We have to follow the mahajana. In Caitanya-caritamrta you’ll find “Sri-Krsna-Caitanya Prabhu-Nityananda, Sri-Advaita Gadadhara…,” never “Nitai Gaura, Radhe Syama.” So why should we do that?”
Ref. VedaBase = Morning Walk — April 8, 1975, Mayapur