Effect of Chanting a Name
Can one advance spiritually by chanting any name?
By Suresh Vyas
The Vedas says that the best way to realize God is doing dhyaan in Satyug, doing Yagya-yaag in Tretaa Yug, and doing pujaa in Dvaapar Yug. In Kali Yug, the best way (for most people) is chanting the holy name of God. An Upanishad says:
हरेर्नाम हरेर्नाम हरेर्नाम केवलम्
कलौ नास्ति एव नास्ति
एव नास्ति गतिर् अन्यथा ॥
In Kali Yug there is no other way to realize God than chanting the holy name of God.
In Vedic scriptures, as well as in the scriptures of other religions, god’s names are considered holy. This implies that there are unholy names. E.g. chanting a demon’s or an asura’s name cannot help one advance spiritually. Those who chanted Hitler’s name caused 6 million Jews’ genocide. Those who chanted “Allah o Akbar” caused at least 56 million Hindus genocide, per an estimate, over 1000 years, by invading Bhaarat ( i.e. India) over and over.
In the world, there are people, more or less, with ausirc or demoniac mentality.
Krishna says in Gita verse 16.3:
द्वौ भूत-सर्गौ लोकेऽस्मिन् दैव असुर एव च ।
“In this world there are two kinds of created beings. One is called the divine and the other demoniac.” So there are asuric or demoniac names like RaavaN, Hirayaakashipu, Kamsa, Hitler, Idi Amin, Osama Bin Laden, etc. By chanting their names one cannot advance spiritually, but falls down; and it usually causes suffering to others as well. No scripture of any religion says to chant unholy – demoniac name.
Krishna in Gita says:
यो यो याम् याम् तनुम् भक्तः श्रद्धयार्चितुम् इच्छति ।
तस्य तस्याचलम् श्रद्धाम् ताम् एव विदधाम्यहम् ॥
“I am in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship the demigods, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to some particular deity.”
This means that if one chants an unholy name, or ordinary name with faith, Krishna makes one’s faith stronger in the person whose name is chanted.
However, that does not mean one can advance spiritually – of realuze god that way. When action is different, the fruit of action is also different.
How about chanting ordinary people’s name, e.g. names like Obama, Putin, Manmohan Singh, Musharraf, one’s wife, or relative, etc.? In the millenniums long history of the Vedic dharma, no one has practiced chanting such names. They, the Vedic people chanted only divine names of God or Goddess as are provided in the Vedic scriptures, and they have achieved spiritual advancement.
Now, an ordinary Vedic person may argue that some Vedic preachers tell their audience to chant any name to realize God. Some, I hope rare, Vedic preachers might even be saying, “Chant ”Jesus” or “Allah”, etc. or chant VishNu sahastra naam etc. All is equally good to realize God.” My response to this is that all the Vedic preachers need to provide authentic scriptural reference to support such a claim. So, aske then for scriptural reference. If they cannot, then they need to stop such a wrong and harmful preaching.
I have not seen any statement in Ramayan, Mahabharat, Bhagavad Gita, or Srimad Bhagavatam, etc. that says chant any name – divine or demoniac, or your relative’s or politician’s, or a movie star’s name, and you will advance spiritually. So, please stop anyone from preaching such nonsense, and chant the divine names of God as are provided in the Vedic scriptures.
A related question is: Are all religions equally good? Do all religions get you to the same destination, same God, or haven, or whatever?
I argue that all religions are not same or equally good, but some are really bad.
Please see a short article at:
I also argue that any religion can be objectively compared how good it is compared to any other religion. A short article ab below link shows how.
If you have any question, please ask; or if the points made in this article makes sense to you, please share it with other Vedics and freedom lovers.
Jai Sri Krishna!