Devotee: Throughout the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that Caitanya Mahāprabhu requested everyone to chant “Hari, Hari.” Our various ācāryas have preached that Mahāprabhu requested everyone to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra, but is there any direct reference from the time of Caitanya Mahāprabhu where it is directly stated that He said for everyone to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra?
Narasiṅgha Mahārāja: Yes, there is direct reference to this instruction in the Caitanya–bhāgavata of Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura.
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
prabhu kahe kahilāma ei mahā-mantra
iha japa giyā sabe kariyā nirbandha
iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe sabāra
sarva-kṣaṇa bala ithe vidhi nāhi āra
“Śrīman Mahāprabhu said, ‘I Myself spoke this Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra, which is the most effective means of bringing divine benefit to the lives of the jīva souls. Go home and chant this holy mantra with all devotion. Everyone will attain all perfection by the grace of this magnanimous mantra. Therefore, chant and remember it all the time regardless of any rules and regulations.” (Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya, 23.76-78)
It is verified by Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura that Mahāprabhu’s instruction is for everyone to chant the Mahā-mantra but it is the characteristic of the non-believers to always raise questions doubting the efficacy of the Holy Name.
The Lord is supremely merciful and thus is His Holy Name. To avoid the Lord’s mercy, the fools and rascals plug their ears and hide themselves behind closed doors. But how long can they remain in that miserable condition — either today or tomorrow they must embrace the all-encompassing grace of Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Lord Caitanya has said that there is no rule or regulation required for chanting the Holy Name. This statement refers to preliminary rules and regulations known as puraścaraṇa-vidhi. Unfortunate persons interpret this statement to mean that they can concoct their own ways and means of chanting the holy name. Such persons are diabolical because they are not at all devotees yet they pose themselves as such.
As long as one has not come into contact with the with the Supreme Lord’s pure devotees he will remain bewildered about the bona-fide process of chanting the Mahā-mantra.
āvad-brahma-kathā vimukti-padavī tāvan na tiktī-bhavet
tāvac-cāpi viśṛṇkhalatvamayate no loka-veda-sthitiḥ
tāvac-chāstra-vidāṁ mithaḥ kalakalo nānā-bahir-vartmastu
śrī-caitanya-padāmbuja-priyajano yāvan na dṛg gocaraḥ
“As long as one has not seen a pure devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he will be engaged in tasting bitter talks about impersonal path of liberation. As long as one has not seen a pure devotee of Lord Gaurāṅga, he will be bound by social and Vedic convention, blindly following formalities and traditions without understanding their purpose. As long as one never sees one of the beelike devotees addicted to drinking the nectar from the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga, he will be forced to walk in endless circles on the labyrinthine paths of dry Vedic scholarship, wasting valuable time in useless discussions on futile religious practices.” (Caitanya Candrāmṛta 19)