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Chanting while thinking about 'stuff'

Hi,

 

I have a question,

 

While I am doing Japa, I do it either by looking at picture of Krishna or just doing Japa while looking around )...

When I am doing Japa now and again my concentration is sort of ok. Sometimes I think all kind of thing like .

what wil i eat later,

omg i am so hungry, what will i cook later

did i pay my rent?

oh I hate my job, i have to goto work later..

One thing I think when I am doing Japa is i chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, then in my mind I think (while chanting), sort of think but kind of like say, I am servant of rama or krishna' 

Its sort of wierd when I want to concentrate on chanting, then I feel sort of mild (lol) boredom, I cant pinpoint the repetion can get to me. And I feel frustrated like why am I even doing this.

I mean boredom/frustration, the repetition gets to me. Then i pull myself back a little, and say to myself just get on with it. Its almost like some japa is pretty good sometimes. Sort of like eating bland food sometimes its horrible japa. And i feel like packing it in. But i dont usually. 

I mean is it all about concentration? Or feelings? Or giving up stuff? If i close my eyes while doing japa i think of TV series lol or some other stuff so i keep them open.

I do feel a little scared if i do good japa and think man im doing good today, I need to be like a full blown vaishnava now lol. But that doesnt last long when my gas and electric bills come through the post!

Do i think of my soul while chanting in my heart thinking i am not this body?]

I know its not about the rounds (for vaishnava like Prabhupada) He can do 1 round, as He is from Goluka anyway, but we probably do have to. I mean just saying this goes to show the EGO associated with doing a few rounds, lol? I mean in hindu it would be like, thora japa kar diya, vaishnava bhan gaya!

Sorry for the long drawn out post. But i need to get this off my chest.)

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  • Hare Krishna Nitesh prabhuji,
    Mind is very difficult to be contained concentrated on one point of thought for a particular period of time it is true.
    As said by Lord in Bhagvad gita.. chapter 6
    TEXT 5
    uddhared atmanatmanam
    natmanam avasadayet
    atmaiva hy atmano bandhur
    atmaiva ripur atmanah
    TRANSLATION
    A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.
    purport--
    mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha-moksayoh
    bandhaya visayasango muktyai nirvisayam manah.
    "For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation." Therefore, the mind which is always engaged in Krsna consciousness is the cause of supreme liberation.

    So... You need to tame your mind .. Mind runs after senses.. Wherever the sense take you it keeps running in that direction. It is the nature of the mind. You can avoid it.
    Only way to tame you mind is. To divert attention to another thing as soon as the senses take control on it. divert it to another thing which you want to focus upon.
    Let us say...
    --- When we are writing an examination. Are you not completely focusing on the examination those 3 hours ? Mind is telling to jump that time also. Mind is telling you to dance, sing. eat... so manythings even gas bill, rent also are there that time also right?? but you are not allowing such thoughts to come in.. You have done it many times.. yOu have to do it again same thing.....controlling mind.
    ---or let us say...You went to a job interview.....You are sitting right before the interviewer.....and facing his questions... You are hungry that time also.. is your mind thinking of ur hunger in your tummy or how best you have reply to the interviewer ?? NO you are focused on the person posing you questions Right?
    You have done it many times this mind control.. you have to do it again same thing here also.
    --Let us say you are standing in front of a group of people on a stage and you have to do some presentation...In that case.. What is your mind thinking that time????
    Only how best you have to present conduct yourself to please the audience without you new product which you are presenting.
    This is called Presence of mind!!!..
    You are totally focused on something you want to give your 100% to it.
    This happens when ???????
    ------->>>This happens only when you fall in love with the work you do.. Or when you have deep determination to do it by hook or crook.
    examples of these two cases...
    1. Love for the work you are doing right now..
    Let me say you are watching a cricket match you are in the last over and you are at the edge of the seat..Even if someone says hey come out here there is something going on ur gas bill collector came.. What you say??? or ur stomach growling in hunger.. then?? oh man you have not prepared the food what to do .. do you think of all these things?????? Right now what is your action?? you are totally focused in the game.. Becoz you want to see what will happen. You love to see India win .. you are in love with the match right now nothing in the world can disturb you!!!! You are going to say to all others ....Pls. wait. I will do later.
    When you love something so deeply you will have so much of interest in it.
    Similarly..
    Do you remember Arjuna and how he shot the eye of the bird..and how did Dhruva do penance?
    They had a passion to achieve something in life they have a target a goal. Their determination was so strong that nothing cannot change their mind from it.

    Now whatever you feed your mind with that will start thinking in that direction only. So.... yes feed the mind with all Krishna stuff not other stuff.
    atleast when you are chanting those 2 hours.
    Use you senses for feeding the mind with... You got hungry for suppose.. yes think.....oh my god did i feed my Lord today? He must be hungry too.
    If you have some gas bill rent stuff coming into ur head think.. I have not paid for my sins also.... its been due I have to work for it too. Since many life times I have been in this cycle of birth and death...hey Krishna save me.. you have changed ur gas bill to something else thought already?? right??

    If ur mind is going to some tv serial ...oh that Krishna tv serial was worth watching.. Last episode they shown Krishna full's form.. oh the virat swaroop was gigantic...
    diverting back to Krishna is a way to change your thoughts.
    and making you focused.
    And also as Radha Rasmayi DD mata ji said.. Yes it is most important to use the senses to visualize of Lord's feet, lord's body parts all things related to Lord.. Thinking about Him.. thinking about the lectures thinking about the leelas everything is must. Roopa dhyana is also required.
    -->> And also focusing on the sounds which are vibrating in your mouth.
    The name of Lord is not simple.words... they are transcendental vibrations produced which can change your pattern of thinking automatically in course of time. For that you need to focus on the sound vibrations ....!!!!

    Last but not the least You must know what made you opt to Krishna consciousness only among many options of bhakti.
    What made you come to Krishna??????? why did you even start chanting..?
    Please don't chant for some ulterior motive in mind... Chant to enjoy chanting.
    Enjoy the chanting process.. fall in love with it.
    And don't feel you are great that you have done 16 rounds today.
    You feel great that Supreme Lord Sri Krishna has given you today this oppourtunity to take HIs name. So merciful of HIm that you are able to take the name of Lord..
    Compare your self with dumb animals ..they cannot take the name of lord even once. You are given this human form.. and you are given the chance to take the name of Lord this is all mercy of Sri Krishna and the guru maharaj.
    If you had not come into contact with Vaishnavas you wouldn't have taken Lord's name also. So consider yourself as fortunate and be grateful to Lord and Vaishnavas.
    Watch this vid. and you think is this way of chanting worth It...??
    If anyone talks to you without looking at your face also.....do you feel nice???????
    How will lord feel then???
    You looking at your cell phone and chanting or looking at some other things and chanting.. thinking of something else when chanting?
    chanting is like calling Lord ...dialing his number.. MAHAMANTRA TELEPHONE number.. 16 digit number it is.
    You call Him ....but then you wont talk to HIm looking at HIM..
    No presence of mind .. body present mind absent...
    let us say you are calling you boss. in the office and you have to talk about an important project work and you talk something else like I have to pay rent,, i have to pay gas bill electricity..?
    or blabbering something like tv serial had some thing today....i am dead bored to do the work boss .....hehehe just imagine.. Isn't it funny.??
    watch this funny vid.. its about chanting only I find it very funny..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK7Tbki23-g&t=2s

    and I am not a perfect one finally we all go thru these things.. but always bring this idiotic mind back to Krishna practice this art you can master it someday.
    Hare Krishna.
    • The Video was pretty brutal lol. I do this many times, have TV on while doing japa or reading while doing japa, browsing net while doing japa. Haha.

      I really like your example regarding thinking about other stuff, imo yes if i was on call to work i wouldnt be thinking some other stuff or watching india play cricket. I would put all stuff at the back of my mind and think 'oh man forget about that for now'. I also like your example of calling krishna mobile number, I heard one devotee say this on TV years ago which i found funny, that example really is pretty cool.

      My rounds fluctuate between 3-5 rounds per day. I dont do them all at once in one sitting. I spread it out over the day an chant when i feel like it. Usually I sit down anywhere turn all devices off, maybe google krishna pic (usually i do), then concentrate on this and do either 1 round or 2.. I read gita on my mobile.. any random text.

      I do feel a certain... you have one life. I mean yeh you wanna enjoy your life any which way. BUT I feel like why am i here? Who am I etc. So thats reason why I chant. I am not in love with Krishna ))) I like Krishna, His pretty cool. I also like Shiva. I chant Aum Namah Shivaya and ask I can survive in this material world long enough so i can put my head down and pray to god for bhakti. I used to fear Bhakti. Thinking oh my god its pretty scary business. Like when I goto goloku we have to sit on asana and do 64 rounds of japa lol. But come on we know thats not true. I also feel we will hardly ever see Krishna, but if we do will be best thing ever.

      I had vision of Krishna years ago (I have 1st initiaton) although I hardly followed years later and went into 'maya' LOL. Man Krishna is nothing like He seems in pictures of what you hear, He seems warm and friendly... almost like you know Him.

      I must have surrendered then some how through someones blessing...

      I must say whatever maya is its pretty brutal and strong. But we live out lives daily monthly yearly. Hey we goto live our boring lives lol.

      Like someone said on another thread surrender is a journey. Its so true I see that now. Oh man I just wanna see that form of Krishna again I guess.
  • E-Counselor
    Hare Krsna prabhuji,

    PAMHO.

    What you have mentioned is very common. The mind is very stubborn, always wants to flee, never wants to be under control. And our purpose is to control the mind and make it concentrate on the holy names when we chant. This challenge is there - it will help to chant in a group if possible. If not, then you have to mould your life in such a manner that morning chanting is the best time of the day (it actually is).
    HG Mahatma prabhu has given extensive lectures on chanting - he says what we do in the balance 22 hours determines the quality of our chanting in those 2 hours. So we have to lead regulated lives and to the extent Krsna Conscious lives, to be able to relish chanting.
    Some tips - atleast 50 % of our devotional life is dependant on our chanting.
    when we chant, we are touching the lotus feet of Their lordships with our tulsi beads. Initially it sounds impossible. Gradually, realise it.
    While chanting - we should say internally - O Radha, O Krsna, please engage me in Your service.
    You can think of what you read the previous day related to devotion.
    YOu can remember points from lecture you would have heard the previous day.
    You can chat with Krsna - pour out your heart and just speak with Him. Chanting time is chatting time for some. That's why its the best time of the day.
    You can admire the pictures or deities, concentrating on one part in one raund - like lotus feet in one round, vakshashtal in next round, face in next round.
    You could thin of glories of Panchatattva one by one, each round, while chanting. Very powerful method to do good rounds.
    You should chant in humble state of mind - praying at the first bead of first round - please allow me to chant attentively and effectively. At the end of last round, last bead - thank Them for allowing you to take Their name.
    Just some tips prabhu. See what works for you.
    Haribol,
    Your servant,
    Radha Rasamayi DD
    Just some tips.
    • Hare Krishna, Radha DD, whats your opinion on silent japa,
      • E-Counselor
        Hare KRsna PRabhuji,

        PAMHO.

        Silent japa is not a very good idea, esp for beginners. Our minds are anyways not in our control. YOu have yourself described where all your mind is wandering when you are saying the mahamantra aloud. Silent means we will be deluding ourselves into thinking we are doin japa, but we will be thinking of everything else and not taking the name.

        Recommended to do soft or loud chanting, as per your desire, time, place, circumstance. Silent japa is not recommended.

        Haribol,
        Your servant,
        Radha Rasamayi DD
    • Hari Bol mataji...Thanks for sharing such nice practical tips for good japa , I will try to implement them as well,begging ur mercy
  • Hare Krishna,

    Honestly, I do not clearly understand your specific question. But I assume after reading, you might be a little distracted by many things at one time.

    Maybe senior devotees later on might post here and help you better, but I can share some ideas which might be of some help.

    Be precise and sincere in your Japa rounds. It is good to chant same number of rounds everyday for specific months then slowly increase. But be precise and sincere. For example, Rounds? 4 rounds everyday for next 5 months. When? First priority as I get up early in the morning after bath. The idea is to have a fixed timetable and follow it sincerely. I agree that thoughts will come and go in the mind, but don't worry about it and there is nothing to panic. Continue your Japa rounds sincerely and try to follow the regulative principles as much as possible sincerely. The idea of controlling the mind and focusing it is like going to a gym. It takes time and practice. Maybe years. I would follow your good idea on keeping the Lord's or Guru's photo in front of me while doing Japa. That always helps in time. But, nothing beats association and doing Japa with devotees or in temple hall. In BACE too, devotees sit together and chant sitting in front of the alter early morning. There is some magic to that. Understanding why and the importance of doing Japa helps. Like check this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3IzWfp_AN0. Listening to SBB or BG temple lectures maybe during our free time. Finally the best method I think is, to get in regular touch with a 1 on 1 Councillor from temple. Just try to attend regular functions or youth festivals conducted in temple and try to associate with a Councillor. A Councillor or maybe a brahmachari is like Superman. Their guidance always helps.

    By the way, Prabhupada set an example for all and chanted minimum 16 or more rounds each and everyday. :)

    YS,
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