Memorize mantras

Hare krsna Devotees mi humble obeisances.

I wanted to ask for your help, I would like to memorize mantras of Vaishnava songs or some central verses of the Bhagavad Gita.

What would you recommend to start?

How much time should I spend per day to memorize?

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  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,


    Very happy to note your enthusiasm in memorising shlokas and vaishnav songs. 

    Maybe you could begin with the aratis we sing in ISKCON throughout the day - mangalarati, darshan arati, guru puja, sandhya arati, tulsi arati, nrisimha arati.... for starters. Then you will get the hang of things and can move on to simple bhajans like Jaya Radha Madhava. 

    How much time you spend on it depends on you. If you consciously sit down to memorise, then it an actually delay the process. INstead, do it like how we hear a song and the words remain in our memory? Same way, put the arati (one per day) and continue with your routine work which doesnt require application of mind. You will learn much faster this way according to me. 


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD

    •    "Samsara" for the morning Arati is really beautiful.....


  • you just learn 1 verse or 1 song fully by repeating verbally and memorizing with meanings(I do like this ,like a school boy). For me it takes 5 - 10 minutes as I can understand Bengali and Sanskrit.
    For you it might take 15 min or so, it's depending on you. Once you are able to utter the verse without seeing them you have memorized.

    That's it. Then you can recall that verse or song you had learnt that day now and then. You can sing them when you are doing any work or while walking or while sitting simply. If you forget any line , then you can go through it and thus it will stick in your memory.

    Do it naturally. Like memorizing rhymes.
    Later you can use these verses while preaching krsna consciousness. In this way you can have all the concepts of bhakti in a nutshell.
  • You say that by day you can memorize but, how much time of the day should you use for this? One hour at least?
  • " jadi ei dasira prati prasanna koruna mati, duhu pada seva koro dana. Ara kichu nahi cai yugala carana pai, sitala hauka mora prana"(gm 2.25)

    "Eka bara dasya diya sitala koro he hiya..."(2.27)
    - ((here he has realised his identity as a maidservant of radha krsna; and related hankerings are being expressed))he is praying atlest once let me serve You both then only my heart will become happy.
    ((This is how the aspirations of the devotee grows and grows and comes to this point. Now it will not be satisfied with anything other than this. Then further transformations of his heart is happenning...))

    "Amulyanga parimala grana amara nasika dware pravesiya citte pure achaitanya koribe bidana.... "
    - he(she) is hoping when will i witness how radha and krsna meet, and that when the fragrance of their body enters his(her) nose, he (she)will fall unconsious
    - when will i hear the sweet sounds of thier ankle bells
    - when will i see Your footprints and become wild in bliss

    "Paraspara sandesa aniya badaibo duhu sukha..."(2.34)
    -((now he (she) is aspiring to serve the lordships(internally) in their eternal pastimes in so many ways)) when will i carry letters between radha and krsna when they arnt able to meet ,
    - when, radha & krsna searching each other and cant find each other, when will i will bring them together. Thus pleasing them i will get a necklace as a reward ,
    - when , as They play games desiring to win a reward and thus lovingly quarrel with each other saying "I won I won" ,will i see this
    - when will i massage Thier feet when they are tired etc...

    ((In this way he is aspiring to serve his lordship in various ways. But then he comes down and thinks ..,))
    Kotha ei durasa mora kotha ei duskarma mora, ei prarthana jodi bolo keno? he radhe he ghana syama duhu jana guna grama madhuri bolaya mora heno"(2.43)
    - who am i? a wicked sinner, what are my desires? why do i aspire for these things which are difficult to obtain?(because) radha and krsna ,Your qualities and sweetness makes me speak in this way.

    "duhara je krpa gune painu dhana vrndavane, se krpa abhista purana. Karuna amay natha paun tuhu sakhi satha , kunja seva pai anukshan"(2.44)
    - oh just as by Your mercy i have obtained vrndavana, may You similarly bestow Your mercy upon me considering me as one among Your maidservants please give me Your service

    "Ohe radha ohe krsna sei braja rasa trsna, karpanya panjika katha chale. Jalpana koroye sada tara vancha purti tada, karuna duhu krpa bale"(2.45)
    - finally bhaktivinod thakur gives blessings to his readers, that anyone who on the pretext of reading this karpanya panjika, always desires to serve radha krsna in this mood of vraja, may their desires be fulfilled by the strength of Your mercy.
    In this way our archaryas are guiding us how to perform devotion, what to hanker for, what to desire and aim for, how to live as a devotee, with what sentiments should we approach the lord.
    These songs by acharyas are treasure chests, they contain valuble gems.instead of roaming everywhere in search of our fortune, if we dive into these songs we will develop our real self quickly.
    Another benifit is that these songs contains blessings. What is difficult to achieve our hard labour, we cant quickly get by grace and blessing. So when we sing these songs , although we are unqualified and hard hearted, by the mercy of the composer, we will be blessed to have their moods touch our hearts and very soon we will find ourself at the lotus feet of radha krsna, serving them with love.
    * also, i have only hinted something from 2 parts of this book, but further ahead you will find discussions about surrender and nista, you will also find the nectar of devotion (nod by rupa goswami) in a nutshell.

    * all that i have spoken is to open you up to what valuble things you will find here and thus inspire you to enter into these songs and yourself discover the mysteries in it.
  • If u will just learn one verse perfectly in a day, then by the end of year you will know many verses.

    I advise learning vaisnav songs from gitamala, stavamala, kalyana kalpataru, saranagati, premabhakti candrika etc.. these songs contains all the essential teachings of gaudiya philosophy viz, sambanda, abhideya and preyojana.

    Moreover, although we are chanting and serving krsna still we are not realising Him, our heart doesnt melt, tears dont come..
    Because we have so many unfavorable moods and desires in our heart. We dont have greed for krsna.

    So in these songs, the proper moods and desires of a devotee is expressed. I will mention some below from gitamala,

    Part 1,Song 1,text 3(gitamala 1.1.3)
    "Ei bhaktivinod caya satata tusite taya,
    Bhakta janera hoye anugata."
    - here he expresses the desire to please krsna under the guidance of His devotees.

    "tava dasa gana sange tava lila katha range, jaya jena jivana amara"(Gm 1.5.3)
    - may i spend my whole life in devotee association hearing harikatha.

    "ei bhaktivinoda dina sada suddha bhakti hina, suddha bhakti mage nirantara"(1.7.3)
    - i dont have pure devotion, i beg u repeatedly oh lord please give me pure devotion.
    (( we have the ego that we are pure devotees and we have bhakti. But thakur is teaching us how we should always be humble and beg for devotion. Not taking it for granted that one has it and no need to pray for it))

    "ahaituki krpa kori ei dusta jane hari, deho pada chaya nirantara"(gm 1.8.3)
    - here he is praying that despite my being a bad unworthy person still by your causeless mercy please accept me as your servant by giving me shelter of Your lotus feet.

    "je je dasha bhogi ami amake na chado swami, bhaktivinodera prana dhana"(1.9.3)
    - never mind i am suffering or enjoying, under whatever condition I am in, Oh my lord please dont give me up , because you are my life.( this is an indication of love)

    "Ei bhaktivinoda koya tumi chado dayamoy, dekhi amara dosha gana
    Ami to chadite nai tuma bina nahi pari, kokhona dhorite ei jivana"(gm1.11.3)
    - ((his love becomes more intense that )) he says oh lord even if u reject me seeing my faults, i cannot give you up because i cannot live without you.

    "Ati aprakrta ami parama dayalu tumi , tava daya mora adhikar.....
    More yadi upekhibe doya patra kotha pabe,......."(gm 1.19,2&3)
    - ((previously he was requesting for mercy. Now he is demanding mercy. When one is an outsider he will request ;but when one becomes intimate and related ,he can demand due to the loving relation he has with that person))
    Oh lord i am most fallen and You are most merciful therefore i am the most suitable candidate for Your mercy. If You neglect me then You wont find any other person suitable for your grace and thereby You will lose Your reputation as being mercyfull. Therefore i am telling You (not for my benifit) but for Your benifit, please be mercyfull to me.

    Then further he refects upon his fallen condition and prays the lord that even if he has to take birth again, let he be born where he can have the contact with His devotees . he doesnt want to become brahma even if there is no devotee association.((he doesnt want his loving relationship with krsna to terminate in any condition of life))

    Later he prays to the lord to show His associates who are full of love for Him and with whom He plays. he desires their association. ((This is an indication of raganuga bhakti. The devotee is not only attracted to krsna but also His associates. he is attracted by the moods with which they serve Him and also hankers to have similar kind of love for krsna))

    Further he desires to serve radha krsna yugal. He glorifies their qualities and prays for their mercy.

    "Ei durbhaga haha sware prasada prarthana kore, anutape gadagadi jaya
    He radhe he krsnacandra Suno mora kaku bhada, tuhu krpa bina prana jaya"(gm 2.20)
    - here he is praying for their mercy with such desperation that without it he will die. ((This is utkantha - intense hankering))
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