Our consciousness is what makes this sangha (spiritual gathering).
We want to glorify Krishna in the form of the holy name.
I pray that I can never forget the value of the association of devotees, especially when we get together for kirtana.
We have our favorite kirtana leaders and our favorite melodies, but these our secondary to attentive chanting of the holy name.
We chant from the heart because our residence or base is in the heart.
Gopal Guru Goswami has given a commentary on the maha-mantra.
With the first Krishna, we call on Krishna to attract us.
Then we call on Radha to attract us by Her sweetness.
With the “Hare Hare” we beg to be engaged in service.
The last “Rama Rama” means “please let me be fixed in your name, form, qualities, and pastimes.”
The last “Hare Hare” means “please consider me as your own and deal with me as part of your pastimes.”
What makes bhakti nectar or makes kirtana nectar is that we do it for Krishna.
Psychology Today says, “Twelve minutes of kirtana is as powerful as three hours of meditation.
One Indian magazine says, “As ginger purifies the body, kirtana purifies the mind.”
But the Vaishnavas do not think much of the selfish kinds of kirtana mentioned in these magazines.
The spiritual world is very attractive because of the kirtana.
Kirtana is an import from the spiritual world not an imitation.
When many cowherd boys offered their lap for Krishna to put His head on, Krishna expanded into as many cowherd boys as made such an offering to reciprocate with them.
Let us offer our kirtana for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, and if Krishna wants, He may splash us with a few drops of the kirtana-rasa.
Several times Srila Prabhupada was asked how to best chant. Once, when questioned by Jayadvaita Swami, I believe, he replied, “Listen to yourself chant sincerely.”
Formerly yajnas (sacrifices) were performed to create auspiciousness for human society. Now such sacrifices give only partial results because chanting of the holy name is the only recommended sacrifice for this age.
The name of the Lord is very high, but He extends Himself to the lowest section. Thus we should feel gratitude.
In this age, we cannot do anything. We cannot do what was proscribed in previous ages.
In ISKCON we do deity worship, but ISKCON was started by Srila Prabhupada doing kirtana.
The chanting and the giving of the holy name to others is our only business.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, and He and His associates demonstrated the chanting.
Trinidad and Tobago is a small country, but we still have two temples, and harinama sankirtana is going on five or six days a week.
Kirtana is not a spectator sport. Participate in kirtana, and experience Krishna consciousness as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu desired.
Although these are names of God in the Sanskrit language, the language is not important.
In Texas they interviewed people about making Spanish an official language in addition to English.
One lady said, ‘Certainly not.’
‘Why not?’ the interviewer asked.
The lady replied, “Jesus spoke English.”
‘How do you know?’ asked the interviewer.
‘I read my Bible in English every day,’ replied the lady.
That is a true story.
Mantra uses the mind while tantra uses the body.
The songs you hear on the radio are not the songs they sing in the spiritual world.
The mantras are gifts to us so we can go back to the spiritual world.
The material world is like a well that we have fallen into and cannot get out of. We can only get out if someone throws us a rope. The mantra is the rope. Through the connection with the mantra we are transferred back to the spiritual world.
In Bg. 5.29, Krishna says, “I have a sweet heart for every living entity.”
In pure vision we see every living being as a child of God.
When we are pure we can do the Lord’s will. His will is that everyone can be joyful and happy in life and to return to the spiritual world.
You do not have to believe what I say because you do not know me. I am sharing what I have experienced. If you experiment with the mantra, you can see for yourself.
If we are not joyful, we are not connected to the original source of all joy.
By chanting the mantra the darkness in the heart is extinguished, and we become enlightened. It is not immediate.
The arrangement of words in the mantra is like a poem. When we sing, we sing in poetry.
“Hare” refers to the personality of divine love who is feminine.
In Psalms it says lift up thy voice in song and glorify the Lord with drums and symbols.
As a white light appears blue or red when filtered, the divine love in our heart appears colored by lust, anger, greed, etc., so we cannot see it.
With divine love, we can mend our relationships with other people.
For the first year or so of life, you drink milk from your mother. And the rest your life, you drink cow’s milk, so in India the cow is seen as a second mother. Just as you would not kill your mother, in India, they do not consider killing the cow.
People may be nasty with us, but we do not have to descend to that level with them. We can be cordial and respectful with them.
I had a personal audience with my spiritual master in Vrindavan. He explained that the definition of a thief is someone who takes the property of someone else and uses it for his own benefit. He said, “If you receive knowledge from me, and only use it for your own benefit, you are like a thief. So wherever you go and with whomever you meet, share whatever you have received from me with others.” And so I have been trying to do that.
We invite everyone to dance. Those who are shy, you do not have to be shy, because everyone else will be dancing.