japa (50)

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“Nish, nish, ram, ram, nish, nish, ram, ram.” Prabhupada once imitated how we sometimes chant without focus, without concentration, without proper pronunciation – how we chant when we don’t feel like chanting. You know the mood behind this chanting; “I have to chant but I’d rather be doing something else.” And in our minds we are thinking, “I can’t wait to get these rounds out of the way.” We all do this. And it can get pretty bad. I know devotees who chant rounds while watching football games

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8531407652?profile=RESIZE_584xSo, let us just look at the phone. Because that is the issue of the day. It is the phone that is being used in the name of pushing on this movement, that is destroying this movement. It is a crisis, an addiction. Very addictive thing. Try not to touch it and see how long you can. How long can you not touch it? Do not touch it! There, we can see how it creeps in little by little. We are using all these electronics in the service of Krsna. And then these electronics are taking over our life and gr

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A friend recently wrote to me looking for a solution to a dilemma he found himself in. One of his spiritual mentors was heavily pushing him that he should start chanting 64 rounds a day. Our friend obediently started doing that, but very quickly found that if he did so it was not possible for him to both chant so much and help take care of his wife and children. Below is an edited version of my reply to him:

My pranams Prabhuji. You may take instructions and inspiration from many people. There

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Chanting the holy names of the lord is the most profound method in this age of Kali to rise above the influences of Maya. To engage in Harinama Sankirtana is definitely the only viable process of freeing ourselves from this precarious position we have implicated ourselves in within this material world. Inaugurated by Lord Caitanya who then empowered his pure devotee, His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, we have all been exposed to this Yuga Dharma Harinam Sankirtan through

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How can we chant in a way that it makes us forget the material world and run to Krsna? When you sit down to chant, there will be moments in which you notice that your mind wandered somewhere else – ‘Uuups, I was thinking about my shopping list, that I have to close this deal to get more money and that Suresh Patel said something bad about me – well, he can just wait – I will show it to him!’ You will notice, ‘Where was I? I am sitting here in saintly company, chanting, but what happened?’ What

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On Rising Early By Sivarama Swami

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I often have to encourage devotees, especially those not living in the temples, to rise early in the morning and come to the temple for the morning program, or to have one at home. Devotees should generally rise by 4 am, which means that their lives must be organized in such a way that they get sufficient rest, meaning taking rest early.

Certainly there are many considerations for individual cases; however, we will see from the collection of quotes from Srila Prabhupada below (not referenced) t

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FIRST CONTACT WITH THE HOLY SOUND

My life took an apical turn when I stumbled across the Hare Krishnas. Being born in India I had some knowledge of “Krishna” but I was like most Indians are – conscious of Krishna but not Krishna Conscious. Being just “conscious of Krishna” didn’t mollify my thirst for happiness. When I was introduced to the programs conducted by the Hare Krishnas near our college campus new hope dawned upon me. What mesmerized me the most in these programs was the chanting of t

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Our spiritual practice should nourish us, it should supply us with a taste that is better than the taste that material activities and sense gratification provide us with. When our spiritual practice lacks this taste, the temptation of material life which then allures us with a seemingly greater taste is always close to us. And at that time we are in danger. However, if we can find taste in our spiritual practice we are safe on the spiritual platform.

The chanting of the Holy Names is recommende

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From Back to Godhead

A look at Lord Caitanya’s “Eight Instructions” and their relevance to japa, the individual practice of chanting Hare Krishna.

A friend once told me this analogy about spiritual life: a flock of geese share strength by flying in a V formation, but if one goose goes down, the others can’t help. Similarly, though seekers of enlightenment help each other, success ultimately depends on personal effortand the kindness of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna.

Krishna’s kindness appears i

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 “For humankind, the mind is the cause of bondage and the mind is the cause of liberation. The mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and the mind detached from sense objects is the cause of liberation.” (Amrta Bindu Upanishad)

Yoga literally means “to connect.” A bhakti-yogi seeks to connect to Krishna, the personal aspect of the Absolute Truth, through a variety of devotional practices. These include chanting Krishna’s names congregationally (kirtana) and serving the

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By Giriraja Swami

Starting To See The Center Of Things

A simple explanation convines a young man to dedicate himself to a life centred around chanting the names of and serving God.

 
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“Ever since the Stone Age, people have come up with so many nonsensical ideas to explain the forces of nature.”

That’s what my father, a Chicago lawyer, would tell me when I was growing up. “The idea of a God may give peace and inspire morality, but scientifically minded people are beyond all that.”
 
My seventh g
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On encountering Hare Krsna devotees chanting on the street, people respond with every reaction from amusement to anger. Few understand what the chanting is all about. To many, it seems a frivolity, often inspiring the remark “Get a job!”

But there’s nothing frivolous about chanting the names of God. Srila Prabhupada had great faith in the transformative power of chanting. He told us that simply by chanting Hare Krsna we would become self-realized. He spoke from experience and on the basis of th

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Japa Affirmations Part 1 by Payal Shah

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Based on the book Japa Affirmations by Mahatma Dasa

Ancient Vedic texts address the notion that no amount of material accomplishments can deeply satisfy us. Our consciousness has been affected by the material atmosphere, and as we try to exploit resources, we are in fact getting more and more entangled in mundane complexities. Vedic wisdom attributes this condition to a lack of spiritual awareness. The Vedic scriptures share with us that we are all spiritual beings and that we can elevate our c

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Helping My Daughter Come to Bhakti-Yoga

My daughter, Jennifer, and I first experienced Krishna consciousness together. We met some yoga teachers, who introduced us to kirtan and eventually, classes to teach us of Krishna. While I took to this straight away, Jennifer had more interest in yoga asana and kirtan.  

The devotees that we met were very clear that it is best not to push or force people, but rather to lead by example. I have tried very hard to do so, although I am very far from perfect myself. However, when I took initiation in

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9774244093?profile=RESIZE_584xWe are always being advised to chant with emotion like a child crying for its mother. But when I chant, it takes everything I got to be able to focus, so there’s like no room to also focus on emotions, kind of like you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. So, I’m wondering if Krishna will accept my arduous efforts to focus on His names as an emotion or would He consider that just mechanical?

First of all, Krishna is very satisfied if someone makes an effort in His service. However, you shou

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Dear Mind by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Some days you are a friend

Some days you are foe

You swing moods up

You swing them low

I can’t always trust

You’re not in one place

You respond well to lust

Big dose or a trace

You lead me to greed

It’s not what I want

You convinced it’s a need

In truth it’s a taunt

When there is anger

Pent up inside

You then do hanker

To push it outside

I don’t know why

You are so cruel

Cunning and sly

And wanting to rule

You’re some kind of clown

Silly and joking

A laugh or a frown

Nabbing and poking

Yet you

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The more we hear about Krishna, the more we become purified. We cannot understand Krishna because we are not purified. But if you hear the Krishna name, Hare Krishna—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare—if you chant and hear, you become purified. So why should we not take this simple method, as it is recommended in the shastra, harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam [“In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than cha

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When we feel that we have no taste for chanting and when we think to ourselves, “Oh I have no desire to chant sixteen rounds… it is taking such a long time and it is appearing to me as boring“, this is because we have no remembrance of Krsna. However, it is so easy to remember Krsna through His pastimes, because they are filled with rasa, with taste. They are not boring at all; they are actually full of excitement.

Are we religious? No, we are not religious. We are attracted to the pastimes of

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By Payal Shah

(Adapted from ‘Japa Affirmations’ by His Grace Mahatma Dasa)

Ancient Vedic texts address the notion that no amount of material accomplishments can deeply satisfy us. Our consciousness has been polluted by the material atmosphere, and as we try to exploit resources, we are in fact getting more and more entangled in complexities. Vedic wisdom attributes this condition to a lack of spiritual awareness. These Vedic wisdom texts share with us that we are all spiritual beings and that w

Read more…