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
By Héctor Rosario, PhD
As followers of Srila Prabhupada we all know his prescription to chant a minimum daily quota of 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. This is the minimum standard that he set for his followers and which all ISKCON devotees accept. This standard is actually based on the traditional Gaudiya Vaisnava minimum standard set by Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Of course, that standard is 100,000 names of Krishna daily, roughly equivalent to 64 rounds of Hare Krishna japa, acc
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
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
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
From Back to Godhead
I love chanting japa—some days. Other days, I endure chanting japa. It seems to be bliss or boredom. On the good days I am enthralled. Krishna feels very close, and very dear. Not that I’m seeing visions or hearing voices—nothing dramatic that would excite the tabloid crowd. The experience is closer to returning home after a long, arduous journey. Such a sweet pleasure from the simple fingering of beads, the rhythmic repetition of the maha- mantra:Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
“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
So, 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
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
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
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
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
“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
By Giriraja Swami
Starting To See The Center Of Things
“Ever since the Stone Age, people have come up with so many nonsensical ideas to explain the forces of nature.”
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
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
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
We 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
If you fix your hearing, chanting will happen automatically.