Japa should be a time for prayer, turning to Krishna in His holy names. It should not be just numbers and hurrying to get them done. I’m a little guilty of that. Nevertheless, it’s a great accomplishment to get your rounds done and should not be overlooked. Early mornings are meant for this. Getting up and diving into your rounds, watching the count rise, enunciating the syllables even without thinking so much about them. The names are Krishna and Radha. It’s absolute, even when you’re not fixed on Their pastimes. Krishna is kind to give us this sound vibration meditation. It works, even when all you accomplish is the faithful recitation of the transcendental sound vibration. But there are three stages in chanting: offensive, clearing, and perfect. You want to improve, to think of Krishna while you chant. Mechanical chanting is not complete. It contains a trace of the offense of inattentiveness. Complete attention means thinking of the qualities, pastimes, and form of the Lord. All you can do is keep trying. Staying awake and alert is a big advantage. It counts in your favor. Drowsy chanting is very poor, or chanting while allowing the mind to drift off to other topics. So you should not bash yourself for completing the rounds as quickly as possible and paying attention to the syllables of the Hare Krishna mantra.
(June 23, 4:55 A.M.)