21st July 2020
Are you busier than Lord Brahma?
Hare Krishna. Welcome all to this Japa conference. Today participants from 954 locations are chanting. In each other’s association we chant attentively. I really like this company. Thank you for giving us your association. We get inspiration to chant when we see others chanting. This is mock psychology. When we see others chanting, we become more attentive and serious in our chanting. We think like this, "Everyone is chanting. I am not the only mad one. I should also chant." These thoughts may come in our minds. In this way we inspire each other. I therefore request everyone to join in with the maximum numbers possible. Devotees of ISKCON Nagpur are also joining us. Many brahmacaris and other devotees are giving their association. We get their association too. Keep on chanting.
How long we should chant? Until we become liberated and our japa becomes suddha nama japa (chanting with love of God).
We taught you about this before:
1) Nama-aparadha: chanting with offence 2) Nama-abhasa: chanting as a liberated person 3) Suddha nama: chanting with love of God
Our aim is suddha nama japa. This means that we have been completely purified and then we are chanting the Lord's name. The Lord is holy and pure and chanting is the holy Lord's association.
nāma cintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś caitanya-rasa-vigrahaḥ pūrṇaḥ śuddho nitya-mukto 'bhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ
Translation: The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Kṛṣṇa Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Kṛṣṇa's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Kṛṣṇa Himself. Since Kṛṣṇa's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with māyā. Kṛṣṇa's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa Himself are identical.' [CC Madhya 17.133]
This is glorification of His holy name. The Lord's name is nothing, but the Lord. How is the Lord or His name? Nitya mukta suddha purna means eternal, liberated, pure and complete.
When our japa is free from offences, then that is perfection. Then we are with the Lord. We have to practice this. How can we perform suddha nama japa? This takes practice. Keep on practicing.
sri-bhagavan uvaca asamsayam maha-baho mano durnigraham calam abhyasena tu kaunteya vairāgyeṇa ca gṛhyate
Translation: The blessed Lord said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by constant practice and by detachment. [BG 6.35]
How much to chant within this practice?
sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih means being engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord with a fixed number.
We also have a fixed number - a minimum of 16 rounds. Maybe you have taken a resolution to chant more number of rounds on Ekadasi, Caturmasya or any festival. Chant a fixed number. We have to perform this sankhyapurvak (chant a fixed number of rounds). The six Goswamis didn't need to chant sankhyapurvak, but they chanted as they were acaryas and setting an example for us. With humility they chanted a fixed number of rounds.
In our parampara, Srila Haridas Thakur is exemplary as he is our Namacarya. He is Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma became Srila Haridas Thakur. Lord Brahma is our acarya. Chanting is our religion in this age of Kali. (Harer namaiva kevalam)
He came to establish the religion of this age. Lord Brahma is our acarya. ISKCON belongs to Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya that is why our Acraya is Lord Brahma. Actually He is the busiest person in the universe. He has so much to do that just one head, one face is not enough to complete all the work. That is why he has four faces and four heads. We can imagine how busy he is. There is no comparison with us. He is so busy, still he is chanting. He took leave from his business and is chanting with us. We are not as busy as Lord Brahma. He became Namacarya and inspired all jivas (souls) in Kaliyuga to chant.
We always endeavour for happiness, but all our efforts go in vain. We are always in search of happiness and we may also get some happiness, but that happiness turns into misery. If you want any happiness then be ready for misery also. It is like a package. You will not only get happiness. There will always be a tag of misery attached. Sooner or later that happiness turns into misery. What didn't we do to achieve happiness? The Jiva (souls) are always running from one place to another just to get happiness. Now let's sit down and chant. Lord Brahma also sat down and chanted. Chant Hare Krishna and be happy. He took his beads and sat down to chant. He took leave from his business of creation and everything else. We also tried running here and there, entered into so many species just to get happiness. We also tried, but what we received is Coronavirus. Or old age is there. Then death comes and everything is finished.
In a similar way there are many varieties of miseries. Lakhs of miseries are there in this world. Why don’t we try something else? We have tried everything, but we didn’t receive any happiness. So now let’s sit down and chant the holy names. You can also explain this to everyone. I am explaining it to you and you tell others. You might have understood this, that is why you are chanting or you might be chanting, but are not very serious about it. Your mind is running and saying, "Why are you chanting?" Whatever I am saying applies to you as well as everyone else.
Namacarya Haridas Thakur chanted a fixed number of rounds. He chanted 3 lakh holy names of the Lord daily. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also accepted prasada only in such homes where there are lakhpati grhasta devotees, meaning those devotees who chanted 1 lakh holy names.
Material persons always say that when they have free time, then they will go to Vrindavan, go to temple, read Gita and Bhagavatam. We don’t have time to die. I remember once Radha Govind Swami Maharaja was saying that people say we will chant if we get free time. He was saying that devotees should think in the opposite way of the general masses - if we get time from chanting, Deity worship, reading Bhagavatam then we will work. Actually this is a straight forward thought. What is the work of ISKCON? It is dharma samsthapanarthaya. We are part of ISKCON. We have to give importance to this spiritual engagement. We have to give secondary priority wherever we are serving. Our acaryas have done it this way.
Once Caitanya Mahaprabhu sent Jagannatha prasada to Srila Haridas Thakur. He accepted only a little prasada as his chanting was not completed. Initially he said,"How can I eat prasada? My chanting is still left." But then he just honoured some prasada.
He chanted pure holy names, without offences and nama abhasa. Srila Haridas Thakur is exemplary for us. We have such foremost examples for ourselves. We pray at his lotus feet that we can chant pure holy names, without offences nama abhasa.