4 April 2020
Devotees should chant in association
Gaur Hari! Don't say just Hari Hari, say Gaur Hari. Because Gaur is Hari. Krsna and Rama are also Hari. Jaya Jaya Rama Krsna Hari. Now chanting is taking place from 860 locations. All of you are witnesses to 1,000 participants. Haribol. In this Zoom conference a maximum of 1,000 participants are allowed. Maybe many more devotees were ready to participate, but the system does not allow it. This Japa and Japa talk is continuing for a year and a quarter. Earlier only 10 participants were there. Now it becomes 1000.
Today it is Kamada Ekadasi. Kamada Ekadasi means wish-fulfilling Ekadasi. And it has fulfilled the desire of mine and yours to achieve a score of 1000. We were waiting for this Kamada Ekadasi so that our desire for increasing the participants can be fulfilled. Our desire is fulfilled. The Lord is pleased when more and more devotees come together and chant and do sankirtana (congregational chanting). Congregational chanting is important in this yuga. Sankirtana means samyak prakarena kirtana. Sankirtana means to come together in larger numbers as much as possible and chant carefully, lovingly and with concentration. This type of kirtana is called Sankirtana - the more the merrier. It is beneficial as we chant in association. Maya catches us when we are alone. It's better not to be alone. Maya divides and rules. This is the strategy of Maya. She isolates us and then comes the thought for sense enjoyment.
kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
As soon as we forget Kṛṣṇa and we want to do things for our sense gratification, that is māyā. And as soon as we give up this process of sense gratification and do everything for Kṛṣṇa, that is liberation. [Prema-vivarta by Jagadānanda Paṇḍita]
Hence it has been said :
'sādhu-saṅga', 'sādhu-saṅga'—sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya
Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sādhu-saṅga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and by acting for Kṛṣṇa. Specifically, chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra purifies one, and this chanting is therefore recommended by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.[ CC Madhya 22.54]
Hence devotees sit in circles in the temple to chant Japa and Maya is kept out.
'strī-saṅgī'—eka asādhu, 'kṛṣṇābhakta' āra
To remain unattached to the modes of material nature, one should avoid associating with those who are asat, materialistic. There are two kinds of materialists. One is attached to women and sense gratification, and the other is simply a nondevotee. On the positive side is association with mahātmās, and on the negative side is the avoidance of nondevotees and women-hunters. [CC Madhya 22.87]
We should avoid associating with asat. This is sadachar. Devotees should chant in association. They can chant in the temple with many devotees or husband-wife can chant together or youths can chant together. As we start chanting…
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
… and hear, then there should be smaranam and mananam then thoughts related to the Lord will come. While chanting we shouldn't become thoughtless like sunyavadis or Mayavadis who keep on thinking about impersonalism. As we are Vaisnavas, when we chant and hear then thoughts should come in our memory.
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) — these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. [SB 7.5.23].
The result of the nine kinds of devotional service is vishnoh smaranam. Smaranam of Visnu is the result. Remembering Rama or Krsna or Gauranga is remembering Visnu Tattva only.
When we do Japa and there is smaranam and kirtanam of the names of Hari then our attention should go towards Krsna. It may go towards Radha also. It should go towards the qualities of Krsna. The name of the Lord should remind us of the qualities and form of the Lord. Krsna is blackish just like the cloud. As I chant many thoughts come in my mind one after another. From the name, we remember form, qualities, pastimes. To play His pastimes the Lord needs associates and hence we need to remember them also. He needs Sakhas. For vatsalya bhav He needs a father and mother. Not only do we need to remember Yasoda and Nanda Baba, but also we need to remember the elderly persons of Vraj. When we remember vatsalya bhav then we should remember them. If we are remembering Radha Krsna then the Astasakhis also should be remembered. Friends of Krsna, cows, should also be remembered.
There are 9 lakhs cows. They have different names and colours. Remembering Krsna's cows means remembering Krsna. We can remember the dust at the feet of Krsna or the Lord's venu, murali. Dhenu is also there to remember. All this comes under Krsna consciousness. Dhama can also be remembered. Dhama is non-different from the Lord. It is the internal potency of the Lord in the form of Balarama. That's the reason we don't wear shoes when we do Parikrama in the dhama as it is Balarama. This understanding has to be there as it comes under the internal potency of the Lord. There are unlimited topics related to the Lord to be remembered while chanting. As Lord is Ananta, His glories are unlimited and are being sung since time immemorial. Hence Lord is Anantasesa. His glories never end. Prabhupada said that remembering the glories of the Lord is essential. After sravanam and kirtanam there should be Visnu smaranam. There should not be a zero after sravanam and kirtanam. Without sravanam we can't remain alive. We remember the Lord as we chant. We were not remembering the Lord earlier. The world remembers Maya and we remember Krsna. This is the difference.
dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ
kāmāt krodho ’bhijāyate
While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment, lust develops, and from lust anger arises. [ BG 2.62]
As we remember objects or topics of the world we start to worry. We become anxious when we think and read the topics related to Coronavirus. We worry and get bound by it. The goal of chanting is to remember the Lord. This is a practice to remember the Lord.
yato yato niscalati
manas cancalam asthiram
tatas tato niyamyaitad
atmany eva vasam nayet
From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.[ BG 6.26]
The mind always flickers being attached to the worldly things. It runs towards various objects of senses and desires to enjoy them. Then Maya captures us. At the time of Japa, we need to think that this is not the time to remember sounds or the soft body of the opposite sex or forms or many rasas. There are many rasas such as fine wine. The smell is also there as the world is full of foul smells and to think that which is not there, then there is Maya. Jiva doesn't know the eternal smell. Lord's form has a good fragrance. When will we be attracted to that smell? As we chant we need to keep out thoughts of sadba, sparsha, rupa, rasa, gandha of this world. Hare and Krishna are not words of this world. They are transcendental. Krsna does not belong to this world although the world belongs to Him. He eternally stays in the dhama.
One devotee from Malaysia would chant and as soon as a thought of Maya or sense enjoyment came to him then he would put a mark on a piece of paper with a pencil. He would check this on Ekadasi. We keep telling you that Ekadasi is the day of introspection. In this way, this devotee from Malaysia would see whether the number of marks is reducing or not so that one day he may not have to pen a single mark.
Before stopping the Japa talk I would like to mention that today is the Vyasa puja Day of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja.
The celebration is taking is taking place with very few devotees due to this Coronavirus issue. All his disciples are celebrating this Vyasa puja in their respective homes, as well as in temples. He has 30 to 40 thousand disciples. All are celebrating his Vyasa Puja and I would encourage you to also celebrate this Vyasa puja.
You must have noted that Maharaja’s birthday is on Ekadasi. Gopal Krishna Maharaja’s is also on Ekadasi and mine also. We all have birthdays on Ekadasi. Jayapataka Swami Maharaj and I were born in the same year, 1949. Jayapataka Swami Maharaja is a few months older than me. Age wise Jayapataka Swami Maharaja is a few months older than me, but when it comes to knowledge, experience and maturity he is much more mature and experienced.
He has the special mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Gaurang Mahaprabhu. He joined Srila Prabhupada’s movement in 1968 in Canada. There’s one very famous thing which is being talked about. When he was a newly initiated devotee he would chant with a loud voice, not only in ashram or temple but outside also. Since he chanted loudly people complained to the police that he is causing nuisance and disturbing the peace.
When Srila Prabhupada came to know about this, Srila Prabhupada decided to send him to India specifically to Mayapur as no one will complain about his loud chanting. When Srila Prabhupada came to know about this behaviour Srila Prabhupada decided to send Jayapataka Swami Maharaja to India, specifically to Mayapur as no one will complain about his loud chanting. At that time he was not a swami. He is one of the oldest sannyasi disciples. Acyutananda Swami Maharaja was also sent to India. But Jayapataka Swami Maharaj is the first one to be sent. Then he became GBC and was given services of Mayapur. Srila Prabhupada also has given him the responsibility of TOVP
I love Jayapataka Swami Maharaja. When I was a younger there used to both love and hate. But now there is only love. Not only like, but I also love him. May my love for my god brothers such as Jayapataka Swami Maharaja keep on increasing! I pray for this.
Jayapataka Swami Maharaja expands this movement even though his body is not so well. He is very active and remains busy. Though some of us miss the meetings, he never does. Jayapataka Maharaja is miraculous. And wherever there is a miracle, one needs to offer obeisances.
kripa-sindhubhya eva cha
vaishnavebhyo namo namaha
I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord. They are just like desire trees who can fulfill the desires of everyone, and they are full of compassion for the fallen conditioned souls.
Now I'll keep on chanting. You may also chant by making circles.