30 SEPTEMBER 2019
HEAR WITH THE MIND!
I welcome you all. I hope you had a good time chanting and enjoyed the chanting and that you are satisfied with your chanting. I hope so and we pray for your happy chanting.
Attentive, meditative chanting is real chanting and that is what we wish to practice on during this japa conference. Ultimately we do not hear with the ear, but with the mind. We do not see with the eyes, but seeing is more complete when the mind is involved. So we see with the mind and like that all the senses are connected with the mind. They all report to the mind.
What we are hearing as we are chanting has to be heard by the mind and if the mind is hearing then we call that attentive chanting. So attentive chanting means the mind has taken note of what you are chanting and what you are hearing. The mind is registering thinking, observing , hearing, listening. It is not mindless or absent minded. Some call this is a very subtle topic. Mind is very subtle to understand.
When we talk of the mind a lot of subtle things are involved. There is something called oblivious to the surrounding. Lots of times we are so
absorbed in thinking of something, we are anticipating something. Then although a lot of things are happening and a lot of actions are going around, our mind doesn't perceive that because we are oblivious to the surrounding.
Like that we should also become oblivious to what is around us while we are chanting. We have to think only of Krsna, remember Krsna. As we hear we should become oblivious to the surroundings and become absorbed in thinking about Krsna, remembering Krsna and be engrossed in remembering His names and following His pastimes.
One time Buddha was asked if he saw some lady passing by. His response was that maybe someone had passed by, but he could not say whether it
was a lady or a gentleman, whether she wearing a blue saree or was he wearing a white dhoti. “I don't know. I didn't pay attention.” Buddha was not sleeping nor were his eyes closed. He was observed in meditating and he did not pay attention to what was going around. He was just absorbed in meditation. So that is one example. In Bhagavatam there is an example of Avadhuta Dattatreya. He had 24 gurus and one of his guru was a lohar, a blacksmith who was sharpening arrows. He was sharpening the arrow and he was totally absorbed in sharpening the arrow, fully attentive and totally unaware of surroundings. When he was asked some time ago if he had seen a big grand procession had passed by here, he responded, “I didn't see grand procession. Hare Krishna Nagar sankirtan has passed few kilometres long, but he said I didn't see. I didn't hear anything.” Why? Because he was observed in what he was doing , sharpening of the arrow. He didn't take note of anything around. So this Avadhuta Dattatreya said, “You are my guru. I make you my guru. Oh arrow sharpener, how attentively you are sharpening.”
We also have to absorb ourselves in this kind of activity and in our case we must be absorbed in chanting. So that's the goal as to how we should approach chanting - attention on hearing like that sharpener. His mind was fixed in what he was doing. We had to hear, the mind has to hear. I am trying to point out that its not the ear that hears but the mind. We say be attentive, pay attention or chant attentively. What is it?
It says our mind has to be attentive. The tongue has already uttered the holy name. The tongue has done its job. It will reach the ear unless there is a mind that is paying attention to what is entering the ear and what it is hearing. We will not hear our chanting. Unless the minds involvement is there we are not going to do attentive chanting. Your attention has to be on hearing what the tongue has uttered
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Sound vibration as it enters into the ear the mind has to not only hear but on the other hand immediately capture and registered that. Then the mind has to be there and should not be going off. If mind is busy elsewhere or already sleeping then we will not hear. If we have an attentive, alert mind then it is ready to hear. In the ear there is a provision to hear. The ear is the tunnel through which sound which has been uttered enters and passes through but at the end of the tunnel we can say there is the mind. Hearing is not going to happen, if there is no mind. What can influence us? We are influenced by what is around us at any given point in time. That is one thing. And what else? Always there is something that we had gone through yesterday or the night before or the year before. We went through some experience.
We are shopping. We enjoyed this. So the mind also enjoyed that so it is also going to revisit these places. Your mind and the things that are not around - distant places, distant country , distant people, this and that is going to be coming to you in your mind. This happens all the time and we are busy with that. That keeps our mind busy. You will have to think how to improve your chanting. You will chant with attention and if you take these things seriously you could improve your chanting. Accordingly, I think this kind of topic dhyan purvak japa or attentive chanting is related to offence less chanting. We had routine chanting. We have a ritual that everyday we had to work harder and harder on the mind and sharpen the intelligence so that we really enjoy and our atma become prasanna , satisfied.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy or make our souls happy. Our mind is always busy 24 hours a day with sankalpa vikalpa, mind accepts something,
rejects something. All the time:
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally
disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me. (BG 18.54)
A Krishna conscious person’s atma is prasannatma. He is self satisfied by chanting and by attentive chanting, pure chanting suddha nama ucaran. Now my mind is prasan, happy and now it is not doing na socati na kanksati, not lamenting not hankering. So this way we lament for something, for this, that again a person is busy na socati na kanksati lamenting, hankering - “I want to get this that I don't have.
This kind of business to stop the mind from hankering and lamenting - sankalp , vikalp - accepting something ,rejecting something. 24 hours we are busy. Our mind is busy. We need to work on training our mind and that is attained by practice, purifying our mind by attentive chanting. In order to succeed we should endeavour to do attentive chanting. We should endeavour day in and day out . You want to be prasannatma. You want to be happy but then it is harer nama eva kevalam in order to become prasannatma. There is no other way. One is chanting Hare Krishna and only way in fact ultimately is attentive chanting. hat will make us happy. Make some kind of routine that will not make us happy if we are not
chanting. Mundane thoughts that will not make us happy, pray to become happy by attentive chanting and make extra effort.