I am in Sri Sri Radha-Vrndavancandra Temple which is full of devotees chanting. Today we will conclude early, as I have to give Bhagavatam class.
What can I say? Keep chanting. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘kirtaniya sada hari’. But before saying this he also said that which is explained in one of the purports of Siksastakam - in such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly. Before we started Japa this morning there was a recitation of Siksastakam which is done in many other temples also.
I am recommending that you also to do so. By reciting it try to imbibe the spirit of Siksastakam, study purports of Siksastakam. It is Siksa - astaka. means eight instructions. They are instructions given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu about chanting. param vijayate sri krsna sankirtanam) (Siksastakam - verse 1) While chanting also you can take one of the stakes and meditate and contemplate on what Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is saying in that. Meditate on the purport of the Siksastakam commentaries of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur as well as Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur. They both have written commentaries on Siksastakam. So while chanting humility is required - trinadapi sunicena (Siksastakam - verse 3) and tolerance is required - tarorapi sahishnuna…. (Siksastakam - verse 3) so that you could chant. You can do kirtaniya sada hari. Or amanina manden kirtaniya sada hari.
(Siksastakam - verse 3) You have to honor the devotees. That's a positive thing. Normally we care or respect ourselves, but who cares or respects other devotees. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that if you wish to chant all the time kirtaniya sada hari, then you have to respect devotees, honor them , serve them. By doing this you will not be offending them and be free from Vaisnava aparadh, which is a big stumbling block on the path of chanting. So amanina manden kirtaniya sada hari.
Take one verse and meditate while you are chanting Hare Krishna. In the last chapter of Caitanya Caritamrita, you will find the Siksastakam. There it is mentioned that Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to have sleepless nights. It was difficult for him to sleep. How could you sleep when you are remembering the Lord. So much Krishna conscious that there was no question of sleeping. So he would stay awake all night long and each night, he would take one verse from the Siksastakam and dive deeper into the meaning of that verse. The whole night he would contemplate and immerse himself in one verse of Siksastakam. He would chant - ‘Krishna Krishna , where are you Krishna?’ Hare Krishna Hare Krishna is also reciting, remembering and contemplating on the Siksastakam. There are no hard and fast rules , but that's the practice. Abhyasen you kauntay vairagyen ch gruhyate. ( B.G. 6.35) So do the ‘ abhyasa’ over again and again and again. That's the practice. Also ‘ vairagyen’ , Krsna said in Bhagavad-Gita that by chanting over again and again there has to be spirit of detachment. When there is attachment to Krsna then only you could detach. Try to attach yourself to the Holy name. You have to attach to Krsna, Krsna's name , form , qualities and pastimes. You relish this attachment then instantly or simultaneously detachment takes place. We are practicing to get attached to Krishna, so keep chanting.
This morning before chanting Rasaraj Prabhuji who is also bureau member was discussing that the soul chants and not the tongue. The tongue is flesh. What makes the tongue chant is the soul. The soul is a chanter. The ears can't hear if the soul’s participation is not there. The tongue is not the chanter and ear is not the listener, but it is the soul who chants and hears. Remember the soul’s full participation is there in chanting and hearing also. Do the attentive chanting, remembering that the soul is chanting and the super soul is the witness and listener. He listens to your chanting.
Attention is very important while chanting. Chanters are atmas, the souls. Chant with devotion and then meditate on it. That is Devotion. Bhakti unites Bhakta and Bhagwan. Bhakta is connected with Bhagwan through the process of attentive chanting