“This Zoom conference is a revolution in chanting japa in ISKCON” – Gurudev announced to a group of 307 participants at ISKCON Pune on 6 February 2019.
It all began in South Africa after Gurudev’s visit to the United States where HH Hanumant Prekshak Swami was using a conferencing facility to chant with his disciples. On 10 December 2018, at a disciples retreat at the Sri Krishna Goshala, Gurudev sat with a team of devotees and brainstormed the possibility of a similar application. It was here, on this sacred land that the idea of Zoom Let’s Chant Together emerged.
Gurudev was so completely enthused with the idea that this facility became operational within two days and the “Let’s Chant Together” sessions commenced. When Gurudev landed in Mauritius, “Zoom Let’s Chant Together” was fully functional.
By mid-January, United States, Australia, Middle East, South Africa, Reunion Island, Mauritius, Mexico, Ukraine, Russia, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Hungary, Canada, France, and participants from various countries were chanting with HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja via Zoom.
To date, some 400 devotees have joined this project (many more as devotees also chant in groups). The “Zoom Let’s Chant Together” chanting with Gurudev has enlivened devotees about chanting. It has made them more conscious of each chant through breathing techniques and ideas of how to remember and chant, how to sit, how to chant in a state of emergency, how to invoke the intelligence to manage the mind and how not to listen to the mind, but to the chanting.
Gurudev’s lectures at the end of each session are extraordinarily special as it calls on each individual to attentive chanting. The final section of the chanting allows us to reflect deeply into the act of chanting where Gurudev engages us through spiritual injunctions and quotations.
Many devotees are now listening to Gurudev’s chanting while driving to work, cooking, while fulfilling their Deity worship, during their lunch or tea breaks at work. A transcription of the talk is also made available in English, Hindi and Russian. In many way Gurudev’s chanting has become omnipresent – present all over the place, all pervasive and worldwide.