9th June 2019
Chant with focus and concentration
Today we have 586 participants, 17 from Nashik road, we must spread the word around. We must get more devotees from Nashik and Nashik road. Noida has 45 participants, Mauritius has 45 participants, and numbers have dropped. I don’t see so many on the screen. Numbers are dropping. In Mauritius there were several hundred devotees, so please pass the message, and take advantage of this opportunity. I am happy to see all of you here doing japa.
“Jyot se jyot jagate chalo. Prem ki ganga bahate chalo.”
You could ask others to join, you are fired up you could touch other prabhus and lit them up, wake them up. That’s all meaning of “jyot se jyot jagate chalo, prem ki ganga bahate chalo.” Let the Ganga of prem flow and let everyone take advantage of this. Let everyone be part of it. Let everyone drown and absorbed in drinking the nectar of the holy name.
So, I think today must be Sunday, number is smaller under 600. Today less participants, so it is understood that it’s Sunday.
”jiva jago ,jiva jago gaurachandra bole”
Gauranga is calling jiva jago, body is awake now awaken the soul. We wake up and we just never sleep. The body needs sleep, because we work hard for Krishna (laughs), body is resting, maybe for 6 hours. Prabhupada also says about 6 hours sleep. Elderly people sleep for 6 hours but the soul is not sleeping. When we have rested, the body wakes up, the soul is ready to go again to serve Krsna. He is ready to attend mangal arati, chant our rounds and the soul is now awake, it is nourished.
Once we wake up we are searching, maybe something in the past, someone wakes you up, shakes you up, or you come into contact with a devotee or spiritual master.
om ajyana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri guruve namah
Spiritual master is waking you up giving you ‘jnananjan’, some knowledge. Uttishta Jagrata, the vedic statement also says. Once you are spiritually woken up, you should stay awake, become Krishna conscious, chanting and doing other devotional practices.
I see many of you sleeping while chanting, chanting half mantra and then sleeping for 30 seconds or sometimes longer. And then you wake up and start chanting again. So, you have not really woken up? You are not chanting in full consciousness. Yesterday we made reference to the archer, how the whole activity of chanting is compared to the shooting or an archer. How he holds his bow, how he is focused. He poises his body, his mind, and soul to focus on his target. So, we need to practice our chanting and be focused, chanter is the jiva and is the archer and the arrow is the body, mind and intelligence. Target is the Lord’s abode, Lord’s lotus feet. The atma, the archer, the soul reaches back to Godhead. This is a wonderful illustration, chanter follows the example of the archer, just copy him, look at him how he is focused and his concentration.
Yesterday after the japa talk we continued the discussion here with the devotees chanting with me in Nagpur, talking about the archer. The archer he is holding the arrow in his hand, fixes it to the bow and then pulls the string from the back with all his strength, he must be focused and conscious to perform this action, he cannot be distracted from the target. Then he shoots. So, one archer can be totally focused.
And another archer he does archery with no concentration, he does everything mechanically, no focus. He may just carry the bow and arrow not doing anything. Some of us can be compared to this archer, we perform the act of chanting only for the sake of doing it, chanters just hold the japa mala, moving back and forth, relaxed mood, watching television, engaging in gossip, reading the newspaper while chanting, this is not what Bhagavatam is teaching. Our acaryas have not taught us like this. It is not like the ideal archer.
We get instructions from the scriptures and sastras like viddhi - you do this and nishedha- don’t do that. When King Parikshit in the very beginning as soon as he met Shukadeva Goswami he enquired.
yac chrotavyam atho japyaṁ
yat kartavyaṁ nṛbhiḥ prabho
smartavyaṁ bhajanīyaṁ vā
brūhi yad vā viparyayam [SB 1.19.38]
He wants to know, what we should worship? And what we should not worship? What should we chant? And what we should not chant? What should we do? And what we should not do? Tell me, what is right and what is wrong.
Be like the ideal archer in action that is how you should be, this is the “do part”; what we are talking about here today is the don’t part. Unfortunately, we do not have much time now, just started the topic, what not to do. How to chant, things not to do while chanting and chanting should not be done in this way.
Few years ago, the devotees did a drama in the Krishna Balarama hall in Vrindavan, they depicted one character, one mataji on her style of chanting, and they demonstrated this on stage. This mataji she could never sit and chant. She was all over the place chanting, and whilst chanting she was very busy doing other stuff. While chanting if the phone rang, she would drop the chanting and answer the call. She had this big bead bag, in the bead bag her keys would be there, the phone and all little accessories. The bead bag was like a little office, everything will go in there, letters, telephone bills etc. She would be really busy and very distracted whilst chanting. She would chant, snik snik hare hare.
So, this group chanting is helpful, we get you all to sit down on the asana and chant. So, if you join this conference there is no chance of chanting casually like the lady in the drama.
Devotees are also writing to share their experience, realizations and benefits of this group chanting. So, we should take advantage of this conference. There is this devotee from America Hardik Patel, he used to be chanting like that moving from here to there. I got him to sit down and focus. Once you sit down to chant, you have more control better vibes. More focused. Many of you are writing about the benefits of this group chanting, no time to read all now, but I will read it.
The lady we talked about is like a gossip manager, can open a dialogue in the middle of chanting, just like that I could see some devotees from Nashik having a chat. That mataji from the drama, using her chanting bag as an office, used to mechanically chant, not focused. So, one day while chanting she looked in her bag for her japa mala, there was no beads there, she lost her beads. You can just imagine the style of chanting, her mind, and intelligence just chanting with no concentration- she did not realize the beads were no longer there. No focus, she was lost.
Between yesterday and today we tried to demonstrate the right way of chanting like the archer, not like the lady who lost her beads. The do’s and the don’ts. Chant with focus and concentration.