5th August 2019
Harer Namaiva Kevalam
I meant to chant and record this for you so that you know we chanted here, for tomorrow morning’s chanting time in India. But then I decided to let the world know that I'm chanting right now, right here in Los Angeles on Sunday the fourth of August. Today is also ratha yatra. As the world wants to chant, many of you have joined.
As a result, I'm seeing new faces. Normally Indian time is not convenient for them to chant. So for these devotees this will be more convenient. I see Gauranga in London chanting, and others are chanting. So, here's what we will do; Everyday, I chant as per my convenience during my world tour. We will let you know, possibly in advance. If not, when I'm about to begin chanting, we will notify you and if it is convenient for you, you can also chant with us, with me. Devotees could chant some more rounds and then hear the japa talk after they have chanted their rounds. And then again , this recording will be made available at 05:30 or by 6 in the morning. 6 to 7 in the morning is fine.
I think it's clear what I'm trying to communicate to all of you, the chanters, especially those who would be on this conference and the translator who would do this during my travels in the West. I think it would be best to talk in English for others to benefit. It can also be translated. What I'm speaking is not exactly japa talk so my words of inspiration for you all today is to keep chanting.
There will be lots of Kirtana during Jagannatha Ratha-yatra. The one thing I was thinking that you should take note of is that we do kirtana in the morning, during the day and in the evening. There is a kirtana mela and we do kirtana. In Ratha-yatra we do kirtana. There is Sankirtana. We do kirtana and that must be done, but we also have to chant our 16 rounds and many more rounds. I chant for hours during kirtana or kirtana melas or other kirtanas. I never think, "Oh, I have done my chanting, I have done my duty, I have done my part, I have done singing and chanting of Hare Krishna and that's it," That is not the case. Besides the few times that I have mentioned in the past, I have never missed chanting my daily prescribed number of rounds. Of course, I chant more than my prescribed rounds. On top of all the kirtana I have always chanted my rounds. I do kirtana with mrdanga, kartal or harmonium, singing, dancing but I also chant my japa.
harer namaiva kevalam is the principal - chanting of the Lord’s name is the only way and there is no other way, no other way, no other way. Chanting is the only way. This has to be understood and then one may think, "Why do Ratha-yatra? Why do Deity worship? Why do pada sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dasayam, sakhyam, atmanivedanam? Why do other processes?
Only harer namaiva kevalam.The deeper meaning of this harer namaiva kevalam has been explained by Jiva Goswami. The meaning is that the other processes also have to be followed - arcanam and vandanam,dasayam, sakhyam, atmanivedanam. But all the processes should be accompanied by the chanting of the holy names of the Lord.
Ratha-yatra is arcanam. The Deities are taken on a procession. They circumambulate the temple in many, many places. This happens especially with the small utsava vigraha Deities. Utsava means festival. They are taken on a procession in Tirupati and many other places, in ISKCON also. In Mayapur, every Saturday, there is what they call an elephant procession. Radha Madhava ride on the back of the elephant and They go on the procession. That is arcanam. During Jagannatha Ratha-yatra, the Lord goes on a big tour. He travels a long distance riding on the chariot. That arcanam, that Ratha-yatra is complete when it is accompanied by the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. So, that is harer namaiva kevalam. Harinama has to be there, especially with Deity worship.
Deity worship with Harinama or singing the glories of the Lord is a ritual, but the Gaudiya Vaisnavas have to understand this harer namaiva kevalam principle. Along with arcanam, Deity worship, Ratha-yatra is part of arcanam. It's worshipping of Jaganntha by bringing Them on a tour in a town, where He is going from Dwaraka to Vrndavana. Devotees are bringing Him to Vrndavana. That procession is accompanied by the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. No process that we follow or conduct is complete without chanting of Hare Krishna. Hare Krishna has to be there.
By the chanting of Hare Krishna along with the other devotional services, sravanam kirtanam, sravanam is one bhakti and kirtanam is another bhakti, smaranam is another bhakti. Like that there are 6 more bhaktis or processes of devotional service. Specially, in this age of Kali, we chant while following other processes and then that process becomes complete. In the sense it becomes free from flaw or defect. We may be doing something wrong, something incorrectly. That wrong is done right or is rectified and the rectification takes place as we chant Hare krsna. It is bound to have some flaws and some defects by following other processes. So, there is a statement of the Siddhanta and we want to bring your attention to that Siddhanta, The 8th canto 23rd chapter is the Vamana Dev episode. That had compound by Vaman Dev. He also wrote about circumstances in history where the performances of yajna is happening at the bank of Narmada. So, there these statements were declared.
8th canto 23rd chapter :
sarvam karoti nishchidram nama sankirtanam tava
Oh Lord, when Your names are chanted or the Hare Krishna mantra is chanted and some other mantras glorifying the Lord are also chanted, nama sankirtanam tava so they do sarvam karoti nishchidram . There are some kind of chidra, flaws , defects , loopholes and some shortcomings, following the process. That’s compensated, rectified by chanting the holy name of the Lord, nama sankirtanam tava. That kind of flaws or defects, and possibly there could be many, this is the age of "kalir dosh nidhir rajan" - this age of is full of faults, "dosh nidhir." So, some of the dosh here is "mantra taha, tantra taha, desh kalah vastuh taha." Here some items are mentioned. Mantra taha - maybe you are not chanting the right mantra or you are chanting the right mantra but you are chanting it incorrectly or you are not pronouncing it properly. Tantra taha - are the techniques while performing different devotional services or arcana, with so many rules, do's and don'ts. There is a whole tantra sastra. Techniques which have some flaw or defect in following the process. Desh kalah - may be the place or your location is wrong when you are doing such and such devotional activity. Desh Kalah - maybe the time is wrong. It is not the right muhurta or when we calculated maybe the calculation was wrong, or you did not even calculate and you are dong something. So, dosha kalah vastu kalah .
Vastuh taha - maybe items could be wrong - no pure ghee. They use dalda and a lot of things or ingredients could be faulty. So, vastu taha - all kind of vastu, all items, objects, materials, or samagri that are being used for yajna or Deity worship or this or that could be wrong. So, these are the chidra. karoti nishchidra - these faults, these shortcomings and mantra chanting or following the process or techniques, or the timing is wrong, the place is wrong, the items are faulty or they are contaminated. This is in the age of Kali and this can happen and we still have to achieve the goal.
And this can be the quote. We chant the holy names of the Lord
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
If this is done and as we hear from Sukadev Goswami kalir dosh nidhir rajan asti eka mahan gunah. This age of Kali has all faults, all defects, all loopholes, but there is one good thing, one good and powerful thing and that is the nama sankirtana. kalir dosh nidhir rajan asti eka mahan gunah. By chanting the holy names of the Lord, we get mukti. We become free from the bonds, flaws, attachment and whatever difficulties are there. We overcome or rectify these by chanting the holy names of the Lord. We all definitely bow down to the harer namaiva kevalam. Harinama has to be there - wherever we are and whatever we are doing before undertaking any activity or service. Hanth me kama , mukha me nama- You are doing different things with your hands, with your feet, with your mind, with other articles or with other people, there has to be mukha me nama, chanting has to be there. Then everything is fine and everything would be aligned, adjusted, rectified and we will achieve the desired result or goal. And do everything for the Lord and perform devotional service unto the Supreme Krsna, the Supreme Godhead.