26th July 2019
I will only HEAR as I CHANT
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna!
I wish you all well with your endeavor to chant with attention during this japa conference. So, ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna’ so, when you begin chanting, you have to ''Now, I am only going to chant’ thought like that. I was also thinking ‘I will only hear chanting, as I am now sitting and chanting during this session’. I want to only hear '' Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna" chanting, nothing else. And, then I also want to only think of Sri Krishna. Of course, you have to think of Sri Krishna’s devotees and like that.
So, I had this thought at the beginning of chanting session this morning. I thought this is a good thought or this could be the thought every time as we begin chanting. ‘Now I am only going to hear ''Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna" and as I hear, I chant and hear, and I am going to only think in relationship with what am I hearing’. What am I hearing? I am hearing '' Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.”
What does that mean, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna? So, there are meanings of ‘Hare’ and meaning of ‘Krishna’. So, these names are meaningful. So, we should begin our session of chanting like that; with a thought like that. Some kind of determination like that. So Gauranga, so we have to endeavor with great determination throughout our chanting session, our chanting time period, to make sure we are thinking. We are hearing Krishna and then we are thinking about Krishna and we have to make sure we are doing this as we say ‘Savadhani purvak japa, dhyana purvak japa’ chanting full of concentration, meditation.
Some of you are sleeping also, I was noticing. So that wasn't with attention. You are looking like you are 'concentrating', or 'meditating', 'focused', but you are full of darkness, ignorance that you are focusing on. And you are not even aware that you are not hearing; of course, you are also not chanting as you are sleeping and you are not making endeavor also, to wake you up. Or you are making some endeavor from time to time after every one minute. Probably you are realizing that you are sleeping, sitting and sleeping, and chanting, and making some endeavor. But that endeavor has to be at every moment, every second, or fraction of a second. "Am I up? Am I awake? Am I hearing?"
So, if we are sleeping from time to time or dozing off, that means we are not chanting, we are not hearing. But again, even if we are not sleeping, we are chanting. But then again, we may still not be hearing. We are doing "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna" and the chanting is going on and we may not be aware that I am sitting and chanting Hare Krishna. Some chanting is going on automatically as a routine, but we may not be hearing what we are chanting, so that is also another kind of sleeping. Our mind is asleep or our mind is busy thinking something, our mind is going elsewhere. Again, we are not listening, not hearing ‘Hare Krishna’. So, in this case, we are chanting but we are not attentive, our mind is not attentive. Our mind is busy elsewhere thinking of whatever.
So, there are two levels of not hearing, one is; you are sleeping, so you are not chanting and then are not hearing. That is one. The other one is, you are not sleeping, you are awake. You are chanting, but your mind is preoccupied with something else. Some other thoughts and then you are not hearing your chanting. Chanting is going on, but you are not hearing Krishna, you are hearing something else, or you are hearing maya; or thinking or contemplating on some objects of senses, or a million things mind could think of other than Krishna. So many topics.
Sahastrashaha. Take note of this. Two kinds of inattentiveness; while really sleeping and the other one is not sleeping but still not hearing; not being attentive because your mind is elsewhere. So,
jīv jāgo, jīv jāgo, gauracānda bole
kota nidrā jāo māyā-piśācīra kole
You have heard this Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s song. Of course, that’s why he wrote this meaningful, thoughtful song. Also, what is Bhaktivinoda Thakur talking here in this song? He is saying,
jīv jāgo, jīv jāgo
Wake up sleeping soul, Wake up sleeping soul.
Gauranga is calling, "Oh soul, wake up".
So, here Gaurachandra is calling the soul, atma. So, there are two kinds of wake-up call. So first we have to wake our body up. 'Wake up body, wake up body, oh body wake up’. There is an alarm clock that rings, or someone knocks at the door, "Prabhu, time to get up. Time for japa session. Please get up, please get up". So, there's one waking up of the body. That’s nice. But then again, we sit down for chanting, and again we sleep. So, again we have to wake our body up. 'Wake up body, wake up body'. Okay, so now we are woken up, we are not in bed. We are in sitting posture with japa mala in hand and we have to make sure we are not sleeping again. So that waking up we have to do and so waking up body, waking up mind also.
We have to wake up our mind. Mind maybe sleeping or mind may be just ignoring the call of Gauranga. Our mind may be just ignoring, ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna’ is going on, but as they say in English, it is falling on the deaf ear. Deaf person, whatever you say he just doesn’t listen, doesn't understand, because cannot understand, cannot hear, cannot listen. He is deaf. Our mind could also be deaf like that. Mouth is saying "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna." But that "Hare Krishna" utterance is falling on the deaf ears of mind. Mind is not hearing. Mind is sleeping or mind is busy or preoccupied. So, we have to wake up the mind also. Make mind aware, "This is the time, chanting is happening, this is chanting session, I am saying 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna', so you take note of this, oh mind, and think of Krishna, oh mind." So, this waking up is at least at these two levels. Waking up the body, we have to make sure, body is awake. While we are sitting and chanting, we are not sleeping. And again, our mind is not sleeping, mind is not ignoring chanting, on the contrary, mind is absorbing, mind is absorbed in hearing and chanting. Mind is taking note and it is getting registered, this chanting, in the mind, or on the mind. And if that happens and we are thinking it will happen.
Thinking, Feeling, Willing; these are the functions of the mind. If the mind has heard Hare Krishna, then mind will begin thinking and there will be some feelings and there will be willing. ''Krishna willing", ''Krishna's will", will be executed or you will think of Krishna.
Hare Krishna, Gauranga!
Anyway, we are repeating. Repetition is also sometimes necessary. We have to watch our mind. And who will watch the mind? The intelligence will watch the mind. Intelligence has to keep an eye on the mind. Is my mind hearing now or mind is not hearing? Or mind is gone elsewhere, gone here, gone there. Intelligence has to instruct the mind, drag the mind back and focus again or get mind busy again with hearing. Mouth is chanting, but you may not be hearing. Chanting is happening, but hearing is not happening, because your mind is not into hearing.
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ, and then viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ (SB 7.5.23)
Remembrance is outcome or consequence of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ. So, while chanting, maybe our mouthis busy chanting. Maybe it is a routine thing, maybe it is going on. Kirtan is going but shravan is not happening because mind is not hearing, mind is elsewhere. So, intelligence, we will have to sharp intelligence. Divine intelligence, God has given intelligence we need, so that we could analyze the situation and take note that mind is not into listening. Mind is here, mind is in the shopping mall, mind is in the kitchen, mind is here, mind is there, mind is not hearing, and intelligence will have to take note of this and again drag the mind and engage mind in hearing.
Chanting was happening, but hearing was not happening, because, mind was not hearing. Mechanically chanting, the lips were uttering. Mechanically chanting because we are not aware, conscious and then we are not thinking that utterance is happening. But then utterance was going on, kirtan was going on, but we are not hearing because mind was not there.
So, intelligence is another faculty, another part of our being, another God given element. Mind is also one element and mind is controlled, governed, trained, tamed by intelligence factor. So, this is a job of intelligence to make sure chanting is happening, hearing is happening, and mind is also doing the thinking of Krishna. Intelligence has a big role, dominant role to play during the chanting session and throughout our life, day and night; the intelligence has a role play. Especially we have to use our intelligence to keep an eye on the mind that mind is not ignoring chanting but hearing, chanting and remembering Lord. Hari Hari.
So, this is sadhana bhakti, every morning, every day. We chant our prescribed number of rounds on japa chanting. But this has to be done scientifically. The outcome of scientific or proper chanting is remembrance of the Lord or meditative chanting. So, this has to be practiced. Not that we are just sitting around. So, we are not sleeping part of the time, waking up occasionally from time to time or even if we are up, we are chanting but not hearing because you have no intelligence, you are not praying for intelligence, you have not sharpened your tool. Intelligence is also an element, a tool. We have to sharpen our tool. So, we have to have sharp intelligence and of course that sharpening can happen all day, all night. We sharpen our intelligence, develop, cultivate our intelligence, become intelligent, beg for intelligence from the Lord. Hari Hari!
Nourish your intelligence, become intelligent and then use, employ, engage that sharp and divine intelligence during chanting session and during all activities, all other kinds of devotional services also that are to be performed under the supervision of the intelligence. So be intelligent.
jei krishna bhaje
sei bada chatur
One who is serving Krishna, is very chatur, is very smart, very intelligent and you have to be that kind of intelligent person so that you could also chant with attention, with concentration, with devotion, with meditation.
So, we pray, Lord give all of us that kind of intelligence. So, keep chanting with more and more concentration, attention and of course avoiding offences. If you are not intelligent, you will not avoid offences. Less intelligent people always commit offences. So, you also have to be very intelligent person to avoid offences; so that we could chant offencelessly.
Few minutes ago, we had upto 650 participants. I am happy with the bigger number of participants. At least towards the end we had bigger number of participants. It’s nice.
So, we will stop here and will continue talking and chanting in future.
See you tomorrow.