4 June 2019
Reading and hearing about Lord helps us in chanting
Keep chanting and keep dancing, let your soul dance.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says,
nama nache jiva nache nache prema dhana
When there is chanting, the name is dancing, living entity is dancing, love of Godhead is dancing, everyone is dancing. Now if we could come to that stage of chanting or that evolution that sort of revival has taken place in our heart and soul, that our soul is chanting then we are free from all sort of distractions, totally, fully absorbed in our own world where singing soul is dancing and enjoying. If your soul is dancing whilst dancing the soul would not be thinking about anything else in the world, soul is enjoying chanting and dancing while chanting.
Your tongue must vibrate; you should be able to hear what you are chanting. So, when we are doing just kind of mental japa then we are kind of absorbed in so many other thoughts, absorbed in thinking and contemplating. So, in order to stop that, we need to say
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna and hear what we are saying and get our mind off from other thoughts which are going through our mind so distract our mind and get our mind to listen to the holy names instead of listening to other thoughts.
We always say that attentive chanting or dhyana purvak japa, so we have to be attentive while chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
Be attentive pay attention to Hare Krishna, if you are not saying how could you hear and be attentive. How could you do contemplation or meditation? Sometimes when we are at some function some VIPs are there, we check that who is attending to that person and making sure the VIP is taken care of. Who is giving him seat to sit, who is giving him drink who is attending him? So like that when we are chanting Hare Krishna, Krishna has come and we are attending to Krishna. Who is attending? We are attending. Our mind focused on that Krishna. So, when we chant, we are hearing, our mind is busy hearing that Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
So whatever different activities are done by our senses, all our senses connected with,
manah-sasthanindriyani [BG 15.7]
These six principle senses, all those senses- sense of touch, sense of hearing and seeing, they all do the reporting to the mind. The mind knows which sense is doing what, so as we say Hare Krishna Hare Krishna with our tongue, then that is a topic for mind to attend to or think about or be busy with.
So, we have been talking of this we have heard Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, these are not empty words, these are Persons, and these are Personality of Godhead. So, we hear Hare Krishna we are supposed to be hearing so much and everything reminding ourselves about Krishna. Whose name is Krishna? We are saying Hare Krishna Hare Krishna; question can arise is this someone’s name? Yes, this is of course Krishna’s name, then who is Krishna? How does He look like? Where does He stay? There could be hundreds and thousands of questions like these not only who is He? And answer to that question could be the whole world of the scriptures.
ādāv ante ca madhye ca hariḥ sarvatra gīyate [CC Ādi 7.131]
In the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the scriptures. As we chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna this results in Smaranam – we remember His form. Lord assumes different forms and they are so many beautiful forms, there are detailed description of these forms of the Lord. Then you are remembering the qualities of the Lord. There are 64 qualities and more qualities can be listed. There are so many topics to think about, Nama, Rupa, Guna and Lila. So, this chanting of Hare Krishna should remind us of all these topics and this is what we think and contemplate upon as we chant Hare Krishna and be absorbed in chanting.
You should also be reading Srila Prabhupada books, that is also sravanam, kirtanam and the smaranam.
nityam bhagavat sevaya
Shravanam is also there as we read Srila Prabhupada’s books or as we read Hari Katha that is also sravanam. And then we say what we heard is kirtanam and then smaranam or as we chant Hare Krishna, we will be reminded of what we read about Hari.
So, this also goes hand in hand or becomes helpful, that kind of studies hearing Hari Katha, nityam bhagavat sevaya, concentrating our minds focusing our minds that would give us a topic to think about when we say Hare Krishna.
Oh! That Krishna, He looks like this, these are His pastimes and He also appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He is Jagannath,
Jei Gaura sei Krishna sei Jagannath. They are non-different.
So, in order to be attentive and our mind focused on chanting, the reading and hearing of studies you do is very helpful. We will be more focused, more meditative in chanting. Otherwise we sit down for chanting we will be reminded of other things we have heard and read and that are worldly kind of things, all that has happened prior to chanting your previous days, all those thoughts are going to be hovering over. Me too, me too, think of me, what about me think about me too. So many things come to our mind and distract us.
So, one-time Dronacharya was teaching archery, how to use bow and arrow to his students, all the Pandavas and Kauravas in the forest. They were getting their lessons on how to hit the target. Dronacharya had hung one bird on the branch of a tree and his students had to hit the eye of the bird.
So, one by one students were coming to shoot the bird and as they held their bow and arrow, Dronacharya was asking them, so what are you seeing? So, the first student said, “Well I am seeing the sky, the tree, the leaves.” So Dronacharya said “get out”. So, second student was not seeing everything but still seeing a lot of things other than bird and he was also asked to get out from there. Next one said I am seeing the tree, leaves, so many branches, but he is still not seeing or not focusing on what he is supposed to see the target. So finally, the good student Arjuna came and Dronacharya asked him “Can you see the sky?” Arjuna said no. Can you see the mountain, Arjuna said no, what about lots of tree, no. What about the branches of the tree, no. Can you see the branch where the bird is hanging? no. Can you see the whole bird? no. Then Dronacharya finally asked “What are you seeing?” Arjuna said “I can only see the eye of the bird and nothing else.” Then Dronacharya said shoot now. Now you will hit the target well as you are only seeing the target.
So, I suppose you are learning some lessons from this illustration and that is how while chanting we have to get out the whole world which is in us or on our mind, get that out. So many things to think about and mind does keep thinking about, not this, not this, don’t think of this, don’t remember this and only,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
This is all that we are supposed to remember. We say and we hear we keep our mind busy with hearing and as we hear we are reminding ourselves of Krishna, who is Krishna, His names, form, qualities and pastimes. This is the subject matter of our hearing and remembering.
Mind is flickering, mind is not steady, this was also complaint of Arjuna in 6th chapter of Bhagavad Gita. Krishna said you have to do abhyasa- practice of controlling the mind, taming our mind and that has to be done by the spirit of detachment. ‘viragyena abhyasena’, these two things do constant practice with the spirit of detachment, attempting to detach ourselves from the world, separating ourselves from the world and do practice of that day in and day out. And that is what we are trying as we chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna everyday as chant our prescribed number of rounds.