JAPA-TALK/ 9TH SEPTEMBER
RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES WHILE CHANTING.
We are going to say a few words about chanting. You can come forward as we don't have a microphone system.
We are happy to chant with you this morning. I don’t know whether you are happy to chant with us. You are. Okay, so chant Hare Krishna and be happy. Keep chanting. The more we chant, the more we become happy and the better we chant. This japa conference is aimed at bettering your chanting. Let us chant together and let us chant better. Now let us improve our chanting. We take more lessons in chanting. We want to get some tips and hints to improve our chanting.
Chanting in the association of other devotees in itself is an improvement point and this is an additional point to improve our chanting. You know when we are chanting on this conference, you are not the only one. There are others who are also chanting and then you are kind of convinced that this must be the right thing to do. I am not the only fool chanting this Hare Krishna Hare Krishna. In that way our mind gets convinced that to chant Hare Krishna must be the right thing to do. I was going to make some correlations.
Anyway let’s make some observations. It is not that you cannot chant when you are standing or walking. You could and sometimes you have to chant while walking or standing, but the ideal situation or the right thing to do is to sit and chant. When our bodies move, our minds also move.
We will not elaborate on this, but try to understand and accept the point that when the body moves, the mind also moves. When a body moves it comes across more objects. We encounter more forms, more sounds, more different kinds of smells, more different things to touch. When the body moves it is equipped with the senses and they are the openings to our body, our existence to perceive, to know, to understand and to evaluate the things around. When we move or change the situation or circumstances around us then immediately the senses come in contact with different objects of the senses and all the senses feed the mind - manaha sasthani indriyani. All the senses are wired or connected to the mind. They kind of report to the mind and in agitation the mind will be thinking and from thinking comes feeling, and from feeling comes willing to do this or to do that, to eat or to smell or touch.
If you are sleepy, you have to stand up to drive away the sleep. While chanting if you are feeling sleepy then stand up and pace back and forth, walk a little bit. Sleeping is ignorance. Passion comes when you are growing above the ignorance. Standing, running or going around is passion while sleeping is ignorance. Understand these different positions. Sleeping is ignorance, sitting is goodness, goodness is sitting, standing up or moving around is passion. Go to the higher channel from a sleepy, ignorant state, stand up and arrive at a little passion. We have to transcended ignorance. Then you could sit again which is in goodness and chant. That’s how work it out. We should not sleep. The moment that you are feeling sleepy, you could tell your neighbour ‘Please wake me up if I am sleeping’. Try to wash your face especially the part here around the temples. Cool it down. Put some ice there. When we are sitting and chanting then that situation is kind of steady. Things around you are not changing. Objects are fixed and steady. You don’t have to think conditionally.
It is also best that you chant in the same place every day. Then you don’t have to think more about the place. It is not a new place. You know all about it so there is no additional thought. We could chant at the same time everyday. We will have the advantage of the morning time as morning time is the best time. In the morning goodness is predominant. Day time is passion, night time is ignorance. Country side is goodness. The natural setting is goodness while living in cities is passion and residing in dirty, smelly places, dark, not well lit etc is ignorance.
So if you are chanting the holy name select a situation where ignorance, passion goes away and goodness stays. Or you could create a dhama-like situation wherever you are in your home. You can make into Vaikuntha or Golok. There are Deities at home. Have the photographs on the wall of the Deities and the devotees, the pastimes of the Lord. A cow in the courtyard or Tulasi next to you in a room, big piles of Prabhupad books. That makes your home into Vaikuntha or a holy place. There are some devotees also chanting to create Vaikuntha or Dhama-like situation. You could sit chanting in this dhama and you will have greater access to the Lord.