Dhanurdhara Swami October 21st, 2000
Preliminary stages of chanting:
- Fix a time and place for the holy name.
- Focus the mind on the holy name.
- Search the heart and pinpoint our present level of spiritual desire.
- Nourish that desire by determination and prayer.
Even if we have no bhakti, we can pray for bhakti, and that’s bhakti. Some spiritual desire, according to our level of realization, must accompany our chanting. If it doesn’t, our chanting can become simply mechanical. The first level of chanting is accompanied by at least the desire and prayer to control our mind and free it from the distraction of material desire.
I am eating much less and realize that as I am older and less active I need very little to keep the body and soul together. Two small practices can give one an immediate boost in spiritual life: Eating properly and rising early.
An English devotee visiting Govardhana today from Vrindaban told me about a sadhu from Orissa, Fakir Mohan, who is staying in the house next to my place in Vrindaban. Fakir Mohan was a friend of Srila Gaura Govinda Swami. He will stay in Vrindaban for three weeks and speak on the Bhagavatam everyday. I was also told that for the last three years he has been lecturing on just the fourth verse of the Catur-Sloki Bhagavatam to some ISKCON devotees in Orrisa who live near him, but stressing nama-kirtan. I was surprised when I heard that he even gave Srimad Bhagavatam class at Krishna Balarama Mandir for two days. I am eager to meet him and sent a message to his assistant that I would like to visit him and hear him speak and that I will therefore visit Vrindaban in a few days. I hanker for sadhu-sanga.