Kartika Journal – Bhisma Pancaka

November 25th, 2004

Kartika Journal
Bhisma Pancaka (The last five days of Karttik)
November 22-25, 2004

Question: Someone asked me in reference to the ?japa thoughts? in the journal, ?do you write your ?japa thoughts? during your japa??. The answer was no. Chanting is my most important service. I consider it sacred, an event not to be shared with anything else. At the same time, chanting is an occasion that invokes emotions and gives realizations. I naturally try to apply those realizations while chanting to increase my attention, appreciation, and devotion for the holy name. Usually after chanting I write those realizations down, especially if I think others will benefit from them. Occasionally, during japa, but rarely, I will jot down just a word or two to help me remember those realizations later. (November 22nd)

Japa thought: Our identity is in relationship Krishna. We are Krishna?s servants. If we forget Krishna, we thus forget ourselves. Therefore, when attentively focusing on Sri Krishna in the form of His name, we also see our self, the servant of Krishna, calling Him. In chanting the holy name, we can thus focus on either Krishna as the object of our devotion, or ourselves as His humble servant calling Him in love. Both are in the holy name. (November 22nd)

Japa thought: The best chanting is to just hear the holy name with attention. Hearing the holy name can also mean seeing Krishna. For example, if I chant ?O Prabhupada!? with devotion, I not only hear his name, but I see his stately form and remember his qualities. I also see his pastimes, like sitting in Tompkins Square Park playing his drum for his dancing disciples. Similarly, if with devotion one chants ?O Krishna!?, then certainly one also sees His form, qualities, and pastimes. (November 23rd)

Japa thought: ?Why a humble mind is a prerequisite for tasting the holy name.? I

Bhakti is pleasure, because bhakti means love and love is pleasure. Without love all activities are simply burdensome. To taste the holy name, one must thus love the holy name. Love is the heartfelt desire to serve the wishes of one?s beloved, to become a servant. It therefore requires humility. As one must love the holy name to relish chanting it, and humility is a precondition for love, a humble state of mind is required for tasting the holy name. Thus trnad api? (November 24th)

Japa thought: ?Why a humble mind is a prerequisite for tasting the holy name.? II

It?s natural to feel love for someone who is kind to us. Love is thus very much the natural response to mercy, which is the greatest kindness, for it?s kindness that is underserved. Feeling such mercy, in turn, is related to humility. How? To the extent to which one sees something as mercy, is the degree that one is feeling low and undeserving. To the degree one is proud (feeling deserving), is the extent to which one is not appreciative of kindness and naturally not affectionate in response. In conclusion, humility is required for relishing the holy name as it is conduit for feeling Sri Krishna?s mercy, which in turn excites our love, which is the basis of enjoying any endeavor. Thus trnad api? (November 24th)

Japa thought: ?A humble mind is a prerequisite for tasting the holy name.? III

Prema is our hunger for Krishna. The greater our love for Krishna, the more we hunger for Him. This deep want, this hunger for Krishna, this utterly humble condition is a most powerful excitant for love of Godhead. Begging for the holy name is thus our taste for the holy name. Thus trand api? (November 25th)

Japa thought: ?A humble mind is a prerequisite for tasting the holy name.? IV

Although Krishna is the reservoir of pleasure, why do we not feel intense pleasure when He appears in His holy name? Only disregard for a person blinds us to their worthy qualities. It is thus disregard (offense) only that prevents us from relishing the association of Sri Krishna in His holy name. To relish the holy name we must therefore be reverent and humble in our approach.

In other words, as it is offense only that covers the glory of the holy name, and only humility can shield us from such an attitude, then only in a humble state of mind can we relish the holy name and chant constantly.

?One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. Only in such a state of mind can one chant the holy name constantly.? (November 25th)

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