Kartik Journal | Japa Thoughts And Kartik Ends

November 24th, 2007

(I’m able to begin my writing again after a hectic mid-Kartik. Here are some thoughts from the last few days)

November 20, 2007
Sri Govardhana

Japa thought:

To focus on something, one has to value it. To increase my attentiveness on the holy name, I thus first meditate on its glories.

November 21, 2007
Sri Govardhana

Japa thought:

Srila Madhvacarya said that each soul has shed enough tears since time immemorial to fill an ocean. Chanting is a thus a dynamic moment in the history of the soul – a real chance to finally stop the torrents of anguish. Chanting Hare Krishna – what a significant moment in this soul’s eternal history! My meditation today was simply, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

November 22, 2007
Sri Govardhana

Japa thought:

I visit a friend, a follower of Srila Prabhupada, and a good sadhaka. I share my thoughts on gratitude. He appreciates them. He shares his own realization:

“It is so important to appreciate the Lord’s associates and seek their mercy,” he explains, “that I prefer not to leave anyone out.”

Over the past twenty or thirty years he has collected verses describing all the main associates of Sri Caitanya. He feelingly repeats them daily, one for each of the Lord’s associates. It is sometimes almost two hours before he even picks up his beads!

What intrigue’s me most about his bhajan, is the prayers he recently added. He prays to all his god-siblings who are preachers. He even begs mercy from those who are “vipaksa”, somewhat “against” his mood of devotion, by meditating on their good qualities. It also helps him, he explained, to appreciate what mercy they have to give him.

His realization strikes me: To be a servant of the holy name we have to give up envy by offering all respects to others. It’s the mood of humility stressed in the third verse of Siksastakam.

Our tendency is so much to find fault and offend others, even those dedicated to spreading Krishna consciousness. I chant today to give up envy. I even manage to pray to a few god-brothers who are “vipaksa”, not so appreciative of my service. It doesn’t come easy, however.

November 23, 2007
Sri Govardhana

Japa thought:

A simple question: During japa, is it better to concentrate on hearing or chanting the mantra, or does one automatically do both when one does the other? I vote for hearing. If we hear carefully, we will also chant properly. If we concentrate on chanting, however, we may or may not hear. I chant today focusing intensively on hearing.

November 24, 2007
Sri Govardhana
Purnima (last day of Kartik)

Japa thought:

My cave-like room is pitch black and dead silent. Nothing can penetrate the senses, but the sound of the mantra. I listen carefully. I sense reality, only nam kirtan and the soul.

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