Monday Morning Greetings 2021 #26 – Monday Morning Musings VI

June 28th, 2021

Chanting and Guru

I chant consciously as a devotional offering to Śrīla Prabhupāda, with the thought that he is listening. I reason that as the spiritual master is pleased when the disciple takes bhagavata prasada,[1] how much more pleased he is when the disciple sincerely chants the holy name.

 

Chanting and Momentum

In certain activities there is a momentum, an increasing strength gained when moving forward. One of those activities is chanting. If we don’t maintain a certain standard of practice daily, we lose momentum and chanting becomes more difficult. One day last week my practice waned, and my concentration faded. It took me days to return to the standard I had been keeping. I made a note: If I want to steadily move forward in this life towards the goal of prema-bhakti, I can’t afford to lose momentum.

 

Chanting and the Worldly Mind

We are not at the level of samādhi, an unbroken focus over the course of an extended meditational practice. Therefore, our mind will therefore sometimes wander to whatever we are generally pre-occupied with. At that time, if our mind has been reasonably imbued with thoughts of Krishna due to a life of duty, service, and hearing śāstra, then we will automatically be inspired to refocus on the holy name.

 

Chanting and Politics

My audiologists, who is an Orthodox Jew, yarmulke and all, was exceptionally friendly. While checking my hearing, he casually shared his realizations about surviving the pandemic. I especially appreciated his statement while sharing his last realization: “and no politics.” Reflecting on the intense political discord of the past year, I couldn’t agree more. If we allow mundane emotions, such as partisan political concerns, to consume us, they will supersede our feelings of devotion and stunt our devotional meditation.

 

Chanting and Rhythm

One day last week, when I began my japa meditation, I was feeling distracted. A thought came spontaneously. Why not deliberately chant rhythmically so that each mantra corresponded with the same beat? After a short while, I transcended my meditational slump. Lesson: There are no hard and fast rules in chanting the holy name. Whatever works!

 

Chanting and Mercy

I beg for the mercy of the holy name. Such entreaties are not just a call to attract mercy, they are mercy, for true expressions of humility from the heart are the best gift of devotion.

 

Chanting and Krishna’s Form

The mantra is Krishna. It is also a prayer to reveal Krishna. If we can chant even one mantra clearly, the form of Krishna will certainly appear, at least in our thoughts.

 

Chanting and Technique

When Krishna fully appears on the tongue of the sincere chanter by His own sweet will, they will no longer need a technique to keep focused. They will simply require an open heart to welcome the holy name.

 

Chanting and Writing

My japa meditation seems best during the week that I am writing my musings. To write a clear realization, one must first have one, which means that one’s chanting must be concentrated. Knowing that I will have to write something forces me to monitor my meditation more closely. While doing so, I observe how such consciousness creates an impetus to resist creeping complacency and to focus on the holy name of Krishna:

 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

 

 


[1] Guruvaṣṭakam verse 4

 

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