Monday Morning Greetings 2023 #43 – Talking to God

October 23rd, 2023

A friend visited. I revealed my mind in confidence. I am at a bit of a crossroads in my spiritual journey and seeking direction on which way to move my life forward. I liked his advice:


“Just talk to God. Ask Him for clarity on what you should do. Śrī Girirāja is a person, and you are here under His shelter. He can hear and respond to you. Don’t you believe that? Isn’t that our philosophy? Don’t we talk and reveal our minds to those whom we love and respect? Doesn’t that also help us to develop that relationship?”


I approached Śrī Girirāja. I fell at His feet. I verbalized my quandary and asked for help. I began my walk. I noticed that my chanting gradually became conversational. I listened to my heart. What is God telling me? Some clarity came. Our relationship deepened. So simple. Just talk to God.


After my walk a realization came: I should talk to God more, especially during my mantra japa.


In the Yoga-sūtras, when Patañjali recommends that to control the mind we should surrender to God (īśvara), he also recommends how to surrender. We should focus on repeating a mantra (tad japas) and dwell on the meaning (artha bhavanam). In other words, the mantra is not just names of God to be repeated with attention, it is also an address to God, and one should be very much cognizant of its meaning: “O Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage me in your service.” In other words, don’t just parrot Sanskrit words, but also address God, at least in our mind, and in the language we understand.


The Hare Krishna mantra is also unique. As far I know, it is the only mantra where every word is declined in the vocative. Krishna is not just the name “Krishna”, but it means, “O Krishna!”  “Hare” means, “O energy of the Lord, O Radha!” The vocative case means we are addressing someone declaratively. Simply put, the Hare Krishna mantra is talking to God.


In the biography of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda, the great 19th century ācārya in our lineage, it is described that sometimes his next-door neighbor would hear him chanting in the morning, and it sounded to her as if he was talking to God, which is certainly one way to chant the mantra.


One more thought: Freedom of Speech and Talking to God


Freedom of speech is the foundation of a properly functioning society. One of the many reasons why is because without the freedom to verbalize one’s thoughts and the freedom to allow others to challenge one’s ideas, one can never find out how either valid or stupid one’s thoughts are. What does this have to do with talking to God? In verbalizing one’s thoughts before God, one can more readily judge the sincerity of one’s heart and challenge one’s thoughts.


One of the sixty-four qualities of Krishna is that He speaks all languages. I thus talk to God in English. Of course, God understands me, so besides chanting verses in Bengali and Sanskrit, we can, and it is important to, talk to God in our mother tongue.


I am continuing my daily jaunts. One sādhu once told me that as a devotee walks around the Hill, Girirāja follows that devotee around the hill and asks them what they want. I respond, “Hare Krishna,” saying the mantra in Sanskrit but thinking, “O Lord, O energy of the Lord, how should I serve you!”


Today I spoke to God, and He told me what to do. It’s a challenge. Tomorrow I will talk to Him and ask for the mercy to have the strength to follow His will.


Today, excellent advice: Talk to God!



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