This morning I was reading from the Forth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam about the process of mantra meditation. I have always loved this story of Druva Maharaja, and his determination in meditation, on the form of the Lord. We have included the entire text and purport.
O son of the King, now I shall speak unto you the mantra which is to be chanted with this process of meditation. One who carefully chants this mantra for seven nights can see the perfect human beings flying in the sky. (SB4.8.53)
…Another point established in this verse is that meditation should be carried on with the chanting of a mantra. Chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is the easiest process of meditation in this age. As soon as one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, he sees the forms of Kṛṣṇa, Rāma and Their energies, and that is the perfect stage of trance. One should not artificially try to see the form of the Lord while chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, but when the chanting is performed offenselessly the Lord will automatically reveal Himself to the view of the chanter. The chanter, therefore, has to concentrate on hearing the vibration, and without extra endeavor on his part, the Lord will automatically appear.
…”You write to me that you do not know what is my desire, but my desire is an open secret. I simply want all over the Western countries people may take this simple formula of chanting, dancing and eating Krishna Prasadam, and being happy. I am simply surprised that they should not accept this simple formula and be happy themselves. My only desire is that all people become happy and prosperous in Krishna Consciousness.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter, September 19, 1969)
George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Beatles and Hare Krishna
George: It’s really the same sort of thing as meditation, but I think it has a quicker effect. I mean, even if you put your beads down, you can still say the mantra or sing it without actually keeping track on your beads. One of the main differences between silent meditation and chanting is that silent meditation is rather dependent on concentration, but when you chant, it’s more of a direct connection with God.
…I have got confidence in you because Krishna has given you special talent for chanting Hare Krishna Mantra. When you were chanting in L.A. temple in the evenings, or in the mornings, I enjoyed your chanting so nicely that I thought myself immediately carried to Vaikuntha. So I am always thankful to you for your activities in announcing the interest of our mission. Thank you very much. Most probably when I return to L.A. I may call you back just to hear your chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra.
…So take advantage and enchant those who are coming by your chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra. You will be victorious. And try to introduce our books there and it will be a great missionary success. One Krishna book sold means we go forward one step in our Krishna Consciousness. We should always remember this. (Letter to Visnujana Swami April 4, 1971)
This morning as I was reading some letters by Srila Prabhupada, this letter to Visnujana Swami really touched my heart. “My Dear Son, Visnujana Maharaja, Please accept my blessings.” Srila Prabhupada was so sweet in his dealings with his disciples, particularly those who took the mission seriously.
I have been going through my older files of late, and ran across this fine article posted by Hansadutta Prabhu some years ago on his site Krsna World.
Although Srila Prabhupada wrote many books, he one day asked me, “So why did I write all these books?” I said, “So we can know the philosophy, learn the philosophy.” He said, “No, the purpose of all these books is to convince you to chant the holy name of Krishna.”
The Holy Name Is All There Is
by Hansadutta das
Chanting is exactly like the simple method of inhaling and exhaling. Although it seems like a very simple act, it is nevertheless the essence of the whole thing. Without that inhaling and exhaling, none of the other activities can take place. We also understand that no one simply inhales and exhales, but all the other activities are supportive of the inhaling and exhaling.
…the bhakti-yoga system is recommended for everyone. Without training or education, one can automatically participate in bhakti-yoga. Even a small child can clap at kīrtana. Therefore Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu has proclaimed bhakti-yoga the only system practical for this age.
harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.”
Chanting is very simple, and one will feel the results immediately. Pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyam. If we attempt to practice other yoga systems, we will remain in darkness; we will not know whether or not we are making progress. In bhakti-yoga, one can understand, “Yes, now I am making progress.” This is the only yoga system by which one can quickly attain self-realization and liberation in this life. One doesn’t have to wait for another lifetime. (The Path of Perfection, Chapter Seven)
Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Iststuction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 8, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on how one should utilize one’s full time—twenty-four hours a day—in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord’s divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes.
The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Some time back I found this nice download of reference material and study guide for aspiring devotees. I printed it out, which took 80 pieces of paper, punched holes, and put it in a ring folder. It is arranged very professionally, and is broken down into eight basic areas of study.
…In the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā the Lord asserts that He appears in every millennium just to reestablish the way of religion. The way of religion is made by the Supreme Lord. No one can manufacture a new path of religion, as is the fashion for certain ambitious persons. The factual way of religion is to accept the Lord as the supreme authority and thus render service unto Him in spontaneous love.
The Lord, however, out of His causeless mercy, because He is more merciful to the suffering living beings than they can expect, appears before them and renovates the principles of devotional service comprised of hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, praying, cooperating and surrendering unto Him. Adoption of all the above-mentioned items, or any one of them, can help a conditioned soul get out of the tangle of nescience and thus become liberated from all material sufferings created by the living being illusioned by the external energy. This particular type of mercy is bestowed upon the living being by the Lord in the form of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. (from Purport to SB 1.8.35)
He who meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me…is sure to reach Me.
…In this verse Lord Kṛṣṇa stresses the importance of remembering Him. One’s memory of Kṛṣṇa is revived by chanting the mahāmantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa. By this practice of chanting and hearing the sound vibration of the Supreme Lord, one’s ear, tongue and mind are engaged. This mystic meditation is very easy to practice, and it helps one attain the Supreme Lord. (from purport to Bhagavad-gita 8.8)
Importance of Hari Nama Sankirtan
Excerpted from letters and lectures by Srila Prabhupada
…I think you should try to always have Sankirtana going on. All other things are subsidiary. This chanting is our life and soul, so we must arrange our program now so that there will be as much chanting on the streets and at college engagements as possible.
…Outdoor kirtana must be done, even at the cost of suspending all editorial work. That is your first and foremost business. Temple worship is not so important. If need be, the whole temple can be locked, but the outdoor kirtana cannot be stopped.
…Your business is not to, I mean to say, satisfy the crowd. Your business is satisfy Kṛṣṇa, and then crowd will be automatically satisfied. We are not going to please the crowd. We are going to give them something, Kṛṣṇa. So you should be very much careful whether you are delivering Kṛṣṇa in the right way. Then they’ll be satisfied. Your only business should be to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.
It has been requested that we do a post on Japa Meditation, so on this auspicious day of the appearance of Haridasa Thakura, we share with you some instructions on the chanting of Japa.
…Since God is all-powerful and all-merciful, He has kindly made it very easy for us to chant His names, and He has also invested all His powers in them. Therefore the names of God and God Himself are identical. This means that when we chant the holy names of Krishna and Rama we are directly associating with God and being purified. Therefore we should always try to chant with devotion and reverence. The Vedic literature states that Lord Krishna is personally dancing on your tongue when you chant His holy name.
Krsna Culture in Music
By: Jahanva devi
May 10, 2012 — CANADA (SUN)
Reprising a 2006 Sun series on the cultural impact of Krsna Consciousness on the western music scene.
Shortly after Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in the West a most astonishing phenomenon took place in the world of music. In the United States, Europe, South America and elsewhere on the planet, the Holy Name of Krsna manifested in musical offerings by devotees and non-devotees alike.
Without question, the Beatles’ interest in Krsna Consciousness helped to spark this revolution. But it was also the presence of the devotees, who brought Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtana mission to towns and villages on every continent, that caused this Krsna Conscious musical proliferation to occur.
By the early 1970’s, many records had been released that included song titles or lyrics featuring Sri Krsna or the Maha-mantra. These records manifested in all genres of music, from classical to jazz, blues, folk, pop, rock, and psychedelia. There were even releases of Beatnik poetry and comedy that played on the Hare Krsna theme.
Many of those who became followers of Srila Prabhupada in the 1960’s had connections to the counterculture movement. The counterculture comprised not only the hippies, but also the beatniks who preceded them, the yippies, and the anti-war peaceniks. The Krsna Consciousness movement was comprised of elements that were a common denominator amongst all these groups: sharing love and food, chanting, dancing, advocating peace and self-realization, and delving into the mysteries of the ancient eastern arts.
Personalities like Allen Ginsberg and George Harrison kept popping up in the popular media, and their association with Srila Prabhupada’s movement created important visibility for the Hare Krsna explosion. The devotees also gained attention by showing up at counterculture events, peace gatherings, be-in’s, and musical events that showcased personalities who are now famously associated with that era. Even Muhammad Ali shared the spotlight with Srila Prabhupada, at an anti-war peace concert Ali organized.
In retrospect, we find one very important common denominator, seen throughout this unique historical collection of artifacts. That is, that no matter when or where Srila Prabhupada and his Krsna devotees appeared, the mood and message was always the same — it was kirtan, bhajan, harinama sankirtana in the mood of Prabhupada and the Sampradaya Acaryas. No matter what sort of music was going on all around them, the devotees steadfastly preserved Srila Prabhupada’s mood in sharing our Krsna Conscious culture. Srila Prabhupada delivered the transcendental sound vibration of the Hare Krsna Maha-mantra purely and sweetly, and his disciples followed suit.
The Potency of Ratha-yatra
By: Compiled by Yashoda Nandan Das (USA)
Our Hare Krishna movement is standing on three principal things: chanting, dancing, and eating prasadam.
Excerpts from the teaching of Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada: Melbourne, Tokyo, and many other places. And India also, in Calcutta also. So this festival, taking part in these festivals means a step forward for our self-realization. Rathe ca vamanamarstva punar janma na vidyate. Simply by seeing the Lord on the chariot, one makes advancement for stopping the repetition of birth and death.
So I am very glad that you have taken so much trouble to come here. Now will you chant Hare Krishna mantra along with the devotees and take part in honoring the prasadam? The prasadam is also one of the programs. Our Hare Krishna movement is standing on three principal things: chanting, dancing, and eating prasadam. It is not very difficult. It is very enjoyable to chant, dance, and take prasadam. And if you like, you can hear a little philosophy of this movement. Or even if you do not understand the philosophy, even you do not read the books, simply if you take part in these three things, chanting, dancing, and taking part in eating the prasadam, your life will gradually progress in spiritual advancement of life. And if you continue this, then some day will come, even in this life it may come, that you will understand what is Krishna. And as soon as you understand Krishna, then after leaving this body you go back to home, back to Godhead, directly (?). This is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Those who have read Bhagavad-gita… Lord Krishna says,
janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]
Simply by understanding Krishna, Krishna’s appearance, Krishna’s disappearance, Krishna’s activities. This Rathayatra is one of the activities of Krishna. Therefore to take part in the Rathayatra festival means to associate with Krishna directly. So in this way, if we associate with Krishna’s name, Krishna’s pastimes, Krishna’s qualities, Krishna’s form, then, gradually, we transcend this material existence Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah. If we simply try to understand about Krishna’s movement, then the result is, Krishna says, tyaktva deham: we have to give up this body. But if we give up this body after being elevated into Krishna consciousness, then Krishna says, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Then, after giving up this body, you haven’t got to accept another material body. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Then where shall I go? Krishna says, mam eti: “He comes to Me.
Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 6
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
One who understands perfectly the process of devotional service in love of Godhead becomes intoxicated in its discharge. Sometimes he becomes stunned in ecstasy and thus enjoys his whole self, being engaged in the service of the Supreme Self.
“Although those who are ātmārāma, self-satisfied, are liberated from all material contamination, they are still attracted by the pastimes of the Supreme Lord, and thus they engage themselves in His transcendental service.” When Lord Caitanya explained this ātmārāma verse to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, He described sixty-one meanings, and all of them point toward the devotional service of the Lord.
How one becomes intoxicated in devotional service is very nicely described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.40):
Excerpt from The Science of Self-Realization
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Letter to J.F. Staal Professor of Philosophy and of South Asian Languages
January 30, 1970
“By sound vibration one becomes liberated.” By devotional service, by understanding well the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can go to His abode and never come back again to this material condition. How is it possible? The answer is, simply by chanting His name constantly.
This is accepted by the exemplary disciple, Arjuna, who has perfectly learned the conclusion of spiritual science from the yogeśvara, the master of mystic knowledge, Kṛṣṇa. Recognizing Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Brahman, Arjuna addresses Him, sthāne hṛṣīkeśa…: “The world becomes joyful hearing Your name, and thus do all become attached to You.” (Bg. 11.36) The process of chanting is herein authorized as the direct means of contacting the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. Simply by chanting the holy name Kṛṣṇa, the soul is attracted by the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, to go home, back to Godhead.
In the Nārada-pañcarātra it is stated that all the Vedic rituals, mantras, and understanding are compressed into the eight words Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. Similarly, in the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad it is stated that these sixteen words, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, are especially meant for counteracting the degrading and contaminating influence of this materialistic age of Kali.