Mantra Meditation

druva-maharaja

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.

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Remembering Krishna is the Essence

mantra1

This morning I was reminded of the importance of chanting sixteen rounds. Sometimes I think my work or service is more important than my chanting…but in the following verses and purports Srila Prabhupa makes it very clear; “One may have other duties to perform under the direction of the spiritual master, but he must first abide by the spiritual master’s order to chant a certain number of rounds.”, and I thank the devotee who reminded me of this important instruction.

…There are many regulative principles in the śāstras and directions given by the spiritual master. These regulative principles should act as servants of the basic principle-that is, one should always remember Kṛṣṇa and never forget Him. This is possible when one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Therefore one must strictly chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra twenty-four hours daily. One may have other duties to perform under the direction of the spiritual master, but he must first abide by the spiritual master’s order to chant a certain number of rounds. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we have recommended that the neophyte chant at least sixteen rounds. This chanting of sixteen rounds is absolutely necessary if one wants to remember Kṛṣṇa and not forget Him. Of all the regulative principles, the spiritual master’s order to chant at least sixteen rounds is most essential. (from purport Madhya-lila 22.113)

…Of all the sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Kṛṣṇa. (from purport Bg 10.25)

…Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja comments in this connection, “One can become perfectly successful in the mission of his life if he acts exactly according to the words he hears from the mouth of his spiritual master.” This acceptance of the words of the spiritual master is called śrauta-vākya, which indicates that the disciple must carry out the spiritual master’s instructions without deviation. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks in this connection that a disciple must accept the words of his spiritual master as his life and soul. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu here confirms this by saying that since His spiritual master ordered Him only to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, He always chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra according to this direction (‘kṛṣṇa-mantra’ japa sadā,-ei mantra-sāra). (from purport to Adi-lila 7.72)

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Pranams (Prayers)

Srila Prabhupada playing harmonium

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One of the most used books in our temple room is the songbook. Everyday it seems, I am flipping through the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”, singing one of the many songs or reciting some of the numerous pranams (prayers) as part of my daily sadhana. The following post is the first 13 pages of songbook, which in my mind is a nice way to start the day and is a good prelude to other devotional service.

Pranams
from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

SRI GURU PRANAMA

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

om-address; ajnana-of ignorance; timira-by the darkness; andhasya-of one who was blinded; jnana-anjana-by the ointment of spiritual knowledge; salakaya-by a medical instrument called a salaka, which is used to apply medical ointment to eyes afflicted with cataracts: caksuh-eyes; unmilitam-were opened; yena-by whom; tasmai-unto him; sri-gurave-unto my spiritual master; namah-obeisances.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.

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Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy

chant-and-be-happy

I ran across this above image this morning on Facebook, and was inspired to do a post on chanting.

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

“Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and be happy. Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture & Initiation Seattle, October 20, 1968)

“…chant dance, take prasadam and be happy.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter to Saksi Gopala 6 December, 1975)

“Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is distributing the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and inducing people all over the world to chant. We are giving people an immense treasury of transcendental literature, translated into all the important languages of the world, and by the grace of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu this literature is selling profusely, and people are chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra with great delight. This is the preaching process of the Caitanya cult. Since the Lord wanted this cult preached all over the world, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is acting in a humble way so that the vision of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu may be fulfilled all over the world, especially in the Western countries.” (purport to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 1975 Adi-lila 16.19)

Also:

Vedic sanskrit references for chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra More

George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)

George Harrison at peace

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.

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Let the World Unite

Hare Krishna Maha Mantra1

…In this present day, man is very eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation. So let there be one common scripture for the whole world—Bhagavad-gītā. And let there be one God only for the whole world—Śrī Kṛṣṇa. And one mantra only—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. And let there be one work only—the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Lord Caitanya & The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Lord Caitanya Kirtan

Who is Lord Chaitanya?

Krishna appeared as Lord Chaitanya 500 years ago in India to bring the medicine for the diseased human society in the form of this movement. He brought the chanting of Hare Krishna.

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The Holy Name Is All There Is

Hare Krishna mantra

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.

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Chanting Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna Mantra

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“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.”

Chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

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The Spiritual Potency of Chanting Hare Krishna

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya once asked Lord Chaitanya: “Which item is most important in the execution of devotional service?” The Lord replied: “The most important item is the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu further explains, ceto-darpana-marjanam the mirror of one’s heart is cleansed by the holy names; and bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam, it extinguishes the blazing fire of material existence. By chanting the holy names one can destroy the sinful condition of material existence and purify the unclean heart.

There is no need, therefore, to understand the language of the mantra, nor is there any need for mental speculation or any intellectual adjustment for chanting this maha-mantra. It springs automatically from the spiritual platform, and as such, anyone can take part in the chanting without any previous qualification, and dance in ecstasy. (Srila Prabhupada)

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Chanting Hare Krishna (Japa)

Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Japa

Chanting a mantra or hymn softly and slowly is called japa, and chanting the same mantra loudly is called kīrtana. For example, uttering the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) very softly, only for one’s own hearing, is called japa. Chanting the same mantra loudly for being heard by all others is called kīrtana. The mahā-mantra can be used for japa and kīrtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when kīrtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.” (from Nectar of Devotion Chapter 9)

click on link; Srila Prabhupada Chanting

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Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra

Hare_Krishna_maha_mantra_old_style

In the old days, book distributors and sankirtan devotees usually carried some mantra cards like the one above to distribute. Hopefully this practice is still going on, because if there was only one piece of literature being distributed, it should be the maha- mantra, or the great mantra for deliverance.

Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is distributing the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and inducing people all over the world to chant. We are giving people an immense treasury of transcendental literature, translated into all the important languages of the world, and by the grace of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu this literature is selling profusely, and people are chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra with great delight. This is the preaching process of the Caitanya cult. Since the Lord wanted this cult preached all over the world, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is acting in a humble way so that the vision of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu may be fulfilled all over the world, especially in the Western countries. (from purport to Adi-lila, 6.19)

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Yoga as Action

kirtan

…In the Sixth and Eighth Chapters of Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, explains that the eightfold yoga system is a means to control the mind and senses. This method, however, is very difficult for people to perform, especially in this age of Kali, an age characterized by ignorance and chaos.

Although this eightfold yoga system is particularly recommended in the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord emphasizes that the process of karma-yoga, action in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is superior.

…No one really wants to sit down and meditate. Why should we? We’re meant for positive activity, for recreation, for pleasure. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness, our recreation is dancing and chanting, and when we get tired, we take prasāda. Is dancing difficult? Is chanting difficult? We don’t charge anything to dance in the temple. If you go to a ballroom, you have to pay to enter, but we do not charge. It is natural to enjoy music and dancing and palatable foods. These are our recreations, and this is our method of meditation. So this yoga system is not at all laborious. It is simply recreation, susukham. It is stated in the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā (9.2) that this yoga is susukham—very happy. “It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.” It is natural, automatic, and spontaneous. It is our real life in the spiritual world. (The Path of Perfection)

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Sankirtan Stories

302_-_BTG_Year-1998_Volume-32_Number-02_Page_01

The following is a very nice story which appeared as a Back to Godhead Magazine Article back in 1998. It was written by Locanananda dasa and he recounts the true events that occurred while out chanting on a hot summers day, in the streets of New York City.

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Japa

srila-prabhupada-chanting-japa

This is such a beautiful picture of Srila Prabhupada with his japa bag, that we thought we would do a short post on ‘japa’.

When a mantra or hymn is chanted softly and slowly, that is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly, is called kīrtana. For example, the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) when uttered very softly only for one’s own hearing is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly for being heard by all others, is called kīrtana. The mahā-mantra can be used for japa and kīrtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when kīrtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.” (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 9)

Of all the sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Kṛṣṇa. (from purport; Bhagavad-gita 10.25)

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The Mahā-mantra

HareKrishnamantra

This morning I was reading from the Nectar of Devotion the chapter entitled “The Mahā-mantra”. We have posted the entire chapter as well as some other related quotes from the Nectar of Devotion on the Maha-mantra.

In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.”

When a mantra or hymn is chanted softly and slowly, that is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly, is called kīrtana. For example, the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) when uttered very softly only for one’s own hearing is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly for being heard by all others, is called kīrtana. The mahā-mantra can be used for japa and kīrtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when kīrtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Liṅga Purāṇa there is a statement about glorifying and singing about the Lord. It is said there: “A brāhmaṇa who is constantly engaged in singing the glories of the Lord is surely elevated to the same planet as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Kṛṣṇa appreciates this singing even more than the prayers offered by Lord Śiva.”

In the Viṣṇu-dharma there is a statement glorifying this process of congregational chanting: “My dear King, this word ‘Kṛṣṇa’ is so auspicious that anyone who chants this holy name immediately gets rid of the resultant actions of sinful activities from many, many births.” That is a fact. There is the following statement in Caitanya-caritāmṛta: “A person who chants the holy name of Kṛṣṇa once can counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform.” A sinful man can perform many, many sinful activities, but he is unable to perform so many that they cannot be wiped out by one single uttering of “Kṛṣṇa.”

“Anyone who is engaged in chanting My transcendental name must be considered to be always associating with Me. And I may tell you frankly that for such a devotee I become easily purchased.”

In the Padma Purāṇa also it is stated: “The chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is present only on the lips of a person who has for many births worshiped Vāsudeva.” It is further said in the Padma Purāṇa, “There is no difference between the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself. As such, the holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity and eternity. The holy name is no material sound vibration, nor has it any material contamination.”

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The Meaning of the Hare Krishna Mantra

Srila Prabhupada room conversation

So this sound, this Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, is the sound representation of the Supreme Lord.

Lecture on Maha-mantra
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Recorded September 8th, 1966, New York

Prabhupada: Now, some of you members have asked me to explain the meaning of this chanting, Hare Krishna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Now, this sound is transcendental sound, transcendental sound, incarnation, sound incarnation of the Absolute Truth. Just try to understand what is incarnation. Incarnation means… The Sanskrit word is avatara, and that is translated into English as “incarnation.” Of course, the root meaning of incarnation I cannot exactly explain to you, but the root meaning of the… (aside:) The root meaning of avatara is “which comes from the transcendental sky, the spiritual sky to the material sky.” That is called avatara. Avatarana. Avatarana. Just like… Avatarana means “coming from up to down.” That is called avatarana. And avatara is understood that when God or His bona fide representative comes from that sky to this material plane, that is called avatara.

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Srila Prabhupada’s England Visit

Srila Prabhupada Bury Place Morning Walks

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Srila Prabhupada’s England Visit
by Kulashekara Das

The journey with Swami Prabhupada has been the most satisfying aspect of my life. His values of life has given a new dimension to the world and has helped people in all the facets of life.

Advent

In the late 1960’s I first came in contact with practitioners of the Vaishnava tradition. Several American disciples of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada had arrived in the UK to establish a Radha Krishna Temple.

I was quite impressed with the depth of Vedic philosophy and especially with the chanting of the Holy Names of God. Almost overnight I quit my entire Rock n Roll lifestyle and my job and began my life as a Brahmachari. I soon found myself living at John & Yoko Lennon’s eighty plus acre estate – “Tittenhurst” and ended up staying there for six months.

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Chanting Hare Krishna/Mystic Meditation

Vishnujana ecstatic     Harinama Sankirtan_

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)

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Chanting the Maha-Mantra

Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

This is Part 2 in the series on chanting by Sri Nandanandana Prabhu. This is a collection of quotes from the Vedic Scriptures advocating the merits of chanting the Holy Names. To read Part 1

Chanting the Maha-Mantra
by Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)
Part 2

There are many Vedic references which specifically recommend the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra as the most effective and advantageous means of reaching spiritual realization and counteracting all the problems of this age. Some of these verses are the following:

These sixteen words–Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare–are especially meant for counteracting the ill effects of the present age of quarrel and anxiety. (Kali-santarana Upanishad)

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Previous Older Entries

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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