If we chant attentively, then we will be able to relish the transcendental love of Krishna, that transcendental mellow. Just like if we are a very big businessman, having zillions of dollars worth factory somewhere and it is burned to ashes, somebody calls us and says, “Sir, the factory is on fire.” We will be in so much anxiety and at that same time we are also very hungry, very very hungry, almost dying and we want to eat. When we eat, there is anxiety, all our attention, our mind and everything is in the factory and we are eating. So our belly will be full but we would not be able to experience the taste of different, nice and tasty items. We would not be able to taste them because our mind is somewhere else, into our factory, so our belly will be full but that transcendental mellow, we would not be able to relish.
Similarly, if we chant, the sins will be gone as sure as death. If we chant, it will do good to us from every respect but if we want to relish the transcendental, loving exchange between Krishna and us, then we must put our mind onto his Holy name. We should just say Hare Krishna and hear that name because name and Krishna, personality is non-different.
“Abhinattva nama naamino, nama and namino,” Krishna and the Holy name are non-different, so it will do good to us. If we chant inattentively, we will not be able to derive full benefit, that is why one must put his mind onto chanting and the easiest method, Krishna is prescribing, “Wherever our mind is running, we see his activity and bring him back like that.”
“Abhyāsena tu kaunteya vairāgyeṇa,” detachment from the material world and constant practice, then the mind will focus.
So it is important but in the beginning stage, if we are not able to chant, then Srila Prabhupada says, “First quantity then quality.” Quality will come if we keep chanting, sooner or later offences will be stopped but the secret of success is to keep chanting. Not that we are not able to concentrate and let us stop. If it is not attentive then also we should chant. The idea is to chant and then when we become mature and with practice, this mind will be always there.
If we develop some attachment or some love for somebody, then the mind is always there, when we develop some love for chanting and for Lord Krishna, then our mind would to that. So it is the way and the means, we must do quantity first and then the quality will come. Srila Prabhupada says the secret of success, 90% of success will come from chanting the Holy name, Hare Krishna Mahamantra and He also says that the first and the foremost important instruction of the Spiritual Master is that one must chant 16 rounds a day .
Srila Prabhupada said, “Our first business in a day is to chant our rounds.”
This is a very important instruction of a Spiritual Master, therefore, one must chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
Srila Prabhupada makes it very simple to understand, He says “If you serve dog, then the dog will love you. If you serve God, then God will love you.”
To attain the ultimate goal of life i.e to reawaken our pure love for Krishna, the technique is very simple, just serve Krishna. Better service than serving Krishna is to serve His dearmost thing.
Out of all the services, the topmost is to serve Krishna and higher than the service to Krishna is serving His dearmost.
There are 4 dearmost things to Krishna, they are – Tulsimaharani, Ganga- Yamuna, Granthraj Srimad Bhagavatam and devotees of the Lord and Vrindavan Dham. So if we serve these, especially His devotees, Krishna becomes most pleased.
First and foremost thing we should understand is that we have to serve these 4 and out of them, one must not miss serving the devotees of the Lord and Bhagavatam, person Bhagavat and book Bhagavat, very important, “Nityam Bhagavat Sevaya”, we have to serve Bhagavatam and the devotees.
Also the direction changes as we advance, for a neophyte, it is prasadam. Dogs, cats, human beings, those who cannot understand much about Krishna Consciousness, cannot relate to Krishna Consciousness, then prasadam sewa. Prabhupada himself cooked feast for His disciples’ wedding parties, Sunday feasts and initiation. So this is the direction for the very very beginners. With time if we can raise ourselves a little, then Holy name hearing, then Holy name chanting. Holy name is the second place, if somebody has advanced the prasadam stage, then we can make the person hear the Holy name or if he/she has advanced more, then we can make the person utter the Holy name.
Lord Chaitanya said out of all the unlimited sadhana, the best is Navavidha Bhakti, “Shravanam, keertanam, vishnu smaranam, paada sevanam, archanam, vandanam, daasyam, sakhyam, aatma nivedanam” and out of 9, chanting the Holy name is the best kind of Bhakti. So Naam Sankirtan is the best and by taking the Holy name, without any offences to the Holy name, we can attain the pure love of Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada always said that in order to have a fixed, nice sadhna, we have to become Serious and Sincere, along with these two, Service and Surrender. If you are very Serious and Sincere about performing sadhna, then you will be getting up very early, may be 4 or 4:30, you take bath and then you start the service – chanting, deity worship or any other service to Krishna.
Two other things, Surrender and Service. If you are surrendered to the process or sadhna bhakti, if you are surrendered to Lord and His devotees, then that will make you rise early for sadhna.
Like when Lord Chaitanya visited Kurmakshetra, one illiterate Brahman who didn’t know how to read but was reading Bhagavad Gita and crying, crying and crying. Then Lord Chaitanya asked the Brahman, “Why are you crying?”.
The Brahman said that “My Guru said that please read Bhagavad Gita everyday but I am illiterate, I don’t know how to read but by looking at a picture in the front, where Krishna is driving Arjun’s chariot, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is trying to serve, I could not hold myself and I cried.” So there was Sincerity and Surrender, he was Serious about reading, even though he didn’t know how to read.
If you are Serious, Surrendered and very Sincere, then you can make a resolution and stick to it. We should not listen to our mind or intelligence or anything, tell them that “I have sold you to my Spiritual Master”.
The easiest way to preach about Krishna is by distributing literature about Krishna that is written by Srila Prabhupada in a simple, understandable language which can touch the heart of all the living entities. He is a pure devotee and he wrote his books in a pure way without any 4 defects. There are immense religious literature written by so many people but Srila Prabhupada’s literature touches living entities’ heart so when we give out a small or a big book, that is the topmost preaching, nothing can be a bigger preaching than distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books.
Srila Prabhupada’s books have everything in them, Srila Prabhupada says, “My books are like time bombs.” When a time bomb is placed somewhere and when the time comes, it explodes.” Similarily, books are at everybody’s home and one day, they will pick it up in their life because they have spent money. When somebody spends money on something, they use it, so they will pick it up and start reading and that will change their heart because Srila Prabhupada has written this on a pure platform.
Books have changed people’s lives and we can see this in the world. “I travel a lot and I always bump into devotees in a place where I cannot perceive that devotees can exist in such a remote area”, so these Srila Prabhupada’s books are the best preaching. These are law books for next 10,000 years and it will change this Kaliyuga into Satyuga for 10,000 years. It is the golden age within Kaliyuga. Why? because of Srila Prabhupada’s previous acharyas, they all came with compassion.
“Param Karuna Pahu Dui Jana Nita Gaura Chandra”
‘Param Karuna’, they came with immense compassion for the living entity. There are many great, pure devotees in this lineage of Srila Prabhupada, so many pure souls, we have to learn about them especially Sri Rupa-Sanatana-Raghunatha Das Goswami, Shat Goswamis, they have left immense literature to do good to the living entities, so this literature should be distributed and that is the first clear preaching, we don’t have to open our mouth, all we have to do is to deliver these books to someone, it is that easy.
If we have money or we don’t have it, still we can spare some money. If we have some money, take a book and give out freely, if we can, otherwise, it is always good to charge a little token money but distribute these books and that is preaching and that will change the heart of the living entities. If we cannot do this, then Srila Prabhupada says, “Do second number preaching. First number preaching is that you distribute my books.”
“December Marathon is here and we don’t have to wait for the marathon. I ask devotees and they say, “I’ll distribute in marathon.” No! It is an ongoing process, everyday process; everyday one must distribute books with whatever capacity one has. If we can take out 10% income, with 10% of our income, we buy Srila Prabhupada’s books, that is preaching and Krsna will love you for that, He says:
“na ca tasman manusyesu
kascin me priya-krttamah”
“There is no man dear to me on Earth than the one who distributes this Bhagavad Gita, distributes the knowledge about Bhagavad Gita.” Distributing Bhagavad Gita and this is very essential, if we cannot do this then go on Harinama, go on the street, go to everyone, sit down and perform Hare Krishna Kirtan.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
This is Harinama Sankirtana it has Krishna’s name and when Krishna is heard through Holy name, it will change the heart.
shreyah-kairava-chandrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritaswadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krishna-sankirtanam”
“ceto-darpana-marjanam”, so when we perform sankirtan, it cleanses the heart of all the living entities. Srila Prabhupada said, “Even the dog can take part in it.” Dog can hear, take part in it and if we cannot do this, then there is a third thing, the choice is ours, we want to do the first, second or the third one. The third thing, Srila Prabhupada says, “You distribute Krishna’s prasadam.” Offer prasadam to Krishna and distribute prasadam to all. We have to become compassionate and give out Krishna to everybody. When the love of Krishna overfloods our heart, then that overflowed love from our heart turns into preaching activity, into compassion to other living entities but first of all we have to reawaken that love in our heart. For that we have to make
“janma sārthaka kari”
We have to make your life totally successful, and it is the topmost duty of all of us. Prabhupada says, “All of you should be preaching.” This is a preaching movement and one must push and by pushing, we will become pure. By preaching, we will preach our-self first so it is very important. When we preach, we glorify Krishna, our purity will come fast and when we glorify the Holy name then it is we, who first get purified , then the others so it is our interest also . So Srila Prabhupada says, “ Distribute books, distribute books, distribute books,” and we have to take these Srila Prabhupada’s books and it is a very easy preaching. Any religious person, Hindu, Muslim, Christian should take out 10% of their income and use it in charity and what is that charity? To give out Krishna Consciousness, topmost charity. So with 10% of money, we buy Srila Prabhupada’s books and this is very very important.
Who cannot do? everybody can do. If not 10%, 5%, 1%, 1 pound but spare for some Srila Prabhupada’s books for delivering, very important process.
Who cannot do it? everybody can do. This is the process of this day and age, Srila Prabhupada brought all of us under one roof. Srila Prabhupada says, “If you give 1 hour lecture, what that 1 hour lecture will do? But if you give my books, whole life he would read and it will change his heart,” preach yourself and then give out Srila Prabhupada’s books, give it to others, very important.
One thing we have to get rid of is envy.
If somebody is envious of Krishna or His devotees, then we can exhibit anger. We can use our anger like Hanuman, who set Lanka on fire. Arjuna, who fought on the whole battlefield of Kurukshetra, with anger.
“Lobha sadhusange harikatha.”
Engaging our greediness to hear about Krishna, to hear about His holyname, to chant. We can dovetail all these things but envy we cannot, we have to get rid of it.
Unless we get rid of our envy, no entry into the spiritual world because that is the root cause of going there. We became envious of Krishna so we have to get rid of envy, we cannot dovetail envy into Krsna Consciousness.
By going to a person whom we are envious of and by learning from that person of all what we are envious of. As for example, we saw somebody’s BMW or Rolls Royce and we became envious of him.
Srila Rupa Goswami defines envy in Ujjvala Nilamani as to become asahishnu, by looking at other people’s good thing, you become intolerant. So you go to that person and learn from him that how he became successful to have a Rolls Royce and you learn from him, you submit to him. That’s how you can get rid of envy by going to the same person you are envious of, you have to go to him.
Just like there is a story in Puranas. Narada Muni, he is a Gandharva and Tumbaru is also a Gandharva. Narada Muni and Tumbaru go to Vishnu, Narayana in Vaikuntha and they both played their vina, their instruments like a competition.
Who is the best? So, Lord said Tumbaru is better and Narada became very envious, “I’m a devotee, I’ve so much devotion to my Lord Vishnu, Narayana,” and he became very envious. So how to get rid of envy?
He went back to Narayana and said, “You go to Tumbaru and you learn the art of playing vina from Tumbaru and that’s the only way you can get rid of your envy.” So, Narada Muni went to Tumbaru, became submissive and made him his master. “Please teach me how to play vina.” He learnt from him and then both went to Narayana and this time Narayana said, “Oh! Narada Muni is the best.”
That’s how we can get rid of envy, if you’re intolerant of good qualities of others, so you should go to that devotee, pray to Prabhupada that please help me develop this quality, Krishna would like it.
Prabhupada says, “Imitation of a good thing is good.” So if somebody has a good quality and you imitate and learn it, you develop that good quality but if you say, “He has a good quality,” and you become envious of him, you beat him, you look down upon him, then that is bad. If you try to develop his good qualities then that is good, that is not envy.
Envy means ahasahisnu, to become intolerant and to burn yourself, jealousy, become jealous because he has a Rolls Royce, you become jealous of him and you try to kill him because you don’t have, that is envy. But if you don’t have a good quality but you try to build up that good quality, then that is good, not intolerant. You are tolerating and you are raising yourself to that standard so that’s what Narada Muni did, he raised himself to Tumbaru’s standard or even beyond him.
There are many explanations of the Mahamantra by our different acharyas, Shat Goswamis, Jiva Goswami, Rupa Sanatan Goswami and Bhaktivinod Thakur, so many.
But we are very well versed with the explanation of Srila Prabhupada’s explanation to Hare Krishna Mahamantra, He said that ‘Hare’ is the address to Mother Hara and Mother Hara is Srimati Radharani, pleasure potency of Krishna.
So ‘Hara’ becomes ‘Hare’ when we address, this is Sanskrit grammar, Sita becomes Site , Radha becomes Radhey.
So Hare is the address to Srimati Radharani, Mother Hara. And we are praying to Mother Hara, “My dear Radharani, please engage me in Krishna’s transcendental loving devotional service.”
That is the meaning of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. That please Radharani give me transcendental loving service to Krishna.
We are supposed to serve Krishna, throughout the day, 24 hours a day , eternally. So please I have forgotten my constitutional position to serve Krishna, please engage me Krishna’s transcendental loving devotional service.
And why do we want to get engage in His service? Because if we serve dog, dog will love us, if we serve God, God will love us.
We want to serve Lord Krishna, so that He can love us, which is the topmost goal.
“He can love us , we can love Him”.
If we love somebody, first thing we do is service. Without service, there is no question of love.
This is the meaning of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. That is why we propagate this mantra so that people can chant, get rid off all the sins, become pious and ultimately they develop the pure love for Krishna. When we develop pure love for God, Krishna, then automatically we love His creation, such as birds, beasts, cows, human beings, trees, Demigods.