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Message from Sacinandana Swami

Prayers before chantingsns

The following prayers help us to connect with the Holy Name
and thus are highly effective to help us chant with sambandha

You may choose to use them from time to time, or you may just continue to chant ‘Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda …’ before each round, as you are probably doing it already. The reason for share these prayers is to help you become more aware of what you are doing when you chant and thus connect more and more the divine personalities whose names you chant (Sri Sri Radha and Krishna).

Wishing you all the best and lots of spiritual strength,

 

Sacinandana Swami

 

 

Prayer 1)

 

Meditation on the Personality of Krishnaa, who is identical with His Holy Name

 

tribhaìga-bhaìgima-rupam

venu-randhra-karancitam

gopi-mandala-madhya-stham

sobhitam nanda-nandanam

In a three-fold bending form, his fingers curled over the holes of the flute, standing in a circle of gopis is the beautiful son of Nanda.

 

Prayer 2)

 

To be recited on taking the mala.

 

avighnam kuru male tvam

hari-näma-japeñu ca

sri radha-krishnayor dasyam

dehi male tu prarthaye

O mala, I implore you, free my harinama-japa from obstacles, grant me service to Radha and Krishna!

 

Prayer 3)

 

Glorifying the Holy Name

 

nama cintamani-rupam

namaiva parama gatih

namnah parataram nasti

tasmn nama upasmahe

The name is like a divine touchstone. The name alone is the supreme means of success. There is nothing higher than the name. Therefore we worship the name.

 

Prayer 4)

 

Dedicating the Nama japa

 

nama-yajno maha-yajnah

kalau kalmasa-nasanam

krishna-caitanya-prityarthe

nama-yajna-samarpanam

The sacrifice to the name, the great sacrifice destroys the sins of the age of kali. For the pleasure of Sri Krishna Caitanya this sacrifice of the name is dedicated.

 

Prayer 5)

 

Concluding japa

 

patita-pavana nama

nistaraya naradhamam

radha-krishna-svarupaya

caitanyaya namo namah

O name, O savior of the fallen please deliver this lowest of man. To you who have the same nature as Radha and Krishna and to Caitanya I bow again and again!

 

Prayer 6)

 

Concluding prayer to the mala.

 

tvam male sarva-devanam

sarva-siddhi-prada mata

tena satyena me siddhim

dehi matar namo ‘stu te

You, O Mala, we know as the bestower of all perfections to all the gods. Thus verily bestow perfection unto me. O mother, obeisances to you!

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Dhanurdhara Swami’s research paper on Raganuga Bhakti

(click on link below to read original post on maharaja’s website)

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta and Rāgānuga-sādhana-bhakti

There is a criticism of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī in certain Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava circles, concerning his approach to sādhana. In short, the claim is that by overemphasizing vaidhī bhakti he did not faithfully pass down the traditional teachings on the practice of rāgānuga-bhakti. This is not a minor criticism. After all, rāgānuga-bhakti is precisely what Śrī Caitanya came to give. To fairly judge Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta’s approach to rāgānuga-bhakti I suggest that we must start by examining what Śrī Caitanya’s immediate successors taught, especially Śrī Rūpa, as they were the ones entrusted to codify and establish His teachings. The intention of this paper is to explore such teachings, in order to demonstrate that Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī’s approach to rāgānuga-bhakti—his emphasis on kīrtana and his strong cautions regarding smaraṇa—is firmly within the bounds of Gauḍīya tradition. Moreover, I will suggest that it is especially warranted given the historical circumstances in which he developed his mission…. (continue reading on Waves of devotion)

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Wise Words from HH Bhakti Ananta Krishna Swami

Bhakti Ananta Krishna swami                                                                                                                                                                  Srila Prabhupada once said that in order to listen to the mantra we need to be very devoted to our Spiritual Master. The one who really dedicated oneself to the service of the Spiritual Master is able to listen to the mantra while chanting it.

When I read this statement of Srila Prabhupada it came deep into my heart and I began meditating on it…What is the connection between the quality of japa and dedication to guru? What does dedication to guru give us?

If we serve someone we become attached to this person. The same happens in the relations with Guru. Guru is connected to Krishna, and he makes connection between Krishna and us as well. Krishna is the Holy Name. So Guru puts Krishna into our heart in the form of the Holy Name. The heart is then flooded with the mercy of Guru and the Holy Name.

This mercy reveals the Holy Name, It becomes very beautiful, to chant It and to listen to It is a real pleasure. Our devotion to Guru and our efforts in proper chanting of japa are needed for that.

So, I wish everyone successful japa.

Nama Kirtan: The Essence of The Bhagavatam

Sri Caitanya sat attentively at the feet of His divine master, Sri Isvara Puri, who had just promised to disclose to Him the verse that is the essence of the Bhagavatam. Emphatically, but devotionally, Isvara Puri recited:

“One who chants the names of one’s beloved Lord without material attachment or inhibition awakens deep attachment to his Lord. As his hearts melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman oblivious to public opinion.”

No serious student of the Bhagavatam questions that nam kirtan is stressed in the text as the best means for realizing the Absolute Reality. How does that, however, make it the fundamental ingredient of everything spoken, the topic that weaves together the myriad subjects found within the text that are geared to establishing Krishna as the full manifestation of Godhead?

To decipher the actual theme of any book the first place to look is the history of its composition, specifically the intention of the author in writing the text. That account is told in the Bhagavatam itself:

Sri Vyasa, the empowered editor of the eternal Vedas, had just failed in his attempt to present the Vedas in a relevant way for this present age of discord. Seeing his despondency, Sri Narada, his spiritual master, confirmed what Sri Vyasa had already suspected, that he had not sufficiently glorified Krishna. Shaken by his teacher’s mild rebuke, Sri Vyasa entered a deep meditation to attain greater realization. The result was theBhagavatam, a text systematically and directly glorifying Krishna in 18,000 beautiful verses meant to be read and sung in various melodies. The Bhagavatam is therefore kirtan itself.

Srila Viswantha Thakur supports the continuity of the composition as kirtan in his commentary on verse three of the Bhagavatam. Commenting on the phrase describing the Bhagavatam as “the mature fruit of Vedic Knowledge” he affirms everything in the text as an expression (kirtan) of the highest devotion:

“The inherent nature of this fruit is rasa (perfected devotion), which implies that there are no parts like the seed or skin that are to be rejected.”

There are nine main devotional practices beginning with hearing (sravanam), chanting (kirtanam) and remembering (smaranam) each traditionally represented by a particular exemplar.  Saintly Sukadeva Goswami, the main speaker in the Bhagavatam,  is the exemplar for kirtan for having devotionally recited the text non-stop for seven days, further affirming the Bhagavatam as kirtan.

We have discussed the Bhagavatam as kirtan itself. Another way to understand kirtan. specifically nam kirtanas the essence of the Bhagavatam, is to understand the message the song delivers. What is the message of theBhagavatam?

To decipher the theme of a complex text, classical hermeneutics places stress on, among other things, the first and last thing spoken in the text. The crux of the Bhagavatam is the question of King Pariksit (a dying ruler and great devotee) to that same Sukadeva Goswami, the saintly monk that appears at his death to enlighten him. The King asks Sri Sukadeva:

“What is the duty of a man who is about the die and what should he not do?”

The first thing said in answer to this seminal question points not only to kirtan, but nam kirtan as the prime message of the text:

“O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.”

The very last verse of the Bhagavatam also supports nam kirtan as the text’s fundamental teaching:

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Hari, the congregational chanting of whose holy names (nama-sankirtanam) destroys all sinful reactions, and the offering of obeisances unto whom relieves all material suffering.”

Every age (yuga) has a particular practice effective for its time. As Bhagavatam was written specifically for the present age called Kali-yuga, evidence for nam kirtan as the prescribed practice for Kali-yuga would also support nam kirtan as the essence of the Bhagavatam.

Such evidence is found in the eleventh canto of the Bhagavatam, where the recommended spiritual practice for each age is listed along with the incarnation that inaugurates that practice. For Kali-yuga, nam kirtan is recommended:

“In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting (sankirtan) to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna[…]”

Although nam kirtan is certainly highlighted in the Bhagavatam, how is one to understand the many other diverse subjects that are apparently unrelated to nam kirtan? If the essence of something is that which pervades everything, how then is nam kirtan the svarupa (the inherent nature) of such assorted and apparently unconnected topics as calculation of time from the atom to the dynasty of Kings?

Sri Jiva Goswami gives the clue to the resolution of this quandary. At the beginning of Sri Bhakti Sandarbha he describes the two ways in which one can approach the text: for good instruction or to relish one’s relationship with Krishna. [11] First we need good and repeated instruction to finally surrender to Krishna. Then having realized one’s relationship with Krishna, the approach changes. No longer needing instruction one just relishes each statement in the Bhagavatam, including the instructional ones, as inspiration for one’s relationship with Krishna.

In other words, for an advanced devotee each and every text of the Bhagavatam nourishes one’s relationship with Krishna, which is the foundation of full absorption in chanting,  while the apparently diverse subjects of the text provide instruction to attain and support that stage.

For example, after Sri Sukadeva answers Maharaja Pariksit’s initial inquiry about one’s ultimate duty in life by instructing him to do nam kirtan, he immediately describes non-attachment, seeing God in the world, meditation and other favorable conditions for spiritual life.

We can understand the supplementary topics in the Bhagavatam in relation to kirtan in yet another way. If the purpose of the Bhagavatam is to chant the holy names of the Lord with devotion, then the text must also explain His worthiness for such dedication. The importance of this connection between understanding and devotion is confirmed in one of the key verses in the Bhagavad-gita where Sri Krishna affirms that the learned (budha) become devoted (bhajante). The term budha here is not referring to mere scholarship, but an understanding of the Absolute Reality, in this case realization that Krishna is the absolute source of all. If such knowledge, appropriately called sambandha-jnana (knowledge of relationship), is lacking and one misunderstands one’s relationship with God by thinking oneself God, then what is the question of chanting with devotion? True devotion is for others, not oneself.

The essence of the Bhagavatam according to the text  is thus not to just chant the holy name, but to do it with sambandha, with a sense of relationship. Relationship, which is the foundation of devotion, also requires an understanding of the relationship of God with matter and the relationship of the soul with matter, all subjects covered extensively in the Bhagavatam. For example, if one misunderstands the relationship of God with matter, and thinks God to be material,  or misunderstands the soul’s relationship with matter, and thinks one is the body, then what is the impetus or ability to chant with devotion, the essence of the Bhagavatam?  Thus to support devotional kirtan the Bhagavatam is full of metaphysical knowledge that clearly establishes the ontological position of Krishna and detaches one from the bodily concept of life.

The Bhagavatam, as described in the second canto of text,  is thus comprised of ten subjects, the first nine primarily meant to give one sambandha-jnana,  an appropriate understanding of Krishna, the proper object of devotion, whose full nature with pastimes is delineated in the tenth canto, which is the tenth subject, theasraya.

The tenth canto, although just one of twelve cantos, is thus by the far the most substantial in both its depth and shear number of verses. Any analysis of the Bhagavatam as nam kirtan, must therefore also show the relevance between Krishna’s pastimes and nam kirtan.

Hearing the pastimes of Krishna is essential for the practitioner of nam kirtan as a mature sense of our relationship with Krishna, the key to devotional chanting, is primarily awakened and nourished by hearing about the activities of one’s beloved, especially with those devotees whose relationship one inherently covets.

And although it is true that the practice and goal of bhakti is to absorb oneself fully in thoughts of Krishna, the full manifestation of that contemplation being His lila, nam kirtan still remains the foundation of such remembrance as within His name also rests His form, quality, and pastimes.  That is seen within the initial verse cited about the essence of the Bhagavatam where the result of chanting the names of one’s beloved Lord are crying, laughing, and other emotions. Such symptoms of pure chanting are the spontaneous response to the awakening of various lilas in one’s heart.  And nowhere is it recommended to give up nam kirtan at this stage. Rather nam kirtan remains the root of remembering the Lord’s pastimes, especially for that person who has properly heard them as delineated in the tenth canto. And that was the example of Sri Caitanya, especially in the last 18 years of his life in Puri. There in the gambhira  He continuously chanted the holy name and nourished His relationship with Krishna, in this case the mood of Sri Radha, with narrations and songs based on the Bhagavatam spoken and sung by his most confidential associates, Sri Ramananda Roy and Sri Svarupa Damodar.

It should be noted here also, that Sri Caitanya’s example also shows the healthy relationship between nam kirtan and the other forms of kirtan. Although nam kirtan remained the base practice, the others forms ofkirtan are not to be neglected. The genuine rupa, guna, and lila kirtan based on the Bhagavatam are also essential in the life of serious practitioner.

One question remains: if nam kirtan is the essence of the Bhagavatam, is it the main mode of expression of the residents of Vrindavan as described in the tenth canto? The answer is no. The residents of Vrindavan are not chanting kirtan as a practice to achieve love of Godhead. Rather their kirtan is an expression of such love (the goal of practice) which manifests accordingly as calling Krishna’s name (nam kirtan),  speaking about his form (rupa kirtan), talking about his qualities (guna kirtan), or singing His pastimes (lila kirtan).  Nam kirtan, however, remains the essence of the Bhagavatam for the reasons mentioned above; it is the main process recommended in and supported by the Bhagavatam to achieve the goal of life: love of Godhead.

Conclusion: The essence of any text and path of yoga is samadhi, absorption in the object of one’s meditation to the point of non-awareness of anything external to that object. In bhakti-yoga such absorption in Krishna is best attained by the practice of nam kirtan. Nam kirtan is thus the essence of the teachings of the Bhagavatam best exemplified by the spontaneous nam kirtan of eternal residents of Sri Vrindavan:

“O virtuous lady, if trees or other obstacles block Krsna from sight even briefly, His companions at once shed tears and call in anxious drawn-out voices, “Sri Krishna! Sri Krishna!”

Taken with permission from HH Dhanurdhara Swami’s Waves of devotion. See Waves of Devotions for full references.

 

Taken with permission from HH Dhanurdhara Swami’s Waves of devotion. See Waves of Devotions for full references.

Chanting on head bead?

The Five Qualities of Effective Mantra Meditation

 April 10th, 2012

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

I have noticed, and tradition confirms, that the efficacy of mantra meditation depends significantly upon the quality of chanting. It is not that one’s effort creates the effect of the mantra, but one must make the effort not to block the effect of the mantra — to open oneself fully to the mercy within it.

I would like to suggest chanting with five qualities, which I also think of as five “steps” towards efficacious, quality mantra meditation:

  1. Be Attentive
  2. Be Introspective
  3. Be Sincere
  4. Be Sweet
  5. Have Longing

Attentive Chanting

The main focus of this step is to pay attention to the mantra itself. I have found it most effective to treat each syllable of the mantra as something important – and focus my attention on hearing that I am correctly enunciating each syllable each time I repeat the mantra.

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra has 32 syllables. The two sonically symmetrical lines of the mantra each have 16. Within each line are four word pairs, each with a symmetrical four syllables. Each word in each pair has two syllables. This perfect sonic symmetry will reflect in the sound I produce when I make sure to actually chant each syllable.

Mantras bear fruit when chanted correctly. The maha-mantra is not a mechanical ritual, but the general principle is still valid. Its fruit is the topmost goal of being: selfless divine love, prema bhakti. Be sure to include each syllable in each repetition of the mantra and certainly one will begin to taste its fruit at least in the budding stage.

Introspective Chanting

We must avoid extraneous thoughts when chanting. We do that by becoming more sensitive to thoughts that are directly related to the mantra. I call this “Introspective Chanting.”

Once I am chanting the syllables properly, I direct attention inward to become more aware of how I feel in response to the chant. First I try to literally feel the mantra vibrating in every pore and cell of my body. This focuses my attention on how the mantra is directly affecting me. I also try to listen for any instinctual response to the spiritual sound that is permeating me and vibrating in my being.

Since the sound of the mantra is non-different from Radha-Krishna Themselves, my responses to that sound are the very fledgling beginnings of my soul awakening to krishna-prema. Listen for them introspectively while enunciating the mantra’s 32 syllables.

Sincere Chanting

Now that I am enunciating all the syllables with introspective alertness to the effect of the vibration, the next step is to deepen my sincerity.

To do this, I try to focus on the all-important attitude of love: the desire to serve Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, who are named in the 32 syllables of the divine mantra. I now try to experience the mantra not only as Krishna but also as prayer to Krishna. So, I now turn my ear towards the sound of sincerity within the mantra I am pronouncing. I find that by listening for sincerity, I automatically try to produce more of it. So gradually my recitation of the mantra produces the sound of heartfelt desire to be pleasing and loving towards Sri Sri Radha-Krishna.

Sweet Chanting

The sincerity in my chanting leads me to want to serve and please the object of the mantra: Radha-Krishna. Naturally, then, my next step is to shift the focus from my experience of the chant to Krishna’s experience of it.

Now I open myself to the mantra as the shakti of Krishna. Being Krishna’s shakti it exists for the sake of pleasing him. Opening myself to this, I hope to enter into the ocean of divine loving service that exists within the maha-mantra itself.

My main effort at this stage is to make the sound of the mantra I enunciate more pleasant, beautiful, loving and sweet. I have found it helpful to visualize Sri Krishna and Radha before me, listening to my chanting.

Chanting with Longing

As I envision Sri Sri Radha-Krishna near me, listening to my chanting, inevitably I must come to face the objective fact that They are not truly there, at least not in the tangible manner like I am envisioning. My goal at this step is to allow that truth to fill my heart with a bittersweet sadness. Sadness generates need, and need expresses itself as “longing.” In the fifth step of effective chanting I therefore try to focus on and amplify a longing for my hopes and visions within the maha-mantra to become a far more tangibly objective reality.

My main effort at this stage is to ignore all other desires in my heart and find the small voice of desire that longs for perfection of selfless divine love. I speak the maha-mantra to that voice, encouraging it to speak up. Louder and louder I want the maha-mantra to amplify that once small inner voice until it drowns out all other voices within me.

The perfection of my chanting comes when the longing need of that voice bursts through and expresses itself through stuttering and crying like a lost child crying out for her mother.

Conclusion

When I am done with my chanting session, I try not to focus on what I did not accomplish, but on what I did. I want to feel thankful to the mantra and grateful towards Krishna and those who have given me the rare and precious opportunity to attempt to chant it more fully and deeply. I want to feel grateful for whatever small steps they have empowered me to make during this chanting session.

As a practice, therefore, I like to conclude my chanting by folding my hands in prayer and encouraging that gratitude to flow through my hands towards my kind guides and protectors and towards the lotus-like feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna.

Actually, I would like the mood of gratitude to permeate all the five steps of chanting.

There are no rules about when, where or how to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. You can and should chant the maha-mantra in the way that fits you as an individual. I have personally found that these five steps have significantly improved my own relationship to the divine mantra, and I hope they will also be of help to other servants of the holy name.

THE KIRTANA OF HARI

By HDG Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada 

The sadhu helps the fallen jiva to regain his natural state of freedom from sin, by the constant service of bringing about the descent of transcendental sound in the form of words uttered by his lips and the mahaprasada in the shape of food that is offered by him to the Lord. The sound uttered by the sadhu and the mahaprasada are not things of this world. They are not identical with ordinary sound or ordinary food which are only means for the gratification of our sensuous appetites. The word of God and mahaprasada cannot be enjoyed, or in other words cannot be used for the gratification of the senses, because they are spiritual.

Those who enjoy the kirtana, or any spiritual discourse, or eat the mahaprasada for appeasing hunger or for gratification of the palate are guilty of sacrilegious acts which serve only to prolong the state of sin and ignorance. This is the greatest possible calamity that can befall the human soul.

The kirtana of Hari is the constant and natural function of all the faculties of the jiva soul in the state of it’s freedom from all affinities with this changeable world. Because the absolute truth is identical with Hari, Hari has to be served exclusively, constantly, and by all the faculties of the soul. The only function of the voice is to chant the kirtana of Hari, which is identical with and inseparable from the simultaneous service of Hari by all the other senses. One who does not employ his voice constantly and exclusively in chanting the kirtana of Hari has no access to the service of Hari by any other faculty.

The kirtana of Hari has therefore to be chanted by being humbler than a blade of grass. There can be no trace of worldly vanity. There can be no seeking after any worldly advantage. The only object should be to please Lord Hari.”

32 Ways to Not Chant Japa in 2014

From The Japa Workshop by Mahatma das

(For more classes on Japa, go to www.krishna.com/mahatma)

  1. To Do List Japa – Meditating on your to do and shopping lists, sometimes adding and deleting items between mantras. This may also include mentally balancing your checkbook or mentally going over which bills you have to pay. Caution: This process can cause you to lament about how many bills you have to pay, and thus changing your prayers from “Oh Lord, please engage me in your service,” to “Oh Lord, please add a few more zeroes to the end of my bank balance.”
  2. I Hate Him Japa – While chanting, meditating on who hurt you, how badly you were hurt, how  much you hate that person, and what you’ll do to get back at him. By the end of 16 rounds your hatred has increased tenfold and you have developed excellent plans and strategies to take revenge.
  3. I am Right Japa – Meditating while chanting on how right you are and how wrong someone else is, and with every mantra you become more convinced how right you are. Also know as “Pump Your Ego Japa.”
  4. Watering the Weeds Japa – Chanting so poorly that by the time you finish you feel disgusted, depressed and miserable. Gone are the days of “Chant and Be Happy.” Now it is, “Chant and Be Miserable.”
  5. Beat the Clock Japa – You chant as fast as possible in an attempt to get those bothersome rounds over with, sometimes trying to break your previous record of one round in 3 minutes 59 seconds – which was formerly thought to be humanly impossible – until you proved it could be done if one is intensely motivated to get his chanting over with as soon as possible!
  6. Robot Japa – You chant like a robot. Chanting while totally disconnected from the mood of the mantra. You sometimes wish another devotee or a robot  could chant your rounds for you.
  7. Firing Blank Mantras Japa  Krsna’s name is chanted, but your mind and heart are somewhere else – and so is He. The sound Krsna comes out of your mouth, but because there is no consciousness, it is like firing blank mantras.
  8. Killing Time Japa – Chanting, but thinking of things to entertain yourself with while you chant so you won’t be so bored just listening to the mantra. In this way you kill time while chanting and thus make chanting 16 rounds quite tolerable by making it much less painful than usual. 
  9. Creative Japa – Using japa as a time for brainstorming, thus doing some creative thinking,  generating new ideas, and finding solutions to your problems. It is useful to have a pen and paper handy to write down your ideas. Although you may get very few rounds done, and you won’t get the nectar of the name – you have spent the past two hours in a such a high degree of passion that you will definitely have a long list of good ideas. (But is it really a good idea to ruin your japa to get some good ideas?)
  10. Novocain Japa – Your heart is so numbed that you feel absolutely nothing when you chant.
  11. Driving Japa  Chanting while distracted by the task of driving,  sometimes accompanied by cursing at people who cut you off (i.e. the anti-trnad api sunicena mantra).  Of course, the reason you chant while driving is that you get up late.
  12. No Japa, Japa  While holding your beads you converse with another devotee, moving your beads as you talk. In this way you sometimes finish a so-called round or two by the end of the conversation. (Oh God, help us!)
  13. Prajalpa Japa – You chant a few mantras and then speak a few words of prajalpa to your friend. You chant a few more mantras and then listen as they speak some prajalpa to you. Then you respond with some even more juicy gossip. This process often continues for the entire japa session.
  14. Call and Response Japa  You talk to someone, and while listening to you they chant japa. Then they reply and while listening to them you chant japa.
  15. Reading Japa  Reading and chanting at the same time. (Note: This would not be a problem if you had two or more heads.)
  16. Left Hand Japa  Chanting japa while doing something with your left hand (cleaning, cooking, tinkering, organizing, washing your car, etc.). This is very useful for developing left arm strength.
  17. Bubblegum Japa  Chanting in a way that sounds like you are chewing bubble gum while chanting Hare Krsna.
  18. New Mantra Japa – Chanting a new form of the Hare Krsna mantra, such as “here kitty, kitty, here kitty, kitty,” or “nish, nish, ram, ram, ari, ari.”
  19. Entertainment Japa  Chanting while watching TV or a movie. Note: watching TV while not chanting, but chanting during the commercials is also totally bogus! (And, Krsna conscious video is also included in TV Japa.)
  20. Internet Japa  A few mantras and a few emails, sometimes chanting and reading at the same time.  Inevitably, the beads get put on the table and the right hand lands on the keyboard.
  21. Window Shopping Japa  Chanting while window shopping (this commonly happens when making the attempt to knock off some rounds while in the shopping mall).
  22. Boredom Japa  You are so bored while chanting that you feel like killing yourself.
  23. Relaxing Japa  Lying down or relaxing in a hammock while chanting (often accompanied by coconut water in your left hand).
  24. Slumber Japa  Taking advantage of japa to get a good nap. Another variety of “Slumber Japa” is trying to fight off sleep, but continually failing. This is also known as “Dive Bomb Japa” due to the head constantly rising and falling (diving).
  25. Bitter Medicine Japa  Your experience of the holy name is like bitter medicine and your face turns in disgust as you chant.
  26. Painful Japa  Your mind is so out of control that it is painful to try to control it. Thus, the expression on your face while chanting appears similar to the expression of a person with a knife in their back (or a person with severe constipation). This is often accompanied by banging your head with your hand, or in severe cases – banging your head against a wall.
  27. Shaking Japa  (Also known as “Ants in Your Pants Japa”) – You chant as if you were a toy monkey that was just wound up.
  28. Radar Japa  Looking around at anything and everything – and everybody – while chanting.
  29. Audio Japa – Chanting japa while listening to a lecture, kirtan, song, or the radio. This is especially challenging while listening to the radio (unless, of course, it is one of your favorite songs or some juicy news).
  30. Sightseeing Japa  Walking or driving  and chanting while doing some serious sightseeing.
  31. Shopping Japa  Nish, nish, ram, ram, ari, ari-ing your way through the supermarket or mall.
  32. Apathy Japa  Chanting with absolutely no desire or enthusiasm to chant.

 

 

For information or comments

contact us at info@kirtan-academy.com

Wise Words from HH Bhakti Ananta Krishna Swami

 

Srila Prabhupada once said that in order to listen to the mantra we need to be very devoted to our Spiritual Master. The one who really dedicated oneself to the service of the Spiritual Master is able to listen to the mantra while chanting it.

When I read this statement of Srila Prabhupada it came deep into my heart and I began meditating on it…What is the connection between the quality of japa and dedication to guru? What does dedication to guru give us?

If we serve someone we become attached to this person. The same happens in the relations with Guru. Guru is connected to Krishna, and he makes connection between Krishna and us as well. Krishna is the Holy Name. So Guru puts Krishna into our heart in the form of the Holy Name. The heart is then flooded with the mercy of Guru and the Holy Name.

This mercy reveals the Holy Name, It becomes very beautiful, to chant It and to listen to It is a real pleasure. Our devotion to Guru and our efforts in proper chanting of japa are needed for that.

So, I wish everyone successful japa.

Nama Kirtan: The Essence of The Bhagavatam

Sri Caitanya sat attentively at the feet of His divine master, Sri Isvara Puri, who had just promised to disclose to Him the verse that is the essence of the Bhagavatam. Emphatically, but devotionally, Isvara Puri recited:

“One who chants the names of one’s beloved Lord without material attachment or inhibition awakens deep attachment to his Lord. As his hearts melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman oblivious to public opinion.”

No serious student of the Bhagavatam questions that nam kirtan is stressed in the text as the best means for realizing the Absolute Reality. How does that, however, make it the fundamental ingredient of everything spoken, the topic that weaves together the myriad subjects found within the text that are geared to establishing Krishna as the full manifestation of Godhead?

To decipher the actual theme of any book the first place to look is the history of its composition, specifically the intention of the author in writing the text. That account is told in the Bhagavatam itself:

Sri Vyasa, the empowered editor of the eternal Vedas, had just failed in his attempt to present the Vedas in a relevant way for this present age of discord. Seeing his despondency, Sri Narada, his spiritual master, confirmed what Sri Vyasa had already suspected, that he had not sufficiently glorified Krishna. Shaken by his teacher’s mild rebuke, Sri Vyasa entered a deep meditation to attain greater realization. The result was theBhagavatam, a text systematically and directly glorifying Krishna in 18,000 beautiful verses meant to be read and sung in various melodies. The Bhagavatam is therefore kirtan itself.

Srila Viswantha Thakur supports the continuity of the composition as kirtan in his commentary on verse three of the Bhagavatam. Commenting on the phrase describing the Bhagavatam as “the mature fruit of Vedic Knowledge” he affirms everything in the text as an expression (kirtan) of the highest devotion:

“The inherent nature of this fruit is rasa (perfected devotion), which implies that there are no parts like the seed or skin that are to be rejected.”

There are nine main devotional practices beginning with hearing (sravanam), chanting (kirtanam) and remembering (smaranam) each traditionally represented by a particular exemplar.  Saintly Sukadeva Goswami, the main speaker in the Bhagavatam,  is the exemplar for kirtan for having devotionally recited the text non-stop for seven days, further affirming the Bhagavatam as kirtan.

We have discussed the Bhagavatam as kirtan itself. Another way to understand kirtan. specifically nam kirtanas the essence of the Bhagavatam, is to understand the message the song delivers. What is the message of theBhagavatam?

To decipher the theme of a complex text, classical hermeneutics places stress on, among other things, the first and last thing spoken in the text. The crux of the Bhagavatam is the question of King Pariksit (a dying ruler and great devotee) to that same Sukadeva Goswami, the saintly monk that appears at his death to enlighten him. The King asks Sri Sukadeva:

“What is the duty of a man who is about the die and what should he not do?”

The first thing said in answer to this seminal question points not only to kirtan, but nam kirtan as the prime message of the text:

“O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.”

The very last verse of the Bhagavatam also supports nam kirtan as the text’s fundamental teaching:

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Hari, the congregational chanting of whose holy names (nama-sankirtanam) destroys all sinful reactions, and the offering of obeisances unto whom relieves all material suffering.”

Every age (yuga) has a particular practice effective for its time. As Bhagavatam was written specifically for the present age called Kali-yuga, evidence for nam kirtan as the prescribed practice for Kali-yuga would also support nam kirtan as the essence of the Bhagavatam.

Such evidence is found in the eleventh canto of the Bhagavatam, where the recommended spiritual practice for each age is listed along with the incarnation that inaugurates that practice. For Kali-yuga, nam kirtan is recommended:

“In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting (sankirtan) to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna[…]”

Although nam kirtan is certainly highlighted in the Bhagavatam, how is one to understand the many other diverse subjects that are apparently unrelated to nam kirtan? If the essence of something is that which pervades everything, how then is nam kirtan the svarupa (the inherent nature) of such assorted and apparently unconnected topics as calculation of time from the atom to the dynasty of Kings?

Sri Jiva Goswami gives the clue to the resolution of this quandary. At the beginning of Sri Bhakti Sandarbha he describes the two ways in which one can approach the text: for good instruction or to relish one’s relationship with Krishna. [11] First we need good and repeated instruction to finally surrender to Krishna. Then having realized one’s relationship with Krishna, the approach changes. No longer needing instruction one just relishes each statement in the Bhagavatam, including the instructional ones, as inspiration for one’s relationship with Krishna.

In other words, for an advanced devotee each and every text of the Bhagavatam nourishes one’s relationship with Krishna, which is the foundation of full absorption in chanting,  while the apparently diverse subjects of the text provide instruction to attain and support that stage.

For example, after Sri Sukadeva answers Maharaja Pariksit’s initial inquiry about one’s ultimate duty in life by instructing him to do nam kirtan, he immediately describes non-attachment, seeing God in the world, meditation and other favorable conditions for spiritual life.

We can understand the supplementary topics in the Bhagavatam in relation to kirtan in yet another way. If the purpose of the Bhagavatam is to chant the holy names of the Lord with devotion, then the text must also explain His worthiness for such dedication. The importance of this connection between understanding and devotion is confirmed in one of the key verses in the Bhagavad-gita where Sri Krishna affirms that the learned (budha) become devoted (bhajante). The term budha here is not referring to mere scholarship, but an understanding of the Absolute Reality, in this case realization that Krishna is the absolute source of all. If such knowledge, appropriately called sambandha-jnana (knowledge of relationship), is lacking and one misunderstands one’s relationship with God by thinking oneself God, then what is the question of chanting with devotion? True devotion is for others, not oneself.

The essence of the Bhagavatam according to the text  is thus not to just chant the holy name, but to do it with sambandha, with a sense of relationship. Relationship, which is the foundation of devotion, also requires an understanding of the relationship of God with matter and the relationship of the soul with matter, all subjects covered extensively in the Bhagavatam. For example, if one misunderstands the relationship of God with matter, and thinks God to be material,  or misunderstands the soul’s relationship with matter, and thinks one is the body, then what is the impetus or ability to chant with devotion, the essence of the Bhagavatam?  Thus to support devotional kirtan the Bhagavatam is full of metaphysical knowledge that clearly establishes the ontological position of Krishna and detaches one from the bodily concept of life.

The Bhagavatam, as described in the second canto of text,  is thus comprised of ten subjects, the first nine primarily meant to give one sambandha-jnana,  an appropriate understanding of Krishna, the proper object of devotion, whose full nature with pastimes is delineated in the tenth canto, which is the tenth subject, theasraya.

The tenth canto, although just one of twelve cantos, is thus by the far the most substantial in both its depth and shear number of verses. Any analysis of the Bhagavatam as nam kirtan, must therefore also show the relevance between Krishna’s pastimes and nam kirtan.

Hearing the pastimes of Krishna is essential for the practitioner of nam kirtan as a mature sense of our relationship with Krishna, the key to devotional chanting, is primarily awakened and nourished by hearing about the activities of one’s beloved, especially with those devotees whose relationship one inherently covets.

And although it is true that the practice and goal of bhakti is to absorb oneself fully in thoughts of Krishna, the full manifestation of that contemplation being His lila, nam kirtan still remains the foundation of such remembrance as within His name also rests His form, quality, and pastimes.  That is seen within the initial verse cited about the essence of the Bhagavatam where the result of chanting the names of one’s beloved Lord are crying, laughing, and other emotions. Such symptoms of pure chanting are the spontaneous response to the awakening of various lilas in one’s heart.  And nowhere is it recommended to give up nam kirtan at this stage. Rather nam kirtan remains the root of remembering the Lord’s pastimes, especially for that person who has properly heard them as delineated in the tenth canto. And that was the example of Sri Caitanya, especially in the last 18 years of his life in Puri. There in the gambhira  He continuously chanted the holy name and nourished His relationship with Krishna, in this case the mood of Sri Radha, with narrations and songs based on the Bhagavatam spoken and sung by his most confidential associates, Sri Ramananda Roy and Sri Svarupa Damodar.

It should be noted here also, that Sri Caitanya’s example also shows the healthy relationship between nam kirtan and the other forms of kirtan. Although nam kirtan remained the base practice, the others forms ofkirtan are not to be neglected. The genuine rupa, guna, and lila kirtan based on the Bhagavatam are also essential in the life of serious practitioner.

One question remains: if nam kirtan is the essence of the Bhagavatam, is it the main mode of expression of the residents of Vrindavan as described in the tenth canto? The answer is no. The residents of Vrindavan are not chanting kirtan as a practice to achieve love of Godhead. Rather their kirtan is an expression of such love (the goal of practice) which manifests accordingly as calling Krishna’s name (nam kirtan),  speaking about his form (rupa kirtan), talking about his qualities (guna kirtan), or singing His pastimes (lila kirtan).  Nam kirtan, however, remains the essence of the Bhagavatam for the reasons mentioned above; it is the main process recommended in and supported by the Bhagavatam to achieve the goal of life: love of Godhead.

Conclusion: The essence of any text and path of yoga is samadhi, absorption in the object of one’s meditation to the point of non-awareness of anything external to that object. In bhakti-yoga such absorption in Krishna is best attained by the practice of nam kirtan. Nam kirtan is thus the essence of the teachings of the Bhagavatam best exemplified by the spontaneous nam kirtan of eternal residents of Sri Vrindavan:

“O virtuous lady, if trees or other obstacles block Krsna from sight even briefly, His companions at once shed tears and call in anxious drawn-out voices, “Sri Krishna! Sri Krishna!”

Taken with permission from HH Dhanurdhara Swami’s Waves of devotion. See Waves of Devotions for full references.

 

Taken with permission from HH Dhanurdhara Swami’s Waves of devotion. See Waves of Devotions for full references.

Chanting on head bead?

The Five Qualities of Effective Mantra Meditation

 April 10th, 2012

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

I have noticed, and tradition confirms, that the efficacy of mantra meditation depends significantly upon the quality of chanting. It is not that one’s effort creates the effect of the mantra, but one must make the effort not to block the effect of the mantra — to open oneself fully to the mercy within it.

I would like to suggest chanting with five qualities, which I also think of as five “steps” towards efficacious, quality mantra meditation:

  1. Be Attentive
  2. Be Introspective
  3. Be Sincere
  4. Be Sweet
  5. Have Longing

Attentive Chanting

The main focus of this step is to pay attention to the mantra itself. I have found it most effective to treat each syllable of the mantra as something important – and focus my attention on hearing that I am correctly enunciating each syllable each time I repeat the mantra.

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra has 32 syllables. The two sonically symmetrical lines of the mantra each have 16. Within each line are four word pairs, each with a symmetrical four syllables. Each word in each pair has two syllables. This perfect sonic symmetry will reflect in the sound I produce when I make sure to actually chant each syllable.

Mantras bear fruit when chanted correctly. The maha-mantra is not a mechanical ritual, but the general principle is still valid. Its fruit is the topmost goal of being: selfless divine love, prema bhakti. Be sure to include each syllable in each repetition of the mantra and certainly one will begin to taste its fruit at least in the budding stage.

Introspective Chanting

We must avoid extraneous thoughts when chanting. We do that by becoming more sensitive to thoughts that are directly related to the mantra. I call this “Introspective Chanting.”

Once I am chanting the syllables properly, I direct attention inward to become more aware of how I feel in response to the chant. First I try to literally feel the mantra vibrating in every pore and cell of my body. This focuses my attention on how the mantra is directly affecting me. I also try to listen for any instinctual response to the spiritual sound that is permeating me and vibrating in my being.

Since the sound of the mantra is non-different from Radha-Krishna Themselves, my responses to that sound are the very fledgling beginnings of my soul awakening to krishna-prema. Listen for them introspectively while enunciating the mantra’s 32 syllables.

Sincere Chanting

Now that I am enunciating all the syllables with introspective alertness to the effect of the vibration, the next step is to deepen my sincerity.

To do this, I try to focus on the all-important attitude of love: the desire to serve Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, who are named in the 32 syllables of the divine mantra. I now try to experience the mantra not only as Krishna but also as prayer to Krishna. So, I now turn my ear towards the sound of sincerity within the mantra I am pronouncing. I find that by listening for sincerity, I automatically try to produce more of it. So gradually my recitation of the mantra produces the sound of heartfelt desire to be pleasing and loving towards Sri Sri Radha-Krishna.

Sweet Chanting

The sincerity in my chanting leads me to want to serve and please the object of the mantra: Radha-Krishna. Naturally, then, my next step is to shift the focus from my experience of the chant to Krishna’s experience of it.

Now I open myself to the mantra as the shakti of Krishna. Being Krishna’s shakti it exists for the sake of pleasing him. Opening myself to this, I hope to enter into the ocean of divine loving service that exists within the maha-mantra itself.

My main effort at this stage is to make the sound of the mantra I enunciate more pleasant, beautiful, loving and sweet. I have found it helpful to visualize Sri Krishna and Radha before me, listening to my chanting.

Chanting with Longing

As I envision Sri Sri Radha-Krishna near me, listening to my chanting, inevitably I must come to face the objective fact that They are not truly there, at least not in the tangible manner like I am envisioning. My goal at this step is to allow that truth to fill my heart with a bittersweet sadness. Sadness generates need, and need expresses itself as “longing.” In the fifth step of effective chanting I therefore try to focus on and amplify a longing for my hopes and visions within the maha-mantra to become a far more tangibly objective reality.

My main effort at this stage is to ignore all other desires in my heart and find the small voice of desire that longs for perfection of selfless divine love. I speak the maha-mantra to that voice, encouraging it to speak up. Louder and louder I want the maha-mantra to amplify that once small inner voice until it drowns out all other voices within me.

The perfection of my chanting comes when the longing need of that voice bursts through and expresses itself through stuttering and crying like a lost child crying out for her mother.

Conclusion

When I am done with my chanting session, I try not to focus on what I did not accomplish, but on what I did. I want to feel thankful to the mantra and grateful towards Krishna and those who have given me the rare and precious opportunity to attempt to chant it more fully and deeply. I want to feel grateful for whatever small steps they have empowered me to make during this chanting session.

As a practice, therefore, I like to conclude my chanting by folding my hands in prayer and encouraging that gratitude to flow through my hands towards my kind guides and protectors and towards the lotus-like feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna.

Actually, I would like the mood of gratitude to permeate all the five steps of chanting.

There are no rules about when, where or how to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. You can and should chant the maha-mantra in the way that fits you as an individual. I have personally found that these five steps have significantly improved my own relationship to the divine mantra, and I hope they will also be of help to other servants of the holy name.

THE KIRTANA OF HARI

By HDG Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada 

The sadhu helps the fallen jiva to regain his natural state of freedom from sin, by the constant service of bringing about the descent of transcendental sound in the form of words uttered by his lips and the mahaprasada in the shape of food that is offered by him to the Lord. The sound uttered by the sadhu and the mahaprasada are not things of this world. They are not identical with ordinary sound or ordinary food which are only means for the gratification of our sensuous appetites. The word of God and mahaprasada cannot be enjoyed, or in other words cannot be used for the gratification of the senses, because they are spiritual.

Those who enjoy the kirtana, or any spiritual discourse, or eat the mahaprasada for appeasing hunger or for gratification of the palate are guilty of sacrilegious acts which serve only to prolong the state of sin and ignorance. This is the greatest possible calamity that can befall the human soul.

The kirtana of Hari is the constant and natural function of all the faculties of the jiva soul in the state of it’s freedom from all affinities with this changeable world. Because the absolute truth is identical with Hari, Hari has to be served exclusively, constantly, and by all the faculties of the soul. The only function of the voice is to chant the kirtana of Hari, which is identical with and inseparable from the simultaneous service of Hari by all the other senses. One who does not employ his voice constantly and exclusively in chanting the kirtana of Hari has no access to the service of Hari by any other faculty.

The kirtana of Hari has therefore to be chanted by being humbler than a blade of grass. There can be no trace of worldly vanity. There can be no seeking after any worldly advantage. The only object should be to please Lord Hari.”

32 Ways to Not Chant Japa in 2014

From The Japa Workshop by Mahatma das

(For more classes on Japa, go to www.krishna.com/mahatma)

  1. To Do List Japa – Meditating on your to do and shopping lists, sometimes adding and deleting items between mantras. This may also include mentally balancing your checkbook or mentally going over which bills you have to pay. Caution: This process can cause you to lament about how many bills you have to pay, and thus changing your prayers from “Oh Lord, please engage me in your service,” to “Oh Lord, please add a few more zeroes to the end of my bank balance.”
  2. I Hate Him Japa – While chanting, meditating on who hurt you, how badly you were hurt, how  much you hate that person, and what you’ll do to get back at him. By the end of 16 rounds your hatred has increased tenfold and you have developed excellent plans and strategies to take revenge.
  3. I am Right Japa – Meditating while chanting on how right you are and how wrong someone else is, and with every mantra you become more convinced how right you are. Also know as “Pump Your Ego Japa.”
  4. Watering the Weeds Japa – Chanting so poorly that by the time you finish you feel disgusted, depressed and miserable. Gone are the days of “Chant and Be Happy.” Now it is, “Chant and Be Miserable.”
  5. Beat the Clock Japa – You chant as fast as possible in an attempt to get those bothersome rounds over with, sometimes trying to break your previous record of one round in 3 minutes 59 seconds – which was formerly thought to be humanly impossible – until you proved it could be done if one is intensely motivated to get his chanting over with as soon as possible!
  6. Robot Japa – You chant like a robot. Chanting while totally disconnected from the mood of the mantra. You sometimes wish another devotee or a robot  could chant your rounds for you.
  7. Firing Blank Mantras Japa  Krsna’s name is chanted, but your mind and heart are somewhere else – and so is He. The sound Krsna comes out of your mouth, but because there is no consciousness, it is like firing blank mantras.
  8. Killing Time Japa – Chanting, but thinking of things to entertain yourself with while you chant so you won’t be so bored just listening to the mantra. In this way you kill time while chanting and thus make chanting 16 rounds quite tolerable by making it much less painful than usual. 
  9. Creative Japa – Using japa as a time for brainstorming, thus doing some creative thinking,  generating new ideas, and finding solutions to your problems. It is useful to have a pen and paper handy to write down your ideas. Although you may get very few rounds done, and you won’t get the nectar of the name – you have spent the past two hours in a such a high degree of passion that you will definitely have a long list of good ideas. (But is it really a good idea to ruin your japa to get some good ideas?)
  10. Novocain Japa – Your heart is so numbed that you feel absolutely nothing when you chant.
  11. Driving Japa  Chanting while distracted by the task of driving,  sometimes accompanied by cursing at people who cut you off (i.e. the anti-trnad api sunicena mantra).  Of course, the reason you chant while driving is that you get up late.
  12. No Japa, Japa  While holding your beads you converse with another devotee, moving your beads as you talk. In this way you sometimes finish a so-called round or two by the end of the conversation. (Oh God, help us!)
  13. Prajalpa Japa – You chant a few mantras and then speak a few words of prajalpa to your friend. You chant a few more mantras and then listen as they speak some prajalpa to you. Then you respond with some even more juicy gossip. This process often continues for the entire japa session.
  14. Call and Response Japa  You talk to someone, and while listening to you they chant japa. Then they reply and while listening to them you chant japa.
  15. Reading Japa  Reading and chanting at the same time. (Note: This would not be a problem if you had two or more heads.)
  16. Left Hand Japa  Chanting japa while doing something with your left hand (cleaning, cooking, tinkering, organizing, washing your car, etc.). This is very useful for developing left arm strength.
  17. Bubblegum Japa  Chanting in a way that sounds like you are chewing bubble gum while chanting Hare Krsna.
  18. New Mantra Japa – Chanting a new form of the Hare Krsna mantra, such as “here kitty, kitty, here kitty, kitty,” or “nish, nish, ram, ram, ari, ari.”
  19. Entertainment Japa  Chanting while watching TV or a movie. Note: watching TV while not chanting, but chanting during the commercials is also totally bogus! (And, Krsna conscious video is also included in TV Japa.)
  20. Internet Japa  A few mantras and a few emails, sometimes chanting and reading at the same time.  Inevitably, the beads get put on the table and the right hand lands on the keyboard.
  21. Window Shopping Japa  Chanting while window shopping (this commonly happens when making the attempt to knock off some rounds while in the shopping mall).
  22. Boredom Japa  You are so bored while chanting that you feel like killing yourself.
  23. Relaxing Japa  Lying down or relaxing in a hammock while chanting (often accompanied by coconut water in your left hand).
  24. Slumber Japa  Taking advantage of japa to get a good nap. Another variety of “Slumber Japa” is trying to fight off sleep, but continually failing. This is also known as “Dive Bomb Japa” due to the head constantly rising and falling (diving).
  25. Bitter Medicine Japa  Your experience of the holy name is like bitter medicine and your face turns in disgust as you chant.
  26. Painful Japa  Your mind is so out of control that it is painful to try to control it. Thus, the expression on your face while chanting appears similar to the expression of a person with a knife in their back (or a person with severe constipation). This is often accompanied by banging your head with your hand, or in severe cases – banging your head against a wall.
  27. Shaking Japa  (Also known as “Ants in Your Pants Japa”) – You chant as if you were a toy monkey that was just wound up.
  28. Radar Japa  Looking around at anything and everything – and everybody – while chanting.
  29. Audio Japa – Chanting japa while listening to a lecture, kirtan, song, or the radio. This is especially challenging while listening to the radio (unless, of course, it is one of your favorite songs or some juicy news).
  30. Sightseeing Japa  Walking or driving  and chanting while doing some serious sightseeing.
  31. Shopping Japa  Nish, nish, ram, ram, ari, ari-ing your way through the supermarket or mall.
  32. Apathy Japa  Chanting with absolutely no desire or enthusiasm to chant.

 

 

For information or comments

contact us at info@kirtan-academy.com