His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
the Hare Krsna movement)
Devotees From The B.L.I.S.S. Performing Sankirtan-Yajna (Chanting of The Holy Names of Krsna) In The City Of Malaga, Spain
by Purujit Dasa
Mantra is a repetitive sound that focuses your mind in a particular direction. For example you are taking a long trip and you have many things to pack. "Don't forget the keys" - you say to yourself on and on while you are grabbing different other things to take with you on the plane. This is a mantra. In sanskrit the word mantra can be divided into two : man - which refers to the mind and tra - which means to deliver. Shortly it can be translated as "freeing yourself from your mind". The mind tends to wander. Just like with the keys, you want to remember not to forget the keys, but a phone rings and it's a friend you have not spoken to for 14 years, so naturally you become emotionally surcharged, your mind is distracted and you forget your keys at home and realize this only after you shut the door behind you. This is the mind. Instead of following your direction, the mind sometimes becomes too loose and drags you into an unfavorable situation. In the same way the mind drags us from one life to another. Whatever state of being one remembers at the time of death, that state he shall attain without fail. The mind carries the spirit soul into another body just like air carries aroma. If the air passes through a rose garden, the aroma of the air will be very pleasant smell. If it passes over a filthy place, it will carry an obnoxious stink. Similarly whatever the mind is absorbed in throughout one's life will decide his future birth either as a human, god or an animal. Mantra meditation is therefore a conscious future body designing. We are designing our future body by the thoughts we willingly try to cultivate.
In the material world there is constant fight between maya & the living entity. Maya is very strong & we can fall a victim at her hand at any moment. The only means of protecting us from the attack of maya is to be fully Krishna Conscious. The proportion in which we fall back in Krishna Consciousness is filled up by the influence of maya. It is exactly like the proportion of negligence of our health is subsequently resulted in our falling ill. The person who is very careful about his health does not generally fall ill. Similarly a person who is always fixed up in Krishna Consciousness cannot be defeated by maya. Sometimes in spite of our full Krishna Consciousness we fall a victim to maya but that is temporary just as seasonal changes such calamities do come & pass away & we have to endure them.
(Letter to: Jadurani -- Navadvipa 26 October, 1967)
Brahmānanda: No, he's saying that when we chant our rounds, how can we be sure that when we chant the round that the round is a perfect, attentive round, sincere?
Prabhupāda: Therefore it is śāstra, "You must." There is no question of understanding.
Brahmānanda: The quality of the chanting he's asking. How can we make the quality the best?
Prabhupāda: Quality, you'll understand first of all come to the quality. Without having quality, how he'll understand the quality? You follow the instruction of your spiritual master, of the śāstra. That is your duty. Quality, no quality—it is not your position to understand. When the quality comes there is no force. You will have a taste for chanting. You will desire at that time, "Why sixteen round? Why not sixteen thousand rounds?"
by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
There are different kinds of 'Yajna' recommended in different ages. The one which is recommended in this age of Kali (iron age of quarrel and fight) is the performance of yajna called the 'Samkeertan Yajna' which is a process of chanting and hearing the transcendental Name etc. of Godhead.
Srila Prabhupada on public chanting of Hare Krsna:
Please continue your efforts in Krishna Consciousness with great determination. Yes, Patience is is a qualification in the successful execution of devotional service. So study our literatures, discuss philosophical points and problems with your God-brothers, and especially chant regularly sixteen rounds daily without offense and go on Sankirtana. We must always remember that chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra is our life and soul.
(Letter to: Madhusudana -- Los Angeles 30 January, 1970)
You have written to say that your Sankirtana Party is truly an ocean of transcendental knowledge and bliss. So everywhere they say Sankirtana is nice. I have received letter from London, and we are experiencing here also. So this is our life and soul. It is nice that you are visiting two university towns regularly for Sankirtana and lectures. Such news engladdens me.
(Letter to: Krsna dasa -- Los Angeles 22 June, 1970)
Regarding your questions about Sankirtana Party, I think you should try to always have Sankirtana going on. All other things are subsidiary. This chanting is our life and soul, so we must arrange our program now so that there will be as much chanting on the streets and at college engagements as possible.
(Letter to: Satsvarupa -- Columbus, Ohio 14 May, 1969)
Hearing as the means of attaining liberation and pure devotional service
by His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bathing in the Ganges can certainly cure one of many infectious diseases, but it cannot cleanse one's materially attached mind, which creates all kinds of contaminations in material existence. However, one who directly associates with the Supreme Lord by hearing of His activities cleanses the dirt from his mind and very soon comes to Krsna consciousness. Suta Gosvami confirms this in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.17):
srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani
The Supreme Lord within everyone's heart becomes very pleased when a person hears narrations of His activities, and He personally cleanses the dirt from the mind of the listener. Hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani vidhunoti: He washes off all dirt from the mind. Material existence is caused by dirty things within the mind. If one can cleanse his mind, he immediately comes to his original position of Krsna consciousness, and thus his life becomes successful. Therefore all the great saints in the devotional line very strongly recommend the process of hearing. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the congregational chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra to give everyone a chance to hear Krsna's holy name, for simply by hearing Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, one becomes purified (ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). Therefore our Krsna consciousness movement is chiefly engaged in chanting the Hare Krsna mantra all over the world.
After one's mind becomes cleansed by chanting Hare Krsna, one gradually comes to the platform of Krsna consciousness and then reads books like Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta and The Nectar of Devotion. In this way, one becomes more and more purified of material contamination. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.18):
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki
"By regularly hearing the Bhagavatam and rendering service unto the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is practically destroyed, and loving service unto the glorious Lord, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact." In this way, simply by hearing of the powerful activities of the Lord, the devotee's heart becomes almost completely cleansed of material contamination, and thus his original position as an eternal servant who is part and parcel of the Lord becomes manifest. While the devotee engages in devotional service, the passionate and ignorant modes of material nature are gradually vanquished, and then he acts only in the mode of goodness. At that time he becomes happy and gradually advances in Krsna consciousness.
All the great acaryas strongly recommend that people be given a chance to hear about the Supreme Lord. Then success is assured. The more we cleanse the dirt of material attachment from our hearts, the more we will be attracted by Krsna's name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and activities. This is the sum and substance of the Krsna consciousness movement.
Harinam-Sankirtan - chanting of the Holy Names of Lord Krsna in the streets for the benefit of all living beings and distribution of the transcendental books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the life and soul of the B.L.I.S.S.
Chanting of Hare Krsna in the streets and transcendental book distribution
In our B.L.I.S.S. centres we make harinam-sankirtan - distribution of the Holy Name of Krsna and the transcendental books of Srila Prabhupada our main focus. Here are few pictures of these activities from the month of November. Hare Krsna! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
With Krsna one must be happy
by His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
"If a person is actually executing devotional service, then he must be happy. If he's not happy, then he's not doing properly. So first thing is this. He might be doing something in the name of devotional service. If he's actually rendering devotional service, then he must be feeling. Just like if you are eating actually, then you must feel strength and satisfaction of your hunger. You cannot say, "I'm eating, but I'm not satisfied of my hunger." That is impossible. This is not possible. Then you are not eating. Or you are eating, but it is being devoured by the worms within your intestines. Sometimes it happens. If there are many worms within the intestines, you go on voraciously eating, but you don't get strength because the eating substance, the essence, is taken by the worms. Therefore the worm treatment is there to kill the worms. Otherwise they will eat everything. You'll feel hungry, but will not get any strength. This is the worm disease. So if I am actually rendering devotional service and I'm not getting any happiness, that means there is some maya's play. Otherwise there is no such reasoning. He must feel happy. Then he has to rectify the process of his service. Not to change but rectify the process. (aside) What is that? (laughs) It cannot be. If you are actually executing devotional service, you must feel happy. If you don't feel happy, then you are not executing. There is some flaw. Yes."
(Bhagavad-gita 2.13-17 -- Los Angeles, November 29, 1968)
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Regarding other yoga exercises, if you take Krishna prasadam you shall keep your body automatically fit for working, so there is no need of extra exercises which are required by persons who may eat more than what is required. So for prosecuting Krishna Consciousness one should not eat more than what is needed. One should not endeavor beyond his capacity. One should not talk unnecessarily. One should not stick with some extra regulative principles, nor should one associate with persons who are not in Krishna Consciousness. One should not be too much greedy. What one should do is chant the Holy Name of the Lord with faith, enthusiasm, and firm conviction on the statement of LordCaitanya that simply by chanting the Maha Mantra one can be gradually elevated to the highest platform of spiritual perfection. Also what is important is to follow the four regulative principles of avoiding all illicit sexual connections, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. I am sure that Rupanuga will ably guide you in these matters.
Letter to: Kanupriya
15 January, 1969
by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
The Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes very dear to those devotees who have no material possessions but are fully happy in possessing the devotional service of the Lord. Indeed, the Lord relishes the devotional activities of such devotees. Those who are puffed up with material education, wealth, aristocracy and fruitive activity are very proud of possessing material things, and they often deride the devotees. Even if such people offer the Lord worship, the Lord never accepts them.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is dependent on His pure devotees. He does not even accept the offerings of those who are not devotees. A pure devotee is one who feels He does not possess anything material. A devotee is always happy in possessing the devotional service of the Lord. Devotees may sometimes appear materially poor, but because they are spiritually advanced and enriched, they are most dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such devotees are free from attachment to family, society, friendship, children and so on. They abandon affection for all these material possessions and are always happy in possessing the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead understands the position of His devotee. If a person derides a pure devotee, he is never recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the Supreme Lord never excuses one who offends a pure devotee. There are many examples of this in history. A great mystic yogi, Durvasa Muni, offended the great devotee Ambarisa Maharaja. The great sage Durvasa was to be chastised by the Sudarsana cakra of the Lord. Even though the great mystic directly approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was never excused. Those on the path of liberation should be very careful not to offend a pure devotee.
by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
A very advanced devotee does not think himself advanced. He is always very humble. The Supreme Personality of Godhead in His plenary expansion as the Paramatma, or Supersoul, sits in everyone's heart and can understand the attitudes and desires of His devotees. The Lord also gives opportunity to the nondevotees to fulfill their desires, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca [Bg. 15.15]).
Whatever a living entity desires, however insignificant he may be, is noted by the Lord, who gives him a chance to fulfill his desires. If the desires of the nondevotees are fulfilled, why not those of the devotee? A pure devotee simply wants to engage in the service of the Lord without material desire, and if he wants this within the core of his heart, where the Lord is situated, and if he is without ulterior motive, why should the Lord not understand? If a sincere devotee renders service to the Lord or to the arca-vigraha, the form of the Lord, all his activities prove successful because the Lord is present within his heart and understands his sincerity. Thus if a devotee, with all confidence, goes on discharging the prescribed duties of devotional service, he will ultimately attain success.
from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada
compiled by Purujit Dasa
16 ROUNDS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IN ORDER TO REMEMBER KRSNA ALWAYS
So far as your question about arranging time, our first business is to regularly complete our chanting 16 rounds each day.
Letter to: Kirtanananda — Los Angeles 2 December, 1968
My advise is always chant 16 rounds minimum and follow the four regulative principles. All of my disciples must agree on this point otherwise they are not my disciples. Let one live anywhere, but stick to the principles. Disagreements will continue in this material world. So one may live in a suitable place, but one must follow these five principles. My disciples must follow these principles living either in heaven or hell.
Letter to: Raja Laksmi — Mayapur 17 February, 1976
There are many regulative principles in the sastras and directions given by the spiritual master. These regulative principles should act as servants of the basic principle -- that is, one should always remember Krsna and never forget Him. This is possible when one chants the Hare Krsna mantra. Therefore one must strictly chant the Hare Krsna maha-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 Krsna 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 Krsna and not forget Him. Of all the regulative principles, the spiritual master's order to chant at least sixteen rounds is most essential.
One may sell books or enlist life members or render some other service, but these duties are not ordinary duties. These duties serve as an impetus for remembering Krsna. When one goes with a sankirtana party or sells books, he naturally remembers that he is going to sell Krsna's books. In this way, he is remembering Krsna. When one goes to enlist a life member, he talks about Krsna and thereby remembers Him. Smartavyah satatam visnur vismartavyo na jatucit. The conclusion is that one must act in such a way that he will always remember Krsna, and one must refrain from doing things that make him forget Krsna. These two principles form the basic background of Krsna consciousness.
If one cannot complete the fixed number of rounds he is assigned, he should be considered to be in a diseased condition of spiritual life. Srila Haridasa Thakura is called namacarya. Of course, we cannot imitate Haridasa Thakura, but everyone must chant a prescribed number of rounds. In our Krsna consciousness movement we have fixed sixteen rounds as the minimum so that the Westerners will not feel burdened. These sixteen rounds must be chanted, and chanted loudly, so that one can hear himself and others.
The first regulative principle is that one must chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra loudly enough so that he can hear himself, and one must vow to chant a fixed number of rounds.
Unless one has come to the platform of spontaneous love of God, he must follow the regulative principles. Thakura Haridasa was the living example of how to follow the regulative principles. Similarly, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was also such a living example. In the Sad-gosvamy-astaka it is stated: sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasanikrtau. The Gosvamis, especially Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, strictly followed all the regulative principles. The first regulative principle is that one must chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra loudly enough so that he can hear himself, and one must vow to chant a fixed number of rounds.
Yes, that is the right idea, to strengthen whatever devotees we have got in spiritual life, fix them beyond any doubts. Then our potency will increase and we may recruit dozens of new devotees easily. Main thing is to make sure everyone is chanting minimum sixteen rounds daily of Hare Krishna Mantra. Otherwise they will not be able to perform the other practices of brahminical life, such as early rising, cleanliness, etc.
Letter to: Jagadisa — Paris 22 July, 1972
Devotee: ...such devotees that they do service, they may be very big, they attract so many people, they are successful, kirtana and everything, but we know they are not chanting japa. What can we do in that situation? Are we...
Prabhupada: Situation, he is doing some service. He is doing some service.
Prabhupada: So because on account of that service, if he could not, that can be excused. But not that practice should be taken as permanent business. The regulation is that if you cannot finish your chanting that day, then next day you should forget sleeping and eating and must finish it.
Devotee: Some persons we encounter they don't even chant at all, and yet we are in association with them, and they are...
Prabhupada: No, if you miss on account of busy-ness, then next day you must finish it. You should not go to sleep. You should not... Yes, that day you should forget all other business. First of all compensate this.
Devotee: Some devotees have it as a chronic condition, though.
Prabhupada: Then he is animal.
Devotee: But still, he's doing lots of good devotional service.
Devotee 2: He may even be manager.
Prabhupada: Then they will get some chance later on. What is that devotee, if you do not follow the regulative principles? The business is that if one day you cannot, but finish. The next day you must finish. Now, for eating, he is very eager, and for sleeping, he is very eager, and for finishing chanting, he has no eagerness. Then he is animal. It is simply an excuse. Yesterday you had no time? You were very busy? All right. Today you forget your sleeping and eating. Finish it. That is wanted. [break] And only for chanting, you have no time. This is not allowed. This is not allowed. This is cheating, that "I am so busy."
Devotee: Most of these devotees in Hyderabad, they are chanting twenty-five rounds a day or more.
Prabhupada: That's all right. If you can chant more, that is good. [break]
Devotee: ...must associate with them, that is difficult.
Prabhupada: But you do your business. You don't follow them. That's all. You remain perfect. There are many imperfects, admitting, but you try to remain perfect so that they may see you, your behavior, and they may follow you. If everyone is sincere in his activity, then where is the question? The society means if I am defective, I am seeing that you are doing nicely, so I will be ashamed. That is also teaching. Actually that should be the practice. If I cannot finish my sixteen rounds due to some business, then next day I must finish it. If you say that "Next day also, I am busy," then you should forego your eating and sleeping and finish it. That is the way. You are so busy, but you do not forget your eating and sleeping. That is cheating. If you are so busy that you forget your eating and sleeping, then I can consider that you are very busy. But you do not forget this portion. "Whenever there is opportunity, I sleep and eat. And I have no time for chanting"—this is cheating. How long you can go on by cheating? You must finish it. Hare Krsna. Somebody, after initiation he promises, "Yes, I shall follow these rules and regulations. I shall chant sixteen rounds," before the fire, before the Deity, before the guru, and if he does not follow, then he is a cheater. What to speak of his becoming a Vaisnava, he is a cheater. He breaks all his promises. Therefore after seeing, observing a person is doing everything, then say second initiation, or then he should not be recommended for second initiation unless the president and the other authorities see that he is doing nicely, he is following. Otherwise he should not be recommended. If he is recommended, that is also another cheating. If you know that this person is not following the rules and regulation, then why should you recommend him? Then it is another cheating. Viddhi-bhakti must be followed; otherwise it becomes sahajiya.
Morning Walk -- April 20, 1974, Hyderabad
If you chant at least 16 rounds daily and read our books, no contamination can touch us.
Letter to: Gangamayi — Bombay 9 May, 1974
YOU CAN INCREASE BUT 16 ROUNDS MUST BE MAINTAINED
Aksayananda Swami: Of course we accept, ah, when you tell us to chant sixteen rounds, we accept that figure as being, in perfect faith, that you're the acarya, but ah, what if others we wanted to convince, is there any, any ah, sastr... Is there any Vedic verse we can refer to to corroborate that at least they must chant sixteen rounds. Or that many number of names?
Prabhupada: No. In the sastra it is not said like that...
Aksayananda Swami: I see.
Prabhupada: It is said, sankhy-purvakah...
Aksayananda Swami: Sankhy-purvakah.
Prabhupada: You must fix up.
Aksayananda Swami: Counting.
Prabhupada: You must fix up in numerical strength.
Aksayananda Swami: I see.
Prabhupada: Whatever you can.
Aksayananda Swami: Yes.
Prabhupada: But I have fixed up sixteen rounds, because you cannot do.
Aksayananda Swami: That's all we can do.
Prabhupada: (smiling, touch of irony) Yes. That also is difficult.
Aksayananda Swami: Yes. (laughing)
Prabhupada: Otherwise, Haridasa Thakura was chanting 300,000. So, That is not possible. You should not imitate, but whatever you fix up you must do.
Aksayananda Swami: Yes. Yes.
Prabhupada: That is wanted.
Aksayananda Swami: Yes. I was told in the beginning you asked the first disciples to chant 64 rounds?
Prabhupada: Yes. I asked them to chant 32?
Prabhupada: (grinning) Hm.
Aksayananda Swami: Is that correct?
Prabhupada: Sankhy-purvaka nama-gana-natibhih. Sankhya purva, or numerical strength must be there. And you should follow rigidly.
Aksayananda Swami: So if, if we are serious and sincere, it means that that sixteen will increase to, ah, to continuously chanting.
Prabhupada: You can do also now. It's not that because I've finished sixteen rounds...
Aksayananda Swami: No.
Prabhupada: You can increase. But that sixteen must be finished.
Aksayananda Swami: Yes. (pause) What I mean is, that's to bring us to the platform of chanting constantly. That at least we do that numerical number, finally we may be able to do, if we're fortunate to chant constantly day and night.
Morning Walk -- December 11, 1975, Vrndavana
Devotee (8): When chanting our sixteen rounds, we are not sure if these rounds are sincere...
Prabhupada: You should be sure.
Devotee (8): How can we be sure?
Prabhupada: There is beads.
Brahmananda: No, he's saying that when we chant our rounds, how can we be sure that when we chant the round that the round is a perfect, attentive round, sincere?
Prabhupada: Therefore it is sastra, "You must." There is no question of understanding.
Brahmananda: The quality of the chanting he's asking. How can we make the quality the best?
Prabhupada: Quality, you'll understand first of all come to the quality. Without having quality, how he'll understand the quality? You follow the instruction of your spiritual master, of the sastra. That is your duty. Quality, no quality -- it is not your position to understand. When the quality comes there is no force. You will have a taste for chanting. You will desire at that time, "Why sixteen round? Why not sixteen thousand rounds?" That is quality. That is quality. It is by force. You'll not do it; therefore at least sixteen rounds. But when you come to the quality, you will feel yourself, "Why sixteen? Why not sixteen thousand?" That is quality, automatically. Just like Haridasa Thakura was doing. He was not forced to do. Even Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He requested, "Now you are old enough. You can reduce." So he refused, "No. Up to the end of my life I shall go on." That is quality. Have you got such tendency that you will go on chanting and nothing to do? That is quality. Now you are forced to do. Where is the question of quality? That is given a chance so that one day you may come to the quality, not that you have come to the quality. Quality is different. Athasaktih. Asakti, attachment. Just like Rupa Gosvami says that "How shall I chant with one tongue, and how shall I hear, two ears? Had it been millions of tongue and trillions of ear, then I could enjoy it." This is quality. Quality is not so cheap. Maybe after many births. For the time being you go on following the rules and regulations. It is being done by force. Where is the quality? So you wanted to understand quality. This is the quality. You'll not be forced, but automatically you'll desire. That is quality. I am writing books. I am not being forced by anyone. Everyone can do that. Why one does not do it? Why I get up at night, one o'clock, and do this job? Because I cannot do without it. How one will do it artificially? This is quality. Therefore they like my purports. That quality is shown by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda virahena me. "Oh, I do not see Govinda. The whole world is vacant." Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda virahena me. This is quality. Just like we have got practical example. One man's beloved has died, and he is seeing the whole universe vacant. Is it vacant? So that is quality of love. So there is no formula of quality. It is to be understood by himself. Just like if after eating something you feel refreshed and get strength, that is quality. You haven't got to take certificate: "Will you give me a certificate that I have eaten?" You'll understand whether eaten or not. That is quality. When you will feel so much ecstasy in chanting Hare Krsna, that is quality. Not artificially -- "Chant. Chant. Otherwise get out." This is not quality. This is in expectation that someday you may come to quality. That requires time. That requires sincerity. But quality is there. Sravanadi suddha citte karaye... It will be awakened. Not by force. Just like love between two persons, it cannot be forced. "You must love him. You must love her." Oh, that is no love. That is not love. When automatically you love one another, that is quality. Dora vede(?) prema. And therefore formerly, at least in the Indian society, at an early age they were married. There is no quality in that quality. But gradually, remaining together, the quality of love increases. Then the wife takes care of the husband, and the husband takes care. They become bound up, united in love. That is quality. In the beginning, what the child knows about love? No. But they are allowed to remain as husband and wife. They are thinking that "I have got my husband," "I have got my wife," and as the age increases, the dealings become intimate. Then they become affectionate. That is quality. Not in the beginning there is any quality. It is by the parents' arrangement. That's all.
Morning Walk -- November 2, 1975, Nairobi
HOW TO CHANT?
I am glad to hear that you are always keeping engaged in Krishna's service and chanting Hare Krishna. As you chant, try to hear each word very carefully and always complete your sixteen rounds. Regular and attentive chanting, along with following the four regulative principles will keep one pure. Simply by following these principles and chanting Hare Krishna one can make his life successful and perfect.
Letter to: Tosana — Calcutta 20 February, 1972
Visnujana: ...if you chant from the lips or if you chant just in your mind as you walk?
Prabhupada: Begin from the lips. Then you go to the mind.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.3-4 -- March 8, 1968, San Francisco
Considering your problem I will advise you to chant on your lips since you become tired chanting out loud. Also you can sit and hear your Godbrothers chanting. And you can also hear tapes. Do all of these and there should be no problem.
Letter to: Ajitananda — Calcutta 16 January, 1976
Devotee: Prabhupada, we have very strict standards. There is no second chance. We have a no smoking, no drinking, no drugs or anything. Just one offence, they are released for a lifetime—they can never return. So it’s a very strict standard. We are the only corporate structure in North America. We have a very intelligent lawyer to put it into corporate rules, because sometimes people say that it is taking away their freedom of choice. After working hours you can have it legally on your papers that they cannot drink while working, but we have it even while on off-hours. Our people work pretty hard.
One question I wanted to ask you—I talked to Guru dasa about it quite a bit—was as far as chanting rounds were concerned. Our people do work often sixteen, seventeen, eighteen hours a day, because we want to make this thing work. And sometimes we find that sixteen rounds, they don’t do any, because in the end, it is not possible; they just don’t have time, because of the work. Is there some kind of standard that we could set that would be…
Prabhupada: General regulation is, suppose today you could not complete sixteen rounds—say you have completed twelve rounds—so the next day you complete four rounds. That means twenty rounds. Next day regular sixteen rounds, plus yesterday’s. That is the rule. Anyway, something is better than nothing. [laughter] But the rule, regulation is, just like the Gosvamis, they, if they missed chanting rounds, they would not sleep, completely. That is vow, drdha-vrata. In Sanskrit it is called drdha-vrata. That makes very strong spiritual strength.
Devotee: Part of the problem from our point is that we hide our bead bags, because people think we’d be very ridiculous to be carrying a bead bag around.
Prabhupada: That is [indistinct]. Convince them. They can carry, what is called? Trans…, transistor.
Devotee: Transistor radio.
Prabhupada: Like a log. [laughter] And if you cannot carry it always… So it is very big social problem.
Devotee: So we have to be careful of our position, because some people they have told me that, “I would be walking down the street sometime, and we passed the devotees…”
Prabhupada: No. You can say that “I have got some defect in my hand. I have got some defect for chanting. Therefore I have covered it.”
(from Vedabase 142+ Transcripts )
Devotee: Is it all right to finish rounds in the temple when there's nothing to do?
Devotee : This afternoon.
Prabhupada: Not afternoon. You have to do it in the morning when there is nothing.
Room Conversation -- December 21, 1970, Surat
Chanting japa should be done early in the morning with full concentration preferably during the Brahma Muhurta time.
Letter to: Radhavallabha — Bombay 6 January, 1972