A-Z of Chanting Hare Krishna Maha Mantra
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The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra is the only way one can become liberated in this age of Kali.
Below are A-Z for chanting the Hare Krishna Maha mantra.
Avoid 10 offenses always while chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. Learn them and avoid them consciously.
Lord Caitanya says trnad api sunicena. One should be humbler than the straw on the street. Straw on the street has no value and everyone tramples it, however, it is resilient to all such actions. Being humble is more of an internal affair. One should not simply display oneself to be humble from outside but develop an internal feeling of not expecting any honour or praises from others.
One should circumambulate and offer obeisances to Tulasi Maharani to get her mercy. Circumambulating around Tulasi Maharani eradicates one’s sin and make one more complying to the chanting of the Holy Names.
Lord Caitanya further says that to chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra always one should develop tolerance like that of a tree. The material world is very harsh and one should be ready to absorb any kind of harshness without retaliating offense.
EXPECT NO HONOUR
In the same verse, Lord Caitanya says that one should not expect honour from others – amanina. Expecting honour will not allow one to become humble and unfulfilled expectations of praise and honour leads to offending others in the form of vengeful envy. Expecting honour becomes a hindrance for the manifestation of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra on the tongue.
FOLLOW SRILA PRABHUPADA’S INSTRUCTIONS
To not follow Guru’s instruction is one of the ten offenses. One should follow the instructions of the spiritual master for the Holy Name to manifest on the tongue.
GRAB EACH WORD WITH YOUR EAR
One should Hear very attentively, hearing each word of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra distinctly.
Srila Prabhupada says one should chant as a child cries for her mother. Our condition is similar, we are away from Krishna so we should very tightly hold the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna for the Holy Name to manifest on our tongue.
INCREASE CONCENTRATION OF THE MIND ON THE HOLY NAME
Our mind should concentrate on the Holy Name. The mind and ear are separate senses. They should individually concentrate upon the same subject – The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. However, hearing attentively will keep mind in control.
It is a good idea to chant congregationally. Chanting with devotees helps in concentration and motivation.
KEEP CHANTING ON BEADS
Strict instructions from Srila Prabhupada is to use Japa beads for keeping count. One should also use Sakshi mala (counter beads) to track the no of rounds.
Filler talks between rounds or in the middle of a round is distracting and takes one away from the association of The Holy Name. One should limit talk to important instructions that also when really required.
Chant clearly. Generally, after little while into chanting, one can get into a monotone mumble with a lack of hearing. Always Chant clearly without giving into occasional mumbling.
NEGLECT OTHER BUSINESS
Do not think of thousand other tasks that you have to do today. This is not the time to plan your to-dos. Concentrate on hearing and nothing more.
OFFER ALL RESPECT TO OTHERS
Lord Caitanya’s further instruction is man dena. To offer all respect to others, while not expecting honour in return. This mindset is extremely important for us to develop the right traits for the Holy Name to manifest on our tongue.
PRY NOT FOR PRAJALPA (GOSSIP)
Do not become unnecessarily inquisitive of the news of the world and its people. Krishna transmits His sound representation, the Holy Name, directly from the spiritual world like the Transcendental Radio. Keep hearing this news from the spiritual world seeking service of the Supreme Lord. Do not indulge in reading, watching TV, mobiles, laptop or eavesdropping on other conversations while chanting.
QUESTION YOUR ATTENTION
Distraction from hearing the Holy Name happens due to the conditioning of the living entity in this material world. Question your attention levels frequently to retract from other matters.
After questioning the attention it is pertinent to recapture the attention and filtering out distractors.
The tendency to sleep is indicative of the lack of hearing. This is certain. One cannot sleep if one is hearing the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra – Guaranteed! This is true despite the hours you slept last night. Keep your attention on the Holy Name to stay awake. One can chant louder than usual to avoid sleep. One more trick is to chant at the corner of the walls and chant loudly to reverberate The Holy Name. This also helps recapture distracted hearing.
TOLERATE SENSE OBJECTS
The sense objects are everywhere. Our mind is restless by its shallow attractiveness like the moth quitting the moon for the candle, which at last burns it alive. We should tolerate the urge from such sense objects, more so while we are chanting.
UTTER MANTRA AUDIBLY
Chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra loud enough to hear yourself. Therefore, the tone, speed and decibels should be set up to attain audible hearing – that’s all.
VOW TO COMPLETE 16 ROUNDS
One should take a vow to chant and complete 16 rounds before going to sleep.
WAKE BEFORE BRAHMA-MUHURTA AND CHANT
Preferably, one should chant the maximum number of rounds in the Brahma Muhurta, which is 1.5 hours before sunrise. This is the best time to chant.
XEROX THESE 26 LESSONS IN YOUR MIND
Register all 26 instructions clearly in your mind. By following these instructions you can do effective chanting so as to manifest Hare Krishna Maha Mantra on your tongue.
YEARN FOR HOLY NAME ON YOUR TONGUE
Pray feelingly to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna for the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra to manifest on your tongue. This should become your burning desire.
ZAP YOUR THOUGHTS
Keep all other thoughts at bay. Kill them, quell them, zap them, shun them, procrastinate them – but do not entertain them while chanting.