Chanting in Writing

18th Oct 2004
Kalacakra Krsna das

Dear Devotees,
Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj took a most wonderful verse from Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.10 in a recent program in Dubai. This verse is spoken by Yudhishtir Maharaj to Vidura when the later returned back to Hastinapur after the war finishing his pilgrimage tour. 

 bhavad-vidhā bhāgavatās tīrtha-bhūtāḥ svayaṁ vibho
tīrthī-kurvanti tīrthāni svāntaḥ-sthena gadābhṛtā

My Lord, devotees like your good self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Personality of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage.

In the purport Srila Prabhupada says beautifully thus:

"The pure devotees hear from the authorities and chant, sing and write of the glories of the Lord. Mahamuni Vyasadeva heard from Narada, and then he chanted in writing; Sukadeva Goswami studied from his father, and he described it to Parikshit; that is the way of Srimad-Bhagavatam." 

The point that struck me in the above few lines is that Srila Prabhupada emphasises the importance of writing so nicely. He says, Vyasadev chanted in writing. In other words we get a beautiful idea that in reality chanting actually means glorification of the Lord's names, forms, pastimes etc. It is not just a mechanical repetition of a few words of a mantra. That is why he says Vyasadev chanted in writing, otherwise, with a shallow understanding of these devotional activities we tend to think that these activities are different. 

A couple of days later HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj stressed in his lecture in Abu Dhabi, "We should all have a notebook and a pen always with us. Anytime we hear or read something, we should write it down. Never mind if we cannot write some thoughts of our own. Even copying a verse or translation or purport as it is from the book is alright. Because while writing we get a better and deeper understanding." 

This was so true, because most of Maharaj's writings in his diaries are verses/translation/word-word equivalents straight from Srila Prabhupada's books. But he does it with unlimited love and dedication. From the point in his lecture and by observing his personal example, I understood the value of this 'writing' service.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Kalacakra Krsna das.