Chant and Pray with Heart

Chant and Pray with Heart

Manohar Krishna Das

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva! 

Last month I had the good fortune to visit Dwarka and Rajkot and meet H.H. MahaVishnu Goswami Maharajji! It was one of the most relishable, enjoyable and memorable experience in my life. I wish I had gone there with some service mentality. However, fallen and falsely proud as I am, full of defects, lazy, lusty and selfish, I did not do so. I hope to improve in future and seek mercy of devotees, Gurudeva and Prabhupadji. 

On returning to Minneapolis I was asked as to what Maharaj told/taught, then I had difficulty stating the facts. I realized that although I had made a note on paper about what Maharaji told but I did not listen to him properly. I must have been sleeping! 

However, if now asked about what are the important messages I got from the Dwarka/Rajkot Rath yatra visit I would summarize as follows:

1) Chant, chant, chant with heart: Please take the holy names as much as possible. Sing the prayers (like Jaya Radha Madhava ..., etc) with heart. (Priti ke saath gaayiye). Do not to make prayers a ritual.

Jap kar jap kar itna jap kar, ki hadh kar de
Ki Yamaraj bhi apne khaathe se teraa naam radh kar de 

"Chant, chant, chant, chant so much that you exceed all limits, such that Yamaraj (God of death) also removes your name from his records!"

2) Krishna's sound form (vani) and Him is one and same. Remember SB 1.6.25:

etavad uktvo pararaama tan mahad
bhutam nabho lingam alingam ishwaram
aham ca tasmai mahataam mahiyase
shirshnaavanaamam vidadhe 'nukampitah

"Then that supreme authority, personified by sound and unseen by eyes, but most wonderful, stopped speaking. Feeling a sense of gratitude, I offered my obeisances unto Him, bowing my head."

That the Personality of Godhead was not seen but only heard does not make any difference. The Personality of Godhead produced the four Vedas by His breathing, and He is seen and realized through the transcendental sound of the Vedas. Similarly, the Bhagavad-gita is the sound representation of the Lord, and there is no difference in identity. The conclusion is that the Lord can be seen and heard by persistent chanting of the transcendental sound. 

(Actually Maharaj was so meticulously dictating the whole verse/translation/sloka in his room, even though he had so many other busy schedules, I was completely astounded. Later that evening when we had the Bhagavatam class, Maharaj again recited the whole verse/translation and purport to all the devotees and made them repeat. I realized that whether it is one person or thousand persons, Maharaj's intensity of preaching and love is the same. As he makes everyone feel loved and cared for, and at the same time gives the powerful message of Bhagavatam, every living entity, whatever their propensities may be, take it with so much enthusiasm).

3) Always respect and take care of parents and elders. Never be harsh to them. we can never advance in our devotional service without the blessings of our parents. Elders mean not only in terms of age but also in terms of realization.

4) Encourage and teach children to do devotional service. Let them do aarati, change deity dress, etc. even though they may make mistakes in the beginning. Take them to temple. Organize school for children and teach Krishna Consciousness and simple life. 

5) Become a SAGE: Become Simple, Austere, Grave(gentle) and Energetic.

6) Be compassionate unto others. Maharajji praised Narsing Mehta (a famous vaishnava poet) and sang the song written by him ... 

Vaishnava jana ko tene kahiyeje,peer parayee jane re 
Para duhkhe upkaar kare koyee, mana abhimaana na aaye re

"Those great souls are called Vaishnava who get pained to see the pains others undergo. While they do self-less service unto such suffering souls, they never get proud of that service." Maharaj was emphasising on the second point (ie., not to become proud that I am helping so many people) very much to be followed by us. He said that this pride is so subtle that as soon as we do little seva like distributing food to a few people or help somebody out of difficulty we want the good name and when somebody praises us we are satisfied. If we are neglected, we feel so upset that nobody has paid attention to our 'great!' service. This is a perfect indication of our pride. Maharaj said, "To avoid pride we should always remember the answer of Lord Krishna to Brahma's prayers, that, all the prayers, service etc we are doing and even the firm faith on Krsna that we possess are due to His (Krsna's) causeless mercy. So, the service that we do to others is also originally instigated by Him (as Paramatma) only."

Prabhupadaji was already a self-realized person and he was happy doing bhajans in Vrndavana. Why should he come out from there and travel all over the world ? It was out of genuine compassion for the suffering mass of people. While helping them, he never wanted any glorification for himself. That is why, he got all the glorification. Whereas we are running around doing so many activities in the name of 'seva' thinking that others will notice us and praise us, but unless Krsna notices us what is the point in others' praises ? The primary condition for Krsna to notice us is to be nirapeksham - not having any expectation for glorification from others. Then we are qualified for His merciful glance.

7) Stop Criticizing and Complaining: 75% of the our energy/time is wasted in fighting with others/complaining about others. Please save that energy for reading Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita. Do your work for earning money very nicely and devote rest of the time in reading and chanting. 

Srila Prabhupada ki jai! H. H. Mahavishnu Goswami Maharajji ki jai!

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada
Manohar Krishna das