Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura about inattentive chanting
Questions about INATTENTIVE CHANTING and answers by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura from his books:
Q. What is the main impediment blocking one from developing attachment for chanting?
A. If one gives up all the offenses in chanting, but remains inattentive, he can never develop attachment for chanting. (Sajjana Tosani 11/1)
Q. What are the various definitions of inattention while chanting?
A. O Lord! All anarthas are produced when we do not pay attention to our chanting. The exalted devotees have defined inattention as indifference, laziness, and restlessness. (Harinama-cintamani)
Q. What is the symptom of a restless chanter?
A. Those who are afflicted with restlessness try to finish their prescribed rounds as soon as possible. One should be extremely careful not to commit such an offense while chanting. (Harinama-cintamani)
Q. How can laziness be destroyed?
A. The characteristic of a saintly person is that he does not waste time. By seeing such character in another, one will certainly hanker after it. One will think, “Alas! When will I become fortunate enough to chant, sing, and remember the holy names of the Lord like this saintly person?” Such enthusiasm in a lazy person’s mind will destroy his laziness because he will remember Krsna. (Harinama-cintamani)
Q. Why does one become indifferent to chanting the holy names?
A. If the desire to accumulate wealth, enjoy the association of women, name and fame, to cheat others, and to seek victory over defeat fills one’s heart, that will naturally make one indifferent to chanting the Lord’s holy names. (Harinama-cintamani)
Q. Why is inattention in chanting the source of all offenses?
A. O reservoir of all transcendental qualities! If one chants the holy names of the Lord but his attention is elsewhere, how can he benefit? If even such a person chants one hundred thousand holy names of the Lord, still a drop of the mellow of ecstatic love will not be attained. O Lord! This is the definition of inattention while chanting the holy names. This offense is deeply rooted in the hearts of materialists. (Harinama-cintamani)