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Kali yuga Japa Counter!

Saturday, 05 August 2006 / Published in Humor / 11,574 views

O Dear Readers, a warning: If ye know not what a clicker be, turn ye back now! Runneth and chanteth upon thy beads! For verily ye may think thy japa grand, but be ye warned, if ye readeth on, may ye suffer the likely fate that follows such terror, such evil… such illusion as The Clicker!!

It was a dark and stormy night, the soft sounds of “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna…” could be heard over the sporadic crashes of thunder. Three devotees were finishing up their rounds for the day, racing against time and thinking of all the other service they had to do as well. Their minds drifted from the chanting to washing pots, gardening and driving to the store to get supplies.

Between the rumblings of thunder, between maha-mantras and the quiet wooden knocking of japa beads, there could be heard, though hardly audible at first, an ugly metallic click. As it drew nearer, the clicks grew louder… and louder… Until the devotees knew that the clicking was in time with their japa. As they would finish chanting a mantra… “Click!”… Another mantra… “Click!”

They were startled. This clicking was all around them. Moving closer and closer, louder and louder. They stopped chanting and suddenly before them it stood. Shiny and round with a lever fit for a giant’s thumb. The number “1728” peered down at them.

“You are up late, young devotees,” it seemed to say. “Your rounds are depriving you of sleep. They are taking time away from your many services. You are letting the other devotees down! They all think you’re lazy because your service doesn’t get finished! Here, let me help you.”

And with that, the three devotees each opened their hands to discover tiny versions of this colossal round metal thing… this gigantic clicker. It has reproduced itself into three identical very concealable little machines.

The clicker spoke again: “Each time you chant a mantra, click this once. It will keep track for you! And now your hands are practically free! You can chant and drive, wash pots and garden!” It was like the clicker could read their minds.

And then he was gone. Disappeared through the mists of the storm. The devotees looked at each other. Was this the answer to their prayers?

“This is ecstatic!” said one devotee. “Now I can do all of my rounds AND all of my service!”

“You’re right!,” said the second devotee, “This will solve all of our problems! Jaya!” But the third devotee felt uneasy. “I don’t know, prabhu’s, it’s true that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all of our service and all of our rounds, but shouldn’t we maybe sleep less or budget our time better? We spend a good part of our day just goofing off instead of chanting. I even took a nap during morning japa today! No. I want to chant better rounds and just get my spiritual life back on track. I think I’ll stick with my beads.”

The other two laughed at him, took their new clickers and chanted off through the night. The remaining devotee looked at the clicker in his hand. He examined it, going over every detail, noticing every curve, side and function.

It could have been the flash of lightning or maybe a passing car, but he thought he saw something within the clicker. It was slight and now it was gone, leaving nothing but an foreboding sense of evil. Was his mind just playing tricks on him? No. It was the clicker. A cold streak flew down his back. Every muscle in his body tensed. Every brain cell in his head screamed “throw it away, get rid of it!” And so he launched it high into the air, over shrubs and trees until it vanished into the darkness from whence it came….

A week passed and he could see the other two devotees still struggling with their service. Still up late clicking and chanting and washing pots or gardening. He hadn’t seen them at morning program in a few days. He asked how they had been.

“Good.” They replied. “These clickers are perfect! Chanting it so easy now! I hardly notice that I’m doing it!”

And then he noticed the look in their eyes. For a quick second it was identical to what he had seen in the clicker that night one week before. He could tell it had taken them over. They looked famished, like they hadn’t chanted in days!

Throughout the next week or two, he began to notice more devotees using the clickers. The pleasant sound of wooden beads softly rubbing against each other was replaced with the scraping metal noise of the clickers. Where he used to distinctly hear “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,” he now hear only this strange mumbling. He noticed the same look in more and more devotees’ eyes. As time went on, he felt out numbered.

A few of the devotees started trying to talk him into using the clicker. He refused, and they became almost hostile. When he told them that he’d rather chant attentively, they became angry and defensive: “My rounds are FINE!”

In a very short while it reached its climax. Everyone was clicking but him. Japa period turned into a clicking period where you could do pretty much anything at all. Cooking, cleaning, running errands, doing chores… all while chanting on your clicker! The temple became almost devoid of joy. The service that could so easily be done with the clicker was being abandoned for more mundane tasks like checking email and even watching TV!

He had had his fill of these clickers! If someone wasn’t going to do something about it, he would do something about it! The next morning as he walked into japa period to the sounds of strange mumblings and clicking and more clicking he exclaimed, “ENOUGH! Don’t you see what these clickers have done to you? Don’t you see how they’ve killed your devotion, your sadhana. Can’t you see how they’ve murdered your love for the holy names of Krishna? Look at you all! This isn’t japa! This is… MAYA!”

And with those words, the temple doors flew open! Standing just inside the threshold was the gigantic metal clicker he met all those weeks ago.

But this time he was ready! “Clicker! You are in Krishna’s temple! How dare you step foot in here! You didn’t even offer obeisances!”

“HA!” Exclaimed the clicker, “I may be in Krishna’s temple, but where is Krishna? These devotees are not His devotees, oh no! They are mine… all mine!” The clicker was right. It was this lone devotee against a virtual army of clickers! The clicking mob turned towards him. Mumbling closer and closer… the clicks becoming louder and louder until the final crescendo was nearing, until it hit… and…. “HARE KRISHNA!” Screamed the devotee with more feeling and attention than ever before. He said it with such conviction and love. Love, not just for the holy name and for Krishna, but love for the devotees who were trying to click the spiritual life right out of themselves. The transcendental vibration hardly came from his lips, but from his soul.

The clicking crowd stopped in their tracks. What was this? What had happened? The devotee eyed the gigantic metal clicker, still standing in the doorway. The clicker looked stunned. How had this devotee resisted? How could anyone resist such tempation?

Regaining their illusion, the mob clicked closer. Like spiritless zombies they slowly gathered around him mumbling something indecipherable, rhythmic, yet… nothing at all. Their words, if they were words at all, were unnatural slurs, one word drifting into the next. And then it dawned on him. “Oh Krishna!” He whispered to himself in disbelief. How could this be so? How could this have happened. “That mumbling, that slurring… that’s…,” he could hardly speak the words, “that’s their… japa!”

The horror set in. It was up to this lone devotee to destroy this thing, this murderous metal chunck of maya!

As the clicking dead nearly covered him, he could see the gigantic metal clicker snarling by the doorway of the temple, cackling to the devotee, “This time I’ve got you! Where is your precious maha-mantra NOW?!”

And with all the devotion this bhakta could muster, he took a deep breath, held tight to his japa beads, closed his eyes and very softly and joyously, with all the humility he could muster began to chant.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

The gigantic clicker was beaten! A shock of panic appeared on its face. It was the end for this clicker. With each passing maha-mantra the clicker backed farther away, out of the temple room, out side on the grounds, broken and bleeding and rusty, this clicker had clicked its last click!

The assembled devotees seemed to all wake up at once to the beautiful and pure chanting of this single devotee. They rubbed their eyes and looked down at their hands. The clickers that were destroying their sadhana were gone, reduced to nothing but dust to be swept up after their rounds where attentively chanted.

They gathered around this devotee once again, praising him and his devotion, his chanting and his spiritual life. They sang his glories over and over, so relieved to have been woken from their horrible dreams, their clicking nightmare. But their praise only made him blush. He had no desire to hear this, what if it went to his head? So as they laughed and came one by one to embrace this devotee, he politely backed away, smiled and said, “No. Best to just chant Hare Krishna.”

_____________________________________________

Now, dear readers, for those of you who don’t know, a “clicker” is your basic “inventory counter.” It’s a small, usually metal, hand-held counting device. You press your thumb on the button and it ticks off another number.

So what does this have to do with chanting japa? Sadly, a lot. Since the “clicker” is a great counter of things too large for fingers and toes, and since it’s pretty small, some devotees, who shall remain nameless, use them to count their rounds. One click for each mantra.

Those who use clickers know that beads are best. When in the temple, of course, they use beads. So it isn’t a question of what is better. What it turns into is a question of quality.

Clickers are used to chant rounds when a bead bag just wont do. Mostly it is because of inconvenience. These chanters use the clicker because they’re driving or cleaning or checking email, basically doing things where a bead bag would probably get in the way. But what is interesting about these situations is that if a bead bag can’t be used while performing certain tasks, should japa be chanted then anyway?

Yes it’s true, you can chant “Hare Krishna” anywhere at any time. However, when you’re serious enough to start counting how much japa you’re chanting, and you’re trying to improve both quantity and quality, these are not the kind of rounds you want to be doing.

Japa should be chanted in a situation where you’re not going to be distracted. When you chant using a clicker, the chanting is oftentimes a distraction to what you’re supposed to be doing. If you’re using a clicker while driving, are you paying attention to the road or to the holy name?

As a general rule of thumb is that if you can’t use your beads, you’re probably not chanting attentive japa. Not that attentive japa automatically comes when you pick up your beads. It’s got to be worked upon, like anything else. But using a clicker is not the way to do it.

Japa is meditation. It’s very important to remember that. To meditate, the mind must be fixed upon something. Since chanting japa is mantra meditation, we have to have them fixed upon the sound of the mantra. This is impossible to do if we’re clicking away while driving or gardening or washing pots.

So be ye warned! It is still out there! Clicking in wait for ye minds to wander from thy japa. Do not dare give it chance to get a foot hold on ye! Holdeth thou tight to thine beads, holdeth thy mind close to the holy name and chant like life itself depended upon it!

source

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17 Responses to “Kali yuga Japa Counter!”

  1. Sankarshan Das Adhikari says :

    Srila Prabhupada has instructed us to chant on beads. We have never heard him instructing us to chant on a clicker.

    Here are some direct quotes to substantiate this:

    “Nowadays people are very much inclined to the meditational process, which is not practical in this age, but if anyone practices meditating on Krsna twenty-four hours a day by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra round his beads, he is surely the greatest meditator and the greatest yogi.”
    –from the purport to Bg 9.27

    “Please follow the regulative principles very strictly, chant Hare Krsna Mahamantra sixteen times daily round the beads and be happy.”
    –from a Letter to: Satadhanya Das — Bombay 30 March, 1971

    “When Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, His wife, Visnupriyadevi, although only sixteen years old, also took the vow of austerity due to her husband’s leaving home. She chanted her beads, and after finishing one round, she collected one grain of rice.”
    –from the purport to SB 4.23.20

    “The austerity in our Gaudiya-sampradaya is very simple: following the four principles, restriction, avoiding the offenses, and chanting regular beads. That’s all. And hearing.”
    –from lecture on SB 6.3.18 — Gorakhpur, February 11, 1971

    “You should chant at least 16 rounds on your beads every day, and avoid the ten offenses to chanting.”
    –from a letter to: Yadavananda — London 2 December, 1969

    “Our first business to every initiated devotee is to chant daily sixteen round of beads without fail, and to follow the regulative principles rigidly, and our literatures must be studied with great attention. ”
    –from a letter to: Jayapataka — 1975 So. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, Cal. 90034 February 13, 1970

    “The Governing Body Commission’s duty is therefore to see that every member is following the rules and regulations and chanting sixteen round regularly on the beads.”
    –from a letter to: Bali-mardana — Tokyo 25 August, 1970

    “Haridasa Thakura chanted 3 lakhs of names each day, that means 16 names in the mantra, 108×16 or 1,728 names in each round of mala, dividing 300,000 by 1,728 comes to roundabout 175 rounds on beads daily.”
    –from a letter to: Yajnesvara — Bombay 2 January, 1972

  2. Atmarama dasa says :

    I don’t know…what if “clickers” were around several thousand years ago?

    Japa beads were a more practicle way of counting over using your fingers.

    I know, let’s be complete purists and go back to counting japa on our fingers!

  3. Ramaraghava says :

    How about if we become complete purists and adhere to the pure instructions of our pure spiritual master, Shrila Prabhupada. Let’s chant on beads as he instructed!

  4. Babaji says :

    Atmarama is not correct it is not that chanting on fingers is more pure than chanting on beads, it is just another way of counting. But it is usually for smaller number of things. Like doing gayatri japa for instance. Nama-acarya, that is the Acarya of how to chant the holy name, Hari dasa Thakura chanted on beads, not his fingers.

    I have used a clicker, it is a must when driving. But nothing beats chanting on Tulsi beads. Simply by touching Tulsi one makes advancment what to speak of chant the Holy name.

  5. madhava gosh says :

    I have no problem with someone using a clicker. There are no hard and fast rules for chanting. I do prefer beads, and think there are good reasons for using them. For one, it is touching Tulasi. Two, I would be interested to see which pressure point is stimulated when chanting beads – I think it must be calming or something. Maybe someone who has studied accupressure would know. Three, I think the rhythm of having to stop and go back may help occupy the mind – both in the act, and in the anticipation. Fourth, my wife made me beads out of a Tulasi she grew – she, nor I, couldn’t make a clicker. Last, but not least, 108 is a special number, and you have no way of knowing when you hit it with a clicker.

    If beads were based on counting on fingers, you would think it would be 144 mantras. Counting on the joints of the fingers, you get 12 on one pass, and then you mark it on a joint of the other hand, where there are also 12 joints. 12×12 = 144. So apparently 108 is based on something other than sustainable solution to chanting on fingers (which is a good method to know, IMHO; can be handy sometimes.)

    108 has some special significance. 108 = 1 to the first power times 2 to the second power, times 3 to the third power. 1 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3 =108. A much more elaborate discussion can be found by searching the Wikipedia for 108. Point being, it is not a random number and may, by acknowledging it, evoke some special energy.

    Better to chant on a clicker than not chant, though.

  6. gmittal says :

    I have seen many devotees falling asleep while chanting during morning program. I keep on wondering what kind of chanting these devotees might be doing. If one falls asleep while chanting, then whatever rounds one has chanted before falling sleep would most probably be inattentive due to sleepy and tired mind. It is better for such people to sleep and recharge mind and then, do japa with fresh and attentive mind.

    I agree with author that chanting should be focussed on the naam and Krishna. The effectiveness of unfocussed chanting or inattentive chanting is questionable. Obviously, inattentive chanting is better than no chanting.

    I disagree with author when he says, “shouldn’t we maybe sleep less”. It is important to sleep sufficient hours so that we don’t feel sleepy rest of the days and we can do our duties with mind focussed on Krishna. How much a sleep a person needs will vary person to person?

    Hare Krishna,
    Gaurav Mittal

  7. Namaprabhu says :

    Srila Prabhupada chanted on beads. End of discussion. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah.

  8. cinmayi says :

    who says everybody that uses a clicker is doing somthing else while chanting? thats a big assumption.
    “clicking” is not much different from counting on fingers while chanting,which srila prabhupada also did.
    i don’t happen to use a clicker, but i would never judge anyone else for using one. they are chanting.
    i thought there were” no hard and fast rules for chanting the holy name!”

  9. Suresh das says :

    I use a clicker when I go on japa walks in my neighborhood. I like to be left alone. I am a private person. I am surrounded by born-again Christians, so I am very self-conscious about “coming out” regarding my practicing of Krishna Consciousness. I can just imagine seeing a burning cross in my front yard.

    At the same time I chant on beads as well. I have found that it is indeed true that chanting on beads is more effective. The touching of the specific fingers used in chanting on beads seems to have a calming effect on the mind. Lately when I walk on the beach and chant, several miles away from my home, I chant on a smaller 27 bead mala. I chant on my mala openly, without a bead bag.

    At the same time, I am older now, and have arthritic pain developing in my hands, and wrists, so chanting on beads can sometimes be somewhat painful. In those times I resort back to my counter.

  10. mata says :

    I have a question about japa for the non-initiated person who loves Krishna but is unable to follow the 4 regulative principles due to a predominance of the lower gunas. I have read that in this case one should not chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare because Krishna will count the offenses, rather one should chant Shree Caitanya Nityananda because these appearances are more merciful. This seems confusing to me and at odds with the chant Hare Krishna concept spread by ISKON, because most people in the world are still ruled by the lower gunas.

  11. iksvaku dasa says :

    The important aspect of chanting is attentiveness. To equate chanting on clickers with inattention is to dissipate the main focus of our chanting and sadhana.

    The ‘monster’ is not the clicker or whatever other method is used for chanting but rather our absent mind when the Holy Names are in our lips. That is what is warned by the acaryas and the sastras. I don’t recall extensive intructions and discussions on prohibited artifacts of chanting (or counting). The focus is always ‘how’ to chant.

    Just as there may not be instructions of Srila Prabhupada on ‘clicker chanting’ he gives plenty on chanting with attention and humility. In the same vein, chanting on beads is not synonymous of attentive chanting. It is obvious and indisputable that beads are ideal but let’s not think that because one may not use the ‘clicker monster’ one is ‘really’ chanting.

    Offensive (inattentive) chanting can be done with or without beads.

  12. Praghosa says :

    Dear Mata,

    Naturally it is better, and our chanting will be more effective if we are following the four rules, so this should always be our meditation.

    Still, if for some reason we are not able to follow the four rules then we should certainly continue chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. However chanting the Sri Krishna Caitanya prabhu Nityananda mantra is an essential requirement and should be chanted before every round of the mahamantra. One of the reasons for chanting this mantra is to beg for the mercy of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda to allow us to chant the mahamantra even in our fallen condition.

    The International Society for Krishna Consciousness now has its world center in Navadvipa, Mayapur. The managers of this center should see that twenty-four hours a day there is chanting of the holy names of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, with the addition of haraye namah, krsna yadavaya namah, for this song was a favorite of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But all such sankirtana must be preceded by the chanting of the holy names of the five tattvas—Sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. We are already accustomed to chant these two mantras—Sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda and Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Now, after these, the other two lines—namely, haraye namah, krsna yadavaya namah/ gopala govinda rama sri-madhusudana—should be added, especially in Mayapur. Chanting of these six lines should go on so perfectly well that no one there hears any other vibration than the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. That will make the center spiritually all-perfect.

    Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 17.123

  13. Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Advising people to chant the Panca-tattva maha mantra before every round of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is not an injunction, or even a suggestion, found in any scripture, in any instruction from Srila Prabhupada, or in any example given by Prabhupada or the acaryas. In fact, this now widespread practice in ISKCON has won us just criticism from other Gaudiya groups.

    Prabhupada did instruct us to chant the Panca Tattva maha-mantra before chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, which we do in kirtana. However, he never instructed us or personally practiced chanting the Panca Tattva maha-mantra before each round. One can say that doing so is a “natural” way of putting the general instruction into practice, but one could just as easily say that we should chant the Panca-tattva maha-mantra before each bead, rather than each round.

    Of course, individuals may chant whatever bona-fide mantras and prayers they want at various times–there is no prohibition about chanting, say, the entire Bhagavad-gita between each round. However, it is best if we instruct persons only in “rules” that are actually rules.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Your servant, Urmila devi dasi

  14. Praghosa says :

    Regarding comment #13

    When you say:

    “Advising people to chant the Panca-tattva maha mantra before every round of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is not an injunction, or even a suggestion, found in any scripture, in any instruction from Srila Prabhupada”

    Surely the below reference (one of many) goes someway to qualifying? While the below reference doesn’t explicitiy mention japa, it by no means excludes it.

    Your servant, Praghosa dasa.

    “In the Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of the sankirtana-yajna.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always accompanied by His plenary expansion Sri Nityananda Prabhu, His incarnation Sri Advaita Prabhu, His internal potency Sri Gadadhara Prabhu and His marginal potency Srivasa Prabhu. He is in the midst of them as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should know that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always accompanied by these other tattvas. Therefore our obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are complete when we say sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. As preachers of the Krsna consciousness movement, we first offer our obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by chanting this Panca-tattva mantra; then we say Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. There are ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, but these are not considered in the chanting of the Panca-tattva mantra, namely, sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is known as maha-vadanyavatara, the most magnanimous incarnation, for He does not consider the offenses of the fallen souls. Thus to derive the full benefit of the chanting of the maha-mantra (Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare), we must first take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, learn the Panca-tattva maha-mantra, and then chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. That will be very effective.

    Taking advantage of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, many unscrupulous devotees manufacture a maha-mantra of their own. Sometimes they sing bhaja nitai gaura radhe syama hare krsna hare rama or sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda hare krsna hare rama sri-radhe govinda. Actually, however, one should chant the names of the full Panca-tattva (sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda) and then the sixteen words Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. But these unscrupulous, less intelligent men confuse the entire process. Of course, since they are also devotees they can express their feelings in that way, but the method prescribed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pure devotees is to first chant the full Panca-tattva mantra and then chant the maha-mantra—Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

    Adi-lila 7.5 purport

  15. mata says :

    Please accept my gratitude for your inputs and also know that there is no intention here to sow discord, only to find the quickest way back to my Beloved, Krishna. Because I do recognize myself as a servent of the senses, and I do not qualify to receive a Spiritual Master on the earthly plane, I accept the guidance that Krishna sends to me through his devotees in order to disentangle myself, I went to the Adi-lila purport cited above and text 23 spoke to my heart, just as dancing and chanting do:

    In distributing love of Godhead, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates did not consider who was a fit candidate and who was not, nor where such distribution should or should not take place. They made no conditions. Wherever they got the opportunity the members of the Panca-tattva distributed love of Godhead.

    It seems that this text also addresses the clicker issue, that is whenever we have the opportunity to remember Krishna, we need make no conditions on that. I find myself spontaneously chanting and singing Krishna’s names throughout the day, when I am serving my family through cooking and attending to our farm. I guess because I am not very advanced I don’t try to count those times nor to force them.

    The reason I have asked for clarification with the Maha-mantra is this:

    Cc Adi 8.31
    caitanya-nityanande nahi esaba vicara, nama laite prema dena, vahe asrudhara

    “But if one only chants, with some slight faith, the holy names of Lord Gauranga and Nityananda, very quickly he is cleansed of all offenses. Since in the chanting of the names of Nityananda-Gauranga there is no consideration of offenses, one will very quickly come to the stage of love of God, simply by chanting Their names and tears of pure love for Krishna will flow from the eyes.”

    PURPORT BY SRILA PRABHUPADA:
    […]”For an ordinary man, worship of Sri Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu or the Panca-tattva is easier than worship of Radha and Krsna. Unless one is very fortunate, he should not be induced to worship Radha-Krsna directly. A neophyte student who is not sufficiently educated or enlightened should not indulge in the worship of Sri Radha and Krsna or the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra. Even if he does so, he cannot get the desired result. One should therefore chant the names of Nitai-Gaura and worship Them without false prestige.”

    and this:

    PURPORT BY SHRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI THAKURA PRABHUPADA:

    […] “The Hare Krsna maha-mantra considers the offenses whereas the names of Gaura-Nityananda don’t consider offenses. An offensive chanter will never achieve the fruit of chanting (pure love for Krsna) by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Therefore till the time he is commiting offenses, he should chant the names of Gaura-Nityananda. Due the repeated chanting of the names of Gaura-Nityananda, the offenses will destroyed and he will achieve the fruit of chanting.”

    Perhaps my ignorance is causing me to become confused. I just know that until I receive Krishna’s mercy in whichever form, I will continue to pray for directions home.
    I do wish to thank all the devotees for their singing and chanting bliss and to HG Bhurijana Prabhu for his downloadable Srimad Bhavagatum lectures which keep me in the company of pure devotees throughout the day.

  16. mata says :

    Please accept a short note, the above comment was not meant to be in bold, except for the quote from Srila Prabupada about the neophyte, excuse my lack of tech expertise. Perhaps I am reading these purports out of context, again I am only trying to understand the best path for someone who has a hard time disengaging the senses from the material entanglements. I was trying to send this comment before, but I’m not sure it went through because my computer hiccupped.

  17. Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Yes, that CC purport (Adi 7.5) quote, and some quotes in lectures, says that before chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra one should chant the Panca Tattva mahamantra. So, some devotees extrapolated to assume a “rule” or even a “suggestion” to chant the Panca Tattva mahamantra before each round of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. This extrapolation has since been taught to newcomers and has become somewhat entrenched in ISKCON.

    Howvever, none of our acaryas, including Srila Prabhupada, ever did that or instructed anyone to do that. You may refer to the many times that Prabhupada chanted a round with devotees and instructed devotees in the specfics of how to chant on beads. He never at any time told them to chant anything before each round or between rounds, nor did he do that himself. It is not done by any other Gaudiya group, either. Therefore, we can conclude that the instruction (as in CC Adi 7.5 purport) to chant the Panca Tattva mahamantra before the Hare Krishna mahamantra must not mean to chant the Panca Tattva mahamantra before each round. If an individual wishes to do something in particular before or after each round, that may be a personal choice. However, it is not part of our tradition or the instructions of Prabhupada or the acaryas. One could just as easily interpret the purport of CC Adi 7.5 to mean that we should chant the Panca Tattva mahamantra before each *bead* of the Hare Krishna mantra, rather than each round. Best to understand guru, sadhu, and sastra together by following the examples of the acaryas, and very clear and direct instructions. Making something a “rule” that is not a rule can be as dangerous as not following a rule.

    I hope this is helpful.
    Your servant, Urmila devi dasi

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