The attentive chanting of Hare Krishna fills the heart with deep inner contentment and happiness. The scriptures reveal that the sound vibration of the Hare Krishna mantra is transcendental and raises our consciousness from the material to the spiritual. For example one of the common challenges that I confront while counselling people is the deep inner sense of insecurity that many feel even amidst the hustle bustle of their lives. The days are packed with things to do, people to meet and targets to achieve, yet a lurking loneliness builds in the heart of men and women. Why does this happen and how does chanting Hare Krishna address this?
The heart always longs to reciprocate affection and love. As we busy ourselves with our myriad duties, the heart desperately seeks to connect with people at the level of the heart. When these sublime emotions are not felt, we work harder to get it and the more it eludes us, the more seething the pain of non acceptance. Radhanath Swami reveals that many seek to address this unfulfilled condition of the heart by resorting to unhealthy habits. This escapism takes the form of addictions, gambling, wayward behaviour, and illicit relationships. The intensity of modern civilization in seeking gratification through abandoning of all moral scruples is merely a reflection of the agonized condition of the human heart.
Chanting instantly connects us to God. This fills the heart with reciprocation, for ‘Krishna’ by definition means ‘all attractive’. As our hearts connect to the divine Names of the Lord, we bathe in the warmth of God’s love. Our hearts are no longer vacant. Radhanath Swami says poetically, “Although the Lord is in the heart, He doesn’t reveal Himself and we feel vacant. When we chant the Holy Names the deserted condition of the heart is over flooded with Krishna’s love. In this state of union with God we shall find all our other relationships to be also real.”
How does this work? As we connect to God we begin to see others’ connection to our loving Lord of the heart. That fills our own hearts with compassion and love. When we experience love, through connection to God, we can give love to others. In giving love to others we also receive from them.
Recently, on a late evening I was chanting on a small hill top near our temple and I could see below countless vehicles rushing at break neck speed. Suddenly a realization dawned on me, “who are all these people and who really am I. Are we all alone struggling in this world for our livelihood and love? But life itself is transitory. Is it really worth it?” As these emotions gushed out from my heart, I continued to move my beads prayerfully and soon felt comforted in my connection to Krishna. I also realized I am not lonely. I felt although we are alone in this world this aloneness is simply a state of being, an unavoidable reality that I have to come to terms with, whereas loneliness is a state of the dissatisfied mind. The more I chant the more I shall stay connected and the mind wouldn’t conjure any feelings of loneliness. If we are connected to God, we know we are alone in our sojourn in this world but don’t feel lonely; we happily connect with all souls from a deeper spiritual level of connection to God.