While performing the Hare Krishna meditation what are the different spiritual visions one could experience? Once Radhanath Swami’s guru, Srila Prabhupada was told by a young lady student that as she performed the meditation of chanting Hare Krishna, she saw a red light that filled her vision and consciousness. Srila Prabhupada wasn’t impressed and calmly said that if she continued the practise, the light would go away. Following his guru’s footsteps, Radhanath Swami too promises that the Hare Krishna meditation would fetch far more benefits than the experience of mere light or some other kind of illusory perceptions. Hare Krishna is not cheap, says Radhanath Swami. It’s not a process of getting some flashy hallucinating effect.
The actual benefit of chanting Hare Krishna is it fills our heart with a desire to serve Krishna, God. The awakening of this desire to serve God and other living entities fills our heart with a much richer experience than some fleeting high that we may experience by some superficial approaches to meditation. The potency of a spiritual practise is gauged by its ability to help the practitioner get rid of the ahankara, or the selfish ego. The world is beset with problems caused due to selfish egoistic pursuits. A genuine spiritual path therefore frees us from these misconceptions of the ego, and thus helps us be instruments of ushering in a culture of peace and selfless service.
The Hare Krishna yoga does exactly that. The meaning of the Hare Krishna chant is “Oh my dear Lord, please engage me in your service.” As a Bhakti Yogi meditates on the meaning of the mantra while chanting, his consciousness undergoes a gradual change; his aspirations become noble and activities purer. Radhanath Swami says that service is the natural function of the living entity. However due to cultivating a desire to enjoy separately from God, we have filled our consciousness with selfish desires of exploitation. Chanting Hare Krishna revives our original consciousness and helps us be reinstated in our constitutional position of being the servant of all living entities.
Being a servant is an unpopular word in this world of ambitious go getters. However this position of servitude alone can help us free from ahankara. The misconception of considering the self as the enjoyer is creating havoc in society. Radhanath Swami would often give the example that if different parts of the human body desire to satisfy themselves independent of the whole body, there would be overall disorder in the body. On the other hand if each limb decides to cooperate and serve the body as a whole, the body remains healthy. Imagine the hand decides to enjoy a sweet itself; is it possible for the hand to feed itself? If the hand puts the sweet in the stomach, then the whole body, including the hand gets nourished. Similarly if each member of the social body decides to satisfy his own ego and interests, there would be overall chaos; if he decides to be a servant of God and hence all of God’s children, then the society as a whole, including the individual serving member would feel contended.
The Hare Krishna meditation works on filling the heart with this sublime desire and hence contributing to the experience of more meaningful happiness in life.