“We must chant with the proper service attitude – not demanding love of God, but chanting for Krishna’s pleasure.”
– Radhanath Swami
Krishna dasa does the needful on his various roles, and then sits to chant. For him, chanting is important but not the first thing in the morning. He confessed that during his initial days in Krishna consciousness he thought chanting would give him peace of mind, and that motivated him to chant. Today, however, he loves to chant but doesn’t see his japa as a means for something other than chanting. “Earlier I chanted Hare Krishna because I wanted peace,” says Krishna dasa, “but now I want peace so that I can chant Hare Krishna.” Chanting Hare Krishna is not the means anymore but an end in itself!
Besides, Krishna dasa considers that chanting is all about a sacred relationship with Krishna, and he prefers to go slow and be mindful in this daily communion with the Lord.
Krishna dasa also takes a little over two hours to complete his sixteen rounds whereas Rama dasa finishes his japa in ninety minutes. Krishna dasa confesses to you that he is in no hurry to ‘finish’ his rounds whereas Rama dasa has many things to catch up with, and feels his speed is good as it helps him leverage the tasks to do, with his time for japa. Krishna dasa never fidgets with his smart phone nor is he distracted when he is chanting. After his japa, he rises slowly and carries out to perform his other activities.
He revealed to you that he finds shelter in chanting, while Rama dasa feels relief after chanting!
Rama dasa chants Hare Krishna so that he can do all other things perfectly. Krishna dasa does all things nicely so that he can chant Hare Krishna happily.
Do you notice a difference in their approach to the Holy Names, and if yes, what is it and what lessons can you learn from their examples?
Doing versus Being paradigm
We often live in a ‘doing’ paradigm. We want to ‘do’ many things and chanting is one of them. Few sincere spiritual practitioners prefer to live in the ‘being’ space – they have nothing to achieve when they chant; they don’t want anything from chanting. Chanting is the answer to their prayers and they look forward to chant.
When we constantly live in the ‘doing’ zone, we seek to solve problems and meet gaps in our lives. We focus on our inadequacies, and the steps we need to take to bridge them. And this consciousness enters even our sacred japa meditation – we want Holy Names to solve all our problems, or we want to solve the problem of sixteen rounds! We consider all situations and activities as a means for some abstract goal, in a distant future. We chant Hare Krishna thinking that this activity will bless me, and one day I will go back to Krishna’s abode.
However, if we spend some time daily in the ‘being’ zone, we’d consider our gains – our blessings, and realize that I am chanting now as a result of past blessings, and I have reached home; I am safe now; I am now with Krishna!
“My chanting session now is the end of a journey. I have no goals to achieve now; I have nowhere to go. I am home; I am with Krishna.”
Lord Krishna has succinctly revealed the position of chanting:
“Of sacrifices, I am the chanting of the Holy Names (Japa).”
– Bhagavad Gita (10.25)
To be continued….