“There is no difference between the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself. As such, the holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity and eternity. The holy name is no material sound vibration, nor has it any material contamination.” (Padma Purana quoted from The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 13)
“I understand the importance of chanting the holy name. That sacred sound is identical to the person it references. It’s not the same as saying the word ‘water’ over and over. You will actually get the Supreme Lord in your association if you follow the guidelines of authority, the acharyas appearing in the disciplic succession. The removal of anarthas speeds up the conversion, also. The more unwanted aspects of living that get removed, which cloud the consciousness, the closer a person will come to the state of bhava, which is transcendental ecstasy, with their chanting.
“The question I have is about the routine of japa. This is silent repetition of a mantra, which is a collection of words that may contain, among other things, the holy name. Why is there a set number of rounds prescribed? Wouldn’t it be better to say the name of Krishna perfectly just one time instead of needing to repeat in a military-style routine? It takes a while to complete sixteen rounds of japa on a given day, so I am just curious as to the benefit of the recommendation.”
1. Watching a movie
It’s the end of a difficult first week at a new job. In addition to learning who everyone is, there is the subtle reminder to keep a good face. You have to show diligence in order to impress the bosses. This means arriving home later at night than you did at the previous position.
At the beginning of this weekend you are ready to sit down, relax, and watch a film. The only issue is that you are getting interrupted every five minutes or so. You end up finishing the movie, but it takes a lot longer than normal. There is little enjoyment due to the lack of continuity in the viewing experience.
2. Assembling furniture
Corresponding with the new job is a new apartment. It is closer to the office. This allows you to sleep longer during the night. You can also see your children before they go to sleep. The one headache is moving in. New furniture arrives to help set the mood. You are not so good at assembling things, but you decide to give it a shot.
The task isn’t too difficult, except you get the same interruptions. You screw on a few columns in the lamp only to have to leave the room. When you continue later you are not sure where you left off. The entire process is so frustrating that afterwards you swear to hire people to do the work in the future.
3. Reading a book
You are trying to learn a new technology. The method proven to be most successful for you in the past has been reading books. Learn the principles while having a computer next to you. This way you can test out the technology as you learn.
The same problem in this situation. Every few minutes or so you get an email from work. You have to take care of a different task. The mind goes elsewhere. When you return to the book, you have forgotten at which point you left off. Learning is rather difficult in this environment.
And so the Vedas and the associated spiritual guides present a concept known as numerical strength. While pure bhakti is without motivation and without interruption, it is not that training will lack an impact. The chanting routine is there to build strength in numbers. The more you say the names of Krishna and Rama, the more comfortable you will get in pronunciation. You will also hopefully remember those names more than just during the time of chanting on beads.
If a person practices yoga for a few minutes a day and then the rest of the time is spent in ways that corrupt the consciousness, the process isn’t as effective as it could be. The acharyas bless the processes they recommend. They have seen the effectiveness themselves, and so they can pass on valuable wisdom to others. These are life tips helpful in rescuing a person from the cycle of birth and death, which should be the highest objective in a human birth. Even a little effort in devotional service, whether in ideal continuity or divided into phases, makes a lasting impact.
Even if entire time distracted,
Positively by bhakti impacted.
But better when numerical strength,
Such as japa routine length.
Where sitting in isolation,
Focused on meditation.
And producing the sound,
Where Krishna to be found.
Categories: the three