Five Conditions In Which To Always Chant The Names Of Hari

[Nimai-Nitai]“Talking of Krishna or singing of Krishna is called kirtana. Lord Chaitanya also recommends kirtaniyah sada harih, which means always thinking and talking of Krishna and nothing else. That is called Krishna consciousness.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality Of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 32)

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1. In the heavenly region

“This is my reward for pious behavior. I conducted so many yajnas. People thought I was crazy, that I should stick to the standard schedule. They compared it to the medical authorities giving the recommendation for when and how often to inject mysterious substances into your children, starting right from when they are born.

“I did not want to take chances. If a specific yajna will yield a specific amount of paramartha after only a single time, why not repeat the same yajna? Why not accumulate a massive bank balance? I think I was right in my assumption.

“Just see the many desire trees. The beautiful, heavenly cows. There is every enjoyment available here. Okay, I guess we don’t get to stay forever, but we can easily get lost in the excess. Forget about time, for the moment.”

2. Amidst a festive gathering of friends and family

“It was such a great party. It came together suddenly. Sort of like those flash mobs you read about online, one person after another had an inclination to stop by. We celebrated the birthday like it was the most important, that there would never be another one.

[party]“You never want that kind of happiness to end. You want the party to continue forever. I hope the same can be repeated at some point in the future. That would be terrific.”

3. Facing punishment inside of a facility

“You make one mistake. You lose your better judgment for a few seconds. That is all it takes. Just see what I am facing. I would take it all back in a second. The word ‘regret’ does not do my emotions justice. There must be a stronger term to use.

“Intense lamentation. A lifetime of regret. Hopelessness and despair. That is my future. Nothing can be done to change the past. This is where I am. I might as well face reality.”

4. Suffering in a hellish region

“Well, looks like they were right. All that sinful behavior caught up to me. I am suffering here in what is obviously the hellish region. I don’t know how long I will be down here. The pain is excruciating. The administrators take the greatest pleasure in torturing us, the inmates. I cannot think clearly enough to even contemplate the future. There is a steady onslaught of aggression and interference.”

5. In an ashrama

This would be the traditional environment for following the recommendations of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He says to always chant the names of Hari, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The only requirements are humility and tolerance. This is for allowing the chanting to continue, in a steady flow.

“Spiritual taste is like the ocean in the sense that it is very great. The Pacific Ocean is always tossing, but it is not increasing. By God’s order, the ocean does not extend beyond its limit, and if it extends, there is havoc. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that there is another ocean, an ocean of transcendental bliss, an ocean that is always increasing.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Path of Perfection, Ch 1)

With the proper mental disposition, the bliss from the chanting will gradually increase. There is no limit to what can be experienced. This is like a transcendental realm. The stay can be permanent. This is not like heaven or hell.

The ashrama is the ideal place, because the location has the stated purpose of encouraging the practice. I go to the house of worship in order to contemplate, worship, and honor God. I meet with like-minded people. We are in it together. We have a shared interest.

But Mahaprabhu’s recommendation is for always chanting the names of Hari. This means that it should be the primary activity in any condition. If we win residence in heaven, the names of Hari are superior to anything the realm can offer. If we unfortunately fall to the hellish region, the names of Hari can lift us up.

[Nimai-Nitai]Whether we are alone in this world, with no support and no friends and family around, we can still chant the names of Hari. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that dedication to such chanting creates what is called Krishna consciousness.

In Closing:

One person heaven to meet,
Another hellish fire to greet.

One with party in festive gathering,
Another with friends only a scattering.

In whatever condition to call,
One path superior to all.

The names of Shri Hari chanting,
Like transcendental wave supplanting.

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