Chanting Consciously or Attentively

Vandana Neeraye, 28th May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisance

All Glories to Shrila Prabupada

All Glories to Shrila Gurudev and Guru mataji

Hare Krishna

i know that when we chat it has to be without any offenses. But what does it mean to chant attentively or consciously.

Thank you

your servant,
Vandana

Sacinandana Das, 28th May 2015

Hare Krishna Vandana Mataji,
Please accept my humble obeisances!
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

If your question is whether there is a difference between chanting attentively and consciously, I had the same question months back. Ultimately, I preached to the mind to keep things simpler – Just hear the Holy Names attentively.

In other words, I find both as the same thing. Consciously hearing each syllable in Mahamantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare also means chanting attentively. And chanting attentively means consciously hearing each syllable in the mantra.

Offenceless chanting means chanting while avoiding all the 10 offences. If we chant without offences, i.e. avoid all the ten offences, we will then automatically be able to chant attentively. This was told to me by Srila Gurudeva personally. Also that, sometimes, the last thing in the list is the most important thing (as found here).

So we must keep striving to chant attentively despite success or failures, which happens by determination, enthusiasm, patience and causeless mercy of Guru and Krishna. Attentive chanting in brahma-muhrat is the ideal-most start of the day.

I seek prayers of all the readers that I may be able to do so.

your servant
Sacinandana Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th September 2015

Dear Mother Vandana,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for this question and Bhakta Shreyas’ nice answer which is complete.

I wanted to add a personal perspective.

As long as we remain alive in this body, it is impossible to chant “completely without consciousness”, because we know that dead bodies cannot chant Hare Krishna. However, it is possible for us to chant in a distracted or mechanical way, which is not fully effective, though any kind of chanting is always better than no chanting. The best thing to do is to notice when we are not paying attention to hearing our own chanting, and focus attention back to hearing the Mahamantra.

Srila Prabhupada once said, as recounted as “the shortest japa workshop” by one of his close disciples, when asked “what do with the distracted mind” that there is the mouth which chants, and the ears which hear, there is no question of the mind, in other words, chanting is as simple as chanting and hearing what one chants.

The example of mechanical chanting is Krishna has come to your door, knocking on your door, and you simply ignore Him. This is because the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is non-different from Sri Radha Krishna, as Krishna is non-different from His name “nama chintamani krishnas chaitanya rasa vigraha, purna shuddho nitya mukto abhinnatvam nama naminoh” – “abhinna’ = non-different, “nama” = name, and “naminoh” = owner of the name (Krishna).

When devotees say chant with attention, it means to recognize that Krishna is in His name and to pay attention to Hearing Him as He visits us out of His causeless mercy.

It is a daily and constant endeavor to anyone who is trying to chant.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das


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How to meditate Attentively?

Rathin Mandal, 14th December 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Your Lotus Feet and Srimati Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I will like to ask a question about chanting properly.
Sometimes it do happens that some personal, professional, family thought repetitively comes into the mind.
At times it become very difficult to get those thoughts out of mind.

In such condition, please tell me a way how to continue chanting.

your Servant
Rathin

Bhakta Sunil, 14th December 2013

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Rathin , during chanting on japa mala please make it a point that during the complete round mind has to be focussed to the transcendental sound vibrations of the holy names of the Lord.  Even if mind gets diverted to other thoughts please  try to bring mind gradually to the transcendental sound vibrations of the holy names of the Lord.  Mind is like a monkey which  jumping from one thought to another. But with proper and determined practice one can control and bring mind to the transcendental sound vibrations of the holy names of the Lord during chanting of the Mahamantra

Regards,
Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 17th December 2013

Dear Rathin Mandal,

Please keep chanting and don’t pay any attention to those thoughts – you are not the mind, so if you don’t give the mind fuel by giving attention to those thoughts, then the mind will eventually stop having a grip on you. Chanting while sincerely trying is the only way to better chanting.

Here are some strategies:

1. When you notice that you are inattentive, congratulate yourself on noticing, and bring yourself back to hearing the Mahamantra as you chant.

2. Keep a little diary – if some thought is really troubling you, then make a note of it, tell the mind see it will not be forgotten, and continue chanting.

3. Mind does not like big big projects, this 16 rounds seems like too much. So tell the mind – just three mahamantras, just three, and focus on them, when done, another three, like this 108, and like this 16 rounds.

4. Make sure that every syllable of the Mahamantra is being pronounced – strive to hear each syllable yourself and speed up when you are sure all syllables are there – if you want, you can record yourself while chanting and hear later to make sure.

5. Chant in the association of sincere and serious chanters.

6.Chant early in the morning.

7. Know that the chanting you are doing, if you can try to please Krishna, is benefiting the entire universe, including yourself.

Above all, please keep trying. To tell you the truth I need so many of these reminders myself, as I am weak little fool and Krishna’s Maya is very strong. Another thing to remember is that if you are thinking you are not chanting very well, there is a good chance you can improve, but if I think I can’t get any better than I am now, then I am a sure-fire candidate for falldown.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rathin Mandal, 19th December 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Your Lotus Feet and Srimati Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much Sunil Prabhu and Mahabhagavat Prabhu for your kind reply and suggestions.

For last couple of days, I have been trying to follow your directions and feel little better than before.

Hope to follow in your footsteps to improve.

your Servant
Rathin

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