How to go deep into meditation

How to go deep into meditation? How to overcome the tyranny of the mind? What can we do to improve the quality of our meditation?

Kaspars, 30 January 2016

Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Gurudeva and Gurumata! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

How to go deep in meditation? Our Gurudev Sankarshan Maharaj mentions that tamasic / rajasic mood will not help. Ok. Then what helps to deepen the meditative moods of bhakti to Krishna in devotion. Please, dear devotees, kindly give some glimpse about your practice of meditational state of mind and how you get that and how you keep being like that.

Thank you.

Kaspars

Seba, 30 January 2016

Sir, 

I am chanting the Hare Krishna mantra daily on the beads still I feel difficulty in deep meditation, my thoughts are in tandem to my repetition to the mantra. 

Kindly help

Thanks

Seba

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 30 January 2016

Hare Krishna Bhakta Kaspars,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions.

Just for comparison, my current condition is like that of a surfer, who is struggling to balance on the surfboard. I am constantly battling with the turbulent waves of thoughts in my mind, which try to push me off the board and I have to again and again try to get back on my board and try to listen to the names. This happens almost everyday. And just like the surfer has to check the time of high tides and low tides during a day before venturing into the sea, to deepen our meditation – the time of the day plays a significant role. And Srila Gurudeva gave the key to dive into that deep meditation. 

The following is an excerpt from Srila Gurudeva’s book ‘Truth Works'(Questions and Answers for reviving your divine existence, Vol.1 (page 137) 

“The key to focused japa chanting is to rise early in the morning and finish one’s daily quota of japa chanting before sunrise. This time of the day is known as brahma-muhurta. It is a very spiritual time of the day when it is very easy to keep one’s mind fixed on the holy names. At this time of the day the mode of goodness predominates. This is why it is so easy to chant during this time period. Once the sun comes up, the atmosphere shifts into the mode of passion, a time for activity and productivity; then it becomes very difficult to sit and peacefully meditate on the holy names. If for some reason you cannot complete your japa before sunrise then you must finish it before you take your morning meal. If you make this serious commitment and stick to it every day, you will be able to train your mind to stay absorbed nicely during your japa chanting. It is simply a matter of training and practise.” 

Almost everyone of us here must have experienced the difference in meditating on japa at different times of the day- early morning, noon or evening or night time. And as recommended by the acaryas and with experience we can see that early morning hours, before the sunrise is the best time to practise and help deepen our meditation on mantra. It is also recommended to try to focus the mind on hearing the syllables of Hare Krishna mantra by pronouncing each word of the mantra clearly.

Time is just one of the factors. If we go further then there are ten offenses one must avoid which will further help to deepen our meditation and so on. I am sure some wonderful realizations of the devotees in the group will follow up this post for the benefit of everyone.

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Guru Vandana devi Dasi, 30 January 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Gurudeva’s Thought for the day Jan 28, 2016  is very inspiring:

“As within, so without.In other words, whatever consciousness you cultivate within your heart is the atmosphere that you will create or manifest in the world that surrounds you. So now decide what kind of atmosphere you would like to live in and seriously cultivate that atmosphere within your heart. In other words, if you want to live in a peaceful, God conscious or Krishna conscious environment, you must always hear about, speak about and think about Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The magic of this is that by doing so you will exert an uplifting influence on your surroundings.”

“Whatever consciousness you cultivate within your heart is the atmosphere that you will create” My practical experience for chanting 2 hours of 16 rounds is to prepare our consciousness for 22 hours for it.   When we think of nonsense for 22 hours ,   there is no focus on the Holy name during those 2 hours.

Rajasic and Tamasic moods will not help because the mind is not peaceful.

Some of these prayers help and keep praying always..

” O Krishna, please help me connect with You in my chanting. O compassionate Krishna please help me to realize that Your Holy name is non different from you. Inspire me to listen to Your Holy name as carefully as I listen to a message from a loved one”

Speak to our mind

” My dear mind please call Krishna, then don’t ignore Him. My dear mind please don’t ignore the presence of the Lord while chanting please, please, please”. 

In nectar of Instruction Verse 8, Srila Prabhupada writes about stages of perfection,

“In the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing krsna-katha. This is called sranava-dasa, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the transcendental holy name of Krsna and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varana-dasa. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of krsna-katha. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaranavastha, the stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive krishna-smarana. At first, remembrance of Krishna may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmrti. By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmrti one enters the stage of samadhi, or spiritual trance. After smarana-dasa or samadhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Krishna. That is called sampatti-dasa, the perfection of life.”

Thank you for this wonderful question, this makes me remember to take up Krishna consciousness seriously.

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

Alakananda Devi Dasi, 31 January 2016

Hare Krishna devotees,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thank you all for your wonderful insights on how to perfect the chanting of the mantra on japa beads. The information given inspires me to become a better devotee of guru and Lord Krishna.

yours humbly,

Alakananda Devi Dasi

Mahabhagavat Das, 02 February 2016

Dear Bhakta Bushanlal Raina,

Hare Krishna!

Your choice is whether to pay attention to your thoughts or to your chanting. If you pay no attention to the thoughts, the mind will automatically come and listen to the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, of course, it will try to distract you with thoughts, but again, your choice to pay attention makes the difference. Try it out.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Mahabhagavat Das, 02 February 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

This desire you have is a very wonderful desire, and if you repeatedly beg Krishna, He will fulfill your desire.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Haresh Bakshi, 03 February 2016

Hare Krishna bhakta-s, 

Based on my own experience, I can say that chanting is as easy as it is effective. In this age, it is the easiest path to realization.

Thanks and namaste

Haresh Bakshi

Shridhar Prabhu, 17 February 2016

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva !

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Gurudeva!

Meditation means absorption (in Lord or His Absolute aspects). Absorption comes from intense desire (tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam). Intense desire shall arise when we are convinced of the ultimate goal of life single pointedly, without doubt. 

Therefore we must first strengthen our faith in the ultimate goal of life being devotional service to Krishna,

that there is nothing in this whole material world that is worth comparing to devotional service of the Lord. That devotional service 

is unlike any mundane service which instead of demanding a pay (salary), rather deserves a pay to be allowed to be performed. 

Once our faith gets more and more narrowed and firm in this process then we’ll also realize that material nature will keep tossing us into ignorance and passion helplessly, which we cannot fight on our own strength. Due to our anarthas always appearing at any and every time, distancing us away from Lord(through service, His devotees, His pastimes, His qualities, His form, Holy Names, etc..), we feel separation. The longing/hankering of the soul to relish that devotional engagement multiplies, and results into meditation. 

Therefore faith needs to be strengthened, which happens by sincerely striving for practicing a regulated life in the association of devotees and under the guidance of seniors. Association of devotees is explained in Nectar of Instruction, text 4. Hearing from seniors is very important.

The importance of following a regulative life as instructed by the spiritual master has been emphasized in the Preface to Nectar of Instruction. My favorite paragraph from Preface is:

“In all spiritual affairs, one’s first duty is to control his mind and senses. Unless one controls his mind and senses, one cannot make any advancement in spiritual life. Everyone within this material world is engrossed in the modes of passion and ignorance. One must promote himself to the platform of goodness, sattva-guṇa, by following the instructions of Rūpa Gosvāmī, and then everything concerning how to make further progress will be revealed.”

Therefore, while encountering the unavoidable limitless ignorance and passion in the path of devotional service, we may often face despondency and despair. But somehow or the other ignoring these symptoms we must, dutifully and faithfully, if not meditatively, execute devotional service aiming for improvement. Then meditation shall come. 

Also, of the 9 processes of devotional service, visno-smaranam or remembrance of the Lord is 3rd and comes after sravanam and kirtanam, indicating, the automatic result of proper hearing and chanting/preaching is – smaranam (or meditation).

your servant

Shridhar Das

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What is the relationship between the Mind and Intelligence?

What is the difference between mind and intelligence? What is the relationship? Does the mind live in the brain?

Rathin 9 January 2018
Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Studying the conversation in Janis Mataji’s question “Questions About Memories of Past Lives and Evolution” is very enlightening.
In response there is an explanation for Subtle body and Gross body.
I had been explaining all this time to others, that intelligence-mind is like software-hardware; one cannot go without another. But somewhere I was relating mind to the brain. But from the answer, it is clear that my assumption is wrong. Brain a part of the gross body.

How do I understand mind and intelligence?
Please help me understand this.

your servant
Rathin

Filip Misic, 9 January 2018
Hare Krishna Rathin,

There is an example that helps one segregate the mind and intelligence and I think that most people can relate to this. Let’s say you hear a catchy song with a funny melody on eg. the radio. The song then gets stuck in your mind and later you start singing or crooning the song out loud. However when this happens to people, they usually say something like: “I can’t stop singing this song…it’s stuck in my head…I want to get this song out of my head!” Now, that is the intelligence speaking. So shortly said the intelligence notices what the mind is doing and decides whether it is a positive or negative thing.
Similarly, we should restrain ourselves, i.e the mind, from thinking of sense objects with the help of intelligence. In this way, we avoid developing attachments towards objects of sense gratification, which only bring delusion and misery. The only thing is people rarely realize there are different levels that affect how you act. I hope this helps you.

your servant, Filip

Sacinandana Das, 9 January 2018

Hare Krishna Bhakta Rathin,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
As per my understanding mind and intelligence reside in the heart of the living entity.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das.

Guru Vandana devi dasi, 9 January 2018
Hare Krishna Bhakta Rathin,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Gurudeva explains that the mind is a psychic on/off switch. It is that which accepts or rejects things. Without proper intelligence one will accept what is bad and reject what is good. With proper intelligence from guru and Krishna one will accept what is good, namely the devotional service of the Lord, and reject material sense gratification.

your servant
Guru Vandana devi dasi

Rathin Mandal, 11 January 2018
Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you Filip Prabhuji, Sacinandan Prabhuji and Guruvandana Mataji for your kind responses and helping me understand this.

your servant
Rathin

Thunduparambil Jayaprasad, 16 January 2018

Mind cannot work on its own , it gets power only when it is attached to senses . when 5 senses are filtered through intelligence (intelligence or wisdom varies from person to person) . depend on his wisdom acquired mind acts. In other words a man having no intelligence is directly controlled by senses which leads to catastrophe.

Hare krishna
Thunduparambil Jayaprasad

Bhakta Sunil, 17 January 2018
Please read the question-answer connected to this topic , taken from from world-famous free e-course at http://www.joincourse.com
Answers According to Vedic Wisdom

Question: Why Come Down to Chant?

Hare Krishna.
When we see clearly that the mind is higher than the senses, the intelligence even higher, and the spirit the highest, why do we come all the way down to chant in order to go back up to the spirit?

Is this done to burn out parabdha karma that keeps coming back, or is it because we are insecure on the subtle level of pure spirit?

If we learned to wait instead of going down to the mind, would there be such a positive energy that we would immediately be in bliss quite substantially, and light to see life unfold like the flowering of goodness?

Thanking you,
Yours in the dharma,
Prema.

Answer: Chanting Is Beyond Matter.

Chanting is not coming down. The name of Krishna is Krishna Himself. So when we chant His name with love we are pulled onto the spiritual platform completely beyond this material existence.

This frees us from karma and makes us solid on the platform of pure spirit.

Although patience is a virtue, waiting alone will not liberate us. We must take powerful, positive action to purify our consciousness from the contamination of material association. This is what chanting Hare Krishna does.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

www.joincourse.com

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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Jiva Soul – A poem from 1874

Back in in 1874, Bhaktivinode Thakura wrote this sublime poem that gives us the formula for Supreme Spiritual Success! Jiva Soul, from Saragrahi Vaishnava

This is a poem by the great saint Bhaktivinode Thakura… from his 1874 work, “Saragrahi Vaishnava”

The Jiva Soul:

Alas for those who spend their days
In festive mirth and joy.
The dazzling, deadly liquid forms
Their hearts fore’er employ.

The shining bottles charm their eyes
And draw their heart’s embrace;
The slaves of wine can never rise
From what we call disgrace.

Was man intended to be
A brute in work and heart?
Should man, the Lord of all around,
From common sense depart?

Man’s glory is in common sense
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven’s embrace.

The flesh is not our own alas;
The mortal frame a chain;
The soul confined for former wrongs
Should try to rise again.

Why then this childish play in that
Which cannot be our own;
Which falls within a hundred years
As if a rose ablown.

Our life is but a rosy hue
To go ere long for naught;
The soul alone would last fore’er
With good or evil fraught.

How deep the thought of times to be!
How grave the aspect looks!
And wrapt in awe become, O, we,
When reading Nature’s books.

Man’s life to him a problem dark–
A screen both left and right;
No soul hath come to tell us what
Exists beyond our sight.

But then a voice, how deep and soft,
Within ourselves is left;
Man! Man! Thou art immortal soul!
Thee Death can never melt.

For thee thy Sire on High has kept
A store of bliss above,
To end of time, thou art O! His–
Who wants but purest love.

O Love! Thy power and spell benign
Now melt my soul to God;
How can my earthly words describe
That feeling soft and broad.

Enjoyment, sorrow — what but lots
To which the flesh is heir?
The soul that sleeps alone concludes
In them it hath a share.

And then, my friends, no more enjoy
Nor weep for all below;
The women, wine, and flesh of beasts
No love on thee bestow.

But thine to love thy brother man
And give thyself to God.
And God doth know your wages fair–
This fact is true and broad.

Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er
The future dream at all,
But act in time that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.

But tell me not in reasoning cold,
The soul is made alone
By Earth’s mechanic lifeless rules
And to destruction prone.

My God who gave us life and all
Alone the soul can kill
Or give it all the joys above
His promise to fulfill.

So push thy onward march, O soul,
Against an evil deed
That stands with soldiers Hate and Lust–
A hero be indeed.

Maintain thy post in spirit world
As firmly as you can,
Let never matter push thee down–
O stand heroic man!

O Sharagrahi Vaishnava soul,
Thou art an angel fair;
Lead, lead me on to Vrindavan
And spirit’s power declare.

There rests my soul from matter free
Upon my Lover’s arms–
Eternal peace and spirits love
Are all my chanting charms.

How to chant early in the morning?

How to get chanting early in the morning?

Nuria, 26 April, 2019

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I ask guidance to the group for a personal advice on the spiritual journey of Krsna consciousness. Sometimes I have doubts and I feel guilty for every mistake…I am quite new in Krsna consciousness but sometimes I wake up in the early morning and I feel shy. I would like to get up to start chanting but somehow my body is stucked and there is a struggle with the mind so I cannot move. What to do? I tried to relax and breath but it seems it does not work…

Hare Krsna

Nuria

Sudarshan Das, 26 April 2019

Hare Krishna Nuria,

Sorry to see that your sincere question got missed.

I had a similar feeling and got the opportunity to ask the same question to Srila Gurudev in-person when He was giving a lecture in Vrindavan. He replied saying that it was a good sign. If you feel guilty of the mistakes then you are for sure progressing in Bhakti. If you feel fear of the mistakes done and feel bad inside then that means that you are managed to purify yourself to an extent where the false ego is going down, the ego which makes us feel that we have not done any mistake 🙂 So congratulations. What is important to realize is that the process of chanting has helped us reach so far. This is despite the fact that we don’t chant without offenses and not full of love. So, we should not get demotivated and try to chant more both in quantity and quality. Just imagine how much more progress can we make by doing so.

your Servant,

Sudarshan Das

Bhakta Sunil, 9 May 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu

The point about early morning waking for chanting is in the wonderful audio, in the question-answer part, at the following link : http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Lectures/2018/2018.01.10_SB.5.5.1_Toronto_Canada.mp3

Hope this helps

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA , 11 May 2019

Dear Mother Nuria,

Hare Krishna!

Great question and great answers too!

Having doubts means you are a jiva, congratulations. Feeling guilty means you know you have made a mistake, so that meter is also working. The test is, “is this increasing my desire to hear/chant/read about Krishna, serve Krishna’s devotees, or is this decreasing my desire”. If it is increasing, it is good, if is decreasing, it is not good for us – we should ignore it.

Personally, for me, I always have trouble rising early in the morning whenever I have done one or more of these things:

1. Eaten too much too late at night before going to bed. What is the optimal time varies from person to person, for me it is eating less than 2 hours before going to bed

2. Going to bed too late at night – again this is a personal thing, but anything past 10 PM for me tends to reduce the efficacy of morning meditation

3. Planning to rise too late – the recommendation is to rise well before sunrise. Rising too late clouds my consciousness with “do this do that read this send that remind so-and-so, etc.”, all necessary, but not while I’m chanting

4. Not getting enough rest. I need around 6-7 hours of rest every night – I can push on for 3-4 nights with less rest but after that I start to decline in my ability to function

5. Been too active, either with a lot of people or with computers, Internet, social media, or even preaching before going to bed. I tend to sleep better with a quiet zone between the end of my day and the start of bed-time, usually with reading about Krishna, hearing a class about Krishna, or reading about Krishna

6. I have failed to pray the previous night – something like “My dear Krishna, I have come to this material world trying to usurp your position. Now I realize how foolish I am, but tomorrow morning, in the grip of sleep, I may not realize this. Please save me, please protect me, please allow me to come back to you by chanting your Holy Names”

Over the years I have evolved all sorts of rituals to help me chant – perhaps you should evolve your own, no hard-and-fast rules, just doing more of whatever makes chanting better and doing less of whatever makes chanting worse.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

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What is the Vedic Significance of New Years’ eve?

Bhakta Sunil, 9th January 2017

Hare Krishna

Is there a significance of staying awake till midnight of 31st December , as i understand that this is factually English new year?so is it necessary to stay awake till midnight of 31st December?

Regards,
Sunil

Deepak,9th Jan 2017

As far as i understand there is no significance to awake all night, but if you want chant what can be best than that. we do it for our piece or i can say not to feel embarrassed in society, in other words where people are doing many illicit things on that day, we enjoy and relish it by chanting or by associating with devotees.

Sorry if something wrong I said

your servant
Deepak

Dhrishtadyumna Das, 9th January 2017

Hare krishna
Please accept my humble obesiance

Srila prabhupada told , For us everyday is new year because krishna is everfresh & evernew & we are celebrating him , but these materialist people need to drink this poison to forget all the frustrations, misgivings of past year , we dont need to celebrate by being intoxicated as that is pleasure in mode of ignorance, we can celebrate by being intoxicated in holyname.
Morever this is not new year according to vedic tradition, as per vedic calendar the new year comes on diwali where we light candles, do puja , distribute sweets , gifts, buy new clothes & celebrate on the other hand if u see the way nowadays the people celebrate by getting drunk , vomiting sleeping till next day thus they welcome the new year in hangover, bcos that is the western culture of celebrating things by getting drunk to forget all miseries, people celebrate new year according to english calendar bcos all countries were ruled by british, europeans , thus they passed on their dirty culture to us .
A vaisnava can meditate that i have got a limited time to fulfill my goal to achieve krsna & i am one year closer to death , i should become more serious, sincere , determined & bring urgency in my chanting, taking shelter of srila prabhupada books, , we can welcome the new year by attending mangal arati,chanting in association of devotees, visiting the nearest temple or hearing a tape of our guru maharaj or srila prabhupada.

your servant
Dhrishtadyumna Das

Dra Varni, 9th January 2017

Hello & Hare Krsna! The tradition of ringing in the new year is “eternal time at work” The idea is a cultural tradition born out off cultural satisfaction through participation.

Sincerely,
dra

Naresh Poondla, 9 January 2017

Hare Krishna,
Yes, there is significance of awakening on 31st Dec midnight only

  • if you go to Hare Krishna temple for midnight mangala arthi and listen to kirtans and to be associated with devotees. You whole year will be glorified with the mercy of sri krishna.

Thanks
Naresh

Hemanga Das, 10th January 2017

Hare Krishna !

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudev
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I am part of Toronto congregation, every year we go along with our own Bhakti Marga Swami to Toronto downtown at midnight to share the mercy of Holy names with locals.You will be surprised how many souls get attracted to Harinam! Some come to temple that night with us after their party, chant some rounds and go back home. Can you imagine how much benefit they might have made?

I was one among many lost souls aimless roaming on streets on Dec. 31st night. Vaishnava’s came and saved me. There are many like me just waiting for mercy! Please spread the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. Every town and village

your servant,
Hemanga Das

Dra Varni, 10th January 2017

Hare Krsna, Yes, importance can be a memory attachment to time and other significant action on that day. Chanting rounds on this day can be the best action.

Thank You dra

Bhakta Sunil, 12th January 2017

Thanks again and again to each one for conversing on this topic which i relished

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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Consciousness, Higher or Lower

The quality of our consciousness can be chosen, either actively or passively. Where do you want to take your consciousness today?

Everything we think, say, or do, affects our consciousness. Everything we eat or drink affects our consciousness. Everything we hear or see affects our consciousness too. Our consciousness is shaped by our experiences. Does that sound hopeless or hopeful to you? You can choose your consciousness!

Recently I met one young aspiring spiritualist who had once imbibed some intoxicating substance to “reach a higher plane of consciousness”. I told him that if attaining to a higher plane of consciousness was so cheap that a mere substance could take us there, then all the drug addicts of the world would be sages, great saintly souls who can see the past, present and future, act with perfect equanimity, and help everyone they meet. But this is not the case.

A drunk man may be entertaining or irritating, but a drunk man is a drunk man, not a sober human even.

When we are intoxicated, we hallucinate. Hallucination is not a “higher plane of consciousness”, no matter what the drug peddler might tell you. Hallucination is a lower form of consciousness. Don’t hallucinate with substances, you can reach a higher plane of consciousness by proper meditation.

Substances like tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, cannabis, opioids, and drugs, they are all intoxicants. They don’t take our consciousness to a higher level, but to a lower level.

These are, at a high-level, states of consciousness:

  • Unconscious
  • Sub-conscious
  • Conscious
  • Super-Conscious

When most of us are asleep, we’re mostly unconscious, though there are certain things that happen at a sub-conscious level also.

When we’re awake, we’re generally conscious, but there are certain things that happen at a sub-conscious level too.

At the sub-conscious level, usually it is instincts, but also other complex phenomena, like for example suggestions and advertisements that are on a subtle level, always playing with our consciousness, inserting suggestions into our consciousness… making us feel that it is us who want those things or experiences…

यथा प्रकाशयत्येक: कृत्स्‍नं लोकमिमं रवि: ।
क्षेत्रं क्षेत्री तथा कृत्स्‍नं प्रकाशयति भारत ॥ ३४ ॥ yathā prakāśayaty ekaḥ
kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ
kṣetraṁ kṣetrī tathā kṛtsnaṁ
prakāśayati bhārata

O son of Bharata, as the sun alone illuminates all this universe, so does the living entity, one within the body, illuminate the entire body by consciousness.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/13/34/

Because consciousness is the symptom of the soul, a symptom of life itself, all living entities are conscious. The quality, the fidelity of consciousness varies though. A plant is aware of very little, and hence conscious at a very low level, insect at a higher level, animal at an even higher level, and so on. Both a drunk human and a sober human are conscious, just that the drunk human’s consciousness is said to be closer to the consciousness of an animal than the sober human’s, in most cases anyways.

A soul in a dog’s body, even though conscious, can’t do much about it’s level of consciousness except accept whatever consciousness was imposed upon it by nature, viz, act like a dog.

Humans, on the other hand, possess a rare gift, in it that they can actively choose a state of consciousness. Consequently, humans can, if they choose to, act like animals or like trees or fish or birds or insects. That is a freedom afforded in human life.

However, only humans can actively choose a higher form of consciousness, super-consciousness. To be aware of what is going on, inside us at a spiritual level, inside our bodies and minds… to be able to see what consciousness someone else is at, and as this gets further developed, know more than can be afforded by the limits of space and time.

Every single thought, word, and deed we engage in, or are part of, for example, reading a novel or a newspaper, watching a movie or television, hanging out with a friend who loves politics or sports… each such experience shapes our consciousness.

When someone practices a genuine form of meditation that is centered around the Supreme Absolute Truth, such as, for example, the chanting of the Maha Mantra “the great chant”:

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे |
हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे ||

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

When properly heard and chanted, this mantra lifts the consciousness of the chanter towards super-consciousness. Try it out. Just hear yourself saying this mantra, and let me know if I can help.

इदं ज्ञानमुपाश्रित्य मम साधर्म्यमागता: ।
सर्गेऽपि नोपजायन्ते प्रलये न व्यथन्ति च ॥ २ ॥ idaṁ jñānam upāśritya
mama sādharmyam āgatāḥ
sarge ’pi nopajāyante
pralaye na vyathanti ca

By becoming fixed in this knowledge, one can attain to the transcendental nature like My own. Thus established, one is not born at the time of creation or disturbed at the time of dissolution.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/14/2/

Where do you want to take your consciousness today?

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The Best Sacrifice / Yajna for this age

Deepak, 26th May 2015

Hare Krishna to all
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to GuruDev.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is :- which Yajnas should be perform in this Kaliyug and how to perform it

Hare Krishna

Rathin Mandal, 27th May 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

For this age only Sankirtana Yajna is recommended. For doing the yajnas that were recommended in other ages, neither do we have that much of life span, nor physical strength and not enough resources. That is why other yajnas are not recommended.

your Servant
Rathin

Sridhar Das, 06th June 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

My humble obeisances to you,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata!
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

You have correctly read that Sankirtan Yajna is the recommended Yajna for this age as confirmed below:

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
 tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ
 kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt

“Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.” (SB 12.3.52)

It can be performed by anyone irrespective of any past qualifications, irrespective of family backgrounds and can be chanted anytime and any place (we don’t carry beads in the bathroom though).

your servant
Sridhar Das

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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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Chanting mainly because of anxiety- reducing effect?

Bhakta Sunil, 14th March 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have experienced that chanting on japa mala helps quieten mind and reduce anxieties and negative thoughts

I would like to know  is it correct if one develops addiction to chanting mainly because of anxiety-reducing-effect of chanting

Regards,
Sunil

Rathin Mandal, 15th March 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

I will agree with you that chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra reduces anxieties and help in keeping the negative thought away. That is also the power of the Holy Name. Even I experience it sometimes.
I heard it in one of the lecture, that this is the initial process of getting cleansed. The Holy Name first cleans the material covering around us that is in form of anxiety, anger, and envy. Anxiety arises from illusion and then the mind plays all kind of tricks upon us. So by chanting the material covering gets reduced and spiritual consciousness awakens, one experience the bliss of all merciful.
In another lecture, I have heard that in neophyte state whatever may be the reason, one should keep on chanting. By continuous chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra one is sure to get realization of Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality. Another reason is that by chanting one is associating with the Supreme Lord.

your Servant
Rathin

Bhakta Sunil, 15th March 2013

Wow! Very satisfying and nice answer Rathin prabhu

My repeated humble obeisances to you

Regards,
Sunil Vaswani
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th March 2013

Dear Sunil, Why not? “yena kena prakaarena manah krishna niveshayet”, “some way or another, the mind should be invested in Krishna”. So by all means, be addicted to chanting Hare Krishna, but don’t neglect practical service to Guru, Krishna, family, community etc., we are in the business of serving others, we are transcendental paramedics in this battlefield of material nature. We need to maintain our own health, and then go go go out to serve those who need spiritual guidance in the darkness of material illusion.

Nikhil Mishra, 15th March 2013

Hare krsna devotees
My humble obeisances to all of you.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

“Is it correct if one develops addiction to chanting mainly because of anxiety reducing effect of chanting “.
Sunil Prabhu this statement does not sound 100% convincing to me. I think it is OK to pray to God in a mood of complete surrender but this surrender is not anxiety but it comes after inquiring about the reality from a healthy mind .We can take the example of Srila Sanatan and Rupa Goswami who surrendered to Godhead after discussion with Mahaprabhu.So get my point. Just don’t take chanting as a means of overcoming anxiety. If you are habitually anxious then discuss things with senior devotees and Guru personally. May be you need some kind of counseling.   Kindly understand the intention behind the words of Mahabhagvat Prabhu “don’t neglect practical service to Guru, Krishna, family, community etc.”…. ……“We need to maintain our own health, and then go out to serve those who need spiritual guidance”.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Bhakta Sunil, 15th March 2013

Respected Mahabhagavat Prabhu

I understand!

with regards,
Sunil

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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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