Sound has the ability to affect our consciousness in a very profound way. The quality of sound vibration that goes into our ears determines the quality of our consciousness. The Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, is a transcendental sound vibration that connects us directly to a spiritual platform and enables us to recover our original spiritual identity.
Sound has the highest capturing potency; our ideas, conceptions and visions all come to us from the sound. We can transform our lives depending on the sound vibration that we hear. We may chant the Maha-mantra with others or in solitude (called japa). The words ‘Krishna’ and ‘Rama’ address the Lord; Krishna refers to all attractive; Rama refers to the reservoir of pleasure, and ‘Hare’ is the energy with which we can reach the Lord. The Yoga texts recommend the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra as the prime sound vibration for this age. This age, which is called Kali Yuga, is an age full of anxiety and distress, and nothing is as effective as the chanting of the Holy Name.
Krishna’s Holy Name is Krishna Himself. Therefore, chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra creates an opportunity for us to revive our awareness of our spiritual identities; revives awareness of our connection with the Supreme; and gives awareness of the reciprocal relationship between the spiritual self and the Supreme spiritual self. The Maha-mantra brings us out of bodily consciousness and attaches our consciousness to the Supreme consciousness.
Thus, it is important that we spend time working on our internal attitude and motivation for chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. In this article, we will continue to explore the practice of affirmations to help improve and increase our presence while chanting. Saying affirmations out loud and meditating on their core meanings before chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra may allow us to further enhance our chanting experience.
11. I chant to be accepted by Krishna, and to repair my broken relationship with Him
Have the desire and the need to reconnect with the Supreme, Lord Krishna, after having been separated from Him for so many lifetimes. Envision yourself as a child who has run away from one’s parents (Krishna) and after many years of suffering wants to be accepted again. Chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra enables you to rekindle and revive your relationship with the Supreme being.
12. I chant from my heart, feelingly praying to come closer to Krishna
Connect deeply with what the Holy Name, the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra means. Chanting of the Holy Name means “Krishna please engage me in Your service”, “Krishna please accept me”, “Krishna please bring me closer to you”, “Krishna please purify me”, “Krishna please uplift me”. If you had to translate the feeling of the Maha-mantra intro words it would say, “Krishna I want to come closer to you, I want to serve you, I want to be pure”. Krishna is in our hearts and He is a genuine friend to all living beings. No matter what you are going through, He is always there. Just give your heart to the Holy Name and Krishna will reciprocate.
13. I meditate on the meaning of the Holy Name as I chant
Be conscious on an emotional level of what the Maha-mantra means. In order to connect deeply with the Holy Name, we have to cultivate an appropriate mood before and whilst chanting. Ask yourself “Why am I chanting?”, “What is the goal of chanting?”, “What does chanting mean?”. This may help to bring your consciousness and heart in alignment with the meaning of the Holy Name.
14. I turn off my world and turn on Krishna’s world when I chant my rounds
Create an internal space free from distractions when you begin chanting japa. Tell your mind that you are turning off from everything, for example, turn off tasks that have to be carried out for the day. This enables you to control your mind better while chanting. We are able to turn off our world when we are reading a book for example or when we are engaged in a particular hobby, so turning off our world while chanting the Maha-mantra should not be so difficult.
Also, it is useful to create a “time free zone” early in the morning by imagining that your day will start only after japa. So, for example, if your day usually begins at 6am, wake up earlier to chant japa and remind yourself before chanting that the day has not yet started. In this way, there is nothing to think about other than Krishna during your japa session.
15. I chant with no other motive than to render pure devotional service
Chant the Maha-mantra in a humble state of mind, with the mood that you are an eternal servant of Krishna. Chanting with this mood helps to awaken a pure service attitude. Krishna descends in His name when we chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra with a service attitude. You are Krishna’s eternal servant and He will always remain the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nothing is impossible for Krishna and thus, nothing is impossible for the one who takes shelter of the Holy Name.
16. My beads are my connection with Krishna and my ticket back to Godhead
Make chanting the Maha-mantra the most important activity of your day. Srila Prabhupada said that the real purpose of reading his books is to convince you to chant the Holy Name, as chanting the Maha-mantra is the most important process in devotional service. So, fall in love with the Holy Name!
17. I am totally dependent on Guru and Krishna to chant quality japa every day
Remind yourself that your efforts to chant the Maha-mantra more effectively attract the mercy of Guru and Krishna. When you endeavour to improve your japa, Guru and Krishna reciprocate by helping you improve in the ways you are endeavouring to. In other words, mercy comes in proportion to your efforts.
18. I organize my life to make japa the most important activity of my day
Be aware of how your lifestyle, attitude and activities are supporting your chanting. The more you change your lifestyle, around the sound vibration of the Maha-mantra, the more your consciousness will change. The more your consciousness changes, the more your lifestyle will change. Purified consciousness leads to purified lifestyle, and purified lifestyle leads to purified consciousness. Therefore, it is important to consciously organize your lifestyle to support better chanting of the Maha-mantra.
19. I make excellent japa my standard and focus on continually improving
Set a high standard internally for japa. What you give importance to, you do well. If you give more importance to your japa, it will naturally improve. Reading books and/or listening to lectures on how to chant the Maha-mantra may keep you focused on how to chant better.
20. I relish chanting the Holy Name
Be grateful to be blessed with an opportunity to be able to chant the Maha-mantra. When you chant, your consciousness is transformed, and all impurities can be cleansed. Chanting of the Maha-mantra elevates your consciousness to its original state of purity. In this way, remind yourself that, you, the soul, certainly relishes chanting the Holy Name every single day.
The Holy Name is saying, “I am present here, my mercy is here, my love is here; please receive it, please accept it, please feel it”. The Hare Krishna Maha-mantra is a transformative sound vibration. Chanting and hearing of the Maha-mantra not only transforms our consciousness, but it also allows us to become agents for change for society at large. Therefore, prioritize your spiritual life – you are not going to feel emptiness when you experience real spiritual happiness. Make sure to set out your goals on how to improve your chanting and gradually work towards them. If you really want to improve your japa, you can!
Here is a link to Japa Affirmations // Part 1
May 15, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium