Create a positive mood to welcome the Holy Name, the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, into your heart, just the way you would welcome a special guest into your home. This can be achieved by reading scriptures, offering prayers before chanting the Maha-mantra on the japa beads. In this way, by getting in the right state of mind, chanting becomes an exciting opportunity to connect with the Lord
Whether you are chanting one round, or sixteen rounds or more of the Maha-mantra, start chanting with a natural inclination to focus your attention on the Holy name. In other words, before chanting, believe that you will be able to focus on the Holy Name. The mind has many thoughts and wavers here and there, but catch your mind and bring it back to the Holy Name. When you consider chanting of the Holy Name to be very important for your spiritual life, then it will be easier to chant with focus and attention.
Create a quiet sacred space where you can chant the Maha-mantra without interruptions or distractions. When you chant, do not do anything else, just chant. Put your internal world on hold also and focus solely on yourself and Krishna.
Remind yourself that you appreciate chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra and that you view chanting as a special blessing instead of as a difficult task. It is a special opportunity to get a human birth and to be able to awaken love for Krishna through chanting. Ask yourself how you would feel if you were prevented from being able to chant the Holy Name. Deep down in our hearts, we appreciate the powerful effects of chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.
Treat the Holy Name, the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, as Radha and Krishna deities in the form of sound. When you chant the Maha-mantra, it is the same as taking darshan of the deities. In this way, bow down to the Holy Name as you would to the deities, as Krishna is fully present in the Holy Name.
Allow yourself to bathe in and appreciate the mercy and love that already exists within the Holy Name.
Give your heart to the Holy Name. Although Krishna has everything, He does not have your heart and He hankers for it. Krishna wants to have a relationship with you and chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra will revive your relationship with Him. Therefore, chanting the Holy Name is the greatest jewel in the Lord’s treasury as He gets what He desires – your heart.
Always think that Krishna is with you in His Holy name and that He is happy to hear you chanting. Even though relishing the Holy Name can be difficult sometimes, Krishna is enjoying seeing your determination to chant and to be purified. In this way, chant the Maha-mantra to make Krishna happy and for yourself to feel happiness too.
Chant the Maha-mantra with your tongue and hear with your ear. Feeling the essence of chanting will bring you into the present. Attentive chanting is hearing – if you hear yourself chanting, you will chant attentively. When you chant, Krishna first dances on the tongue, then the ear, then the heart.
Be conscious that when chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, you are present, Krishna is present and thus, a relationship between you and Krishna is also present. Therefore, do not view chanting as a mechanical process that you have to complete daily but rather as a way to deepen your relationship with Krishna.
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”. Nothing is impossible for Krishna and thus, nothing is impossible for the one who takes shelter of the Holy Name.
Krishna is in our hearts and He is a genuine friend to all living beings. No matter what you go through, He is always there. You are Krishna’s eternal servant and He will always remain the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, prioritize your spiritual life – you are not going to feel emptiness when you experience real spiritual happiness.
Just give your heart to the Holy Name and Krishna will reciprocate. Fall in love with the Holy Name! Chant Hare Krishna and be happy forever!
~ HG GaurangaSundar Das