Chanting as Transcendental Meditation
How does the chanting of Hare Krishna relate to a form of transcendental meditation? It’s interesting in Swami Prabhupada’s book The Science of Self-Realization on page 181 where it says: “Real meditation means to achieve a state in which the mind is saturated with God consciousness.” So is the chanting of Hare Krishna the transcendental meditation of getting to the God conscious state?
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Reply: The sound vibration of Hare Krishna is from the spiritual world and attracts our attention very easily. Other meditations are not so easy for everyone and not as potent and absorbing. This process of chanting is recommended by the Lord for us who are easily distracted by so much material craziness around us. The sound is nondifferent from Krishna, so it is a direct connection that can purify us and anyone who hears it. Of course, the more attentive you are, the more it acts.
We chant on beads, individually, every day for a couple of hours, especially in the early morning, and we congregationally chant in our temples every day as well. Both these methods are certainly real transcendental meditation, and they help us focus on our actual position and duty as a spirit soul.
In this lifetime we have the opportunity to fix our minds on Krishna and engage in His service. The practice of bhakti-yoga is a nice combination of chanting and active service – in effect, an all-day meditation – that keeps us busy and happy while in these bodies.
The chanting, especially, is something anyone, anywhere, can do. It is going on all over the planet at this very moment, with tangible results. As we, the soul, link to Krishna, we become happy and content in our original position as Krishna’s eternal loving servant.
As George Harrison said in a preface to Srila Prabhupada’s book Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, “the taste of the pudding is in the eating.” So give chanting Hare Krishna a try.
Krishna and Us
What is our relationship with Krishna?
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Reply: We are eternally a part of Krishna and exist for His pleasure. The pleasure comes from a loving relationship between Him and us, and so we share in the pleasure. It is an eternal relationship, usually under one of the general headings of loving Him as a servant, a friend, a parent, or a lover. These eternal positions are revealed when we become purified through the process of bhakti, or loving service to Krishna.
Though we are eternal spiritual beings, we are in the material world because we want to be served rather than to serve Krishna. We ignore the fact that serving Krishna means the ecstatic service of being His friend or parent and so on. Our task in the material world now is to learn our lesson. We have to be purified and change our hearts and our selfish attitude.
When we become qualified by awakening our natural love for God, then He will reveal our relationship with Him. We will be totally satisfied in that position in the spiritual world. Please read The Nectar of Devotion, by Srila Prabhupada, which explains all about these relationships of loving devotion.
Struggling with Fate
If fate is not on my side, as suggested by a few astrologers, then how to deal with these difficult conditions, particularly when due to the impact of such ill fate all my efforts go in the wrong direction? Despite knowing that I am wrong, I keep doing the wrong acts and don’t have any courage to initiate steps to improve, which is of utmost importance.
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Reply: Lord Krishna says that He takes direct care of His devotees when they surrender to Him. That is the solution to everyone’s problems, not just yours. When we surrender to Krishna, our past karma is mostly erased, with a tapering off over time. Krishna minimizes any reaction that we may be due. This is His mercy on His devotees.
If some bad reactions come, we can be sure that we deserved much worse, so we can be thankful to Krishna. In this mentality we cannot be fearful and can peacefully and joyfully serve Him and please Him to the best of our ability. He is the supreme controller, supreme proprietor, and supreme friend. All of our service to Him is deposited into a transcendental bank account, never to be erased. The future is bright for the devotee.
If you think about these points, redirecting your thoughts away from your failures, you will at once feel relief and hope. Krishna is waiting to help you. The more you ask for His mercy and respond to it, the more you will see improvement in your life.