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Qualification For Chanting Loudly

Post Author: Bhakta Matus    Date: 2007-11-13 05:10:45
Dear Swami Gaurangapada Maharaja,
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Please accept my most humble obeisances.

While reading the topics about Shrila Naamacharya Haridasa Thakura in  Chaitanya Bhagavata (Ch. 16), Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura gives some statements in regard to loud chanting which I read for the first time and which I would like to ask You about.

The glories of chanting loudly in respect to the benefit awarded to all the conditioned souls who are hearing is well known to us.

In His purport to the verse 172 in this chapter however, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura gives the importance of loud chanting especially in regard to the benefit of the chanter: "While describing the topics of Haridasa Thakuras devotional service, the injunction for loudly chanting and attentively hearing the holy names has been prescribed for practitioners who desire their own welfare in order to deliver from great inauspiciousness those who mistakenly consider satisfying their own senses as satisfying Hari while remaining busy in activities of sense gratification such as accepting many disciples like the immature yogis."

In other purport Shrila Saraswati Thakura states: "When one has perfected his chanting, he becomes qualified to loudly chant the Holy Names."

i would like to kindly ask You to help me in understanding this statements.

Yours sincerely,

Answer by BRS Swami Gaurangapada:

These statements emphasize the great importance of the topmost process of Naam Bhajana which is loud kirtana of the Holy Names and Pastimes. Japa can be performed either softly (movement of lips and tongue), audibly or mentally dependant of which one aids better meditation on the Mantras. But Kirtana should always be performed loudly. Loud Kirtana is the most powerful means to awaken taste for Naam Japa and Bhakti.

The main devotional practice of Lord Gauranga and His Associates was Kirtana in addition to Their individual Japa pratice. Unfortunately, presently we don't have an fixed injunction for performing a minimum specific amount of loud Kirtana daily but I recommend atleast a bare minimum of 30 minutes of Kirtana daily by all the devotees. That is why Shrila Prabhupada has given us the morning and evening programs and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada gave us an even more elaborate program in Gaudiya Math which includes atleast 2-3 hours of loud kirtana (including songs of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura etc.) daily in addition to our individual Japa bhajana.

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada means that when one has perfected one Japa chanting, one can sing and chant Kirtana with great devotion and affection to the Lord and when one sings Kirtana regularly, the quality of one's Japa increases. Thus both these processes of Naam Bhajana are complementary and aid each other.

Daaso'smi, Swami Gaurangapada.

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