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Chant Nityananda Gauranga
Q. What does Shrila Prabhupada mean by his instruction to chant the Nityananda and Gauranga very regularly?
A. by Swami Gaurangapada:
“A neophyte student who is not sufficiently educated or enlightened should not indulge in the worship of Shri Radha and Krishna or the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. Even if he does so, he cannot get the desired result. One should therefore chant the names of Nitai-Gaura and worship Them without false prestige. In the beginning one should *** very regularly *** chant Shri Gaurasundara’s holy name and then chant the holy name of Lord Nityananda. Thus one's heart will be cleansed of impure desires for material enjoyment. Then one can approach Vrndavana-dhama to worship Lord Krishna.” (Shrila Prabhupada in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila 8.31 purport)
Shrila Prabhupada is clearly stating that a neophyte student without sufficient realization should not directly indulge in the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra without first taking full and very regular shelter of the Names of Nityananda and Gauranga. Even if he or she does so, he or she cannot get the desired result in the chanting of the Mahamantra which is the achievement of pure love for God because of not having taken adequate shelter of the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga. Shrila Prabhupada goes on to state that one should very regularly and specifically chant the two Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga to be able to become qualified to chant the Mahamantra and go to Vrindavana-dhama to worship Lord Krishna. The chanting of the Pancha-tattva Mantra contains these two Holy Names of the Lord but Shrila Prabhupada has specifically suggested not to chant the Pancha-tattva Mantra very regularly by stating that it should not be chanted on beads as rounds. On other hand he explains that chanting the two Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga very regularly will quickly grant a neophyte with the qualification to approach the Name, Form, Pastimes and Abode of Their Lordships Radha-Krishna.
We firmly believe that simply chanting the Pancha-Tattva Mantra 20 to 30 times a day cannot be termed as ‘very regularly’ as instructed by Shrila Prabhupada regarding the chanting of the Names of Nityananda and Gauranga. The chanting of Krishna Names regularly means to chant atleast 27,648 Names of Krishna (16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra) daily. So how can very regular chanting of Nityananda and Gauranga’s Names mean to chant Them just 20 or 30 times a day? They should be chanted atleast 1000 times daily if not thousands of times or constantly. Shrila Prabhupada states in a quote: “Always chanting Nitai-Gaura...” So all students and devotees of Gauranga Dharma and Gauranga Mantra Yoga who are practicing the science of Bhaktiyoga under our guidance are instructed to daily chant atleast 10 rounds each of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas (1000 times each Mantraraja = 2000 Names of Nityananda and Gauranga daily) and raise the chanting of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas to the supreme and most powerful level of chanting of 32 to 48 to 64 to 128 and to 192 rounds each of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas daily in addition to raising the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra from 1 to 4 to 8 to 16 (minimum) to 32 to 48 to 64 rounds daily. Then the spiritual aspirant will very quickly achieve the stage of offenseless chanting by even chanting the minimum 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra daily.
The process of chanting the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas is very simple. Since the Nityananda Mantraraja is the five-syllable (Ni-tya-aa-na-nda) Haladhara Balarama Mantra, it is recommended to chant one Mantra on one bead.
The rosary or mala of 108 beads should be held in the middle of the middle finger of the right hand with the thumb and and on one bead one Mantra should be chanted. Then the mala should be pulled inwards to go to the next bead and another Mantra should be chanted. In this way 108 Mantras should be chanted on the 108 beads. This is known as one round. When one reaches the biggest or meru bead which represents the Supreme Lord Himself, one should not cross it but simply turn around and begin another round.
The same process is to be repeated for the chanting of the Gauranga Mantraraja which is the four-syllable Gaura Gopala Mantra (Gau-ra-a-nga) and for the thirty-two syllable Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
Another way of understanding is like this. Any intelligent person after reading the above statements of Shrila Prabhupada will ask this question: What should a neophyte who does not have sufficient enlightenment and realization do as it is not recommended for them to directly chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra? As per Shrila Prabhupada’s instructions there is only one solution: on one hand he or she has to chant the names of Nityananda and Gauranga very regularly and on other hand he or she cannot chant the Pancha-tattva Mantra very regularly on beads. Thus the neophyte faces a big dilemma in his or her spiritual life. The solution to this dilemma is given by Shrila Prabhupada himself in the following quote:
(1) Yoga Student: “...to chant the names of Nitai-Gauranga before we encourage them so much to chant the maha-mantra?”
Prabhupada: “No. Why? Now, what is the difference, Nitai-Gauranga and Hare Krishna? Nitai-Gauranga and Hare Krishna, there is no difference. Nitai-Gauranga is also nice. Whatever he finds convenient, let him chant.”
(Shrila Prabhupada's Room Conversation with Yoga Student specifically regarding Japa, March 14, 1975, Iran)
This conversation is specifically about the japa chanting the Mantras on beads. The Yoga Student is not only asking about his own self but also how to preach to others about chanting japa on beads. And in his response Shrila Prabhupada recommends and authorizes the chanting of the two Mantras of Nityananda and Gauranga on japa beads (he clearly does not mention the Pancha-tattva Mantra in the above quote) and states that chanting Nityananda and Gauranga (either in japa or kirtana) is actually non-different from the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. The spiritual aspirant can chant whatever he or she finds convenient. In the offensive stage it is an undisputed fact as stated again by Shrila Prabhupada himself and all the scriptures that the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas are more convenient and beneficial than the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Even though They are completely non-different from each other, only the pure offenseless and self-realized devotees will derive the same spiritual result by chanting either of Them. The offensive devotee will get greater spiritual benefit by very regularly chanting Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas which do not consider any offenses and become very quickly qualified to factually relish the pure Hare Krishna Mahamantra.