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ShRILA PRABHUPADA ON 64 ROUNDS:
Morning Walk, May 14, 1975, Perth:
Devotee (1): Shrila Prabhupada, how can the position be reconciled if in Krishna consciousness one of the two, the husband or the wife, wants to enjoy sense gratification, but the other does not? Should there be separation then?
Prabhupada: No... They should be trained up. Sense enjoyment means not advanced in Krishna consciousness. As soon as one is advancing in Krishna consciousness, his sense enjoyment spirit will be reduced. That is the test. Bhaktih pareshanubhavo viraktir anyatra ca [SB 11.2.42]. The test is, how you are advancing in Krishna consciousness is the proportionate diminishing of sense enjoyment. That is the test. Just like cure of the disease means diminishing the fever, temperature. This is the test.
Devotee (1): What if that (material) fever is not being diminished?
Prabhupada: Then he should try to chant Hare Krishna mantra, instead of sixteen rounds, sixty-four rounds. That is the way. Sixteen round is the minimum. Otherwise Haridasa Thakura was 300,000. So you have to increase. That is the only remedy. If one has got determination, he will make progress without any trouble. That determination is very difficult, that determination, “I must be Krishna conscious fully.” That determination. Dridha-vratah.
Letter to: Indira (Iris Mendoza), Ekayani (Esther Mendoza), San Francisco, 17 December, 1967:
“I am very glad to learn you are chanting 48 rounds. Actually it is all right that one should chant 64 rounds, even 16 rounds, so if one is able to chant more than 16 rounds up to 64, it is very good. You fix up your rounds. Try to increase it but never decrease it.”
Letter to: Hamsaduta, Hawaii, 23 March, 1969
“Yes, it is very good if you can chant 64 rounds; this is very nice if you can do it.”
Letter to: Bhaktijana, Los Angeles, 12/2/1968:
“I shall advise you again to chant always, increasing the counting, namely, 16 rounds is generally prescribed, but for the time being you can stop all other activities and increase the chanting to 64 rounds.”
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.70 purport:
That is the instruction given by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in His Shikshashtaka 3. Kirtaniyah sada harih: [Cc. adi 17.31] “The holy name of the Lord should be chanted twenty-four hours daily.” Therefore in this Krishna consciousness movement we request the devotees to chant at least sixteen rounds on their beads daily. Actually one has to chant twenty-four hours daily, just like Thakura Haridasa, who was chanting the Hare Krishna mantra three hundred thousand times daily. Indeed, he had no other business.
Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita Antya-lila 3.137 purport:
Surrender is the ultimate instruction of the Bhagavad-gita, but for one who cannot surrender to the lotus feet of Krishna, it is better to chant the Hare Krishna mantra constantly, under the instruction of Haridasa Thakura.
In our Krishna consciousness movement we are teaching our followers to chant the Hare Krishna mantra continuously on beads. Even those who are not accustomed to this practice are advised to chant at least sixteen rounds on their beads so that they may be trained.[...] Sada means “always.” Haridasa Thakura says, nirantara nama lao: “Chant the Hare Krishna mantra without stopping.” [...] One’s real duty is to surrender to the lotus feet of Krishna, but if one is unable to do so, he should adopt this process, as introduced by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His most confidential servant, Namacarya Shrila Haridasa Thakura. This is the way to achieve success in Krishna consciousness.
The Nectar of Devotion, Vrindavana, 20/10/1972:
“Just like we have asked our students to finish sixteen rounds chanting minimum. Sixteen rounds is nothing. In Vrindavana there are many devotees, they chant 120 rounds. Like that. So sixteen rounds is the minimum. Because I know in the Western countries it is difficult job to finish sixty-four rounds or 120 rounds, like that. Minimum sixteen rounds. That must be finished.”
Letter to Purusottama, Mumbai, 23/10/1973:
Because we have got many duties, [text missing] ...ve minimized the amount to 16 rounds, otherwise [text missing] ...minimum is 64 rounds, but Western people cannot [text missing] ...this. So 16 rounds must be executed.
Nectar of Instruction, Verse 5, purport:
The Krishna consciousness movement prescribes sixteen rounds daily because people in the Western countries cannot concentrate for long periods while chanting on beads. Therefore the minimum number of rounds is prescribed. However, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura used to say that unless one chants at least sixty-four rounds of japa (one hundred thousand names), he is considered fallen (patita). According to his calculation, practically every one of us is fallen, but because we are trying to serve the Supreme Lord with all seriousness and without duplicity, we can expect the mercy of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is famous as patita-pavana, the deliverer of the fallen.
Shrila Prabhupada on a Morning Walk, November 10, 1975, Bombay:
Lokanatha: Some devotees have fixed different number than sixteen. Some are chanting twenty minimum or twenty-five.
Prabhupada: Yes. It should be increased.
Lokanatha: Is it recommended for our...
Prabhupada: But don’t decrease. Don’t decrease; increase. Therefore one number is fixed. “At least this much I shall do.” That is sixteen rounds.
Lokanatha: But you are recommending sixteen as a minimum, and some devotees are choosing twenty as a minimum.
Prabhupada: So who forbids? Who says that “Don't do it”?Lokanatha: They can chant?
Prabhupada: Yes. That is wanted. But because you cannot do it, therefore we have fixed up this minimum. Sankhyata asankhyata Sankhyata means with vow, numerical strength. And asankhyata means there is no limit.
The Hare Krishna Explosion, p. 63, by Hayagriva dasa, Palace Press 1985:
“Now that you have beads,” Swamiji says the next morning, “you should chant sixty-four rounds every day.”
“Sixty-four rounds?” To pronounce every word of the mantra distinctly, we require five minutes to chant a round. Sixty-four rounds would take over five hours. “Impossible!” we say. “We’ll never have the time.”
“All right,” Swamiji says. “Thirty-two rounds.”
“Impossible,” we say. “We'll never be able to do it. It’s way too much.” “All right,” Swamiji says. “Sixteen rounds. No less.”
TKG’s Diary June 10:
Many years ago, he (Shrila Prabhupada) was chanting sixty-four rounds, then gradually less, until a number of years ago it was sixteen.
All quotes of Shrila Prabhupada are copyrighted by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International.