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Title: Progress in the Chanting Stages
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-08-13 13:11:00
......to very regularly chant the Names of Nityananda and Gauranga ###before beginning### the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Dear Swami Gaurangapada could you please clarify in my mind ,for future preaching purposes ,what is meant by the words "before beginning"? Does this mean one should chant the names of Nityananda and Gauranga "before" his rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra...or ,that the neophyte should chant regularly the names of Nityananda and Gauranga before even attempting to chant the Mahamantra at all?
††† Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
†Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! You can kindly see the chanting levels for the answer.
One can begin with chanting 10 rounds each of Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and slowly add 1 round of Hare Krishna Mahamantra or one can begin with 10-10-1 immediately. From 10-10-1, one can go to 10-10-4, then to 10-10-10, then to 16-16-16 and then to the best and most recommended stage of 64-64-16. Of course one can directly begin with any of these stages but one should be determined to never go below one's chosen stage for the rest of one's life if one wants rapid success in spiritual perfection through chanting. That is why a gradual and steady advancement through these stages of chanting is recommended not a hasty one as one should be able to avoid coming down to a stage of chanting which one has already surpassed.
The chanting stages are not to prove or show that one devotee is higher than the other but to monitor and note our own advancement in the main process of Kali Yuga: Nama Bhajana. And also one should not and will not be able to artifically progress in these chanting stages. One who finds increased taste in chanting the Holy Names will obviously want to chant more and thus will progress to the next level and maintain it. And one goes higher in the chanting levels should infact feel more lower and humble in devotional service. This will mean that one is going higher in the chanting stages not mechanically but genuinely.