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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > QA 2005 > QA Aug

 Q. Can chanting help to remove the Mayavada mentality? -Chandrika Gauranga dasi, UK

 

Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Yes, chanting in the proper consciousness of a servant of the Lord can completely erase the Mayavadi contamination from our heart of trying to become God which is present in the heart of every conditioned soul.

Proper philosophical understanding of this point is very important, but it has always to be accompanied by chanting the Holy Names to have the desired effect. Just like classroom theory without the lab practicals in the university are not complete, similarly philosophical understanding is not complete without the practical implementation of chanting. Chanting Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna is the only panacea to all problems.

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Q. My ego seems to manifest and I get all sorts of idea's that I am great, which really bothers me.  Like I think I am best devotee, etc.  These thoughts are not good. But what can I do?  If I had taste for chanting, then would these thoughts bother me?

 

Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

 

When you enter a room which has not been cleaned for 20 years you will find all the dirt and dust settled. But when you start brooming all the dust and dirt will come out on it's way out and one may think that now there is more dirt than previously. But this is not the case.

 

Similarly when one starts chanting, one starts the cleansing process of the heart and mind and for some time one may feel the pangs of material desires even more than previously as they are coming out and going away. Only when an enemy becomes seen, we can shoot it. Similarly the Holy Names may first expose all the unwanted things in our heart and then throw them out forever. So understanding this, one should simply patiently chant the Holy Names without getting disturbed about this cleansing process. And one day, one will find oneself completely pure by the power of the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna.

 

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Q. ......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? sincerely...Nava Gauranga dasa.

Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

 

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! You can kindly see the chanting levels page 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.

 

 

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Q. What is the difference between the material and spiritual natures?  -Chandrika Gauranga dasi


Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! One possesses many complicated varieties of nature, thought patterns, characteristics etc. on the material platform of the material subtle body which comprises of the mind, intelligence and false ego. This is due to the infinite karmic material impressions which have been carved on our material mind, intelligence and false ego for the past zillions of material births we have taken in this material world. All these factors determine our external and subtle material natures which actually have no relevance in Bhakti Yoga or Nama Yoga since they are temporary and not connected with the soul. These are the natures of the coverings of the soul not the soul itself.

Real Spirituality or Bhakti Yoga through Chanting of the Holy Names awakens and reveals the multifarious and variegated characteristics of the soul's nature and that of our spiritual body, mind and intellience in the spiritual world not of the gross and subtle nature of our mundane gross and subtle bodies. These spiritual characteristics are totally different and unrelated to the mundane characteristics and we can only have a very faint glimpse of them in the beginning stages of chanting but the realization increases more and more as our chanting progress to higher levels of meditation on the Holy Names.

In the neophyte stage, it is very easy to confuse the temporary subtle mundane characteristics of our mind and intelligence with the permanently characteristics of the soul because even the temporary material natures of the mind and intelligence are quite subtle so we don't understand the difference.

So the only way to separate the two is to become deeply abosrbed in the chanting of the spiritual sound vibration of the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna which will separate the milk from the water.

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Q. What is the spiritual world made up of?  -Chandrika Gauranga dasi

 

Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

 

The spiritual world is made up of:

 

(1) Sat - Eternity

(2) Chit - Knowledge

(3) Ananda - Bliss

 

They are intangible for the material senses but when one receives one's spiritual senses in the spiritual world, one understands that they are the spiritual constituents of the spiritual world.

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Q. Can shak or leafy vegetables be offered to the Lord and the Acharyas in Chaturmasya? -Chandrika Gauranga dasi

 

Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

 

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! One can surely offer shak or leafy vegetables to the Lord and His pure devotees in the aprakata (unmanifested) pastimes in all four months of Chaturmasya. In Chaturmasya, we do not eat leafy vegetables only for the first month.

 

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Q. What happens to people with Alzheimer’s, or similar disorders? These people have lost most of their understanding and thinking ability, to varying degrees. So what is their destination at the time of death as it is said in the Gita that one attains the state of being one contemplates at the time of death. - Ronald, USA.

 

Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

 

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! The state or thoughts at the time of death are not just dependant on the activities just before our death but also to the activities throughout our life.

 

Even if it appears externally that one has lost the ability to think due to Alzheimer’s, there is lot of sub-conscious thoughts and desires going on in the mind due to our activities throughout our lives. And these will determine the consciousness at the time of death and the type of next body of that soul. Please let me know if you need further explanation.

 

Consciousness is comprised both of the conscious and sub-conscious mind. That is why in Alzheimer’s for example, the conscious mind may not be functioning but the unconscious mind is active which may determine one's next destination at the time fo death. Many impressions from the present life also go into the subconscious mind and they come out when the soul is about to leave the body.

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