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Title: Counting on Tulasi beads
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-11 20:18:42
Dear Swami Gaurangapada
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!
I have just acquired a digital pedometer that counts each step I take. I wanted to use it to go on walks and for each step say one name Nityananda then Gauranga and also the maha mantra.
I was wondering whether the mantras are less potent if chanted in such a way without doing the counting on Tulasi beads.
I know that Tulasi, Shrimati Vrinda Devi, is a very important person and her mercy is required in order to enter the forest of Vrindavan, so I wondered whether chanting without the Tulasi beads and using this other form of counting is at all offensive or less effective than chanting on Tulasi beads.
One more thing, when I was in Vrindavan I saw some devotees who chanted on Neem beads, is this related to Nityananda and his pasttimes under the Neem Tree?
Thankyou in advance
Chandrika Gauranga dasi
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Chanting in the presence of Shrimati Tulasidevi (Tulasi plant) on Tulasi japa beads should be done at least for sometime daily if very quick results are to be obtained in chanting. Chanting on Tulasi beads purifies our sense of touch and chanting in front of Tulasi plant and giving pleasure to Tulasidevi by making her hear the Holy Names is a great service to a great devotee. She then blesses us with more taste for chanting.
Of course there are absolutely no rules and regulations for chanting and chanting can be done in all times, places and circumstances. In fact there is only one rule in chanting: "Never stop chanting!"
Pedometer is good for walkers. Each step means one only Holy Name and one step closer to God.
One of the latest digital counters can be found at http://tallycounterstore.com/: "http://tallycounterstore.com/" . It is a very convenient counter to carry along to count the Holy Names when one cannot carry the beads or even to count with the beads in the right hand and the counter in the left hand.
Since the number of Holy Names chanted daily needs to be noted by us and reported to the Lord so that we know we are making progress in quality and quantity of our chanting, such a counter is useful when we cannot chant and count on beads. The other mechanical counters are very hard to click for the fingers and sometimes they do not even turn to the next number. One may realize that after 100s of clicks that one is still on the same number.
Also this digital electronic counter would be useful to those devotees who chant a lot of Holy Names daily to cross-check the count or to count when they cannot chant on beads.
Normally neem beads are used when Tulasi beads are not available.