Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Prabhupad and disciples

Actually chanting is a great art. Shrila Prabhupad said that it took for him like 30-40 years to learn the art of chanting. So if we follow the instructions, we can expect similar results like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. When He met His spiritual master in Gaya, Ishvara Puri said: “Just chant the holy names, my dear son!” So Mahaprabhu started and a very unusual effect was there. He felt so uneasy and like a madman. So He went back to the master and said: “What kind of mantra did you give to Me?!” So if you go back to your master after certain a while chanting your mantra and ask: “What is this mantra? It is so effective!” that’s a good sign.

But I can tell you that for example you can follow the example of Shrila Haridasa Thakura, who is the acharya of the holy name. Every day he was chanting 300,000 names. 100,000 he was chanting in his mind, 100,000 silently and 100,000 aloud. He had these three types of practice. The first was for his inner peace, inner satisfaction. 100,000 names in order to pacify yourself! Second 100,000 like softly – this was for his liberation, so to say, to achieve a spiritual goal. And the third 100,000 was for the benefit of all other living entities. Inner peace, personal progress and help for others. So if we follow that example in our extreme endeavor of chanting sixteen rounds per day, you can be successful. Something for you inside, something ahead of you and something for others’ benefit.

But that is correct; we should not disturb the great ones with chanting. Once Shrila Prabhupada was travelling with the disciples. And you know, in the presence of your master usually you feel uneasy. At least the reasonable disciples. Of course your master is chanting aloud and you try very humbly. Prabhupad said: “What are you doing?” “I am chanting.” He said: “I don’t hear.” So he tried secondly (a little louder): “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna…” Prabhupad said: “I don’t hear.” And finally the prabhu started to gain more impetus and he started (even louder). Then Prabhupad gave some little time to him, so much so, that this boy started to chant aloud: “Hareeee Krishna, Hareee Krishna…” And then Prabhupad said: “Hey, why do you disturb me?”

You know, it is difficult to associate with the spiritual master. You try your best and he still is not satisfied. Loud or soft… ah, bad luck for the poor disciple. But I think you understand what I mean. We should improve the quality of our chanting. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

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