July 2020
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 20.08.2015, evening, Ludashto) 
Question: If one is not initiated, what about chanting? How to chant, whether one should chant at all or not?
Swami Tirtha: This is a very serious topic. Why? Because the holy name is the common inheritance of humanity. This is the yuga-dharma, or the given process of self-realization for this age. Can we say that anybody is excluded from liberation or spiritual chance? 
Yet Jiva Goswami explains that at the beginning of the yuga the rishis, the munis had foreseen the difficulties of this age and for the sake of security and a real and proper progress they implemented some institutions. We all know that there are no hard and fast rules concerning chanting the holy names, yet these institutions help to protect the practice from bad influence or corruption; and also help the practitioners to be more successful. One such institution is the guru principle. And the blessing to give the chanting is connected to this principle. 
So in one sense we can say that the holy name is free; at the same time we should know that if we have the blessings of a pure devotee, then it will be really effective. But we always have to consider the higher principle: which is more important – chanting or following certain precautions? 
Manjari: Chanting.
Swami Tirtha: That’s more important! One thing is required – sincere heart. If you have this basic sincerity, then you can go on with your spiritual practices. But for chanting there are so many different methods. As we had tried the day before – we sit together in a row with others on the big japa. Or you have a japa-walk in the forest. Or you sing with others – this is also a kind of chanting. Hopefully the holy name will help us to progress, to understand and to come to higher and deeper realizations. 
Yet I think by this elaborate explanation it was not clear what my answer is. My opinion is: go on with your chanting! Because it will help to clear our vision and to enter these deeper realizations. Those who are sincere cannot make mistakes.   


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