Rule 2 of Japa: There are no rules

JapaAlone With The HOLY NAME by Sacinandana Swami. September, 2014

So my child, you want to know
what it is like when you are alone
all day long with the Holy Name?
It is like the rising of a second sun
on the horizon of the heart
on a stormy day.
After some time all the clouds are gone.

Chanting just is. My idea of setting an intention before chanting was a good idea, but in setting up an intention I inadvertently was setting up an expectation of a reward for “good behaviour”, as in expecting a reward for chanting. In reality there is no hard and fast rules for chanting. Why? Because bhakti self-manifest. Bhakti generates bhakti.

tatrārpitā niyamitaḥsmaraṇenakālaḥ
etādṛśītavakṛpābhagavan mamāpi
durdaivamīdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ

“‘My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Your holy name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many names, such as “Kṛṣṇa” and “Govinda,” by which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your potencies in those names, and there are no hard and fast rules for remembering them. My dear Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the fallen, conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your holy names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offenses while chanting the holy name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for chanting.’

CC Antya 20.16

I have been thinking that chanting is hard. It is hard, but even that is a notion I have to let go of. I found Syamananda Prabhus comment to be a good depiction of how chanting is. Chanting is a conversation with the soul and an uncomfortable one at that.

Do you know what rule 1 of Japa is?
Just chant. Do it.

I have decided to let the struggle of Japa behind me for the time being and instead just chant.



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