The maha-mantra frustration

“For instance, we are chanting Hare Krishna. If Krishna was different from the chanting of Hare Krishna, then how would we be satisified chanting the whole day and night? This is the proof. An ordinary name – if you chant “Mr. John, Mr. John” after chanting three times you will cease. But this Hare Krishna mantra – if you go on chanting twenty four hours a day, you will never become tired. This is the spiritual nature of the Absolute Truth. This is practical. Anyone can perceive it”. (Civilization and Transcendence ch. 7)

This statement and experience is the reason why I like the maha-mantra and keep trying to practice it.

I’m trying to find the key to giving myself over to the name. I have tried to read different books about japa, but they are just dry to me. There is no shortage of texts that glorifies the names and the qualities of it.  The names are spiritual, they are beyond this material nature – and therefore they are also beyond my understanding.


Spiritual life for me dynamic, it’s something that demands something of me, continually challenges me to be better, do better, keep advancing. So why isn’t the maha-mantra doing this for me?

“If you chant “Radhe Radhe Govinda, Govinda Radhe” you will soon become intoxicated with ambrosial nectar and completely forget your bodily identity.”


“Chanting Krishnas sweet names purifies the heart; santifies and steadies the mind; destroys the six enemies [lust, anger, greed, envy, illusion, madness]; stops birth and death; dissolves sins; scorches samskaras; anihilates attachment; induces detachment; uproots desires; empowers one; makes one fearless; removes illusion; bewtows supreme peace; delivers prema; reveals the Lord and His dhama; shows one’s svarupa; showers bhakti-rasa; and engages one in his nitya-seva for the pleasure of Radha-Syama”.

Yes, there really are no shortage of wonderful things that the name is supposed to give. So why is it so hard? And really, it’s not enough for me to hear: Because we have so much anarthas from time immemorial.

We are encouraged to chant at least 16 rounds every day, so most people focus on just getting those done. I have been there and I’m not going back. Whatever rounds I chant, it’s because I *want* to, not because I *have* to.

I don’t see any consequences that makes me think I have to put a lot of effort into japa. Why should I make japa a priority? I read all these books and statements and they are just dry to me instead of inspire me to do japa. I’m looking so hard for inspiration and I find none. I mean: How did the conditioned people find inspiration in the names. The books certainly lay it wide when it comes to somebody who has broken the code and chants away, but they don’t mention how they got there. If they struggled with the names and how they overcame it. What inspired them? It’s like the names are supposed to be nectar that you should understand from the start of.

I think most people experience it’s not the case. Then you hear you have a disease like the jaundice where the maha-mantra is the medication, but you can’t taste the sweetness because of the disease.

Again – this is not good enough an argument for me to find my intrinsic motivation to put an effort into my chanting. When I change – it’s because I have found an intrinsic motivation that changes everything and makes me do what needs to be done, and I find it to be an effort that is worth while. I have not found this in japa.