Tattva Darsan 3 – 7. Japa only, no other sevas
There are different kinds of sevas. So at different times, we do different sevas. So nama-seva. It's called Harinama seva, japa seva, that’s also a seva and that time, we have to follow the instructions of the acaryas about what we should do at that time while we are chanting japa.
So at the time of doing japa seva, or chanting Krsna's name, the acaryas give some activities that we can engage in and one is that we simply hear the holy name. We really focus our attention and don’t listen to any other thoughts, drive all other thoughts out of the mind, “Hare Krsna…” and if the thoughts are demanding more attention, if our mind is chanting louder than our mala, our thoughts are chanting louder, then we have to chant louder, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna…”
And just the transcendental sound vibration, let it enter deeply into our ears and embrace that sound in our heart and wrap our ears around it and wrap our attention around the sound, fix our mind on the sound – that’s hearing.
And then another practice that can be done is meditate on the meaning of the holy name while chanting and repeatedly inject the meaning of the holy name into our mind and let our mind hold on to that rather than some other thought, or other idea.
So we are chanting and holding on to that meaning. “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna…” that’s going on… “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare…” then our mind is holding on to this meaning and not letting go and just taking this meaning and squeezing it. You may hold on to someone and if you squeeze them hard enough, all types of juices will start to come out!
So you take the meaning. For example, “Oh Mother Hara, Oh energy of the Lord, please engage me in the service of Krsna and Your Lord.” and that’s the meaning. That’s called the mantra artha cintata. To cintata – think about or deeply reflect on the meaning of the holy name while chanting the holy name.
So ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna…” and then, “O Mother Hara, O Radharani, O Hara, please engage me in the service of Krsna. Please engage me in the service of You and Your Lord.”
And then what does that mean? Because that’s all I am. I only am Your servant and I want to serve no one else. And you just squeeze all kinds of meanings out of that one artha, that one meaning of the holy name. That can go on.
Like in grammar, they have a noun, predicate, subject, and they draw these lines and things on the board. So you can take the one meaning and squeeze more and more meanings out of it, as you wrap your mind around it or fix your mind on it. That way your mind won't go anywhere else. The sound of the mantra is going in your ears and your lips and fingers and tongue are engaged, then your mind is wrapped around the meaning. So it can’t go anywhere.
Just like a Boa constrictor wraps around you, that’s a kind of a snake, I don’t know what you call it around here, python is it? The python lies on the path and if something goes, then he eats it. Boa constrictor, do you know what it is? It wraps around you like a rope, and it squeezes you and crushes you and eats you up.
So whatever particular meaning, it should be like a Boa constrictor around our mind, our mind becomes wrapped around with that meaning and then it starts squeezing and the mind goes, “Uh! Uh!” the mind can’t think of anything else or go anywhere else.
And then when the mind settles down with the meaning, then you can stop thinking of the meaning and again hear the sound. There's nothing sweeter than the sound of Krsna's name. There nothing more compelling and more attractive, so this is the best meditation, is sound meditation, to meditate on the sound. Your mind, your intelligence, your heart, ego – everything fixed on Krsna's name, and everything will become fastly or quickly revealed from the name.
But our minds are jumping here and there so the acaryas give the system, meditate on the meaning. Not that, “Oh I have to do this seva and that seva…Hare Krsna Hare Krsna…”
It's not just something to do while you think of something else. The chanting of the mahamantra is THE seva. That is the seva, there is no other seva. Every other seva is auxiliary to that and every other seva is meant to be imbued with that.
Jiva Gosvami is telling – Anything else that you are doing, if it's not mixed with and permeated with the holy name, then it won't be pleasing to Krsna. If you are doing Deity worship, you must chant Hare Krsna. If you are reading, you must be chanting Hare Krsna, because we are reading all about Krsna anyway.
So the holy name, the sankirtana, that is the undercurrent, that is the background of everything that we do. You are cooking, you chant, you are doing Deity worship, you chant, your parikrama… everything you are doing, chanting should be there, this is the main, primary thing.
Because when you are chanting, you are in direct association with God, direct, saksat, saksat sanga, directly associating with Krsna. And the other sevas are just engaging our senses or our energy. Because we really can’t sit down and chant 24 hours a day because we become restless and we have to eat also. So eating is required, so then cooking.
But we should never underestimate. Chanting Hare Krsna is not an auxiliary thing, it is not a secondary thing - it is the main thing, the primary thing, the only thing ultimately.
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
(Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi, 17.21)
Anyatha means no other thing, no other practice, no other process, no other way, harer nama harer nama harer nama…
So we should understand that this is it. This is the quintessence of all practices, the essence, and everything else is helping us. All other activities we do are helping us in preparing the field, or preparing our mind so that we can peacefully sit down and chant the holy name. Because generally we are jumping like monkeys. “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, oh what are we going to cook for lunch, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, oh, I will make this for Thakurji, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, oh but I can make it like this, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, but I can make it like that, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna…” (laughs)
This is very, very IN-ATTENTIVE japa. And from inattention all the other offenses come. So we should be very attentive.