The process of chanting is very simple
“This process of hari-kirtana is very simple: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Actually there are only three words: Hare, Krishna, and Rama. But they are very nicely arranged for chanting so that everyone can take the mantra and chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Since we have started this movement in the Western countries, Europeans, Americans, Africans, Egyptians, and Japanese are all chanting. There is no difficulty. They are chanting very gladly, and they are getting the results. What is the difficulty? We are distributing this chanting free of charge, and it is very simple.” (The Science of Self-Realization)
Anyone can chant Hare Krishna. There is no need for instruments, although Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the mrdanga and karatalas. Otherwise, clapping in itself is sufficient. Anyone can sit down with his family, clap hands and chant. The bhakti-yoga process should be completed in this life because we have all the instruments necessary to become fully Krsna conscious. We have mrdangas and cymbals and tongues with which to chant Hare Krishna. Even if we don’t have mrdangas and cymbals, we have a tongue. No one has to purchase a tongue. We also have ears with which to hear the sound that the tongue vibrates. Therefore we have all the instruments we need with us—a tongue and ears. We have only to chant Hare Krishna and use our ears to hear the vibration, and all perfection will be there. We don’t have to become highly educated scientists or philosophers. We have only to chant and hear.
I woke up at 2:00 A.M. this morning, on the late side. I began my chanting rapidly, and very soon I had four rounds done and then eight rounds done. But then I began to develop a headache. I took medicine for it, but it didn’t subdue the pain. The pain impaired my chanting, and I couldn’t chant nicely. I took a second dose of medicine, but still the headache remained and I felt frustrated in trying to chant the Hare Krishna mantra. Prabhupada writes that it is very easy to chant, but when you have physical impairment it becomes difficult. It’s an unhappy day when I can’t chant easily; nevertheless, I push on and complete my quota.
Chanting with a headache is no fun. Your attention goes to the pain in the head, and you are distracted from the sublimity of the sacred syllables. You grind out your quota in a frustrated mood, but I know it is still japa yajna and my duty is fulfilled. I’m calling out to Krishna through a difficult position. He appreciates the attempt and gives me credit for a hari-nama attempt.
H.H. Satsvarupa das Goswami