Why Am I Not Experiencing Bliss During Chanting?
Rupa Goswami explains his realizations of chanting Hare Krishna. When I chant the holy names of Krishna with my tongue, I desire many many tongues. When that names enters into my ears, I desire millions and millions of ears. When that name enters into my heart it conquers my consciousness and I know nothing else. That’s his experience. Every time he recites the name of Krishna. That supremely blissful experience is available to all of us, if we just learn the art of chanting.
Janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti [Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.8]. This ahaṁ mameti, "It is mine, and it is I. This body, I. And in bodily relation, everything mine," these two things are illusion. Ahaṁ mameti. Aham means "I." What "I"? This body. And what "mine"? This, "My wife is mine, my children, my home, my country." Why? Because the bodily relationship is there.
Because we are clinging to material attachments we are not making any progress. The last offense in chanting is to maintain material attachments (aham mameti) even after understanding the chanting and hearing so many instructions on spiritual life. It is like engaging in spiritual life with our anchor out.
Once upon a time, a marriage was fixed between a boy and girl from two villages on opposite sides of a river. It was decided at the time of fixing the marriage that an auspicious date would be chosen in consultation with an astrologer. When the date would approach, the groom’s parents and other relatives would come to the bride’s place, where the wedding was to take place, as was the custom and tradition. When the appointed date approached, the groom’s party decided to take a boat in the night to cross the river to the bride’s place. While they rested in the boat at night, the boat man would row them across and they would reach the bride’s place early in the morning. After that, they could take bath and proceed with the formalities of the wedding. In this way they thought they would save time. As per plan, the groom and his relatives reached the river bank late in the evening and as per earlier arrangement, a boat was waiting for them with two boat men. It was a new moon day and it was already dark by then. The entire party got into the boat along with their paraphernalia and settled down comfortably. The boatmen started rowing and the group readied themselves for sleep. As dawn broke, the party woke from deep slumber. When they started looking around with bleary eyes, they realized that they were exactly at the same place where they had got into the boat the previous night and they had not moved at all. Angrily, they started abusing the boat men. But the boat men objected, pleading that they had not slept a wink during the night and that they had been rowing the whole night. When all of them started investigating further why they had not moved forward despite this, they realized that they had not raised anchor in the night. As a result, the boatmen were rowing the whole night while the boat kept going around the anchor and the boat men could not make out anything since it was pitch dark. Due to this foolish mistake, the marriage party was spoiled.
The moral of the story is that the human body is a boat by which we can cross the material ocean of repeated birth, disease, old age and death. If we fail to raise the anchor of material attachment, we will not make any progress. That wedding party was rowing all night, but because they still had the anchor out, they did not go anywhere. The anchor is attachment to sense gratification. Srila Prabhupada said, “You can chant and chant for hundreds of years and not get the result, if you chant with the anchor out.” So much work is done without result, because they are trying to prosecute spiritual duties while maintaining their sense gratification. We should be introspective, take apart these anarthas and rectify our situation to have an open road in our chanting of Hare Krishna so we can go back to Godhead very quickly.