The Miracle of Chanting Part 04: Srila Prabhupada
Lord Krsna states in the Bhagavad Gita that no one can be happy in this world without sacrifice. Our duty as human beings is to perform sacrifices to the Lord. We should simplify our material lives to maximize the time we spend in sacrificing to the Lord. When we make this adjustment, we will never need to worry about our livelihood. The recommended sacrifice for the age of kali is to chant the holy names of the Lord.
Let us take the example of Srila Prabhupada. Before he arrived in the United States in 1965, he spent 15 years as a vanaprastha and sanyasi in Vrindavan. During those years, he chanted 64 rounds of the mahamantra daily, in addition to doing his writing and translating work. There are
studies that show that if one wants to go beyond proficiency level in any subject matter, he or she must practice that subject for at least 10,000 hours. Assuming a rate of 8 rounds per hour, Srila Prabhupada chanted for a total of 43,800 hours. This figure does not include his time spent in translation and writing. It also does not include his previous years of devotional practice. If we include those hours, I think the result would be more than a lifetime spent with the holy names.
Can anyone of us even imagine the enormity of this undertaking? Prabhupada shows us that the greater the quality and quantity of our relationship with the holy names, the more successful we will be in our spiritual lives. What more, we will not have to worry about our material lives. Those who doubt this assertion should carefully study the lives of Srila Prabhupada and other spiritual giants in the Vaisnava Paramparas. You will notice that, unlike the rest of us, they did not have to work like donkeys just to maintain themselves. On the contrary, what they needed came to them with minimal effort. Since we are taking Srila Prabhupada as an example, let us discuss him.
When Prabhupada arrived in the US in 1965, he had no more than $7 in his pocket in addition to his copy of the Bhagavatam. Within 12 years since that day, he created a multimillion dollar organization and turned Hare Krsna into a household word. That, dear devotees, is the power of Nama Sankirtan. In future articles I will endeavor, in my own limited way, to illustrate the power of Nama Sankirtan by discussing the lives of other saints.