I accept Chanting as a duty
To me, the bottom line is duty. My spiritual master told me to chant Hare Krishna, and so I will never give it up. I do not regard this duty as a nonsense thing. It is all I have, and so it’s very dear to me. I also have become aware that it may take a long time for me to “master” the art of chanting Hare Krishna. It is not something easily attained. This thought helps me to become more patient. So what if I have been chanting for twenty five years? Maybe in five years from now it will become more clear to me. It is up to Krishna. And it also depends on my desire. I take solace in the statements by Prabhupada that devotional service is a slow process. Like everyone else, sometimes I feel better about chanting than at other times. Sometimes I’m very worried that I should do better, and sometimes I’m patient and easy on myself. Sometimes I thank Krishna for the wonderful gift of the holy name, and sometimes I beg for His mercy so that I may chant in earnest.
(Sometimes I alternate this thanking and begging within the space of a single mantra: “Thank You! – please have mercy!”) Devotees repot that when they do feel they are improving in their chanting, this often result in pride that everything is going well. Than they fall again into a valley of inattentive chanting. Maybe we should always feel very fallen and humble. When we feel very fallen, we are actually chanting in a way that is pleasing to Krishna. It may not even be advisable to try to figure out where I am on the devotional chart of progress. The all-important thing is to keep trying with determination and faith. We are as close to Krishna as possible when we chant the holy name. Although we cannot imitate Lord Caitanya, we can follow His mood: “When will the day come when by chanting, tears will flow from My eyes, My voice will choke up at the utterance of the holy name?” And so we return to the same conclusion that all obstacles on the path can be removed by chanting and hearing. Even if e cannot solve other problems, we must tackle the obstacles of neglecting the basic sadhana, sravanam kirtanam. And as soon we begin, we will be encouraged in the efficacy of these practices: Sri Krishna, the personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma (Supersoul) in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted. – (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.17)
-By H.H. Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Obstacles in Chanting & Reading “Obstacles on the Path of Devotional Service”