On which beads should one chant Japa?
Jun14

On which beads should one chant Japa?

Tulasi beads are considered the topmost for japa mala, but other beads may also be used. After Tulasi, Neem beads are generally considered the best. Most any kind of wooden beads will do. Rudraksa beads, however, are not generally used by Gaudiya Vaisnavas, as they are symbolic of a different spiritual practice. Ideally, one should cultivate and offer worship to Srimate Tulasi-devi. When Her plant form dies a natural death, you may...

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Loud Chanting
Jun13

Loud Chanting

There are three ways of chanting the Mahamantra – chanting within the mind, chanting softly and chanting loudly. But unless we are very steady and fixed in devotional service, it is very difficult for us to chant within the mind or even to chant softly. We are bombarded with so many external noises as well as internal noise from our own mind so much that some times, the lips keeps chanting Krishna's names, but mind keeps...

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How to control mind during Japa?
Jun12

How to control mind during Japa?

Japa is a means by which one can try to control the mind. If the mind is wandering, one has to make a concerted effort to bring it back. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was quoted as saying ‘when you get up from bed, you beat your mind a hundred times with your shoe, and when you go to bed, you beat your mind a hundred times with a broomstick. Then you will be able to control your mind.‘ The mind can be particularly...

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How loudly should one chant?
Jun10

How loudly should one chant?

How loudly you chant is a personal choice. Srila Prabhupada encouraged the devotees to loudly chant the Holy Name during kirtana, but when you’re chanting japa together with others in a temple room or elsewhere, you should not interfere with other people’s chanting by being too loud with your own rounds. “Chanting a mantra or hymn softly and slowly is called japa, and chanting the same mantra loudly is called...

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How to conquer sleep while chanting?
Jun09

How to conquer sleep while chanting?

Srila Guru Maharaj: This stage of feeling relaxed while doing japa is first stage of advancement. Because it means you are feeling very peaceful! Ha….. Snore…. Ha! Ha! Of course we would like to rise above that stage! To the stage when we feel very enthusiastic. I don’t know if you are getting enough sleep in the night. It is important to sleep 6 or 7 hours usually but some people don’t. But Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur,...

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What should be the posture during chanting?
Jun08

What should be the posture during chanting?

Best is to sit and chant japa. For those who find it difficult to sit and chant, walking and chanting is also acceptable. One has to be careful of not falling asleep, so try not to be too comfortable. Particularly in the early morning hours, you may find it hard to keep from nodding off. For that reason, some devotees prefer to go for ‘japa walks’. You can go outside and chant as you circumambulate the temple or go for...

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