Jai Srila Prabhupada!
1. Soulful Japa Module sessions is a boon for me. As in initial modules it was said that we would become Japa doctors after reading these modules and that is what exactly happened with me and my Japa.
After reading Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagvatam since last 8 years and chanting since last 10 -12 years too, I was and am amazed by the fact that how was I so Ignorant and indifferent about my own Japa Quality. Every morning getting up, starting Chanting and while chanting, thinking and nurturing millions of thoughts in my head and not even realizing 16th round had finished. It was like magician’s spell which would be cast on me every day while I was chanting 16 rounds.16th round last bead spell would break, all thought process would stop and I would be a happy person to fulfill my promise given to my Spiritual Master Srila Prabhupada of Chanting 16 rounds every day.
After reading all modules, I realized that I was actually breaking the promise every day. Because I was JUST chanting. The other part and parcel of Chanting are hearing, being attentive and serving Nama Prabhu which pleases my Gurudev and I didn’t even know that.
While going through and through all the modules till now, I reached to a conclusion, that all this while , I have been constantly and unintentionally been ignorant, unaware uninformed and uneducated about the most important aspect of my devotional life i.e. Quality and Attentive Japa. How did I miss it, is a question in my mind. Mechanical Chanting and almost mechanical hearing that too inattentively.
The Very fact that While chanting we are serving Nama Prabhu and there is a personality who is receiving our service, really helped me. Being followers of Personalist philosophy, serving a personality through Japa increased my faith and it did become more relatable and mind got a quick connection.
When I started reading Soulful Japa modules, I didn’t know what exactly is going to happen, but to be honest and clear, it happened to be a life changing event in my devotional life. I didn’t know the real meaning of
1. Surrender to Krishna and Guru
3. Nama Avatara
5. Serving Attention
6. Chanting as Service for Pleasure of Guru
7. Difference between Prakrta and Aprakrta Nama
8. Pre Japa Work
9. Nama Prabhu
10. Soul Energies etc.
11. Aprakrta Nama
12. Shaktyavesha Avatara
13. Shuddha Nama
I was very confident of very well knowing all these aspects but now I know I was just IGNORANT AND INDIFFERENT.
In one of the modules, it is mentioned that, “Chanting and Serving attention is the secret of association with that incarnation and transforming ourselves”.
Now I know that why every attempt of mine outwardly was failing to transform my consciousness as I was missing the basic link that is serving the Holy Name ,as directed by Guru with proper attention and full knowledge of his Being.
To Sum up, My Japa has really improved, there is of course lot to do, but for now I am trying to apply Chanting- Hearing- Tasking formula and it is really working for me. From mindless Japa it has come to mindful Japa stage with background mind loaded with information about Aprakrta Nama and Shaktyavesha Avatara. Also, Pre Japa Work is really helping me a lot. (Reading, Hearing etc).
I never knew Holy Name is a personality, of course we did hear but just superficially e.g. When A Chef cooks in the kitchen with an educated approach knowing about each and every ingredients, final product comes out be to tasty and nutritious and a person who doesn’t know anything about cooking can cook too but in an uninformed way and final product can be just edible. Apparently, both products may look same .But there is a difference. That was my situation. I was like that new cook. Cooking (Chanting) was going on since years but without background information and knowledge about ingredients( Hearing, tasking, Nama Prabhu, Aprakrta Nama etc).
Now as soon as I start chanting and touch my Japa mala, all the information read in modules automatically gets loaded to background mind and in the foreground I am trying to Chant –Know the sound and –Task to remain attentive.
2. Few Points from module
which really impacted my mind and initially forced me to improve my Japa:
1.Once we develop faith and a relationship of loving service with the N?ma Avat?ra by the daily service of chanting and hearing and make it our aspiration in life to surrender and serve Him and His mission through the sa?-guru, Hare Krishna N?ma becomes the master of our life. He takes us closer and closer to Him by active reciprocation and relationship as His servant. Every moment of our life He will guide and empower us to serve Him. We become part of His Lila on this earth. This connection is not limited to the only japa but pervades every aspect of our existence in this material body throughout our day and life and to eternity as the devotee will have no other material social ambitions of His own. He adopts and serves the spiritual desires and ambitions of the pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada and becomes even free from any proprietorship over such desires.
2.Every day when you wake up, you can meditate on how the Supersoul would be seeing you as an aspiring devotee and then surrender your day to guru and Him. That is best way to see the Supersoul. To see Super soul’s generic intentions for us and expectations from us. Does not matter that we are all fallen. Our minds are totally naked before the Supersoul. Nothing can be hidden from Him. Before you start your japa, meditate on your ongoing relationship with the Hare Krishna N?ma Prabhu of serving so many years etc. It is not a new relationship every bead or everyday japa. Every bead you do japa, you are accumulating His mercy.
3.To accomplish building up of more and more number of attentive chanting-cum-hearing of Lord's Names is an absolute achievement which stays with us eternally. We should not take for granted and take its value lightly as it is easily available. Just because you got it don't think the desire to chant given easily. Lord does not descend on every tongue in this universe. Even you have got this chance after going through billions and billions of lives through 84 lakh species. Every act of chanting-cum-hearing of Krishna's Nama on your lips is invaluable as per the scriptures.
4.The sat-çit-?nanda Aprakrta Nama Prabhu cannot be touched by material senses. Atah sri Krishna N?maadi bhaved grahyam indriyam. Chanting and hearing sound features of incarnation with serving attention is the secret of associating with that incarnation and transforming ourselves.
5.This rare opportunity is gifted in short human life, of being able to give delight to Hare Krishna Nama Prabhu by chanting-cum-hearing with background appreciation of this opportunity to earn His mercy by every additional bead of japa.
Lastly, this created a lot of turbulence in my mind and since then I have seriously began chanting attentively.
Devotee - I'm chanting since last 4 years. My first six month chanting was the best chanting I had ever done in my life. But after becoming familiar with japa I lost all interest. Three years I tried hard to chant nicely but lost all hopes and then I was lost in thinking japa.
But by mercy of Srila Prabhupada today I'm again reviving my japa with new tasts. I'm able to do 50%of my japa attentively by following concurrent chanting and hearing. And fully understood the importance of linking by your modules and again get convinced by golden quotes. I'm having full faith that after 90 days I'll be able to chant my all rounds attentively.
I have read your modules from 1-13 and 34 onwards all and seeing your lectures regularly.
Prabhupada always said that devotional service is easiest path but I was not getting fully convinced but now I able to understand deep meaning of spritual master's words. That
"Chanting is very simple but one must practice it seriously."
My spiritual life had become dry but now with your help I'm enjoying association of Nama prabhu.
This is the best thing in my life again I have received from Srila Prabhupada and Soulful Japa Modules.