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Japa Inspirations Day 14 - Authentic Chanting

There are really not so many rules how to chant well. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has described that there is only one single qualification: genuine humility! This qualification, if you have it, will bring everything else. In a famous verse in the Siksastakam He says: “My Lord, I wish to become more humble than straw in the street, more tolerant than even the tree, ready to offer respect to others without asking for respect in return.” These are the qualifications for chanting constantly. All these point very clearly in one direction, and express that humility, feeling oneself very unqualified—in fact, not even as valuable as straw in the street—that immediately brings Krishna. It shows a lack of false ego or false identification with worldly things. In chanting, we want to be empowered by the Lord by His Bhakti shakti, and in this way get wings to fly that our soul can go back to the Lord.

There is a beautiful prayer by Sanatana Goswami which expresses this in a very nice way which I personally identify very much with. “Oh, my Lord!” he says, “I have no love for You, nor I am attached to devotional service and practice, such as chanting and hearing. I do not practice the disciplines of Vaishnava yoga, I have no knowledge, nor do I have pious activities. I cannot claim to be well-born. I am therefore unqualified in every single respect. But despite my any lack of any qualification, oh beloved of the gopis, my sacred hope inside is so deep that it will not be uprooted, because you fulfil the desires of the least qualified.”

So this mood, this true humility, can attract Krishna’s mercy. Bhakti devi—that transcendental shakti that empowers our chanting—avoids the proud.

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