If you are going to spend an hour-and-a-half ~ two hours (or whatever) chanting a mantra over and over again do it right. Don’t waste your time being half-assed about it, or just pretending to do it on the surface.

If you are going to take your time and energy away from your children, spouse, family, friends, passions, and hobbies – don’t waste it spacing out!

The idea that inattentive chanting is better than no chanting at all is dubious. It probably does a lot more harm than good, and keeps a lot of people wasting their precious time. Inattentive chanting will never in a million billion lifetimes grant anyone the goal of the mantra. Period.

You are just wasting time.

If you are dedicating time and energy to chanting a mantra, you owe it to your children, spouse, family, friends, etc. to chant as attentively as you possibly can! You owe it, literally, to all of them to attain the goal of the mantra, so stop sitting there with your hand in a bag of beads daydreaming!

Krishnadās Kavirāja was talking about this when he wrote [CC Ādi 8.16]:

bahu janma kare yadi śravaṇa, kīrtana
tabu ta’ nā pāya kṛṣṇa-pade prema-dhana

You can do kīrtan and śravana for many births
but you will not get the treasure of Krishna prema

It takes more than just reciting a magic formula without even paying attention to it. We have to study Bhāgavatam to understand the sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana – so we can actually comprehend the sound of the names, and thus invoke them without aparādha, which inattention is the very root of.

Vraja Kishor
VrajaKishor.com

4 thoughts on “Don’t waste time chanting

  1. Cannot agree more regards attentive chanting. The only question which pops up in the mind – what is the place for the “there is no need for any mental speculations nor intellectual adjustment to chant this mahamantra…” ?

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    1. There is no need for mental specualtions or intellectual adjustments – there is need for śabda brahman. We need to hear Bhāgavatam carefully to be able to comprehend the words “hare” “krishna” and “rāma.”

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  2. This is a good point.

    I feel like the standard of 16 rounds may be an impediment in people’s ability to chant quality rounds.

    For most people it takes about an hour and a half to two hours to chant 16 rounds, which is quite a bit of time. The emphasis becomes to follow the standard and get through the 16 rounds, and as it turns out; there is no time to spend on quality – the quantity takes precedence.

    Would you agree with this assessment, that the quantity standard can and often does become an impediment to quality?

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    1. Depends on the individual. However, generally the attempt to improve quality works well with the attempt to improve quantity – since the more you practice something the more rapidly you perfect it.

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