Realizations: The importance of the Mahamantra + God’s Love

So why do I need to chant? Why can’t I just pray in my own words, from my heart? I could definitely do that for a longer time with more attention rather than chanting. I often think, what is the use? I’m just saying the mantra while my mind is somewhere else, I’m thinking about other things. Why don’t I just pray? Then one day, while chanting, I realized something. I started to think about what the use of chanting really is – the Bhagavad Gita says that if a person thinks of Krishna at the time of his death, he will surely attain Krishna. So maybe a person can live his whole life without chanting or praying, he can live like a bad person, doing bad deeds, and at the time of death, simply think of Krishna. And that’s it. Krishnaloka is his! Fairly easy. Then it just hit me. It is very difficult for someone to think of Krishna at the time of death. In fact, it is difficult for me to think of Krishna when I trip. How will I be able to remember him when I’m breathing my last? That’s when I realized, that the only way we can think of Krishna at the time of death is by chanting every day. We will get so used to chanting, that instinctively, “Hare Krishna” will be the words that pour out of our mouths. I noticed this after I first started chanting. When something would take me by surprise, or say if I tripped over, instead of usually saying, “Damn!” or “Shit!” or “What the hell?!” the beautiful names of Krishna would dance its way to my tongue. And all those useless words that do not glorify Krishna in any way started disappearing. All that used to come out of my mouth was, “Hare Krishna”. Immediately, feelings of anger or negativity dissipate. I am transported to Vrindavan. It was then that I realized the importance of chanting. It’s to prepare us for that final moment. To actually determine the state of mind and consciousness that we develop. Have we used our lives for becoming conscious of Krishna or not?

A few months ago, when I had started chanting, Krishna showed me something I see as a “sign”. I had stepped into the metro, chanting, and in front of me was this guy with his back faced towards me. His t-shirt said, “Meditate”. A grin spread across my face.

I know that’s you, Krishna! I said to myself. Obviously. Who else could it be?

Invest in chanting. Put a lot of effort into it. Krishna sees the effort. He sees the sincerity. Radhanath Swami says that Krishna is bound to us, because we have uttered His name. I like to think, that Krishna feels so loved when we say His name. While it is our soul’s eternal duty to always glorify the Lord, it is something that is very hard to do. Maya is strong. It somehow feels as though Krishna thinks, “My devotee! You are chanting MY name? Really? Is this so? Oh, my beautiful devotee, you are chanting MY name?! Now I can never leave you. You have said My name now so I must never ever leave you. I can never forget this.”

Radhanath Swami often talks about how grateful Krishna is to us. It’s quite amazing to think about it, really. How can God, the Lord and Creator of the Universe, be grateful to His creations, who are subordinate to Him, who cannot do anything without Him? But that just goes to show the depth of His love for us. He reciprocates with us. It is like the relationships we have with people on earth, only Krishna’s love is a lot purer and unselfish. Something that I will never forget is Krishna’s relationship with Sudama. It is such a beautiful lila! I will never tire of it. When I watch videos of it, tears always come to my eyes. [Click here to read the story.] The fact that Krishna, the Lord of the Universe, runs to meet His devotee, He washes his feet, He provides for him without even being asked… Oh, it makes my heart ache with love! Krishna never turns His back on anyone who approaches Him, be it for a material reason or not. What is important to Krishna is that His devotee has approached Him. Of course, it is always better to avoid being materialistic since materialism is an impediment to devotion. But Krishna knows our needs. He will always sustain us. That is His promise.

But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form–to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.” – Bhagavad Gita, 9:22

To the devotee, everything that happens, everything that doesn’t happen, is “Hari Icha” or “God’s will”. I read this inspiring quote somewhere once:

“When a devotee gets something he wants, it is ‘Hari Kripa’ [God’s mercy], when a devotee doesn’t get something he wants, it is ‘Hari Icha’ [God’s will].”

So whether Krishna decides to give us what we want or to give us what we need, we must remember that it is all Hari Icha. Whether we get what we ask for or not, it is Hari Icha. However, one thing is certain. The most important things we can ask for are:

To always be engaged in devotional service.

To fall in love with the Holy Name.

To be able to seek shelter in Krishna.

To have unshakeable faith in Krishna.

Hari Hari bol.


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7 Comments

Filed under Krishna Consciousness, Testimonies + Miracles + Mercy Stories

7 responses to “Realizations: The importance of the Mahamantra + God’s Love

  1. //“When a devotee gets something he wants, it is ‘Hari Kripa’ [God’s mercy], when a devotee doesn’t get something he wants, it is ‘Hari Icha’ [God’s will].”//
    That’s so aptly put. 🙂

    //I know that’s you, Krishna! I said to myself. Obviously. Who else could it be?//
    Looks like He is egging you on!
    That’s all the incentive to chant, na? 🙂

    //It’s to prepare us for that final moment. //
    Maybe, but you know, the final moment is His call. i personally feel there is no need to worry about it. He will take care. We must trust Him though, on that. i take it more as preparing myself for whenever, and however, He wishes us to serve Him.
    In fact, i feel this life is an opportunity to serve. As my mom says, we must serve Him as much as possible, and by all possible means in this blessed lifetime, and be ready for His call.
    Service, love…everything unto Him.
    i feel that we must work to make Him happy, to see that beautiful smile light up His face.
    Serve Him, serve His devotees, help the devotees in need, reach out to those of His devotees who need help, spread the glories of His name, live life even as surrendered souls…wish we would be able to do that, to the maximum of our God-given abilities.

    //When something would take me by surprise, or say if I tripped over, instead of usually saying, “Damn!” or “Shit!” or “What the hell?!” the beautiful names of Krishna would dance its way to my tongue.//
    That, i guess happens.
    There was a time in my life when i lost connect with Him.
    He held up His end, forever there for me, but, unfortunately, i wasted precious time drifting away from the one i was closest to.
    Around that time, which is also the age perhaps when all that looks ‘cool’, i took to swearing headlong.
    But now that i find myself reconciled to Him byHis mercy, He dances His way, as you so aptly put, into just about everything-even those oh-so filmy songs.
    Picture his:
    Ter(i) hone lag(i) hoon,
    Jag se judha hoon..”

    and:
    “Tujhme rab dikhtha hai,
    Yaar, mein kya karoon?
    (Tu rab bhi ho, or filmy-waleh rab bhi 🙂 )
    And stuff like that…

    • DrainPiper

      Hehe yes! Krishna has become our everything now. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
      You’re absolutely right about living our lives in total devotion and surrender to Krishna. Everything should be done as an offering to Krishna. Chanting helps us build that mood. I’m not sure if I was clear about this in my blog post, but by “preparing for the final moment” I meant chanting now and incorporating it into our daily lives, it will help us become better able to remember Krishna at the time of death. When I think about it, it’s like, when something stresses me out just a bit, like maybe a project that is due in a few hours or something like that, I get so stressed and I forget Krishna. What if I die? What will my last thought be? Will it be about how my life is over and I have to leave everything and everyone behind, or will it be about Krishna? I realized that through chanting, thinking about Krishna in times of trouble comes much easier than it used to, when I never used to chant. He can call us anytime, like you said, but chanting helps us know that it is He who is calling us. When death comes, because of having chanted all our lives, remembering Krishna and knowing that He is calling us back home will be easy 🙂

  2. Ash

    Beautiful, beautiful post. Just what I needed to hear today!

    Alright – here’s my miracle story as promised. This was the first miracle I experienced with Krishna. It was 2004 – and it was when I “discovered” Krishna. I used to chant everyday and listen to devotional Krishna bhajans. The housing colony we lived in had a small library and one day, I saw a copy of Bhagavat Gita there. I borrowed it and took it home. I’d read a chapter everyday – after my chanting and prayers. I completely loved the book – and for some strange reason – that particular copy of it. The return date approached. I used to tell my mum that I dont feel like giving back this copy of the Gita and that I’d really want it with me all the time. Mum said we could buy another copy. A few days before the Gita was due to be returned to the library – I happened to be talking to the librarian and I got up to leave, I casually mentioned to her that I’ll be coming back in a couple of days and that I have the Gita to return. “But the Gita is has already been returned” she said. I said to her that couldnt be possible because I still had it at home with me. She checked my account and “confirmed” that my copy of Gita has been returned. I was stunned and speechless. My beloved Krishna let me have “that” copy of the Gita which I deeply loved and wanted. I went home, elated and grateful – thanking Krishna for his surprise present!

    Hare Krishna!

    • DrainPiper

      Oh my goodness! I HAVE GOOSEBUMPS! That is just so incredible and so wonderful! I am speechless! WOW! Hari Hari bol!
      I strongly agree when devotees say that Krishna reciprocates with His devotees according to their desires. And that is exactly what your testimony shows! Thank you so much for sharing this story! It strengthened my faith and inspired me greatly! I look forward to hearing some more, if you don’t mind! 🙂

      Hare Krishna!

      • Ash

        Awww…thank you. Glad you like it! Here’s another one.

        I once did very, very poorly in a Maths board exam and there was realistically no way I could pass. Still, everyday I prayed to Krishna. I loved reading about other people’s experiences with Krishna and often came across stories about Krishna giving devotees “signs”. I asked for one – and sadly, didnt get any. I however continued to pray, chant, listen to my favourite Krishna songs and read the Gita. I never got any signs from the Lord and often wondered if He really listened to me. Weeks went by and one evening – I got a little frustrated and said to Krishna – that if He is listening to me, I want a proof of that in the next 24 hours. The very next morning, the Lord gave me my marksheet – I passed the exam!

      • DrainPiper

        Wonderful! Hari Hari bol! Krishna’s hand is really evident in your life. It’s very inspiring! Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

    • Wow!
      Are you truly blessed or what!!!
      Am totally speechless and stunned, God!! 🙂

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