…from kirtanam comes smaranam and from smaranam comes kirtanam. I mean, if you remember Krsna, you will glorify Him-you will, you cant help; you cant help to glorify His name, His qualities…the more we know about Krsna, the more we remember Him, the more we feel like chanting. Like sometimes they tell me, “Well you know, just have a 5 or 10 minute kirtan…” There is no such thing as 5 or 10-minute kirtan! I mean you know, that’s bizarre! It’s like let’s go for a spin…you just sort of get out of the starting block- “1, 2, 3- stop!”- how’s it possible? I mean, we’re just sort of warming up, get the rust off our voice, sort of take a few good deep breaths and the first manta is sort of a croak, the second one is a cuff, the third one sort of begins to come. But then after a while it begins to flow and the mantra begins to carry us. And after one hour of chanting you really start to feel like- whew! We’re going to another level! After two hours of chanting you begin to forget yourself- or you get pain in your back- one of the two! Anyway, after four hours of chanting, it’s definitely extraordinary. After twelve hours of chanting, you definitely lose your voice but you’re absolutely ecstatic!
Sometimes we do; we have these special festivals which would just go for the whole day from morning till night chanting. And of course, that was the early ISKCON where the devotees would go out eight hours, eight hours on the harinama. And they had special ways to survive it. It is said that Visnujana would have gloves and that he had taped coins at the end of the gloves so that you’d still get a bit of good sound out of the mrdanga! And he would have the gloves otherwise his hands would’ve cracked open and they go on all day- eight hours a day, go strong!
So this spirit of just chanting a long time is possible when there’s some taste…
(HH KKS, Vrndavana 2007)
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