(HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, Bhaktivedanta Manor, England, 14th February 2012) Lecture: SB.7.13.5
It is easier to engage in kirtan than in japa. In japa we are alone with Krishna. We are thrown back on ourselves. In japa we are confronted with whatever Krishna Consciousness there is within us. In kirtan we feed off everybody else! We feed off the energy of others, and just like that collective energy, and with everyone else we get swept up, and we also feel – yes, very enlivened.
In japa we are thrown back on just who we are, and therefore it is a more difficult. Of course some will chant japa in a group trying to still feed off each other. But basically we are relying more on just whatever Krishna Consciousness is within us. We are confronted with:
‘One is not there yet.’
And that makes it more difficult. So both must be there, the public glorification of Krishna and privately taking shelter of Krishna, and making offerings to Krishna. In japa when chanting the holy name we can see two aspects. One aspect is our endeavour in chanting – is the offering that we are making to the Lord – and that is our endeavour. The other is the mercy of the Lord coming in the form of a darshan, since the name is non-different from Krishna,
’bhinnatvan nama-naminoh’ (Padma Purana, quoted in Cc. Madhya Lila 17.133)
Therefore it’s interesting how we can produce the sound and at the same time Krishna is manifesting himself, and how we are trying to chant nice mantras and make a nice offering – pronounce it nicely, and at the same time Krishna is there giving us darshan. It is very interesting how these both elements are going on simultaneously in chanting the holy name. So in that way on a personal level we are relating with Krishna, and taking shelter of Krishna, which is very important!