(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 22 May 2015, Cronulla, Australia, Intro to Kirtan)
Question: Just wondering, some persons have been chanting for quite some time now and have asked me and I would like to ask you, what sort of symptoms should we see in ourselves if we are really progressing in our attachment to the chanting? If we are really doing it properly, is there some way we can know that it is really working in a progressive sense?
When we are progressing, first we gain stability. The chanting offers us an anchor. It offers us something deeper, something spiritual and naturally we begin to inquire a bit more about the meaning, about where it comes from. We may read something like Bhagavad-gita, a Vedic text which gives us some understanding where we begin to realize that we are spirit and that is an important point. We all have bodies and bodies are machines.
Just like when you go into hospital sometimes and they change a part or they fix some loose screws. I mean, it is just like when the car goes to the garage, right. What is the difference? It is a machine. They treat it like a machine also. The body is described in Sanskrit as yantra – machine. So as part of advancement, our awareness becomes broader and deeper. When we begin to realize that we are spirit then a whole spiritual dimension opens to us. Then, there is Krsna. Between the individual spirit and Krsna, there is a relationship and that relationship is always there. You know, HE provides the energy for the sun and the sun shines. HE provides the taste in what we eat, in the vegetables. HE provides… That is the first relationship.
The second relationship is from our side, a sense of gratitude. We no longer just take everything for granted and just throw garbage on top of the planet but we develop a sense of gratitude for the gifts that we have received. We see that we are receiving gifts, and then we return those gifts by giving ourselves… by giving ourselves for higher values, by giving ourselves for other people.
So as some of these qualities begins to manifest in us – this sense of giving, this sense of doing something for the good of all rather than just being on the take, that is where we begin to notice the change from chanting. Then we realize that we get strength of mind through this chanting. We get focus. We are able to control our mind and focus on a goal and as I said, it can go higher and higher until one chants with pure devotion until one realizes everything is here, just in this mantra. Everything!
But that is very high and not all of us can reach that level but at least for some time, we get some attachment to the chanting. That is a blessing because again it brings this positive energy into our life and again, we become compassionate. Just like when we say no meat-eating, that is due to compassion. It is compassion! If the animals would have voting rights, I am sure they would start a vegetarian party. They want to live and why not let them live. Like this, gradually, these kinds of qualities begin to develop. So the mantra brings about a change in quality because it makes us aware of the spiritual totality that we are part of and we begin to take that place as part of a whole rather than seeing ourselves as me and mine on a separated entity. So in that way, we are advancing.