(Kadamba Kanana Swami, December 2010, Cape Town, South Africa, Morning Lecture)
The purpose of chanting is about taking shelter. Everyone needs shelter in this world; we know that very well. But where is our shelter other than at Krsna’s lotus feet? That is our situation, there is no other shelter! Everything else is illusory shelter. Real security and shelter is found in Krsna and that is the essence of spiritual life.
When we are new in spiritual life then we think we are advancing – we feel we are advancing, we feel things are changing, we feel our life is changing, we feel we are getting serious… but after we are involved for a longer period of time, we feel that we are not making any progress at all. Why is that!?
In the beginning, our progress is very measurable. It is about how many principles we are following – three, four, two? Or how many rounds we are chanting? It can be measured. But later, it is different because later, it is about the state of purity of the heart which is more difficult to measure.
Throughout the centuries, the culture of worship of Krsna has been existing in India. The worship of the Krsna was preserved within the culture. But what about the state of the heart? That is another matter. That you will not get from culture alone. Culture does contribute because within culture, respect and worship of Krsna is there and even the name of Krsna is there. But the state of one’s heart is what Krsna is asking for. At the end of Bhagavad-gita (18.66), Krsna says to surrender unto him, sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja.
This topic of surrender is very big. It is a very big challenge to rise to that occasion. To really say, ‘Now it’s only Krsna!’ Otherwise, the danger is there that we think of other ways to take shelter. Therefore the more we take shelter of the holy name, the less we need to take shelter in other things.