WE MAY WANT to see God, but there are many impediments. We cannot even see our own self, what to speak of the Supreme Self. The Lord is far, far away from the range of our present perception.
Still, by His mercy we can perceive Him in sound. As we can perceive a distant person through the medium of radio waves, so can we get in touch with Lord Krsna through transcendental sound. Like parts of a radio receiver, the human ear and mind are especially designed to receive the spiritual sound waves that flow from the spiritual world. All we need to do is tune in to the Krsna station, and we can be with Krsna, wherever we may be.
Tuning in to Krsna by hearing and chanting His holy names is a powerful method by which to purify our consciousness and develop our spiritual vision. The Lord says that when He notices us taking our chanting seriously, He reveals Himself to us.
We can't force Krsna to do anything. In His own sweet time He may choose to reveal Himself. But we can rest assured that as Krsna gave His devotee Arjuna the eyes to see Him, He also wants to do the same for us.
Chanting in a Country Lane
Shortly after I began chanting Hare Krsna, I was walking home one night along a dark lane. I got it into my mind that someone was following me. I became more and more afraid. Although I had no real proof and knew it was probably all in my mind, my fear got the better of me, and my head began to spin in alarm.
Suddenly I remembered reading in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that the holy name is "feared by fear personified." I decided to give it a go. Very quietly, so as not to be heard by my pursuer, I began chanting the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
It felt so good that I closed my eyes as I walked. My chanting became louder: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Pretty soon I didn't care about any imagined or real midnight rambler, and I chanted louder and louder: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
I danced and leapt the rest of the way home.
Chanting in the Rain
The congregational chanting of the holy names in public has the power to eject us out of our inhibitions and any other type of bodily consciousness. Whatever attachments we may have to this world are driven away, like birds flying from a tree at the clap of our hands.
In a sudden downpour in Detroit a group of us carried on chanting and dancing as other people ran for shelter. We laughed and chanted as our dancing feet landed in the big puddles of dirty Detroit drain water that sloshed into our shoes.
From under awnings and bus shelters, and from inside office windows, people smiled and tapped their feet.
Some, of course, thought us crazy, or perhaps hated us for our freedom.
An old, half-blind beggar came by. When he looked at us, his smile began from his eyes, spread all over his face, and radiated out to us. The world seemed to stand still, and I felt like chanting in the rain forever.
Rohininandana Dasa lives in southern England with his wife and their three children. Write to him in care of Back to Godhead.