A Treat for Mind and Soul
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The special maha-mantra
What is the special benediction of the maha-mantra? – Tim
Our reply: The chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is the recommended method for becoming self-realized in this age, Kaliyuga, which is very difficult in many ways. People are always disturbed and distracted, it is difficult for them to control their minds and senses, and the environment favors a very unspiritual way of life. Intoxication, gambling, meat-eating, and free sexual connection are all commonplace but highly deleterious for anyone interested in becoming Krishna conscious. Society is very materialistic and working to train people to believe that the more things they can get, the more happiness they will find. But this is a lie. Happiness comes from reconnecting you, the soul, with the Supreme Soul, God, or Krishna.
Considering all this, the Vedic scriptures recommend the maha-mantra for this age. One can chant it anywhere, it is easy to chant, and it is a very powerful sound composed of names of God and His energies. Since God and His name are identical, by chanting this mantra one can get in touch with God, Krishna, and get to know Him. To know Him is to love Him, and so this mantra can help you develop a loving relationship with Him. As a doctor may give medicine but also recommend a diet and exercise, the effectiveness of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is enhanced by a balanced life free from meat-eating, intoxication, gambling, and illicit sexual connection. One should also associate with people endeavoring to become spiritually enlivened, read transcendental literature, and focus the mind with deep concentration while chanting. The maha-mantra is so powerful that it will purify one of sinful karma and begin to awaken the realization of one’s spiritual connection with Krishna. That is the special benediction of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.
Preaching to the Faithless
It’s written somewhere that we should not preach Krishna consciousness to persons who are completely materialistic and not interested. Can you explain that restriction? – Srikanth
Our reply: One of the ten offenses in chanting is to preach the glories of the Lord to the faithless. But in Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 10.67, Prabhupada writes in his purport:
“Even though a person is rejected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotees of the Lord do not reject him; therefore the Lord’s devotees are more merciful than the Lord Himself. srila Narottama Dasa Thakura thus sings, chaniya vaishnava-seva nistara payeche keba: one cannot be relieved from the material clutches without engaging in the service of pure devotees. The Lord Himself may sometimes be very hard, but the devotees are always kind.” So although Krishna may suggest not preaching to those not interested, the devotees can’t stand to see the soul suffering in this world, and so they take all risks and preach the Lord’s glories even to those not qualified to receive it.
What Is “Causeless Mercy”?
We learn in the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and other Vedic scriptures that everything has a cause. Krishna is called “the cause of all causes.” The coming of His Divine Grace srila Prabhupada to the West had a cause the transcendental order of his Guru Maharaja. Still, it is said that the mercy of guru and Krishna is causeless. Even if we accept that the mercy of guru and Krishna has no material, karmic cause, it still has a spiritual cause. So why do we speak of causeless mercy? – Jaya Gurudeva Dasa
Our reply: The word causeless in this context is used to emphasize the fact that the mercy of the Lord and the mercy of His pure devotee are not the product of someone’s karmic destiny but the free choice of the person bestowing the mercy. It is also true that mercy is an intrinsic transcendental quality of both the Lord and His pure devotee, and thus not caused by something else. Both the Lord and His devotee are inclined to be merciful, but both the extent and the manner in which this mercy is manifest in a particular situation is the choice of the Lord or His pure devotee, and not caused by anything external. srila Prabhupada would sometimes make the point that the vaisnava is not obliged to do anything. For example, he may speak liberally on the Absolute Truth or remain silent, as he chooses.
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