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Thread: hare krishna mahamantra and chanting on beads

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    hare krishna mahamantra and chanting on beads

    pranam

    Organisations under the umbrella of gaudiya math and mission ( iskcon etc) preaches that chaitanya mahaprabhu recommends chanting of hare krishna mahamantra which originates in kali santaran upanishad but I would like to bring attention to "sri chaitanya charitamrita" one of the greatest granths of vaishnab dharma in the line of chaitanya mahaprabhu, in no where it is mentioned that mahaprabhu ever chanted hare krishna mahamantra. actually mahaprabhu never chanted any mantra but of course he used to do sankartin with " hari haraye namah krishna yadavaya namah" and " krishna kesaba krishna kesaba krishna kesaba trahi mam". interestlngly, mahaprabhu never taught chanting of any kind but he taught sankirtan. chanting and sankirtan are not same process. why such an important teaching of chaitanya mahaprabhu according to iskcon is missing in such an important grantha of vaishanabas pertaining to mahaprabhu. can any one explain this point

    Next, iskcon preaches that mala jopa or chanting on tulsi beads is an important teaching of mahaprabhu but surprisingly in chaitanya charitamrita, no where it is mentioned that mahaprabhu ever chanted on beads but of course he used do sankirtan . probably in no granthas relating to chatanya mahaprabhu, it is mentioned that mahaprabhu chanted on beads. I just want to know who first introduced chanting on beads in vaishnab dharma in the line of chaitanya mahaprabhu. praram. can any one enlighten me in the above facts.
    Last edited by jopmala; 05 June 2018 at 04:06 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: hare krishna mahamantra and chanting on beads

    Namaste Jopmala Ji,

    As far as I understand Hari Dasa Thakur was the nam acharya and he chanted on beads as depicted in his pictures and books, he chanted 300,000 repetition of nam everyday day, first set was external chanting on beads~jagrat, next was in mind~ svapna and the next was in prajna, that was his daily cycle of japmala. As you may know better than me Bengal was ruled by Muslims at the time, so there is a lot of social history about the sankritana movment, it was a rebellion or actively declaring externally that it was their right to do sankritana and practice their dharma even under Moghal rule. Hari Dasa was considered as low born due to coming from a muslim family so he was given jap mantra and he became great realized devotee. I am not sure though if his mantra was the formal sixteen syllable mantra of modern ISKCON, but he is the nam acharya of ISKCON.

    Your right Sri Chaitanya never propagated "Maha Mantra".This is a later insertion. Sri Chaitanya received the 10-syllabe Gopala Mantra .In Sankirtan he sang "Hari Haraya Namaha","Krishna He " and as you say he chanted ." hari haraye namah krishna yadavaya namah" and " krishna kesaba krishna kesaba krishna kesaba trahi mam", I am sure there are others. Mahaprabhu left Shikshashtakam

    namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis
    tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah.

    So there is emphasis on nam which starts externally Sankritana and gets more esoteric and refined in Bhajan, ISKCON is more concerned with Sankritan and the externals.

    In the history of the sixteen syllable mahamantra there was some debate, maybe around the time of Bhaktivonda Thakur and one devotee who chanted sixteen syllable Hare Krishna Hare Rama and it ended in a court case. I dont know all the specifics but this was the main time as far as memory goes that established the 16 syllable Maha Mantra or Hare Krsna Hare Rama. This last part needs some more research but its along these lines. I read it so long ago and in a book and cant find anything online, I could run it through a friend if need be.

    There are a number ways that its chanted in kirtan and japa in different Gaudia schools, ISKCON will do full Hare Krsna Hare Rama in one go and as far as I know they banned mental jap, while other Gaudia traditions do more mental jap and other mantras and divide the mantra into 8 syllable continuation in Kirtan, so its hard to find a set standard other than they all do to some degree external sankritana and japa and internal bhajan and japa in various ways.
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 05 June 2018 at 12:18 PM.

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    Re: hare krishna mahamantra and chanting on beads

    Quote Originally Posted by markandeya 108 dasa View Post
    Namaste Jopmala Ji,

    As far as I understand Hari Dasa Thakur was the nam acharya and he chanted on beads as depicted in his pictures and books, he chanted 300,000 repetition of nam everyday day, first set was external chanting on beads~jagrat, next was in mind~ svapna and the next was in prajna, that was his daily cycle of japmala. As you may know better than me Bengal was ruled by Muslims at the time, so there is a lot of social history about the sankritana movment, it was a rebellion or actively declaring externally that it was their right to do sankritana and practice their dharma even under Moghal rule. Hari Dasa was considered as low born due to coming from a muslim family so he was given jap mantra and he became great realized devotee. I am not sure though if his mantra was the formal sixteen syllable mantra of modern ISKCON, but he is the nam acharya of ISKCON.

    Your right Sri Chaitanya never propagated "Maha Mantra".This is a later insertion. Sri Chaitanya received the 10-syllabe Gopala Mantra .In Sankirtan he sang "Hari Haraya Namaha","Krishna He " and as you say he chanted ." hari haraye namah krishna yadavaya namah" and " krishna kesaba krishna kesaba krishna kesaba trahi mam", I am sure there are others. Mahaprabhu left Shikshashtakam

    namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis
    tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah.

    So there is emphasis on nam which starts externally Sankritana and gets more esoteric and refined in Bhajan, ISKCON is more concerned with Sankritan and the externals.

    In the history of the sixteen syllable mahamantra there was some debate, maybe around the time of Bhaktivonda Thakur and one devotee who chanted sixteen syllable Hare Krishna Hare Rama and it ended in a court case. I dont know all the specifics but this was the main time as far as memory goes that established the 16 syllable Maha Mantra or Hare Krsna Hare Rama. This last part needs some more research but its along these lines. I read it so long ago and in a book and cant find anything online, I could run it through a friend if need be.

    There are a number ways that its chanted in kirtan and japa in different Gaudia schools, ISKCON will do full Hare Krsna Hare Rama in one go and as far as I know they banned mental jap, while other Gaudia traditions do more mental jap and other mantras and divide the mantra into 8 syllable continuation in Kirtan, so its hard to find a set standard other than they all do to some degree external sankritana and japa and internal bhajan and japa in various ways.

    Pranam markandeya 108 dasaji

    Thank you for giving me some important points but what I actually mean is that gaudiya math and mission orgns have not carried out the vaishnab dharma of sri chaitanya properly though they keep a photo or murthi of mahaprabhu in their deity room. Regarding haridas thakur, I have not seen in the " shri shri chaitanya charitamrita" that he ever chanted on beads. what ever pictures photos of that kind found in the presentday vaishnab literature is all imaginary. but he used to do sankirtan. silent japa or chanting on beads and lound sankirtan is not considered same process otherwise mahaprabhu always advises for sankirtan only not anything like japa. never ever I have found that mahaprabhu advises anyone to silent japa on beads. I am quoting here from prabhupada's edition of CC .

    " My dear Lord you have accepted the form of a devotee just to deliver all the fallen souls of this world ( Anta Lila chapter 3). " Uchcha ( Loud) sankirtan tate karila prachar/ sthir-char jiver khandaila samsar" means you have propagated loud sankirtan to end the samsar of moving unmoving jivas. so it is clear that mahaprabhu was not in favour of silent japa on beads. and what haridas thakur did, I am quoting from CC anta lila 3 chap again . " Nirjan vane kutir kori tulsi seban/ ratri dine tin laksha nam-sankirtan" prabhupada says "Haridas thakur constructed a cottege in a solitary forest where he planted a tulsi plant and in front of the tulsi he would chant the holi name of the lord 3 lacs times daily through out day and night. therefore no where it is found that haridas thakur chanted on beads. then again when the prostitute came to disturb haridas thakur in nam sankirtan. she stayed there for consecutive three days but every time hari das thakur said her that he could not satisfy her wish because of nam sankirtan. can you think how much time would a devotee take if he continue to nam for 3 lacs times in a day. so these gaudiya people complete such a whole day process within two to three hours with their distorted beading technique.

    secondly, in the kali santaran upanishad, the mahamantra is not " hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare" but it starts with " hare ram hare ram ram ram hare hare" and then " hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare". it is quite surprising how the original mantra got changed. who changed it. what is the problem of saying hare ram hare ram first. it is a kind of creating differentiation between ram and krishna. because the thinking behind such a distortion may be if ram nam is pronouced first then the stature of krishna nam will be lowered etc. I am sure chaitanya mahaprabhu has never differentiated between two nams of sri krishna that is found in the upanishad mantra. in this way gaudiya math and mission organs distorted original vaishnab dharma propagated by mahaprabhu. they did what ever they liked ignoring scriptures and mahaprabhu. I am saying this because I know mala japa or chanting on beads is not part of sri chaitanya's vaishnab dharma. this practice is prevalent in the moulvies or fakir of islam and some other branches of hindu dharma. nextly. mahaprabhu was found protesing against prevailing brahmanya dharma ( puja archana yag -yagna japa tapa) but gaudiya math people practice all those items of brahmanya dharma which is not practised by chaitanya mahaprabhu ever. I sitll believe that chaitanya mahaprabhu neither did japa on beads nor carry sankirtan with " hare krishna" maha mantra since the grantha "sri sri chaitanya charitamrita" is silent about these two aspects.

  4. #4

    Re: hare krishna mahamantra and chanting on beads

    Danadavat Pranam Jopmala Ji,

    In principle I would agree with you. I wrote the question to someone and I am waiting for his more informed reply on some of the details on the history of the 16 syllbale Hare Krsna Mantra used by current Iskcon and some other Gaudia Maths. Personally I dont use beads or tulsi, but that is more of a choice, although I see the logic behind it to engage and gather the senses as starting point in concentration through tactical sense administration on nam with beads, in the long term though I think it breeds a false dependency. I dont know if Hari Dasa Thakur used beads, or where the introduction was, maybe it was used as part of the attempt to convert Christians who used rosary, as the Gaudia Math in the Western world and What Bhaktivindo Thakur designed was aimed at monotheists directly, Srila Prabhupada called it Yukta Vairagya, which explains a lot. On some of the samadhi Murtis in Indian you can see the Goswamis with there hands under a shawl, but not directly chanting with beads, you have made me want to find out more, because with some devotees I know I am asking them to experiment with meditations on nam without beads.

    To be a hundred percent honest I am not so well versed in Sri Chaintya Charitamrta because out of all the English translated books at the time of reading Srila Prabhupadas books I found CC as per translated in the West and by the mood it was spoken I could hardly agree in intuition that this was the teaching and mood of sri chaitanya. But all the details you speak of are so entrenched in so many controversies and disagreements, that its just a complete landmine of conflicting practices and views. As your native and can read directly the Bengali your insights into some of the details will be vast superior to mine, but I would like to ask why is Gaudia Math almost in all corners filled with disputes, even the Hare Krishna Mantra ended up in a court case in Jagganatha Puri at the eve of its construction.

    My question would be does that process work, do all processes have to be fixed and copied exactly the same as previous Acharyas or even Mahaprabhu himself, m not talking about change of essence but form and practice. If someone starts with Hare Rama or Hare Krsna does it matter, I am not giving an opinion, as it seems to me that nearly everything that ISCKON preaches ultimately comes out backwards, its quite astonishing how this happens.

    Can you elaborate on Hari Dasa Thakur, leaving aside the bead issue. How did he do 3 lak of nam a day. My understanding is that he would start with with verbal chanting, then in wisper and then in mind, which I have translated as external, internal and then prajna, is there a more esoteric side to hari das thakur nam bhajan.

    Dandavats
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 10 June 2018 at 10:03 AM.

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