Questions

Srila Haridas Thakur was chanting japa for more than 20 hours every day. Was that his specific service?

Yes. Prabhupada told us to chant at least 16 rounds a day and depending on how fast you chant or whether you chant properly or whether you are sleepy it may take longer, it depends and then we may have some particular service. Someone may cook for Krishna. Someone else may clean for Krishna; some may manage a temple for Krishna. Haridas Thakur’s service was to chant. He was given the title by Lord Caitanya: Namacarya. That was his service. That is what he did. He chanted and chanted and chanted. When he finished chanting he would keep chanting. That was his program. He was chanting around 190 rounds a day. If 16 rounds takes 2 hours, 192 rounds take 24 hours. He didn’t sleep or eat much, he just chanted. He was living on the Holy Names.

We could say, “I will make it my service to just chant all day. That’s what I will do”

The problem with that is because of our upbringings, our conditioning, habits and attitudes, the way our being is constituted currently. Having been in this Kali-yuga, materialistic atmosphere our whole lives, if we try to do that after some time we will find that to keep the mind focussed on the chanting so you are absorbed in the chanting and not just sitting there and your mind is elsewhere, it is extremely difficult. The mind of the conditioned soul in this day and age is so prone to become distracted therefore Prabhupada told us to do 16 rounds, it takes a couple of hours and hopefully you can keep focussed for that time and then do something else. Something that would stimulate your mind a bit more after you have been chanting for some time. Engage your nature more.

Prabhupada said, “I have created these big big projects just to engage my big big devotees because if you don’t give them something big to do, their minds just go off and they will find something big to do in the material world.”

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