Rupa Goswami defines japa and kīrtana

Rupa Goswami defines japa in the Bhakti rasāmṛta sindhu (1.2.149-151) as follows: mantrasya sulaghūccāro japa ity abhidhīyate || Here, sulaghūccāraḥ = su + laghu + uccāraḥ. uccāraḥ means pronunciation. Laghu means light. Su-laghu is very very light, i.e. inaudible. The translation then is Inaudible chanting of the mantra […]

How not to chant the mahā-mantra

Maharajji answers questions in the Śrī Guru Darśanam, pp. 97-106 Question: What should I concentrate on during chanting? Should it be the sound, a certain deity or a description? Answer: When you chant, you are chanting the name. And you have to keep your mind on the name only and […]

The meaning of the mahā-mantra

Maharajji answers questions in the Śrī Guru Darśanam, pp. 99-100. Question: What is the meaning of the mahā-mantra? What should be the mood of prayer? Answer : The mahā-mantra has three names: Hare, Krṣṇa and Rāma, which are by nature an invocation. Invocation, in this case, means to call somebody […]

Who is the ādi-guru?

[ādi-guru means the teacher of all teachers, or original teacher]. From Śrī Guru Darśanam, pp. 177 – 178 Question: Previously we have heard that Balarāma and Nityānanda are the ādiguru, and also that the guru is a manifestation of Śrimatī Rādhārāni. Is that true? Answer (by Maharajji): These […]

How the guru is and is not Kṛṣṇa

The concept of the guru is unique to Indian theology. Rupa Goswami quotes a famous verse spoken by Kṛṣṇa (Bhāgavatam 11.17.27) in the Bhakti rasamrta sindhu – “ācāryam mām vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit | na martya-buddhyāsūyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ || Know the ācārya to be my manifestation, and never disrespect […]