SP letters on how to do japa and other….

November 2, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna- below we have some letters from Prabhupada to his disciples where he is teaching how to do japa, string beads, oil them up, and much more.
This is part one of two series.
damaghosa das
May 7 1957
My dear Sri Padampat Ji,
In continuation of my yesterday’s letter, which I hope you have duly received by this time, and with reference to your request of submitting the way of powerful Mantra for broadcasting all over the world, I beg to inform you further that in every Mantra the prefix of Namah is generally added. Just for example you said the other day Namah Sivaya. Now this Mantra is practically indicating the holy name of Lord Siva. Na means negation and Ma means false ego or Ahamkara. Therefore Namah means surrendering to the name Siva. In other words to accept the supremacy of Lord Siva means Namah Sivaya. Therefore the conclusion is that in Mantra the name of the deity is unavoidably amalgamated. And in the Mantra the spiritual power, by the Rsis like Narada etc. is surcharged like the copper is electrified by magnetic force. The etymological alphabets are so surcharged with spiritual potency and as such all Mantra indicating the transcendental holy name of God or Godhead is to be understood in that way. When we chant the Mantra as were presented by the authorities—the process helps communication with the personality of Godhead by the sound waves as we have now experienced in the material world of physical waves vibrations. The powerful Mantras have such potency if they are sounded in the right direction. And by chanting the Mantras only one can spiritualise the whole existence as heat can expand on the spherical objects. Mantra Siddhi means complete liberation. Therefore, there is no difference between the holy name and Mantra. Man means mind and tra deliverance. That which delivers one from mental speculation is called “Mantra”. “Mantra Siddhi” is to transcend the gross and subtle mental plane.
Nov 23 1967 letter Umapati
Hare Krishna is so nice that it clears the dirty things from the mind of the devotee and the more one is used to chant the Holy Name offenselessly, the more one develops love of God, forgetting the whole material nonsense. (It is my duty to deliver you the right thing in right earnestness and it is the duty of the receiver to act in the standard spiritual regulation. When you left us I simply prayed to Krishna for your return to Krishna Consciousness because that was my duty. Any good soul who approaches me once for spiritual enlightenment is supposed to be depending on my responsibility to get him back to Krishna, back to home. The disciple may misunderstand a bona fide spiritual master being obliged to do so under pressure of Maya’s influence. But a bona fide spiritual master never lets go a devotee once accepted. When a disciple misunderstands a bona fide spiritual master, the master regrets for his inability to protect the disciple and sometimes he cries with tears in the eyes. We had an experience while my Guru Maharaja was alive. One of His disciples who accepted sannyasa was one day forcibly dragged by his wife. My Guru Maharaja lamented with tears in His eyes saying that He could not save the soul.) We should always, therefore, be careful in the matter of being attacked by Maya’s influence and the only means of guarantee is to chant Hare Krishna offenselessly. The greatest offense is to defy the spiritual master and to act sinfully, thinking in the strength of chanting. If a man thinks that chanting will save him from all kinds of sinful reaction deliberately committee. by him, then he becomes the greatest offender. By chanting Hare Krishna certainly we become free from all sinful reactions, but that does not mean that we shall deliberately commit sins and counteract it by chanting.
Dec 17 1967 letter Indira and Ekayani
I am very glad to learn you are chanting 48 rounds. Actually it is all right that one should chant 64 rounds, even 16 rounds, so if one is able to chant more than 16 rounds up to 64, it is very good. You fix up your rounds. Try to increase it but never decrease it.
Jan 26 1968 letter Krsna devi
So, at any circumstances you must not forget Krsna. I love you at my heart and therefore I gave you the name Krsna devi” . Don’t forget Krsna even for a single moment; chant Hare Krsna loudly or slowly as it my be convenient. But don’t forget to chant the Holy Name. I hope everything will be all right as soon as you come here with Danny, and I am awaiting your arrival with great interest. Hope you are well.
Feb 12 1968 letter Bhakti jana
Please accept my blessings. I am so glad to receive your letter dated Feb. 10, 1968, and have noted the contents. The strong hand of Maya is insurmountable as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. But if one sticks to Krishna Consciousness with firmness, then he can easily surmount. My instructions I have already given to you, how to chant the beads, and how to protect yourself from the offenses. I shall advise you again to chant always, increasing the counting, namely, 16 rounds is generally prescribed, but for the time being you can stop all other activities and increase the chanting to 64 rounds. Follow the rules and regulations strictly. If you want sex life, you are at liberty to get yourself married. But don’t have illicit sex with some Maya’s representative. That won’t help you in your spiritual advancement. We don’t forbid sex life, but we cannot allow illicit sex. For a young man it is very difficult to check sex desire, therefore best thing is for him to get himself married, and live like a responsible gentleman. Irresponsible man cannot make progress materially, or spiritually
May 10 1968 letter Dhanajaya
Your ambition for chanting Hare Krishna exclusively is very good. But sacrificing the results of action is as good. A concrete example is Arjuna. He fought very chivalrously under the instructions of the Lord, and the Lord certified him to be the best devotee and friend of the Lord. So there is no distinction between chanting and offering the results of one’s activity. Sometimes under the garb of chanting people take to the habit of laziness, which is not required at all. Execution of devotional service is prescribed first with enthusiasm and patience. One can execute this transcendental activities staying as he is, but he must follow and try to apply in practical life the instructions as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, received through the proper channel.
Nov 11 1968 letter Sivananda
Persons who want to take advantage of cheap reputation they imitate great personalities like Haridasa Thakura, who was alone chanting 300,000 of Holy Names daily. By such chanting, lonely chanting he got so much spiritual power that he could convert even a harlot to become a great devotee whereas an ordinary person falls easily a victim to such allurement. So one should not imitate such great personalities but one should try to see how much taste he has developed for chanting, so that one can remain alone simply being engaged in chanting. If one can remain alone simply being engaged in chanting, that is very good, but it is difficult also. A conditioned soul in conditioned life it is very difficult to concentrate our mind in chanting absolutely. Better to be engaged in preaching work, that will make one gradually successful. Besides that, when we are actually engaged in with the preaching work, we gradually acquire our spiritual strength without failure.

Dec 4 1968 letter Sivananda
Regarding your first question, is it offensive to think of Krishna’s Pastimes while chanting, I think you should know that it is not offensive, but rather it is required. One must try for the point when he simply hears Krishna and immediately all of Krishna, His Pastimes, His Form, His Quality, are in his thoughts. So to always be immersed in thoughts of Krishna this is our process. When we are full in Krishna then where there can be any chance for maya in us? So this is our duty to remember Krishna’s Pastimes. One who cannot remember Krishna, let him always hear Hare Krishna and then when he has perfected this art, then always he will remember Krishna, His Activities, His Qualities, etc.
The answer to your second question is that when one becomes accustomed to inoffensive chanting, then his fruit is that he is promoted to the stage of pure Love of Godhead, or prema. This prema is the perfectional stage of consciousness and the most blissful by very far.
Feb 13 1969 letter Anirudha
I have sent back the beads for Girish by separate mail, after duly chanting upon them. I am very glad to learn that he is completing daily his rounds at any cost. It is an example even for the elderly students. Please encourage this nice boy. He is given under your protection so take care of him very nicely. Just produce one nice Krishna Conscious youth. It will be a great service to Krishna and recognition of your nice service.
March 23 1969 letter Hamsadutta
Yes, it is very good if you can chant 64 rounds; this is very nice if you can do it. But first of all we should not be disturbed by any circumstances. If you do become disturbed then this means you are still deficient in reaching the point. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that when Krishna is within our view, at that time one is not disturbed even in the midst of gravest calamity. Anyway, even if we are disturbed, then the only resort is to chant and concentrate one’s mind in Krishna. There is no other alternative. Chanting and dancing make one relieved of all material burdens
April 10 1969 letter Sastvarupa
Regarding Jadurani’s question, hearing the vibration of Hare Krishna automatically reminds one of Krishna’s Pastimes. So both of them arise simultaneously in the mind when one is sincerely chanting. So you cannot make any distinction between listening to the sound and thinking of the Pastimes. But the process is to hear, and then Krishna’s Pastimes, Form, Qualities, etc. will automatically come to mind: That is very nice.
June 16 1969 letter Arundhati
Regarding your second question about greeting karmis, if a karmi is a friend, you just greet him Hare Krishna, and with folded hands touch your forehead. If the karmi is a superior relative, then chant Hare Krishna and bow down down to him on the ground. That should be the etiquette in our society transactions. Whenever you have questions, you ask your husband or ask me. You should always be very sound in knowledge about Krishna Consciousness. But as you are very much attached to chanting, there will be no difficulty for you.
Regarding your last question about the ecstatic symptoms of chanting Hare Krishna, you should know that the Hare Krishna Mantra has an equal effect upon all devotees. Just like the sunshine has an equal effect on everyone, but when it is covered, the sunshine has a different effect. Similarly, the influence of the Hare Krishna Mantra becomes manifest when one is no longer covered by the ten offenses to chanting. The more we become free from the ten offenses, the more the effect of chanting becomes manifested through us. Everyone can become a great devotee, being freed from the offenses 100%, simply by one’s determination and effort.
When the Composer machine is purchased, you will be engaged from eleven till three PM, and from seven till ten PM. That means seven hours in a day. When you are typing, you should know that it is as good as chanting, because the work is also on the matter of Krishna. Chanting on the beads and chanting on the typewriter Composer machine are both transcendental sounds of Krishna. Krishna’s Name, His Fame, His Qualities—all of them are on the absolute platform, and therefore there is no difference between one and another. So do not be misled that you are typing and not chanting.
Sept 9 1969 letterArundhati
Regarding your question, “What does Rama mean in Hare rama” Is this Balarama or Lord Ramacandra?”, you can take it both ways, because there is no difference between Ramacandra and Balarama. Generally it means Krishna, because Rama means enjoyer. So either Ramacandra, Balarama or Krishna are all Visnu Tattvas and are always enjoying. The sakti tattva, or jiva tattva is always enjoyed. Our position is always predominated. If we remain in that position and properly use our small independence, then we remain happily eternally. But artificially, if we want to be independent and imitate the Supreme Enjoyer, then it is delusion. Material life means trying to imitate the Enjoyer, and spiritual life means to remain in one’s eternal position as enjoyed. This Hare Krishna Mantra is addressed to the energy of the Lord and the Lord Himself to keep the chanter in his eternal position of being enjoyed. The prayer is “My Lord, Oh the Spiritual Energy of the Lord, kindly keep me engaged in Your service.” Regarding your other question, Krishna in His four-handed Visnu Form is within our hearts, but He is not different from two-handed Krishna.
Oct 29 1969 letter Gargamuni
Regarding your business and spiritual practices, I give you special permission as follows: You find out of 24 hours at least one hour conveniently for chanting Hare Krishna with great attention, either by the Deities or any place, without being disturbed by anyone else. So you have 23 hours for other things. Now these 23 hours, whatever you do in them, either eating or working or sleeping, you always try to think of Krishna. That will keep you intact of Krishna Consciousness. If one is always careful about falling down and prays to Krishna that he may not fall down on account of greater strength of Maya, then Krishna will give him special protection. This was advised to Arjuna by Krishna Himself. Arjuna was a great fighter, statesman, and at the same time a great devotee. A statesman and military commander has very little time to perform the routine work of devotional service, but Krishna advised him especially to be engaged in his occupational duty, and at the same time always be thinking of Krishna. This is the secret of not being a victim of Maya. Rayarama’s case is different. He definitely denied my instructions. I asked him to come to me and live with me, and he definitely denied. So this denial is cause of his temporary suspension of devotional life, but if he has executed devotional service in the past sincerely, I think he cannot go back.
Nov 11 1969 letter Rudra
Regarding the vows and chanting method you have adopted, it is very nice. But do not impose something which will be difficult to execute. There is no need of fasting once every week. Two days fasting per month on Ekadasi is sufficient. Besides that there are other special fasting days. Spiritual realization depends on austerities and vows, but in this age, by the Mercy of Krishna and Lord Caitanya, we need not undergo very severe penances, as we are unable to do it. The rules and regulations which we have already prescribed, that is sufficient for ordinary men. But as you have increased the chanting of beads to 25 rounds daily, that is very nice.