Poem for Jul 25

Japa Poem

Chanting japa with a clear head is a great gift. I was able to do it, unaware of pain. The time went by slowly, although I was pushing. Japa must be an intense endeavor. It is not a laid-back thing. As you chant, you simultaneously brush out the thoughts, like using a hand brush and a dustpan. You keep your mind clean. As for thinking of the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, I have not reached that stage. I am a mantra-chanter. I am trying to avoid the ten offenses in chanting. On one level, I’m doing it pretty well, but not going further. I don’t blaspheme devotees; I don’t consider the names of the demigods as equal or independent of the name of Krishna. I don’t doubt the scriptures; I don’t take the chanting as exaggeration or make an interpretation of it. I chant with attention. I don’t commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting. I don’t consider the chanting a material act of piety. I don’t teach the chanting of the holy names to faithless persons. I don’t chant for material benefits. I try to avoid these basic offenses. But I don’t cry out to Krishna and Radha, “Please let me serve You.” I don’t dwell on Their sweet pastimes . . . .

(_Japa Transformations_)


Japa is an intense endeavor.
It is not a relaxed pastime.
As you chant
you simultaneously dust
all anarthas from your mind.
I mention each
of the ten offenses and
claim I avoid them.
“But I don’t call out to
Radha and Krishna,
‘Please let me serve You.’
I don’t dwell on Their sweet pastimes.”

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