So if we have this information and understanding about chanting our mantras, we can actually know, ok, this is what I am going to do for this length of time. And we get a completely different attitude towards our mantra meditation.
When I first started chanting, in the early years of my chanting, there was a small group of us with our Spiritual Master. Sometimes we would start chanting in the afternoon, and he would say, ok, we are going to have a kirtan now. And it was hot, you know. So he would say, ok, chant now. So we started chanting. And he would say, alright, I am going into the house where he was staying, we were right beside his house. He said, I am going into the house for a little while, and you chant till I come back.
So ok, we would chant. It was hot! And everybody was looking at the door. When is he coming back? Chanting, looking at the door. And then gradually, as I were describing, all of this hesitation and difficulty and everything, just went away. And pretty soon, we were just into it, you know. And having a great time, quit looking at the door. Just enjoying the kirtan. And he was inside listening. And when he heard this starting happening, everybody is joyful and having a good time, he came out, saying ‘ok, you can quit now’.
And I remember, he told me, when you want to stop do not stop. But when you do not want to stop, then you can stop. So this is how we must approach our meditation. And gradually more and more, as I was beginning to say earlier, we actually start turning to the Holy Names for our protection, for our shelter, for our comfort, for our happiness.
Material life is difficult. Anybody that says it is not is in deep illusion. Material life is difficult. The Vedas tell us again and again and again, material life is very difficult. So that is reality, it is not easy. According to our karma, some people’s lives are easier than others. We look with envy at the person who is having a quite easy time, and we are struggling. Why is he having it so easy, my life is so difficult? But his life is not easy either. In comparison to what we can see, it might be easy. But he has his difficulties too. Everybody in the material world is struggling. Hard for us to accept it, but it is true.
So we need shelter, we need protection. We need another place to go. The bar does not help. The party does not help. The Television does not help. Sitting at home and taking drugs and drinking does not help. Kids …, nothing helps. Because it is not a material problem.
You solve this problem, oh, it really helped.
Sometimes people come to me with some problem, and so ok, I give them some whatever … advice, if you will. Oh thank you, it helped me very much. And the next time they come back, with another problem. And I say why you are back? Because I told them the real solution. But they do not take that. They just take some immediate adjustment to their material situation, and maybe it does help that situation. But quickly another one is there.
So I say, you know you say I helped you , then why are you back here? Why did you return to question me with another situation?
This one girl, I got an email from her the other day. She has been writing me emails like this for years. And I tell her the same solution … oh thank you very much! And then there is another one. Because they do not really take shelter in the Holy Names. They get immersed in their material problems and try to solve them and they are just taken away.
Are you taking shelter in the Holy Names? Are you actually ‘going there’ for your protection and shelter, and the obvious answer is no, not really. But if we understand this truth, and if we practice these teachings, and the main practice is the mantra meditation combined with other practices, it becomes more and more automatic.