Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
golokera prema-dhana, hari-nāma-saṇkīrtana, rati nā janmilo kene tāy
The treasure of love of God has descended from the spiritual world of Goloka Vṛndāvana; appearing in this world as the saṇkīrtana movement of chanting Hari’s holy names. Alas! Why am I not attracted to it? (Prarthana)
In this bhajana, Narottama dasa Thakura says that goloka prema, pure love of God in the mood of Vraja, has descended from the spiritual world in the form of the chanting vibration. Although the all-attractive sweet Lord Kṛṣṇa is approaching everyone through His holy names, He cannot be perceived without the proper attitude. Attitude refers to one’s mood, mentality, approach, viewpoint or mind-set regarding a person or activity. One should chant japa with an attitude of service and surrender–begging for Kṛṣṇa’s mercy.
Chanting the holy name without a service attitude produces sound but not divinity. Such bogus, imitative sound is lip deep but not heart deep; like a gun firing blanks instead of bullets. Pure devotional service alone can connect or link Vraja Gokula with the material world. Vraja Gokula, Kṛṣṇa, His associates, and all His wonderful pastimes descend to this world (golokera prema-dhana) and manifest in the heart filled with seva-bhava.
Chanting must be saturated with a mentality of selfless service; desiring only to please Kṛṣṇa. Srila Prabhupada always said chanting means begging for service: “O my Lord! [Kṛṣṇa] O my Lord’s energy! [Hare, Radha] Please engage me in Your service.” The true transcendental name of Kṛṣṇa can be heard only through the serving mind, not through the material ears of the enjoying mind.
“By a service attitude, if you chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without any offense, then Kṛṣṇa will reveal Himself.” (SPT 22/10/72)
“Our progress depends on the favor of the higher side. It does not depend so much on our own ability, but on our submission and surrender–our hankering for mercy. My attitude must invite the higher authority to come down to my level and help me, favor me. To attract the Lord’s attention we shall require surrender, submission and humility.
“We can press our position by praying: ‘O my Lord! I am in the worst need; without Your grace I cannot stand. I am helpless. I cannot endure without Your favor.’
“If we truly feel ourselves to be low and in want, then the supply of mercy will come from the higher plane. Everything moves according to Kṛṣṇa’s sweet will. Our problem is how to draw His attention. This will be possible only by increasing our negative tendency, by proving to Kṛṣṇa, in a bona fide way, that I am the most needy.” (Subjective Evolution, adapted)
An excerpt from the book Art of Chanting