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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The “Japa Mini Lila Meditation” series presents short audio files describing transcendental sevas and lilas to be meditated upon while chanting one to two rounds of Hare Krishna japa.
These Radha-Krishna nitya-lila meditations are very helpful for sadhakas aspiring to become eternal maidservants (manjaris) of Srimati Radharani. For other devotees, the meditations will give a taste of an amazing inner joy and satisfaction that arises from combining nama-japa with Radha-Krishna lila.

The Basic Meditation Technique
While attentively chanting japa and listening to the audio, try to mentally visualize the time, place, personalities and pastime being described. Completely forget this world and think that you are in the spiritual realm of Vrindavana, standing right beside Srimati Radhika and expertly serving Her in so many special and intimate ways.
Try to see, hear and take part (mentally of course) in all the loving exchanges of Radha-Madhava, Their sakhis and the manjaris in the lilas you are hearing. Try to feel what they are feeling, saying and doing by mixing your heart, even in small way, with the heart of Sri Radha and Her dasis, the manjaris. Intensely pray for the mercy of your beloved Gurudeva, and also Sri Rupa Manjari, Sri Tulasi-manjari (Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami) and Sri Radhika to help you identify, albeit in a tiny way, with Their feelings and moods during each wonderful lila.
In your known or desired mentally conceived and cherished spiritual body (siddha svarupa) try to visualize that you are seeing, hearing, speaking, serving and personally moving with Radha-Krishna in Their beautiful sweet pastimes as they flow on into eternity.
For the meditation to be fruitful, blissful and transforming, however, you must use your powers of concentration and visualization. Concentration means to withdraw your mind from all internal thoughts and external sense stimuli. Visualization means to mentally “see” the whole panorama of the setting, the personalities, the clothes, the colors and the various articles and places being described in the narration.
Focus all your conscious attention on the lila narration and the internal vibration of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. You can become peaceful and increase your concentration on hearing the Divine Name and visualizing the lilas if you close your eyes, relax your face, and breathe slowly and deeply while fixing your attention on the point between the eyebrows. Try to really feel and mentally identify yourself as a humble serving maid of Srimati Radharani who really wants to be there with Sri Radha, serving Her and Her beloved Sri Krishna from moment to moment in the eternal realm of loving bliss—Vrindavana.
Japa lila meditation is a sadhana, and like all sadhanas one must practice it every day without fail. In the beginning, it will be difficult to hear and chant while simultaneously concentrating and visualizing the pastimes. However, by daily practice (abhyasa), your ability to concentrate and visualize will improve more and more.
Within a short time of six months or so of diligent practice, you will definitely have some amazing meditations, and also experience an extraordinary taste of transcendental sweetness by this Japa Mini Meditation practice.
It is also very important to remember that during any sadhana practice, you must always remain humble and patient, feeling confident that our affectionate Loving Lord Sri Krishna will surely reciprocate with our efforts and bring us success.
So now let’s begin the Japa Mini Lila Meditations. Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Before starting the Japa Mini Lila Meditations series, we will first reveal some supremely interesting truths about the nature of the spiritual sky that we all hope to attain one day.
In the spiritual dimension of Vrindavana, every person and every “so-called object” such as a tree, rock, finger ring or a necklace is a completely transcendental person—a unique and colorful individual made of pure, love-saturated consciousness.

Everyone has a bhava-deha, a body made of transcendental loving sentiments. There are no bodies made of gross matter, flesh and bones or even mind, intellect or ego (prakriti, indriya, mana, buddhi, ahankara). In other words, everyone and “everything” is completely personal, interactive, alive and full of prema for Radha and Krishna.

In Vraja Dhama in the spiritual sky, there is only love, bhava, pure divine love interacting with pure divine love. Vraja is an eternal blissful realm wherein all the lovers and beloveds exist only to please and satisfy Sri Krishna and each other, be they acting as Sri Krishna’s servants, friends, parents, gopi lovers or dasi serving girls.

Our Gaudiya Vaisnava shastras and purvacharyas say that there is one form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna for every liberated soul! Not only one Krishna, but there is also one form of each one of Sri Krishna’s eternal loving associates in Vrindavana to interact with and accept eternal sevas from that liberated soul i.e. sadhana siddha bhakta.

This is a most astonishing and wonderfully inspiring and reassuring spiritual truth that fully enables every liberated soul, premi-bhakta, to have his or her own individual and personal Radha and Krishna to love, have, hold and humbly serve forever.

Thus we see in the books of Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti describing Radha-Krishna’s asta-kaliya-lilas and Their sevas therein, the first person tense “I” is used to speak of the eternal present or the future eternal.

For example, sometimes these acharyas describe their hankering to someday serve Srimati Radharani: “O Kishori-mani! WHEN WILL I COMB Your hair and set beautiful bakula malas in Your shimmering, silky black hair braid?”

Or they write: “O Kalyani! On the full moon night, I DRESS YOU in pure white garments, ornament You with pearls and moonstone, and cover Your beautiful lavanya lustrous face with white sandalwood paste to prevent anyone from noticing You rushing out to the kunja to meet Your beloved Priyatama.”

And these acharyas also describe how they or rather I am personally doing each and every service required by Srimati Radharani when She is alone and with Her dearest sweet heart Shyamasundara. This means when you attain spiritual perfection you will not be left out in cold, waiting one millennium for your turn to render your individual service of fanning Sri Radha.

In the spiritual dimension of pure loving consciousness, Radha and Krishna are eternally present in millions upon millions of unlimited divine, transcendental forms. And with each form the Playful Pair are being eternally loved and served by one individual liberated prema bhakta—YOU!

Now just imagine how vast, beautiful, inconceivable and personal is the spiritual sky? Radha, Krishna and all Their loving associates with YOU in Vraja Dhama forever.
Following the lead of our Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas, we will present the Japa Mini Meditations series in first person “I”. Thus while listening to the lila audios, one should think, “I am right there with Radha and Krishna and Their dedicated sakhis and manjaris. And I am personally offering each and every one of the many sevas being described here for the pleasure of my own individual Radha-Govinda Yugala.”

In the next audio, we will begin our Japa Mini Lila Meditation series.

Radha-Krishna asta-kaliya-lila ki jai!
Japa and lila ki jai!
Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Because they are the ideal periods for meditation and divine absorption, the three best times to chant Hare Krishna nama japa are:

1) Early Morning: 3 AM to 6 AM

2) Half Hour Before Sunrise: New Delhi today appx. 545 AM—615AM

3) Half Hour Before Sunset: New Delhi today appx. 6PM—630PM

Timings will vary according to your location.

The following answer regarding why these are the best meditation periods comes from the Vedas, Upanisads, Yoga and Mantra sastra, and from the tradition and experience of enlightened souls past and present.

Period one is called the Brahma Muhurta period because these three hours are sattvika, serene, saturated with prana, and blessed with the vibrations of visiting saints, rishis and devas like Rishi Narada and Sri Brahmaji.

During this time, many liberated souls and elevated saints are wandering over the earth (especially in Vrndavana and other divine dhamas) to see and bless anyone performing spiritual sadhana during these three precious hours.

Period two and three are very unique because for everyone, ONLY at these two time junctures i.e. night to day and day to night the air passing through both nostrils is equal and balanced. In yogic terms, this means the heating Sun breath moving through the right nostril (pingala), and the cooling Moon breath moving through the left nostril (ida) are both equal.

When the air flows equally in both nostrils, the Sushumna nadi activates and alters the body chemistry so that meditation becomes EASY. All physical and mental desires are suspended. The mind becomes calm because no mental fluctuations exist at these times.

The synergistic balance of the Moon and Sun breaths at these two times enables one to have mystic experiences, spiritual visions and darsana of one’s beloved ista-devata such as Radha-Govinda. All human beings breathe through both nostrils just before death.

In other words, these are the easiest and most beneficial times to deeply meditate on the meaning of the maha-mantra, and the transcendental forms and pastimes of Radha and Krishna.

To take advantage of these amazingly, auspicious times, temples and devotees daily worship their ista-devatas just before sunrise (mangala aratika), and just before sunset (sandhya aratika).

It is a phenomenon that every day about half hour before sunrise the temperature drops and the wind blows. Why? The sadhus say the wind is caused by the swift departure of the visiting rishis and devas returning to their celestial abodes. As the saints wander the earth before sunrise, at dusk, Mahadeva Siva and his associates roam the planet to bless the devotees doing bhajan then, and harass the impious engaged in sense pleasures.

IN SUMMARY

Pranayama and meditation are vast subjects. We just shared a few points to help devotees get the best from their Hare Krishna nama japa. Basically, the idea is you that should arrange your daily schedules so at one, two or even all of these special three times, you are sitting peacefully chanting japa.

For example, if you are busy family person and can’t get up at 3, 4, or 5AM—then at least make sure you are chanting japa during the 30-40 minutes before sunrise or later before sunset. You can do all other things after this.

Before chanting diksa mantras one must fully bathe, apply tilaka and dress in clean clothes. However, for Hare Krishna nama japa no ritual or physical purity is needed. Just wash your face, feet, hands, do acamana, sit down, chant and meditate.

Absorbed Hare Krishna japa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Confusion has arisen regarding which fingers to use while chanting Hare Krishna Nama or Diksa Mantras. The clear truth is found in Hari Bhakti Vilasa as follows:

Siva Agama:
andmamadhyamakramya japam kuryyattu manasam madhyama 
madhyama kramya japam kuryyadupamsukam tarjjanirh
tu samakramya japam naiva tu karayet

While chanting manasic japa (silent in the mind), one should hold the beads with the thumb and ring finger.
However, when chanting upamsu (softly), one should hold the beads with the thumb and middle finger. Never use the index finger while chanting  (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 17.114).

tarjjanya na sprset sutram kampayenna vidhiinayet 
angustha parvva madhyastham parivarttam samacaret

Don’t touch index finger to mala while chanting japa.
Don’t swing, rattle or shake beads while chanting.
Use the thumb and middle finger to move from one bead to another. (if you are chanting softly, upamsu japa, Hari Bhakti Vilasa 17.123)

Conclusion: Two ways to chant and both are correct. Thumb and ring finger for silent, mental manasi japa.
(Hari Bhakti Vilasa 17.114);
Thumb and middle finger for soft chanting, upamsu japa.
Hari Bhakti Vilasa 17.114, 123
Nama Acarya Sri Haridas Thakur ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

  1. Dawn and dusk are best for japa because the air is pure and the density of distracting vibrations is less.
  2. Bathe or just wash hands, feet, face, and mouth before sitting for japa.
  3. Observe silence (besides japa) and avoid all distractions, both internal and external.
  4. Sit in the same place at the same time daily. Facing east or north enhances concentration.
  5. Resolve to complete a certain minimum number of repetitions. (rounds or malas)
  6. Recite prayers before the recitation.
  7. Repeat the mantra aloud for a few minutes, and then recite silently. If the mind wanders, recite loudly again or whisper for some time. Return to mental japa as soon as possible.
  8. Focus your attention exclusively on the mantra sound.
  9. Close your eyes, and mentally recite the mantra slowly with devotion and one-pointed attention (ekagrata). As the mind becomes still and concentrated, mental japa speed will automatically increase.
  10. When you repeat the mantra, visualize that Bhagavan Sri Krishna is sitting in your heart, sending purity into your mind. The mantra is elevating you to the spiritual dimension of seeing your eternal identity. The mantra is liberating you from all your negative karmas, worldly desires and cravings for unnecessary things.
  11. Do not perform japa in a hurried manner.
  12. Be vigilant and alert during japa. Open your eyes or stand if dullness overcomes you.
  13. Be regular in the number of daily rounds (malas or recitations of the Holy Name).
  14. Maintain your japa practice with tenacity and perseverance.
  15. Recite japa during any free time, especially at the daily junctures (morning, noon, and evening) and before sleep.
  16. Upon completing japa, sit a few minutes meditating on God and your relationship with Him. Think how you can be a better person by trying to live moment to moment for the pleasure of God and the happiness of everyone around you.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!