[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, U.K. (24 May 1996), the second book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]

Devotee: How can I properly chant Gurudeva?

Srila Gurudeva: There are some rules and regulations one should follow to chant properly. There is a process you should follow to chant the pure holy name. What we do now is different from following the real process; the real process is something more. I will try to give you the process by which you can chant purely. By this process, questions like, “How to chant? What should I think while chanting? How to totally absorb my mind and heart in chanting?” will be answered. By sincerely chanting, your mind will not wander here and there. How can we develop our chanting and remembering of the Lord’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes? There should be a relationship between Krsna and you; this relationship is given by any bona fide, realized soul. This realized soul is called a guru. So, that process should be given. It is good to chant the way you are presently chanting. But, the relation will come by Guru’s grace.

In India, in Vedic culture, the father, mother, with the help of a priest look for a qualified bridegroom for their daughter, when she attains a marriageable age. By judging the prospective husband’s qualities, wealth, reputation, and everything, the parents decide and think, “Should our daughter be married to him? Is he qualified or not?” If he is qualified, they consider the advice of their wise elders and they marry their daughter to the bridegroom after determining him to be most suitable for their daughter. The marriage is solemnized when the bride’s family give a ring to the bridegroom’s family and the bridegroom’s family gives a necklace to the bride’s family in return.

The girl is then of the disposition, “This man is my husband.”

After ten days or a longer time, the marriage is arranged. But, the day that the bride and bridegroom’s families exchange gifts and consider the son and daughter to be husband and wife, that is the day when their marriage is finalized. So, the marriage is arranged after a relation is established between the bride and bridegroom. Similarly, a service tendency will automatically manifest if a relationship is established; it depends on this relation. After a relationship is established, a lady knows how to serve her husband and the family. Everything manifests when a relationship matures. But, if the relationship is not matured or if there is no relationship, then upon seeing his wife, a man will think, “Is she my mother, sister, or daughter? Who is she?”

Similarly, on seeing her husband, a lady will think, “Is he my father, brother, or son? Who is he?”

If this relationship is not there, then nothing is there. There will be no inspiration to perform any services. For instance, you may spend millions of dollars to save the life of your son; but will you spend the same amount of money on a street beggar or anyone else? No, because you have no relationship with any of them. If there is a relationship between a husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and among friends, then on the basis of this relationship, one will do anything for the well-being of another. But, if there is no relationship, none will act for the benefit of others.

So, if there is a relationship between Krsna and you, your service will automatically manifest. But, what is the nature of the relationship between Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and you? If a relationship with Krsna manifests, then you will spontaneously engage in the corresponding services to Krsna. If there is a relationship between a sister and brother, the siblings will behave accordingly. They will not behave like a wife and husband. If a man and a lady are related to each other as a husband and wife, then they will not be related to each other as brother and sister or as a father and daughter. So, everything depends on the relationships people share between each other. A bona fide Guru manifests a relationship with Krsna in the disciple’s heart. So, there is a proper way, process, following which, you will obtain a relationship with Krsna.

Hence, if you have a relationship with Krsna, you will chant harinama with the mood that, “Krsna is my beloved.” If you share a relationship with Him as a parent and son, you will think, “Oh Krsna, You are my beloved son.” When Yasoda calls Krsna, she exclaims, “Oh my dear son.” Saying thus, milk from her breast will flow and she will shed many tears. Considering Krsna to be her little baby, she always kisses Him.

In the relationship between the Gopis and Krsna, they meet each other like how beloveds do. Their relationship will be higher than any other rasa. Their intimacy eclipses the intimacy of other relationships. There is no ‘wall’ there. So, Gurudeva gives this relationship to the disciples. Then, when you chant Hare Krsna, you will chant while being aware of the particular relationship you share with Krsna. If you have a relationship with Krsna as a mother and son, you will think, “Krsna is my son.”

You will then chant Hare Krsna and tell Krsna, “Oh my dear son, come to me.”

[To read or download the full upcoming book as a pdf, visit www.patreon.com/bhaktabandhav]