Some devotees think that chanting 64 rounds or more of Harinam is the only means to grant us Harinam-ruchi. So they think that Doyal Nityananda’s mercy, Nityananda Namlekhan and Namkirtan, or Nityananda Gauranga Lila Shravan Kirtan are not so important or not needed.
64 Rounds Without Any Drop of Rasa
☑️ Namacharya Haridasa Thakura states otherwise in Harinam Chintamani 12.14-15:
LAKSHA NAMA haile pūrṇa
saṅkhyā mālā gaṇi
hṛdaye NAHILA RASA
BINDU guṇa maṇi
ei ta anavadhāna
viṣayī hṛdaye prabhu
🔴 “Due to our formidable offensive and sense-gratifying mentality, even a TINY DROP OF RASA WILL NOT NOT AWAKEN in our hearts even after we complete chanting of 64 ROUNDS of Harinam daily with careful counting.”
🔕 So please don’t think you can become a realized devotee or conquer your senses just by making a show of mechanically chanting 16 rounds, 1 lakh, or even 2 lakhs of holy names daily. In Chaitanya-charitamrita it is stated that even one holy name of Krishna is enough to grant us prema if it is chanted offenselessly. Unfortunately, in some circles chanting has become a number game, with some claiming to chant 3 lakhs or even 5 lakhs very fast daily.
Rasa in 64 Rounds Only Possible By Deep Smarana First
Here are some other verses from the same Harinam Chintamani’s 12th Chapter on the Pramada (Apathy/Inattentiveness) Namaparadha which show who can actually increase their chanting to the true one lakh daily.
anya kārye vṛthā kāla
nā haya yāpana |
sādhu gaṇa ihā cinti’
smare anukṣaṇa ||12.24||
“Thinking that one should not waste time in any other activities except Nam, the devotee remembers the Name at every moment.” (So this quality is proved to be more important first and the quantity will automatically increase.)
nāma smare rase maje
anya nāhi cāya |
sei rūpa sādhu saṅge
ei dosha yāya ||12.25||
“One who truly remembers the Name and drowns deep in Namrasa will not want to do anything else. In this way, by the mercy of the devotees, apathy to the Name is removed.” (Do you feel that everything else is a waste of time? Only then can you truly chant and relish your 64 rounds.)
anveṣiyā sei rūpa
sādhu-saṅga kare |
jāḍya parihare ||12.26||
“By practicing the visualization of the form of the Lord in the Name in the association of devotees, our consciousness will give up the apathy to chanting.” (Again the remembrance of the Form in Harinam is more important than the quantity and this visualization is enhanced by Nityananda Namlekhan.)
avyartha kālatva dharma
sādhura carita |
dekhile tāhāte ruci
ha-ibe niścita ||12.27||
“Witnessing this nature of other devotees of not wasting time in any other activities will certainly help us manifest our attraction and taste for Nam.” (We clearly see here that finishing the “magical number” of 64 rounds very fast in 3-4 hours does not mean we have taste in Nam. It is clearly said here that one who has taste in Nam will chant constantly throughout the day and night without wasting a single moment in other perishable activities. So one will chant for 8 hours or more without thinking of how many rounds one has to complete or have been completed or in how much time one is completing one’s 64 rounds.)
mane habe āhā
kabe ihāra samāna |
smariba gāiba nāma
haye bhāgyavān ||12.28||
“When the mind starts relishing the forms and pastimes in the Name so much, only then it will want to glorify, remember, and sing the Name constantly and become fortunate all the time.” (Relishing and remembering means quality. So again the quality is proved to be more important first than the quantity here.)
sei ta utsāha āsi
alasera mane |
jāḍya dūra kare kṛṣṇa-
nāmera smaraṇe ||12.29||
“Only when this enthusiasm has manifest by the real remembrance of the Form in the Name, laziness and apathy in the remembrance of Harinam are removed forever.” (Enthusiasm means quality. So again quality is proved to be more important first than the quantity here. It also means that one will not attain rasa by artificially increasing the chanting to 64 rounds without quality.)
mane habe āja lakṣa
nāma ye kariba |
krame krame tina lakṣa
nāma ye smariba ||12.30||
“With such realization, when the mind genuinely hankers to chant 100,000 Names daily, only then we can slowly increase to 100,000 Names and then eventually 300,000 Names daily.” (This cannot be maintained by simply artifically increasing the quantity suddenly just because someone is telling us to do so or one fine day we feel “inspired” to do so one day. Genuine hankering to increase the quantity comes only by deeply remembering and relishing the Name first.)
mahāgraha habe citte
nāmera saṅkhyāya |
acire yāibe jāḍya
sādhura kṛpāya ||31||
“Due to relishing and actually remembering the form and pastimes in the Name, when our mind pushes us with extreme force (mahagraha) to increase the daily quantity of our chanting, only then our apathy for the Name is destroyed when we increase the quantity, by the mercy of the devotees.” (So again Harinam Chintamani never advocates to artificially increase our quantity to 64 rounds unless our mind is relishing and forcing us vehemently to chant constantly.)
1 Round of Harinam Cannot be Chanted Faster Than 5.4 Minutes Audibly or Mentally
One Hare Krishna Maha Mantra cannot be possibly chanted faster than 3 seconds if one does not skip Names and properly pronounces each Name, especially the upwards curlying of the tongue in Krishna Nam and the full Rama instead of just Ram. Otherwise it will be Varna-Vyavadhana and very less taste will come.
So there is no way one can chant 16 rounds in less than 1.5 hours or 64 rounds in less than 6 hours. If one is doing so, it is guaranteed that either one is skipping some Names or not pronouncing some Names properly in each Harinam.
Some claim that they chant Harinam mentally so they can chant each Harinam even in 1 or 2 seconds. This is not possible because even mentally one has to pronounce Krishna and Rama correctly. In fact, it is more difficult and takes more time to pronounce mentally if we are not physically curling our tongue to say “Krishna” and the tip of our lips are not physically touching together to say the full “ma” in ”Rama”.
Mental chanting can only be practiced after years and years of audible chanting and that too it is not as blissful as audible chanting. This is proved by the fact that Namacharya Srila Haridasa Thakura chanted a maximum of only 100,000 Names daily mentally (if at all he chanted mentally on a particular day) and the other 200,000 Names audibly (loudly or softly) as stated in Prema Vilasa.
Some claim that they are completing 64 rounds in 2-3 hours and so they can chant 5 lakh every day or 3 lakh in 8-9 hours. Unfortunately there are in a big illusion in this regard.
First of all no scriptures have ever talked about 500,000 names daily. As you see in the above verses, only 300,000 has been mentioned as the ultimate maximum. So such a claim is totally impossible for a jiva and should be rejected. Simply because there is not enough time to do it properly in 24 hours, what to speak of the super-advanced qualification and relish required to complete it daily.
If Namacharya Gaura-nija-jana Srila Haridasa Thakura could chant only 300,000 maximum daily in 24 hours, do you think you are higher than him by claiming that you chant 500,000 daily?
And last but not the least. The most direct reason why no one can chant 64 rounds in less than 6 hours is Namacharya Haridasa Thakura himself. As he performed his lila of getting old, he told Gauranga that he could not complete his 300,000 Names daily even in the full 24 hours, so he wanted to leave this world and he really did so. This clearly shows that he was taking more than 8 hours to chant 64 rounds in his ”old” age even though he was chanting 100,000 Names out of it mentally. So how can we, who are a tiny dust at his lotus feet, claim we can chant faster than the Namacharya himself or chant more quantity than him?
One cannot truly chant 100,000 names attentively if one does not have relish for the Names in the first place. It will just be mechanical without taste. Just a matter of completing the numbers then becoming proud that - “I am a lakshehvara" and superior to other devotees who chant less quantity. This is called jadya or apathy in chanting and leads to other offenses. Only when mind starts relishing the Name so much, only then the mind will push us to chant more and more, it cannot be increased artificially.
Some devotees claim that quality will come by forcibly increasing the quantity. Actually when you forcibly or mechanically try to complete bigger quantity, it remains inattentive and thus your offenses to Harinam increase. The more time period you chant offensively, the more offenses increase. So Srila Prabhupada promptly reduced it to 16 from the initial 64 in those very early days when they came back and told him that they don't have the taste to chant 64 or even 32 daily. He figured that there is no use in forcing them to chant huge numbers forcibly and increasing their offenses to Harinam.
For me personally, I will never imitate Namacharya Haridasa Thakura’s quantity and speed of chanting also. The goal is to remember each Name in Harinam, not the full Harinam only. When we value each drop, we value the whole ocean. I have found that if I chant one Harinam in 3 seconds or fast, there is no time for my mind to focus on and relish the infinite meanings of each of the 16 Names in Harinam. So I chant much slower and try to relish each Name of the Mahamantra. In this way, times flies by in the bliss of remembrance of each Name and I don’t want to stop chanting at all. Each Name is the festival of Vraja, Vrajotsavam. I have realized this is the real way to chant 64 rounds or to chant any number of rounds for that matter.
Conclusion - The Actual Means
🔆 Thus the offenseless quality of Harinam is much more important than quantity in which we chant it. And trust me, Doyal Nityananda’s mercy, Nityananda Namlekhan and Namkirtan, or Nityananda Gauranga Lila Shravan Kirtan are the only true namaparadha-forgivers and granters of that pure Harinam, which is completely free of every single one of these unavoidable ten offenses.
Even the most munificent Lord Gauranga punishes us for eternity for doing Vaishnava-aparadha, the very first offense in Harinam. Then what to speak of the reactions of the other nine offenses?
💉 Devotees say that a thorn can be removed by another thorn. So chanting 64 rounds of Harinam is the only way to remove the ten offenses in Harinam. But do we practically use another thorn to remove a thorn? No, we use another similar pointed object like a needle or pin to actually remove it.
In the same way, it is agreed only Nam can remove all the offenses in Nam. But it is the more merciful, liberal, and forgiving Nityananda Nam and Lila which quickly remove all the ten offenses in Harinam, even Vaishnava Aparadha. Harinam itself. Even 64 rounds of Harinam may take a much longer time to do so as confirmed in the above verses of Hari Nam Chintamani.
So we are not saying here to not aspire for chanting 100,000 Names daily. That is the goal of all remembrance. What we are saying is that one should take full shelter of Nityananda Nam and Lila to reach that stage of chanting the truely offenseless rasa-filled 100,000 names daily.
Nityananda Nam is also a more merciful form of Harinam, because Nityananda is non-different from Hari Himself. This is the achintya-bheda-abheda-tattva in Nam. Nityananda Nam also contains madhurya-rasa like Harinam in the form of Ananga Manjari. Those who don’t consider Nityananda Nam as one of the holy names of Lord Hari are victims of Kaliyuga, according to Jaiva Dharma.
💘 Therefore, believe it not, Nityananda Nam and Lila are the two purely offenseless means to make us qualified to chant 16 or 64 rounds of Harinam with the genuine awakening of rasa in our hearts. Because Srila Narottama das Thakura confirms that no one can ever possibly attain Gaura Radha Krishna in Vraja (and thus also in Harinam) without taking the full shelter of Nityananda Bhakti, which is Nityananda Namlekhan + Nityananda Namkirtan + Nityananda Gauranga Lila Shravan Kirtan + Ekachakra Mental or Physical Residence.
Read about the exact method to chant Harinam with quality as described in Harinam Chintamani.