Is Chanting Only Countable for Initiated Devotees?

ASK BVKS | June 7, 2011 |

English;

Question:

Few years back, at ISKCON Yamunanagar temple in Haryana, India, I attended a lecture by a devotee from ISKCON Delhi who was on guest visit. When asked about the importance of initiation in chanting, he told that without being initiated, our chanting the rounds is nearly ineffective. Only after initiation from spiritual master does our real chanting begins. He gave an analogy that without being initiated, our 64 rounds of chanting will hardly equal 16 rounds of an initiated person. Since then my interest in chanting has been flickering and I feel there is no use to chant if it doesn't count at all. And I do not thing I am qualified to be initiated now or ever in my life. Though I may chant sometimes, but in deep core of heart, these words discourage me every time. Please help.

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If we look historically at ISKCON, the times when most people joined the movement was when there was ample regular Harinama Sankirtan being performed everyday. Similarly many great saints in our movement were engaged in regular Harinama Sankirtan, such as Vishnujana Swami, etc.

I am also aware that book distribution brhad mrdanga has been promoted as our kirtan by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur as being equal to Harinama Sankirtan. Book distribution is still emphasised quite nicely in most of our temples in ISKCON.

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Here are my questions -

Is book distribution a means for replacing (Nagar) Harinama Sankirtan, or that they should both be the main focus of our movement side by side?

Do you feel (Nagar) Harinama Sankirtan should be promoted to regular daily activity, or should it be kept as a weekend activity?

Looking forward to hear your authoritative view on this point.

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