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Too busy to chant

Question: 
Will Krishna accept me even if I'm too busy to chant sixteen rounds? I heard that Krishna is very merciful and loves his devotees even if they don't chant. Does singing bhajans count as japa? Can I develop love for Krishna by some other means than chanting?


Our Answer:

If you really want to awaken your innate love for Krishna, the most highly recommended practice is to chant His names. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna's most recent incarnation, has demonstrated and recommended this over and over.

Chanting in the association of devotees dedicated to the Lord's service is even more powerful. Chant at least sixteen rounds and build up gradually. Practice perfect attention while chanting as the name is the Lord Himself. Try to chant without the ten kinds of offenses.

You can chant in the shower, you can chant in the car (not as japa, but as kirtan). Opportunities for chanting are everywhere. You can also pray. You can pray for the intelligence to arrange your life so you have time to chant!

The dharma is chanting. Japa is just to make sure you chant enough. The acharyas recommend both. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did both. If you take rest early, you can rise early and chant japa before anyone gives you anything else to do. Another point is that chanting elevates our consciousness so we don't need to sleep as much. Instead of sleeping eight hours, you can sleep six hours and chant two hours.

Srila Prabhupada, who introduced gave a clue how a busy man in household life might chant sixteen rounds. Chant four before breakfast, four before lunch, four before dinner, and four before taking rest for the evening. He said that if we chanted sixteen rounds daily and tried to avoid the offenses in chanting that by the end of our lives we would become pure enough to be eligible to return to the spiritual world.

Lord Krishna came all the way from the spiritual world to demonstrate, as Lord Chaitanya, how to develop love of Krishna by chanting the holy name. Why then are you so attached to finding excuses not to do it?