These are my latest thoughts assessing my japa, I believe we all have to keep observing ourselves, especially if we do not live in the temples where other devotees would happily point any deficiencies in our chanting.
Unless we achieved the pure bhakti platform all our chanting is actually for Lord Chaitanya’s pleasure. First, we invoke His mercy so that He disregards our offences, this is very kind of Him, some of the thoughts that go into our heads could send us to hell but somehow we keep on living as if nothing have happened.
On another level it was Lord Chaitanya who introduced harinama sankirtana and so, in the spirit of dasadasanudasa, we chant because He told us so. If He told us to dig trenches or swim across the ocean we would have done that, too, because Lord Chaitanya is our ultimate authority in all matters related to Absolute Truth.
So, when we mumble our “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna…” and we don’t feel any love rising in our hearts our only hope is that somehow Lord Chaitanya appreciates our efforts. Or does He?
I have this weird thought – what if our chanting actually discomforts Him and causes Him to break His meditation on Krishna?
Just think of it – every time Lord Chaitanya was lost in ecstasy some devotee had to come close and chant Hare Krishna into His ear, that was the only sure way to break His samadhi. Do you think coming back to external consciousness was better than being absorbed in transcendental matters? Our acharyas didn’t record the Lord showing any displeasure but it’s not hard to imagine that sometimes He thought “Oh, Jesus, why did you have to do this to me? Why didn’t you leave me alone?” It’s not hard to imagine that sometimes our chanting sounded like scratching nails on the blackboard for the Lord.
The sound of an ordinary kirtan going on was what caused His ecstasy in the first place and it didn’t bring Him back but when someone chanted directly into His ear His samadhi was just gone. Why? What other reason could be there if not unbearable clash with the mellows of actual devotional service to the Holy Name that the Lord was absorbed in?
People tried to wake Him up not to multiply His devotional ecstasy, they had other motives, usually to prevent the Lord from injuring Himself. So, when the Lord woke up, it’s not hard to imagine that he thought “Oh God, you again? Begging me to mind my own body? It’s scratch proof and self healing, you know. I was just with Krishna and you woke me up for this? Fool!”
Perhaps He was waking up to His duty as yuga-avatara and He was rather apologetic for leaving the company of His devotees and getting lost in Krishna’s pastimes. I was being ironic anyway, but, seriously – why would chanting of the Holy Name into Lord’s ear break His devotional feelings? The easiest and the most obvious explanation is that because it’s not pure, not pleasing enough for the Lord.
And so is our everyday sixteen rounds of torture. We think we are struggling with our chanting, imagine how much pain it gives to Mahaprabhu!
That ought to expand our understanding of what “ocean of mercy” means. I just hope He has enough to see us through to the other side.