Published on April 30th, 2002 | by


The Sublime Potency of Krishna Kirtan

I have been witnessing an amazing thing happening, right here in my home town. One by one, normal run of the mill professional people from all walks of life are being drawn together under the common umbrella of Krishna’s Holy Names. It is nothing short of a miracle…

As an aspiring, neophyte devotee of Lord Krishna, I am once again astounded by the sheer power of Krishna Kirtan, and the sublime way it transforms common people’s everyday lives.  I am a high school teacher in a small community in northern California, and I have been witnessing an amazing thing happening, right here in my home town.  One by one, normal “run of the mill” professional people from all walks of life are being drawn together under the common umbrella of Krishna’s Holy Names.  It is nothing short of a miracle. 
Here is just one case in point.
I met my friend Paula two years ago when we worked together on a community production of Cinderella.  She was the musical director for the play.  She knew that I was totally into Hare Krishna, so about a month or so ago, she called me to explain that she was compiling different musical chants and prayers from around the world, and that she wanted to bring them all together on a CD recording.  She was inspired to do this project after watching the 9-11 World Trade Center attack, when she had a realization:  people throughout the world are killing each other over their perceived differences in understanding and worshiping God.  So, she felt that if she could get representative recordings from all the world’s spiritual traditions together on one CD, with the theme being “Unity in Diversity”, it could be her small offering towards world peace.
Well, little did she know what she was “getting into” with Krishna’s Holy Names!  After only one rehearsal session having kirtan at my house, she was completely transformed.  She literally had a total epiphany, an awakening to Krishna Consciousness.  Now, she is reading Bhagavad Gita and Prabhupada’s other books, plus she has begun to tell others in her orbit of association all about Krishna!
Anyway, while she gathered a number of people from her family and professional sphere of life, we invited several devotees up from Berkeley’s Hare Krishna Youth to participate in the recording session, which happened on Saturday, April 20 at a studio in Occidental.  It was remarkable, to say the very least!  About 20 people gathered to participate in the recording session, people from every conceivable age group, religious affiliation and socio-economic background. 
People actually had no idea what to expect, and at first they were all a little hesitant about the chanting.  But by the end of the session, everyone was elevated to a transcendental plane of unity and bliss.  We actually became one family under Krishna, and within His Holy Names.  We could all feel it!   People were opening up, sharing their hearts and revealing their minds.  The feeling was just like this easy-going, peaceful “togetherness”.

  One of Paula’s friends Mal, who is a drummer, commented, “Wow.  It’s really clear to me now that all you Krishna devotees are one big family”.   

After this miraculous weekend came to a close, I realized that the Nama Hatta approach initiated by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is a very effective, non-threatening way for anyone and everyone to be brought to Krishna Consciousness.  It really works.  In Chapter 7 of the Madhya Lila in the Caitanya Caritamrta, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu came across the Vedic Brahmin named Kurma.  He was disgusted with the miseries of material life, and he wanted to abandon his home and go with the Lord in His travels.  In essence, Lord Caitanya told him that it would be better for him to remain in his home, and simply chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.  He told the Brahmin that “…in this way, you become a spiritual master, and you just tell everyone you meet about Krishna…” [see: There’s No Need to Leave Home and Join the Temple… ]. 
I am actually seeing for myself that this approach really does work!  The people around me are remaining in their positions in the community.  They are keeping everything intact; their jobs, their home lives, their possessions, everything.  They are not feeling forced to “join any temple”, or to “give anything up”, but only to add the chanting of Hare Krishna to their daily lives.  From there, they are being imperceptively transformed by having insights and realizations.  This will further inspire them to associate more and more with other devotees, and to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. 
Gradually, as they make progress in self-realization, they can adopt as much- or as little- of the Hare Krishna lifestyle as is practical for their individual circumstances.  Each person can, in their own fashion, begin to utilize whatever they have in the service of Lord Krishna.  This has been the case with myself, and also for everyone else who has been attracted into Krishna’s orbit!

  It is absolutely wonderful to see.  It is effective because it is a very personal, individual “grass-roots” phenomenon, spreading slowly but steadily from one person to the next.

  {It reminds me of the popular network marketing schemes now so prevelant in this country.}  One person gets “turned on” to the philosophy, then that person tells their friends, and so on.  In this way, Krishna Consciousness becomes a very real, individual, personal, substantial, and uplifting force in people’s everyday lives. 

As I gradually make progress in my own self-realization, I am beginning to understand that Krishna consciousness isn’t some “pie-in-the-sky, armchair philosophy”, where we pontificate and quote verses from scripture to impress people with our “Holy erudition”.  No.  It is a scientific, systematic, standard process for understanding our positions, in reality.  It really works because you can actually see the illusion of Maya working, right before your eyes, in 3-D!  It helps people solve all of their problems, while actually answering their spiritual questions.  This is the only reason I pursued it in the first place for myself.  I had finally found real knowledge that addressed every conceivable aspect of my life; with stunning clarity, consistency, and of course profound wisdom. 
There are now literally dozens of people in my community who have been touched by Krishna consciousness in some way, shape or form.  It is very encouraging, and I have high hopes for the future.  Let’s let it grow! 
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada, Ki Jaya!
Your eternal, fallen servant,
Bhakta Jim Seymour


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