Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, we give "Jaya, Ṭhākura Haridāsa Ṭhākura ki jaya." We say. This Haridāsa Ṭhākura was born in a Mohammedan family. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu made him nāmācārya, Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura. He was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra daily three hundred thousands of times. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu selected him, nāmācārya. Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself came to broadcast the glory of Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. So instead of becoming Himself the ācārya, He designated Haridāsa Ṭhākura as ācārya.
Haridasa Thakura used to chant the holy name of Krsna 300,000 times a day without fail
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Lectures
- 5 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 6 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
Ṭhākura Haridāsa would not even accept prasādam nor even sleep for a moment without finishing his daily routine of chanting with his beads three hundred thousand names.
The famous example of this was presented by Lord Caitanya, who accepted Ṭhākura Haridāsa as one of His most important disciples. Although Ṭhākura Haridāsa happened to take his birth in a Muslim family, he was elevated to the post of nāmācārya by Lord Caitanya due to his rigidly attended principle of chanting three hundred thousand holy names of the Lord daily: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. And because he chanted the holy name of the Lord constantly, it is understood that in his previous life he must have passed through all the ritualistic methods of the Vedas, known as śabda-brahma.
SB Canto 3
Ṭhākura Haridāsa was not born of a brāhmaṇa family, nor was he himself brāhmaṇa, yet he could protect himself from such an attack due to his being Kṛṣṇa conscious. Ṭhākura Haridāsa used to chant the holy name of the Lord three hundred thousand times daily.
SB Canto 4
That is the instruction given by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka 3. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ: (CC Adi 17.31) "The holy name of the Lord should be chanted twenty-four hours daily." Therefore in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we request the devotees to chant at least sixteen rounds on their beads daily. Actually one has to chant twenty-four hours daily, just like Ṭhākura Haridāsa, who was chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra three hundred thousand times daily. Indeed, he had no other business. Some of the Gosvāmīs, like Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, were also chanting very rigidly and also offering obeisances very rigidly.
The twentieth branch of the Caitanya tree was Haridāsa Ṭhākura. His character was wonderful. He used to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa 300,000 times a day without fail.
Certainly the chanting of 300,000 holy names of the Lord is wonderful. No ordinary person can chant so many names, nor should one artificially imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura's behavior. It is essential, however, that everyone fulfill a specific vow to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Therefore we have prescribed in our Society that all our students must chant at least sixteen rounds daily. Such chanting must be offenseless in order to be of high quality.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to count on His fingers. While one hand was engaged in chanting, the other hand kept the number of rounds. This is corroborated in the Caitanya-candrāmṛta and also in Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Stava-mālā:
- badhnan prema-bhara-prakampita-karo granthīn kaṭī-dorakaiḥ
- saṅkhyātuṁ nija-loka-maṅgala-hare-kṛṣṇeti nāmnāṁ japan
- (Caitanya-candrāmṛta 16)
- hare kṛṣṇety uccaiḥ sphurita-rasano nāma-gaṇanā-
- (Prathama-caitanyāṣṭaka 5)
Therefore devotees in the line of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu must chant at least sixteen rounds daily, and this is the number prescribed by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Haridāsa Ṭhākura daily chanted 300,000 names. Sixteen rounds is about 28,000 names. There is no need to imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura or the other Gosvāmīs, but chanting the holy name a fixed number of times daily is essential for every devotee.
Haridāsa Ṭhākura constructed a cottage in a solitary forest. There he planted a tulasī plant, and in front of the tulasī he would chant the holy name of the Lord 300,000 times daily. He chanted throughout the entire day and night.
Haridāsa Ṭhākura used to chant the holy name on his beads 300,000 times daily. Throughout the entire day and night, he would chant the sixteen names of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. One should not, however, imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura, for no one else can chant the holy name 300,000 times a day. Such chanting is for the mukta-puruṣa, or liberated soul. We can follow his example, however, by chanting sixteen rounds of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra on beads every day and offering respect to the tulasī plant.
A person who is not purified by the prescribed process of saṁskāra is called asaṁskṛta, but if one remains kriyā-hīna even after being purified by initiation—in other words, if one fails to actually apply the principles of purity in his life—he remains an unpurified mleccha or yavana. On the other hand, we find that Haridāsa Ṭhākura, although born in a mleccha or yavana family, became Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura because he performed the nāma-yajña a minimum of 300,000 times every day.
Herein we find that Haridāsa Ṭhākura strictly followed his regulative principle of chanting 300,000 names. Thus when the prostitute became restless, he informed her that first he had to finish his chanting and then he would be able to satisfy her. Actually Haridāsa Ṭhākura chanted the holy name of the Lord for three nights continuously and gave the prostitute a chance to hear him. Thus she became purified, as will be seen in the following verses.
The prostitute shaved her head clean in accordance with Vaiṣṇava principles and stayed in that room wearing only one cloth. Following in the footsteps of her spiritual master, she began chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa 300,000 times a day. She chanted throughout the entire day and night.
It was mentioned in the assembly that Haridāsa Ṭhākura chanted the holy names of Kṛṣṇa 300,000 times a day. Thus all the learned scholars began to discuss the glories of the holy name.
The Lord says, mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te: (BG 7.14) "One who is surrendered unto Me cannot be conquered by the illusory energy." The illusory energy personally came to test Haridāsa Ṭhākura, but herein she admits her defeat, for she was unable to captivate him. How is this possible? It was because Haridāsa Ṭhākura, fully surrendered to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, was always absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa by chanting the holy names of the Lord 300,000 times daily as a vow.
"My dear sir, you are chanting the holy name 300,000 times daily and informing everyone of the importance of such chanting."
Haridāsa Ṭhākura was the ideal spiritual master because he regularly chanted on his beads a prescribed number of times. Indeed, he was chanting the holy name of the Lord 300,000 times a day. Similarly, the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement chant a minimum of sixteen rounds a day, which can be done without difficulty, and at the same time they must preach the cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu according to the gospel of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. One who does so is quite fit to become a spiritual master for the entire world.
"Haridāsa Ṭhākura, the teacher of the holy name, is the most exalted of all pure devotees. Every day he chants 300,000 holy names of the Lord."
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Just like we give glories, "Ṭhākura Haridāsa ki jaya." Ṭhākura Haridāsa, he was a Mohammedan during this movement. He was a Mohammedan, old man. His photograph is also there. So his name was Abraham(?) and he liked to chant this
- Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
- Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
He took his only business of chanting this. He was chanting daily three lakhs. Three lakhs means three hundred thousands times. Three hundred thousands times he was chanting, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa. This
- Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
- Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
This is sixteen. By one stretch you can chant sixteen. Now you can make your arrangement if you want to increase. So that Ṭhākura Haridāsa, he used to chant three hundred thousand times daily, three hundred thousand times daily. Ātma-ratir eva. Bas. He had no other business. He had no other business.
Pure devotional service means śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam (SB 7.5.23). Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he was simply engaged in śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. He was chanting three hundred thousand times Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. We cannot imitate that. That is not possible. But pure devotional service is like that.
Indian man (8): Prabhupāda, when we do our chanting, the chanting beads contain 108 beads. Why is this, and why do we chant sixteen rounds?
Prabhupāda: Not sixteen rounds. You can chant unlimitedly.
Indian man (8): No, minimum
Prabhupāda: Minimum because they cannot chant more than that, therefore minimum. Otherwise kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). So you must have a fixed amount of kīrtana. That is called tapasya, that "We must finish at least this much, if not more." Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ. Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka. By numerical strength one should chant. That is called vow. This is the idea. So these Europeans, Americans, they cannot imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura, who was chanting 300,000 times. So we do not advise to imitate. Really do something. One name is sufficient. If you can chant one name only, that is sufficient. But that is not possible. So to understand the value of name at least we must have some numerical strength. All the Gosvāmīs used to do that. We follow their footprints. Thank you. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Unless you have got bhakti... Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. Who can fix up his mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa unless he's a bhakta? Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ.
So these are the primary qualification. And alpa-bhāṣiṇi. Alpa-bhāṣiṇi. Munayaḥ alpa-bhāṣiṇi śuśrūṣamāṇe. At the same time, service must be there. And simply, "I'm chanting, but no, I'm not giving service..." That may be possible for Haridāsa Ṭhākura. He was simply chanting 300,000 times. That was possible by Haridāsa Ṭhākura. But if we imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura, that "I shall chant only," that is not chanting. You'll sleep only. That's all. That is not possible. It is possible only for the liberated person. Therefore we should not imitate. Our Guru Mahārāja has condemned this. Mana tumi kisera vaiṣṇava, pratiṣṭhāra tare nirjanera ghare, tava hari-nāma kevala kaitava. In Vṛndāvana you'll find there are so many, they imitate. In a secluded place they are chanting, but they cannot give up even smoking biḍi. You see? So this kind of imitation has no value.
Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ. We have to practice. Because Gosvāmīs, they kept a number, a numerical strength. Haridāsa Ṭhākura kept the biggest. Others, they also kept, but not so big. But according... Because, just like Rūpa Gosvāmī, he had to write so many books, so he was not keeping such a big number as three lakhs.
So anyone who will stop chanting, he will be a victim of māyā. Always remember it. Therefore we insist, "Please do not forget to chant at least sixteen rounds." That is minimum. The maximum is 300,000. (laughter) As Haridāsa Ṭhākura used to do, three hundred..., not impractical. But you, we cannot do that. Even we cannot complete sixteen rounds. We are so unfortunate. But that does not mean because we are unfortunate, we shall give it up. Try, try, try your best. Then life will become perfect.
So if we chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without offense, according to, and observing the regulative principles and numerical strength ... Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ. The Gosvāmīs, in Vṛndāvana, they used to chant keeping in numerical strength. They were all liberated persons; still, for teaching us an example, they also used to chant keeping a numerical strength. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he used to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra keeping a numerical strength-300,000 times. 300,000 times. So our prescription is only 25,000. Not 100,000. So it is not very difficult; it takes utmost 2 hours. We can find out, out of 24 hours, 2 hours. We can find out time. So if we actually follow the rules and regulations and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, then these symptoms will come.
Chant your rounds regularly. Make a fixed-up... We have fixed up only minimum. Haridāsa Ṭhākura was chanting 300,000 times, and we have made sixteen times. And still, etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nā... "I could not perform even sixteen rounds. Such unfortunate I am." You see? Etādṛśī tava kṛpā... We have mini..., minimized, the lowest number, the easiest process... Caitanya Mahāprabhu says read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Don't talk nonsense; don't waste your time. Then you become purified.
First of all, one must prove that he's trustworthy; then we can accept him as trustworthy. Our mind is not fixed up, very restless. Cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham (BG 6.34). This is right example. Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura. He was competent enough, mukta-puruṣa, but still, he was chanting regularly 300,000 times Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Even Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that "Now you have become old man. You can reduce the number."
Prabhupāda: Caitanya Mahāprabhu is for everyone. Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted Haridāsa Ṭhākura as His chief disciple. Haridāsa Ṭhākura was born in a Muhammadan family, and his mission was to introduce this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra chanting. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma iva kevalam, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva... (CC Adi 17.21).
Devotees: Nāsty eva gatir anyathā.
Prabhupāda: And He made Haridāsa Ṭhākura Namācārya, the ācārya to introduce Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and Haridāsa Ṭhākura was chanting three lakhs, counting daily. That means the whole day and night. So, so nice movement, everyone should take part in it and dedicate to the mission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And it is not at all difficult. It is very easy.
So voluntarily we should give up these sinful activities. Then spiritual advancement of life will be very quick. And those who are being first-initiated, they must chant at least sixteen rounds. Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ. The Gosvāmīs, they showed us the way. Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka. So many rounds we must chant, at least. Haridas Ṭhākura was chanting three hundred thousand times. We cannot do that. That is not possible. So we have made a minimum, sixteen rounds. So those who are being initiated, they must chant at least sixteen rounds. If they can increase, it is better. But not less than that. Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ. So these things should be observed, and always pray to Kṛṣṇa, that "Kṛṣṇa, I have taken shelter of You. Kindly guide me." And He is prepared to guide. He says, "If a devotee surrenders and wants My guide..." He says,
- teṣām evānukampārtham
- aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
- nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho
- jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā
- (BG 10.11)
So Kṛṣṇa is always ready to help us provided we are eager to take His help.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1967 Conversations and Morning Walks
Hayagrīva: All right. Are there any other... Is there any other information about Haridāsa?
Prabhupāda: The life history of Haridāsa is that he was born in a Muhammadan family. Someway or other he became a devotee and was chanting 300,000 times Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu made him ācārya, the authority of chanting. Therefore we glorify him, "Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura ki jaya." Because he was made the ācārya, the authority of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Then, when Lord Caitanya took sannyāsa, Haridāsa Ṭhākura desired that "My dear Lord, You are leaving Nabadwip, then what is the use of my life? Either you take me or let me die." So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "No. Why shall you die? You come with Me." So He took him to Jagannātha Purī. At Jagannātha Purī, because he considered himself born of Muhammadan family, he did not enter. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave him a place at Kāśīnātha Miśra's house and there he was chanting and Caitanya Mahāprabhu's sending him prasādam.
1969 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: So one day when Caitanya came, he looked little bit depressed. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked him, "Haridāsa, you do not look very well today. What is the matter?" "Sir, I'm not very feeling well. And because I do not feel well, I could not finished my chanting." He was chanting daily 300,000 times. "So I could not finish my chanting." So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "All right. You are growing old. You may not follow the rules now strictly. You can make it later." Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, "No, Sir, so long my life is there I shall try to follow. When the life is over, that is different thing. But I have got one desire if You fulfill." "What is that?" "Now I can understand that You will also leave this world very soon. So I cannot tolerate that. So best thing is that before You'll go, I go. And my another request is that You shall stand before me, and I shall leave this body."
1971 Conversations and Morning Walks
Parivrājaka means wandering all over. Then when he is experienced, when his preaching is done, he can sit down in one place. At that time, he can chant simply Hare Kṛṣṇa like Haridāsa Ṭhākura. And if he imitates from the very beginning, he will be spoiled, that's all. Because in the beginning, if I take Hare Kṛṣṇa, then it is (indistinct). (laughter) Don't do this. Always be busy. First stage, last stage. When one is paramahaṁsa just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura, three hundred thousand times, no eating unless he finishes his chanting. No eating, no sleeping. That is another thing. "I shall eat so much, I shall sleep so much, and I shall do nothing, simply chanting." No. That is not recommended by my Guru Mahārāja. He says that you are cheating people.
1972 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: The GBC can supervise that things are going on. The first management is that each and every member in the temple is chanting sixteen rounds regularly and following the regulations, that's all. Otherwise we have no... That is our spiritual strength. That must be executed. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, such exalted personality, such advanced, still he is numerical counting even up to the point of his death. Therefore he was given the nāmācārya, because so rigid (indistinct). Even at the time of his death, Lord Caitanya requested, "Now you can minimize." "No sir, I cannot minimize." And what is the number? 300,000. These are the examples. (indistinct ) Sometimes... But the regulation is that if one day you cannot finish, you have to finish on the next day. But sixteen rounds is not very large number, the lowest. The lowest in India is twenty-five(?). Here sixteen rounds, twenty-five, not even twenty-five. So the president, local president, must see that the members are chanting
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Devotee (1): What if that fever is not being diminished?
Prabhupāda: Then he should try to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, instead of sixteen rounds, sixty-four rounds. That is the way. Sixteen round is the minimum. Otherwise Haridāsa Ṭhākura was 300,000. So you have to increase. That is the only remedy. If one has got determination, he will make progress without any trouble. That determination is very difficult, that determination, "I must be Kṛṣṇa conscious fully." That determination. Dṛḍha-vratāḥ.
Akṣayānanda Swami: Of course we accept, ah, when you tell us to chant sixteen rounds, we accept that figure as being, in perfect faith, that you're the ācārya, but ah, what if others we wanted to convince, is there any, any ah, śāstr... Is there any Vedic verse we can refer to to corroborate that at least they must chant sixteen rounds. Or that many number of names?
Prabhupāda: No. In the śāstra it is not said like that...
Akṣayānanda Swami: I see.
Prabhupāda: It is said, śaṅkhy-pūrvakaḥ...
Akṣayānanda Swami: Śaṅkhy-pūrvakaḥ.
Prabhupāda: You must fix up.
Akṣayānanda Swami: Counting.
Prabhupāda: You must fix up in numerical strength.
Akṣayānanda Swami: I see.
Prabhupāda: Whatever you can.
Akṣayānanda Swami: Yes.
Prabhupāda: But I have fixed up sixteen rounds, because you cannot do.
Akṣayānanda Swami: That's all we can do.
Prabhupāda: (smiling, touch of irony) Yes. That also is difficult.
Akṣayānanda Swami: Yes. (laughing)
Prabhupāda: Otherwise, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was chanting 300,000. So, That is not possible. You should not imitate, but whatever you fix up you must do.
Akṣayānanda Swami: Yes. Yes.
Prabhupāda: That is wanted.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Guest (2): Sixteen rounds.
Satsvarūpa: Yes. Sixteen of those rounds at least.
Prabhupāda: It comes to twenty-five thousand. So Haridāsa Ṭhākura was chanting three lakhs. That is not possible. Twenty-five thousand minimum. Now you can increase as much as you like.
Prabhupāda: Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). Sadā means twenty-four hours.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But minimum, sixteen rounds.
Prabhupāda: But one who cannot, minimum, sixteen rounds.
Alice Coltrane: That only an experience (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Otherwise Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he was chanting three hundred thousand.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Per day.
Prabhupāda: Without chanting three hundred thousand times, he won't take his food. Nāmācārya.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Prabhupāda: So that is not possible for everyone, but there is no limit. Twenty-four hours you can chant, if you can.
Persons who want to take advantage of cheap reputation they imitate great personalities like Haridasa Thakura, who was alone chanting 300,000 of Holy Names daily. By such chanting, lonely chanting he got so much spiritual power that he could convert even a harlot to become a great devotee whereas an ordinary person falls easily a victim to such allurement. So one should not imitate such great personalities but one should try to see how much taste he has developed for chanting, so that one can remain alone simply being engaged in chanting. If one can remain alone simply being engaged in chanting, that is very good, but it is difficult also. A conditioned soul in conditioned life it is very difficult to concentrate our mind in chanting absolutely. Better to be engaged in preaching work, that will make one gradually successful. Besides that, when we are actually engaged in with the preaching work, we gradually acquire our spiritual strength without failure.
In the conditioned stage, we chant Hare Krishna mantra officially without any attachment and try to finish the rounds as soon as possible. Sometimes we also forget to chant the prescribed number of rounds. But Haridasa Thakura even at the last stage of his life, he was chanting 300,000 beads although Lord Caitanya personally asked him to not labor so hard. But Haridasa Thakura said that he would continue the practice till the end of his life. So that is the position of transcendental taste.
Haridasa Thakura chanted 3 lakhs of names each day, that means 16 names in the mantra, 108x16 or 1,728 names in each round of mala, dividing 300,000 by 1,728 comes to roundabout 175 rounds on beads daily. And for us it is even difficult to chant 16 rounds! That is why Haridasa Thakura is "namacarya." We find in Caitanya Caritamrta information that both Lord Caitanya and Haridasa Thakura were constantly absorbed in chanting the Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.