“The potency is just in the hearing,” we would tell them….”The better you hear attentively, the better the effect will be. Just listen to each sound and syllable and when your mind wanders to other things (trust me on this one–it will) just gently bring your focus back to the sound. Maybe a half hour each day to start and be determined to repeat the process the next day and practice bringing your attention back and focusing on the sound.”
“I promise you, after a week’s time you will experience a result. The effect that you will experience will be that you will notice that your consciousness has risen higher–above things. Your perspective will change because your consciousness has been elevated to where you will see things differently –from a more purified perspective.”
Also, if they were a little pious and advanced spiritually, we would tell them more…”Chanting Hare Krsna does not work because it relaxes the mind, or something similar. It works because Krsna, being absolute, is in His Name. When you hear His Name you actually experience contact with His presence, though imperceptible at this stage, all of which has a purifying effect on your consciousness.”
“A little faith might be required to start the process but if a person is sincere and practices as I have described then the results will be there. Next week you will be saying “Wow, it does work” Go on, what have you got to loose……….”
Bhagavana Dasa and I (with sign) on the streets of Detroit in 1969
Of course, now many remember her as such a great soul, and I don’t have to go into much detail.
Gradually our ranks grew as we were all compelled by Bhagavana Dasa’s determination and exceptional leadership to go out day after day and chant the Holy Name. Many new devotees joined us at this time, at a rate that was probably unique for ISKCON temples. Anyone who was around in those days knew that Detroit was a strong force in bringing others to devotional service.
I have to give some of the credit for our success, I suppose, to Bhagavan Dasa’s expert abilities, but really, as I look back, I understand it was Krsna’s mercy to us because we were so willing to surrender completely to trying to please His pure devotee. Also, the devotees back then were so sincere to help the suffering souls who had never experienced the nectar of devotion.