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The Three M's-Method, Mood and Mellow

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<font color="red"> The Three M's-Method, Mood and Mellow </font color>


The Three M's-method, mood and mellow is a technique wherein the chanter concentrates on one area according to his level of advancement. For instance, due to a lack of mood and mellow, a neophyte chanter (kanistha-adhikari) may focus all his attention on perfecting the methods of chanting. As the sadhaka advances in surrender and realization, he rises to the intermediate stage of steady chanting (madhyama-adhikari) where mood comes into play.


On the platform of mood the mind begins to melt for sri-nama. Genuine feelings for Krsna and Krsna's devotees arise and grow within the heart. At this level the mood of devotion deepens, humility intensifies and the hankering to attain Radha-Govinda prema accelerates. The sadhaka now serves and relishes sri-nama with great joy and enthusiasm.


Rising to the platform of mellow, the sadhaka continually chants on his beads, and within his mind while ever increasing the flavour of his love for sri-nama and Yugal-Kishor. By chanting with mellow or bhakti-rasa the sadhaka advances to the topmost platform of pure devotion (uttama-adhikari), and becomes fixed in his eternal loving service to Radha-Syama.



1. Method-The method of chanting refers to physical considerations such as sitting straight on an asana, chanting during the peaceful predawn hours, and associating with lovers of nama. It also includes using tulasi beads; clear pronunciation; concentrating on the meaning of the mantra; reviewing and avoiding the ten offences, and repentance for transgressions.



2. Mood-The mood of chanting the holy name combines the actions of mind and heart-namely thinking and feeling. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised all devotees to be free from false ego, and to think oneself lower than a blade of grass. With feelings of deep submission and surrender one should beg Sri Radha for service.


Haridasa Swami, a medieval saint of Vrindavana, wrote wonderful vraja-bhasa songs in praise of his Lord Bankibihari. Whenever he sang one of his compositions, all the trees, birds and forest animals would become completely captivated. Similarly, you must learn to chant Krsna's names with so much devotion and sweetness that the birds stop chirping to listen to your chanting; the deer gather around to gaze at you with tear-filled eyes; and the trees bend over to touch you with their leaves, being so moved by the sweet sound of nama.


From the beginning of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada emphasized the mood of chanting. Merely chanting the holy name of not enough. The chanting must be backed up with such feelings of separation that one's eyes fill with tears. Prabhupada instructed devotees to cry out the holy names like a lonely child in separation from his loving mother.


"Tears for Krsna are as good as associating with Him personally. Your feelings and tears of Krsna Consciousness will make you more enriched in spiritual advancement." (SPL 16/9/67)


The combination of chanting and crying for krsna is an essential practice for followers of Srila Prabhupada. In fact, one of Prabhupada's disciples institutionalized these practices. Our glorious Godbrothers Gaura-Govinda Swami once said in reference to the elegant ISKCON temple in Bhubanesvara, "I have opened a crying school here so we may cry our hearts out in harinama; begging for the mercy of Nitai and Gaura!"



3. Mellow-This is the advanced stage of chanting japa where the holy name combines with mellow. Realizing his sthayi-bhava, permanent loving relationship with Krsna in a particular mellow or rasa such as madhurya rasa, a sadhaka will chant purely while tasting bhakti-rasa (mellow) and remembering the naimittic (occasional) nitya-lila (eternal pastimes) of Krsna. While chanting the holy name the sadhaka will meditate on his spiritual body (siddha deha), and serve Radha-Govinda's eight-fold daily pastimes (asta-kaliya lila) within his mind (manasi-seva).


In the beginning, the rock stubborn, lazy mind will rebel with a thousand excuses and obstacles to foil one's attempt to implement the three M's. Persevere; hold on to your beads! By the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga one will patiently progress through the three stages of method, mood and mellow. With a little practice any sincere devotee can chant japa, and remember the exciting pastimes of Lord Gauranga and Radha-Govinda. It is not difficult; always remember that the word "impossible" does not exist in the dictionary of Prabhupada's followers.


"For the simple person it is very easy {to become vasudeva-parayanah) and for those who are crooked, demons, it is very difficult" (SPT 16/5/76)



From 'The Art of Chanting' by Mahanidhi Swami Page 203.

Entitled Japa Meditation Techniques

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