10. Which songs to learn first?

In the tradition of Krishna consciousness there are many nice songs which illustrate the essence of the Vedanta philosophy and are especially helpful in depicting the proper mood in which we should perform our spiritual practices. This will help us to stronger experience the taste of those practices.

There are few songs that are sung every day in the Hare Krishna centers around the world. It is better that one learns them at the very beginning. The first song sung in the early morning is called Gurvastakam and it is a glorification of the Spiritual Master. Without the blessings of the Spiritual Master one cannot advance spiritually.

There is another song in glorification of Guru; it is called Sri Guru Vandana. The next song one can learn is the Narasimha-pranama. It is a prayer for protection. The Lord is always ready to protect His devotees.

Also, every morning we sing a song in glorification of Tulasi Devi – a very dear and confidential associate of the Lord. By getting her mercy we get closer to Krishna.

Before the morning lecture at the temple there is another song called Jaya Radha Madhava which describes the spiritual world and the activities there. Every evening we are singing a song called Gaura-arati which is a glorification of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the last avatara of God that appeared in this world 500 years ago in West Bengal (India). Lord Caitanya introduced the congregational chanting of the Holy names of God –

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

This Hare Krishna maha-mantra is the main song one should learn to sing. All other songs are meant to help us to chant this mantra with the proper mood and attention.

The second most important song (mantra) is the Pancha Tattva mantra:

Jaya Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita Gadadhara Srivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrinda.

One should sing the Pancha Tattva mantra a few times before singing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in order to invoke the mercy of Lord Caitanya and His intimate associates – Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acharya, Gadadhara, Srivas, and all other devotees of Mahaprabhu.

If by chance we commit some offences while chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra they will be neutralized by chanting the Pancha Tattva mantra.

There are many other songs that we can learn and sing. However, we have to make sure that all the songs we learn are coming from authoritative Spiritual Masters (for example, Narottam das Thakura, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada, etc.) in the disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Only then we will be sure that the singing of these songs will have the desired purifying effect on our consciousness.

Hare Krishna.

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