Chakra Discussions

Chanting While Driving

by (Name Withheld)

Posted March 19, 2006

Can a person chant the Hare Krishna mantra while driving? If a person chants while driving, can that chanting be attentive or pure chanting? Can the chanting one does while driving be "counted" as part of one's vow of at least sixteen rounds? Different devotees say different things on this topic. What does Prabhupada say?

There is no expenditure and there is no loss. Suppose you are sitting on the bus, on the car, for two hours. For two hours, if you go on chanting, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna," then tremendous result. So why don't you try it? There is no expenditure; there is no loss, neither loss of time, neither loss of money, neither loss of energy.

(Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 3.16-17 -- New York, May 25, 1966)

And chant Hare Krsna mantra. If these European, American boys can chant Hare Krsna mantra day and night while walking in the street, while going in the car, while in the temple, everywhere, where going to sell books, what is the difficulty for the Indians?

(Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 9.2 -- Calcutta, March 8, 1972)

Sri-krsna-sankirtana is so nice that Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Why don't you become, always think of Krsna? Where is the loss? If you are walking on the street or going on bus or on your car, if you chant Hare Krsna mantra, what is your heavy loss? Is there any loss? Why don't you do it? Try it. There is no loss. And if there is any gain, why don't you try it? For nothing, without any loss. These Europeans and American boys, they are chanting Hare Krsna.

(lecture on The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, January 11, 1973)

You can chant anywhere and everywhere. While walking you can chant, while driving you can chant. Nobody is going to tax, that "You are chanting. Give me this tax." It is very easy.

(Lecture -- San Francisco, April 2, 1968)

Ramesvara: This taxi driver is saying Hare Krsna.

Prabhupada: Our Jayananda was driving taxi and chanting Hare Krsna, and one day (laughter) he brought to me five thousand dollars.

Ramesvara: And you used it to print Teachings of Lord Caitanya.

(Arrival Comments in Car to Temple -- July 9, 1976, New York)

Prabhupada: It was given for publishing Bhagavad-gita, but I think Macmillan took it. So I spent it for...

Tamala Krsna: Then you put him in charge to sell all the Teachings of Lord Caitanya, I remember. (Prabhupada laughs)

Jayananda: (indistinct) Didn't sell too many books, though.

Tamala Krsna: I thought he was the best, most appropriate person to drive you.

Prabhupada: He was chanting and driving. Very good boy.

Tamala Krsna: Cyavana has been here also.

(Arrival Comments in Car to Temple -- July 9, 1976, New York)

My Dear Jayananda,

Please accept my blessings. I'm so glad to receive your letter of Aug 30, and I know also that you are a sincere devotee of Lord Krishna. When you drive your car you always chant "Hare Krishna" and when I was by your side I could understand how heartily you have accepted the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness. Krishna is very kind to all but He is especially kind to his sincere devotees. Krishna is always with us, within our hearts and He is always ready to give us direction but because everyone is independent Krishna responds cooperatively. Anyone who voluntarily cooperates with Krishna's desire He responds to his call very eagerly. Krishna descends to teach us Bhagavad-gita begging our cooperation and anyone who cooperates with Him becomes blessed. You are sincerely cooperating with Krishna and therefore you all boys and girls in San Francisco, working together harmoniously. Harmony means Krishna Consciousness. Without Krishna Consciousness there cannot be harmony in the world. I've received the report of successful performance of Janmashtami ceremony. I'm glad to learn that you are willing to come to India for further study. I received no letter from Dayananda or his wife Nandarani. I'm anxious to receive the report of the Los Angeles center. I do not know their address. Your acknowledgement "Krishna has been very merciful to me'' is remarkable. You are realizing the fruit of chanting.

(Letter to: Jayananda -- Delhi 16 September, 1967)

My Dear Jayananda,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you for your letter undated. I congratulate you on your being elected as president of ISKCON San Francisco branch. Your election as president is a recognition by Krishna and therefore I have got full support for you. Mukunda and other members have rightly selected you as president. Your service attitude for Krishna and your sincere attempts at being advanced in Krishna Consciousness will work with you and make your life more and more glorious and a happy state. I've been very glad that you are appreciating by your self the effects of sincere Krishna Consciousness. I've nothing new to instruct you, the same old instruction namely constant chanting and attentively hearing the transcendental vibration Hare Krishna is the only process for self realization in this age. In San Francisco while you were driving your car and I was sitting by you hearing your transcendental vibration, this very sincere attempt has enriched your consciousness and my only instruction is that you may constantly do this habit without fail.

(Letter to: Jayananda -- Delhi 29 September, 1967)

My Dear Jayananda,

Please accept my blessings.

I am feeling very intensely your separation. In 1967 you joined me in San Francisco. You were driving my car and chanting Hare Krsna. You were the first man to give me some contribution ($5000) for printing my Bhagavad-gita. After that, you have rendered very favorable service to Krsna in different ways. I so hope at the time of your death you were remembering Krsna and as such, you have been promoted to the eternal association of Krsna. If not, if you had any tinge of material desire, you have gone to the celestial kingdom to live with the demigods for many thousands of years and enjoy the most opulent life of material existence. From there you can promote yourself to the spiritual world. But even if one fails to promote himself to the spiritual world, at that time he comes down again on the surface of this globe and takes birth in a big family like a yogis' or a brahmanas' or an aristocratic family, where there is again chance of reviving Krsna Consciousness. But as you were hearing Krsna-kirtana, I am sure that you were directly promoted to Krsna-loka.

(Letter to: Jayananda -- Bombay 5 May, 1977)