Of course we all know that our main devotional activity is chanting the holy name. We understand this is the yuga dharma, the dharma for this age. It’s a very disturbed age, the age of kali and it’s known to be an ocean of faults, but there’s one good quality in this age. When one chants the names of Krishna, one is free from material existence. So as we chant Hare Krishna, we can come into a prayerful mood. There are many kinds of prayer and technically one may consider chanting Hare Krishna as having the character of approaching the Lord to have His shelter. We’re calling out to the Lord, “Oh Krishna! Oh Hari! Oh Rama!” We can also keep in mind that when we chant together, we’re doing a kind of service for the Lord. It’s a kind of entertainment and entertainment is one of the many aspects of service to the Lord in His deity form. There are many sorts of arts, which can be engaged in entertaining the Lord. In fact, Krishna Himself learns and becomes expert in the 64 arts and the first of these is singing. Of course this is different from japa, as we’re not just chanting. We’re also singing some melody and we’re accompanying the singing with musical instruments, which is the second art. It can happen in the course of singing and playing musical instruments that one becomes so much stirred that one may want to get up and dance. This is the third of the 64 arts. Another aspect of chanting the holy name that you will want to remember is that there are many stimuli or inspiration for devotional service. One of these is stimulus of the Lord’s name. There’s also the stimulation coming from the pastimes of the Lord and the remembrance of these pastimes as well as the Lord’s qualities… All of this can come out of the chanting of the holy names.
By the mercy of a pure-devotee i.e. a spiritual master (suddha-guru), a soul eager for devotional service attains the good fortune of chanting the spiritual names of the graceful divine couple. He chants a prescribed number of holy names on tulasi beads or he chants kirtana with great love and respect. He begins by chanting one grantha (four rounds) of holy names. Gradually he comes to chant 300,000 holy names (192) rounds. Then all the desires of his heart become fulfilled. One should chant the holy name a fixed number of times. Then the holy name blissfully dances on all one’s senses. The nine processes of devotional service takes shelter of the holy name. Still, chanting and remembering the holy name is the best of them all. A person strongly attached to Deity worship attains the results of hearing and chanting. A person attracted only to the holy name engages only in hearing, chanting and remembering the holy name.