Some Devotees are gossiping and talking while chanting! Is it right?

Some Devotees are gossiping and talking while chanting! Is it right?

A woman devotee asked like this (I myself have hidden name):

“Hare Krishna anna….reading your posting regarding of chanting…i need to ask you something…i went to temple day before yday…i am really disappointed to see devotees talking while chanting….they chant halfway…and then they talk and then they continue chanting…some

Some will look into their phone, reply messages..While chanting. These people are senior devotees by years than me. Why am i disappointed is, because, i love to bring guest to Krishna temples….from that begining, many of my friends has become a really dedicated Krishna devotees….but now when i see the activites of devotees while chanting..i am scared that the guest who comes to temple might follow the same ..Praphupada said chant the the Holy name like a child craving to see his mother, like a villager who wants to see the king in a palace….

Not only that…i still remembered one i brought a Christian friend to temple…she got very attached to Krishna….and a devotee approached her saying that she is too fat and blocking that devotee way, the devotee told that she looks hideos and ask her to lose down some weight….

She was hurt….but all I told her that this word full of sick people, the temple is a hospital…prabhupada and other mahraj are the chief doctors and the genuine doctor is Krishna…all this sick people come to temple to seek Doctor’s help…so i asked her to take it easy….Please give some tips on how to handle this kind of situation anna…thank you Hare Krishna”


You have rightly replied.  However, we have to note the following things also.

We call the temples as hospitals and the devotees as doctors.  Ok.  But, let us take a material hospital.  There are many posts in a hospital.  Doctors, Compounders, pharmacy staff, nurses, cleaner, etc….  There is a rule in every hospital that there should be no smoking or talking in hospitals even by its sub staff because it is the place where patients come.  But, though majority of doctors are doing their duties in a disciplined way without smoking/ drinking, etc, I have seen a few doctors smoking in their clinics or outside. All of us would have seen in India some staff getting bribes for special treatments or just for entry with preference.  So, violations are everywhere.


Temples are also an administration. Though the purpose of temples is to cleanse the people or to treat the spiritually diseased people, there too can be some violators.  We can’t find all the people perfect in a temple.

You are right.  Many devotees do not chant properly and they do not realize the purpose of chanting.   Chanting must be done single mindedly without interruptions.  Lord’s Names should be chanted from the heart, not just from lips.  If a person is SINCERELY chanting, even if anyone calls him, he will take time to divert his attention.  In case he is disturbed, he has to stop the chanting and then continue afresh after talking.

But, we have seen many devotees holding chanting beads and shaking them to show that they are chanting, but also talking to someone.  This is not the proper way of chanting and there is no use in such chanting.  They are somehow trying to complete 16 rounds.  That’s all.

I have a message to the readers/ devotees in our site.  If you are not initiated, chant as many rounds as possible Perfectly, even if it is just two, three or four rounds without talking while chanting.  Those 2-4  rounds must be SINGLE MINDED and EXCLUSIVE ASSIGNMENT THINKING KRISHNA IN MIND AND FORGETTING ALL OTHER THINGS. The Holy Names should come FROM YOUR HEART.  EVERY WORD/ EVERY LETTER MUST BE CLEARLY HEARD AND UNDERSTOOD.

(I get angry while chanting when Krishna does not favor me. What to do? READ HERE!)


If you chant properly like this without talking while chanting, you will be highly benefitted.  For the sake of chanting more and more rounds to beat all other devotees, do not do inefficient chanting.  You will not see any improvement in your devotional standing because of such chanting.

And, a devotee should try to be an example for others.  He should not behave like other materialistic people.  And, the devotees who are wearing Vaishnava dress or those devotees who are seniors or in administration should be very careful, because hundreds of eyes are watching them.  Above all, such senior devotees should not behave decently just because others are seeing him.  That discipline should come from him naturally and spontaneously, even when he is alone.  If we behave decently in front of others but think of or act differently with mundane things in privacy, we will be caught one day because, those secret acts will come even in public one day.

(I am unable to chant because of job. Should I change the job or drop chanting? READ HERE!)

For example, let a devotee is very decent in public and speak ugly / lusty words with the fellow devotees while staying privately. He may be thinking that he is speaking in privacy with the fellow devotees, not with the congregation.  But, such lusty words may come out of his mouth one day accidentally in front of the congregation also.  Then, he loses his good image.

So, a devotee should behave with discipline at all the times NATURALLY and SPONTANEOUSLY- either in public or private.  This is very important.

So, what you have written is correct and such incidents are happening everywhere.  However, give the right observation about any temple to the person you bring to the temple.  Tell him/ her like this:  “There are three levels of devotees such as Neophites (New devotees), Madhyama adhikaris (Middle level devotees) and Uththama adhikaris (pure devotees).  In any temple, there will be a mix of all these three types of devotees.  And, these three types of devotees should not be estimated seeing his dress and symbols, but, his actions and realizations.  Let us go to a temple, hear the lecture, sing the glories of lord, chant sincerely and come back.  Let us not get confused seeing the improper activities of some devotees.  Because, though they are in vaishnava dress, a few of them may not have attained inner purity or maturity.  They may be practising devotees who are fighting between maya and Krishna.  They too may become sincere and responsible devotees in future.  Let us be an example for them for how to behave in a temple and at all the times.  Let them correct themselves atleast on seeing us.  Let us follow what the pure devotees and acharyas said.  Let us not follow what Neophite or Immatured devotees say or act.

(How to follow chanting amidst tight schedules in daily life? READ HERE!)

The major problem in any sathsangha is that many devotees care more on external symbols and dress than inner changes now a days.  In other words, many of them give more importance for superstitious things than self realization and god realization.

The purpose of spirituality is cleansing our inner self (athma) to make it eligible for associating with Krishna.  But, as most of our time, attention and energy get wasted in fixing and maintaining external symbols or dress, we give less importance for inner purification.

This trend of judging a devotee just on seeing his external outlook is increasing. Most of the devotees believe that a person is a great or renounced devotee just because he wears saffron.  Many of them are trying to be pure devotees, not yet attained.  So, judging with one’s outlook is dangerous. Not only in temples, but, everywhere. Just because a person looks with decent clothes, he need not be a good person.  The people are not wise enough to observe the inner activities of devotees.  Hence such problems in any sathsangha and outside.

(What if I feel more excited while chanting the Names of Krishna than Hare Krishna Maha Manthra? READ HERE!)

So, read the recommended books/ scriptures on Krishna.  Just follow what Krishna said.  Get the guidance of senior devotees who are polite, gentle and strict in discipline.  Never talk mundane things or personal things to any devotee.  This will spoil the spiritual life of both.  Just talk about the Lord and the Scriptures.  And, always interact with any devotees publicly, not privately.

If you follow these things, you can undergo devotional practices peacefully, though some others are not yet matured enough.  However, remember that most of the devotees are acting decently and only a small section of devotees behave so.  It is natural in any sathsangha and qwe should not blame a sathsangha for allowing such devotees inside.  If they have an indecent and violating devotee as full time resident devotee, then, you can tell about him to the temple president or manager in a humble way.

Hope you are clear now.


Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.

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