Is God hard of hearing that his devotees need to chant his names loudly?
Question: Why do devotees need to chant loudly? Is God hard of hearing?
Answer: Not at all. Those who think that God is hard of hearing and that’s why devotees need to chant loudly their head is so hard that even basic spiritual truths cannot enter into their head.
Actually, chanting the names of God is a way we express our devotion by using the energies that He has given us for His service and pleasure. Now we have been given the vocal energy and using it exuberantly, using it properly, fully for His service is the way we connect with Him. So the point of loud chanting is not to help God hear. God hears wherever He is. But loud chanting is a way for us to wake up and hear and for us to help others to wake up and hear. We are all in a spiritual slumber and we need a jolt to come out of that slumber. So the loud chanting gives us the jolt, it helps us to come out of that slumber. And it is not that devotees do only loud chanting, devotees can do soft chanting also. Devotees can chant in the mind also.
But the point is that the chanting–loud chanting– is an expression of exuberant joy at the pure level. The devotee loves the lord so much that … and gets so much joy in chanting the names of the Lord that that joy overflows in the form of dancing and singing loudly. Now in the sadhana stage that loud chanting is the way we exercise our energy and by exercising our energy thus, we express our devotion to Krishna. So if the chanting is …. then we don’t have to engage our energy.
And of course it is not that devotee should just chant loudly. The point is not to make a noise. The point is to make a musical offering to the Lord where the central purpose is the offering of devotion it’s not the volume of the sound. Now sometimes the kirtans may be very loud or loudly the Holy names will be recited. That is primarily to engage our energy. And that way we become purified by that engagement of energy. The more we offer ourselves to Krishna, offer our energies to Krishna the more is our contact with Krishna the more those energies become purified and the more we go closer to Him. Thank you!
The reason behind the loud chanting of the holy names is described in caitanya bhagavata adi khanda chapter 16 as follows :
A Brahmana once asked haridasa thakura of his reason behind loudly chanting the holy names of lord .the brahmana asked
O Haridasa! Why do you do one thing only? You loudly chant the holy names. What is the reason for that?
“You should chant in your mind. That is true religion. What scripture teaches loud chanting of the holy names?
“From whom did you learn about this loud chanting? ”
haridasa thakura further explained as follows :
Loud chanting is a hundred times more purifying. The scriptures do not find fault with it. Rather, they describe its glories.”
Therefore in the scriptures it is said:
uccaih sata-gunam bhavet
” Loud chanting is a hundred times better. ”
He said, “Please listen, O brahmana. If they once hear Lord Krishna’s holy name, even birds, beasts, insects, and worms go to the world of Vaikuntha.
“Animals, birds, insects, and worms have no power to speak. Still, simply by hearing Lord Hari’s holy name, they also become delivered.
By softly chanting Lord Krishna’s name in japa one delivers oneself. But by loud chanting in sankirtana one does great good to others.
Therefore the fruit brought by loud chanting in sankirtana is a hundred times greater. This all the scriptures say.”
Thanks for this quote. It is convincing for those who already convinced about the glory of chanting and the authority of scripture. Those not yet convinced about these like the questioner need explanation based on a more general and logical understanding of the human-divine relationship.