Just like we take mantra, apavitrah pavitro va sarvavastham gato 'pi va yah smaret pundarikaksam sa bahya. The same process. Do not think that it is some ritualistic external. No. It has got meaning. If you can chant the mantra properly, if you follow the rules and... You must be expert in chanting mantra. Hare Krsna mantra we are chanting, and Haridasa Thakura is also chanting. So Haridasa Thakura, how advanced he was just imagine. He was a young man, and a very nice, beautiful prostitute came there at dead of night, wanted to enjoy his company and he said simply, "Very good idea. Please sit down. Let me finish my Hare Krsna mantra." Is it possible for ordinary man? No. It is not possible. That means he was expert, he was advanced. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has advised, iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe tomara. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said, "Simply by chanting you'll get all success of life." Sarva-siddhi.Then automatically you'll be perfect. There is no doubt about it. Mantra...
I'll give you one practical instance. It is not a story; it is a fact. It was spoken... Perhaps some of you know that my friend who came here, Dr. Ghosh. He told me when they were students, there was a case. In Lucknow University they were students. So there is a big building, and two, three snake-biting case happened. So some snake charmer was invited to find out the snake and take him. So he came. He came and took it away, the snake. Then this Dr. Gosh and his class friends, they were medical students. Naturally, the so-called modern scientist, they do not believe in all these things. So they became very inquisitive. All of them went to that snake charmer. So he knew that "These students, medical students, they have come to see the fun how the snakes are charmed." So he (they) inquired, "What is the matter? What is the magic that you can catch up snake and the snake cannot do any harm to you?" So he said it is possible by mantra. By mantra it can be done. So they challenged, "Oh, your snakes, I think they are poisonless and they cannot bite. There is no poison. The poison teeth, the fang, is taken away." "No, no. They have got everything." So he took one and showed that "Here is..." So to make a fun... He had many snakes. He let them all come out from the box. And immediately all over the courtyard, just like courtyard, they began to run over, and
all these medical students, they became afraid. They were fleeing this side, that side, that side. So the charmer said, "Don't be afraid. So long I am here they'll not bite you."So this was spoken by Dr. Ghosh, a personal experience.
The mantra has got so much power. But not that you purchase the mantra and chant. That will not. You have to make it perfect. This Hare Krsna mantra is spiritual mantra. It is not material. Therefore I've already
explained, golokera prema-dhana hari-nama-sankirtana. It is not ordinary sound vibration, material sound vibration, radio. No. Spiritual. Golokera prema-dhana. So if we actually chant this Hare Krsna mantra properly, without any offense, then once chanting is sufficient to make you free from the reaction of all sinful life. Once chanted. So if we chant it properly, this chanting, dasa-vidha, ten offenses, without offenses... Nama-aparadha-sunyam. Without any nama-aparadha, if we chant according to the principle, then the mantra will act. Mantra will act in so nicely that the mantra will keep you always in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the power of mantra. Don't think it is a hobby or it is something superfluous. No. Actually, this mantra, Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Himself.
So if you are allowed to keep yourself constantly in company with Krsna, then just imagine what is your position. If you keep yourself always near the fire, certainly you shall remain warm; there will be no attack of cold or anything like that. So if we constantly chant Hare Krsna mantra, then we are not in this material world. But if we purposely again come to the material world... That independence we have got.
But if we chant Hare Krsna mantra according to the instructions... Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih. We have to practice. Because Gosvamis, they kept a number, a numerical strength. Haridasa Thakura
kept the biggest. Others, they also kept, but not so big. But according... Because, just like Rupa Gosvami, he had to write so many books, so he was not keeping such a big number as three lakhs. But there was some numerical... Similarly, we must have some numerical strength. And we have minimized. I know that you are coming from a different source, so according to time, according to circumstances...
Even there, there is no limit. You can chant more than sixteen -- sixteen hundred times. There is no... But practically we see that even chanting sixteen rounds becomes difficult. So don't try to imitate, but do it properly, what is advised by your spiritual master, without any offense. That mantra will save you from the dangers of maya. That's a fact.
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.20-21
Vrndavana, September 17, 1976