TEXT 31
dese sucau same rajan
samsthapyasanam atmanah
sthiram sukham samam tasminn
asitarjv-anga om iti
SYNONYMS
dese—in a place; sucau—very sacred; same—level; rajan—O King; samsthapya—placing; asanam—on the seat; atmanah—one’s self; sthiram—very steady; sukham—comfortably; samam—equipoised; tasmin—on that sitting place; asita—one should sit down; rju-angah—the body perpendicularly straight; om—The Vedic mantra pranava; iti—in this way.
TRANSLATION
My dear King, in a sacred and holy place of pilgrimage one should select a place in which to perform yoga. The place must be level and not too high or low. There one should sit very comfortably, being steady and equipoised, keeping his body straight, and thus begin chanting the Vedic pranava.
PURPORT
Generally the chanting of om is recommended because in the beginning one cannot understand the Personality of Godhead. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11):
“Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan.” Unless one is fully convinced of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one has the tendency to become an impersonalist yogi searching for the Supreme Lord within the core of his heart (dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]). Here the chanting of omkara is recommended because in the beginning of transcendental realization, instead of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one may chant omkara (pranava). There is no difference between the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and omkara because both of them are sound representations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. pranavah sarva-vedesu. In all Vedic literatures, the sound vibration omkara is the beginning. Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. The difference between chanting omkara and chanting the Hare Krsna mantra is that the Hare Krsna mantra may be chanted without consideration of the place or the sitting arrangements recommended in Bhagavad-gita (6.11):
“To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay kusa grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth. The seat should neither be too high nor too low and should be situated in a sacred place.” The Hare Krsna mantra may be chanted by anyone, without consideration of the place or how one sits. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has openly declared, niyamitah smarane na kalah. In chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra there are no particular injunctions regarding one’s sitting place. The injunction niyamitah smarane na kalah includes desa, kala and patra—place, time and the individual. Therefore anyone may chant the Hare Krsna mantra, without consideration of the time and place. Especially in this age, Kali-yuga, it is very difficult to find a suitable place according to the recommendations of Bhagavad-gita. The Hare Krsna maha-mantra, however, may be chanted at any place and any time, and this will bring results very quickly. Yet even while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra one may observe regulative principles. Thus while sitting and chanting one may keep his body straight, and this will help one in the chanting process; otherwise one may feel sleepy.

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