Chanting is the Essence

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.85.08-09 - Chanting is the Essence (download mp3)
by Srinathji Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.85.8
tarpanam prananam apam
 deva tvam tas ca tad-rasah
ojah saho balam cesta
 gatir vayos tavesvara

My Lord, You are water, and also its taste and and its capacities to quench thirst and sustain life. You exhibit Your potencies through the manifestations of the air as bodily warmth, vitality, mental power, physical strength, endeavor and movement.

SB 10.85.9
disam tvam avakaso ’si
 disah kham sphota asrayah
nado varnas tvam omkara
 akrtinam prthak-krtih

You are the directions and their accommodating capacity, the all-pervading ether and the elemental sound residing within it. You are the primeval, unmanifested form of sound; the first syllable, om; and audible speech, by which sound, as words, acquires particular references.

In accordance with the general process of creation, speech always becomes audible in stages, which proceed from subtle inner impulse to outward expression. These stages are mentioned in the mantras of the Rg Veda (1.164.45):

catvari vak-parimita padani
 tani vidur brahmana ye manisinah
guhayam trini nihitani nengayanti
 turiyam vaco manusya vadanti

“Discriminating brahmanas know of four progressive stages of language. Three of these remain hidden within the heart as imperceptible vibrations, while the fourth stage is what people ordinarily understand as speech.”