“Nish, nish, ram, ram, nish, nish, ram, ram.” Prabhupada once imitated how we sometimes chant (the Hare Krishna mantra) without focus, without concentration, without proper pronunciation – how we chant when we don’t feel like chanting. You know the mood behind this chanting: “I have to chant but I’d rather be doing something else.” And in our minds we are thinking, “I can’t wait to get these rounds out of the way.” We all do this. And it can get pretty bad.
Devotees who chant rounds while watching football games on TV. Prabhupada explained that this type of chanting is more or less useless because it will not produce the desired result, love of Krsna. To even call this chanting is a stretch. It is closer to a ritual. But Prabhupada acknowledged the value in the ritual by saying that although this kind of chanting is not very productive, at least those who are chanting this way are keeping their vow to chant.
This kind of japa is called, “courtesy japa.” “Courtesy japa” means that since you have taken a vow – either to your spiritual master or yourself – to chant a certain number of rounds daily, you keep that vow while chanting the kind of japa which is shown in the video.