What does it mean to over endeavor? How do I know if I’m over endeavoring?

What does it mean to overdo effort? What does it mean to over endeavor? How do we know if we are putting our effort in the wrong direction? What is the antidote to this tendency?

KV Rao, 17 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!    

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to your devotional service!

Please help me to understand – how does one know that one is over endeavoring?


your servant,

KV Rao

Premananda Das, 17 Mar 2015

Please state context over endeavoring  for?

your servant 

Premananda das 

Bhakta Sunil, 19 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna Rao Prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

One can know that one is over endeavoring for material things if one is not ready to give 100 % of one’s capacity to serve and please the Lord

For example , if one’s devotional routine involves chanting a particular number of rounds , but if one has a lingering thought of say, watching a cricket match and then does less rounds and switches on television to watch cricket , then it is over endeavoring mundanely

Sincerely hoping this helps to dispel your doubt


Bhakta sunil

Shridhar Das, 26 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna,

I agree with the above answer too. As per my recent hearings, I feel that lack of determination for executing spiritual activities concludes in over-endeavouring for material activities. 

Spiritual activities surely includes a wide range of activities but from my current experience I am able to recall how maintaining a bimonthly sadhana chart, consisting of a sheet with various columns like date, wake up time, sleeping time, no of rounds chanted until a particular time, duration of hearing and reading, helps to keep track of spiritual determination. 

I fill this out on a regular basis and on the weekend submit it to my counsellor who expertly studies and accordingly guides for the next session. It is an amazing way of introspecting our spiritual endeavour and exposing the mind’s entanglement.

your servant

Shridhar das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna Sriman Rao,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

There are various levels of over-endeavor for material benefits. At the extreme edge of spiritual perfection, a liberated soul sees anything more than keeping body and soul together as over-endeavor. In fact, Vasudeva Vipra, a great Vaishnava, went further than that – he had some worms attacking his body, and if they fell off, he would pick them back up and put them on his body, because he was on the platform that actually his body was food for worms anyways, and why should he deprive them of their rightful share of food. (CC Madhya 7.137-138)

Most of us are not on that platform, and it is foolish to try to pretend to be on some higher level than one is.

What is “minimum necessity” for me, may be overindulgence for another, and what is minimum necessity for another may be “too much sense gratification for me”. On the other hand, no one else knows what and how much I need… Some people require 20 helpings of food to feel satisfied, another requires just one. The elephant needs hundreds of kilos of food and the ant needs just one grain or so, ultimately it is a very personal thing.

Srila Gurudeva was once asked the question “how do I know if I am making spiritual progress” and Srila Gurudeva answered “to the extent you feel less attracted to material sense gratification, you can know that you are making spiritual advancement” (both question and answer paraphrased, not literal quotes). Another time, he answered this question as “when you take some food, do you have to wait for someone else to tell you that you are full? No! You know when you are full”.

You know enough about your needs, about the ideals of spiritual life and enough about Krishna consciousness that you should be able to answer this question for yourself and recognize when you are over-endeavoring or not.

This is confirmed in the scripture, shastra:

bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir

 anyatra caiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ

prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus

 tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣud-apāyo ’nu-ghāsam

Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things — these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating. SB 11.2.42

I will not quote the purport, but I invite everyone to please read the purport at:


In any case, the time is right now to be initiated by a bona fide spiritual master so that such things will not bother you – service and instructions directly received in spiritual life and followed carefully will sustain and satisfy one to the fullest possible extent.

For example, in response to a recent report, my spiritual master wrote to me:

Simply continue with your sincere efforts

to serve Guru and Gauranga and everything

will work out wonderfully.

And I shall hold on to that instruction which I have received personally. 🙂


Mahabhagavat Das

Brhadnath dasa, 27 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna Shreyas prabhu, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Gurudeva. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your words that lack of determination for executing spiritual activities concludes in over-endeavoring for material activities, are indeed very true, but we somehow find some excuse to be in this . Some devotees do talk about the benefits of sadhana chart, but somehow I did not seek their help. Please share the sadhana chart, if possible in the format, for the benefit of others. And also, please allow me to submit my chart to you  to help me.

your servant, 

Brhad nath dasa

Bhakta Sunil, 29 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna everyone

I came across following lines from the book “Nectar of Devotion” both set of lines from Text Two , which I understand would help in this topic :

“Jīvasya tattva jijñāsā: the real purpose of life is to inquire about the Absolute Truth. If our endeavor (prayāsa) is not to inquire about the Absolute Truth, we will simply increase our endeavor to satisfy our artificial needs. A spiritual aspirant should avoid mundane endeavor.”

“Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura writes in his Anuvṛtti commentary that too much endeavor to acquire knowledge on the part of mental speculators or dry philosophers falls within the category of atyāhāra (collecting more than needed). According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the endeavor of philosophical speculators to write volumes of books on dry philosophy devoid of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is entirely futile. The work of karmīs who write volumes of books on economic development also falls within the category of atyāhāra. Similarly, those who have no desire for Kṛṣṇa consciousness and who are simply interested in possessing more and more material things—either in the shape of scientific knowledge or monetary gain—are all included under the control of atyāhāra.”


Bhakta Sunil

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Author: Mahabhagavat Das SDA

I am a formally initiated disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari. My spiritual master was initiated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1971. He is the author of the famous Ultimate Self Realization Course. Check it out at www.joincourse.com.

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