How to feel the need to get serious about spiritual life?

How to avoid getting distracted from the spiritual journey? How to develop the desire to get serious? How to do what I know is the right thing to do?

Radha, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I chant more than 16 rounds a day and try to focus my mind on Krishna but my mind gets distracted on watching TV or talking to a friend on whatsapp or playing a game on the phone. I know I should instead read Srila Prabhupada’s books or chant more or go to the temple and get association of Devotees but I don’t. On my weekends I feel like I want to relax after a tiring work week. I still finish my 16 rounds everyday but feel like I am not Krishna conscious 24 by 7 which I want to be. I ask Krishna for his mercy. I know I have to be serious about being Krishna conscious but then I tell myself I still have time to do that once I am older. I also know I can go at anytime and need to think about Krsna to get liberation. I don’t know how to control these distractions. 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Filip Misic, 13 June 2018

Mother Radha,

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

You sound like a very sincere devotee. Krishna Consciousness is a gradual process, so we shouldn’t expect to become liberated souls in a flash.

 It takes determination, just like you are nicely chanting 16 rounds. In this way one by one your anarthas or impurities will wash away by the chanting of the holy name. It is also important to associate with devotees, so you will have to force your mind to go to the temple and get Devotee association. The mind wants to stay in its comfort zone, but we must pull it out of there if we want to advance. The devotees are very friendly and loving. I hope this helps you 🙂

your servant, Filip

Bhakta Sunil, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna Mataji

Please accept my humble respects

Jaya Srila Gurudeva! Jaya Prabhupada

The fact that you are asking this question shows that you are on the right path to overcome distractions and become fixed in Krishna consciousness, so congratulations for already being on the path to overcome the distractions

Please read the following questions and answers from http://www.backtohome.com wrt distractions

Answers According to Vedic Knowledge

Question: Overcoming Distractions and Laziness?

— dated 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

All glories to You and Gurumataji

While reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter 2, Verse 44 I was asking myself about my connections with the material enjoyment. I found that in past examples how distractions led me to rather enjoy myself than instead of doing some devotional service. Because of it I was prone to postpone or sometimes even not to complete the tasks I set up for my sadhana activities. Sometimes I even had problems with consistency chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day on my japa mala bears. How to prevent distractions and how to stop myself from getting involved in enjoyment when distractions or laziness arrive.

I am begging for Your guidance. 

Your student

Answer: Beg Krishna to Help You

If you will regularly every day sincerely beg Lord Krishna to protect you from distractions and laziness, He will reciprocate with your sincere prayers and bless you to always be enthusiastically absorbed in His pure devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Properly Balance My Activities? — dated 4 January 2016

I am a 12th standard student. I chant 6 rounds regularly, but in a very inattentive way. In the past few months I have been struggling to control my mind. I have not prepared myself for exams well as I was most of the time engaged in unproductive activities like spending excessive time on cell phone using Internet. Everyday I delayed my studies but as I started chanting seriously I feel a sense of control and am able to do all my activities without distraction. But the problem is that I still don’t fully utilize my potential as I lack the enthusiasm or motivation to study hard and do other devotional activities with a serious intent to please Krishna. So how can I become motivated to study for Krishna and at the same time perform my devotion with a deep intent to please Krishna.

Vishal

Answer: Prioritize Krishna

If you will begin every day focusing your attention exclusively on Krishna by carefully chanting His names, you will then be able to do all of your duties throughout the day as an offering of love to Him. In short, you must always prioritize Krishna. Then everything will work out nicely.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answer based on Vedic knowledge :

Question: Why Does Maya Distract the Neophyte Devotee? — dated 8th March 2018

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is: As soon as one starts becoming attached to Krishna why does Maya try to distract attention from Krishna?. She should be happy that one is becoming attracted to her master, and she on the contrary must help such a soul to increase his attraction to Krishna. Please guide.

Your servant,

Avinash G.

Jai Shree Krishna

Answer: To Test Our Genuineness

Maya is there to make sure that we are truly serious about Krishna consciousness, that we are not just making a show. When she sees that we are fully serious she no longer tries to distract us from Krishna. She will then assist us giving us all help in our Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Hope this helps

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Radha, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Thank you for your response. I have tried to force myself to go to the temple but somehow or other don’t go. I used to go to temple regularly a few years back and got very attached with a devotee which didn’t end well.  From that time I don’t like going anymore. I feel very uncomfortable around people from the time I have become Krishna conscious. I like being by myself and chanting and reading. I will beg Krishna to let me go again.

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 14 June 2018

Dear Mother Radha,

Hare Krishna!

Being Krishna conscious 24X7 is no easy thing. To aspire for it is a very wonderful situation to be in! 🙂

The “time to be more Krishna conscious when I am older” doesn’t work. There are millions of old people everywhere – are they taking to Krishna consciousness in large numbers? Not really, because momentum is very important. Whatever I have cultivated now is what I will carry forward as I get older, not that I will be able to develop new habits suddenly just because I am older. Most practitioners of Krishna consciousness actually start when they are younger, though of course, there are exceptions.

It is not unreasonable to want to relax at home after a tiring week. With this online group, and with Srila Gurudeva’s programs, we are taking the temple to the comfort of your own home. For example, we have the Bhagavata Online Academy, we have the daily email, video, Q&A, and we have plans for many more projects.

The best way to be Krishna conscious is to actively participate and maybe even take charge of some project or service. It can be according to your own time and travel constraints, but the Internet has opened up a vast service avenue for all of us.

If you are interested, then please actively participate in the Bhagavata Online Academy, the chanting challenge (for example, can you find someone to chant 1 round with you, on the phone), and other projects without necessarily traveling a lot physically. Or, if you want, you can also assist us with some projects coming up.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Radha, 14 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I would love to assist with projects. If you have anything please let me know anyway I can serve Krishna 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19 June 2018

Hare Krishna! For now, we are requesting everyone to kindly join (or participate if already joined) the Bhagavata Online Academy and participate actively (as in, reply to an email) at least once a week… this service will enliven us all…

Visvanath das, 21 June 2018

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva,

How do we join the Bhagavata online academy. Is there some link?

Thank you all for helping my KC.

your servant,

Visvanath das

Darryl E., 21 June 2018

Is this mail group also called the Bhagavata Online Academy?

Darryl H. Eschete

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 June 2018

Hare Krishna!

Thank you!

This is the “Students of Sankarshan Das Adhikari” group. The Bhagavata Online Academy is separate from this but a prerequisite is that they must be members of this group and subscribed to Srila Gurudeva’s eCourse.

Here is an excerpt from Bhaktarupa Prabhu’s email re Bhagavata Online Academy:

Bhagavata Online Academy

One of the activities of this group is that we have an organized study program to read Srila Prabhupada’s books, so that the members can get a thorough understanding of the philosophy and concepts of Krishna consciousness. We start a google group every year and enroll members from the sda_students group to read the books together along with their fellow group members. These books are read over a period of time in an organized way, as little as 2-3 pages a day. A facilitator of the group will be asking questions from the pages read from the book for each day of reading. You can reply back to these questions with your answers. You are also welcome to ask you own questions that come up in your reading 

We call this book reading group as “Bhagavata Online Academy”, as it appropriately denotes that the group is aimed at reading, understanding and implementing the Bhagavata Dharma, as taught by our beloved spiritual master of the whole world Srila Prabhupada in his books.

Quote from Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.28 

“Prahlāda Mahārāja continued: I received this knowledge from the great saint Nārada Muni, who is always engaged in devotional service. This knowledge, which is called bhāgavata-dharma, is fully scientific. It is based on logic and philosophy and is free from all material contamination”.

2017-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in January 2017. This group is currently reading “Science of Self Realization”. You are welcome to apply for membership to this group, where you can read Srila Prabhupada’s books systematically along with the other group members. To join the group, please click on the link https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/2017-bhagavata-online-academy and enter your joining comments.

Just for your information, we present the other groups that were started in the reverse chronological order. 

2016-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2016. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”.

2015-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2015. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”. 

2014-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2014. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Sri Brahma Samhita”.

2013-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2013. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading read “Srimad Bhagavatam”.

2011-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2011. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Srimad Bhagavatam”.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Darryl E., 21 June 2018

“Science of Self Realization” was my first of Prabhupada’s books and still my favorite. I will apply for membership, yes.

Darryl E.

Radha, 24 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I follow all the regulative principles and chant 16 rounds or more everyday but I still have so many material desires which becomes worse especially since I work with non-devotees.

I want to start wearing the kanthi mala but after you wear the mala you can’t eat out. I visit my sister every year in Florida and on flight you cannot bring your own food so will it be a sin to wear the kanthi mala and eat food not offered to Krsna on the flight as it is a long trip.

Hare Krishna

Radha

Satish kumar, 25 June 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhu!

During the cleaning process, if there is still some dust left shall we feel that the cleaning process is completed? We have developed certain wrong notions during the process of our growth, due to lack of proper spiritual masters and be sincere and pray to Lord Krishna, God so kind enough in listening to the prays of sincere Devotees. But don’t lose your confidence till you achieve your goal

I hope this will help you in reaching your perfection.

Haribol

God brother

Satish kumar

Radha, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Thank you for your response but I still did not get the answer about wearing a kanthi mala. I know you can only eat food offered to Krsna but when travelling and you cannot cook is it wrong to eat food from outside when wearing a kanthi mala. 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Paramhamsa das, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Regarding the food offered to Krishna when travelling the most immediate example to consider is that Srila Gurudev , Srimati Gurumataji , who makes 2 round the world trip every year for preaching  for past many years . And still they maintain their standard of not eating the karmi food offered in the flight by packing their own Prasadam . The trick is you have to pack dry prasadam, like dry fruits, roti /puri with more oil so it stays fresh longer and some type of  dry sabji , The list can go on and on , but the understanding is  If you have the desire then Krishna will surely fulfill just needs a better planning ahead of your trip . 

About neck beads Nectar of devotion chapter 9 Srila Prabhupada mentions of its importance  quoting from Padma and Skanda purana . 

Please read the https://www.vedabase.com/en/nod/9 

I hope I answered your question  if not please feel free to inquire further . 

your servant, 

Paramhamsa das. 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Mataji,

To put on Tulasi neck beads means to take a vow of trying one’s best to reach the platform of pure devotional service. At the very least, one should abstain from knowingly consuming foods that Vaishnavas avoid, such as meat, fish, eggs, onions, garlic, tea with caffeine, coffee, chocolate, mushrooms, etc. Otherwise, it becomes like I am advertising myself as a Vaishnava but it is a mere farce.

Yes, one can take some additional effort to keep oneself pure, packing Prasada may take a bit of additional time but it is well worth it and pays off in terms of better service, better chanting, and better effectiveness in sharing Krishna with others, plus better peace of mind for oneself too.

One can do one’s best while Krishna helps our best get better.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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Can Chanting help get rid of negative habits?

Vishal Puri, 04th April 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Can you please Reply to my query.

Can chanting help in getting rid of the negative habits like.

Laziness, indecisiveness, depression, negativity, anxiety, introvertedness.

What should I do to get rid of these habits, please guide me.

Hare Krishna,

Dandvats

Struggling to became a devotee.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA , 04th April 2012

Hare Krishna!

If you are asking this question then you are already a devotee, it is just a question of increasing the purity through a gradual process. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that there are four types of pious people who surrender to Him:

catur-vidhā bhajante māḿ

janāḥ sukṛtino ‘rjuna

ārto jijñāsur arthārthī

jñānī ca bharatarṣabha

“O best among the Bhāratas, four kinds of pious men begin to render devotional service unto Me — the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.” BG 7.16 (please read purport very carefully and see how it applies to your question)

The answer to your questions is that yes, chanting Hare Krishna to the best of one’s ability can very quickly get rid of acquired material anarthas like laziness, indecision, depression, negativity, anxiety, and introversion. If the next question is “how long will it take”, the answer is, depends on how big the mountain of anarthas is and how strong our determination to chant Hare Krishna is.

The best way is to serve and remain in the association of those who are chanting very seriously every day and following the regulative principles. Follow the regulative principles of freedom, and take only Krishna Prasadam. Go to your nearest bona-fide ISKCON temples (there are some which call themselves ISKCON temples but are apasampradaya – against the instructions of the disciplic succession – stay away from them, ask us if you are in doubt)

On 11th May 2007, Srila Gurudeva, His Divine Grace Sripad Sankarshan Das Adhikari wrote:

“I am very, very pleased with you for your sincerity. I know that you are presently living in a situation in which it is very, very difficult to practice Krishna consciousness. May Lord Krishna bestow His special mercy upon you to help you through your present difficulties.

The perfectional stage of pure love of God is the ninth step and the culmination of the Krishna consciousness pathway. It takes time to reach that stage. We have been in the cycle of birth and death for millions of lifetimes and are thus very, very covered by the contaminating influence of the three modes of material nature. Therefore we cannot expect to become 100% pure devotees immediately.

The nine steps of bhakti are described as follows in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.4.15-16):

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-

sango ‘tha bhajana-kriya

tato ‘nartha-nivrttih syat

tato nistha rucis tatah

athasaktis tato bhavas

tatah premabhyudancati

sadhakanam ayam premnah

pradurbhave bhavet kramah

“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krishna consciousness, which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.”

Here are the above steps given in a list form:

1. Sraddha–faith, the preliminary desire for self realization

2. Sadhu-sanga–associating with devotees

3. Bhajana-kriya–initiation by the bona fide spiritual master and adopting the practices of bhakti

yoga under his direction

4. Anarta-nivriti–freedom from material attachment

5. Nistha–steadiness in self-realization

6. Ruci–taste for hearing about Krishna

7. Asakti–attachment for Krishna consciousness

8. Bhava–preliminary state of love of God

9. Prema–pure love of God.

In the prema stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations that result in void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord.

You are wondering when you will attain prema. You should set your sight on attaining the third step as soon as possible, bhajana-kriya. Once you do that you will become very jolly and will make steady progress on the path to perfection.

You are also wondering why as a beginner on the pathway you cannot love God immediately. But you must be feeling some degree of love of God. Otherwise why are you spending so much time and energy practicing Krishna consciousness. You are certainly not getting paid to do so. Therefore you must be acting out of love. Higher stages of almost pure and completely pure love await you, but even at the present you must have some sense of loving Krishna.

For example, when you see a painting of Krishna, don’t you find Him to be beautiful? This is love. Now you simply have to strengthen your feelings of love more and more to the perfectional stage by going through the nine steps under the guidance of the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas.”

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

 

Aashi, 04th April 2012

Hare krishna prabhu ji, please feel your experience which happen by krishna and then delete your laziness from your mind and you will be happy from heart. So chant chant chant……………………………chant from your tongue. hare krishna hare krishna

 

Vishal Puri, 07th April 2012

Hare Krishna,

Dandavats,

I have a question, how to improve the chanting. I am not chanting 16 rounds, but I want to, as I have enough time with me.

I am not able to pronounce Krishna properly, and feel very difficult to chant, my mouth becomes dry, and jaw starts aching.

How to come to level of chanting of 16 rounds quickly?

Please help.

Hare Krishna

Vishal

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 07th April 2012

Dear Bhakta Vishal,

Hare Krishna!

Most auspicious! Very excellent plan. Now your desire combined with your determination, Krishna will help you personally.

Your bodily troubles are just like those of a new runner, keep going and they will go away. You will get ‘second wind’ if you persist.

For dry mouth, keep a bottle or glass of water handy and take a sip if you have to, now and then, say every 4-8 rounds.

For pain in jaw, take a break for 2-3 minutes when pain comes. Slowly your muscles will get stronger and you can chant more and more rounds without needing a bio-break.

Take every opportunity to chant in the association of other chanters, maybe in bona fide ISKCON temple after Mangala Arati.

Above all, let nothing or no one, especially your own mind or body get in the way of your minimum 16 rounds.

All the best!

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

 

Harish, 7th April 2012

Hare Krsna !

Keep it up, keep trying, Krsna sees the sincerity. Like a father understands what his small baby is speaking in broken language, similarly our Supreme Father Krsna understands what we are speaking, He being very near to us in Parmatma form in our heart.

I read today In BG 10.10,

Tesam satata-yuktanam, bhajatam priti-purvakam

Dadami buddhi-yogam tam, yena mam upayanti te

Srila Prabhupada has so beautifully explained that ” A person may have a bonafide spiritual master & may be attached to a spiritual organization, but if he is still not intelligent enough to make progress, then Krsna from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Krsna consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Krsna, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is not intelliigent enough to make progress on path of self-realization but is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him.

Regarding pain in jaws, earlier I also used to face same problem as before coming to Krishna Consciousness, being married I could hardly have opportunity to speak, only listening (only sarvanam, no kirtanam, that too mundane 🙂

You can take breaks between chanting as u have time and keep water bottle with you. Hope you are not addicted to soft or hard drinks.

Vishal PR, Still if u need some favour, I am ready to exchange my jaw with your free time 🙂

Hari Bol

YS

 

Niri, 6th April 2012

Hare Krishna

I used to chant 16 rounds but when I began studying I struggled to keep up. I also want to bring up my rounds. Please help.

Ys

Niri

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 07th April 2012

Another quick note regarding pronouncing Krishna… If we keep trying to hear Krishna nicely automatically our pronunciation also will improve.

Better hearing = better chanting…

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 07th April 2012

Hare Krishna Mataji,

What seems to be the problem? Time? What is your current minimum? If one can build up a minimum and link some other regular activity to it, like don’t take breakfast before chanting 4 rounds, don’t take lunch before chanting 8, no dinner until 12, and no sleep until minimum 16, that is a great way. If you feel chanting is important enough then you will make time for it.

But note that chanting helps us to be better at everything else in quality. For example if I am absent-minded then I may have to run up and down the stairs many times because once I forgot my wallet, and another time my keys, another time my visiting cards, etc… What is the solution? To be not absent-minded, to focus on what I need, carefully, and get it all at once and double-check before going down the stairs first time.

Similarly without a strong Krishna focus, we go through precious human life in an absent-minded wasteful way, no focus, or at best very short-term focused, just like I was focused on getting my keys one time and wallet another time.

Think about what is result from studies. Job? Career? Money? Does it sound like anything better in quality than eating nicely, sleeping in posh comfort, finding and keeping that ‘handsome/beautiful/rich/healthy’ mate and struggling like anything to preserve that eating sleeping mating and defending? Then how is it different from the dog or squirrel or monkey? They are all doing the same… But you can do better, you have a choice, they don’t.

Otherwise, what is result of eating sleeping mating and defending?

Grand exclusive prize of irresistible old age, exciting disease and glamorous and fashionable death? 🙂

Get your priorities right and carefully think of what you’d like to do with this life that you haven’t done before in other species of life… And you already have had a great start – how many people have

had the privilege of getting to 16 rounds even on one day? Very very few, you are already part of elite few. So finish the job, become consistently perfect starting right now.

Does this help?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

 

Harish, 07 April 2012

Hare Krsna

Chanting minimum 16 rounds + following 4 regulative principles are must. Rest things will themselves follow. Don’t compromise on chanting, Krsna being absolute there is no difference between Him and His name.

Try to finish chanting in the morning itself. Keep association of devotees as much as possible, this will guide and motivate you getting up early in the morning. You can check from where you can save your time for reading Srila Prabhupada’s books by contemplating on your daily schedule or take some senior devotee friend help or take assistance from local Iskcon center.

Rest Mahabhagavat Prabhu ji has already replied : “Above all, let nothing or no one, especially your own mind or body get in the way of your minimum 16 rounds.”

Hari Bol

YS

 

Niri, 6th April 2012

Hare Krishna

Thank you for your feedback. I want to sincerely chant 16 rounds, do mangal aarti and get you to date

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