How to Balance Spiritual Practice in Family Life

Advaitakrishna das, 6th May 2013

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble Obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

WE all hear that chanting is the most important aspect of our spiritual life. We also hear that Srila Prabhupada mentioned that 99% of our spiritual advancement depends upon chanting and also that it took him some 28 or 30 years to bring it to perefction.

May I request to kindly advise on this and oblige.
Making an effort to be in the service of Srila Prabhupada
Your servant
Advaita KrsnaDas

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 6th May, 2013

Dear Advaita Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for reminding us! Yes, you are right, indeed, chanting Hare Krishna is our main activity. Why 99%, one an say that 100% of spiritual advancement depends on chanting Hare Krishna sincerely.

I haven’t heard that statement by Srila Prabhupada that it took him 28-30 years to perfect chanting Hare Krishna. But we can understand that Srila Prabhupada is very very humble and surrendered and doesn’t think himself to be a great devotee. But, we understand Srila Prabhupada to be a Nitya Siddha, so there was never a time when he was not perfect, even when he was a little child, or acting as a Grihastha.

However, in order for a person to chant effectively, there are so many important things, to take only Krishna Prasada, and to follow the instructions of the spiritual master, and to avoid the ten offenses against the holy name, and to follow the four regulative principles and serve the Vaishnavas carefully. A person who is chanting well is understood to be doing those things effectively also, and a person doing those things sincerely, can expect to advance in the matter of chanting nicely.

Group members, please let us share our feedback on this important point.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Sanil, 6th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

What I understood from the teachings of Srila Gurudeva is that we should totally avoid material activities and whatever spiritual activities done by us shall be as recommended by scriptures and shall be done as a service to Guru and Krishna and not for our enjoyment. Doing things for our enjoyment is miserliness. Srila Gurudeva always advice us to be selfless.

your servant,
Sanil kumar

Advaitakrishna das, 07th May 2013

HARE KRSNA
Please accept my humble Obeisances Prabhuji,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Sorry but my note was not intended at “reminding anyone”.
Please forgive me if it sounded like that. My apologies.

Just one question ,if you could kindly advise.
In Grahastha ashram there are so many distractions,could be social obligations,family responsibilities and other distracting issues of sense gratification.

How do we keep our sadhana standards strong enough so as to protect ourselves from not getting carried away and progress in Bhakti?

your servant
Advaita Krsna Das.

Sanil, 7th May 2013

Hare Krishna

I just want to add some more points to avoid any misunderstanding. All spiritual activities shall be done as a loving service to Guru and Krishna and not for our benefits or enjoyments. When Guru and Krishna are pleased not only us , but the entire world will be pleased. We can offer everything to Krishna except, meat, onions, coffine, intoxicants, etc. The most important requirement is bhava (the feeling). It shall be done as a loving service. Krishna had even ate the peelings of banana when accidentally offered but with love. The basic bhava required is love. We must do everything including our material duties as a loving service to Krishna and offer it to Him and the result (prasadam) thus obtained shall be used Krishna consciously for spiritual activities and not for our sense enjoyments

Thanks a lot to Srila Gurudeva and all glories to His noble mission of revolutionising the world with Krishna consciousness

your servant
Sanil kumar

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 07 May 2013

Dear Advaita Krishna Prabhuji,

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Well, you did not intend to remind, but due to your email I personally remembered that chanting Hare Krishna is our primary service, so I didn’t take it in a negative way but positive. I was thinking “Advaita Krishna Prabhu is thinking of this chanting Hare Krishna and he is revealing his mind in confidence to us, this is a good reminder to all of us to refocus back on chanting Hare Krishna”. So please kindly do not worry Prabhu. I am a Grihastha myself, so I see what you mean and I understand that.

Once I heard a class by His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja in Toronto, Canada… someone asked a similar question. His exact answer I am not able to quote, but I will paraphrase it. He said that yes, in Brahmachari life, Vanaprastha life an Sannyas life, surely disturbances can be less, Grihastha Ashrama is like flying in a plane at low altitude, and therefore the turbulence is experienced more. But he went on to say that in Grihastha Ashram it is possible to be perfect pure devotee. If he says so, then it must be true. There are so many pure devotees, Arjuna, Maharaja Parikshit, Prahlada Maharaja, Dhruva Maharaja, Ambarisha Maharaja, even Srila Prabhupada, did you know he was in Grihastha Ashram for more than 36 years? And so many others all over the world even today, pure devotees in Grihastha Ashram.

Then I heard several lectures by my spiritual master Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari, many persons ask this kind of question… and he says that the critical thing for Grihastha is to maintain the four regulative principles strictly. He said that if we prioritize chanting 16 rounds and strictly follow regulative principles, and maintain diet strictly ONLY on Krishna Prasadam, then 99% of the problems will be resolved by themselves, because the Grihasthas become strong and clear-headed. The main thing is to remain Brahmachari even in Grihastha life… He says that to supercharge spiritual life, one should try to be up for Mangal Arati every morning. I am personally yet to fully implement that instruction but I am sure that it will be possible soon.

Ultimately, the only way to do something is to actually do it, you know what I mean? Chanting minimum 16 rounds can be done only by actually chanting minimum 16 rounds somehow (yena kena prakaarena – somehow or other). Reading Srila Prabhupada’s books can only be done by actually reading Srila Prabhupada’s books… BTW, we have book clubs here, you can join our 2013 book club which now has 70+ members. There is another 2011 book club for which membership is already closed because “class full” 🙂 In this way we can organize such projects ourselves in our own small way, increase the spiritual vibration, and create a revolution in consciousness, and usher in the golden age within this age of kali.

Primarily, the thing to remember is that Grihastha Ashram is the best Ashram to spread Krishna consciousness. I can work in the corporate/business world, a Sannyasi cannot work in that kind of environment… so I get to serve with the money I earn, and I get to meet all these people, give them Krishna Prasadam, trick them into saying Krishna’s name, like I met one person at the water filter today, and I asked her what she was doing on the weekend, and she said she was going to her cottage, I said I had a seminar coming up at the Hare Krishna temple… she asked me where is the Hare Krishna temple, so she said Hare Krishna and heard Hare Krishna. People see my Tilak (it is fainter than at the temple, but it is there), and ask me about it… Grihasthas can go to all these social gatherings dressed in full Vaishnava attire and talk about Krishna, relate everything back to Krishna. I only eat fruits or s salad in such events and that too just namesake, I take full Prasadam from home just before entering the party so I am not hungry. Grihasthas can distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books personally and follow up in a way that a traveling preacher cannot do. Prabhu, we have to do our share and support the Sannyasis, Vanaprasthas, and Brahmacharis in their service also.

Read books, hear lectures, take on responsibilities, incorporate hearing and chanting into family time, do what it takes Prabhu… you have surely done it at some point, and you can look at your present situation and see where you can make some adjustments.

Prabhu, Grihasthas are the future of the Krishna consciousness movement because 99% of the population will be in that status of life, whether officially or not. Without active and strong spiritually surcharged Grihasthas, there will be no spreading of Krishna consciousness movement on this planet.

So Prabhu, please immediately without wasting another moment, get back to full enthusiastic mode, chant, read, let there be an overflow of spiritual vibrations in your heart, and without fear share this overflow of Krishna consciousness with one and all. You can surely do it. And with your blessing I can also do it.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Sanil, 07th May 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

If we read carefully, the answer to keep our sadhana strong is already mentioned by Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu :
Quote

” in order for a person to chant effectively, there are so many important things, to take only Krishna Prasada, and to follow the instructions of the spiritual master, and to avoid the ten offenses against the holy name, and to follow the four regulative principles and serve the Vaishnavas carefully. A person who is chanting well is understood to be doing those things effectively also, and a person doing those things sincerely, can expect to advance in the matter of chanting nicely.”
Unquote

Regarding sense gratification, it is a material activity. The pleasure obtained by sense gratification is not the real pleasure, it is temporary. The permanent and real pleasure is possible only in spiritual mode. We must offer all our activities in the Grihasta ashrama to Krishna and must carryout upto His satisfaction since He is the Supreme Enjoyer and we need to strictly follow the regulative principles to advance strongly in devotion as a loving service to guru and Krishna. The result thus obtained shall not be used for sense gratification. Anything we consume over and above our necessities incur sin (As confirmed by the Lord). Thus by taking only Krishna prasadam and fully involved in other Sadhanas we can be fully in spiritual mode and gradually elevate ourselves further.

your servant,
Sanil kumar

Ashok-Sahu, 08th May 2013

Hare Krishna Advaita Krishna Das Prabhu,

Please accept my humble Obeisances Prabhuji,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

As a grihastha myself, I too have the similar feeling to share with you.
But what I have understood is, It is our own drive towards our own spiritual perfection and the drive or responsibility we own to bring others into pure Krishna Consciousness is the key for us. If we have the strong desire and drive to progress in spiritual life, we will definitely progress irrespective of in what situation we are in. It may happen that we will progress two steps forward and one step backward in certain situation, nevertheless we are progressing. However, If we are determined to maintain the standard of Krishna Consciousness gradually with our own determined effort and by the mercy of Guru, Krishna, Vaisnava we will definitely reach our goal sooner or later.

We just have to keep moving, feel suffocated if we are not in Krishna or devotees association in any of the form like Prasada, deity, books etc,

This Intense desire to reach spiritual perfection can take one towards perfection

Hare Krishna
Ashok

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