- I am not able to properly chant my rounds and even complete my rounds because I don’t get sufficient time.
- My job is too tough. Practicing devotional life is too difficult for me.
- If only my spouse would have been more cooperative I would have practiced Krishna consciousness very sincerely.
- I don’t have sufficient money. I need to earn more to properly maintain my family. After I have accumulated sufficient wealth then I will sincerely absorb myself in Krishna’s service.
- I don’t have association of sincere devotees.
- What can I do? I am like that only. It is due to my past conditioning.
These and many more problems confront us daily while practicing devotional life. Most of us have the philosophical understanding at least at the theoretical level that human life is very rare and it should be utilized to practice Krishna Consciousness. When we would have heard for the first time that our real home is the spiritual world where life is eternal and bliss is unlimited then we would have been overjoyed. Delighted at this pearl of wisdom we would have promised to ourselves, “I will dedicate my life for Krishna and ensure that this life would be my last life in this miserable material world”. However soon we fall prey to our old habits of finding excuses for not doing the right things.
One of the biggest problems of our life is our uncontrolled senses.
Give spiritual sense to the senses
Our senses make us senseless because we don’t have the sense to utilize it for pleasing Krishna’s senses. Our senses always drag us in different directions because most of the time we nourish non – devotional desires. Mind will always give us some idea which will take us away from Krishna. We should not allow our mind to enslave us. Subduing senses with artificial means is impossible; senses can be subdued by engaging in devotional activities. For e.g. we should utilize our eyes in relishing the divine beauty of the Lord, ears should be utilized in hearing the glories of the Lord, tongue should be utilized in chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and in tasting Krishna prasad. In fact, we should dovetail all our activities for the pleasure of the Lord. Soon we would find that our senses is completely spiritualized and is in Krishna’s control. Srila Prabhupada confirms, “But if one is engaged in Krishna consciousness, then, automatically, sense desires subside without extraneous efforts.” (Bhagavad – gita 2.55 Purport). Material world troubles us because we fail to befriend with Krishna’s wishes. Remember Krishna rewards us as per our wishes, “As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly” (Bhagavad – gita 4.11).
Our great fortune
Devotional life is not so easy. But due to the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu practicing devotional life and achieving perfection has become so easy for all of us in this age of Kali-yuga. Srila Prabhupada taught us how we can practice devotion while being in this material world. He opened hundreds of temples and wrote several books so that we can take advantage of these facilities.
Although we have these facilities but still we prefer to suffer in this material world. We lack strong determination and firm dedication. We need to have the determination of the tiny little sparrow who challenged the mighty ocean.
Dare to dry the ocean
The ocean had stolen the eggs of the sparrow and the little bird wanted her eggs badly. She was determined to get it back. The little bird thundered, “Return my eggs else I will dry you”. Hearing this ocean started laughing. But the sparrow was resolute in her purpose. With her tiny little beak she took few drops of water from the ocean and threw it on the surface. She did it again and again. Everyone was amused; the ocean could not control his laughter. But nothing deterred the sparrow. She continued with her endeavour without thinking about success or failure. News spread everywhere about the resolve of an insignificant creature to dry the gigantic ocean. Finally her efforts attracted the attention of Garuda, the king of the birds and the carrier of Lord Vishnu. Garuda threatened the ocean and said, “Return her eggs immediately or else I will completely dry you now.” Seeing the huge size of Garuda, ocean became frightened and within no time retuned back the eggs of the bird.
Most of the time we accept defeat even before giving a try. We get discouraged thinking that this is an impossible task for me to accomplish. Material world is like a gigantic ocean. No matter what we do, our efforts will appear to be insignificant. We do not have the capacity to cross this ocean on our own. But if we are keen to cross the ocean then we need to have the determination of the little sparrow. In our day to day life we come across several difficult situations which appear to be a hindrance in our practice of Krishna consciousness. However instead of counting our problems and becoming a complaining machine, we should cry out for Krishna’s help. Krishna is ever eager to elevate us to the eternal spiritual world. For every material problem there is always a spiritual solution.
For e.g. most of us face problem in controlling our lust. We may try hard to control it but we often get knocked down by lusty desires. However, if we take proper guidance of senior devotees and follow their instructions then success is guaranteed. Our efforts will please the Lord and he will completely burn our uncontrolled lusty desires. Similarly, if we are not getting time for chanting or taste for chanting then still we should try our best to chant & complete our rounds. Lord tests our sincerity. We just need to endeavour to the best of our ability. . Our determination and sincerity pleases the Lord as the efforts of the sparrow pleased Garuda.
God helps those who help themselves
To remain happy in this world is very simple but to remain simple is very difficult. Material nature always allures us. We should not get bogged down by our material positions and possessions. We should practice Krishna consciousness in whatever circumstances we are in. “Whether one is without desire [the condition of the devotees], or is desirous of all fruitive results, or is after liberation, one should with all efforts try to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead for complete perfection, culminating in Krishna consciousness”. Srimad – Bhagavatam 2.3.10.
Practicing devotional life does not mean that we have to do things perfectly. We just need to put in our best efforts. Lord Rama was pleased with the efforts of the tiny squirrel who was helping the monkey warriors during the construction of the bridge.
We have to take the decision. Do we want to rot in this world again or do we want to go back to the spiritual world where there is unlimited bliss? If yes, then instead of being a complaining machine and finding excuses for our spiritual lethargy, we should smartly utilize each moment of our life to get closer to Krishna. Srila Prabhupada explains, “If anyone follows the principles with great determination, the Lord will surely help, for God helps those who help themselves.” (Bhagavad – gita 6.24 Purport)
So, let us take a vow to dry the ocean of material existence and show our efforts by practicing devotional life with utmost sincerity keeping complete faith in Krishna’s mercy.