Even if you are an acarya, you can have difficulties. It’s OK then; since we are not acaryas, we can have some difficulties too. But let us still remain faithful in our approach to Krsna.
Adapted from a lecture by His Holiness Romapada Swami entitle Life of Ramanujacarya (Part 1) given in Hyderabad during January 2009.
Lunch break painting
Chanting from our heart, with deep feeling, we must take shelter of the holy name, like a little baby bird that is hungry waiting for his mother to feed him. He is helpless, can’t go anywhere and is so dependent upon her.If you are not hungry, you can’t really digest food very well. In order to enjoy food and digest it, you need hunger. That is the principle. In order to really digest the holy name and for it to penetrate our heart and transform the soul, we need to have that greed, that hunger. That means we have to feel a sense of need. Queen Kunti prayed
janmaisvarya-sruta-sribhir / edhamana-madah puman
naivarhaty abhidhatum vai / tvam akincana-gocaram
“My Lord, Your Lordship can easiiy be approached, but oniy by those who are materially exhausted. One who is on the path of material progress, trying to improve himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education, and bodily beauty, cannot approach You with sincere feeiing.”
She was a hungry lady spiritually. When you have material opulence you can become complacent spiritually. You don’t cry out the name with feeling. When you feel in the heart that nothing is mine, I need God – that is the impoverishment she is talking about. - Radhanath Swami
Without a doubt, staying God Conscious in college is a challenge. Especially if your school tends to want to suck up all of your time. But, to be a person of devotion, bhakti, school is a very great service and to keep-up the service, we need to be continuously inspired. These past few weeks have been tough for myself, but a number of things turned it around for me. Here is the short list to ways of staying inspired to serve despite the situation:
1. Share Share Share - go to a senior devotee, a mentor, someone older and wiser, and tell them. This cannot be stressed enough. If you can find someone who has already done it, there wisdom will be even more penetrating since they know exactly what it is like. Take shelter of them.
2. Chant Chant Chant - when you do chant, make it count! If you chant with as much attention as you can and pray to Nityananda (in particular), you will not only advance in your spiritual life, but you will bring yourself peace in a very disturbing situation. Many other auspicious things will come as well just from this.
3. Listen to a lecture by someone who inspires you and ask questions - if the person is not local or inaccessible, then listen carefully as God will give you the answer through whatever means you are willing to listen.
4. ASSOCIATE with happy and enthusiastic devotees - generally, at school, one is subjected to the worse kind of association for maintain just peace of mind what to speak of full God consciousness. This bad association HAS TO BE counteracted. Many devotees have told me this and even expressing techniques like if they read one hour of school work then they would dedicate two hours to Prabhupada’s book. I would recommend if the situation is very bad because of neglect to such practices, there is still hope; just find really enthusiastic devotees and serve with them!
Bhaktivinoda Thakura says:
“The devotee who worships the holy name should first petition the Lord for the strength to cast out all these unfavourable tendencies — and should pray thus before Lord Hari on a daily basis. By doing this regularly, the devotee’s heart will eventually become purified. Sri Krsna has killed a number of demons which may arise in the kingdom of the heart — so in order to destroy these problems, a devotee must cry very humbly before the Lord and admit defeat — then the Lord will nullify all contaminations.”
The Haribhaktisudhodaya says:
Even the happiness of ultimate reality is like the water contained in the hoof- print of a cow for one situated in the ocean of pure bliss which comes from the direct perception of you, O Lord of the Universe.
Rupa Goswami’s Nectar of Devotion
Maya, or illusion, is God’s (Krishna’s) energy.
Krishna is like the sun and always pure and shining brightly, but when a cloud comes over the sun it appears to us the cloud has intervened the sun’s power, yet the sun keeps shining despite the illusion played on our eyes. Let us not ask why God is not showing Himself to us, rather what are we doing to purify ourselves, what are we doing to remove the coverings in our hearts that keep us from pure love?