Chant for Change-II




This is like some project management. There is a five point program to organize a project, plan the project on local, regional, global level. It has five steps of planning. We had applied this to our Srila Prabhupada’s centennial 1996 project. Of course, we started planning in 1992 and the celebration was in 1996.


So what is our project here? Not only chanting, what did we say yesterday? “Chanting for change”. Change what? Change our consciousness and eventually change the world. Go deep within and make the change in there with the help of your chanting. When we say with the help of chanting, it is a big help out there. With the help of chanting, we change. With Krishna’s help, we bring about the change. It is possible if Lord helps. Then we could change ourselves and change the world, change people around us. So chant for change. It the theme of our seminar here. It is chant for change. So that is our project. So we want to apply these five universal principles to organize or plan the project. It has five components.


1. Vision,
2. obstacles,
3. strategies to remove obstacles,
4. resources,
5. timeline.

First one is vision.

Next one is obstacles, stumbling blocks to achieve that vision. This is my vision. What could possibly keep me away from achieving this vision? This proactive approach, in advance we take the note of our difficulties which we may encounter on the way.

Third one is strategy. This is our vision, these are possible potential difficulties. Then what would be our strategy to get rid of these obstacles so that we achieve the vision.

Fourth thing is resources. There are two aspects – man power and funding. We will talk of resources. There may be some more types of resources.

Fifth one is time line. Time factor. How much time is it going to take for me to achieve this goal? If the total time is say five years. Then we must decide what is my first phase; what is my second phase. Let’s say we decide that we should achieve this much in first phase of six months. Then we decide in the next phase, I want to go forward this much and then each subsequent year this much.


Ok so this is the formula or the universal principle that we talked about. We want to apply these to our project “chant for change”. It is not just ‘chant for change’ for today and tomorrow. How to apply this 5 point formula for chanting japa. So we will go through these steps one by one and invite your comments.

VISION: (Maharaja gets a few responses from the devotee audience and approves them)
1. Transformation of heart.
Nayanam Galad ashru dharaya vadanam gadgad ruddhaya gira, pulakair nichitam vapu kada, tava nam grahane bhavishyati (Siksastakam , verse 6). So that is the vision. It is also Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s statement.
2. Chant purely.
3. Getting empowered.
Smaranam (remembrance of the Lord). Yes we want to end up with smaranam. We go with shravanam, kirtanam (hearing and chanting) and the goal is or the vision is remembrance.
Kirtaniya sada Hari (constant chanting) could that also be vision.
4. Seeing every object in relationship with Krishna, that is the goal.
5. Getting situated into our eternal position as a servant of Krishna is also a goal of chanting.
6. Realize abhinnatvat nam namino: realize that Krishna’s name is not different from Krishna.
7. Attachment to the holy name
8. Attentively chanting the prescribed number of rounds is a vision.
9. Please Guru and Gauranga by my chanting. Bring service attitude.
10. Chant for begging for service. When Krishna gives service, then you say, see you later. I will think about it. (Laughter)
11. Going back home. Back to Pune? (Laughter). One devotee said when he was in London, he always thought that going back home means I have to go somewhere else. So when he came to Vrindavan, he was on Vraja mandal parikrama and towards the end, he was sharing his realizations. He talked about all his thoughts from the past. He said, “I always thought of going back to home, means I have go somewhere else. And here now I thought I have to go somewhere else”. But once you are in Vrindavan, then he said, “This thought disappeared. I have come back home. I am back home. Now I need to go nowhere else.” Swadham here. So like that.
12. Self realization is the goal. Then Krishna realization. Self awareness, in fact. Very important. Become aware of the self as you chant. Awareness of the supreme.
Krishna prema. Holy name is Krishna prema (love of Godhead). Realizing this is the vision. Realize that Holy name is Krishna prema.


Now you have to keep in mind our respective vision. We have to think, “I am sitting for chanting every day. So what could stop me from achieving this vision or goal?” So that is the next exercise. You understand the next exercise? What is the difficulty; what are the problems; who are the enemies of the chanting. Enemies of the chanting! As soon as I said enemies… (Laugher) almost everyone is alert. (Again Maharaja invites for various responses from the audience and approves them)
1. Offences against the holy name, especially vaishnava aparadha.
2. Laziness. Lazy to work. Lazy to chant.
3. Mind doesn’t cooperate.
4. No taste for chanting due to past conditioning.
5. Enemies. What are they? Kama, krodha, sad ripus from the past. (Lust, anger, greed, pride, illusion and envy).
6. Sleep. Nidra devi especially comes during chanting (laughter). Start chanting and she appears. In Bhagatavan class also she makes sure she is there! Om namo bhagavate…. (Laughter). So this is pretty serious obstacle.
7. Prajalpa (mundane talks) that you do or you entertain others to talk during japa.
8. Over eating is an obstacle.
9. Not being prayerful is an obstacle. What is it called? Mechanical chanting. Dry, routine, machine like. So body is chanting but you are not there, the soul not there, prayer is not there if that was the case, then the tape recorder or the radio will also go back to Godhead because the tape recorder or radio is singing Hare Krishna or devotional songs.
10. Lack of determination. Utsahat niscayat dhairyat, (Upadesamrita, Nectar of Instruction verse 3: with enthusiasm, patience/determination and confidence) applying that. If not applying that, it is obstacle.
11. Lack of preparation of mind.
12. Not sleeping enough at night time is also an obstacle. Lot could be said about this preparation. Do not worry about ‘chanting’, during chanting but the day before you should be worrying about tomorrow morning’s chanting. I will chant tomorrow morning; so what I will do? Is it going to help me or will it be an obstacle. Sachinandan maharaja also does yoga, stretches and gets ready.
13. Mental preparation. How I am going to prepare? Am I prepared?
14. Uncontrolled tongue and bodily disorders. Overeating results in sickness.
15. Being stubborn. Not being honest or obedient, not taking suggestions from others, not taking good advice in relation with his chanting from others for improving.
16. Lack of reading and hearing sufficiently. One should be philosophically sound and in that mood come resources, as we go for resources.
17. Considering ourselves as doers. Some kind of pride or aham. Boasting ourselves, “I am Mood of finishing the rounds for the sake of finishing. with it. Have celebration (laughter) finished. Finally I am let’s have a party. That kind of mood. We are eager to finish for sake of finishing.
18. Not understanding enough mahatmya or greatness, importance or significance of chanting. Not having faith in chanting. Lack of shradha because we have not heard the glories of chanting. So we have lack of faith. Commit the 5th offence. Consider glories of chanting to be imaginary.
19.Lack of humility. Lacking the qualities listed in the verse “Trinad api sunichena…; humility, tolerance, not being respectful to others. One thing is good that you had that ‘sadachar’ (appropriate behavior) program before this. Sadachar has a connection with chanting. A sadachari person could do chanting better. It is the right sequence. First prepare for the chanting session, be well behaved. Observe vaishnava etiquettes. Dealings, sambandhas with vaishnavas and with Lord also. If you are not sadachari, your chanting is very difficult. You may be chanting 64 rounds but you may be thinking you are doing kirtaniya sada Hari but there is no sadachar then that vision that we listed will not be achieved. Although chanting, kind of chanting is going on… one will be haunted by material desires… pratistha, pooja, labha (honor, profit, prestige).
20. Not wanting to reform. We may have some bad habits, we are doing something wrong twice, thrice, and then that becomes habit that becomes character, your second nature. It may be so that just the material part of your nature is getting solidified. So we want to change that. But not wanting to reform, not wanting to change is an obstacle. Sticking to our style. It is good to come out and chant with devotees. Then devotees will point out “prabhu, you are doing this wrong. This is not right. Do this way.” Or if you are chatting on your own, at Radha kunda by yourself, but incorrectly but what are the chances? Only Radharani could intervene. If you don’t have vaishnavas around, then that is an obstacle..
21.Breaking regulative principles. Bad association. Prayas (over endeavor). Prajalpa (mundane talks). Niyamagraha (Insisting on some niyam, or rules not knowing purpose of the niyam). Jana sangas ca (association of worldly people)

STRATEGY: is our next item. How to overcome the obstacles is dealt in these items called ‘strategy’. (In this section, maharaja picks up some of the items listed in the obstacles category, collects responses from the audience and addresses each of them by suggesting a strategy to overcome the obstacle.)
1. Strategies to overcome sleep:
Take proper rest. You take up a sankalpa (vow) about how much to, not going to sleep, or talk during japa, or attend to calls. Sankalpa is preparation. Reduce over eating, specially eating at night. Lunch eating may not be as bad as your eating at dinner time. So skip dinner or light dinner some fruits or milk. Water spray (laughter) if nothing else works. You could apply water especially on the temple. Applying cool water on the temple directly helps you to overcome sleep.
It is good to stay away from those who sleep. If their association is going to make you sleep, then no. Some drivers don’t allow persons sitting in the front seat to sleep because if they sleep he also feels sleepy. So like that. You could stay away from those who sleep.
Sitting position also. “Sit properly” Prabhupada used to say. So what is the right position as a part of strategy? Right sitting posture? Back bone and neck straigth. You could sit in Sukhasana, or in Vajrasana. Sit like yogis. When someone looks at japa yogi, the chanter, the person should get idea that this person is chanting. He is just like yogi. Sometimes you don’t get to chanting, you may be just sitting, or sleeping, not being alert, not being attentive. On the face there is no expression, it is just a blank face or the way he is sitting, his mind, his body, face; there you don’t read anything, nothing reminds you there of this person. What possibly he might be doing right now?? So if we know he has a bag in hand. We could probably say that he is chanting. But if a new, stranger looks at this person what would he think? There is no proper mood, not proper posture, not with proper facial expressions, alertness, attention, eagerness, crying like baby… All those things are not there, then how could anyone think that or be reminded that this is a “japa yogi”, this person is busy now in japa. So it is said that the atmosphere or aura around him should be so thick, that it should be difficult to penetrate. Another person would have to think: how should I approach this person? How could I stop this person? He is chanting. In that case, he may offer obeisance; or ask, “May I say something?” Lot of times, we won’t get to see that. As if that person is already eager to talk to you (laughter), you don’t have to seek permission.. He may be just waiting, just waiting for someone to come and talk to him and intervene. Praying intensively to overcome the sleep obstacle or for wakeful chanting.
To a question, whether walking and chanting is okay, Maharaja responds – for some time it is okay. If sitting is not helping then it is okay. But one has to try sitting down. That is the proper posture, asana for chanting. As you walk, the passion mode arouses. Then you are thinking of other things, other than even chanting. If we are chanting while walking and some thoughts come to you and they send you back and forth. So you could walk just to fight lower mode but not continuously.
2. Strategies to overcome distraction of the mind:
First point is what is distraction. Mind is wandering… yato yato nishchalati manah chanchalam asthiram (Bhagavad Gita 6.26 From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the self.) so you have to overcome roaming or wandering of the mind.
Not allowing sense to come in contact with sense objects. In chanting there is no scope for eyes to look. Seeing and not seeing at the same time. There is a difference between seeing and seen. See just enough and not see more. Not like see, and then go deeper, contemplate and get attached, then it becomes a habit, That is the whole process. Our goal is not stop the senses, like stop smelling, or put ear plugs or stitch the mouth, not talk etc. So the positive approach would be to see Krishna’s form or try to see or remember Krishna’s form. If another form is in front of you, try to think of Krishna’s form. So that other form is still there in front of you, but you are more influenced by Krishna’s form rather than the form in front of you, so try to practice this.
If service is giving distraction, it is very good to learn management principle to prioritize chanting, like management principle. We are learning that also here now. Chanting time and some other time. We must determine the priority. First thing first.. it is management principle. First thing is to chant. Then other things can come. Control you mind like that. Hold on or have some patience. Don’t be impatient. Don’t jump ahead of the time. When that time comes, you dive deeper.
Writing maha mantra and keeping it in front of you. Sachinandana maharaja also recommends meditating on written maha mantra.
Each name should be pronounced distinctly. When we can get all 16 names like this, no other thought can enter. Not think of 16 words at a time but one word, or even one syllable at a time. So this is more micro managing your chanting, rather than macro. HA – R E,K RISH – N A.. (emphasizing each syllable)
There is another dimension to the above point. Not only you are saying the names clearly and attentively, but the other goal is remembrance. While chanting, you are supposed to be remembering Krishna, praying to Krishna, remembering His form. There is so much to be busy with when you are chanting. Yesterday some devotee was comparing kirtan to japa saying that, “Japa is monotonous; same thing goes over and over again, one may have disinterest. It may be mechanical etc”. So these things are being addressed here. Hear, chant, remember; crying like a baby. If your mind is going elsewhere then you have another exercise to do… Drag it back, bring it back. Take the help of intelligence. Who is superior to the mind? Intelligence is superior to the mind. So where is mind going, whether it is going to the right place or wrong place or is it timely for the mind to go… Who will decide all this? Intelligence decides. Power of discrimination is with intelligence. Mind doesn’t have its own philosophy. Mind is just floating. Just like child. While walking, passing by the shop, the child cries… daddy, daddy… I want that. Mind is like that. Daddy tries to convince… no no… Take this lollipop and then the child runs for that. Just a moment ago the child was crying for something else and now drops that and runs for something else and then something else. There is nothing fixed about the mind. Hence you could change the mind. Mind you could change. Train the mind. Shape up the mind. So there is a scope. Knowing that there is scope for changing the mind, it is possible to changing the habits of mind. Mind doesn’t have its own philosophy. Superior to mind is intelligence. So you have to be very very alert, very very active. It is business. It is a serious business. You can’t do your business if your intelligence is not working. Chanting is a serious business. Do you do your business without intelligence? You have to be a very intelligent person. Very intelligent person could chant attentively or could really chant and achieve the vision. Krishna jei bhaje sei bada chatura. That person is called chatura who does “Krishna bhaje”, one who worships Krishna , serves Krishna.. very smart, very intelligent. So what does Srimad Bhagavatam say? Yajnair sankirtanah prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah” (Bhag. 11.5.32 In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna). Sumedha… this is job of ‘sumedha’, not some ‘drop outs’ or those who fail, miserably fail and so they become sadhus. This kind of worldly understanding is incorrect. Krishna says: “Gyanavan mam prapadhyate” (Bhagavad Gita 7.19 After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.) . One who surrenders to Me, he is gyanavan, knowledgeable. So chanting is the job of a very very intelligent person.
We have to have intelligence and exercise it, use that intelligence for improving our chanting. So you prove you that you are intelligent by using the intelligence. So your two hours, the 16 rounds – this is the time for you to use intelligence. Otherwise it is just sleeping business because intelligence is not being exercised. If intelligence is at job, alert sharp intelligence, immediately you will be able to tell: oh you are sleeping, you are doing this, your mind is going away.. you will watch and point out and come up with rectification measure. So japa is not just the time to sit around, just sitting the round. Your whole being, your whole existence is being used, in action. Body, mind and intelligence. So use the intelligence.
3. Strategies to overcome false ego
Falsely egoistic chanter is just the opposite of trinad api sunichena taror api sahisnuna (Siksastakam, verse 3: One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others). He will not be tolerant, patient, respectful and all that. So that is all ego. If somebody is helping that person to wake up from sleep etc. and that person who is receiving the help doesn’t appreciate the help, but fights back… That is also ego. This trinad api sunichena stragegry of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, this is free from ego. No false ego. Your real ego, your soul is humble, pure, and tolerant. Dadami budhhi yogam. Krishna gives intelligence to those who are… ananyas chintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate, tesham nityabhiyuktanam yoga kshemam vahamyaham (Bhagavad Gita 9.22 But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.) satat and Yukta and priti purvakam means rendering service. Then Lord is pleased and He gives intelligence, buddhi. This is one kind of intelligence you are getting. Others are also getting intelligence. Materialistic people are also getting. But Maya (illusory energy of the Lord) is giving them intelligence.
Devotee gets intelligence from Krishna and materialistic person gets it from Maya or Maya’s agents or energies. What kind of intelligence we need during chanting? That intelligence which comes from the Lord. If the person has false ego then again there is a resistance. The intelligence coming from Krishna is not going to flow in his direction. Ego is the stumbling block. Ego is going to stop that flow. He may be getting intelligence but that he will get is “vinasha kale viparita buddhi” (at the time of one’s destruction, one gets absurd intelligence).. vinasha (destruction) has come and he is getting self destructive intelligence.
4. Strategies to avoid the offences:
So the 10 offences are to be avoided in order to quickly achieve the desired success of life, namely going back to Godhead. You should be familiar with the ten offences. Learn what each one is. What does it mean? Which offence I commit? I may not be committing all of them. Each one of us is specialized (laughter); someone commits first offence more, someone 5th, and so on like this… each one is different. So again we know. What is my obstacle? Which offence I commit? Work on that. Inattentive chanting is a result of offences. Vaishnava aparadh is an important offence.
5. Strategies to overcome laziness
Due to laziness, the mind doesn’t want to chant. Laziness could be of varieties. You should be around those who are enthusiastic. Then what happens? Chanting is enthused and you laziness runs away. If you don’t chant in the morning, chanting during the day takes longer because mind is not concentrated. This is common experience. Those who don’t chant in the morning, they take a long long time to complete. Then you may be just hiding behind the chanting. You are supposed to finish chanting and get ready for the service. But if you just keep chanting, that is not right thing to do. So we have to get up and chant.
With use of intelligence you get mind to surrender. With your intelligence, you should decide what is good for your life, what is good for you and you may also take the help of sadhus, sastras, to make a list of what is good for you and then just do it. Tell the mind also to cooperate. You don’t surrender to the mind but you get mind to surrender. What is good for you that you have decided with the use of intelligence and you want to get that done; so let the mind not interfere.
Planning: Plan your chanting or plan your 24 hours. Plan for your rest time, plan for eating also. When you sit down for a meal, you could have a determination that I am going to eat as much as required… yukta ahar. So this is planning before you sit down to eat. Once you start eating, then only after you are too much full, you may be doing lamentation. But that also could be reviewed after meal but you could also have a strategy before you sit down for meal. So there is strategy for everything. So planning. Plan your mind, 24 hour time, plan sleeping. Basic necessities are to be planned.
6. Strategies to overcome past conditioning:
During this “chant for change”, we want to work on past conditioning. Past is not only past life, but past five years, past ten years, or past so many lives we had. So all that is conditioning… cheto darpana marjanam… There is an example: There is a lake or well and the water doesn’t have any ripples or anything. Suddenly a bubble comes….. phat….. (Makes a bursting sound by mouth) Prabhupada gave this example. If the water is clean, everything is still and clean, then where is this bubble coming from? It proves that at the bottom of the well there is some kind of dirt, contamination. For a long time there is nothing, clean, clear, calm water. Suddenly… phat… This is an indication that deep within there is some conditioning, some contamination and then it pops up suddenly. You are taken by surprise. Why do the bad things happen to good people like ME you know..?(Laughs). Bad things happen to good people? We are not fully good yet. There is some bad. We have to go deeper and find where that bad is hiding. Trace is out. Not wait for it to appear. Who knows when it could appear? You could go deeper and take out the root.
7. Strategy to overcome lack of taste in chanting
We have taken chanting as a vow. So we must keep doing it. Secondly, the lack of taste may be because of past conditioning. We need training for developing the taste. These seminars are like training sessions. Attend more this kind of satsang, discussions on such an important topic of chanting. We have so many other topics. We rarely get to talk about this most important aspect of life. It is due to the mercy of ISKCON Leads program that this topic has come up today. This is also being discussed now a days in japa reforms and books also there in the market for this topic: Mahanidhi maharaja has a book. Sachinandan maharaja has a book. Satswarupa maharaja had one long time ago. ISKCON market is there with literature also on this topic. Some seminars are also held. We are doing it here also.
8. Strategy to overcome mechanical and dry chanting
Bring prayerful mood and remembrance, so that it is not just machine like chanting. Even if external chanting and lip movement are there, mind has to be involved. Intelligent has to be active, and the soul needs to be stirred up. Chanting is what? Soul stirred up. It is very active. Not mechanical. Mechanical means only body. In spiritual chanting, soul is involved. Soul is there, mind is there, favorable mind, cooperative mind and sharp intelligence. When all of that is there, then it will not be mechanical any more. Not having taste, because you may be doing just mechanical chanting. That is why no taste. Not striving harder for go forward. Not fighting with sleeping. No planning for eating or your uncooperative mind. So don’t have ruchi (taste). So all this is because of mechanical chanting.
9. Strategy to overcome lack of determination
Cultivate determination. It is also nistha… becoming nishtavan… you have to have a lot of determination, fixed up. So how does one get to the fixed up nishthavan stage? How does one get there? You have to do all the prior steps. Shraddha, sadhu sanga, bhajan kriya, anartha nivritti. (Faith, association of saintly persons, chanting of the holy name of Krishna and eradication of unwanted desires). More you do sadhu sanga, more bhajana, more anarth nivritti. As you become more and more free from anarthas. What happens? That results in determination/ nishtavan. You become steady, sober. This is science. We are spiritual scientists. Wes should be knowing… more shraddh, more glories of the holy name I should be hear, more sadhu sanga, more association, more guidance, I should be praying “give me some bhajana dan. Please purify O vaishnava with more of your bhajan gyan. How to do bhajan, how to worship to Krishna, you give me, teach me, share with me.
10 Strategy to overcome lack of preparation
Do your preparation a day before. Prepare a day before, night before; is my quantity of eating, time of eating going to help me tomorrow’s chanting? Or my association, is it good? So that way prepare.
11. Strategy for uncontrolled tongue
Not only eating but the uncontrolled tongue is.. vacho vegam manasah krodha vegam, jivha vegam udaropastha vegam, (Upadesamrita – nectar of instruction, verse 1 urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals)…. So the tongue is in the middle. Just see how the arrangement is! Six items (the devotee is recommended to tolerate). In the middle is the tongue… one time mentioned as jivha and other time as vacha. So jivha eats and vacha speaks. Both are tongue. And then the two items up from tongue – mind and anger. From jivha two items beneath (the urges of belly and gentials). If speech not controlled, then uncontrolled mind and anger. If eating is not controlled, then udara upasatha (urges of belly and genitals). So same tongue two functions. Then there are 2 pushings. Up and down. Uncontrolled tongue… not taking good advice from others. That is the difficulty.
12. Strategy to overcome lack of hearing and reading
Philosophical soundness helps us in chanting. Doership mentality or false ego is a problem. If we are chanting out of humility, thinking humbly that I am chanting by the grace of my superiors and my spiritual masters, by Krishna’s mercy, then this is a good kind of mentality. It will result in good chanting. But if you are chanting mechanically, then you will be happy to quickly finish the rounds. But don’t be conditioned to chant only 16 rounds. Get out of this conditioning.
13. Lack of value and importance of chanting. How to overcome that? Read the glories of the holy name. There is a book called, Sri Namamrita. All Srila Prabhupada purports are there. Other literature is there. Caitnaya Caritamrita has several sections on the holy name. Hari nam chintamani is also a very good tool on how to remove obstacles. Bhajan rahasya is also very essential reading material. So get fixed up so you could say “sthito smi”.. now I have no more doubts of chanting, or chanting as the yuga darma of this age of Kali (religion of this age). So hear more.
14. Strategy to overcome lack of humble and tolerant mood
Lacking “trinad api sunichena” (being humbler than a blade of grass and tolerant than a tree).. Be humble; it is easy to say right? Sometimes people have t shirts that says… “Smile or “just do it.” Similarly we could say, “Somehow be humble”… Somehow… (Laughs)… yena kena prakarena… (By hook or crook) because there is no other way… chanting is also the only way… but to get right results from chanting, be humble… there is no other way. There is no short cut. We have to come to this stage. Person who has this kind of mentality can only chant… What is the translation of the verse trinad api sunichena? “One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.” Please note the words “in such a state of mind”. So this instruction has come from Maharpabhu. If you have such a state of mind, then only kirtaniya sada Hari (you could chant constantly).
15. Strategies to overcome material desires:
We are haunted by material desires… pooja, labha, pratistha. (honor, profit and prestige) This is basic disease of the living entity. Bhakti Sidhhanta Saraswati compared his pooja, labha, pratistha with shukarer vishtha (stool of a hog). Vishtha as it is very bad. What does shukar (hog) eat? Vishtha. So shukarer vishtha is like the essence of the stool. That is the value of pooja, labha pratistha. Till we are convinced of this, we should be remembering this statement of Bhakti Sidhhanata Saraswati. We have to realize this is very important. As if this is like the vision of my life… (That pooja, labha and pratistha are like stool of hog for me)… there is no value of stool, what to speak of the stool of the hog. So you could convince yourselves of that.
16. Strategy to overcome the breaking of four regulative principles
Don’t break th has a book. Sachinandan maharaja has a book. Satswarupa maharaja had one long time ago. strongem! (Laughter). Again, keep chanting Hare Krishna. We have to resist the temptation that says, “This is inviting me. This is attracting me”. When we are attracted by Krishna, or Krishna’s holy name via chanting, then we could kick the temptation to break the regulative principles.
17. Strategy to avoid bad association
Give it up! First of all you should know what good association is and what bad association is. Who provides good and bad association? How do you determine this? With intelligence, you could discriminate and come to a conclusion that this is bad association. So keep safe distance from bad association, bad company.


All the things we listed so far are needed as resources, like:

1. Proper rest, Sankalpa (determination), Man power (help from others).
2. Reading Srimad Bhagavatm. Proper atmosphere. Dham or temple, association of devotees, good time. Good place, good circumstance. Morning time is a good time.
3. Japa quotes, written form of maha mantra in front of you. Some reading material, some literature is a resource. Photo, if you want a small one to carry in your travel kit with you.
4. Tulasi devi… chanting next to Tulasi is highly recommended. It is clean place. Fragrance, incense, flowers.
5. Ear plugs! You have to make sure you hear yourself
6. Well lit place, but not too bright. It can distort your attention. If it is dark, then also it is conducive for sleep. Light should be not too bright, not too dark.
7. Water bottle, sprinkler… (Laughter).
Many items from the strategy, items would be part of these resources.


How much time for chanting 16 rounds? 2 hours. If chanting one round takes 15 minutes, then it could be said that the mind is not focused. So two hours are considered kind of standard time. Then what time of the day chanting? Morning.
To achieve the vision for chanting, one must decide how much time will be needed. It could be said that we need one lifetime. Prabhupada gave that kind of goal. You could finish your business in one lifetime. Srila prabhupada used to say… like a business man doesn’t think “oh, I will make profit in next life. I will do business now, profit I will gain in the next life”. Businessman never thinks like that. He wants all profit in this life time. Then he used to say.. for devotees also, they should achieve their goal in this life time. So you don’t have to wait. Because we don’t know how much is the lifetime. How many days, months are at our disposal. .. “Adaiva vishatu me manas raj hansa” that prayer is there (by King Kulasekhar; “Krishna, I am now in good health. So kindly award me death immediately.”). Not waiting till the last minute, last moment. At the last moment, it is very difficult to induce mind and voice is choked up. So take advantage. ‘This’ is the time. Adhyaiva… Today… Now. Especially when one is young, it is easy to achieve things. If you do them when you are old, it is difficult or impossible. Lot of people, they don’t even get old. They die before they get old. Some people die even before they take birth. They are not allowed to take birth. They are killed in the womb. So take it seriously now. Intelligence is working, body is functioning. There is good association. We have resources at our disposal. So this is favorable now. So reap the results. So that is the time.

Question: Do we have to tackle each obstacle with a time line or all obstacles at once?

Answer: it could be both. You could get into the detailed exercise and then each obstacle you apply now only time line. For each obstacle, you could apply the vision, strategy, resource, and time line. That way you could achieve the vision faster if you get the details.

But not all obstacles are for everyone. One obstacle may be there for one, other obstacle for others. Similarly, the degree of obstacle may be different for everyone. Overeating may be a general obstacle, but for someone it may be very acute, very serious. For others, it may not be so serious. One needs to work on this. Okay. Hari bol..Thank you. (Maharaja ki jay!!)

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