Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada
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Hare Krishna all,
I feel very uncomfortable fasting. I feel we are more into rules and regulations than bhakti.
Practicing the rules and regulations have become the measure of bhakti. It is much more annoying
when some one spy on you on what you are eating and what you are doing in your spare time.
Although devotees we are still humans who feel like relaxing our brain and body for sometime.
As per the suggestion of some elevated personality we should hear, watch and do activities which
are pleasing to Krishna like music, videos etc. How is that possible , we are humans with different thoughts and taste. Why shouldn't I do what I want, even if I do something out of obligation how is it going to please krishna when I am not doing it out of love. I feel we are linking everything to bhakti and inducing fear of God. Like If you don't do this you go hell, come back to material world etc. Please
throw some light on this topic as I don't want to pretend to be a devotee just blindly following something which is not pleasing to me. I want to be a devotee who does things with full conviction. Thank you.
Hare Krishna! Dandavat Pranam!
Dear Prabhu - Please take 'baby' steps and do 'whatever' you can and slowly make progress. There is no rush. Don't push hard and hurt yourself.
To your other questions:
1. No kid wants to go to school still parents insist. After the kid grows up, he/she realizes why it is necessary to go to school and learn.
2. Obligation - When the kid walks for the 1st time, it has to 'fall' many a times before the 'walk' can become 'perfect'. It is quite natural to be 'imperfect' because 'perfection' can only be achieved from 'imperfection'.
Hare Krsna Prabhuji,
I completely agree with Adiyen prabhuji. Very well said.
I was going to give the same example - who likes to give exams, who likes to study before exams - isnt the whole world most attractive when we have our study leave - all friends freaking out, all family functions, even good movies and programs on TV. But we still force ourselves to study and give exams. By giving these exams only we come to know and our institution comes to know whether we have understood what was taught in class.
Same way, nobody wants to do any austerities or fast, esp to please Krsna. After all, I should be pleased, Krsna can take a backseat (we are all like that prabhuji. If we were not like this, we wouldnt be in the material world at all).
Secondly, in the Ramcharitmanas, it is mentioned in sunderkand, Rama says - bhaya binu hoye na priti (unless you show fear, people dont love you). So unless there is some fear in us initially, we will not follow. In devotion, it starts with fear, then duty, then love for God.
We are not so fortunate to have natural affinity for God like say a Mirabai or a King Kulasekhara. In material world, we can equate that with Albert Einstein. Everyone knows Einstein was a school dropout, still he went on to become the biggest scientist. That doesnt mean we have stopped sending our children to school. We still send our children to school and pray that though he may not be as brilliant, he should acquire enough life skills to survive. Same way, Mirabai and King Kulasekhara were both from aristocratic families (royalty), and both were devotees, not in any parampara. We still have to be in parampara, so that somewhat our soul progresses (atleast). The rest is on the mercy to us - if we have mercy of devotees, we will progress further.
Now to take your point further, Srila Prabhupada had left his devotees free - you find out in which way you can serve the mission. I understand you may have likes apart from devotion. Use your intelligence to dovetail those likes towards Krsna. You know best what you are good at and what you like to do. See how you can use those skills and likes in the service of God, thats all. Please do not treat Krsna Consciousness as a burden, it is a journey of pleasure, where the journey as well as the destination are anandmaya.
Radha Rasamayi DD
Hare Krishna! Dandavat Pranam!
Thanks for the wonderful post Mataji.
Every individual is 'unique' in lord's creation and we need to appreciate that uniqueness. Even an atheist mind is lord's creation for a 'purpose'. The understanding of the purpose and loving god goes hand-in-hand. The more we love 'Krishna', the better we understand lord's creation (uniqueness of individuals), the more we understand lord's creation, the better we love 'Krishna'. And finally, there is only 'love' for God. In that state, we go back to godhead.
All glories to Srila Prabhupad for teaching this. Please correct if there is any misunderstanding.
Before marriage I used to be somewhat austere. Fasting nirjal all Ekadashis. Some Ekadashis used to be blissful when I was in spiritual mood but some used to be forceful. Where I fast and feel pain of hunger and next day overeat. Or due to weakness during Ekadashi feel too sleepy.
Main goal of fasting is to save time. For example, now I cook for 3 hours a day. If we don't eat then I could save those 3 hours for chanting etc.
But if we don't chant extra rounds and feel sleepy, lazy then no need to fast.
These days I don't fast nirjal. I eat Ekadashi Prasadam and I feel ok. I am not a great Devotee, I know my condition as an anishta bhakta. So I have enough anarthas to overcome some of which are sleepiness and not having enough control over senses.
When we reach nishtha stage it will be easier for us to have lesser material desires. Till then we need to accept our condition and move on forward slowly.
We need rest as well. For many years I forced myself to sleep very few hours like 4-5 hours a day. It was too less to my body. Recently I asked His Holiness Bhanu Maharaj, why no matter I fight against sleepiness still I feel sleepy during chanting etc. He told that different bodies require different amount of sleep.
After that I sleep around 7-8 hours and feel better.
So agree, no need to show off but take enough rest and eat some Ekadashi food for better chanting and reading, not being bothered of criticism. Mostly kanishtha adhikaris will criticize others.