Two Decades of Hare Krishna by Achyut Gopal Das


"Sometimes the longest journey we make is the sixteen inches from our heads to our hearts." - Elena Avila
Coming December 2019 marks 20 years of my consistent and daily chanting of 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, one of the prerequisite for a committed practitioner of Krishna consciousness. I started, chanting 16 rounds in December of 1999 and now, 20 years have passed by so quickly. One thing that helps me, be focused in spiritual life is watching the passing of the imperceptible time. How weeks turn into months, how months turn into years and how years turn into decades is a great wonder of life.
This article is in no way to glorify my two decades of chanting Hare Krishna but it is just meant to share my little thoughts and my little experiences in my spiritual life at this junction in life. I feel so grateful to Krishna and His wonderful devotees who have been extremely kind to me by showering their grace on me and thus helping me sustain my spiritual life for so many years. I know that without the grace of God and His devotees, it is impossible to chant Hare Krishna even for one day, what to speak of so many years. Srila Prabhupada would always remind devotees that Maya is extremely strong and impeccable. It is not within our power to resist her forces. Thus, we need to feel very humble, helpless and constantly seek and plead for the mercy of God and His devotees. Without their mercy we have no other hope.
I am also extremely grateful for all the wonderful and exciting opportunities to serve, that I was blessed with. I got to be part of so many successful projects and events in the course of pushing on this great movement of compassion. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve so many elevated and sincere lovers of God. I am so grateful to visit so many holyplaces in the company of holy devotees, chanting and hearing the holy Katha of the Lord. I also feel blessed to have gone through so many difficult tests and challenges in my spiritual life, which have helped me become a little humble, a little mature and a little wise.

At this junction in my spiritual life, as I feel grateful for all the wonderful things, I also feel simultaneously a little shameful and regretful for all the time I wasted in wasteful mental imagination, sheer laziness and in wasteful mundane engagements. I strongly feel that I could have advanced to a much higher spiritual stage than the stage I am at present. If I was more focused in my spiritual life all these years, I could have gone more deeper into my understanding of scriptures, developed genuine attachment to the chanting of the Holynames of Krishna and performed greater services to Guru and Gauranga. Now, that the time that is gone is gone and can't be relieved again; the least I can do, is to be more focused in my spiritual journey from this point on firstly, to make up for the spiritual time lost in the last 20 years and secondly, so that 20 years from now, I can be proud and unregretful of my life. Seeking your blessings and good wishes for my journey ahead.
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