Life is tough, and daily the mind is up to newer tricks to take us away from Krishna. It conjures up newer schemes for sense gratification or ways to get back to someone who hurt you or ideas and excuses to reduce our spiritual activities or different reasons and arguments to defend the ego. The list of things to do for the mind is endless, and most of them are injurious to our well being.
The day we accept life is a battle, and we also happily want to face it and win this struggle, rising early appears a great blessing.
Before coming to Krishna consciousness many of us would rise not before 7.00 am but once I joined the temple it was mandatory to rise latest by 4.15 am. After the initial pain of change in the lifestyle and the timing, I got adjusted to it and today, rising early gives me many advantages.
Firstly the joy of seeing the deities in the mangal arati, the spiritual vibrations in the temple hall soothes the mind beyond description, and also provides the strength to fight the challenges of the day. Many times as the problems we deal with get intense and management pressures or deadlines on certain projects get on my nerves, I remember how the next morning I would be attending the kirtans and the tulasi aarati, and the thought gives me the strength to take on the battle bravely. Secondly it’s also a time for shelter; one could helplessly pray for forgiveness for the past day’s mistakes and if your relationships are strained, this is one place where you can make your relationship with the most important person of your life strong. Then that helps you feel loved, and when you deal with failing relationships of this material world, you are able to give yourself happily to the other people because your need for love is fulfilled by Krishna through the process of morning spiritual programme.
Thirdly you save lot of time. By 9.00 am when most haven’t even begun their spiritual activities, you could have completed your quota of sixteen rounds of chanting that usually takes two hours. You would also have heard a class, prayed to deities and have earned time.
Of course it’s important to be present in our early morning activities to reap the real benefits. And the early hours helps us more than later times of the day. That’s because the mode of goodness is strong in the morning and it helps us connect to Krishna easily.
A friend shared nice realization:
“When the morning conchshell blows before the altar opens, I feel a sensation of excitement. I feel it’s like the precursor to a war. Before the war of Mahabharata, the armies gathered and blew conchsells. Similarly as the priest blows it loudly, and the curtains open, I feel sheltered and secure. Seeing Krishna’s beautiful transcendental body on the altar, I feel protected and assured that the Supreme Lord is with me as I face the relentless challenges posed by the mind during the day. I also pray fervently for the strength to face surprises and shocks that the material world is likely to bring on this day. At the end of the morning programme, I feel blissful and raring to go. I feel like a sportsman who’s excited to face a match with the naughty mind”
Most sincere spiritual practitioners have confessed that an attentive participation in the morning programme helps them negotiate with the mind during the day.
For those not staying in the temple they could have their own version of the morning programme. Even a half hour spiritual activity with the family members helps us connect with not only Krishna but also improve our relationships with our loved ones.