“O my Lord, You have executed all duties Yourself. Are you leaving us today, though we are completely dependent on Your mercy and have no one else to protect us, now when all kings are at enmity with us?” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.37)
I chanted extra today and felt relieved and happy. There is a feeling of a sense of shelter when we sincerely try to chant the Holy Names of Krishna.
I wish I could chant like this daily. The mind has a million excuses not to chant attentively even my sixteen rounds, what to speak of extra rounds. What rebellion would the mind unleash at the prospect of more japa!
Therefore rather than propose extra rounds, let me first quell my mind sufficiently during my vowed sixteen rounds.
What to speak of sixteen rounds, even the thought of chanting brings a violent protest by the mind. Just now for instance, the mind has already dragged me to make two phone calls even as I am penning down my resolve to chant better. If it’s a challenge to even resolve to chant well, how much more of a challenge it would be to actually chant and come closer to Krishna.
All this simply proves that I am inadequate, and I need to seek help from Krishna. The more I realize my own limitations in subduing my mind, and if I can immediately turn this awareness to dependence on Krishna for help, then I am certainly making progress. Dependence on Krishna at all times is success in our spiritual life, and our daily chanting session provides us an opportunity to increase our awareness and dependence on Krishna.
If we find it difficult to offer heart-felt prayers of dependence on Krishna, that’s time for honest introspection. Maybe, we have a high estimation of ourselves, and think we are advanced in our Krishna consciousness. And that prevents us from offering sincere prayers with feeling.
Let’s say at our stage, for whatever reasons, it seems difficult to either meditate on our own inadequacies or depend on Krishna for help, still we have hope of chanting well if we can practise the principle of gratitude.
Just reflecting a few minutes daily on the multitude of gifts that Krishna has mercifully bestowed upon us would make our heart soft. And chanting would then surely become a happy experience.
Basically we need to feel love for Krishna and also feel loved by Him through our devotional practises. And only then our sadhana can be a happy experience, and we’d eagerly look forward for our daily appointment with Krishna during our japa period.
Otherwise our devotional practises would appear to be a burden.
Therefore let’s somehow search for some feeling-inadequacy, dependence or gratitude- and that will lead to a sense of shelter. Love for Krishna will certainly follow soon because Love is a special gift that Krishna mercifully bestows upon a soul when He is pleased by our sincere efforts.
Queen Kunti teaches us how to feel dependent on Krishna:
“As the name and fame of a particular body is finished with the disappearance of the living spirit, similarly if You do not look upon us, all our fame and activities, along with the Pandavas and Yadus, will end at once. O Gadhadhara [Krishna], our kingdom is now being marked by the impressions of Your feet, and therefore it appears beautiful. But when You leave, it will no longer be so. All these cities and villages are flourishing in all respects because the herbs and grains are in abundance, the trees are full of fruits, the rivers are flowing, the hills are full of minerals and the oceans full of wealth. And this is all due to Your glancing over them.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.38-40)