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What keeps us steady in our spiritual practice?

What keeps us steady in our spiritual practice?

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”
– Samuel Johnson

Once in Melbourne, a man expressed doubt to Srila Prabhupada that he
comes occasionally to the temple. Could he still make spiritual
advancement?

Srila Prabhupada’s endearing answer is hope-giving to all spiritual
practitioners. He said if one continued to consistently visit the
temple, his spiritual credits would gradually increase and add up to
form a tangible service. He gave an example to illustrate this point.
“If you deposit one cent daily on your bank account, one day you would
have hundred dollars. Then you can purchase what you want.” His logic
was: if one added spiritual activities daily, even though they are not
herculean in nature, still they would eventually give us a hundred
dollars’ worth of spiritual credits. Srila Prabhupada said
emphatically, “With the addition of spiritual wealth, you can then
purchase Krishna and you can play with Krishna.”

One challenge that prevents us from making daily spiritual deposits is
doubt. We wonder if the process would really work. Sometimes we agree
that Krishna is definitely attractive but the sacrifice that I have to
make to get Krishna seems overwhelming. We also doubt ourselves. “I
have faith in Krishna, but not sure about myself.”

Well, this is also a lack of faith in Krishna’s ability. We doubt if
Krishna can perform magic and change our hearts.

Therefore it’s imperative for a spiritual practitioner (sadhaka) to
seek a higher taste in Krishna consciousness. It’s this taste that
helps us make a sacrifice in our lives. When we lack taste, everything
in our spiritual life seems to be a drag and a dry struggle.

Sincere devotees who have taste in hearing and chanting of Krishna’s
Holy Names feel the Lord’s presence in their lives. Many Christians I
met would tell me that they lament when they pray because they feel
they are so far from the Lord. But a Krishna’s devotee has an opposite
experience: whenever he or she prays to Krishna, they feel closer to
God. Therefore it’s important that we pray in a mood to feel the
presence of God in our lives.

The only reason we fail to experience Krishna in our lives is that our
slippery mind- that’s dicier than the bar of soap on your bathroom
floor that you try to pick- refuses to stay connected to the Lord.
Therefore a sincere chanter of Krishna’s Holy Names doesn’t try to
control the mind; he just listens to the maha-mantra. Nothing else can
help us control the mind. The mind may trick us during our prayer
sessions to either sleep, eat, check WhatsApp or emails or Facebook,
etc, but we need to remember not to fight with the mind.

Just hear the Holy Names and appreciate the fact that Krishna is
present as Holy Names.

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