“I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the Holy Name of Krishna.”
– Srila Prabhupada, on board the ship Jaladuta, Commonwealth Pier, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (dated 18th of September, 1965)
Two sincere spiritual practitioners – Rama dasa and Krishna dasa (names changed) are chanting Hare Krishna for the last twenty plus years. Please read their situations carefully, and consider which one of them you could relate to in your own personal life.
Both of them rise early and have a desire to chant purely. They try their best to balance their various responsibilities and give top priority to chanting their fixed number of rounds that takes almost two hours daily. Besides, both have a stable family life and are doing well professionally. Externally, you don’t find much difference in their devotional mood and lifestyle.
Yet, on closer interactions with them, you notice some dissimilarities.
Rama dasa ensures he rises early each morning and completes his sixteen rounds before he leaves his house; in fact most of the days, by 7.00 am he has done his japa. Krishna dasa on the other hand has a tricky job situation that requires him to talk to his American and Canadian clients late night, and consequently he retires late at night, and wakes up later than others. He ensures that he completes his rounds daily, but sometimes that happens by 9.00 pm. He often regrets that he isn’t as sincere as Rama dasa.
On further interactions you discover something interesting about their motivation to chant.
Rama dasa is keen to complete his rounds because he has experienced that his consciousness is peaceful when he finishes his japa early morning, and as a result he can work effectively in office, and also negotiate better with his clients. Besides, he is able to keep his relationships healthy and he thinks his morning chanting is helping him manage his life better. Although he spends time with his family, and does his office work diligently, yet chanting remains his number one priority in life – everything else follows after he has done his rounds. After all, chanting gives him rich rewards in life.
Krishna dasa has a different paradigm: he considers chanting as his reward! He first does breathing exercises, spends time with his kids, checks his important e- mails, and then chants around eight to ten rounds. Later in the afternoon, he spends time with his wife and both of them chant around four rounds together. The remaining rounds he completes by evening. This has been a trend for many years now. And Krishna dasa secretly confessed to you that he is quite happy with his schedule, and although he knows it’s ideal to chant early morning, he feels he’s making the best use of a bad bargain. Considering the deal he has struck in life, this is the best he is able to offer Krishna, and he is grateful and happy about it.
Recently you made another startling discovery. Rama dasa told you that he feels relief after he completes his sixteen rounds first thing in the morning. He is then free to carry out all the important responsibilities he has in his life. Krishna dasa also has similar duties but he doesn’t seek relief from chanting…
How is Krishna dasa different in his approach to chanting Hare Krishna?
To be continued….