Daily Practice

— { Arati } —

 

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto, mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam, atmanam mat-parayanah

"Always think of Me, be my devotee, always worship Me and offer obeisances to Me. Thus offering yourself to Me and taking refuge in Me, you will come to Me."

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 9.34)

 

 

"You know that if you plant a seed of some tree, you must then water it, give it some fertiliser, some sun, and so on. Similarly, we must take care of our devotional seed—every day we must come to the arati, join the programme, must get some good association. Good association is necessary for our devotional life. If we do not get good association, then there will be a big problem in our devotional life, so every day we must read some devotional books—Srila Sridhar Maharaj and Srila Guru Maharaj wrote so many books, scriptures, we should read them and know what is written in them. Also, we should sing some songs.

"We must continue our practising life in this way every day. Even if you live in your own house, you can turn your house into an ashram, a temple. What do we do at the temple? We do arati, we have an altar, and you too can have an altar with Srila Guru Maharaj's photograph, or the Deities, and every day do arati, offer worship, and offer whatever food you take to the Deities. We must continue our life in this way."


"We should make our house an ashram: we can have Gurudev's picture, Deities' picture on our altar, every day offer some flower, do mangal arati, chant kirtans. We can do it every day. We do not have so much time, but still we can chant some kirtan, we can plant Tulasi, offer some flowers, some water, we can pay our obeisance. We can do all this every day. This is actually our daily programme, and we should continue in this way, every day."


"Nistha [be fixed]: what I will do, I will do that every day. Everybody does not have that service mood, seva pravritti [desire for, or engagement in service]. 'I am only doing today, next day I am not doing'—this is not devotion, this is emotion."


"How many hours are necessary? Wake up early in the morning, practise, and then go to your work. Every office opens at 10 o'clock, so if somebody does a job, leads a householder life, they can also practise. It is not so hard. Come early in the morning to the mangal arati, sing, then take a bath, and go to work. Is it possible or not? But everything is impossible for those who do not do anything."


"Practice makes perfect. Always do sravan, kirtan, and do not sleep in the daytime. Some devotees stay up until 12 o'clock, until 2-3 o'clock at night, gossiping, working, and after that they sleep until 9 o'clock. This is not good for the devotional life. You must wake up from the bed before sunrise. All our Guru-varga—Bhakti Vinod Thakur, Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj, Srila Prabhupad, our Gurudev, Param Gurudev—everybody goes to sleep early in the evening and wake up at 3-4 o'clock, at 2:30 a.m. You must follow their example."


"If Krishna calls, I am going, but those who are sleeping will sleep through the whole of their life. They will not be able to get there—they will come and go and will always sleep. It is a big problem. Morning arati is called mangal arati. What does 'mangal' mean? 'Mangal' means good fortune, prosperity, benefit, auspicious. If you do not wake up at mangal arati, auspiciousness is ruined for you."


"Do you know what the devotees do here in India? I have seen it many times—when they do Tulasi parikrama they put a clay pot with Tulasi in the centre and put some books there. Maybe fifteen years ago, when I went to some house and saw it, I asked them, "Why do you put the books there?" They told me, "Maharaj, in the books there is a photo of the Nabadwip temple, so every day we do the parikrama of Nabadwip Dham." What a good conception! What a good heart! They cannot take Govinda Kunda to their house, but the photo is there, the temple photo is there in the books, and every day they do the parikrama.

"So, to maintain your spiritual life means to practise and do everything properly—just as when you live in a temple, start the day from the mangal arati, have the morning class, and by 7 o'clock you are done."


"Even if you live outside the temple, in householder life, it is not a problem, but you must maintain your spiritual life properly. How? You must think your house is not your house, it is Krishna's house, Krishna's property. When you cook something, offer it to Krishna, do arati for Krishna, and so on. You stayed in the temple for a few days and you saw what the temple life is like, and you can practise in the same way at home. When you cook, chant, 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.' You must chant when you cook, you must sing, 'Sri-guru-charana-padma kevala bhakati-sadma', 'Ohe Vaisnava Thakura dayara sagara', 'Nitai-pada kamala.' When you cook in the morning, you can also sing, 'Samsara-davanala-lidha-loka.' For example, in the morning when I go to bath, I put water in the bucket and sing this song 'Samsara-davanala-lidha-loka.'

"Practise singing songs in this way, then your mind will be good—your mind, your heart and everything else will go to the Lord Himself, and you will get pleasure, pleasure and more pleasure, you will be happy. Try to do this and tell me what result you get in a month."


"When you get time, read Gurudev's books. If you think, "I am not getting any taste when I read the books," then you can understand that inside you, in your heart, there is an aparadher bij (a seed of sin). You must understand these things, this is important.

"If you want to do something out of emot