I feel lonely if I chant in brahma muhurtha time. What to do?
A girl devotee who requested anonymity asked like this:
“hare krishna prabhuji…i just love all your posts. as said by you in a post, i started chanting from 4 am. but, i feel sleepy and lonely coz all others are sleeping and i am chanting. should we compulsorily chant in brahma muhurtha only? is a guru must for chanting? otherwise it is not effective? please guide me. hare krishna”
Nice to know that you are following my advice. It is soothing for me to hear such words from devotees!
Why do you think that you are alone in Brahma Muhurtha time? When you chant Hare Krishna, Krishna instantly comes and starts dancing on your tongue, happily hearing your chanting. So, if you believe and realize that, you will not feel lonely. Do not bother if others are sleeping. They are now ignorant and if you pray for them, they too will one day change on seeing you. In every family of first generation devotees, devotion generally starts from a single person only and spreads to other members. So, continue your good efforts.
Here are some tips for you:
(1) Actually, the Brahma Muhurtha time, ie, 2 hrs before the sun rise is the best time to chant because, during that period, we will be under the control of Satva Guna. So, the best time for chanting is: Between 4-7am.
(2) There are two benefits in chanting in this time: (i) Since you complete the chanting before sunrise, the chanted Maha Manthra will be with you throughout the day and protect you and guide you correctly.
(ii) Another benefit is that you get 2 hours extra to perform your daily works. Thus, waking up early will help you to reduce tension and will give you more time to perform day to day duties.
(3) Waking up early may be difficult for you initially, as the people go to bed very late after completing all the tele-serials and movies and some people are awake even when ghosts start to walk. But, when you practice to get up earlier, your body clock will alter accordingly. It is better to go to bed at around 10-10.30 pm.
4) Six hours of sleep is sufficient for a normal person. Only children need extra sleep.
(5) It is better to complete all the rounds before 7-7.30 in the morning. However, if you find it impossible, you can chant majority of rounds in the early morning and the remaining at any time suitable for you. But, try to finish the rounds that day itself.
(6) Have a policy of chanting a certain rounds like 4 rounds, 8, or 16, according to your situation. If you commit, do that at any cost on that day. If you had to keep a few rounds pending, add them in the next day’s rounds.
(7) If you come to the level of chanting 16 rounds a day, stage by stage, that will be good. One round means 108 times of chanting Hare Krishna Maha Manthra.
(8) Though your mind fluctuates initially, it will become controlled when you develop taste of chanting in due course of time. Your mind will have disturbances ONLY UNTIL you develop taste in chanting. That taste is not man made. It will come naturally in due course of chanting for days, months or years. So, son’t stop chanting just because your mind is diverted. Chant continuously though you chant with offences initially. Everything will be alright in future. Don’t worry.
(9) Your next question: GURU: Yes. You need a guru to guide you in spirituality. However, it is not the initial stage. First, you attend the sathsangha atleast for 1-2 years, chant on your own, read the recommended literatures and then decide about accepting a guru. See, Chanting is independent of guru at initial stage and Lord’s Name itself is originally powerful. So, you need not wait till you get a guru. Start serious chanting now itself. If you like to proceed further in your spiritual practices and like to dedicate yourself seriously to the service of Lord, you will need a guru. A guru is needed to guide us, PURIFY US and thus help us in going towards Lord. OF COURSE, WHEN WE GET THE HARINAM FROM A DIKSHA GURU, OUR DEDICATION IN CHANTING AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH WILL BE REMARKABLY BETTER AND FOCUSED. But, the point is: You need not wait for anything or anyone to start serious chanting.
(10) Don’t rush in selecting guru before becoming sincere in devotion. First improve yourself in the basics of devotion. Then decide about it. If you sincerely pray to Krishna , He will show you a good guru.
(11) You may visit the nearest ISKCON center and attend sathsangha every week. Attend the Sunday programs regularly. If you don’t have main ISKCON cener in your town, there will be small Namahatta centres in every small town. Attend them. First chant and silently observe what other devotees do. Consult the temple/ center authority there and Get his advice. After that, decide ON YOUR OWN without any pressures.
(12) First Read Srila Prabhupada’s Small books + Bhagavad Gita As It is and then read Srimad Bhagavatham in sequence from the first canto to twelveth canto.
These readings will guide you giving sufficient spiritual maturity to decide how and when to get a guru.
All the best.