CHANGES IN THE DEVOTIONAL PRACTICES (SADHANAS) FOR GENUINE REASONS – COMPLETE GUIDE!
A woman devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
hare Krishna prabhuji.. by krishna’s grace I am a mother of baby who is recently born. My question is 1. since nowdays I can’t participate in krishna’s services offerings due to contaminated hands body, how should I serve krishna? 2. is chanting enough if I could not serve Krishna? 3. as a mother I feel My baby always catch evil eye effects..please tell me how to remove evil eye effects from my baby.. prabhuji every night my baby cries terribly and doesn’t sleep. whenever we take out of home, that night is very terrible for baby..please tell me what can i do for evil eye..its very urgent. i beg u to please reply asap.
The devotional rules are like open source software.
An open source software is the one that allows the programmers to access the codes and make changes in it according to their local needs.
For example, for the Android Operating system that is an open source software, there are modified versions. Similarly, there are modded (modified) versions of What’sApp.
In an open source software, the programmers can’t change the basic function of the program. They can make addition of features, changes in the way it functions, etc.
Similarly, the recommendations for following the devotional practices too can be modified according to the local situation in which the devotee lives.
However, they can’t skip or reduce the recommendations. They can just change the timing in which they follow the devotional practices.
Let us see some examples for better understanding:
(1) DEVOTEES WORKING IN SHIFT JOBS
For the devotees who have rotating shift jobs, they have to work in three shifts in rotation every week or fortnight. This week first shift between 6am and 2pm. To attend the job at 6am, they have to leave the home at or before 5am. So, we can’t insist them to follow chanting, offering, aratis, etc in the morning time. So, they can do them in the evening. Nothing wrong in it.
For the second shift between 2pm and 10pm, they have to attend the job in the afternoon. So, they can follow chanting, offering, arati, etc in the morning. However, we can’t expect them to wake up at 4am or 5am because they will return home only in the late night. So, they can wake up at 6 or 6.30 and perform all the devotional practices. They have to skip Sandhya arati. Not wrong.
For the night shift employees, they have to wake up at night and return home only by 7am or beyond. So, they can perform devotional practices only after 7am and they have to sleep atleast for 5 hrs in the day time. They can fix a time for their devotional practices according to their time availability. They can skip mangal arati too and do Sandhya arati.
For regular day shift employees they will attend the job between 9 or 10aam and 6 or 7pm. They can follow early morning performances as recommended.
Thus, they can alter their timing of performing the devotional practices. No one should find fault in it and Krishna will definitely accept their offerings and practices. Not even one percent doubt in it.
(2) DEVOTEES WORKING IN TOURING JOBS
Those who have to follow devotion while working in touring jobs, can’t follow devotional practices perfectly in time because they will travel to different places and hence they have to leave and return home in different timings. So, they too can follow devotional practices whenever they are at home. However, chanting alone can be done even in the places where they have visited or even while travelling by train or bus. Don’t chant while driving.
(3) DEVOTEES DOING BUSINESS/ ADMINISTRATION
For the devotees who are doing their own business or for those who are in administrative positions, they may have to attend the meetings or seminars or any other important extra assignments now and then. They too can change their schedule of devotional practices in the time in which they are available at home.
(4) MOTHER OF SMALL CHILDREN
The mother of a new born child or small child of upto 4 years can’t follow the devotional practices perfectly in time every day. One of my neighbour has a two years old male child who is always crying. She has got another girl child also last month. Now, she is managing both the children. She takes bath only when both of them are sleeping. It may even be 10am or 12 noon. She can’t spend 15 minutes continuously in the bath room because the children will be at risk. Her husband too has to leave for job at 7am and hence she will be busy in sending her husband for job preparing something for his breakfast/ lunch pack, etc.
So, she can follow devotional practices whenever the child is sleeping. Nothing wrong. Krishna is a very understanding personality and He never finds faults in the activities of the devotees. He recognizes even a small service they do even for five minutes a day.
If the mother had to clean the stool or urine of the child, she can wash the hands with soap and then follow cooking for Krishna, chanting, offering worship, etc.
She can follow the devotional practices whenever she gets some gap between her hectic responsibilities. It is definitely accepted by Krishna with love. No need for worry.
If she is in the prohibited time of one week after the delivery of the child, she need not offer food to Krishna during that period. If possible, her husband may do that, Or, skip offering for one week.
(5) DURING PROHIBITED DAYS
Similarly offering food and worshiping the altar can be skipped during monthly periods, or during the death of any close relative.
However, during these prohibited days, she may chant using counter machine or fingers without using the tulasi mala. And, she may accept the available food after praying to Krishna for cleansing the food from the karma since she could not offer the same to Him.
Chanting is the most important devotional practice (sadhana) for any devotee. Though he/ she skips other practices for any genuine reasons, chanting alone will protect him/ her.
Any devotee in any position/ condition should follow chanting of possible rounds or if initiated, 16 rounds. Other devotional practices can be done in the available time. Skip any practice only if you genuinely have no time on that day.
Chanting and offering food are very important for all the devotees. Chanting is to connect with and please Krishna. Offering is meant to purify us from karma through food and to add the mercy of Krishna through food.
Other devotional practices can be changed according to your genuine pressures of job or domestic condition.
As far as evil eye is concerned, if you chant that can be heard by the child, no evil eye will affect the child. So, chant near her atleast one round when the child is awake. Let him/ her hear the sound vibrations. This will help to keep any negative vibrations away from the child.
Hope this helps.