How can a student excel in devotion and studies simultaneously?
A Girl Devotee asked like this:
“Hare Krsna Prabhuji. I’m worried. How to balance between material life and spiritual life? As a student I am expected to study, know all the current affairs, prepare for difficult exams. For all this it takes a lot of time. Then if my mind is engaged only on studying, getting a degree and getting a job. How can I advance in spiritual life? Moreover I’m not interested in knowing about the current affairs and all the material activities as I feel I won’t have time for Krsna and anyway this is a temporary world. And our ultimate goal should be Krsna then what is use in engaging ourselves in these material activities? Please help me Prabhuji. I’ want to balance this. Hare Krsna”
Let me give some consolidated points here for the benefit of all on balancing devotion and studies:
First, list out what are the ESSENTIAL assignments one has to do in his every stage of life. I like to list these essential duties here that has to be followed by all without fail:
First and most essential duty is bringing Krishna and retaining Him in your every day life. To keep Krishna always with you, you need not go to Goloka, but, you can make your house and body as Goloka. How?
By always keeping your consciousness dominated by Krishna. Does this mean, you should skip all duties but think of Krishna alone?
(Is targeting both Krishna and studies to be a top ranker wrong? READ HERE!)
No. If you hear a devotional song or movie song, have you noted one aspect? The singer sings the lyrics. In addition to that, you can hear the background music also. The music is heard in the background only without affecting the performance of the singer’s lyrics. In fact, the music makes the song sweet and impressive. WIthout the background music, the lyrics will not bebthat much sweet. Thus, music enhances the song’s impressiveness.
Similarly, you should do all your household duties. This is like lyrics. If a kirtan of Krishna is singing in the audio player or music box in the house in a mild tone, you will do all duties hearing that mild kirtan in the background. Thus, you can do works thinking of Krishna in mind.
In case you are working in office or studying in college/ school, you can not hear audio. If you hear through earphones, it will affect the work or studies. The music should be in background only. So, in such situations, you can think of Krishna in mind and do the work. Whenever you get 5-10 minutes gap, you can chant using a small counter machine. Then, again work/ class. During lunch, one or two rounds of chanting. Again class/work. Thus, you can chant even 8 rounds during gaps. Thus, you can always keep Krishna in mind and also finish your duties.
(READ HERE THESE 15 tips to avoid loss of interest in studies and life because of devotion!)
Best idea, isn’t it? In my home, I always hear Srila Prabhupada’s kirtans in mild voice through wall mounting music box. Thus, I get a feel that S.P is also with me . When I chant in home, S.P will also be chanting or singing in the background in the music box in a mild voice. So, I avoid divertions.
Even while I am typing this counselling, I am thinking of Krishna. Even if it is a sex/ love related counselling, I keep Krishna in mind because, Krishna helps me to help an innocent devotee who is struggling between love/ sex and devotion. You too can do any permissible duty as a service to Lord. Thus, our life itself becomes a service to Lord. Am I right?
You should never skip essential daily routines for Krishna, but, do for Krishna. Cook for Krishna, offer Him and then honour. Bath for Krishna because Krishna is residing within your body also. Study for Krishna because Krishna has given you brain and intelligence. Attend interviews for Krishna because only if you earn well, you can help the preachings and struggling devotees and temples. If you do not earn, you will have to be a burden your parents and you can not do any help to the devotional services monetarily. Unless common people do not support, temples and devotional practices can not function. So, all must be done as a service to Lord.
(HOW TO SERVE KRISHNA WITHOUT AFFECTING STUDIES? 25 VERY PRACTICAL TIPS! READ HERE!)
Do sex as Krishna’s service. How? Krishna has given birth to about 400 crore females and 400 crore males equally because everyone will get their share of a spouse. Marry a boy selecting based on your nature and life style and have sex with him to produce good children and also make them devotees. Thus, you are giving one more devotee to Lord. Do not use sex for sense pleasures. Use it for progeny and also when you are very much disturbed. Follow Krishna conscious life and do daily services to Lord ALONG WITH husband. Marry a devotee or make him a devotee after marriage by impressing him with your dedicated devotional following. Thus, you can use even sex in the service to Lord.
Also do necessary helps to your parents in cooking, cleaning etc. If they are sick, help them in bed. Do not escape. While taking care of them, cleaning, cooking, etc, chant within mind.
(Does more involvement in devotion affect the studies? READ HERE!)
Finish atleast 8 rounds of chanting in the early morning itself by waking up atleast by 5 AM. Complete remaining rounds in between studies or work. This early morning 8 rounds and other rounds during intervals will protect you from maya throughout the day and will keep you Krishna Conscious.
Always associate in colleges/ offices, only with the devotees, or, with those who encourage your devotional practices, or atleast with those who do not discourage them. If anyone discourages you, stop them with just a HAI or HELLO. This will keep you always in spirit.
Do not read too much of news papers/ magazines. Just view the Half an hour news bullettin in a good TV channel daily and read just a single news paper that is not publishing vulger items so that you can update yourself with the change of trends of this society and world.
Visit your nearest Krishna temple every week and get recharged with lectures and kirtans.
Thats all. What is the problem for you in doing these things? If you live like this, you will be successful in both spiritual and material duties. In fact, you would have changed all your material duties as spiritual. Now, you can balance your devotion and studies
Wonderful. Isn’t it?
(Should I send my children to the Gurukuls to protect his devotion? READ HERE!)