11 Tips for starting and managing Krishna Consciousness for starters!
A Woman devotee asked like this:
“Haribol prabhu ji..i would like learn more on KC..i often read ur post counselling great as well..just i would like to know more on hw new devotees could prepare or should do before and after joining KC and my second question is the maha mantra is chantable in any time especially fr women because i do understood sm thgs are nt practicable in certain time,days and so on…would appreciate if u could clarify ths..hare krshna..”
Actually, Krishna Consciousness is already there in you as athma in its original position is oriented towards Krishna. Because we have forgotten our real position and involve in material activities, we are unable to realize Krishna Consciousness present wthin us.
Srila prabhupada recommended some saadhanas (devotional practices) to bring out our Krishna Consciousness. Let us see here the 11 Tips for starting and managing Krishna Consciousness for starters:
(1) First requirement is our willingness to become Krishna Consciousness. Not just casual desire. But, serious desire. This will take us to learn more.
(12 RULES OF TAKING BATH FOR THE DEVOTEES! READ HERE!)
(2) Next, the first and foremost practice is to chant Hare Krishna Maha Manthra. Hare Krishna Maha Manthra is not different from Krishna Himself. In kaliyuga, Krishna lives in His Name. So, when we regularly chant Hare Krishna Maha Manthra, our original Krishna Consciousness is brought out. If we are careful in not allowing long gap in chanting and if we chant regularly every day, it will protect us from forgetting our real position again. So, as a saadhana, it must be done DAILY, not irregularly.
(3) You have asked about time of chanting. It is better to chant atleast a few rounds in the early morning. If you chant 4 rounds daily, chant all the four rounds in the early morning, ie, before sunrise as our mind will be in an adoptable state at that time. If you chant 8 or 12 or 16 rounds, try to chant as much as possible in the early morning. If you have pending rounds, you can chant whenever you can in the day time. No problem. However, commit how many rounds you have to chant every day and plan accordingly. After starting, try to increase the number of rounds monthly or quarterly or in your convenient intervals.
(4) You can chant the remaining rounds while you get gap in your official / family duties or studies. However, chant with concentration and focus. Do not chant thinking of material things or with worries. Sincere chanting gives better results in going close to Krishna.
(Compulsory Rituals for Busy Krishna Devotees that should never be avoided! READ HERE!)
(5) After finishing the committed number of chanting, utter the names of Krishna while performing your day to day activities. This will keep you always in the thoughts of Lord and also will not affect your studies or work. However, if your job needs more focus, like software developing or operating machines that involve risk of committing mistakes, concentrate in work single mindedly. Plan according to your situation. Attend the class in school/ college single mindedly. Think of Krishna in intervals.
(6) In addition to chanting, you should have some friends who are sincerely involved in Krishna Consciousness. Because, your mind will be prevented from diversions as you will be talking about Lord only with those sincere friends. Reduce thye friendship of material friends unless it is needed for your job and do not discuss with them about mindane things. Just speak to them related to studies or work. Enough.
(7) Next, start to honour (eat) only the food offered to Krishna as His prasadam. This will definitely purify your consciousness and will keep your senses under control as we offer only satvic foods to Krishna without inducing ingredients.
(8) Another important thing is READING about Krishna. There are plenty of books and speeches written/ spoken by acharyas like Srila Prabhupada. Read them. This must be a regular practice that must be done atleast for half an hour daily. This will will increase your faith in Krishna Consciousness and will purify your consciousness and your senses.
(HOW TO MANAGE DAILY RITUALS AND READING FOR KRISHNA? READ HERE!)
(9) Offer worship with aratis to Krishna every day. This will increase your love and dedication to Krishna.
(10) Follow some simple penances like fasting for ekadasi and a few imporatnt festivals. This will keep your body and mind in control and your dedication to Krishna will increase.
(11) Visit the nearby Krishna Temples like ISKCON temples and Vishnu temples on sundays and if possible daily. Attend Mangal aratis or sandhya aratis and kirtans whenever you get time or make your time available for them.
That’s all. If you follow these 11 Tips for starting and managing Krishna Consciousness for starters, you will feel that you are reformed from material consciousness into Krishna Consciousness in due course of time, say, in a year or two.
You can follow these rules whatever your position be. You can follow them without affecting your scheduled works also.
Best wishes for the blissful Krishna Consciousness experience.
(How do I manage my career/personal life as a devotee? READ HERE!)