Unable to do daily worship and sadhanas? How to manage them?
A devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
Hk prabhu… Prabhu,can you please tell me, how you manage your daily routines along with 16 rounds chanting. During Mangala and Sandhya arathi what all you chant n recite. I really want to do read bhagavatham,but since all the slokas have big big purports,I am unable to sit down n take lot of time to read it as I have kids n m working also…..how should I read it daily without any other distractions
Since you have asked, I like to write some of my devotional practices that will help you to follow if they are unable to do daily worship and sadhanas. I am now becoming a full time devotee, but earlier, I was a working guy following devotion. So, my tips may be helpful to most of you.
First of all, I HAVE PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE WITH ALL SECTIONS OF THE PEOPLE THAT MAKES ME WRITE AND GUIDE OTHERS. The devotees like me mingle with this society and hence we can guide others practically. That is the difference.
(Compulsory Rituals for Busy Krishna Devotees that should never be avoided! READ HERE!)
After coming to Krishna consciousness and reading and associating with the sincere devotees, most of my negatives started to come down. Being a brahmin by birth, I had no difficulty in following four regulative principles as such advice are already given for brahmanas when we take initiation in our brahmin community and wearing mangal thread around the chest and waist. As I had been already initiated as a brahmana in my young age and was chanting Gayathri Manthra even before coming to ISKCON, the introduction of Hare Krishna Maha Manthra became enjoyable for me as chanting was not new for vedic brahmanas by birth like me as we used to chant Gayathri daily.
The Lord had given me a birth in a good vedic brahmana family in the traditional Adhi Shankara’s Sampradhaya and He also introduced the books and devotees of Srila Prabhupada’s movement that follows Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradhaya. These two boons are really a gift from the Lord. Before getting introduced to ISKCON, I was the admirer of only Sri Chandrasekarendra Swami Sankaracharya of Sri Kanchipuram Sankara Mutt near Chennai and I had read more than 10,000 pages of his writings. Then, Srila Prabhupada also started to admire me as his books made me realize the real purpose of life and motivated me to work and live for Krishna. In my analysis, these two acharyas alone have created more impact in my mind though I am coming across so many spiritual personalities. Because these two acharyas have lived a PURE LIFE beyond any doubts. No one can find any fault with any of these two acharyas.
So, I started to follow the advice of Srila Prabhupada from my heart.
(How to balance my devotional practices during exam preparations? READ HERE!)
Srila Prabhupada’s major three recommendations such as Chanting, four Regulative Principles and Prasadam made me to gradually lose interest in the materialistic way of life and I surrendered my ego to Krishna.
I then decided to dedicate my life for Krishna’s service. I am earning for my living and for serving the lord comfortably, and I am following daily worship and sadhanas.
Firstly, I have never missed offering food to Lord even in the busiest day that will try to make me unable to do daily worship and sadhanas. In spite of the compelling situations, I allot time for the sadhanas and chanting because it is compulsory for the devotees. I showed the same involvement in caring to Krishna even when I had more than Rs.24 lakhs of loans and even now when I am financially ok. Even when my mother and brother died in the past, I stopped offering food to Krishna just for one day till their body were taken. After that, I again started to offer. All 365 days, I am offering bhoga (food) to the Lord. If on any day, I am unable to offer food, I offer fruits to Krishna instead. I feel that Krishna will be expecting food from me daily and I can not disappoint my beloved Krishna.
(COMPLETE PROCEDURE TO BATHE & CARE THE DEITIES OF KRISHNA / BABY KRISHNA/ BAL GOPAL AT HOME! READ HERE!)
Even when I go to outstation trips, I keep a closed vessel with dried fruits in front of Krishna and request Him: “Krishna, this is your food for tomorrow. Take it only tomorrow, not today. Today’s food is already over for you. OK? . I will come back the day after tomorrow and offer cooked food again.”.
This is the kind of my loving personal relation with Krishna. Let the rules be somewhere else. When there is love, we will automatically forget all the rules of Vidhi bakthi. This is what happened in the case of Gopis. I never disappoint Him as He is eager to see us loving Him.
I also offer food daily to crows as per my sampradhaya by birth. Though we are unable to help other people, offering food to crows means helping atleast those birds to eat. As crows are the representatives of our ancestors, satturn and yama, our ancestors are also get pleased and blessed.
(Why should we do just the rituals with impure heart? Why can’t we follow purity of heart instead of rituals? READ HERE!)
ARE CROWS THE REAL REPRESENTATIVES OF OUR ANCESTORS? MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE CROWS:
When my mother was alive, only my father had been dead. Therefore, I offered a quantum of food for crows. Every day, the crows would eat 75% of the food offered by me and left 25% uneaten that was beyond their capacity. That means, only my father was eating the food through the crows.
But, after my mother died, from the next day itself, all the food was consumed by the crows and not even a single grain was left out every day. Why? Because, the crows started to eat foods for my mother too from that day, ie, after the death of my mother.
This makes me wonder seeing the facts behind offering food to crows who eat for our ancestors.
(Professional life Vs Devotional practices – How to balance the both? READ HERE!)
HOW DO I MANAGE MY DAILY RITUALS?
I wake up at 4.30 am. Brushing and washing face, hands, etc I chant a few rounds (8-10) in the early morning and complete the remaining rounds whenever I get gap in my duties in the afternoon or evening. I chanted even on the day of death of my brother and mother sitting near the body using counting machine as tulasi mala should not be used on such days of deaths.
After that, I take bath at 7Am and make preparations for morning puja.
Since I wake up earlier, I have sufficient time to offer bhoga to Krishna everyday sharply at a particular time at around 8 AM.
I do not use vigrahas (idols) since it needs utmost care. I use only the Pictures of Lord and His different forms/ avatars in my altar.
I offer arati every morning at around 07.45 AM, ie, before offering food. and the songs have been given in my other posts in detail with meaning also.
(How to follow Krishna Consciousness in an irresponsible family? READ HERE!)
You asked about reading Srimad Bhagavatham. I read Srimad Bhagavatham atleast 3-4 pages every day in the evening after coming back from outside works or before going to bed. Since Bhagavatham can not be completed in a single go, if you read it 3-4 pages every day, one fine day, you would have completed it. Thus, I easily completed it.
I offer a simple arati in the evening at around 7.30 PM. After that, Evening bhoga is offered at around 07.45 PM. Before going to bed, I chant a single round of Hari nam. The time of going to bed is unable to be fixed by me and it depends on the available works. Some times, I have worked even till 1AM. Usually, I go to bed at around 10.30-10.45.
I clean the pictures using wet cloth once a fortnight and I offer flowers to Krishna during celebrations.
I observe Ekadasi partial fasting only during ekadasis because I have been advised by the doctors not to follow full fasting.
I have filled my home with the pictures and vibration of Krishna. So, I feel as if I am in a temple even when I am in any work.
I am leading the simplest life style purposefully to avoid becoming a victim of maya. I do not use any own vehicles though I am able to purchase. I always travel by public transport because I can chant and read spiritual books while travel as I need not drive. Though I can use Air conditioners, I have not installed them in my home because I want to live with the natural conditions provided by the Lord for us in this planet. I just use fans that gives natural air and is not harmful for the climate. I always evaluate myself from time to time whether I am deviating from simplicity.
(PERFORMING ARATI TO KRISHNA AT HOME – COMPLETE STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE! READ HERE!)
I never keep anything that is not compulsory to live. I avoid eating in hotels. I do not give much importance in the wrong belief that outer appearance is compulsory to go back to Krishna. I wear whichever dress is decent hiding the whole body and comfortable to perform my duties, but, I give much importance for change within my heart. So, I always have a check on my inner qualities, not mere outer look. If pant is convenient for me in some places, I wear that comfortably. Wherever necessary, I wear dhoties. Eg: in temples. Any decent clothes are welcome according to the climate existing in your country. But, if you directly serve in temples, dress codes are definitely compulsory. No excuses in that.
Thus, when we sincerely involve in Krishna consciousness, our character and conduct start to change automatically. This is what happened in my case also. My weaknesses are becoming my strengths because of Krishna. Everything is happening naturally and gradually. All I do is – just being sincere and loving service to Krishna. I am serving the Lord as a simple person. He only is giving me strength and knowledge to serve all of you.
Now, since my age is advancing day by day, I AM MAKING PREACHING AS MY FULL TIME CAREER. That is why, I started these sites. However, since I need to earn something to live and to run these sites, I accept any donations from others, do horoscope service and I have added ads in our sites. The small earnings that I get, may support the sites.
Do not worry if you are unable to do daily worship and sadhanas. Review your daily activities. Plan well and allot just abut 2 hours for Krishna every day. You can finish your daily worship and sadhanas with proper planning.
I have written some of my ways of practices, just to encourage you in devotion as asked by you if you are unable to do daily worship and sadhanas.
All the best.
(Are Rituals alone sufficient to go Back to Godhead / Krishna / Vaikunta / Goloka? READ HERE!)