Compulsory Rituals for Busy Krishna Devotees that should never be avoided!
I had a query about the daily rituals for busily working or studying Krishna devotees! Hence this Post.
This advice is only for those devotees who have not taken initiation or diksha from a spiritual master. In case a devotee is initiated, he/ she has to follow what his guru instructs according to his situation.
And, changes or relaxations are not possible for initiated devotees because they take initiation only after ascertaining that they can follow the fixed rituals throughout their life.
(How to take Diksha (Initiation) and become a disciple of a guru (spiritual master) in ISKCON? READ HERE!)
They also promise in front of Agni to follow the rituals meant for initiated devotees. So, it will be offensive for me to interfere in the rights of gurus who expect a certain standard from their disciples.
The initiated devotees should compulsorily do the following rituals:
(1) Chanting hare Krishna 16 rounds a day.
(2) Following Four Regulative Principles.
(3) Offering Food to Krishna.
(4) Mangal Arati – atleast in a simple way before sun rise. If possible, Sandhya Arati also.
(5) Ekadasi fasts.
(6) Avoiding Onion and Garlic.
(7) Reciting their Guru Pranama Manthra before all the above rituals.
(8) Attending all the festivals in the temple as well as in their home.
(9) Fulfilling what your guru instructs you to do as a service to Guru and Krishna either in person or from your place itself.
(10) Visiting Pilgrimages regularly (Optional, but recommended)
If a devotee feels that he will not be able to properly perform the above rituals and rules, he should postpone taking diksha (initiation) till he feels really possible. Taking out of emotions or seeing others may lead to make you violate the instructions of spiritual master. So, evaluate your situation well before trying for diksha.
(RITVIK INITIATION (DIKSHA) AND LIVING GURU INITIATION – DIFFERENCES! READ HERE! )
This post is intended to encourage the studying or working NON-INITIATED devotees to take up and remain in touch with Krishna Consciousness though they are very busy in their schedule.
Whether you are Ambani who is the busiest or Beggar who has only the free time, TWO things are compulsory TO SAY THAT YOU ARE A KRISHNA DEVOTEE.
(Who is called Krishna Conscious? Is it possible for sinners? How? READ HERE!)
(1) Chanting Hare Krishna Maha Manthra atleast a single round a day or more than that depending on your available time.
(2) Following Four Regulative Principles – No meat, No Gambling, No Intoxication and No Illicit Relations.
(3) Additionally, he can offer food to Krishna as instructed in this Post of our site ( COMPLETE PROCEDURE OF OFFERING FOOD TO KRISHNA! ). This takes Just five minutes.
(4) Additionally, he can follow simple five minutes worship to Krishna.
If a devotee does not follow ATLEAST the above First two recommendations, he / she is not at all a sincere devotee.
(How do I manage my career/personal life as a devotee? READ HERE!)
A devotee should be packed with discipline. So, Regulative Principles are also very important in addition to chanting.
For those who are working in Information Technology or Other firms or own business that expect a staff to leave the office only after finishing a task though it is late night, they should follow ateast 1/2/3/4 rounds of chanting in the morning before they go to job.
Regulative Principles should always be with them 24x7x365.
If a very busy devotee is doing the above two, he is recognized as a devotee. He can say himself a devotee.
If he offers food to Krishna that takes just 5 minutes, that is very good. But, I have left that from compulsory list because some persons may not be able to prepare at home and offer food to Krishna because their family condition or his residence may not be suitable to cook and offer.
However they too can follow offering to Krishna as per the tips given in THIS POST of our site: HOW TO OFFER FOOD IN ALL PLACES LIKE HOSTELS, HOTELS, RELATIVE HOUSES, TRAVEL, ETC?
In case, his office starts at 10 Am, but, ends uncertainly in the evening and he has more time in the morning, he should make use of that morning 4 hrs after waking up. Wake up daily at 5 am and chant atleast 6 rounds after washing the hands and face. After doing the morning body maintenance activities, do some simple worship at home for just five minutes.
Throughout the day, he can hold a book on Krishna, written by Srila Prabhupada and read it whenever he gets some gap. He can use even smartphones or tablets or laptops to read his books in e-form. Thus, he can simultaneously manage reading about Krishna.
(Why should we read the scriptures? Is chanting alone not sufficient? READ HERE!)
These basic followings are enough for busiest Non Initiated Devotees – ie, chanting, regulative principles, offering food, simple worship.
Perform Aratis if you have sufficient time in the morning and / or evening.
If a devotee has time only in the morning, he can perform ONLY the Mangal Arati before sun rise though he is a non initiated devotee. If he has time only in the evening, he may perform ONLY the Sandhya Arati at around 7 PM.
I will post the Arati Manthras for two daily aratis in the next part of this Post. If possible, you can follow the manthras given there!
(What are the devotional practices to be done even without taking bath? READ HERE! )