TIPS ON PERMISSIBLE ADJUSTMENTS IN SERVING KRISHNA DURING OUR AILMENTS!
Roshini Dubey asked like this:
“Hare Krishna Anna, Today when I read in post that you are not well so I was thinking that how do Anna manage , I mean as you live alone at your home then how do you maintain your devotional practices ? If we are ill then can we skip or change our schedule? Actually though i never ask Krishna for anything but then too when I become ill I pray for recovery because when I am ill then I don’t feel good because my schedule changes and Daily I serve my Krishna like a King but when I become ill my mother in law don’t serve him like King . she only offer as per her convenience and only when her regular devotional practices are over.”
First of all, I like to tell the very first setof facts:
DOES KRISHNA PUNISH A DEVOTEE FOR DEFECTS IN DEVOTIONAL SERVICE?
(1) Krishna never punishes us if we are unable to do any service on any day.
(2) Krishna never punishes if we are unable to offer food any day.
(3) Krishna never punishes if we do not chant any day.
(4) Krishna is not a policeman to note our omissions.
(5) The devotional rules are purely optional for those who like to purify themselves and go back to Krishna.
(6) Krishna is the BEST FRIEND WHO WILL UNDERSTAND OUR PROBLEMS MORE THAN ANYONE.
(7) Krishna is not far away from us. He has situated Himself as Paramathma within our hearts. So, he is the closest person for us to understand our pains.
(8) Have you ever read any incident or story in which Krishna or Vishnu have punished their devotees for having omitted any sadhana (practice) any day? Never.
(9) Satva Guna persons never punishes others. They just forget what happened, but, appreciates whatever we do for them. If this is the case even for the people in satva guna, Krishna is beyond even that satva guna. How will He punish you? It is not Krishna’s quality.
(10) However, our offenses in material activties are taken care by the Karma Network. Krishna does not involve in that too directly.
THE ONLY OFFENSE THAT KRISHNA NEVER FORGIVES
(1) The ONLY CASE in which Krishna acts against any person is only if His devotee is offended by that person. He never forgives Vaishnava offense. He leaves the matter of forgiving the offender to the affected Vaishnava himself. He does not punish for any other defects in the DEVOTIONAL SERVICE.
(2) So, DO NOT ALLOW VIOLATIONS IN RESPECTING THE FELLOW DEVOTEES, SENIOR DEVOTEES, GURUS, ACHARYAS, ETC.
(3) REMEMBER, THIS IS APPLICABLE TO THE OFFENSES AGAINST THE GURUS/ ACHARYAS OF OTHER SAMPRADHAYAS, PATHS ALSO. BECAUSE THEY TOO MAY BE IN THE GOOD BOOK OF KRISHNA.
(4) Not only these devotees/vaishnavas/gurus/acharyas, Krishna does not like to see His devotees insulting even a beggar or a dog because of two reasons: (i) They too are the creations of Krishna and (ii)this insulting or neglecting quality is not a symptom of a devotee.
So, if you just avoid offending against any devotees/vaishnavas/gurus/ acharyas and also human beings and other creatures, Krishna will be happy over it.
He forgives other mistakes, omissions, offenses, etc. Not just forgiving, he not even care such mistakes because He knows how difficult it is to follow devotion to Krishna in this maya and kali dominated kaliyuga.
IS IT AN OFFENSE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO FOLLOW DEVOTIONAL SCHEDULES DURING AILMENTS?
Not at all.
Devotional practices are not just mechanical practices. They are a show of our love with Krishna.
Does Krishna require your food? Will he die if you do not offer food?
Does Krishna require your flowers? Will He not be surrounded with the fragrance if you do not offer flowers to Him?
All are His properties.
Then, why do we offer them to Krishna?
Just to show our love and reciprocation for all His blessings we have received and to show that we are on the process of getting His favour of His devotional service.
Ok, If you happen to delay for unavoidable reasons, why should Krishna get angry? Only if one is in thamo and rajo gunas and also loses something, he/she will become angry. Krishna never loses anything and never gets angry because Krishna has not even a trace of rajo or thamo gunas.
So, KRISHNA CAN NOT BECOME ANGRY.
THEN, CAN WE DO SERVICE IMPROPERLY OR IRREGULARLY?
Not so. Keep a pattern every day. But, one or two days in a month, there can be a genuine delay. Don’t get upset for the delay. That is my point.
For example, if there is only one woman in a family and she is in the monthly periods for three days a month, what will she do?
She has to stop offering food, worshiping in altar/ puja room, watering tulasi, etc.
She must stop it for three days.
Will Krishna be angry for that?
No. Because, He understands that this devotee does not do for Him with a uncontrollably disturbed body.
So, He just not cares the omission of three days a month by women.
So, just stop everything and just chant using counter during periods. No issues. No guilt.
If you are severely disturbed by headache any day, take a tablet, control the headache, cook to Krishna happily and then serve with one or two hours delay. Your mood will be good if you are relieved from headache.
If you are severely suffering from fever and there is no one to physically support you, just skip the day without doing anything to Krishna. Just take rest keeping Krishna in mind and chanting silently.
If you have any ailments but you can manage with cooking, offering, etc, do that, but, take sufficient time to prepare the things.
If you delay, Krishna will not punish you.
It is better to wait and offer with freeness instead of offering with the tensed mind. There will be no show of love in such a mechanical offering.
You can even have two schedules – one for week days and another for holidays.
Keep a time for worship and offering during week days. Take more time during Sundays and holidays.
Only in the temples, these deviations are not permissible because they are common places where many devotees visit.
So, they should stick with the time. In the temples, if one devotee falls ill, another will do the rituals. So, they can manage the exact timings.
But, home is your private place and you alone have to do everything there though you fall ill.
So, you can not be perfectly punctual like the temples.
You can try your best if your health cooperates.
In unavoidable circumstances, you can take some more time to offer the services/ rituals.
If the situation is severe, you can even skip the rituals for a few days.
Or, if you are unable to cook on any day (s), you can offer fruits.
Krishna will not starve and die. He will understand your fight with the problems and physical ailments.
HOW DO I MANAGE?
So far, I have not got big diseases and hence I am able to follow all the rituals and services in time.
However, I have two schedules. On week days, I offer food at 8.15am. On Sundays, I offer at 9am because of weekly works of washing,cleaning, etc.
I have got just cold, cough, fever so far. So,I could manage with the schedules. Even today, I was doing all my routines in time because fever did not destabilize me. So, I managed to wake up, bath, and so on. After finishing all rituals at 8.30 am, I took rest the whole day.
However, in case I too had faced severe ailments, I would have postponed the devotional practices except silent chanting for 2-3 days. No other way.
AM I RELAXING THE RULES?
Not at all.
The rules of temples and individual homes are not equally strict. For homes, the rules are little bit flexible.
And, I LIKE TO TELL YOU 1000 TIMES:
When I face heart attack exactly at the time of offering food, where should I go first?
First, I will go to the hospital, get the first aid, come back and do the rituals for Krishna.
If I do the rituals first and then go to the hospital, I may either die or my heart muscles may become very weak that will prevent my rituals for all the remaining days of life.
So, I have to keep my body alright first to perform all the devotional practices perfectly.
So, if your mother in law has to do formal rituals or no rituals for three days a month, do not worry for that.
Being a woman, you are given leave for three days a month. Take it. Just chant, read about Krishna and eagerly wait for your turn again on the fourth day.
Krishna will understand you, bless you and wait for your food (show of love) the fourth day.
He has no thirst, no hunger, no insufficiencies.
You can show your love even through heart. Only the rituals are missing for genuine reasons for a few days.
Hope you are clear.
Please do not develop new questions from this advice about whether it is right or wrong, I feel like this, like that,etc. This advice is final, practical and logical. Take them as if Krishna Himself said and just follow them.