BECAUSE WE HAVE turned away from Krsna, the material energy now covers our original consciousness, or Krsna consciousness. Purifying our consciousness of lifetimes of contamination takes time and practice. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada set up a program of spiritual practices for those under his guidance.

In summary, Prabhupada instructed his followers to rise early (ideally, before 4:00 A.M.); to worship the spiritual master, the deities (at home or in the temple), and Tulasi Devi (Krsna's devotee in the form of a sacred bush); to chant the Hare Krsnamaha-mantra on beads at least a set number of times daily (16 rounds, or 1,728 mantras, for initiated devotees); to read and attend classes daily on Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita; and to eat only prasadam (food prepared for and offered to Krsna).

Each of the elements of Srila Prabhupada's program has immense spiritual power, and he repeatedly stressed the program's importance for anyone who wants to make steady spiritual progress. Therefore, serious students of Krsna consciousness try their best to stick to their sadhana in the face of any obstacles the material energy may present.