What makes you stay in Krsna consciousness?
HOPE is all I have in Krsna consciousness and I hope that Krsna doesn’t deprive me of that. Hope that I will change someday. Hope that I will stop desiring for fame and respect. Hope that I will stop fighting at every small thing. Hope that I will have lesser material desires. Hope that someday I will receive the mercy of Vaisnavas and the guru parampara. Hope that someday Krsna will look at me and say, “Hey, it’s time for you to come back.” It’s a tough job when my whole life I have cultivated material desires, ambitions, and passionate behavior. Now to cut all that off suddenly isn’t easy. Though I am following a bona fide process, the past conditioning keeps coming back. But again in some lecture, some story from some devotee gives back hope. I pause to view my actions and make some changes, a change that keeps my hope alive. Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” He was right; these stars are nothing else but hope. (Manish Goel)
Association of devotees makes me stay in Krsna consciousness. Without association, it becomes practically impossible to maintain our subtle standards of bhakti. We might be able to externally follow the four regulative principles and even regularly chant our rounds without association, but due to our insignificant position in front of maya, it is certain that slowly our mind will convince us to indulge in activities that are unfavorable for our Krsna consciousness. Also, association of devotees helps us be in touch with our spiritual leaders, which is impossible for materialistic people, whom their leaders do not even know. This kind of association, therefore is a great source of encouragement for us and this always propels us to serve devotees better. And so we, at the end of the day, stick to Krsna. (Rahul Danait)
Wonderful prasada, nice devotees, great philosophy, strong society etc. are many reasons to stay in Krsna consciousness. All these things may have some substitute, but one thing for which we will find no substitute anywhere in this whole material creation including billions of universes, is a personality like Srila Prabhupada. It is only Srila Prabhupada who keeps me in Krsna consciousness. There is a famous Vaisnava song that says, “If Lord Gauranga would not have come then what would had happened…” But I feel, “If Srila Prabhupada would not have appeared then what would had happened to all of us, to this whole world?” It is because Srila Prabhupada appeared, we know Krsna, His devotees, and Bhagavad-gita As It Is. I always pray that even for a single moment, I may not forget the greatness of Srila Prabhupada. (Nandagopal Jivan Dasa)
Some factors that help me to stay and continue my Krsna consciousness:
l Loving relationship between devotees without any ulterior motives, as opposed to business-minded people, who only believe in a give-and-take relationship.
l The holy name of the Lord, which cleans the heart of the unlimited sins accumulated through billions of lifetimes.
l Service attitude of the devotees, which reflects in extending themselves, and is contrasted with the exploitive natures of people who are not devotees.
l Compassionate and helping hands of devotees.
l Prasada, which makes the mind and body pure to receive the unlimited mercy of the Lord and;
l Sankirtana, which uplifts our consciousness above the three modes of material nature. (Sunil Thakur)
Honestly speaking, over a period of visiting temples and interacting with devotees on the philosophy of Krsna onsciousness, the thing that actually keeps me connected to Krsna onsciousness is the association of extremely intelligent, selfless, and humble people all around, who time and again have restored my faith in the mercy of the Supreme Lord. This main thread is so strong that it forced me to give up some of my deeply ingrained bad habits and over a time, made me realize the value of human life. (Kunal Surana, Pune)
Association of devotees is most important. By being in association I am able to chant; otherwise without favorable environment I would have no strength to continue alone. Association of non-devotees is a contamination, and when contamination increases, sadhana and seva are affected, which in turn leads to diversion and lack of taste in Krsna consciousness. Just by being in devotee association all the spiritual activities like hearing, chanting, prasada, festivals, etc. follow on their own. A senior ISKCON leader once said, “Real association is when devotees serve together for the will of the Lord and cooperate to appreciate and glorify the Lord.” (Manish Ahuja)
When I was new in Krsna consciousness, it seemed difficult to survive, but with lots of struggle I stuck to this path. Now it seems that Krsna consciousness is the perfect life a person should lead. The association of devotees, Krsna-prasada, kirtana, chanting(everything is just perfect and beautiful.
If I had not come to Krsna consciousness then I would have also been like other materialists having great ego, angry and always struggling for material things, imitating their eating habits and dressing styles. Actually their whole lifestyle and thinking now seems dangerous. But due to Krsna, Srila Prabhupada and their devotees’ great mercy I am here in Krsna consciousness(the world’s safest place for the soul. Bas! Everything in Krsna consciousness is pleasurable, and we love to stay where we get pleasure. (Mala Sharma, Baroda.)
A Forward shift in MY horizons of self-realization and Krsna’s magnetic force has made me stay in Krsna consciousness. Completing one round for the first time was a major achievement. Now I have stopped watching television and chant eight rounds instead. As I think I am on the right track(my chanting and reading is much better(along comes a devotee who shows me that the horizon has just shifted a little ahead. The journey has nine stages to progress through and twenty-six qualities to be imbibed. I need to be much better for Krsna to look at me. (Kalyani Ajrekar)
The devotees are like touchstones(they can change our material consciousness to spiritual. I got a desire to follow the devotees and to learn their activities so that I could attain the highest goal of my life(to always stay in Krsna consciousness. As a fallen soul, I cannot follow them completely, but I try to create an atmosphere that helps me. For example, completing my japa before breakfast, maintaining temple morning programs at home, developing a relationship with Krsna and discussing all matters with Him heartily, greeting everybody at home and office with “Hare Krsna” instead of ‘Namaskar’ or anything else. (Sravanananda Dasa)
Krsna consciousness IS the only well-tested path shown by Srila Prabhupadaji to end the misery of life. Whether to stay or not to stay is a reflection of nothing but my own state of polluted mentality, which is struggling to overcome deep-rooted dualities of the ordinary life. If I am still struggling with the question whether to stay in Krsna consciousness it shows that I have not entered in Krsna consciousness at all. It shows that I gained my knowledge at a very superficial level and I am still unconvinced and struggling to overcome my own false identity. By the mercy of Prabhupadaji as soon as I become clear about my identity, my eternal relationship with Krsna will start becoming very clear. Thus, once I taste Krsna consciousness, which is my eternal natural state, where is the scope left to raise the above question? (Rajesh Kumar Mishra, BARC, Mumbai)