What is your greatest obstacle in Krishna consciousness?
Ever seen a puppet show how a puppet dances with the threads tied to it? Similarly, I am tied to my past habits and conditionings. These remnants of the past are my biggest hurdle in Krishna consciousness. The aroma of coffee still triggers a desire, which I compensate with a cup of Complan. I don’t turn my head away every time I come across a hoarding. When alone, I often find myself singing my favorite old Hindi movie song. Sometimes I stop by shops to see new shoes, watches or jackets. I can go on. Habits die hard. His Holiness Romapada Swami Maharaja describes this phenomenon as “residual tendency.” He explains if we are trying to remove a rotten object from a room, still it lives by its odor for quite some time. The same happens with our past habits. But if we desire to become fixed in the devotional service of Krishna , Krishna promises that He will take care of this residual tendency. (Manish Goel)
The greatest obstacle to one’s self interest is to think other things to be more pleasing than one’s self realization. Although we have given up material attachments and worldly pleasures to become Krishna conscious, still there seem to be many obstacles on the path. The greatest, I feel, is the tendency of the mind to seek shelter in those same material supports: old relationships, family ties, material abilities, conditionings etc. Srila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Maharaja said that we may be rowing the boat of our Krishna consciousness, but it won’t move an inch unless the anchor of worldly attachments is cut off. Similarly, our tendency to find shelter in our own material resources can seriously impede our progress. That’s what the tenth offence to the holy name says: to maintain material attachments even after understanding so many instructions on this matter. Krishna and His name reveal only to those who take complete shelter in Him as Draupadi did. (Dr. Sagar Tupe)
“There is no stronger obstacle to one’s self interest than thinking other subject matters to be more pleasing than one’s self-realization.” (Bhag. 4.22.32) When I read this line, it touched my heart because I felt this is the reason why I am unable to get taste in chanting and service. I realized that in some corner of my heart there is still the desire to be happy from material objects. Although theoretically I accept that the material world is a place of suffering, my mind is still inclined to enjoy it. I feel that my path of Krishna consciousness will be free from all obstacles when I am firmly convinced that nothing in this world can give me any happiness, except Krishna and His dearmost devotees. (Mohana Krishna Dasa)
My biggest obstacle in Krishna consciousness is that I have still not overcome the tendency to think too much about myself. Because I think that I will get unmatched internal happiness by going to the temple every day, I have devoted myself to Krishna consciousness. Is that really pursuing Krishna consciousness taking shelter of the Supreme Personality Godhead for personal happiness and to get the strength to fight this materialistic world? This is the obstacle in my Krishna consciousness journey. I have heard from devotees that the real reason behind Krishna consciousness is to serve the Lord and do all possible services for Krishna, which in turn help to attain the purest and never-ending happiness. It is also to think constantly about what more I can do to please Krishna and receive his mercy. True happiness will come when Lord Krishna feels I deserve it. (Trishant Zaveri)
The greatest obstacle I face on my path of Krishna consciousness is my own mind. The mind is very powerful and it can make hell out of heaven and heaven out of hell. I joined Krishna consciousness by chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra. But the mind is so intelligent that it distracts my attention while chanting.
I had difficulty in following the four regulative principles, and when I failed, my mind made me depressed. However, when I succeed in following them the mind makes me proud.
The association of devotees always inspired me to take Krishna consciousness seriously. But my mind always found faults with them and I committed offences against them, which caused grave consequences.
I have no or minimal trouble from the external world. I can avoid associating with non-devotees by staying alone. But my mind watches me twenty-four hours even during sleep. It is very active, creates confusion, depression, anxiety, and bad dreams. The only hope is the holy name, the swift deliverer of the mind. (Dinanatha Dasa,)
The greatest obstacle in my spiritual life is the tendency to drift drift like a boat without an anchor, lost in the waves, with no concept of space or time . . . just drifting on this great ocean of material existence with no goal, no direction. Yes that’s what I am a drifter if at all there is a word like that. A drifter is one who has no definite plan for the future, no goals to achieve, no improvements to make basically nothing to do. Of course I have no one to blame but myself. It is just the way I am not a plan-maker nor a focused person with clear-cut goals of self-improvement. Believe me, it’s not that I haven’t tried over the years. I have made new-year resolutions to become more focused and planned in my spiritual practices but all my efforts have fallen flat mainly due to this complacent attitude and drifting nature, and complete lack of focus to achieve the targets I have set. (Sita Devi Dasi)
Being on the intellectual plane, I find the act of surrender the greatest obstacle.
Despite the process of Krishna consciousness being sweet and sublime, the act of surrender is so difficult to observe. You just need to follow your spiritual authorities who are your well-wishers and are eager for your advancement but when instructions are given to you, you have a defiant mind, which stops you from following the instructions loyally. You may surrender yourself physically, but complete mental surrender becomes a great challenge and over the long-term the process of Krishna consciousness seems to be a burden. Despite knowing the consequences after reading so much spiritual literature, going through so many spiritual discourses, being in the association of very nice and gentle devotees, still, surrender seems to be difficult; it appears like a massive jump over Mount Everest. (Shikhar Maheshwari)
“Sad But True” is one of the most famous songs by Metallica. Time is slipping out of our hands like sand. Every day I hear stories of someone meeting sudden death due to natural or unnatural reasons. We have our own plans to pursue devotional service, but Krishna has His own plans.
I feel the greatest obstacle on the path of Krishna consciousness is procrastination. Career goals, family responsibility, business duties . . . the list is endless. Most of the dead I know were engrossed in either of these duties, ignorant about the next destination. Death arrives in a state of mind that further procrastinates our surrender to the Lord, not just for another day but for another birth. This again reminds me of a famous song “So far so good” by the band Megadeth. So what? Let us have the sonic apparatus to hear the whisper of death and become dead serious today, not tomorrow. (Jagannatha Vallabha Dasa)
Lord Krishna would rise from bed early in the morning, three hours before sunrise. This time, known as brahma-muhurta, is a very auspicious time of the day. It is in pure goodness (suddha-sattva) and is the best time to chant the holy names of the Lord and read sacred scriptures like Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrta.
My main obstacle is that I cannot wake at this early hour and therefore the quality of my chanting remains poor. (Gayatri Gaitonde)