Pure Chanting
For the last two years, I have been following principles recommended by ISKCON. I have not yet achieved pure chanting and this continuous thought that I am not thinking of Krishna makes me think about Him. Please clarify whether I am Krishna conscious or not.
(Rajeev Sehgal)
Our reply (written by Nanda Dulal Dasa): Rupa Gosvami has said that the price for achieving God’s favor is simply one’s sincere eagerness to have it (tatra laulyam ekala mulyam). Thus, your constant awareness of your separation from pure chanting is indeed praiseworthy. This indeed is a sign of your Krishna consciousness.
We know that a sincere pursuant not only is aware of his shortcomings in achieving something but also as a concomitant factor endeavors sincerely and steadily to achieve the goal that eludes him. While most devotees may have eagerness to achieve God’s favor (in the form of His constant remembrance etc.), what will qualify some as being sincere and some as not is the presence of some genuine effort to support that eagerness. In the absence of such an effort, the eagerness will only be  empty feelings or words and will be termed as only being “lip service,” which will not carry us far in the direction of Lord Krishna.
Since you mention that you have still not perfected your chanting, we would recommend you to take some positive steps in this regard. Krishna consciousness is a process of perfection, more perfection and still higher perfection. To improve your japa, we recommend that you associate with advanced devotees or read some books on the topic of improving japa. You may also offer regular prayers to the Supreme Lord Krishna to reveal Himself in the form of His name to you. By these attempts, you will definitely deepen your Krishna consciousness and experience advancement.
How to Pray to Krishna
It has been a while since I’ve been involved in Krishna consciousness (I currently go to a Christian church), but I still do chant and am trying to get my diet to Krishna consciousness standards. One question I have: Do Krishna devotees pray to Lord Krishna? And if so, what kind of format do they use? Christians always use a personal prayer to Jesus and end with Amen, so I was wondering if one could pray to Lord Krishna similarly, and how one would do so i.e., a format.
(Michael Munson)
Our reply: You can pray to Krishna as a person, and you can do so in the format you are accustomed to. We do not generally use the term Amen, but we certainly speak to Lord Krishna in a personal way. Generally we first express our own fallen nature and beg for the mercy of the Lord. A devotee tries to offer service, rather than asking for material things, so the general prayer is “Please engage me in Your loving service.” But even if you desire something material, it is better to ask Krishna for it than to ask someone else or think you can go it alone. Lord Krishna is the Supreme Person, and He is seated in everyone’s heart, so He can understand our deepest desires. Speak to Him from your heart, and He will respond.
Shiva in Caitanya’s Pastimes
I have heard that during the descent of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, all the saints and demigods are present with Him, as in Rama avatara, when Lord Shiva came as Hanuman. During the avatara of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who came as an avatara of Shiva?
(Ankur Wahi)
Our reply: Srila Advaita Acharya is Lord Shiva in the pastimes of Lord Caitanya. He is one of the Panca-tattva (Caitanya and His four main associates) and is responsible for calling the Lord to appear on earth. Advaita Acharya was so disturbed by the atheistic attitude of the people that he prayed and offered pujas to evoke the Lord’s appearance. He told the Lord, “If You do not come and change their consciousness, then I will destroy them all.” Hearing this, Lord Caitanya appeared, bringing the holy name as the easiest means to change the materialistic consciousness of the people in Kali-yuga. Srila Advaita Acharya was one of Sri Krishna Caitanya’s most intimate and dear devotees and associates.
Seeing Krishna
Is it possible to see Krishna by doing meditation? Is there another way? How should Krishna be visualized? What does He look like?
(Amol Pawar)
Our reply: Krishna can be seen in different ways according to our level of realization and surrender. In the Bhagavad-gita (4.11) He says, “As all surrender unto me, I reward them accordingly.” Seeing Krishna is not really a matter of knowing what He looks like you can find many pictures of Him on the internet. Rather, it is a matter of being able to see into the spiritual dimension. This requires eyes anointed with the salve of love of God. Also, Krishna reserves the right to show Himself to those who have the necessary qualification. You can see Him in meditation, but you will have to control your mind and senses and focus on serving Him with love. When He feels you are qualified, He will reveal Himself to you.
Other replies were written by Krishna.com’s Live Help volunteers.
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