Search for the Self
I am a man on the path looking for my spiritual self. I’ve been reading a lot about spirituality and metaphysics (the sciences of the spirit), and many of your teachings and writings match up with my instincts, which come from the scientific mind and the spiritual heart. But I still feel lost as to where to begin my journey, as I am still young. Can you offer any guidance to someone willing to open their mind and heart to finding themselves and the absolute
—Salem Shand

Our reply: We are happy to hear that you are looking for your spiritual self. We suggest you read Bhagavad-gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada . The information in that book is life changing.

You are correct in your understanding that the process of devotional service and self-realization is a scientific and spiritual quest. We are all spiritual beings in a temporary material situation. With proper direction and following various practices – especially chanting Hare Krishna , Hare Krishna , Krishna Krishna , Hare Hare/ Hare Rama , Hare Rama , Rama Rama , Hare Hare and reading Bhagavad-gita – you will find that your path becomes much clearer and your realization of your spiritual nature more focused. If you have any specific questions, we will be happy to answer.

Encouraging Words
Hi. I just need to hear some words of motivation.

Our reply: Close your eyes and do a meditation: Think how many things in this world will make you permanently happy and cost nothing. Now open your eyes and chant Hare Krishna . The Hare Krishna mantra can open the door to eternal, spiritual happiness, which is not available anywhere else, never needs an upgrade, and is always available just by opening your mouth. To keep this thought fresh, however, you need to associate with Krishna’s devotees. Reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and associating with persons aware of this wonderful treasure keeps us fresh and enlivened. Going to websites like and can help, and going to a temple is even better. But chanting and reading on your own are also a good use of your time. Try to keep your mind and senses free from clutter. Don’t fill your mind and heart with silly desires. With the pervasiveness of advertising, it is easy to be bombarded with things to want, things that promise to give us pleasure. Just remember that there is only one thing that will give eternal pleasure and costs nothing: Hare Krishna , Hare Krishna , Krishna Krishna , Hare Hare/ Hare Rama , Hare Rama , Rama Rama , Hare Hare.

Turn to Krishna
Hello,and I could say Hare Krishna , but I am not really eligible! Many years ago I used to go to Bhaktivedanta Manor and used to chant, etc. I often think of the wonderful devotees I used to know who inspired me there. Unfortunately, my life has been governed by alcohol, cigarettes, etc., for the past thirty years or so. I’m sixtyfour now, still young at heart, but this path will lead me to destruction if I carry on as I am. I need to be a better person and get my health back, so am turning to Krishna for help. What should I do next?
Our reply: Please do not ever think you are not eligible to chant Hare Krishna or associate with the devotees.We’re sure that if you contact the devotees at Bhaktivedanta Manor they will be happy to assist you in getting back on the right track. The history of the Krishna consciousness movement, both in modern times and as reported in our scriptures, is replete with persons who were far more crippled by bad habits and materialistic life and then realized their situation and decided to change things for the better. Many of us are aging, and perhaps with maturity we can now understand what Srila Prabhupada told us forty years ago: Life is short, these bodies frail, and the “happiness” coming from intoxication and material lifestyles is fleeting and debilitating. All the hype about enjoyment in the material world is unreal, and the reality in the end is suffering and sadness. Fortunately, due to your previous connection with Krishna consciousness you are now remembering the reality. With some help from your friends, you may be able to not only regain your health but also become active again on your journey back to Godhead.
It is never too late. Take heart, chant Hare Krishna , read Prabhupada ’s books, and get back in touch with devotees who inspired you.

Maha-Mantra Concentration
Sometimes my mind is not concentrating on chanting the mahämantra. Pease help me. 
 – Nandagopal Chessani

Our reply: Even Arjuna in the gita said that the mind is more difficult to control than the raging wind, so it is not so surprising that your mind wanders. It is quite a common problem. Krishna says the mind can be controlled by constant practice, detachment, and determination. So be patient and keep trying.

There are some things that you can do, however, to help you control the wandering mind. Chant in the early morning. Chanting attentively is easier when the material world is sleeping and the mode of goodness prevails. The period of about one hour and thirtyfive minutes before sunrise is the best. Chant as many rounds as you can before the world starts tugging on you via phone, email, and so on.

Don’t eat a lot in the evening. Your body will sleep well but not too heavily by avoiding heavy food before going to sleep. And make sure that before you go to bed your mind is thinking of Krishna by reading something about Him. Regularly read about the glories of the holy name and listen to classes about them as well. There are recordings of the Japa Retreat in Vrindavan on that you can hear to help you to get into your chanting more deeply.

Before you begin your chanting, pray – to the holy name, your spiritual master, and the Lord – to assist you in this service and help you fix your mind. Chant clearly and pronounce each word out loud. Make sure you get enough rest so you are not tired when you begin to chant. The place where you chant should be well ventilated. If you find you are drowsy, stand or pace back and forth or go for a walk outside, but best to go somewhere you won’t be disturbed by others or distracted by your surroundings. Start with these suggestions and see if they help.