Dhanurdhara Swami May 22nd, 2001
A sobering meditation:
“A guy goes to his spiritual master and says, ‘My problem is that I’ve been trying to faithfully devote an hour a day to meditation, but I have a wife and three kids, a demanding job, the kids are up when I awake, there’s so much going on when I get home, and my wife and I need to spend time together at night. Tell me what I should do.’
The master replies, ‘Two hours a day.'” ?Bo Lozoff, “It’s a Meaningful Life: It Just Takes Practice”
Comment: I found an airline magazine on spirituality and health lying around the Boston Temple and saw this quote in a section of excerpts from recommended books. It is often difficult to maintain the arduous spiritual practices of Krishna consciousness?especially in today’s world. Spiritual life, however, is a discipline. We practice it, among other reasons, at least to free ourselves from the bondage of material existence and the concomitant sufferings of death, disease, and old age. It may be hard to make time for it, but we should see it as a priority?just like an ill person makes time for a prescribed regimen and diet, regardless of other demands upon them.
Of course, devotional service is not just labor; it’s love. Even hard work, if done with devotion, like a mother’s care for a child, has joy in it and should never be seen as only burdensome. Regardless of the sacrifice or our level of devotion, we must make time for spiritual life.
Thus the teacher’s clever answer hints to the student that the reason they don’t have time for spiritual life is not because he is too busy, but because he doesn’t properly value it and thus neglects to discipline himself to make time for it. Despite the occasional extenuating circumstances, the main problem with regularizing one’s sadhana is faith, or sraddha, for if we had trust in the glories of the holy name, as outlined in the Bhagavat, we would not neglect it. For example, if chanting gave us long life and unlimited wealth?and we were one-hundred percent sure it did?we would, in likelihood, make time for it despite any serious obstacles. According to Bhagavat the holy name of Krishna gives so much more, but because our faith and knowledge of the Bhagavat, which proclaim its glories, is weak, we allow our practices to become slack.
Faith means faith in sastra. Faith comes from sadhu-sanga. Sadhu-sanga means to hear sastra from advanced devotees. We must make every effort to get this sadhu-sanga and increase our sraddha, our faith, in devotional service. A devotee’s prayer is for sadhu-sanga. Our life depends on it.