Archive for April, 2017

Monday Morning Greetings 2017 #17 – Proof of the Paranormal

April 24th, 2017

I read a very interesting story about someone who was haunted by a ghost after moving into a new house. As soon as she stayed the night there she began to feel pressure on her chest and heard whooshing sounds. She had a sense that someone was watching her. When she went to work she felt fine, but every time she returned she felt the same way. Her feelings increased more and more throughout the night. This went on for weeks. She thought she was going to die. She did everything she could to get rid of the ghost, even burning fresh sage upon the recommendation of a new age friend. Nothing seemed to work. She was desperate so she Googled “ghost busting”. She found a ghost busting hotline. She called. To her surprise a person representing the Rationalist Society answered, an organization whose purpose was to debunk the supernatural. She thought what did she have to lose? She told them her symptoms. The receptionist immediately said she had the exact symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and that there was most likely a gas leak in her house. She immediately called the emergency number for the gas company who thankfully sent someone over within an hour. Sure enough there was a serious leak. After the gasman repaired the leak he soberly told her, “Ma’am, one more day and you would have been dead!” The next day all of her symptoms were gone. She felt duped by all the hocus-pocus thoughts about ghosts. She became inspired to help others understand that all paranormal experiences could be explained by science. She even told people of a $10,000 reward offered by the “Rationalist Society” to anyone who could demonstrate anything paranormal that couldn’t be explained by modern science.
 
Don’t worry. This isn’t an article about invalidating the paranormal by science. It’s actually the opposite. I want to prove that there are paranormal experiences beyond modern science. While I found this story interesting, I didn’t like its conclusion. No doubt this lady found that her horrid experience was anything but mystical, but it doesn’t mean that all paranormal experiences are a hoax. It brought out in me something that bothered me for some time: Why has no one ever tried to prove the paranormal by a fairly easy experiment using the law of karma through the science of astrology? It is paranormal because astrology says that our destiny is outlined at birth and that our experiences in life can be predicted. What can be more paranormal than that? Before I outline the scientific experiment based on astrology that can demonstrate there is a law of karma, let me share how in my own way I tried to prove the law of karma.
 
For over the first twenty years of my devotional life, I concentrated on studying Kṛṣṇa consciousness and then teaching it within the devotee community. In the mid-nineties I was inspired to share those teachings in New York. My problem was how to get people to attend my lectures. I was not known outside ISKCON, and there were thousands of teachers of Eastern thought lecturing in New York, most of them more known than myself. To get people to come to my lectures and become more visible I prepared a seminar entitled “The Psychology of Karma” and offered a free astrological reading for the first ten people who registered. It worked. I got a reasonable amount of responses. I would then send that information to my astrologer, Dīna Śaraṇa, who looked at those people’s charts and sent me a short description of each person’s character and a major event in their life. At a certain point in my lecture I would explain how there is a map of one’s destiny based on the position of the planets at one’s birth, and that this could be understood by the science of astrology. I would then call out a person’s name and with confidence say something about their character and perhaps an event in their life, although I had never seen them before. There were enough startling results to prove the law of karma. I would then say:
 
“All I knew about you was your birth time, so all of these predictions were known then. What is the force that moves the universe around you to give you these experiences, what is the purpose of those experiences, and what is the best way to respond to your destiny to get the most benefit out of them?”
 
I would then explain the law of karma in depth to an audience who was now open to the idea.
 
So here is my idea for a controlled scientific experiment to prove that there is a destiny set at birth. What could be more paranormal than that? You would just need an honest skeptic to get the birth information of ten people. Nine should be of ordinary income and one should be of fabulous wealth, and you could do that with any quality as long as one person had that particular quality in an exceptionally more significant way than the others. It would then be the responsibility of a skeptic or authorized third party to make sure the experiment was scientifically controlled so that the astrologer or astrologers had no way of knowing anything more than a person’s birth information. If the astrologer or astrologers could pick out the chart of the wealthy person, and I see no reason why they couldn’t, with a substantially higher probability than just chance, then that would be something paranormal that couldn’t be explained by modern science.
 
Maybe I could find where that $10,000 challenge is offered. Then I could make that information available to any qualified astrologer who is interested. Now that would be easy money!
 
 

Monday Morning Greetings 2017 #16 – A Plug for Gītā-nagarī

April 17th, 2017

Today’s Monday Morning Greeting was written after a recent visit to Gītā-nagarī Farm.
 
Gītā-nagarī has a special place in my heart. In the mid to late ‘90s I frequented there as much as any senior devotee in ISKCON, usually staying in Satsvarūpa Mahārāja’s cabin by the river – that holy place where he penned much of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s biography. In fact, my best Kārttika ever was the one I spent there. That’s saying a lot because except for that one fall, I had spent the last forty Kārttikas in Vṛndāvana, usually at the foot of Govardhana Hill. Perhaps Gītā-nagarī is so Vṛndāvana-like because the resident deities there are Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Dāmodara, the presiding deities of the month of Kārttika, also known as the month of Dāmodara. During that Kārttika at Gītā-nagarī, I performed a strict kārttikavrata of chanting and fasting, and took all the devotees there every day on parikramā to all the places of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes that we imagined there, like their Govardhana Hill at the top of the property. It was especially at that time that I became convinced more than ever that outside of Vṛndāvana there is no place more Vṛndāvana-like than Gītā-nagarī, with its simplicity and the mood of the devotees residing there. In fact, at the end of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s life he was headed there to teach the devotes how to live off the land, but become too ill to continue.
 
But there have been challenges since Śrīla Prabhupāda left. It is quite cold there in the winters and most think why reside there when you could live in sunny Florida? Of course, they faced a myriad of other more serious problems in running a big farm. Devamṛta Swami has been guiding the project carefully over the last ten years. Under his direction two sincere devotees, Dhruva and Pārijāta, practically single handedly have saved, maintained, and developed the farm including developing, against all odds, a unique ahiṁsā dairy. Anyway, that is my preamble. Now what I want to say: I visited again this year and I was happy with the development there, especially that there are now some serious young couples dedicated to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s legacy. I pray that they imbibe Śrīla Prabhupāda’s vision – that happiness is consciousness and not just things and that the simple and hard-working life there is far superior to the economically, socially, and spiritually oppressive life of the modern-day cities and suburbs. I am convinced that they are beginning to realize that. The devotees there seem to have within them that joy of sevā – a joy that is just not offered so readily to even devotees working to survive in the modern world, sometimes just to accrue a few more comforts. My dear readers, I have strictly kept my Monday Morning Greetings to one or two pages of hopefully quickly digestible thought. Today, inspired by my visit to Gītā-nagarī, I have included a transcript of a lecture I gave this year at our Purī yātrā while visiting a simple village nearby. If you have time today please read it, or save it to read later. I think I had important things to share.
 
 
Class in Baligram, Odisha – January 18, 2017
 
Being here makes me think of the little village where I grew up – Brooklyn! There was a famous book about that town called A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, like it was a big event. Joking aside, during Mādhavānanda’s class I was looking up and counting the potential coconuts on one tree. It’s forty or fifty on each tree. I was thinking how simple the village life is here. In just one tree, and there are thousands of lush coconut trees here, one could practically keep a family alive for a month. I was speaking to Tom from America, who’s here with Kiśorī and her four children. He told me that his aunt and uncle worked seven days a week at their own store. When he questioned them why they don’t take a day off they said: “If you close the door the money stops.” And I see that more and more people are being forced to embrace that mentality just to live. Today even in an ordinary middle class family, if even one parent stops working, the family will be consumed by their expenses. And I am seeing that today people can’t even retire and practically have to work until death because, “If you close the door the money stops.” But here in this village even if you have nothing, you can wear a gaṁchā, eat organic coconuts, and sleep under a tree and survive. The bottom line is that the traditional agrarian village life just doesn’t have that same air of oppressiveness found in the city.
 
When I first came to India forty years ago, life was very simple. There was only one phone and one car in all of Vṛndāvana. After being there for three years my parents sent me a ticket to visit them in New York. When I arrived the first thing they did was to take me to the supermarket so they could purchase me a few groceries. When I picked the items that I could eat and brought them to the counter, I was shocked that they just were touching the items to the counter and the price of those items was computed and added immediately. I never saw that before. When I was very young I remember how proud our grocer was that he could just take the pencil tucked behind his ear and accurately and quickly add up all the groceries on the small brown paper bag that he would then pack the items in. By the time I left for India they were still using manual cash registers, but this level of computation so amazed me that I spontaneously blurted out, “Things have advanced so much!” But then realizing that that was not really true, nor our teachings, I quickly corrected myself, “but the quality of life has not improved!” The cashier nodded and even my mother seemed to understand what I had just said.
 
Prabhupāda would talk about māyā-sukhāya, the illusion of modern happiness, that for every step forward technologically there is a heavy price to pay in the quality of life. For example, we now have airplanes so that we can get places quickly, but the result is that your near and dear ones live so far away. I see that often the elders in a modern Indian family instead of having their grown up children at home or across the street, now have to fly to places like London and then Los Angeles just to visit them. In one sense we have advanced. You can now quickly fly to another country instead of taking months on a boat, but that is illusory advancement for as a result of having airplanes family members often live far apart. It now may take one twelve hours to fly to see one’s daughter instead of visiting her in the next town. Even when I grew up, we knew everybody on our street. Today hardly anyone knows their neighbor. This is māyā-sukhāya.
 
Śrīla Prabhupāda really had a vision of these things. He was on the cutting edge of so many things. Cutting edge means the latest or most advanced stage in the development of something. So, fifty years ago Śrīla Prabhupāda was on the cutting edge of vegetarianism, the cutting edge of kīrtan, the cutting edge of Eastern philosophy and culture and the cutting edge of sustainable living, but we haven’t always succeeded in carrying his legacy and in too many cases have allowed others to take his mantle, especially with sustainable living. We all need to take that legacy back. Glories to places like Gītā-nagarī who are attempting to do that with their simple living and cutting edge ahiṁsā dairy.
 
Recently I gave a lecture near Harrisburg. The audience by circumstance was mostly composed of conservative Christians. Before beginning my talk, I was really wondering how to connect with such people, but then suddenly I had an inspiration and spoke: “At the end of my teacher’s life he was headed here to our farm in nearby Juniata County all the way from India to teach people how to live off the land, because he believed that you couldn’t separate economics from spiritual life.” As soon as I finished that sentence one very heavyset man with a big gruff beard and those denim overalls, that kind that cover your chest and hang around your neck, raised his right fist in the air and shouted out, “Amen, brother!” So, when I come here to Baligram, the village of Dasia Bauri, I just look around and marvel, “I’ve never seen a more beautiful place to live in my whole life, a place where people can easily live so simply off the land and have time for spiritual life.” Prabhupāda also wanted to give us such a better life, “Amen, brother!”
 
Many of you visit the town of Vṛndāvana and share my disturbance that its natural beauty is gradually being covered by housing and apartments, but still just fifteen or twenty minutes from Vṛndāvana, just a little off the path, there are the flower gardens of Vṛndāvana, thousands and thousands of pristine acres. I know quite well some of the mālīs, the gardeners, there and often take lunch with them. It’s such a simple life; they wake up in the morning, they pick their flowers, make garlands, put them in their baskets, and send one of their grown children to sit by one of the temples to sell them. And when the family finishes what do they do, they just sit and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Sure they have their problems, but their simple life does not rob them of their spirit and fill them with fear. It’s inspiring to watch!
 
Tejiyas Prabhu, a senior disciple of of Śrīla Prabhupāda, shared me some interesting insights about sustainable living. Śrīla Prabhupāda asked him to start the kisān movement, the farm movement, so he has studied the subject deeply. As a result he is very well versed in the economics of a traditional agrarian based economy. He told me that the reason most ISKCON farm communities have failed, despite Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions and wishes, is because his disciples, like everyone else, were too conditioned to a false standard of opulence based on technology. Real opulence is having your own land, eating fresh food, and breathing clean air. Real opulence is having community with a temple so that family and friends can worship daily together, not that you have to drive in heavy traffic and find a parking space, or ride the F train, just to say Hare Kṛṣṇa in the association of devotees. But despite the advantages of simple living, people are conditioned to a false sense of opulence that forces them into cities mostly to suffer in cramped places. I appreciated Prabhu’s insights.
 
He shared with me another thing that struck me: “It is proven that if you are born, live, and die in the same place, seventy-five percent of all material problems will be solved.” And he described one of the biggest problems solved by that traditional lifestyle, caring for the aged. Without village community life, old people are usually put in assisted living facilities that for most people take all of their family’s money. What he said hit home. My ninety-six-year-old mother was a successful business lady and intelligently saved a good amount of money for retirement to live out her life comfortably. She still lives in the home she owns outright, but my elder brother told me that it costs almost eighty thousand dollars a year to care for her including her full time caregiver and that soon, within a year, her money will run out, and her house may have to be sold to care for her. Her situation is now the norm for the aged in the first world.
 
He also told me that if you just add the numbers the present system of caring for the aged, including the cost of artificially prolonging life in the most painful and horrid condition, will totally bankrupt the US economy within fifteen years at the most. Without firm knowledge of the soul, everyone tries to keep the body alive even in the most tortured state so that whatever family money is left will certainly follow the deceased to the grave. It will be gone. Christopher Hitchens, one of the Four Horsemen of Atheism, chronicled his last days dying of throat cancer. He wanted to write a book on what death is like and he wrote a book while dying called Mortality and made exactly this point. He had the astute realization while staying in the most advanced medical center in the world and chronicling the torture they put him through, that advanced medical facilities are simply places where they take all the family member’s money just to keep them alive in the most tortured condition – a telling realization of modern advancement.
 
Looking here, and seeing how beautiful it is, I am reminded of something that Paramahaṁsa Yogānanda said. I will paraphrase it. If you really want to control your mind, more important than your own personal willpower is the influence of your environment. So, we come here to this beautiful place today to have our hari kathā, but just as important as our hari kathā, is seeing firsthand what Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted us to realize, simple life.
 
Imagine what it would be like if we actually lived in communities like this that were free of economic oppression and where we could live a spiritual life centered on the temple and surrounded by our loved ones and friends. We then wouldn’t need a special retreat for what we would be retreating from. Mādhavānanda and Kṛṣṇakuṇḍa would be the local brāhmaṇa family and every single evening there would be quality hari kathā. I know someone who grew up in one of these villages in Orissa, and he said that every day you would hear either the recitation of the Rāmayana, the Mahābhārata, or the Bhāgavatam, and that even if you couldn’t read or write, you would learn the śāstra.
 
The austerity of simple life is actually also very healthy. I was in Mumbai at the Bhaktivedanta Hospital when there was a serious earthquake in Gujarat. Some of the doctors, especially the orthopedic surgeons, went to the scene of devastation. They brought back those people who needed more serious care to reset broken bones. The main orthopedic surgeon in the hospital, Girirāja dāsa, told me that the people he was treating from these villages were healing on the average fifty percent quicker than people from the city in similar conditions, another interesting meditation on the benefit of simple life.
 
Modern society and culture expertly provides entertainment and distraction, but it doesn’t readily solve four core problems, which a traditional society would provide effortlessly: where we are going to live, what is our occupation, who are we going to marry, and who is my spiritual guide. So much energy is wasted in settling these basic things in modern life that one has little room in his mind for anything else, in contrast to a proper culture where these things are provided automatically.
 
Although I’m a sannyāsi, I don’t like to travel and I never did, even before I was a devotee. I would often make excuses just to stay back in my house. Similarly, I was going to skip coming here today, but Mādhavānanda was insistent, “Please come. You will really enjoy it.” So, I’d like to thank him, because as soon as I came here, so much of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings came to life. This is what Prabhupāda had in mind when he told us simple living and high thinking. He so much wanted to give us a better way to live. And we should try to understand and support this part of his mission.
 
 

Monday Morning Greetings 2017 #15 – Immigration and the Gītā

April 10th, 2017

A friend of mine in Washington, D.C. complained to me that the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is losing a good opportunity to share the profundity of its teachings by not being involved in spiritual activism. [1] I will take up his challenge by commenting on the modern-day mess in governance by analyzing immigration policy based on the Bhagavad-gītā.
 
There are two extreme views of immigration. One is radically exclusive nationalism, wherein “America First” is the only principle, and to protect that principle we have to apply the letter of the law seemingly without heart. In this view, families can sometimes be separated, and people who have been terribly oppressed, some who have sacrificed their lives abroad for American interest, can be detained or deported upon arrival, even if they have already been thoroughly vetted.
 
The other view is radically inclusive globalism, a perspective that sees any imposition based on nationalist borders as antithetical to both humanistic and spiritual values. I will argue based on the Gītā that both of these views lack compassion and sensibility.
 
The extremism of the first view would be opposed by verses in the Gītā that present the universality of living entities based on the soul.
 
“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Bg. 5.18)
 
Such verses either imply or outright condemn viewing people according to the bodily concept of life such as nationalism. Another of many examples:
 
“That knowledge by which one sees that in every different body there is a different type of living entity you should understand to be in the mode of passion.” (Bg. 18.21)
 
It should also be noted in this discussion that at times Śrīla Prabhupāda spoke very strongly against borders based on artificial bodily distinction:
 
“We pass through Canada to USA. Why Canada? Why USA? This is bodily concept. ‘It is meant for the Canadians,’ ‘it is meant for USA, Americans.’ Immigration, customs, the same mentality as a dog coming from other neighborhood. The other dogs, they all come together, ‘Yow, yow, why you have come, why you have come?’ In civilized dress only. This is the position. What is the difference between the dog’s mentality… When another dog comes to another neighborhood, these neighborhood dogs, you know that? All animals. ‘Yow, why you have come?’ So this department, ‘Why you have come here?’ dogs barking, and this immigration, what is the difference?” (June 2, 1976 Toronto)
 
Although the Gītā certainly speaks about the principle of universality, the underlying value that is against nationalism, it also promotes the value of reciprocity, a view opposed to indiscriminate globalism. I would define “reciprocity” as the principle of caring more for those dependent on one, such as family, or in this case a government giving special care or consideration for its citizens, and to understand that not doing so is impersonal. Before I reference the Gītā, I would like to share a very interesting exchange that Confucius had with an adversary specifically in relation to this tension.
 
“Confucius advocated ‘care with distinctions’: we owe everyone a baseline benevolence, but we have specific duties towards those close to us, those who have done us the most good, like our family, our parents, our close friends.
 
“He was opposed by Mozi, a philosopher who argued that we owe everyone the same care, that the idea of specific obligations was too much like partiality.
 
“Confucius’ disciples like Mencius argue that Mozi’s idea is completely impracticable; even Mozi’s best followers treated their parents with special care. But worse, it is immoral: to treat people who have sacrificed much for us, like our parents, the same way that we treat a stranger is grossly offensive.” [2]
 
It seems clear that in the Gītā, Kṛṣṇa also supports this principle “care with distinction” that challenges the extremism of the second view.
 
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” (Bg. 9.29)
 
In his purport Śrīla Prabhupāda discusses how the very basis of personalism is that one appropriately reciprocates with those under one’s care and such “partiality” is beyond selfishness and karma. I would recommend that one read the whole purport, but here is just a small excerpt where Śrīla Prabhupāda defends special care as natural, not narrow:
 
“One may question here that if Kṛṣṇa is equal to everyone and no one is His special friend, then why does He take a special interest in the devotees who are always engaged in His transcendental service? But this is not discrimination; it is natural. Any man in this material world may be very charitably disposed, yet he has a special interest in his own children.” (Bg. 9.29, purport)
 
Another famous reference for the principle of reciprocity as being above prejudice:
 
“As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.” (Bg. 4.11)
 
In his purport Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this principle of “care with distinction” in relation to the dealings of Kṛṣṇa and how it is equally applicable in this world:
 
“Kṛṣṇa reciprocates with His pure devotees in the transcendental attitude, just as the devotee wants Him. One devotee may want Kṛṣṇa as supreme master, another as his personal friend, another as his son, and still another as his lover. Kṛṣṇa rewards all the devotees equally, according to their different intensities of love for Him. In the material world, the same reciprocations of feelings are there […]” (Bg. 4.11, purport)
 
I think this “care with distinction” principle is also just common sense. I know one person close to me who, when growing up, had a father who was very altruistic to everyone, but not especially partial to her, and whose evenness to everyone caused her to feel sorely neglected.
 
In regard to the issue of immigration, both universality and reciprocity, as espoused in the Gītā, have appropriate application. Every entity, whether family or country, should extend themselves as far as possible for all people, understanding the superficiality of bodily distinctions, including taking those less fortunate into one’s fold to whatever practical extent one is capable of (care). However, it is also reasonable for a country to protect its borders and show some special concern to the needs of its own citizens for economic, social, or security reason (distinction). According to the Gītā we can’t deal with even illegal immigrants just on the basis of law without some real consideration for them as spiritual beings, nor can we deal with people living here illegally in total neglect of the laws intended to protect its citizens.
 
The specific application of these contradictory principles is beyond the scope of this paper, but their application calls for compassionate and intelligent leaders who apply these principles neither as indiscriminate multi-culturalists nor as xenophobic nationalists, having respect both for the universality of all beings and the need for reciprocity with those under one’s care.
 
These are complex issues with many considerations including the legitimacy of proprietorship of those who rule certain lands, but those discussions are again beyond the scope of this column. I have presented certain eternal principles in my attempt to add to these discussions a view through the eyes of śāstra. I will send it to my friend and see if he is satisfied with my attempt at spiritual activism.
 
 


 
[1] By spiritual activism I mean having an active voice in contemporary problems, while not taking partisan sides, but rather trying to find perspectives within the spiritual traditions by which we can make sense of our problems and challenges.
 
[2] This is from a correspondence I had with Professor Matthew Dasti, Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Bridgewater State University.
 
 

Monday Morning Greetings 2017 #14 – Spiritual Momentum

April 3rd, 2017

Have you ever lost spiritual momentum? It happens to us all. I had realization about that in relation to my writing that seemed applicable to spiritual life. I would like to share that, but first I think I need to define what I mean by “momentum”.
 
Momentum means the power gained when moving or continuing something that grows stronger as time passes, a force that is lost when stopping or pausing, and a force that takes time to build up when beginning to move again. A good example of momentum is when you are driving a car. As you are moving you gradually may be able to shift into high gear and gain momentum, allowing you to cruise along at a high speed effortlessly. However, when you stop and have to start again, that momentum has been lost and only gradually restores after some time.
 
This concept of momentum in relation to spiritual life dawned on me when faced with the weekly demand of writing Monday Morning Greetings. I noticed that when I don’t write every day I lose momentum and it takes an inordinate amount of time to shift into a reasonable pace of writing when I begin again. In contrast, when I write every day without fail, I seem to remain in high gear and can immediately build on the frame of reference where I left off. It seems that continuity over time in all endeavors gives momentum and enhances productivity.
 
I then also realized how much this same phenomenon of momentum was applicable to my spiritual practice. While in India this year, I was somehow able to sustain the practice of rising very early every day for my chanting. I noticed how after a while my practice substantially increased both in amount and quality. Since arriving in the United States, a combination of disrupted plans, late night programs, and unexpected travel disturbed my regulation, especially rising early, causing a reduction in the amount and focus of my chanting. When that temporary disruption in schedule passed, my practice lost momentum and ironically the minimum prescribed amount seemed as daunting as what I had being doing for almost a year, although then I was doing substantially more. Only gradually was I able to gain the momentum to sustain the previous level of practice.
 
This phenomenon of momentum is alluded to in the Yoga Sūtras where practice is defined as “concentration, without break, for a prolonged time with the right mood”. Here it specifically mentions that practice must be unbroken. In other words, it just can’t be casually done here and there, for even if you do the same amount sporadically, which is unlikely, you will not have the same momentum or gear to focus intensely. And I will add that without such focus, and the consequent realization and taste that follows, even the minimum amount of chanting will remain difficult and arduous. That’s the reason serious practitioners chant their japa at least in concentrated and unbroken bunches of four, eight or sixteen rounds and not haphazardly here and there.
 
Conclusion: Strictly set aside a time and place for chanting, for without minimum uninterrupted effort, we will never get the momentum to chant spontaneously and with realization. Rather our chanting will remain a bore and the effort to perfect one’s life hampered.
 
I am writing this very early in the morning trying to get back to my schedule. I will now pick up my beads and try to apply what I just wrote. For the next two hours, I will practice without break, confident that momentum will build, realizations will come and the thing that is best for me in this world, chanting the holy name, will more and more become the thing that I derive the most pleasure from. That is the glory of momentum.