Monday Morning Greetings 2019 #44 – How to Feel Bad About Yourself and Other Kārttika Thoughts: Part 2

November 4th, 2019

I will try an experiment for this week’s Monday Morning Greeting: rather than develop a specific topic, I will try share the realizations that come up through the week during my morning chanting. Why not? Being here in Govardhana seems to enhance one’s clarity of thought and foster realizations. Let me try:


Until one reaches the level of samādhi, no matter how hard you concentrate, the mind will sometimes wander. The question is, what will the mind wander to? The secret of progressive chanting is more and more developing a mind filled with spiritual thoughts, especially Krishna kathā, so that even when the mind wanders, it will remain in the realm of bhakti and one will be inspired to re-focus one’s attention on the holy name.


God hears our heart, not just our words.


The greatest mercy is when the thing that is best for one is the thing one likes best. Japa is not a chore; there is mercy here!


How can the repetition of three words over and over again not be boring? Simple. Happiness is about consciousness. If our consciousness is awakened in devotion and compassion, we can stay in that space forever without needing to be entertained by a constantly changing world. Focused chanting of the three words of the mahā-mantra, even though repetitious, awakens compassion and devotion in the heart. Kīrtanīya sadā hari. One can, therefore, stay there forever.


Unexpected, the fearful thought of death struck me. My chanting became deeper. An internal warning arose: Develop your spiritual identity, for the one you have will be lost at death.


There are two fears of death: the fear of pain at the end of one’s life and the fear that one will not obtain one’s desired destination. I think the latter fear is greater, because the physical pain of death can be drowned out by drugs or coma. Some solace: if one eventually surrenders to God, one’s destination is assured but real comfort comes only if one surrenders now. Actually, to conquer fear there is no other choice.


Maya’s tricks. I started to feel satisfied with what I am accomplishing this month. A short while after, however, I notice complacency almost imperceptibly affecting my resolve and practice for the sake of comfort. When satisfaction morphs into complacency, it is the enemy of bhakti, because bhakti is based on a deep yearning for the lotus feet of Krishna.


When we hear the holy name clearly and distinctly, it is not just due to our effort at the time we sit down to chant. It is Krishna’s mercy for our service and sincerity, especially the day before.


An obstacle to going deeper in chanting: the thought “What will Krishna have to do to me to answer my prayer to make me really humble and dependent on His mercy?”


Proud thoughts come—how special I am. It’s like poison to my bhakti creeper. It is better to feel bad about oneself.


Pride in victory, or moroseness in defeat, in useless. One should fully depend on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is responsible for the victory and defeat of all living entities. (Bhāg. 6.12.7 purport)



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