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Kartik Inspirations day 5 - Regularity: the Essence of Spiritual Practice

Welcome to day 5 of the Kartik Inspirations.

When we go on a personal retreat or when we try to increase our spiritual practice, uplift our consciousness, we sometimes find a little difficulty, because there are maybe many things going on in our lives. Therefore I would like to give you something through which you’ll know what the essential point is. His Holiness Radhanath Maharaja explains this essence very nicely. He says: “The most important thing needed is to find the spiritual world within ourselves. To find that oceanic peace, happiness, love and compassion within.” To come to this place inside, the sacred space, the month of Kartik offers a unique opportunity. Why? Because here we do something on a regular basis, day after day, which will then create just a new wiring inside, a new consciousness, a new level of awareness.

I would like to share with you the daily program of my own spiritual master while he resided in Vrindavan so that you can get an idea of what it could mean to do something on a regular basis. While you will most probably not do the same things, you can still get the idea and the inspiration from it. I will quote from the book Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta. Let us accompany Srila Prabhupada through a typical day while he resided in Vrindavan.

“For hours he wrote, page after page in an exercise book, until gradually the chirping of awakening birds signaled the end of the dark night’s stillness. Soon the sun would rise. Keeping to his regular schedule, he put aside his writing and began chanting japa, staying in his room, uttering the Hare Krsna mantra in a soft, deep voice. Even before the first traces of light in the sky, before the river was visible, a few babajis reciting prayers made their way through the streets, heading for the Yamuna river. By 4:00 A.M., gongs and temple bells throughout the city heralded the mangala - arati(the first ceremony) of the Deity. Srila Prabhupada continued chanting alone for another hour. Then he prepared to bathe, lowering the bucket on its long rope and hauling water up to the rooftop.”

Yes, regulated seva is also called niyam seva in Sanskrit, and it is one of the essential qualities that bring about the magical effect of Kartik. It’s enough if your regular service is just to wave a light in circles to Krishna, read a little in the sacred scriptures—Bhagavad Gita, etc., and do maybe a kirtan or chant. It’s not the quantity which matters, it’s the regularity.

See you all tomorrow.



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