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Saranagati Newsletter No. 139


We are all doing our best to answer Kṛṣṇa’s spiritual call. However, we still have the conditioned side within us that can create obstacles in our spiritual life. Then, devotees are often disappointed and say, “It’s all useless.” 

But if we look at it from Kṛṣṇa’s perspective, it looks different. From Kṛṣṇa’s perspective, it’s not our mistakes that define us. He doesn’t have eyes for the faults of his devotees – just as we can’t see oxygen in the air. In the Bhagavad-gītā (9.30-31) Kṛṣṇa explains that in His eyes a devotee is defined by his devotion, not by his non-devotional acts. This is how attached Kṛṣṇa is to His devotees.

How can we understand this? What goes on in Kṛṣṇa’s mind? There are two things we need to understand why Kṛṣṇa is so kind to His devotees:

  1. Kṛṣṇa sees that a devotee is always moving towards Him – sometimes walking, sometimes crawling – despite their failures or successes on the path. Come what may, the devotee doesn’t stop offering some service.
  2. This service needs to be done with some attraction to Kṛṣṇa. When something is offered with bhakti, Kṛṣṇa accepts that. 

So even if you cannot uphold all of your ideals, if you try your best with devotion, Kṛṣṇa considers you a devotee. His logic is that in due course of time, you will become perfect on the path of bhakti. You may not be perfect now, but as long as you take to this medicine of offering something with as much devotion as you can. If you have these short moments of devotion in your life, Kṛṣṇa thinks, “Oh, he’s taking the medicine! Soon the fever will leave him.”

You must carefully see to it that you have these moments of devotion within your day. Please don’t lament that life demands too much of you. Maybe you have to work, maybe you have children to educate, maybe you have just come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and you have to finish your academic career… whatever your situation is, try to have a moment of pure bhakti every day. And pure bhakti means that you are only, exclusively, engaged in bhakti during the time you have for it.

We often become depressed when we cannot engage in as much of the quantity of bhakti-sādhana that we would like to offer. You may not be able to read as long as you want to, you may not be able to chant for two hours in one go in the morning, you may have to squeeze in your sādhana during your lunch break, or in the evening when you are tired.

But Kṛṣṇa wants moments of devotion from you. Look for these moments of devotion in your day. Moments, in which you are there for Kṛṣṇa and consciously fixed on Him in your mind, doing something for His pleasure. This could be when you’re preparing a meal in the kitchen. Forget that you will eat it after offering for the time being, and think: “Now I will cook the best meal I have ever cooked, for Kṛṣṇa.” When the Lord sees this type of bhakti, he accepts whatever you are doing. 

Sometimes the devotees’ practice degenerates into something they just want to tick off on their sādhana-sheet. They forget that Kṛṣṇa only wants bhakti. When we do things with bhakti, we become inspired, and inspiring. Go before the altar and chant, and mean it! Go into the kitchen and prepare a simple roasted banana for Kṛṣṇa – it’s so easy, even I can do it. These are the moments that will bring you into everlasting peace and pleasure by the power of bhakti.

Building on that, find the place where you can be enthusiastic and strengthen that. You will then experience divine reciprocation and everything else is uplifted. The flood of bhakti will flow into the harbor of your devotional life and raise all the ships there: your relationship to japa, to other devotees, everything… So find out where you feel: “Wow, I really like doing this for Kṛṣṇa.” and then everything else will follow.

When you consciously incorporate these moments of bhakti into your day, you will see how this is accepted by Kṛṣṇa, and how that influences all areas of your life so you can chant, eat, talk, walk, sleep… do everything with bhakti.

From a lecture by Śacīnandana Swami on February 5, 2023, in Goloka-dhāma, Germany.



For me it is difficult to connect “Hare” with Rādhā. It is like an alien word to me. Is there a way of making that connection?


When you learn a new language, at the beginning, you have to consciously translate every word. You move from conscious incompetence to conscious competence, and then to unconscious competence. It is the same in bhakti. You start out knowing that you can’t do it and after some time, with practice, you come to the platform where you just stay with Rādhā Kṛṣṇa when you chant. You are in their presence. You feel Them, you know They are there, listening. You are not even making a conscious effort. But if you don’t make an effort at first to come out of the unconscious state you are in at the moment in regards to spiritual truth, you will never come to this ‘competent’ level. Do you remember reading the philosophy for the first time and how you couldn’t relate? You thought, “I will never understand this!” And now, no problem, you can even give a lecture.

I want to encourage you to chant the Holy Name with taste. It will take a good investment of your time and desires. Coming to the higher states of blissful chanting is not easy. The first step we need to start out with, is to bring the mind away from its various thoughts, and just bring it into the mantra. Various thoughts will come during chanting. Tell yourself, “I can deal with everything after chanting.” Whenever the mind goes somewhere, even nice thoughts, bring it back and just listen to the Holy Name and the Holy Name can have its effect on you, now that you are outside of your mental cloud. 

Take your mind out of the thoughts and problems. Problems only exist in the mind. There are no problems except for the problems we see in our mind. Take your mind out of this cloud and bring it to the mantra. The mantra will have an effect on the mind and after chanting you will feel very relieved: “Aw, I was in the no-material-mind zone.” 

All of this is the first step, and it is very important. Because if you instead start to conceptualize “Rādhā is identical with Hare…” you will use and activate the material mind. It will then tell you, “I can’t understand it. I could only understand it, if it were different…” You will stay on the material platform with a nice problem. 

It’s good to understand how to meditate, my dear devotees. Prabhupāda is known for having said, “Where is the question of the mind, you just hear and chant. Park the mind somewhere, it is not necessary. You don’t need a mind to chant.” The mind will become silent, if you don’t fuel it with more energy, and then so many divine realizations follow which are not constructs of the mind. You will be in a real spiritual place. The mind is not you – it happens to you, like your heartbeat and your breath. The mind is separate from you, and through proper meditation you learn to dis-identify from the mind, and then spiritual life starts.

From a lecture by Śacīnandana Swami on February 5, 2023, in Goloka-dhāma, Germany.


As soon as the Lord is seated within the heart of the devotee, the devotee cannot be contaminated by the material modes of nature. As long as one is under the control of the material modes, he desires so many things and makes so many plans for material sense enjoyment, but as soon as the Lord is perceived in the heart, all material desires vanish. When the mind is completely free from material desire, the devotee can think of the Lord constantly. In this way he becomes completely dependent upon the lotus feet of the Lord.

From Śrīla Prabhupāda’s purport to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 4.31.20.