JAPA JAPA • • • • • • • Single most important activity – first vow 99% of spiritual advancement from chanting An exclusive activity Intense desire – foundation - firm determination Attentive hearing – most imortant aspect of japa Firm faith in the Holy Name Understanding the meaning of the Maha-mantra JAPA • • • • • • • Prayerful mood No material motivation Humility Suitable environment Posture Vigilance Japa is NOT a race JAPA • • • • • • • Always discuss Best in association of devotees Early morning Japa Loudness Holy Name or Pastimes Offenses against Holy Name Srila Prabhupada pranama mantra and Pancatattva mantra CORRECT POSTURE INCORRECT POSTURES JAPA – DONT’S No Japa while • Driving • During kirtans or lectures • Lying down • On the phone • While browsing in the laptop or watching television • Reading books or magazines including spiritual books Vaishnava Attire General rules • Simple clothing • Do not wear expensive and flashy looking jewellery • Avoid any items made of leather • Should wear Kanthi- mala • Should put Tilak • Men in dhoti and Women in sari Etiquette in Public • Representing Srila Prabhupada • Everyone – including Sri Krsna – is watching you • Never lose your temper in public • Be exemplary Correcting Others • Criticizing a Vaishnava pollutes the heart and impedes spiritual advancement To correct a devotee one must be • Non- envious • Desirous to practically assist the devotee in his Krsna consciousness • In a position spiritually or managerial which justifies and/or necessitates such intervention OR • Be personally requested by the devotee to help him in his difficulty. Continued… • Don’t use harsh words or actions while correcting devotees • Gratefully accept sincere and honest criticism • An advanced Vaishnava will see each and every correction offered as the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu • Prevention is better than cure. Methods of Correction • Correct by personal example and association • Guide the devotee to the shelter of a more advanced devotee • A junior devotee should not personally attempt to correct another devotee. Instead take the assistance of a senior devotee. Based on the teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada ~Founder Acharya~ International Society for Krishna Consciousness Seeking the blessings of Guru Parampara Seeking the blessings of Six Goswami’s of Vrindavan Seeking the blessings of tattva Sri Pancha- Overview Japa • Single most important activity – absolute must.. • 99% of our spiritual advancement • An exclusive activity – most important Personality is giving us an audience. • Intense desire – nityam bhagavata sevaya • Attentive hearing– alert at all time • Prayerful mood – desperate cry • Japa is NOT a race • Early morning Japa – Brahma muhurta FIVE ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES • • • • • Chanting the Holy Name Worshipping the Deity Hearing Srimad Bhagavatham Association with devotees of the Lord Residing in a Holy Dhama (or worshipping Tulasi-devi) WORSHIPPING THE DEITY WORSHIPPING THE DEITY • • • • Important principle for Grhasthas Worship of Gaura Nitai as presiding deities Children may also be engaged in Deity worship According to the Spiritual Master’s instruction ASSOCIATION OF DEVOTEES ASSOCIATION OF DEVOTEES • Association of devotees is our most prized possession, without which our life becomes dry and meaningless • One must associate with devotees “regularly” • The more one associates with sincere devotees, the faster the progress one will make in KC • Basis for satsanga is Sankirtana, Krsna-katha and seva • Prajalpa/Mundane talk should be avoided ASSOCIATION OF DEVOTEES • One is sure to drift from KC if one does not regularly associate • Association may be in person (Vapu) or through hearing (Vani). Both are important • The bond between devotees will be tested in time of difficulty. Loving exchanges between Devotees • Srila Rupa Goswami says in Nectar of instruction the six ways of loving exchanges between devotees: • Offering gifts • Accepting gifts • Revealing one’s mind in confidence • Inquiring confidentially • Accepting prasadam • Offering prasadam HEARING SRIMAD BHAGAVATHAM HEARING SRIMAD BHAGAVATHAM Devotees should regularly read/hear Srimad Bhagavatham. Reading/Hearing must be done in a serious, attentive and systematic way. Hearing is necessary to improve our philosophical understanding. Hearing also strengthens our conviction, faith and determination in Krsna consciousness. LIVING IN OR VISTING HOLY PLACES LIVING IN OR VISTING HOLY PLACES • Reside in a holy place or visit regularly • Participate in the yatras conducted by highly advanced devotees. • Such yatras are meant for spiritual purification. • While in a dham, devotees should completely immerse the mind in the Holy Name and Krsnakatha. • One should be careful not to commit any offences against the Holy Dhama. THE ESSENCE • A devotee’s lifestyle should conform to the principle : “Simple living, High thinking” • Most important rule “Always remember Krsna Never forget Krsna “ The most important rule and all other are subservient to this one.