How can I pray to Krishna?
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Reply: The Vedic scriptures and great teachers in our line – descending from Lord Chaitanya, the incarnation of Krishna who appeared five hundred years ago – recommend that we pray by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
You can chant on beads by yourself (this is called japa), or you can chant (sing) with a group (kirtana). Both are a very effective way of calling on the Lord for service.
The mantra is a prayer that means “O Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your service. Please accept me.” Our eternal position is that each of us is a loving servant of God, and chanting the maha-mantra is the way to contact Him directly. In chanting the mantra we are calling out to the Lord by invoking His names, which, because God is absolute, are identical to the Lord Himself. Chanting is therefore very purifying and cleansing to the materially contaminated heart.
Try to visit our temples and take part in this pleasant activity with others. Or you can of course do it at home.
In your heart and mind, pray for the Lord’s help to bring you closer to Him. He likes it very much when we glorify Him out loud, so kirtana is very powerful in that way. The maha-mantra is a sound from the spiritual realm and gives quick results.
The Benefits of ISKCON
I’m unhappy with my life and would like to join ISKCON. What are the benefits?
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Reply: What is attracting you to Krishna? You must be intelligent to see that there is nothing in the material world that is attractive and everlasting. Krishna means “all attractive,” and being with Him is the best life. That’s the greatest benefit any organization can offer, and that’s what ISKCON does. Bhakti, or devotional service, attracts Krishna because it is the means to please Him. If He is pleased, then we will be too.
Devotees in ISKCON are learning to please Krishna, beginning with glorifying Him. We are undertaking a process of service to Krishna that will awaken our sleeping spiritual senses and allow us to understand our real position.
By serving Krishna we feel real satisfaction. In ISKCON, serving Krishna is what we do and what we feel. We help each other in our attempt to attain perfection in this lifetime by connecting to Him.
Please understand that devotional service is natural and enjoyable for the whole family. Our temples are full of people who want to be there. Spend some time in helping around the temple, or make a temple in your home and invite devotees. In many places, even where there are no ISKCON centers, groups of devotees study and serve together. Krishna wants us to return to Him, and Srila Prabhupada started ISKCON to help us all do that.
Human Life Guaranteed
If I chant sixteen rounds like the devotees in the temple do but because of some reason I am not in the association of devotees, am I still guaranteed of a human birth in my next life?
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Reply: There is only gain in chanting the holy names, especially if you are chanting at least sixteen rounds, as Srila Prabhupada prescribed. Continue with faith that the Lord has recognized your sincerity. It is harder to persist in one’s chanting without the association of other devotees, so you are doing great if you are able to do so.
There are ways to get devotee association even if you don’t live near devotees. You can hear daily classes live through Krishna.com webcams. You can hear recorded classes from ISKCON leaders from the iskcondesiretree.com site. You can contact the closest temple and invite devotees to visit you. Many temples have devotees who travel to spread Krishna consciousness. You can also give your association to fellow workers and interested people. Srila Prabhupada’s books are great association and are soothing to the soul. But chanting, which is direct contact with Krishna, is enough to ultimately liberate you from materialistic life and at least assure you of a human birth in your next life.
Krishna has been waiting for you for a long time. Don’t underestimate the strength and potency of the maha-mantra. It will deliver you to your Lord.
Searching for Peace
I want to find peace. What should I do? I don’t feel attached to society. I just want to find peace.
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Reply: It is natural to want peace. Peace is our inherited right because we are part of Krishna, the source of all pleasure. The only way to have peace is to link to Him through devotion. All our attachments to material things have to vanish so that we can give all our attachment to Him. In this way He is pleased, and we will be too, eternally.
Real peace is not to be found in the material world, where there is only some temporary relief from the misery. We are learning the art of pleasing Krishna through this Hare Krishna movement, which is dedicated to hearing and chanting the Lord’s glories. Please take it up, and you will not be disappointed.
The chanting of Hare Krishna is a vibration that is identical to Krishna and can clear the clouds from our contaminated consciousness. Chanting is easy, and anyone can take part. Naturally, the misconceptions about enjoying material things will vanish, and your mind will stop being in anxiety – no more hankering and lamenting. You’ll be happy to just serve the Lord, satisfied with what He has given you.