“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.34)
Friend1: How do you find time to chant?
Friend2: Chant what?
Friend1: The holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Friend2: How do you find time to eat?
Friend1: Don’t answer my question with a question. That trick won’t work on me.
Friend2: I’m trying to establish something. Just go with it.
Friend2: How do you find time to sleep?
Friend1: I have to do those things. If I don’t eat, I won’t survive. Sleep is vital to good health.
Friend2: Do you find time to watch television and surf the internet?
Friend1: I see what you’re saying. But it seems like the responsibilities of daily life are too much.
Friend2: Too much for what?
Friend1: To remain dedicated to the regulative practice, sadhana, of bhakti-yoga. I have to get up early in the morning to prepare for work. When I get home at night, I am so tired. I don’t want to do anything.
Friend2: And so you’re saying it’s difficult to remain conscious of Krishna as a result?
Friend1: I know there is that famous verse in the Bhagavad-gita, where He advises Arjuna to constantly think of Him. By so doing, a person will automatically come to Him.
Friend2: Man mana bhavo mad bhakto…
Friend2: Listen, you make a strong case. During the day, responsibilities take precedence. There is that famous Latin phrase, carpe diem.
Friend1: Seize the day.
Friend2: Right. For most people, the opposite happens. They get seized by the day. Then at night they are held captive by a consciousness that remains focused on what happened during the past day and what needs to be done in the upcoming one.
Friend1: There you go. You understand the issue. It’s like an endless cycle.
Friend2: In a way symbolic of the samsara-chakra, or wheel of suffering. Day after day extends all the way out to birth after birth.
Friend1: Yeah. It’s like the precious human form goes to waste.
Friend2: Don’t let it. You are fortunate in that you are aware of the pattern. So many people don’t see it. They don’t have the opportunity to associate with sadhu, shastra and guru.
Friend1: Saintly person, scripture and spiritual master.
Friend2: I can assert that the human being is capable of amazing things. You see people working two jobs and raising a family at the same time. Sick people turn things around by adopting a healthy lifestyle. So much austerity goes into success for which there is evidence everywhere. Why can’t the same commitment be made in purifying the consciousness?
Friend1: That’s true.
Friend2: You have to believe that such practices will do you the most good. If you are confident in that way, then soon the attitude will change.
Friend1: How so?
Friend2: You’ll never even consider skipping the routine of chanting the holy names. Regular visits to a house of worship will be can’t miss appointments. You’ll be happy that a new day has come that allows you to again think of the all-attractive one. Thinking of Krishna is the highest form of meditation, and only in that meditation is peace found. Everyone is looking for peace, are they not?
Friend1: For sure.
Friend2: Trust that bhakti-yoga is the way. You don’t have to worship Krishna specifically. Whatever conception of God that you have, which can range from the impersonal energy to an Almighty being, just remain conscious of that object. Of course the closer you get to the personal conception, the more benefit will arrive as a result. But nevertheless, any genuine attempt made at spiritual life is far superior to spinning on the wheel of action and reaction in the material world.
Work during the daytime to seize,
Thoughts at night again to freeze.
To remain dedicated in bhakti how?
Seeming like never proper time is now.
Priority of sadhana make,
With urgency the process take.
Increased devotion the reward winning,
No more on samsara-chakra spinning.