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Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Forced to Love Radha Krsna? - Inspiration vs Intelligence

Aquaman - Mon, 03 Nov 2003 10:37:51 +0530
Members of this forum please accept my obeisance .

My question is:

Should we do bhajana if we don't feel any inspiration to do so? Shouldn't love come naturally to the heart? I don't understand why I am supposed to force myself to follow rules like chanting set number of rounds every day when I find this difficult. I can appreciate the value of some austerity but isn't the value of austerity different for different individuals? If I put too much pressure on myself I become confused and can't function properly and inevitably despair. I am asking this question because I read this verse posted by Jagat on another thread.

astu tAvad bhajana-prayAsaH | kevala-tAdRzatvAbhimAnenApi siddhir bhavati | (BhaktiS 304)
Even without making any external efforts at bhajan, if one has nothing else but the sincere conviction that he is Krishna's servant, he will attain all perfection.

This sincere conviction grows within me every day - even on the days when I don't chant japa. I do want to be a good chanter of course! It just seems that all my circumstances and the state of my mind combine to snuff out my inspiration to chant day in day out. If anyone can deconstruct my thinking I would much appreciate it.

adiyen - Mon, 03 Nov 2003 14:18:04 +0530
Please accept my obeisance.

The simple answer is that these are issues to be raised with your Guru. A specific type of bhajan is given to the disciple by their Guru, to help the disciple come closer to Krishna.

As Jagat also points out, this is a process of increasing clarity. First we have an idea of being subservient to God, then we get a clearer idea that we have a serving relationship with a particular form of God, then, under the guidance of a Guru, we start to get a clearer idea of a specific type of service, and so on.

But the Guru is like a doctor. If the prescribed medicine is not having the desired effect, the dosage may need to be adjusted. Or perhaps what you are experiencing is just part of your personal path - but in this process we submit to the care and judgement of the Guru, just as when we are sick we need to trust the doctor.

That is the Gaudiya way.

And we don't insist that you take the Gaudiya way. There are other sampradayas.

Have you formally received Harinam from a Vaishnava, your Guru?

We all go through bad patches, in our personal lives, in our devotional lives. A lack of taste for the Name may also be from overfamiliarity. You certainly can't force it. It is not a mechanical thing. A good chanter is a blissful chanter.

The Name is an amazing thing, a beautiful wonderful thing. Read some inspiring descriptions of the Holy Name: the Lord is coming to dance on your tongue, He is so kind! It is actually awe-inspiring!
One famous old Gaudiya devotee is said to have brought the dead back to life with the Holy Name. And you have it!
Aren't you lucky?
Aquaman - Tue, 04 Nov 2003 07:48:33 +0530
QUOTE(adiyen @ Nov 3 2003, 08:48 AM)

Have you formally received Harinam from a Vaishnava, your Guru?

My guru is my siksa guru and he doesn't give harinam initiation or diksa. I have not sought harinam initiation from another guru because primarily I have a fear of failure and may break vows. I am confident that I have a bhakti lata bija that will grow up to Srimati Radharani's lotus feet but I have some baggage (karmas, samskaras, gunas) I have to deal with at the moment. I do consult with my guru but I thought I would ask here just to see if anyone else had any insights.

thanks for your help.