Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home

My wife and I were discussing the other morning how with this pandemic, and now with the recent snow storm, many of us are forced to stay home. We don’t always have the luxury to visit our local church or temple to practice our spiritual life, in association with others. So we are forced by circumstances to practice our spiritual life on our own. Guess that is why it is called “Self Realization”.

Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home

by Padmapani das

Since the vast majority of our readers are coming to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna Consciousness for the first time through Internet searches, and without access to devotee association or a nearby Hare Krishna temple, many people have inquired about how they can set up an altar in their homes and start practicing Krishna Consciousness at their own pace.

The first and foremost principle of Krishna Consciousness is chanting the Hare Krishnamantra:
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ 
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”

This mantra is a prayer to the Supreme Lord which means: “O energy of the Lord (Hare), O all-attractive Lord Krishna, O Supreme Enjoyer (Rama), please engage me in Your service.”

As God and His name are nondifferent from Him and thus all-powerful (“Hallowed be the name of the Lord”), when we chant His holy name sincerely, we are directly associating with Him and we become purified. As we become more advanced in chanting Hare Krishna, we feel God’s presence more and more, and consequently we become automatically happy and satisified on the spiritual platform. Therefore, “Chant Hare Krishna and be happy” is one of our favorite mottos in Krishna Consciousness. Please try it for yourself and see the results. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

In addition, we recommend that you set up an altar in your home to help you focus even more on the Lord and His service. Although many cities in the world now have established temples with elaborate worship and regular programs available to the public, for those unable to attend, Srila Prabhupada recommends the simple process of advancing in spiritual life wherever you may live and in whatever circumstances you may find yourself. Prabhupada has repeatedly said that there are no material impediments to Krishna Consciousness. All that’s required is the sincere desire and effort on your part. “If you take one step towards Krishna, then Krishna will take ten steps towards you.”

Srila Prabhupada once wrote to an aspiring disciple:

“To prosecute Krishna Consciousness there is no limitation, no material impediment can stop progress of Krishna Consciousness. That is the symptom of spiritual life. Spiritual life doesn’t depend on material conditions. 

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Practicing Krishna Consciousness @ Home

Pancha_Tattva_by_Saradiya_devi_dasi
(Pancha-Tattva by Saradiya devi dasi)

Practicing Krishna Consciousness @ Home
The Simple Method

“The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates — Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krishna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krishna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krishna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity.” (Srila Prabhupada lecture, London’s Conway Hall, Nov. 1969)

 

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Chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra (Japa)

It has been requested that we do a post on Japa Meditation, so on this auspicious day of the appearance of Haridasa Thakura, we share with you some instructions on the chanting of Japa.

…Since God is all-powerful and all-merciful, He has kindly made it very easy for us to chant His names, and He has also invested all His powers in them. Therefore the names of God and God Himself are identical. This means that when we chant the holy names of Krishna and Rama we are directly associating with God and being purified. Therefore we should always try to chant with devotion and reverence. The Vedic literature states that Lord Krishna is personally dancing on your tongue when you chant His holy name.

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Health Consciousness/Standard Devotee Diet

Once when Srila Prabhupada saw what was being served to the devotees, lavishly prepared multi-course lunches, he told the managers that it was too opulent. He said we should eat simply during the week with rice, dhal, chapatis and a little subji and once a week on the Sunday love feasts we could be more lavish. Today with more of us becoming Health Conscious, it is good to remember the very simple devotee diet that was recommended to us so long ago.

Standard Devotee Diet

Srila Prabhupada recommended a standard diet for the devotees, and instructed that all of the temples should follow it every day. That menu follows:

BREAKFAST:

Simple farina cereal with nuts and raisins
Milk (steaming hot), or yogurt in the summertime
Chick peas (raw, soaked overnight)
Ginger root (raw)
Oranges, apples and/or bananas

LUNCH:

Rice
Chapatis
Dal made with freshly ground ginger root and freshly ground spices
Subji made with ghee, freshly ground ginger root and freshly ground spices

BEFORE TAKING REST:

Milk (steaming hot)
Bananas

For a free download of the Hare Krishna Cookbook on pdf More

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