Śrīla Gurudeva: If we cannot follow, then we should realize that we are in the madhyama-adhikārī stage. So, we should try to have the very good association of a bona fide Vaiṣṇava who is not envious of anyone. His affection is not bound by the walls of constraint. They bestow their love and affection over all. Everyone should be honored. A person may be initiated or not, but if he is chanting one name of Kṛṣṇa, then know that he is favorable and he should be honored. Hence, we should behave appropriately with Vaiṣṇavas. We only want the love of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. We don’t want anything else of this world. We have left our children, our parents, praise, reputation, and everything; and we have taken shelter. We shouldn’t engage ourselves in making unnecessary rules and regulation, in management, and in other extraneous efforts. A division should not be made among devotees. We should always see if our love and affection for Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa has advanced or not. If it is the same, then we should realize that we are still in the same stage we were in, twenty years back. Our activities are not helpful.
Therefore, we should try to correct our devotional practices. There is something amiss in those practices that stunts the growth of our devotion. You may fill a pot with water, but if it has many holes, all the water will leak out. There is no fault on the water’s part; the fault is with the pot that has many holes. If we see that our love and affection is not increasing but rather going less, then we should act quickly and increase our devotion. At first, you may chant sixty four rounds. But, after some time, you began to chant thirty two rounds. After some more time, the chanting halved and reduced to sixteen rounds. Then, you chant eight rounds. And on one day, you find yourself to have stopped chanting completely. After a couple of days, you may start chanting again. But, you chant with your mind not being fixed. You chant, “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa,” and tell someone, “Oh bring water! Bring water!” You tell another devotee who chants, “Don’t chant Hare Kṛṣṇa so loudly! Don’t shout so much!” You should know that if your devotion has reduced, it is because of offenses. And the taste to perform devotional activities will be on the wane.
We should try to correct our devotional practices, otherwise, what is left of bhakti will also go away. You should measure your advancement of devotion every evening. If this is not possible, then do so every week. Even if this is not possible, then measure your advancement of devotion on the appearance day and disappearance day of your Gurudeva. You should measure to see if your devotion has increased or decreased. A businessman meticulously checks to see every evening if he has churned out a profit or incurred a loss. On incurring a loss, he becomes sad; on churning out a profit, he becomes elated. Similarly, from time to time, we should check to see if our prema, our love and devotion to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is increasing or decreasing.
We should especially adopt this process on the Vyasa-pūjā day.
We should diligently engage in these practices and even promote them among devotee circles. This will help us.
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