Considering my childhood history (which I know was arranged from my previous life's unfinished spirituality), becoming a devotee was the natural course of my life. In a sense, there was no other appealing option, so I embraced the life of a devotee as my highest prospect, which included chanting the holy name. In those days we used to do loud street sankirtana (group chanting) for 8-10 hours or more a day and this practice transported me to another world of bliss and intensity--the likes of which I had never know or imagined before.
Spending hour by hour
on many days of 2 Retreats
in Prabhupada's Japa Palace
trying to go deeper
in Japa (chanting Krishna's names on beads)
the most basic, yet profound
revealing spiritual practice--
going beyond "normal"
though official rounds
now to increase the quality
through lessons, techniques, prayer
building on 16 to 64 or more
by intention & effort
a special sacred space created
internally & externally
by a spiritual community
of like-minded chanters.
Lord Buddha decried the Vedas
being misused for animal slaughter
replaced the Vedas with his doctrine
of "ahimsa"--cause no harm to others
a religion that only matter exists
silent on God yet implying
no God, souls, or Spiritual Reality.
Followers learning peace
practicing compassion, kindness
withdrawing from the world
no positive activity beyond
like a child sent to their room
no eternal destination
no suffering by ceasing to exist.
Great Acharya Shankara
is Shiva under Krishna's order
while bridge building
from Buddhism to Personalism.
It is helpful--essential--to understand the K.C. philosophy or to be familiar with our Gaudiya Vaishnava conceptual orientation, yet there is both theory and realization. Realization means acting on the basis of the theory, and in the higher stages, there is no difference between the theory and our application--bhakti becomes who we are, not just what we do for perfection. In a sense we become love--but not impersonally, we become love in action. "Love is as love does." Or "love is not a noun but a verb or action word." Krishna consciousness is the "great art of doing work", but it is work or activity done for the satisfaction of Krishna, not for our selfish interest. The Gita teaches us that the soul is never inactive.
I read today about the spiritual lamentation of Krishna’s dear devotees, the cowherd girls or gopis who felt their misfortune at being apart from Krishna. This brought to mind the lives of other great devotees who act as teachers or gurus who lament their "fallen condition" and forgetfulness of Krishna, while also aspiring for spiritual perfection. Lord Chaitanya's own prayers also express this. We can follow their example by also lamenting our fallen condition—which means knowing what we don’t want in our lives, as well as praying for spiritual progress and the service of Radha Krishna(where we want to go).