I think respect is really a way of life—a consciousness of the sacredness of all life and in fact everything that exists as it relates to God. In how I see the word, it is what Krishna consciousness is all about. We are learning to respect and honor God—Radha Krishna, Gaura-Nityananda and all their expansions and devotees—great teachers or gurus, devotees in general, but in fact all living beings and everything that exists. Although honor is not given as a synonym for respect, to me it could be. Given synonyms are deference and reverence.
In some cases we are completely blinded by our shortcomings and why we seem to be attracting the same old stuff into our lives, or why we don't have friends, or money, or don't have a taste for our spiritual practices. Even though in our estimation certain things shouldn't be happening to us (of all people), there are reasons for everything, and the primary reason for our life situation is to be found by looking in the mirror. You may think you had terrible parents, poor upbringing and social status, insufficient good looks, intelligence, education---you can fill in the blank---but your life is your creation (arranged by Krishna's material nature)--it is your karma, and the karma you created. The problem is YOU, not others!--but don't worry that is progress because by knowing a problem you can seek the solution. You are the pure soul and not your sad or even happy (?) story--arise O soul, armed with yoga stand and fight, with the help of the Light of Krishna's love you will be victorious!
The bottom line in applying various details (prayers chanted, ceremonies attended, stresses given at different times and stages) are the results of our practical spiritual life. Though we want to be motivated to please Krishna and his representatives there should be some result. Are we more enthusiastic and joyful to chant, read and engage in devotional service, or do we feel something lacking? We want to live our life in such a way that we feel absorbed in thought about and service to Krishna and his dear devotees.
It is not about only a number---the principle is to always chant, always remember Krishna, never forget him. That is the basis of all rules---the supreme rule. We are also advised to chant a fixed number of rounds as did Lord Chaitanya. So in the beginning before we take a vow to chant a certain amount at initiation by a bona-fide guru, we do what we can---whether 1 or 2 or 4 rounds etc and maintain that without fail, increasing from there. All the principles of K.C and many recommended details are given in Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion (his summary of Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu). Somehow to have attachment for and faith in Krishna
How often do we stop
to think of what we depend
to survive and thrive
and what's the Source of all?
Darkness has fallen
"suiting up" to go out:
mailbox and firewood.
Every step a prayer
giving thanks I still walk,
every breathe a question
when my love will awaken?
*Maharaja told a story of seeing a beggar's intense facial expression and gestures of need and desperation in the middle of a walkway at a busy train station in India. This inspired him in his chanting to call out for Krishna with feeling, expressing his urgent need for Krishna's mercy.
*There is a difference in hunger between a rich and poor man. A rich man's hunger is mild, as his stomach is at least semi-full, whereas a poor beggar is always hankering for a meal and visualizing food. Are we hungry for Krishna, or only religiously chanting?
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Walls, fortifications, tall towers in the clouds
everything stone, metal, the strongest materials
supposedly for protection, though it also
serves as a prison to keep others from
finding and hurting the self, and keeping you and me
from our true pure soul, instead, confusing, confounding.
Relationships are meant as excavations of revelation
to bring out the real persons, behind the wall,
the more subtle veil, the fog and smoke of
self-deception, the soul plugged into the material
machine, the virtual reality, Matrix-like, forcing us
to believe our dramas, not liking our story, or anothers.
Can I express my truth and experience
so you will understand me really (do you want to?)
without your natural filter, lens or labels?
While blessed to travel the royal path of Pure Love
the journey requires much preparation and stamina
as the road has both roses with hidden thorns and poison ivy—
nor is the road always smooth, or flat and easy going,
in one’s way come boulders, fallen trees, mud slides,
rivers to be forded, mountains climbed, tiredness overcome
temptations passed in alluring beautiful lush valleys.
As I flew to L.A. from Hawaii, I brought a very fragrant flower garland. When I arrived at the Temple, I wanted to personally garland him, but a devotee guard downstairs from his room stopped me. I thought about going into his room anyway, though I was too hesitant and fearful. Eventually Prabhupada came down to give his lecture---it was the disappearance day of his guru, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. I was introduced by the local GBC and gave him the garland. He didn’t seem to really notice me, which upset me a bit. I was able to consider that he likely was absorbed in other thoughts, perhaps of his guru. This was the year he gave a famous talk about his guru where he became choked up with tears saying how we were all helping him serve Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta.