In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
The peasant learned what many of us never understand - "Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition."
Friday, April 10, 2009
1.Chant early in the morning, if possible 5 to 7 am
2.Chant along with Srila Prabhupada's japa tape
3.Chant with good chanters (when possible)
4.Record your chanting so you can hear whether you skip syllables
5.Read at least one inspiring text a day from Srila Prabhupada's books about chanting (like the compilation "The Nectar of the Holy Name")
6.After each 16 rounds, write down in your journal how many rounds you have actually heard
7.Chant all 16 round in one go (this is very powerful!)
8.Above all, pray to Lord Krsna and to namacarya Srila Haridasa Thakura to improve your japa
9.Turn off the mobile phone
10.Don't turn on the laptop/PC
11.Don't get into conversations unless absolutely urgent
12.When mind wanders away, bring it back and focus on the sound
13.Chant feelingly, not mechanically
14.Share your realizations and quotes to the email list of japa improvers
15.Report daily to the email list of japa improvers
16.Use monthly Japa Excellence Table to keep track about quality and quantity.
“There is no vow like chanting the holy name, no knowledge superior to it, no meditation which comes anywhere near it, and it gives the highest result. No penance is equal to it, and nothing is as potent or powerful as the holy name. Chanting is the greatest act of piety and the supreme refuge. Even the words of the Vedas do not possess sufficient power to describe its magnitude. Chanting is the highest path to liberation, peace and eternal life. It's the pinnacle of devotion, the heart's joyous proclivity and attraction and the best form of remembrance of the Supreme Lord. The holy name has appeared solely for the benefit of the living entities as their lord and master, their supreme worshipful object and their spiritual guide and mentor. Whoever continuously chants Lord Krishna's holy name, even in his sleep, can easily realize that the name is a direct manifestation of Krishna Himself, in spite of the influences of Kali-yuga.”
- Bhaktivinoda Thakura