I used to think that “only I had enough <enter situation here>, I will do so much more bhajana”. If only I had enough time, working 8 hours is draining! If only I had a meditation chair, if only I had more money, if only….
I really believed that if I got what I wanted, I would have more time to chant. Of course, when I got what I wanted, I didn’t chant. I was aware that I had gotten what I wanted, but there was so much else I needed to do first. My own needs got priority. Then – if I had some time I chanted, but there was no taste. So I pushed myself, but what I really wanted was to do something else. But, I had a duty to chant so I did it, with no taste.
What I didn’t understand then was that qualification is a gradual development. It’s not something that you do when everything is arranged perfectly. The stars doesn’t need to be aligned, you don’t need a whole day for yourself dedicated to chanting – because you’re not qualified. If you get a whole day for chanting, you will spend it differently and with a guilty conscience when you do some chanting.
That guilt is wasted. Guilt will not make us strive harder, it’s there to make us understand that qualification is gradual. I didn’t even understand that I had to work on chanting, I thought that just doing the rounds however unconscious was enough. It wasn’t. I had no taste, chanting became a chore, then chanting became a burden, then the burden became too heavy and I gave it up.
Now I understand that I need to work on my qualification if I want to chant more. I don’t need the conditions to be perfect, my imperfect conditions makes me want to chant more instead.
Every one of us has five senses, which are like five automatic tape recorders. No matter where we may stay, these tape recorders are always recording and playing back what they have recorded. Nirjana-bhajana, solitary bhajana, can only be performed when these five tape recorders have stopped recording things of this world.
The only way to stop them is by creating new recordings overtop of all of whatever they have previously recorded. Slowly, slowly, whatever recordings we have previously made will be erased when we use all our senses in the service of Vaiṣṇavas.
Srila Bhakti Vijnana Bharati Maharaja