How can we be Krishna conscious while doing our daily activities?
From: Utkarsh punkhia
How should we as devotees align our conciousness when we perform our daily activities because many a times it so happens that I feel out of 24 hours a day i’m only being able to serve Krishna directly when I chant?
Yes it is a challenge for every devotee to try to be Krishna conscious through out the day as is Krishna’s instruction to Arjuna tasmad sarveshu kaleshu… in the 8th chapter Krishna tells Arjuna . So Shrila Prabhupada writes in the purport to this verse that every devotee has to orient his life in such a way that he can always think of Krishna, and how will we do that will vary depending on time place and circumstances. But the first and formost principle is that we create a solid foundation by good sathana.So if we chant regularly , if we chant nicely, and if we try to read some little scripture what ever our schedules allow, on a daily basis, then we associate with devotees in whatever way we can, if we have a strong vibrent morning programe of good sadhana, that will give us the foundation by which we can be Krishna conscious through out the day. So basically, there are two kinds of forces or desires in our heart, one is centrifugal and other is centripetal. Centrifugal or external desires, they drag our consciousness outward towards the external worldly objects, in the hopeless hope for material pleasure. and the centripetal force, or the centripetal , in internal force, it takes our consciousness towards Krishna. to connect with Him in loving devotion and experience everlasting happiness thereof. The purpose our our sadhana is not just to get our rounds completed, it is to actually make the centripetal force stronger than the centrifugal force. So in the morning if we connect ourselves with Krishna strongly, that connection with Krishna gives us the experience of higher happiness, it sharpens our intelligence and it strengthens our centripetal force, and in the day time, when we have to be in the worldly situation , interact with worldly minded people, all those interactions gradually will strengthen our centrifugal force, the force that draws us outwards, and that is why our sadhana is everyday., So yes the centrifugal force is becomes strengthen by the evening and that is why the next morning again we counter that increased centrifugal force by our sadhana, which strengthens our centripetal force, our internal force. So this is a daily ongoing battle for a devotee. So if we don’t do our sadhana properly then there will be only the centrifugal force and no centripetal force and slowly but surely we will loose our Krishna consciousness and become more and more materialistic, getting lost in the material desires and the vain attempt to fulfill them. Now even when we are in a worldly environment, we can try as much as possible to nourish the centripetal force, we can, if our work place allows us, hear some devotional music, if we have some devotee at our work place,that we will be best, we can take lunch with devotees, we can interact with devotees over there, at least during our breaks, lunch breaks and other breaks we have , and we can try Krishnaise our work as much as possible, one way of-course is by offering the fruits of our work to Krishna, we can offer charity to Krishna’s cause that make sure that our work is not just for our sake but it becomes for Krishna’s sake, So actually, our Krishna consciousness progresses in stages, first we think that Krishna is there in the temple, so temple is that one place, then we have our home as our second place, and office as third place. So we go to the temple and we think that the temple is the spiritual place, but gradually as our Krishna consciousness become stronger and our that stronger Krishna consciousness gets expressed through external transformation in our lives and extra commitments to Krishna, then at that time, it is not only t the temple , that is a temple, we try to make our home also into temple, so then we may have an alter in our home, we try to make our family members into devotees, we try to sanctify the atmosphere whatever, and later on , not only the temple is a temple , even our home is a temple., but even our heart is temple, so we try to make our heart a temple by making Krishna the goal of all our desires, we enthrone Krishna in our heart, and that is the purpose of our sadhana is, we want to give everything that we are acquiring, to Krishna, so then when Krishna is installed in our hearts by our strong sadhana, then we may not be able to convert our office into a temple, but we can carry Krishna in our hearts to the office, so carrying Krishna with as in our in not an abstract, Krishna is as a super soul is always there with us, but we are not always aware of His presence, we are not always Krishna consciousness. So as we increase our Krishna consciousness activities externally, by going to the temple regularly, by making our home into temple and by doing good sadhana, which connects us with Krishna in our hearts, then we will be able to be more and more Krishna conscious even in situations that are not externally Krishna conscious. So we can, if we like some inspiring verses or passages from the scripture, we can commit them to memory, and we can periodically take a minute or two break and just recite those verse, or recite those sentences or passages and that will intellectually devotionally reorient us towards Krishna in our work place. Now a days even company professionals say that employees can work more efficiently, if they take short breaks, somebody is working continuously, and the computer is taking a minute or two break after every hour, helps in work with more efficiency and as gives more longevity, soas devotees, we can use that principle to take a break , no just sake of material purposes , but for spiritual purpose, we can use that break to connect ourselves to Krishna, and if we try to be Krishna consciousness, then Krishna will guide us how we can be Krishna conscious. So this is the dynamism of bhakti. Ultimately the everyone of us is an individual, every situation that we go through as an individual is unique and that’s why what the scriptures give us is not instructions but guide lines. It’s not instructions do this in this situation and don’t do this in this situation. but a guide line, try to remember Krishna all times, and try to avoid forgetting Krishna at any time, if we try to follow these guide lines , Krishna explains in bhagavad Gita 10:10, dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ, I will give you the guidance, I will give you the intelligence from within your own heart about how you can come back to Me, So how we can be Krishna conscious in our situation, when the externals are not Krishna consciousness, if we try according to our capacity using whatever little intelligence Krishna has given us, then when Krishna sees our sincerity then Krishna will give us more and more intelligence, and we will find newer and newer ways to be Krishna conscious.
So to summarize, first and foremost is that , when we have the opportunity to be explicitly Krishna conscious , we should be, so our strong morning sadhana, creates the foundation that strengthens the centripetal force, and weakens the centrifugal force. Then we discussed how, first we go the temple first and strengthen centripetal force, then we make our home into temple and then by our sadhana and by our association at the temple and our spiritualization of our home, the centripetal force becomes stronger enough, then not only the temple is temple, the home is temple, but even our hearts become temple. and we try in what ever way we can to make our office place spiritual by taking periodically breaks , by associating with devotees if there are and if we try then Krishna will give us intelligence about how to go ahead.