How to overcome spiritual boredom?

by Chaitanya CharanJanuary 27, 2024

From: Naresh

How to overcome spiritual boredom?

Question by Naresh: How to overcome spiritual boredom?

Answer: There is no such thing as spiritual boredom. I think what you mean is that boredom while we practice spiritual life. Boredom is essentially a material emotion. When at the material level we do not find life to be titillating or enjoyable, then we call it boring. Now, sometimes, spiritual life may appear like that. It may not appear titillating, stimulating, enjoyable because we are going through the motions of practicing spiritual life without trying to take our consciousness deep within to the remembrance of Krishna. In material life, people try to do newer and newer activities externally so that they can get newer and newer pleasures. Now, people may try to eat new food, they may try to develop relationship with new partners; so, in all these things, people are trying to do external activities in a new way, but the essential pleasure remains the same because the pleasure is actually not in the particular objects but it is in the speculation/imagination of the ___ (1:39), ye hi saṁsparśa-jā bhogā, so the contact of the sense and sense objects is what?…. manasi-jam…it creates an imagination, stimulation in our mind of pleasure. So, whichever sensory impulse, whichever sensation stimulates our imagination the most, we think that that is the most pleasurable. But it is all temporary and never gives us any lasting happiness.

Now, in spiritual life, we do not do new things externally, we chant the same Hare Krishna maha-mantra, we worship the same deities, we study the same scriptures, Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, then how can we experience happiness? If we keep searching for newness within spirituality in the external forms of the activities, then we will soon become bored. In material life, the activities are new, but the experiences remain the same. It is punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām, chewing the chewed again and again. In spiritual life, the activities remain the same, but the experiences are different. We chant the same Hare Krishna maha-mantra, but as our absorption in Krishna, as our intense devotional remembrance of Krishna increases, we experience greater and greater happiness and fulfillment.

So, to overcome boredom while doing our spiritual activities, we need to not just follow the forms of doing spiritual activity like chanting, taking darshan, studying scripture, but we need to do it with remembrance of Krishna. So, we can meditate that whatever I am doing, I am trying to do it to please Krishna, to serve Krishna, to love Krishna, and when we do it with that meditation, that focus, then we will find that gradually as we start connecting with Krishna more and more, the boredom will go away. And of course, if there are some activities within the devotional circle that we like to do, that give us a taste, then we can try to do them more. If you like to hear kirtans, if you like to sing bhajans, if you like to recite verses, we can do those more so that by doing these we can become more habituated to the reality of spiritual happiness. And as we started understanding that there is something called spiritual happiness, we will want to go deeper and deeper. So, once if we start singing and we start finding that hearing music or singing or this thing something like that gives me a taste, gives me spiritual happiness, we do it more and more. Gradually by that, our connection with Krishna increases, and when our connection with Krishna increases, we can connect with Krishna in other activities also which we may till then have not found so pleasurable. And then we will find that boredom will go far away.

So, two steps essentially: First is whatever we are doing in our devotional service, try to remember Krishna and do whatever we are doing as an offering of love for Krishna’s pleasure; and secondly, within spiritual circle whatever gives us pleasure, do it more so that we can experience the spiritual happiness and deepen our spiritual connection with Krishna and that connection can expand to all aspects of our spiritual life.

Thank you.

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About The Author
Chaitanya Charan