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Way of Life

To become a devotee does not mean one has to abandon everything and go live in the forest. It means while having everything, one becomes attached to the Supreme Lord. In other words, while living in a house with family and friends, one can become a devotee. A devotee is one who chants the holy names of God, accepts an authentic Spiritual Master, and studies the ancient scriptures on a regular basis. Male or female, married or unmarried, everyone can become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. The only requirement is that they are able to perform devotional service. A sincere devotee feels that Kṛṣṇa is always with him/her. Just as a person addicted to tea gets a headache without his/her daily tea. Similarly if one becomes anxious when one misses his/her daily chanting, it is understood that saintly qualities have developed in him/her. This means a real devotee cannot live even for a moment without chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa or hearing about Him.

Dedication to the commands of Lord Kṛṣṇa results in peace, and the goal of human life should be to achieve peace. Just living in a nice house with good family and cooperative friends does not award one peace because many rich people are not seen peaceful. Attaining peace is the real perfection and worshipping Kṛṣṇa is that remedy for perfection. Besides worshipping Kṛṣṇa, every other religious activity falls short of awarding peace. Lord Kṛṣṇa stated in Bhagavad Gita, sa śāntim adhigacchati, “Only My devotee receives peace.” It means that one should decorate one’s life and home with many categories of devotional service so peace can be obtained. Therefore, one should connect to a pure devotee and learn from Him how to perform devotional service at home. If one follows this procedure, then peace will follow automatically. Chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa and performing devotional service will someday end in peace. Just as by great endeavors one obtains riches. Similarly, through true dedication to spiritual life one obtains peace. Just as the insecticide D.D.T. drives away mosquitoes, flies and the crop-eating insects from a field, similarly lust, anger, greed, envy, misfortune and miseries are driven away by performing devotional service. In other words, such unwanted qualities cannot be removed from the heart by some medicinal spray, because their only cure is the spray of spiritual life.

As soon as spiritual life is adopted, bad qualities begin to leave the person. The quality of performing devotional life should only be learned from a pure devotee. Therefore, keeping connection with a pure devotee is very advantageous. It means if one obtains saintly association, then the desired goal can easily be achieved. Just as a matchstick can produce fire, similarly the association of a pure devotee can produce the Lord’s blessings. ·Just as a person who possesses a match can have fire whenever they want, similarly a person who keeps close connection with a pure devotee can practice devotional life whenever they want. As the medium for fire is a match, similarly the medium for receiving the Lord’s mercy is a pure devotee. But if the match gets wet, it will not ignite and produce fire. Similarly, if offenses are committed to a pure devotee, the required blessings cannot be received. Offenses cannot be committed to a pure devotee because he made a social mistake. It is unwise for a person desiring His mercy to commit offenses to Him. Therefore, we recommend everyone to seek out an authentic Spiritual Master and staunchly follow His guidance, chant the holy names of Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa and soon peacefulness and prosperity will follow automatically.

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