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Irregular Sadhana, Mantras Before Diksha

(Jiva.org) – Irregular Sadhana, Mantras Before Diksha

Question: In one of your articles it was mentioned that knowingly not following śāstra is as good as śāstranindā. This was in context of not accepting a guru even though śāstra says to accept one. If a sādhaka, who may have some faith in Bhagavān and śāstra, but due to anarthas or lack of taste, ends up being irregular in their devotional service sometimes, would it be considered namaaparādha or due to anarthas?

Answer: Being irregular in sādhana is not aparādha but a consequence of aparādha. An aparādha can manifest in many ways, depending on its intensity. One of the ways it manifests is called bhakti-śaithilya, or being lose in one’s practice of bhakti.

Question: How can I become strong enough to accept my faults? When I introspect, I understand that I have faults but there is a force within that does not want to accept this. Then I  blame my flaws on others.

Answer: If you are sincere about bhakti, then it is not difficult to accept one’s faults. Bhakti makes one humble. A humble person has no difficulty in accepting faults. The material ego does not want to accept its flaws. It takes pleasure in blaming others. Having association with advanced devotees helps to be humble and accept one’s own flaws. If we do not have such association then the tendency is to find fault and feel superior to others.

Which mantras Can One Chant Before Dīkṣā?

Question: How shall I follow bhakti toward Gaurahari and Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇacandra of Vraja until I am initiated into harināma-mantra or receive a Vaiṣṇava mantra?

Answer: You can recite prayers and stotras. No initiation is needed for recting stotras. You can also chant names of Kṛṣṇa. You can do kīrtana. One verse that is very helpful is GĪTĀ 2.7.

Question: How many rounds of the mahāmantra I should chant? My mind says that if I chant fewer rounds with more attention, that is better.

Answer: The number is not important. One should do japa with attention.

Question: Is it right to chant Pañcha-tattva mantra before the mahāmantra?

Answer: There is nothing wrong with it.

Question: For quality chanting, should I pray to the Deity or the Holy Name?

Answer: The Holy Name.

Question: Is it better to chant in the mind than loudly reciting the mantra?

Answer: Yes. That is the recommendation of Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. But whatever works for you – loudly or mentally, that is best for you.

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