(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 09 March 2014, Sydney, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 6.6.11)
I have a cartoon. The first picture shows a child, you know, baby just born and the caption says, “Too young.” Next picture shows a couple in love, hand-in-hand, full moon behind them, “Too much in love.” Next picture shows a family, a few kids, you know, bags with groceries. He has got a phone, a computer, a drill and a screwdriver. I mean, they have six arms; they are, “Too busy.” Next picture, an old man; death, “Too old.” Last picture has cross on the grave, “Too late.”
So at every stage of life, we have an excuse. We always have an excuse. So, now you can say, “I always thought chanting Hare Krsna was very difficult and now I have the perfect excuse – children! So happy that I have children because I don’t have to chant Hare Krsna anymore. It is a relief, right, because now I have very good arguments not to chant.”
No, chanting must be done under any condition of life and no material difficulty can ever be accepted as a valid excuse for not chanting.
Yeah, you know, “Why didn’t you chant your rounds today?”
“I broke my leg.”
“That is not a valid excuse. You could have chanted in the hospital.”
“Yes, but I was unconscious.”
“Well, then you should have started chanting when you regained consciousness.”
So we do not accept any excuse when it comes to chanting. Sorry! That is the first point and that is how we have to deal with ourselves. You have to take charge of yourself with intelligence as if you are another person, looking at yourself then you see yourself coming with excuses.
“I’m too busy.”
“Sorry, that’s not an excuse.”
Make time. You manage to make time when you really like something… like for your favourite TV program. So yes, with our intelligence, we must take charge and make arrangements – make time to chant. And chant with a plan. Don’t just let chanting happen.
“I have to chant sixteen rounds. I’m really trying, I’m trying. But I’m so busy, I’m so busy. You can’t believe how busy I am, I just cannot do it. I just don’t have the time. I try and try, every day I try. Don’t have the time.”
Uh, uh. Get time management! You have a time management problem. Yes, you are chanting without a plan. How do you think you will get it done without a plan? You have to have a plan. You have to build chanting into your day. Say, “I’ll chant here, I’ll chant there, and I need so much time for sixteen rounds. So many rounds here, so many rounds there.” That is how it is done!
You know, I also have a plan to chant today because I just arrived in Australia. I am sort of still dizzy and disoriented and looking at like, “Where am I?” Seems to be Sydney and there are three programs today. Three programs. So, I have to chant some rounds on the drive back… I have to make sure that I don’t fall asleep and that the driver is not going to try to reveal his heart to me while driving. (laughter) So, make a plan for spiritual life and it will go well.