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Daily Practice

— { Scriptural regulations } —



Below is the translation of a compilation of some of the rules and regulations that are favourable for a practitioner to be aware of and follow. On the order of Srila B.N. Acharya Maharaj, this compilation was prepared by Sripad B.K. Tyagi Maharaj and is published yearly as an appendix to the Bengali Vaishnava calendar. Srila Acharya Maharaj repeatedly stresses the importance of following these.


Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Main Teachings

amnayah praha tattvam harim iha param sarva-saktim rasabdhim
tad-bhinnamsams cha jivan prakriti-kavalitan tad-vimuktams cha bhavat
bhedabheda-prakasam sakalam api hareh sadhanam suddha-bhaktim
sadhyam tat pritim-evety-upadisati janan gaurachandra svayam sah

(Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)

Sriman Gaurachandra personally instructed all jivas the following ten postulates:

(1) The revealed truth (that which comes through a bona fide succession of gurus) is the main evidence through which the following nine conclusions are imparted:
(2) Lord Krishna (Hari) is all in all;
(3) He is the master of all potencies;
(4) He is an ocean of all possible ecstatic nectar;
(5) all jivas are parts of Lord Hari’s potency;
(6) created as marginal potencies, all conditioned jivas are possessed by the external, illusory environment;
(7) marginal by their intrinsic nature, all liberated jivas are free from the influence of the external, illusory environment;
(8) the entire creation – all animate and inanimate entities – is simultaneously different and non-different from Lord Sri Hari;
(9) pure devotion is the only way for all jivas to attain Him;
(10) the only goal of life for all jivas is the pure love for Lord Krishna.


Steps to Pure Devotion

(From Sri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu by Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu)

Sraddha (1) faith in the purport of the scriptures, which comes from listening to the scriptures in the association of saints;
Sadhu-sanga (2) again the association of saints; taking shelter at the holy feet of Sri Guru to learn the rules of spiritual practice;
Bhajana-kriya (3) practising sravan, kirtan and other processes according to the guidance of Sri Guru and saints;
Anartha-nivrtti (4) all suferring (such as produced by sins, ignorance or anything else that opposes the ultimate goal of human life) gradually becomes destroyed;
Nistha (5) constant, one-pointed devotional practice (when the heart does not become distracted, or scattered);
Ruchi (6) aspiration for conscious spiritual worship or the object of worship;
Asakti (7) natural taste, or attraction, for spiritual life or the object of worship;
Bhava (8) that which makes the heart perfectly level through the spiritual taste of pure transcendental goodness situated on the rays of the sun of transcendental love (prema) is called ‘bhava’;
Prema (9) when bhava completely levels out one’s heart, turns into a deep feeling of affection and attachment and assumes its own intense, deep form, great learned scholars refer to this as ‘prema’.


The Sixty-Four Practices of Devotion

(Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur's Amrta-pravaha-bhasya on Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta)

(1) Taking shelter at the lotus feel of Sri Guru
(2) Receiving initiation into the mantra
(3) Serving Sri Guru
(4) Learning pure religion and making honest enquiry
(5) Following the path of the sadhus
(6) Giving up personal enjoyment out of love for Krishna
(7) Residing in a holy place of Lord Krishna
(8) Accepting only whatever allows you to carry on your life, and only as much as required
(9) Fasting on ekadasi
(10) Honouring the dhatri and asvattha trees, cows, brahmans and Vaisnavs
(11) Summarily giving up offences to service and the Holy Name
(12) Rejecting the association of non-devotees
(13) Not taking many disciples
(14) Not trying to become skilled in many scriptures (i.e. giving up haphazard reading or listening to parts of scriptures and attempts to philosophise about their meaning)
(15) Having the same attitude to loss and gain
(16) Not being overcome by grief and other undesirable feelings
(17) Not showing disrespect to other gods or scriptures
(18) Not listening to the criticism of Lord Visnu and Vaisnavs
(19) Not listening to ‘village talks’ (family news and talks of husbands and wives that revolve around sense-pleasure)
(20) Not troubling the minds of other living entities, not behaving miserly and not feeling zealous when starting some material work
(21) Hearing about the Lord
(22) Chanting the Lord’s Name and glories
(23) Remembering the Lord
(24) Worshipping the Lord
(25) Offering obeisances to the Lord
(26) Serving the Lord
(27) Serving the Lord in the mood of a servant
(28) Serving the Lord in the mood of a friend
(29) Self-submission to the Lord
(30) Dancing in front of Deities
(31) Singing in praise of the Lord
(32) Speaking humbly
(33) Offering prostrate obeisances
(34) Standing up when seeing the Lord or His devotee enter
(35) Walking behind to see off a devotee or the Lord when they travel or go away
(36) Coming to the holy place and homes of devotees and the Lord
(37) Circumambulating holy places
(38) Reciting verses in glorification of the Lord
(39) Chanting the Holy Name on beads
(40) Chanting congregationally
(41) Honouring the smell of incense and flowers that have been offered to the Lord
(42) Serving to mahaprasad
(43) Taking darsan of aratis and great fesitvals
(44) Taking darsan of the Lord’s holy Deities
(45) Offering the Lord that which is dear to yourself
(46) Meditating
(47) Serving Tulasi
(48) Serving Vaisnavs
(49) Serving Mathura and other holy places
(50) Relishing Bhagavatam
(51) Dedicating all efforts to Krishna
(52) Hankering for the Lord’s mercy
(53) Observing birthdays and other festivals together with devotees
(54) Surrendering in all ways
(55) Physically observing Kartik and other vratas
(56) Applying Vaisnav symbols on your body (tilak marks on twelve parts of the upper body and tulasi beads on the neck)
(57) Applying the Names of the Lord and His devotees, such as the ‘Hare Krishna’ maha-mantra or the Pancha-Tattva Names, on your upper body (when applying sandalwood)
(58) Maintaining purity (‘tvayopabhuktah srag-gandha...’)
(59) Drinking charanamrita
(60) Associating with saints (sadhu-sanga)
(61) Chanting the Holy Name (Nama-kirtan)
(62) Listening to Bhagavatam (bhagavat-sravan)
(63) Residing in Mathura (mathura-vas)
(64) Serving Deities with faith (sraddha-purvaka sri-murti-seva).


Four Kinds of Anarthas (Unwanted Elements)

(From Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur’s Sri Bhajana-rahasya)

(1) Misconception:
   (a) misunderstanding one’s own identity and nature;
   (b) misunderstanding the Lord;
   (c) misunderstanding the goal and the means to attain the goal;
   (d) misunderstanding what is unfavourable, or opposing.

(1) Inauspicious, false hankering:
   (a) longing (desire or search) for worldly attainments;
   (b) inauspicious, unhealthy hankering for spiritual attainments;
   (c) desire for mystic powers and liberation.

(1) Offences:
   (a) offences to the Holy Name;
   (b) offences to service;
   (c) offences to Vaisnavs;
   (d) offences to the holy place;
   (e) offences to living entities.

(1) Weakness of the heart:
   (a) negligence (indifference towards Krishna);
   (b) hypocrisy (duplicity);
   (c) envy (feeling upset or envious seeing others’ opulence or progress);
   (d) desire for name and fame.


Five Diseases (Pancha-Roga)

(1) Ignorance: forgetfulness of one’s own transcendental form.
(2) False identification: considering oneself to be the gross, material body and loving attachment to other perishable bodies (men, women, etc.).
(3) Misdirected love: deep attachment to the material things that are favourable to the body.
(4) Aversion: aversion to the material things that are unfavourable to material enjoyment.
(5) Misdirected attention: being attached to, or engrossed in, that which is favourable and when it is to be given up, being unable to tolerate it.


Four Faults of Conditioned Souls

(From Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita)

(1) Misconception: false presumption about the non-existent (mistaking a rope for a snake, or a pearl for a piece of silver);
(2) Madness: negligence, carelessness; understanding, hearing or saying something in a different way;
(3) Deception: desire to lie and cheat;
(4) Imperfection of senses: short-sightedness, far-sightedness, distorted perception of colour due to jaundice and other diseases, inability to hear things far, etc.


Ten Kinds of Offences to the Holy Name

(1) Criticising sadhus;
(2) considering gods independent of Lord Krishna;
(3) disrespecting (disobeying) Sri Guru;
(4) criticising revealed scriptures;
(5) discussing the meaning of the Holy Name;
(6) considering the Holy Name to be imaginary;
(7) behaving in a sinful way relying on the purifying strength of the Holy Name;
(8) considering, delusionally, that chanting the Holy Name is equal to other pious works;
(9) giving the Holy Name to those who have no faith because of material attachment;
(10) even after having heard about the glories of the Holy Name, being infatuated with the material life of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ and having no love for the Holy Name.


Four Types of Sadhu-Ninda (Offences to Saints)

Offenders of Vaisnavs are those who find faults in Vaisnavs due to their 1) caste (origin), 2) occasional slips (resulting from being overpowered by material influence), 3) almost eradicated mistakes, 4) mistakes committed before surrender.


Thirty-Two Types of Seva Aparadhas (Offences to Service)

(1) Entering the house of the Lord on a vehicle or wearing shoes
(2) Not making festivals on the birthdays of the Lord and devotees
(3) Not paying obeisance in front of the Deity
(4) Glorifying the Lord in an impure state of mind and body
(5) Paying obeisance with one hand
(6) Strolling in front of the Deity
(7) Stretching your legs out in front of the Deity
(8) Slouching: sitting front of a Deity embracing your knees with your arms
(9–17) Lying down, eating, telling lies, speaking loudly, speaking privately to another person, crying, quarrelling, harassing and treating another person partially in front of the Deity
(18) Behaving with or speaking to common people in a cruel way
(19) Covering yourself with a blanket when doing service
(20–23) Criticising others, praising others, using harsh or foul words towards others or behaving with others in a nasty way and passing wind in front the Deity
(24) Miserliness: having means but being stingy when arranging festivals, worship and other services
(25) Accepting unoffered things (eating unoffered food)
(26) Not offering seasonal fruit, crops and other produce
(27) Giving part of what you collect first to others and then using the rest for cooking for the Lord
(28) Sitting with your back to the Deity
(29) Greeting others in front of the Deity
(30) Keep silence in front of Gurudev: not offering him praise, etc.
(31) Praising yourself in front of Sri Gurudev
(32) Criticising gods.


Ten Kinds of Dham-Aparadh (Offences to Holy Places)

(1) Disrespecting (disobeying) Sri Guru and sadhu, the revealers of Sri Dham
(2) Considering Sri Dham temporary, non-eternal
(3) Feeling envious or prejudiced towards the residents or pilgrims of Sri Dham
(4) Engaging in material activities in Sri Dham
(5) Instead of serving Sri Dham, using the Deities in Sri Dham for making business and earning money
(6) Pursuant to material vision, trying to analyse and equal material places or other places of demigods to Sri Dham
(7) Behaving in a sinful way relying on the purifying potency of Sri Dham
(8) Discriminating between Sri Nabadwip and Sri Vrindavan
(9) Criticising scriptures containing the glories of Sri Dham
(10) Having no faith in the glories of Sri Dham and considering them imaginary


Four Pillars of Dharma

(1) Truthfulness
(2) Mercy
(3) Cleanliness
(4) Austerity


The Four Pillars of Irreligion

(1) Falsehood
(2) Pride
(3) Selfish desire
(4) Violence (envy)


Five Places of Kali

(From Srimad Bhagavatam)

(1) Gambling (dyuta): cards, chess, dice, horse races, water games, gambling, lottery, shatranj, board games, etc. Lying resides in these activities. Engaging in these activities destoys truthfulness.
(2) Intoxication (pan): bettle nut, snuff, marijuana, opium, alcoholic drinks, hashish, poisonous plants (hemlock), thorn apple (datura), arrack, etc. Drinks brewed from honey, sugarcane, grapes, tal, dates, jackfruit, maireya (ram horn with jaggery), makshika (copper pyrite), tanka (a drink from day-old cooked rice), liquorice, coconut and rice are also considered intoxicants. Pride resides in them. Consuming these things destroys compassion and mercy.
(3) Illicit association (stri): connection with women out of wedlock and attachment to one’s lawful wife (as well as the association with the persons who are involved in such connections). Lust resides in this. Doing this destroys purity.
(4) Slaughter (suna): to kill others to nurture your own body. Jealousy resides in killing other living entities, and it destroys truthfulness, mercy, purity and austerity. Those who allow animal slaughter, who cut the meat of dead animals, kill animals themselves, buy or sell meat, cook, serve or eat it fall within the category of killers.
(5) Gold (jata): things such as gold and silver as well as money. Lying, pride, lust for illicit mixing, jealousy and animosity are present in this fifth unwanted element.


Unfavourable to Devotion

(From Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur’s Piyusa-varsini Vritti commentary to Sri Upadesamrita)

(1) Urge of speech (vakya-vega): using words that disturb any living entities in the creation.
(2) Urge of mind (mana-vega): various desires and hankering.
(3) Urge of anger (krodha-vega): using harsh language.
(4) Urge of tongue (jihva-vega): craving for any of the six tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, astringent, pungent).
(5) Urge of stomach (udara-vega): eating very much.
(6) Urge of genitals (upastha-vega): craving for sexual intercourse.


Thorns in Devotion

(From Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur’s Piyusa-varsini Vritti commentary to Sri Upadesamrita)

(1) Overeating (atahara): eating or trying to accumulate much.
(2) Over-endevouring (prayasa): run behind material things or striving to do what goes against devotion.
(3) Idle talks (prajalpa): engaging in unnecessary common talks that steal time.
(4) Attachment to rules (niyamagraha): eagerness to follow inferior rules when superior rules can be followed and not doing that which nurtures devotion.
(5) Bad association (jana-sanga): associating with anyone except pure devotees.
(6) Greed (laulya): being fickle-minded (unsteady in your conception, wavering when coming in touch with various other conceptions) and being attracted to trifle material things.


Favourable to Devotion

(From Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur’s Piyusa-varsini Vritti commentary to Sri Upadesamrita)

(1) Enthusiasm (utsaha): earnest eagerness to attend devotional events and practising with loving affection.
(2) Determination (nischaya): firm faith.
(3) Patience (dhairya): seeing delay in attaining the desired end, not slacking in your practising activities.
(4) Engaging in activities that nurture devotion (bhakti-posaka karma): practising sravan, kirtan, etc. and abandoning personal pleasure and enjoyment for Lord Krishna.
(5) Giving up association (sanga-tyaga): leaving the association of unscrupulous (unreligious) people, women in general and henpecking women, those who mix with women, and non-devotees (materialists, mayavadis, atheists and hypocritical believers).
(6) Purity (sad-vritti): purity is the spiritual practices of saints and the mood in which saints live their life.






On to the FRONT PAGE of website
On to the LIBRARY


Setting up the altar
Daily kirtans
Bhog, cooking, offering
Cooking Viddhi
Observing Ekadasi
Observing Festivals
Tulasi Devi
Four regulative principles
Scriptural regulations


Not What They Seem
The only path for us is to surrender and take association of a Vaishnav, but if we cannot recognise Vaishnavs with our eyes, what can we then recognised them with?

We cannot see or make out with our eyes who is a Vaishnav—even Brahma cannot recognise who is a great Vaishnav, or who is a servitor.