An answer to a question
This is a good question that would need some more time to see it from all necessary perspectives. There is no just a “yes” or “no” answer.
Of course the most important item in Bhakti is devotion and we should execute it in such a way that our seed-like Krishna consciousness doesn’t get oppressed.
But any adjustment must be done by authorities, not by us. This is why Sastras and Sadhus are not enough. We need Guru. He tells us what to do, how to do, when, how much, in what circumstance etc. Without Guru we are lost in an ocean of rules sometimes even contradictory.
yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi.
Adjustment can be made only through the order of Guru. If we do it whimsically, we are just disobedients.
We are vaidhi bhaktas, which means that we are bound to execute our devotional service following the rules and regulations laid down by Acaryas and Sastras.
Some think, “better I chant less rounds because it is mechanical and I should chant with devotion”. This philosophy has been the historical excuse for laziness, a convenient speculation.
How chanting less could generate devotion? It is not so. Devotion comes from chanting the rounds you are supposed to chant with devotion or without devotion. By the effort of chanting even when you do not like to do it, Krishna’s mercy is evoked. He may think “look at My devotee, he is endevouring, he is practicing tapas and I will bless him with devotion.”
It is not by our own plan that Bhakti comes. It is only by the mercy of Guru and Krishna.
Untill we are not pure devotees, the boredom of repetitiveness is one of our worse enemy. We want variety. But this is Maya working on us, making us believe that in the material world there is variety. It is not so. They are just forms without substance. By the austerity of observing the rules and regulation we achieve spiritual variety, that is real and eternal.
If the curtains have to be opened at 4:30 AM, they must be opened at 4:30 AM. Not 4:29 nor 4:31. This is what it means to be pujari. One can be a pujari only if he is striving to be punctual, which is one of the qualities of Sattva Guna.
– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
9 fen 2020