~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

The symptoms of laziness or jadya

"Indulging in laziness (jadya) prevents a person from relishing the nectar of the holy name. He begins by chanting and remembering the holy name, but very soon feels it unendurable and wants to sleep. Advanced devotees are cautious about this offense. They never waste a single moment in useless talks or activities, constantly meditating on the Lord's holy name. They are so absorbed in the nectar of the holy name that they do not care for anything else. One must make an effort to associate with such rare devotees and follow their example, thus ridding oneself of laziness. It is the nature of saintly Vaisnavas to be always engaged in devotional activities. They never waste rime uselessly. Seeing this, one will become immediately attracted to this devotional trait.

One will ask himself how he can also become like these devotees, immersed in meditation upon the holy name? How, from this very day, can he gradually increase his chanting until he can actually chant three lakhs of holy names with inspiration and eagerness? When Lord Krsna sees such enthusiasm, He reciprocates by removing the neophyte's mental inertia with the power of His name, and by bringing him into the association of advanced devotees.

Distraction (viksepa) and the antidote

"Distraction in chanting produces a type of illusion, causing serious offenses against the holy name that are very difficult to overcome. This illusion leads to craving for wealth, women, position, success and even cheating. When these attractions cover the heart, the neophyte gradually loses interest in chanting of the holy name.

"One must make a constant effort to drive these thoughts away from the mind and diligently follow the rules of Vaisnava etiquette. This endeavor will bring back his good fortune. Hs must begin by observing ekadasi vows, appearance days of the Lord and other important festival days. He should spend the entire festival day and night chanting and singing the glories of the Lord in association of saintly devotees. The ideal way to observe these festivals is to be in one of the dhamas (Navadvipa, Vrndavana, Puri, etc.) with sadhus (pure devotees in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami) reading and discussing sastra (Vedic literatures like Bhagavad gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vaisnava scriptures). He should wholeheartedly participate in. these festivals without anxiety or hesitation. These festivals will gradually re-kindle the dying spark of spiritual taste. Thus he will gradually again become attracted to the pastimes of the Supreme Lord.

"Tasting the superior flavor of pure spirituality, he'll naturally be disgusted by his inferior material attachments. He'll be enraptured by the sweet songs about the Supreme Lord sung by the devotees, and his ears will fill up with nectar. His mind will become dislodged from matter and fixed in the pastimes and holy names of the Lord. When his mind is once again settled upon the holy name, he can chant eternally in a joyous and peaceful mood.

Enthusiasm for chanting

"One must diligently complete the prescribed number of holy names according, to his vow, and he must always check that he chants his rounds sincerely. Those who chant distractedly are always eager to somehow complete the fixed number of holy names and be done with it. It is important to concentrate on the quality of the chanting and not on trying to artificially increase the number of holy names. The name of the Lord should be pronounced distinctly. Only by the grace of the Lord can this be achieved. Thus one should pray to the Lord that he never falls victim to the wiles of the illusion of distraction, and that he can continue to taste the full nectar of the holy name.