Vanity thought #187. Another week, another waste.

Days fly amazingly fast now. I didn’t expect the weekend to arrive so fast and I didn’t find time to keep my promises of trying to chant three lakhs on ordinary days, and it’s too late now.

Minor setback, I’m sure I will squeeze it sometimes next week, I’m prepared already. All this week, everyday or it, I was chanting at the steady speed of fifteen-sixteen rounds per hour since early in the morning, the only reason I didn’t go for three lakhs was because I was planning to do something else in the afternoon.

I probably should add another thirty two-rounds first to see how it goes, going up all sixty-four at once appears to be problematic – I worry about my chores, I worry about time to write this blog, time to read books etc. etc.

Nevermind, I think I’ll manage it somehow next week, if nothing special comes up. This week, especially today, I had an avalanche of distractions and by all accounts it should be counted as a total waste of time.

I wanted to “improve” my computer – meaning I totally broke it first and spent hours online looking for solutions. Now it’s back but the original problem is still there. Between clicking here and there and waiting for tech experts to post their proposed solutions I somehow finished my rounds but I don’t remember single one of them.

All I remember is that I told myself it’s better to chant than just to sit and worry.

Yesterday the long awaited tablet finally arrived, it’s not for me, per se, but guess who is tasked with setting it up and filling it with apps and games? It generated so much excitement that probably offset any benefits from half of yesterday’s rounds, and form half today’s ones, too.

Then there was a rat catching business. They don’t make nice pets and should be released far away from the house but in the meantime they should be at least fed. One poor thing was forced to munch on carrot from my dal and I made her listen to Prabhupada’s japa, too. I think we bonded, she had big and beautiful eyes and I was sad to let her go.

I was lucky I didn’t suffer Maharaj Bharata’s misfortune – he got attached to a deer and had to be born again in a deer body. Deer are okay, I think, I was going to reincarnate as a rat.

Whatever they say about the value of being born in the house of a vaishnava, I didn’t quite agree to be born as a rat again, even in devotee’s household. Whatever the benefits, I would be mostly destroying bhoga prepared for Krishna’s offering. Maybe I fully deserve this fate but it’s too much honesty for me right now.

But enough with complaining, the week had some progress as well.

The tussle between speed and clarity is being won by speed. Somehow or other I can’t find any major faults with my pronunciation anymore. If some syllables appear to be mumbled, I just need to enunciate them better and it doesn’t slow me down.

I can’t believe myself – sixteen rounds per hour, seventeen towards the end, is just crazy.

I tried to slow down, I had plenty of time not to hurry anywhere, but it’s just not happening. One time I was sure I got pleasantly slow and settled, only to find out I dropped to fifteen rounds and hour – hardly an improvement.

Eventually I gave up on it, I figure that if my need for speed comes from some anarthas in my heart, the best way to deal with them is by chanting more. I figure that just like with lust and other material attractions I personally don’t have any power to overcome them, the only way is to take shelter in Krishna and hope He will guide me through all the obstacles.

“Look how I’m fighting off lust” attitude is misleading. “Please, Krishna, keep me busy so that I forget about my other desires” is far better. The moment I feel strong I’m actually at my weakest, ready to be slaughtered. Just another argument against pushing for renunciation.

Regardless, anguishing over the clarity of my chanting is not the worst thing that could happen, that alone makes me realize my fortune. We tend to forget how good we actually have it and focus on what we want or need instead. For one thing, it’s a sign of the mode of passion, and also possibly a sign of being ungrateful to Krishna for all His care.

He already gave us the best gift ever – the Holy Name, and He personally came as Lord Chaitanya to plead with us to take up chanting, and still we want more. We are being ungrateful, me thinks, unless we want more help in uncovering what has already been given.

This week was the first week ever when I didn’t secretly want for Saturday to come sooner. I actually wanted more days dedicated to chanting rather than various weekend pursuits. Whatever the reason – me getting attached to my routine or, gasp, me actually starting to develop real taste, it’s a very good and encouraging sign. I should be grateful for that.

Instead I spent last thirty hours or so being totally absorbed with gadgetry. What a waste. If it was a test, I failed miserably.

If the glass if half full, though, then I was being prepared for the inevitable distractions so that I still could keep Krishna in the back of my mind when computer problems came.

However absorbing, I can’t wait for the chance to shake it all off and dedicate my whole day to chanting instead. That is true, I’m not bragging about it. The whole purpose of these weekly summaries is to give an honest account of what is happening to an average human who takes up chanting way too many rounds.

Modesty or bragging – something is going on, something has to be reported. Some good and some bad things. If I claimed there was no progress at all I would be lying and diminishing the power of the Holy Names. If I was taking credit for the progress I would be condemning myself to doom and this danger is always present but it shouldn’t stop me from giving credit to Krishna.

Chanting rocks. Maybe not at first and maybe I don’t know how it can really rock my world, I suppose if it gives me enough conviction to continue that’s success already.

Today I’ll be grateful at least for that.

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