Additional principles

As well as following the four regulative principles, initiated devotees also

1. Chant a minimum of 16 rounds of Hare Krishna maha-mantra daily. Lord Chaitanya compares chanting Hare Krishna to cleansing the mirror of the heart from the dust that has accumulated on it during the millions of lifetimes that one has spent in forgetfulness of his relationship with Krishna. The more one chants, the more his true identity as an eternal loving servant of Krishna becomes clear. So it does not matter if one can only find the time to chant one round of maha-mantra a day. At least the process of cleansing has begun! But, naturally the amount one chants and the faith with which the person chants will determine how fast the mirror of the heart will regain its brilliance. Srila Prabhupada recommended that the devotees chant at least 16 rounds which takes about 2 hours daily.

2. Reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. Srila Prabhupada said that everything we need for developing and consolidating Krishna consciousness is in his books. By reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, one will understand the philosophy more deeply and as a result he will become fixed in his spiritual realizations.

3. Rising early in the morning. The most auspicious time for meditation is brahma-muhurta, the early hours of the morning about 1 ½ hours before sunrise. This discipline of rising early is the beginning of spiritual life and a devotee should organise himself so that he gets sufficient rest but can wake early morning to do his japa meditation. Lord Krishna showed His devotees this principle during His pastimes in the material world through His own example as he would rise immediately upon hearing the cock crow.
The first daily arati at our ISKCON temples is at 4.30 a.m. It is a very uplifting experience to attend this arati, so if you feel inspired please join us at our centres any day at this time.

4. Observing ekadasi and festival days. Ekadasi and days commemorating the Lord’s appearance or pastimes give one the opportunity to increase his remembrance of Krishna. Devotees observe these days with fasting and increased service. Fasting helps us to become self-disciplined and gives one the taste of renunciation – qualities that help one advance along the spiritual path. Devotees relish performing service together, dancing, chanting and feasting on these holy days.