Here are three daily prayers to practice, which are the essence of all religious books, including the Vedas and Puranas
The Srimad-Bhagavata Purana describes a story in which King Khatvanga had darsana of Bhagavan in only a few minutes. My most worshipable spiritual master Nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti-dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja said that if any person daily offers the following three brief prayers, which takes only a few minutes, he will certainly obtain the lotus feet of Bhagavan in this very lifetime. These three prayers are the essence of all religious books, including the Vedas and Puranas.
The first prayer: at the time of going to sleep, pray to Bhagavan as follows: “O prana-natha Govinda, my sweet Lord who is more dear to me than my own life, when I am about to die, You should leave my body along with my last breath. At that time, You should make me chant Your holy name. Please do not forget; please do not make a mistake.”
The second prayer: as soon as you wake up, pray to Bhagavan as follows: “O prana-natha, Lord of my life, may I consider as Yours whatever activities I do from now until I take rest at night. If I forget to do this, please remind me.”
The third prayer, to be said after a bath in the morning and putting on gopi-candana tilaka: “O prana-natha, Govinda, please favor me with Your merciful glance so that I will see You, and only You, in every atom and within every living entity.”
It is essential to offer these three prayers daily for three months. After this good practice, offering them will become second nature. Those who print or photocopy these three prayers and distribute them will automatically receive the mercy of Bhagavan Sri Krsna, so please do so.
One can obtain Bhagavan only by pleasing Tulasi-devi , the spiritual master, the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord. Even the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself will not help us until we receive the mercy of Vrnda Maharani. Bhagavan does not do anything without the counsel of Tulasi Maharani. This vast topic is elaborately described in various religious articles and holy scriptures.
If a practitioner (sadhaka) disrespects the chanting beads that the spiritual master gives to him, he will not be able to concentrate his mind on the holy name. The head- or crest-bead (Sumeru) is a direct manifestation of Bhagavan Himself. The Tulasi beads on both sides of the Sumeru bead are the cowherd damsels (gopis) surrounding Bhagavan. If we disrespect the beads (mala), which represent our mother, they may become entangled or slip from our fingers, and if we think ill of someone, the string connecting the beads may break.
When we feel respect and affection for the beads, our mind can be fixed in chanting and we will develop taste; then, chanting will not feel like a burden.
Neophyte chanters perceive the beads as being dull and lifeless; however, mature chanters experience them in a different way. One should ponder whether a dull or inert object could ever free us from the influence of the illusory potency (maya) or help us to meet Bhagavan. The string of chanting beads is our eternal mother birth after birth; she alone can arrange for us to meet her husband, the Supreme Lord Bhagavan.
When you pick up the bead bag just before chanting, prior to putting your hand inside, hold it in both hands and chant the hari-nama maha-mantra five times—hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare; hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare.
After this, first touch the bead bag to your head, then to your heart, and finally to your lips in a gentle kiss, thus showing honor to Mother Mala. Only after this process should you put your right hand into the beadbag; otherwise, Mother Mala will not let you immediately find the crest-bead, or Sumeru Bhagavan. Rather, you will have to search for Sumeru.
Following the chanting, the beads should be kept in a clean place; putting them in an unclean location is an offense.
The importance of rendering excellent service to Mother Tulasi (the Indian basil), who descends to Earth in the form of a plant, cannot be sufficiently emphasised. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us this through his own example of profuse service to Vrnda Maharani. This is the topmost and most confidential teaching of Sri Gurudeva, and anyone can see for himself the results of following his instructions. There is no need for evidence for something that one can directly experience.
Lord Sri Krsna Himself has revealed the following instructions to me about the pure way to chant Harinama. Those who follow them will definitely achieve God-realisation in this very birth. They will attain the fifth and most important goal of life (pañcama-purusartha), which is Sri Krsna-prema, or love of Sri Krsna; of this there is no doubt.
After completing each round of chanting, touch the beadbag to your forehead and offer pranama to Mother Mala. Pray to her that your mind will be fixed in chanting the holy name. I guarantee that this will greatly help you to increase your concentration and speed in chanting harinama.
Now I will tell you about a powerful sequence of meditation to apply to your chanting. Even if you have already been chanting for a while, if you follow this sequence you will notice a definite improvement. First, chant four rounds while meditating that you are sitting at the lotus feet of your Srila Gurudeva. Feel that you are very close to him, and that he is listening to your chanting and is very pleased. In this way, continue chanting sets of four rounds while meditating on sitting at the lotus feet of the transcendental personalities as listed below.
- Srila Gurudeva 4 rounds
- Sri Nrsimhadeva 4 rounds
- Sri Gaurahari 4 rounds
- Sri Krsna 4 rounds
- Sri Radha 4 rounds
- Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in Puri 4 rounds
- Sri Gaurahari in separation before Lord Jagannatha 4 rounds
- Namacarya Sri Haridasa Thakura 4 rounds
- Six Gosvamis of Vrndavana 4 rounds
- Sri Madhavendra Puri and Sri Isvara Puri 4 rounds
After doing this, you will have completed 40 rounds, which is the first half. The sequence of the second half is shown below.
- Sri Narada 4 rounds
- Sri Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and 4 rounds Sanat-kumara (the Four Kumaras)
- Sri Brahma 4 rounds
- Sri Siva 4 rounds
- Sri Nityananda 4 rounds
- Sri Advaita Acarya 4 rounds
- Sri Gadadhara 4 rounds
- Sri Srivasa Pandita 4 rounds
- Six Gosvamis 4 rounds
- Sri Madhavendra Puri and Sri Ísvara Puri 4 rounds
After doing this second half, you will have completed 80 rounds, and you can repeat this process again and again. It will become easier with practice, so you should start now! If you follow this process of chanting harinama, you will be very dear to your Srila Gurudeva, to all the acaryas, to all the great Vaisnavas, and to Sri Krsna. You can try it and see for yourself that it is true.
By the mercy of Srila Gurudeva and Sri Gauranga, I have revealed very confidential subject matter to you because you are very dear to me. If you follow the instructions that I have presented to you, you will be greatly benefitted and I will be very pleased.