Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami > Obstacles on the Path of Devotional Service > Physical Illness > "I Cannot Chant My Rounds"

"I Cannot Chant My Rounds"


So you cannot do the big work that you used to do when you were healthy. Face it. But what if your illness is one that prevents you from the simplest and most basic service, chanting your sixteen rounds? It often happens that a physically sick per≠son cannot chant due to nausea or pain, or the doctor's drugs. When the days and weeks drag on like that, devotees get worried. They fall behind in their vow to chant sixteen rounds daily. How will they ever make it up? But there is no benefit in adding anxiety to the illness we already have. We should not think that Krsna is holding it against us if we cannot chant so well when we're ill. He will understand and forgive us.


If we cannot chant sixteen healthy rounds, that does not mean that we should give up all effort. Instead of rising early and vigorously chanting sixteen rounds before , we may have to find a new way to do it. Maybe we can only chant very softly, or we may have to chant in the mind. Chanting is our most important service of the day, and so we should continue to try. If we are not experiencing intense pain, we can chant at least a few rounds, even if that constitutes our entire day's sadhana. And if we cannot attend the morning program in the temple, then we can have our own program in bed, with a minimum of chanting and hearing, according to our capacity.In conditions where we cannot even chant properly, then our duty is to remain in good

consciousness, as far as possible. Be peaceful, chant as much as you can, and hear about Krsna. When I was ill. some of my friends made recordings of themselves reading from Prabhupada's books. I used to hear those tapes for many hours a day. It became an important service for me to stay awake and hear the readings. You learn to accept whatever little service you can do, and you treasure it.


You are out of the mainstream of the sahklrtana movement. Everything continues;. The marathon continues, the festivals continue, the fight between the demons and the devotees continuesóbut you are sidelined. You may hear about what's happen≠ing, and some tilings you do not even hear about. You live in a small world where you chant a few rounds, read a little, sleep, and try to get better. But thai is your holy service, and so you accept it in a humble way. Eventually you begin to feel something nice and sweet. There is an advantage you can fee! in your reduced state. You are being humbled.


While I was ill, I wrote this little poem:


My list of things to do falls to the side.

All I do is rest. But one cry to Krsna is worth a hundred steps

of marching in pride.