How I present myself before my altar each morning.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

I have a small altar in Kolkata where I keep some remembrance of Srila Guru Maharaj, remembrance of Srila Prabhupad, remembrance of Giriraj, and so on, with photos. Every day, I offer some incense to them, and every morning when I wake up, alone, I first look at their faces and pray to them with some mantram. To Guru Maharaj I pray, om ajnana-timirandhasya. Then, I pay dandavat to my spiritual relatives and brothers. Then, I pay dandavat to Nrsimhadev, then Giriraj, then to our Math Deities, and so on. Hanumanji is also there. Hanumanji is the best protector from all the nonsense things. He himself is a brahmachari. He is a super devotee of Lord Ramachandra and is always merciful to the devotees of Krishna.

Here I don’t have that altar but when I meditate, then everything comes very clearly in front of me. Anywhere that I am staying, everything comes very clearly in front of me, and I am paying dandavat to them, standing in Kolkata or Nabadwip—especially Kolkata, where I have that altar. When I am paying dandavat, I see everyone present there in the same position.

If we can follow this process every day, wherever we are, then we will receive some inspiration and good feelings which we can keep in our hearts and live with our whole day. I am telling you my feelings. Try to remember this, remember the association of the Vaisnavas, remember Guru Maharaj, and remember all his paraphernalia. If you can practise starting your day like this for a few days, then it will come naturally to you all, and I think that you will feel so much better.

It is true we are going to our daily jobs, but before that if we will try to meditate on our situation with love and affection, if we will try to meditate on our Gurudev and Krishna and everyone, then we will get so much strength and light from them, and they will save us. If our day will start with this, they will live within our remembrance for the whole day. We may do anything, anywhere, for our maintenance or for any duty, but we will always keep in our remembrance our protector and our master. Then, the days will be easier for us.

When we are chanting, at that time our only prayer to Sri Sri Radha-Krishna is, “Please reveal Yourselves in my heart.” And They will reveal Themselves. Their Pastimes are very sweet. It is depending upon the person, no doubt, it is all depending upon the person, and quality and qualification will come through our mood of surrender. However much we will be surrendered, that type of return will come to our mind.


Spoken in September of 1999.

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern representative of the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Both definitive and progressive, his exemplary life, practice, and teachings brilliantly illuminate the path of divine love. For more information on Srila Govinda Maharaj, please visit his biography page.

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