In the modern times we see that there is a prolific increase in the number of people suffering from insomnia or sleeplessness. So many doctors are thriving on this making a lot of money prescribing so many sleeping pills which have got their own side effects. As Prahlad Maharaj says , "Dhukoushadam tadapi dhukham"- The remedy is worse than the disease itself. The perfect cause of this sleeplessness and the way out has been beautifully explained by Lord Brahma,
he conduct of a saint is like a sandalwood and that of a wicked person is like an axe. Such as the sandalwood, even after getting cut by an axe, gives it's fragrance to the axe, in the same way a virtuous person, even after being harmed by a wicked person, always blesses him. Because of this quality, sandalwood is applied on the forehead of God whereas the axe is put in fire and beaten with a hammer."
we came to perform kirtan of Lord Sri Krishna (to become His eternal servitor); instead, on the way, we got allured by a beautiful cotton field (the material world). We stopped there and got busy in picking up the cotton (a cheap commodity). This is our position. We have to get out from the cotton field and rush to the devotees who are engaged in performing the kirtan of the Lord, otherwise, who knows what will happen next.
Our maximum resources and efforts in modern days are spent to find out a cure for old age, disease and death. Are we making progress in this direction or are we hopeful that such cure will be available in the future, and how long we are going to wait for that?
When a person becomes sumatih, what he does is he stops all non-sense talks and starts glorifying the Lord whole-heartedly. In otherwords, unless one's intelligence becomes purified, he cannot glorify the Lord whole-heartedly. However as the Lord is merciful, He accepts our glorification and purifies our intelligence.
I heard a very nice realisation about this from a devotee named H.G.Jahnava nitai das. When Krishna says, "bhoktaaram yajna tapasaam", he rejects the path of karma kanda. Because the followers of the karma kanda have the idea that by performing sacrifices and austerities, they can attain heaven and enjoy.
Once King Mahendra went on his rounds with his minister in disguise. On the way they saw a man sitting and thinking deeply. Again next day they saw him in the same posture. On seeing him again the King remarked,"I feel like punishing this guy even though he has not done anything wrong". The minister wisely replied, I shall find all about him first.
Maharaj was preparing to leave the New RamanReti community on that day and just before leaving he spoke on the above verse. He said the modern Theaters, Soap Operas and all such non-sense is Vayasam Tirtham (Pilgrimage for Crows), and we should try to avoid such places as much as possible.
One of the most amazing contribution of Bhaktivinoda Thakur was his deep, introspective, devotional Bhajans. In those Bhajans, Thakur had put himself in the role of a common soul like us to help us understand our real position and work towards our actual goal. We read Srila Prabhupada's purport for one of the most deep, humble prayers written by him, named "Amara Jivan" - ("My Life") from a collection called "Saranagati".
However, when Bali Maharaj's glorious nature as a devotee in complete surrender came forth, despite all his apparent discrepanies like being born in a family of demons, having amassed great wealth, conquering the abode of the demigods etc, the Lord queried Sukracharya about what he now thought of Bali Maharaj
When the Kurukshetra battle was over, Lord Krishna bade farewell to the Pandavas and went to Dwaraka. While on his way he met his old brahmana friend Utanga. Krishna stopped and descended from his chariot and saluted the brahmana.
"All glories to Radharani." Radhe jaya jaya madhava-dayite. "She's so dear to Krsna." Krsna, everyone is trying to love Krsna, but Krsna is trying to love somebody. Now how great She is. Just try to understand. Everyone, the whole world, the whole universe, all living entities, they are trying to love Krsna. Krsna-prema.
We have to realize that all our activities can contribute to good japa. Be conscious of it, be deliberate. Understand that if you are cruel to someone, or if you find fault, or overeat, or are a nonsense in one way or another, it's going to affect your japa. Everything you do either contributes to or works against your chanting."