Personal development expert, Brian Tracy, writes: “Here is one of the greatest questions you will ever ask and answer: ‘What one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my career?’”
One should ask the same question about one’s bhakti practice.
Asking this question is vital because, unlike regular career skills that become obsolete, bhakti skills are eternally relevant and potent. By seriously dedicating oneself to any one of the processes of bhakti, one will attain perfection.
Rupa Goswami writes:
“Pariksit Maharaja attained salvation simply by hearing, and Sukadeva Gosvami attained salvation simply by chanting. Prahlada Maharaja attained salvation by remembering the Lord. The goddess of fortune, Laksmidevi, attained perfection by worshiping the Lord’s lotus feet. Prthu Maharaja attained salvation by worshiping the Deity of the Lord. Akrura attained salvation by offering prayers, Hanuman by rendering service, Arjuna by establishing friendship with the Lord, and Bali Maharaja by offering everything to the service of the Lord.”
Caitanya Mahaprabhu narrowed this field when Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya asked Him which of the practices is the most essential in the execution of devotional service. Mahaprabhu replied that nama sankirtana, the chanting of the holy names of Krishna, is the most important. (Cc Madhya 6.241)
Similarly, in East Bengal there was a brahmana named Tapana Misra, who could not ascertain the objective of life or how to attain it. After being directed in a dream to approach Caitanya Mahaprabhu to ask Him about the proper path in life, Mahaprabhu instructed him that the basic principle of success is to chant the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. (Cc Adi 16.15)
Humans are especially equipped to cultivate and develop skills of all description. But, those who want to quickly overcome all miseries of life and attain complete success by developing love for God should dedicate themselves to the chanting of Krishna’s divine names.
Sukadeva Goswami confirms this in this very famous statement to Maharaja Pariksit: “O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.” (SB 2.1.11)
Develop your skill for chanting Hare Krishna with full enthusiasm and attention each day, as this will have the greatest positive impact on every aspect of your life.