Feeling Sad During Spiritual Practices


Sir,when i start my spiritual sadhana of namasmaran that is chanting god’s name,it brings me anger,agitation,sadness,depression. these negative emotions happen to me while chanting and also after chanting throughout the day.my mom says that reading spiritual books and doing sadhana makes me angry,agitated,sad,depressed.so she told me to stop reading spiritual books and doing sadhana.

1. Why am i facing these negative emotions during and after chanting god’s name?

2. Shall i follow mom’s advice?

—Nidhi damle, India


Dear Friend,

I am sorry to hear of your subconscious response to the chanting God’s name. Who can say, truly, the reason for this but I can say with clarity that your subconscious mind is in open rebellion.

While I am not comfortable suggesting you not chant God’s name, I do suggest that you develop a softer, more devotional bhav (attitude and feeling) toward your spiritual practices. You may be using too much will power and too much mental power without the support of the heart’s natural love and devotion.

I have to say I don’t agree with your mother in her suggestion that you stop reading spiritual books and stop your sadhana. But perhaps she knows that you are reading too much (and too many such books) without engaging your heart. A good mother would know such a thing! So perhaps her suggestion is rooted in a true feeling insight.

Nonetheless, my suggestion remains that you turn your attention toward devotional feeling. Whether this is in silence and unspoken; in mental chanting; or, chanting aloud is less important than developing love for God. If you do not feel yet love for God (whom you have not met!), then pray for devotion! “Teach me, Divine Mother, to love you!”

Every day express gratitude for life; for the love of your mother and family; for all creatures, animals, plans, trees, mountains, rivers and the sea and the sky! Survey your life and the world around to perceive the subtle presence of God animating all things. If you read, read spiritual poetry (Yogananda, Rumi, Kabir, e.g.). Sing to God from your heart, not your mind! It can be in silence or in words, aloud.

Love others with the pure love of God: without condition; without expectation; without any personal motive.

Knowing is of the heart; faith is “evidence of things unseen!” (St. Paul); devotion is the greatest purifier of subconscious tendencies.

Pray: “May Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion!”

Joy to you,

Nayaswami Hriman