We must be determined. Prabhupada said determination is what differentiates a man from an animal. We must make a vow of determination. Dhrdhavrata. satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah namasyantas ca mam bhaktya nitya-yukta upasate- BG 9.14. Krishna explains who is qualified for spiritual life? A person who is always chanting my Holy Names and in endeavoring with great determination.
We have the power to be determined if we just take it. Krishna will give us the strength if we just want it. The character of a human being is based on how much he is willing to suffer and make sacrifices and show his determination even in the face of difficulty. That is the character that makes a human being something. Something great! So we must hear. Otherwise we will not know what to be determined for or how. So we must hear regularly. We should be hearing Bhagavatam everyday. Either coming to temple or reading at home, we should hear Bhagavatam everyday. We should be chanting the Holy Names in a fixed number everyday. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah. And on the basis of what we hear and the strength of the Holy Name we must endeavor with great determination.
Spiritual life has no effect for a lazy person. If we are not endeavoring to give up our bad qualities that’s laziness. Krishna says we must overcome this lethargy and we must endeavor. Endeavor means I will do it whether I will feel like it or not, endeavor means also I will not do it no matter what. We know what is right. We can’t simply wait when will I become so purified that I will not do these things. This is nonsense philosophy. No! In order to get purified I have to give it up now at all costs. I have to accept it now at all costs. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah – always chant the Holy Name and endeavor with determination and what we do at the time of initiation – take vows – I will chant the Holy Names regularly and I will follow these principles and in order to follow these principles we have to endeavor with determination and these principles are only the beginning.
When we hear the Bhagavatam everyday we understand what all the principles we must follow the basic principles. We must endeavor with determination. If we are not willing to do that we are not worthy of realization. There is no question of just trying. There is no determination in just trying, oh I will try! Determination means I will do it no matter what! With God’s grace and Guru’s grace it will be done but I will be determined. Nothing will stop me. Come hell or high water it will be done. Better that I die than give up my determined vow. This is what it takes to make advancement in spiritual life. We have to have this substance.
Materialistic people do it for money or for victory. How much more a devotee should do it for Krishna? How much determination we have in our business, how many reversals we just fight at all costs. For spiritual life to overcome these bad qualities…I will try, I tried my best! Trying your best means I will die before I give into maya. Haridas Takur said you cut my body into millions of pieces and every part will be chanting the Holy Names Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Nothing will stop my preaching of Krishna consciousness he (Haridas Takur) said. Nothing! No power on earth! This must be our determination and this is the price – drdhvrta – firm vow of determination in our lives. After Bhagavad Gita when Krishna told Arjuna to fight he did not say I will try, I will try my best, He said I will do it whether I win or lose I am going to do it. I am going to fight for you. That is what is required.