Another statistics: 70% of diseases are caused by lifestyle choices. 70%. We choose that disease basically because we choose this lifestyle and this is the result. So the yoga lifestyle is another choice. The bhakti-yoga lifestyle is another choice. Do we want to make that choice? Any little bit we make in that direction is a lot.
So especially in the beginning people say, “I can’t do all that stuff, I can’t give up this and this, and this, and change this and this. I can’t imagine.” But every little bit you do is a lot. So it may seem like almost nothing. But just entertaining the idea is a lot. Most people just reject it completely, “This is crazy. I’m not going to do this”. So if you just entertain the idea, “Wow, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe I should do that. Maybe one day I can do that.” You start thinking about it. That is a very positive beginning. And then you think, “Ok, I’ll do something.” Like these meditations, “Ok, I’m not going to do this, this, but, all right, I’ll do this GAURANGA meditation, or I’ll do this japa meditation. Or once a week or once a month or something I’ll go and gather with some people and chant congregationally at the sankirtan.” That is a lot. And that leads to more things, gradually one by one, one by one, one by one.
Some people move spiritually very fast. That’s because in their previous life they were very high, and they just come into this world at a very advanced level. I’ve met people who were vegetarians from birth by their choice. As soon as they could make a decision, they chose to be vegetarians, and their parents were not vegetarians. There is one girl I know in Slovenia, from the very beginning she refused to eat meat and her parents fought her the whole way: took her to psychiatrists, various medical doctors trying to force her to eat meat, but she wouldn’t do it. Why? Because previously she had reached the level of consciousness, she brought that with her and that’s who she was.
So there are various degrees. It’s different with each individual. But the fact that we’re here now indicates you have an interest in some of these ideas. So if you can take that interest and build on it, everything goes in the right direction. So we always are encouraging people to that step, start to at least be open to the idea of changing. Spiritual life is all about change. And gradually the changes become easier and you want to change, and you do.
So mantras are the changing miracle. They change our life. If you allow them to change your life, they will. Their invisible potency will do the work. Some people say, “Oh, I can’t do that. I’m too weak.” Yes, but you are leaving out the idea the mantras will do this. My part is to allow them to do it, to want them to work, and then they do.