1. We all have a relationship with Krishna.
A. We are fully and eternally related with Krishna on the spiritual platform.
B. The relationship is there whether we are theists or atheists, practitioners or non-practitioners.
C. We may be conscious of the relationship or not, and our consciousness may also be in various manners strong, weak or distorted.
2. If we are not pure devotees, that relationship is to some degree or another broken.
A. The full relationship is prema.
B. Brokenness in various ways characterizes all else.
3. Maha-mantra japa is, in the beginning, a preliminary demonstration of interest in restoring the relationship.
A. The use of the vocative case in three names Hare, Krishna, and Rama voices our request for a relationship, for a re-union.
B. We call to Krishna, and he responds.
C. The next question to confront us is: “Are we interested in pursuing this relationship-building further—and how far?”
4. At each step we must decide to go forward, to hesitate, to back out somewhat or altogether.
5. Since there is a broken relationship, it must be concluded that we have reasons for having broken it.
A. As we come closer to Krishna through chanting, his utter perfection and kindness become revealed to us.
B. We then must acknowledge the fact that we alone are wholly responsible for the breach, and the standard finding of “fault on both sides” by counselors and mediators does not apply in this case.
C. Another name for a broken relationship with Krishna is “sin.”
6. The reasons will become revealed to each of us, so that we can confront them.
A. We are not fully aware of them.
B. It will become clear that we harbor deep feelings of animosity, resentment, anger, and so on toward Krishna.
C. We become repentent and humble.
7. We become grateful to Krishna because we realize that although we turned away from him he did not turn away from us.
A. In spite of everything, we are able to chant the holy names.
B. Krishna has sent his agents to bring us back, and they have labored tirelessly.
8. Frankness and humility are foundations of progress.
A. Concealment, or being in a state of self-concealment (“in denial”) must be vanquished.
B. Pride is the symptom of a broken relationship and of concealment also.
9. Signs of advancement are increasing honesty or frankness and humility.
A. The false ego is being dissolved.
B. We experience its dissolution as self-destruction and hence as painful to the degree that we still identify with the body and mind.
C. Gradually what is painful becomes delightful.
10. To the degree that we become frank and humble to that same extent our appreciation and love for Krishna increases.
11. In this way we become fixed in our practice and attain a natural, ever-increasing appetite for devotional activities.