Navratri is coming up in October so take advantage of the energy of those days . Don’t miss that opportunity; make sure you do something. As the scriptures state, and as Guruji used to say, “The eternal moment is very significant in a spiritual practice.” You might sit for five minutes, but those five minutes must be such that your communication with God is complete and thorough with nothing to distract you. Everything else can wait. Remember that. God is not going to wait for you. If He comes in and knocks on your door, and if you say, “Sorry, I’m busy,” that’s it. And you tend to do that. A friend’s wedding is more important than God’s call. You say, “Thirty years of relationship; how can I miss that wedding?” So you miss the practices. You have to set your priorities. Even if you do nine malas daily, those nine malas must be such that there is nothing for those nine minutes that is going to distract you.
Don’t waste that time on Navratri. Involve yourself as much as possible in doing some heavy-duty practices. Many people cut themselves off for those nine days, and focus on their practices only. A person like Guruji took off for months at a time but you do not have the to do that. Even if you have the time, there are so many distractions. But make the time to do an anusthan. Say, “Okay, these nine minutes or ninety minutes or nine hours, this is it. This is time for me and for God.” Take that time to communicate with God. Everything else can be shut off. It’s only for nine days; the rest of the year you run around anyway, so just pick out this much time for yourself. Please take this seriously. Do whatever you can: definitely the Ram mantra, meditation as much as possible, and other practices that you have learned. Choose whatever practice stirs your heart.
If possible and you have the time, do 125,000 Ram mantras for the anusthan during those nine days. It’s not too difficult. If you can accomplish the larger number within the nine days, well and good, but if not, you can still continue up to the full moon for a total of fifteen days. The energy is still pretty high so do whatever suits you.
Note: Calculations take into account a few “extra” repetitions.
9 DAYS: 141 malas per day*
15 DAYS: 91 malas per day
* NOTE: This year (2010) the period of Navratri covers eight days instead of nine because of differences between the solar and Indian (lunar) calendars. To complete the total number of repetitions in 8 days, 159 malas per day would be required.