What's the best way to start practicing Krishna consciousness?
with Ravindra-svarupa dasa
One thing you really need to try to do is to find some devotee or devotees you can associate with – devotees who are practicing. There are different degrees of devotees with different degrees of commitments. Find someone more committed than you are.
Because (the Krishna consciousness movement) is sankirtan, it means we cultivate glorification of Krishna together, with devotees. So get some devotee association, as much as you can.
And just begin chanting.
That's what I did. It's really simple. It's a yoga exercise, in the sense that yoga is about controlling the mind. We do it by focusing on the Hare Krishna maha mantra. We say the words, and as we say the words, we should say them with attention.
When the mind wanders, we bring it back. And just being diligent – when the mind wanders, you bring it back – these are Krishna's instructions in the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. Whenever the mind goes, you bring it back under control.
Just doing that will produce a result. Just trying. Even if you don't seem very successful – just trying will work.
So, I would suggest chanting, associating with devotees, and reading. We have some really good books to start with. I think the Isopanishad is fantastic, the compilation of Srila Prabhupada's writings and talks called Science of Self-Realization – these are good introductions.
Read them, and read them critically. Don't suppress your doubts and misgivings. If you don't have any, there's something wrong with you. And then ask somebody to explain what you don't agree with or don't understand.
That's how you should start.