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Performing penances in devotional service - SB 2.9.24
Hare Krsna dear devotees.
My humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
In the Bhagavatam Life lecture from HG Sutapa Prabhu, it was mentioned the point from the purport of SB 2.9.24 ( https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/9/24/)
In executing penance, one must be determined to return home, back to Godhead, and must decide to undergo all types of tribulations for that end. Even for material prosperity and name and fame one has to undergo severe types of penances, otherwise no one can become an important figure in this material world. Why, then, should there not be severe types of penances for the perfection of devotional service? An easygoing life and attainment of perfection in transcendental realization cannot go together. The Lord is more clever than any living entity; therefore He wants to see how painstaking the devotee is in devotional service. The order is received from the Lord, either directly or through the bona fide spiritual master, and to execute that order, however painstaking, is the severe type of penance. One who follows the principle rigidly is sure to achieve success in attaining the Lord’s mercy.
There is also a statement that practicing too many penances makes our hearts harden. So is there any clear distinction and directions on how to push ourselves to do more and more penances in devotional life for advancement and in the same time don't make our heart hard or cold?
I am now trying to push myself being more discipline in my life in the hope it will improve my Japa, reading, focus, determination, eagerness and such. At the same time, I don't want to overdo it or do unnecessary things. Do you have any comment on this?
Thank you for your time and effort.
Your small servant