Srila Prabhupada makes it clear how important it is for everyone to practice Krishna Consciousness, devotional service to Lord Krishna. Long ago, serious spiritual seekers left home for the desert or some secluded cave in the Himalayas in order to realise the supreme Lord but this is not practical nowadays and it also does not make one perform devotional service towards Krishna. Krishna consciousness is so potent and simple that anyone, anywhere, in any status of life can achieve perfection without heading for the hills. Of course, living in the association of Krishna’s devotees in a temple or ashram makes it easier to practice devotional service. But not all times, devotees are near to Krishna temple, even in such circumstances, If a devotee is determined, they can follow at home the teachings of Krishna Consciousness and thus convert their home into a temple. Krishna consciousness is nothing but bringing in Lord Krishna into one’s own space and integrating his divine knowledge with one’s own. This is something that is achieved through thoughts, words, and actions – all of which are pervaded by devotion and service.
The first and foremost principle in performing the devotional service in Krishna Consciousness is to chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra:
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare”
This mantra is a prayer to the Supreme Lord which means: “O energy of the Lord (Hare), O all-attractive Lord Krishna, O Supreme Enjoyer (Rama), please engage me in Your service.” This is a spiritual exercise, in which this hymn plays a pivotal role, also it is said to be hymn of freedom or liberation — something that can free the mind of ignorance, free the self of sorrow and free the soul of Samsara, the eternal bondage. Devotees do the chanting mostly in the early morning hours as mind will be fresh at that time and so is the atmosphere.
Images of saints like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada are set up along with Radha Krishna deities. They are decorated with fresh flowers, traditional lamps, incense sticks, fruits and exclusively prepared food items(vegetarian with no onion and garlic) are placed in the Altar as an offering, Once the items are offered to the Lord with love, they all become sacred Prasad, and the devotees make it a point only to consume such sanctified offerings, with prayers and gratitude to the Lord. Devotees mostly avoid any immoral activities in their life and dedicate their possible time to devotional service. There cannot be a greater blessing than bringing Krishna into one’s home and life and assimilating his consciousness into one’s self.