To Accept Only What is Necessary In the Nāradīya Purāṇa it is directed: "One should not accept more than necessary if he is serious about discharging devotional service." The purport is that one should not neglect following the principles of devotional service, nor should one accept the rulings of devotional service which are more than what he can easily perform. For example, it may be said that one should chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra at least 100,000 times daily on his beads. But if this is not possible, then one must minimize his chanting according to his own capacity. Generally, we recommend our disciples to chant at least 16 rounds on their japa beads daily, and this should be completed. But if one is not even able to chant 16 rounds, then he must make it up the next day. He must be sure to keep his vow. If he does not strictly follow this out, then he is sure to be negligent. That is offensive in the service of the Lord. If we encourage offenses, we shall not be able to make progress in devotional service. It is better if one fixes up a regulative principle according to his own ability and then follows that vow without fail. That will make him advanced in spiritual life.
Observing Fasting on Ekādaśī
In the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa it is said that one who observes fasting on Ekādaśī day is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in pious life. The basic principle is not just to fast, but to increase one's faith and love for Govinda, or Kṛṣṇa. The real reason for observing fasting on Ekādaśī is to minimize the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Lord by chanting or performing similar service. The best thing to do on fasting days is to remember the pastimes of Govinda and to hear His holy name constantly.
To Offer Respect to the Banyan Trees
In the Skanda Purāṇa it is directed that a devotee should offer water to the tulasī plant and āmalaka trees. He should offer respect to the cows and to the brāhmaṇas and should serve the Vaiṣṇavas by offering them respectful obeisances and meditating upon them. All of these processes will help the devotee to diminish the reactions to his past sinful activities.
To Give Up the Company of Nondevotees