The austerity in our Gaudiya-sampradaya is very simple: following the four principles, restriction, avoiding the offenses, and chanting regular beads. That's all. And hearing. Chanting and hearing, both things. Not only chanting; we have to hear SB

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"The austerity in our Gaudiya-sampradaya is very simple: following the four principles, restriction, avoiding the offenses, and chanting regular beads. That's all. And hearing. Chanting and hearing, both things. Not only chanting; we have to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

We should be very much aware of the responsibility that we have decided to go back to Godhead after leaving this body, so we have to perform some austerities. The austerity in our Gauḍīya-sampradāya is very simple: following the four principles, restriction, avoiding the offenses, and chanting regular beads. That's all. And hearing. Chanting and hearing, both things. Not only chanting; we have to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way we should engage twenty-four hours' business. Hear and chanting... When you speak, when you go to a lecture for preaching, that is also chanting, when you speak.
Lecture on SB 6.3.18 -- Gorakhpur, February 11, 1971:

Prabhupāda: Inattentive means like this? No. Unless one is tired or had no sufficient sleep, one cannot do like that. Not inattentiveness.

Gurudāsa: Not enough sleep.

Prabhupāda: Enough sleep. That means you require twenty-four hours sleep. Out of that, if you sleep for ten hours, that is not sufficient. Your business is to sleep only. So ten hours' or eight hours' sleep is not sufficient. Kumbhakarṇa. Kumbhakarṇa. Just like he was sleeping six months.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Hibernation.

Prabhupāda: (chuckling) Six months. We are also sleeping six months in a year because we sleep, generally, ten to twelve hours. So if you half day, means half year. We are also all Kumbhakarṇas. Anyone who sleeps more than six or seven hours, he is a Kumbhakarṇa. Kumbhakarṇa was the brother of Rāvaṇa. He was sleeping six months, and six months he was awake. That means anyone who sleeps half the, out of twenty-four hours, anyone, if he sleeps twelve hours, he's a Kumbhakarṇa. So at least I think that one should not sleep more than seven hours utmost. That is sufficient, sufficient, seven hours. So you can sleep six hours at night and one hour to rest in daytime. That is sufficient. But if you sleep more than that, then you are Kumbhakarṇa. You should adjust things. Nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau. That's the Gosvāmins.

saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau
nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau cātyanta-dīnau ca yau
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-guṇa-smṛter madhurimānandena sammohitau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau **

So we are followers, Rūpānuga. We are followers of the Gosvāmins. So their behavior, saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau. The whole time, twenty-four hours, was used in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra regularly on fixed up, big beads. So we have reduced that to sixteen. But they were chanting... Haridāsa Ṭhākura was chanting four times sixty-four. That means... Three times sixty-four. So three times sixty-four means?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: One hundred and ninety-two.

Prabhupāda: One hundred and ninety-two rounds. And we are giving you only for sixteen rounds. We don't ask you to imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura. But saṅkhyā-pūrvaka... He would not sleep or he would not eat unless he has finished his 192 rounds. Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna... And nāma-gāna and natibhiḥ. Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was offering obeisances round the Rādhā-kuṇḍa, whole, that "So many times I shall fall down." He was falling down. Still there are many devotees, they do that. You fall down, daṇḍavat. Then, from the point where your head is touching, you just have a line. Again stand there and fall down. Again stand there and fall down. Huh?

Devotee (1): He would circumambulate?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just see how much good exercise it is. Huh? Just like I fall down in this way, flat. Then I make a line. And I stand again in that line; again fall down. Make a line. Again that line. In this way, round. Tapasya. This is called tapasya, austerity. We should not take very leniently that we are going back to Godhead. Of course, there is so many concession for the... But at the same time, we should be very much aware of the responsibility that we have decided to go back to Godhead after leaving this body, so we have to perform some austerities. The austerity in our Gauḍīya-sampradāya is very simple: following the four principles, restriction, avoiding the offenses, and chanting regular beads. That's all. And hearing. Chanting and hearing, both things. Not only chanting; we have to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way we should engage twenty-four hours' business. Hear and chanting... When you speak, when you go to a lecture for preaching, that is also chanting, when you speak. And automatically there is hearing. If you chant, there is hearing also. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam (SB 7.5.23). There is memorizing also. Unless you memorize all the conclusions of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, you cannot speak. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanam. Arcanam, this is arcanam. Vandanam, offering prayers. Hare Kṛṣṇa is also prayer. Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa: "O Kṛṣṇa, O the energy of Kṛṣṇa, please engage me in Your service." This Hare Kṛṣṇa is simply prayer. So śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyam. Always remain engaged as servant, dāsyam. Sakhyam, always think that Kṛṣṇa is your best friend, ātma-nivedanam, and dedicating everything to Kṛṣṇa. This is our process. And we have to be utilized under these processes twenty-four hours. Out of that, because we have got this body, it requires eating, sleeping, mating.

So the arrangement is there. Eating is there; sleeping is there; mating is there; defending is there—but not excessively. Nāma-gāna... Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau **. The very word is used, vijita. You should not be conquered by them. Eating, sleeping, mating, defending required, but you should not be conquered by them. You shall conquer them. The māyā is forcing me that "You sleep twenty-four hours." But I have to conquer māyā: "No. I shall not sleep more than seven hours." That is your business. If I ask, if you say, "I don't know," that is not the answer. You have to... And how this māyā can be conquered? That is also said. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te: (BG 7.14) "Anyone who is fully surrendered, he can conquer the māyā." Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura conquered māyā. She came at dead of night, beautifully dressed, very young girl, and offered herself. But he conquered. "Yes, I shall do. I shall enjoy with you. Please sit down. Let me finish my regular chanting process. Then we shall enjoy." So he conquered māyā. Māyā could not conquer.

So these are the instances. And if we fall flat to be conquered by the māyā, then... We have to struggle. This is also another struggle for existence. As the materialists, they are also struggling for existence for a few days or few years only, our struggle is not for few days or few years, but eternally. The same struggle is there. Their process is different, our process is different. So we should be always conscious of our responsibility that... That will help us. We must stay awake. Uttiṣṭhata. Always remain awakened. So regular, seven hours sleep is sufficient. Why it should be more than that? What is the cause? Another cause may be that if we eat more, then sleep more. So in order to reduce the sleeping process, the eating process should be reduced. You can take, make... I..., you fast one day, don't take anything, you will see that there will be less sleep. Is it not? Yes.