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Question: I am unable to become absorbed and serious in various devotional practices. I chant, try to read daily, but everything seems to be at a superficial material level. It is frustrating at times, there is an intense desire to only serve you and other times mind is plaguing me with material thoughts. How to become steady, serious, mature and take up chanting and spreading as our life and soul? I want to preach and help others but if I am not at that level how can I inspire others?

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Jayapatākā Swami: You see devotional service is a gradual process. You are not yet initiated. So you are saying that sometimes you feel enthusiastic, sometimes you feel distracted. These are anarthas. And one of the steps after you take initiation is called anartha-nivṛitti and that means to overcome all those distractions. So, some of the things we want to do in material life, so that may be possible if we do that for Kṛṣṇa and just like when we eat, we eat kṛṣṇa-prasāda. So when you want to get married, try to get married to a devotee and do devotional service. So, naturally there will be some material things but we want to do it in such a way that Kṛṣṇa is pleased. That is why we should continue reading and get mature in devotional service.
Śrīdhāma Māyāpur, India