Today's youth have lot of bad habits - be it smoking, drinking, watching obscene movies etc. Even if one is brought up in a well-cultured family, he is not able to leave such habits. Will he be fit to attain the Lord at all? Is there a way for him to get out of these bad habits and cleanse himself? What path would you prescribe for him?

When there is a heavy rain, every one catches the viral fever. No one is spared. Isn't it?

In the same way, this is Kali Yuga. And this Yuga is characterized by such bad thoughts and qualities among people. It is common for anyone in this Yuga, especially for the youth.

But the mercy and compassion of the Lord is such that He does not impose any restrictions on us to attain Him. He is accessible for everyone.

Now, how is this possible?

In this Yuga, three activities are alone enough to attain the Lord –worship in temples, Satsang, and Nama Kirtan. Satsang here, means the reading of Srimad Bhagavatam, listening to the stories and qualities of the Lord, the lives of great Mahans etc.

Even if the first and second are not possible, I can assure you that the Divine Name alone can make you attain God. This is certain and it is the only way!

I know my bad habits, but I am not able to control myself. Sometimes I am very disturbed because of that. Please help.

When you realize that it is bad, then why do you do it? Pray to God for His mercy and beg Him to put you on the right path.

I am in my twenties and I have a lot of faith on God, but I am not able to stop my bad habits. Even though I am trying hard to stop them, they overcome me. Please tell me a remedy.

Faith on God is important. That is good. When you pray to God, do you tell God about your weaknesses and bad habits and your sincere desire to come out of them? We perform prayers to God for mundane worldly things but forget to pray for such wonderful things.

So in your prayer, make it a point to add this, and don’t leave Him until He makes you alright.

I am trying hard to quit smoking, but I am not able to. Please suggest me a way.

" Whenever you feel you should come out of a habit, good or bad, you have to understand that it impossible to wake up one pleasant morning and find the habit gone. ‘Habits die hard’ they say.

The first rule of the thumb to quit a habit is that you should not pay too much attention to it by not thinking about it all the time.

The problem of habit is one side and the mental stress that we are caught in it adds on to the problem.

Remember, nothing is impossible.

First accept that 'I am caught in the habit in some way, I need to come out of it'. Smoking creates a health issue.

Collect the information on negative impact of cigarette smoking and read it many number of times every day and think about it. Every time you are in good spirits, visualize yourself as the person who has totally quit the habit of smoking for about 5-10 minutes. Feel happy about it and thank the Lord for it.

If you can abstain from smoking for an extended period of time say a week, do not get into the habit on the 8th day. Prolong it as much as you can. This very period of ‘no-smoking’ would fill your heart with happiness which will in turn help in prolonging the period of ‘no-smoking’.

If suppose, you happen to break the period of ‘no-smoking’, then look back and see that you had managed to kick the habit for about a week. The frequency of smoking has come down. This should give you the strength to start afresh to stop smoking.

Whenever you get a chance , tell others about the ill effects of smoking. This would help you in two ways : One as a positive reinforcement to prevent the craving, Two, since you talk about ill effects, you would get a positive pressure to quit as you want to walk the talk of quitting to smoke.

Read more and more about the greatness and penance of great Sadhus. Once you reflect on the greatness of great Saints, you would get the strength and confidence in quitting this habit.

Generally when a person is found to break his vows often, it is an indication of an inadequate will power. If you can chant Hanuman Chalisa and think about Sri Hanuman at least once a day, it will help in strengthening the will power.