PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES WHILE FIGHTING BETWEEN DEVOTION AND MATERIAL LIFE – A CASE STUDY!
Today’s COUNSELLING analyzes the case of this male devotee who is interested in devotion, but, unable to follow because of his material performances also that causes psychological problems and treatments and he also starts to hate devotion at one stage:
“Hare Krishna, please accept humble respect. I read your page daily, learn a lot , it is also very inspiring. I try to be devote, I chant 16 rounds, eat prasadam, xperienc 4 regulativ princip, just cant give up smoking. My problem is a mental – emotional nature. I came to Krishna xperience 1999, 1st year was very nice, after problems started with my mind(emotions). I suffer very very much, for about 2 years, nobady seems to know how to help me, neither devotees, I leave the process. Evetualy I end up in mental hospital for 6 months and after I need about 6 year to get together to start living again. My life slowly gets better and 2014 I again start to go to temple, start chanting and my japa, for about 6 monts it was ok, but same thing since then happening to me again. I suffer now again for about last 4 years, after 1 year I again was in mental hospital for around months, xperienc thinking I would rather die than live. Last few months all memories and some pictures came up from my very early childhood. Some from around 1 year, some around 3, … My mother was very very strict, I was beaten up o daily basis, she almost never was satisfied with me, others were alwas better. Also my father was xperience with my mother so have to protect her xperienc. Anyway they devorce when I was 12 and I was happy this torturing will end. Now all this xperience made me who I am today. I now can’t trust people, always fear I will be hurt again, expecting something bad will happen. I also treat myself very badly and my self image is very negative. All this that I fell lately toward other people(devotes also) and my self is now reflecting to my relation to Krishna and I I lost this relationship, even if I try to have it, it came out with negative emotions. Somethimes I start even to hate Him. PLEASE HELP ME WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND INSTRUCTION. Hare Krishna.”
This is a genuine case of fighting between powerful material life and devotion to Krishna that causes psychological issues when the material attachment is more.
You are not alone. Sorry to say this, about 10-20% of the devotees in any sathsangha that insists serious rules in devotion, are affected psychologically.
I myself have seen 10-12 devotees with such psychological issues when they tried to follow tough rules when they were already attached much in material life.
At this point, I like to share a major secret that 99.9% of the devotees do not say this fearing whether they may invite the anger of God, acharyas or gurus:
(1) ALL THE PEOPLE CAN NOT BE CONVERTED AS PURE DEVOTEES IN THIS BIRTH ITSELF! IT DEPENDS ON THEIR LEVEL OF MATERIAL ATTACHMENTS! THIS IS THE BITTER FACT.
(2) THOUGH THEY TRY HARD, MOST OF THE DEVOTEES WILL FAIL IN FOLLOWING STRICT DEVOTIONAL RULES IN THIS BIRTH ITSELF.
(3) SOME DEVOTEES MAY BE UNABLE TO FOLLOW STRICT RULES IN THIS BIRTH, BUT, IF THEY JUST KEEP THOSE DESIRES DORMANT WITHOUT AFFECTING THEIR PSYCHOLOGY, THEY CAN FOLLOW SUCH RULES IN THEIR NEXT BODY IN THE NEXT BIRTH BECAUSE THE DORMANT DESIRES WILL BE GIVEN A CHANCE TO FOLLOW DEVOTION IN THE NEXT BODY.
(4) WE SHOULD NOT INSIST THE SAME STRICT RULES TO ALL THE PERSONS BECAUSE THESE RULES CAN NOT BE FOLLOWED BY ALL. IF YOU INSIST TO AN INCAPABLE PERSON, YOU ARE MAKING HIM A MENTALLY AFFECTED PERSON AND SPOIL HIS PRESENT LIFE BECAUSE HE CAN’T MAINTAIN HIMSELF AS ADVISED BY KRISHNA.
(5) THIS IS THE ONLY REASON FOR MY GIVING RELAXATIONS IN SOME RULES FOR SOME DEVOTEES IN COUNSELLING, BECAUSE, I CAN’T SEE THEM BECOMING A MENTALLY AFFECTED PERSON BECAUSE OF ME.
(6) JUST LEAVE THOSE DEVOTEES AS THEY ARE TO LEAD THEIR MATERIAL LIFE AND TELL THEM JUST TO CHANT POSSIBLE ROUNDS DAILY. DO NOT INSIST ON REGULATIVE PRINCIPLES ON THEM IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE THEY MAY NEED SOME MORE YEARS OR EVEN A CHANGE OF BODY TO GIVE UP SOME BAD HABITS IF THEY ARE MORE ATTACHED MATERIALLY.
(7) JUST BECAUSE I AM PREVENTING MANY DEVOTEES LIKE THIS GUY FROM BECOMING MENTALLY AFFECTED, BY GIVING RELAXATIONS, I MYSELF DELAYED MY TAKING DIKSHA AFTER TAKING SHELTER (This was just one reason out of two) BECAUSE I CAN’T RECOMMEND THE RULES STRICTLY TO SOME PERSONS OF THIS CASE AND I MAY HAVE TO RELAX CASE TO CASE. SO, I AM FORCED TO ACT AS A COUNSELLOR OR REHABILITATOR INSTEAD OF ACTING AS A BLIND PREACHER OR DISCIPLE WHO PREACH THE SAME THING TO ALL.
(8) SUCH MENTALLY AFFECTED DEVOTEES EXIST IN ALL THE SATHSANGHA AND THEY NEED TREATMENTS AND COUNSELLING LIKE THAT I AM DOING. SO, I CAN’T BE LIKE OTHER INITIATED DEVOTEES. I NEED TO ACT AS A COUNSELLOR AND REHABILITATOR ALSO. I TAKE THIS AS IF KRISHNA HAS ASSIGNED ME TO ACT LIKE THIS. SOME CONSERVATIVE DEVOTEES MAY NOT UNDERSTAND MY RELAXATIONS AND REHABILITATING SUGGESTIONS, BUT, I FEEL THAT KRISHNA WANTS PEOPLE LIKE ME TO ACT AND GIVE SUCH BOLD SUGGESTIONS FOR NEEDY PEOPLE.
Ok, let me now come to your case:
I request you not to involve in devotional practices seriously right now.
Just chant as many rounds as possible every day. Don’t fix a certain rounds. Let it be flexible. Do not stress your mind. Be relaxed and perform your daily assignments one by one by planning well.
Live as you feel free following discipline, but, stop smoking and do not go for immoralities though opportunities come. These two will increase your stress and psychological problems.
Stop with just chanting and start working well and earning. If you do not find it difficult, offer food to Krishna. If your house does not have facilities for that, stop offering cooked food and offer fruits/ dry fruits to Krishna that will not make you tensed.
Help the devotional services with your earned money and also take care of your life. That will be good to purify your earnings.
Do not rush to follow all the rules immediately. Just be disciplined and chant. Whenever you feel comfortable in following proper worship and offerings, do them.
Do not do any activity that affects your mind.
The problem of the devotees in many sathsangha are that all of them like to become a pure and perfect devotee in this birth itself and go back to Krishna at the end of this birth itself.
Remember, all the devotees are not going to enter into Goloka at the end of their present birth. Only those who successfully deserted all their trace of material attachments and also developed prema on Krishna will enter. Others will have to take another or more births to become well purified.
This is the TRUTH AND REALITY that I daringly say. In faact, it is not me, but even Krishna Himself says this in Gita that only one among thousands tries to know Him and even among such persons, only one among thousands successfully knows Him.
This is the BITTER FACT. All the devotees are not going to go back to Krishna in this birth itself. many may need another or more births. But, one day, they will definitely go. That is sure.
Taking just one or more births is not a crime because your next birth will be very good and with no or less diversions. You can follow devotion better than now in your next birth.
Of course, it is good if we enter into Goloka now itself. But, it is a restricted place that permits only those without any material contamination (attachments) and Krishna Prema inside. So, we may either become pure in this birth itself or may need another birth if our attachments are more.
Kindly understand my balanced suggestions and follow a moderate approach in following devotion. Work sincerely and follow a life without oscillations.
If you live as said by me, you will not require any treatments and you can feel normal. Your parents may also appreciate you.
Time is there for you. You can follow strict rules gradually. Don’t rush seeing the few devotees who seem to be so sincere and vigorous. If you talk to them personally, you can know many of their struggles too.
Devotional life is not a bed of roses. It needs careful handling. If not, it will affect even your studies and work that will ruin your entire life.
Read all the posts of our site and learn how to balance your material life and devotion. All my suggestions in them are genuine honest, practical, unbiased, unbranded/ uncoloured suggestions as an observer who understands the problems of the devotees.
All the best.