What if my family accuses my following Krishna Consciousness? – PART – 2
A male devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Prabhuji, most of the people who have started coming to ————- (Spiritual organisation name hidden) are facing the serious Resistance from family members…. Please guide on this topic, how to face the family pressure, parents are worrying that spiritual organisations are approaching only the earning (Salaried/business) class people for money. They also have fear that they might make us to become Sanyasis. Some devotees are facing this problem …. Please guide on this matter prabhuji.”
See….Everyone has right to preach his concepts. It is up to you whether to take it or not or how to take it. If we are wise persons, we must take only those aspects that suits our situation.
If a spiritual organization encourages physical sanyasa, you should think 100 times about the following: (i) Who are your dependents? (ii) Do you have old parents and sisters to give in marriage? (iii) Are you the sole earning member in your family? (iv) If you leave your family and settle in a temple or tour everywhere, will your family come to the street platform?
You should think everything. Only if you are free and only if you have completed important duties, you should leave your family and even have long tour everywhere. If you are a sole earning member in your family and you have a sister to give in marriage, if you become a sanyasi, it is a selfish decision.
I tell you, Krishna consciousness can be practiced from ANY SITUATION. Even if your wife or husband tortures you, you can practice because chanting needs no atmosphere, arrangements, etc.
Most of the devotees take the preachings of some spiritual organisations blindly as it is. We should customize those preachings according to our situation. This is like OPEN SOFTWARE. Some companies sell open softwares. These softwares can be modified according to our needs WITHOUT CHANGING THE BASIC PLATFORM. Similarly, you should practice spiritual practices according to your atmosphere. You should never worry like—-
(i) Oh…Rajesh has taken initiation… I too have to take immediately in the next initiation ceremony itself…..like that.
Here, you should see.. Ramya has no responsibilities and is working in government job. So, she can manage the rules well. You are a businessman and you have to work day and night. If you take initiation now, will you chant 16 rounds and follow ekadasi fastings, aratis, temple attendences regularly, have vaishnava appearance, and offer food to Lord and take only prasadam, and not eating outside? Only if you are ready to do these things, you must take initiation. Otherwise you will end up in offending your guru. So, just because Rajesh takes initiation, you should not take immediately. First, you should prepare your surroundings for that. Even some dress codes are recommended by some organisations. For example, the dhoti is worn in such a way to avoid the exposure of body as in vedic periods, there were no other dresses like trousers for men. No other actual reason.. If you are unable to wear this type of dhoti, you will tension yourself after taking initiation. Take initiation only when you are prepared to wear dhoti like that atleast in temples. After taking initiation, do not go to temples in jeans that is the violation of guru’s commands. So, my point is that do not offend your guru by taking initiation even before you are prepared for that.
(ii) My God…Rajesh now has become a full time devotee. I am just pulling the family even now. …like that.
This is also not advised. Rajesh had no liabilities and hence he decided to settle in temple as full time devotee. You have some responsibilities. So, you should not compare yourself with Rajesh. He may be just a student or unemployed. You have a job. So, you should plan how to practice devotion from withing your existing set up itself.
So, blind follow up is not recommended in any spiritual practice. You should evaluate your situation and then take decisions. Of course, ALL THE PEOPLE SHOULD INVOLVE IN DEVOTIONAL PRACTICES. But, NOT ALL SHOULD FOLLOW THE SAME WAY OF SERVICE. If you can preach, you should do that. If you can help in temples, you can do that. If you can distribute books, you can do that. Do anything you can, without affecting your existing family set up.
Why parents object their children involving in devotional practices? Because, those devotees start to behave as if they are landed from MOON OR MARS OR EVEN VAIKUNTA and this world is not for them and only for highly materialistic people like parents. They start to treat their parents and others as ignorant people. They start to shout at them for not helping in their devotional practices. They reduce their attention in education and start to score less marks.
I DO NOT SUPPORT SUCH BEHAVIOUR BY SOME DEVOTEES. Do not wish to achieve everything today itself. Even Srila prabhupada had to wait for decades before he came out of his family. His guru requested him to preach in west. He could do that in his last decade only. Till that, he was starting businesses again and again to maintain his family as it is the duty of a responsible grahastha. So, Spirituality is a gradual process.
Then, why should some devotees like to become advanced devotees overnight? If their family situation is not ripe for offering food to Lord, why do they cry to them? They can offer some fruits to Lord till his family understands him and he can do other sadhanas like chanting, reading, etc properly for which they need no external support.
This is the right and practical way of practising devotion. If they try to practice everything today itself, they may face some resistances. So, they may feel guilty for not following the rituals after taking initiation. This guilt itself will kill his confidence level. So, do not rush in taking initiations without evaluating your preparedness to follow all the recommended sadhanas. Take initiation ONLY IF YOU CAN FOLLOW ALL SAADHANAS AND LIFE STYLE RECOMMENDED FOR THEM. TAKING INITIATION OUT OF CURIOSITY AND LATER BEING LAZY WILL DEVELOP GUILTY FEELING WITHIN YOU. So, know what are the required sadhanas. Try your level best to practice whatever you can.
Thus, a devotee should be intelligent to evaluate his situation and then decide his course of actions. Whatever saadhanas you can do in your present atmosphere, just do them and be peaceful. Do not make your family enemy for practising all at a time. At the same time, KEEP PRAYING TO KRISHNA TO GIVE YOU A SUITABLE ATMOSPHERE TO DO ALL SADHANAS PROPERLY AND WITHOUT AFFECTING ANYONE. As this is a very genuine prayer, Lord will give you a suitable atmosphere in due course of time.
The spiritual organisations preach so many practices and sadhanas. If your situation permits all those sadhanas, follow them. If not, try maximum sadhanas that can be done in your atmosphere.
But, following 4 regulative principles and chanting possible rounds have no relaxation and it must be done by ALL DEVOTEES THOUGH THEY ARE LIVING ON FIRE. No excuses for chanting and regulative principles. Other sadhanas can be followed coping up with your family members. Mean time, do all the supports to your family and score high in exams and do well in job. Spend a part of earning for Lord’s service.
When the devotees are like this, they can get the full support of their family gradually. There is no need for families to worry for their children’s devotional practices. And, no one can cheat you or make you fool if you live like this.
This is my humble advice and I too am living like that only balancing my situation and devotional practices wisely. I have never felt personally betrayed though I have been seeing many betrayals around me in all fields. I am happily practicing devotion even inside the fire.
Hope this helps!