After coming to devotion, I hate and avoid non-devotee family and others that makes them angry. Why Krishna allows this?
ACTUAL QUESTIONS FROM TWO MALE DEVOTEES:
“hare krsna prabhu. i have a query on krishna’s protection, firstly about me i was introduced to krsna consciousness at 2007 and i took some imp decisions later like staying in certain location for higher studies for devotees association….but due to few incidents i left devotees group and from then i was in different cities. my devotional practises were not so regular now…i m trying to improve and connect to devotees. in the meanwhile, i used to not mix much with material people and few people used to take it negative and used to do all kind of foolish things, politics. many times, i prayed krsna to take action on such irresponsible people. but krsna never took action on them and they never stopped doing low class behaviours. But, i have a doubt why krsna is not taking action on such low class people? scriptures tell us we should call for krsna, then krsna will come to help, but i prayed krsna so many times but situations only becoming worst. thats giving me conclusion krsna dont care much unless u r pure, these consistent failure in praying krsna giving me drawback to loose enthusiasm in krsna consciousness. can you please help me. your humble servant”
“Hare Krishna Prabhu ji! My material family don’t want me to at all become devotee. They go on blaspheming and criticising Bhakti Devi and Vaisnavas. My whole family thinks that religion means getting money, power, etc, from demigods. They are polytheists. Liberation and Bhakti are done by pretenders according to them. They never want any member to become devotee or even jnani.
They think that family and karma to be greater than Suddha Bhakti, Bhagawan. Parents are greater than God as they say, but, it is not true for parents who can’t deliver children from birth and death. They instead want to entangle me in good karma. Even it is not good karma. They just want to perform duties, get material profits and blessings. They are not austere, truthful, merciful, etc. They are rude, angry, selfish, greedy, illusioned, etc. Please suggest me what to do. I have no means of livelihood by myself. I usually shut my ears when they criticize Bhakti Devi. They also equate demigods with Lord Hari. PLEASE SAVE ME FROM VAISNAVA APARADHA. How should I behave with them? Life in this Body is Seventeen years and more.”
This is a very important issue among the devotees. Therefore, I like to give a balanced advice to be corrected by yourself and dealing with such materialistic relatives and others.
(1) First, let me say how to deal with negative response from others:
In general, you can’t stop the people taking us negatively with misunderstanding, and we can’t solve this by retaliating or abusing them back. Because, Your parents and other people are just ignorant, and they do not know what they speak and do. Actually, a parent should be happy when their children go closer to Krishna. Because, in this advancing kaliyuga, many children involve in hidden activities secretly. But, you are longing for Hari. So, they must encourage you in devotional service feeling happy
Actually, this practice of misunderstanding others without knowing their actual situation is there in all fields, including spiritual service since there are immatured persons in every family or forum. Envy may be the cause for such evils. I too have faced such misunderstandings in family and outside, but, am still trying to serve the Lord hoping that He will protect us if we are straightforward in our thoughts and actions.
I suggest you the practice followed by Gandhiji. He ensured freedom for India from British through Ahimsa considering that a knife will not be a solution for a knife. That is why, he is in history now.
If there is fire, we must pour water, not petrol. So, if the people in your circle takes your involvement in devotion negatively, you should neglect them with strong and decisive mind. Only if you respond or behave as if you are affected, they will increase their gossips. If you pooh-pooh them, they will stop one day tired of NO REACTION.
Dog is the best example. If a dog barks, you should not run. If you run, it too will chase you. If you don’t care it, it will bark for a few seconds and stop it.
This is the solution. In life, in many circumstances, NOT DOING ANYTHING ITSELF WILL BE THE BEST SOLUTION.
Follow this. They will learn lessons one day. So, you protect yourself by being CALM just as a spectator.
(2) Now, Let me explain the things to be corrected from your side:
There is another side to this issue that is a ground reality I have to mention here if I am a balanced preacher who does not sacrifice the reality to establish a certain opinion in the mind of others.
Many boys and girls start to hate this material world and other people when they involve seriously in devotional practices. So, the parents feel that they have almost lost their son/ daughter to the temple / spiritual organization they are following.
Some devotees start to think that they only are fortunate and brilliant and their non devotee family members and others are ignorant. Some times, they openly tell this to their parents and others. They feel that their son/ daughter is speaking against them only after going deep in devotion. So, their ego wakes up and they start to object their children going to temples.
I have seen many boys and girls with this mindset. In fact the purpose of my preaching itself is to guide the devotees in balancing material as well as spiritual life.
Such a kind of approach is wrong. If a person goes to serious devotion and hate his/ her parents, how parents will encourage their children to do devotional practice seriously?
In fact, a devotee should approach the surrounding people with mercy and speak to them in a responsible manner. But, what happens among the devotees? Some devotees think that Only Krishna is for them, and they do not need any other person or thing.
Why do they differentiate Krishna from His creations? When we honour Krishna, we should honour His creations also. Krishna says NOT TO ATTACH WITH MATERIAL THINGS. He did not say to hate this world. Only attachment should be avoided. Showing a merciful approach to others is not the attachment. We are expected to perform our duties with a detached mindset. Detachment does not mean hating and deserting other people and things. How can a devotee hate any person or thing if he has the realization that everyone and everything has the source as Krishna?
I too have an experience. A woman devotee was coming to the temple regularly and heard the lectures attentively. One day, her husband came to the temple in the middle of class and called her and took her to home. From the next week onwards, that lady devotee did not come to the temple. She once telephoned me and told: “Prabhu, I am unable tell this to anyone. My husband do not allow me to visit the temple.”.
Though I do not visit the house of any devotee unless there is any compelling reasons, since I wanted to help that woman devotee, I visited her house and spoke to her husband.
He said: “Sir, I have no anger on the temple or Krishna. But, my wife has changed a lot after starting to come to the temple. She always praise Krishna and always engaged in Puja, but, she stopped speaking soothing words to me. She speaks that she fell into the well of marriage ignorantly and she started hating me. In fact, I never scolded her and I have been a responsible husband. But, she is not even helping the studies of our child, but is always doing Krishna related works. So, I stopped her from going to temple, because, I like to see my family intact and loveful”
I totally agreed with the feelings of that husband. I told him: “Yes, you are right. The mistake is with her only, not with Krishna or temple. A devotee should not hate others and escape from assigned duties just because he/ she is loving Krishna. All of us are the parts and parcels of Krishna. So, if she hates anyone, that means, she is hating Krishna Himself. Don’t worry. I will advise her accordingly. Hereafter, she will balance the family and Krishna properly. ”
After that I advised her for about one hour and indicated her mistakes. Though she has been a very dedicated devotee of Krishna, she has failed to balance between family and devotion, ie, Krishna Consciousness.
Let me give the extract of advices given to her by me, to you also here:
(1) You can not perform the devotional practice without the support of your family. So, you must ensure their support.
(2) If you love Krishna, you must love His parts and parcels also, ie, your parents and others. Even a dog is to be respected as Krishna is living inside it.
(3) To perform Krishna Consciousness, you NEED NOT SKIP YOUR FAMILY LIFE. You can remain within your family, but, without attachments. If you talk to your family members (parents) lovefully and also excel in studies and job, they will be very happy and support your devotion.
(4) Therefore, study well, score top marks. If you have completed your studies, try and get a good job, work sincerely/ effectively and earn well. This will make your parents happy. Spend a part of your earning for preaching about Krishna and distributing books or donating to the temples. Thus, you can purify your earning.
Instead of skipping job itself, going to job and helping the devotees and needy people is better. If all of us skip our jobs, how the temples will function without money? So, skipping material activities is practically impossible and we need not skip our jobs or studies. Just involve every activity in the service of Krishna. Then, your material activity will be spiritual.
(5) While doing the studies or jobs sincerely, involve in chanting, offering food to Krishna and honouring His prasadam, offering flowers, aratis, etc to Krishna at home. If you perform the Krishna Conscious practices (saadhanas) without quitting the studies/ job and also by being loveful and merciful to your parents, relatives and others, they will not comment against your spiritual involvement.
(6) Remember this fact. Many parents object to send their child to temple because they also fear whether their child will not marry and also become a sanyasi. This is a natural fear. They fear like this because, some boys and girls start to speak negatively about this material life when they start to practice devotion to Krishna. But, you should remember that SANYASA IS NOT BODY ORIENTED. IT IS RELATED TO MIND. If you dress like a sanyasi and involve in sinful acts secretly, it is not sanyasa. But, if you physically remain with your parents and family following four regulative principles, chanting, etc, and your mind dwells in Krishna Consciousness, it is real sanyasi packed with devotion. So, keep your body for your family and mind for Krishna. Thus, you can be a sanyasi even within a family.
(7) Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that sex, if followed without violating the advices of scriptures also represents Him. Leading a grahastha life as per the grahastha rules is also brahmacharya as said by Srila Prabhupada.
(8) Another point: Just because I adviced you to be like sanyasi within family, you shouldnot speak hatred words about this world to them. Speak to them lovefully and do all the household duties meant for your family and also involve in Krishna Consscious Practices (saadhanas) in such a way that your family can not accuse you that you are not taking care of them. They will be obliged and ccompelled to co-operate with you.
My advice went like this.
That wife to whom I gave tips for balancing devotion and material life started to act as per my advices and her husband stopped objecting her going to temple. Now, they are very happy and the husband too has started to come to temple along with his wife.
This is the way of dealing with devotion/ Krishna Consciousness. Since many devotees do not follow this, they do not get their family and friends support for their devotional/ Krishna Conscious Practices.
So, my advise to you is, practice Krishna Consciousness and also do all your family related duties patiently thinking of Krishna in mind. Also speak lovefuly to your surrounding people and ensure their support for your devotional practices without commenting against it.
If you do so for a few months / years, your parents and also the surrounding people will be attracted with your way of life by beautifully balancing material and spiritual life and they too may start to come to the temples and follow the devotional way of life.
All the best.