I am oscillating between Krishna Consciousness and unavoidable problems that makes me guilty. Help me.
Condensed Question from a girl devotee (Name hidden):
“Hare Krishna Prabhuji. I am very happy to read your posts. I am trying my best to follow them, but, I can’t follow because of my problems. My mother is suddenly bed ridden and she needs my direct support even to eat. I and my elder sister are supporting her. I quit my job and help my mother. I don’t know when she will recover. I can’t think anything except mother now. I am weary of my future also. I chant some times andnthen stop. I am showing as devotee outside, but, I am not following Krishna Conssciousness. My inability to follow Krishna Consciousness seriously make me guilty. So, I am living with guilt. Though I want to follow, because of my situations and disturbed mind, I am unable to concentrate in Krishna and I drop the sadhanas. Since I am left alone struggling, how can I concentrate in devotion? I am facing problems one by one in this young age itself. In this situation, what should I do to solve all my problems? How can I get a taste in devotion in this helpless situation? Please guide me.”
You are the genuine and reliable girl who accepts her weakness and inability first.
I have seen some devotees who hide their true face. But, you are genuinely accepting that you are not following devotional way of life properly.
But, this inability is not a crime. You will never be punished for that.
You have good brain and you studied well.
You remained a sincere girl for your parents.
You are leading a responsible life.
You quit even your job to take care of mother.
You are a beautiful girl who does not misuse it indecently.
Above all, you wish to follow devotion, but, you are not able to follow. This desire and feel of guilt itself is a show of your goodness.
Now, You are fighting between Krishna and material life.
This is what all of us are doing. Many others may not accept that they are still fighting with maya in a fear that others will think of him as a small devotee. So, to show themselves as a big devotee, they will show themselves as if having conquered maya.
But, the reality is – about 99% of the people are still in the fighting stage. It will be even more than that in fractions. Only a few would have crossed that stage.
So, you are not a pretender. You too are on the way to Krishna because your heart is filled with the desire to follow devotion.
Compared to those who are pretending to be sincere, you, who is openly fighting to be a devotee as well as a obedient girl for family, is better.
The sadhanas are the practice tests that are recommended for the new comers just to enhance love on Krishna.
If a person is able to show abundant love on Krishna naturally, the sadhanas are not the practice tests, but, just the penances and they can be done whenever it is possible for you.
Those who had followed devotion sincerely in the previous life and died in the middle, will take birth with the ability to show natural love on Krishna even without any sadhanas.
So, don’t feel guilt for not being able to follow the devotional practices.
Am I supporting quitting the devotional practices in your case?
Not so. I just tell that you need not confuse with more sadhanas now in this very unfortunate situation.
You are not an initiated girl. You are so young and spending all the time to take care of mother who is bed ridden and who need your support for her every need. You are also not sure what will happen to her and when she will become fit to manage herself. It is an unclear picture.
In this stage, your heart will be crying because of not able to go to job also like many other girls.
In addition to them, being a young girl, you will have some hidden dreams meant for normal young girls and your current situation may frighten you whether you can fulfil those dreams in the right age and right manner.
Your friends will be leading a different life with full enjoyments. But, you are in a situation to be with your mother.
All these feelings will be frustrating you and hence you may not have an initiative to take the chanting beads and chant. Even if you take the chanting beads, the frustrating thoughts will dominate.
The feeling of being an unfortunate person never allows us to do anything.
You have all credits as listed in the beginning of this reply. So, you are not inferior and you are going to be a gift for someone who is going to thank God for having got you.
So, no need for frustrations.
Since you are not yet initiated, just chant only one round every day. Don’t chant more with frustration. Just chant only one round with love and sincerity.
Just offer some fruits to Krishna every day at any time possible for you. If possible, offer simple food that you cook for your family.
Since you are already a good girl, no mention is required about regulative principles. You are fit in that aspect.
That’s all. You need just 6+2 = 8 minutes a day to do these two.
You can do this in any situation. This will help you to keep you in touch with Krishna.
Don’t see the other advanced devotees now. It will frustrate you more.
If you read advanced concepts and advices, just read them and keep them to follow in future whenever you become free.
Don’t feel guilty for not following those advanced sadhanas.
You have a major task – immediate task of giving direcet support to your mother. Do that sincerely. Side by side, read about Krishna and also about generally useful articles on science, history, economics, etc.
Don’t rush to be an advanced devotee now itself. The situation is different for everyone. One has to customize his/ her plans according to his/ her family conditions.
Just spend these 8 minutes for Krishna exclusively.
Other times, concentrate in your duties that are pressing you immediately keeping the desire to serve Krishna in future in mind.
You need not be an advanced devotee allowing your mother to suffer because she has no other person to help her directly. Only the women can do those supporting duties to the mother.
You may not be able to fly like others. Don’t worry. Nothing is lost because it is not the way of life. This life is serious. In the middle, we will have some pleasures with family, friends, etc. That’s all.
You may not be able to go to job. Its alright. Your family is supported by father now. You can earn again when you become free from mother or after marriage.
You may not be able to remain in the company of friends. Nothing is lost. They are going to go on their own route once they get married.
Only you will remain in future along with your husband and child.
These things are just temporary. This too will change. Wait.
Now, let me suggest some steps that can be taken by you:
(1) If the physical inability to your mother seems to be long lasting, you need not sit with her all the time. You can go and earn. If you get a maid from neighbouring areas who need financial support, you can engage her to help your mother. You can start going to job. You will be taking loveful care before 9 AM and after 7 PM. In the day time, the maid will take care of mother. If possible, your sister may also help mother. If she is also willing to go to the job, she too can go. So, first find a good maid or nurse. This will reduce your load. You can also go outside for some relaxing moments.
(2) If your mother’s recovery is delayed but the sister is nearing the marriage time, she can marry. You can take care of mother along with the maid.
(3) If your mother’s recovery is achieved, you can marry and start a new life and then follow devotion seriously. If possible marry a Krishna devotee, or atleast a God fearing boy. Both of you can start to follow devotion later. No hurry.
(4) If your mother’s recovery is delayed, but, you are crossing the marriage age, marry a boy in the same city and either keep your home near your present home or take your mother and father to a nearby home where your husband’s family is living. Again you can continue to take care of mother along with the mother.
(5) A boy would have taken birth for you and he is living somewhere else. So, he will marry you and you too will see all the sides of this life. Be hopeful.
(6) Don’t allow the frustration to suppress you and don’t decide not to marry. If you get a good boy (though not a serious devotee), marry him and take care of mother with his and maid’s support.
Never confuse your life and Krishna Consciousness in this present moment. Now, just spend 8 minutes for sadhanas. When the clouds are clear in future, dedicate more time and attention towards Krishna.
Since you are in your early twenties now, you have plenty of time. Parikshit Maharaj got vaikunta within seven days of hearing Bhagavatham. He started in the last seven days of his life.
Now, you have a great and pressing duty to take care of your ailing mother. I know that difficulty because I too was struggling with my aged mother and sacrificed my pleasures to keep her in good status.
That is why, now, I am free from guilty and I fell happy that I did my duty as a son properly.
Now, I sleep in the night well without guilt.
Thus, just keep Krishna in the heart and continue your duties to mother. Arrange for marriage of sister and you too marry in the right age, ie, before 27-28. At the same time, as said above, take the arrangements for caring your mother depending on her level of recovery.
Till you finish these pressing duties, spend just 8 minutes for Krishna. When you are free from such unavoidable duties, start to follow devotional practices seriously.
You are not required to go for diksha at this moment and you have time to come to that stage in future. You can take diksha if necessary after years. Because there are hundreds of devotees struggling with guilt after taking diksha before they are mentally and physically ready. Don’t do that mistake.
Just be in touch with Krishna now and do your duties. Time will come and Krishna will make you a serious devotee. Don’t feel guilty for that right now.
You are remaining a good and responsible daughter right now. That is enough. Krishna will understand you and wait for you.
In fact, he will help you to successfully fight with maya in right time.
Let the clouds move away. The sky will become clear.
Be hopeful and cheerful till that time. All the best.