Can one really follow Krishna Consciousness in family life?
“A male devotee” (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Dear sir, I am new to this site. I fear for quitting the family if I follow devotional life. Please tell me, if I can follow krishna without quitting the family.”
Definitely. It is advisable in this kaliyuga.
Direct Sanyasa from brahmacharya is very risky in kaliyuga and the person have more chances of fall down unless he involves seriously in devotional practices and developing his consciousness as spiritual.
(Horoscope (Kundli) Matching for marriage: Do Acharyas recommend it? READ HERE!)
Only some selected persons can adopt and follow sanyasa directly from brahmacharya.
Marriage is recommended if your horoscope allows it. If a person is destined with sanyasa yoga, marriage is not possible for him/ her. However, on general terms, if anyone is destined to have marriage, it is good for them to marry.
(If our spouse is already decided by karma, why should we see horoscopes for marriage? READ HERE!)
Let us see what Srila Prabhupada says about the need for following Krishna Consciousness in family life in kaliyuga:
“Marriage is like a fortress created by the husband and wife to protect themselves from the powerful enemies of the uncontrolled senses and peacefully make spiritual advancement. ‘The bodily senses are considered plunderers of the fort of the body. The wife is supposed to be the commander of the fort, and therefore whenever there is an attack on the body by the senses, it is the wife who protects the body from being smashed’.
Lord Krsna told Rukmini, ‘My dear beautiful wife, you know that because we are householders we are always busy in many household affairs and long for a time when we can enjoy some joking words between us. That is our ultimate gain in household life’. Srila Prabhupada comments, ‘Actually, householders work very hard day and night, but all fatigue of the day’s labour is minimised as soon as they meet, husband and wife together, and enjoy life in many ways. Lord Krsna wanted to exhibit Himself as being like an ordinary householder who delights himself by exchanging joking words with his wife’. (Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Ch. 60) Similarly, it is described, ‘Lord Siva was sitting in an assembly of great saintly persons and embracing Parvati on his lap with his arm … For Parvati to be embraced by Lord Siva was natural in a relationship between husband and wife; this was nothing extraordinary’.
(HOW SHOULD A DEVOTEE TAKE IF HIS MARRIAGE ARRANGEMENT FAILS? READ HERE!)
We always speak of the goddess of fortune as being placed on the chest of Narayana. In other words, the wife must remain embraced by her husband. Thus she becomes beloved and well protected … Just as intelligence is always within the heart, so a beloved chaste wife should always have her place on the chest of a good husband. This is the proper relationship between husband and wife. A wife is therefore called ardhangani, or half of the body. One cannot remain with only one leg, one hand or only one side of the body. He must have two sides.
Maharaja Yadu was very eager to engage himself in the Lord’s service, but there was an impediment: during youth the material desire to enjoy the material senses is certainly present, and unless one fully satisfies these lusty desires in youth, there is a chance of one’s being disturbed in rendering service to the Lord. We have actually seen that many sannyasis who accept sannyasa prematurely, not having satisfied their material desires, fall down because they are disturbed. Therefore the general process is to go through grhastha life and vanaprastha life and finally come to sannyasa and devote oneself completely to the service of the Lord. Maharaja Yadu was ready to accept his father’s order and exchange youth for old age because he was confident that the youth taken by his father would be returned. But because this exchange would delay his complete engagement in devotional service, he did not want to accept his father’s old age, for he was eager to achieve freedom from disturbances.
(I, AN INITIATED GIRL DEVOTEE FEAR FOR MARRIAGE. WHAT TO DO? READ HERE!)
What Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu said?
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised the householder Kurma, ‘Remain at home and chant the holy name of Krsna always. Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam … If you follow this instruction, your materialistic life at home will not obstruct your spiritual advancement. Indeed, if you follow these regulative principles, we will again meet here, or, rather, you will never lose My company’
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 7.128-9:
Many people come and inquire whether they have to give up family life to join the Society, but that is not our mission. One can remain comfortably in his residence. We simply request everyone to chant the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If one is a little literate and can read Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Srimad-Bhagavatam that is so much the better. If a devotee follows the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he lives in the company of the Lord. Wherever he lives, he converts that place into Vrndavana and Navadvipa. This means that materialism cannot touch him. This is the secret of success for one advancing in Krsna consciousness.
(Is marriage and getting more children advised or not? READ HERE!)
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 16.69-70:
Similarly, when a grhastha resident of Kulina-grama asked Lord Caitanya, ‘My Lord, kindly tell me what my duty is and how I should execute it’. The Lord replied, ‘You should engage yourself in the service of the servants of Krsna and always chant the holy name of Krsna. If you do these two things, you will very soon attain shelter at Krsna’s lotus feet.
Thus, following devotion is possible in any ashrama including Grahastha Ashrama if you carefully search and marry a person who can help you in your devotional practices and advancement.
Take time and select a right person. If you are not sure of his devotional standing, check the horoscope of him/ her and find whether he has the chances of showing interest in devotional way of life and then decide. If you choose a right person, you can follow Krishna Consciousness in family life.
Talk to your parents and request them to see a guy or girl who can help you in devotion. Though he/ she is a pious person who allows you to follow devotion packed life, it is alright. Never marry an atheist or a person who is very much addicted to sense gratification. Discuss directly before marrying anyone and confirm everything.
Hope this helps.
(Is marriage necessary or unnecessary for the devotees? READ HERE!)