How to love Krishna more than family and friends?
A devotee who requested anonymity asked like this:
“Hare krishna prabhu ji !!! I m fond of reading shrimad bhagvatam and shrimad bhagvad geeta . I love chanting and listening about Krishna. But somewhere I feel that I don’t love krishna as other devotees do. When it comes to my priorities , they are always my family, my friends , my studies etc .. It has been said that listening krishna katha, reading books , chanting and association of devotees will be of great help. But I am already doing this , still m not able to develop enough love for him, for me it’s not working out. I relish his name till m reading or listening about him, after that I forget everything and starts taking pleasure in material things. I heard in a sat-sang that loving krishna is in the behaviour of pure devotees. One should not pretend to love him. Love is a strong feeling . It either exists or does not exists . There is no such thing like ‘perhaps’ in love. Then I realized that, it wasn’t love , it’s something masquerading as love. Now I don’t want to act like a devotee. I am just worn out. Loving Krishna is not in my behaviour. But I can’t live without devotion. I can’t even stay away from him. What should I do …. I know my question is very stupid. But there is no one to whom I could ask. I wanna ask WILL LOVING KRISHNA EVER BECOME MY NATURE ? HOW I CAN BECOME PERSISTENT IN MY DEVOTION? HOW WILL I DEVELOP TRUE LOVE FOR HIM? DOES THAT MEAN I AM LESS BLESSED ? It is my heartiest request that please do not mention my name. Thank you.”
Who said your question is stupid? In fact, it is the perfect question and I liked that question. You have submitted frankly and clearly;
But, there are some persons who do not accept their inabilities like you did, but show themselves as great devotees. Thats all. This submission itself is THE FIRST STEP OF YOUR ELEVATION IN DEVOTION. Don’t worry.
You are not an offender. You are a good devotee who is eligible to become a PURE DEVOTEE. Your problem is simple: You try to love Krishna; Mean time, your mind is dominated by materialistic people also. That is, you love all your family most and also love Krishna.
There is a difficulty in loving both material as well as Krishna simultaneously. Your material people give you pleasure and warmth immediately though it is temporary. But, Krishna’s mercy is not realized by many. In fact, the spouse is given by Lord only. But, man can remember the pleasure given by his wife, but, he will forget the Person who gave that wife, ie, Krishna.
So, wife gives immediate pleasure. So, wife is very attached to him. Whereas Krishna is invisible for him and hence he could not keep Krishna above his wife. This is the problem.
In case Krishna directly comes in front of him and gives him Rs.10 crore, then, he will feel Krishna greater than his wife, because Krishna has given material benefit instantly.
So, those who gives immediate material benefits to you are more attached to you. Though you like to love Krishna, you are able to keep Him only after your parents and relatives because, Krishna is not directly coming and giving anything. (In fact, we forget that all the material things we use are that of Krishna only).
This happens because maya has tightly bound us with this material world and its pleasures that are temporary. As maya is very attractively spread, you are unable to divert your attention from maya. These are the tricks of maya to engage you with material world.
What to do to to love Krishna the most?
Srila prabhupada has clearly said that attachment with material world and attachment with Krishna is not possible simultaneously.
This is because, material world is controlled by maya; So, when we engage fully with this material world, our vision would have been screened by maya. So, Krishna is not visible for us. Only when we remove the screen of maya, we can see Krishna.
Removing the screen of maya means leaving the family?
No. We can not leave the family as the world will be peaceful only when there are family set ups. Otherwise, there will be chaos. Everyone will live as singles and do whatever they want without any control. So, you have to honour the family set up. You have to respect your wife, parents, brothers, sisters and friends.
But, you must keep the major fact in mind that THEY ARE GOING TO LEAVE YOU AT ANY TIME. So, there is no meaning in developing attachments with them. Just do your duties for your family and friends by physically being with them, but, do not consider these relations as eternal. If you develop attachments with them, their separation will disturb you.
So, Be physically with the family, but, keep your heart with Krishna who is eternal. Your family can not come with you when you die. But, Krishna Consciousness continues in your next birth also. So, give your heart to Krishna who is eternal. Be physically with family and do your duties without expecting any results and benefits in return.
If you develop this mindset, you can come very closer to Krishna. In addition to that, continue your regular sadhanas like chanting, reading about Krishna, associating with devotees, worships, prasadam, etc. Follow 4 regulative principles compulsorily.
If you follow these sadhanas with the detached mindset as explained above, you will soon become closer to Krishna and you will love Him the most.
This is my guarantee.