What to do if I am unable to follow both renouncement and balancing devotion?
A girl devotee asked like this:
“When I was materially much attached and was desperately seeking material happiness. That time my elder brother gifted me the whole book set of Srimad Bhagvatam by Srila Prabupada . I started reading it very sincerely and gradually understood about supreme personality of God Head Krishna. Almost everywhere in purport I was reading that the material life is cause of all our sufferings and if we live a Krishna Conscious life then all our problems will be vanished. I was suffering that time and finally decided to give up material life. So gradually I have developed renunciation in material matters. And realized peace. But now when I am trying to implement and follow all the rules and regulations in my life so now now I am finding myself struggling. It is like material life is not allowing me to become a pure devotee (who has nothing to do with anything other than Krishna or related to Krishna). I am not free to live a spiritual life. It is suffocating me day and night and like a helpless person I am compromising every day. It’s painful. I feel like that Krishna first taught me to develop renunciation in material matters but now Krishna is teaching me to be balanced in material and spiritual life. Why He is not giving me facilities to live a fully devotional and spiritual life now.? And as now I do not like material way of life then Why He is showing me the path of balance now. Help me. Hare Krishna.”
I have been crying in this site and social media that all the visiting devotees to the temples are trying to be like the saffron worn devotees of the temple.
The important thing is that even girls start to lead a life like those saffron devotees.
I tell you: Do not like to be like others. You be according to your situation.
If you like to be others, you will end up in psychological issues and you may even become a mad.
Some persons are able to come out of his home and settle in the temples because of many reasons.
There are two main classes of devotees who come to full time service:
(i) A section of devotees come to the devotional way of life in temples because of genuine desire to serve the Lord.
(ii) But, there is another section of devotees who come to the devotional way of life for escaping from their material burdens. For example, some may come to full time service because of the unhealthy situation in their families; Some because of love failures; Some because of tortures from parents; Some because of escaping from material burdens; some because of problems after marriage.
These classs-(ii) devotees who come to the devotional way of life to escape from external problems will not stay for long in the devotional service. They will again go to the previous life if they get good opportunity.
But, all of them will look like renounced devotees when we see them. We can’t study what they have inside. Only a few of them would have developed sufficient renouncement. Others will be trying to renounce and fighting with the situation.
Therefore, we should not like to become ‘LIKE’ OTHERS.
If a person likes to fully renounce because of severe family problems, we can understand that. Why should you too should go for such a way of renouncement when you have a good family?
Their background is different; Your background is different.
Who said that total renouncement is possible in kaliyuga for all?
It is possible only for a few.
And, a dry renouncement alone will not be sufficient. It will give just MUKTHI, not Krishna,
Krishna did not encourage the dry renounciation of hating the material relations, things, etc.
Krishna CLEARLY says that we should work for His pleasure or thinking of Him.
He did not insist us to renounce everything and go to a secluded place.
It is impossible in this kaliyuga.
The stories that we read in puranas happened in other yugas. Thousands of years ago.
So, first stop trying for renounciation.
I am just advising DETACHMENT FROM BENEFITS WHILE WORKING AND PERFORMING OUR DUTIES THINKING OF KRISHNA IN MIND AND USING OUR KNOWLEDGE AND EARNINGS FOR KRISHNA TO POSSIBLE EXTENT.
If you do this, that itself will be enough for this kaliyuga.
Particularly, you are a girl. You should not remain unmarried as said by acharyas. So, do not develop this kind of thoughts.
(i) Instead of renouncing everything, concentrate in applying everything in the service of Krishna. This will be the best alternative.
(ii) Instead of renouncing the works, work more, earn more and help Krishna’s service more.
(iii) Instead of renouncing the people, be with them, make changes in them as devotees by being a good devotee. It will one day change others. It happened in my case. Only because of the devotion and duties combined life of my parents, I became a devotee. So, I have to be thankful for my parents too.
(iv) Instead of renouncing the marriage, marry a good devotee who is also not interested in highly materialistic way of life, lead a responsible grahastha life, do services to Krishna along with the husband and make your children as devotees. Even if you do not get a devotee from your own sathsangha, atleast marry a boy with much interest in worshiping God. Later, you can make him to follow your way of life.
(v) Instead of running away from duties, perform some services in the temples atleast once a week on holidays for a few hours.
(vi) Like I am applying my writing skills in the service of the Lord, you too apply any of your special skills for the Lord. (Ha Ha…Don’t start to write articles like me if you do not have such skills. Serve with the talent you have.)
To understand the service to the Lord, read this history:
Thirukkachchi Nambi, a very popular Vaishnava in SRI Sampradhaya during Sri Ramanuja‘s period was the humblest devotee who never hurted anyone in his life. Even the Lord Krishna (Lord Varadharaja in Kancheepuram, near Chennai) was speaking to him every day.
Do you know what service he was doing for the Lord? He did two main services with full dedication. Every day, he would fan the deity of Lord during the resting time of the Lord. While fanning, the Lord will be speaking to Nambi. In addition to that, he will pluck the flowers from his garden, make a garland and offer to the deity of Lord Varadharaja (Krishna). It was his duty till he left this world.
With these services and truthfulness, he was able to directly speak to Krishna.
Did he run away to the forest?
Did Srila Prabhupada run away to the secluded place to take rest?
In the history, we can seen many great devotees who have served the Lord working somewhere. Eg: Bakthi Vonodha Thakkura.
By developing unwanted DRY RENOUNCEMENT, the people are confusing themselves and spoiling their lives. They neither succeed in renouncement nor in supporting his own needs. Then, they oscillate here and there. One day, they become aware of the reality of life. The time would have gone to correct it.
So, take your work bag, go to work, get the salary, spend a part for the Lord’s Seva, support your family needs and feel the greatness.
Chant as much as possible in the morning and / or evening, offer food to Krishna, do some simple worship for five minutes. Then, start to the duties (office).
Spend more time for Krishna in temple for 2-3 hours on Sundays.
Start looking for a boy who is interested in devotion involved life. Marry him.
This kind of life will please the Lord more than getting confused seeing other devotees.
Let me remind again: Every devotee should act according to his/ her family situation. Not blindly following others because their background will be different.
Remember my advices and lead a duty bound life keeping Krishna in mind.