WHAT TO DO IF I AM UNABLE TO SERVE KRISHNA BECAUSE OF QUARRELS IN THE FAMILY?
Actual Question from a girl devotee requesting anonymity:
Hare krsna prabhu ji, Iam an aspiring devotee, practicing kc from past 1 year something, chanting 16-20 rounds, following 4 principles. Iam the only girl and youngest one at home, no one in my failure is devotee and obviously parents against me of doing Mala and eating veg only, but somehow I manage by lords mercy. There always fight happens in my home, skirmish between my parents and sis in laws, brothers too get dragged in between. Sometimes situation gets very worse that 1 st sis in law and brother left home few Months ago. Though daily routine but situation again went worse recently that 2 nd sis in law was on verge to leave home ( she also may do in future). I just watch the scene and cry seeing brother parents fighting and yelling. I feel helpless that I can’t make both my parents and sis in law understand and just watch the scene and pray krishna. Now Iam worried about how to carry on my bhakti through food habit as Iam already Fallen just trying to do bhakti somehow without offline devotees association. As when I have holiday I try to make atleast 1-2 times of meal and offer to lord so that all eat prasadam. Generally when I prepare bhog I don’t involve my 2 sis in law as cleanliness level while preparing bhog inside outside she can’t do also she does not take much interest in preparing bhog. Now Iam bewildered whether to continue cooking for lord or not. Coz if I prepare bhog sis in law may think that Iam only not letting her cook and thus she get to hear scolding from mom ( as mom keeps on telling daily about her for not doing daughter in law duty but not in her face). Also sis in law and parents can’t stand each other I see only bitter feeling issue both. Now if I eat food prepared by sis in law daily I fear if by bhakti get affected due to karmic food, as the mood she has while cooking I feel in full grudge mood , meditating on the words of my parents or thinking let just finish it off cooking fast. I can’t preach them. What role can I play to maintain peace at home also serving krsna by preparing bhog and all together honor.
P.S – please hide my name if you are uploading.
First I appreciate your interest in following Krishna Consciousness at home amidst disturbances.
But, tell me a place on earth where there are no quarrels between relatives. Kaliyuga is called the yuga of quarrels. So, wherever you go, there will be quarrels. Even if you go to a jail, you can see quarrels there between the jailed prisoners.
We need not go to jail. If you go to temples and spiritual organizations that preach us about the patience and mercy, you can see quarrels between the inmate devotees there occasionally and they will be fighting for positions and recognition. I myself have seen such quarrels between the devotees.
Even if a sanyasi accepts the disciples, he has to mediate the quarrels or misunderstandings between the disciples.
So, quarrels are natural in ALL places. We have to practice devotion from this situation only. If you expect a fully peaceful place on earth, it is not possible. Peace will come ONLY WHEN WE ARE DETACHED FROM MATERIAL AFFAIRS.
For example, if a boy marries a girl, both of them should be ready to face quarrels between them some times. If any one of them likes to remain peaceful, he/ she must close the ears and eyes without caring such quarrelling spouse.
If he skips marriage fearing for quarrels, he may have to face quarrels from any other person. If he settles in temples fearing for marriage, who knows, he may face quarrels from the co-devotees themselves.
Therefore, we can not wait expecting a right atmosphere for performing Krishna Bakthi. If we wait, we may not get such situation till we die and hence we may lose this rare birth without performing Krishna Consciousness.
So, go to your room, close the doors and start chanting. Or, if there is any open terrace, go there and chant. Or, Keep a cotton in your both the ears and start chanting without the disturbance of outside quarrels. Recite manthras while cooking or washing clothes (not while bathing and in toilet) or travelling by bus/ train, etc. Wake up early to chant even before they wake up. This will be better idea.
Thus, there are many options to chant.
Next cooking for Lord. You are right. Only the dedicated devotees should cook for lord. They may cook offensively. So, do not offer the food prepared by them if you feel it may not be pure. And, when you offer food to Krishna, that food will become pure WHATEVER AMOUNT OF KARMA IT HAS. So, that is not a problem. But, the cooking person should do that with good auspicious feelings and love on Krishna. That is the point.
So, whenever you are able to cook personally, cook for Krishna and offer Him as COOKED FOOD. But, in case you are unable to cook for Krishna for some days because of the reasons mentiioned by you, no need to worry – just offer some fruits and/ or milk. Enough.
When you get married, you can follow devotional practices as you wish. However, you have to inform your desire to serve Krishna from home to your aspiring “WOULD BE” before finalizing the marriage. This is very important.
Krishna sees our love and intentions. Not the items we offer to Him.
My request to temple managers: Please do not stop with just telling the devotees to offer food to Krishna and follow other rules. Please also advise them what to do when they do not have suitable atmosphere in their family to follow such rules. Because, many devotees are crying within heart out of guilt because they are unable to follow rules because of their family conditions.
We should not be the cause for guilt in the mind of genuine devotees who are unable to follow devotional rules perfectly because of some situations. So, as I have said above, suggest some relaxations also while preaching. Because, such devotees will avoid guilt and follow Krishna Consciousness to their level best.
A SINGLE RULE CAN NOT BE EXPECTED TO SUIT ALL. SO, WE HAVE TO CUSTOMIZE THE RULES ACCORDING TO THE SITUATION OF EVERY DEVOTEE.
This is what I am trying to do in this site that is relieving 1000 s of devotees from their guilt.
Let us be practical in our preaching UNDERSTANDING THE GROUND SITUATION OF DEVOTEES.