I am upset both in material and spiritual lives. What to do?
A woman devotee (name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare Krishna Prabhuji….pls help me m in a great problem….m a married women surviving with my husband n one year old baby…practising devotion (words changed) frm last one year…I got many betrayals in life spcl frm my own families n friends which finally turned me towards Lord…Prabhuji now I got same kind of betrayal frm some Devotees female friends n m amazed to see their behaviour which shattered me that even Lord devotees can do this….I am unable to chant n also unable to concentrate on my spiritual life as well as Grahasta life…m falling frm my path..as I have left my material life though living with my husband n baby bt without any attachment..n no one else is there in my life as now I fear talking or even having conversation with any human…Lord is also silent…I am totally LOST now…!!! I don know any devotee or seniors who can help me…i regularly chanted 16 rounds n following regulative principles…Lost faith in Lord n as well as humanity….PLS SAVE ME as I don want to quit my spiritual life…..My obeisance…….m emotionally broken n can’t go back to material life again..m getting mentally sick n fear now talking to any human..”
Getting upset both in material and spiritual lives. This is what the situation of many devotees now a days. They skip their material relations totally and start to depend on the devotee association only. When they feel disappointment in some neophyte devotees’ approach, they find it difficult to go back to material life and also struggle to be peaceful in spiritual life also that makes them upset both in material and spiritual lives
(What to do if I am unable to follow both renouncement and balancing devotion? READ HERE!)
The important aspect of our site is advising the devotees to brilliantly manage both material life and spiritual life. In your case, It is your mistake to reduce service in family and depending on neophyte devotees fully. Devotion is related to soul. So, you can follow devotion even as a wife doing your services to husband and family as a body.
I have many times warned NOT TO skip family support expecting that all the devotees will support us. Practically it is not possible. They can retain only those number of devotees who are enough to do services there. No temple can run hostels to acomodate all devotees who are coming there deserting their families.
I have also written many times that the situation in spiritual associations or temples need not be perfect always. In any sathsangha, there will be all the 3 classes of devotees – right from neophytes to uttama adhikaris. And, the problem for the new comers is that all the devotees may look like the same in their eyes, because, all devotees wear vaishnava dress and symbols; All do service. Even a neophyte devotee is respected like an advanced devotee in all sathsangha (This is good, but, new comers start to follow even neophyte devotees). So, some devotees get confused when they follow the wrong or immatured advices of some neophyte devotees who speak like advanced devotees. These new comers are fooled seeing all devotees seem to behave similarly. Practically, No chance for that in any sathsangha.
Some neophyte devotees may look like advanced devotees wearing all the vaishnava symbols. But, they may not have attained full maturity and knowledge about the vaishnava behaviour. So, they may some times behave like the common people outside.
(GUIDE FOR DEVOTEES: CAN GIRLS AVOID MARRIAGE AND STAY IN THE TEMPLES? A TEST FOR YOU! READ HERE!)
So, do not associate with the devotees based on their appearance alone. Speak to all. But, Do not consider a devotee as matured and perfect just because he has got initiation or having vaishnava appearance. There are immaturity among all levels of devotees as getting initiation is becoming easy now a days. I do not blame, but, it is natural in any sathsangha.
In a jail preaching, one devotee started to read Bhagavad Gita and became a good devotee. He felt for his past offences and resolved to be a good devotee. After getting released from jail, he came to this sathsangha and became a good devotee. He is very humble. He never advices others. He just comes, performs services and hears and go. We never told others that he returned from jail. So, in many cases, even un-initiated devotees can act with utmost humbleness like that devotee. So, associate with the devotees based on their approach and character, not just the outer appearance.
Meantime, do not become dependent on any devotee. Because, YOU ONLY HAVE TO LEAD YOUR LIFE. We, the devotees/ preachers may speak attractively about God, maya, etc. But, we will not come to your home to share your pains of running a family and cultivating children. You only have to face them. So, depend on Krishna, You and Your family members for your last period of life.
(I am disturbed to see girl and boy devotees loving inside the temples. What to do? READ HERE!)
And, importantly, some brahmachari devotees may speak to married devotees or new coming brahmacharis in favour of brahmacharya life. They would also unnecessarily speak that the family life is a second grade life, like that. They forget that if their parents had not married, how they could have taken birth. Their preaching may be suitable for “their background and life style”. But, if all the devotees desert family and come to temple to settle, what will they do?
So, such unnecessary discouragement should be avoided. If they settled in temples as permanent brahmacharis, it is their situation and desire. He can not expect that all others can also decide like them and come to temples. Some devotees may have very old parents to take care or children to develop or immatured wife to protect. They should not lose their hope in family system. That is why, I never commit the offence of discouraging the devotees in following the family system. I strongly believe: IF THE “FAMILY SYSTEM GOES, THE WORLD WILL BE FULL OF CHAOS BECAUSE IMMORALITIES WILL INCREASE”. So, a devotee should preach to others very carefully.
A few devotees behave as if they are advanced devotees once they get initiation from a guru. (Of course many are humble). They stop interacting with UN-INITIATED devotees after getting initiation. Such devotees are immatured though they are initiated. If only ‘same level’ of devotees associate among themselves, how can neophyte devotees get advanced? So, every advanced devotee should cultivate other neophyte devotees.
(After coming to devotion, I hate and avoid non-devotee family and others that makes them angry. Why Krishna allows this? READ HERE!)
I have already written in counselling about a couple remaining childless for 5 years because of the advices of some devotees to have relations ONLY ONCE a month and they were living in distress and guilt. I had to counsel them elaborately giving sastra support, and hence that woman devotee got a child now. How can she deliver child in 35-40, if she was having relations only once a month if she has weak conceiving power? So, we have to be practical in our approach in devotion also.
These are all some tips in mingling with others in any sathsangha. But, you must remember that there are very nice devotees also in this sathsangha. Some
So, I tell all of you 1000 times: Do not go out of your family physically for doing spiritual practices. Be in the family and skip only attachments.
Fortunately, you have the protection of family people. Maintain that. Just go to temples, take part in kirtans, bhajans, chanting, do some service if possible, take prasadam and come back to your husband and child and take care of your family THINKING OF LORD WITHIN MIND.
This is the quality of a good wife. Do not disappoint your family for doing devotion. Do your devotional practices while doing all your duties to your family members. This will avoid getting upset both in material and spiritual lives.
If you follow my words, you can lead a peaceful life and no one will be affected by you and you too will not be affected by anyone.
All the best.
(AFTER COMING TO DEVOTION, I HATE MARRIAGE AND LIKE TO SETTLE IN THE TEMPLE. CAN I DO SO? READ HERE!)