Three Pieces of Helpful Advice for Marriage in Bhakti

Three Pieces of Helpful Advice for Marriage in Bhakti
During our engagement my wife and I had the opportunity to meet with our guru-maharaja, he made the point that we should become best friends. Best friends have each others best intentions at heart – they want the best for each other and are there to support one another in achieving the ultimate best thing – favourable devotional service to Krishna. A spiritual relationship is based on knowledge in Krishna consciousness. Knowing that we are spirit soul, part-and-parcel of The Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that the goal of life is krsna-prema (love for Krishna) is the essence of that understanding.

This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā by the Lord Himself: “One can understand Me only through devotional service.” In beginning His teaching of the Gītā, the Lord said to Arjuna, “Because you are My devotee, I shall teach these secrets to you.” Vedic knowledge means ultimately to understand the Supreme Lord, and the process of entering into His kingdom is devotional service. That is accepted by all authentic scriptures.

Relating to ones spouse as a servant of Krishna, understanding that their purpose in life is to please Krishna, rather than someone separate from God whose purpose is to satisfy our own needs is a practical implementation of this essential spiritual understanding. My wife/husband is an eternal servant of Krishna trying to reawaken their lost relationship with Him. This philosophical understanding can be practically applied in a marriage. We can ask ourselves, how can I support and encourage the devotional mood and service of my partner? What can I do to support their sadhana and service? To discuss each other's spiritual needs and aspirations and support one another in fulfilling them is important.

Aside from direct devotional activities in and around the home, it is also important that couples provide one another support. Taking time to listen to each another, to share experiences, and to spend time together are all important components of cultivating a meaningful friendship. Couples that sacrifice spending time together for other priorities, whether they be devotional or otherwise, are likely to become distant from one another over time which can result in all kinds of issues. Relationships take time and effort to maintain, cultivating a meaningful Krishna conscious relationship with your spouse is service. Investing time into your relationship is directly creating and maintaining stability within the Krishna consciousness society. Taking it to an extreme, men or women that are not satisfied within their marriage are likely to try and meet their needs outside of their marriage, causing so much disturbance and unhappiness within society. The maintenance, expansion, and progress of the Krishna consciousness movement are largely dependent on householders – who make up the largest social sector of our movement. For a householder sacrificing the quality of one’s relationship with one’s partner in the name of devotional service is folly.

NOTE: To cultivate a meaningful relationship among partner is the important aspect of Grhasta Ashram. Taking time to listen to each another, share experience, and spend time together are all important component of the relationship. Most Importantly one should understand our wife/husband is the servant of Krishna, their purpose in life is to please Krishna, not to satisfy our own need. All this activity that seemingly material actually part of the service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore one should take with full heart responsibility their cultivation of relationship in Grhasta ashram. 

The legend of Lord Jagannath

The legend of Lord Jagannath

Purushottam Nitai Das: When Lord Jagannath with his elder brother Balarama and little sister Subhadra enthrone the beautifully decorated majestic chariots on the Rath Yatra day then the hearts of lakhs of people dance in joy. After snana yatra, Lord Jagannath remains confined in a secluded place for 15 days. During this period he performs his pastime with the goddess of fortune. He then takes permission from her and comes to ride on the chariot to give pleasure to the devotees. And the devotees without any delay enthusiastically start pulling the ropes of the mammoth chariots to invite the Lord to reside in their hearts.

The chariots sometimes move very fast, sometimes very slow and sometimes just stand still even though it is pulled vigorously. It is said that the chariots move by the desire of the Lord and not by the efforts of an ordinary person.

The forms of the three deities are quite unique. They have big round eyes, have a huge smile on their faces but have no hands and feet. It is said the chariot festival began around 5000 years ago when Lord Krishna met brajvasis in Kurushetra after several decades of separation.

Krishna was the darling of braja but when he left them then all the brajvasis were devastated. Every moment they would remember Krishna would always talk about Krishna and would hope that one day their Krishna will return back to Vrindavan. Krishna although had left Vrindavan but he too always remembered his cowherd friends, his mother, Yashoda, his father, Nanada Maharaja, and of course the love of his life, Srimati Radharani.

Once there was a solar eclipse and Krishna along with his brother Balarama and sister Subhdra travelled on a chariot to Kurushetra to observe the Vedic custom of taking bath in a sacred place during the solar eclipse. The residents of Vrindavan too had come to the holy city. And here after several years Krishna and brajvasis saw each other. Their hearts danced in joy, eyes were filled with tears. Overwhelmed with love and with broken words they complained as why did he betray them? Why did he not keep his promise of returning back to Vrindavan? Krishna was speechless, how could he make them understand that although physically he may not be with them but his heart was always in Vrindavan. Krishna was now the king of Dwarka, he was dressed gorgeously and was on a beautiful chariot. He was accompanied by beautiful queens and hundreds of soldiers. The residents of Vrindavan did not like the opulence of Krishna. For the gopis Krishna was their paramour, for gopas he was their friend with whom they joked and played and for Nanda and Yasoda he was their naughty little child. Such simple, selfless and pure love can be experienced only in Vrindavan. They wanted him to come to Vrindavan and so all the brajvasis started pulling Krishna’s chariot to Vrindavan. To commemorate this beautiful pastime Rath Yatra is celebrated.

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The Meaning of Surrender

prabhupada_smiling A.C Bhaktivedhanta Swami Prabhupada

CONVERSATION SRI SRIMAD A.C BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA AND REPORTER

Reporter: Does "surrender" mean that someone would have to leave his family?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No.

Reporter: But suppose I were to become an initiate. Wouldn't I have to come and live in the temple?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Not necessarily.

Reporter: I can stay at home?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Reporter: What about work? Would I have to give up my job?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, you'd simply have to give up your bad habits and chant the Hare Kṛiṣhṇa mantra on these beads—that's all.

Reporter: Would I have to give any financial support?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, that is your voluntary wish. If you give, that's all right. And if you don't, we don't mind. We do not depend on anyone's financial contribution. We depend on Kṛiṣhṇa.

Reporter: I wouldn't have to give any money at all?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No.

Reporter: Is this one of the main things that distinguish the genuine guru from the fake guru?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, a genuine guru is not a businessman. He is a representative of God. Whatever God says, the guru repeats. He does not speak otherwise.

 
Source: Srila Prabhupada Interview