FAMILY RELATIONSHIP SEMINAR, MOSCOW, RUSSIA, 20TH AUGUST 2007, PART 2
Q.1: Is there any meaning in talking about demoniac influence on Grihastha Ashram? Is it the reason for most of the divorces?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Basically the Grihastha Ashram not working is just lack of knowledge of what one is doing. Somehow or another if we want to work with computers we spend, you know, some time educating our self. Right? If we want to become a driver or a cook we have to spend time educating our self. You know, anything that we want to do in the world in our life we consider we need to educate our self.
But somehow or another relationship with man and woman, even though it’s the most important in most people’s life and the most complex, everybody thinks they can do it with no education. Right? Does that make sense? Right? A kid, we eat, eat is to get taste, but they pick it up, put it in their mouth, smear it on their head, they have a good time, it works. Right? So it tastes good to the kid, right? But it kind of makes everyone else sick watching. No?
So somehow or another here’s another thing, just because it feels nice, oh, if you sit around with a boy or a girl, it feels nice, but only just because you start, you know, fifteen years, twenty years later that that doesn’t mean it’s no less ridiculous. Right? Does that make sense? So simply it’s just due to false ego that the adult thinks just because I like the person, I know everything. Right? Means, you like somebody, there’s a potential there, but you still have to do something with it. Right? Feelings just don’t happen, there’s a science. Right?
A boy and a girl get together, they’re very careful what they say, what they do, the tone of voice, the words they use. Right? very considerate of the other person, always putting the other person first. Right? And it goes like that and it’s very nice. Then there is commitment, then there is marriage and the all that stops, right? Why? Somebody said? Right? Somebody said, be nice before marriage, after marriage couldn’t care less, it just works, it’s magic. Right? Do you know what I am saying? So there’s no demoniac influence. It’s called idiocy. Right?
You go down to the car dealer, right, you see a car that looks nice, you like the shape, you like the size, got all the right curves in all the right places, right, you sit in the car, hey, this is great. But if you don’t know how to drive a car, you don’t have a licence, then what’s the use? Right? Just because you feel like, doesn’t mean you know how to operate a relationship. Right? So that’s the problem for divorce. Right?
Men are insensitive, right, make themselves the center of attention, right? Women manifest their possessiveness quicker or at a greater rate than the man is domesticated. What do you expect? Do you know what I am saying? Means, how you say, according to science, genitals create children, they don’t hold a marriage together, right? If you notice, at the marriage ceremony they didn’t say now I pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Genital. Right? It’s two people. People have natures, people have feelings, needs and desires. That’s the relationship, right? If you don’t know how to be companions, how to be friends, how to take care of each other, how to appreciate each other, right, how is it gonna work?
Means, think about it. Generally the biggest thing that gets in the way is false ego, right? So that’s not really an important element in making a marriage work. Right? If a men is sense controlled and sensitive, a woman is chaste and satisfied, the marriage will work, right? It’s a science. Does that make sense? Yes? No?
So the reason it doesn’t work is because people don’t know what they’re doing. Right? People who do all right, generally is they picked up something from their parents who kind of picked up something from their parents who kind of picked up something from their parents and somehow or another it’s going on. Or if someone is very intelligent, watches what’s going on, figures out you do this it doesn’t work, you do this it does, and then does that, then slowly slowly they’ll catch things. Right? Does that make sense? Slow process, but better than nothing. But better to learn the science, right? Then it works today. Right? You follow the correct science, even if you had problem up to today, you apply it today, it works today. You know what I’m saying? Fish has been out of water but it doesn’t matter, you put him back into the water, it works. Does that make sense?
Q.2: Is there any authorized method of introducing future spouses to each other according to Vedic standards? Is there any Vaishnava dating system?
HH BVPS Maharaja: The difficulty with the dating process is that everybody, most everybody, I mean, there’s always jerks, but most everybody is careful. So the difficulty comes that it looks nice, but once you figure it out, which generally takes about three years, but it’s too late, you’re already attached.
So therefore in the Vedic science you need to know the maximum about the other person before you even start. Right? Therefore friends, relatives, anybody who knows anything about each other would look at this very carefully. Right? You check the charts, right, you find out what are the strengths and weaknesses. Then you have to check if those particular strengths and weaknesses are what the individual person is willing to work with. Means, the weakness won’t go away, you can learn to deal with it, but it won’t go away. Right? Then, if all that is looking good, then only if you put them together, will there be some use.
And then the thing to be checking when they first interact, is not tingles, you are not looking for tingles. Does that make sense? I mean, you can watch a horror movie and get tingles. Right? So tingles are not a great way to tell if this is gonna be a great relationship or not. Right? Because seeing compatibility then shows what is possibility. But you still have to make it work. It takes work, there’s no such thing as no work. It doesn’t happen by magic. It happens by endeavor, right? Does that make sense? The guy won the Formula 1 race not by magic, by work, right? The band played nice music because they worked at it, not because it was magic. The businessman made ten million dollars because he worked, the painting happened because the artist worked, right? Does that make sense? So that means is you have potential, but you still have to work. But it’s work that you want to do. Because it’s the kind of result that you want.
So what needs to be figured out is: is the lifestyle similar? We’re taking it that who is in this room basically is practicing devotional service. Right? So now, here is some questions. How strictly is your practice? How much you’re involved in the temple program? How many children are you gonna have? How are those children gonna be educated? Right? How do you want to make your money? How much money? What kind of lifestyle? What kind of social scene? How much time is in the house, how much time outside the house? Do you have friends over? What does that mean, right? Relatives? What about relatives? How are you gonna interact with your relatives? Does that make sense? These are all very nice discussions for the first date.
You can have this discussion, you have yourself a relationship. You can’t have this discussion, good chance you may never be able to ever have this discussion. Does that make sense? If you can’t open a forum for discussion that’s going to be essential for the rest of your life on the first date where you don’t have any attachment or any expectations, when are you going to open this forum? The more you meet, the more you become attached, the less opportunity there is to ask these things because you’re afraid that the other person won’t react properly, right? Does that make sense? It’s reasonable. If you’ve worked all this stuff out, how comfortable you’ll be! Right? Then you can get romantic. Why get romantic with somebody you don’t know and don’t know if it’s gonna go anywhere? Does that make sense? You wanna relationship to last your life or you’re looking for a one night’s stand? Right?
You wanna buy a house, you know, then you just go: Oh, I wanna that one and that’s it, right? You don’t check how many rooms it is, how much it costs, what’s the mortgage, how old it is, you know, what kind of facilities it has, nothing, you just look at it, I like it, it looks good, hey, take it, right? That’s the way you do it, right? Same with your car, same with your phone, same with your computer, you just go, hey, I like that, good, take it, finished. Or do you first, you know, check all the, how you say, the details? Detail means what it thinks, not what size its breast is. Do you understand? So that’s the process. It’s very logical, very straightforward, extremely practical. Right? So it’s not some theory that doesn’t work, I’ve seen it work. Why put energy into a relationship that may go nowhere, if you don’t know what you’re dealing with?
So this illusion that, oh, it was nice, everything will be perfect, right? So if the girl says, oh, it was so nice, you know, this will be great. So then that means it was nice means what? You walked together, you sat together, so that’s what you’re gonna do when you get married, right? So the girl after she’s married she’s not gonna ask for a house, cars, clothes, jewelry, food, children, nothing, she’s just going to walk with the husband in the park and look at the sunset and everything will be perfect for the next 50 years. Do you understand? And then, on the other hand, the guy buys her some flowers, buys her some chocolate, takes her out to some place, buys her some gift, and then he thinks, after marriage I’ll never do that again. No, you’re gonna be doing that every day for the rest of your life. Right? That’s reality. You know, like reality TV’s, so here it is. So the man attracts the woman with facilities and care, but then after marriage thinks, been there done that. Right? And then the girl is all sweet, nice, always favorable and very sensual, and then after marriage, forget all that. Right? You’ve changed the shirt.
So the idea is is when you first meet you should present what are your concerns, who you are, what are your concerns? Right? Means, of course, pleasantly, nicely, be yourself, but the point is is you’re working out a lifetime together, if you can’t start now, when will you start? How many here even discussed either how many children they’d have and how they would be educated before they got married? Ok, a few, good. Is your marriage still working? Yeah, because you could talk, right? You don’t talk? Never? So how did you ever make that point? You and your wife never talk? Never?
Devotee: Only one is guiding, everyone else is following.
BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, but that’s based on that you’ve already worked out how you’re going to guide and how they’re gonna follow. So yeah, then it works. That’s what we mean.
Devotee: Main thing is not to drop responsibility.
BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, means, there has to be a consistency in the relationship, right? So then things work. There’s no demoniac influence. If there’s commitment, there’s responsibility, right, the consistent performance of duties, things will work. Whether you’re happy or not, it will still work. And because it works, then that trust and all the things will come.
Q.3: Srila Prabhupada has mentioned that family life without children is like a desert. Nevertheless, some devotees consciously avoid having kids. Is there any meaning in such relationships? Is it like egoistic tendencies?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, the normal thing is if someone is grown up in a nice family situation, then generally they are happy with a family situation. But someone who hasn’t then some of the times they are not very comfortable with a bigger family. But at the same time is they are not able to not be in a family situation. So even though it may not be ideal, as long as both parties are comfortable with it, then it works. So either both want children or both don’t, then it will work. But if one wants and one doesn’t, you got a problem. But you just have to see what works for the particular couple. The natural thing is to have children, but if both are comfortable not having, then if it works for them, fine. And you see, some years down the line they may change their opinion.
Q.4: You mentioned that relationships with mother and wife are different. For this reason, mother cannot forgive the daughter-in-law. What could the wife do so that she wouldn’t create negative feelings in the boy’s mother.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, by being nice. But nice in such a way that the mother-in-law can take advantage. It’s one thing if the son and his wife are living in his father’s house with the son’s mother, then it’s actually the son’s mother’s house. If they are not living in the father’s house and the mother happens to be living with the son and the wife, it’s the wife’s house, not the mother’s house. So that means that the wife should always try to be pleasant and proper in dealings with the mother-in-law, but since it’s the wife’s house, the mother better adjust. The son has the responsibility to take care of his mother, but his mother doesn’t have the right to harass his wife. Generally mother-in-laws harass daughter-in-laws, because mother-in-law’s husband is not doing a good job. A dissatisfied woman harasses everyone. So the son could have a talk with his father, work something out so his mother doesn’t bother his wife. But the main thing is, it’s through affection that the daughter-in-law wins over the mother-in-law.
Q.5: Can the community help to regulate relationships within families, because at the moment there is an awful number of divorces in the Vaishnava community and other negative influences, and what is the proper way to do it?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Community can help as long as community knows what help to offer. There is a science in how man and woman can live peacefully together. If that’s followed, it works, they don’t follow it, it doesn’t work, it’s that simple. So if the community understands this, is practicing it and therefore can give advice to couples that aren’t and how they can practically apply it, that will be a great help. But only those who, their marriage is working, can help others. But working means both parties say it’s working. Does that make sense? Not that the husband says, “Yeah, I got a great marriage”, no it has to be the wife also says it’s a great marriage. They can help others. Traditionally, vanaprastha ashrama was there to help the grihasthas, because they are successful, now they can pass on that experience.
Q6: If man and a woman can develop spiritual relationships without necessarily passing sensual or emotional levels, and how?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s interesting to note that why one would want to cross the emotional? So this is a question by either a man who doesn’t feel it’s important to address the emotional needs of the wife, or a wife who has gotten frustrated and decided that her husband never can understand the emotional needs of the woman. You have friends, you have emotional interaction, you laugh, you cry, you share your experiences. So why that’s ok, but in a marriage then that’s Maya?
The second point is, it’s impossible. Because woman means emotion, spiritual is also emotion. What does that mean? You are just going to chant japa together and that’s it? If your idea is just chant Hare Krishna together, just read Bhagavatam together, just go to Mangala-arati together, wouldn’t it be easier to just live in the temple as a brahmachari?
So the point is is it’s two people, you interact. So you can use much more the devotional platform as the medium of interaction, but it’s two people who have feelings. Why did you get married? You got married for that pure spiritual experience? You thought, “Living in the temple, the temple commander tells me to do so many things, but now if I get married, I can stay at home and chant three lakhs of names every day just like Haridasa Thakura. Yeah, that’s why you got married, right?
So let’s be real. We are trying to go back to Godhead. And we are performing our sadhana. But we are distracted by the need of independence, money, emotional support, happiness, sense gratification. So if you are going to ignore all those needs as a householder, why get married, ignore them as a brahmachari! Does that make sense? So the point is, you have these distractions, what are you going to do with them? How are you going to connect them to Krishna? So unless you follow this science, how is it going to work?
So the point is is, the ashrama is for connecting yourself to Krishna. The process is how to engage those things. Kardama Muni, Devahuti, great couple, they had God as their son, you don’t get better than that. But they followed the duties of husband and wife as given in the scriptures to please Krishna, therfore everything went nicely for them. Kashyapa and Aditi had also God as their son. Does that make sense?
So in other words, we have to be responsible and make the endeavor. If just being spiritual would have worked for you purely 100% then you wouldn’t be married, you would still be a brahmachari. But it’s not working, so how is it suddenly going to work when you get married? So you have to work at it. The point is however you look at it, it’s work. And if you follow that work, things become nice.
Q.7: In Russia there are many single ladies. In what consciousness they should live to advance spiritually?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Depend on Krishna. Absorb oneself in the standard practices of Krishna consciousness and then things will work. And then if things work out and one gets married, then continue. The point is to see what is one’s nature and engage it in Krishna’s service. Does it answer the question? Yes? No?
Mataji: Not enough.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Not enough. But the point is I have to know what’s not enough.
Mataji: Woman wants to function in relationships on material plane, if they don’t have these relationships, how they can express and develop themselves?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Find a lot of friends.
Mataji: But that’s in Krishna’s hands.
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s in Krishna’s hands, but… I’ll tell you a secret, but you have to keep it very quite. Okay? Ready? Stalin died a long time ago. And not only that, the communist party lost control of this country. And now people actually have the option to make their own decisions in their own life for themselves without being told by the Party what to do. Right? So that means, you on your own could go out and try to make contact with some of these devotees here.
In other words, we don’t have to wait for someone else to do it for us, we can do it our self, that’s what Krishna is telling Arjuna, “You are a kshatriya, do it, fight!” So you are a woman, you know how to make friends, do it! What you try to do, Krishna will help you, not that He will do it for you. According to Mahabharata, there is three items for success. One is focus, second is endeavor, and third is dependence upon Krishna. So that means, we know what we wanna do, we do it, then what results come is up to Krishna. But Krishna only responds to what we do first. Does that make sense? Will that work for you? Why won’t it work?
Mataji: So woman alone cannot live, she has to have relationships.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Of course. But you are saying, “relationships”, so I am taking that it can be some relationship. But if you are meaning relationships, meaning without a man, then that’s another story. So do you mean she can’t function without a man or she can’t function without others?
Mataji: There is no protection, like there is no husband, no child, there are friends, but they are not giving protection, that security is not there.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, okay. So then, the point is is, ultimately then Krishna is the only one Who can give protection. You know what I am saying? Pingala says in the eleventh canto that no woman has ever been fully taken care of by any man in history. So she just surrendered unto Krishna, because He is the only man that will always be there. So that’s the actual thing that you are ultimately trying to get to anyway. Traditionally, one would be in that position when one is older, with grandchildren, all that. But the point is, it still has to be come to. One still has to come to that position. The point is is to understand that no husband, no son, no father, no anybody in this material world can really guarantee protection, only Krishna can do that. So one takes shelter of one’s chanting and associating with devotees, and one does the best one can. What’s the alternative? No, so? Krishna is there, He doesn’t go away, He is pretty good at that.
It doesn’t mean, materially everything will go nice, it means spiritually it will go nice. The Pandavas went from emperor of the world to having nothing in one day. But they had Krishna, so you have to know what to go to Krishna for. Not to make everything materially work for you, but that it works for you. He is there as a person, you can trust Him, you can tell Him anything, He won’t get scared if you tell Him something strange. So, He is good. So that feeling of closeness, that’s what you have. Is that okay? That will work?
So then what we’ll do is we’ll stop now, it’s getting late, and then we’ll continue tomorrow at 6:30PM. The thing to do is ask questions how to make it work, means, in your life, not necessarily in someone else’s.
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Samaveta Bhakta Vrinda ki jaya! Jaya Nitai-Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!