One should then give up having a family?

Question

Hare Krishna! My obeisances Maharaja! Very interesting article. I have a question: one should then give up having family? Is not it a duty to take care of the family?

 

Answer

Dear Bhaktin Triana, Hare Krishna.

In Vedic or Vaisnava wisdom there is something called dharma, which is a complicated word to translate. The reason of the difficulty is that its meaning molds according to the context.

In the context of this answer to your question, dharma may be translated as “duties to be carried out according to various subjective and objective circumstances, so that the person may gain gradual or swift advancement.”

As you see, the word dharma (like many other sanskrit words) is a code that cointains philosophical concepts.

 

If it’s not clear enough yet, I’ll explain it in a simpler way.

 

Let’s suppose to have a neophyte sincere devotee who, as every human being, has some material desire. He is a devotee, he wants to advance but is not ready yet to “a whole jump into transcendence”.
He needs a ladder.

If you tell him, “no, you have to at once renounce everything”, you are dooming him to certain fall down.
To avoid immature actions of immature people, the Vedas prescribe various duties, like for instance those we find in the Varnasrama system.

You tell the devotee, you can be Krishna conscious with some regulated sense gratification, you get married to a nice lady devotee, have a nice family, worship the Deities at your home, do some preaching, etc, etc.
He will be relieved, happy and will advance in spiritual life. I’m not sweetening a bitter pill here: he will actually advance in spiritual life.

By advancement he will become naturally detached from material illusions and in due course of time he will be ready for renunciation.

 

Renunciation is certain. Either you retire or time will retire you. You can’t stop time. Time brings destruction of everything you have.

The Vedic system teaches how to lend an eye to the relative and the other eye to the absolute.
The preachers teach how to live in this world and at the same time remind everyone the absolute principles. We can’t allow people to live in ignorance that they will live forever in their houses with their families. From time to time we have to remind that it’s just a question of time and everything will disappear.

 

– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
11 may 2019

 

 

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