To have a husband, a wife, parents or children, must be considered to be a great mercy in this world, and to take care of them in a proper way is a normal request, something very natural. One should not expect this to be something simple, though, because to love is to suffer. If I love someone and she becomes ill, I too will be affected; therefore loving and suffering are synonyms. Indifference means to not care the least, but this is not very spiritual. To love the family means to be disposed to sacrifice oneself for it. In this material world this does not work very well, because the egotism within the individuals is very striking, and when one's personal interests are underestimated, it is very common to give up one's commitments and in vain search for happiness elsewhere.

How is it possible to search for happiness somewhere else when I have cause others so much suffering? This is the big illusion; it is the fools' paradise. We have to accomplish our commitments from the heart. A person who wants to overcome frictions in the family, frictions caused by egotism, has to be very careful with one's domination over the other. To subjugate the weaker with one's own force, will not lead to any lasting positive effects. On the contrary, problems will arise later again. One can only overcome the problems in the family when both partners agree about doing things based on the feeling for the common well-being. If one fights for the good of the family, based on God, this will give result.

Before God the idea does not exist, that I have to step on others for my own good. This exists only in the world of egotism. In the world of sincere devotion, under the guidance of the spiritual master, when one invoke the Holy Names and the Holy Scriptures, the thought to step on others rights do not appear. In other words, God consciousness is the greatest blessing for the families and will help them very much to advance.

In the family one has to avoid frictions through istagostis (reunions), studies of the Scriptures and the ability to listen. In the family one has to carry out plans both on short-range and on long-range through conversation. The man should not forget that the women is the goddess of fortune and that in the house where she is misstreated, no goddess of fortune will never reside in that house. The woman has to think that if the man is disposed to protect her, this is a gift from God, and she has to do her best for this to be possible and for everything to work harmoniously.

To complement each other means to give up competing. This is to give up the idea of how to do the less possible to get the most possible, and instead always think of how you in the best way can be useful to make the family even nicer. This kind of attitude will entail a lot of positive energy for the family, because the competitions will be about who will be the one who gives more, which will create a wonderfull atmosphere. Thus frictions in the family must be considered to be steps for growing and not reasons for despair. Because even in the conflict the moment will come when one admit one's faults, and there is nothing bad that brings no good.

The Vedic culture teaches us that one should dedicate completely to spiritual life and leave all material concerns aside, but this renounciation will only come about when the children are grown up and the parents decides to travel and prepare spiritually to support the preaching of the spiritual master, and when they are not attached to material comfort or frustrated about the aging of the body, a body that is not adjusted to pleasures like before.

Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti
Translation: Manah Siksa Devi Dasi