In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Sage Shaunaka’s morale-boosting accord to Yudishtra wherein, he is talking about how friendships can sometimes be dangerous at critical times. If a friendship blossoms during a critical time, we might have to be bonded to that person even when that person is slowly using us to walk the path of “Adharma”. At that point, even if we realize that we’re going on a wrong path, we might not be able to revert back. This is something that all of us need to understand – Excessive affection towards someone or something would always lead us to disaster. In yesterday’s episode, we had asked a few counter questions thus – “Oh! Sage Shaunaka is telling all this because he is not married! Only if he gets married and has children, he would know the pain of a father or a mother towards the children and family! How can we not have affection for our children? If we do not have affection for them, how will we grow and nurture them into good citizens?” These are extremely valid questions pertaining to our present-day situation and we shall witness the answers today.
As the question goes – Should we have affection towards our family and children? Yes. We should definitely have the affection, but we should draw a line for it as well. We should of course discharge all our duties towards our family and children and give the best possible life for them, however, we’ve to stop at that point. Whereas, if we’re going to continue the affection to such a stage wherein we’re going to be of service to subsequent generations of the family, it means that we’re getting carried away by the pleasures of family life. In other words, it is our duty to raise our children as good citizens of our “Sanaatana Dharma” and of our country. Our duty stops there. But we do not stop at that point. We go on to worry about our grandchildren, great grandchildren, their education, their other requirements, etc. and waste all our precious time in that. Thus, we’ve to take a stance that after a certain stage of life when our children settle down with their respective families, we should take a backseat from the “Grihasta-Ashrama”. We should henceforth start spending more time in being of service to some temples, ashrams, etc. and should strive to enrich our knowledge on various aspects of our “Sanaatana Dharma”. Till the time we’re going to work, we never have the time to sit and read something on this. However, after retirement and after our family is settled, we should devote time to this, isn’t it? However, many of us fail to do this. Now what would Bhagawan think on the sidelines? He might think, “Oh wow! Until the age of 60, this fellow did not even have time to think about me, and I was patient. But even after the age of 60, he is only interested in his family life and not me! Why did I even give him a birth in this world?” We shouldn’t make Bhagawan think this way, isn’t it? So let us think about this and do the needful.
Thus, the point here is that affection towards family is required until a certain stage, but we should not go overboard. We should also have the affection towards Bhagawan and the passion to attain His divine lotus feet. In fact, the latter is the sole purpose upon which all of us have taken birth in this world. However, in due course, we deviate completely from this purpose and move into something else that keeps attracting us every passing day. So what do we do for maintaining the balance, or increasing our affection towards Bhagawan? We should listen to, read about, sing in praise of Bhagawan more often. The more we follow these, the more involved we would be towards Bhagawan, and slowly we would start getting detached from our excessive family pleasures. This of course, is not an overnight process, but would happen slowly and steadily. The most important thing here is that, we’ve to be consistent in our approach. The problem with all of us is not about starting this process. I’m sure that the moment we read all this, we would have that “enlightened” feeling that we should start reading a lot about Bhagawan, listen about him, etc. We would also commence it with a lot of enthusiasm today itself. But the real question here is whether we would continue doing this tomorrow, day after, two days later, etc. As days progress, our normal tendency is to switch back to our daily family routines and gradually this “beginning” that we’ve made today would be forgotten! This should not happen, isn’t it?
Thus, it is not important that we start certain things. The more important factor is how we sustain this effort with consistency. This is why we call it as “Spiritual Saadhana” – It means, we’re regularly doing it without a break. Hence, readers should make it a point that we maintain the balance between family and Bhagawan, spend time for Bhagawan consistently without breaks and thereby strive to attain Bhagawan. If we’re not maintaining consistency in this approach, we would easily be dragged back into our family routines, from which, it would be a herculean task to come out of, for the second time. Hence, for today, let us understand this philosophy behind Sage Shaunaka’s words and let us try and implement the same in our daily lives as well. We shall wait till the next episode to continue with the next point that Sage Shaunaka is going to make! Stay tuned! 🙂