Fallen in love with a non-devotee

Hare Krishna, prabhujis and matajis!All glories to Srila Prabhupada! All Glories to Guru and Gauranga!Dear devotees,Let me begin by explaining my current position. I am studying in a college far away from any ISKCON centres. I live in-campus with the other students in a hostel. Despite being unable to attend mangal aratis and feasts or get to consume prasadam, I am still a vegetarian. I also chant a few rounds daily. As we are not allowed to cook in the hostel, an Indian lady supplies vegetarian food(with onion and garlic) daily. She is a non-vegetarian actually.I see my friends everyday. I live with them actually. The thing is my affection onto this boy slowly turned into love. Both of us were very close friends in the beginning. I am not very clear about how I feel towards him but I know it is hard to live without him because both of us love each other. We will be graduating in a few months and it is hard to accept the fact that we will be parted by distance after this.The problem is that he is a non-devotee and he practices some kundalini yoga. He does not believe in the superiority of Krishna consciousness. Back when he was as young as a child, his family was in ISKCON. However, due to some problems with the congregational members, they had quit ISKCON permanently and had joined another kind of yoga group(sahaja yoga). They have also become non-vegetarians after that. He doesn't likes Krishna consciousness and he does not even accepts the vedic scriptures as a legitimate source of knowledge. He insists that the Hare Krishna philosophy is somewhat fake as he never felt any special feelings/power/sensations as he could now by practising sahaja yoga. He also drinks and smokes occasionally but I am sure he would stop someday.Materially, we are good together but spiritually, we are contradicting each other in almost every aspect. He is willing to become a vegetarian but he told me that if we get married, our children should be allowed to choose whichever religion he/she wants to follow. (he practices demigod worship and does many kind of rituals). I do not agree with him. My children should only be raised as Krishna devotees because that is the sole purpose of producing children, to raise Krishna conscious children.It is difficult to find someone who understands my nature and loves me like him. I don't want to leave him as well. I have met his mother and materially, she is a very nice woman. At the same time, I do not want to fall down from the spiritual plane. I want to get initiated one day. I also want him to become a devotee. I have heard many devotees marrying non-devotees and then, their non-devotee spouses becoming devotees.Krishna is my utmost importance. But at the same time, as a woman, I will have to get married one day as per my parents' wishes and I want to get married to the one person I love. If I decline my love towards him, I doubt if I could find another person whom I would love as much as I love him. I do not want to be a hypocrite to myself and to him.Now, my questions are as follows :1) Does he have a chance to become a devotee?2) If yes, how can I help him to attain Krishna consciousness as preaching to those with no faith in Krishna is an offense to the Holy Name?3) Can I even live with him in future?4) Am I doing the right thing?I pay my humble obeisances to all the prabhus and matajis to guide me in this issue I am entangled in.Haribol!

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  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Mataji,


    I salute your honesty and your sincerity to approach a forum like this and ask for something so personal.

    My personal take on this whole thing is:

    1) You have to get married and there has to be some basic attraction towards your partner.

    2) It is not a crime to marry a non-devotee.

    I understand that you fell in love with him, dont feel guilty how can you fall in love when you are in Krsna Consciousness. That is not the case. Aren't devotee couples in love with each other? Do we stop loving our parents, siblings and friends simply because we are in devotion? No na - because we are not pure devotees. We are on the path to become devotees. Then why is it a crime to want a partner, love a partner, want to marry a particular person.

    Now coming to specifics about your situation. Be realistic - he may never come to Krsna Consciousness. Are you willing to accept that? Is your heart open enough to accept another path or way towards God (I am not asking you to convert into a sahajiya, simply asking you to be tolerant and accepting from your heart that there can be another way that appeals to someone else). Your marriage should be one of peaceful coexistance, not of constant wars about which path is better and trying to coerce the other person to accept your path. This is true for both of you, so you need to examine this very honestly. Typically, men tend to dominate and impose their way on the wife. Will he do that? Does he understand that your path is chosen by you and you would like to follow it all your life. Will he give you the space to do it and stand up for you in front of his family when you want to celebrate (say) janmasthami in a particular manner and his family in a different manner.

    On your part, you have to accept his demigod worship and assist him in his endeavours if you marry him. That is your duty as a wife. You can internally think that this demigod is a vaishnava, so I am serving vaishnavas, not ask for any benediction from the demigod even in the most trying circumstances, but externally you will have to organise (say) a sunderkand path in your house if your in laws desire. Are you willing to do that? Think about it.

    I agree with Subash prabhu - the kids should be given the right to choose their path. You can show them both the paths, and let them choose. Who knows, they may even choose a third path. Be prepared. I am trying to say that you need to be open to a lot of things.

    What I can see is that without association, it would be difficult for you to keep up your KC sadhana. If at all you do, then it will be a very big struggle for you.

    Now answering your questions:

    1) Does he have a chance to become a devotee? - It is the causeless mercy of devotees and KRsna. The more fallen one is, the more qualifed one is. Who knows when the mercy will shower and on whom.
    2) If yes, how can I help him to attain Krishna consciousness as preaching to those with no faith in Krishna is an offense to the Holy Name? You dont preach to him by words at all. You have to be so pacca in your sadhana that your behaviour, your sadhana, your determination to please Krsna appeals to him. GIve him the philosophy only when he asks for it and that too bite sized information. Do not overload him with philosophy. Give him Discover Your Self, The Science of Self Realisation and then Bhagavad Gita As It Is to read, if he is interested. If he is not, maintain peaceful and respectful distance and expect the same from him. Be open to read his philosophy and try to give counter arguments only when you are sure, that too by saying this is your personal opinion, or you asked a senior mataji in ISKCON and this is ISKCON's version.
    3) Can I even live with him in future? That is your choice.
    4) Am I doing the right thing? There is nothing right or worng in this world sweetie.

    If I were you, I would do the following:

    Go to any ISKCON temple, offer my obeisances to all the altars and then come and sit in front of Srila Prabhupada or Radha Krsna or both (whoever you have your normal conversations with) and would have a chat with them, saying this is the situation, my aim in life is your devotion, still I have a lot of material contamination, so I have these desires. Pls take over my problem and decide for me what I should do. Whatever you decide, I ACCEPT.

    Once you do this, then you should wait for events to unfold and then you have to accept - no more choices.

    One thing I forgot to tell you - you take him to an ISKCON temple with you. Just whether he is willing to come, how he is in front of the deities and what feeling you have when you are in the temple with him in front of the deities will give you your answer. At that time, you can have your private chat with the deities about what I just mentioned.

    I used to do this as screening process while deciding on whom to marry, it worked for me. You have to be very very accepting though.


    Best of luck,

    Your servant,


    • thanks a lot Rashmi mataji. Your reply is truly illuminating. I will try my best to follow your kind advice. The rest I give it up all to Krishna. Hare Krishna!
  • Hare Krishna Mataji,

    Sorry if I am being rude, but after reading your post, I sincerely feel that, with these many expectations and doubts, the relationship will not withstand. If you leave him now, you will be doing more good to him than to yourself.

    And if you still think that you love him and cannot leave him, then just clear off all your expectations from him and enter into the relationship. Let him carry on with what he is doing and you can carry on with Krishna Consciousness and with mutual understanding, you could lead a happy life that way. When he is not asking you to leave Krishna Consciousness, then why do you want him to leave what he is practicing? And I feel he is right about the kids as well. They should be given the freedom to select their own religion if he/she wants to follow one. Why do you want to pull everybody into KC? since you are in KC?

    Now if KC is your priority, you could just leave him and search for a KC devotee and go ahead. But do not spoil your life and his life with all those expectations. It would just ruin you both.



  • hare Krishna mata ji,,
    accept my humble obienscences
    i read your post and also reply by many respected devotees.
    i will just one thing that too much attachment is dangerous thing as we come to that stage ,where even slight misunderstanding or problem with that person can do big damage mentally as well as socially.it is also advised by lord Krishna not to be excessive attached to somebody in bhagvad gita. as excessive attachment becomes our weakness and other person for whom we have attachment may exploit us or use us in their own way.
    and it will have an impact on your every aspect of your life also.
    as you are very attached to that boy, but at the same time you are worried about your bhakti , so better leave it to Krishna, as it said in bhagvatam that if krishna have to do special favour on somebody he first take all material things from that person,which creates problem in devotion.
    So if he will be good for your bhakti , than he may be non devotee but ultimately you both will be happy.
    but if he is not good for your bhakti than Krishna will not allow you to live with him.
    so if goal is Krishna than we will have to be ready to follow him.and reduce excessive attachment towards somebody.
    so if you not be able to get him, may Krishna have some better plan, and time is big healer it heals anything.
    and i have heard in one bhagvatam class that "always Krishna s worst plan(according to our sense perception) for us( which krsna have) is always better than our best plan for us which we make".

    hari bol
    This domain may be for sale!
  • Give him prasad

    invite him to introductory courses on Krishna consciousness at your local temple

    give him some nice audio classes & kirtans

    introduce him to some good devotee friends that can give him a nice Krishna conscious experience

    Give a good try - its  a story of almost all new comers to Krishna consciousness

    Everyone should be given a chance to take the mercy of Lord

    Some resources:

    ISKCON Desire Tree offer Journey of self discovery course in
    You may even share relevant stories from http://howicame.com/ with him
  • Hare Krishna, Amal prabhu for the positive reply. Prabhu, my affection for him is natural. I believe what you have said. I will surrender to Krishna. Everyone is a future devotee and I believe that there is hope for everyone to advance and become a devotee of the Lord. I will not rush into anything and just pray to Krishna to show me the right thing to do. I will only accept what is favourable to bhakti, meaning that if he is not favourable to my advancement in devotional service, of course there will be no such thing as getting married to him in future. I also believe that Krishna will not let His aspiring devotees to fall down unto the material plane again if they are serious about progressing in Krishna bhakti. Well, Krishna Himself told Arjuna, kaunteya pratijanahi, na me bhakta pranasyati. I trust the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for He is my truly affectionate father who will not want me to be suffering in this material world. I take shelter under the lotus feet of the suddha bhakatas who are full of mercy and are willing to guide this unworthy conditioned soul. I take shelter at the dust of Gaura Nitai's feet because only They can guide me through all these miseries and confusion.

    Thank you all for replying. Haribol!
  • Hare Krishna Sandhay Mataji!

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    I read your posting as well as the responses from exalted devotees. I would  request you to

    - surrender unto Krishna only and take shelter in love of Krishna.

    Krishna will show you the perfect direction. Mataji, I don't see anything wrong to love a non-devotee because there might be a greater intention of Lord Krishna behind your relationship. May be Krishna wants you to help your friend to liberate through you.  Most of the time we don't see or understand why things are happening in our lives. Only Krishna knows the reason because He is the only doer. 

    Please chant Hare Krishna Maha mantra and meditate upon Krishna deeply. Ask the question to Him, ask for His mercy and He will relieve you from all anxieties. 

    I will pray for you to Krishna  today for a good happy ending of your anxiety. I strongly believe that both of you will become pure devotees of Krishna one day. You will also clearly understand that everything is happening because Krishna wanted this way. Your unalloyed devotion to Krishna will always help you to move forward to the spiritual path. 

    Hare Krishna!

    Your insignificant servant,


  • I understand that it is insane to fall in love with a non-devotee because it will impede my sadhana bhakti in future. It is very risky too because it might cause my falldown. He is appearing in my dreams too. I think I am mentally unhealthy because I seem to be so absorbed in his thoughts. How do I divote my mind unto Krishna only? I chant but I am chanting offensively. I know that. I have no satsanga here. I am inclined to do illicit acts. I am ashamed to say this but I accept the fact that I am a fallen soul. Maya is acting too much on me. I don't want to fall down from Krishna consciousness. I want to be always serving Krishna all my life. 

    Another question. We are expected to get married in future. Now that I love him, it seems impossible to think about feeling the same way towards another person in future. Is it possible to love another person again, a devotee maybe? I dont want to sound mundane but these thoughts are lingering in my mind. Please forgive me for sounding very materialistic,  prabhujis and matajis. 

    Please guide me. Hare Krishna.

    • Hare krishna,

                           Y not u have pure & clean heart then in future u can chose another partner with same filling,but u have only lusty desire then ur love is only bodily platform.First u understand that ur & opp.sex love is true or false because some time some other person take a test ur filling & ur attachment towords Krishna because in this age everyone is enemy of Lord Krishna or ISKCON  carefully u take dessesion.U have any book of srila Prabhupada that is ur satsanga,because Prabhupada say ''I live in my books"means u have prabhupada book then u take prabhupadas satsanga.

  • Hare Krishna Mataji!!!!!


    Radhey! Radhey!

    Mataji i do not know how a deovtee of the Lord Krishna can divert his/her heart and soul towards a opposite sex because of bodily attraction.  If you were in devotional services before loving this boy and you have fallen in love during your bhakti then it means you were not fully devoted and had some attraction towards materialistic people.

    If you have come in Krishna Consiousness after fallen in love with this guy then it means you are lucky that you have chosen the right path and that is Krishna Consiousness.

    Mataji a true lover will always understand your feelings and if he/she does not than he/she is not a true lover.  As you are saying that his family was associated with ISKCON and due to some reason they left.  It is very unfortunate that they left the ISKCON the only hope and hospital for treatment of ill soul in the world.

    The big mistake you made that you fell in love with this guy before marriage, i know it happens as it happend with me also but we need to learn from our mistakes.  It is very wrong that we just do comitment with a boy/girl only in some short meeting and start loving like anything which is just a illiusion of maya and then start committing sins and then feeling guilty on all this.

    We never think that we have our parents at home who have born us and taken care us and we just cross them for bodily attraction.  What answer we will give to our life partner if do not get marry with the same person to whom we loved and now he/she broke the relation, because he/she got married somewhere else.  Love marriages are difficult in INDIA. 

    This is merely a body attraction of your toward that guy which will get over as the time will pass day by day.

    Our Parents are our well wisher and Lord Shri Krishna is our, the biggest well wisher in the universe as we are all his kids.  So just Pray from the A.C. Bhakti Vedant Swami Srila Prabhupad and Pray from the Divine Couple Lord Shri RadhaKrishna to show you the path to liberate from the situation.

    Please follow this:

    Chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra

    Offer worship twice, morning & evening

    Read Sri Mad Bhagwad Gita, Sri Mad Bhagwatam, Srila Prabhupad books

    i know you can not avoid eating onion & garlic beacuse of hostel food but just close ur eyes and pray from the Lord Shri RadhaKrishna before consuming it.

    Hope you would have got some clearity. I sincerely apologies for any inconvenience in my comments.

    Hare Krishna

    Your Humble Servant

    Bhuwan Dutt Bawari

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