Family attachment

Hare Kṛṣṇa dear devotees...

Our basic need is to love and be loved. But in KC it is taught that only Lord can satisfy these needs of our soul. No one else can.

But, the problems in any kind of relationship are studied, and given practical solutions to ,today...using modern spirituality. Which our community believes is all pseudo-spirituality because it is for better material facility.

In my family these techniques are practised to some extent and i see it keeps family life really quite satisfying. There is tolerance, mutual compromise, mutual understanding, love, care and respect etc etc. 

Further to this, even if i observe how deaths in family are perceived..they cause only temporary pain and suffering. Later the one who was and is attached to the dead person moves on in a positive manner and dedicates life for the other family members, again engaging in loving reciprocations.

So my question is...yet, why any form of spirituality under Sanatan Dharma say so much negative on family attachments?

Also, dear devotees, kindly address the following points as well...

1)Some give the pig example.. saying that a pig feels he is very very happy eating stool. But we know that is not real happiness. But, being a nice responsibile and caring family person, is glorified and appreciated in our scriptures also. Why such contradiction?

2) Some say family cannot satisfy our soul. Everything material opulence can satisfy only our body and mind. But really, is there any difference between mind and soul? I sometimes feel, even to experience bliss in devotion is actually mind's satisfaction. Because that happens when we feed spiritual knowledge in our mind, due to which intelligence gets convicted and thus our taste in spiritual activities a result we obtain joy.

But i dont think there is really any way to differentiate if mind/soul is satisfied?

3) Moreover, bhakti is to be ultimately free from all problems. It is not to avoid all problems and lead a blissful life. The same case is with people who are in reality materialistic, but making use of pseudo-spirituality to be more happy in the world....same in the sense that they too face problems, LiKe any devotee would. Only the outlook becomes positive and hence a healthy and blissful life can be lived.

4) Other way to understand my question is...that we all have seen..a Positive attitude towards life changes everything. Even suffering doesn't feel like suffering..or even if it does..good times also come soon. And the teaching of Sanatan Dharma or Gita that everything material leads to misery, family is impediment on spiritual advancement , we cannot be happy or make others happy in real sense in this world.... but this difference between soul being satisfied or mind being satisfied is difficult to make out ..

Then, still why must i convince myself to forget about this other way and devote my Life completely to Lord?

PS: I love to add Lord in my life, and make Him centre of few activities..out of a sense of duty, desire, and somewhat for obtaining His protection. But the real stage of Bhakti..pure love of what i am asking about. Why is that still differently satisfying to the soul than loving other people (devotees / non devotees both)?????

 Also, many devotees out of care suggest me that i just chant regularly, hear and pray for realisation so that these doubts get cleared...but i am really stubborn kind😐🙄. I cannot maintain stability in sadhna if my doubts are not cleared. I keep stopping, losing faith..again beginning out of various concerns.

KINDLY HELP ME🙇🏻‍♀️🙇🏻‍♀️🙇🏻‍♀️



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  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna 

    I cannot maintain stability in sadhna if my doubts are not cleared. I keep stopping, losing faith..again beginning out of various concerns.

    This is true for any practicing sadhaka.If the doubts are not clarified, it will lead to lessing of faith and eventually weakening of practice. It is very sincere of you to try and clarify all your doubts. 

    Why Sanatan Dharma say so much negative on family attachments?

    Sanatana Dharma doesn't say negative about familiy attachments. One of the unique aspects of Sanatana Dharma is that it describes various levels of reality. The highest reality is pure devotional service, because it is at platform of soul, pure love and permanent relationships with Lord eternally. From this absolute reality point of view, familyis considered temporary and being materially attached to it is a stumbling block to spiritual progress. 

    In my family these techniques are practised to some extent and i see it keeps family life really quite satisfying. There is tolerance, mutual compromise, mutual understanding, love, care and respect etc etc. 

    What you have described is applicable for people who are largely in mode of goodness. Yes there is satisfaction, cooperation etc. But the point is it is not permanent. A young & healthy & well to do persons have a hard time to understand this. As we lose, youth, health, wealth etc due to effect of time, then people begin to undestand that whatever they had will be taken away sooner or later. That is a very fearful thing which old/ diseased people do not talk much or people do not listen when they talk. Also the materialistic society does not talk about it. They only ever talk about the good things during family gatherings etc.

    Please do this one exercise - Go to an old person or a diseased person or someone who is not very rich and ask them if they have any difficulty or anxiety. Please do it just once. 

    Hence is it all the more important for scriptures to highlight this so that a person may not get too entangled or start working towards freeing themselves. Now this does not mean ignoring responsibilities. 

    But, being a nice responsibile and caring family person, is glorified and appreciated in our scriptures also. ?

    Which scripture ? Certainly not Srimad Bhagavatam or Bhagavad Gita. Different scriptures and for people at different level. Srimad Bhagavatam is the higest scripture that focuses only on pure devotional service. 

    But i dont think there is really any way to differentiate if mind/soul is satisfied?

    kāma, prema, — doṅhākāra vibhinna lakṣaṇa
    lauha āra hema yaiche svarūpe vilakṣaṇa

    Lust and love have different characteristics, just as iron and gold have different natures.  (CC Adi 4.164)

    ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā — tāre bali ‘kāma’
    kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

    The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kāma [lust], but the desire to please the senses of Lord Kṛṣṇa is prema [love]. (CC Adi 4.165)

    Mind is satisfied when desires are satisfied. Soul is satisfied when Krsna is satisfied. It may be hard to differentiate due to bodily concept of life. But there is another way to differentiate. 

    ye hi saṁsparśa-jā bhogā
    duḥkha-yonaya eva te
    ādy-antavantaḥ kaunteya
    na teṣu ramate budhaḥ

    An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kuntī, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them. ( BG 5.22)

    Material pleasure has an end and it is followed by material misery eventually. That is not the case with spiritual pleasure which comes by serving Krsna. 

    Moreover, bhakti is to be ultimately free from all problems.

    NO, Bhakti is to make Krsna happy, it is to give pleasure to Krsna. 

    Hare Krsna

  • Hare Krishna Radhika Mata ji,

    I think this doubt we all have addressed long back. Sitll you are having doubts about the same topic?

    Okay let me try to explain a bit. I know You are not going to understand whatever I say. As this is not an overnight prescription to work like magic. This takes some time and maturity to realize. It may take many life times also to come to Love stage that is Love for Lord Krishna. 

    Your Question-- "  But the real stage of Bhakti..pure love of what i am asking about. Why is that still differently satisfying to the soul than loving other people (devotees / non devotees both)?????"

    When you were a baby and having only mother's milk did you know the taste of gulab jamun? or Rasgulla? No. similarly it takes time to understand that higher taste. When your are just pleased with the lower tastes ( movies, shopping, outing, fun , brother sister's love family care of people around you) you seldom are looking for higher taste. Like when you suddenly visit a temple and aarti was going on.. you danced a bit.. you felt so nice for a if your soul's urge was met. again you came back to normal world. go back to normal life. then you felt ya this is also giving me pleasure. But that pleasure which you got when u were present in an aarti it was something blissful and you cannot explain it why you felt that also. In material world also... you get some temporary pleasures suddenly some surpise gift u got from ur family or friends you are elated.. u felt like u are on top of the world .. some exam results came and u were a topper .. You are happy. But that happiness  as compared to blissfulness which you felt when you were in aarti was somewhat different. You will know the difference.  You danced to a tune of bollywood song and you danced to the tune of Hare Krishna Mahamantra in temple. Dance was the same. But the blissfullness which you felt when u danced for the pleasure of Krishna is way superior. how??? you will realise it .. It take some time and maturity to understand that level pleasure the higher taste.

    >>attachment and love are different.

    Attachment means clinginess. Like for suppose.  I love my family right. I do the duties of a wife as a mother. But I must not feel clingy to this.  These relationships are formed because of the karma bandhanas. Last life time I had to repay to this husband of mine..... he was a money lender that life......I don't remember,  but I had to pay him back.. I didn't repay that time,.., So he came to my life thislife time as husband and collecting his money back in the form of kind. I  am serving him just to repay my  Runa ( DEBT) ( Runanu bandhanam they say that is why).

    Now in this business dealings you are involving ur heart and getting attached to the person. You are really thinking he is ur husband .. actually no one here is ours. All are coming to ur life .. ( even me for that matter) i am having some dealing to finish with you. So i am reading ur question and replying. As soon as our dealing is over the relationship with you ends. If you know that simple logic you wont get attached to anyone. You will perfectly do ur duty no doubt about it. But you wont get attached.

    Let me give u an example:--

    now a nurse does care for the sick person a good caring nurse. She does her job because she knows she would get paid for the work. and suppose you are taking care of the relative at home who is sick. You are doing seva same like a nurse is doing all that to him/her but with attachment. because he or she is ur own family member. If it was a road side beggar would you care to do this to them?????? without anything in return?? no pay for what u do. just voluntarily out of sympathy and empathy??? you dont do that. ( either u mind will think okay let me serve this beggar maybe God will reward me with something) so if u are politician your mind will plan that okay if I do seva to this beggar and take pics with him I will get votes for this charitable work. You cannot do anything to any person just aise hi. simply. If u are doing selflessly that means its  great service!!!!

    But u tell me without any kind of attachment will u do? NO never. Like l gave one instance in previous paragrah. That my husband who i am serving right now was  money lender in last birth ( suppose) and I din't pay him back the money I took.  I have to complete the karma with him somehow. I have to pay him back. But if I am asked to pay back this life time I will say why should I? i don't even remember. So God made this arrangement to finish off the dealing with people and places. Now I am lovingly paying back his dues. :-)  

    My son who was a killer of my husband in last life time he killed my husband. now he got the chance to repay to my husband by serving him as  son.. No he is lovingly paying back for the loss he did to him. Now in these types of relations which are formed due to business dealings, unfinished karma with people and places.. Why we involve our heart? it is our foolishness. If u involve our heart and get attached to it. Isn't it??

    Just do the duty as you are supposed to do it. You have to finish the dealing which u started with the person. Just play the game like a player  without involving emotions.

    That is what Krishna told to Arjuna.. hey Arjuna...who are you crying for? Arjuna replied. I am afraid of hurting my grandfather, my brothers, my cousins, my gurus' my blood relatives. Krishna tells. But who are they? Did you know them in ur previous life? Can you tell me who was ur grandfather in ur last life?  Arjuna said I don't remember. then why are you attached and lament. Just do ur duty as a kshetriya. You duty is to fight against the adharmis' do it. Don't lament if you kill someone in this process. They are nothing for you. Just hold on to ME .. And do ur duty without involving emotions.

    Let me say.. for suppose there is a surgeon and he is operating on his own son. Son met with a serious accident and brought to the same hospital where the father is the surgeon. Father knows if he operates there is 50-50 chances of the son's survival. If he laments that 50% chance of survial is also lost. His hands began to quivver holding the scalpel in his hands. He said I cannot do it. Its my son. I cannot do this. If he is emotional he cannot even do the basic duty of a surgeon. so here attachement is not required. The father loves the child so he will do his best to save him. In the process if he dies also. its is okay. He did his job.  That is doing any work without attachment yet with love.

    So also every dealing in our day to day life with our kith and kin should be with love not with attachment. okay.

    Now I will tell u a story to emphasize on this fact:-

    One time Narad ji was doing trilok sanchaar. He saw a merchant he goes and meets him. Merchant welcomes Narad ji and gives him a comfortable position and Narad ji says. chalo ghar chalein ab. Lets go home.  But the merchant says Prabhu this is my house, I live here. Where to you are asking me to come? I am just married this is my newly wed wife...these are my parents......this is my home.., Narad ji smiles and say okay whenever u are ready let me know I will take you to your real home. Narad ji left. 

    After some years .. Narad ji came once again.. now he asked chalo chalein lets go now. Merchant said where to? this is my house, this is my family, I have 4 son and we are living happily. I am going nowhere you can go. Narad ji smiles and goes away telling .. Okay whenever u are free let me know I shall take you to ur real home.

    some more years passed by.. Nard ji came back once again.. Now narad ji tells chalo lets go back to ur real home. Merchant said.. Parantu ( But) prabhu, now only I have got my sons' married to newly wed bahu came in.. i am expecting my grand children.. I am so happy here . where to you always come and ask me. This is my real home. I am going no where. I am enjoying and I have to enjoy with my grandsons also.

    After some more years .. Narad ji again came back and said ab tho chalo bhi.. Now its high time you need to go back to ur real home. Merchant said arey Narad ji.. I have to be there now actually my sons need me. I need to even divide my property and give them their shares. give me some time. Okay..

    after few yrs narad ji came now he saw that merchant died. his body was being cremated by the sons. The soul of the Merchant was roaming about in distress around the house and around the tree which was nearby the house. Narad ji asked why are you roaming? Prabhu look I did divide my property and kept some for my oldage and the brothers fight and they asked me to give up my share also.. so i dug a pit and buried my share under this tree.. and when they forced me also I didn't tell them where i hid the pot of money. They got angry started to fight with they abused me they said this old man is good for nothing and still he is so greedy.  They my own kids plot against me and killed me. I am roaming here near the tree as  as soul to safe gaurd the money.  As sooon as the soul told the story. The soul got a body of a snake and was slithering near the tree. see that a snake is there slithering the brothers got sticks and killed the snake also. Snake was their own father.  Dying in grief that his own sons were so cruel to him.  The snake taking the last breathe asked I am fed up of these relationships. they are so materialistic. I did everything for my family whole day and night i slogged and they gave me this death. Even in snake body I was killed by them. My own kith and kin.. Narad muni laughed at this said.. who is ur own here. They sons or ur wife or ur grand children? No one is ur own. In last life you owed them so you repayed them this life time fathering them similarly every relationship is formed because of ur previous unfinished karma with these people. Come  out of this bodily attachments. 

    You did your duty you repayed ur debts and finished the unfinished karma with them. ur job is over. don't linger more and more and feel so sad. This is our of illusory potency of Lord you are feeling like this that they are all ur own. Actually You belong to Lord. Your real home is Bhagwad dhaam Vaikunta. Now you may realize this I gave you time .. I gave you time so that you urself will know there is no one that loves and cares about you. This world is fake.  Here you come just to do ur duties and finish the karma and desires which you have. After the karma is done. You are free. If you feel attached you keep on coming to these people again and again. See for urself. You couldn't leave them or the money you hid under the tree. You got a snake body .. like this you keep coming to the same people again and again until you lose all attachments with them. Now you got mukti because you got fed up of these relatives.. As a result of some past life good deeds you have the opportunity of meeting me. So i was coming time and again to see if you are ready for Vaikuntam or yet you want to keep staying here only? now the merchant said no no narad ji lets go back to my home Real Home.

    when you love something you can sacrifice but when you are attached to sometime you cannot forget it., you are cligy to that thing, or people or place. You cannot leave them. every birth u come to meet them back again and again some body. death don't do us apart  ( its not just as saying)  Indeed!!!!! death wont do us apart when you are atttached to a person or place. 

    Do work without attachment yet with love. Detachment means not leaving ur duties and running to jungles and doing sadhana ... Detachment means.. you do ur dutiess finish off ur karma with love but not attachment!

    There was a king named Bharata he left all his kingdom, palace, family, sons, queens and came to jungle to do sadhana and go back to Godhead ( story mentioned in Srimad Bhagwatam). There in the jungle he gets attached to the dear.  He felt compassion saved it from wild animals as the baby deer was orphan. The king Bharata only took care of it as if it were his own son. He got so much attached to it that he kept on worrying for it day and night his love and compassion became too extreme even in dreams he was thinking what will happen to my baby deer when I die. I am so old if I die who will take care of it. He was not even worried about himself. He was worried only for it. He left all his family and got attached to this deer. So in next birth King Bharata became a deer. as till the end of that life he was only thinking about the deer when he died also his eyes were fixed on deer. so he became a deer in next life. Now that is attachement not love.

    Love means caring doing needful. attachment means clinginess, it is selfishness. You are depending on someone for ur own happiness. that is attachement. When u are attached you don't let go so easily. If you love you can let go. Learn to love and quit attachment.

    Now that is how you must be with people around you but in the name of love you start to leech on them and you call it love.  So, yeh with ur family and friends also you must care and love them but don't be clingy.

    One must be like a water on lotus leaf. The water droplet doesn't stick to the surface of lotus leaf.  Now it takes time to understand this concept. It might take a life time.. The day you understand you would surrender to Krishna in true sense. let it be even few second before  the death also if u get this realization you can surrender. 

    Surrender is very small step. But preparation to surrender takes a long long time.

    Hare Krishna.



  • Hare Krishna,

    If your not chanting regular or doing sadhana then you are 'attached' to family, friends other things in general. You kinda answered your own question. !

    • Perhaps you didn't understand my question prabhuji🙄

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