Grihasta family problems

Hare Krishna All,

In all the families that I met who are into ISKCON have very serious family problems or personal problems.

They do not discuss them and try to project them as happy devotees. Recently, I had discussion with a 

devotee with whom I got inspired once and came to know that he went through a divorce and gone through serious

mental issues pre and post divorce. 95% of the Girls or boys who are married to devotees are not happy. Devotees

are becoming more fanatic than devotional. Even among devotee marriages people are happy for an while and then

problems start emerging. Why are we turning into more complicated beings. I completely agree there are some 

families who are tied together and leading happy Krishna consious life. I know this happens with materialistic people

as well but it is more evident among devotees. Where are we going wrong. I am bringing this point forward because

I saw a girl who is married to a devotee attempted suicide because of his behaviour and negligence. ISKCON has

bad reputation of disrupting family life and these incidents adds fuel to pre existing notion. There are many other

such incidents which shatter our faith but I dont want to discuss them. I only want to know why people behave 

abnormally after becoming devotee and think they are elevated and have more intelligence to rule over others emotions.

My request to all devotees to be humble and caring instead of treating your friends, family and new comers as neophytes.

Remember we are representing ISKCON and our behaviour can defame the organisation.

Note: To admin, There is a high possibility that you delete my discussion as you did previously but please let people know that problem and discuss.

          Please help in getting answers to the problems dont delete the discussions which need to be discussed. It gives an impression that we are here

         for making money out of others faith.




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  • E-Counselor
    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,

    I acknowledge that there are issues/ problems in devotee couples as much as there are in the material world. Perhaps, with a dose of spirituality, the problems can increase or decrease, depending on both the partners and their individual sadhana level. The problem that happens is:
    1) Different levels of devotion for both the partners - it is not possible that both partners are at the same level of devotion, its rare. So in such cases, the partner who is more advanced has to sacrifice more. This is even more rare - nobody wants to sacrifice.
    2) Sense of competition among the couple - especially if the diksha guru is different for husband and wife, it could be a potential issue. Or in cases where they are from different temples (ISKCON of different cities), then again it is a potential issue between the two, to prove their congregation superior than the others.
    3) Wrong understanding of philosophy resulting in wrong application of the philosophy. This is the most frequent. Everyone thinks their understanding is right and want to impose on their partner. Application of philosophy is very very important - I have seen many couples approaching the same thing from different angles and not keeping patience with the other to bother to find out if there is a different approach to the same principle.
    Actually, I could go on and on....the above is just illustrative to say that apart from normal issues between any couple, the above can be added as additional issues. That is why devotee couples seem to be having more problems than normal couples.
    Now for solutions.
    1) Understanding that this world is dukhalayam ashashwatam. There is no happiness anywhere in this material world, so how can there be happiness in marriage/ grihasta ashram?
    2) Grihasta ashram is for purification, not for enjoyment. Purpose of marriage for devotees is to do sadhana together to connect with Krsna and help each other on the path. If this purpose is lost, then naturally the marriage will be directionless.
    3) Lack of proper sadhana. If the couple is strict with their personal sadhana, it will solve a lot of their material issues also, what to speak of spiritual issues.
    4) Lack of proper guidance - most couples are not under the immediate care of another senior couple. They take their own decisions, make their own mistakes, never realise because they don't take guidance, and are therefore completely lost.
    5) Lack of proper guides - I must admit that grihasta counselling is something everyone cannot do. It takes a lot of maturity to understand when to let go, and when to intervene. The way the message is conveyed is also very very important. Guides themselves need training - I have seen in atleast a couple of cases.
    6) Being too strict with sadhana - this happens when one partner is extremely strict and other is not able to cope. Typically the strict partner is very impractical, not emotionally intelligent, knows only "My way or the Highway" approach. This is potential road to disaster. Definitely such person needs counselling.
    I have just mentoned snippets from my counselling experience prabhuji. This is a very vast subject, each case is to be dealt in differently.
    I would suggest that instead of seeing the negatives, try to see the positives in a devotee marriage. End of the day, nobody is perfect, no marriage is perfect. We try to change what we can about our partner and learn to live with what we cannot change. We need to have the maturity to understand that nobody can satisfy us fully, so it is better to invest our emotions in Krsna, because only He is capable of doing so. We take the learnings from the relationship and its ups and downs to progress spiritually, which is anyways the ultimate goal of life.
    Your servant,
    Radha Rasamayi DD
  • Hare Krishna,
    Vaishnavism is only for those who have crossed the bodily platform.. It is highest state.
    Where there is only two things.... One Jeevatma and another parmatma and their relationship.
    no other material relationship is considered to reach this highest state.
    Have you come across Puranjana that Narada muni explains about in Bhagwatam?
    The husband Puranjana was so much in love with his chaste wife they both are so much in love with each other that.... In the next life... Puranjana became female.
    Talking about Pativrata nari.. and their tapo shakti.. There was Sumati who could stop the sun from emerging at dawn with her shakti..
    There was Sati Savitri who battled with Yama dharma raja to bring back life into her husband.. finally succeeded to get a boon to live with her husband for four hundred years..
    ---Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me. ( BG 9.25)
    Whatever you are struck with...whatever you develop intense affection for which you cannot let go in this life..... You will surely become that in next life.
    King Bharata became a deer in next life becoz he had intense affection for the deer.
    To become Krishna conscious is not just chanting.. to become Krishna Conscious is to understand the basic thing that you are not this body. You are just soul.. and Soul permanant relative is Only Supersoul no material attachments can reach this platform.
    All the rest entanglements will give you tapo sakhti or u can attain highest position in various lokas or can go reside in swarga loka and come back when once ur good karma
    bank balance will be cleared.
    To attain Lord's mercy one has to worship Lord.
    All material relationships will only make you more entangled and make you take repeated births. Idea is to understand this basic concept.
    u may get 50% of the good karma of the husband you may get pativrata certificate you may be praised by devatas and u will get many laurels and you will have powers to give boons and curse people... you can commend stars and sun and planets..
    But Lord said ....those who worship me surely will reach me.
    Learn that you are not this body....all bodily relationships with people.. .pati patni.. all will only cause repeated cycles of birth
    Those gopi's who lost themselves in the love of Lord... lost this idea that they are the body and this body has some relatives....and they have to obey some social costumes and laws and shouldn't leave husband's at night..... Those people were only accepted by Lord..... as they are fully surrendered.
    This discussion is absurd.
    Those girls and boys who are still having desires and committing suicide for petty reasons like husband is neglecting boy friend is torturing .. he is not caring me....I will die.. this all is totally absurd.. Such people are immature and lack basic understanding that they are not this body and they have come to ISKCON for a higher purpose not for......these silly reasons
    KC is no joke.
    The first step in KC is to learn there is nothing in this world that is yours.. Your body itself is made up of material things which will perish one day.. no relationship here is permanant
    all will change.. the wife today was someone else wife in last life.. what is ur???? you have nothing .... Your soul is also... a part and parcel of Supersoul..
    You have only one relationship which is eternal and He is only to be pleased and none other.
    Ya to have a peaceful life in this temporary world.....
    I would suggest to all couple out there to be caring, understanding, adjusting and COMPRAMISING. JUST TO FINISH OUT OUR JOURNEY to reach the destination.
    We all are just CO- PASSENGERS in this long journey.. Give respect and take respect and move on..
    Lack of these compramising and adjusting qualities only leading to divorces..
    Well,, co passengers and roommates need not fight....they can just move on .....becoz for all the common goal is only to reach Lord Sri Krishna.
    If that is not the goal then what else is ur priority???
    if ur priority is something else then reaching Sri Krishna then ISKCON is not the place where you should be..
    ISKCON is simple living and high thinking..
    complicated people who have more desires and more expectations from life have many more births and are not yet ready to receive this HIgher knowledge.
    Hare Krishna.
    SB 4.28: Purañjana Becomes a Woman in the Next Life
    SB 4.28: Purañjana Becomes a Woman in the Next Life
  • Volunteer
    Part 2: Be a Pativrata

    Now a days, a woman gives several reasons, why she loves her husband.
    I love my husband because he is caring.
    I love my husband because bring me flowers.
    I love my husband because he makes me laugh.
    I love my husband because when I wake up, he serves me coffee in my bed
    I love my husband because he walks my dog.

    Your mother will probably say I love him, because he is my husband. Your mother is a Pativrata. Because her love for the husband is unconditional. Now, if you want to learn to be a perfect pativrata, study Sati Anasuya and Tulasi Devi.

    1. One of the things we in ISKCON dont emphasize, about a woman's duty to be a Pati-vrata. This must be a touchy subject.
    As, women, one must engage in your duties towards husband, in the footsteps of Tulasi Devi, who is one of the greatest Pativratas.

    If you take a look at our Tilak, the meaning of two lines is feet of Vishnu/Krishna. The leaf shape below the two lines is Tulasi Devi.
    So, the Tilak we wear on our forehead everyday means that the path to Krishn's feet is by following in the foot steps of Tulasi Devi.

    True shakti lies in the woman (Wife) and husband can become strong in what ever they engage in because of her pativrata dharma.

    Somehow or other, because of the influence of Kali, this pativrata culture is getting lost. Very little in the west.
    More and more Indian women want to be liberated and become just like men, in the name of feminism and equality for women.

    (True)Feminism mean Pativrata. Women who call themselves feminist, wanting to be like men, is really Masculin'ism, and not Feminism.
    With the rise of women's lib in India, we will see a lot of divorces. Our culture is getting destroyed as we progress in the age of Kali.

    My advice to women:
    If you want to be a pativrata, then find yourself a nice devotee and you will both be in a really happy marriage.
    My obeisance to you, if you choose to be a pativrata, Doesn't matter, if you are devotee or not. True feminist, or Pativratas, truely deserve to be worshiped.
    My challenge to you, become worthy of worship of your husband and others.

    If you, on the other hand likes to compare your husband with other men, or like to look at handsome movie stars or other handsome men. Perhaps one prabhu is singing kirtan nicely at the temple, and you think in your mind, I wish my husband sang nicely like that, (such comparing) then stay away from marrying a sincere person on a devotional path. Both of you will be unhappy and both may or may not end up in divorce, depending on your circumstances.

    "Become Avyabicharini"

    Vyabhichari is a man who seeks pleasure from many women or many sources.
    Avyabhicharini means a woman seeking pleasure from just one source, one man, her husband (Not initiating guru for sure).

    Krishna said that Gopis are Avyabhicharini, seeking pleasure from only one source, ie, serving Krishna.

    If you are in a good happy marriage and both of you are engaged in devotional service.
    Woman should accept her husband as guru and serve him in the capacity of a pati vrata wife.
    Initiation for the wife is not necessary and must be avoided because it may take away from being avyabhicharini.

    Prabhupad gave separate initiation in the west, because in the west divorce rate was very high and he was giving
    sanyas to a lot of disciples. That means their wives had to be initiated separately.
  • Volunteer
    Aakash prabhu,

    Thank you for posting this good question and a problem that deserves addressing. Sincere thanks for posting in a respectful and civil way, not attacking ISKCON, by pointing fingers at what is dear to all of us.

    Our founder Acharya A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, by who's grace millions of people all over the world have chanted Hare Krishna !!
    No doubt, Prabhupada's ISKCON has caused millions all over the world, to bring closer to God. As a non devotee friend referred to Prabhupad as most influential person to spread our culture worldwide, since Lord Buddha.

    Its been compared, what Ramanuja Acharya did in India, Acharya, Prabhupada, did for the rest of the world, in inculcating love for God, Vaishnavism. Prabhupada is no ordinary guru and ISKCON, started by Prabhupada is not just another organization, yet, ISKCON seems plagued with so many problems.

    "In all the families that I met who are into ISKCON have very serious family problems or personal problems."
    -Believe it or not. It is the same percentage inside or outside of ISKCON or even Vaishnavism. This material world is called Dhukalaya, house of misery. As long as we try to see pleasure from material world, we are bound to find only misery!

    "Recently, I had discussion with a devotee with whom I got inspired once,
    and came to know that he went through a divorce and gone through serious mental issues pre and post divorce. "
    -Nice that he inspired you to become a devotee, (by taking up chanting?!)
    If he had serious mental issues, its possible that he needed medical help or have some nutritional deficiency, as Dr.Abram Hoffer would put it.
    People get divorces all the time. It has nothing to do with him being a devotee that he got divorced or that he got mental problems.
    There is a 50% divorce rate among the locals in the USA. Guess what is the rate of divorce among locals in ISKCON? Its about 45-50%. Among the Indians, in the USA, divorce rate is about 5-10%, and joining ISKCON is not going to change much and still is about 5-10%.
    Prabhupada, when he saw that devotees are getting divorced, he advised them to match the astrological charts before getting married and those who follow, definitely are less likely to get a divorce.

    Divorce is a taboo, esp in the Indian culture, and the divorced partners and their children often experience discrimination from others. ISKCON, being a loving community welcomes everyone of every race without judgement, many join ISKCON for comfort and a good environment to raise children without discrimination. It is also more likely, you will find divorced individuals in ISKCON than you would see outside, at least in India, because of this reason.

    "95% of the Girls or boys who are married to devotees are not happy. Devotees are becoming more fanatic than devotional. Even among devotee marriages people are happy for an while and then problems start emerging. Why are we turning into more complicated beings."
    -Are you saying that the devotees are happy, but the 95% of those married to them are not?
    Our philosophy is "Chant and Be Happy". Don't marry a devotee, unless you want to chant and be happy. Material world will not make you happy. It will for a bit, but all the money in the world will not make you happy. Its like a child with all the toys in the world. Seems pretty cool, right? He wont be happy unless he has the mother. Same way, we need Krishna to be happy. That is the true source of happiness.
    All marriages go through the honey moon phase, after 6 months, reality hits. Its not different when you marry a devotee.
    Reality is we are servant of God and our true happiness lies in knowing that and then engaging in serving the Lord and His devotee/s, in our case serving Srila Prabhupada.

    "I saw a girl who is married to a devotee attempted suicide because of his behaviour and negligence. ISKCON has bad reputation of disrupting family life and these incidents adds fuel to pre existing notion. I only want to know why people behave abnormally after becoming devotee and think they are elevated and have more intelligence to rule over others emotions."
    -ISKCON devotees tend to be very dedicated to Krishna and some women feel that if they can somehow divert the devotee attention onto themselves, then they can be very happy, i.e., if the husband becomes as dedicated to her to a great extent, as he was of Krishna. There is no telling how far some unscrupulous woman may go to, in order to get their way. Attempted suicide is one of them tricks I am sure. If you saw a girl intentionally trying to kill herself for her husband is devoted to Krishna, then, she may need some medical attention. I am sure she may be getting it now, that her attempt kill herself did not succeed.
    When you become a devotee, not much changes. Other than following 4 regulative principles. Chanting on the beads 16 to 64 round, depending on your capacity and the mercy you receive from the Lord. Everything else remains pretty much the same. If you have a job, you still will be doing that job. If you have a business, you will still be running that business etc.
    If someone is ruling over other's emotions, he is definitely doing something wrong. Is this because of Pride/Ego? Ahamkara, Kama, Khroda, Moha, Lobha, Mada and Matsarya and many anarthas we need to overcome. Its a matter of time.
  • Sevak
    Hare Krsna

    When we begin the process of Krsna consciousness by chanting of the Hare Krsna it is like cleansing our heart. If one enters a room which has accumulated dust and dirt for a few month, one may easily perceive that level of uncleanliness is quite severe. But after starting the cleaning process, one may realize that the room is more dirty the previously perceived.
    A foolish person will think that cleaning has led to more dirt. But an intelligent person will understand that during cleaning, all the dust and dirt which was previously hidden has started coming out. it was only hidden earlier, not absent. Such a person will continue to the process of cleaning.
    The stage of cleaning is called anartha nivritti. By the process of chanting of Hare Krsna we have to clear all the anarthas in our heart. It is a very long and painful process that every living being has to go through today or tomorrow.

    All the problems are common to materialists and devotees. Devotees know that solution and materialists don't.
    If someone wants to challenge the process of devotional service it should not be done based on some examples of divorce or suicide.
    If someone wants to say that Iskcon disrupting family life then it is untrue. The purpose of Iskcon is to spread Krsna consciousness. no Iskcon temple, or book of iskcon recommend disruption of family by divorce or suicide. The examples mentioned is are discrete and have nothing to do with Iskcon or it's teachings. It can only be attributed to immaturity of persons involved not the institution.

    Hare Krsna
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