Partiality within family

Hare Krishna

I have 2 sisters and am the only son married and lives with my parents. Thanks to Krishna, I have been reasonably placed and doing reasonably well in my professional life (though challenges like constantly upgrading myself professionally are always there).

Now, one of my sisters is married and her husband is not dong that well. Their family has always faced issues with money. My sister constantly calls up my mother and keeps on describing her problem always. A couple of years back, my family had paid 2 lakhs to her without my knowledge. This was just after having sent 50k 6 months prior to that. I had got very irritated by that and even had quarrel with my family over that. I had specifically told my mother that if you give easy money this way, it would be become a habit and I even told her that the money will be misused by my brother-in-law with his drinking and smoking habits. I mentioned that the issue is not with the actual sending of the money, but it becoming more of a pattern. It had become an issue at that time since I had reacted quite badly at that time.One of my very close neighbours had got involved that time and he mentioned to me that the money actually belongs to my parents and it is their wish what they want to do with that. He however also explained to my parents on my behalf that I do not have issue with the transfer, but see a concern in that becoming a pattern. Over the next few years though, I just ignored the money transfers on the advice of my neighbour (whom I trust a lot).

I still see money being sent over to my daughter. On few ocassions, my mother has acknowledged that it was their mistake to get my sister married in that family. 

Off late, I had purchased a new flat in the same tier-1 city that I am living in. I have been staying in the present house (bough by father almost 40+ years back). I am planning to shift to the new home with the family in the next few months. For this new house, I was initially planning to sell off our current house and then pay so that I did not have to take a big loan. However, I saw hesitation on my parent's behalf to help me with that and again on consulation with my neighbour, he mentioned that if possible, please try to purchase the house without taking any help from parents at all.
While I somehow manged that, I have started feeling the pressure of the big loan I have taken.
Also, this constantly reminds me that my parents have been very supportive to my sister, why they always hesitate in helping me out. Also, it generates a lot of anger within me against my sister (since she always tries to influence my mother against me and shares Whatsapp messages like going forward ...only daughters would be taking care of parents..and similar such forwards)

It somehow feels bad that while I have to struggle quite hard to earn, someone else is getting easy money just like that. It seems like a partiality to me.
My mother keeps saying at times that everything would ultimately be mine, except for whatever little they want to share to my sisters. But I get very worried over the strong influence that my sister has over my mother and somehow worry if they get too emotionally influenced. 

I am not sure how best to deal with this situation, since the very thought generates a lot of negativity within the mind.

Sincere apologies if anything of the above sounds offensive, but I just shared honestly my thought process.

I am not a very advanced devotee, but I do try to read Krishna conscious literature on a daily basis and even listen to Kirtans whenever possible.

Hare Krishna

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  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,


    While I understand your feelings, I also understand where your parents are coming from. THey are carrying the guilt that they got daughter married in such a family. WHen they compare both of you, they think you are reasonably better off financially than her and naturally want to support her. IT is natural for parents to try and help the child who is in trouble. 

    The thing for you to do is - keep your finances safe. Do not share with parents even how much you are earning and what is the saving. Considering that you have taken a huge EMI, savings would be an issue now, I suspect. Maybe sit with your parents and ask for support for a couple of years or till the next appraisal, so that once you are comforatble running the house with the EMI, you will be able to take over completely. 

    COntinue to be nice to your sister prabhu. She will feel ashamed of her deeds one day. Or have a frank chat with her - this is not on - you cannot tell parents that only daughter will take care henceforth. Show her your hurt - maybe she is not realising what she is doing. 

    Through all this chant prabhu. Chant with more intensity. If possible, make your wife also chant. THat will help her remain stoic in whatever she sees whole day and not end up fighting with in laws. If both of you are calm, I am sure it will have positive effect on children. 

    You have no control over the money earned by your parents. Also, it is not right to think of selling father's property without consulting him. If he is not agreeing, it is his right. Considering what your sister is telling mother all the time, that daughters will only take care goign forward, it is possible that parents want to cling on to this house, so taht they dont have to depend on any child to stay with them. Try to see things from their point of view.

    Understand one thing - this world is not a fair place to be in. It is dukhalayam ashashwatam. It is designed to bring misery. We all face it - package may be different for each of us, but the gift is same - dukha. 

    Read Bhagavad Gita every day with your family. Try to make it a family event, involving your parents also if possible. Try to apply the teachings of BG 2.14 - matra sparshastu kaunteya... in your life. It will solve a lot of issues for you.


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD


    • Hare Krishna Mataji

      Thanks for your detailed response. Most of the points you have mentioned are quite accurate. e.g. I do hear from my mother at times that it was their mistake to get my sister married into the family.
      Also you are right about the insecurity in my parent's mind as to not have to depend on me (likely coming from some bad experience on part of my mother's father / my Nana).

      I have got very good support from one of my very close neighbour (who is a neighbour since almost 46 years. Earlier his father (who passed away a few years back) had helped my family when my mother was having constant issues with my grandmother. So I have a lot of trust and respect on him and even my parents have a reasonable amount of trust on him). He regularly visits my house and goes out of the way to explain the situation and tries everything possible to calm the situation. Knowing the things, he has  advised me on 2 things ;

      1. Try and not take any help from my parents at all (as much as possible), so that they do not make my wife hear about any sort of help from them. For this, he has even explained my parents on my behalf that as of now, I do not need any money from them. But in case, something bad happens, only then I'll need their help. Since my parents have told me at times that I have got things easily (e.g. current house which is owned by my parents), considering that, he actually wants me to avoid taking any help and prove to my parents (specially sister) that I was able to purchase the house on my own. While I do not entirely agree on this point specifically within my heart, since it seems a bit arrogant attitude and is somewhat contradictory to spiritual teachings, I do not have any doubt aout the intention of my neighbour.

      2. He mentions that the initial phase (at least 3 months) would be very difficult and cause lot of issues. He has even explained my parents that since the loan is quite big, there would be huge pressure on me and asked everyone of the family to somehow manage this initial phase.

      Regarding your suggestions, while I am regularly reading spiritual books (e.g. currently reading Techings of Lord Kapila), I somehow do not have the comfort to read as part of the family.
      However, I do try and visit the ISKCON temple in our city with the entire family (i.e. including parents)

  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna 

     I mentioned that the issue is not with the actual sending of the money, but it becoming more of a pattern. 

    Welcome to the modern society that is long due of facing consequences of ignoring or opposing vedic scriptural injunctions. As per vedic injunctions when a girl is married she joins a new family. She is dependent on her new family for her growth, maintenance and needs. The father of the girl has one last opportunity to support her at time of marriage by offering her gift of stri-dhan. Which is essentially movable wealth which her daughter can take with her to her new family and use it at time of emergency. As per vedic scriptures the married daughter after receiving stridhan has no rights of inheriting any property/wealth from her father. This makes sense because she is moving on to a new family and she in no way expected to support her father's family. All her duties and responsibilities are with in-law's family. 

    The sons who remain with the parents take responsibility of the parents maintenance, health, oldage etc along with taking responsibility of growing and maintaining family assets by inheriting the family assets , mostly immovable assets like land, house etc. According to me this can be a fair distribution of parents' wealth.- Daughter gets movable assets like jewellery, cash etc and sons get movable assets. Daughter get her share when they are starting their new life with new family and this helps then move on. If the daughters face fianncial issues at their in-laws place, they are free to use their stri-dhan without looking back to their fathers. This helps in maintaining harmony in and between both in-laws family and father's family. Sons on the other hand get responsibilities of parents, immovable wealth and growing the family wealth. They don't have to worry about their sister's maintanance and focus on developing their own spouse and children. 

    The modern society opposes stri-dhan calling it something else, but supports daughter's inheritance of family property including immovable assets. There are some major problems with dividing the wealth in this way between sons and daughters. 

    1. Timing: The daughters don't get their share when they need it most. Daughters have to typically wait till their parents are very old or die till they inherit the property. Meanwhile if daughter's in-laws face financial issues, she can be of no help to them or herself. This is emotionally painful. If at such such emergency she turns to the father, they may not be in a position to quicky divide their assets just to support her. This breaks harmony in and between both families. 

    2. Transfer: Traditionally wealth has been stored and transferred in two main forms - immovable - land, house, shop etc and movable - jewellery, cash etc. When daughters are allowed to inherit, they are also allowed to inherit immovable assets. But immovable assets cannot be divided so easily. House, shops, factories etc cannot be divided. One may say percentage of share could be given etc, but all these things only further complicates the matter unnecessarily. The bigger problem is that daughters cannot maintain the immovable assets even if they get the share. They typically end up selling land or house etc because they don't live in the sam eplace anymore. Daughters typically move to in-laws house and join the new family in a different village, city. They can't maintain their inherited property. So selling of immovable assets is a huge loss for the families. 

    3. Moving on : The vedic culture encourages moving on to newer responsibilities & relationships while maintaining harmony with old ones. Daughters join a new family and need to take care of husband, in-laws, children etc. Sons similary need to take care of their parents, wifem children, wealth etc. Modern norms prevent people from moving on to their new roles by keeping the issue of wealth division unresolved or delayed. This would lead to unfair division. If parents are not happy with son, they may give more to daughter. If parents are very happy with son, they may give more to son. This creates discontent among family members. Vedic norms allow resolution/division at right time. Daughter gets her share from father while sons are aware of it. If daughter's share is more sons don't mind it, because afterall it is their sister, they are still affectionate and because she is leaving them, they don't mind it at all. On the other hand if daughter gets less, she will will not demand more, because she probably knows her father's troubles. But whatever happens they all accept it and move on. The sons, daughters and parents after marriage are connected emotionally and not financially. But in modern times that unresolved financial division comes at the worst moment. When sons have their wives, their children they have new bonds and are typically less caring of the old ones. It becomes a burden for parents and sons. The daughter who is already in financial trouble, loses even emotional support from parents and starts demanding equal share and what not. Overall this becomes a mess for everyone. Well except for lawyers, doctors, police, property brokers, govt etc who milk the family wealth away from family members by taking advantage of the situation. 

    Moral of the story is vedic norms have long terms solutions keeping everybody's best interest and maintaining harmony. Modern norms mostly western or perverted vedic norms don't benefit families, but third parties like banks, govt etc. 

    the money actually belongs to my parents and it is their wish what they want to do with that

    This is true if your parents have earned the money all by themselves. If your parents have inerited that money then they cannot spend it anyway they like. But if it is their self earned money they are free to spend it anyway they want. I don't agree with it but that is what the modern law says. 

     I was initially planning to sell off our current house and then pay so that I did not have to take a big loan. However, I saw hesitation on my parent's behalf to help me with that 

    This is the problem with modern society. People want to get rid of inherited property and raise cash to buy new property elsewhere. If the property has been inherited by your parents, then your sister will likely get a share in it. If it is self earned property(by parents), then your parents get to choose whether to sell and what to do with money. They could give the money entirely to you or your sister or divide or just not sell it. If the property is in your name, then you are free to do as you wish. 

    he mentioned that if possible, please try to purchase the house without taking any help from parents at all.

    That is good advise from long term point of view

    It generates a lot of anger within me against my sister since she always tries to influence my mother against me

    I am sure it generates anger within your wife, and children also. This is the classic Mahabharat scenario - Conflict between siblings over property. But this needs to be resolved by keeping Krsna consciousness in mind. Best would be to detach yourself from you father's wealth altogether. If by Krsna's will it comes to you, you may inherit it. Otherwise be content that the greatest wealth of Krsna cosciousness has been inherited by you and thinking over and over about property and money will only hamper your progress in Krsna consciousness. I know it is very difficult to do this. But take this as Krsna's test. Do you want Krsna's separated energies - money, property (all temporary) or do you want Krsna and Krsna Bhakti(Permanent) . Arjuna chose Krsna, Duryodhana was happy with Krsna's separated energies. 

    If the property is ancestral property, please fight back and get your fair share. Because that would be your responsibility to pass it on to your children. 

    I am not a very advanced devotee, but I do try to read Krishna conscious literature on a daily basis and even listen to Kirtans whenever possible.

    This is your opportunity to become an advanced devotee. It is best to focus on Krsna conscious practice - Chanting of the Hare Krsna mahamantra. We should be willing to accept Krsna's plan. Even if we lose some money in this lifetime, we should have faith that Krsna will definitely take care of us as per His will. To get that faith we must depend on Krsna and take complete shelter of Sri Krsna. 

    I am not sure how best to deal with this situation, since the very thought generates a lot of negativity within the mind.

    तत्तेऽनुकम्पां सुसमीक्षमाणो
    भुञ्जान एवात्मकृतं विपाकम् ।
    जीवेत यो मुक्तिपदे स दायभाक् ॥ ८ ॥
    tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo
    bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
    hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
    jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk
    My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim. ( SB 10.14.8)
    This is a very famous shloka recited by Lord Brahma while apologising to Sri Krsna for hiding Krsna's cowherd boy friends, calves. It says that if we can accept whatever(good or bad) that happens to us as a result of our own past misdeed and not complain or hate the instruments (immediate persons who do us bad) but be grateful to Krsna's mercy for giving us that reaction and glorify Krsna, such a person is surely eligible for liberation. It becomes his rightful claim. 
    So while it may be justified to fight for your rightful claim over property or wealth , it is far more advatageous for us to establish our rightful claim on liberation or Krsna consciousness. 
    Hare Krsna
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