Srila Prabhupada said "Love is action in freedom" -- we must be free from lust, greed, envy, ambition. If we are controlled by these things, we cannot express love. The love of the mother fro child is closest we experience of unconditional love, of love in humility - because it is selfless. This is the focus of our whole culture. To love selflessly. For example, the disciple patiently sits, accepts the discipline of the spiritual master, humbly serves him, and serves one's godbrothers and godsisters. We must rid ourselves of selfishness, as a mother does when she serves her child, if we are to experience the fulfillment of our desire to love and be loved.

Vaisnava parent can think, "This child has been given to me by Krishna to take care of as a service. He or she may or may not become a devotee of the Lord -- that is not totally within our control, not our decision to make -- but I must serve this child by loving and caring for this child selflessly."

Prabhupada wrote a letter to Arundhati, and he said "For you child worship is more important than deity worship. If you cannot spend time with him, stop pujari duties. These children are given to us by Krishna. They are not ordinary. They are Vaikunthachildren.... This is a very great responsibility, do not neglect it or become confused..."

The mother is the caretaker, she is the nurturer and caretaker, and we should be grateful to her. But how can we understand this if the mother is not particularly inclined towards spiritual life or has no interest in Krishna consciousness? We can be grateful that they "chose life" -- that they are -- directly or indirectly -- responsible for us to be here, to be able to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada'steachings.

In the first chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna gives many good reasons why he didn't want to fight and one of the reasons was that women will become unprotected, and that exploitation will lead to unwanted children. We are experiencing this in our modern society. So what an amazing service it is to have wanted children -- it is a sacred responsibility we take on.

So we see here that this jiva that has re-entered the body of the prince is speaking so cuttingly to his parents. What he is saying is not incorrect, and perhaps he speaks in this way because he wants to cut the attachment -- the purely material attachment -- that his parents had for him. This chapter is called King Chitraketu meets the Lord. After receiving these instructions from his son, the King becomes fixed in his determination to seek God. So, we can take from this pastime that the King and Queen were so attached to having a child that they neglected to give him a spiritual life. That attachment is natural, but it has to be Krishna centered, or else it simply causes misery.

When attachment is based on Krishna it is liberating. The eleventh canto of Bhagavatam gives a nice verse that explains this, and gives the success of motherhood:

One should learn how to associate with the devotees of the Lord by gathering with them to chant the glories of the Lord. This process is most purifying. As devotees thus develop their loving friendship, they feel mutual happiness and satisfaction. And by thus encouraging one another they are able to give up material sense gratification, which is the cause of all suffering. (Bhag. 11.3.30)

All glories to the loving mothers (and fathers) striving to serve selflessly!

Festival of Inspiration, New Vrindaban -- May 13, 20
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