Jayapatākā Swami: One lady had written a letter to Śrīla Prabhupāda that because I have a child, therefore I have some problem in serving the Deities. Śrīla Prabhupāda said that ‘the Lord has given you a child, if you are not able to do both the services, child and the Deities then you may stop serving the Deities for the time being and take care of the child. Because parents have to give love to the children that the children become devotees.’ That is their service to the Deity. Śrīla Prabhupāda said that ‘these children are given by Kṛṣṇa.’
So, with regard to your question, you can tell Lord Jagannātha that ‘You have given me the children, I have to give my love to the children and that way offer my service to You. Children’s service is my service to You.’ You have to feed the child kṛṣṇa-prasāda and in your house, I think that you have to give the bhoga to Kṛṣṇa and give the prasāda to your children. If you think your children are not your service to Kṛṣṇa, then that is a problem. So, we should always be thinking of Kṛṣṇa and we should think that by cultivating my children to become devotees that is my actual service.
I just received a letter from a śikṣā disciple how she has a 17-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old daughter, but she has to prepare them to face the material world and make them Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I understood that Lord Jagannātha is telling you that ‘now that you have your children, now you don’t think of serving Us anymore.’ You should think that this service to my children is also my service to Lord Jagannātha.
23-October-2021 Sridham Mayapur, India