How Can We Help?

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Question: Every time we hear, we are not this body, we are the eternal soul. But when it comes to the family life, especially the child and mother relationship, even though we try to bring them up as a devotee, still that attachment is very hard to come out of it. So how can we practice?

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Jayapataka Swami: That is why I think mothers have a special power. We are told that the first five years, we should treat, smile at your children, give them what they want, be very affectionate, and in that way, they get very attached to the parents. And then from five to fifteen, be a little strict. That see that they follow properly whatever the discipline is of the family. And when they are over fifteen treat them more as a friend. Be like a friend, reason with them, explain to them why we do this and why not. Don’t be more like a big authority, be more like an old friend. So, this is what Canakya said 2500 years ago. I don’t know exactly if the years still apply in the modern context, but there are three phases. So at the same time, being a Krsna conscious mother or father, you have the direction you are heading them. You cannot force. Nobody should be forced, but you have to encourage them. If they do something that is Krsna conscious, encourage them, say it is very good! Like if they do something bad, (audio break) had some affection for the boy but more to Krsna. Now the boy was Krsna but acting as their son so they were feeling great love awakened for their boy! Lord Balarama was seeing this situation and wondered why all the parents, they are showing affection for their children that they showed for Krsna! Then He realized that they are Krsna! So He asked Krsna what happened? And Krsna explained to Him, Brahma had stolen his boys and kept them asleep in some cave. In the meantime, Brahma came back and he was amazed to see all the boys there and he couldn’t tell the difference from those boys and the boys he stole. So anyway the pastime goes on. So like that, it is natural that you feel some affection for your children. It is natural, they should feel affection for you. So you use that to help them being Krsna conscious. Cannot force them but you can encourage them, you inspire them. If they see that you are happy in Krsna consciousness, that you are happy in bhakti-yoga, then they may be inspired, let me also do bhakti-yoga. It is working for my mother, it is working for my father, why not for me? Right? Kunti devi, she also prayed to Krsna, ‘being in a lady’s body, they naturally have so much affection for family members, so this is my conditioning. So how?’ Like that she prayed. But like that some things are natural. And so, being in this world, we cannot deny the natural things, but at the same time it is also natural to love Krsna, to love Godhead and that we want to encourage. I am not saying that don’t  love your children, but rather use your love, your affection for your children to practice Krsna consciousness. Not that we are saying don’t love your children, love your children, but love Krsna too! Haribol!