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Question: In grihasta life most of the time it is very challenging to balance the family life as well as spiritual life. So how do we handle the situation so we can make spiritual advancement?

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Jayapataka Swami: You see, in family life you are bringing up children and these children are very nice devotees. So you should see family life as part of your devotional service. Then what is the conflict? You are seeing family life as different from bhakti. But you should see family life as part of your bhakti. It is a different ashram. I am a sannyasi, you are grihastha. As a grihastha, you have some duties, you do that for Krsna. I have some duties, I do that for Krsna. So why should you see that as spiritual life and family life? You should see your family life – how to make your children Krsna conscious? How to offer your deities prasadam, bhoga? How to give your husband Krsna prasadam? All these things. This is part of your devotional service. Why do you see it as different? Right? (Devotee: We try to get them to do Krsna conscious activities but they are not so favorable, so mind is tricking me that these children are not favorable and that means I am not Krsna conscious. Sometimes I feel like that, am I doing right? How should I focus?) Srila Prabhupada said, it takes buckets, BUCKETS OF BLOOD! to make one devotee! To make your children Krsna conscious, how many buckets will it take? But you have to think how to do it in such a way that, it is not so easy, you cannot order, CHANT! It is not like that! By various means, you talk to them, you preach to them. Maybe one round, or two rounds. Something they can do every day, some Bhagavad Gita. When they are small, they have very good memory. So they can learn some slokas. So all their friends, their peer, they have different influences. This is one influence, other influences are there, so you have to see how to give them good association, how to give them good inspiration. Not so easy. Even Advaita Acarya, He had six boys and three of them were pure devotees and three of them were you can say, smarta brahmanas. So it is not so easy. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur had seven children. One was a pure devotee, Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Thakur. One was Lalita Thakur, he was a devout person, he was a guru. But he had his different viewpoint. So everyone, it is not easy, you cannot expect every child to be a pure devotee. But you try, and that is your devotion. Like you love your children, they recognize that you love them. Mother’s love. Oh, I should be a devotee. Very hard. Because mother’s love, we get a little bit influenced. But some service may be direct, like you make garlands or cook for the deities, so some service like that is direct and some service is long range, bringing up your children to be devotees. Some are direct. Like one mother in the UK she asked me, how do you bring up the children? I said, you are asking a sannyasi, how do I know? You are the expert. I gave the contact with some other grihasta lady, Shiromani devi from Mayapur. She is a doctor. But she has nice children. I asked her, the UK mother, to contact with Shiromani. Like that if some other mothers have been successful in bringing up their children to be devotees, then ask them what they do. Sometimes, children are more devoted than you think. But we have high expectations. Maybe they have different ideas. But you see what they like to do, they like kirtan, they like drawing, whatever they like to do, have them do that. You may like them to do a particular thing, they may not be interested. Find out what they like to do and have them do that. Right? I saw one mother, she had all the families’ children together and in front she had a plate of sandesh. Chant one round and got one sandesh. All the kids. It was good! So she got them to chant a round! Ha!