BEING A BRAHMACHARI (OR) GRAHASTHA - WHICH IS GOOD FOR A DEVOTEE?
BEING A BRAHMACHARI (OR) GRAHASTHA - WHICH IS GOOD FOR A DEVOTEE?
This is the very basic thing to be addressed by us as I have noticed that some devotees have no clear opinion about entering into marriage life.
After enjoying the highest taste of Krishna Bakthi, some devotees start hating all the material surroundings.
They even skip their marriage in haste but go on fighting between "inducing senses" and "unwillingness to marry".
But there should be a genuine/ sound reason for skipping the marriage life. It should not be in haste!
When there is a higher taste, we lose interest in a lower taste. It is natural.
But, we should utilize every arrangement in the service of Krishna, including the arrangement of marriage! This is the issue to be discussed in cases! Let us see one by one:
(1) The problem arises only when a person is confused that Spiritual life and material life are different! If the materials are involved in Spiritual life, everything becomes Spiritual! We ourselves are not these bodies, but spiritual souls. If we learn seeing Krishna in everything and everyone in this world, we won't hate or escape from anything. See your spouse as a spiritual material soul, not a body.
(2) Of Course, Many face difficulties in balancing their family and devotional practices comfortably in this highly competitive world. But this depends on the way of handling the affairs in a family! It is very easy to overcome it. How? Read further:
(3) Both Being a Brahmachari (Bachelor) or being a Grahastha (married man) is allowed in Devotional Service. But many think that Brahmacharya life is just skipping the marriage life. No! Brahmacharya is both physical and mental purity.
A true brahmachari should not even think of sexual contacts. Then, what about indulging in them? He should not unnecessarily talk to the opposite sex. He should dress very simply. He should always (or) mostly be in the company of devotees. He should not remain alone unnecessarily. He should not waste his secretions. He should not think of or indulge in ANY FORM OF SEXUAL ACT.
4. Is this possible? Yes! This is possible ONLY WHEN you fully divert all your thoughts and activities for Krishna alone! You can not fully stop thinking, but can divert them in the service of Krishna. You can develop a higher taste to totally forget the lower taste.
But, here too, there is a risk. If your decision to be a brahmachari is weak, and you miss the association of other devotees for some time or days, there are chances that you fall back in the hands of MAYA who takes you back to the material world. This, some times, leads to confusion in mind.
5. So, If you are really willing to be a brahmachari and not willing to enter into marriage life, you can adopt that path, that too, only if you are very confident that you can remain a true brahmachari throughout your life!
You should not choose to be a brahmachari thinking that married life is inferior life, then, sorry, your Vairagya (decision) will not last long! Since the marriage is allowed in devotional service, ask yourself!
6. If you prefer to be a brahmachari, you should be very sincere and dedicated in your devotional service. You should strongly hold your Lord/ Guru's hands and pray to them/ Him to help you to protect yourself from the attractions of Maya and advance in Krishna's Service. You should be very careful in dealing with opposite sex and material things. All your actions should be centered at Krishna.
Any wrong you do, will spoil the image of the organization/ guru you are attached to. So, Be sincere. If you need a spouse, go ahead. Don't pretend as if you don't need her/ him! Speak to your Guru/ spiritual guide about this frankly and act as per his directions.
7. If you are not confident that you can follow the above principles, better, enter into marriage. In such unconfirmed cases, getting married is safe to fight Maya, compared to skipping it and indulging in illicit sex. Right?
8. It is ADVISABLE to marry, without hesitation and shyness if you fall under any/ many of the following cases:
(i) If you can develop your children as Krishna Devotees.
(ii) If, even after many attempts, you are not able to control your senses!
(iii) If you are not able to concentrate in Krishna Consciousness Practices because of the fight with your senses!
(iv) If you need a person to assist you in your services to Krishna.
9. If you marry, you should develop your children as Krishna Conscious. In other words, If you can give Krishna Conscious Children to this world, don't hesitate to get married. It is welcome.
10.You may ask: "If I get married, I will have to spend time with my spouse and hence cannot concentrate in Krishna's Service. What shall I do?".
No Problem! If you marry a sincere devotee of similar stage like you, there will be no problems in the Continuance of Lord's Services.
Otherwise, if you marry a non devotee, you MUST first explain her/ him about the Krishna Consciousness, take her/ him to temples and allow her/ him with other devotees who are practicing Krishna Consciousness after marriage.
Gradually, your spouse will also become Krishna Conscious. Association makes everything possible.
11.In addition to the association of devotees, involve your spouse in Chanting Hare Krishna Maha Manthra as many rounds as possible daily. Sure, She/ he will overtake you in the dedication to Krishna. Then, Your life will be nice. One can cook food for Krishna; Another can offer it to Krishna. One can wash the dresses & Utensils of Krishna and another can use them in Pooja (worship).
Both of You can chant more rounds. Both of you can involve in Temple Services. Both of you can preach; Both of you can distribute books on Krishna. Both of you can financially support the temple.
You can go for a job, earn and use a part of it to Krishna's Service. How meaningful your life will be! Just imagine.
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12.Before entering into marriage, please convey all the details of your involvement in Krishna Consciousness and your expectations, to the girl/ boy and her/ his parents. It must be done. Discuss everything before marriage and get the assurance for his/ her cooperation.
13.Don't marry a girl or boy only for Sense enjoyment. Our Scriptures/ Acharyas have warned us about this. This rare human life should not be wasted only in the Sense enjoyment.
Be careful in getting addicted to the bodily attractions. The meaning of the Marriage is: Before marriage, She loved Krishna; You also loved Krishna; After marriage, Say, "We love Krishna". Both of you should live for Krishna's Service.
14. Even after marriage, never indulge in unwanted discussions with the people of opposite sex, that may lead to diversions and offences. Always Pray sincerely to Krishna to protect you from indulging in offenses. If you Chant Hare Krishna more rounds sincerely, you will gradually become purified. It is the tested fact. Don't doubt in it! Krishna, the King Of Senses, will protect you.
15.Strictly follow four regulative principles in grahastha life: No meat eating, No Gambling; No intoxication; No Illicit Sex.
Therefore, the conclusion is: Brahmacharya is not a path full of flowers; If you are not serious about it, don't choose to be a brahmachari.
It is Good and safe to marry a girl (if possible, a devotee, otherwise, discusss before marriage and make her as a devotee after marriage. You are giving a new devotee to Krishna. Isn't it?).
However, if you are 100% confident that you REALLY like to be a brahmachari and you can follow the above rules, you can go ahead and serve Lord as a brahmachari. But, be genuine in evaluating yourself!
Krishna Says in Bhagavad Gita, (Ch-3, Text-6): "One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects, certainly deludes himself and is called a PRETENDER."
MARRIAGE is permitted in Devotional Life. It protects us from going into illicit activities. The condition is: Both Of You, your spouse & your children should live for Krishna; Not for Sense Enjoyment alone. O.K?
Let Krishna be the Prime member of your family.
The above tips are applicable for both male and female devotees.
I hope this article have cleared your doubts. All the best.