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Heart and Soul Connection (A Devotional Guide to Marriage, Service & Love)

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Foreword   When I First Joined the Boston temple in 1969, we all were quite young, and not many of us were married. And we were so new to Krishna consciousness and so dependent on Srila Prabhupada that we asked him for guidance in every area. One of the lady devotees, Balai devi dasi, had recently gotten married and wasn’t sure what her relationship with her husband should be. She asked Srila Prabhupada, and he replied, “Just as th...

Foreword

 

When I First Joined the Boston temple in 1969, we all were quite young, and not many of us were married. And we were so new to Krishna consciousness and so dependent on Srila Prabhupada that we asked him for guidance in every area. One of the lady devotees, Balai devi dasi, had recently gotten married and wasn’t sure what her relationship with her husband should be. She asked Srila Prabhupada, and he replied, “Just as the right hand has a relationship with the left hand through the body, so you have a relationship with your husband through Krishna, with Krishna in the center,” There is the right hand, and there is the left hand; but what connects them is the body. In this example, the right and left hands are the husband and wife, and the body is Krishna.

 

We had to change our consciousness, Srila Prabhupada told us, and put Krishna at the center. That, he said, would make all the difference. When our false ego is at the center, we have so many problems, but when Krishna is at the center, our relationships become harmonious.

 

We come into the material world out of envy of Krishna. We want to take the position of Krishna and be the enjoyer, the controller, the proprietor. This is our mood in conditioned existence. And when we come into the material world, we end up competing not only with Krishna, but also with so many other competitors of Krishna. And that egoistic mood can enter the home. We compete to be the enjoyers, the controllers, and the proprietors, and that leads to conflict - so many imitation gods fighting for supremacy. Through the process of Krishna consciousness, our false, bodily identification is replaced by the realization of our true identiry as gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasab - the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna, the maintainer of the gopis.

 

When a disciple asked Srila Prabhupada, “What should we do when there are conflicts among the devotees?” he replied, “If each devotee thinks, ‘1 am the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna,’ then there will be no more conflict.” The same principle applies in the home. If each family member thinks and feels, “I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna,” the relationships will be very congenial. But that requires a revolution in consciousness. We are in the material world because we want to be the master of the master of the masters, and that mentality leads to frustration, disappointment, and death - repeated birth and death. Becoming the servant of the servant of the servants of Krishna leads to happiness and ultimate liberation.

 

Soon after l-first met Srila Prabhupada and the devotees, I heard that Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, had said that when you come to Krishna consciousness, you become relieved of the burden of enjoyment. As a university student in Boston, I was actually feeling that burden, because every weekend there would be a very strong competition for who would enjoy the most. Leading up to the weekend, the students - and perhaps the faculty too - were making plans how to enjoy. These plans included going to restaurants, going to movies, going to shows, going to parties, going to clubs - so many plans. didn’t really like any of those activities, and it was a burden for me to have to en; like the others. And then the students would ask each other, “What did you do? Where did you go?” ... “Oh, I went to a party. We all got high and .. .” ... “Oh, I out on a date and...”

 

The statement that when you become a devotee you become relieved of the burden of enjoying resonated with me. It was artificial for me to try to enjoy like that. It was artificial because as souls our real pleasure comes in relationship with the Supreme Soul. True love exists only in relation to Krishna. The Bhakti-rasa sindhu’ defines pure love, prema, as the focusing of all one’s loving propensities feelings on the Supreme Lord.

 

Introduction

 

T

He book you are holding in your hands, Heart 6- Soul Connection: A Devotional Guide to Marriage, Service 6- Love, is a heartfelt offering written to assist devotees on their paths to obtain the deepest desires of their hearts: to love Krishna, to serve one another, and to share spirituality by word and deed.

 

Loving Krishna with our hearts and souls is one of the deepest desires of the Vaishnavas ...

 

Although one may develop innumerable saintly qualities, without love of Krishna one will not achieve complete success. One must understand the Personality of Godhead as He is and love Him. Even if one is not capable of analytically understanding the position of God, if one simply loves Krishna, then one is certainly perfect. Many of the residents of Vrindavana had no idea that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nor did they know of Krishna’s potencies or incarnations. They simply loved Krishna with their hearts and souls, and therefore they are considered most perfect.

 

Pleasing the Vaishnavas is another of the deepest desires of the Vaishnavas ...

 

[Haridasa Thakura] always accepted the good qualities of Vaishnavas and never found fault in them. He engaged his heart and soul only to satisfy the Vaishnavas.

 

Sharing the message of Lord Chaitanya with tolerance and humility is also one of the deepest desires of the Vaishnavas...

 

At least the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu must come out of India to preach His cult all over the world, for this is the mission of Lord Chaitanya. The followers of Lord Chairanya must execute His will with heart and soul, being more tolerant than the trees and humbler than the straw in the street.

 

How can a book about marriage assist us in obtaining the ultimate goal of life? We could start by speaking about its important and relevant content, the years in preparation before its publication, or the experience and expertise of the contributors. While all these are essential in answering that question, we would first like you to consider that this book about marriage is more than just a book. It appears that it is simply an object of a particular size and shape, made of paper with pages on which there is ink shaped in the form of words - words that may be educational, interesting, or inspiring. However, beyond the words, what you are holding in your hands is a physical manifestation of - simply put - love.

 

Why do we say love? Because the existence of each word on each page is due to the dedication, determination, and sacrifice of a group of devotees with whom we are honored to have association - the North American Grihastha Vision Team (GVT). This book exists because this grass-roots team of mature devotees has dedicated their lives to ensure that the grihastha ashrama, the shelter provided by spiritual family life, develops and expands as the productive component of society that Srila Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), intended it to be. This team of devotees is determined that devotees entering marriage are properly prepared, that those already married are fortified with additional knowledge and skills, and that ISKCON’S leaders and members serve as educated supporters. This team of devotees is committed to offering time, energy, and resources to make these goals a reality.

 

The dedication of this team was such that each word was given careful consideration. Each topic and concept was carefully weighed in terms of how it mayor may not benefit the devotees. Great thought was given on how to ensure that the presentation was clear, that the information was relevant and meaningful, and that it would meet the needs of a broad range of devotees. Consideration was also given on how to be respectful of devotees’ sensibilities - as some topics might be considered sensitive. Devotees of varied ages, ashramas, and stages of life reviewed this book before publication to ensure that it would be a useful and inspiring offering. The goal of these efforts was to make sure that this book would prove to be an important gift to our society. When an offering is made from the heart with love as its guiding force, then the offering is empowered.

 

Contents

 

Foreword: The Purpose of the Grihastha Ashrama

1

Introduction

7

1.

Foundations: Twelve Principles for Successful Krishna Conscious Family Life

11

2.

Ready or Not, Here I Come: Preparation for Marriage

33

3.

Let’s Talk About It: Open and Honest Communication

47

4.

Roles of the Husband and Wife in the Vaishnava Community

67

5.

Krishna’s Economics: Spiritualizing Your Wealth

79

6.

Affection and Physical Intimacy: The “Hot Potato”

89

7.

Sacred Parenting: What Krishna Conscious Parents Want to Know

107

8.

Marriage Under Attack: Dealing with Serious Conflict, Separation, and Divorce

131

9.

A Balanced and Sustainable Marriage

151

10.

Giving Back: Making a Social Contribution

171

Concluding Words

185

Discussion Guide: Suggested Questions for Individual or Group Study

189

Resource Guide: Suggested Reading

193

Notes

197

Glossary of Terms

203

Who’s Who: Historical Persons

205

 

Sample Page


Item Code: NAH260 Cover: Paperback Edition: 2014 Publisher: Touch Stone Media ISBN: 9788187897392 Language: English Size: 9 inch X 6 inch Pages: 218 (10 Color Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 285 gms
Price: $20.00
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