Material Affection

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 10 January 2021, part 4


Question: I have read that they passed an abortion law in Argentina and there are many people in favour of it. What advice can you give about preaching in this region?

It depends upon the culture and upon a particular country. Every country has its own rules. In general, abortion is very bad and we are not going to tell anyone to kill a baby.

Here in India, if an unmarried girl has a baby, the society or the community simply boycotts her—such girls get no position, they become outcasts, and they cannot even say who the baby's father is. It is a big problem here. That is why, because of the social pressure, girls secretly do abortion in some hospital, a nursing home or in some small hospital. Boys and girls mix, make a baby, and if that boy does not marry the girl, the girl can also sometimes commit suicide, or she can secretly do an abortion within two-three months. This is what is happening here in India. I do not know other countries' law. I have heard that in some countries, like in Australia for example, they have a baby and get some money from the government. Many of our devotees also have babies, but they do not even get married. Sometimes, a girl wants to be a mother, so she gets a baby—the boy runs away and she takes care of the baby on her own with the government's support. Here in India, nobody gives any support in such cases.

I cannot say if it is good or bad, all I can say is that it is better if you do not make any sexual contact with anyone before marriage or without marriage. In our spiritual life also, such relations are called illegal sex, and our scriptures also tell that it is not good to enter into such relations. If you are not married, you cannot have sex with your girlfriend—it is illegal sex. It is important to understand this.

Question: When I develop affection for a devotee who lives at the temple, I see that they show indifference or try to avoid my association. What attitude should I have towards such devotees?

You are showing some love and affection, but how are you doing it? Sometimes, there are brahmacharis, sannyasis living at the temple, and you should always keep some distance from them. You can pay dandavat to them, you can hear their Hari-katha, but it is necessary to have a proper mood. We must see that every girl is our mother, we must see that we are all godbrothers and godsisters—we must see ladies as our mothers or our own sisters.

So, always be careful with giving 'love and affection'. It is actually a very difficult situation. Here in India also, ladies stay at the temple with brahmacharis, and people sometimes see some bad things, they criticise. It is not good for them and not good for you also. So, we will stay together in a temple, but we must be always careful—we will not enter with anyone into a husband-wife relationship. Always be careful about it. It is necessary for everyone to understand this.

One time, one of the disciples of Gurudev, a lady from Mexico, was sick—she had hepatitis B, and she asked me to go with her to the doctor. I agreed, but first I went to ask Gurudev for permission to go with her. Gurudev said, "You can go with her, but not in the same rickshaw." I told Gurudev, "Yes, I have already arranged two rickshaws." I was not going to go with her in the same rickshaw. So, Gurudev always warns us to be careful, he always protects us.

Question: When a disciple does not practise properly complaining that they do not have guidance of senior devotees, is it correct that they blame the environment or should they be blaming themselves?

It is not correct. We must always see our own fault—we must not see others' faults. If we only take initiation but do not practise, then what kind of a disciple is that? Suppose you get admitted to a school, but you do not learn anything, you do not practise anything, what result will you get? Taking initiation means getting admission to a school, college or university, but if you do not study properly, if you do not practise properly, do not chant the Holy Name properly, then you will fail—you will not get a a good result. The result will be bad. A year later, or some time later, you will face an exam, and you can understand how much you have progressed, how much you have learnt by the result of that exam. Your result depends on what you are doing. If you do not practise your sadhana properly, you will not get a good result—the result will be bad.


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