113. To tell or not to tell – the parents issue

One of the things that I have heard or seen devotees ponder over much is whether its a good idea to tell their parents about their seriousness and involvement with Krishna Consciousness. A good majority of them, will tell you that its a good idea not to disclose. Because if their parents find out, there is every chance that they will object to their child’s growing interest in spirituality.

The parent’s immediate concern, when they notice or know their child’s seriousness for spirituality, could be :

(1) Their young one will not be able to live and succeed comfortably in today’s bad world which needs you to be bold, cunning and competitive. Spirituality will make you soft.
(2) One has to give up all material comforts – Not acquiring a wife/husband, not accumulating wealth and properties and not having a good job is a sign of great weakness and in-fact shameful
(3) They themselves might not get the material support they were expecting from their child. Who will look after them in their old age? Who will buy the medicines?
(4) Feels that the child have got their priorities wrong. One should focus on earning a living like everyone else and enjoy life to the fullest when young. Spirituality is meant for old age.
(5) May feel that the child should have consulted the parents first before making their own decisions. Respect elders.

So, a young devotee feels that its better to enjoy Krishna Consciousness as much as possible without telling near and dear ones, especially in their early years of practice. When one is strong in their spiritual pursuit and sadhana and has matured enough in handling all types of obstacles, then one can carefully, break the news. Else, the best time to disclose the news is when, one has secured that prestigious job and gotten married. This indicates to the parents that the child is now an adult, responsible and can make whatever decisions they want.

But this is what I think on this matter : we should tell our parents. There is no use being fearful. We should have courage in Krishna and live through the consequences our action might bring. We know we are not doing anything  wrong. I feel that if parents did object, we should use this situation to fuel our desire to stay fixed in Krishna Consciousness even more. Its better to live a life of truth than hide in fear. Look at Prahlad Maharaj. No matter what torture he faced in his father’s hands, he boldly declared the supremacy of the Lord to his father, all the time. If we can’t tell our very own parents then how can we tell others to follow the path. Everyone, whether it be parents, neighbours, friends, relatives or work mates, must be given the opportunity to know that you are on the Krishna Consciousness path and that you have an ever increasing desire to help others find their place in spirituality.  People appreciates those with boldness and eventually, even parents will accept your decision.

Perhaps, we have to phrase our words carefully for them to understand. I mean we can’t go and tell them:
Mum..dad…I have begun to understand the 3-fold miseries of life…I have realized that we are only sharing bodily attachments whereas in reality, we are all part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of God…its only in this form of human life, that we can enquire the purpose of life…in the Brahma Sutra, it is said – athato brahmana jijnasa…so, I have decided to surrender to a guru, study Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam all day long, also serve at the temple and with his help attain the lotus feet of Sri Radha Krishna. Also, I won’t be having any more tea, coffee, chocolates, onion, garlic and mushrooms…and I need to wake up by 4:00am and also chant the holy names of God everyday…So, I hope this ok with you….and by the way, I am quitting studies from next Monday…it’s not worth it. Its all maya.” 

What do you think? Would you or wouldn’t you tell your parents? How would you tell them? What would you say? Looking forward to your comments. You never know how all our discussions on this topic may help some young devotees out there.

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2 thoughts on “113. To tell or not to tell – the parents issue

  1. Kids should always be allowed to take their own paths and parents should come in only when the path goes wrong. There should be some general awarness about the true spirit of religion.

    And, I feel that parents, even if they don’t tell kids about Krishna Consciousness, they should restrain from giving misleading thoughts.

    Reply
    • I think parents and kids should work together in partnership to assist in each other’s spiritual progress. In our Indian system, the demands from parents are severe and never ending. Parents should create an environment in which the kid at a very young age can develop interest in spirituality, music, arts, dance etc besides just focusing on language, maths and science. They should all be seen as an important learning tools for the overall development of everyone involved. Parents can also be self-purified in their efforts to raise their child.

      Reply

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