Today, Sri Prahlad prabhu gave the Sunday morning Srimad Bhagavatam talk from Canto 9, Chapter 19 (King Yayati achieves Liberation), verse 20.
In this verse, King Yayati is explaining to his wife the futility of pursuing material happiness. As a part of the royal family, they had ample resources to enjoy for a long time. Having taken youth from his son, the King was able to enjoy the vigour of his body as much as he wanted. However, as time passed, he gradually realised that it was a shallow life he was leading and was in no way as as deep as those in spiritual life. It seems his wife was concerned that she will not be able to enjoy her husband anymore as he will need to return his powerful youth back to his son and accept the invalidity of old age he acquired as a part of the curse. Perhaps, she was not ready to accept the austerity of a renounced life and maybe wanted to enjoy a bit more. Infact, King Yayati was also in the same stage when he begged/ordered his son to swap his old age for his son’s youth – the king had wanted to enjoy a lot longer.
So, that situation got me thinking. What happens when one of the partner is ready to take up to the higher levels of spiritual practice but the other is not.
– Should the advanced person wait for the other to catchup?
– Should the person prioritise his/her own life and goals over the other?
In the Varnashrama system, a person is allowed to gradually evolve to a higher state of realisation while pursuing disciplined/regulated material obligations and desires. But our acharyas also say that if one need not wait to take up devotional service – it can be taken and perfected immediately. So, how do you reconcile the two? I decided to ask the speaker himself after the class and below is his recorded answer:
Overall conclusion: For the general mass of devotionally inclined people or devotees, its better to gradually evolve rather than a premature jump and a fall. Providing mental support + spiritual support + material support to one another is very important in a relationship. Daivi-Varnashrama system allows devotees to go through the 4 stages of spiritual development while devoting one’s actions & results to Lord Krishna. This way it’s not only gradual but also renounced. When the time is right and with proper guidance and contemplation, one can then fully devote his/her energy to the service of the Lord with no further distractions or conflicts – either together or separate.