Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 22 Oct 2021


When should we leave our family for the sake of God?

[Smt. Priyanka asked: Pādanamaskāram Swami, When should we leave our family for the sake of God?

a) Swami, You said in Rohitagiita (Chapter XI) that one should leave the house and family members if they are un-divine and do not become devotees even on our hectic efforts. For example, it is mentioned that Raamaanujaachaarya and Raaghavendra left their wives since they were loving their husbands with a blind view of lust and not divine love. Buddha left the family and kingdom which was un-divine for Him. Shri Adi Shankaraachaarya left His mother so that her mind will be fixed on Lord Shiva since her love for Him was only as her son and not as Lord Shiva. Another example is Miira leaving her husband for the sake of God. At the same time, You said that if we leave the family for the sake of God, we incur sin for hurting them. Then we cannot reach Lord Datta. Keeping family happy while having real love for God is preferred. Swami, I understand that we should not hurt anyone and keep our devotion secret from family members while all these examples mentioned are incarnations of God born for a specific purpose and cannot be compared to an ordinary soul trying to reach God. Having said that, can you please help us understand how these two statements can be co-related?

 b) In the case of Bhakta Tukaaraam, his devotion was supported by his wife and ultimately, Garuda Vaahana was sent for him. From the story, we learned that he asked his wife to come along saying that the children will be taken care of by the Lord. She did not believe him and stayed back. But, he left for Vaikuntham anyway leaving his family behind. Even though he informed his wife, does this case count as hurting the family, when his wife realised that he left them due to attraction towards God?

Ultimately, when should a devotee leave everything for the sake of God?]

Swami Replied:-

a) The family bonds must be dropped by themselves without your effort. When that stage comes, you will not hear anybody including Me. But, if the attachment to God is not perfectly ripened, such forced detachment from worldly bonds only fails and the devotee will return with double intensity towards worldly bonds. Hence, every effort must be put to increase the strength of the bond with God and no trace of effort must be wasted in detaching from worldly bonds. When a boil is to be cured by covering it with a plaster and the plaster is pasted on it, the plaster itself will naturally drop spontaneously as soon as the boil is healed. You should not remove it by force, which makes the boil more worse. Sometimes, these obstacles in Nivrutti increase our devotion to God like culverts in a canal used to increase the speed of flow of water. In that case, we shall welcome the obstacles created by God. The devotee shall not be discuouraged at any stage due to failures because failure is a step for success. The devotee shall have patience, which is mentioned as first required quality in spiritual line by Shankara. One should not hurry in the spiritual path because the final climax stage comes to one in millions and for that one also after millions of births (Bahūnāṃ Janmanām …, Kaścit māmeti… - Gītā). The devotee shall have confidence because God in the Gita promised that His devotees will not fail (Na me Bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati…- Gītā).

b) This is the case of last departure of Tukaaraam in which he cannot help his wife anymore. Before this last incident, he tried his level best to help his wife avoiding hurting her.