Make Your Family Divine
Have you seen the maternal love between a cow and a calf or a cat and a kitten? How sweet and moving! Is the love between a human mother and child any different? The animals care for their loved ones, so do we.
Our relationships become higher than theirs when we do everlasting good to our loved ones by caring for their souls, not just their bodies. Else how are we better than the animals, because they too care for the bodies of their loved ones as diligently as we do? We are all eternal souls who have been transmigrating for many, many lifetimes in different families within various species of life. Only in the human form can we develop our relationship with our original, eternal family member God. Then our wandering becomes an odyssey with God and ultimately we return to our eternal family and home with Him in His spiritual abode. A family becomes truly human, and divine, when its members assist each other in attaining this topmost happiness.
Spiritualizing family relationships was the essence of Vedic culture and the spirit behind matra deva bhava, pitra deva bhava. The mother and father do not become like God just by procreation. When they are themselves devoted to God and inspire, guide and assist their children to become devoted to God, then they become the emissaries of God for their children, assisting them in their journey back to God.
Devotion to God benefits us not only in the next life, but also in this. A family that prays together stays together. When God is in the center of our hearts and homes, we see our family members as representatives of God in our life and we naturally serve them with respect and love.
Moreover, our innermost need is to love and be loved. No one but God can fulfill this core need as He alone accompanies us constantly, loves us unconditionally and understands us thoroughly. The love that God, Krishna, can offer us is like an ocean, whereas the love that anyone else can offer is just like a drop. So only by loving God and experiencing His love for us can we quench our desertlike heart’s thirst for love. And the same applies to our family members. Therefore sacred scriptures like the Bhagavadgita urge us to love God first and then love our family uses us as instruments to express His infinite love for all His children. Only when we become carriers of divine love can our expressions of love satisfy the hearts of our loved ones.
Therefore the ShrimadBhagavatam (5.5.18) asserts the necessity of spiritual responsibility in all human relationships, “One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or accept any position of respect.” When God is not at the center of our relationships, no matter how many material facilities we offer them to show our love, they will never be satisfied with us. Worse still, the more people neglect or reject God, the more their view of life and family becomes materialistic and the more they see their family members as nothing but facilitators for their enjoyment. When they stop getting the desired enjoyment from their family members, they dump them as fast as they would dump a broken TV.
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