San Jose, California — Wednesday, March 14th
The affection connection
I received an email from one of my younger readers asking about this quote by Srila Sridhar Maharaj that I used in my Home comfort blog:
What is home? It is where we find that we are in the midst of our well-wishers. If we do not care for our own benefit, then there are so many who will take care of us...
"How does not caring for our own benefit lead to somebody else taking care of us? What is the connection?" the reader wanted to know.
The connection is the (not always obvious!) love and affection of our well-wishers and guardians in that friendly home environment.
A child does not care for his future health (benefit) so, if it were up to him, he would eat only the sweet, unhealthy foods that he likes: candy, chocolates, ice cream, cakes...
But even if he does not care about his own benefit, his parents and guardians do, so they make sure that he also eats other wholesome, nutritious foods like broccoli and cauliflower ("Aw, mom!") so that whether he cares or not, he will grow up to be a healthy young man.
The child may think that his parents are unkind — "Why do they force me to eat all these horrible vegetables instead of giving me dessert for dinner?" — but ultimately he will see: if it was not for my parents' affectionate discipline, I would have grown up to be a weak, sickly boy (with rotten teeth from all the candy I ate!).
The child does not always see this connection to his parents' affection: he thinks they are just being mean to not allow him to eat whatever he likes. Similarly, as neophyte devotees, we may wonder, "Why does Srila Gurudeva ask us to follow the four regulative principles?" As I wrote in my Four regulative principles blog:
We are asked to abstain from illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling not because Srila Gurudeva does not want us to have fun, but because these four things, especially, are detrimental to our [healthy] spiritual lives.
So, "Home is where we find that we are in the midst of our well-wishers. Even if we do not care for our own benefit, then there are so many well-wishers in our home who, out of affection, will take care of us, to make sure that we stay (spiritually) healthy."
Tags: Home comfort
Layout by iMonk — March 14th, 2007.