The more he did…


boy doing worshipAusterity means putting aside our selfish ambitions for a higher purpose

– Radhanath Swami

A little boy was sitting and eating a mango. He loved mangoes and so was enjoying the sweet taste of the luscious fruit. Just then his mom came and reminded him that it was his turn of deity worship the next day. In their house it was rule, everyone had to do deity worship by turns and tomorrow was his turn.

“Oh no!” he thought to himself. He did not like to do deity worship. Sometimes he would try to get out of it. Sometimes he would just do the deity worship really quickly so it would be over as soon as possible.

That day he thought, “Oh well, it is my turn, then I have to do it.” The next morning when he started doing the worship, it did not seem so bad. “May be”, he thought to himself, “this could be fun”. But he soon forgot about it as there were so many other things to do.

The next time when it was his turn for worship, he did not mind. In fact he almost found himself looking forward to it. To his surprise he was enjoying it. Soon he started doing deity worship even when it was not his turn.

The more he liked, the more he wanted to do. And the more he did, the more he liked it. The more and more he did deity worship, the more and more he liked doing it. Until one day the liking became loving!

Let’s learn a lesson from this story: Marital relationships go deep when we treat our spouse as a sacred child of God who’s put under our care. To live with such a conception may be an austerity in the beginning, but if we try sincerely, soon we will like it, and our love will grow deep and real, beyond the superficial.


Mutual Saviors

Mutual Saviors“We become unified when despite all of our diversity we serve one another” – Radhanath Swami

A very nice story illustrates this. A church was facing a tough situation: it was losing its members. So the remaining members approached a very saintly person and asked, “Can you tell us how to build up the church again?” The saint replied, “I cannot tell you how to build up your church, but I can tell you one thing for sure. The messiah has appeared as one of the members of your church. But I cannot tell you who he is.” When the members heard that, each one of them thought that any of the others could be the messiah. So, each one overlooked the faults of the others; after all, any of the other members could be the savior. Consequently, mutual respect amongst them grew, and they started serving each other. As they developed love for each other in this way, the church grew and flourished.

Similarly, in marital relationships, we tend to only notice the faults and differences of opinions of our spouse; we tend to take their good qualities for granted. But by remembering always that our spouse is a beloved child of God, we can train ourselves to overlook the spouse’s faults. Based on this higher principle, we can develop the understanding that the husband and wife can be each other’s “saviors”. Then mutual respect amongst the spouses will grow and the spouses will serve each other while helping each other progress spiritually. The relationship will thus grow and flourish.