Question: How does the vow of pativrata help a wife to advance in spiritual life if the husband is not a devotee and is unfavorable to devotees and Harikathā? The husband’s mentality would likely affect the wife’s respect for her husband. Is the pativrata vow still helpful for her spiritual progress?
Answer: In any society where persons are married, there are responsibilities involved; otherwise, there is no meaning to marriage. It is not possible that the hearts of two persons will match completely, especially in modern times where we are raised to be independent from our very childhood. Therefore, if the husband is not a devotee and is not favorable to devotees, then the wife must still perform her duties as a wife.
Are you asking what spiritual benefit a traditional wife accrues by devoting herself to the husband? If you understand what it means to be spiritual, then the spiritual benefit you desire will not come simply by being devoted to a husband. You may reach heaven by being devoted to the husband. However, if you want to attain Kṛṣṇa-prema, then you have to execute bhakti along with your duties as a wife. A
Question:Is it an offence to continue associating with a devotee whom we know to not be accepting certain bhakti-related issues as we understand them in our parīvāra (particularly, concerning the importance of a guru), but otherwise being respectful and friendly in general?
Answer: You can associate if that person does not disrespect your convictions. If he has his or her conviction and knows that you differ and does not try to change your conviction, then it is no offence to associate with such a person. But if they are trying to change you and are aggressive and disrespectful, then better to avoid.
Question: Some say that sannyāsa is against the Gaudiya Sampradāya. What are your views on this?
Answer: Sannyāsa is not against the Gaudiya Sampradāya. The term sannyāsa here in the Vraj area is used for Advaita sannyāsis. Here we call Vaiṣṇava sannyāsis vairāgis.
“You may reach heaven by being devoted to the husband. However, if you want to attain Kṛṣṇa-prema, then you have to execute bhakti along with your duties as a wife.”
How to understand the story of King Dhruva who chose to give up vaikunta (tri-viṣṭapam) for his mother and understanding his desire , his mother was sent before him in another plane ?
He understood that it was only by the advice of his mother that he went searching for Vishnu and thus out of gratitude he didn’t want to reach Vaikuntha before her. It was a way of honoring her as his first guru.
Thats correct. Does that mean the mere feeling of gratitude or desire of a vaishnava is enough to have someone attain vaikunta without particular sadhana? Bhagavtam seems to convey dhruva’s mother went to vaikunta because of dhruva’s desire.
There are sadhana siddhas and kripa siddhas. Dhruva’s mother would probably belong to the latter category, which is very rare.
Gratitude towards mother/relatives is natural and not rare. Son or husband being an advanced devotee might be a rare thing.
A chaste wife serving her husband who is a devotee would naturally attain prema through ekata and anukulata to her devotee husband. I dont think a separate sadhana independent of her husband is a criteria in such cases. Similarly an husband who has taken help from wife in maintenance of his body(used to perform bhakti) day and night would naturally show her the gratitude and share all the benefits thats enjoined to him.
Starting point in bhakti is selflessness and not selfishness.