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-
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.
Bliss cannot be unknown to its subject. The svarupa of bhakti is bliss, ananda. Therefore, bhakti cannot be dormant, or unknown to its substratum. In other words, you were not born with bhakti inside of you. The seed of bhakti has to be given to you by someone who has it.
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