Who is a Guru? Guru is a person who has spiritual knowledge and experiences of God. If a woman dreams of a husband like this, this is not a bad wish. She can find a good man who follows the spiritual path and help him to become a Guru. A woman’s love is very powerful. With her power of love he can be a Guru for her or even for many people.
I am waiting in a room filled with incense aroma. Sitting on the floor, I listen to the sounds of mantras that play quietly in the background. I’m watching other people. They are all waiting for a meeting with Shri Prakash Ji who arrived from Moscow. The Master visits Lithuania almost every year and meets with all the willing without any compensation. You can talk about anything – work, family, spiritual life. I notice that everyone leaving the Master’s Room carries a couple of fruits and a wide smile. It seems to me to talk about love is the most important. After all, Shri Prakash Ji has a wife and is the father of three children – who can have better insights into the relationship between a man and a woman if not him? I find the personal conversation inspiring. Havingrealised that the Master’s thoughts are important not only to me, I tell him about the women’s magazine Lila.lt and ask him for an interview.
– In many satsangs we see mostly women are coming. Why is it so? Is it because men are less interested in spirituality?
– It is not correct to say that men are less spiritual. There are many men and women who have spiritual understanding. But there is a big problem that there are not so many men. I face it in Russia and in most of countries in Europe. Many people come to satsangs but only about a quarter of them are men. Half of those who are come are already married. So it is very difficult for a young woman to find a partner who would also follow the spiritual path.
So this is a problem but I think that if a woman sincerely wishes to create a family God will help her. If she does a good sadhana (spiritual practice) then she will find a good husband. I have no doubts about it.
– I pray and do spiritual practices but I am still alone. Can it be because of my confusion? One moment I want to live in an ashram and devote my life to spiritual sadhana, another moment I am already dreaming about a family life…
– You have to think deeply and only then make a decision which path is good for you – family life (grihasta) or celibate life (sanyasi). Take your time to think about this, the answer may not come quickly. And when you make a decision it is better not to change it. When your mind swings here and there the spiritual progress is not possible.
People always want a comfortable life. Some think that sanyasi life is comfortable: “I will not have to work hard”, “I will spend most of the time reading spiritual books, chanting, meditating”. But if they come to an ashram they think: “Oh, life here is not so easy. I have to wake up at 3 – 4 o’clock in the morning…” So again they would think that worldly life is very nice.
Even sanyasis after some years might think: “Maybe I should have a family?” Many thoughts come to their mind and they disturb their sadhana. Many of them, though not everyone, come back to the worldly life.
– I would like to hear your story. How did it happen that you are a family man as well as a spiritual teacher?
– I came to Moscow from India in 1990 to study medicine. My father knew that I am interested in yoga and spirituality. But he encouraged me to study: “You do your yoga but first finish your medical studies”. I agreed. I knew that medicine and yoga were very much related.
In Moscow I met my future wife. She is also from India. We fell in love with each other. Now we have three children, all were born in Moscow.
When I was studying I was already giving spiritual lectures. Many students who were interested in spirituality used to come to my room. Some students would go to see a movie, and others would come to listen to what I had to say about God, karma, and yoga. One evening my future wife attended my lecture with some other girls.
– Many people in India believe that sanyasi life is more spiritual than grihasta life. You do not agree with this?
– No. Only the person who does not have a deep spiritual understanding can think like this. You heard about Lord Krishna, one of the incarnations of God that we worship? He was living in a grihasta ashram and had many wives. Lord Rama had a wife Sita – you probably heard this name too? And Vasishtha, the Guru of Lord Rama, was also married. So a sanyasi is not necessarily spiritually higher than a grihasta
Our religion is always telling that a grihasta should do spiritual practice as well. And I think that few people sincerely take a path of a sanyasi. I meet many who want to live on their own not because they are very big sanyasis or brahmacharyis. They are just afraid to take on the responsibility of the family life.
Creating a good family life and sharing the spiritual knowledge with your children is not easy. It is a very big sadhana. This is why many people think it is easier to live alone. But living alone is not easy either.
– What would be your advice to women who want to have a family?
– If she wants to live a family life then her first sadhana is patience. Patience is a good sadhana to everyone but to a woman it is the most important. If she is patient she can listen to her husband and children attentively. If she is patient she can do the housework properly. And if she has some time she can do spiritual practice. It shouldn’t be long – just 45 minutes in the morning and in the evening.
My parents are a very good example of how a husband and a wife should live. I never saw them have any conflicts. Every day my mother woke up and did her prayer, meditation and mantra chanting. It was my first lesson.
Later I received spiritual knowledge from my grandfather and my grandmother, and spiritual initiation from our family Guru, Himalayan yogi. I also began my meditation practice in the morning.
– What about the ritual of marriage? Is it important?
– Yes, in our Sanatan dharma it is very important. We are chanting vedic mantras and perform yagja (prayer near the fire). In the Christian tradition you marry in a church, in front of the altar. And in Sanatan dharma we marry in front of the fire. During the ritual the bride and the bridegroom do seven circles around the fire and they promise each other that for seven lives they will be together. It means that if they are reborn they will meet again.
– Nowadays it happens sometimes that a husband has one Guru and his wife has another Guru. How they can create a harmonious life together?
– It is possible to live in harmony but it is difficult. Sometimes it happens that they find their spiritual masters before the marriage. Then it is possible that they do different sadhanas given by their masters. But if both are looking for a Guru then it is better to choose the same. Then it is easier to do sadhana. They can even receive one mantra from the Guru and repeat that together. They also can chant their mantras separately – there is no strict rule that married people must necessarily meditate together. But having the same Guru would help them avoid discussions whose practice is better. It happens that people say: “My Guru’s practice is better”. If the wife and the husband have arguments in front of their children they show them a very bad example.
– If a woman has a Guru should she be more devoted to her Guru or to her husband?
– In the worldly life the first place is given to the husband and Guru comes second. In a life of sanyasi Guru is in the first place.
– In India it is unusual for a woman to have a job; they usually take care of the housework. In our country it is common that a woman gives birth to a baby and after a year she goes back to work.
– Nowadays even in India many women are working. I think this happens because we live in a material world and people want to have more money. This is the main reason.
If there are no money problems in the family I think women could stay home and take care of the family. This is very good for everybody. The wife can always morally support her husband.
– How can a wife support her husband? Should she pray for his luck?
– Of course she can pray but the most important aspect here is true love. If she has love her husband will feel more power and could achieve more. Often men have problems at work and feel weak. So it is very important that they would feel supported by their wives. For this true love is necessary.
– In Western culture women expect to find a husband with whom she can share her worries. I think in India women are more encouraged to be silent and listen to the words of their husbands. What is better – to openly share your opinion with your husband or to remain silent?
– Silence are you talking about? Silence is not just sitting there without saying a word. Silence means she does not interfere with her husband’s work physically and mentally she gives all her support. She does not criticize: “This is wrong, this is bad”. On the contrary, she says: “Everything is ok, you are doing great”.
– What can she do if she notices that her husband is doing really bad things?
– In sanatan dharma she has the right to tell her husband that he should change his path. Sometimes it happens that such words can be really powerful and the husband indeed changes his mind.
My wife is a very good listener. When I speak she always listens. Sometimes she lets me know what she is thinking. Sometimes I accept her view and sometimes I tell her that I think she has not understood correctly.
– Your karma is good. Many people do not have such a good karma. In their childhood they saw conflicts, their parents were even fighting with each other. How is it possible for them to change their lives?
– It was in Russia that I heard about women being beaten. It was hard to believe… I really cannot understand how men can beat women. But now I hear stories like that every week…
For good karma you have to clean your mind. Good karma does not happen automatically. Positive thinking and good actions create good karma. Then in your next life you will be born in a good family where everybody loves each other.
God always gives you something good and you should respect and value that. If you do not respect that gift it will be taken away from you and for many lives after you will not get that again.
Very often people have strong egos. They think: “I am so talented!”, “I am so beautiful!”. But you should better accept this as a blessing from God and think that you are the way you are only because of God‘s grace, because of the blessings of your parents, grandparents and Guru. So if you have something good you always have to be grateful.
Author: Ginta Gaivenyte