Question & Answer Session
Q: I have a corporate job and I have become frustrated with a coworker who is constantly undermining my efforts and getting credit. How do I deal with this situation internally?
A: Before attaining God-realization, everyone is selfish. Out of selfishness anyone may do anything at any time, even if it means that he has to step on your toes to get ahead.
Reason with the co-worker. If he refuses to listen and leaves no other choice, go to your superiors. If needed, it is perfectly alright for you to show your anger in order to let the co-worker know that you are not a pushover. However, do not get angry internally. Remain humble and tolerant. Three reasons: (1) You will harm yourself by getting angry and frustrated. (2) God lives within your co-worker, and you do want God’s grace. (3) No one is completely good or bad. Reflect on the good qualities of your co-worker.
Q: My sister is extremely moody. I don’t understand why.
A: All are under the control of Maya. Maya has three modes: Sattva (mode of goodness), Raj (mode of passion) and Tam (mode of ignorance). These three modes are like three wrestlers in the arena, each trying his level best to defeat the other two. Sometimes the mode of goodness wins; sometimes the mode of passion defeats the other two, and sometimes the mode of ignorance emerges victorious. This is why a person cannot predict even for himself how he will behave from one moment to the next. One moment he may be kind and generous; the next moment he may act like a monster. One day he is loving and caring; the next day he may become the complete opposite.
You also suffer from these three modes just as your loved ones do. The three modes of Maya make each and every person ‘moody.’
Q: I try to be good to everyone, but I only get blamed by others.
A: Lord Shankar and His consort Parvati once set out for a tour of the world. They took along their eternal vehicle, the bull Nandi. When Lord Shankar rode on Nandi He was criticized for being lazy and selfish since He was allowing His poor wife to walk behind. When Parvati rode on Nandi She was criticized for being uncaring. When both Lord Shankar and Mother Parvati rode on Nandi, both were accused of cruelty to a helpless animal. When They both walked behind Nandi, people laughed at the idiocy of having a vehicle and yet walking. When They both picked Nandi on Their shoulders, people denounced Them as being absolutely insane.
The world criticizes even God and His saints. No matter what you do, you will be criticized.
Q: My kids don’t listen to me. This is keeping me awake at nights, giving me heartburn and increasing my blood pressure. Please help!
A: Rather than getting frustrated, keep the line
of communication open with your children. This
may not be something you are accustomed to doing, and it may not be easy for you to change, but it
would benefit the entire family if you made the effort. Listen to your children patiently rather than yelling at them. Try to understand their point of view. The child may or may not come around, but you have a much better chance if you deal with her calmly and respectfully. Do not say to your child, “I never talked back to my parents,” or “If I had spoken like this to my parents, I would have gotten slapped.” Work with the here-and-now rather than dwelling on the ‘good old days.’
Q: I have heard in your talks that it is wrong to ask God for gifts of good health, more wealth, a child, protection of loved ones, etc. Why is it wrong to do so?
A: There are many reasons.
- God is omniscient. He knows better than you what you need and what you do not need. You never need to remind Him.
- God fulfills all desires of pure devotees such as Draupadi and Gajraj. As long as we don’t have an extremely loving relationship with Him, we do not have the right to ask for anything.
- As you try to practice genuine devotion, asking God for something or the other will prevent you from becoming a true devotee. Instead, you will be encouraged to have a business relationship with Him.
- If it is not destined to be, God does not just give what we want from Him.
Q: Is there anything that is good to ask for?
A: Yes! Ask God to engage you in His service. Pray for selfless love.
Q: What can I do to serve God?
A: Before you can directly serve God, serve the divine Guru and the Guru’s mission. Rest assured that serving your Guru is the same as serving God. Both yield the same divine results.
Q: What is the best way to serve your Guru or your Guru’s mission?
A: Scriptures recommend that service to the Guru must be done through physical body, worldly wealth and the material mind. If you are physically unwell, serve financially and mentally. If you have no money whatsoever, serve physically and mentally. If you are not able to serve physically or financially, serve mentally.
Q: What does it mean to serve God and Guru mentally?
A: It means that you do ‘Roopdhyan’ by rendering service in your mind to Shri Krishna and/or your Guru from morning till night. Visualize Krishna as a child and serve Him as a mother or father would serve their child. Visualize Him as your beloved and serve Him as you would render service to your family members.
Q: What kind of service pleases God the most?
A: God is most pleased with the service rendered with gratitude and humility. The servant who does not wish to be recognized and praised becomes the dearest to God and Guru.
Q: Should I wait to be told to serve?
A: Serve without being asked. You are intelligent enough to know what needs to be done. Go ahead and do it, considering it as your privilege to serve. If your Guru accepts your service, feel immense gratitude. Externally it seems that you are doing something for him whereas you are only helping yourself.
Q: What if I cannot figure out what needs to be done?
A: In that case, serve happily when you are given the instruction to perform some devotional service. Perform it with a heart full of love.