Answers and beyond…
Spiritual questions answered by Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji
Q. The Shastras say ‘Matru-devo bhava’ and ‘Pitru-devo bhava’. Some say “My parents don’t want me to practice spirituality and since the parents are the first Guru, then following their order is highest Dharma”. Furthermore, when one surrenders to a Guru, they may come across instructions from parents and other ‘revered’ people in society which may conflict with the orders of the Preceptor. How is one meant to deal with such situations to maintain harmony inside and outside?
A: The ways of Dharma are subtle. Samanya dharma (common Dharma) shows that Mata and Pitha are to be revered as Deva.
The order is Mata and Pitha should lead a child to a Spiritual Guru, who in turn leads him to God. Bhagavata Dharma (Srimad Bhagavatam) says, a mother who stops the spiritual development of her child is no mother at all, likewise with a father or relatives or even a so called Guru!
So the shastras are clear that when it comes to spirituality, a mother is a mother only when she plays the role of the mother in being conducive to the spiritual growth of the ward.
If you take Prahlada’s example, his father told him to drink poison, he did it without asking a question; his father ordered that he be trampled by elephants, he implicitly obeyed, His father asked him not to chant Narayana Nama. But that he did not obey, as even a father has no right to stop the spiritual awakening of his child.
Q. Swamiji, in one of your responses, you have said that God had created everyone equally in the first birth, and that the individual’s greed was responsible for his sins. If God created all of us equally, then what made one seek the wrong path (greed) and thus acquire sins, and what made the other seek the right path?
A: His ego!
Q. God can be attained by a simple prayer and a longing heart. At the same time, our scriptures also prescribe strict rituals and upasanas which are highly disciplined and almost out of common man’s reach. Why do these exist?
A: They are for those who don’t believe in simple prayers.
For more such answers by Sri Swamiji, or to ask a question of your own, please visit the Nama Dwaar website at www.namadwaar.org.