The highlight of my tour around the Baltics was my visit to Riga/Latvia, where we celebrated Janmastami and Srila Prabhupada's appearance. We had rented a festival tent and put it up in the backyard of the Bhakti Center - a little preaching center situated on the ground floor in a big block of flats with 30 apartments, all owned by a devotee! And of course, many of these flats are occupied by devotees. In this way, a very nice and dynamic community has formed here - mainly young families with children. And their main focus is to give the children nice impressions and experiences in Krishna consciousness.
For many men, it is not easy to understand how to give emotional shelter and support. Since most men don’t require much emotional care, often they can’t relate to such a need. However, the psychophysical makeup of a woman is different. In order to be a good mother and caregiver, Krishna has given her a more emotional nature. A child is helplessly dependent on the affectionate care of the mother, and unless a woman has an emotional nature, she will not
be able to properly fulfil this role. This nurturing mentality impels women to accept this role. If these emotional necessities are not satisfied, women can suffer serious mental and physical disturbances, which can make it very difficult to engage in devotional service.
Emotional health and balance give a strong foundation to spiritual practice which, for most women, is found in family life. Once again, it is Krishna’s divine plan and system in order to give stability to the family unit, and in order to give women the protection they are meant to receive.
Emotional care means caring for the mind in order to keep it cheerful, satisfied and controlled. A husband gives emotional attention by allowing his wife to share her worries and thoughts, and by offering comforting and reassuring words. He also spends quality time with her, takes her out shopping or for walks in nature or to social engagements with other devotee couples. If he is financially able, he may take her to visit other temples and stay by her side so she feels comfortable in foreign surroundings. Furthermore, from time to time he may offer little gifts such as jewellery, accessories and clothes. Such attention and care will give her the emotional
health and strength to perform her service towards him and the children, and engage in her spiritual practices.
In a departure address in New York, 1974, Srila Prabhupada explains:
"Husband should give all comforts to the wife; she may not be uncomfortable
in any way. They want food, cloth, little ornaments. Yes. In so many ways, the husband must give to keep the woman satisfied. [indistinct] In India you will find that the poor man, they will get – what is called – lead bangles. They cannot provide silver or gold, but bangle must be there. If not lead, then glass. She will be satisfied with good sari, good bangle, good foods and some children. That’s all."
Your servant, Devaki dd