Also here I offered the seminar on the false ego over the following weekend, with a lively group of more than 30 devotees eagerly participating. I was also invited to offer the Sunday feast lecture. Since the main temple is a little out of the city, the devotees conduct once a month the Sunday program in a hall in the city to attract newcomers who may not be ready to come all the way to the temple. It was refreshing to see that indeed some newcomers attended the program, and after the lecture I made myself available to them for personal interaction.
Furthermore, the devotees kept me busy with a follow-up program on the Shelter seminar which I had offered last year. I tried my best to encourage everyone to continue endeavoring for a supportive structure of a mentoring system, and gradually some steps are being made into the right direction. And my new book came just at the right time to give further inspiration to this important topic.
Here in Zagreb, I had the spontaneous idea to offer a condensed version of the topic "Entering the Grhastha Ashram" to the brahmacaris and brahmacarinis. The realization struck me, that such training should be compulsory for all ashram residence in our communities around the world. How many times have I observed a brahmacari become victim of a lady's desperate search for a husband?! And thus the saffron butter melts! The brahmacaris don't receive training how to enter grhastha life - of course not, since brahmacaris are not meant to hear such things! And thus they slide into married life without education and preparation - not according to Krishna's recommendations. Of course, we can't blame the ladies for acting as the fire which melts the butter. As we know, the desire to be married comes along with the female nature and often manifests already in early childhood - just to make sure she receives the protection she is meant to get. It is according to Krishna's Divine arrangements. Therefore, she is meant to be protected by the parents (or senior devotees) who help arrange a suitable husband for her.
Very often, brahmacaris don't receive the required guidance when it is the right point in time to enter married life. It is not in the interest of a manager. Every manager likes to see as many brahmacaris in his temple as possible, so therefore he does not like to "disturb" them with this topic. As a result, brahmacaris sometimes get married when they are 45 or even older - not an ideal age to start family life. Furthermore, the chance to move on to the Vanaprastha ashram is already missed. And too often, they slide into an unsuitable marriage arrangement which complicates life further. Unfortunately, the change of ashram may even involve an actual fall-down - certainly not an auspicious way of entering family life!
I am praying for the day, when we can make this shift into the grhastha ashram in a cultured way - according to Krishna's recommendations. Then we will have more hope for stable and emotionally healthy families. It requires systematic training and education - already during brahmacari life.
On the 28th of March I flew to Cologne/Germany.....
Your servant, Devaki dd