[Swartz] has asked me to reply to you as he is very busy.
He has checked my reply and given it the Ramji Vedanta clearance!
Martyn: My desire, yes desire still, is to further my knowledge of self. More
so now than before. To be blunt, my wife does not like this new path I am
on. Religion used to be the common ground we started a family on. I talk
excitedly about Vedanta and your book but it's disdainful to her. It's now
the source of most our contention and it's only getting worse the more
interested I become in it. Nothing else in my life has suffered since
becoming less attached to things and objects. The thought of being
attachment free of relationships is hard for her to grasp even tho I explain it
doesnt mean I won't be there for the family. Is this a common problem? Is
my duty to family heavier than, she calls it, my selfish quest?
Sundari: This is a common problem for people who still have karma in the
world and it is why James encourages people who have a burning desire for
not to pursue relationships.
However, you are married and have a
family so this is what you have to attend to.
The only way to keep
practicing self inquiry (jnana
yoga) and to keep your obligations to your
marriage intact, is to do your duties with the karma
Consecrate your actions to the Self, know that the fruits of your
actions are not up to you and take the results that do come as holy food
Your wife is right in that your duty is to follow householder dharma and to
take care of the needs of your family.
If she does not understand and is
threatened by your selfish
quest (as she sees it) you need to take her
feelings into account.
We know it is not selfish but she does not
understand. She does not realize that self inquiry will make you more calm
and peaceful and more inclined to do your duty. Dont try to explain too
much as she may not be ready to hear it.
Krishna says to Arjuna in the
let not the wise unsettle the minds of the ignorant.
If you are following dharma
and practicing karma
yoga, she should be
appeased. Above all practice karma yoga when you argue with her. You
will undoubtedly not get the result you want.
Perhaps she thinks you
think her beliefs are
inferior to yours. Remember,
Vedanta is not about
it is about the discovering the happiness that you are by
understanding your true nature.
Choose to be happy rather than right and
allow her to worship the Self in her religious style. The Self is self aware, it
does not mind in which way it is worshipped. It sees her as it sees you and
returns the results of her worship to her in the way that is best to make her
faith strong. Respect her views.
This does not mean that you have to abandon your sadhana. Instead,
your devotion to your family part of it with the practice of karma
Allow this attitude to purify the mind and moderate your likes and
Karma yoga is worship, bhakti yoga.
See your wife and family as
God, symbols of the Self,
and give your love and devotion to them.
the yoga of the three gunas. See the way they arise and subside and what
effects they have on your Subtle Body.
This is the best tracking device to
monitor your likes and dislikes (vasanas) and to establish what
unresolved emotional/psychological issues you may still have.
There is no easy way to realise the Self, even though it is obvious and
always present. It is just you.
You have to work with your mind and its
ideas; there is no running away from it.
Even though it is all a dream and
only apparently real, life is here to stay.
Deny it at your peril.
Having said that, your wife also needs to understand your needs and if she
does not feel
threatened or diminished
by the intensity of your inquiry, she
will probably eventually appreciate the value of your pursuit.
We have a
friend who had known who he is for many years but whose wife is only
starting to realize who he is after seven years! People get locked into their
beliefs about reality and it is very difficult to change them. But dont get
Om and Prem,