Secret Ingredient of All Relationships
Secret Ingredient …Use Love …Not Force
Jaya Sila das and Vimala Devi Dasi: There is a world of difference between guiding with love and controlling with force. The recipient can certainly feel the difference.
A husband is expected to offer spiritual guidance to his wife. Parents need to guide their children. As a teacher, I also have the responsibility of guiding my students. The problem occurs when we insist and rely on force and control.
In an early morning walk conversation in Hawaii of 1974, Srila Prabhupada offers the secret ingredient to any relationship…love.
Devotee: We have the choice of being controlled either by love or by force.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. When we decide to be controlled by Krishna, it is out of love for Him. Similarly, you are being controlled by me, but there is no force. You serve me voluntarily, out of love. I am not paying you; still, when I ask you to do something you immediately do it. Why? There is love between us.
Don’t settle for less…
The love not force, principle is the foundation for all successful relationships. Yes, we can serve our husband/wife out of a sense of duty without love, (which may not be such a bad place to start) but we need not settle for this. It is vital to act in such a way as to always keep the love and affection in your relationship healthy and alive! You are already heavily invested in your relationship, but force will only maim and ultimately kill it.
Srila Prabhupada also advised our Gurukula teachers to use love instead of force, indicating that force is impersonal.
”It is not something mechanical process, if we force in such a way they will come out like this, no. We are persons, and Krishna is a Person, and our relationship with Krishna, He leaves open as a voluntary agreement always, and that voluntary attitude–Yes, Krishna, I shall gladly co-operate whatever you say–that ready willingness to obey is only possible if there is love. Forcing will not make me agree. But if there is love, oh, I shall gladly do it. That is bhakti, that is Krishna Consciousness.” (Letter to: Rupa Vilasa Hyderabad 18 November, 1972).
“Regarding your question should force be used on children, no, there shall be no forcing the children to do anything. Child should not be forced. This is all nonsense. Who has devised these things? If we want them to become great devotees, then we must educate the children with love, not in a negative way.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 10, 1972)
The clear point Srila Prabhupada is stressing here, is that all of our relationships must be based on this ‘love not force’ principle. At the same time this should not be misunderstood to mean that caregivers or authorities should never instruct or correct their dependants. The crucial factor is that it should never be done out of ego or malice. It must come from a place of love.
When we come from a place of love instead of control or force, the recipient feels that love, as in the examples that Srila Prabhupada gave above. So the next time you get an attack of ….”He should…she should/ do /say/behave …in this or that way”…. check where you are coming from and change direction if necessary!
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