I'm in a relationship with someone who's not a devotee of Krishna . . .
Q : I have been chanting rounds, and have lost all desire to have intoxication, sexual activity, and meat eating
I just don't feel any pleasure in these activities any longer
A : That is very good. Keep up the good work.
Q : but the girl I have been involved with prior to this cannot understand, and she has stood by me for years, and although I was previously enjoying with her, I don't feel any attachment to her, or to materialistic life
A : That is perhaps not surprising, unless she practices devotional service.
Q : she is not conducive to devotional service, and I know she is in pain, but I can't help her.
A : Well, if she is not conducive to devotional service, it is Krishna's mercy that you are not attached to her. You can always pray to Krishna for her ultimate benefit.
Q : I know that if she takes shelter of the holy name, she too will become free of the pain, but she doesn't want to, is unable to chant
A : Well, if she takes prasadam or engages in some practical service, she may someday be able to chant.
Q : I am praying to Krsna for her benefit.
A : Perhaps some of the female devotees in your area could be friendly to her. The more friends we have who are devotees, the better.
Q : Do you think if I continue her association, being steady in my devotional service, she might benefit, or become conducive eventually? or you think it might be dangerous for me in this neophyte stage..?
A : I think it could be dangerous, but that you would notice that it is getting dangerous, and you could bail out in time.
Q : I don't have association here, I drive down every 2nd or 3rd day to the temple. Also, she does not live near me.
A : Yours is an interesting case. It is surprising to me she is still interested in you if she is not interested in devotional service, and devotional service is an important part of your life.
Q : the only danger is that I’ll become soft, and pretend to her that I am not practicing KC, just to keep her heart, but I have told her that I don't want to do that, I must be honest with her. What do I do? I do feel responsible for her, seeing that I had a relationship with her, prior to this...
A : Well, it seems to me, that it would be better to marry a girl who is enthusiastic about devotional service, or is open to becoming enthusiastic about devotional service.
You could make the point to her that you are wondering how it could work out as a marriage if this devotional service, which you are attracted to, is something that has very little meaning for her.
Q : So it would be indeed, Prabhu! And right now I don't much care about getting married, but am unsure of how to break off with this one
I have made that point, but she says I have no right to suddenly change into a new person overnight
A : I had an interesting experience that may be relevant.
Q : please share, Prabhu...
A : I was engaged to a girl but could see that it wouldn't be good for my spiritual life and that I was so attached it was difficult to drop it.
I prayed to Krishna, that if He thought this relationship was the best thing for my spiritual life that it remain, that if He thought another girl would be better, then let that happen, or if He thought the best thing was for me to go back to being a brahmacari, which incidentally was very nice, that that might happen. As it turned out, the girl broke up with me within a month.
I decided to wear the white of the grhastha till I was fifty and take sannyasa, then my guru wrote me within a year, and said now that the girl broke up with me, I had to choose an asrama. After that traumatic experience, I chose to be a brahmacari again.
At any rate, as far as you changing overnight into a new person, there is such a difference between acting for the body and acting for the soul, when one changes his focus in such a way, it is like becoming a new person, but it is not bad. It is becoming a better person, and it usually is a continuation of a past interest in spiritual life that was always there underneath, if not expressed.
So in that sense, it is not so new, just a rapid development, because of suitable circumstances.
Q : that was indeed fortunate, Prabhu. I did try breaking off with her in one swift stroke, and she broke off with me, for days...now she is back and saying she can't live without me, but won't still accept the 'new' me. she says she'll make all sacrifices for me (with the exception of devotional life)
should I break off gently, bit by bit, showing her how I’ve changed, talking to her about spiritual matters, until she gets the drift that there is no turning back for me...?
I’ve told her that going to restaurants and drinking wine was 'just ok' for me in the past, I never really enjoyed it, and now, it's pure poison to my spirit.
by the way, thank you for being so patient with me, Prabhu
A : Perhaps. This conversation is reminding me that I am not expert in counseling male/female relationship issues.
At any rate, you can see the extent the poor girl is in illusion. She is attached to her idea of you and how you can satisfy her senses. You have made it clear things are different now, and she is so attached, she is unwilling to accept it.
Q : yes that is true, Prabhu
A : Well, you can take her to Mayapur and pray to Lord Caitanya that she becomes a devotee. If she just goes to Mayapur once, that is enough to attain perfection, for that is the power of the holy dhama. If you end up splitting, you can be satisfied you gave her the best benediction.
And if you prefer, you can take her to Vrindavan. For me, Mayapur is easier to appreciate.
I took my mother to Mayapur.
Q : strangely enough, we first met in Mayapur, and felt a spiritual connection years ago, and kept in touch over the phone...until it developed into a material relationship
A : Maybe you can upgrade it to a spiritual relationship by going back there.
Q : and I learnt that she was deeply prejudiced against religious activity, later on...and that for her spirituality meant freedom to enjoy life in all its flavors, a kind of balance between visiting holy places, and also gambling in casinos,
A : Maybe for the Gaura Purnima festival. The festivals are extra powerful in the dhama.
Q : we could try that...it's a thought...
thank you so much for your association, and advice, Prabhu, you have been most kind and merciful to this really fallen one
A : Good luck. You could also ask the devotees there for advice.
Q : I must go and complete my rounds, and get some rest now. I will think carefully about what you have said, and pray to Krishna
A : Best wishes. Chant with great attention and you will get the full benefit.