Part II — Family life:

Question: It is said that in the Kali Yuga one should cultivate devotion rather than follow the Vedanta philosophy. Is this an unqualified statement for everybody or is it just for householders?

Sri Chinmoy: This message is for everyone. In this present-day world, the Vedanta philosophy has to be modified. Otherwise, the world will not last in the sense that we know it. They say that the tendency of Vedanta is to claim that the world is an illusion. That is not pure Vedanta philosophy, but unaspiring people who follow Vedanta believe that it is an illusion. People who believe in this interpretation feel, 'Who cares for the world?" Then immediately they withdraw from the world. But Vedanta has been misunderstood. Sri Ramakrishna felt that if we take the Vedanta in that sense, then nobody will work. Everybody will say that the world is an illusion and all will want to go to some isolated place and just meditate. So Ramakrishna advised seekers to take the path of devotion. He always used to tell Vivekananda to practise the inner life, not in the Vedantic way, but in my way," that is to say, in the path of devotion. He used to pray to Mother Kali that the world would accept the path of love, devotion and surrender.

If the world stays with its sophisticated mind, if it stays with the reasoning mind which has no light, if it stays with the intellectual mind which springs not from the pure intellect but from a very subtle arrogance, then there is no hope of self-discovery or God-realisation. The quickest path is the path of devotion. In the path of devotion there is infinite wisdom.

The present-day world needs heart. Our heart and our soul have infinitely more truth to offer us than the mind that suspects and doubts itself all the time. In the heart there is no doubt; in the soul there is no doubt. The safest and quickest way to God is the path of the heart.

In the householder's life, the divine attitude is for the wife to feel that the entire success of her husband depends on her devotion, dedication and inspiration. And the husband has to be always grateful to the wife because consciously, constantly and devotedly she is fulfilling him. One complements the other. The role of the husband is silence, and the role of the wife is power. Until silence and power go together, there can be no fulfillment. In a spiritual union the question of inferiority and superiority does not arise at all. You have to play your part successfully and your husband has to play his part successfully. Then only will God's Blessings shower on both of you.

Husband and wife have to feel as one, but when sometimes they do not feel as one, if the husband tortures the wife, she should immediately remember that her dearest is the Supreme. And if the wife tortures the husband, he should do the same. In that way they are safe. But this is only a temporary measure. At the moment when suffering comes, be clever; when anger comes, when frustration comes, be clever. At that time do not surrender to it; have patience. Without patience you cannot do anything. What you want and need is the transformation of your husband's nature, or of your wife's nature, and if you patiently wait for it, the Supreme is bound to give it. But the Supreme has His own time. Your time may be this moment, but His time may be later. If one has patience, one can deal with eternal Time.