Young aspiring devotees faced with the pressures of the world
Posted August 12, 2005
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
My name is Yasoda and I am 19, I was born into Iskcon(Trinidad) and i was wondering if there was any special websites to answer the questions of young aspiring devotees faced with the pressures of the world we live in. Anything that can help me deal with the everyday conflicting issues that I am faced with especially considering that I am young and love to have fun but the "Hare Krsna" in me is always there.I often wonder if there's a practical way to balance both I mean, I know the kathas, I've read some books, I don't want to hear the usual I would just like someone who's had similar experiences to give me some advice on how to balance my career goals, my relationship with my friends and my boyfriend with Hare Krsna. Our temple here doesn't do that we just have lectures or "class" but no discussions on how to survive in this material world. I read somewhere that "we know we're all going to die it happens everyday so just surrender to Krsna now" or as my mother says " use this youthful body you have to serve Krsna now don't wait until you're old and feeble to try something, you wouldn't like if someone gave you something old after they have used up the best of it".
However, this is easier said than done. In addition i often feel as though am not doing enough, with so much going on in this world like the tsunamis or the AIDS pandemic in Africa, so much suffering and I am in an air-condition office or classroom practically wasting away. Do I just up and leave everything and join food for life in Africa somewhere or follow that Guru who gave the rupees to the poor lady in India?? My mom says that Srila Prabhupada wanted educated devotees so I am not wasting my time studying but I think as my mother she's biased, even though I know he did say that. My father agrees (however it was his idea for me to come here on Chakra) and likes that I am at least interested in something other than parties and fun, not saying that I am not! Should i even listen to other types of music, or watch TV or go movies? Can I dress sexy and go dancing? I mean, we aren't the body so does it matter how we dress? What about eating outside? Here isn't the US vegetarians aren't catered for as exclusively as they sometimes are in the US. my parents both agree (they're divorced now so agreeing is something strange) that bhoga is bhoga whether its sprite or pizza or samosas selling on the street in India once its not offered to Krsna its bhoga! And I know bhoga is sin. But can we offer something that we don't know how it was prepared? I don't eat meat, eggs or fish or any thing like that including gelatin and rennet but in today's world aren't there vegetarian-safe alternatives? How will I know what's ok? I heard only about a week ago that eggs don't necessarily become chicks!! I never knew that! Does that mean we can eat some eggs? Or is it that once it is excreta we can't take part in it?
Another problem is-my boyfriend who (in my limited state) I am in love with and who I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with is CATHOLIC!!! He doesn't eat meat and comes to the temple with me but he says "IF he's to come to Krsna consciousness it will be on his own time when he's ready hovever he'll support me in my ventures as he always does". Thus far, he has done so and he doesn't go to church but I guess his family and his up bringing itself makes it pretty hard for him to make the switch. I try to be understanding and supportive and try to preach to him without accosting him because I know I would want the same if I were in his shoes plus he dare not ask me to switch to christianity so I owe him that much. However, its very difficult how do i deal with something like this? Should i end it before things go sour are we destined not to be together? Or after all we've been through (ALOT) should i try to make it work and have faith in Krsna?
Furthermore, I have many none Hare Krsna friends are they bad association? I am trying to adopt a mentality - do what you have to do and leave everything in Krsna's hands he knows best and everything will be ok, don't stress, think of him as much as possible and eventually you will become a good devotee, becauseI know that despite everything i most definitely do NOT want to go through this cycle of birth and death again - I hope its good enough. In the mean time HELP!
Yasoda Deva (yes, that's my real name)