(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 23 December 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.19.20)
Question: A devotee mentioned that you have to stay on very good terms with your family and maybe compromise many things for them because they are the ones you can depend on. They help you, they are there in a crisis whereas the devotees, you cannot depend on…
Well, I tend to agree that you cannot depend on the devotees (laughter)… but why would you? Is that the only option – to depend on your family or to depend on the devotees? How about depending on Krsna? I would depend on Krsna.
About family, the scriptures say ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.1.4), they are fallible soldiers. What can they do? They are going to protect you but they cannot protect themselves. They will also die. So how are they going to protect you?
I experienced it myself. My parents died unexpectedly when I was still relatively young. I was just at the stage where I was independent in life but still in my teenage years and my independence was such that I knew at anytime if I have an emergency, I could just call my parents and I say, “Geez, you know, I got stranded and I just ran out of money. I do not know what to do. How do I get back home?” And then, (snaps fingers) they will send a ticket. So, I knew I had the security that my parents were there and then, my parents just died. Boom! Then all I had left was my sister and my sister, well… you know, she was not just going to give me money like that. So, I felt alone in the world.
This so called security of the family is not as great as we want it to be. Of course, in Africa, there is no social system, no security. So the family is the only social security but the price you have to pay for that is that you have to do exactly what the family wants, otherwise they throw you out! But do not worry… there is a world of devotees!
You may say that the devotees will not take care of you. Depends… it depends on who you are. If you are a bum, the devotees may not take care of you. If you are not serious in Krsna consciousness, if you are not following anything or if you are a half-baked devotee and you are following only half principles, and you are chanting half-baked rounds and you are never willing to do any service, and so on… then what do you expect?
But if you are really doing something in devotional service then devotees will do something for you! Then the devotees will care for you, then they will look after you and that is the security we have. It is a fact that the more you do for Krsna, the more the devotees will take care of you. Then you do not have to worry about anything.
So just see. Let us just do service and the devotees will take care of us. They will do so many things for us. You will be surprised! At the end of the day, devotees are not that bad after all (laughter). Krsna will make arrangements for sure. Yeah, so that is the ‘leap of faith’. You know philosophers speak of the ‘leap of faith’ and you have to take that leap and put your faith in Krsna and his devotees and never give up…