Jai Gurudev! I am totally lost in my life. I believe in God & family life. I am a mother of an 8-year-old. My husband follows SRF. He believes that spirituality is just reading books. If by mistake we disturb him, he yells at us but if he is regularly reading SRF lessons, why does he yell or ill-treat us? I am left with a question: Does spiritually mean just knowing the self and not being bothered about your own son & family? I am confused about whether to leave him or ruin my son's life living with him.
—Anonymous, United Kingdom
First of all – if you believe in God, know that you will never be lost. Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (9:31) says: “Know this for a certainty: My devotee is never lost!”
It seems that your husband thinks that spirituality means being by himself undisturbed in silence, reading his spiritual texts while regarding family life as un-spiritual and as a disturbance. If that is so, unfortunately he hasn’t understood Yogananda’s message at all. If he yells at you or mistreats you and your son, he is actually spiritually regressing not progressing. He expresses ego, not the soul.
Yogananda’s highest woman disciple Sister Gyanamata, taught that spirituality is measured “in the cold light of day.” If we in daily life, in family, and at work become more loving, peaceful, harmonious, and balanced, then we are progressing since God is awakening in us. If, however, we increasingly express anger or other negative traits, we are actually moving backward no matter how many spiritual lessons we read or how much we meditate.
When a man has a wife and a son – this is his first dharma: to see God in them, serve God in them, and develop divine love. The SRF Lessons themselves will certainly teach these things to him but his mind might not be open for it.
As for your confusion to leave him or not – this question I cannot answer but try your best to fix it. In a calm moment talk with him about your suffering. Try to find a solution but should the situation become too destructive for you and your son, the time might come when it is best to leave him.
God Bless You,