Guruji, we are a family of four - husband, wife, and my two adult teenaged children. We are all cooped up inside our two bed-room flat, during this lockdown period. Sometimes our tempers rise, we get irritated with each other and quarrels erupt. It is as if all our negative qualities are coming out into the open. Earlier, since we are working parents with a domestic help, our house used to run smoothly. Each one would be busy with his or her own work, and we would meet during dinners or on Sundays, enjoying each other’s company, watching television, going out during the weekend, socializing. Now, we have nothing to do except household chores. Everybody has a different idea about duties and responsibilities, about waking up and sleeping, about utilizing their time, etc. How can we bring about peace and domestic harmony in our house? Please advise us, Guruji.

As I have said before, though this Covid-19 pandemic has created havoc in our society and in this world, it has also brought about learning lessons for all. As citizens and family-members, we have taken things for granted. We have lived a hectic and competitive life, all in the name of being progressive. In most houses, parents and children live independent and selfish lives, living only for themselves and their material benefits. The pursuit of money, position, status, etc., are the only things that have mattered to people so far. Waking up late, sleeping late, eating unhealthy food and at odd times, watching television all the time, continuously being on social media sites, all these have become a standard way, in most houses.

The concept of spirituality has been missing in our lives. Many people have forgotten to light the lamp, pray together and eat together. Life has become all about earning money, and having fun during leisure period and holidays. Money, food, clothes, gadgets, all are in abundance. If no food is cooked at home, food is ordered from out. People have become so lazy, they are unable to do even simple jobs at home, and instead rely on their domestic helps for everything, even cooking for their loved ones. Lack of discipline, disrespect for elders, arrogance, etc. have all become more prominent in our society, especially amongst the youngsters.

So, first and foremost, we must be thankful for this lockdown period which has brought us face to face with the realities of life. You are only four members in a two bed-room flat, yet you find your tempers rising because all four of you are functioning in different ways, in complete contradiction to one another. As the head of the family, it is your responsibility to take the lead, gather everybody together, discuss the situation, arrive at a consensus, and decide a plan of action. Each member is responsible for the well-functioning of his or her home, so with due consideration, distribute the common duties and responsibilities amongst all the four members. This will only set right the domestic chores on a daily basis.

What is more important is for you to set right the environment in your household, and for this a spiritual routine is a must. Our life is part of the cosmic intelligence, and therefore it is important for us to be in ‘sync’ with Nature. Utilize this period to teach your family about the importance of following a spiritual routine in daily life. This is the best time for you to once again start your ‘sadhana’. You can guide your family by setting your own example. Make a schedule to practice the spiritual methods and techniques that have been taught to you at the Ashram, Cosmic Dance, Brahma Vidya, Beeja Mantra, Kriya Yoga, Dhyana, etc. Spend more and more time in silence. No matter how bad the situation may be at home, never raise your voice or show anger. Things will take time to change, and you must have the patience to wait for the change.

Spiritual pursuit will definitely help you find a solution to your problem. Use this period of time to surrender yourself to God and Guru. Do not worry about your future or past. Do not think unnecessarily about hypothetical situations or financial conditions. Have faith in God. Just go with the flow, with an attitude of complete surrender. No matter what may be the conditions from day to day, always ensure that you do all your spiritual practices in a disciplined manner. It is necessary to utilize this period to shed our differences, to cultivate love and joy, to enjoy existence, to bridge all relationship gaps, and to thank God for each day of our survival.

As you increase your spiritual practices, you will notice that all your difficult situations are automatically taken care of. With time and patience, you will find the entire situation at home changing for the better. Do not keep nagging anyone to do anything, wait with patience for each one to fulfil his or her duty. We do not know how long this present pandemic will continue, but the best way to tackle any situation in life is to increase your spiritual activities. You will soon find that the entire environment at home is pleasant and you will experience a peaceful state of existence. When you are at peace with yourself, you will find that the others are also peaceful, and your home will become a harmonious place to live in.

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