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How to Treat Family Members

Integral Yoga Teachings   |   February 22, 2012  |    Sri Swami Satchidananda

family members articleWhen you practice Karma Yoga, a member of your family might say, “Hey, you’re constantly doing for others. Don’t you know that you have a husband, or a wife, and children? They are missing their benefits.”

It’s not that you should ignore them. But don’t continually spend all your time, money, and energy serving one or two people alone. The husband might demand all the wife’s service. She can simply say, “Sir, there are various things that you deserve and need. I will certainly do them for you. But the rest of the time other people may need me more. Sometimes, you may demand too much.” You can say that. There’s nothing wrong in it. If there is an opportunity to do something more important for the public, that’s God’s work, and your spouse should understand. Your life must be well divided this way. It’s something like having five children. If one child constantly demands your attention, and you always do all that he asks, you will neglect the other children.

A family is given to you by God. It is not really yours, but you have a responsibility toward it. If God has given you a few people under your care, you are their servant and caretaker. The mother is the servant of the baby and the husband is the trustee of both. We all have responsibilities, but we should do our duties without attachment. Our family members should not demand more than they are due.

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