Q. One of my friends had an opportunity to be associated with the temple three years ago. He was following the regulative principles and he gave up intoxication and non-vegeterian diet. He also started chanting 16 rounds regularly. He had set up an altar at his residence and fell in love with Krishna. This went on for good two years period during which he has also visited Vrindavan Dhama, Puri, Pandharpur, Dwarka and Nathdwara. Suddenly about 6 months back everything has changed. He had fallen pray to intoxication once again and non vegetarian diet. His visits to the temple have also reduced so much that he seldom visits the temple. He has completely stopped chanting. It has been months since he attended the Sunday Feast program. Some where on the back of his mind, he knows for sure that his only duty is to serve Krishna and love him. Every night, he decides that from tomorrow morning he will be the same devotee as he was once. But when he wakes up, he is where he was the night before. He wants to come back. Nothing satisfies him. At the end of each day and at many times during the day when he is alone, he regrets of loosing Krishna in his life. Please help him. It gives him great pleasure and pride to be part of the ISKCON movement but now everything is getting lost. Once again, he is sincerely seeking help.

A. What happened to him, happens with many practicing devotees. The power of Maya is very strong and very often even great devotees fall prey to it. Still, there is hope for us. Lord Krishna says in Srimad Bhagvatam:

i. Even though he is sometimes engaged in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result  and he sincerely repents such activities. (Srimad Bhagavatam 11 .20.27)

2. Else where it is said in (Srimad Bhagvatam 11.14.18): My dear Uddhava, if My devotee has not fully conquered his senses, he may be harassed by material desires, but because of his unflinching devotion for Me, he will not be defeated by sense gratification.

Abhibhuyate indicates falling down into the material world and being defeated by maya. But even though one’s senses are not fully conquered, one who has unflinching devotion for Lord Krishna does not run the risk of being separated from Him.

The only solution is to invite a devotee back in his life. A devotee being compassionate will facilitate his coming back. We may not have the strength alone.

Lord Krishna says: One should learn how to associate with the devotees of the Lord by associating with them to chant the glories of the Lord. This process is the most purifying. As devotees thus develop their loving friendship, they feel mutual happiness and satisfaction. By thus encouraging one another they are able to give up material sense gratification, which is the cause of all suffering.(Srimad Bhagvatam 11.3.30)