SB 1.8 - Severing the ties of affection

Kuntī asked Kṛṣṇa, who is the Lord, soul and the form of the universe, to sever her tie of affection for her kinsmen, the Pāṇḍavas and the Vṛṣṇis. A pure devotee is ashamed to ask anything in self interest from the Lord. But being bound by family affection, the householders are sometimes obliged to ask favors from the Lord. Being conscious of this fact, Kuntī prayed to be free from the affectionate tie of her kinsmen. Kuntī wished the Lord to remain with the Pāṇḍavas, but then her paternal family, the Vṛṣṇis would be bereft of the benefit. Both – Kṛṣṇa’s departure from Hastināpura and coming there – were unfortunate: departure for the Pāṇḍavas and coming there for the Yādavas. All these partialities troubled Kuntī’s mind and thus she desired to cut off the affectionate tie. The truth is that when she sees how the two sides of her family dearly love Kṛṣṇa, her own love increases. Therefore on the pretext of praying to destroy her affection for her kinsmen, she was really praying that Kṛṣṇa not leave the association of either of the two sides of her family.

A pure devotee cuts off the limited ties of affection for his family and widens his activities of devotional service for all forgotten souls. The six Gosvamīs are an example of this. Although belonging to cultured and rich families of the higher castes, they left their homes to benefit the mass of population. The Lord is described as the Lord of the universe indicating His ability to cut off the hard knot of family affection. Sometimes out of special affinity towards a weak devotee, the Lord breaks the family affection by force of circumstances arranged by His all powerful energy. By doing so, He causes the devotee to become completely dependent on Him.