12 RULES ABOUT HOW A GRAHASTHA SHOULD LEAD HIS LIFE?
A male devotee asked like this:
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE. HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE. DEAR PRABUJI, Please explain how a GRAHASTHA should live a & What to do’s and don’ts in Grahastha life strictly ? If they can’t able to join Krishna Consciousness, but always remember and praying LORD SHRI KRISHNA until death.
You need not confuse yourself about ‘JOINING’ Krishna Consciousness, like that. There is no such ‘joining’. ISKCON is a sathsangha that helps us to assemble in a place, hear and sing the glories of Krishna, offer worships to deities, etc. So, please don’t consider joining a sathsangha as a VERY BIG ASSIGNMENT as if ‘JOINING’ something. It is an opportunity to associate with many devotees in an organized way. That’s all. You get a break every week. You utilize that break usefully to charge your Krishna Consciousness by associating with devotees. That’s all.
Now a days, many grahasthas get confused with the strict rules of Krishna Consciousness. And they also feel that Krishna Consciousness is something we are importing and are following with difficulty.
The fact is, to be Krishna Conscious is easy and it is a natural activity, not created and imposed one. If you realize your original position as an athma and a servant of Lord, it is Krishna Consciousness. Contrarily, if you think that you are this body and YOU ARE DOING ALL THE ACTIONS, it is Body Consciousness (or) Maya Consciousness.
Some grahastha devotees also feel inferior to be a grahastha after seeing saffron devotees who are leading brahmachari or sanyasa life.
But, they should remember that if all people remain as sanyasis in this world, who will produce grains, vegetables, milk, etc? Who will protect the country? Who will maintain the population of this universe? Above all, who will support the sanyasis? Because sanyasis should be taken care by the grahasthas.
So, It is practically IMPOSSIBLE for everyone to physically renounce family life and go to a solitary place to lead a sanyasa life. Actually, a sanyasa life is a simple life and a sanyasi should not lead a posh life that may pull them into the network of maya to undergo sense gratification. They should totally do away with sense gratifying activities in any form.
Whereas, a grahastha is allowed certain freedom to function. They are allowed to marry a girl and lead a REGULATED marriage life. They are allowed to earn for their living in an ethical way. In fact, they have been given a safe medium to regulate their senses.
In addition to that, a grahastha life is a safe one as they are fortunate to take the responsibility of protecting sanyasis too. Without grahasthas, sanyasis can not get food for them. And, even the spiritual organisations can not function if there is no grahasthas to donate and support them.
So, first understand that a Grahastha life is a recognized ashram as per scriptures. Only condition is that we should not be a GRAHAMEDI. We should be a grahastha.
A grahamedi life is a marriage life led purely for satisfying our senses and no other purpose. Whereas, a Grahastha life meant to satisfy Krishna from within the family.
So, UNLESS A MARRIED PERSON DOES NOT FOLLOW KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS WITHIN FAMILY, HE IS LEADING A GRAHAMEDI LIFE THAT LEADS TO SEVERE KARMA.
Ok, How to follow Krishna Consciousness as a grahastha?
(1) A grahastha should perform a permitted and naturally assigned profession and earn for his living. He should not consider these earnings as his achievements, but, the wealth of Krishna mercifully provided to him to undergo a Krishna Conscious life.
(2) He must offer worships to Krishna and acharyas daily as prescribed to them.
(3) A grahastha should offer food to Krishna and honour them as prasadam. They should not take whatever food that is NOT OFFERED to Krishna.
(4) A grahastha should wake up early and chant the Holy Name of Krishna as many times as possible. For better results, 16 rounds are recommended. You may also start from minimum and increase the rounds gradually.
(5) A grahastha should not waste money and other resources, as these resources are Lakshmi who belongs to Krishna. He must spend only to survive, not to lead a posh life. A grahastha should use a part of his earnings for spreading the Krishna Consciousness. Though there are certain specifications for the percentage of donations, right now, they can decide the percentage on their own liberally.
(6) A grahastha should not have uncontrolled sex. They should use this only under necessary conditions and to beget children.
(7) There is no limit for the number of children a grahastha can have. However, he must develop their every child as a devotee of Lord.
(8) A grahastha should attend sathsangha regularly (preferably once a week atleast) and associate with other devotees.
(9) A grahastha is, if possible and capable, expected to arrange “Home Sathsangha Programmes in his home in which many local devotees assemble once a week and develop Krishna Consciousness.
(10) A grahastha should strictly follow four regulative principles – No Meat, No Gambling, No intoxication and No illicit Sex..
(11) A grahastha should consider Krishna as the Prime Member of family and should arrange all his activities centered towards Krishna.
(12) LAST & IMPORTANT: A grahastha, while leading his life, should not get attached to the people with whom he is living and having friendship. You are serving the Lord as a grahastha. So, your attachment should be with Krishna only. You should lead life like water on lotus leaf. However, you must respect your spouse and children and all other people as they are also devotees and they are helping you in your Krishna Consciousness.
If you follow all these 12 golden rules, you are a Perfect Grahastha. If you make all these 12 rules as a habit, you can remember Krishna till death and also AT THE TIME OF DEATH.
This will ensure your entry into Goloka after leaving this body.
Hope you are clear now.