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League Of Devotees





spiritual advancement at home


“No need to change from family life”


As for detachment from children, wife and home, it is not meant that one should have no feeling for these. They are natural objects of affection. But when they are not favorable to spiritual progress, then one should not be attached to them. The best process for making the home pleasant is Krishna consciousness. If one is in full Krishna consciousness, he can make his home very happy, because this process of Krishna consciousness is very easy. One need only chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, accept the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Krishna, have some discussion on books like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, and engage oneself in Deity worship. These four things will make one happy. One should train the members of his family in this way. The family members can sit down morning and evening and chant together Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If one can mold his family life in this way to develop Krishna consciousness, following these four principles, then there is no need to change from family life to renounced life. But if it is not congenial, not favorable for spiritual advancement, then family life should be abandoned. One must sacrifice everything to realize or serve Krishna, just as Arjuna did. Arjuna did not want to kill his family members, but when he understood that these family members were impediments to his Krishna realization, he accepted the instruction of Krishna and fought and killed them. In all cases, one should be detached from the happiness and distress of family life, because in this world one can never be fully happy or fully miserable.

--Bg 13.8-12, purport


“Grihastha is not bad”


So material life means nidraya hriyate naktam. At night they want to sleep as much as possible or, those who have got facility, then they utilize sex life. Nidraya hriyate naktam vyavayena ca, vyavayena means sex. Vayah, in this way wasting time. The whole twelve hours or ten hours, wasted. And during daytime, diva carthehaya rajan, diva ca artha ihaya: “Where is money? Where is money?” Just like in your country, from early in the morning, 5:30, the road is congested. People are going to work. Why? For seeking money, money, money, money. Diva carthehaya rajan. Then when he gets money, “Let’s spend it for sense gratification, for family maintenance.” So in this way materialistic person waste their time day and night. Where is time? Ask any materialistic person, ‘Why don’t you come to our temple, sir? Why don’t you hear Bhagavad-gita?” “We have not time.”Because they’re wasting time in that way. You see? So this is the materialistic life.

And spiritualistic life means that one should be trained up as brahmacari. Then regulated life in grihastha, regulated life. Grihastha is not bad. Family life is not bad. Therefore it is called grihastha-asrama. Asrama means..., this very word is meant where the spiritual cultivation is practiced. That is called asrama. So it may be household life, it may be renounced order of life, it may be brahmacari, student’s life, or retired life. The spiritual culture must be there. That is human civilization. If there’s no spiritual culture, that is not human society. That is animal society. The cats and dog, they have no spiritual culture.

--Class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.2.5, New York, March 5, 1975


“Family life is not condemned”


According to the Vedic system, one has to forcibly give up family life at the age of fifty. One must go. There is no alternative. The first twenty-five years are for student life. From age five to age twenty-five, one should be educated very nicely in Krishna consciousness. The basic principle of one’s education should be Krishna consciousness, nothing else. Then life will be pleasing and successful, both in this world and in the next. A Krishna conscious education means one is trained to give up material consciousness altogether. That is perfect Krishna consciousness.

But if the student is unable to capture the essence of Krishna consciousness, then he is allowed to marry a good wife and live a peaceful householder life. And because he has been trained in the basic principles of Krishna consciousness, he will not entangle himself in the material world. One who lives simply—plain living and high thinking—can make progress in Krishna consciousness even within family life.

So family life is not condemned. But if a man forgets his spiritual identity and simply becomes entangled in material affairs, then he is lost. His life’s mission is lost. If one thinks, “I cannot protect myself from the attack of sex desire,” then let him be married. That is prescribed. But don’t have illicit sex. If you want a girl, if you want a boy, get married and live in Krishna consciousness.

A person who is trained in Krishna consciousness from childhood naturally becomes disinclined toward the material way of life, and at the age of fifty he gives it up. How does he start giving it up? The husband and wife leave home and travel together on pilgrimage. If from twenty-five to fifty one remains in family life, one should have some grown-up children. So at age fifty the husband entrusts the family affairs to some of his sons who are family men, and he and his wife go on pilgrimage to the holy places in order to forget family attachments. When the gentleman is completely matured in detachment, he asks his wife to go home to their children, and he remains alone. That is the Vedic system. We have to give ourselves a chance to progress in spiritual life, step by step. Otherwise, if we remain attached to material consciousness throughout all our days, we will not perfect our Krishna consciousness, and we shall miss the opportunity of this human form of life.

So-called happy family life means that we have a very loving wife and loving children. Thus we enjoy life. But we do not know that this enjoyment is false, that it is resting on a false platform. At once, in the twinkling of an eye, we may have to give up this enjoyment. Death is not under our control. From the Bhagavad-gita we learn that if one dies while too much attached to one’s wife, the result will be that in his next life he will have the body of a woman. And if the wife is very attached to her husband, she will get a man’s body in her next life. Similarly, if you are not a family man but are attached to a cat or dog, then your next life will be as a cat or dog. These are the laws of karma, or material nature.

The whole point is that one should begin Krishna consciousness immediately. Suppose one thinks, “After finishing my sporting life, when I am old and there is nothing else to do, then I shall go to the Krishna consciousness Society and hear something.” Certainly at that time one can take up spiritual life, but what is the assurance that one will live to an old age? One may die at any time; so postponing one’s spiritual life is very risky. Therefore one should take the opportunity now to advance in Krishna consciousness. That is the purpose of this Society: to give everyone a chance to begin Krishna consciousness at any stage of life. And by the process of chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, advancement is very quick. There is an immediate result.

--Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja


“If you remain as family man there is no harm”


Yan maithunadi-grihamedhi-sukham hi tuccham. This happiness of the grihamedhi, family attachment... Family you can utilize, grihastha. If you are inconvenienced to accept sannyasa or brahmacari life, remain in household life, but the purpose is the same, to develop Krishna consciousness. If one is in the family life and is trying to advance in Krishna consciousness, he is called grihastha, and his family life is called grihastha-asrama. Just like sannyasa-asrama. Asrama means where there is activities, spiritual. That is called asrama. So if you remain as grihastha or family man, there is no harm. But utilize for advancement of Krishna consciousness. Then you are grihastha. And if you do not know that, if you simply remain a family man for satisfying your senses and begetting children up to the point of death, that is called grihamedhi. These two words. Apasyatam atma-tattvam griheshu grihamedhinam. So one should not be grihamedhi. One may become grihastha. That is the difference.

--Class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.24, Chicago, July 8, 1975


“We never condemn family life”


Prabhupada: So, there will be good community. How the Egyptian people are?

Prithu-putra: They’re really a nationalistic type of persons.

Prabhupada: That is everywhere.

Prithu-putra: But I never noticed like this anywhere else. And they’re really attached to family life, even more than in India.

Prabhupada: Accha?

Prithu-putra: Oh, yes.

Prabhupada: They have got nice family?

Prithu-putra: Oh, yes. They have nice family, and they have many children. And the man is working, and the woman stay home and prepare food, taking care...

Prabhupada: That is Indian culture.

Prithu-putra: Yes, it’s exactly like in India. But their family attachment is so strong that it is..., it will be very difficult to have devotees out of them.

Prabhupada: No, no, why you should dissuade them from family life? That is not our...

Prithu-putra: No, I’m not doing that. I know.

Prabhupada: Let them remain, family life, but understand what is Krishna consciousness. That’s all. We never condemn family life. Chant Hare Krishna anywhere. That’s all.

--Room Conversation, January 30, 1977, Bhubaneshwar


“You must be responsible”


Indian man (5): Srila Prabhupada, is it better for grihasthas to be self-supporting and living outside the temple? Like somebody working all day and following the regulative principles?

Prabhupada: Temple is meant for rendering service to the Lord. So if anyone is rendering service to the Lord, he can live. But not for sense gratification. Those grihasthas who still have desire for sense gratification, they may live outside.

Indian man (5): What about the grihastha’s duty toward his family, like looking after his family and children? In India, like when you have a daughter you have to get her married and...

Prabhupada: Yes, when you have accepted family life, you must be responsible to carry out. Not that I become family man all of a sudden I give up everything. No, that is not wanted. But if one is actually advanced, he can give up everything. He has no more duty.

Indian man (5): But the question comes up that you have given a vow against fire at the time of marriage that the husband will look after the wife and the family. Then how does that fit in when you leave the family all of a sudden? Is there not a responsibility to...

Prabhupada: No no, not all of a sudden. All of a sudden..., generally you have to discharge the duties of family life, and at the ripe age, when everything is settled up, then you give up the family.

Indian man (5): Is it right that all the responsibility should be cleared up before...

Prabhupada: You cannot clear up all the responsibility. Therefore up to fiftieth year. After that, whatever is done, that’s all. (Sanskrit) But our philosophy is there is no question of giving up this or taking up that. Simply take to Krishna consciousness. Wherever you remain, it doesn’t matter. Either in family life or...

Indian man (5): In the vanaprastha asrama, after fifty years of age, what is the duty? Is it to live in the temple, or devote most of time to Krishna, or where the wife comes in then?

Prabhupada: Temple you should live always. Even if in family life, you must come to the temple. Temple worship is for everyone.

--Morning Walk, June 21, 1976, Toronto


“The grihastha’s concern is to get out of the family life created by illusion”



He gives heart and senses to a woman, who falsely charms him with maya. He enjoys solitary embraces and talking with her, and he is enchanted by the sweet words of the small children.


Family life within the kingdom of illusory energy, maya, is just like a prison for the eternal living entity. In prison a prisoner is shackled by iron chains and iron bars. Similarly, a conditioned soul is shackled by the charming beauty of a woman, by her solitary embraces and talks of so-called love, and by the sweet words of his small children. Thus he forgets his real identity.

In this verse the words strinam asatinam indicate that womanly love is just to agitate the mind of man. Actually, in the material world there is no love. Both the woman and the man are interested in their sense gratification. For sense gratification a woman creates an illusory love, and the man becomes enchanted by such false love and forgets his real duty. When there are children as the result of such a combination, the next attraction is to the sweet words of the children. The love of the woman at home and the talk of the children make one a secure prisoner, and thus he cannot leave his home. Such a person is termed, in Vedic language, a grihamedhi, which means “one whose center of attraction is home.” Grihastha refers to one who lives with family, wife and children, but whose real purpose of living is to develop Krishna consciousness. One is therefore advised to become a grihastha and not a grihamedhi. The grihastha’s concern is to get out of the family life created by illusion and enter into real family life with Krishna, whereas the grihamedhi s business is to repeatedly chain himself to so-called family life, in one life after another, and perpetually remain in the darkness of maya.

--SB 3.30.8


League Of Devotees

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Q)What is Priti? Differences between happiness and Priti?


Every living entity is looking for happiness or ananda. Whatever activity one may perform, the purpose is happiness.


Then Srila Jiva Gosvami analyzed material and transcendental happiness and by doing so he concluded that Priti or love is actually the purpose of life because happiness is seen when a person loves somebody or something. In Priti a devotee does not feel distressed whether he is in a favorable or unfavorable situation. He always feels happy.


Now one has to understand the differences between happiness and Priti. He says (sanskrit words), happiness means "knowledge of delightness". Happiness is nothing but a perception, knowledge. When something happens and one feels delighted that feeling means "knowledge", it is a perception. Happiness is nothing but a sensation. In medical science they have discovered that different parts in the brain, which are connected with the various senses, can be stimulated to provoke a certain type of happiness. Like the experince of satisfaction of having a nice feast although one is not in contact with the food, one is not conscious of the object of satisfaction. So this experience of happiness is only a sensation of the brain, it is not something that springs from within the heart.This word Priti or love comes from the root prin which means satisfy or please. Obviously when there is a question of satisfying or pleasing there is an object whom one satisfies. Therefore Priti is never without an object. Material happiness can be without an object but Priti cannot exist without the object of Priti because the very root of the word means to satisfy. There has to be somebody to whom one satisfies or pleases. The happiness is not the real caracteristic of Priti and therefore the devotees do not ask for it. "Either You appear or not appear before me; You treat me harshly or out of love, in any case I want to be always Your servant." This is Priti.


The happiness for which everyone is dying, commiting violence, engaging in sinful activities, cheating, and so on, it is not but a particular sensation in the body. In yoga system there are different means to derive the same sensation. If one can control the life airs in a particular way and send them to the brain he can feel a sensation of happiness and enjoy trance. This is samadhi-sukha, it is also external. It is all a mechanical system and that is why this happiness is also mechanical. There is no need to endeavor for this mechanical happiness. Why waist spiritual life to pursuit a mechanical happiness?


"sukha is nothing but the enjoyement of a feeling". (happiness is also a kind of disturbance in the mind. In nyaya, happiness is counted among the 21 types of misery)


League Of Devotees

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“I want the maximum benefit while visiting Vrndavana. What activities should I perform? Should I a fast a lot, do daily parikrama, bathe in the Yamuna, visit specific temples or holy places, walk around Govardhana Hill, or bathe in Radha-kunda?”

These are natural inclinations devotees experience during their holy pilgrimage to Sri Vrndavana. We all want to capitalize on our good fortune, and utilize our time wisely.

To ascertain the best possible activities to perform, perhaps we can learn from our previous acaryas.

Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, one of Sr Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s personal associates, once inquired from the Lord with a similar sentiment. The Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila narrates:

The Bhattacharya went to visit the temple of Lord Jagannatha, but before he reached the temple, he went to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When he met Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Bhattacharya fell down flat to offer Him respects. After offering various prayers to Him, he spoke of his previous bad disposition with great humility.

Then the Bhattacharya asked Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “Which item is most important in the execution of devotional service?”

The Lord replied that the most important item was the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.



There are nine items to be executed in devotional service. These are enumerated in the following verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.23): Hearing the glories of the Lord, chanting, remembering, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering worship in the temple, offering prayers, becoming a servant of the Lord, becoming the Lord’s friend, and sarvatma-nivedana, offering oneself fully at the lotus feet of the Lord—these are the nine devotional processes.

In The Nectar of Devotion, these are expanded into sixty-four items. When Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya asked the Lord which item was most important, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately answered that the most important item is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord—Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. He then quoted the following verse from the Brihan-naradiya Purana (38.126) to confirm His statement.


harer nama harer nama

harer namaiva kevalam

kalau nasty eva nasty eva

nasty eva gatir anyatha

“‘In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.’”


Because the people of this age are so fallen, they can simply chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. In this way they can rid themselves of the bodily conception of life and become eligible to engage in the Lord’s devotional service. One cannot engage in the devotional service of the Lord without being purified of all contamination. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (7.28):

“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life and whose sinful actions are completely eradicated are freed from the dualities of delusion, and they engage themselves in My service with determination.”

Sometimes people are surprised to see young men and women take so seriously to the Krsna consciousness movement. By giving up sinful activity—illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling—and strictly following the injunctions given by the spiritual master, they have become purified of all contamination. They can therefore fully engage in the devotional service of the Lord.

In this Age of Kali, hari-kirtana is very, very important. The importance of chanting the holy name of the Lord is stated in the following verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.3.51–52):

“The most important factor in this Age of Kali, which is an ocean of faults, is that one can be free from all contamination and become eligible to enter the kingdom of God simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. The self-realization that was achieved in the Satya millennium by meditation, in the Treta millennium by the performance of different sacrifices, and in the Dvapara millennium by worship of Lord Krsna can be achieved in the Age of Kali simply by chanting the holy names, Hare Krsna.”


Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu very elaborately explained the harer nama verse of the Brihan-naradiya Purana, and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was struck with wonder to hear His explanation.


Thus, our humble suggestion is that visitors increase their rounds while here in Vrndavana. There is no other activity so auspicious. In the Skanda Purana it is said:

"Whatever potency to award auspiciousness and destroy sin may be found in the performance of charity, penances, austerities, visiting holy tirthas, worshiping demigods, performing Rajasuya or Asvamedha sacrifices, or the attainment of knowledge related to the soul…that potency has been invested in the Holy Name of Sri Hari."


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