Grhastha and Grhamedhi

Grhastha and Grhamedhi

[Factually, however, pravrtti-marga is based on sex life. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.45), yan maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham. A householder who is too much addicted to pravrtti-marga is actually called a grhamedhi, not a grhastha. Although the grhastha desires sense gratification, he acts according to Vedic instructions. The grhamedhi, however, who is interested only in sense gratification, does not follow any Vedic instruction. The grhamedhi engages himself as an advocate of sex life and also allows his sons and daughters to engage in sex and to be deprived of any glorious end in life. A grhastha enjoys sex life in this life as well as in the next, but a grhamedhi does not know what the next life is about because he is simply interested in sex in this life. On the whole, when one is too much inclined toward sex, he does not care for the transcendental spiritual life. In this age of Kali especially, no one is interested in spiritual advancement. Even though it is sometimes found that one may be interested in spiritual advancement, he is most likely to accept a bogus method of spiritual life, being misguided by so many pretenders.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.25.39
[In the revealed scriptures there are two nomenclatures for the householder’s life. One is grhastha, and the other is grhamedhi. The grhasthas are those who live together with wife and children but live transcendentally for realizing the ultimate truth. The grhamedhis, however, are those who live only for the benefit of the family members, extended or centralized, and thus are envious of others. The word medhi indicates jealousy of others. The grhamedhis, being interested in family affairs only, are certainly envious of others. Therefore, one grhamedhi is not on good terms with another grhamedhi, and in the extended form, one community, society or nation is not on good terms with another counterpart of selfish interest. In the age of Kali, all the householders are jealous of one another because they are blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth. They have many subject matters for hearing — political, scientific, social, economic and so on — but due to a poor fund of knowledge, they set aside the question of the ultimate miseries of life, namely miseries of birth, death, old age and disease. Factually, the human life is meant for making an ultimate solution to birth, death, old age and disease, but the grhamedhis, being illusioned by the material nature, forget everything about self-realization. The ultimate solution to the problems of life is to go back home, back to Godhead, and thus, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita (8.16), the miseries of material existence — birth, death, old age and disease — are removed.

The process of going back home, back to Godhead, is to hear about the Supreme Lord and His name, form, attributes, pastimes, paraphernalia and variegatedness. Foolish people do not know this. They want to hear something about the name, form, etc., of everything temporary, and they do not know how to utilize this propensity of hearing for the ultimate good. Misguided as they are, they also create some false literatures about the name, form, attributes, etc., of the ultimate truth. One should not, therefore, become a grhamedhi simply to exist for envying others; one should become a real householder in terms of the scriptural injunction]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 2.1.2
[The words grhamedhisu karmasu mean “in household duties.” Another word is also used here: sarvatmananurupam. The purport is that a wife should not only be equal to her husband in age, character and qualities, but must be helpful to him in his household duties. The household duty of a man is not to satisfy his sense gratification, but to remain with a wife and children and at the same time attain advancement in spiritual life. One who does not do so is not a householder but a grhamedhi. Two words are used in Sanskrit literature; one is grhastha, and the other is grhamedhi. The difference between grhamedhi and grhastha is that grhastha is also an asrama, or spiritual order, but if one simply satisfies his senses as a householder, then he is a grhamedhi. For a grhamedhi, to accept a wife means to satisfy the senses, but for a grhastha a qualified wife is an assistant in every respect for advancement in spiritual activities. It is the duty of the wife to take charge of household affairs and not to compete with the husband. A wife is meant to help, but she cannot help her husband unless he is completely equal to her in age, character and quality.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.22.11

SYNONYMS
[grha — household; arthi — one who desires; sadrsim — possessing similar characteristics; bharyam — a wife; udvahet — one should marry; ajugupsitam — beyond reproach; yaviyasim — younger; tu — indeed; vayasa — by age; yam — another wife; sa-varnam — the first wife who is of the same caste; anu — after; kramat — in succession.]
TRANSLATION
[One who desires to establish family life should marry a wife of his own caste, who is beyond reproach and younger in age. If one desires to accept many wives he must marry them after the first marriage, and each wife should be of a successively lower caste.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.17.39
TRANSLATION
[Maharaja Prthu, who was very opulent due to the prosperity of his entire empire, remained at home as a householder. Since he was never inclined to utilize his opulences for the gratification of his senses, he remained unattached, exactly like the sun, which is unaffected in all circumstances.]
PURPORT
[The word grhesu is significant in this verse. Out of the four asramas — the brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa — only a grhastha, or householder, is allowed to associate with women; therefore the grhastha-asrama is a kind of license for sense gratification given to the devotee. Prthu Maharaja was special in that although he was given license to remain a householder, and although he possessed immense opulences in his kingdom, he never engaged in sense gratification. This was a special sign that indicated him to be a pure devotee of the Lord. A pure devotee is never attracted by sense gratification, and consequently he is liberated. In material life a person engages in sense gratification for his own personal satisfaction, but in the devotional or liberated life one aims to satisfy the senses of the Lord.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.22.52
[The words bhartur vrata-dharma-nisthaya indicate that a woman’s duty, or religious principle, is to serve her husband in all conditions. In Vedic civilization a man is taught from the beginning of his life to become a brahmacari, then an ideal grhastha, then vanaprastha, then sannyasi, and the wife is taught just to follow the husband strictly in all conditions of life. After the period of brahmacarya, a man accepts a householder’s life, and the woman is also taught by her parents to be a chaste wife. Thus when a girl and boy are united, both are trained for a life dedicated to a higher purpose. The boy is trained to execute his duty in accordance with the higher purpose of life, and the girl is trained to follow him. The chaste wife’s duty is to keep her husband pleased in householder life in all respects, and when the husband retires from family life, she is to go to the forest and adopt the life of vanaprastha, or vana-vasi. At that time the wife is to follow her husband and take care of him, just as she took care of him in householder life. But when the husband takes the renounced order of life, namely sannyasa, the wife is to return home and become a saintly woman, setting an example for her children and daughters-in-law and showing them how to live a life of austerity.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.23.20
[Large amounts of wealth are necessary to perform sacrifices. In former ages, tons of food were offered in a fire as a sacrifice, but this is not possible in this age. Therefore sankirtana-yajna, the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, is recommended. Anyone can chant Hare Krsna. There is no need for instruments, although Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the mrdanga (drum) and karatalas (cymbals). Otherwise, clapping in itself is sufficient. Anyone can sit down with his family, clap hands and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This sankirtana is very easy to perform. In the evening people go to restaurants and cinemas and waste time and money at clubs and dances. They are not aware of the fearful situation of birth, old age, disease and death. People are carried away by the waves of material nature, and they have submitted to its laws. We should not waste our time in this valuable human form but should begin to solve our problems.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TLK Vs 42
[Formerly, the taxes accumulated from the citizens were spent for performing great sacrifices as enjoined in the Vedic literature. At the present moment, however, almost all forms of sacrifice are not at all possible; therefore, it is recommended in the sastras that people should perform sankirtana-yajna. Any householder, regardless of his position, can perform this sankirtana-yajna without expenditure. All the family members can sit down together and simply clap their hands and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Somehow or other, everyone can manage to perform such a yajna and distribute prasada to the people in general. That is quite sufficient for this age of Kali. The Krsna consciousness movement is based on this principle: chant the Hare Krsna mantra at every moment, as much as possible, both inside and outside of the temples, and, as far as possible, distribute prasada. This process can be accelerated with the cooperation of state administrators and those who are producing the country’s wealth. Simply by liberal distribution of prasada and sankirtana, the whole world can become peaceful and prosperous.]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.12.10

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