Narada Muni’s Instructions on Ideal Family Life from Srimad Bhagavatam

narada muni

Narada Muni’s Instructions on Ideal Family Life from Srimad Bhagavatam

Here’s how Narada Muni instructed Maharaja Yudhisthira on how to lead an ideal family life. These excerpts are taken from the 7th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

“Maharaja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired from Narada Muni: O my lord, O great sage, kindly explain how we who are staying at home without knowledge of the goal of life may also easily attain liberation, according to the instructions of the Vedas.”

“Narada Muni replied: My dear King, those who stay at home as householders must act to earn their livelihood, and instead of trying to enjoy the results of their work themselves, they should offer these results to Krishna, Vasudeva. How to satisfy Vasudeva in this life can be perfectly understood through the association of great devotees of the Lord.”

A gṛihastha must associate again and again with saintly persons, and with great respect he must hear the nectar of the activities of the Supreme Lord and His incarnations as these activities are described in Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Puranas. Thus one should gradually become detached from affection for his wife and children, exactly like a man awakening from a dream.”

“While working to earn his livelihood as much as necessary to maintain body and soul together, one who is actually learned should live in human society unattached to family affairs, although externally appearing very much attached.”

“An intelligent man in human society should make his own program of activities very simple. If there are suggestions from his friends, children, parents, brothers or anyone else, he should externally agree, saying, “Yes, that is all right,” but internally he should be determined not to create a cumbersome life in which the purpose of life will not be fulfilled.”
-Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.1-6

“Even if one is a householder rather than a brahmacari, a sannyasi or a vanaprastha, one should not endeavor very hard for religiosity, economic development or satisfaction of the senses. Even in householder life, one should be satisfied to maintain body and soul together with whatever is available with minimum endeavor, according to place and time, by the grace of the Lord. One should not engage oneself in ugra-karma.”

“Dogs, fallen persons and untouchables, including canḍalas [dog-eaters], should all be maintained with their proper necessities, which should be contributed by the householders. Even one’s wife at home, with whom one is most intimately attached, should be offered for the reception of guests and people in general.”

“One so seriously considers one’s wife to be his own that he sometimes kills himself for her or kills others, including even his parents or his spiritual master or teacher. Therefore if one can give up his attachment to such a wife, he conquers the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never conquered by anyone.”

“Through proper deliberation, one should give up attraction to his wife’s body because that body will ultimately be transformed into small insects, stool or ashes. What is the value of this insignificant body? How much greater is the Supreme Being, who is all-pervading like the sky?”
– Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.10-13

A.C. Bhativedanta Swami Prabhupada
A.C. Bhativedanta Swami Prabhupada
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Founder-Acharya of ISKCON