Householder Life

Instructions by Srila Prabhupada on the Duties of a Family Man

“I know in India there are many foolish persons who think that by reading Bhagavad-Gita one is apt to renounce this world. This is completely foolishness. Arjuna was a family man, a soldier, and he was directly taught the principles of Bhagavad-Gita, but he never renounced the world nor the battlefield. I do not know why there are certain crazy men who think like that, that if a man becomes devotee, he will have no more interest in worldly affairs. We are not Mayavadi; we do not state that the world is false. We say that if Krishna is truth, the world is also truth because the world is a manifestation of Krishna’s energy. So if Krishna is true, how His energy can be false?”
-Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Gopala Krsna – New Vrindaban, 5 June, 1969

“By the Vedic injunction, the wife is accepted as the better half of a man’s body because she is supposed to be responsible for discharging half of the duties of the husband. A family man has a responsibility to perform five kinds of sacrifices, called panca-yajna, in order to get relief from all kinds of unavoidable sinful reaction incurred in the course of his affairs.”
-SB 3.14.19, Bhaktivedanta Purport

“First of all, you are a family man, and usually at this point a man must think about providing for his wife and child. So if you like you can take a job”
-Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Hamsaduta- Vrindavan, 15 August, 1967

“It is especially mentioned that the means of livelihood of those who are trying to advance in Krishna consciousness must be very fair and uncomplicated. Here it is mentioned that he who earns his livelihood by unfair means (kevalena) is sent to the darkest hellish region. Otherwise, if one maintains his family by prescribed methods and honest means, there is no objection to one’s being a family man.”
-SB 3.30.33, Bhaktivedanta Purport

“The householder is duty-bound to maintain the members of all three of the other asramas, namely the brahmacaris, the vanaprasthas, and sannyasis. In this way, every member of society was given a chance to retire for a higher order of spiritual culture, and the householders neglected no one. The brahmacaris, vanaprasthas, and sannyasis all curtailed their necessities to the minimum, and therefore no one would begrudge maintaining them in the bare necessities of life.
In Kali-yuga, however, the entire system has gone topsy-turvy. The student lives in luxury at the expense of the father or the father-in-law. When the educated, indulgent student becomes a householder by the strength of university degrees, he requires money by all means for all kinds of bodily comfort, and therefore he cannot spare even a penny for the so-called vanaprasthas and sannyasis. The vanaprasthas and sannyasis nowadays are those who were unsuccessful in family life. Thus the so-called sannyasis try to construct another home in the name of the sannyasa-asrama and glide down into all sorts of luxury at the expense of others. So all these varṇas and asramas have now become so many transcendental frauds.”
-Light of the Bhagavata 32, Bhaktivedanta Purport

“Those who are gṛhisthas, family men, their duty is to raise their children to this Krishna consciousness so that actually the child will have full advantage of having a nice parent, nice father and mother.”
-Srila Prabhupada in a lecture at New Vrindavan, June 22, 1969