Householder Life

How Should Grihasthas Deal with Other Living Entities

The following verse appears in the Pancha Tantra:

Ayam nijah paro vyakti gananam laghucetasam

Uadar caritanam tu vasudhaiv kutumbakam

One who is narrow-minded, (laghu cetasam) thinks in terms of this is mine, and I must use it for myself. But one who is broad-minded (udar caritanam), considers the whole universe as his family, Krishna’s family. In the Bhagvad- Gita, the Lord says, “it should be understood that all species of life are made possible by birth in the material nature and that I am the seed-giving father.”

A grihastha should accept all living beings as his own family, not just human beings in the form of guests and near and dear ones!

A question may arise as to what we should do when we encounter pests like rodents, cockroaches, mosquitoes, etc. in our dwelling places? We must adopt methods to keep away these pests, especially by maintaining high standards of cleanliness.

A grihastha is naturally kind to all animals, especially the cow, who gives milk and is therefore a mother to mankind. Obviously, a grihastha who keeps Krishna in the centre of his life fosters the vasudhaiv kutumbakam culture. This indeed was the culture, before the advent of nuclear families and TV-Video culture!

Reproduced from the Grahastha Manual by Radhanath Swami Maharaj.