The key to success in the grihastha ashram is to keep Lord Krishna in the centre. Man is like butter and woman is like fire. So it is but natural that when a man and woman come together, there is an attachment on the bodily platform. If this attachment is diverted (deflected) towards Lord Krishna, then it can become perfect grihastha life.
Married life is not for sex indulgence. The principle of marriage is on the background of getting good children. The house-holder is allowed to have sex life once a month, just after the wife’s menstrual period, which prolongs for at least for five days. So after these five days, one can have sex life provided the grihsastha desires to get a child. As soon as the wife is pregnant, no more sex life until the child is born and becomes at least 6 months old. After that one may have sex-life on the same principle.
If one does not want more than one or two children, he should voluntarily stop sex life. But one should strictly not use any contraceptive method and at the same time indulge in sex life. That is very much sinful. [Srila Prabhupada’s letter to Satsvarupdas 68-09-20 San Fransisco]
There is a saying that “A family that prays together, stays together”. Therefore, a man and woman should live together only in relation to Krishna, understanding from a spiritual point of view that this is not my husband or my wife and we are all parts and parcel of Lord Krishna.
Externally, we should perform our duties of husband and wife very nicely but our consciousness, the purpose of our lives should be to help each other to love and serve Lord Krishna. A family means to come together, chant Hare Krishna, serve the Lord, hear Srimad Bhagavatam, honor prasadam and be happy. This holds good for any
family – the family of grihasthas, family of devotees or the family of the human species in the entire Universe.
Do sankirtan yagna every day, hear and chant about Lord Krishna, distribute prasadam, serve the devotees, thus keep Krishna in the centre and make our life perfect.
If we want a plant to grow, it is not enough just to sow the seed, one requires proper soil, air and water. Similarly, if we want the creeper of devotional service to Krishna to grow, it is necessary to provide proper Vedic culture and environment in our homes, in the temple, in the community. It is then possible to lead a happy Krishna conscious life and create a Krishna conscious society.
Reproduced from the Grahastha Manual by Radhanath Swami Maharaj.