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A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam-5.5

5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-5.

In the next stage, which is generally called Grihastha, a kind of life is prescribed which is markedly different from the purely ascetic life of Brahmacharya through conservation of energy. Grihastha is the system provided for the utilisation of this energy. During the early years of Brahmacharya, the energy should not be utilised. It has been kept intact, totally conserved so that it keeps one brilliant not only in the brain, but also in the face, and that itself is a satisfaction. In the stage of Grihastha, permission is given for certain types of enjoyment and experience, coupled with duty. There is no duty for a Brahmacharin. The only duty is to study, conserve energy, and offer prayers. But the Grihastha has a double responsibility of the performance of duty, and also the acquisition of values that are permissible under those circumstances.

Now, a Grihastha does not necessarily mean a person with a wife. Even a per…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana -5.8


Discourse 5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharma-8.

In earlier days, people in the Vanaprastha stage would go to live in the forest, but that is not to be taken literally as a necessity. We have to be completely free from the entanglements of a household life. Here, the preparation starts for the utilisation of the conserved energy for the purpose of direct meditation.

There was some kind of activity in the Brahmacharya stage, and more activity in the Grihastha stage, and now the activity that was earlier externally motivated in many ways becomes directed internally, and it becomes a mental energising process only.

The Vanaprastha lives in his mind, in his thought, and not in his actions. In earlier stages, actions contributed a lot to the conservation of energy and the fulfilment of the duties of life, but now thought itself is enough; and one contemplates by gathering up all one’s energies on the great aim of life.

Though the final aim of life is kept in mind …

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam-5.7


5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-7.

What the world is made of has to be understood; and we have to pass through all these structural essences of the world. Every experience of the world has to be passed through.

There are gifts that the world can give, and it can also give sorrows. It is not that everyone is born only to have a cosy life without any kind of difficulty, as the problems, sufferings, sorrows, and the joys of life are the obverse and reverse of the same coin.

No one can have only one side. It is not that we have to be always sorrowing throughout our life, nor also that we have to be enjoying throughout our life. One cannot be without the other; they exist as two sides of a single experience.

A time comes when we feel that it is not necessary for us to expect anything from the world. It is not that the world cannot give anything to us, nor that we cannot take; but it is not necessary to take. We can become so mature that we are content…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam-5.6

5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-6.

It is immaterial whether we marry or not. It depends upon the need that is felt inside. Even in the Himalayas we may feel that we are a Grihastha because of the pressure that we feel inside. The external things, appurtenances, husband, wife, etc., are only symbols of forms of an inner connotation, a need that is felt inside us. What binds us or liberates us is the need that is felt inside. We are the makers of our destiny; we create our bondage, and we are also responsible for our freedom. No external aid can help us in this matter. But external aids are sometimes necessary, just as we require a pen to write a book, a plate on which to eat our meal, a glass for drinking water, a seat to sit on, and a bed to lie on. These are external forms of requirement necessitated by the needs felt inside, which otherwise cannot be expressed properly. If the need can be sublimated, the external appurtenances are not necessary.


A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam-5.4


5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-4.


We feel a great joy when we pour ourselves externally in love for power, in love for money, in love for enjoyments of various kinds, not knowing that this is not real pleasure because when the tension that is created in us—when the quantum of energy already existing in us—wells up like an elephant’s energy, it does not know what to do. Either it will go vertically or it will go horizontally. Like a river in flood, it can move in any direction.


It is necessary that we should prepare a program of our life by which our energy quantum rises vertically, and does not move horizontally. Otherwise, it will be like a dissipated river flooding everywhere and destroying villages and persons. The vertical ascent of energy is the art of the Brahmacharya system. The energy rises gradually through the lower parts of the body to the upper part until the brain becomes brilliant, sharp, and able to catch everything very quickly.


A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam-5.3


5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-3.

Good company—the tutelage of good parents, good teachers, good guides, good Gurus—and a thorough study of good scriptures and textbooks that are contributory to increasing one’s mental, intellectual and physical energy, are what is required during one’s youth. It is called Brahmacharya Ashrama. These days, Brahmacharya Ashrama does not exist at all, due to the trouble into which one is cast right from the beginning itself through the web of problems of life arising from the very inception of one’s existence.

But anyone who is interested in the welfare of their own being, and knows what is good for them, has to remember that the pleasant is not always the good. We always like pleasant things, sweet things, and they attract our senses perpetually, so that the senses gather our energies and pour them outwards on the conditions of life outside; and if this is the habit that we form right from the beginning of life, we will…

A Summary of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam-5.2


5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharmam-2.

If we do not believe that our life will continue for one hundred years and think that it may be less, we have to proportionately arrange the pattern of our life accordingly for the fulfilment which life intends. Study and intellectual training, building up of acumen through the gathering of knowledge in a Gurukula under a competent master, and purifying oneself in every way through prayer, meditation, japa, surya namaskara, and the service of the Guru under whom the student lives during these preparatory years, pave the way for the necessary apparatus required to live life later on.

Many fortunate ones are born in favourable circumstances—in a family of good parents who are examples of good behaviour, good conduct, and who themselves are religiously oriented. We cannot find such parents everywhere. The conditions of life today have changed so much that one has to work hard to wean oneself from the distractions which co…