TEXT 18
sarvasraman upadaya
svasramena kalatravan
vyasanarnavam atyeti
jala-yanair yatharnavam
SYNONYMS
sarva—all; asraman—social orders; upadaya—completing; sva—own; asramena—by the social orders; kalatra-van—a person living with a wife; vyasana-arnavam—the dangerous ocean of material existence; atyeti—one can cross over; jala-yanaih—with seagoing vessels; yatha—as; arnavam—the ocean.
TRANSLATION
As one can cross over the ocean with seagoing vessels, one can cross the dangerous situation of the material ocean by living with a wife.
PURPORT
There are four social orders for cooperation in the endeavor for liberation from material existence. The orders of brahmacarya, or pious student life, household life with a wife, retired life and renounced life all depend for successful advancement on the householder who lives with a wife. This cooperation is essential for the proper functioning of the institution of the four social orders and the four spiritual orders of life. This Vedic varnasrama system is generally known as the caste system. The man who lives with a wife has a great responsibility in maintaining the members of the other social orders—the brahmacaris, vanaprasthas and sannyasis. Except for the grhasthas, or the householders, everyone is supposed to engage in the spiritual advancement of life, and therefore the brahmacari, the vanaprastha and the sannyasi have very little time to earn a livelihood. They therefore collect alms from the grhasthas, and thus they secure the bare necessities of life and cultivate spiritual understanding. By helping the other three sections of society cultivate spiritual values, the householder also makes advancement in spiritual life. Ultimately every member of society automatically becomes spiritually advanced and easily crosses the ocean of nescience.

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