grhastha etam padavim
vidhina yena canjasa
yayad deva-rse bruhi
sri-yudhisthirah uvaca—Yudhisthira Maharaja said; grhasthah—a person living with his family; etam—this (the process mentioned in the previous chapter); padavim—position of liberation; vidhina—according to the instructions of Vedic scripture; yena—by which; ca—also; anjasa—easily; yayat—may get; deva-rse—O great sage among the demigods; bruhi—kindly explain; madrsah—such as me; grha-mudha-dhih—completely ignorant of the goal of life.
Maharaja Yudhisthira inquired from Narada Muni: O my lord, O great sage, kindly explain how we who are staying at home without knowledge of the goal of life may also easily attain liberation, according to the instructions of the Vedas.
In the previous chapters the great sage Narada has explained how a brahmacari, a vanaprastha and a sannyasi should act. He first explained the dealings of a brahmacari, vanaprastha and sannyasi because these three asramas, or statuses of life, are extremely important for fulfillment of the goal of life. One should note that in the brahmacari-asrama, vanaprastha-asrama and sannyasa-asrama there is no scope for sex life, whereas sex is allowed in grhastha life under regulations. Narada Muni, therefore, first described brahmacarya, vanaprastha and sannyasa because he wanted to stress that sex is not at all necessary, although one who absolutely requires it is allowed to enter grhastha life, or household life, which is also regulated by the sastras and guru. Yudhisthira Maharaja could understand all this. Therefore, as a grhastha, he presented himself as grha-mudha-dhih, one who is completely ignorant of the goal of life. A person who remains a householder in family life is certainly ignorant of life’s goal; he is not very much advanced in intelligence. As soon as possible, one should give up his so-called comfortable life at home and prepare to undergo austerity, or tapasya. Tapo divyam putraka. According to the instructions given by Rsabhadeva to His sons, we should not create a so-called comfortable situation, but must prepare to undergo austerity. This is how a human being should actually live to fulfill life’s ultimate goal.
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