dehe gehe ca panditah
virakto raktavat tatra
nr-loke naratam nyaset
yavat-artham—as much endeavor for one’s livelihood as necessary; upasinah—earning; dehe—in the body; gehe—in family matters; ca—also; panditah—one who is learned; viraktah—not at all attached; rakta-vat—as if very much attached; tatra—in this; nr-loke—human society; naratam—the human form of life; nyaset—one should depict.
While working to earn his livelihood as much as necessary to maintain body and soul together, one who is actually learned should live in human society unattached to family affairs, although externally appearing very much attached.
This is the picture of ideal family life. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked Ramananda Raya about the goal of life, Ramananda Raya described it in different ways, according to the recommendations of the revealed scriptures, and finally Sri Ramananda Raya explained that one may stay in his own position, whether as a brahmana, a sudra, a sannyasi or whatever, but one must try to inquire about life’s goal (athato brahma jijnasa). This is the proper utilization of the human form of life. When one misuses the gift of the human form by unnecessarily indulging in the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending and does not try to get out of the clutches of maya, which subjects one to repeated birth, death, old age and disease, one is again punished by being forced to descend to the lower species and undergo evolution according to the laws of nature. prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. Being completely under the grip of material nature, the living entity must evolve again from the lower species to the higher species until he at last returns to human life and gets the chance to be freed from the material clutches. A wise man, however, learns from the sastras and guru that we living entities are all eternal but are put into troublesome conditions because of associating with different modes under the laws of material nature. He therefore concludes that in the human form of life he should not endeavor for unnecessary necessities, but should live a very simple life, just maintaining body and soul together. Certainly one requires some means of livelihood, and according to one’s varna and asrama this means of livelihood is prescribed in the sastras. One should be satisfied with this. Therefore, instead of hankering for more and more money, a sincere devotee of the Lord tries to invent some ways to earn his livelihood, and when he does so Krsna helps him. Earning one’s livelihood, therefore, is not a problem. The real problem is how to get free from the bondage of birth, death and old age. Attaining this freedom, and not inventing unnecessary necessities, is the basic principle of Vedic civilization. One should be satisfied with whatever means of life comes automatically. The modern materialistic civilization is just the opposite of the ideal civilization. Every day the so-called leaders of modern society invent something contributing to a cumbersome way of life that implicates people more and more in the cycle of birth, death, old age and disease.
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