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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 1 > Householder Vaisnava


Householder Vaisnava


1. Who is a real householder? In whose house should a pure Vaisnava accept prasadat?


One who chants one million holy names of the Lord every day is a real householder; a pure Vaisnava should take prasdda in his house.

{Sajjana-tosanl 11/12)


2. What are the general characteristics of the renunciates and the householders?


Persons who are filled with attachment for material enjoyment can never tolerate the urges of the genitals. Many of them engage in illicit activities. Those who thirst for devotional service are divided into two groups. Those whose attraction has been purified by the strength of sadhu-sanga give up the association of women altogether and continuously engage in devotional service. Persons in this group are known as renounced Vaisnavas. Those whose propensity for associating with women has not been destroyed accept the code of marriage and remain as householders while engaging in devotional service.(Sajjana-tosanl 11/5)


3.How should a Vaisnava householder behave with his wife and children?


A Vaisnava householder should get his wife initiated into the Vaisnava religion and, as far as possible, teach her the science of Vaisnavism. If one enhances the world of Vaisnavas by the assistance of one's Vaisnava wife, one no longer indulges in discussing material topics. A Vaisnava householder should consider his children servants of the Supreme Lord. (Caitanya-siksamrta 3/2)


4.Is the instruction to control the six urges meant for householders?


A self-realized person who is able to conquer the six urges can conquer the entire world. The instructions to tolerate the urges are only meant for the householder devotees, because the renunciates have already achieved perfection in this regard before they left their house. (Upadesamrta 1 commentary)


5.How should the householder Vaisnavas maintain their life?


The householder Vaisnavas should always refrain from sinful activities, and after earning money through proper means, they should maintain their family, which belongs to Krsna. The character of the renunciate Vaisnavas should particularly become pure. (Sajjana-tosanl 5/90)


6.How can the householders best use their earnings?


Those who earn a healthy amount of money can spend some of it to pay tax to the government and some of it to maintain their families. In this way, they can save whatever surplus money they have. They should spend the accumulated money for religious activities. There are various types of improper spending, such as using money to eat meat, drink wine, engage in useless court cases, give charity to unqualified persons, and go to the cinema and theater. Those who wish to become the servants of Sriman Mahaprabhu should not use their surplus money in sinful activities; they should use it for a good cause. Apart from serving a guest, educating a student, giving medicine to a sick person, feeding a poor or a distressed person, and relieving a poor person from the responsibility of his daughter's marriage, there is a more important way to properly use one's accumulated money. One should spend one's money in the service of the Supreme Lord and His devotees. The duty of householder Vaisnavas is to donate some portion of their surplus money for the smooth running of the daily service of the Lord. {Sajjana-tosanl 7/2)


7.Why should the householders serve guests?


Serving guests is the principal duty of the householders. Any country where this principle is absent is as good as a desert and should be rejected. The lives of householders who do not entertain guests are useless and are in the lead among sinful people. Serving guests is a must for householders. The inevitable sinful activities that a householder commits are destroyed simply by serving guests.(Sajjana-tosani 8/12)


8.Should a Vaisnava householder discriminate between an ordinary guest and a Vaisnava guest?


Whenever a devotee householder receives a guest, he examines whether the guest is an ordinary guest or a Vaisnava guest. If he has a Vaisnava guest, then he exhibits more affection to his guest than to his own brother. He serves his guest properly and tries to enhance his own devotional service by associating with such a guest. If he receives an ordinary guest, he serves him to the best of his ability, according to worldly etiquettes. Such is the behavior of a Vaisnava householder.{Sajjana-tosani 8/12)


9.What is the principal activity of a householder?


The principal activity of a householder is to serve the devotees of the Lord. {Sajjana-tosani 11/12)


10.When should a householder become attentive?


A Vaisnava householder should take special care in associating with saintly persons. {Sajjana-tosani 11/12)


11.What ideal example should a Vaisnava householder follow?


Why should they give up the desire for material enjoyment? The Vaisnava householders should build their character following in the footsteps of Mahaprabhu and His associates. The behavior that the Lord and His devotees personally displayed in earning their livelihood and maintaining their lives should be totally imitated by the householder devotees. To engage in activities with a desire to please Krsna is always good. On the other hand, if they engage in activities with a desire for sense gratification and to obtain irrelevant results, they become materialists.{Sajjana-tosani 11/12)


12.What are the other activities of a Vaisnava householder?


A Vaisnava householder should offer respect to tulasi. {Sajjana-tosani 11/12)


13.Should a Vaisnava householder collect more than necessary?


The Vaisnava householders should accumulate as much wealth as they require to maintain their devotional life. If they accumulate more than that, they will be at fault for accumulating too much. Persons who endeavor to worship the Lord should give up this habit of the materialists.

{Upadesamrta verse 2 commentary)


14.Should a Vaisnava householder endeavor hard for his food and clothes?


A Vaisnava householder should feel happy with whatever food and clothing he easily gets. {Sajjana-tosani 11/12)


15.With what kind of Vaisnavas should a Vaisnava householder hold a festival?


A Vaisnava householder should respect other Vaisnavas, and he should take shelter of the lotus feet of the superior as well as the topmost Vaisnavas. He should hold festivals in the company of such Vaisnavas.{Sri Manah-siksa Verse 10)


16.In which subject should a householder remain particularly careful?


A householder should remain extremely careful not to commit offenses against the Vaisnavas. {Sajjana-tosani 11/12)


17.Should a devotee become a sannydsi or a householder?


For a devotee to remain a householder or to become a sannydsi is the same thing. {Sajjana-tosani 11/12)


18.What is the position of a householder? Should one remain a householder forever?


The position of the householder is like a school for the living entity to learn and awaken the science of the self. (Jaiva Dharma Chapter 7)


19.Can a householder award one sannyasa?


One should take sannydsa only from a renounced Vaisnava. Since a devotee householder has not relished the behavior of a renunciate, he should not give sannydsa to anyone. (Jaiva Dharma Chapter 7)