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Narada's Advice to Grhasthas
In Narada Muni's instructions to Yudhisthira, a grhastha is advised to associate with saintly persons and hear about Krsna. He should not claim that these activities have to be given up because of daily work
. One should work eight hours at the most to earn his livelihood, and either in the afternoon or in the evening, a householder should associate with devotees to hear about the incarnations of Krsna and His activities and thus be gradually liberated from the clutches of may a. However, instead of finding time to hear about Krsna, the householders, after working hard in offices and factories, find time to go to a restaurant or a club where instead of hearing about Krsna and His activities they are very much pleased to hear about the political activities of demons and non- devotees and to enjoy sex life, wine, women and meat and in this way waste their time. This is not grhastha life, but demoniac life. —Bhag. 7.HA, purport
Narada advises that one should earn his livelihood "as much as necessary to maintain body and soul together," and continue a detached attitude while living in human society. Prabhupada comments:
The wise man. . . 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.
—Bhag. 7.14.5, purport
Narada also advises one not to be a thief and claim proprietorship of all his wealth, but spend extra money for advancing oneself in Krsna consciousness.
The grhasthas should give contributions for constructing temples to the Supreme Lord and for preaching of Srimad-Bhagavad-gita, or Krsna consciousness, all over the world. . . The Krsna consciousness movement therefore affords one such an opportunity to spend his extra earnings for the benefit of all human society by expanding Krsna consciousness. In India especially we see hundreds and thousands of temples that were constructed by the wealthy men of society who did not want to be called thieves and be punished.—Bhag. 7.14.8, purport
Narada advises King Yudhisthira and all grhasthas to avoid ugrakarma, work which is hellishly difficult, risky, and implicated with sin. Prabhupada comments:
People are engaging in many sinful activities and becoming degraded by opening slaughterhouses, breweries and cigarette factories, as well as nightclubs and other establishments for sense enjoyment. In this way they are spoiling their lives. In all of these activities, of course, householders are involved, and therefore it is advised here, with the use of the word api, that even though one is a householder, one should not engage himself in severe hardships. One's means of livelihood should be extremely simple. —Bhag. 7.14.10, purport
Those devotees who donate their money for spreading Krsna consciousness are as meritorious as the devotees who actually spend the money in preaching activities. If a worker is hesitant to hand over his hard-earned money to the local temple, he can spend with his own hand for a worthy Krsna conscious project or a project which he directs -himself. One can buy Prabhupada's books and distribute them or send money to foreign missions of Krsna consciousness. Spending money for the spiritual development of one's own family mem-bers, by setting up Deity worship in the home, or by taking one's family on pilgrimage to the holy dhamas in India are all good ways to spiritualize earnings and to purify the sacrifice of work. As Lord Krsna states, "Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world" (Bg. 3.9).By using money in Krsna consciousness, the worker is not only freed from bad effects of karma, but he derives personal satisfaction which makes the austerities of labor more meaningful. A householder's charity should be given by him freely and out of his own sense of duty. Prabhupada writes, "Charity is sometimes performed for elevation to the heavenly kingdom and sometimes with great trouble and with repentance afterwards: Why have I spent so much in this way? Charity is also sometimes given under some obligation, at the request of a superior. These kinds of charity are said to be given in the mode of passion" (Bg. 17.21).