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Title: Life begins at Fifty

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-04-22 07:54:01



There are many references throughout Prabhupada's writings and discussions - here are a few:



"Vedic authority says that a householder must leave home after his fiftieth

year.  One must leave his family life and enter the forest after the age of


(entering the forest means giving up the entangling household considerations and

praticing Naam Bhakti Yoga full-time with wife or husband without sexual relations.)


SB 3.24.41. Purport: "Going to the forest is compulsory for everyone. It is

not a mental excursion upon which one person goes and another does not.

Everyone should go to the forest at least as a vanaprastha. Forest-going

means to take one-hundred-percent shelter of the Supreme Lord, as explained

by Prahlada Maharaja in his talks with his father."


11.18.1    Purport:   "Vanaprastha is intended as a gradual transition from

materialistic family life to the stage of complete renunciation.


Madhya 24.259


"Narada Muni then advised the hunter, 'Return home and distribute whatever

riches you have to the pure brahmanas who know the Absolute Truth. After you

have distributed all your riches to the brahmanas, you and your wife should

leave home, each of you taking only one cloth to wear.'



This is the process of renunciation at the stage of vanaprastha. After

enjoying householder life for some time, the husband and wife must leave

home and distribute their riches to brahmanas and Vaisnavas. One can keep

his wife as an assistant in the vanaprastha stage. The idea is that the wife

will assist the husband in spiritual advancement. Therefore Narada Muni

advised the hunter to adopt the vanaprastha stage and leave home. It is not

that a grhastha should live at home until he dies. Vanaprastha is

preliminary to sannyasa. In the Krsna consciousness movement there are many

young couples engaged in the Lord's service. Eventually they are supposed to

take vanaprastha, and after the vanaprastha stage the husband may take

sannyasa in order to preach. The wife may then remain alone and serve the

Deity or engage in other activities within the Krsna consciousness movement.