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  • Volunteer

    Dear Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances.

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    If somebody just follows varnashrama without  worshiping the Lord, then they are on the platform of mundane religiosity. It is certainly much better than to live completely unregulated lives like in Western countries, because at least they are following the lifestyle that Krishna gave to human beings. But still they miss the point that all this system is meant to develop affection for the Lord. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita to leave all mundane dharmas and take to His service.

    Srimad Bhagavatam also starts saying: dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra (1.1.2) - rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated. But later in the Srimad Bhagavatam we stil see many people following Varnashram, just as Kardama Muni, who even got darshan of the Lord, but still asked Him for a wife. But the difference is that his goal was to become a pure devotee of the Lord at the end, he just had that material desire. So he got a good wife by the Lord's grace, lived with her according to the Lord's rules, and even the Lord Himself came as his son, Kapila Muni. And at the end he became renounced and completely dedicated himself to the Lord's service. 

    So when we accept the Lord's service as the ultimate goal, but still have some material desires, we follow the Varnashrama system, but at the same time it is absolutely neccessary to accept the direct services of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and hearing Srimad Bhagavatam.

    One thing is that in the previous ages people could actually progress quite nicely just by strictly following Varnashrama. But in this age it is not possible to follow all the rules. Just like brahmacari should never see the face of a woman, how many can follow that? And grihastha should go out every day after cooking his meal and invite anybody who is hungry to come and dine with him, how many grihasthas can to that? And vanaprashta should live in the forest and dress in tree bark, who can do that? So many rules are not possible to follow in this age, so without chanting and hearing it is not possible to advance nicely by Varnashrama alone. But if we follow whatever we can along with our hearing and chanting, then we advance spiritually and also take care of our material needs.

    And although the duration of life is said to be 100 years in this age, most people do not live that long. Air, water and food pollution and unregulated lifestyle had produced many new diseases, and so many people die untimely in traffic accidents etc. So there is absolutely no guarantee for anybody that they will survive until their age of retirement and still be in a sound condition. So there is no reasonable excuse not to engage in devotional service...

    Your servant,

    Madhavi-lata d.d.

    • Hare Krsna  Mataji as you said in the previous ages people could actually progress quite nicely just by strictly following Varnashrama. So following this is karma yoga right. varnasrama included god conscious people who were following it

      • Volunteer

        Dear Prabhu,
        Please accept my humble obeisances.
        All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

        Yes, following Varnashram is Karma Yoga, if the person following it understands that all their activities are meant for the pleasure of Supreme Lord. Because karma yoga means engaging our activities in devotional service.

        When we become God conscious, there are still things we must do with our bodies, our social duties etc. So Varnashrama is the best social system for being God conscious. Therefore devotees can use it even in this age.

        Your humble servant,
        Madhavi-lata d.d.

  • Volunteer

    Dear Bh. Rahul,

    Please accept my humble obeisances.

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    As you probably know very well, there are 4 phases of human life in the Varnashrama system: brahmacari (student), grhastha (householder), vanaprastha (retirement) and sannyasa (renounced). So in the materialistic Varnashrama, which is not connected to Krishna, the person in family life simply enjoys and only after retiring they start to try for liberation or for devotion.

    But in the Daivi Varnasharama which we as Krishna's devotees are trying to follow, every phase of life is meant to serve Krishna and try to please Him with our duties. So among Vaishnavas, even a grhastha man or a woman can become a paramahamsa, if they connect all aspects of their life to Krishna consciousness, engage in hearing and chanting the Lord's names and glories and execute their duties in pure devotion for Krishna's satisfaction.

    But of course often the householders may have a difficult time with their spiritual practices, due to so many entanglements and distractions with their relatives, job, children etc. So as their children grow up and the material obligations diminish, they may find a more peaceful time for their spiritual life.

    But development of Krishna consciousness is not limited to any external material situation.

    Hope this helps you in some way,

    Your servant,

    Madhavi-lata d.d.

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