Krishna Conscious Children and the Gṛhastha Ashram

Srila Prabhupada with children

My wife read me following letter this morning, that she saw on FaceBook. It is a letter written by Srila Prabhupada in 1971 to his female disciple Indira devi dasi, and is explaining how to practice household life (gṛhastha ashram) in Krishna consciousness.

My Dear Indira,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter. So far your son leaving you, his parents, at 5 years, that is not necessary. Especially our Krishna Conscious children; they are already living in a asrama. The children of our devotees may live with their parents perpetually because you are all living in the temple and already engaged in devotional service. Other instructions are for those not engaged in Krishna Consciousness. Any family engaged in Krishna’s service is living not in this material world. Such a home is considered as Vaikuntha. That is the verdict of Bhaktivinode Thakura.

Full Letter

Letters by Srila Prabhupada
15 August, 1971 London

My Dear Indira,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter. So far your son leaving you, his parents, at 5 years, that is not necessary. Especially our Krishna Conscious children; they are already living in a asrama. The children of our devotees may live with their parents perpetually because you are all living in the temple and already engaged in devotional service. Other instructions are for those not engaged in Krishna Consciousness. Any family engaged in Krishna’s service is living not in this material world. Such a home is considered as Vaikuntha. That is the verdict of Bhaktivinode Thakura.

So if you are afraid of your husband’s taking sannyasa, I shall not give him sannyasa order at any time. Be rest assured. Your husband is already a householder sannyasi because he has no other business than to serve Krishna. You can be living peacefully with husband and children and always engaged in Krishna Consciousness. One should become sannyasa by action, not by dress. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that any person who doesn’t work for himself but for Krishna only is a perfect sannyasa and perfect yogi, never mind what order he lives in. That is the opinion of Lord Caitanya also.

I have seen the picture clipping enclosed by you and it is very very nice. Please offer my blessings to your good husband Vamanadeva. I can see that our St. Louis center is doing very nicely. Thank you very much.

Hoping this will meet you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

…The four divisions of human life, namely the brahmacārī, the gṛhastha, the vānaprastha, and the sannyāsī, are all meant to help men become perfect yogīs or transcendentalists. Since human life is not meant for our enjoying sense gratification like the animals, the four orders of human life are so arranged that one may become perfect in spiritual life. (from Bhagavada-gita 4.26 purport)

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