Importance of Charity for Grihasth Ashram

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.43 - Importance of Charity for Grihasth Ashram (download mp3)
by Radha Dyuti Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 11.17.43
siloƱcha-vrttya paritusta-citto
 dharmam mahantam virajam jusanah
mayy arpitatma grha eva tisthan
 nati-prasaktah samupaiti santim

A brahmana householder should remain satisfied in mind by gleaning rejected grains from agricultural fields and marketplaces. Keeping himself free of personal desire, he should practice magnanimous religious principles, with consciousness absorbed in Me. In this way a brahmana may stay at home as a householder without very much attachment and thus achieve liberation.

Mahantam refers to magnanimous religious principles such as very hospitably receiving guests, even those who are uninvited and unexpected. Householders must always be magnanimous and charitable to others, being alert to curb unnecessary affection and attachment in family life. In the past, very renounced brahmana householders would collect grains that had fallen on the ground in the marketplace or those that had been left behind in the fields after harvesting. The most important item here is mayy arpitatma, or fixing the mind in Lord Krsna. Despite his material situation, anyone who constantly meditates upon the Lord can become a liberated soul. As stated in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.187):

iha yasya harer dasye
 karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv api avasthasu
 jivan-muktah sa ucyate

“A person acting in Krsna consciousness [or, in other words, in the service of Krsna] with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated person, even within the material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called material activities.”

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