The Purpose of Grhastha Asrama

By Giriraj Swami

When I first joined ISKCON in 1969, we all were quite young and not many of us were married. And we were so new to Krsna consciousness and so dependent on Srila Prabhupada that we asked him for guidance in every area. When one devotee, Advaita dasa, who had recently gotten married, asked Srila Prabhupada about his having loving feelings for his wife, Prabhupada replied, “One hand cannot love the other hand directly—it must go through the stomach. Similarly, one person cannot love another person unless God is in the center.” There is the right hand, and there is the left hand, but what connects them is the body. In this example, the two hands are the husband and wife, and the body is Krsna. We had to change our consciousness, Prabhupada told us, and put Krsna at the center. That, he said, would make all the difference. When our false ego is at the center, we have so many problems, but when Krsna is at the center, our relationships become harmonious.

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