Chapter 24, On The Duties of a Householder

The following verses lay down the duties of a householder.

May all he meritorious acts that we have done as householders living in (towns and) villages, such as the dissemination of knowledge, the procreation of children, the promulgation of good social laws, and other acts calculated to promote the general weal, or as dwellers in the forest such as the meditation of God, the acquisition of knowledge by self-study, the performance of austerities, acts conducive to the good of the society and good acts of the senses and the mind, may all these have the attainment of God and emancipation as their motive and whatever sins we may have committed knowingly or unknowingly those we may destroy by the observance of the rules of the Ashramas (stages of life).

God commands that men should speak thus (to one another):-

Give me knowledge, money, etc. for my benefit, I also shall give thee in return; treat

me good-naturedly, with liberality and good manners, I also shall treat you in the same way; deal by me fairly according to the Dharma of business, i.e., sale, purchase, gift, etc., I also shall deal by you similarly. May all of us associate with one another in speaking the truth, believing the truth, acting the truth and listening to truthful speech. May we transact all our business according to the truth.”

“O men! Desirous of entering the life of a householder marry according to your free choice and establish a home for yourself. Do not be afraid of performing the duties of a householder and do not tremble (at the thought). Aspire to obtain the objects (of the world) with courage and strength. (address the other householders as follows):- ‘i come to make my home among you fortified with courage and strength, with pure mind and excellent intellect.’

A man remembers the house in which he ha lived with great comfort and their owners. He, therefore, invites to his house the persons

associated with such houses, viz, the friends, the relations, the teachers, etc., on the occasion of marriage, etc. as a mark of honor so that they may bear a witness to his vows to observe the laws of marriage, to his matured intellect and to the fact that he has married out of free choice after attaining manhood.

“O God! May I have an abundance of domestic animals, land, sense organs (i.e., vigor of body), knowledge, light and pleasure, etc. in the householder’s stage by Thy favor. May the sheep and goats be friendly to me. Besides the aforesaid objects may I have in my house the excellent juices of edible things. O ye objects! i.e., those which have been mentioned above, I acquire you for my protection and pleasure. May, I by acquiring you, obtain the joys of this world and the bliss of emancipation in the next world. Living in the houses-holder’s stage all men should promote the twofold happiness which has been referred to above.”

[Here there is an anomalous use of the person (the 2nd person being used for the third

in connection with the objects, domestic animals, etc.) In the Nighantu the word shama is included among pada names]. Yaju III. 41, 42, 43, 50.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *