Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā mitho ‘bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām (SB 7.5.30). Gṛha-vratānāṁ matir na kṛṣṇe. Those who have taken it a vow, that “I shall remain in this family life and improve my condition,” gṛha-vratānām… Gṛha-vrata. Gṛhastha and gṛha-vrata are different. Gṛhastha means gṛhastha-āśrama.

A man is living with husband and wife or children, but the aim is how to improve spiritual life. That is gṛhastha-āśrama. And one who has no such aim, he simply wants to enjoy the senses, and for that purpose he’s decorating the house, decorating the wife, children—that is called gṛha-vrata or gṛhamedhī. In Sanskrit there are different terms for different meaning. So those who are gṛha-vrata, they cannot be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā. Parataḥ means by the instruction of guru or instruction of authority, parataḥ. And svato vā. Svataḥ means automatically. And automatically is not possible even by instruction. Because his vow is that “I shall remain in this way.” Gṛha-vratānām. Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā mitho ‘bhipadyeta. Mithaḥ, not by conference, by meeting, by passing resolution, “If we want to become Kṛṣṇa conscious,” that is not possible. It is all individual. I have to surrender to Kṛṣṇa individually. Just like when you go to the sky on airplane, it is all individual. If one airplane is in danger, other airplane cannot save him. That is not possible. Similarly, it is all individual. It is all parataḥ svato vā. One has to take it seriously, personally, that “Kṛṣṇa wants, so I’ll surrender. Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), so I’ll do it.” Not that “When my father will do, then I shall do,” or “My husband will do, then I shall do,” or “My wife will do.” No. It is all individual. It is all individual. And there is no restraint. There is no restraint. Ahaituky apratihatā. If you want to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, nobody can check you. Ahaituky apratihatā yayā ātmā suprasīdati (SB 1.2.6). When you do that individually… If you… Collectively if it is done, it is good, but it has to be done individually.

Lecture on SB 1.7.24, Vrndavana, September 21, 1976

By His Divine Grace A. C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada or by a full title His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the founder-acharya of the International Society for Krsna consciousness and the pioneer in introducing devotional service in the Western countries. He is a pure devotee of Lord Krsna coming in the Gaudiya Vaisnava disciplic succession of realized spiritual masters. His numerous translations of ancient Vedic texts are recognized by scholars from Harvard, Cambridge, Princeton, Oxford, La Sorbonne and other major universities. He initiates all sincere souls into the knowledge of bhakti-yoga through his teachings.

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