5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharma :
It is immaterial whether we marry or not. It depends upon the need that is felt inside. Even in the Himalayas we may feel that we are a Grihastha because of the pressure that we feel inside. The external things, appurtenances, husband, wife, etc., are only symbols of forms of an inner connotation, a need that is felt inside us. What binds us or liberates us is the need that is felt inside. We are the makers of our destiny; we create our bondage, and we are also responsible for our freedom. No external aid can help us in this matter. But external aids are sometimes necessary, just as we require a pen to write a book, a plate on which to eat our meal, a glass for drinking water, a seat to sit on, and a bed to lie on. These are external forms of requirement necessitated by the needs felt inside, which otherwise cannot be expressed properly. If the need can be sublimated, the external appurtenances are not necessary.
There are duties imposed upon a householder, apart from this justification for enjoyment in a controlled manner. The duty is to be of service to people. Social welfare, which is very much emphasised these days, is part and parcel of the requirement of a Grihastha life. A Grihastha is not a libertine who can do whatever he likes. It is, again, a life of austerity. Inasmuch as the duties control the enjoyments of life, all the experiences in that condition become spiritualised. Wherever duty controls experience, that particular experience gets spiritualised. Where we have no duty but only rights, there is an adverse effect produced by our experiences. This is a purely psychological secret into which we have to delve for our own welfare.
To be continued ...