By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
tat sādhu manye ‘sura-varya dehinām
sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt
hitvātma-pātam grham andha-kūpam
vanam gato yad dharim āśrayeta
[SB 7.5.5 – click here to see translation of the above verse]
Prahlad Maharaj thought it right to get liberty first from cares and anxieties of household life. But is there any man who is completely carefree of household life. It is said that the management of a family is more difficult than that of an empire. Nobody is free from this troublesome business. Then what is the remedy?
Prahlad Maharaj suggests that one should altogether leave that soul-killing black hole of household life and go into the forest. Will that solve the problem of cares and anxieties? Are the jungle beasts – the tigers, the wolf, the bear, the monkey etc. – free from cares and anxieties? No. They are not carefree. Why, they live in the forest? Yes they live in the forests undoubtedly but they have no engagement in the service of the Lord. That is the cause of their cares and anxieties as much as the animals and beast in the human form.
The real remedy lies in the act of accepting the service of the lotus feet of the Lord. That makes one free from all cares and anxieties of life. That makes one able to see Godhead always and everywhere. The monkeys live in the forest – they live on fruits and flowers. They also live naked without any dress and there are many many monkeys in the human form who live naked, eat fruits and call themselves as Vanachary (the renounced Sannyasins) but just like the monkey they keep hundreds of women followers as their devotees and enjoy their company exactly like the monkey who keeps such hundreds of she monkeys in the company. Such monkeys sometimes appear in the midst of the urban and rural population and commit tremendous harm to the village economy. Similarly the so-called monkey-vanacharies, who have left their home in search of solving the problem of bread, cannot get any happiness liberated from the cares and anxieties of household life. They create another household rendezvous in the order of vanachary’s life and remain always full of cares and anxieties in the matter of protecting their personal interest in such household affairs of monasteries and business of temples. They are not carefree.
Prahlad Maharaj did not advise to adopt such false life of a vanachary. The real life of Vanachary is exhibited when one has taken cent percent shelter of the lotus feet of Hari (The Personality of Godhead). That is the real position of a Vanachary and it may be possible even without going into the so-called forest.
Prahlad Maharaj the author of this great instruction was himself a great king and householder but because from the very beginning of his life he practiced the art of taking shelter under the lotus feet of the Lord-he remained always a Vanachary even in the dress of a householder. He was always free from cares and anxieties because he knew that he was under the protection of the Lord.
[Back to Godhead, Volume 3 Part 8, June 29, 1956, Delhi]