Books and Me: Spiritual Life Of The Householder

Book Title: Spiritual Life of the householderSpiritual_life_o_4bcec5ae932a3

Author: Swami Ranganathananda

‘Grhastha’ means Householder. ‘Grhastha Dharma’ means duties of a householder. Most people end up leading worldly lives. They are born into a family and grow a family. A few of these people which is most often a small minority, take to spirituality in the real sense.  They go to talks, listen to tapes, attend satsangs and read books.  They take the little learning back to their homes where the nuances of day to day living challenge their learning.   All of these create doubts in the mind of the earnest student. They also result in confusion and conflict.  While most people give up at this stage and drop spirituality, a few stay with these conflicting question longer. Most of the core texts on spiritual philosophy, don’t speak about the world or such conflicts. It takes some of these learned masters to help clarify to lead a spiritual life as a householder.

This little booklet is by Swami Ranganathananda, a very senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order. During his days, he was a sought after speaker, especially by lay disciples.  His ability to translate serious philosophy into practical tips of use for the people who live in the world, remains a treasure house of wisdom.  The two lectures relating to the topic were offered by the Swamiji in the early 90s in Hindi.  The talks have been transcribed and translated and further edited by the author before appearing in this current book form.

The two lectures are titled, ‘Grhastha Dharma’ and ‘How to be an ideal householder’. Many of the books, provide explanation on the transcendental, but Swamiji’s lectures help the householder devotees to apply spiritual living in day to day activities, without confusion or conflict.  Though some of the contextual references are dated the essential message is highly relevant and applicable.

Though this is not the last word on spiritual life, it is definitely a nice beginning.

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