Living as a householder

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A bird flies in the sky without leaving any mark, a fish swims in the water without making any footprints, the lotus lives in the water untouched, and the swan swims across the stream without getting wet. Similarly, as we are told in the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), one can live amidst the so called "impurities" of the material world without being affected. In this context, this Gurbani Reflection will attempt to reflect on as to who and what the householder is, and what constitutes a "liberated" householder.

ਸੋ ਗਿਰਹੀ ਜੋ ਨਿਗ੝ਰਹ੝ ਕਰੈ ॥ਜਪ੝ ਤਪ੝ ਸੰਜਮ੝ ਭੀਖਿਆ ਕਰੈ ॥]

So girehee jo nigrahu karai.jap thap sanjam bheekhiaa karai
He alone is a householder, who restrains his passions and begs for meditation, austerity and self-discipline

sggs page 952

Who Is A Householder?

Is God a householder? Yes. The entire creation is His family! For that, He is the biggest householder because He runs the largest family. He is in everything, and everything is in Him. Yet, He is aloof, untouched and detached (Bairaagee); like the lotus flower!

Now, let us look at the man. He has two families: an immediate family and an extended family. The immediate family of a person includes ten children and one spouse. Ten senses — five organs of perception and five organs of action — constitute ten children, and the mind constitutes the spouse. In other words, the body, the mind, and the intellect becomes our immediate family. Man's entire life is spent satisfying these three. Thus, without one's choice or input, every person is inherited with this family. In that sense, every person is a householder; regardless if one is a married person or a renunciant!