Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.14.3
atha ca yatra kauṭumbikā dārāpatyādayo nāmnā karmaṇā vṛka-sṛgālā evānicchato ’pi kadaryasya
kuṭumbina uraṇakavat saṁrakṣyamāṇaṁ miṣato ’pi haranti.

atha — in this way; ca — also; yatra — in which; kauṭumbikāḥ — the family members; dāra-apatya-ādayaḥ — beginning with the wife and children; nāmnā — by name only; karmaṇā — by their behavior; vṛka-sṛgālāḥ — tigers and jackals; eva — certainly; anicchataḥ — of one who does not desire to spend his wealth; api — certainly; kadaryasya — being too miserly; kuṭumbinaḥ — who is surrounded by family members; uraṇaka-vat — like a lamb; saṁrakṣyamāṇam — although protected; miṣataḥ — of one who is observing; api — even; haranti — they forcibly take away.


My dear King, family members in this material world go under the names of wife and children, but actually they behave like tigers and jackals. A herdsman tries to protect his sheep to the best of his ability, but the tigers and foxes take them away by force. Similarly, although a miserly man wants to guard his money very carefully, his family members take away all his assets forcibly, even though he is very vigilant.


This is a very hard sloka for me. I was married for twenty years and loved my family very much. Four years ago (about the time one should take vanaprastha) my wife and I divorced. I still have my bitter moments when this sloka rings true but, most of the time, it doesn't.

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