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Grihastha Ashrama Teachings From Manu Samhita

In the Grihastha Ashrama, the householder was to discharge all his duties and debts according to dharma. Artha, wealth, was to be obtained for satisfying kama, desire, but only in a righteous manner, according to dharma. Enjoying worldly life, earning money, having children, taking care of

the family and its welfare, and performing various duties required by family and society: these belong to this stage of life. Manu called the Grihastha Ashrama the key to the other three:

As all creatures depend on air for life, in the same way (the members of ) all ashramas subsist on
the support of the grihastha (Manu Samhita 3.77).

It is important to note here that if a grihastha does not live in the prescribed way, the other three ashramas are affected. Manu continues:

A wise man should constantly discharge the paramount duties (called yama), but not always the minor ones (called niyama); for he who does not discharge the former, while he obeys the latter
alone, (surely) falls (Manu Samhita 4.204).

In other words, first the yamas, then the niyamas. What are they? These shlokas explain: Mercy, forgiveness, truth, non-violence, control over the senses, non-attachment, concentration, joyousness, sweetness, and straightforwardness are the ten yamas.

Purity, sacrifice, austerity, charity, study, chastity, pious observances, fasting, control of speech,
and bathing are the ten niyamas.