Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 7 - Chapter 1 - Verse 5


यावदर्थमुपासीनो देहे गेहे च पण्डित: ।विरक्तो रक्तवत्तत्र नृलोके नरतां न्यसेत् ॥ ५ ॥


yāvad-artham upāsīnodehe gehe ca paṇḍitaḥvirakto raktavat tatranṛ-loke naratāṁ nyaset


While working to earn his livelihood as much as necessary to maintain body and soul together, one who is actually learned should live in human society unattached to family affairs, although externally appearing very much attached.


This is the picture of ideal family life. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked Rāmānanda Rāya about the goal of life, Rāmānanda Rāya described it in different ways, according to the recommendations of the revealed scriptures, and finally Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya explained that one may stay in his own position, whether as a brāhmaṇa, a śūdra, a sannyāsī or whatever, but one must try to inquire about life’s goal (athāto brahma-jijñāsā). This is the proper utilization of the human form of life. When one misuses the gift of the human form by unnecessarily indulging in the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending and does not try to get out of the clutches of māyā, which subjects one to repeated birth, death, old age and disease, one is again punished by being forced to descend to the lower species and undergo evolution according to the laws of nature. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ. Being completely under the grip of material nature, the living entity must evolve again from the lower species to the higher species until he at last returns to human life and gets the chance to be freed from the material clutches. A wise man, however, learns from the śāstras and guru that we living entities are all eternal but are put into troublesome conditions because of associating with different modes under the laws of material nature. He therefore concludes that in the human form of life he should not endeavor for unnecessary necessities, but should live a very simple life, just maintaining body and soul together. Certainly one requires some means of livelihood, and according to one’s varṇa and āśrama this means of livelihood is prescribed in the śāstras. One should be satisfied with this. Therefore, instead of hankering for more and more money, a sincere devotee of the Lord tries to invent some ways to earn his livelihood, and when he does so Kṛṣṇa helps him. Earning one’s livelihood, therefore, is not a problem. The real problem is how to get free from the bondage of birth, death and old age. Attaining this freedom, and not inventing unnecessary necessities, is the basic principle of Vedic civilization. One should be satisfied with whatever means of life comes automatically. The modern materialistic civilization is just the opposite of the ideal civilization. Every day the so-called leaders of modern society invent something contributing to a cumbersome way of life that implicates people more and more in the cycle of birth, death, old age and disease.