Generally, those who are in household life pursue sense gratification in the field of activities performed for material results. Such grhamedhis have only one aim in life–sense gratification. Therefore it is said, yan maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham: the householder’s life is based on sense gratification, and therefore the happiness derived from it is very meager. Nonetheless, the Vedic process is so comprehensive that even in householder life one can adjust his activities according to the regulative principles of dharma, artha, kama and moksa. One’s aim should be to achieve liberation, but because one cannot at once give up sense gratification, in the sashtras there are injunctions prescribing how to follow the principles of religion, economic development and sense gratification. As explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.9), dharmasya hy apavargyasya nartho ‘rthayopakalpate: “All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain.” Those who are in household life should not think that religion is meant to improve the process of the householder’s sense gratification. Household life is also meant for advancement in spiritual understanding, by which one can ultimately gain liberation from the material clutches. One should remain in household life with the aim of understanding the ultimate goal of life (tattva jijnasa). Then household life is as good as the life of a yogi. As soon as one deviates from the injunctions of the sashtra, the purpose of household life is immediately lost in confusion.

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Eighth Canto, Chapter 16 – Text 5

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