(Last Updated on : 05/03/2010)
Vishnu Purana enumerates on the duties of a householder. It has been stated in then ancient text that a householder needs to perform a number of duties in his life. In every step of life the householder should keep in mind the duties in order to lead a pious life. It is necessary that a householder should devoutly throw food on the ground for the benefit of all beings because then the house holder acts as a supporter of all beings. He should also, disperse food on the ground for dogs, outcasts, birds and for all mean and degraded persons.
It is the duty of the householder to wait in the courtyard of his house to receive the guests. If a guest comes he must be received with all hospitality he must be offered a seat, his feet are to be washed, food should be respectfully given to him, he must be spoken to with all kindness and civility and when he goes away, the friendly wishes of the host must accompany him. The householder should pay attention to that guest who comes from another place and whose lineage is not known. He should not make a guest who is an inhabitant of the same village. He who feeds himself, neglecting a guest, who is poor, who is not his relation, who comes from another place and is desirous of eating, goes to hell. The householder should receive his guest regarding him as the golden embryo without inquiring his studies, his schools, his practices or his race.
Vishnu Purana states that a householder, at the Sraddha ceremony of his father, should feed another Brahmin
who is of the same village, whose pedigree and practices are known and who performs the five sacramental rites. It has been said that the guests who goes elsewhere disappointed from any house, transfers his own sins to the owner of the house and takes the householder's merits. Prajapati
, fire, the Vasus, the son are present in the person of a guest and share the food that is offered to him.
It is the duty of the house holder to venerate, gods, kings, Brahmanas, saints, aged persons and holy preceptors. He should also observe duly the two Sahdhyas and offer oblations to fire. He should use untorn garments, delicate herbs and flowers, wear emeralds and other precious stones keep his hair heat and clean. Rather it can be said that a house holder should always keep him tidy. He should not misappropriate another's property nor should treat him unkindly. He should always speak amiably and should adhere to the truth and should not publicly speak another's faults. A house holder should never envy another's prosperity nor should he create enmity with another. Also he should not use a broken conveyance and should not sit under the shadow of a tree on the banks of a river. According to Vishnu Purana a wise house holder should not treat women disrespectfully. He should always tread on the path of morality. The house holder should always speak wisely and compassionately.
Finally in conclusion it can be said that he, who, having controlled himself, puts a stop to the sources of all these imperfections, meets with no obstacle in the acquisition of piety, wealth and desire. Final emancipation is in his grasp, who is sinless towards them who commit mischief to him, who speaks amicably to them who use harsh words and whose soul melts with benevolence. The earth is upheld by the truthfulness of those who have controlled their passions, and who, always following pious observances, are unsullied by desire, covetousness and anger. A man should therefore speak truth when it is agreeable and he should be silent when that truth would give pain. He should avoid agreeable words when they are detrimental and unreasonable, for it is always better to speak those disagreeable words which would produce salutary effect, although it would give offence. A prudent man should always cultivate that, in act, thought and speech, which conduce to the well-being of all living creatures both in this world and the next.