This story from the Srimad-Bhägavatam illustrates the system of offering respects to the elderly members of the family. After the morning’s duties are performed, next one must go and offer obeisances to the spiritual master and the elderly persons in the family. One must also offer respects to a guest. Usually we know when a certain guest is coming to our home and can make preparations beforehand, but sometimes it happens that someone comes unexpectedly, and he too must be received with respect. And when it comes to eating, the head of the family should feed the older members first, then his children and other members of the family. He will eat last, and before he eats his food he should stand in the road and call out, “If anyone is hungry, please come. I still have not taken my food, and you are welcome!” Some remnants of food should be kept at home in anticipation of unexpected guests. The Vedic principle is that when someone comes and begs, “Sir, I am hungry,” a man must give the hungry guest his own food even if he himself remains hungry. That is real grihastha-äsrama. I have seen that a young man will not smoke in the presence of an old man without permission, even if they are strangers. So a young man will show consideration even to an older stranger, what to speak of his father or elder brother. In Vedic society, any older man is offered respect. These principles are not hard and fast, but this is Vedic custom. SC 12 BEWILDERED BY DESIRE.