The life of Human is completely deluded by Maya. People think that it is they who are doing great achievements, or are enjoying pleasure, or are doing some bad work, or are in sorrow. But they do not know it is Maya who is playing with them with Her fingers. She deludeth souls of even intelligent ones, who can surpass Her? So I bow down to Devi MahaMaya who deludeth us as Avidya Maya, and freeth us from world clutches as Vidya Maya.
Thy question whether or not one especially in youth shouldth go for material or spiritual path, is answered by Vyaasa and Shuka incident.
The answer given below is in abridged form as the story is very big. Links are provided to read full unabridged forms.
Devi Puraana, Book 1, Chapter 14-19 (abridged from 6 chapter story)
After Shuka cameth back from his Guru's teachings, Vyaasa askedth him to marry some daughter of a Muni.
But Shuka was so dispassionate and declinedth saying this-
O Father! what pleasure is in earth. Why should I marry.
Human body is full of faeces and urine, so why do I enjoy sexual courtings amidst faeces and urine leaving the Supreme Bliss of Self. O Father! My Guru Brihaspati too is deluded by Avidya Maya into this terrible worldly ocean, so He cannot save me. Now I am come to Thee to save me by giving me true Gyaana.
O Father! if we discuss about Atman then we find no pleasure in world. Only ignorant people enjoy in world like worms enjoy amidst faeces.
Those people who have studied Shaastras and are yet deluded, are blind like horses and pigs. If they are attached, so who else is supposed to get freedom?
I will not marry and have a material life.
Vyaasa toldeth Shuka -
O Shuka! householder life is not a prison. If the truthful householder who completeth his responsibilities hath his mind unattached, then he too getteth Moksha. O Fortunate Shuka! when one doth not take a wife (for love and sexual dealings) then he is pierced by the senses (which ask him to enjoy material pleasures). So the wise people tell to have wife in youth and then as old age cometh take up to renunciation. So do thou marry a good woman and take up to Renunciation as proper time mayeth come.
Shuka saidth -
O Father! I do not like this householder life as it fasteneth men to world like an animal. And what do I say of the pains of world. There is pain in life in womb amidst faeces and urine, pain in birth, in oldage, in death. But pain arising out of desire and greed is more painful than anything. So I will not have material life.
Hearing above, Vyaasa becameth very anxious and tears came out from his eyes. Seeing His father in such a state Shuka saidth.
Alas! What power hath Maya got? She hath deluded even him who dividedth the Vedas and composedth eighteen MahaPuraanas and Mahabharata, and see how he is seeing the notion of "father" in him and "son" in me. Maya hath kept even Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva under Her control so who can be free from Her. So I bow down to the Supreme Governess Devi MahaMaya. O Father! Thou art the knower of truth, so why art Thou bewildered. Do Thou give me true knowledge O Father! and save me from this worldly attachment.
Seeing Shuka thus determined for truth and unattached to world, Vyaasa finally gaveth up the thought of marrige and gaveth Shuka the real knowledge.
Shuka usedth to be very dispassionate and always merged in thoughts. One day Vyaasa askedth him.
O Son! why art thou merged in thoughts. O Suvrata! thou shouldst go to meet the King Janaka in Mithila, who is a Yogi, and liberated while living.
Hearing the wondrous words, Shuka askedth.
O Father! how can someone who is King who has to live in material life, be a Yogi? How can he remain in worldly life unattached like a lotus is unattached to the mud. How can he enjoy things, yet the things enjoyed by him are unenjoyed by him? How can his doings be non-doings? How can he see the notion of "mother", "son", "wife" et cetera in people, and yet not actually have these relations? How can he like sour, sweet, salty et cetera tastes, and yet not feel them? It is to say that how can He be unattached when he is actually being in worldly life and seemeth like he is enjoying the worldly life? This is great wonder.
So Shuka worshippedth his father and Vyaasa blessedth him to meet Janaka. When Shuka reachedth Mithila and metteth Janaka, he toldeth him the reason of his coming and askedth.
O King! my father asketh me to marry but I am totally unattached. I am very confused. So do Thou tell me how I can attain Moksha?
Janaka toldeth him-
O Son of my Guru! one shouldth marry and live worldly life to his contentment and as he ageth and getteth detachment from world then he shouldth take up to Renunciation.
Shuka askedth -
But if the Vairagya (detachment) already cometh in a person, then what is to be done?
O honour giving person! though the mind seemeth to be under self control in early stages of Sannyas, but net of desires is very strong and not easy to conquer. Just think, if desire to enjoy world life suddenly springeth in an unattached renunciate person, then how can he satisfy himself then? His state becometh so miserable because he never enjoyedth worldly life and now being renunciate he cannot even enjoy them, but the desires keep on perturbing him.
So the desires are to be cut slowly and slowly. If a man is already on a very high level and falls from there, it becometh extremely hard to get back in track.
But if a person climbeth up slowly and slowly just like an ant climbing a tree from root, then he is sure to reach the top of tree.
A householder who is of quiet temper, good intellect, not agitated by happiness or sorrow, does his responsibilities for responsibility's sake and is unattached, he is sure to attain Moksha. See me, I enjoy the things as I like, but I am unattached to them and am a JivanMukta(liberated while still alive).
O Shuka! when this material world is just an object of sight then how can it be source of bondage to Atman? It is this impure heart which hankereth for pleasures and getteth deluded. This mind is source of pleasure and pain. So when thy mind is pure thou art free from clutches. It is mind that differentiateth between Jeeva and Brahma. This feeling of difference caused by Avidya causeth bondage, and when non-difference cometh by Vidya then Jeeva is liberated.
How canst thou feel cooling of a shadow if thou never feltst heat of Sun? So How wilt thou feel Vidya( giving detachment from world), when you never feltst Avidya(causing attachment)?
Yet, to teach humanity the wise people made various rules to keep humanity in Dharma for benifit of people, otherwise ignorant people start acting lawlessly.
O Janaka! still a doubt I have. How a man can be desireless when he liveth in world full of Maya. O King! a person who wanteth Moksha never doth revenge or injury, so how can it be possible for a worldly person?
O King! thou desirest to enjoy royal palace, wealth and victory. Thou seest difference betwixen a thief and a saint, lump of mud and gold, friends and enemies, et cetera. So how canst thou be JivanMukta?
Whatever good be worldly life, I am still completely unattached to world , so I see no use in this worldly life. O King! when thou canst not stop caring about thy family, wealth and enemies, so how art thou JivanMukta?
O Sage! it is quite reasonable what thou askest, but just think when thou livest a renunciate life thou still hast to care for food, deer skin, wooden staff et cetera. See O Shuka! that thou hast come here from a far off place because thou hast doubt of delusion and attachment. But look at me, I am free from such doubts and I enjoy things as well as I am unattached. "I am not bound by worldly desires" I have this idea and it giveth me constant pleasure. But thou thinkest "I am bound by worldly attachment", this is why thou feelest constant pain. So leave off the thought that thou art bound.
"This body is mine" this knowledge leadeth to bondage, and "This body is not mine" leadeth to liberation.
Hearing thus, with all doubts clear, Shuka appreciatedth Janaka and wentteth back to Vyaasa. Then ShukaDeva tooketh up to Yoga(path of Moksha) but still marriedth a Muni-daughter Pivari, and had kids. Shuka always unattached and renunciate, at a proper time wentteth to Kailash and practicing asceticism (Yoga) attainedth liberation and becameth merged in Paramatman.