Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 11 Chapter 18
Description of Varṇāśrama-dharma
vanaṁ vivikṣuḥ putreṣu
bhāryāṁ nyasya sahaiva vā
vana eva vasec chāntas
tṛtīyaṁ bhāgam āyuṣaḥ
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; vanam — the forest; vivikṣuḥ — desiring to enter; putreṣu — among the sons; bhāryām — wife; nyasya — entrusting; saha — together with; eva — indeed; vā — or; vane — in the forest; eva — certainly; vaset — one should dwell; śāntaḥ — with a peaceful mind; tṛtīyam — the third; bhāgam — division; āyuṣaḥ — of life.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: One who desires to adopt the third order of life, vānaprastha, should enter the forest with a peaceful mind, leaving his wife with his mature sons, or else taking her along with him.
medhyair vṛttiṁ prakalpayet
vasīta valkalaṁ vāsas
kanda — with bulbs; mūla — roots; phalaiḥ — and fruits; vanyaiḥ — growing in the forest; medhyaiḥ — pure; vṛttim — sustenance; prakalpayet — one should arrange; vasīta — one should put on; valkalam — tree bark; vāsaḥ — as clothes; tṛṇa — grass; parṇa — leaves; ajināni — animal skins; vā — or.
Having adopted the vānaprastha order of life, one should arrange one’s sustenance by eating uncontaminated bulbs, roots and fruits that grow in the forest. One may dress oneself with tree bark, grass, leaves or animal skins.
malāni bibhṛyād dataḥ
na dhāved apsu majjeta
tri kālaṁ sthaṇḍile-śayaḥ
keśa — hair on the head; roma — bodily hair; nakha — fingernails and toenails; śmaśru — facial hair; malāni — bodily waste products; bibhṛyāt — one should tolerate; dataḥ — the teeth; na dhāvet — should not clean; apsu — in water; majjeta — should bathe; tri-kālam — three times a day; sthaṇḍile — on the earth; śayaḥ — lying down.
The vānaprastha should not groom the hair on his head, body or face, should not manicure his nails, should not pass stool and urine at irregular times and should not make a special endeavor for dental hygiene. He should be content to take bath in water three times daily and should sleep on the ground.
grīṣme tapyeta pañcāgnīn
varṣāsv āsāra-ṣāḍ jale
evaṁ vṛttas tapaś caret
grīṣme — in the summer; tapyeta — one should accept as austerity; pañca-agnīn — five fires (the overhead sun and fires burning on four sides); varṣāsu — during the rainy season; āsāra — torrents of rain; ṣāṭ — tolerating; jale — in water; ā-kaṇṭha — up to the neck; magnaḥ — submerged; śiśire — in the coldest part of winter; evam — thus; vṛttaḥ — engaged; tapaḥ — penance; caret — one should execute.
Thus engaged as a vānaprastha, one should execute penance during the hottest summer days by subjecting oneself to burning fires on four sides and the blazing sun overhead; during the rainy season one should remain outside, subjecting oneself to torrents of rain; and in the freezing winter one should remain submerged in water up to one’s neck.
kāla-pakvam athāpi vā
dantolūkhala eva vā
agni — by fire; pakvam — made ready to eat; samaśnīyāt — one should eat; kāla — by time; pakvam — right for eating; atha — else; api — indeed; vā — or; ulūkhala — with grinding mortar; aśma — and stone; kuṭṭaḥ — pulverized, ground up; vā — or; danta — using the teeth; ulūkhalaḥ — as a grinding mortar; eva — indeed; vā — or, alternatively.
One may eat foodstuffs prepared with fire, such as grains, or fruits ripened by time. One may grind one’s food with mortar and stone or with one’s own teeth.
svayaṁ sañcinuyāt sarvam
svayam — himself; sañcinuyāt — should gather; sarvam — everything; ātmanaḥ — his own; vṛtti — sustenance; kāraṇam — facilitating; deśa — the particular place; kāla — the time; bala — and one’s strength; abhijñaḥ — understanding pragmatically; na ādadīta — should not take; anyadā — for another time; āhṛtam — provisions.
The vānaprastha should personally collect whatever he requires for his bodily maintenance, carefully considering the time, place and his own capacity. He should never collect provisions for the future.
na tu śrautena paśunā
māṁ yajeta vanāśramī
vanyaiḥ — obtained in the forest; caru — with oblations of rice, barley and dāl beans; puroḍāśaiḥ — and sacrificial cakes prepared with wild rice; nirvapet — one should offer; kāla-coditān — ritualistic sacrifices, such as āgrayaṇa, offered according to seasons (āgrayaṇa is the offering of the first fruits that appear after the rainy season); na — never; tu — indeed; śrautena — mentioned in the Vedas; paśunā — with animal sacrifice; mām — Me; yajeta — may worship; vana-āśramī — one who has gone to the forest, taking the vānaprastha order of life.
One who has accepted the vānaprastha order of life should perform seasonal sacrifices by offering oblations of caru and sacrificial cakes prepared from rice and other grains found in the forest. The vānaprastha, however, may never offer animal sacrifices to Me, even those sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas.
agnihotraṁ ca darśaś ca
paurṇamāsaś ca pūrva-vat
cāturmāsyāni ca muner
āmnātāni ca naigamaiḥ
agni-hotram — the fire sacrifice; ca — also; darśaḥ — the sacrifice performed on the new moon day; ca — also; paurṇa-māsaḥ — full moon sacrifice; ca — also; pūrva-vat — as previously, in the gṛhastha-āśrama; cātuḥ-māsyāni — the vows and sacrifices of cāturmāsya; ca — also; muneḥ — of the vānaprastha; āmnātāni — enjoined; ca — also; naigamaiḥ — by expert knowers of the Vedas.
The vānaprastha should perform the agnihotra, darśa and paurṇamāsa sacrifices, as he did while in the gṛhastha-āśrama. He should also perform the vows and sacrifices of cāturmāsya, since all of these rituals are enjoined for the vānaprastha-āśrama by expert knowers of the Vedas.
evaṁ cīrṇena tapasā
māṁ tapo-mayam ārādhya
ṛṣi-lokād upaiti mām
evam — thus; cīrṇena — by the practice; tapasā — of austerity; muniḥ — the saintly vānaprastha; dhamani-santataḥ — emaciated so much that the veins are visible throughout his body; mām — Me; tapaḥ-mayam — the goal of all penance; ārādhya — worshiping; rṣi-lokāt — beyond Maharloka; upaiti — achieves; mām — Me.
The saintly vānaprastha, practicing severe penances and accepting only the bare necessities of life, becomes so emaciated that he appears to be mere skin and bones. Thus worshiping Me through severe penances, he goes to the Maharloka planet and then directly achieves Me.
yas tv etat kṛcchrataś cīrṇaṁ
tapo niḥśreyasaṁ mahat
bāliśaḥ ko ’paras tataḥ
yaḥ — one who; tu — indeed; etat — this; kṛcchrataḥ — with great penance; cīrṇam — for a long time; tapaḥ — austerity; niḥśreyasam — awarding ultimate liberation; mahat — glorious; kāmāya — for sense gratification; alpīyase — insignificant; yuñjyāt — practices; bāliśaḥ — such a fool; kaḥ — who; aparaḥ — else; tataḥ — besides him.
One who with long endeavor executes this painful but exalted penance, which awards ultimate liberation, simply to achieve insignificant sense gratification must be considered the greatest fool.
yadāsau niyame ’kalpo
ātmany agnīn samāropya
mac-citto ’gniṁ samāviśet
yadā — when; asau — the saintly vānaprastha; niyame — in his prescribed duties; akalpaḥ — unable to carry on; jarayā — due to old age; jāta — arisen; vepathuḥ — trembling of the body; ātmani — within his heart; agnīn — the sacrificial fires; samāropya — placing; mat-cittaḥ — his mind fixed in Me; agnim — the fire; samāviśet — should enter.
If the vānaprastha is overtaken by old age and because of his trembling body is no longer able to execute his prescribed duties, he should place the sacrificial fire within his heart by meditation. Then, fixing his mind on Me, he should enter into the fire and give up his body.
virāgo jāyate samyaṅ
nyastāgniḥ pravrajet tataḥ
yadā — when; karma — by fruitive activities; vipākeṣu — in all that which is obtained; lokeṣu — including promotion to all the planets of the universe up to Brahmaloka; niraya-ātmasu — planets that are actually hellish, being material; virāgaḥ — detachment; jāyate — is born; samyak — completely; nyasta — giving up; agniḥ — the sacrificial fire of vānaprastha; pravrajet — one should take sannyāsa; tataḥ — at that point.
If the vānaprastha, understanding that even promotion to Brahmaloka is a miserable situation, develops complete detachment from all possible results of fruitive activities, then he may take the sannyāsa order of life.
iṣṭvā yathopadeśaṁ māṁ
dattvā sarva-svam ṛtvije
agnīn sva-prāṇa āveśya
iṣṭvā — having worshiped; yathā — according to; upadeśam — scriptural injunctions; mām — Me; dattvā — having given; sarva-svam — all one possesses; ṛtvije — to the priest; agnīn — the sacrificial fire; sva-prāṇe — within oneself; āveśya — placing; nirapekṣaḥ — without attachment; parivrajet — one should take sannyāsa and set off.
Having worshiped Me according to scriptural injunctions and having given all one’s property to the sacrificial priest, one should place the fire sacrifice within oneself. Thus, with the mind completely detached, one should enter the sannyāsa order of life.
viprasya vai sannyasato
vighnān kurvanty ayaṁ hy asmān
ākramya samiyāt param
viprasya — of the saintly person; vai — indeed; sannyasataḥ — taking sannyāsa; devāḥ — the demigods; dāra-ādi-rūpiṇaḥ — appearing in the form of his wife or other women and attractive objects; vighnān — stumbling blocks; kurvanti — create; ayam — the sannyāsī; hi — indeed; asmān — them, the demigods; ākramya — surpassing; samiyāt — should go; param — back home, back to Godhead.
“This man taking sannyāsa is going to surpass us and go back home, back to Godhead.” Thus thinking, the demigods create stumbling blocks on the path of the sannyāsī by appearing before him in the shape of his former wife or other women and attractive objects. But the sannyāsī should pay the demigods and their manifestations no heed.
bibhṛyāc cen munir vāsaḥ
tyaktaṁ na daṇḍa-pātrābhyām
anyat kiñcid anāpadi
bibhṛyāt — would wear; cet — if; muniḥ — the sannyāsī; vāsaḥ — clothes; kaupīna — the thick belt and underwear worn by saintly persons; ācchādanam — covering; param — other; tyaktam — given up; na — never; daṇḍa — besides his staff; pātrābhyām — and waterpot; anyat — else; kiñcit — anything; anāpadi — when there is no emergency.
If the sannyāsī desires to wear something besides a mere kaupīna, he may use another cloth around his waist and hips to cover the kaupīna. Otherwise, if there is no emergency, he should not accept anything besides his daṇḍa and waterpot.
dṛṣṭi-pūtaṁ nyaset pādaṁ
vastra-pūtaṁ pibej jalam
satya-pūtāṁ vaded vācaṁ
dṛṣṭi — by the sight; pūtam — ascertained as pure; nyaset — he should place; pādam — his foot; vastra — by his cloth; pūtam — filtered; pibet — he should drink; jalam — water; satya — by truthfulness; pūtām — pure; vadet — he should speak; vācam — words; manaḥ — ascertained by the mind; pūtam — to be pure; samācaret — he should perform.
A saintly person should step or place his foot on the ground only after verifying with his eyes that there are no living creatures, such as insects, who might be injured by his foot. He should drink water only after filtering it through a portion of his cloth, and he should speak only words that possess the purity of truth. Similarly, he should perform only those activities his mind has carefully ascertained to be pure.
na hy ete yasya santy aṅga
veṇubhir na bhaved yatiḥ
mauna — avoiding useless speech; anīha — giving up fruitive activities; anila-āyāmāḥ — controlling the breathing process; daṇḍāḥ — strict disciplines; vāk — of the voice; deha — of the body; cetasām — of the mind; na — not; hi — indeed; ete — these disciplines; yasya — of whom; santi — exist; aṅga — My dear Uddhava; veṇubhiḥ — by bamboo rods; na — never; bhavet — is; yatiḥ — a real sannyāsī.
One who has not accepted the three internal disciplines of avoiding useless speech, avoiding useless activities and controlling the life air can never be considered a sannyāsī merely because of his carrying bamboo rods.
bhikṣāṁ caturṣu varṇeṣu
vigarhyān varjayaṁś caret
tuṣyel labdhena tāvatā
bhikṣām — charity obtained by begging; caturṣu — among the four; varṇeṣu — occupational divisions of society; vigarhyān — abominable, impure; varjayan — rejecting; caret — one should approach; sapta — seven; āgārān — houses; asaṅkḷptān — without calculation or desire; tuṣyet — one should be satisfied; labdhena — with that obtained; tāvatā — with just that amount.
Rejecting those houses that are polluted and untouchable, one should approach without previous calculation seven houses and be satisfied with that which is obtained there by begging. According to necessity, one may approach each of the four occupational orders of society.
bahir jalāśayaṁ gatvā
vibhajya pāvitaṁ śeṣaṁ
bahiḥ — outside of urban areas, in a secluded place; jala — of water; āśayam — to a reservoir; gatvā — going; tatra — there; upaspṛśya — being purified by contact with water; vāk-yataḥ — without speaking; vibhajya — duly distributing; pāvitam — purified; śeṣam — remnants; bhuñjīta — one should eat; aśeṣam — completely; āhṛtam — gathered by begging.
Taking the food gathered through begging, one should leave the populated areas and go to a reservoir of water in a secluded place. There, having taken a bath and washed one’s hands thoroughly, one should distribute portions of the food to others who may request it. One should do this without speaking. Then, having thoroughly cleansed the remnants, one should eat everything on one’s plate, leaving nothing for future consumption.
ekaś caren mahīm etāṁ
ekaḥ — alone; caret — one should move about; mahīm — the earth; etām — this; niḥsaṅgaḥ — without any material attachment; saṁyata-indriyaḥ — completely controlling the senses; ātma-krīḍaḥ — enthusiastic by realization of the Supersoul; ātma-rataḥ — completely satisfied in spiritual understanding; ātma-vān — steady on the spiritual platform; sama-darśanaḥ — with equal vision everywhere.
Without any material attachment, with senses fully controlled, remaining enthusiastic, and satisfied in realization of the Supreme Lord and his own self, the saintly person should travel about the earth alone. Having equal vision everywhere, he should be steady on the spiritual platform.
ātmānaṁ cintayed ekam
abhedena mayā muniḥ
vivikta — solitary; kṣema — safe; śaraṇaḥ — his dwelling; mat — in Me; bhāva — by constant thought; vimala — purified; āśayaḥ — his consciousness; ātmānam — on the soul; cintayet — he should concentrate; ekam — alone; abhedena — not different; mayā — from Me; muniḥ — the sage.
Dwelling in a safe and solitary place, his mind purified by constant thought of Me, the sage should concentrate on the soul alone, realizing it to be nondifferent from Me.
mokṣaṁ ca jñāna-niṣṭhayā
mokṣa eṣāṁ ca saṁyamaḥ
anvīkṣeta — one should see by careful study; ātmanaḥ — of the soul; bandham — the bondage; mokṣam — the liberation; ca — also; jñāna — in knowledge; niṣṭhayā — by steadiness; bandhaḥ — bondage; indriya — of the senses; vikṣepaḥ — deviation to sense gratification; mokṣaḥ — liberation; eṣām — of these senses; ca — and; saṁyamaḥ — complete control.
By steady knowledge a sage should clearly ascertain the nature of the soul’s bondage and liberation. Bondage occurs when the senses are deviated to sense gratification, and complete control of the senses constitutes liberation.
tasmān niyamya ṣaḍ-vargaṁ
mad-bhāvena caren muniḥ
labdhvātmani sukhaṁ mahat
tasmāt — therefore; niyamya — completely controlling; ṣaṭ-vargam — the six senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste and the mind); mat-bhāvena — by consciousness of Me; caret — should live; muniḥ — the sage; viraktaḥ — detached; kṣudra — insignificant; kāmebhyaḥ — from sense gratification; labdhvā — having experienced; ātmani — in the self; sukham — happiness; mahat — great.
Therefore, completely controlling the five senses and the mind by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, a sage, having experienced spiritual bliss within the self, should live detached from insignificant material sense gratification.
bhikṣārthaṁ praviśaṁś caret
pura — cities; grāma — towns; vrajān — and pasturing grounds; sa-arthān — those working for bodily maintenance; bhikṣā-artham — for begging alms; praviśan — entering; caret — he should travel; puṇya — pure; deśa — places; sarit — with rivers; śaila — mountains; vana — and forests; āśrama-vatīm — possessing such residential places; mahīm — the earth.
The sage should travel in sanctified places, by flowing rivers and within the solitude of mountains and forests. He should enter the cities, towns and pasturing grounds and approach ordinary working men only to beg his bare sustenance.
abhīkṣṇaṁ bhaikṣyam ācaret
saṁsidhyaty āśv asammohaḥ
vānaprastha-āśrama — of the vānaprastha order of life; padeṣu — in the position; abhīkṣṇam — always; bhaikṣyam — begging; ācaret — one should perform; saṁsidhyati — one becomes spiritually perfect; āśu — quickly; asammohaḥ — free from illusion; śuddha — purified; sattvaḥ — existence; śīla — obtained by begging or gleaning; andhasā — by food.
One in the vānaprastha order of life should always practice taking charity from others, for one is thereby freed from illusion and quickly becomes perfect in spiritual life. Indeed, one who subsists on food grains obtained in such a humble manner purifies his existence.
naitad vastutayā paśyed
na — never; etat — this; vastutayā — as ultimate reality; paśyet — one should see; dṛśyamānam — being observed by direct experience; vinaśyati — is destroyed; asakta — without attachment; cittaḥ — whose consciousness; viramet — one should be detached; iha — in this world; amutra — and in one’s future life; cikīrṣitāt — from activities performed for material advancement.
One should never see as ultimate reality those material things which obviously will perish. With consciousness free from material attachment, one should retire from all activities meant for material progress in this life and the next.
yad etad ātmani jagan
sarvaṁ māyeti tarkeṇa
sva-sthas tyaktvā na tat smaret
yat — which; etat — this; ātmani — in the Supreme Lord; jagat — universe; manaḥ — of the mind; vāk — speech; prāṇa — and life air; saṁhatam — formed; sarvam — all; māyā — material illusion; iti — thus; tarkeṇa — by logic; sva-sthaḥ — fixed in the self; tyaktvā — giving up; na — never; tat — that; smaret — one should remember.
One should logically consider the universe, which is situated within the Lord, and one’s own material body, which is composed of mind, speech and life air, to be ultimately products of the Lord’s illusory energy. Thus situated in the self, one should give up one’s faith in these things and should never again make them the object of one’s meditation.
jñāna-niṣṭho virakto vā
sa-liṅgān āśramāṁs tyaktvā
jñāna — to philosophical knowledge; niṣṭhaḥ — dedicated; viraktaḥ — detached from external manifestations; vā — either; mat-bhaktaḥ — My devotee; vā — or; anapekṣakaḥ — not desiring even liberation; sa-liṅgān — with their rituals and external regulations; āśramān — the duties pertaining to particular statuses of life; tyaktvā — giving up; caret — one should conduct oneself; avidhi-gocaraḥ — beyond the range of rules and regulations.
A learned transcendentalist dedicated to the cultivation of knowledge and thus detached from external objects, or My devotee who is detached even from desire for liberation — both neglect those duties based on external rituals or paraphernalia. Thus their conduct is beyond the range of rules and regulations.
budho bālaka-vat krīḍet
kuśalo jaḍa-vac caret
vaded unmatta-vad vidvān
go-caryāṁ naigamaś caret
budhaḥ — although intelligent; bālaka-vat — like a child (oblivious to honor and dishonor); krīḍet — he should enjoy life; kuśalaḥ — although expert; jaḍa-vat — like a stunted person; caret — he should act; vadet — he should speak; unmatta-vat — like an insane person; vidvān — although most learned; go-caryām — unrestricted behavior; naigamaḥ — although expert in Vedic injunctions; caret — he should perform.
Although most wise, the paramahaṁsa should enjoy life like a child, oblivious to honor and dishonor; although most expert, he should behave like a stunted, incompetent person; although most learned, he should speak like an insane person; and although a scholar learned in Vedic regulations, he should behave in an unrestricted manner.
veda-vāda-rato na syān
na pāṣaṇḍī na haitukaḥ
kañcit pakṣaṁ samāśrayet
veda-vāda — in the karma-kāṇḍa section of the Vedas; rataḥ — engaged; na — never; syāt — should be; na — nor; pāṣaṇḍī — atheistic, acting against Vedic injunctions; na — nor; haitukaḥ — a mere logician or skeptic; śuṣka-vāda — of useless topics; vivāde — in arguments; na — never; kañcit — any; pakṣam — side; samāśrayet — should take.
A devotee should never engage in the fruitive rituals mentioned in the karma-kāṇḍa section of the Vedas, nor should he become atheistic, acting or speaking in opposition to Vedic injunctions. Similarly, he should never speak like a mere logician or skeptic or take any side whatsoever in useless arguments.
nodvijeta janād dhīro
janaṁ codvejayen na tu
deham uddiśya paśu-vad
vairaṁ kuryān na kenacit
na — never; udvijeta — should be disturbed or frightened; janāt — because of other people; dhīraḥ — a saintly person; janam — other people; ca — also; udvejayet — should frighten or disturb; na — never; tu — indeed; ati-vādān — insulting or harsh words; titikṣeta — he should tolerate; na — never; avamanyeta — should belittle; kañcana — anyone; deham — the body; uddiśya — for the sake of; paśu-vat — like an animal; vairam — hostility; kuryāt — he should create; na — never; kenacit — with anyone.
A saintly person should never let others frighten or disturb him and, similarly, should never frighten or disturb other people. He should tolerate the insults of others and should never himself belittle anyone. He should never create hostility with anyone for the sake of the material body, for he would thus be no better than an animal.
eka eva paro hy ātmā
bhūteṣv ātmany avasthitaḥ
bhūtāny ekātmakāni ca
ekaḥ — one; eva — indeed; paraḥ — Supreme; hi — certainly; ātmā — the Personality of Godhead; bhūteṣu — within all bodies; ātmani — within the living entity; avasthitaḥ — situated; yathā — just as; induḥ — the moon; uda — of water; pātreṣu — in different reservoirs; bhūtāni — all material bodies; eka — of the one Supreme Lord; ātmakāni — composed of the energy; ca — also.
The one Supreme Lord is situated within all material bodies and within everyone’s soul. Just as the moon is reflected in innumerable reservoirs of water, the Supreme Lord, although one, is present within everyone. Thus every material body is ultimately composed of the energy of the one Supreme Lord.
alabdhvā na viṣīdeta
kāle kāle ’śanaṁ kvacit
labdhvā na hṛṣyed dhṛtimān
alabdhvā — not obtaining; na — not; viṣīdeta — he should be depressed; kāle kāle — at different times; aśanam — food; kvacit — whatever; labdhvā — obtaining; na — not; hṛṣyet — should rejoice; dhṛti-mān — fixed in determination; ubhayam — both (obtaining and not obtaining good food); daiva — of the supreme power of God; tantritam — under the control.
If at times one does not obtain proper food one should not be depressed, and when one obtains sumptuous food one should not rejoice. Being fixed in determination, one should understand both situations to be under the control of God.
tattvaṁ vimṛśyate tena
tad vijñāya vimucyate
āhāra — to eat; artham — in order; samīheta — one should endeavor; yuktam — proper; tat — of the person; prāṇa — life force; dhāraṇam — sustaining; tattvam — spiritual truth; vimṛśyate — is contemplated; tena — by that strength of the mind, senses and life air; tat — that truth; vijñāya — understanding; vimucyate — one is liberated.
If required, one should endeavor to get sufficient foodstuffs, because it is always necessary and proper to maintain one’s health. When the senses, mind and life air are fit, one can contemplate spiritual truth, and by understanding the truth one is liberated.
adyāc chreṣṭham utāparam
tathā vāsas tathā śayyāṁ
prāptaṁ prāptaṁ bhajen muniḥ
yadṛcchayā — of its own accord; upapanna — acquired; annam — food; adyāt — he should eat; śreṣṭham — first class; uta — or; aparam — low class; tathā — similarly; vāsaḥ — clothing; tathā — similarly; śayyām — bedding; prāptam prāptam — whatever is automatically obtained; bhajet — should accept; muniḥ — the sage.
A sage should accept the food, clothing and bedding — be they of excellent or inferior quality — that come of their own accord.
śaucam ācamanaṁ snānaṁ
na tu codanayā caret
anyāṁś ca niyamāñ jñānī
śaucam — general cleanliness; ācamanam — purifying the hands with water; snānam — taking bath; na — not; tu — indeed; codanayā — by force; caret — one should perform; anyān — other; ca — also; niyamān — regular duties; jñānī — one who has realized knowledge of Me; yathā — just as; aham — I; līlayā — by My own desire; īśvaraḥ — the Supreme Lord.
Just as I, the Supreme Lord, execute regulative duties by My own free will, similarly, one who has realized knowledge of Me should maintain general cleanliness, purify his hands with water, take bath and execute other regulative duties not by force but by his own free will.
na hi tasya vikalpākhyā
yā ca mad-vīkṣayā hatā
ā-dehāntāt kvacit khyātis
tataḥ sampadyate mayā
na — not; hi — certainly; tasya — for the realized person; vikalpa — of something separate from Kṛṣṇa; ākhyā — perception; yā — which perception; ca — also; mat — of Me; vīkṣayā — by realized knowledge; hatā — is destroyed; ā — until; deha — of the body; antāt — the death; kvacit — sometimes; khyātiḥ — such perception; tataḥ — then; sampadyate — achieves equal opulences; mayā — with Me.
A realized soul no longer sees anything as separate from Me, for his realized knowledge of Me has destroyed such illusory perception. Since the material body and mind were previously accustomed to this kind of perception, it may sometimes appear to recur; but at the time of death the self-realized soul achieves opulences equal to Mine.
muniṁ gurum upavrajet
duḥkha — unhappiness; udarkeṣu — in that which brings as its future result; kāmeṣu — in sense gratification; jāta — arisen; nirvedaḥ — detachment; ātma-vān — desiring spiritual perfection in life; ajijñāsita — one who has not seriously considered; mat — Me; dharmaḥ — the process of obtaining; munim — a wise person; gurum — a spiritual master; upavrajet — he should approach.
One who is detached from sense gratification, knowing its result to be miserable, and who desires spiritual perfection, but who has not seriously analyzed the process for obtaining Me, should approach a bona fide and learned spiritual master.
tāvat paricared bhaktaḥ
yāvad brahma vijānīyān
mām eva gurum ādṛtaḥ
tāvat — that long; paricaret — should serve; bhaktaḥ — the devotee; śraddhā-vān — with great faith; anasūyakaḥ — being without envy; yāvat — until; brahma — spiritual knowledge; vijānīyāt — he clearly realizes; mām — Me; eva — indeed; gurum — the spiritual master; ādṛtaḥ — with great respect.
Until a devotee has clearly realized spiritual knowledge, he should continue with great faith and respect and without envy to render personal service to the guru, who is nondifferent from Me.
yas tv asaṁyata-ṣaḍ-vargaḥ
surān ātmānam ātma-sthaṁ
nihnute māṁ ca dharma-hā
amuṣmāc ca vihīyate
yaḥ — one who; tu — but; asaṁyata — having not controlled; ṣaṭ — the six; vargaḥ — items of contamination; pracaṇḍa — fierce; indriya — of the senses; sārathiḥ — the driver, intelligence; jñāna — of knowledge; vairāgya — and detachment; rahitaḥ — bereft; tridaṇḍam — the sannyāsa order of life; upajīvati — utilizing for one’s bodily maintenance; surān — the worshipable demigods; ātmānam — his own self; ātma-stham — situated within himself; nihnute — denies; mām — Me; ca — also; dharma-hā — ruining religious principles; avipakva — not yet dissolved; kaṣāyaḥ — contamination; asmāt — from this world; amuṣmāt — from the next life; ca — also; vihīyate — he is lost, deviated.
One who has not controlled the six forms of illusion [lust, anger, greed, excitement, false pride and intoxication], whose intelligence, the leader of the senses, is extremely attached to material things, who is bereft of knowledge and detachment, who adopts the sannyāsa order of life to make a living, who denies the worshipable demigods, his own self and the Supreme Lord within himself, thus ruining all religious principles, and who is still infected by material contamination, is deviated and lost both in this life and the next.
bhikṣor dharmaḥ śamo ’hiṁsā
tapa īkṣā vanaukasaḥ
bhikṣoḥ — of a sannyāsī; dharmaḥ — the main religious principle; śamaḥ — equanimity; ahiṁsā — nonviolence; tapaḥ — austerity; īkṣā — discrimination (between the body and the soul); vana — in the forest; okasaḥ — of one dwelling, a vānaprastha; gṛhiṇaḥ — of a householder; bhūta-rakṣā — offering shelter to all living entities; ijyā — performance of sacrifice; dvi-jasya — of a brahmacārī; ācārya — the spiritual master; sevanam — serving.
The main religious duties of a sannyāsī are equanimity and nonviolence, whereas for the vānaprastha austerity and philosophical understanding of the difference between the body and soul are prominent. The main duties of a householder are to give shelter to all living entities and perform sacrifices, and the brahmacārī is mainly engaged in serving the spiritual master.
brahmacaryaṁ tapaḥ śaucaṁ
gṛhasthasyāpy ṛtau gantuḥ
brahma-caryam — celibacy; tapaḥ — austerity; śaucam — purity of mind without attachment or repulsion; santoṣaḥ — full satisfaction; bhūta — toward all living entities; sauhṛdam — friendship; gṛhasthasya — of the householder; api — also; ṛtau — at the proper time; gantuḥ — approaching his wife; sarveṣām — of all human beings; mat — of Me; upāsanam — worship.
A householder may approach his wife for sex only at the time prescribed for begetting children. Otherwise, the householder should practice celibacy, austerity, cleanliness of mind and body, satisfaction in his natural position, and friendship toward all living entities. Worship of Me is to be practiced by all human beings, regardless of social or occupational divisions.
iti māṁ yaḥ sva-dharmeṇa
bhajen nityam ananya-bhāk
mad-bhaktiṁ vindate dṛḍhām
iti — thus; mām — Me; yaḥ — one who; sva-dharmeṇa — by his prescribed duty; bhajet — worships; nityam — always; ananya-bhāk — with no other object of worship; sarva-bhūteṣu — in all living entities; mat — of Me; bhāvaḥ — being conscious; mat-bhaktim — devotional service unto Me; vindate — achieves; dṛḍhām — unflinching.
One who worships Me by his prescribed duty, having no other object of worship, and who remains conscious of Me as present in all living entities, achieves unflinching devotional service unto Me.
kāraṇaṁ mopayāti saḥ
bhaktyā — by loving service; uddhava — My dear Uddhava; anapāyinyā — unfailing; sarva — of all; loka — worlds; mahā-īśvaram — the Supreme Lord; sarva — of everything; utpatti — the cause of the creation; apyayam — and annihilation; brahma — the Absolute Truth; kāraṇam — the cause of the universe; mā — to Me; upayāti — comes; saḥ — he.
My dear Uddhava, I am the Supreme Lord of all worlds, and I create and destroy this universe, being its ultimate cause. I am thus the Absolute Truth, and one who worships Me with unfailing devotional service comes to Me.
na cirāt samupaiti mām
iti — thus; sva-dharma — by performing his prescribed duty; nirṇikta — having purified; sattvaḥ — his existence; nirjñāta — completely understanding; mat-gatiḥ — My supreme position; jñāna — with knowledge of the scriptures; vijñāna — and realized knowledge of the soul; sampannaḥ — endowed; na cirāt — in the near future; samupaiti — completely achieves; mām — Me.
Thus, one who has purified his existence by execution of his prescribed duties, who fully understands My supreme position and who is endowed with scriptural and realized knowledge, very soon achieves Me.
sa eva mad-bhakti-yuto
varṇāśrama-vatām — of the followers of the varṇāśrama system; dharmaḥ — religious principle; eṣaḥ — this; ācāra — by proper behavior according to the authorized tradition; lakṣaṇaḥ — characterized; saḥ — this; eva — indeed; mat-bhakti — with devotional service to Me; yutaḥ — conjoined; niḥśreyasa — the highest perfection of life; karaḥ — giving; paraḥ — supreme.
Those who are followers of this varṇāśrama system accept religious principles according to authorized traditions of proper conduct. When such varṇāśrama duties are dedicated to Me in loving service, they award the supreme perfection of life.
etat te ’bhihitaṁ sādho
bhavān pṛcchati yac ca mām
bhakto māṁ samiyāt param
etat — this; te — unto you; abhihitam — described; sādho — O saintly Uddhava; bhavān — you; pṛcchati — have asked; yat — which; ca — and; mām — from Me; yathā — the means by which; sva-dharma — in one’s prescribed duty; saṁyuktaḥ — perfectly engaged; bhaktaḥ — being a devotee; mām — to Me; samiyāt — one may come; param — the Supreme.
My dear saintly Uddhava, I have now described to you, just as you inquired, the means by which My devotee, perfectly engaged in his prescribed duty, can come back to Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.