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SB 11.18.29

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


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.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


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.


A paramahaṁsa-sannyāsī, fearing that his mind may be deviated by the tremendous prestige that people sometimes offer to a perfectly self-realized person, conceals his position as described in this verse. A self-realized person does not try to please the mass of people, nor does he desire social prestige, since the mission of his life is to remain detached from the material world and to always please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although neglecting ordinary rules and regulations, a paramahaṁsa does not ever become sinful or immoral, but rather neglects ritualistic aspects of religious custom, such as dressing in a particular way, performing certain ceremonies or executing specific penances and austerities.

The pure devotees of the Lord who have dedicated their lives to propagating the Lord's holy name must very expertly present Kṛṣṇa consciousness in a way pleasing to the mass of people so that they will accept it. Those who are preaching should try to make Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa popular without trying to advance their personal prestige in the name of missionary progress. A paramahaṁsa not engaged in distributing Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, should have no attachment whatsoever to public opinion.

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