Srimad Bhagavatam 11.08.09 - Vanaprastha Ashram Do's And Don't (download mp3)
by Jayadvaita Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty
stokam stokam grased grasam
deho varteta yavata
grhan ahimsann atisthed
vrttim madhukarim munih
A saintly person should accept only enough food to keep his body and soul together. He should go from door to door accepting just a little bit of food from each family. Thus he should practice the occupation of the honeybee.
Sometimes a honeybee is attracted by the extraordinary aroma of a particular lotus flower and lingers there, neglecting his usual activity of flying from flower to flower. Unfortunately, at sunset the lotus flower closes, and thus the infatuated honeybee is trapped. Similarly, a sannyasi or brahmacari may discover that excellent foodstuff is available at a particular house, and therefore, instead of wandering from place to place, he may become a veritable resident of such a well-fed household. Thus he will become bewildered by the illusion of family life and fall down from the platform of renunciation. Also, if a mendicant takes unfair advantage of the Vedic custom of charity and takes too often from a single family, the resentment he causes will disturb the social order. An ideal sage should, like the honeybee, travel from place to place, but he must be careful not to become a chubby bee by going to many houses and eating sumptuously at each house. According to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, such a chubby bee will undoubtedly become entangled in the network of maya. No one should be overly attached to the gratification of his tongue, because this will lead to an overstuffed belly and then uncontrollable lust. In conclusion, one should not endeavor very much for material sense gratification but should instead endeavor strenuously to spread the glories of the Supreme Lord, Krsna. This is the proper use of human energy.