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SB 11.8.11

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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


sāyantanaṁ śvastanaṁ vā
na saṅgṛhṇīta bhikṣitam
makṣikeva na saṅgrahī


sāyantanam—meant for the night; śvastanam—meant for tomorrow; vā—either; na—not; saṅgṛhṇīta—should accept; bhikṣitam—food in charity; pāṇi—with the hand; pātra—as one's plate; udara—with the belly; amatraḥ—as the storage container; makṣikā—the bee; iva—like; na—not; saṅgrahī—a collector.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


A saintly person should not think, "This food I will keep to eat tonight and this other food I can save for tomorrow." In other words, a saintly person should not store foodstuffs acquired by begging. Rather, he should use his own hands as his plate and eat whatever fits on them. His only storage container should be his belly, and whatever conveniently fits into his belly should be his stock of food. Thus one should not imitate the greedy honeybee who eagerly collects more and more honey.


There are two types of honeybees: those who collect nectar from the flowers and those who actually manufacture honey in the beehive. This verse refers to the second class. The greedy honeybee eventually collects so much honey that he is trapped in his hive; and in the same way, a materialistic person becomes trapped under the burden of unnecessary material accumulation. One who is interested in making spiritual progress should avoid such a situation; however, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura points out that for the purpose of spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness one may accumulate an unlimited amount of material opulence. This is called yukta-vairāgya, or using everything in the service of Kṛṣṇa. A saintly person who is unable to work in Lord Caitanya's mission should practice austerities and collect only what he can hold in his hands and belly. However, one who has given his life to Kṛṣṇa may collect unlimitedly on Lord Kṛṣṇa's behalf. In fact, without acquiring material opulence, how is it possible to spread the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement all over the world? But if one tries to personally enjoy the funds or facilities acquired for the missionary activities of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, he commits the greatest offense. Therefore, even in the name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one should collect only what he can immediately engage in practical devotional service; otherwise one will fall down to the platform of ordinary greediness.

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