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SB 11.8.13

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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


padāpi yuvatīṁ bhikṣur
na spṛśed dāravīm api
spṛśan karīva badhyeta
kariṇyā aṅga-saṅgataḥ


padā—with the foot; api—even; yuvatīm—a young girl; bhikṣuḥ—a saintly mendicant; na—not; spṛśet—should touch; dāravīm—made of wood; api—even; spṛśan—touching; karī—the elephant; iva—like; badhyeta—becomes captured; kariṇyāḥ—of the she-elephant; aṅga-saṅgataḥ—by contact with the body.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


A saintly person should never touch a young girl. In fact, he should not even let his foot touch a wooden doll in the shape of a woman. By bodily contact with a woman he will surely be captured by illusion, just as the elephant is captured by the she-elephant due to his desire to touch her body.


Elephants are captured in the jungle in the following way. A large hole is dug and then covered over with grass, leaves, mud and so on. Then a she-elephant is exhibited in front of the male elephant, who chases after her with lusty desire, falls into the hole and is captured. The lesson to be learned from the elephant is that the desire to relish the touch sensation is certainly the cause of ruining one's life. An intelligent person, noting the elephant's great propensity to sport with the she-elephant, will take this excellent example to heart. Therefore, somehow or other one should avoid being cheated by allurement to the sensuous form of woman. One should not allow one's mind to be lost in lusty dreams of sex pleasure. There are various types of sense gratification to be enjoyed between men and women, including speaking, contemplating, touching, sexual intercourse, etc., and all of these constitute the network of illusion by which one is helplessly bound like an animal. Somehow or other one should remain aloof from sense gratification in the form of sex pleasure; otherwise, there is no possibility of understanding the spiritual world.

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