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SB 11.8.16

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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


su-duḥkhopārjitair vittair
āśāsānāṁ gṛhāśiṣaḥ
madhu-hevāgrato bhuṅkte
yatir vai gṛha-medhinām


su-duḥkha—with great struggle; upārjitaiḥ—that which is acquired; vittaiḥ—material opulence; āśāsānām—of those fervently desiring; gṛha—related to domestic enjoyment; āśiṣaḥ—blessings; madhu-hā—the person who steals honey from the bees; iva—like; agrataḥ—first, before others; bhuṅkte—enjoys; yatiḥ—a saintly mendicant; vai—certainly; gṛha-medhinām—of those dedicated to material family life.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


Just as a hunter takes away the honey laboriously produced by the honeybees, similarly, saintly mendicants such as brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs are entitled to enjoy the property painstakingly accumulated by householders dedicated to family enjoyment.


The scriptures state, "Saintly mendicants in the sannyāsa order of life and brahmacārīs have first right to enjoy the sumptuous foodstuffs produced by the householders. If the householders enjoy such foodstuffs without first offering them in charity to the mendicants, such neglectful householders must undergo the lunar fast called cāndrāyaṇam." In family life one must overcome the natural tendency toward selfishness by giving abundant charity. Modern society foolishly does not observe such Vedic injunctions, and as a result the world has become overrun by envious gṛha-medhīs, or persons wholly and solely dedicated to personal gratification in family life. Therefore, the whole world is seized in an uncontrollable spasm of violence and suffering. If one wants to live peacefully one must follow the Vedic injunctions regulating family life. Although the householders work very hard to accumulate money, the saintly sannyāsīs and brahmacārīs have the right to first enjoy the fruits of such labor. The conclusion is that one should give first priority to spiritual advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thus perfect one's life. Then even without personal endeavor, one will be supplied all of one's necessities by the mercy of the Personality of Godhead.

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