Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 18: Description of Varṇāśrama-dharma

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.18.19

bahir jalāśayaḿ gatvā

tatropaspṛśya vāg-yataḥ

vibhajya pāvitaḿ śeṣaḿ

bhuñjītāśeṣam āhṛtam


bahiḥ — outside of urban areas, in a secluded place; jala — of water; āśayamto a reservoir; gatvā — going; tatra — there; upaspṛśya — being purified by contact with water; vāk-yataḥ — without speaking; vibhajya — duly distributing; pāvitam — purified; śeṣam — remnants; bhuñjīta — one should eat; aśeṣam — completely; āhṛtam — gathered by begging.


Taking the food gathered through begging, one should leave the populated areas and go to a reservoir of water in a secluded place. There, having taken a bath and washed one's hands thoroughly, one should distribute portions of the food to others who may request it. One should do this without speaking. Then, having thoroughly cleansed the remnants, one should eat everything on one's plate, leaving nothing for future consumption.


Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura explains that a saintly person should not argue or quarrel with materialistic persons who may request or demand part of his foodstuff. The word vibhajya indicates that one should give something to such persons to avoid disturbance, and then, offering the remnants to Lord Viṣṇu, one should eat everything on one's plate, without saving food for the future. The word bahiḥ indicates that one should not eat in a public place, and vāg-yata indicates that one should eat silently, meditating upon the Lord's mercy.

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