|Canto 7: The Science of God||Chapter 12: The Perfect Society: Four Spiritual Classes|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.12.16
evaḿ vidho brahmacārī
vānaprastho yatir gṛhī
evam vidhaḥ — in this way; brahmacārī — whether one is a brahmacārī; vānaprasthaḥ — or one is in the vānaprastha-āśrama; yatiḥ — or in the sannyāsa-āśrama; gṛhī — or in the gṛhastha-āśrama; caran — by practice of self-realization and understanding of the Absolute Truth; vidita-vijñānaḥ — fully conversant with the science of the Absolute Truth; param — the Supreme; brahma — the Absolute Truth; adhigacchati — one can understand.
By practicing in this way, whether one be in the brahmacārī-āśrama, gṛhastha-āśrama, vānaprastha-āśrama or sannyāsa-āśrama, one must always realize the all-pervading presence of the Supreme Lord, for in this way it is possible to understand the Absolute Truth.
This is the beginning of self-realization. One must first understand how Brahman is present everywhere and how He is acting. This education is called brahma jijñāsā and is the real concern of human life. Without such knowledge, one cannot claim to be a human being; rather, he remains in the animal kingdom. As it is said, sa eva go-kharaḥ: [SB 10.84.13] without such knowledge, one is no better than a cow or an ass.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness