Canto 7: The Science of GodChapter 12: The Perfect Society: Four Spiritual Classes

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.12.8



guru-strībhir yuvatibhiḥ

kārayen nātmano yuvā


keśa-prasādhana — brushing the hair; unmarda — massaging the body; snapana — bathing; abhyañjana-ādikam — massaging the body with oil and so on; guru-strībhiḥ — by the wife of the spiritual master; yuvatibhiḥ — very young; kārayet — should allow to do; na — never; ātmanaḥ — for personal service; yuvā — if the student is a young man.


If the wife of the spiritual master is young, a young brahmacārī should not allow her to care for his hair, massage his body with oil, or bathe him with affection like a mother.


The relationship between the student or disciple and the wife of the spiritual master or teacher is like that between son and mother. A mother sometimes cares for her son by combing his hair, massaging his body with oil, or bathing him. Similarly, the wife of the teacher is also a mother (guru-patnī), and therefore she may also care for the disciple in a motherly way. If the wife of the teacher is a young woman, however, a young brahmacārī should not allow such a mother to touch him. This is strictly prohibited. There are seven kinds of mothers:

ātma-mātā guroḥ patnī

brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā

dhenur dhātrī tathā pṛthvī

saptaitā mātaraḥ smṛtāḥ

These mothers are the original mother, the wife of the teacher or spiritual master, the wife of a brāhmaṇa, the king's wife, the cow, the nurse and the earth. Unnecessary association with women, even with one's mother, sister or daughter, is strictly prohibited. This is human civilization. A civilization that allows men to mix unrestrictedly with women is an animal civilization. In Kali-yuga, people are extremely liberal, but mixing with women and talking with them as equals actually constitutes an uncivilized way of life.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness