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laksitah pathi balanam
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Utkala appeared to the less intelligent persons on the road to be foolish, blind, dumb, deaf and mad, although actually he was not so. He remained like fire covered with ashes, without blazing flames.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
In order to avoid contradiction, botheration and unfavorable situations created by materialistic persons, a great saintly person like Jada Bharata or Utkala remains silent. The less intelligent consider such saintly persons to be mad, deaf or dumb. Factually, an advanced devotee avoids speaking with persons who are not in devotional life, but to those who are in devotional life he speaks in friendship, and he speaks to the innocent for their enlightenment. For all practical purposes, the whole world is full of nondevotees, and so one kind of very advanced devotee is called bhajananandi. Those who are gosthy-anandi, however, preach to increase the number of devotees. But even such preachers also avoid opposing elements who are unfavorably disposed towards spiritual life.