aho asadho sadhunam
sadhu-lingena nas tvaya
asadhv akary arbhakanam
bhiksor margah pradarsitah
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Prajapati Daksa said: Alas, Narada Muni, you wear the dress of a saintly person, but you are not actually a saint. Indeed, although I am now in grhastha life, I am a saintly person. By showing my sons the path of renunciation, you have done me an abominable injustice.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, sannyasira alpa chidra sarva-loke gaya (Cc. Madhya 12.51). In society one will find many sannyasis, vanaprasthas, grhasthas and brahmacaris, but if all of them properly live in accordance with their duties, they are understood to be sadhus. Prajapati Daksa was certainly a sadhu because he had executed such great austerities that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu, had appeared before him. Nevertheless, he had a fault-finding mentality. He improperly thought Narada Muni to be asadhu, or nonsaintly, because Narada had foiled his intentions. Desiring to train his sons to become grhasthas fully equipped with knowledge, Daksa had sent them to execute austerities by Narayana-saras. Narada Muni, however, taking advantage of their highly elevated position in austerity, instructed them to become Vaisnavas in the renounced order. This is the duty of Narada Muni and his followers. They must show everyone the path of renouncing this material world and returning home, back to Godhead. Prajapati Daksa, however, could not see the exaltedness of the duties Narada Muni performed in relation to his sons. Unable to appreciate Narada Muni’s behavior, Daksa accused Narada of being asadhu.
The words bhiksor marga, “the path of the renounced order,” are very significant in this regard. A sannyasi is called tridandi-bhiksu because his duty is to beg alms from the homes of grhasthas and to give the grhasthas spiritual instructions. A sannyasi is allowed to beg from door to door, but a grhastha cannot do so. Grhasthas may earn their living according to the four divisions of spiritual life. A brahmana grhastha may earn his livelihood by becoming a learned scholar and teaching people in general how to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He may also assume the duty of worship himself. Therefore it is said that only brahmanas may engage in Deity worship, and they may accept as prasada whatever people offer the Deity. Although a brahmana may sometimes accept charity, it is not for his personal maintenance but for the worship of the Deity. Thus a brahmana does not stock anything for his future use. Similarly, ksatriyas may collect taxes from the citizens, and they must also protect the citizens, enforce rules and regulations, and maintain law and order. Vaisyas should earn their livelihood through agriculture and cow protection, and sudras should maintain their livelihood by serving the three higher classes. Unless one becomes a brahmana, one cannot take sannyasa. Sannyasis and brahmacaris may beg alms door to door, but a grhastha cannot.
Prajapati Daksa condemned Narada Muni because Narada, a brahmacari who could beg from door to door, had made sannyasis of Daksa’s sons, who were being trained to be grhasthas. Daksa was extremely angry at Narada because he thought that Narada had done him a great injustice. According to Daksa’s opinion, Narada Muni had misled Daksa’s inexperienced sons (asadhv akary arbhakanam). Daksa regarded his sons as innocent boys who had been misled when Narada showed them the renounced order of life. Because of all these considerations, Prajapati Daksa charged that Narada Muni was asadhu and should not have adopted the dress of a sadhu.
Sometimes a saintly person is misunderstood by grhasthas, especially when he instructs their young sons to accept Krsna consciousness. Generally a grhastha thinks that unless one enters grhastha life he cannot properly enter the renounced order. If a young man immediately adopts the path of the renounced order in accordance with the instructions of Narada or a member of his disciplic succession, his parents become very angry. This same phenomenon is occurring in our Krsna consciousness movement because we are instructing all the young boys in the Western countries to follow the path of renunciation. We allow grhastha life, but a grhastha also follows the path of renunciation. Even a grhastha has to give up so many bad habits that his parents think his life has been practically destroyed. We allow no meat-eating, no illicit sex, no gambling and no intoxication, and consequently the parents wonder how, if there are so many no’s, one’s life can be positive. In the Western countries especially, these four prohibited activities practically constitute the life and soul of the modern population. Therefore parents sometimes dislike our movement, just as Prajapati Daksa disliked the activities of Narada and accused Narada of dishonesty. Nevertheless, although parents may be angry at us, we must perform our duty without hesitation because we are in the disciplic succession from Narada Muni.
People addicted to householder life wonder how one can give up the enjoyment of grhastha life, which is a concession for sex enjoyment, simply to become a mendicant in Krsna consciousness. They do not know that the householder’s concession for sex life cannot be regulated unless one accepts the life of a mendicant. The Vedic civilization therefore enjoins that at the end of one’s fiftieth year one must give up household life. This is compulsory. However, because modern civilization is misled, householders want to remain in family life until death, and therefore they are suffering. In such cases, the disciples of Narada Muni advise all the members of the younger generation to join the Krsna consciousness movement immediately. There is nothing wrong in this.