By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

Prabhupada explaining

Sannyāsa has got four stages: kutīcaka, bahūdaka, parivrājakācārya and paramahamsa.

Kutīcaka: When one takes sannyāsa, he is not practiced to beg from door to door. Therefore in the beginning he makes a cottage outside the village, and the foodstuff comes from his home. But he has no connection because by vānaprastha he has already left home, and by sannyāsa, completely.  But he takes prasādam from home. That is called kutīcaka.

Then when he’s practiced, he goes from door to door, and that is called bahūdaka. And then, when he’s still more practiced, he becomes a preacher, parivrājakācārya, goes from country to country, state to state, for preaching. And after preaching, when the preaching is advanced to some extent, then he sits down in a place as paramahamsa. That is called paramahamsa. Different stages.

Not that all of a sudden one becomes paramahamsa and bidi also, not like that. Paramahamsa stage is not to be imitation. So to stop this imitation, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thākura introduced this system, sannyāsa. He personally became sannyāsa, and to many of his disciples, he gave sannyāsa.

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[An excerpt from a lecture given on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.41 in Mayapur, West Bengal on October 21, 1974]



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