Prabhupāda: Dut? Avadhūta. Paramahaṁsa. Paramahaṁsa stage, the highest stage of perfection... They are not under any rules and regulations, paramahaṁsa.
Yamunā: How does such a person engage?
Prabhupāda: That's a long history. You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā, sthita-prajñasya. Sthita-prajñā. So there are many symptoms. On the whole, avadhūta or paramahaṁsa is not subjected to any rules and regulations. They are so elevated. That is not to be imitated. That is a post, position, very exalted, perfectional stage, spiritual advancement. So if you want to know the symptoms, that is in the Bhagavad-gītā. There is a list. But one thing you can simply know, a paramahaṁsa is a stage who is above all rules and regulations. That's all.
Haṁsadūta: (indistinct) disturbed.
Prabhupāda: Another nonsense. That's all.
Revatīnandana: So if he continues to follow these rules and regulations...
Prabhupāda: He doesn't follow. He doesn't follow. I can... I understand from his behavior.
Revatīnandana: But generally they do follow in the sense that they generally...
Prabhupāda: No, no. Paramahaṁsa...
Revatīnandana: For setting example for others?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Paramahaṁsa, they do not come in the society because people may imitate and they fall down. Therefore they are aloof. Just like Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. He was aloof, bhajanānandī. But one who will act as preacher or spiritual master, even if he is paramahaṁsa, he should live ordinary so that his disciples may follow. He comes to second stage. Paramahaṁsa is the first stage, and preacher is in the second stage, and neophytes are in the third stage. So the neophyte should try to come to second stage. Īśvare tad-adhīneṣu bāliśeṣu dviṣatsu. They have got discrimination: Īśvara, Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tad-adhīna, the devotees; bāliśa, innocent; and dviṣat, those who are atheists, envious of... As soon as they hear that here is something going on, talking about God, they become immediately envious. We have increased the number of this kind of men. There is someone interested in God. They simply challenge. They are called dviṣat. So a preacher should avoid them. But the paramahaṁsa, he does not avoid. So there are so many things. So we haven't got to imitate the activities of... A paramahaṁsa is a position, exalted position. They are very rare to be visible because they do not care to come in the society. So, and if you want to know about the paramahaṁsa, the sthita-prajñā description in the Bhagavad-gītā, I think, in the Twelfth Chapter, you can know it.
Mālatī: Prabhupāda? Can you explain more about preyaḥ and śreyaḥ?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Śreyaḥ means ultimate benefit, and preyaḥ means immediate sense gratification. That is called... That is the difference between śreyaḥ and preyaḥ. That's all right.
Revatīnandana: So the transcendentalists are śreyaḥ? And the karmīs and others are...
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are after preyaḥ. Those who are after śreyaḥ, they should follow the catur-āśrama, varṇāśrama. The varṇāśrama, according to Vedic system, the four kinds of varṇas or social caste, and four kinds of spiritual order, āśramas. That is the beginning of preyaḥ. Without this acceptance of these principles, according to Vedic principles, one is not considered as human being or civilized man. Because that is a system, if we follow that system, gradually we rise to the platform of śreyaḥ. If anyone does not follow regulative principles, it is very hard for him to come to the standard of śreyaḥ. But in this age, in Kali-yuga, every man is so fallen that he cannot follow any regulative principles according to the Vedic scriptures. As such, they have been accepted as śūdras. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ: "In this age everyone should be accepted as śūdra." But then how to elevate them? For elevating them, this..., not the Vedic system is to be followed but Pañcarātriki. Pañcarātriki... Just like we are trying to elevate these Europeans and Americans according to Pañcarātriki-vidhi. Everyone should be followed. It is not that Indians should not follow; only the others will. No. It is for everyone, Pañcarātriki-vidhi. The Pañcarātriki-vidhi means that if anyone has got little tendency for being elevated to the śreyaḥ platform, he should be given chance. That is called Pañcarātriki-vidhi. Just like dīkṣā, initiation. Śūdras are not given initiation. A śūdra cannot be initiated. Only the brāhmaṇas can be initiated, or dvija, or the vaiśyas and the kṣatriyas, the higher caste, not the śūdras. But according to Pañcarātriki-vidhi, even the śūdras or less than the śūdras, kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā (SB 2.4.18), everyone can be initiated by a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa, not by others. That is the system.