ब्रह्मनद्यां सरस्वत्यामाश्रम: पश्चिमे तटे ।
शम्याप्रास इति प्रोक्त ऋषीणां सत्रवर्धन: ॥ २ ॥
āśramaḥ paścime taṭe
śamyāprāsa iti prokta
sūtaḥ — Śrī Sūta; uvāca — said; brahma–nadyām — on the bank of the river intimately related with Vedas, brāhmaṇas,saints, and the Lord; sarasvatyām — Sarasvatī; āśramaḥ — cottage for meditation; paścime — on the west; taṭe — bank; śamyāprāsaḥ — the place named Śamyāprāsa; iti — thus; proktaḥ — said to be; ṛṣīṇām — of the sages; satra–vardhanaḥ — that which enlivens activities.
Śrī Sūta said: On the western bank of the river Sarasvatī, which is intimately related with the Vedas, there is a cottage for meditation at Śamyāprāsa which enlivens the transcendental activities of the sages.
For spiritual advancement of knowledge a suitable place and atmosphere are definitely required. The place on the western bank of the Sarasvatī is especially suitable for this purpose. And there is the āśrama of Vyāsadeva at Śamyāprāsa. Śrīla Vyāsadeva was a householder, yet his residential place is called an āśrama. An āśrama is a place where spiritual culture is always foremost. It does not matter whether the place belongs to a householder or a mendicant. The whole varṇāśramasystem is so designed that each and every status of life is called an āśrama. This means that spiritual culture is the common factor for all. The brahmacārīs, the gṛhasthas, the vānaprasthas and the sannyāsīs all belong to the same mission of life, namely, realization of the Supreme. Therefore none of them are less important as far as spiritual culture is concerned. The difference is a matter of formality on the strength of renunciation. The sannyāsīs are held in high estimation on the strength of practical renunciation.
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