Devotee: (reading) "Not merely by abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Simply by... it is explained. Go on.
Devotee: Purport "The renounced order of life can be adopted upon being purified by the discharge of the prescribed form of duties. The prescribed form of duties is laid down just to purify the heart of materialistic men. Without the purifying process one cannot attain success by abruptly adopting the fourth order of life, sannyāsa."
Prabhupāda: The fourth... renunciation is the fourth order of life according to Vedic civilization. Just like we are sannyāsī. So we were also householder. I have got my wife, still living. I have got my children. But I have been able to come to this stage of renunciation, forgetting my all relationship with my wife and children and family and home, because I was trained gradually. I was trained as brahmacārī, as gṛhastha by the mercy of our spiritual master. Therefore I don't feel anything. But abruptly, if we take to sannyāsa order, then...
We have seen many persons abruptly taking, or without understanding the self-realization process. He fails. He again comes back to the materialistic way of life in a different form. Suppose he begins in philanthropic work, some hospitalizing or opening educational institution. That is nice. But these things are being done by the government and many philanthropic persons. That is not the duty of a sannyāsī. A sannyāsī, a renounced order of life, his main business is to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. That is his real business. But if one has not the taste what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, simply accept sannyāsa, then he will do all this nonsense work.
And... of course, I don't wish to name here. Some of our students went to a very big svāmī here in New York. He found that he was smoking. And the student said: "Swāmījī, we don't smoke." He was ashamed. He was ashamed. So what is the use of taking this kind of sannyāsa? Sannyāsa means to give up all material contaminated activities for the sake of the Supreme Lord. That is called sannyāsa.
Sat nyāsa, sannyāsa. This is the combination. Sat means the Supreme, the ever-existing, and nyāsa means renunciation. That means one who has renounced everything for serving the Supreme, he is real sannyāsa. He may take this dress or not, that doesn't matter. Anyone who has sacrificed his life for service of the Supreme Lord, he's a sannyāsī.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, December 20, 1968)