cared vane dvadasabdan
astau va caturo munih
dvav ekam va yatha buddhir
na vipadyeta krcchratah
caret—should remain; vane—in the forest; dvadasa-abdan—twelve years; astau—for eight years; va—either; caturah—four years; munih—a saintly, thoughtful man; dvau—two; ekam—one; va—either; yatha—as well as; buddhih—intelligence; na—not; vipadyeta—bewildered; krcchratah—because of hard austerities.
Being very thoughtful, a vanaprastha should remain in the forest for twelve years, eight years, four years, two years or at least one year. He should behave in such a way that he will not be disturbed or troubled by too much austerity.

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