cared vane dvādaśābdān
aṣṭau vā caturo muniḥ
dvāv ekaṁ vā yathā buddhir
na vipadyeta kṛcchrataḥ
caret—should remain; vane—in the forest; dvādaśa-abdān—twelve years; aṣṭau—for eight years; vā—either; caturaḥ—four years; muniḥ—a saintly, thoughtful man; dvau—two; ekam—one; vā—either; yathā—as well as; buddhiḥ—intelligence; na—not; vipadyeta—bewildered; kṛcchrataḥ—because of hard austerities.
Being very thoughtful, a vānaprastha 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.
Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/sb/7/12/22