śikṣito me madhu-vratāt
kṛcchrāptaṁ madhuvad vittaṁ
hatvāpy anyo haret patim
virāgaḥ—detachment; sarva-kāmebhyaḥ—from all material desires; śikṣitaḥ—has been taught; me—unto me; madhu-vratāt—from the bumblebee; kṛcchra—with great difficulties; āptam—acquired; madhu-vat—as good as honey (“money is honey”); vittam—money; hatvā—killing; api—even; anyaḥ—another; haret—takes away; patim—the owner.
From the bumblebee I have learned to be unattached to accumulating money, for although money is as good as honey, anyone can kill its owner and take it away.
The honey gathered in the comb is taken away by force. Therefore one who accumulates money should realize that he may be harassed by the government or by thieves or even killed by enemies. Especially in this age of Kali-yuga, it is said that instead of protecting the money of the citizens, the government itself will take away the money with the force of law. The learned brāhmaṇa had therefore decided that he should not accumulate any money. One should own as much as he immediately needs. There is no need to keep a big balance at hand, along with the fear that it may be plundered by the government or by thieves.
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