"One man has become old even without age."

Devotee (2): How do you teach Kṛṣṇa consciousness to a five year old who is only a children? What it means to be a teacher? What teaching...?

Prabhupāda: How you are learning? You are also young. Anyone who is completely, I mean to say, unaware of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is to be taken as child. Doesn't matter one who has got age. It doesn't depend on the age. It depends on the knowledge. So not only young children, but anyone who is unaware of the science, he is also child. And anyone who knows this science, he is old. Vṛddhatvaṁ vāyasā vinā. There is a Sanskrit word that "One man has become old even without age." This is contradictory. How one can become old without age? Suppose a man, a boy, is sixteen years old, just like Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He was teaching Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam when he was only sixteen years old, but he was so learned that when he entered the assembly, all the great sages, including his father, stood up to receive him. So he was oldest. So he was older than his father even. Why? Because he was so learned. So our childishness or experience, old age, means according to the acquirement of knowledge. If one is advanced in knowledge, he is to be understood older. And if one is not advanced in knowledge, he is a child. That's all. So child does not mean that a five years old boy. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja, he was only five years old, and just see how nicely he is teaching. So he is older than any other man.

 

-Excerpt From: Śrila Prabhupāda, Lecture on Śrimad Bhāgavatam 7.6.1, June 12 1968, Montreal