Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 4 - Chapter 1 - Verse 4


पुरुषा यदि मुह्यन्ति त्वाद‍ृशा देवमायया ।श्रम एव परं जातो दीर्घया वृद्धसेवया ॥ ४ ॥


puruṣā yadi muhyantitvādṛśā deva-māyayāśrama eva paraṁ jātodīrghayā vṛddha-sevayā


If a personality like you, who are so much advanced because of executing the instructions of the previous ācāryas, is carried away by the influence of My material energy, then all your advancement may be considered simply a waste of time.


In this verse the word vṛddha-sevayā is very significant. Vṛddha means “old”; sevayā means “by service.” Perfect knowledge is acquired from the ācāryas, or liberated souls. No one can be perfect in knowledge without being trained by the paramparā system. Pṛthu Mahārāja was completely trained in that line; therefore he did not deserve to be considered an ordinary man. An ordinary man, who has only a conception of bodily existence, is always bewildered by the modes of material nature.