Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.66–96

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
November 21
New York



prabhu kahe—‘tomāra dui-bhāi prayāge mililā
rūpa, anupama-duṅhe vṛndāvana gelā’

So Lord Caitanya informed Sanātana Gosvāmī that “Your two brothers, I met them at Prayāga, and they have started for Vṛndāvana.” Lord Caitanya deputed the Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī to excavate the glories of Vṛndāvana. Before Lord Caitanya, the Vṛndāvana city was not there. The present Vṛndāvana city was not there. It was all forgotten practically. But when Lord Caitanya visited this land He made survey, and His assistants, these Gosvāmīs, they went there, and this present Vṛndāvana was constructed by the disciples of Lord Caitanya. So He said that “I have instructed your two brothers, Rūpa Gosvāmī, to go to Vṛndāvana, and I have met them.” 

tapana-miśrere āra candraśekharere
prabhu-ājñāya sanātana mililā doṅhāre

And He was guest in the house of Tapana Miśra. So He introduced Tapana Miśra with Sanātana Gosvāmī. 

tapana-miśra tabe tāṅre kailā nimantraṇa
prabhu kahe—‘kṣaura karāha, yāha, sanātana’

The Tapana Miśra invited him, that “Please accept your bhikṣā at my place.” It is the system when a sannyāsī, or renounced order of life, is in the village or in the vicinity of a… So it is the Hindu system that somebody will invite. So Tapana Miśra invited him to take, accept prasādam at his place, and Lord Caitanya said that “First of all you get him to a barber and have him cleansed of, of his beard and hairs which has grown for so many days. Let him become a gentleman.” The Lord said that “Let him become a gentleman.” 

candraśekharere prabhu kahe bolāñā
‘ei veṣa dūra kara, yāha iṅhāre lañā’

“Just get him to a barber and clean, clean-shaven.” According to the Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s sampradāya, they keep themselves clean-shaven. And only single instance is there, Advaita Prabhu. He had his beard. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu never asked Him to cleanse. Because one reason is that Advaita Prabhu was just contemporary to His father, so He did not like to dictate. But otherwise, all His disciples, they were clean-shaved. 

bhadra karāñā tāṅre gaṅgā-snāna karāila
śekhara āniyā tāṅre nūtana vastra dila

Then, after getting him washed in the Ganges and cleansed by a barber, Candraśekhara offered him a new pair of clothing and… Sei vastra sanātana nā kaila aṅgīkāra. And Sanātana Gosvāmī did not accept that new clothing. Śuniyā prabhura mane ānanda apāra. And when Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard it that Sanātana Gosvāmī, after renouncement, he’s not going to accept any new clothing… So for a really renounced person is that whatever clothing is thrown in the street, he’ll collect and he’ll wear it. He would not purchase any new clothing. That is the order of strictly one who follows… Cīrāṇi. Sanātana… Svarūpa… Śukadeva Gosvāmī, in the Bhāgavata, he says that “Whether old clothings and torn clothings cannot be had on the street? Whether trees are not giving fruit? Whether the rivers are dried up? Whether the caves of the mountains, they are closed? Then why the renounced order of persons go to the viṣayi?Viṣayi means those, those who are materialistic. Sometimes renounced order of life, sannyāsī, they go to the householders… Of course, that is their duty. But still… So Śukadeva Gosvāmī, a great personality in the renounced order of life, he would live naked. He would not go even to the human society. So those who are following strictly, they don’t make themselves dependent on the householders or on the worldly people. So Sanātana Gosvāmī did not accept that new clothing, and when it was heard by Lord Caitanya, He was very glad. 

madhyāhna kariyā prabhu gelā bhikṣā karibāre
sanātane lañā gelā tapana-miśrera ghare

Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu… There were two gentlemen, Candraśekhara Ācārya and Tapana Miśra. So Candraśekhara Ācārya took care of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Tapana Miśra took Sanātana Gosvāmī at his place to give him prasādam. 

miśra sanātana dilā nūtana vasana
vastra nāhi nilā, teṅho kaila nivedana

Again Miśra offered him that new clothing, but he refused. 

‘more vastra dite yadi tomāra haya mana
nija paridhāna eka deha’ purātana’

“If you like to give me some clothing, please give me some old clothing which you have used. That will suffice me.” 

tabe miśra purātana eka dhuti dila
teṅho dui bahirvāsa-kaupīna karila

Then he offered him one dhotī. Dhotī, in India, they use dhotī, about five yards, one dhotī. So he offered that dhotī, old clothing, and he divided into bahirvāsa and kaupīna, underwear and outward clothing. 

mahārāṣṭrīya dvije prabhu milāilā sanātane
sei vipra tāṅre kaila mahā-nimantraṇe

Then again one Maharastrian brāhmaṇa also met him. He also invited him that “Next day, you please come to my place.” 

‘sanātana, tumi yāvat kāśīte rahibā
tāvat āmāra ghare bhikṣā ye karibā’

That Maharastriya brāhmaṇa, he invited him, Sanātana Gosvāmī, “So long you shall stay at Benares, kindly accept my invitation. You come to my place and take your prasādam.” 

sanātana kahe—‘āmi mādhukarī kariba
brāhmaṇera ghare kene ekatra bhikṣā laba?’

Just see. He said, “No, no. I cannot accept sumptuous foodstuff from a brāhmaṇa’s place. That is not my duty. I shall accept mādhukarī.Mādhukarī is a principle introduced by these Gosvāmīs. Mādh, mādhu. Mādhu means honey. And the bees who collect honey from flower—a drop from this flower, a drop from that flower, a drop from that flower—in this way, he subsists. So this mādhukarī system means a renounced order of sannyāsī or a vairāgī, he should not accept in one place sumptuously. He should go to every householder and take a bit of capātī from this house, a bit of capātī from that house, a bit of capātī from that house, so that the householders also may not be disturbed and they may be benefited. When a real sannyāsī or vairāgi accepts something from the householder, it is a great benefit for him. Therefore to accept little from this house, to accept little from that house, that is also another mercy of the renounced sannyāsī or devotees of the Lord. Yes. 

So he did not accept that invitation, that “I shall beg from door to door, and collect my capātī and live on that way.” 

sanātanera vairāgye prabhura ānanda apāra
bhoṭa-kambala pāne prabhu cāhe bāre bāra

Sanātana, he was so strict in renounced order of life, so that gave Caitanya Mahāprabhu too much pleasure: “Oh, it is very nice.” But while he was coming, his brother-in-law gave him a nice blanket. That was on the body of Sanātana. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu several times overlooked about that blanket. 

sanātana jānila ei prabhure nā bhāya
bhoṭa tyāga karibāre cintilā upāya

Sanātana Gosvāmī, he was very intelligent; he was minister. He could understand that “Lord is observing my blanket. That means He doesn’t like that I should have such valuable blanket on my body.” So he thought that “I should give up this blanket.” 

eta cinti’ gelā gaṅgāya madhyāhna karite
eka gauḍīya kānthā dhuñā diyāche śukāite

Thinking this, he went to the bank of the Ganges and he saw one, another vairāgi. He had a torn clothing, and he, after washing it, he gave it for drying. So Sanātana Gosvāmī went there and asked him, “Please take this blanket and kindly give me your, that torn clothing.” So that man thought that he’s cutting jokes with him, that he wants to exchange such a nice blanket. So he said, “Sir, you appear to be very good gentleman. You should not cut joke with me in this…” Then Sanātana Gosvāmī, “No, I am not cutting joke with you. I am really serious. Please exchange this. You take my, this valuable blanket, and give me that torn clothing.” And after taking that torn clothing, when he appeared before Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very much pleased. Yes. 

prabhu kahe—‘tomāra bhoṭa-kambala kothā gela?’
prabhu-pade saba kathā gosāñi kahila

He inquired again, “Oh, where is that, your blanket, that valuable blanket I saw? Where you left it?” Then he described that “I could understand Your opinion. So I have exchanged that valuable blanket with this torn clothing. Yes.” 

prabhu kahe—‘ihā āmi kariyāchi vicāra
viṣaya-roga khaṇḍāila kṛṣṇa ye tomāra’

“Yes, I was just thinking of you. Now you are completely independent. You don’t depend on anything. So it is giving Me much pleasure. Yes.” 

‘se kene rākhibe tomāra śeṣa viṣaya-bhoga?
roga khaṇḍi’ sad-vaidya nā rākhe śeṣa roga’

“By grace of Kṛṣṇa, your last attachment also now taken up. It is a great mercy of Kṛṣṇa upon you.” 

‘tina mudrāra bhoṭa gāya, mādhukarī grāsa
dharma-hāni haya, loka kare upahāsa’

Then this is a hint by Lord Caitanya that a sannyāsī who has renounced everything, if he lives very gorgeously, with good dress, and good house, and apartment… No. This is not approved by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Then what is that? What does it mean? A sannyāsī living like a first-class gentleman, smoking, and very nice apartment, and some, I mean to say, lady assistant, secretary… What is this? Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not approve. He must be, as far as possible… Whatever is absolutely necessity, he should accept, not more. Yes. That is renounced order of life, not that in the name of renounced order of life he should live at the expense of the householders, very gorgeously. No. This is not sannyāsa. It is not accepted by Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s sampradāya. 

So He says that “You live by begging from door to door, and you have a valuable blanket on your body. This is contradictory. Now I am glad that you have done this.” 

gosāñi kahe—‘ye khaṇḍila kuviṣaya-bhoga
tāṅra icchāya gela mora śeṣa viṣaya-roga’

“Now You wanted me to be in renounced order of life. I first met you when I was at, in Bengal, in the capital of Gaudadeśa. And You desired me that I should be in renounced order of life. So I came, and my last attachment to that kambala is also now finished by You.” 

prasanna hañā prabhu tāṅre kṛpā kaila
tāṅra kṛpāya praśna karite tāṅra śakti haila

Now Sanātana Gosvāmī and Caitanya Mahāprabhu is sitting together for discussion. This is called “Instruction to Sanātana Gosvāmī.” Caitanya Mahāprabhu had discussion with some of His principal disciples. One was Rāmānanda Rāya. Raya Rāmaṇanda, he was Governor of Madras, and later on he retired from that governorship and became a constant companion of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Although he was a householder, he never accepted renouncement, but still, he was con… He was the most confidential devotee of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, although he was a householder, because he was highly advanced in the science of Kṛṣṇa. So there was some discussion with this Rāmānanda Rāya, and there was some discussion with this Sanātana Gosvāmī, and some discussion with Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, and some discussion with Rūpa Gosvāmī. So He had no other discussion with anyone, and the rest of His life was spent by simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. And these disciples, under the instruction of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they have made volumes of books on the basis of the instruction of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not write any book in His own hand. He wrote only eight verses, which is called Śikṣāṣṭaka. That was His only writing. Otherwise, all the books, valuable books that you have got in His sampradāya, they are written by His disciples, especially by Rūpa Gosvāmī. He’s famous. Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, and that boy, the nephew of Rūpa Gosvāmī who left home at ten years old and later on, after becoming a very great Sanskrit scholar, he approached their uncles, that Jīva Gosvāmī. Oh, he has written many valuable volumes of books. So the asset of this Caitanya-sampradāya about this devotional service is very great. Very great. This Caitanya-caritāmṛta is also one of them. Yes. 


pūrve yaiche rāya-pāśe prabhu praśna kailā
tāṅra śaktye rāmānanda tāṅra uttara dilā
ihāṅ prabhura śaktye praśna kare sanātana
āpane mahāprabhu kare ‘tattva’-nirūpaṇa

Now, after Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s approval of renouncement of Sanātana Gosvāmī, He instructed him for two months at Benares. In the formerly… Here it is referred. In the formerly, as He instructed Rāmānanda Rāya at, in Kabul [?]—Kabul is a place in the Madras, South India—similarly, in that occasion the Lord was questioning Rāmānanda Rāya, and Rāmānanda Rāya was replying and here, in the similar way, the Sanātana Gosvāmī will question and Lord Caitanya will reply. So sometimes the disciple and the spiritual master, the relationship is like that. Sometimes the teacher questions to the student, and student replies, and sometimes the student questions to the teacher, and teacher replies. This is called iṣṭagoṣṭhī. To develop knowledge, these questions and answers are required. According to system of accepting a spiritual master, it is said that just after acceptance… Ādau gurvāśrayam. One must have to accept a spiritual master. Then the next position is sad-dharma-pṛcchāt. Then he should be very much inquisitive. A student… Not finishing, that “Now I am initiated. Everything finished.” No. He should be very inquisitive. Unless one is very inquisitive, there is no necessity of accepting a spiritual master. That is the instruction in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. One has the necessity of accepting a spiritual master who is very much inquisitive about transcendental matter. Otherwise there is no necessity. Simply, “Oh, because so many people accept a spiritual master, so I’ll have to accept somebody as spiritual master. My business finished”—no. One should be very much inquisitive. Yes. He must be very much eager to understand what is transcendental subject. Then his, this business of accepting a spiritual master will be fulfilled. 

So here also… And when the questions and answers were going on between Rāmānanda Rāya and Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Rāmānanda Rāya was not even a brāhmaṇa. Because in those days, the brāhmaṇas were very respectable community and they were learned scholars, so… And he was kāyastha. Kāyastha. Kāyastha, in… Of course, now…, not now, in some hundred or two hundred years before, these kāyastha were considered very lower caste. So Rāmānanda Rāya belonged to that kāyastha community. But he was very much learned. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He belonged to the brāhmaṇa community, and He was vastly learned. At the same time, He was in renounced order of life. So when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was asking question from Rāmānanda Rāya, he felt himself shy, that “I am a householder, and I belong to the kāyastha community, and Lord, You belong to the…, You come from the brāhmaṇa community, and You are so vastly learned. At the same time, You have accepted renounced order. So You are in all respect my master. How is that You are trying to understand from me?” Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed this example by life’s activity. So he was hesitating that “I should rather put question to You as teacher, and You should answer me.” But Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “No, no, no. There is no such differentiation between master…” 

kibā śūdra kibā vipra nyāsī kene naya
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya
[Cc. Madhya 8.128]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 8.128

"Whether one is a brāhmaṇa, a sannyāsī or a śūdra-regardless of what he is-he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa."

“It doesn’t matter whether you are a householder, or you are a brāhmaṇa, or you are a renounced order of… If you know the science of Kṛṣṇa—you are fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness—you are My guru. You are my spiritual master.” 

So that is the relation between spiritual master and the student, not that the spiritual master, because he has officially accepted the post as spiritual master, he should remain as… He should accept the students also as his spiritual master. This is the reciprocation. Prabhu. Everyone would address the other as prabhu. But officially one may be a spiritual master. But in spiritual platform there is no such difference. But officially, custom is that spiritual master is considered in the place of Supreme Lord, and therefore he is given the such respect. But the spiritual master, bona fide spiritual master, he thinks that “I am your disciple. I am your disciple.” And practical example I have seen: our Guru Mahārāja, when we offered obeisances, he used to return me, dāso ‘smi: “I am your servant.” He used to return me this way, “I am your servant.” 

So these are the things we have to learn from the behavior, practical demonstration, of Caitanya’s Mahāprabhu’s life. So tomorrow we shall discuss the questions and answers of Sanātana Gosvāmī. 

Thank you very much. [break] 

…You see? So similarly, a material qualification, that is not bad, provided they are engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise it has no value. Material qualification, if they are engaged… Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yukta-vairāgyam ucyate. If one is able to dovetail his material qualities in the service of the Lord, then that becomes a great qualification. Viprād dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād aravinda-nābha. Aravinda-nābha. Aravinda means lotus flower, and nābha means this navel. So Viṣṇu… Kṛṣṇa is Viṣṇu; therefore His another name is Aravinda-nābha. He has got a lotus flower. On that lotus flower, Brahmā is born. This is omnipotency, omnipotency of God. You have seen that picture in the cover of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. That Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is lying, and there is a lotus flower from His navel, and upon the lotus flower, Brahmā is born, and Lakṣmīji is engaged in serving His lotus feet. But just see. Kṛṣṇa was to beget a son. His wife, Lakṣmī, or Viṣṇu’s wife, was sitting. But He did not take… [break] … He begot a child, Brahmā, from His own navel. This is called omnipotency. He can do anything and everything. Now, when we conceive of begetting a child, oh, we must have a, we must have to secure a wife first of all. Then I have my sex intercourse with her, then she should be pregnant, then I… Then there is child. Otherwise there is no child. Because we are…, we are not omnipotent, we cannot produce child in that way. This is called omnipotency. And He did not require the help of the wife, neither there was necessity. So Kṛṣṇa’s wife, or Kṛṣṇa’s girlfriends, they are not Kṛṣṇa’s necessities. Kṛṣṇa is without any necessity, without any want. But if somebody wants “Kṛṣṇa should be my friend,” “Kṛṣṇa should be my husband,” He accepts. That’s it. He is not in want. He is full in Himself. One who knows this fact, he is pure devotee. You are a… You are offering capātī. Don’t think that Kṛṣṇa is in want of your capātī. But if you offer Kṛṣṇa and take the capātī, you are benefited. Kṛṣṇa bada dayāmaya, karibāre jihvā jaya. I sing this. Perhaps you do not know the meaning, that Kṛṣṇa is very merciful. Because my tongue is always hankering after some good, tasty food, this or that, this or that… But if I eat Kṛṣṇa’s prasāda, then my tongue will be controlled. And as soon as your tongue is controlled, your all other senses will be controlled. These are the philosophy. So don’t think that Kṛṣṇa is in want or Kṛṣṇa is in need—He needs your third-class service. No. He’s full, Himself. But if you can offer your service some way or other, then you are benefited. You are elevated to the transcendental position. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Thank you very much. [end]