Cc. Madhya 20.97-99 — November 22, 1966, New York

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.97–99


tattvaṁ sanātanāyeśaḥ
kṛpayopadideśa saḥ

Kṛṣṇa-svarūpa. Now, Sanātana Gosvāmī is taking instruction and lessons from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And what is the subject matter of instruction? That is described herein by the author of this Caitanya-caritāmṛta. The subject matter is kṛṣṇa-svarūpa, what is the actual position of Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-svarūpa-mādhuryaiś, and what is the special attractiveness of Kṛṣṇa, mādhurya, kṛṣṇa-svarūpa-mādhurya aiśvarya, and what are the opulences of Kṛṣṇa, bhakti-rasāśrayam. And all these—what is Kṛṣṇa, what is His special qualification for attraction, and what is His opulence—these three things can be understood through devotional service, by no other means. Just like I have several times cited the example that if you want to be in confidence of a great personality, then you must satisfy him by your service. You cannot understand a big man by your speculation. Even in this material world, if you want to know a big man, what he is, then you must satisfy him by your service attitude, by friendship, by love, and he will disclose to you what he is. So the same process is bhakti-rasāśrayam. If you want to know what is Kṛṣṇa, what is His opulence, what is special feature for attraction, then you should try to understand through this devotional service of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

In the Bhagavad-gītā also, the Lord says that bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti, tattvataḥ, yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. In another place the Lord says that “To understand Me, actually what I am, is very difficult.” Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye: [Bg. 7.3] “Out of many millions of human beings, somebody tries to make a perfection of his life.” Otherwise they are all working like cats and dogs, that’s all, simply āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. They have no other information. “Work hard, eat, be merry and enjoy, and have mating, that’s all.” So out of millions and millions of persons like this, engaged in animal propensities of life, only a few persons, selected person… Because the illusory energy has grasped us under her clutches very tightly, to get out of the clutches is very difficult. So somehow or other, a few people, out of many millions and thousands, they come to the understanding that what is the real perfection of life. Now, those who are actually perfected, out of them, out of millions of them, one can understand Kṛṣṇa. That is the statement of Bhagavad-gītā. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye, yatatām api siddhānām [Bg. 7.3]. Siddhānām means those who are already achieved perfection. Out of them—not these imperfect fools—those who are actually attained perfection, they can understand what Kṛṣṇa is actually, tattvataḥ. And that actual position can be understood… In another place in Bhagavad-gītā it says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti: [Bg. 18.55] “What He is actually, that can be understood by this devotional service, no other process.” No other process will help to understand Kṛṣṇa. You can… By other processes you can achieve some other thing, but if you want to know Kṛṣṇa, then you have to understand through your devotional service. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ: [Bg. 18.55] “As I am.” Tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā. 

So you will have entrance into the spiritual kingdom, into the abode of Kṛṣṇa when you have perfectly… We cannot understand perfectly, but as far as possible, as far we have got the capacity, if we understand Kṛṣṇa as He is, then the entrance will be there. Otherwise there is no entrance. Therefore Lord Caitanya instructed Sanātana Gosvāmī about Kṛṣṇa through devotional service. This instruction is very important. You should very carefully hear and, if possible, note. This is directly the instruction. Just like the Bhagavad-gītā: the Lord Kṛṣṇa is directly instructing Arjuna. But in the Bhagavad-gītā there are many phases of instruction, fruitive action, philosophical speculation, yoga system and jñāna system, all kinds of different paths. Ultimately, of course, Lord Kṛṣṇa instructed him that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. That is the most confidential part. But here Lord Caitanya, He is not instructing any superfluous things. So that is the blessings of Lord Caitanya. Even what Kṛṣṇa could not give, what Kṛṣṇa could not, or Kṛṣṇa hesitated to give… Because Kṛṣṇa hesitated that “If I speak in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66], people would not accept it.” There was no necessity of describing Bhagavad-gītā in so many phases of instruction. Because the last instruction, most confidential instruction, was that “You give up everything and just surrender unto Me.” That is the actual instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, but that was not spoken in the beginning because there are many phases of human beings. They are under different stages of… 

So for their different stages, karma, jñāna, yoga, so many things, they have been described. But here, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, His mercy is that He directly gives this highest instruction—what Kṛṣṇa could not give, but Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, or Kṛṣṇa in His incarnation as Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He gave us. Therefore He is considered the most munificent, charitable personality, man of charity. Rūpa Gosvāmī offered his respect, that namo mahā-vadānyāya: “You are the greatest munificent personality.” Namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te: [Cc. Madhya 19.53] “You are directly offering Kṛṣṇa, which is very difficult to understand.” It is very difficult to understand. “So many scholars, so many philosophers, so many great personalities, they could not understand Kṛṣṇa, but Your mercy is so broad that You are directly offering Kṛṣṇa.” Therefore, mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te: “Directly You are giving Kṛṣṇa, love of Kṛṣṇa.” 

So Sanātana Gosvāmī in this way, directly, here received instruction from Lord Caitanya about bhakti-yogam, what is bhakti. Tattvaṁ sanātanāyeśaḥ kṛpayopadideśa saḥ. Īśa. Īśa means the Lord, the supreme controller. So he is also… Just like Arjuna received instruction directly, similarly, Sanātana Gosvāmī also received instruction directly from the Supreme Lord. Now, here, how to receive instruction, that is given by example by Sanātana Gosvāmī. 

tabe sanātana prabhura caraṇe dhariyā
dainya vinati kare dante tṛṇa lañā

“Sanātana Gosvāmī very humbly fell down on the lotus feet of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and most humbly he submitted.” What is that submission? 

‘nīca jāti, nīca-saṅgī, patita adhama
kuviṣaya-kūpe paḍi’ goṅāinu janama!

“My dear Sir, I have wasted my time in simply sense gratification. That is my qualification. And I belong to the lowest caste,” nīca jāti nīca-saṅgī, “and my association is also of the lowest type.” And patita: “I am fallen, and I am the lowest of all. This is my qualification.” Now, why he is submitting himself as nīca jāti? Nīca jāti means those who are born in lower families. They are called nīca jāti, as śūdras or less than the śūdras. According to Vedic system the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, and vaiśya, they are higher caste, and the śūdras, they are lower caste. And less than śūdras, they are lowest. 

So Sanātana Gosvāmī, actually he belonged to the brāhmaṇa family. His forefathers belonged to the Sārasvata brāhmaṇa. There are different sect, gaura brāhmaṇa and sarasvata brāhmaṇa. So Sārasvata brāhmaṇa, actually they belonged to the Aryan, ārya-varta, the Punjab side and Kashmir side. They are considered to be high-class brāhmaṇa. So he belongs to that community. But somehow or other, their forefathers, I mean to say, make their domicile in Bengal because they had some property in Bengal. They were very rich, aristocratic family. And this Sanātana Gosvāmī accepted ministership in the Muhammadan kingdom. So in those days, amongst the brāhmaṇa community, if any brāhmaṇa would accept service, he becomes at once a śūdra. He becomes at once, because service is meant for the śūdras, not for the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriya, and vaiśyas. They would never accept anybody’s obligation as service. They will starve. That was the principle. Only the śūdras could accept service. So because this Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī accepted government office—although it was government office, but it was service—so they were outside the brāhmaṇa community. So all these Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted. Otherwise, at that time social condition was very strict. You have heard the name of Rabindranath Tagore. They were also in that way ostracized. They were out of brāhmaṇa community. They also belonged to the brāhmaṇa community. So therefore he is presenting himself that nīca jāti. Nīca jāti: “I am lower caste.” Why? Nīca-saṅgī: “Because my association nīca, my association Muhammadan. They are not brāhmaṇas. They are not highly qualified. Because my association lower, so I am lower also.” And patita: “I have fallen down from the standard of my paternal position.” Patita: “I am fallen.” Adhama. Adhama means “I am the lowest of the human beings.” 

So of course, because Sanātana Gosvāmī was under certain condition, it is not simply, particularly for this Sanātana Gosvāmī. Everyone, unless he is conscious of his position, that he is the lowest, he cannot become the highest. One should not think… While approaching a spiritual master, one should not be puffed up with his so-called qualification. He should be a blank slate. That is the… That is the requirement. He should forget. That, whatever nonsense he has learned, he should forget. Otherwise there will be no benefit by approaching spiritual master. He should forget. If he keeps his personality, “I believe…, I cannot…,” there is no necessity. With such nonsense things, nobody should approach a spiritual master. One should become a blank slate. That is the instruction here, that “I am fallen, I am the lowest, and I am lower born. So many things, all good qualification, this is my position.” Nīca jāti. And kuviṣaya-kūpe paḍi’ goṅāinu janama: “I have now wasted my time simply by sense gratification.” Viṣaya means āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithuna. These are called viṣaya, objects of sense gratification: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. These are called viṣaya, and we are engaged only how to eat very nicely, how to sleep very nicely, how to give me protection and how to have nice mating. This is our business. So Sanātana Gosvāmī says that “I have simply wasted my time in this way, and my position is this.” So therefore, actually, āpanāra hitāhita kichui nā jāni: “Because I am so much fallen, because I have wasted my time in sense gratification, because I am ostracized, because my association is so lower, therefore my position is that I do not know what is actually beneficial to me.” Āpanāra hitāhita kichui nā jāni. 

Now, Sanātana Gosvāmī was minister, educated. He was a learned scholar in Parsi and Sanskrit. So how it is that he is placing himself in that way? Is he, I mean to say, imitating something, such humbleness, but actually he was not? Actually, he was… No. Actually he was so. A devotee does not say anything falsely, unless he feels, he feels himself like that. Why does he feel? He was educated. He belonged to the brāhmaṇa, aristocratic family. His association was all nawabs and zamindars, aristocratic family, and still, he says like this. Why? What is the defect, that he felt like that? Now he is expressing. Āpanāra hitāhita kichui nā jāni: “I do not know what is actually beneficial to me. I am thinking that ‘If I am posted in a service like this and if I have got some aristocratic association, I have got some arrangement for sense gratification…’ That is materialism. So I have passed my, wasted my time in that way. But actually I do not know what is beneficial to me.” So grāmya-vyavahāre paṇḍita, tāi satya māni. In the Indian system a brāhmaṇa is addressed as “paṇḍita.” Perhaps you know Paṇḍita Jawaharlal Nehru. Although he had no brahminical qualification, but because he was born in a brāhmaṇa family, so this title was… “Paṇḍita.” A brāhmaṇa is addressed as paṇḍita, a kṣatriya is addressed as ṭhākura, and a vaiśya is addressed seth, sethji, a rich man. The vaiśyas are generally very rich men. Perhaps you have… As you have in your country the Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford, similarly, in our country we have got many rich men just like Birla, Dalmiya, Bangar [?], and so many. So they are called sethji. So sethji, ṭhākuraji and paṇḍitaji. And the śūdras are called mahājana. Because if they are called śūdra, they will be angry. So mahājana means great personality. So these are some etiquette for addressing different communities. Amongst the different communities, although they were of such classification, still, there was no enmity. They lived in village although in their position, but the relationship was very friendly, just like brothers, just like brothers actually. Because the culture was religion, culture was this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So they depended on the culture. There was no provincialism because they depended on culture. So culture is the thing, the Kṛṣṇa conscious, which can… Even there are materially so many high and low classification, when you come to this culture, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they will be all in the same level. 

So he says that grāmya-vyavahāre paṇḍita: “As a matter of social etiquette, I am addressed as ‘paṇḍita.’Paṇḍita means learned. Learned scholar, he is called paṇḍita. Paṇḍita sama-darśinaḥ. You have read in the Bhagavad-gītā: a paṇḍita means he sees everything on equal eye. Why? Because he is brāhmaṇa, he has known what is Brahman and what are these living entities. He has got such knowledge. That is called paṇḍita. So Sanātana Gosvāmī has no such knowledge. At least, he is pretending like that. So he says that grāmya-vyavahāre kahaye paṇḍita: “By social etiquette I am addressed as ‘paṇḍita,’ but…” Tāi satya māni: “And I also accept that I am paṇḍita.” If somebody falsely calls me that “Your Majesty,” so it is an insult. It is not honoring him. I am an ordinary man. If somebody calls me, Your Majesty,“ so a man who has no qualification, if he is eulogized in that way, that is an insult. But we are so much fool that if somebody calls me “Your Majesty,” I shall feel, “Oh, I am Majesty. Yes. I am His Majesty.” That is our nature. If some false qualifications is awarded to me, I shall be very glad to accept it. I shall think, “Yes.” So Sanātana Gosvāmī said that “Actually, I am not paṇḍita because I do not know what is my benefit, what is beneficial to me. I do not know the goal of my life. I simply wasted my time in sense gratification. I do not know. And still, people say, ‘You are paṇḍita,’ and I accept it. Just see my position.” This is blank slate, admitting that “I am fool number one, but people say I am learned, and I accept it.” This is our nature. This is called illusion. He will never think that “I am fool number one.” He will always think, “Oh, who can be greater than me? I can think myself. Why? What is the necessity of a spiritual master? I can become a religious leader, I can become such and such, or…” This is our mentality. 

So this mentality should be sacrificed first, before going to a spiritual master. First of all you have to select who can be your spiritual master. That requires some knowledge. Or you have to behave with a person to understand, “Whether he is fit to become my spiritual master?” Then you should offer yourself to be a student. That is the process, not that all of a sudden you shall go to a person, “Oh, please accept me as your…” No. You should first of all try to understand whether he is actually fit. Then offer yourself. So just like Sanātana Gosvāmī, when he first saw Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he did not offer himself, but when he heard from Caitanya Mahāprabhu and he understood, “Yes, it is very nice thing. So I should now retire from service, and I should wholly devote to Caitanya Mahāprabhu,” so he left his very lucrative job, ministership, and just like a very poor man he approached to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and he’s placing, submitted himself as blank slate, that “These are my qualifications. Please accept me.” 

Thank you very much. [end] 

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