"Big Boon For A Bad Bunch"

Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 20.98-99
Washington, D.C., July 4, 1976

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Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
 


Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.) "Translation: Putting a straw in his mouth and bowing down, Sanatana Gosvami clasped the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and humbly spoke as follows. Sanatana Gosvami said, 'I was born in a low family, and my associates are all low-class men. I myself am fallen and am the lowest of men. Indeed, I have passed my whole life fallen in the well of sinful materialism.' "

Prabhupada:

tabe sanatana prabhura carane dhariya
dainya vinati kare dante trna lana
nica jati, nica-sangi, patita adhama
kuvisaya-kupe padi' gonainu janama

This is Bengali language. (aside:) Children must stop talking. Sanatana Gosvami approaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He was minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah, the then Pathan government in Bengal. So since he met Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he decided to retire from political life and join this movement. So there is a long history. When he wanted to resign, the Nawab become very angry because Nawab was depending on him for the ruling of the kingdom. He was free, but when Sanatana Gosvami proposed to retire, he became very much disturbed. A long history. So anyway, he escaped from the government service, and with great difficulty, he approached Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He was at Varanasi, Benares.

So now, he's acarya, Sanatana Gosvami, he's acarya. Acaryam vijaniyan, mam vijaniyat. Acaryopasanam. This is the recommendation of Vedic knowledge. One should worship the acarya. So Sanatana Gosvami was made acarya. Haridasa Thakura was made acarya. Acarya means one who knows the meaning of sastra, personally behaves according to the sastra and teaches his disciple accordingly. He is called acarya. So Sanatana Gosvami is teaching us by his personal behavior how to approach guru. That he's teaching. Tabe sanatana prabhura carane dhariya. To approach guru the first business is surrender. That is everywhere in the Vedic literature. That is the process.

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham
 [MU 1.2.12]

In the Bhagavad-gita also, Krsna says:

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah
 [Bg. 4.34]

First of all guru means tattva-darsi, one who knows the Absolute Truth. He is guru. Absolute Truth is Krsna. Mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. All previous acaryas, modern acaryas, they accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In India there are at the present moment... Within one thousand years, all the acaryas who advented -- Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka, even Sankaracarya -- all accepted Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So here Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He's also Krsna. Sri-krsna-caitanya radha-krsna nahe anya. He has appeared as devotee. He appeared first of all as the Supreme Lord, Krsna, and He instructed Bhagavad-gita to the fallen souls and He asserted His Lordship, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. But puffed-up, so-called learned scholars and men of position, they declined, "Why should I surrender to Krsna?" Therefore Krsna Himself as devotee of Krsna appeared. That is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, but He's teaching how to approach Krsna. And His disciples, they are also teaching the same philosophy. There is no difference between Krsna's philosophy and Caitanya Mahaprabhu's philosophy. It is not that we can manufacture some philosophy. That is nonsense. Philosophy is one; religion is one. Everyone has to follow. There is no second alternative. That is the preaching about... Mam ekam, not that "Whatever you like, you can do." No, that is not. Mam ekam -- simply Krsna. There are some missionaries. They say that you can manufacture in your..., your own way of worship, and whatever you accept, that is all right. These bogus things are not accepted by the acaryas. Mam ekam, Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. If you want to understand what is Bhagavan, that is Krsna. Bhagavan... Religion means to understand Bhagavan. The other day we were consulting dictionary? Religion means the process by which we can understand the supreme controller. There is a supreme controller, as in every department, in every state, every affair, every business, every institution there is a controller. That you have got experience, practical. Without controller, nothing can be properly discharged. Controller is required.

So the sastra says that controller or ruler is the same, and the Sanskrit synonym is isvara. Isvara means controller or ruler. So there are different kinds of controllers according to time, sphere. Just like in your country, the President is the controller. In other country somebody is controller. So there are many hundreds and thousands of planets within this universe, and each and every planet there is a controller. The sun planet, there is a controller. His name is Vivasvan. That we find. Similarly, the moon planet, there is a controller. Every planet, there is controller. And above all of them there is another supreme controller of the universe, the Brahma, and there are many millions of brahmandas, or universes. So there are controllers. But so far Krsna is concerned, He is described in the sastras, Brahma-samhita, isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1]. There are controllers, but the supreme controller is Krsna. Isvarah paramah krsnah. Isvarah means controller. Sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. His form... He has form. Bhagavan means with form. You see the form here, vigrahah. Vigrahah means form. But His form is different from our. He's sac-cid-ananda. His form is eternal. Our, this form is not eternal. We have to give it up. We have to accept another form according to our karma. Tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. But Krsna hasn't got to do that. He is in His original form. He has got many forms, expansions, but His original form is Krsna with two hands and flutes.

venum kvanantam aravinda-dalayataksam
barhavatamsam asitambuda-sundarangam
kandarpa-koti-kamaniya-visesa-sobham
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
 [Bs. 5.30]

Krsna's symbolic representation is He is always playing on flute. And barhavatamsa: with a peacock feather. These are described in the Vedic literature. It is not that we worship Krsna as imaginary form of God. No. As the Mayavadis, they say that you can imagine any form of God, no, that is not the fact. God has His original form, real form sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. Anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1].

So if we understand, if we want to understand Krsna, are interested... Because Krsna cannot be understood very easily. It is not possible.

manusyanam sahasresu
kascid yatayi siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
 [Bg. 7.3]

Krsna says, "Out of many millions of persons, one is interested how to become siddha." Siddha means liberated, one who is not entangled with this material atmosphere. He is called siddha. So out of many millions of people, one may be interested how to become free from this material entanglement. And yatatam api siddhanam [Bg. 7.3], and out of many such siddhas, one may understand Krsna. Kascid vetti mam tattvatah. So it is not so easy to understand Krsna, but when Krsna comes personally as a devotee and shows us the ways and means how to approach Krsna, then it becomes easier. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So if we follow the methods, the method prescribed by Krsna is very easy, but still, because we misunderstand Krsna... Therefore, if we go through the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then we can easily understand Krsna. That is recognized by Rupa Gosvami, the younger brother of Sanatana Gosvami. Two of them were ministers. So Rupa Gosvami has described,

namo maha-vadanyaya
krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya-
namne gaura-tvise namah
 [Cc. Madhya 19.53]

He said, "Caitanya Mahaprabhu, You are Krsna. Now, this time, You have appeared as Krsna Caitanya in order to give everyone Krsna. Krsna made some condition, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66], but here now, as devotee of Krsna, You are distributing Krsna without any condition. Therefore maha-vadanyaya: You are the most munificent incarnation." So somehow or other, Sanatana Gosvami, he became attracted to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He resigned his ministerial post, and he has come to surrender to Caitanya Mahaprabhu while he was at Benares. Therefore it is said, tabe sanatana prabhura carane dhariya.

So when we approach guru, our first condition is that we must be humble and surrender. Pranipata. Prakrsta-rupena-nipata. Then seva, to serve the spiritual master; yasya prasadad, to gain his favor. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado **. This is the process. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu... Sanatana Gosvami's teaching how to approach guru, so, very humbly... Dante trna lana. In India the system is that to... Symbolic representation of humbleness is to take one piece of grass in the mouth. Then it is to be understood that he is coming very submissively. Now this system is not current, but formerly it was. So Prabodhananda Sarasvati also said like that, dante nidhaya trnakam padayor nipatya krtva caham kaku-satam aham bravimi. He was a devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he also taught us how to preach Krsna consciousness, becoming very humble, humbler... Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also instructed us,

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
 [Cc. Adi 17.31]

This time, Kali-yuga, is very, very fallen. People are very, very much fallen. Mandah sumanda-matayo [SB 1.1.10]. Practically cent percent of the population at the present moment, they're manda. Manda. Manda means of no value, or very bad, manda, or very slow. There are several meanings of manda. So in this age all the people, they are manda. Mandah sumanda-matayo. And because they are generally very bad, everyone has got a process of spiritual realization. First of all they are not interested, manda. Our real value of life, human being, means spiritual understanding. This is... This human life is meant for spiritual understanding. Athato brahma jijnasa. Absolute Truth. That is the only business. But on account of being manda, we have invented so many other occupational duties. That is... According to... That is a fact, not according to Vaisnava philosophy, but that is a fact. We may improve the standard of living condition. So living condition, that is bodily concept of life. I am sitting in this comfortable simhasana. That's all. I can sit down also on the floor. It does not make much difference. According to time, circumstances... So life... So we are combination of spirit and matter. This body is matter, and the moving force which is moving this body, that is spirit soul. So we are manda. We are so dull that the highest learned man and the so-called scientist and philosopher, they cannot understand this distinction. They think this body is everything. But that is not the fact. Body is not everything. The moving power of the body is the spirit soul. We are repeatedly trying to convince people this simple truth, but they are so dull-headed they cannot understand. Yes.

So they have been described as animals. The sastra, they say, yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke [SB 10.84.13]. One who is in this bodily concept... Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih: "In my country, bhauma... I am born in America or I am born in India, so it is my country." How long you'll remain America? How long you'll remain India? They do not know. But they are mad after this conception of life, bodily conception of life. Bhauma ijya-dhih yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicit. People in every community, religious community, there is tirtha. People want (indistinct) holy place. So they go, they take bath. Just like in India they go to Hardwar or Vrndavana or Prayag, take bath in the Ganges or Yamuna. Similarly, Christians, they go to take bath in the river Jordan. So everyone has got. Yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na tad janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]. This kind of life is go-kharah. Go means cows, and kharah means ass. Without understanding the value of life, na tad-janesv abhijnesu, without associating with abhijnah, learned spiritual master, if he passes his life with this understanding, then he is no better than the cows and ass. This is the verdict.

So therefore Sanatana Gosvami, he is very learned man in that time. Because it was Muhammadan time, he used to learn very nicely Arabic and Parsi, Persian language. Just like during British period we had to learn English, similarly, the state language was somewhere Arabic and somewhere Parsi. Sometimes, they are called mixed -- that is called Urdu. So he was learned scholar, and he was also born of very nice brahmana family, Sanatana Gosvami, sarasvata-brahmana. So born brahmana family, well-educated, minister, everything, but he presents himself, nica jati, nica-sangi, patita adhama, kuvisaya-kupe padi' gonainu janama! He has understood that the so-called, bodily conception that "I am rich man," "I am very learned man," "I am brahmana" or "I am American," these are useless understanding. One who understands like that, he is... Sanatana Gosvami -- he's a nica jati, the bodily conception of life nica jati. Nica jati, nica-sangi. Why the bodily concept of life? Because the association is bad. At the present moment we do not get any education or good association to understand our real identity. That is the difficulty. Therefore he says, nica sangi, patita adhama. Adhama means lowest of the mankind; patita means fallen. If one does not understand his real interest, he is called fallen.

So what is our real interest? By evolutionary process, after going through so many forms of life, jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati krmayo rudra-sankhyakah, in this way, eight million forms of life, and we have got this human form of life. So this life especially meant for athato brahma jijnasa. Simply to understand our spiritual identity, the Absolute Truth, that is the only business. But we are... We have got the intelligence more than the cats and dogs. They cannot inquire about the spiritual identity, and if we keep ourself in darkness without understanding our spiritual identity, then we are no better than the dogs and cats. Therefore he said, nica jati: "I have no information about the soul." Nica jati. Just like dogs. It is a class. So nica. Of course, in your country dog is very pet. Now we are learning also, India, how to keep a dog and become aristocratic. (laughter) So now there is big, big dog show in New Delhi. But actually in India, although dog was not neglected, in a neighborhood, if there is a dog, people will give him food but not allow to enter into the house. He'll be not allowed. A dog is also trained up. They'll come to a door and sit down and move his tail: "Give me some food." And people will give. But he's not allowed to enter, the dog or candalas are not allowed.

So there is distinction, caste distinction, according to the spiritual advancement. The brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, these are higher class or lower class according to the spiritual understanding. But one who is elevated in spiritual understanding, he is brahmana. Brahma janatiti brahmanah. Brahmana does not mean simply... Of course, in this age brahmana means vipratve sutram eva hi. That is also predicted, that if you get one sutra, one thread, one paisa-worth, and get it on your body, then you become a brahmana. No, that is not. Brahmana is a qualification.

satya samo damas
titiksa ksantir arjavam
jnanam vijnanam astikyam
brahma-karma svabhava-jam
 [Bg. 18.42]

So these things are being lost; therefore in the Kali-yuga practically everyone is a sudra. Patita-adhama, adhama. Naradhamah. In the Bhagavad-gita also it is said, na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. Because people at the present moment are very, very low grade, nica jati, nica-sangi, fallen and naradhamah... The same thing is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah. Those who are naradhamah, lowest of the mankind and very, very sinful, duskrtina, mudhah, and rascal, they do not surrender to Krsna.

So to surrender to Krsna requires little qualification, and that qualification Sanatana Gosvami wanted. Therefore he has approached Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We can follow his footsteps. He is also... He is an acarya, but it is essential, essential. Don't be assured that you are very highly elevated person. Without Krsna consciousness, everyone -- this is a challenge -- everyone is low born. Everyone is nica, badly associated, fallen, and the lowest of the mankind because he's missing the chance of understanding Krsna in the human form life, and nobody knows what he's going to be, next life. So it it a very risky civilization without any understanding of Krsna. Be careful. Those who have taken to Krsna consciousness, execute the Krsna consciousness business very cautiously so that we may not fall down. There is risk of fall down, but if we stick to Krsna's lotus feet -- mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti -- then there is no fear.

Thank you very much. (end)
 
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.98-99 -- Washington, D.C., July 4, 1976

© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.

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