Frustrated Journey

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
3 July 2013, Sri Nabadwip Dham, part 2

 

Question: Why did Sanatan Goswami send Ishan back to his home? What can we learn from that?

I remember Gurudev's discourse about it. Gurudev explained it very nicely. Talking about Krishna consciousness, Gurudev said that the world we come from and that we have left and this world are very different because this world is material and that world is transcendental. If you have some kind of attachment to this world, then it is very difficult to reach that world. Success in getting to the transcendental world depends on your attachment to this world—even if you have some little attachment to this world, you will not be able to leave it. That is why we must always have disinterested nature towards material things and we must always have a strong common sense.

Sanatan Goswami told Ishan that he could not go with him because it would hamper Sanatan Goswami's spiritual life. Sanatan Goswami thought, "I too am going to get the association of Mahaprabhu, but if I take such kind of people with me, then it is not only bad for me, it will also give some bad feelings to Mahaprabhu, it will disturb Mahaprabhu. He told me a lie, he did wrong one time, and I can forgive his offence—I can tell him it was wrong and it would be not a problem; but he told me a lie twice, then I cannot go with him."

When Sanatan Goswami left his village, left his job and anyhow, by hook or by crook, left everything, so many problems came on his way to the spiritual life. There were so many obstacles, so much bondage in his spiritual life when he was going to come to Mahaprabhu.

At first, his relatives gave him some affection. Gurudev says that relatives' affection (their protection, care, samraksan) is very bad and very difficult. When Sanatan Goswami's relative showed affection to him, they told him, "Wait here for two days." He refused. Then, his sister said, "Brother, stay with us. You are going so far, give me your clothes, I can wash it. Stay, you can go later." Sanatan Goswami did not listen to them. He only accepted one blanket from his sister because he was going to cold places and she was giving it with so much affection.

After that, when he continued his way, he was attacked by some dacoits. Those dacoits had an astrologer who could predict whether a traveller had property, money, gold, etc. When Sanatan Goswami was coming their way, the astrologer said to his boss, "Do you see those two men over there? One of them has some gold coins." The dacoits immediately stopped Sanatan Goswami and Ishan and gave them so much false love and affection, gave them so much nourishment. Now, Sanatan Goswami had much sukriti, very good intelligence and strong common sense, so he immediately suspected something wrong, "They do not know us, they have just seen us on the road—why are they giving us so much affection?" Then, Sanatan asked Ishan, "Ishan, do you have anything with you?" Ishan said, "Yes, Prabhu... I have seven gold coins..." Sanantan Goswami told Ishan to give him those coins. Taking the coins from Ishan, Sanatan came to the dacoits and gave the gold coins to them. The dacoits were surprised, "Why is he giving it to me?!" They were going to kill Sanatan Goswami and Ishan at night when they would be asleep, throw the dead bodies into the Ganges and take their money. This was their initial plan, but when they saw and spoke to Sanatan Goswami, their minds softened up and changed a little. So, when Sanatan Goswami handed the gold coins to them, they said, "Prabhu, we do not want it." Sanatan Goswami insisted, "You please take it." The dacoits then told the truth, "We wanted to kill you for this money, but now we understand that it is a great sin. We do not want your money." Sanatan Goswami replied, "No, no, no, this money bring visaya (material bondage), it is vis (poison). If I keep material things with me, they will always give me many problems. If you do not take it, then on my way to Mahaprabhu some other dacoits can catch and kill me. It is very dangerous for me, you please take it." Then, he gave the seven gold coins to the dacoits and asked them for help, "Can you do me a favour? This area here is very dangerous, this is a Muslim area. Please help me cross the river in a boat." The dacoits helped them. Later on the way, Sanatan saw that Ishan was upset because they had to give that money to the dacoits—he asked Ishan, "Ishan, do you have anything else with you?" Ishan told the truth, "Yes, Prabhu, I do... I have kept one coin because you were going to give everything to those people and we are travelling, we would not have anything." Hearing this, Sanatan felt disturbed. He said, "Take this coin. I will not take it from you. Take it and go back to your home. I cannot take you with me."

From this pastime we can understand that Gurudev wants to take everybody with him, but those who are unfortunate, who have a bad luck, who do not have sukriti will not be able to reach their destination—they can go back to their previous life in the middle of the way. We can see that Ishan was half way there—he was with Sanatan Goswami, but although he had got this good association of a great Vaishnav, he had some material desire inside. Even though he had a good guru, even though he had good association, he could not go because of his own problem, because of his own disturbance and mistake. We must understand that we too may practise and practise, but we too may not reach our destination. So many servants fell—Ishan also had done so much service for Sanatan Goswami, but Sanatan Goswami told him that he could not reach his goal because of his own mistake and problem, and Ishan left. Sanatan left him behind and Ishan went back to his home. We must learn through this. We must understand the lesson through what had happened between Sanatan and Ishan. We must understand what is our main conception and what is our real goal because we too may fall down on the way. We must be careful and we must try to remove any material attachment to this world as soon as it comes otherwise some attachment can come and we will not be able to follow our heart...

 

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