Srila Raghunath Das Goswami:
Running from Pratistha

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
25 October 2015


Srila Raghunath Das Goswami stayed with Mahaprabhu and became a good servitor, and Mahaprabhu taught him so many things.

Raghunath Das Goswami used to take prasadam from the Jagannath temple. He would stand outside and when the prasadam came, he would take it, but then he thought, "I am standing here like a prostitute: simha-dvare bhiksa-vrtti—vesyara achara. (Cc, 3.6.284) Better I go to the place where they serve prasadam and take there." He went to the Ananda Bazaar where so much prasadam was sold. There he found some two-three days' old prasadam that had not been sold and began to rot and that even the cows could not eat. He would wash that prasadam and take it with some salt.

One day, Mahaprabhu came to him and grabbed his hand, "Give it to Me! You are taking nice things without giving them to Me?!" Svarup Damodar quickly tried to stop the Lord, "Prabhu, no, no, please do not eat it! It is not suitable for You!" But Mahaprabhu took that prasadam and said, "Oh what a wonderful taste!"

Before that, Raghunath Das Goswami's father sent him 400 rupees (coins) every month, and with that money he did Vaishnav seva. He served the Vaishnavs and distributed pranami, but Mahaprabhu did not like it: a brahmachari should not be taking money or material things from his family... So, Mahaprabhu was not happy that Raghunath was doing Vaishnav seva with that money. Everyone knew that Raghunath gave pranami and prasadam, and his ego and pratistha (name and fame) grew bigger. Because Mahaprabhu did not like it Raghunath rejected that money, telling his father that he would not take it.

When Mahaprabhu asked why Raghunath had stopped the Vaishnav seva, He was told that Raghunath thought that name and fame were coming through that, so he stopped it.

কনক-কামিনী প্রতিষ্ঠা-বাঘিনী
ছাড়িয়াছে যারে সেই ত বৈষ্ণব

kanaka-kamini, pratistha-baghini,
chhadiyachhe yare sei ta vaisnava

"Those who have given up money, women, and fame, are the true Vaishnavs."

(Vaishnav Ke? 11)

You can give up kanak (money), you can give up kamini (companions), but it not easy to give up pratistha (name and fame). Prabhupad said, "Dustha man, tumi kisera Vaishnav? Naughty mind! What kind of Vaishnav do you think you are?" Mahaprabhu teaches to be humble, tolerant, and give honour to others, but if you think you are a great Vaishnav, you cannot give honour to others.

তৃণাদপি সুনীচেন তরোরিব সহিষ্ণুনা ।
অমানিনা মানদেন কীর্ত্তনীয়ঃ সদা হরিঃ ॥

trnad api sunichena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

"One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, who gives honour to others without desiring it for himself, is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 6.239)

This is Mahaprabhu's conception.


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