Mahaprabhu's Teachings (5):
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
In the end, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami took up ayachita-vrtti life—he did not ask anyone for anything. First, he would stand at simha-dvara, Lion Gate, of Jagannath Mandir and wait for somebody to come and give him some prasadam of Jagannathdev, but after a while he thought, "No, Mahaprabhu does not like it! I think that if I stand here, people will think that I am poor and they will give something to me. This is not good. Standing and begging here at the simha-dvara is the behaviour of a prostitute!" So, he stopped begging, and when Mahaprabhu learnt about it, He said, "Yes, he did good."
When Mahaprabhu gave His Govardhan-sila to Raghunath Das Goswami, He told him,
eka kunja jala ara tulasi-manjari
"For such worship, one needs a jug of water and a few flowers from a Tulasi tree. This is worship in complete goodness when performed in complete purity."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.6.296)
Offer Ganges water and Tulasi manjari—this is how you must serve.
We can also observe the character of Srila Sanatan Goswami. When Sanatan Goswami came to Kasi Misra's house to meet with Mahaprabhu, he said, "Why will I stay in this house and take their prasad? No, I will go and beg door to door." We find this in Srila Sanatan Goswami's teachings (Sanatan-siksa).
tina mudrara bhota gaya, madhukari grasa
"I wear on my body a blanket that costs three mudras (expensive) and take what little comes through alms—it contradicts religious principles, people will laugh."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.20.92)
Sanatan Goswami said, "I go begging door to door wearing this expensive blanket. People will criticise it. It is not good." Then, Sanatan Goswami left his blanket. You know this.
One time also, Brahmananda Bharati came to Mahaprabhu wearing a deer skin (mrga-charmambar).
brahmananda pariyachhe mrga-charmambara
"When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees approached him, they saw that he was covered with a deerskin. Seeing this, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became very unhappy."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.10.154)
Mahaprabhu took sannyas from Keshav Bharati, and Brahmananda Bharati was a sannyasi belonging to the same group, so Mahaprabhu always gave much respect to him. So, that day somebody told Mahaprabhu, "Prabhu, Brahmananda Bharati has come." Mahaprabhu looked around and said, "I cannot see him—where is Brahmananda Bharati?" Somebody pointed at Brahmananda Bharati, but Mahaprabhu said, "It cannot be Brahmananda Bharati, why would Brahmananda Bharati wear this kind of cloth?"
Another day, Jagadananda Pandit asked Govinda, "Govinda, you massage Mahaprabhu's feet every day—what do you use for massaging?" Govinda replied, "I do not use anything. Mahaprabhu does not like me to use anything." Jagadananda Pandit did not listen to it—one day, he brought some fragrant oil and gave it to Govinda so that he could use it when massaging Mahaprabhu's feet. When Mahaprabhu came back to His room that day, He said, "Who brought this?!" Govinda explained that Jagadananda Pandit had brought it and why. Then, Mahaprabhu said, "Oh, he wants Me to be a householder again so that I can enjoy with him! I have no right to put fragrant oil on My body." When Jagadananda Pandit heard it, he got very angry—he broke the pot of oil and locked himself in his house. You can read about it in Sri Sri Prema-vivarta.
Mahaprabhu showed in His life that He would sleep on banana leaves. One day, Jagadananda Pandit said to Mahaprabhu, "I know who You are. Why do You have to sleep on the floor? It is cold..." Jagadananda Prabhu could not tolerate it. When he brought a cotton quilt and pillow for Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu said, "Yes, sure, you can bring a big bed also for Me!"
sannyasi manusa amara bhumite sayana
"I am a sannyasi, I must lie on the ground. Using a bedstead, quilt or pillow will put Me to shame."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.13.15)
"I am a sannyasi, I must lie on the ground, on the floor, but you are bringing Me a cotton pillow, etc. I cannot accept it!" Then, Jagadananda Pandit understood that Mahaprabhu would not use a cotton pillow, He would not accept any mattress or anything else. So, one day, he gathered some banana leaves, dried them, then took some cloth, died it, and wrapped the banana leaves in the cloth making a soft mat for Mahaprabhu to sleep on. Then, Jagadananda Pandit gave the mat to Govinda, and Mahaprabhu had to accept it—Jagadananda Pandit said, "You said You would sleep only on banana leaves, so I have brought You banana leaves!"
Another time, Mahaprabhu was taking prasadam at Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house. Sathi's mother (Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's wife) had made so many opulent dishes, offered the bhog and gave that prasadam to Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu was sitting and taking that prasadam, Ramachandra Puri came there and, seeing the opulent prasadam, said, "Oh, You are a sannyasi, but You are eating so much!" Mahaprabhu said, "Yes, what you are saying is correct. I should not be taking so many items—I should take only one or two items."
yati hana jihva-lampatya—atyanta anyaya
"For a sannyasi to indulge in satisfying his tongue is a great offence. The duty of a sannyasi is to eat only as much as needed to keep his body and soul together."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 3.8.85)
"We are sadhus but we always follow our tongues, it is not good for us! We must take only what is necessary to keep life, what is necessary for our stomach. We must take only a little bit, some anukalpa is sufficient, it is not necessary to eat so much."
This is what Mahaprabhu teaches us.
Anyhow, we will speak about Raya Ramananda's teaching—we will discuss Raya Ramananda's conversation with Pradyumna Misra and Mahaprabhu's conversation with Raya Ramananda on the bank of Godavari—next Sunday.
We must know the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and we must know what for we must practise, what is necessary in our spiritual life, what are the main things in our spiritual life. Actually, there are not so many main things. Vaishnav-seva and Nama-sankirtan are the main things. Do you understand? This is what householder devotees should do. Now is a lockdown period, a quarantine time, so everybody should serve each other, everybody should think about Gurudev's life, about all the devotees' lives, about the example of our guru-varga—we must think what our guru-varga did, how they passed their lives; we must think about the lifestyle of Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj, Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, our Param Gurudev Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, our Gurudev Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, we must think how they practised Krishna consciousness, how they gave love and affection to each other, how they gave respect to each other, how they showed proper etiquette, proper guidance for the devotees. We must learn in this way.
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