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Unparalleled Vairagya

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 20 September 2020, part 3

 

Always read the pastimes of Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj. You can read and see their vairagya (renunciation). They are all great Vaishnavs. How did Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj live? It was a very simple living.

I have read the biography of our Param Gurudev Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj—when he would take prasadam at his house (his own house), his mother would serve him and cry. Srila Guru Maharaj himself told, "My mother would cook many things for me, but I would only take boiled neem(!) leaves with rice." You can read his autobiography, Srila Guru Maharaj himself told about it. Do you understand? How austere their life is! He would take only neem leaves [*they are unbearably bitter]! He would take rice and instead of subji (vegetables) he would only take neem leaves cooked with some ras (water). We cannot conceive how much austerity it is.

What a great Vaishnav Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj is, but how low he thought himself to be. Srila Raghunath Das Goswami left all visaya (material things)—his father was a landlord, but he left everything like stool and urine and came to Mahaprabhu after Nityananda Prabhu's mercy, and Mahaprabhu accepted him. You can read Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and see what kind of prasadam he would take after that. There was some thrown away rice in Puri that even cows did not eat because it was too rotten ("sada-gandhe tailangi-gai khaite na pare"; Cc, 3.6.316), but Srila Raghunath Das Goswami would collect that rice, wash it with water and take it with some salt. You can read and see what lifestyle they all lived.

Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj did not consider himself a Vaishnav—he did not even think he was worth being called a human as he considered himself lower than any kind of animal or beast. You heard also one of the pastimes of Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj, I have told it many times during Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama, at the bhajan kutir of Babaji Maharaj. One time, a lady invited him to take prasadam at her house. Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj came there and took prasadam—he finished whatever was there on his plate; but the lady thought, "I have invited him because I wanted to get the remnants of his prasadam, but he has not kept anything! He has taken everything!" Then, she forcefully gave him rice and subji again. Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj understood why she was forcing him to eat—he did not show he was angry, but he became a little serious. Then, Babaji Maharaj again took all prasadam, and this time he ate even the banana leaves (the plate). It is difficult to believe it, but it is the truth, it is the fact. His servitor and that lady were astonished, and the lady thought, "Oh, what a great offence I have committed!" Srila Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj had to tolerate such kinds of things—he even ate banana leaves! He did not leave anything.

This is Vaishnavism. We can understand these things if we study the pastimes and life histories of great Vaishnavs. We can read their biographies and see how much tolerance they have, how much austerity they got in their spiritual life. Srila Sanatan Goswami and Srila Rupa Goswami stayed in Vrindavan, and it gets extremely cold and extremely hot there—at that time, there was no electricity, so they had no water heaters, no air conditioners, etc. How did they pass their days? If we think about it, we will be astonished—we cannot imagine how austere their life is.

We should read about their pastimes, we should read the descriptions of their life history.

 

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