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Sannyasa Initiation Lecture

Calcutta, January 26, 1973
Prabhupada: ... and sat means om tat sat, the Absolute Truth. Sannyasa. (aside:) So stop that sound. So renouncement, simply giving up something, is not very good idea. You must have something better. Param drstva nivartate [Bg. 9.59]. If you get something better, then you give up something inferior. Our Vaisnava philosophy, renouncement means renouncement of sense gratification. The Mayavada sannyasa means karma-tyaga, simply reading Vedanta philosophy, sankhya philosophy, and everything given up. But our Vaisnava philosophy is giving up the wrong thing and accepting the right thing. Side by side. Simply if I give up, it will not stay very long time. If I simply by sentiment give up, brahma satyam jagan mithya, "This world is false and Brahman is the real, reality," so there are so many sannyasis, we see, they give up the so-called mithya world and come to the Brahman realization by meditation, by meditation, meditation... Then meditation means hospital and school. Because there is no Brahman, there is no reality. So after much meditation, (he) comes to the conclusion that "Now I am a sannyasi. I must open schools, college and daridra-narayana seva and goat-narayana killing." This kind of sannyasa has no meaning. Daridra-narayana seva. By killing goat narayana. Goat is not Narayana. Simply daridras are Narayana. If you accept one as Narayana, why should you not accept the other as Narayana?
So this kind of false sannyasa is not accepted by the Vaisnavas. Vaisnavas, they accept sannyasa for better activities. For better activities means dedicated life for satisfying the Supreme Lord. Mam ekam saranam vraja. Anyone who has sacrificed his life for Krsna, he's sannyasa. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah, sa sannyasi [Bg. 6.1]. Na niragnir na cakriyah. One who has given up... A sannyasi is not supposed to cook. Ni, niragnih. And na niragnir na yogi. But anasritah karma-phalam. Tyagi means karma-phala tyaga. This is tyaga, real tyaga. Suppose you are working. You are doing some business and getting lakhs of rupees' profit. If you can give up that profit for Krsna, that is sannyasa. Otherwise, "I shall enjoy fully the profit and I have become a great devotee"? No. Sannyasa means, as it is stated, anasritah karma-phalam. Karma-phalam. There must be some karma-phala, whatever you do. There must be some result, bad or good. So anasritah, without taking shelter of the result of activities, karyam karma karo... "It is my duty." Just like Arjuna did. Arjuna understood that Krsna wanted the fight. He took it, karyam, that "I, this, this, I must do. This I must do. Krsna wants it. Because my business is to satisfy Krsna. I cannot become nonviolent as I wanted to become falsely, 'Krsna, I don't want to fight with my cousin-brothers, my nephews, my grandfather.' That was my sense gratification." Krsna immediately said, "What kind of nonsense you are talking, that you won't fight, won't fight? This is not good." Kutas tva kasmalam idam visame... "What kind of nonsense you are speaking? You have come to fight in the battlefield, and now you are talking that nonviolence. So don't talk all this nonsense because you are My friend, My cousin-brother. It does not look well." Anarya-justam asvargyam akirti-karam. [Bg. 2.2] "These things are done by the anaryas, not by a gentleman." Anarya-justam akirti-karam. "You, this, this will be infamous for you. Don't do like that." Then He explained to him Bhagavad-gita. And when he understood, then he took sannyasa. What is that sannyasa? Karisye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73] "Yes, I'll fight." That's all.
So this is sannyasa. Anasritah karma-phalam [Bg. 6.1]. He was first of all judging, "If I kill my cousin-brothers, my grandfather, there will be bad result. I'll go to hell." Now, later on decided, "Hell or heaven, I don't care for it." That is called anasritah. "I don't take shelter of hell or heaven. I take shelter of Krsna." A devotee does not discriminate what is hell or what is heaven. Narayana-parah sarve na kascana na bibhyati [SB 6.17.28]. One who is Narayana parah, devotee, he doesn't care for what is hell or heaven. Svargapavarga-narakesu api tulyartha-darsinah. A devotee... Just like Narada: he goes to hell, he goes to heaven. He has got freedom to go everywhere. Tulyartha-darsinah. For him, there is no hell, there is no heaven. He's preaching Krsna consciousness wherever he goes. That's all. He has nothing to do. Just like we went to that Savarmati jail in Ahmedabad. We were received by the jail authorities, where Gandhi was put into jail. Who was with me in that...? You were... You were also there. No. So we went to jail. There, they made very good arrangement. The prisoners, they received us, they chanted Hare Krsna mantra. So it was a good function. So we want to, went to jail. But what we have got to do with the jail? We have no business with the jail. Similarly sometimes we are invited in a very rich man's house, governor's house. We go there. That is heaven. So we have nothing to take, either from this heaven or from that hell. We have to chant Hare Krsna mantra anywhere. That is our business.
narayana-parah sarve
na kutascana bibhyati
api tulyartha-darsinah
[SB 6.17.28]
So this renouncement, for preaching Krsna consciousness, that is real sannyasa. Just like when I went to your country, actually sometimes I had to live in a hell according to our Indian standard, Vedic standard. So what can be done? Hell or heaven, I have to do my duty. It doesn't matter. Factually... I do not want to describe those things. So this sannyasa means do not care for personal sense gratification—"Oh, this is inconvenience. This is convenience." Simply go on preaching Krsna consciousness. So this sannyasa. Anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah, sa sannyasi yogi. He's yogi, he's sannyasi in everything, who is simply working for Krsna. There will be some result, loss or gain. So if there is loss, that is Krsna's. If there is gain, that is also Krsna's. Not that loss is Krsna's and gain is mine. No. Not like that. Everything Krsna's. We have to work for Krsna. So, so take this mantra.
Syamasundara: These are the copies of the two mantras. Two pages.
Prabhupada: No. Come one. First Bhavananda come. You also come. Chant this mantra: Etam... (devotees chant this mantra responsively with Prabhupada.) No. Stand up. Etam.... Stand up.
etam sa asthaya paratma-nistham
upasitam purvatamair mahadbhih
aham tarisyami duranta-param
tamo mukundanghri-nisevayaiva
(Sloka is chanted responsively two more times) Come on. Whose this is? Yours? Give that garland. Come on. Give him garland.
Devotee: Haribol!
Prabhupada: Yes. Stand up. So... So the purport of this verse, etam sa asthaya, this sannyasa order I am accepting. Why? Etam sa asthaya paratma-nistham. Just to fix up my mind steadily on the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, paratma-nistha. My only life is meant for serving the Supreme Lord, original Narayana, not daridra-narayana. That is my istha. Etam sa asthaya paratma-nistha. You... If we serve the Supreme Narayana, the daridra-narayana is automatically... There is no such word as daridra-narayana. The poor souls, they can be served automatically. Just like taror mula-nisecanena trpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopasakhah. If the root is watered, then the trunk and branches and the twigs and the flowers, automatically... Pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam. Pranopaharac. Just like offering foodstuff to the stomach. Then every indriya, every sense is satisfied. Two, two examples are given. One may argue, "Suppose I am watering. That is also nice. I water to the root, I water to the leaf also." The injunction is that there is no necessity of watering the leaves. You simply water the root. But if you argue that "What is the harm...? Suppose I... Root, offer water to the root, as well as to the leaves and twigs." Just like somebody says, "All right. Why we shall only worship Krsna? Why not other demigods?" although it is not necessary. But the next example is given that, pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam. Just like offering foodstuff to the stomach, the senses automatically become healthy, then now, if you say, in the same way... Just like offering to the root as well as to the leaves, that "Yes, I shall offer foodstuff to the stomach as well as to the ears and eyes." Then what the result will be? The result will be that your eyes and ears will be stopped functioning. Therefore this very example is given. This, this is not required at all. Similarly, by worshiping Krsna, you don't require to endeavor to worship the demigods, to worship the daridras, to worship the this and that. It will be automatically done.
Just like in our temples, everywhere, we are daily feeding so many daridras. So many. In Los Angeles, in New York, and Mayapur also, daily we are feeding five hundred to one thousand people. They are daridras. So that is the duty of every temple. There we're feeding not only Hindus and, only, but Muslims also. Anyone. Anyone come here and take prasadam. And the whole village is so satisfied with these activities. Temple means there must be sufficient foodstuff. Anyone who comes for foodstuff, he should be given. So by worshiping Krsna, these things automatically done. There is no need of extra endeavor. Paratma-nistha. This is called paratma-nistha. Etam sa asthaya paratma-nistha. Not only now. From time immemorial, all the temples in India, they have got sufficient foodstuff. Even at Natha-dvara, if you pay them only one anna or four annas, they'll give you so much nice prasadam. The two annas, four annas, the priestly order, they take. Otherwise, prasada is distributed. So by worshiping Krsna... Krsna is not hungry. He's fully satisfied. He doesn't require to eat. Temple worship means to distribute the prasadam to the poor. That is temple worship. Temple worship does not mean that you, you bring some rice from the neighborers and cook it and eat yourself and sit, sleep down, nice. No. Temple worship means you must distribute prasadam... You should... To the poor. Everyone is poor. Not that the rich man is not poor. Actually I have seen one rich man, he was coming for asking some prasadam. In my, before when I taking, when I was grhastha, I was going in so many temples, asking for some prasadam. That's a long history. So there is no question of, if one is financially poor, he should come to the temple. Everyone should come to the temple and ask for prasada. That is required.
So paratma-nistham. The sannyasi should worship the Deity in the temple and feed the poor. Poor does not mean that one who has no legs, no ears, or no... Poor... Everyone who is spiritually poor, he should be given prasadam. By eating, prasade sarva-duhkhanam hanir asyopajayate. That is called paramatma-nistham. Yajna. It is called yajna-sistasino santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih. It is not poor-feeding. It is distributing the resultant action of yajna. This worship is yajna. So yajna-sistasino... If you feed some men, not the so-called poor, everyone, then they'll be freed from their sinful activities. Yajna-sistasino santah mucyante sarva-kilbisaih. Kilbisaih means sinful activities. Therefore prasada distribution. Because everyone is engaged simply duskrtinah, simply sinful activities. Eating everything, doing everything, and they're life is full of sinful activities. Therefore to deliver them this prasada distribution is required. Mucyante sarva-kilbisaih. Not that cooking in an, like a hotel, and sometimes, out of compassion, we distribute prasadam. That kind of, means bhunjate te agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat [Bg. 3.13]. Simply for feeding myself or yourself. Just like in marriage ceremony and other ceremonies we do. That, that bhunjate te agham papa, they're simply eating papa. Therefore we are prohibited to take prasadam anywhere and everywhere. Because if there is no Deity worship, if we take food from their house, then we partake the sin, resultant action of their sinful activities. We should be careful. Unless it is prasadam, if we accept invitation from anywhere and everywhere, that means we are accepting the sinful activities, resultant action of the sin, person. Therefore a sannyasi... And it was, formerly, this was the regulation, that sannyasi would take prasadam in the house of a brahmana, because a brahmana is supposed to worshiper of Narayana. In every house of a brahmana there was Narayana-sila. Still some rigid brahmanas, they worship. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu even, He did not accept prasadam from a non-Vaisnava brahmana. He must be brahmana, at the same time, Vaisnava. Then He would accept.
So this regulation we should follow. We should not accept food, (only) prasadam. If anyone wants to give us food, then he must arrange for cooking food and offering to the Narayana, to the Visnu, Krsna. Then we can take. This is the... Otherwise we... Bhunjate te agham papa ye pacanty atma... People who are cooking for eating oneself, that cooking, that eating is simply sinful. Without prasadam, whatever we eat, that is, we are eating sin, That's all. Therefore we must suffer. We should be careful. Bhunjate te agham papa. This is paratma-nistha, that we should not accept anything which is not offered to Visnu, or Krsna. Paratma-nistham. Etam sa asthaya paratma-nistham. This nistha is not invented by us. Purvatamair mahadbhih upasitam. All great predecessors... There were other sannyasis, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, even Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He was a sannyasi. So purvatamair mahadbhih upasitam. These actions were executed by our previous acaryas. Purvatamair mahadbhih upasitam. Mahadbhih. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. You have to follow the acarya. Acarya upasana. Aham... The, what will be the result? Now, aham tarisyami. I shall cross over.... Tarisyami. Duranta-param. The extensive, unlimitedly extensive, the ocean of material existence. Aham tarisyami duranta-param tama. Tama means this material world, which is darkness. Because our business is to go out of this darkness to the light. Tamasi ma jyotir gama. We have to go to the light. So this is the process. Aham... And what is that process? Tama mukundanghri-nisevayaiva. Mukunda means Krsna, one who gives liberation. Hari. Hari means one who takes away all your sinful activities. Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami [Bg. 18.66]. He's taking; therefore His name is Hari. Mukundanghri. Another name is Mukunda. Mukunda means... Muk means mukti, and ananda means bliss. Krsna gives you mukti, deliverance, deliverance from this tama, this material world, and gives you transcendental bliss; therefore His name is Mukunda. Mukundanghri: the lotus feet of Mukunda. Nisevayaiva. Simply by serving the lotus feet of Mukunda, I can do this. This is the sum and substance.
So this sannyasa order, although it is prohibited in this age... Because so many rascals will accept sannyasa and do all nonsense things; therefore sannyasa is prohibited. Just like nowadays in Kali-yuga the, some of the sannyasis, they are eating meat. Disastrous. So this kind of rascal sannyasism is prohibited in the sastra. Sannyasam pala-paitrkam, devarena sutotpattim kalau panca vivarjayet [Cc. Adi 17.164]. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Vaisnava acaryas, they took sannyasa for preaching work, not for doing rascaldom. Preaching work. So Mukunda aham nisevaye. Mukundanghri-nisevayaiva. Simply by serving... Mukunda, Krsna, what does He want? He wants that this philosophy of Krsna, Bhagavad-gita, should be spread all over the world. You take up this determination and be steady in your sannyasi. That is my request.
Thank you very much. (end)

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