sei ghara amake deha'-ache prayojana
nibhrte vasiya tahan kariba smarana
sei ghara—that room; amake deha'—please give to Me; ache prayojana—there is necessity; nibhrte—in the solitary place; vasiya—sitting; tahan—there; kariba smarana—I shall remember the lotus feet of the Lord.
"Please give that room to Me, for I have a need for it. Indeed, I shall remember the lotus feet of the Lord sitting in that solitary place."
This statement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is significant. Nibhrte vasiya tahan kariba smarana: "I shall sit down there in that solitary place and remember the lotus feet of the Lord." Neophyte students are not to imitate sitting in a solitary place and remembering the lotus feet of the Lord by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. We should always remember that it was Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself who wanted such a place, either for Himself or Haridasa Thakura. No one can suddenly attain the level of Haridasa Thakura and sit down in a solitary place to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and remember the lotus feet of the Lord. Only an exalted person like Haridasa Thakura or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is personally exhibiting the proper behavior for an acarya, can engage in such a practice.
At the present moment we see that some of the members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness are tending to leave their preaching activities in order to sit in a solitary place. This is not a very good sign. It is a fact that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has condemned this process for neophytes. He has even stated in a song, pratisthara tare, nirjanera ghare, tava hari-nama kevala kaitava: "Sitting in a solitary place intending to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is considered a cheating process." This practice is not possible for neophytes at all. The neophyte devotee must act and work very laboriously under the direction of the spiritual master, and he must thus preach the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Only after maturing in devotion can he sit down in a solitary place to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself did. Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He nonetheless traveled all over India continuously for six years and then retired at Jagannatha Puri to teach us a lesson. Even at Jagannatha Puri the Lord chanted the Hare Krsna maha-mantra in great meetings at the Jagannatha temple. The point is that one should not try to imitate Haridasa Thakura at the beginning of one's transcendental life. One must first become very mature in devotion and thus receive the approval of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Only at such a time may one actually sit down peacefully in a solitary place to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and remember the lotus feet of the Lord. The senses are very strong, and if a neophyte devotee imitates Haridasa Thakura, his enemies (kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya) will disturb and fatigue him. Instead of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, the neophyte will simply sleep soundly. Preaching work is meant for advanced devotees, and when an advanced devotee is further elevated on the devotional scale, he may retire to chant the Hare Krsna mantra in a solitary place. However, if one simply imitates advanced spiritual life, he will fall down, just like the sahajiyas in Vrndavana.
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