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Excerpt from Sannyasa Initiation
of Viraha Prakasa Swami

Mayapur, February 5, 1976
Tamala Krsna: (reading:) "This was spoken by a brahmana from Avanti desa. 'I shall cross over the insurmountable ocean of nescience by being firmly fixed in the service of the lotus feet of Krsna. This was approved by the previous acaryas, who are fixed in firm devotion to the Lord, Paramatma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.' " Purport. "In connection with this verse, which is a quotation from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Eleventh Canto, Twenty-third Chapter, fifty-eighth verse, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that of the sixty-four items required for rendering devotional service, acceptance of the symbolic marks of sannyasa is a regulative principle. If one accepts the sannyasa order, his main business is to devote his life completely to the service of Mukunda, Krsna. If one does not completely devote his mind and body to the service of the Lord, he does not actually become a sannyasi. It is not simply a matter of changing dress. In Bhagavad-gita, Sixth Chapter, first verse, it is also stated, anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah, sa sannyasi ca yogi ca: [Bg. 6.1] 'One who works devotedly for the satisfaction of Krsna is a sannyasi.' The dress is not sannyasa, but the attitude of service to Krsna is. The word paramatma nistha means being a devotee of Lord Krsna. Paratma-vigraha. Paratma, the Supreme Person, is Krsna. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. Those who are completely dedicated to the lotus feet of Krsna in service are actually sannyasis. As a matter of formality, the devotee accepts the sannyasa dress as previous acaryas did. He also accepts the three dandas. Later, Visnu Svami considered that accepting the dress of a tridanda was paratma-nistha. Therefore sincere devotees add another danda, the jiva danda, to the three existing dandas. The Vaisnava sannyasi is known as tridandi-sannyasi. The Mayavadi sannyasi accepts only one danda, not understanding the purpose of tridanda. Later, many persons in the community of Siva Swami gave up the atma-nistha, devotional service of the Lord, and followed the paths of Sankaracarya. Instead of accepting 108 names, those in the Siva Swami sampradaya follow the path of Sankaracarya and accept the ten names of sannyasa. Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the then existing order of sannyasa, namely ekadanda, He still recited from Srimad-Bhagavatam about the tridanda-sannyasa accepted by the brahmana of Avantipura. Indirectly He declared that within the ekadanda, one danda, four dandas existed as one. Accepting ekadanda sannyasa without paratma-nistha, devotional service to Lord Krsna, is not acceptable to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In addition, according to the exact regulative principles, one should add the jiva-danda to the tridanda. These four dandas bound together as one are symbolic of unalloyed devotional service to the Lord. Because the ekadandi-sannyasis of the Mayavada school are not devoted to the service of Krsna, they try to merge into the Brahman effulgence, which is a marginal position between material and spiritual existence. They accept this impersonal position as liberation. Mayavadi sannyasis, not knowing that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was a tridandi, think of Caitanya Mahaprabhu as an ekadandi sannyasi. This is due to their vivarta, bewilderment. In Srimad-Bhagavatam there is no such thing as ekadandi sannyasi. Indeed, the tridandi-sannyasi is accepted as the symbolic representation of the sannyasa order. By citing this verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the sannyasa order recommended in Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Mayavadi sannyasis, who are enamored of the external energy of the Lord, cannot understand the mind of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. To date, all the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu following in His footsteps accept the sannyasa order and keep the sacred thread and tuft of unshaved hair. The ekadandi-sannyasis of the Mayavadi school give up the sacred thread and do not keep any tuft of hair. Therefore they are unable to understand the purport of tridanda-sannyasa, and as such, they are not inclined to dedicate their lives to the service of Mukunda. They simply think of merging into the existence of Brahman because of their disgust with material existence. The acaryas who advocate the daiva-varnasrama, the social order of catur-varnyam mentioned in Bhagavad-gita, do not accept the proposition of asura-varnasrama, which maintains the social code of varna is indicated by birth. The most intimate devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, namely Gadadhara Pandita, accepted tridanda-sannyasa and also accepted Madhava-upadhyaya as his tridandi-sannyasi disciple. It is said that from this Madhvacarya, the sampradaya known in Western India as Vallabhacarya sampradaya has begun. Srila Gopala Bhatta Bose(?), who is known as smrti-acarya in the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, later accepted the tridanda-sannyasa from Tridandipada Prabodhananda Sarasvati. Although acceptance of tridanda-sannyasa is not distinctly mentioned in the Gaudiya Vaisnava literature, the first verse of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Upadesamrta advocates that one should accept the tridanda-sannyasa order by controlling the six forces:
'One who can control the forces of speech, mind, anger, belly, tongue and genitals is known as a gosvami and is competent to accept disciples all over the world.' The followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never accepted the Mayavada order of sannyasa, and for this, they cannot be blamed. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted Sridhara Swami, who was a tridandi sannyasi, but the Mayavada sannyasis, not understanding Sridhara Swami, sometimes think that Sridhara Swami belonged to the Mayavada ekadanda sannyasa community. Actually this was not the case."
Prabhupada: So you should understand the purpose of taking sannyasa by the example given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. It is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam,
tyaktva su-dustyaja-surepsita-rajya-laksmim
dharmistha arya-vacasa yad agad aranyam
maya-mrgam dayitayepsitam anvadhavad
vande maha-purusa te caranaravindam
[SB 11.5.34]
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was resident of this place where you are taking sannyasa. So what was the purpose of His taking sannyasa? He was very respectable brahmana, Nimai Pandita. This tract of land, Navadvipa, is the place of highly educated brahmanas from time immemorial. So Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu belonged to a very respectable brahmana family, the son of Jagannatha Misra, His grandfather, Nilambara Cakravarti, very respectful, respectable persons. He took birth in that family. Personally He was very beautiful; therefore His another name is Gaurasundara. And He was very learned scholar also; therefore His another name is Nimai Pandita. So, and in His family life He had very nice, beautiful young wife, Visnupriya, and very affectionate mother, and He was very influential. You know that. In one day He collected about one hundred thousand followers to protest against the Kazi's order. So in this way His social position was very favorable. Personal position was very favorable. Still, He took sannyasa, left home. Why? Dayitaye, in order to favor, in order to show mercy to the fallen souls of the world.
So He left a legacy that anyone who has taken birth in India,
So He exhibited personally how to do para-upakara, welfare to others, fallen souls. So this sannyasa means following the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that,
So not only... We are trying to create a position that not only the Indians have got this responsibility, but according to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, anyone—prthivite ache yata nagaradi gramathey should take up this missionary work. And I am so much obliged to you, you American boys and girls also, that you have taken this Krsna consciousness movement very seriously. And by the grace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu you are taking sannyasa, some of you. Keep it very perfectly and go from town to town, city to city, village to village, all over the world and spread this Krsna consciousness movement so that everyone will be happy. People are very much suffering. Because they are mudhas, rascals, they do not know how to adjust living condition in human form. This is the bhagavata-dharma everywhere. So the human form is not to become a dog, hog, pig. You should become a perfect human being. Suddhyet sattva. Purify your existence. Why you are subjected to birth, death, old age, and disease? Because we are impure. Now if we purify our existence, then there will be no such thing as birth, death, old age, and disease. That is the version of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Krsna Himself. Simply by understanding Krsna, you become purified and you escape the contamination of birth, death, old age and disease. So try to convince the people in general, the philosophers, the religionists. We have no such thing, sectarian view. Anyone can join this movement and become purified himself. Janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara. So I am very much pleased. You have given already service to the society. Now you take up sannyasa and preach all over the world so that people may be benefited.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
Prabhupada: The danda. Take this and offer obeisances. So add to your name "Swami," that's all. What is his name?
Devotee: Viraha.
Prabhupada: Viraha Prakasa Swami. Bow down. Viraha Prakasa. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the symbolic of viraha prakasa. Govinda-virahena me. He says, sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me. That is viraha-prakasa, that "Everything is vacant for me without Govinda." That is called viraha. So we should be mad after Govinda. That is govinda-virahena me. Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.
Devotees: Jaya Srila Prabhupada. (end)

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