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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Seven: Shri Vishvarupa Takes Sannyasa
CB Adi-khanda 7.51
“parama adbhuta katha kahila, gosani!
tribhuvane emata kothao shuni nai
“O Gosvami, I have never before heard such wonderful narrations within the three worlds.
CB Adi-khanda 7.52
nija-putra haite para-tanaya krishnere
kaha dekhi,-sneha kaila kemana-prakare?”
“Please explain to me how the gopis displayed more affection for Krishna, another’s son, than for their own sons.”
CB Adi-khanda 7.53-56
shri-shuka kahena,-“shuna, raja parikshit
paramatma-sarva-dehe vallabha, vidita
atma vine putra va kalatra bandhu-gana
griha haite bahira karaya tata-kshana
ataeva, paramatma-sabara jivana
sei paramatma-ei shri-nandanandana
krishnete adhika sneha kare gopi-gane
Shukadeva Gosvami replied, “O Maharaja Parikshit, it is well-known that the Supersoul is dear to all. When the soul leaves the son, wife, or friend, their body is taken out of the house. Therefore the Supersoul is the life of everyone. That Supersoul is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Thus the gopis have more affection for Krishna due to His natural characteristics as the Supreme Soul.”
In their description of sayujya liberation, or merging in Brahman, the followers of shuddha-dvaita (purified dualism) accept that the soul and the Supersoul remain together. It is understood from the dva suparna verse in the Vedas that the soul and the Supersoul are both present in one vessel. As soon as a soul is bereft of the service of the Supersoul, he develops material conceptions. Although the soul and the Supersoul are both present in this world, which is manifested by the spiritual potency of the Lord, there nevertheless remains a difference between them. Yet there is nothing abominable or inferior in this difference. In order to establish the oneness of the Absolute Truth, this nondual substance has been explained under various doctrines like shuddha-dvaita (purified dualism), vishishtadvaita (specific monism), shuddhadvaita (purified monism), and dvaitadvaita (monism and dualism). The pastimes of the Lord with His associates further confirm the spiritual variegatedness of the nondual Absolute Truth. The inferiority of material variegatedness has unreasonably and illegally attacked the impersonalists’ flow of thought. A servant of the Absolute Truth who is expert in the conclusion of personalism finds in the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda a wonderful and proper balance in all the above-mentioned pure conclusions on the Brahma-sutras.
In the constitutional position of the Lord’s associates, there is no motive other than service to Shri Nandanandana, the Supersoul. In other words, the abominable mundane consideration of duality found in the imperfections and differentiations between subjects and objects in this material world cannot be equally established in the nondual kingdom of Vaikuntha. The Supersoul and the soul are related with each other as well-wishers. As soon as the living entity forgets that relationship, maya immediately arranges for him various temporary relationships like wife and children in this material world. The deluding external energy of the Supersoul has two functions-covering and throwing. When the living entity becomes entangled in this material world, he falls under the control of the material modes of nature and due to his misconceptions he accepts various sense objects, beginning with a wife and children. In this way he is separated from the service of the Absolute Truth, Vrajendra-nandana. From this misconception and forgetfulness of Krishna, the living entity develops the mentality of “I am the enjoyer of all material tastes and forms, like my wife and children.” This is not the constitutional duty of a living entity; it is simply a mental concoction. In other words, the living entity is awarded designations by the covering and throwing potencies of maya and he enjoys the respective results of those designations. But material conceptions are never able to touch a pure living entity. The eternal propensity of a living entity is to cultivate Krishna consciousness. A living entity accepts his material designations as himself due to nondevotional misconceptions. Under the influence of such misconceptions the conditioned souls become impersonalists, or worshipers of the impersonal homogeneous Brahman, while some are inclined to enjoy heaven or hell due to their intense urge for material enjoyment. When the pure living entity with material designations and bewildered intelligence becomes a Mayavadi, he is covered by the false conception of spiritual and material oneness, which produces a whirlwind of imaginative considerations of oneness between the living entities and Brahman and oneness between the material nature and Brahman. When the soul leaves the body, he can immediately understand, “I am not the body. If I were the body, then why did my relatives attempt to return the five elements of my body to the five material elements at the time of my funeral. Since I am separate from the material body, after leaving my body those related to it consider it detestful and want to throw it out of the house.”
Although the material world, which is created by the external energy of the Supersoul, is not false, it is also not eternal, that is, it is prone to change. The eternal soul and the temporary mind both possess the consciousness of being the doer, yet there is a difference between the two.
CB Adi-khanda 7.57
eho katha bhakta-prati, anya-prati nahe
anyatha jagate kene sneha na karaye
This, however, applies only to the devotees, not others. Otherwise, why doesn’t everyone show affection for Krishna?
CB Adi-khanda 7.58
‘kamsadiha atma krishne tabe himse kene?’
purva-aparadha ache tahara karane
Why do demons like Kamsa envy Krishna, the Supreme Soul? This is due simply to previous offenses.
CB Adi-khanda 7.59-60
sahaje sharkara mishta,-sarva-jane jane
keha tikta vase, jihva-doshera karane
jihvara se dosha, sharkarara dosha nai
ataeva sarva-mishta chaitanya gosani
Everyone knows that sugar is sweet by nature, but if the tongue is diseased then the sugar will taste bitter. That is the fault of the tongue, not the sugar. The conclusion is that Lord Chaitanya is the sweetest of all.
Although sweet sugar tastes bitter to the jaundice infected tongue, the sweetness of sugar has no bitterness. Similarly, there cannot be any lack of love in Shri Chaitanyadeva, who is the source of all auspiciousness. Those who cannot understand Shri Chaitanyadeva to be their worshipable Lord are in that position because of their offenses. In terms of His position as the doer, Shri Chaitanyadeva is directly Krishna; but the material vision of the conditioned souls is infected with imperfection and ignorance, so they consider Shri Chaitanyadeva an ordinary living entity with anu-cetana, minute consciousness, while in fact He is vibhu-cetana, the supreme consciousness.
CB Adi-khanda 7.61
ei navadvipete dekhila sarva-jane
tathapiha keha na janila bhakta vine
Although everyone saw the Lord in Navadvipa, no one could recognize Him other than the devotees.
Although bhakti, the eternal propensity of the soul, is present in every living entity’s heart, it is impossible for the conditioned souls to realize just as it is impossible to see one’s face in a dusty mirror. In such a state, the eternal propensity of the living entities, service to Krishna, remains dormant. Therefore they are seen to have a taste for karma and jnana. That is why the service of the Lord is found only in persons who have a service attitude.
CB Adi-khanda 7.62
bhaktera se citta prabhu hare sarvathaya
viharaye navadvipe vaikunthera raya
The Lord of Vaikuntha attracted the hearts of all the devotees as He enjoyed His pastimes in Navadvipa.
CB Adi-khanda 7.63
mohiya sabara citta prabhu vishvambhara
agraje laila calilena nija-ghara
After thus enchanting everyone’s heart, Lord Vishvambhara returned home with His elder brother.
CB Adi-khanda 7.64
mane mane cintaye advaita mahashaya
“prakrita manusha kabhu e balaka naya”
Shri Advaita Prabhu considered to Himself, “This boy is not an ordinary person.”
CB Adi-khanda 7.65
sarva-vaishnavera prati balila advaita
“kon vastu e balaka,-na jani nishcita”
Then Advaita said to the Vaishnavas, “I don’t know what sort of boy He is.”
CB Adi-khanda 7.66
prashamsite lagilena sarva-bhakta-gana
apurva shishura rupa-lavanya-kathana
All the devotees then began to praise the beauty and charm of that wonderful child.
CB Adi-khanda 7.67
nama-matra vishvarupa calilena ghare
punah ailena shighra advaita-mandire
Vishvarupa returned home simply out of formality, then as soon as possible He returned to Advaita’s house.
CB Adi-khanda 7.68
na bhaya samsara-sukha vishvarupa-mane
niravadhi thake krishna-ananda-kirtane
The desire for material enjoyment never appeared in the mind of Vishvarupa. He constantly remained in the ecstasy of chanting Krishna’s names.
CB Adi-khanda 7.69
grihe aileo griha-vyabhara na kare
niravadhi thake vishnu-grihera bhitare
Even when He was at home, He never engaged in household activities; rather, He would always stay in the temple room.
The word vishnu-griha is explained as follows: formerly in every brahmana’s house there was a separate room for keeping the Deity form of Narayana [shalagrama]. This Deity room is known as the vishnu-griha. While at home, Shri Vishvarupa would generally pass His time worshiping or meditating in the Deity room.
CB Adi-khanda 7.70
vivahera udyoga karaye pita-mata
shuni’ vishvarupa bada mane paya vyatha
When His mother and father spoke of arranging His marriage, Vishvarupa felt great mental pain
CB Adi-khanda 7.71
“chadiba samsara”,-vishvarupa mane bhave
“cali’ yana vane”,-matra ei mane jage
Vishvarupa thought to Himself, “I will leave home and go to the forest.”
CB Adi-khanda 7.72
ishvarera citta-vritti ishvara se jane
vishvarupa sannyasa karila kata dine
The heart of the Lord is known only to the Lord. Thus after a few days Vishvarupa left to take sannyasa.
CB Adi-khanda 7.73
jagate vidita nama ‘shri-shankararanya’
calila ananta-pathe vaishnavagraganya
He then became known throughout the world as “Shri Shankararanya.” As He traversed the path of devotional service to Lord Krishna, He became celebrated as the topmost Vaishnava.
Vishvarupa accepted sannyasa in the Shri Shankara-sampradaya and became famous by the name Shri Shankararanya. At that time there were ten names for sannyasis being used in the Shankara-sampradaya. The name Aranya is one of those ten names. These ten names for sannyasis were previously used in the Vishnusvami-sampradaya. After these Vishnusvami sannyasis had a quarrel with the ekadandi-sannyasis from the Shivasvami-sampradaya, they entered into the Shankara-sampradaya. In the original Vishnusvami-sampradaya, however, there were 108 names used for sannyasis. By the influence of the Shivasvami-sampradaya, the Vedic sannyasi names were reduced to ten after the time of Shankaracarya.
After traveling throughout the country, Shri Shankararanya arrived at Pandarapura, in the district of Sholapur, near Bombay, and took samadhi on the bank of the Bhima River. It is said that Shri Shankararanya, the king of sannyasis, entered the Deity of Shri Viththalanatha, or Shri Vithoba. While traveling to South India many years later (in 1511), Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to Pandarapura and heard from Shri Ranga Puri about Shri Vishvarupa’s disappearance. At that time Pandarapura was a famous place of pilgrimage and populated by many sadhus and Vaishnavas.
CB Adi-khanda 7.74
calilena yadi vishvarupa-mahashaya
shaci-jagannatha dagdha haila hridaya
Vishvarupa’s departure from home left Shaci and Jagannatha grief-stricken.
CB Adi-khanda 7.75
goshthi-saha krandana karaye ubharaya
bhaira virahe murccha gela gaura-raya
Shri Gauranga cried loudly along with His family members and eventually fell unconscious out of separation from His brother.
The word ubharaya means “loudly.”
CB Adi-khanda 7.76
se viraha varnite vadane nahi pari
haila krandana-maya jagannatha-puri
I am unable to describe their feelings of separation, by which Jagannatha Mishra’s entire house became inundated with crying.
The word jagannatha-puri refers to the house of Jagannatha Mishra, or the present day Yogapitha in Shri Mayapur.
CB Adi-khanda 7.77
advaitadi sabe bahu karila krandana
Understanding that Vishvarupa has taken sannyasa, Advaita and the other devotees all began weeping.
At the time of Shriman Mahaprabhu, the study of Vedic scriptures was prominent in Navadvipa, which was referred to as Gaudapura by Maharshi Panini. In order to demonstrate that one’s material attachment is not destroyed without such study, many personalities headed by Shri Gaurasundara’s elder brother, Shri Vishvarupa, accepted sannyasa and thus increased the glories of Gaudapura, the center of education at that time. The acceptance of sannyasa by Shri Gaurasundara and Shri Purushottama Bhattacarya is mentioned in many Gaudiya devotional scriptures. Apart from them, many other jewel-like scholars like Shri Ishvara Puri, the disciple of Shri Madhavendra, often visited Gaudapura, the center of education. After traveling to the holy places with His sannyasa guru, Shri Nityananda Prabhu also came to Gaudapura and met Shri Gaurasundara.
The sannyasi disciples of both Keshava Bharati and Shri Madhavendra Puripada illuminated the path of accepting sannyasa for members of the varnashrama society. Surrounded by many Mayavadi sannyasis, Prakashananda Sarasvati of Kashi simply wasted his time in arguments based on mental speculation. Shrimad Prabodhananda Sarasvati, a tridandi-sannyasi of the Shri Ramanuja-sampradaya, and other tridandipadas like Shri Madhvacarya accepted tridandi-sannyasa and engaged in the service of Lord Hari as practiced in the line of the original Sarvajna Vishnusvami. In the varnashrama society of that time, respect and honor was offered to sannyasis by all communities. Later on the dari-sannyasis engaged in panca-makara 1 like eating fish and meat and drinking wine and thus brought deformation and harm to the principles of the sannyasa order. This is certainly a matter of great concern. In order to check this degradation, the pure Gaudiya devotees have now reintroduced the process of tridanda-sannyasa, which was more recently present in this world by name only, and thus bestowed happiness and great auspiciousness on the community of Vaishnavas.
Although the crying of Shri Advaita Prabhu appeared to be caused by feelings of separation, it is understood by the solacing words of Jagannatha Mishra’s friends that the learned scholars were overjoyed from this incident. The tears of lamentation of the attached householders, who are averse to the sannyasis’ renunciation, and the tears of ecstasy of the devotees, who are fond of the sannyasis’ service at the lotus feet of Mukunda, are not of the same nature.
CB Adi-khanda 7.78
uttama, madhyama, ye shunila nadiyaya
hena nahi,-ye shuniya duhkha nahi paya
Everyone in Nadia who heard about the incident-whether ordinary or exalted devotee-all felt unhappy.
CB Adi-khanda 7.79-80
jagannatha-shacira vidirna haya buka
nirantara dake ‘vishvarupa! vishvarupa!’
putra-shoke mishracandra haila vihvala
prabodha karaye bandhu-bandhava sakala
Jagannatha Mishra and Shacidevi were both heart-broken and continually cried out, “Vishvarupa! Vishvarupa!” Shri Mishra was overwhelmed with lamentation for his son, so his friends and relatives all tried to pacify him.
Jagannatha Mishra’s display of affliction due to lamentation for his son like that of a ordinary father for his son was actually to deceive persons who are bewildered by material objects like their sons. The glorification of Shri Vishvarupa’s acceptance of sannyasa and engagement in worshiping Krishna increased the prestige of the daiva-varnashrama sannyasis, who destroy the lamentation born of material enjoyment.
CB Adi-khanda 7.81
“sthira hao, mishra, duhkha na bhaviha mane
sarva-goshthi uddharila sei mahajane
“Dear Mishra, please control yourself. Do not feel sad, for that great personality has delivered us all.
CB Adi-khanda 7.82
goshthite purusha ya’ra karaye sannyasa
trikoti-kulera haya shri-vaikunthe vasa
“When someone takes sannyasa, millions of family members are promoted to Vaikuntha.
CB Adi-khanda 7.83
hena karma karilena nandana tomara
saphala haila vidya sampurna tahara
“Your son has perfected his education by this act.
CB Adi-khanda 7.84
ananda vishesha aro karite yuyaya”
eta bali’ sakale dharaye hate-pa’ya
“Therefore it is befitting for you to feel even more happy than before.” Saying this, they all held the hands and feet of Jagannatha Mishra.
CB Adi-khanda 7.85
“ei kula-bhushana tomara vishvambhara
ei putra haibe tomara vamsha-dhara
“Your son Vishvambhara is the ornament of your dynasty.
CB Adi-khanda 7.86
iha haite sarva duhkha ghucibe tomara
koti-putre ki karibe, e putra yahara?”
“He will eradicate all your suffering. If one has a son such as Him, what is the need for millions of sons?”
CB Adi-khanda 7.87
ei-mata sabe bujhayena bandhu-gana
tathapi mishrera duhkha na haya khandana
In this way all of Jagannatha Mishra’s friends tried to pacify him, but his distress remained unmitigated.
CB Adi-khanda 7.88
ye-te-mate dhairya dhare mishra-mahashaya
vishvarupa-guna smari’ dhairya pasaraya
If somehow or other he regained his composure, as soon as he remembered Vishvarupa’s qualities, he again lost his patience.
CB Adi-khanda 7.89
mishra bole,-“ei putra rahibeka ghare
ihate pramana mora na laya antare
Shri Mishra said, “I have no reason to believe that this son will remain at home.
CB Adi-khanda 7.90
dilena krishna se putra, nilena krishna se
ye krishnacandera iccha, haiba sei se
“Krishna gave me a son, and then He took Him away. Whatever Krishna desires, that is what will happen.
CB Adi-khanda 7.91
svatantra jivera tilarddheka shakti nai
dehendriya, krishna, samarpilun toma’ thani”
“Independent of You, the living entities have no power whatsoever. Therefore, O Krishna, I’m surrendering my body and senses unto You.”
CB Adi-khanda 7.92
ei rupe jnana-yoge mishra mahadhira
alpe-alpe citta-vritti karilena sthira
In this way the most sober Jagannatha Mishra gradually controlled his mind through the process of jnana.
Jagannatha Mishra’s modified form of vatsalya-rasa that was born from physical consideration was destroyed when Vishvarupa took sannyasa, and he realized that the eternal Absolute Truth, Lord Vishnu, was his son. Such realization frees one from the shackles of mundane parenthood and is real sannyasa.
CB Adi-khanda 7.93
hena mate vishvarupa haila bahira
That is the story of how Vishvarupa, who is nondifferent from Nityananda Svarupa, left home.
CB Adi-khanda 7.94
ye shunaye vishvarupa-prabhura sannyasa
krishna-bhakti haya tara chinde karma-phansa
Whoever hears the pastimes of Vishvarupa’s acceptance of sannyasa attains devotional service to Lord Krishna and freedom from the bondage of fruitive work.
Shri Vishvarupa Prabhu is Sankarshana and is therefore nondifferent from Shri Nityananda Svarupa. The prakasha expansion of Mula-sankarshana Shri Baladeva-Nityananda Prabhu in Maha-Vaikuntha has appeared as Vishvarupa in gaura-lila.
If one hears the pastime of Vishvarupa’s accepting sannyasa, he will attain freedom from the bondage of fruitive activities. Shri Vishvarupa has three expansions-the first purusha incarnation, Karanodakashayi Vishnu, the second purusha incarnation, Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, and the third purusha incarnation, Kshirodakashayi Vishnu. If a living entity understands these three Vishnu forms in truth, he can attain freedom from the material concept of life.
CB Adi-khanda 7.95
vishvarupa-sannyasa shuniya bhakta-gana
harishe vishada sabe bhave anukshana
As the devotees heard about Vishvarupa’s accepting sannyasa, they simultaneously felt happiness and lamentation.
CB Adi-khanda 7.96
“ye va chila sthana krishna-katha kahibara
taha krishna harilena ama’ sabakara
They said, “Whatever little opportunity we had for discussing the topics of Krishna together, Krishna has taken away.
CB Adi-khanda 7.97
amarao na rahiba, cali’ yana vane
e papishtha-loka-mukha na dekhi yekhane
“Let us also leave home and go to the forest, then we will not see the faces of these sinful people.
The phrase papishtha-loka-mukha refers to the faces of persons who are averse to Krishna and expert in material life.
CB Adi-khanda 7.98
pashandira vakya-jvala sahiba va kata
nirantara asat-pathe sarva-loka rata
“How long must we tolerate the burning words of these atheists? They are all continuously engaged in materialistic activities.
CB Adi-khanda 7.99
‘krishna’ hena nama nahi shuni karo mukhe
sakala samsara dubi’ mare mithya sukhe
“We do not hear the name of Krishna from anyone’s mouth. The entire world is absorbed in illusory happiness.
The words mithya sukha refers to the temporary happiness derived from sense gratification. Only the atmaramas, or self-satisfied souls, can experience the eternal happiness of serving Lord Vishnu. When the perishable sensual happiness of the conditioned souls who are averse to Vishnu is checked, or when the object of their happiness is destroyed, that same temporary happiness turns into misery.
CB Adi-khanda 7.100
bujhaile keha krishna-patha nahi laya
uladhiya aro se upahasa karaya
“Even if they are instructed, they will not take to devotional life. On the contrary, they taunt us, saying:
The materialists were maddened with temporary material happiness. They could not understand the Supreme Absolute Truth, and as a result, they became scornful and laughed. But actually they were unable to understand the service of Adhokshaja Krishna by the strength of their sensual knowledge. Rather than understanding that devotional service to Lord Krishna is the only necessity, such materialists become attached to this world and the fruits of their work.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.