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Chapter Seven: Shri Vishvarupa Takes Sannyasa
This chapter contains descriptions of Vishvarupa’s acceptance of sannyasa and Gaurahari’s acceptance of the mood of Dattatreya and instructing His mother on the Absolute Truth while sitting on a pile of rejected clay pots.
Shri Gaura-gopala expanded His various mischievous childhood pastimes. Nimai would give up His mischief as soon as He saw His elder brother, Vishvarupa. Vishvarupa was renounced since the time of His birth, and He was the abode of all good qualities. Whenever He explained the scriptures, He would establish devotional service as their only purport. He had no interest in anything other than serving Krishna with all of His senses. Although He knew His younger brother was Bala-gopala Krishna, He did not disclose this confidential fact to anyone. Vishvarupa always remained intoxicated by discussing topics of Krishna and serving Krishna in the association of the Vaishnavas. Seeing the entire world was mad after material enjoyment, the seed of envy for Vishnu and the Vaishnavas was present in everyone’s heart, and even the reciters of Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam were devoid of devotion to Krishna, the pure devotees headed by Advaita Acarya began to cry for the pathetic condition of the living entities. Shri Vishvarupa even decided to give up worldly life and consided, “I will no longer see the faces of such people.” Everyday after taking morning bath in the Ganges Vishvarupa would go to Advaita Acarya’s house, where He would explain that devotional service to Krishna is the essence of all scriptures. Sent by Shacidevi, the child Nimai also went daily to the house of Advaita Acarya to bring His elder brother home for lunch. At that time the devotees practically entered samadhi upon seeing the enchanting beauty of Gaurahari, as it is natural for devotees to be attracted by seeing the form of the Lord. Taking advantage of this incident, the author establishes the devotees’ matchless love for the Supreme Lord by citing the conversation between Shukadeva Gosvami and Parikshit Maharaja from the Shrimad Bhagavatam. The spirit soul is the life of the living entity, and Shri Nandanandana is the Supersoul, or the life of the spirit soul. That is why the gopis accepted Krishna as their life and soul. Although Krishna is also the Supersoul of demons like Kamsa, they cannot understand this due to their offences. The sweetness of sugar candy is known to all. Although due to the fault of the tongue it may taste bitter to some, the sweetness of the candy is neither lost nor diminished. Those who are attracted to the supreme sweetness of Shri Gaurasundara are most fortunate, while those who are not are simply unfortunate. Nevertheless, the sweetness of Shri Gaurasundara is not diminished. Although Vishvarupa came home on the order of mother Shaci, He soon returned to the house of Advaita Acarya. Whenever Vishvarupa came home, He did not indulge in worldly behavior; rather, He would pass His time sitting in the temple room. When Vishvarupa heard that His parents were arranging for His marriage, He became most unhappy and after a few days exhibited His pastime of taking sannyasa. Thus He became renowned in the world as Shri Shankararanya. The hearts of Shaci and Jagannatha (who were in the transcendental mood of vatsalya-rasa) were greatly pained when Vishvarupa took sannyasa, and Gaurasundara, feeling separation for His brother (separation for His pure servant), displayed His pastime of losing consciousness. Due to separation from Vishvarupa (separation from a devotee), the devotees headed by Advaita Acarya began to cry. All the friends of Shaci and Jagannatha came to solace them in various ways. Hearing about Vishvarupa’s acceptance of sannyasa, the devotees all wanted to go live in the forest. Advaita Prabhu consoled everyone by saying, “Krishnacandra will soon manifest before us and mitigate all of our distress. He will perform pastimes that are rare for even Shukadeva and Prahlada.” After becoming pacified, Nimai began to study attentively, and He always remained with His parents. Although mother Shaci was happy to hear about her son’s wonderful intelligence and knowledge, Jagannatha Mishra was in anxiety because he thought, “Due to His intense study, this son will also realize that this world is temporary and devotional service to Krishna is the essence of life. Then He will follow the footsteps of His elder brother.” After a long debate with Shaci, Jagannatha Mishra stopped Nimai’s studies. Thereafter Nimai again began to exhibit mischievous pastimes. One day Nimai sat on a pile of untouchable clay pots. When mother Shaci told Him not to sit there, Nimai replied, “How can a foolish person who does not know how to read and write discriminate between purity and impurity? For Me, it is all the same.” In the mood of Dattatreya, Mahaprabhu continued to instruct His mother, “The consideration of purity and impurity is born from the imagination or mental speculation of mundane people. The Absolute Truth, Lord Vishnu, is present everywhere. And wherever the Lord is present is most pure. Those who cannot understand that the Lord is present everywhere simply chase after mental conceptions. The cooking pots of Vishnu are never impure, they are always pure. Other ordinary items are purified by their touch. The Lord is never present in a place that is impure, or devoid of devotional service.” Although Nimai explained all spiritual topics in the mood of a child, Shaci and other relatives in the mood of vatsalya could not understand those instructions due to the influence of yogamaya. When Shacidevi saw that Nimai would not leave that dirty place, she personally grabbed the child’s hand and took Him for bath. Thereafter Shacidevi and others informed Jagannatha Mishra, “Nimai is feeling most unhappy because He cannot study,” so on everyone’s request Purandara Mishra ordered Nimai to continue His studies.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.