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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > To renounce or not externally

Title: To renounce or not externally

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-05-07 10:32:00


I have lost all interest in material activities. I want to renounceeverything and want to come and serve you personally.


Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:




It is good you have lost interest in material activities but the renunciationof the activities itself is not required neither appropriate for you at thisstage in life. What we have to renounce is material consciousness and connectall over activities with Lord Gauranga-Krishna then the activites no longerremain material but are spiritual devotional service to the Lord.



At this point of time, you are ideally situated to practice Nama Bhajana i.e.the chanting of the Holy Names and changing your situation is not required. Iappreciate your attachment to the Lord. I would request you not to be hasty incrossing the ocean of the cycle of birth and death but remain situated (sthanesthitah as stated in Shrimad Bhagavatam) in your present situation and cultivatestrong internal attachment to the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and HareKrishna! Then the Lord will show you the proper time and way to fulfil yourdesires to serve Him and chant His Holy Names. Please read the follwoinginstructions given by Lord Gauranga Himself to our Prayojana acharya ShrilaRaghunatha dasa Goswami:



Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya lila Chp16, Translation and Purports byHis Divine Grace Shrila Prabhupada copyrighted by the Bhaktivedanta BookTrust:



Madhya 16.234



sata dina santipure prabhu-sange rahe

ratri-divase ei manah-katha kahe



For seven days Raghunatha dasa associated with Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhuin Santipura. During those days and nights, he had the followingthoughts.



Madhya 16.235

Ďraksakera hate muni kemane chutiba!

kemane prabhura sange nilacaleyaba?'





Raghunatha dasa thought, "How shall I be able to get free from the handsof the watchmen? How shall I be able to go with Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhuto Nilacala?"



Madhya 16.236



sarvajna gauranga-prabhu jani' tanra mana

siksa-rupe kahe tanreasvasa-vacana



Since Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was omniscient, He couldunderstand

Raghunatha dasa's mind. The Lord therefore instructed him withthe

following reassuring words.



Madhya 16.237



ďsthira hana ghare yao, naa hao vaatula

krame krame paaya lokabhava-sindhu-kula



"Be patient and return home. Don't be a crazy fellow. By and by you willbe

able to cross the ocean of material existence.






As stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.58):



samashrita ye pada-pallava-plavam

mahat-padam punya-yasomurareh

bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam

padam padam yad vipadam natesam



This material world is just like a big ocean. It begins with Brahmalokaand

extends to Patalaloka, and there are many planets, or islands, inthis

ocean. Not knowing about devotional service, the living entitywanders

about this ocean, just as a man tries to swim to reach the shore.Our

struggle for existence is similar to this. Everyone is trying to getout

of the ocean of material existence. One cannot immediately reachthe

coast, but if one endeavors, he can cross the ocean by ShriChaitanya

Mahaprabhu's mercy. One may be very eager to cross this ocean, buthe

cannot attain success by acting like a madman. He must swim over theocean very patiently and intelligently under the instructions of ShriChaitanya

Mahaprabhu or His representative. Then, one day, he will reach theshore

and return home, back to Godhead.



Madhya 16.238



markata-vairagya na kara loka dekhana

yatha-yogya visaya bhunja' anasaktahana



"You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become afalse

renunciant. For the time being, enjoy the material world in abefitting

way and do not become attached to it."






The word markata-vairagya, indicating false renunciation, is veryimportant

in this verse. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, incommenting on

this word, points out that monkeys make an external show ofrenunciation

by not accepting clothing and by living naked in the forest. Inthis way

they consider themselves renunciants, but actually they are verybusy

enjoying sense gratification with dozens of female monkeys.Such

renunciation is called markata-vairagya -- the renunciation of amonkey.

One cannot be really renounced until one actually becomes disgustedwith

material activity and sees it as a stumbling block tospiritual

advancement. Renunciation should not be phalgu, temporary, butshould

exist throughout one's life. Temporary renunciation, ormonkey

renunciation, is like the renunciation one feels at a cremationground.

When a man takes a dead body to the crematorium, he sometimesthinks,

"This is the final end of the body. Why am I working so hard dayand

night?" Such sentiments naturally arise in the mind of any man who goesto

a crematorial ghata. However, as soon as he returns from thecremation

grounds, he again engages in material activity for sense enjoyment.This

is called smasana-vairagya, or markata-vairagya.



In order to render service to the Lord, one may accept necessary things.If

one lives in this way, he may actually become renounced. In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.108), it is said:



yavata syat sva-nirvahah svi-kuryat tavad artha-vit

adhikye nyunatayam cacyavate paramarthatah



"The bare necessities of life must be accepted, but one shouldnot

superfluously increase his necessities. Nor should they beunnecessarily

decreased. One should simply accept what is necessary to helpone advance spiritually."



In his Durgama-sangamani, Shri Jiva Gosvami comments that the word

sva-nirvahah actually means sva-sva-bhakti-nirvahah. Theexperienced

devotee will accept only those material things that will help himrender

service to the Lord. In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.256),

markata-vairagya, or phalgu-vairagya, is explained as follows:



prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah

mumuksubhih parityagovairagyam phalgu kathyate



"When persons eager to achieve liberation renounce things related tothe

Supreme Personality of Godhead, thinking them to be material,their

renunciation is called incomplete." Whatever is favorable forthe

rendering of service to the Lord should be accepted and should notbe

rejected as a material thing. Yukta-vairagya, or befittingrenunciation,

is thus explained:



anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah

nirbandhah krishna-sambandheyuktam vairagyam ucyate



"Things should be accepted for the Lord's service and not forone's

personal sense gratification. If one accepts something withoutattachment

and accepts it because it is related to Krishna, one's renunciationis

called yukta-vairagya." Since Krishna is the Absolute Truth, whateveris

accepted for His service is also the Absolute Truth.



The word markata-vairagya is used by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu toindicate

so-called Vaishnavas who dress themselves in loincloths trying toimitate

Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Such people carry a bead bag and chant, but atheart

they are always thinking about getting women and money. Unknown toothers,these markata-vairagis maintain women but externally presentthemselves as renunciants. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very much opposed tothe semarkata-vairagis, or pseudo Vaishnavas.



Madhya 16.239



Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "Within your heart you shouldkeep

yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like anordinary

man. Thus Krishna will soon be very pleased and deliver you fromthe

clutches of maya.



Madhya 16.240



vrndavana dekhi' yabe asiba nilacale

tabe tumi ama-pasa asiha konachale

"You may see me at Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri, when I return aftervisiting

Vrndavana. By that time you can think of some trick to escape.



Madhya 16.241



se chala se-kale krishna sphurabe tomare

krishna-krpa yanre, tare ke rakhitepare"



"What kind of means you will have to use at that time will be revealedby

Krishna. If one has Krishna's mercy, no one can check him."






Although Shrila Raghunatha dasa was very anxious to join ShriChaitanya

Mahaprabhu, the Lord advised him to wait for the mercy of LordKrishna. He

recommended that Raghunatha dasa keep his Krishna consciousnessfirmly fixed in his heart while externally behaving like an ordinary man.This is a

trick for everyone advanced in Krishna consciousness. One can livein

society like an ordinary human being, but at the same time one'sown

business should be to satisfy Krishna and spread His glories. AKrishna

conscious person should not be absorbed in material things, for hisonly

business is the devotional service of the Lord. If one is engaged inthis

way, Krishna will certainly bestow His mercy. As Shri ChaitanyaMahaprabhu

advised Raghunatha dasa, yatha-yogya visaya bhunja' anasakta hana.The

same is repeated, antare nistha kara, bahye loka-vyavahara. Thismeans

that one must have no desire within his heart other than to serveKrishna.

On the basis of such a conviction, one can cultivate Krishnaconsciousness.

This is confirmed in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.200):



laukiki vaidiki vapi ya kriya kriyate mune

hari-sevanukulaiva sa karyabhaktim icchata




A devotee may act as an ordinary human being or as a strict followerof

Vedic injunctions. In either case, everything he does is favorable forthe

advancement of devotional service because he is in Krishnaconsciousness.



Madhya 16.242



eta kahi' mahaprabhu tanre vidaya dila

ghare asi' mahaprabhura siksaacarila

In this way, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bade farewell to Raghunatha dasa,who returned home and did exactly what the Lord told him.



Yoursin service, Swami Gaurangapada.