Sriman Mahaprabhu’s reasons for taking sannyas.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

“Mahaprabhu is none other than Krishna Himself. When we hear the jingling of an anklet, we feel that Krishna Himself is going away, and Nabadwip is being swallowed by a deep darkness. My friend, what are you doing? Let us go on and try to bring Him back here. The jewel of Nabadwip is going away.”

This is the feeling on this day. In the early morning at three o’clock, Gauranga swam across the river and ran towards Katwa.

Hare Krishna.

Not caring at all for the cold during this winter season He went. There was so much heat within His body and mind. He was heated on one side by viraha, feeling separation from Krishna, and on the other side by the duty of preaching to the world about Krishna. The call of that duty actuated Him to get out of Nabadwip and go to stand before the public and distribute love for Lord Krishna throughout the length and breadth of the world.

These calls—His duty to the public and His affection for Krishna—heated Him, and He ran, not caring about anything. In separation, separation from Krishna, vipralambha, viraha, all else was tasteless. There was only the call of Krishna.

Hare Krishna.

So much heat is created for the cause of a nation. So many atomic bombs and so many soldiers are ready to be deployed in the interest of a nation. How little is this mortal prosperity! What does it mean? It is trifling. Nothing. And eternal wealth, eternal good for eternity, what sort of energy should we collect for that? In that there is so much good for all, such a high degree of welfare to be distributed to all: people can get back their own home; the misguided people can be taken towards their sweet, sweet home. That sort of call came into His mind: all these vagabonds should be taken to their own home and guardian. This sort of duty arose in His mind: they all should be taken to their home.

They are wandering like so many beasts in the jungle without knowing what is good and what is bad. They are always competing to bite one another. They say they are civilised. Jungle animals bite one another and try to live at the cost of their fellow members in the jungle. Humans are more efficiently following the same programme: as a nation they want to thrive at the cost of another nation. What is this? A civilised jungle.

What is civilisation, then? Civilisation loses its meaning. Civil mean gentle. Is this gentleness? They are proudly doing in a body what is shameful to do individually. If jungle habits can be performed in the form of a nation then they are justified? If they are done in the name of nation then everything is purified? In a fool’s dictionary!

Half-truth is more dangerous than falsehood. Half-help, misguided help, is more dangerous than no help. It directs one’s attention towards the wrong thing.

vedasraya nastikya-vada bauddhake adhika
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 6.168)

“Preaching atheism in the name of religion is more dangerous than ordinary, straight atheism.”

In the name of civilisation we are doing what is shameful for animals in the jungle. To say that modern civilisation is helping people is a half-truth. Food, clothing, and so-called education is being given to the public. Is that a very good thing? No! Nothing less than taking people home is sufficient. That is what is truly necessary. There is an expression ‘home comfort’. Home means a very sweet place where the mother and father know the real necessity of the child. A child may not know its own needs, but at its home its real interest is known. There the father, mother, and so many affectionate relatives know better than the boy what his best interest is. Home means an atmosphere that guides and helps us even without our awareness. Back to God, back to home. Mahaprabhu took up the duty of collecting all of us, all the wanderers in the streets, and bringing us home.

Question: Maharaj, sometimes in preaching we find it very difficult because people don’t want to go back home. How does a devotee keep trying?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: By hook or by crook. By any means. It depends upon the capacity of the guide. By any means people must be taken home. A father knows what home comfort is for his child, though his child may not. A child may be crazy; he may run this way and that way; he may not run towards home. That is the rub. That is what makes the case complex. Otherwise it would be very simple. So, any how, one must manage. That is the responsibility of the guide, and according to the guide’s capacity, the real effect takes place.

A guide may have some special capacity and also inspiration is sent by the Lord. These two combine to create the special character of an Acharya.

Rank is but the guinea stamp,
Man is the gold for that.
(Robert Burns: Is There for Honest Poverty)

Many men may be administrators, magistrates, or judges. Rank is one thing, and the man is another. A man’s inner capacity, and also the delegation of the Lord: the desired effect happens when these combine. The personal characteristics of a preacher and the Lord’s delegated power combine. The amount of power dedicated to a preacher combined with his characteristics produces the desired result.


Spoken on 15 January 1984.