Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.) “Putting a straw in his mouth and bowing down, Sanātana Gosvāmī clasped the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and humbly spoke as follows. Sanātana Gosvāmī said, ‘I was born in a low family, and my associates are all low-class men. I myself am fallen and am the lowest of men. Indeed, I have passed my whole life fallen in the well of sinful materialism.’ “
tabe sanātana prabhura caraṇe dhariyā
dainya vinati kare dante tṛṇa lañā
nīca jāti, nīca-saṅgī, patita adhama
kuviṣaya-kūpe paḍi’ goṅāinu janama
This is Bengali language. (aside:) Children must stop talking. Sanātana Gosvāmī approaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah, the then Pathan government in Bengal. So since he met Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he decided to retire from political life and join this movement. So there is a long history. When he wanted to resign, the Nawab become very angry because Nawab was depending on him for the ruling of the kingdom. He was free, but when Sanātana Gosvāmī proposed to retire, he became very much disturbed. A long history. So anyway, he escaped from the government service, and with great difficulty, he approached Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He was at Vārāṇasi, Benares.
So now, he’s ācārya, Sanātana Gosvāmī, he’s ācārya. Ācāryaṁ vijānīyān, māṁ vijānīyāt. Ācāryopāsanam. This is the recommendation of Vedic knowledge. One should worship the ācārya. So Sanātana Gosvāmī was made ācārya. Haridāsa Ṭhākura was made ācārya. Ācārya means one who knows the meaning of śāstra, personally behaves according to the śāstra and teaches his disciple accordingly. He is called ācārya. So Sanātana Gosvāmī is teaching us by his personal behavior how to approach guru. That he’s teaching. Tabe sanātana prabhura caraṇe dhariyā. To approach guru the first business is surrender. That is everywhere in the Vedic literature. That is the process.
tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
In the Bhagavad-gītā also, Kṛṣṇa says:
tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
First of all guru means tattva-darśī, one who knows the Absolute Truth. He is guru. Absolute Truth is Kṛṣṇa. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. All previous ācāryas, modern ācāryas, they accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In India there are at the present moment… Within one thousand years, all the ācāryas who advented—Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka, even Śaṅkarācārya—all accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So here Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He’s also Kṛṣṇa. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya. He has appeared as devotee. He appeared first of all as the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, and He instructed Bhagavad-gītā to the fallen souls and He asserted His Lordship, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. But puffed-up, so-called learned scholars and men of position, they declined, “Why should I surrender to Kṛṣṇa?” Therefore Kṛṣṇa Himself as devotee of Kṛṣṇa appeared. That is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He’s teaching how to approach Kṛṣṇa. And His disciples, they are also teaching the same philosophy. There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa’s philosophy and Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s philosophy. It is not that we can manufacture some philosophy. That is nonsense. Philosophy is one; religion is one. Everyone has to follow. There is no second alternative. That is the preaching about… Mām ekam, not that “Whatever you like, you can do.” No, that is not. Mām ekam—simply Kṛṣṇa. There are some missionaries. They say that you can manufacture in your…, your own way of worship, and whatever you accept, that is all right. These bogus things are not accepted by the ācāryas. Mām ekam, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. If you want to understand what is Bhagavān, that is Kṛṣṇa. Bhagavān… Religion means to understand Bhagavān. The other day we were consulting dictionary? Religion means the process by which we can understand the supreme controller. There is a supreme controller, as in every department, in every state, every affair, every business, every institution there is a controller. That you have got experience, practical. Without controller, nothing can be properly discharged. Controller is required.
So the śāstra says that controller or ruler is the same, and the Sanskrit synonym is īśvara. Īśvara means controller or ruler. So there are different kinds of controllers according to time, sphere. Just like in your country, the President is the controller. In other country somebody is controller. So there are many hundreds and thousands of planets within this universe, and each and every planet there is a controller. The sun planet, there is a controller. His name is Vivasvān. That we find. Similarly, the moon planet, there is a controller. Every planet, there is controller. And above all of them there is another supreme controller of the universe, the Brahma, and there are many millions of brahmāṇḍas, or universes. So there are controllers. But so far Kṛṣṇa is concerned, He is described in the śāstras, Brahma-saṁhitā, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. There are controllers, but the supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. Īśvaraḥ means controller. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. His form… He has form. Bhagavān means with form. You see the form here, vigrahaḥ. Vigrahaḥ means form. But His form is different from our. He’s sac-cid-ānanda. His form is eternal. Our, this form is not eternal. We have to give it up. We have to accept another form according to our karma. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. But Kṛṣṇa hasn’t got to do that. He is in His original form. He has got many forms, expansions, but His original form is Kṛṣṇa with two hands and flutes.
veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Kṛṣṇa’s symbolic representation is He is always playing on flute. And barhāvataṁsa: with a peacock feather. These are described in the Vedic literature. It is not that we worship Kṛṣṇa as imaginary form of God. No. As the Māyāvādīs, they say that you can imagine any form of God, no, that is not the fact. God has His original form, real form sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. Anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1].
So if we understand, if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, are interested… Because Kṛṣṇa cannot be understood very easily. It is not possible.
kaścid yatayi siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
Kṛṣṇa says, “Out of many millions of persons, one is interested how to become siddha.” Siddha means liberated, one who is not entangled with this material atmosphere. He is called siddha. So out of many millions of people, one may be interested how to become free from this material entanglement. And yatatām api siddhānām [Bg. 7.3], and out of many such siddhas, one may understand Kṛṣṇa. Kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ. So it is not so easy to understand Kṛṣṇa, but when Kṛṣṇa comes personally as a devotee and shows us the ways and means how to approach Kṛṣṇa, then it becomes easier. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So if we follow the methods, the method prescribed by Kṛṣṇa is very easy, but still, because we misunderstand Kṛṣṇa… Therefore, if we go through the mercy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then we can easily understand Kṛṣṇa. That is recognized by Rūpa Gosvāmī, the younger brother of Sanātana Gosvāmī. Two of them were ministers. So Rūpa Gosvāmī has described,
nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
[Cc. Madhya 19.53]
He said, “Caitanya Mahāprabhu, You are Kṛṣṇa. Now, this time, You have appeared as Kṛṣṇa Caitanya in order to give everyone Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa made some condition, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66], but here now, as devotee of Kṛṣṇa, You are distributing Kṛṣṇa without any condition. Therefore mahā-vadānyāya: You are the most munificent incarnation.” So somehow or other, Sanātana Gosvāmī, he became attracted to Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He resigned his ministerial post, and he has come to surrender to Caitanya Mahāprabhu while he was at Benares. Therefore it is said, tabe sanātana prabhura caraṇe dhariyā.
So when we approach guru, our first condition is that we must be humble and surrender. Praṇipāta. Prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa-nipāta. Then sevā, to serve the spiritual master; yasya prasādād, to gain his favor. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **. This is the process. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu… Sanātana Gosvāmī’s teaching how to approach guru, so, very humbly… Dante tṛṇa lañā. In India the system is that to… Symbolic representation of humbleness is to take one piece of grass in the mouth. Then it is to be understood that he is coming very submissively. Now this system is not current, but formerly it was. So Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī also said like that, dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya kṛtvā cāhaṁ kāku-śatam ahaṁ bravīmi. He was a devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and he also taught us how to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness, becoming very humble, humbler… Caitanya Mahāprabhu has also instructed us,
tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
[Cc. Ādi 17.31]
This time, Kali-yuga, is very, very fallen. People are very, very much fallen. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo [SB 1.1.10]. Practically cent percent of the population at the present moment, they’re manda. Manda. Manda means of no value, or very bad, manda, or very slow. There are several meanings of manda. So in this age all the people, they are manda. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo. And because they are generally very bad, everyone has got a process of spiritual realization. First of all they are not interested, manda. Our real value of life, human being, means spiritual understanding. This is… This human life is meant for spiritual understanding. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Absolute Truth. That is the only business. But on account of being manda, we have invented so many other occupational duties. That is… According to… That is a fact, not according to Vaiṣṇava philosophy, but that is a fact. We may improve the standard of living condition. So living condition, that is bodily concept of life. I am sitting in this comfortable siṁhāsana. That’s all. I can sit down also on the floor. It does not make much difference. According to time, circumstances… So life… So we are combination of spirit and matter. This body is matter, and the moving force which is moving this body, that is spirit soul. So we are manda. We are so dull that the highest learned man and the so-called scientist and philosopher, they cannot understand this distinction. They think this body is everything. But that is not the fact. Body is not everything. The moving power of the body is the spirit soul. We are repeatedly trying to convince people this simple truth, but they are so dull-headed they cannot understand. Yes.
So they have been described as animals. The śāstra, they say, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. One who is in this bodily concept… Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ: “In my country, bhauma… I am born in America or I am born in India, so it is my country.” How long you’ll remain America? How long you’ll remain India? They do not know. But they are mad after this conception of life, bodily conception of life. Bhauma ijya-dhīḥ yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicit. People in every community, religious community, there is tīrtha. People want (indistinct) holy place. So they go, they take bath. Just like in India they go to Hardwar or Vṛndāvana or Prayag, take bath in the Ganges or Yamunā. Similarly, Christians, they go to take bath in the river Jordan. So everyone has got. Yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na tad janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ [SB 10.84.13]. This kind of life is go-kharaḥ. Go means cows, and kharaḥ means ass. Without understanding the value of life, na tad-janeṣv abhijñeṣu, without associating with abhijñaḥ, learned spiritual master, if he passes his life with this understanding, then he is no better than the cows and ass. This is the verdict.
So therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī, he is very learned man in that time. Because it was Muhammadan time, he used to learn very nicely Arabic and Parsi, Persian language. Just like during British period we had to learn English, similarly, the state language was somewhere Arabic and somewhere Parsi. Sometimes, they are called mixed—that is called Urdu. So he was learned scholar, and he was also born of very nice brāhmaṇa family, Sanātana Gosvāmī, sārasvata-brāhmaṇa. So born brāhmaṇa family, well-educated, minister, everything, but he presents himself, nīca jāti, nīca-saṅgī, patita adhama, kuviṣaya-kūpe paḍi’ goṅāinu janama! He has understood that the so-called, bodily conception that “I am rich man,” “I am very learned man,” “I am brāhmaṇa” or “I am American,” these are useless understanding. One who understands like that, he is… Sanātana Gosvāmī—he’s a nīca jāti, the bodily conception of life nīca jāti. Nīca jāti, nīca-saṅgī. Why the bodily concept of life? Because the association is bad. At the present moment we do not get any education or good association to understand our real identity. That is the difficulty. Therefore he says, nīca saṅgī, patita adhama. Adhama means lowest of the mankind; patita means fallen. If one does not understand his real interest, he is called fallen.
So what is our real interest? By evolutionary process, after going through so many forms of life, jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ, in this way, eight million forms of life, and we have got this human form of life. So this life especially meant for athāto brahma jijñāsā. Simply to understand our spiritual identity, the Absolute Truth, that is the only business. But we are… We have got the intelligence more than the cats and dogs. They cannot inquire about the spiritual identity, and if we keep ourself in darkness without understanding our spiritual identity, then we are no better than the dogs and cats. Therefore he said, nīca jāti: “I have no information about the soul.” Nīca jāti. Just like dogs. It is a class. So nīca. Of course, in your country dog is very pet. Now we are learning also, India, how to keep a dog and become aristocratic. (laughter) So now there is big, big dog show in New Delhi. But actually in India, although dog was not neglected, in a neighborhood, if there is a dog, people will give him food but not allow to enter into the house. He’ll be not allowed. A dog is also trained up. They’ll come to a door and sit down and move his tail: “Give me some food.” And people will give. But he’s not allowed to enter, the dog or caṇḍālas are not allowed.
So there is distinction, caste distinction, according to the spiritual advancement. The brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, these are higher class or lower class according to the spiritual understanding. But one who is elevated in spiritual understanding, he is brāhmaṇa. Brahmā jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. Brāhmaṇa does not mean simply… Of course, in this age brāhmaṇa means vipratve sūtram eva hi. That is also predicted, that if you get one sūtra, one thread, one paisa-worth, and get it on your body, then you become a brāhmaṇa. No, that is not. Brāhmaṇa is a qualification.
satya śamo damas
titikṣa kṣantir ārjavam
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
So these things are being lost; therefore in the Kali-yuga practically everyone is a śūdra. Patita-adhama, adhama. Narādhamāḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. Because people at the present moment are very, very low grade, nīca jāti, nīca-saṅgī, fallen and narādhamāḥ… The same thing is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ. Those who are narādhamāḥ, lowest of the mankind and very, very sinful, duṣkṛtina, mūḍhāḥ, and rascal, they do not surrender to Kṛṣṇa.
So to surrender to Kṛṣṇa requires little qualification, and that qualification Sanātana Gosvāmī wanted. Therefore he has approached Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We can follow his footsteps. He is also… He is an ācārya, but it is essential, essential. Don’t be assured that you are very highly elevated person. Without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, everyone—this is a challenge—everyone is low born. Everyone is nīca, badly associated, fallen, and the lowest of the mankind because he’s missing the chance of understanding Kṛṣṇa in the human form life, and nobody knows what he’s going to be, next life. So it it a very risky civilization without any understanding of Kṛṣṇa. Be careful. Those who have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, execute the Kṛṣṇa consciousness business very cautiously so that we may not fall down. There is risk of fall down, but if we stick to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet—mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti—then there is no fear.
Thank you very much. (end)