Prabhupāda: ...Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, why He was not engaged in reading Vedānta-sūtra and why He was indulging in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, that in this age, Kali-yuga, Vedānta-sūtra, to study Vedānta-sūtra and to understand the purport of Vedānta-sūtra, is very difficult. It requires a very good Sanskrit scholarship. Although it is not very difficult to understand if it is taken by the paramparā system, but because people try to understand Vedānta-sūtra by scholastic demeanor, therefore it becomes difficult. It was discussed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. He was a very learned scholar. Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya... [aside, about fan:] Make little curbed. [someone turns fan off]
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You want...? Prabhupāda wants the fan down more, on him.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: To keep the flies off. [fan noise resumes]
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not so much. That's all.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It's touching his body.
Prabhupāda: So the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs everywhere, they are very proud of their Sanskrit education. Sometimes people ask our students, "Whether you have learned Sanskrit?" But Kṛṣṇa consciousness understanding does not depend on Sanskrit scholarship. That is the teaching of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He said to the Māyāvādī sannyāsī Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī that "My Guru Mahārāja studied Me as a great fool." Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, presenting Himself. He was a learned scholar, undoubtedly, very learned scholar. In His youthful age He was known as Nimāi Paṇḍita. This paṇḍita title, especially the brāhmaṇas are given this paṇḍita title. But He was specifically known as Paṇḍita, Nimāi Paṇḍita, very good scholar. And He defeated the Keśava Kashmiri, a great, renowned scholar of Kashmir. The Kashmir country is mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also. It is a very old country. And there were many learned scholars. And one scholar came to Navadvīpa to defeat the paṇḍitas, the learned scholars of Navadvīpa, but he was defeated by a young boy, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Nimāi Paṇḍita was at that time only sixteen years old. But He defeated only in composition, Sanskrit composition. The Sanskrit composition, there is rules and regulation. So you know the story. He pointed out many defects in the verses composed by the Keśava Kashmiri. So he was defeated.
So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was a great scholar. There is no doubt of it. But in spite of His becoming a great scholar, He is presenting Himself as a great fool. He says, "My Guru Mahārāja saw Me a great..." Even one is very great scholar, he has to abide by the decision of his spiritual master. Even one is very great scholar, and if his spiritual master says that "You are a great fool," he should accept it. This is called full surrender. For example, I'll give you a practical... My Guru Mahārāja was very great scholar, and his Guru Mahārāja, from literary point of view, he could not even sign his name, Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. And Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura asked Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura to accept Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja as his..., as his spiritual master, that "You go and take your initiation from Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja." So he thought that "I am a great scholar, and I am son of a magistrate, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, and great Vaiṣṇava. He'll be very much pleased to accept me." Of course, he was very much pleased. But in the beginning he refused. He refused. Because... Of course, that is only show---he was not proud---just to teach us. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī explained that "I was little proud. So I was thrice refused by Guru Mahārāja," although he was the only disciple.
So the scholarship is not a qualification of becoming devotee. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching. Scholarship may help, but it is not necessary. Real necessary is that one should be humble and meek and follow the instruction of the spiritual master. This is real qualification.
tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
[Cc. Ādi 17.31]
Because bhakti does not depend on any material qualification. Bhakti is different subject matter. Aprakṛta. Adhokṣaja. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6].
So that is being taught, that... Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained His position to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī that "My Guru Mahārāja, studying My character, he found Me a great fool. Therefore he advised Me to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra." The idea is that by studying Vedānta-sūtra, by becoming a very great scholar, to achieve transcendental position of devotional service is very, very difficult nowadays. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's gift. But whatever you may be, if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra offenselessly, then everything is achieved, without any difficulty. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, ihā haite sarva-siddhi haibe tomāra [Caitanya-bhāgavata Madhya 23.78]. Sarva-siddhi. Siddhi means perfection. Siddhi means perfection.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised... That is His propaganda. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-māha-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ, sarvātmanaṁ paraṁ vijāyate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's... So His Guru Mahārāja advised Him... He presented Himself like that to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. Presenting Himself as fool means that the general mass of people, they are not fit for becoming very great Sanskrit scholar or very good philosopher or student of Vedānta philo... That is not possible in this age, in Kali-yuga. Mass of people, they are almost śūdra. Śūdra-sambhava. Scholarship, to study Sanskrit, to study Vedas, Purāṇas, they are meant for the brāhmaṇas. Not even for the kṣatriyas, or what to speak of vaiśya. Vaiśya, śūdra and woman, they have been classified in the Bhagavad-gītā as less intelligent. Striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdras te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim [Bg. 9.32]. But Kṛṣṇa is so merciful, if you take the shelter of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, whatever you may be... You may be scholar or not scholar. You may be rich or poor; women, śūdra, vaiśya or pāpa-yoni. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. In Bhāgavata also, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbha yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ ye 'nye ca pāpā [SB 2.4.18]. Pāpā means born in low-grade family. They are called pāpā. Śuddhyanti: they become purified. This is the verdict of the śāstra, that bhagavad-bhakti does not depend on any kind of material qualification. Simply you have to become very sincere and serious. That is the only price.
Rūpa Gosvāmī also recommended like that. Tatra laulyam ekalaṁ mūlyam. Rūpa Gosvāmī advised, kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ krīyatāṁ yadi kuto 'pi labhyate [Padyāvalī 14]. He advises that "Kṛṣṇa consciousness, if it is available, you purchase. You purchase anywhere it is available." That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's advice, that one should be eager to purchase this Kṛṣṇa consciousness at any price. Generally, we think price means some..., in terms of money, monetary transaction, say, hundred pounds or two hundred pounds or millions pounds, billion pounds, like that. The price is different. Here Rūpa Gosvāmī says that "You price..., you purchase at any price." But what is that price? Tatra laulyam ekalaṁ mūlyam. Laulyam, eagerness. That is price. That is the only qualification. You must be very, very eager to see the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa in this very life. You must be very eager to talk with Kṛṣṇa in this very life. But not to become sahajiyā. By service. Kṛṣṇa talks with the devotee, but not with nondevotee. He says in the Bhagavad-gītā, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam [Bg. 10.10]. Only persons who are always engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. He has no other business. Satata. Satata means twenty-four hours. He has no other business. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatām. And the bhajatām. Bhajatām means in service. You must find out always some opportunity how to give..., render service to Kṛṣṇa. That is the qualification. It doesn't matter what you are. You may be this or that. It doesn't matter. But this eagerness for service can be acquired by anyone, simply by sincerity. That is the price.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu... Rūpa Gosvāmī says, tatra laulyam ekalaṁ mūlyam [Cc. Madhya 8.70]. So "That I..., I have got too much eagerness." But no. Immediately Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī warns, na janma-koṭibhiḥ sukṛtibhir labhyate. This eagerness to achieve Kṛṣṇa's mercy, to approach the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa in this life, determination, "I shall do anything. I shall sacrifice anything," this kind of determination is not very easily obtained. Na janma-koṭibhiḥ sukṛtibhiḥ. Sukṛti means pious activities. Without being pious, nobody can approach Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is not so cheap. You may show yourself that you have become a great sannyāsī or Vaiṣṇava or whatever it may be, but so long you'll be engaged in sinful activities, there is no question of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That sinful activities means illicit sex and intoxication, gambling and meat-eating. These are the pillars of sinful activities. So one must be purified. Janma-koṭibhiḥ. These... To purify oneself from the resultant action of sinful activities, it takes many, many births. Janma-koṭibhiḥ sukṛti. By counteracting the sinful activities, to engage oneself only in pious activities. So pious activities means brahmacarya, śamo damo titikṣa, the brahminical qualifications. But it is very difficult nowadays to practice. Tyāgena śamena damena vā, er...
Gurukṛpa: Tapasya... Tapasya brahmacārī...
Prabhupāda: Ah. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa tyāgena śamena damena... [SB 6.1.13]. These are the process of pious activities. But who is going? It is very difficult. Therefore this nāma-saṅkīrtana, if we offenselessly perform nāma-saṅkīrtana, everything is done.
So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu presented Himself as a fool number one before His Guru Mahārāja. He advised that "It will be difficult for You to study Vedānta-sūtra or practice tapasya, brahmacarya, śama, dama, titikṣa, tyāgena, śamena, damena, niyamena, yamena..." It is possible for a human being, but in this Kali-yuga all these functions, to do is difficult. Therefore this process is recommended = vāsudeva-parāyaṇa, bhakti-yogena, nīhāraḥ. Nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ [SB 6.1.15]. Just like the..., there is mist, fog, and as soon as the sun rises there, all fog is immediately disseminated. Otherwise, it requires so much arrangement. Your railway train cannot move. The ships in the sea, they cannot move. It is very difficult position. Similarly, our sinful activities has covered our heart just like a fog. We cannot see anything. But by bhakti-yoga it can be immediately dissipated. So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was thus advised by His spiritual master to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and He got perfection. That was explained by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
So His spiritual master congratulated Him like this, that,
bhāla haila, pāile tumi parama-puruṣārtha
tomāra premete āmi hailāṅ kṛtārtha
[Cc. Ādi 7.91]
When a disciple becomes perfect in spiritual advancement, the spiritual master feels very, very happy, that "I am a nonsense, but this boy, he has followed my instruction and he has achieved the success. That is my success." This is the spiritual master's ambition. Just like a father. This is the relationship. Just like... Nobody wants to see anybody more advanced than himself. That is the nature. Matsarata. If anybody becomes advanced in any subject matter, then I become envious upon him. But the spiritual master or the father, he does not become envious. He feels himself very, very happy, that "This boy has advanced more than me." This is spiritual master's position. So Kṛṣṇa..., Caitanya Mahāprabhu expresses, He [indistinct] that "By..., when I chant and dance and cry in ecstasy, so My spiritual master thanks Me this way = bhāla haila, 'It is very, very good.' " Pāile tumi parama-puruṣārtha: " 'Now You have achieved the highest success in life.' " Tomāra premete: " 'Because You have advanced so much, āmi hailāṅ kṛtārtha, I am feeling so much obliged.' " This is the position.
Then he encourages, nāca, gāo, bhakta-saṅge kara saṅkīrtana [Cc. Ādi 7.92] = "Now go on. You have achieved so much success. Now again You go on." Nāca: "You dance." Gāo: "You sing and chant," bhakta-saṅge, "in the society of devotees." Not to make a profession, but bhakta-saṅge. This is the real platform of achieving success in spiritual life. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura also says that,
tāñdera caraṇa-sevi-bhakta-sane vāsa
janame janame mora ei abhilāṣa
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that "Birth after birth." Because a devotee, he does not aspire after going back to home, back to Godhead. No. Any place, it doesn't matter. He wants to simply glorify the Supreme Lord. That is his business. It is not the business of the bhakta that he is chanting and dancing and executing devotional service for going to Vaikuṇṭha or Goloka Vṛndāvana. That is Kṛṣṇa's desire. "If He likes, He'll take me." Just like Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura also = icchā yadi tora. Janmāobi yadi more icchā yadi tora, bhakta-gṛhete janma ha-u pa mora. The, a devotee only prays that... He does not request Kṛṣṇa that "Please take me back to Vaikuṇṭha or Goloka Vṛndāvana." No. "If You think that I must take birth again, that's all right. But only, only my request is that give me birth in the house of a devotee. That's all. So that I may not forget You." This is the only prayer of the devotee. Because... Just like this child. She has taken birth having Vaiṣṇava father and mother. So she must have been a Vaiṣṇavī or a Vaiṣṇava in her previous life. Because this is an opportunity from the... All our children, those who are born of a Vaiṣṇava father, mother, they are very, very fortunate. From the very beginning of life, they are hearing Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. They are associating with Vaiṣṇava, chanting, dancing. Imitation or fact, it doesn't matter. So they are very, very fortunate children. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭaḥ-sañjāyate [Bg. 6.41]. So they are not ordinary children. They are... These children, they're always hankering after associating with devotees, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, coming to us. So they are not ordinary children. The bhakti-saṅge vāsa. This is the very good opportunity, bhakta-saṅge vāsa.
So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness society is a bhakta-saṅga, is a society of devotees. Never try to go away. Never try to go away. Discrepancies there may be. You should adjust. And this chanting and dancing amongst..., within the society of devotees, has got great advantage, great value. Here it is confirmed---and all the Vaiṣṇavas have confirmed,
tāñdera caraṇa-sevi-bhakta-sane vāsa
janame janame mora ei abhilāṣa
[Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura]
Janame janame mora means he doesn't want to go back. That is not his desire. "When Kṛṣṇa will desire, Kṛṣṇa will allow me. That is different thing. Otherwise, let me go on in this way = life in the society of devotees and chanting and dancing is my business." This is required. Not anything else. Anything else, anything desiring, that is anyābhilāṣa. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. A devotee should not desire anything except this, that "Let me live with the society of devotees and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra." This is our life.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya. All glories to Prabhupāda. [end]