Lord Caitanya on Renunciation, Part 19


Mar 19, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — An exploration of Sri Caitanya's instructions on renunciation.

There are many pastimes in which Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in His lila roles as grihasta and sannyasi, demonstrated the principles of renunciation. In today's edition and in future segments of this series we will begin to explore some of these pastimes, as they are narrated in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and other Vaisnava sastra.

Among the many things to be avoided by one living a renounced life are those objects, persons and situations which encourage sense gratification. By living according to the regulative principles, the devotee avoids things like intoxication and gambling, and carefully arranges for eating and sex life in ways that facilitate Krsna consciousness and avoid animal life.

Brahmacaries and sannyasis are meant to avoid association with women, and Lord Caitanya demonstrated this principle in many pastimes. Of course, the avoidance of women, money, power and prestige are commonly mentioned among things to be rejected by one living the renounced order of life. But Lord Caitanya exhibited many different pastimes along the same lines, for example, by avoiding association with rajas and men of power and wealth; by refusing to accept scented oils, even for medicinal purposes; and by refusing to accept comfortable sleeping arrangements.

In Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 7 we find a description of things such as these that are to be avoided by renunciates:

    Srimad Bhagavatam 7.12.9-12:

      nanvagnih pramada nama
      ghrta-kumbha-samah puman
      sutam api raho jahyad
      anyada yavad-artha-krt

    "Woman is compared to fire, and man is compared to a butter pot. Therefore a man should avoid associating even with his own daughter in a secluded place. Similarly, he should also avoid association with other women. One should associate with women only for important business and not otherwise."

      kalpayitvatmana yavad
      abhasam idam isvarah
      dvaitam tavan na viramet
      tato hy asya viparyayah

    "As long as a living entity is not completely self-realized--as long as he is not independent of the misconception of identifying with his body, which is nothing but a reflection of the original body and senses--he cannot be relieved of the conception of duality, which is epitomized by the duality between man and woman. Thus there is every chance that he will fall down because his intelligence is bewildered."

      etat sarvam grhasthasya
      samamnatam yater api
      guru-vrttir vikalpena

    "All the rules and regulations apply equally to the householder and the sannyasi, the member of the renounced order of life. The grhastha, however, is given permission by the spiritual master to indulge in sex during the period favorable for procreation."

      stry-avalekhamisam madhu
      trajeyur ye brhad-vratah

    "Brahmacaris or grhasthas who have taken the vow of celibacy as described above should not indulge in the following: applying powder or ointment to the eyes, massaging the head with oil, massaging the body with the hands, seeing a woman or painting a woman's picture, eating meat, drinking wine, decorating the body with flower garlands, smearing scented ointment on the body, or decorating the body with ornaments. These they should give up."

The story of Lord Caitanya's unwillingness to accept the scented oil offered to him by Jagadananda Pandita is found in Caitanya-caritamrta Antya lila, 12th Chapter. The Lord refused the oil as an object of mundane happiness, and becomes others might think a sannyasi wearing such stuff had been consorting with women.

Srila Prabhupada also explains in his purport to verse 113 that Lord Caitanya was exhibiting the symptoms of a strict sannyasi by refusing to accept help from anyone for His bodily comforts.

    Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 12.102-123:

    TEXT 102

    sivananda-sena-grhe yana rahila
    'candanadi' taila tahan eka-matra kaila

    "Jagadananda Pandita stayed at Sivananda Sena's house for some time, and they prepared about sixteen seers of scented sandalwood oil.

    TEXT 103

    sugandhi kariya taila gagari bhariya
    nilacale lana aila yatana kariya

    They filled a large earthen pot with the aromatic oil, and with great care Jagadananda Pandita brought it to Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri.

    TEXT 104

    govindera thani taila dhariya rakhila
    "prabhu-ange diha' taila" govinde kahila

    This oil was placed in the care of Govinda, and Jagadananda requested him, "Please rub this oil on the body of the Lord."

    TEXT 105

    tabe prabhu-thani govinda kaila nivedana
    'jagadananda candanadi-taila aniyachena

    Govinda therefore told Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "Jagadananda Pandita has brought some scented sandalwood oil.

    TEXT 106

    tanra iccha,----prabhu alpa mastake lagaya
    pitta-vayu-vyadhi-prakopa santa hana yaya

    "It is his desire that Your Lordship apply a little of this oil on Your head so that blood pressure due to bile and air will be considerably diminished.

    TEXT 107

    eka-kalasa sugandhi taila gaudete kariya
    ihan aniyache bahu yatana kariya"

    "He prepared a large jug of it in Bengal, and with great care he has brought it here."

    TEXT 108

    prabhu kahe,----"sannyasira nahi taile adhikara
    tahate sugandhi taila,----parama dhikkara!

    The Lord replied, "A sannyasi has no use for oil, especially perfumed oil such as this. Take it out immediately."


    According to Raghunandana Bhattacarya, the spokesman for the smarta regulative principles:

    pratah-snane vrate sraddhe
    dvadasyam grahane tatha
    madya-lepa-samam tailam
    tasmat tailam vivarjayet

    "If one who has taken a vow smears oil on his body while bathing in the morning, while observing a ritualistic ceremony like the sraddha ceremony, or on dvadasi day, he may as well pour wine over his body. Therefore, oil should be rejected." This word vrata (vow) is sometimes understood to refer to the sannyasa-vrata. Raghunandana Bhattacarya has also said in his book Tithi-tattva:

    ghrtam ca sarsapam tailam
    yat tailam puspa-vasitam
    adustam pakva-tailam ca
    tailabhyange ca nityasah

    This means that clarified butter (ghee), mustard oil, floral oil and boiled oil may be used only by grhasthas, householders.

    TEXT 109

    jagannathe deha' taila,----dipa yena jvale
    tara parisrama haiba parama-saphale"

    "Deliver this oil to the temple of Jagannatha, where it may be burned in the lamps. In this way, Jagadananda's labor to manufacture the oil will be perfectly successful."

    TEXT 110

    ei katha govinda jagadanandere kahila
    mauna kari' rahila pandita, kichu na kahila

    When Govinda informed Jagadananda Pandita of this message, Jagadananda remained silent, not saying even a word.

    TEXT 111

    dina dasa gele govinda janaila ara-bara
    panditera iccha,----'taila prabhu kare angikara'

    When ten days had passed, Govinda again told Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "It is the desire of Jagadananda Pandita that Your Lordship accept the oil."

    TEXT 112

    suni' prabhu kahe kichu sakrodha vacana
    mardaniya eka rakha karite mardana!

    When the Lord heard this, He angrily said, "Why not keep a masseur to massage Me?

    TEXT 113

    ei sukha lagi' ami karilun sannyasa!
    amara 'sarva-nasa'----toma-sabara 'parihasa'

    "Have I taken sannyasa for such happiness? Accepting this oil would bring My ruination, and all of you would laugh.


    Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared Himself a strict sannyasi. A sannyasi is not supposed to take help from anyone. Retaining a masseur to give Him massages would indicate His dependence on others. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to follow very strictly the principle of not accepting anyone's help for His bodily comfort.

    TEXT 114

    pathe yaite taila-gandha mora yei pabe
    'dari sannyasi' kari' amare kahibe

    "If someone passing on the road smelled this oil on My head, he would think Me a dari sannyasi, a tantric sannyasi who keeps women."

    TEXT 115

    suni prabhura vakya govinda mauna karila
    pratah-kale jagadananda prabhu-sthane aila

    Hearing these words of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Govinda remained silent. The next morning, Jagadananda went to see the Lord.

    TEXT 116

    prabhu kahe,----"pandita, taila anila gauda ha-ite
    ami ta' sannyasi,----taila na pari la-ite

    Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said to Jagadananda Pandita, "My dear Pandita, you have brought Me some oil from Bengal, but since I am in the renounced order, I cannot accept it.

    TEXT 117

    jagannathe deha' lana dipa yena jvale
    tomara sakala srama ha-ibe saphale"

    "Deliver the oil to the temple of Jagannatha so that it may be burned in the lamps. Thus your labor in preparing the oil will be fruitful."

    TEXT 118

    pandita kahe,----'ke tomare kahe mithya vani
    ami gauda haite taila kabhu nahi ani'

    Jagadananda Pandita replied, "Who tells You all these false stories? I never brought any oil from Bengal."

    TEXT 119

    eta bali' ghara haite taila-kalasa lana
    prabhura age anginate phelila bhangiya

    After saying this, Jagadananda Pandita took the jug of oil from the room and threw it down before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the courtyard and broke it.

    TEXT 120

    taila bhangi' sei pathe nija-ghara giya
    suiya rahila ghare kapata khiliya

    After breaking the jug, Jagadananda Pandita returned to his residence, bolted the door and lay down.

    TEXT 121

    trtiya divase prabhu tanra dvare yana
    'uthaha' pandita'----kari' kahena dakiya

    Three days later, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to the door of his room and said, "My dear Jagadananda Pandita, please get up.

    TEXT 122

    'aji bhiksa diba amaya kariya randhane
    madhyahne asiba, ebe yai darasane'

    "I want you personally to cook My lunch today. I am going now to see the Lord in the temple. I shall return at noon."

    TEXT 123

    eta bali' prabhu gela, pandita uthila
    snana kari' nana vyanjana randhana karila

    After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said this and left, Jagadananda Pandita got up from his bed, bathed, and began to cook varieties of vegetables."

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust


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