II Acceptance of Sannyasa

>> “Srila Prabhupada Quotes” > Acceptance of sannyasa

 1. Only after purification
2. Only if master of the senses
3. 0nly if sex desire is controlled
4. Only offered to brahmanas
5. Only from another sannyasi
6. From any background or part of the world
7. One may directly proceed to the sannyasa asrama
8. Accepted despite all difficulties
9. Accepted in vaisnava sampradaya
10. Persons who accept value of sannyasa are rare
11. Lord Caitanya’s acceptance of sannyasa
12. Lord Caitanya’s instructions on sannyasa
13. Lord rishabadeva’s instructions on sannyasa
14. Lord nityananda never accepted sannyasa
15. Accepted to transcend material activities
16. Accepted to be an eternal servant of guru and Krsna
17. Who returns to material activities is called vantasi
18. Difficulty in maintaining sannyasa for young men
19. Acceptance as external affair
20. Acceptance not essential
21. A woman does not take sannyasa

1. ONLY AFTER PURIFICATION (top)

SANNYASA WITHOUT PURIFICATION OF THE HEART IS A DISTURBANCE TO THE SOCIAL ORDER

na karmanam anarambhan
naiskarmyam puruso ‘snute
na ca sannyasanad eva
siddhim samadhigacchati

TRANSLATION: Not by merely abstaining from work can one achieve freedom from reaction, nor by renunciation alone can one attain perfection.
PURPORT: The renounced order of life can be accepted upon being purified by the discharge of the prescribed form of duties which are laid down just to purify the heart of materialistic men. Without purification, one cannot attain success by abruptly adopting the fourth order of life (sannyasa). According to the empirical philosophers, simply by adopting sannyasa, or retiring from fruitive activities, one at once becomes as good as Narayana. But Lord Krsna does not approve this principle. Without purification of heart, sannyasa is simply a disturbance to the social order. On the other hand, if someone takes to the transcendental service of the Lord, even without discharging his prescribed duties, whatever he may be able to advance in the cause is accepted by the Lord (buddhi-yoga). Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. Even a slight performance of such a principle enables one to overcome great difficulties.
(B.g. 3.4 )

DHIRAS ARE TRAINED TO ABSTAIN FROM MATERIAL PLEASURE, AND ONLY THEY CAN ACCEPT THE ORDER OF SANNYASA

Those who have been trained for abstinence in material pleasures are called dhira, or men undisturbed by the senses. Only these dhiras can accept the order of sannyasa, and they can gradually rise to the status of the paramahamsa, which is adored by all members of society.
(Bhag. 1.3.13, purp.)

ONE MAY BECOME A SANNYASI BY STRICTLY FOLLOWING THE VEDIC
INSTRUCTIONS

TRANSLATION: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then recited the following verse: “My dear Lord, one who always keeps Your holy name on his tongue becomes greater than an initiated brahmana. Although he may be born in a family of dog-eaters and therefore by material calculation may be the lowest among men, he is still glorious. This is the wonderful effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord. It is therefore concluded that one who chants the holy name of the Lord should be understood to have performed all kinds of austerities and great sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas. He has already taken his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. He has studied all the Vedas, and he is actually an Aryan.'”
PURPORT: The word Aryan means advanced. Unless one is spiritually advanced, he cannot be called an Aryan, and this is the difference between Aryan and non- Aryan. Non-Aryans are those who are not spiritually advanced. By following the Vedic culture, by performing great sacrifices and by becoming a strict follower of the Vedic instructions, one may become a brahmana, a sannyasi or an Aryan. It is not possible to become a brahmana, sannyasi or Aryan without being properly qualified. Bhagavata-dharma never allows one to become a cheap brahmana, sannyasi or Aryan. The qualities or qualifications described herein are quoted from Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.33.7 ) and were spoken by Devahuti, the mother of Kapiladeva, when she understood the influence of devotional service (bhakti- yoga). In this way Devahuti praised the devotee, pointing out his greatness in all respects.
(Cc. Madhya 11.192 )

THOSE WHO ACCEPT SANNYASA PREMATURELY MAY FALL DOWN DUE TO UNSATISFIED MATERIAL DESIRES

Maharaja Yadu was very eager to engage himself in the Lord’s service, but there was an impediment: during youth the material desire to enjoy the material senses is certainly present, and unless one fully satisfies these lusty desires in youth, there is a chance of one’s being disturbed in rendering service to the Lord. We have actually seen that many sannyasis who accept sannyasa prematurely, not having satisfied their material desires, fall down because they are disturbed. Therefore the general process is to go through grhastha life and vanaprastha life and finally come to sannyasa and devote oneself completely to the service of the Lord.
(Bhag. 9.18.40 , purp.)

ONE MAY TAKE SANNYASA WHEN DETACHMENT IS COMPLETE

A student’s education, therefore, should begin with brahmacarya, which means freedom from sexual attachment. If he can, he should try to avoid all this nonsense. If not, he can marry and then after some time enter vanaprastha, retired life. At that time one thinks, “Now that I have enjoyed this attachment so much, let me leave home.” Then the man travels all over to various places of pilgrimage to become detached, and the wife goes with him as an assistant. After two or three months he again comes home to see that his children are doing nicely and then again goes away. This is the beginning of detachment. When the detachment is complete, the man tells his wife, “Now go live with your children, and I shall take sannyasa, the renounced order of life.” This is final detachment. The whole Vedic way of life is meant for detachment, and therefore Kunti prays, “Kindly help detach me from this family attraction. This is Kuntidevi’s instruction.
(T.Q.K., page 185 )

ONE SHOULD NOT WHIMSICALLY ACCEPT THE SANNYASA ORDER

A sannyasi’s title is svami or gosvami, which means that he completely refrains from sense enjoyment. One should not accept the sannyasa order whimsically; he must be fully confident that he can restrain his desires for sense gratification.
(Bhag. 4.27.7 , purp.)

AS LONG AS ONE IS NOT CONVINCED THAT THE LIVING ENTITY IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE HE SHOULD NOT TRY TO BECOME A SANNYASI

TRANSLATION: While Sri Vyasadeva was following his son, beautiful young damsels who were bathing naked covered their bodies with cloth, although Sri Vyasadeva himself was not naked. But they had not done so when his son had passed. The sage inquired about this, and the young ladies replied that his son was purified and when looking at them made no distinction between male and female. But the sage made such distinctions.
PURPORT: In the Bhagavad-gita (5.18 ) it is said that a learned sage looks equally on a learned and gentle brahmana, a candala (dog-eater), a dog or a cow due to his spiritual vision. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami attained that stage. Thus he did not see a male or female; he saw all living entities in different dress. The ladies who were bathing could understand the mind of a man simply by studying his demeanor, just as by looking at a child one can understand how innocent he is. Sukadeva Gosvami was a young boy sixteen years old, and therefore all the parts of his body were developed. He was naked also, and so were the ladies. But because Sukadeva Gosvami was transcendental to sex relations, he appeared very innocent. The ladies, by their special qualifications, could sense this at once, and therefore they were not very concerned about him. But when his father passed, the ladies quickly dressed. The ladies were exactly like his children or grandchildren, yet they reacted to the presence of Vyasadeva according to the social custom because Srila Vyasadeva played the part of a householder. A householder has to distinguish between a male and female, otherwise he cannot be a householder. One should therefore, attempt to know the distinction between spirit soul without any attachment for male and female. As long as such distinction is there, one should not try to become a sannyasi like Sukadeva Gosvami. At least theoretically one must be convinced that a living entity is neither male nor female. The outward dress is made of matter by material nature to attract the opposite sex and thus keep one entangled in material existence. A liberated soul is above this perverted distinction. He does not distinguish between one living being and another. For him they are all one and the same spirit. The perfection of this spiritual vision is the liberated stage, and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami attained that stage. Srila Vyasadeva was also in the transcendental stage, but because he was in the householder’s life, he did not pretend to be a liberated soul, as a matter of custom.
(Bhag. 1.4.5)

A SANNYASI WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE SHOULD HEAR FROM SPIRITUAL MASTER

If he is actually advanced and so ordered by his spiritual master, he should preach Krsna consciousness with logic and understanding, and if he is not so advanced he should not accept the renounced order of life. But even if he has accepted the renounced order of life without sufficient knowledge, he should engage himself fully in hearing from a bona-fide spiritual master to cultivate knowledge. A sannyasi or one in the renounced order of life must be situated in fearlessness, sattva-samsuddhih (purity) and jnana-yoga (knowledge.)
(B.g. 16.1-3, purp. )

2. ONLY IF MASTER OF THE SENSES (top)

ONE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT SANNYASA UNLESS HE IS MASTER OF HIS SENSES

One who perfectly engages in devotional service is therefore called gosvami or svami, master of the senses. Unless one is master of the senses, he should not accept the renounced order of life, sannyasa.
(Bhag. 7.6.9, purp.)

SANNYASA IS ACCEPTED AFTER TRAINING IN SENSE CONTROL, KNOWLEDGE AND RENUNCIATION IN THE VARNASRAMA SYSTEM

The Vedic system of four varnas and four asramas is very scientific, and its entire purpose is to enable one to control the senses. Before entering household life, (grhasta asrama), a student is fully trained to become jitendriya, a conqueror of the senses. Such a mature student is allowed to become a householder, and because he was first trained in conquering the senses, he retires from household life and becomes vanaprastha as soon as the strong waves of youthful life are past and he reaches the verge of old age at fifty years or slightly more. Then, after being further trained, he accepts sannyasa. He is then a fully learned and renounced person who can move anywhere and everywhere without fear of being captivated by material desires. The senses are considered very powerful enemies, so a householder in grhasta-asrama, household life, can conquer the lusty desires of youth and be very secure when he takes vanaprastha and sannyasa. (Bhag. 5.1.1 8 purp.)

3. ONLY IF SEX DESIRE IS CONTROLLED (top)

BEFORE ACCEPTING THE RENOUNCED ORDER ONE MUST BE ABLE TO CONTROL GROSS SEX DESIRE

One who has the sex desire still with him should not at all try to accept the renounced order of life. For one who has not attained to this stage, there is no question of a renounced order of life. So by the gradual process of devotional service under the guidance of a proper spiritual master, and following the principles of the Bhagavatam, one must be able at least to control the gross sex desire before one accepts the renounced order of life factually.
(Bhag. 2.2.12 , purp)

ONE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THE RENOUNCED ORDER LIKE A MONKEY, TO GET PRAISE FROM OTHERS AND CHEAP ADORATION FROM HIS FOLLOWERS

TRANSLATION: “There are many persons with little in their possession who accept the renounced order of life like monkeys. They go here and there engaging in sense gratification and speaking intimately with women.”
PURPORT: One should strictly follow the regulative principles, namely no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication and no gambling, and in this way one would make progress in spiritual life. If an unfit person sentimentally accepts vairagya or takes sannyasa but at the same time remains attached to women, he is in a very dangerous position. His renunciation is called markata-vairagya, or renunciation like that of a monkey. The monkey lives in the forest, eats fruit and does not even cover itself with a cloth. In this way it resembles a saint, but the monkey always thinks of female monkeys and sometimes keeps dozens of them for sexual intercourse. This is called markata-vairagya. Therefore one who is unfit should not accept the renounced order of life. One who accepts the order of sannyasa but again becomes agitated by sensual disturbances and talks privately with women is called dharma-dhvaji or dharma-kalanka, which means that he brings condemnation uponthe religious order. Therefore one should be extremely careful in this connection. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains the word markata to mean “restless.” A restless person cannot be steady; therefore he simply wanders about, gratifying his senses. Just to get praise from others, to get cheap adoration from his followers or people in general, such a person sometimes accepts the dress of a sannyasi or babaji in the renounced order, but he cannot give up desires for sense gratification, especially for the association of women. Such a person cannot make advancement in spiritual life. There are eight different kinds of sensual enjoyment with women, including talking about them and thinking about them. Thus for a sannyasi, a person in the renounced order, talking intimately with women is a great offense. Sri Ramananda Raya and Srila Narottama dasa Thakura actually achieved the most elevated stage of the renounced order, but those who imitate them, accepting them as ordinary human beings, fall under the influence of the material energy, for that is a great misunderstanding.
(Cc. Antya 2.120 )

4. ONLY OFFERED TO BRAHMANAS (top)

ONLY A BRAHMANA CAN BE OFFERED SANNYASA

According to Vedic injunctions, only a brahmana may be offered sannyasa. The Sankara-sampradaya (ekadanda-sannyasa- sampradaya) awards the sannyasa order only to caste brahmanas, or born brahmanas, but in the Vaisnava system even one not born in a brahmana family may be made a brahmana according to the direction of the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (tatha diksa-vidhanena dvijatvam jayate nrnam).
(Cc. Adi 17.266 )

SANNYASA CAN BE OFFERED ONLY TO THE BRAHMANAS

The brahmana, one who is qualified as a brahmana, he has to observe the four asramas, brahmana: the brahmacari asrama, the grhastha asrama, the vanaprastha asrama and sannyasa asrama. The ksatriya, they’ll have to observe three asramas: brahmacari, grhastha and vanaprastha. And the vaisyas, two asramas: brahmacari and grhastha. And sudra, only one asrama, only grhastha. A sudra is never offered sannyasa. … only the brahmana is offered. So in Sankara- sampradaya, strictly, unless one is born in brahmana family, he’s not offered sannyasa. He’s not given sannyasa. So far we are concerned, we also offer sannyasa to the brahmana, not to the sudras. But according to quality we create brahmana, not that we are offering sannyasa to the sudras, no. The principle is: sannyasa can be offered only to the brahmanas.
(LECTURE Bhag. 1.18.41, Oct. 21, 1974, Sri Mayapura)

ALL THE SANNYASIS OF THE HARE KRISHNA MOVEMENT ARE REGULAR BRAHMANA-SANNYASIS

Any person from any part of the world may be made a brahmana by the regular process of initiation, and when he follows brahminical behavior, observing the principle of abstaining from intoxication, illicit sex, meat-eating and gambling, he may be offered sannyasa. All the sannyasis in the Krsna consciousness movement, who are preaching all over the world, are regular brahmana-sannyasis.
(Cc. Adi 17.266 )

SANNYASA IS OFFERED ONLY TO ONE WHO IS QUALIFIED IN TERMS OF THE PRESCRIBED BRAHMINICAL PRINCIPLES

According to Mayavadi sannyasis, only one who takes sannyasa in the disciplic succession from Sankaracarya is a Vedic sannyasi. Sometimes it is challenged that the sannyasis who are preaching in the Krsna consciousness movement are not genuine because they do not belong to brahmana families, for Mayavadis do not offer sannyasa to one who does not belong to a brahmana family by birth. Unfortunately, however, they do not know that at present everyone is born a sudra (kalau sudra sambhava). It is to be understood that there are no brahmanas in this age because those who claim to be brahmanas simply on the basis of birthright do not have the brahminical qualifications. However, even if one is born in a non- brahmana family, if he has the brahminical qualifications he should be accepted as a brahmana, as confirmed by Srila Narada Muni and the great saint Sridhara Svami. This is also stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Both Narada and Sridhara Svami completely agree that one cannot be a brahmana by birthright but must possess the qualities of a brahmana. Thus in our Krsna consciousness movement we never offer the sannyasa order to a person whom we do not find to be qualified in terms of the prescribed brahminical principles. Although it is a fact that unless one is a brahmana he cannot become a sannyasi, it is not a valid principle that an unqualified man who is born in a brahmana family is a brahmana whereas a brahminically qualified person born in a non-brahmana family cannot be accepted. The Krsna consciousness movement strictly follows the injunctions of Srimad- Bhagavatam, avoiding misleading heresy and manufactured conclusions.
(Cc. Adi 7.67 )

5. ONLY FROM ANOTHER SANNYASI (top)

THE SANNYASA ORDER IS TO BE ACCEPTED FROM ANOTHER SANNYASI

When Kesava Bharati came to His house, the Lord asked him to award Him the sannyasa order of life. This was a matter of formality. The sannyasa order is to be accepted from another sannyasi. Although the Lord was independent in all respects, still, to keep up the formalities of the sastras, He accepted the sannyasa order from Kesava Bharati, although Kesava Bharati was not in the vaisnava sampradaya.
(Bhag. Intro, page 15)

6. FROM ANY BACKGROUND OR PART OF THE WORLD (top)

SANNYASIS WHO ARE FOLLOWERS OF SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU CAN COME FROM ANY BACKGROUND AND PART OF THE WORLD

TRANSLATION: In distributing love of Godhead, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates did not consider who was a fit candidate and who was not, nor where such distribution should or should not take place. They made no conditions. Wherever they got the opportunity the members of the Panca-tattva distributed love of Godhead.
PURPORT: There are some rascals who dare to speak against the mission of Lord Caitanya by criticizing the Krsna consciousness movement for accepting Europeans and Americans as brahmanas and offering them sannyasa. But here is an authoritative statement that in distributing love of Godhead one should not consider whether the recipients are Europeans, Americans, Hindus, Muslims, etc. The Krsna consciousness movement should be spread wherever possible, and one should accept those who thus become Vaisnavas as being greater than brahmanas, Hindus or Indians. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu desired that His name be spread in each and every town and village on the surface of the globe. Therefore, when the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is spread all over the world, should those who embrace it not be accepted as Vaisnavas, brahmanas and sannyasis? These foolish arguments are sometimes raised by envious rascals, but Krsna conscious devotees do not care about them. We strictly follow the principles set down by the Panca- tattva.
(Cc. Adi 7.23 )

THE SANNYASIS OF THE HARE KRISHNA MOVEMENT ARE BONA-FIDE

The sannyasis of the Krsna consciousness movement are bona fide. All thestudents of the Krsna consciousness movement have undergone the regular process of initiation. As enjoined in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa by Sanatana Gosvami, tatha diksa-vidhanena dvijatvam jayate nrnam: by the regular process of initiation, any man can become a brahmana. Thus in the beginning the students of our Krsna consciousness movement agree to live with devotees, and gradually, having given up four prohibited activities–illicit sex, gambling, meat-eating and intoxication– they become advanced in the activities of spiritual life. When one is found to be regularly following these principles, he is given the first initiation (hari-nama), and he regularly chants at least sixteen rounds a day. Then after six months or a year, he is initiated for the second time and given the sacred thread with the regular sacrifice and rituals. After some time, when he advances still further and is willing to give up this material world, he is given the sannyasa order. At that time he receives the title svami or gosvami, both of which mean “master of the senses.”
(Cc. Adi 17.265 )

EUROPEANS AND AMERICANS CAN BE GIVEN SANNYASA TRANSLATION:
The Krsna consciousness movement will inundate the entire world and drown everyone, whether one be a gentleman, a rogue or even lame, invalid or blind. PURPORT: Here again it may be emphasized that although jealous rascals protest that Europeans and Americans cannot be given the sacred thread or sannyasa, there is no need even to consider whether one is a gentleman or a rogue because this is a spiritual movement which is not concerned with the external body of skin and bones. Because it is being properly conducted under the guidance of the Panca-tattva, strictly following the regulative principles, it has nothing to do with external impediments.
(Cc. Adi 7.26 )

EUROPEAN AND AMERICANS CAN BE ACCEPTED AS BRAHMANAS AND SANNYASIS

TRANSLATION: The more the five members of the Panca-tattva cause the rains of love of Godhead to fall, the more the inundation increases and spreads all over the world.
PURPORT: The Krsna consciousness movement is not stereotyped or stagnant. It will spread all over the world in spite of all objections by fools and rascals that European and American mlecchas cannot be accepted as brahmanas and sannyasis. Here it is indicated that this process will spread and inundate the entire world with Krsna consciousness.
(Cc. Adi 7.28 )

PEOPLE FROM ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD SHOULD BE TRAINED TO PREACH AND GIVEN SANNYASA WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION

TRANSLATION: Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates of the Panca- tattva distributed the holy name of the Lord to invoke love of Godhead throughout the universe, and thus the entire universe was thankful.
PURPORT: Here it is said that Lord Caitanya made the entire universe thankful to Him for propagating the sankirtana movement with His associates. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has already sanctified the entire universe by His presence 50 0 years ago, and therefore anyone who attempts to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sincerely by following in His footsteps and following the instructions of the acaryas will successfully be able to preach the holy names of the Hare Krsna maha- mantra all over the universe. There are some foolish critics who say that Europeans and Americans cannot be offered sannyasa, but here we find that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to preach the sankirtana movement all over the universe. For preaching work, sannyasis are essential. These critics think that only Indians or Hindus should be offered sannyasa to preach, but their knowledge is practically nil. Without sannyasis, the preaching work will be impeded. Therefore, under the instruction of Lord Caitanya and with the blessings of His associates, there should be no discrimination in this matter, but people in all parts of the world should be trained to preach and given sannyasa so that the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana movement will expand boundlessly. We do not care about the criticism of fools. We shall go on with our work and simply depend on the blessings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates, the Panca-tattva.
(Cc. Adi 7.163 )

7. ONE MAY DIRECTLY PROCEED TO THE SANNYASA ASRAMA (top)

BECAUSE THE ULTIMATE AIM IS TO UNDERSTAND THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH, ONE MAY DIRECTLY PROCEED FROM THE BRAHMACARI ASRAMA TO THE SANNYASA ASRAMA

Another point to be observed from this verse is that from the brahmacari-asrama one may accept the sannyasa-asrama, vanaprastha-asrama or grhastha-asrama. It is not compulsory for a brahmacari to become a grhastha. Because the ultimate aim is to understand the Absolute Truth, there is no necessity of going through all the different asramas. Thus one may proceed to the sannyasa-asrama directly from the brahmacari-asrama. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura accepted the sannyasa-asrama directly from the brahmacari-asrama. In other words, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura did not think it compulsory to accept the grhastha-asrama or vanaprastha-asrama.
(Bhag. 7.12.13-14 , purp.)

8. ACCEPTED DESPITE ALL DIFFICULTIES (top)

SANNYASA COMPLETES PATH TO SPIRITUAL REALIZATION AND IS ACCEPTED DESPITE ALL DIFFICULTIES

In the varnasrama institution, the fourth stage of life, namely the renounced order (sannyasa), is a painstaking situation. But one who is serious about making his life perfect surely adopts the sannyasa order of life in spite of all difficulties. The difficulties usually arise from having to sever family relationships, to give up the connection of wife and children. But if anyone is able to tolerate such difficulties, surely his path to spiritual realization is complete. Similarly, in Arjuna’s discharge of duties as a ksatriya, he is advised to persevere, even if it is difficult to fight with his family members or similarly beloved persons. Lord Caitanya took sannyasa at the age of twenty-four, and His dependents, young wife as well as old mother, had no one else to look after them. Yet for a higher cause He took sannyasa and was steady in the discharge of higher duties. That is the way of achieving liberation from material bondage.
(B.g. 2.15 , purp.)

SANNYASA IS FOR CUTTING OF F CONNECTIONS WITH FAMILY CASTE AND CREED

He then resolved to be a citizen of the world by cutting off his connection with his particular family, caste and creed, and with this resolution he embraced the position of sannyasi at Katwa, under the guidance of Kesava Bharati of that town, on the 24th year of his age. His mother and wife wept bitterly for his separation, but our hero, though soft in heart, was a strong person in principle. He left his little world in his house for the unlimited spiritual world of Krsna with man in general.
(TLC Prologue, page xvii [Bhaktivinoda])

9. ACCEPTED IN VAISNAVA SAMPRADAYA (top)

SANNYASA IS ALSO SANCTIONED IN VAISNAVA SAMPRADAYA

Some so called Vaisnavas say that the renounced order of life is not accepted in the Vaisnava sampradaya, or disciplic succession from Lord Caitanya. This is not a very intelligent proposition. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took the sannyasa order from Sripada Kesava Bharati, who belonged to the Sankara sect, which approves of only ten names for sannyasis. Long before the advent of Sripada Sankaracarya, however, the sannyasa order existed in the Vaisnava line of Visnusvami. In the Visnusvami Vaisnava sampradaya, there are ten different kinds of sannyasa names and 108 different names for sannyasis who accept the tri-danda, the triple staff of sannyasa. This is approved by the Vedic rules. Therefore Vaisnava sannyasa was existent even before the appearance of Sankaracarya, although those who know nothing about Vaisnava sannyasa unnecessarily declare that there is no sannyasa in the Vaisnava sampradaya. During the time of Lord Caitanya, the influence of Sankaracarya in society was very strong. People thought that one could accept sannyasa only in the disciplic succession of Sankaracarya. Lord Caitanya could have performed His missionary activities as a householder, but He found householder life an obstruction to His mission. Therefore He decided to accept the renounced order, sannyasa. Since His acceptance of sannyasa was also designed to attract public attention, Lord Caitanya, not wishing to disturb the social convention, took the renounced order of life from a sannyasi in the disciplic succession of Sankaracarya, although sannyasa was also sanctioned in the Vaisnava sampradaya.
(Cc. Adi 3.34 , purp.)

10. PERSONS WHO ACCEPT VALUE OF SANNYASA ARE RARE (top)

A PERSON WHO ACCEPTS THE VALUE OF THE RENOUNCED ORDER OF LIFE IS VERY RARE

TRANSLATION: O best of the brahmanas, Sukadeva Gosvami, out of many persons who follow religious principles, only a few desire liberation from the material world. Among many thousands who desire liberation, one may actually achieve liberation, giving up material attachment to society, friendship, love, country, home, wife and children. And among many thousands of such liberated persons, one who can understand the true meaning of liberation is very rare.
PURPORT: Among many such persons who aspire for liberation, one may actually be liberated during his life. Such a person gives up his attachment for society, friendship, love, country, family, wife and children. Among many such persons, who are in the vanaprastha stage, one may understand the value of becoming a sannyasi, completely accepting the renounced order of life.
(Bhag. 6.14.4 )

muktanam api siddhanam
narayana-parayanah
sudurlabhah-prasanatma
kotisv api maha-mune

TRANSLATION: O great sage, among many million who are liberated and perfect
in knowledge of liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Narayana, or Krsna. Such devotees, who are fully powerful, are extremely rare.
PURPORT: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur gives the following purport to this verse. Simply desiring mukti, or liberation, is insufficient: one must become factually liberated. When one understands the futility of the materialistic way of life, one becomes advanced in knowledge, and therefore he situates himself in the vanaprastha order, unattached to family, wife and children. One should then further progress to the platform of sannyasa, the actual renounced order, never to fall again and be afflicted by materialistic life. Even though one desires to be liberated, this does not mean he is liberated. Only rarely is someone liberated. Indeed, although many men take sannyasa to become liberated, because of their imperfections they again become attached to women, material activities social welfare work and so on.
(Bhag. 6.14.5 )

11. LORD CAITANYA’S ACCEPTANCE OF SANNYASA (top)

LORD CAITANYA ACCEPTED SANNYASA FROM SRI KESAVA BHARATI

The Sarasvati, Bharati and Puri sampradayas belong to the Srngeri Matha in
South India, and Sri Kesava Bharati, who at that time was situated in a monastery in Katwa, belonged to the Bharati-sampradaya. According to some authoritative opinions, although Kesava Bharati belonged to the Sankara-sampradaya, he was formerly initiated by a Vaisnava. He is supposed to have been a Vaisnava on account of having been initiated by Madhavendra Puri, for some say that he took sannyasa from Madhavendra Puri. In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 52, it is said: “Sandipani Muni, who formerly offered the sacred thread to Krsna and Balarama, later became Kesava Bharati.” It is he who offered sannyasa to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There is another statement from the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika, verse 117. Iti kecit prabhasante ‘krurah kesava-bharati: “According to some authoritative opinions, Kesava Bharati is an incarnation of Akrura.” Kesava Bharati offered the sannyasa order to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the year 143 2 sakabda (151 0 A.D.) in Katwa. This is stated in the Vaisnava-manjusa, Part Two.
(Cc. Adi 9.15 , purp.)

LORD CAITANYA’S SANNYASA PART I

TRANSLATION: After saying this, Kesava Bharati, the spiritual master, went back to his village, Katwa. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu went there and accepted the renounced order of life [sannyasa]. PURPORT: At the end of His twenty-fourth year, at the end of the fortnight of the waxing moon, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left Navadvipa and crossed the River Ganges at a place known as Nidayara-ghata. Then He reached Kantaka-nagara, or Katoya (Katwa), where He accepted ekadanda- sannyasa according to the Sankarite system. Since Kesava Bharati belonged to the Sankarite sect, he could not award the Vaisnava sannyasa order, whose members carry the tridanda. Candrasekhara Acarya assisted in the routine ceremonial work of the Lord’s acceptance of sannyasa. By the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, kirtana was performed for the entire day, and at the end of the day the Lord shaved off His hair. On the next day He became a regular sannyasi, with one rod (e adanda).
From that day on, His name was Sri Krsna Caitanya. Before that, He was known as Nimai Pandita. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the sannyasa order, traveled all over the Radhadesa, the region where the Ganges River cannot be seen. Kesava Bharati accompanied Him for some distance.
(Cc. Adi 17.272 )

LORD CAITANYA’S SANNYASA PART II

At the end of His twenty-fourth year, in the month of Magha, during the fortnight of the waxing moon, the Lord accepted the renounced order of life, sannyasa.
(Cc. Madhya 1.16)

LORD CAITANYA’S SANNYASA PART III

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa, three personalities were with Him to perform all the necessary activities. They were Nityananda Prabhu, Candrasekhara Acarya and Mukunda Datta.
(Cc. Adi 17.273 , purp.)

LORD CAITANYA’S SANNYASA PART IV

In His householder life His chief assistants were Srila Advaita Prabhu and Srila Srivasa Thakura, but after He accepted the sannyasa order His chief assistants became Srila Nityananda Prabhu, who was deputed to preach specifically in
Bengal, and the six Gosvamis (Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami and Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami), headed by Srila Rupa and Sanatana who were deputed to go to Vrindavana to excavate the present places of pilgrimage. (Lord Caitanya after accepting sannyasa)
(Bhag. Intro, page 15)

LORD CAITANYA’S SANNYASA PART V

Advaita managed to invite all his friends and admirers from Nadia and brought Sacidevi to see her son. Both pleasure and pain invaded her heart when she saw her son in the attire of a sannyasi. As a sannyasi, Krsna Caitanya put on nothing but a kaupina and a bahirvasa (outer covering). His head was without hair, and his hands bore adanda (stick) and a kamandalu (hermit’s water pot).
(TLC Prologue, page xvii [Bhaktivinoda])

WHEN ARRANGEMENTS WER E BEING MADE FOR HIS MARRIAGE, VISVARUPA TOOK SANNYASA AND LEFT HOME

Visvarupa was the elder brother of Gaurahari, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When arrangements were being made for His marriage, He took sannyasa and left home. He took the sannyasa name of Sankararanya. In 1431, Sakabda Era, He disappeared in Panderapura in the district of Solapura. As an incarnation of Sankarsana, He is both the ingredient and immediate cause of the creation of this material world. He is nondifferent from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as amsa and amsi, or the part and the whole, are not different. He belongs to the quadruple manifestation of caturvyuha as an incarnation of Sankarsana. In the Gaura- candrodaya it is said that Visvarupa, after His so-called demise, remained mixed within Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
(Cc. Adi 13.74, purp.)

LORD CAITANYA MERCIFULLY ACCEPTED SANNYASA TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO QUICKLY COME TO THE PLATFORM OF KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS

TRANSLATION: Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu thought that unless people accepted Him they would be destroyed. Thus the merciful Lord accepted the sannyasa order.
PURPORT: In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is said, kirtanad eva krsnasya muktah- sangah param vrajet. “Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, or Lord Krsna’s name, one is liberated and goes back home, back to Godhead.” (Bhag. 12.3.21 ) This Krsna consciousness must be achieved through the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One cannot be complete in Krsna consciousness unless he accepts Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates as the only means for success. It is because of these considerations that the Lord accepted sannyasa, for thus people would offer Him respect and very quickly come to the platform of Krsna consciousness. Since Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krsna Himself, inaugurated the Krsna consciousness movement, without His mercy one cannot be elevated to the transcendental platform of Krsna consciousness.
(Cc. Adi 8.10 )

LORD CAITANYA ACCEPTED SANNYASA TO BESTOW HIS MERCY TO THOSE WHO CANNOT APPRECIATE HIM AS RADHA AND KRSNA

TRANSLATION: If a person offers obeisances to Lord Caitanya , even due to accepting HIm only as an ordinary sannyasi, his material distresses will diminish, and he will ultimately get liberation.
PURPORT: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa so that even a foolish person who accepted Him as an ordinary sannyasi would offer Him respect, for this would help him diminish his material distresses and ultimately liberate him from the material clutches. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati points out in this connection that Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the combined form of Sri Radha and Krsna (mahaprabhu sri caitanya, radha-krsna–nahe anya). Therefore when fools considered Caitanya Mahaprabhu to be an ordinary human being and thus treated Him disrespectfully, the merciful Lord, in order to deliver these offenders, accepted sannyasa so that they would offer Him obeisances, accepting Him as a sannyasi. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa to bestow His great mercy to people in general who cannot appreciate Him as Radha and Krsna Themselves. (Cc. Adi 8.11 )

LORD CAITANYA ACCEPTED SANNYASA TO DELIVER THE MAYAVADI SANNYASIS

Although there was actually no need for Him to accept sannyasa, He did so for the benefit of those who might think Him an ordinary human being. The main purpose of His accepting sannyasa was to deliver the Mayavadi sannyasis.
(Cc. Adi 7.33, purp.)

LORD CAITANYA ACCEPTED SANNYASA TO FACILITATE PREACHING

There was no need for Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to accept sannyasa, for He is God Himself and therefore has nothing to do with the material bodily concept of life. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not identify Himself with any of the eight varnas and asramas, namely, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, grhasta, vanaprastha and sannyasa. He identified Himself as the Supreme Spirit. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, or for that matter any pure devotee, never identifies with these social and spiritual divisions of life, for a devotee is always transcendental to these different gradations of society. Nevertheless, Lord Caitanya decided to accept sannyasa on the grounds that when He became a sannyasi everyone would show him respect and in that way be favored The sannyasa order is still respected in India. Indeed, the very dress of a sannyasi still commands respect from the Indian public. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa to facilitate preaching His devotional cult, although otherwise He had no need to accept the fourth order of spiritual life.
(Cc. Adi 7.3 3 purp.)

12. LORD CAITANYA’S INSTRUCTIONS ON SANNYASA (top)

LORD CAITANYA AND THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLES OF SANNYASA

The personal associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sometimes behaved contrary to regulative principles out of intense love for the Lord, and because of their love Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself sometimes violated the regulative principles of a sannyasi. In the eyes of the public, such violations are not good, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so controlled by His devotees’ love that He was obliged to break some of the rules. Although accusing them, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was indirectly indicating that He was very satisfied with their behavior in pure love of Godhead. Therefore in verse twenty-seven He mentions that His devotees and associates place more importance on love of Krsna than on social etiquette. There are many instances of devotional service rendered by previous acaryas who did not care about social behavior when intensely absorbed in love for Krsna. Unfortunately, as long as we are within this material world, we must observe social customs to avoid criticism by the general populace. This is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s desire.
(Cc. Madhya 7.29, purp.)

LORD CAITANYA’S INSTRUCTIONS ON THE RENOUNCED ORDER OF LIFE

TRANSLATION: “I do not know why I have given up household life,” he said.
“What is my duty? Kindly give me instructions.”
“‘I do not know my duty or the goal of my life. Therefore, please personally give me instructions from Your transcendental mouth.'”
“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely.
“Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krsna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana.”
PURPORT: Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya that when a man and woman are married, they beget children and are thus entangled in family life. Talk concerning such family life is called gramya-katha. A person in the renounced order never indulges in either hearing or talking about such subjects. He should not eat palatable dishes, since that is unfit for a person in the renounced order. He should show all respect to others, but should not expect respect for himself. In this way, one should chant the holy name of the Lord and think of how to serve Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana.
(Cc. Antya 6.229,232,236-237 )

ANYONE ACTING STRICTLY IN THE LINE OF SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU IS COMPETENT TO OFFER BLESSINGS EVEN TO A SANNYASI

The word kariha asirvade means, “continue to bestow your blessings upon Me.” Being a sannyasi, Caitanya Mahaprabhu was on the highest platform of respect and adoration, whereas Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, as a householder, was on the second platform. Therefore a sannyasi is supposed to offer blessings to a grhastha. Now Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by His practical behavior requested the blessings of a grhastha. This is the special significance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s preaching. He gave equal status to everyone, regardless of material considerations. His movement is thoroughly spiritual. Although apparently a grhastha (householder), Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was unlike the so-called karmis interested in sense gratification. After being initiated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Bhattacarya was perfectly situated in the spiritual order; therefore it was quite possible for him to offer blessings even to a sannyasi. He was always engaged in the service of the Lord even at home. In our disciplic line we have the example of a perfect householder paramahamsa–Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In his book Saranagati, Bhaktivinoda Thakura stated: ye dina grhe, bhajana dekhi’, grhete goloka bhaya (Saranagati 31.6) . Whenever a householder glorifies the Supreme Lord in his home, his activities are immediately transformed into the activities of Goloka Vrndavana, spiritual activities taking place in the Goloka Vrndavana planet of Krsna. Activities exhibited by Krsna Himself at Bhauma Vrndavana, the Vrndavana-dhama existing on this planet, are not different from His activities on the planet Goloka Vrndavana. This is proper realization of Vrndavana anywhere. In our Krsna consciousness movement we inaugurated the New Vrndavana activities wherein devotees are always engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and this is not different from Goloka Vrndavana. The conclusion is that one who acts strictly in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is competent to offer blessings to sannyasis, even though he be a grhastha householder. Although he is in an exalted position, a sannyasi yet must elevate himself to the transcendental platform by rendering service to the Lord. By his actual behavior, Caitanya Mahaprabhu begged the blessings of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. He set the example of how one should expect blessings from a Vaisnava, regardless of his social position.
(Cc. Madhya 7.69, purp.)

13. LORD RISHABADEVA’S INSTRUCTIONS ON SANNYASA (top)

LORD RISHABADEVA’S INSTRUCTIONS ON PREPARATION FOR SANNYASA

TRANSLATION: O My sons, you should accept a highly elevated paramahamsa, a spiritually advanced spiritual master. In this way, you should place your faith and love in Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You should detest sense gratification and tolerate the duality of pleasure and pain, which are like the seasonal changes of summer and winter. Try to realize the miserable condition of living entities, who are miserable even in the higher planetary systems. Philosophically inquire about the truth. Then undergo all kinds of austerities and penances for the sake of devotional service. Give up the endeavor for sense enjoyment and engage in the service of the Lord. Listen to discussions about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and always associate with devotees. Chant about and glorify the Supreme Lord, and look upon everyone equally on the spiritual platform. Give up enmity and subdue anger and lamentation. Abandon identifying the self with the body and the home, and practice reading the revealed scriptures. Live in a secluded place and practice the process by which you can completely control your life air, mind and senses. Have full faith in the revealed scriptures, the Vedic literatures, and always observe celibacy. Perform your prescribed duties and avoid unnecessary talks. Always thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, acquire knowledge from the right source. Thus practicing bhakti-yoga, you will patiently and enthusiastically be elevated in knowledge and will be able to give up the false ego.
(Bhag. 5.5.10-13 )

LORD RISHABADEVA’S INSTRUCTIONS FOR SANNYASIS WHO INTEND TO BECOME ADVANCES DEVOTEES

TRANSLATION: Sukadeva Gosvami said: Thus the great well-wisher of everyone, the Supreme Lord Rsabhadeva, instructed His own sons. Although they were perfectly educated and cultured, He instructed them just to set an example of how a father should instruct his sons before retiring from family life. Sannyasis, who are no longer bound by fruitive activity and who have taken to devotional service after all their material desires have been vanquished, also learn by these instructions. Lord Rsabhadeva instructed His one hundred sons, of whom the eldest, Bharata, was a very advanced devotee and a follower of Vaisnavas. In order to rule the whole world, the Lord enthroned His eldest son on the royal seat. Thereafter, although still at home, Lord Rsabhadeva lived like a madman, naked and with disheveled hair. Then the Lord took the sacrificial fire within Himself, and He left Brahmavarta to tour the whole world.
PURPORT: Actually the instructions given to Lord Rsabhadeva’s sons were not exactly meant for His sons because they were already educated and highly advanced in Knowledge. Rather, these instructions were meant for sannyasis who intend to become advanced devotees. Sannyasis must abide by Lord Rsabhadeva’s instructions while on the path of devotional service.
(Bhag. 5.5.28 )

14. LORD NITYANANDA NEVER ACCEPTED SANNYASA (top)

LORD NITYANANDA MAINTAINED HIMSELF AS BRAHMACARI

Nityananda Prabhu maintained Himself as a brahmacari; He never took sannyasa. As a brahmacari His name was Nityananda Svarupa, and therefore the sannyasi under whom He was living must have been from the tirthas or asramas because the assistant brahmacari of such a sannyasi is called Nityananda Svarupa.
(Cc. Adi 5.149 , purp.)

15. ACCEPTED TO TRANSCEND MATERIAL ACTIVITIES (top)

ONE TAKES SANNYASA TO TRANSCEND MATERIAL ACTIVITIES

A brahmana may renounce his family and accept sannyasa. Others also– ksatriyas and vaisyas–may also give up their families and take to Krsna consciousness. Such renunciation is called karma-tyaga. By such renunciation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is satisfied. However, this renouncing of one’s activities to Krsna is not uncontaminated and is therefore on the material platform. Such activities are considered within the material universe because, according to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they refer to the material universe and are therefore external. To correct this, Ramananda Raya recommended that one take to the renounced order of life in order to transcend material activities.
(Cc. Madhya 8.61 )

16. ACCEPTED TO BE AN ETERNAL SERVANT OF GURU AND KRSNA (top)

BECAUSE ENTERING THE RENOUNCED ORDER OF LIFE IS AN EXTERNAL AFFAIR, A SANNYASI SHOULD ALWAYS THINK OF HIMSELF AS AN ETERNAL SERVANT OF KRSNA

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments that one should remember that he is eternally a servant of Krsna. Whether one is engaged in material activity involving pounds, shillings and pence or is in the renounced order, he should always think that he is an eternal servant of God, for that is the real position of the living being. Taking sannyasa and dealing in pounds, shillings and pence are both external affairs. One should always consider how to please and satisfy Krsna. Thus even if one is involved in great material affairs, he will not become attached. As soon as one forgets that he is an eternal servant of Krsna, he becomes involved in material attachments. However, if one is always conscious that Krsna is always the supreme master and that he is an eternal servant of Krsna, he is a liberated person in any condition. Entangling material activities will not affect him.
(Cc. Antya 9.141 , purp.)

A VAISNAVA ACCEPTS THE SANNYASA ORDER TO REMAIN AN ETERNAL SERVANT OF HIS SPIRITUAL MASTER

Vaisnavas are all liberated persons, unattached to anything material. Therefore a Vaisnava need not accept the dress of a sannyasi to prove his exalted position. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the renounced order from a sannyasi of the Mayavada school. Present-day Vaisnava sannyasis, however, never think that by accepting the dress of the sannyasa order they have become equal to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In fact, a Vaisnava accepts the sannyasa order to remain an eternal servant of his spiritual master. He accepts the sannyasa order knowing that he is unequal to his spiritual master, who is a paramahamsa, and he thinks that he is unfit to dress like a paramahamsa. Therefore a Vaisnava accepts sannyasa out of humility, not out of pride. Sanatana Gosvami had adopted the dress of a paramahamsa; therefore it was inappropriate for him to wear the saffron cloth on his head. However, a Vaisnava sannyasi does not think himself fit to imitate the dress of a paramahamsa Vaisnava. According to the principles set down by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (trnad ap sunicena), one should always think himself in the lowest stage, not on the level of a paramahamsa Vaisnava. Thus a Vaisnava will sometimes accept the sannyasa order just to keep himself below the level of a paramahamsa Vaisnava. This is the instruction of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
(Cc. Antya 13.61, purp.)

17. WHO RETURNS TO MATERIAL ACTIVITIES IS CALLED VANTASI (top)

A SANNYASI WHO RETURNS TO MATERIALISTIC ACTIVITIES IS CALLED A VANTASI, OR ONE WHO EATS HIS OWN VOMIT

TRANSLATION: One who accepts the sannyasa order gives up the three principles of materialistic activities in which one indulges in the field of household life namely religion, economic development and sense gratification. One who first accepts sannyasa but then returns to such materialistic activities is to be called a vantasi, or one who eats his own vomit. He is indeed a shameless person. PURPORT: Materialistic activities are regulated by the institution of varnasrama- dharma. Without varnasrama-dharma, materialistic activities constitute animal life. Yet even in human life, while observing the principles of varna and asrama– brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa– one must ultimately accept sannyasa, the renounced order, for only by the renounced order can one be situated in brahma-sukha, or transcendental bliss. In brahma-sukha one is no longer attracted by lusty desires. Indeed, when one is no longer disturbed, especially by lusty desires for sexual indulgence, he is fit to become a sannyasi. Otherwise, one should not accept the sannyasa order. If one accepts sannyasa at an immature stage, there is every possibility of his being attracted by women and lusty desires and thus again becoming a so-called grhastha or a victim of women. Such a person is most shameless, and he is called vantasi, or one who eats that which he has already vomited. He certainly leads a condemned life. In our Krsna consciousness movement it is advised, therefore, that the sannyasis and brahmacaris keep strictly aloof from the association of women so that there will be no chance of their falling down again as victims of lusty desires.
(Bhag. 7.15.36 )

“One who is transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed toward every living entity. In this situation, he begins transcendental activities, or devotional service to the Lord.” [B.g. 18.54]. Generally, once elevated to the transcendental platform of brahma-sukha, transcendental bliss, one never comes down. But if one does not engage in devotional service, there is a chance of his returning to the material platform. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho ‘nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah: one may rise to the platform of brahma- sukha, transcendental bliss, but even from that platform one may fall down to the material platform if he does not engage himself in devotional service.
(Bhag. 7.15.35 , purp.)

A SANNYASI WHO AGAIN RETURNS TO FAMILY LIFE LOSES HIS PRESTIGE AND DISGRACES HIS GOOD NAME

Sometimes in our society, ISKCON, a person out of sentiment may take sannyasa, but because his desires are not burned completely, he again takes to family life, even at the risk of losing his prestige and disgracing his good name. These strong desires can be burned out completely when one fully engages in the service of the Lord in devotional service.
(Bhag. 5.14.4 )

18. DIFFICULTY IN MAINTAINING SANNYASA FOR YOUNG MEN (top)

DIFFICULTY IN MAINTAINING SANNYASA DHARMA

His brother-in-law Gopinatha Misra introduced our new sannyasi to Sarvabhauma who was astonished at his personal beauty and feared that it would be difficult for the young man to maintain sannyasa-dharma during the long run of his life. (TLC Prologue, page 18 [Bhaktivinode])

19. ACCEPTANCE AS EXTERNAL AFFAIR (top)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur comments that one should remember that he is eternally a servant of Krsna. Whether one is engaged in material activity involving pounds, shillings and pence or is in the renounced order, he should always think that he is an eternal servant of God, for that is the real position of the living being. Taking sannyasa and dealing in pounds, shillings and pence are both external affairs. One should always consider how to please and satisfy Krsna.
(Cc. Antya 9.141 , purp.)

20 . ACCEPTANCE NOT ESSENTIAL (top)

NOT ESSENTIAL THAT ONE TAKE SANNYASA

There is no harm, however, if one thinks that he is unfit for sannyasa; if he is very much agitated sexually, he should go to the asrama where sex is allowed, namely the grhastha-asrama. That one has been found to be very weak in one place does not mean that he should stop fighting the crocodile of maya. One should take shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna, as we shall see Gajendra do, and at the same time one can be a grhastha if he is satisfied with sexual indulgence. There is no need to give up the fight. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore recommended, sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. One may stay in whichever asrama is suitable for him; it is not essential that one take sannyasa. If one is sexually agitated, he can enter the grhastha-asrama. But one must continue fighting.
(Bhag. 8.2.30 , purp.)

 

21 . A WOMAN DOES NOT TAKE SANNYASA (top)

A WOMAN IS NOT SUPPOSED TO TAKE SANNYASA

A woman is not supposed to take sannyasa. So-called spiritual societies concocted in modern times give sannyasa even to women, although there is no sanction in the Vedic literature for a woman’s accepting sannyasa.
(Bhag. 3.24.40 , purp.)