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quinta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2012



Every Soul is in One of the Four Asramas


sa hovaca yajnavalkyo brahmacaryam
isamapya grhi bhavet grhi bhutva vani bhavet.
vani bhutva pravrajet.
yadi' vetaratha brahmacaryadeva pravrajed-grhad vavanad va.
atha punara vrati va vrat vasnatako va snatako va utsannagnir anagniko va
yadahareva virajet tadahareva pravrajet

            [Janaka, the sage amongst kings, asked Yajnavalkya, the sage among rsis,
"O great souled sage, please instruct me on the qualifications of sannyasa and
the rules and regulations for following that asrama]. Yajnavalkya said, "Upon
completing one's life as a brahmacari, one should accept the grhastha-asrama.
Having completed one's life as a grhastha, one should accept the asrama of
vanaprastha. After living for some time as a detached vanaprastha, one should
accept the sannyasa asrama.
            Of course, if renunciation awakens in a person earlier in his life, he may
take sannyasa directly from the brahmacari asrama, or even from the gnhastha
asrama, without having to first pass though all the asramas and become a
vanaprastha. In any asrama, when one becomes anxious to renounce material
enjoyment and render exclusive service to the Lord in divine love, then whether
he has completed the religious practices that should be performed in the asrama
or not, whether he has completed his Vedic study or not, whether he has comp-
leted the studies or not, and whether he has performed the fire sacrifice or
not as soon as that powerful tendency to renounce material enjoyment and
serve the Lord awakens in his heart that very day let him give up his family,
that very day let him accept the life of a wandering mendicant and go away as a
sannyasi. (Jabalopanisad 4.1)

Definition of the Four Asramas

grhasramo jaghanato brahmacaryam hrdo mama
vaksah-sthalad vane-vasah sannyasah sirasi sthitah
Out of My universal form the grhastha asrama originated from the loins,
brahmacarya from the heart, vanaprastha from the chest, and sannyasa from
the head. (Bhag. 11.17.14)

Rules for the Different Asramas

savitram prajapatyam ca brahmam catha brhat tatha
varta sancaya-salina-siloncha iti vai grhe

            Then the thread ceremony for the twice-born was inaugurated as were the
rules to be followed for at least one year after acceptance and study of the
Vedas, including rules for observing brahmacmrya, vocations in terms of Vedic
injunctions, various professional duties in household life, and the method of
maintaining a livelihood by picking up rejected grains left behind in the fields.
(Bhag. 3.12.42)

vaikhanasa valakhilyau-dumbarah phenapa vane
nyase kuticakah purvam bahvodo hamsa-niskriyau

            The four divisions of vanaprastha, or retired life, are the vaikanasms
who retire from active life and live on half-boiled meals), valakhilyas (those
who quit their former stock of grains upon receipt of more), audumbara (those
who live on what they get from the direction towards which they start after
rising from bed), and phenapas (those who live on fruits that fall from the trees).
The four divisions of sannyasa, or the renounced order of life are kuticakas
(one who has just left the family, but who lives nearby in a kutira or hut, without
attachment to his family), bahvodas (those who give up all material activities
and engage in transcendental service), hamsas (swanlike souls) and ninriyas
(those whose actions are completely spiritual). (Bhag. 3.12.43)

Rules for Brahmacaris

dvitiyam prapyanupurvyaj janmopanayanam dvijah
vasan guru-kule danto brahmadhiyita cahutah

            Having undergone all the necessary purificatory rites since conception,
and having attained the status of the twice-born by initiation in the gayatri mantra
and investment with the sacred thread, brahmana boy should reside in the
gurukula (as a brahmacari), control his senses and mind, and carefully study the
Vedas as explained by the guru. (Bhag. 11.17.22)

acaryam mam vijaniyan navamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyasuyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruh
            [Krsna said] The acarya is My very Self. One should never envy the acarya
or never blaspheme him or consider him an ordinary man, for he is the sum
total of the demigods. (Bhag. 11.17.27)

sayam pratar upaniya bhaiksyam tasmai nivedayet
yac canyad apy anujnatam upayunjita samyatah

            In the morning and evening one should collect foodstuffs and other ar-
ticles and deliver them to the spiritual master. Then, being self-controlled, one
should accept only what the acarya permits. (Bhag. 11.17.28)

susrusamana acaryam sadopasita nica-vat
yana-sayyasana-sthanair nati-dure krtanjalih

            The brahmacari, should always serve the acarya and follow him in walk-
ing, in resting, standing by with folded hands when he sits, and by attending him
humbly in all circumstances. (Bhag. 11.17.29)

evam-vrtto guru-kule vased bhoga-vivarjitah
vidya samapyate yavad bibhrad vratam akhanditam

            Behaving in this way, and strictly following a vow of celibacy, the brahmacari
should avoid sensual pleasures and reside in the asrama of the acarya to the end
of his studies. (Bhag. 11.17.30)

evam brhad-vrata-dharo brahmano 'gnir iva jvalan
mad-bhaktas tivra-tapasa dagdha-karmasayo 'malah

            Observing the principles, such a brahmana and life-long brahmacari, who
is My devotee, burns all the seeds of karma to ashes by his devotional austerity.
Spotless and pure, free of material contamination, such a devotee brahmacari is
as brilliant as fire. (Bhag. 11.17.36)

All Asramas are Meant for Serving Hari

brahmacaryam tapah saucam santoso bhuta-sauhrdam
grhasthasyapy rtau gantuh sarvesam mad-upasanam

            Chastity, penance, purity, peacefulness, and kindness to all living beings
constitute grhastha-dharma. A grhastha who approaches his wife for procreating
children only on those days sanctioned by scripture is considered chaste.
Worship of Hari should be practiced by everyone, regardless of their position
society; it is the duty of all varnas and asramas. (Bhag. 11.18.43)

Scriptures Make Concessions for Materialistic People

loke vyavayamisa-madya-seva nitya hi jantor na hi tatra codana
vyavasthitis tesu vivaha-yajna-sura-grahair asu nivrttir ista

            Everyone is naturally inclined to have sex, eat meat, and drink wine. There
is no need for the scripture to encourage these things. The scriptures do, how-
ever, give concessions to people who are determined to do these things. They
grant license to enjoy sex by allowing sexual intercourse with one's lawfully
wedded wife at the proper time of the month. They grant a license to eat meat
to those who perform a certain kind of sacrifice, and a license to drink wine to
those who perform the Sautramari sacrifice. The purpose of granting these
licenses for sense gratification is only to restrict these activities and encourage
people to give them up altogether. The real intention of the Vedic injunctions
regarding sex, meat-eating, and wine-drinking is to make one abstain from these
activities. (Bhag. 11.5.11)

Grhasthas Should Not Get Bewildered by Family Life

kutumbesu na sajjeta na pramadyet kutumby api
vipascin nasvaram pasyed adrstam api drsta-vat

            One should not become attached to one's family members, nor should one
become bewildered trying to maintain them. Even though one may be a house-
holder, he should not be negligent in his devotion to the Lord. An intelligent
householder should realize that even the unseen enjoyments promised in the
future, are as temporary as the so-called pleasures he has already seen.
(Bhag. 11.17.52)

putra-darapta-bandhunam sangamah pantha-sangamah
anu-deham viyanty ete svapno nidranugo yatha

            Relationships of wife, sons, relatives, and friends are like the relationships
of pilgrims who meet by chance at a resting place for a few hours before going
on their way. When one leaves his body to accept another body, such friends
and relatives are forgotten, just as upon waking one forgets the characters in a
dream. (Bhag. 11.17.53)

ittham parimrsan mukto grhesv atithi-vad vasan
na grhair anubadhyeta nirmamo nirahankrtah

            Having realized the truth of such transitory relationships, the grhastha lives
in his house like a pilgrim, a guest, or a stranger in a strange land. Dedicating
himself entirely to Krsna and giving up attachment to his body, his relatives, his
house and home, he is liberated even in this lifetime. (Bhag. 11.17.54)

A Grhastha May Live at Home, in the Forest, or on the Road

karmabhir grha-medhiyair istva mam eva bhaktiman
tisthed vanam vopaviset prajavan va parivrajet

            Having satisfied Me by executing his family duties properly while dedicat-
ing himself to Me, My devotee may continue to remain at home, he may go to
the forest as a vanaprastha, or if he has a son, he may take to wandering about
as a sannyasi. (Bhag. 11.17.55)

The Character of Those too Attached to Family Life

yas tv asakta-matir gehe putra-vittaisanaturah
strainah krpana-dhir mudho mamaham iti badhyate

            On the other hand, a grhastha whose heart is attached to hearth and home,
who is always worried about money and children, and who is obsessed with sex,
is a fool. Such a person is bound by the misconceptions of "I and mine."
(Bhag. 11.17.56)

The Destination of Attached Householders

aho me pitarau vrddhau bharya balatmajatmajah
anatha mam rte dinah katham jivanti duhkhitah
evam grhasayaksipta-hrdayo mudha-dhir ayam
atrptas tan anudhyayan mrto 'ndham visate tamah

            [At the time of death such a fool thinks] "Alas! My mother and father
have reached old age. In my absence who will care for them? My wife and
children are helpless without me. How can any of these poor souls survive with-
out me?" With his heart thus overwhelmed by family sentiment, and filled with
anxieties because of attachment to house and home, such a fool, filled with
worries, dies unhappy and dissatisfied with his inability to realize his plans. He
enters the blinding darkness of hell. (Bhag. 11.17.57-58)

Both Men and Women Should Avoid Family Attachment

tvak-smasru-roma-nakha-kesa-pinaddham antar
jivac-chavam bhajati kanta-matir vimudha
ya te padabja-makarandam ajighrati stri

            The stupid woman who has not savored the aroma of the nectar of Your
lotus feet will become the lover of a "man" a live corpse made of flesh, blood,
bones, stool, bile, germs and air covered with skin, hair, beards, and mus-
taches. (Bhag. 10.60.45)

Enjoyment of Conjugal Pleasures in Household Life is Condemned

ye mam bhajanti dampatye tapasa vrata-caryaya
kamatmano 'pavargesam mohita mama mayaya

            [In condemnation of materialistic devotees, the Lord said] Those who
worship Me the giver of liberation in order to enjoy conjugal happiness, who
perform all kinds of penance and sacrifice to that end, are fools deluded by
sensual pleasure and ensnared by the illusions of maya. (Bhag. 10.60.52)

The Purpose of Household Life

adhana api te dhanyah sadhavo grha-medhinah
yad-grha hy arha-varyambu-trna-bhumisvaravarah

            [Pnthu Maharaja told the four Kumaras] A person who is not very rich and
who is attached to family life becomes highly glorified when saintly persons are
present in his home. The master and servants engaged in offering the exalted
visitors water, a sitting place and paraphernalia for reception are glorified, and
the home itself is glorified. (Bhag. 4.22.11)

The Unholy Household

vyalalaya-druma vai tesv ariktakhila-sampadah
yad-grhas tirtha-padiya-padatirtha-vivarjitah

            On the other hand, even though full of all opulence and material property,
any householder's house where the devotees of the Lord are never allowed to
come in, and where there is no water for washing their feet, is to be considered
a tree in which venomous serpents live. (Bhag. 4.22.12)

The Duty of Vanaprasthas

vanaprasthasrama-padesv abhiksnam bhaiksyam acaret
samsidhyaty asv asammohah suddha-sattvah silandhasa

            A vanaprastha should live by begging. He may accept food prepared
grains left behind in the fields and markets. By such a practice, he will become
purified, free from delusion, and spiritually perfect. (Bhag. 11.18.25)

Homes are in Different Modes

vanam tu sattviko vaso gramo rajasa ucyate
tamasam dyuta-sadanam man-niketam tu nirgunam

            In order to attain pure devotional service, one's faith, residence, eating,
and activities should all be pure. From the mode of goodness, one can develop
to the mode of pure goodness; therefore it is important to live in a place which
is pure. The following is a description of residences in the different modes of
nature: A hut in the forest is in the mode of goodness, an apartment in the city
is in the mode of passion, and a room in a gambling den is in the mode of
ignorance. (Bhag. 11.25.25)

Karma-sannyasa, Jnana-sannyasa, and Tridandi-sannyasa

jnana-sannyasinah kecid-veda-sannyasino 'pare
karma-sannyasi-nas-tvanye trividhah parikititah

            There are three kinds of sannyasa: karma-sannyasa, jnana-sannyasa, and
vedic-sannyasa. (Padma Purana, Svarga Khanda)

A Dhira Sannyasi

gata-svartham imam deham virakto mukta-bandhanah
avijnata-gatir jahyat sa vai dhira udahrtah

            A sannyasi is known as dhira, or undisturbed, sober, and a self-realized
soul when he goes to an unknown, remote place and freed from all obligations
and false ego, quits his material body when it has become useless. (Bhag. 1.13.26)

A Narottama Sannyasi

yah svakat parato veha jata-nirveda atmavan
hrdi krtva harim gehat pravrajet sa narottamah

            A narottama, or first class human being, is one who awakens and under-
stands, either by himself or from others, the falsity and misery of this material
world and thus leaves home and depends fully on the Personality of Godhead
residing within the heart. (Bhag. 1.13.27)

Prohibition Against Karma-sannyasa in Kali-yuga

asvamedham gavalambham sannyasam pala-paitrikam
devarena sutotpattim kalau panca vivarjayet

            In this age of Kali, the following five kinds of karma-kanda practices
forbidden: offering a horse in sacrifice, offering a cow in sacrifice, accepting
sannyasa, offering oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man begetting
children in his brother's wife. (Malamasattatva-dhnta, Brahma Vaivarta Purana,
Krsna-janma-khanda 4.115.113)

The Meaning of the Word Tridandi

vagdado'tha mano-dandah kaya-danda-stathaiva ca
yasyaite nihita-buddhau tridanditi sa ucyate

            One who accepts in his mind the rod of chastisement for his speech, mind
is known as a tridandi one who has accepted the threefold rod of chastisement.
(Manu-samhita 12.10)

damanam dandam yasya van-manah-kayanam dandah nisiddhabhidhanah
sat-sankalpa-pratisiddha-vyapara-vyapara-tyagena buddava-vasthitah sa
tridandity-ucyate na tu danda-traya-dharana-matrena

             The word danda means "punishment." One who "punishes"
speech, mind, and actions means one who gives up attachment for mate-
rial sense enjoyment and who accepts what is favorable for the truth and
rejects what is unfavorable for perfection. Such a person is called a tridandi.
It is not that anyone who carries around three sticks can be called a
tridandi. (Manu-samhita 12.10, Kalukka Bhatta commentary on the above
verse from Manu-samhita).

Rupa Gosvami's Definition of Tridandi

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vagam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

            One who can control the forces of speech, mind, anger, the tongue,
the belly, and the genitals is known as a Gosvami and is qualified to
accept disciples all over the world. (Upadesamrta 1)

Tridandi-sannyasa is Mentioned in the Ancient Vedas

tatra paramahamsa nama samvartakaruni-svetaketu-durvasa-
rbhu-nidagha-jada-bharata dattatreya-raivataka-
prabhrtayo'vyakta linga avyaktacara, anunmatta unmattavad
acarantastridandam kamandallum sikyam patram jalapavitram
sikham yajnopavitam cetyetat sarvam bhuh svahetyapsu

            In addition to the previously mentioned paramahamsas are these
famous wandering sannyasis (parivrajakas), Samvartaka,
Arurinandana, Audmlaka, Svetaketu, Durvasm, nbhu, Nidmgha, Jada
Bharata, Dattmtreya, Raivata, and so on. They are all paramahamsas;
none of them wear the outward signs of varnasrama the sikha and
sacred thread of a brahmana. They are not mad but behave like mad-
men. The paramahamsa, saying the mantra bhu-svaha (I offer you to
the earth) leaves aside all external paraphernalia of the renounced
order, including the tridanda, staff, the waterpot, the begging bowl
made from a gourd, the belt made of straw, the purifying cup for wa-
ter, the tuft of hair, the sacred thread, and dedicates himself solely to
following the order of the bona fide guru and the inner direction of
the Paramatma. (Jabalopanisad 6.1)

Srimad Bhagavatam Mentions Tridanda-sannyasa

kecit tri-venum jagrhur eke patram kamandalum
pitham caike 'ksa-sutram ca kantham cirani kecana
pradaya ca punas tani darsitany adadur muneh

            Some took away his tridanda, some stole his begging bowl, and others
snatched away his waterpot. Some of them pulled away his asana, others ha-
rassed him by taking his japa-mala, his beads. Others grabbed at his clothing
and took away his cloth. (Bhag. 11.23.34)

The Tridandi Attains Perfection According to the Manu-samhita

tridandam-etan-niksipya sarva-bhutesu manavah
kama-krodhau tu samyamya tatah siddhim niyacchati

            One who disciplines his mind, speech, and body and controls his lust and
anger towards other living beings and thus gives up these bad qualities is a
tridandi and attains liberation. (Manu-samhita 12.11)

The Harita-samhita Glorifies Tridanda-sannyasa

tridanda-bhrd-yo hi prthak samacarecchanaih sanair-yastu bahir-
mukhaksah san-mucya samsara-samasta-bandhanat sa
visnoramrtatmanah padam

            The tridandi sannyasa gradually withdraws his senses from any connection
with sight, sound, taste, smell, etc., and becomes indifferent. His mind is gradu-
ally freed from any trace of involvement with material enjoyment, and his be-
havior becomes similarly pure. Such a sannyasi has freed himself from family
bondage and, becoming liberated, he tastes the nectar of spiritual bliss at the
lotus feet of Sri Visnu. (Harita-samhita 6.23)

Sridhara Svami Mentions Tridanda-sannyasa in his Bhagavatam Commentary

"evam bahudakadi dharman uktva paramahamsa-dharmanaha jnana-
nistha iti sardhair-dasbhih bahir-virakto mukmuksh san jnana-nistha va
mokse'py anapekso mad-bhakto va sa salingan
tridandadi-sahitan asramams-tad-dharmams-tyaktva tadasaktim tyaktva
yathocitam dharmam cared ity arthah" punaraya

            After explaining the duties of other sannyasis such as bahudaka the duties
of a paramahamsa are described in ten and a half verses begining with this one
A paramhamsa may be one desiring liberation and thus fixed in knowledge or
may be a devotee who disregards even liberation. He should perform proper
religious duties without any attachment to material desires. He can give up all
the external symptoms of varnasrama-dharma. He gives up the asrama duties
means he gives up attachment to them and performs them with no material
motive. (Bhavartha-dipika commentary on Bhag. 11.18.28)

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Opinion on the
Tridandi Verse of Bhagavatam

prabhu kahe,—sadhu ei bhiksura vacana
mukunda sevana-vrata kaila nirdharana
paratma-nistha-matra vesa-dharana
mukunda-sevaya haya samsara-tarana
sei vesa kaila, ebe vrndavana giya
krsna-nisevana kari nibhrte vasiya

            Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu approved of the ekam samasthaya paratma-
nintham verse on account of the determination of the mendicant sannyasi to
engage in the service of Lord Mukunda. He gave his approval of this verse,
indicating that is was very good. The real purpose of accepting sannyasa is to
dedicate oneself to the service of Mukunda. By serving Mukunda, one can actu-
ally be liberated from the bondage of material existence. After accepting the
sannyasa order, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu decided to go to Vnrdavana and en-
gage Himself wholly and solely in the service of Mukunda in a solitary place.
(Cc. Mad. 3.7-9)

A Tridandi-sannyasi Keeps his Sikha, Sacred Thread, and Sannyasi Dress

sikhi yajnopaviti syat tridandi sa-kamanduluh
sa pavitras ca kasayi gayatrin ca japet sada

            A tridandi sannyasi keeps his sikha as well as his sacred thread after re-
nunciation, He also carries a kamandalu. He wears saffron cloth, and remaining
fixed in purity, he chants the gayatri mantra and the japa of the holy name.
(Skanda Purana, Suta Samhita)

ekavasa dvidvasatha sikhi. yajnopavitavan
kamandalukaro vidvams-tridando yati tat-param

            Wearing one or two pieces of cloth, maintaining the tuft of hair, and con-
tinuing to wear the sacred thread, with a waterpot in his hand, a learned sannyasi,
who is the best of men, attains the Supreme Lord. (Padma Purana, Svarga
Khanda Adi 13)

The Hundred and Eight Names of the Tridandi-sannyasis

sarasvati bharati ca puri namani vai dasa
gabhastinemir varahah ksamit-trparamarthinau
turyasrami nirihas ca tridandi-visnu daivatah
bhiksur-yayavaro vistho nyasi-rabhasiko munih
visthalalo mahaviro mahattaro yathagatah
naiskarmya-paramadvaiti suddhadvaiti jitendriyah
tapasvi yacako nagno raddhanti suddhadvaiti bhajanonmukhah
sannyasi maskari klanto niragnir-narasimhakah
audalomi-mahayogi-sruvak bhavaparagah
sramano'vahutah santas yatharho dandi-kesavau
nyastaparigraho bhakti-saro'ksri janardanah
urdhva manthi-tyakta-grhav-urdhvareto yatostha-dhrk viraktodasinau tyagi
siddhanti sridharah sikhi
bodhayano trivikramjo govindo madhusudanah
vaikhanaso yathasvo vai vamano paramahamasakah
narayana-hrsikesi parivrajaka-mangalau
madhavo padmanabhas caudupako bhrami vaisnavah
visnu-damodarau svami gosvami paramogavah
bhagavato hyakincanah santo niskincano yatih ksapanko'visaktascordhva
pundro mundi-sajjanay
nirvisayi harerjano srauti sadhu brhad-vrati
sthaviras-tat-paro paryatakacaryau svatantradhih
kathyante yatinamani prathitani mahitale
asthottara-satani tu vaidikakhyani tani hi

            There are one hundred and eight authorized Vedic names for
principle among which are these ten: Tirtha, anrama, Vana, ararya, Giri, Parvata,
Smgara, Sarasvati, Bharati, and Puri. In addition there are Gabhastinemi, Varaha,
Ksamitm, Paramarthi, Turyasrami, Nirtha, Tridandi, Visnudevata, Bhiksu,
Yajavara, Vintha, Nyasi, Rabhasika, Muni, Vinthalala, Mahavira, Mahattara,
Yathagata, Naiskarmya, Paramadvaiti, Suddhadvaiti, Jitendriya, Tapasvi, Yacaka,
Nagna, Raddhanti, Bhajanonmukha, Sannyasi, Maskari, Klmnta, Niragni,
Narasiaha, Audalomi, Mahayogi, Sruvaka, Bhavapmraga, Sramara, Avadhuta,
Santa, Yatharha, Dandi, Kesava, Nyataparigraha, Bhakti-smra, Aksari, Janardana,
Urdhva-manthi, Tyakta-gnha, Urdhvareta, Yatontha-dhnk, Virakta, Udasina,
Tyagi, Siddhanti, Sridhara, Sikhi, Bodhayana, Trivikrama, Govinda,
Madhusudana, Vaikhanasa, Yathasva, Vamana, Paramahamsa, Narayana,
Hrsikesa, Parivrajaka, Mangala, Madhava, Padmanabha, Audupaka, Bhrami,
Vaisnava, Visnu, Damodara, Svami, Gosvami, Parmagava, Bhagavata, Akiscana,
Santa, Niskiscana, Yati, Ksaparako, Avinakta, Urdhva-pundro, Mundi,
Sajjana.Nirvinayi, Harijana, Srauti, Sadhu, Bnhad-vrati, Sthavira, Tatpara,
Paryataka, Acarya, and Svatantri. (Muktikopanisad and Sattvata-samhita)
A Tridandi-sannyasi is Worshipable by all Asramas

devata-pratimam drstva yatim caiva tridandinam
namaskaram na kuryacced upavasena suddhyati

            One who does not offer obeisances upon seeing gods and sannyasis should
fast all day for his purification. (Ekadasi-tattve trisprsaikadasi-prakarana-dhrta-

A Paramahamsa Vaisnava Surpasses all the Asramas

vaisnavera bhakti ei dekhana saksat
mahasrami o vaisnavere kare dandavat
sannyasa-grahana kaile hena dharma
tanra pita asi' putrere kare namaskara
ata eva sannyas-asrama sabara vandita
"sannyasi-sannyasi" namaskara se vihita
tathapi asrama-dharma chadi' vaisnavere
siksa-guru sri krsna apane namaskare

            Seeing the great devotion of a Vaisnava, even those in the highest asrama
as well as other devotees offer their obeisances. To one who has accepted the
order of sannyasa, one must bow down as would a son to his father.
must bow down to a sannyasi, and offer them respect, saying, "O saintly one, O
sannyasi." Nevertheless, devotees give up all concern for asrama-dharma, and
simply bow down before their instructing guru and Krsna. (C.Bhag.Antya 8.150-153)

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's Example

sarvabhauma balena, "asrame bada tumi
sastramate tumi vandya, upasaka ami"

            Sarvabhauma said to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, [who appeared before him
as a sannyasi], "Your asrama is great. In the opinion of the sastra, You are
worshipable by one such as myself. (C.Bhag.. Antya 3.76)

Impersonalist Sannyasis are Condemned

sannyasi haiya niravadhi "narayana"
baliveka prema-bhakti-yoge anuksana
na bujhiya sankaracaryera abhipraya
bhakti chadi matha mudhaiya duhkha paya

            Sannyasis always say the name of Narayana and worship him in prema-
bhakti-yoga. Not understanding the position of Narayana, the followers of
Sankaracarya give up the path of bhakti; such fools attain only trouble and
misery. (C.Bhag. Antya 3.54,55)

Only Unmotivated Devotional Service Gives
Complete Satisfaction to the Soul

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje
ahaituky apratihata yayatma suprasidati

            The supreme dharma for all humanity is that by which men can attain to
loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service
must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self. (Bhag. 1.2.6)

Fallen Sannyasis are Compared to Vomit-eaters

yah pravrajya grhat purvam tri-vargavapanat punah
yadi seveta tan bhiksuh sa vai vantasy apatrapah

            One who renounces worldly things, gives up the life of a grhastha, and
leaves his home to be a mendicant, a sannyasi, and who then leaves the sannyasa
asrama to again pursue sex and money is like someone who vomits up a bad
meal and then eats it again, for he is eager to taste what has already been rejected.
Such a brazen sinner and condemned man is certainly shameless. (Bhag. 7.15.36)

yaih sva-dehah smrto 'natma martyo vit-krmi-bhasmavat
ta enam atmasat krtva slaghayanti hy asattamah
            Sannyasis who at first consider that the body is subject to death, when it
will be transformed into stool, worms, or ashes, but who again give importance
to the body and glorify it as the self, are to be considered asat-tamah, un-saintly,
ignorant, and the greatest rascals. (Bhag. 7.15.37)

grhasthasya kriya-tyago vrata-tyago vator api
tapasvino grama-seva bhiksor indriya-lolata

            It is abominable for a person living in the grhastha-asrama to give up the
regulative principles of householder life. It is abominable for a brahmacari not
to follow the brahmacari vows while living under the care of the guru. It is
abominable for a vanaprastha to live in the village and engage in so-called social
activities, and it is abominable for a sannyasi to be addicted to sense gratifica-
tion. (Bhag. 7.15.38)

asramapasada hy ete khalv asrama-vidambanah
deva-maya-vimudhams tan upeksetanukampaya

            One who acts in this way is to be considered the lowest renegade. Such a
pretender is bewildered by the external energy of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, and one should either reject him from any position, or taking com-
passion upon him, teach him, if possible, to resume his original position.
(Bhag. 7.15.39)

Sannyasis Should Not Become Vantasis

sannyasira dharma nahe sannyasa karina
nija janma-sthane rahe kutumba lana

            After taking sannyasa, a sannyasi should not remain in his home town,
surrounded by family and relatives. (Cc. Madhya 3.177)

The Behavior of the Great Souls Who are Transcendental to all the Asramas

yada yasanugrhnati bhagavan-atma-bhavitah
sa jahati matim loke vede ca parinistitam

            When the completely opulent Supreme Lord sees the total surrender of a
devotee, He is pleased to award that soul His personal service; thus He bestows
His causeless mercy upon that soul, and at that time the devotee rises above the
ordinary material considerations of the Vedas. He thus shakes off all attach-
ments to the external strictures of the Vedas (such as those recommending karma-
kanda) which are meant for people in general. (Bhag. 4.29.46)

ajnayaivam gunan dosan mayadistan api svakan
dharman samtyajya yah sarvan mam bhajeta sa tu sattamah

            [Krsna said] Having taken complete shelter of My lotus feet, a saintly per-
son renounces mundane religious and social duties and worships Me alone. In-
deed, he is the best of men. (Bhag. 11.11.32)

The Vedic Explanation of Paramahamsa

asau sva-putra-mitra-kalatra-bvandhvadinchikha-
yajnopavite yagam satram svadhyayan
ca sarvakarmani sannyasyayam brahmandam
ca hitva kaupinam dandam acchadanan
ca sva sariropabhogarthaya lokasyopakararthaya ca
parigrahet. tacca na mukhyo'sti ko'yam mukhya iti ced
ayam mukhyah. na dandam na kamandalum na sikham
na yajnopavitam na cacchadanam carati paramahamsah

            A paramahamsa gives up the following as being material and irrelevant:
his children, wife, friends, relatives, sikha, sacred thread, yajna, charity, study of
the Vedas, social and Vedic duties. These things are all of this world, they have
a connection with the fallible and temporary. Such a paramahamsa accepts only
the bare necessities required to keep body and soul together. The paramahamsa
may sometimes accept the danda, sikha, sacred thread, and dress of a sannyasi
in order to benefit the fallen souls of this world. For a paramahamsa the danda,
sikha, sacred tread, cloth etc. are not important. (Paramahamsa Upanisad 1-2)

The Supreme Lord, a Paramahamsa,
is Transcendental to all Material Considerations

ahe danda, ami yare bahiye hrdaye
se tomare bahiveka e ta' yukta nahe
eta bali' balarama parama-pracanda
phelilena danda bhangi "kari" tina khanda

            O danda, within my heart, I find you to be external and useless. [since Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a devotee, He
is the topmost paramahamsa. What need has He to carry a symbol of elevated
status within the varnas and asramas of human society? A sannyasa danda in
His hands is redundant] Saying this, Sri Balarama, with great violence, broke
into three pieces the tridandi staff of renunciation belonging to Sri Caitanya.
(C.Bhag. Antya 2.205-206)

tina khanda kari' danda dila bhasana

            Nityananda Prabhu broke Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's sannyasa danda in
three places. (Cc. Madhya 5.143)

danda-bhanga-lila ei parama gambhira
sei bujhe, duohara pade yanra bhakti dhira

            The pastime of the breaking of the staff is very deep. Only one whose
devotion is fixed upon the lotus feet of the two Lords can understand it.
(Cc. Madhya 5.158)

For Those who are Paramahamsas, and are Therefore
Transcendental to all Considerations of Asrama,
the Red Cloth of a Sannyasi is Inappropriate

rakta-vastra 'vaisnavera' parite na yuyaya

            Red cloth is unfit for a paramahamsa Vaisnava to wear. (Cc. Antya 13.61)

Bhagavatam Gives the Characteristic Behavior of a Paramahamsa

evam-vratah sva-priya-nama-kirtya jatanurago druta-citta uccaih
hasaty atho roditi rauti gayaty unmada-van nrtyati loka-bahyah

            When a person is actually advanced and takes pleasure in chanting the
holy name of the Lord, who is very dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants
the holy name. He also laughs, cries, and chants just like a madman, not caring
for outsiders. (Bhag. 11.2.40)

The Mentality of a Paramahamsa

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vanastho yatir va
kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah

            I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a vaisya or a sudra. Nor
am I a brahmacari, a householder , a vanaprastha, or a sannyasi. I identify My-
self only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the maintainer of the
gopis. (Cc. 13.80 from Padyavali 63)

Thus ends the Fifteenth Jewel of the Gaudiya-Kanthahara, entitled Asrama-dharma-tattva.

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Guru Position Paper

Dear devotees,

Please accept our dandavat pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Since the departure of our beloved Gurudeva, Nitya-lila pravista Om Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, the Sannyasa Council in consultation with the members of the Bhakti Trust International, senior math commanders and eminent preachers, has begun the process of developing and codifying the principles and aims of our sanga, known as the International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society. Sri Guru is always present in his instructions and within the hearts of sincere disciples. We pray fervently that Srila Gurudeva guide us in our humble attempts to fulfill his mano bhista. Our discussions thus far have resulted in two papers that are being presented for your consideration.

Our Society, as envisioned by Srila Gurudeva, has many responsibilities and yet has a distinctive inclination towards encouraging individual initiative and decision making on the local level. The institution or society has as its primary responsibility, the preservation and teaching of the eternal spiritual principles conveyed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through our guru-parampara . The form that our society takes and any guidelines and bylaws that we may adopt, are meant to follow and uphold those principles.

Thus you will see in the two papers that are presented, that there is little in the way of rules and regulations. The topic is mostly guru-tattva and how we are responding to the complexities of that issue now that there are multiple devotees taking on that role within the same society. The emphasis is to clarify our spiritual relationships and our mutual goals. The processes by which we achieve these may be adjusted according to time, place and circumstance, as long as the original principles remain fixed as our guiding beacon.

The first paper on guru-tattva was written to be presented at the Vraja-mandala Parikrama of 2011. There were some issues that had not yet been discussed by the international body of sannyasis and senior devotees. We waited for those meetings to be concluded so that a summary of those discussions could be given at the same time. These meetings addressed the practical application of the guru-tattva paper based on the experiences gained and input received from members of the world-wide sanga over the last 9 months. The second paper is a summary of the meetings held in Govardhana during the parikrama in November, 2011.

These papers will certainly stimulate discussion and responses from devotees around the world. That is a good thing. Please keep the discussions philosophical and respectful. The discussions may center around guru-tattva or they may explore other areas of personal and sanga development. This is a challenging and exciting time. Let your voices be heard.

Aspiring for the service of Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas,

Swami BV Vaikhanas