16 July 2020
Sannyasa initiation of HG Sundaralal Prabhu
HH Sundara Caitanya Goswami Maharaja
Hare Krishna! I welcome everybody. I especially welcome HG Sundaralal Prabhu. I am addressing him on the occasion of his sannayasa initiation ceremony here. He is the hero of the day. Yadi Sundaralal na hoite
Today's ceremony is happening because of him. He became qualified to the level of being awarded sannayasa. Sundaralal Prabhu is authorised by GBC. He is receiving his award today in Pandharpur Dhama on the occasion of Kamika Ekadasi on the banks of the Candrabhaga River which is non different from Ganga in the presence of Panduranga, Radha Pandharinath, Gaura Nitai, the demigods and Śrila Prabhupāda. We are sitting at Śrila Prabhupāda's feet and performing this ceremony. His presence is most essential. We are also in the presence of all the devotees from around the world, ISKCON Pandharpur devotees, Sundaralal Prabhu's godbrothers, godsisters, friends, well wishers, family members. They all are watching. A good number of devotees from Mauritius are online right here, right now. In fact they wanted this ceremony to happen in Mauritius, but it couldn't because of the Corona pandemic. Corona is merciful and that is why it is happening here.
Are you all ready? Sundaralal Prabhu is getting initiated in Pandharpur where Nityananda Prabhu was initiated by Laksmipati Tirtha. Glories of this dhama are unlimited. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, after taking sannayasa, had come to Pandharpur looking for His brother who also had taken sannayasa. Visvarupa took sannayasa and his sannayasa name was Sankararanya Swami. He spent a good amount of time in Pandharpur and he also departed from Pandharpur Dhama.
In the midst of the remembrances of all these pastimes, this ceremony is taking place here and now. I was thinking of what to say on this occasion and then I thought of remembering what Prabhupāda had said to me when he gave me sannayasa in Vrindavan. As I was reading Prabhupada's talk, I thought, “Why not share a lot of that talk.” On this day let Śrila Prabhupāda speak for himself. Śrila Prabhupāda is addressing us all. I am beginning with the mellows of Prabhupāda's talk. This was in Vrindavan, in the Krishna Balarama temple courtyard. I remember Śrila Prabhupada was sitting on the exalted vyasasana in the courtyard and addressing us,
"Although you are young men (we were 3 of us there), there are many difficulties in keeping sannayasa, but if you keep the faith, full faith in Krsna, then maya will not be able to touch you. Thus you should always keep yourself fixed in Krishna consciousness by strictly following the rules and regulations. And as sannayasis, you should increase your chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra and go on preaching. Then you will be fixed up."
I was chanting for some time now. Whenever I read Prabhupāda's instruction it becomes a reminder for myself. I am sharing those with you.
Śrila Prabhupāda continued, "Caitanya Mahāprabhu also took sannayasa at a very early age. He was twenty-four years old only."
As you all are listening to this address of Śrila Prabhupāda, I invite you also to take these instructions seriously and prepare for sannayasa, like those who attend a marriage ceremony and inspiring grhastas who make up their minds also about finding their match for entering into grhasta asrama. Make a revolution in Krishna consciousness. This is the best thing to do. In fact unless you do this, there is no going back home.
He continued, "Caitanya Mahāprabhu has practically shown by His activities how to preach Krishna consciousness all over the world. And He gives this order to everyone, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra' ei deśa. In whichever country you may live, it doesn't matter, try to deliver them by becoming their guru. The sannayāsī is supposed to be a guru of all other divisions. Sannayāsa is the topmost stage. So if you become a guru, teacher, remembering the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then you will never fall down."
"You haven't got to manufacture anything." Śrila Prabhupāda continued, "Simply you try to repeat the instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā, Krsna-upadeśa,
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.
Everyone can say this. You can say, 'My dear sir, my only request is that you think of Krsna,' and nobody will kill you for saying this. You do it personally and teach them. Then you become a guru.’
"When Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī inquired from Caitanya Mahāprabhu, 'You are a sannayāsī and you are not studying Vedānta, but simply chanting Hare Krsna. What kind of sannayasī are you?' Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, 'My dear sir, I am a great fool. My Guru saw Me as fool number one, therefore he has chastised Me'. We know Caitanya Mahāprabhu was not a fool or rascal. But He represented Himself as a fool, because we are fools -
bhārata-bhūmite haila manusya-janma yāra, janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India [Bhārata-varṣa] should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people. (CC. Adi 9.41)
"It is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission that every Indian should learn what is this Krishna consciousness and preach it all over the world."
He is commenting upon bhārata-bhūmite haila manusya-janma yāra. Mauritius is just an extension of Bharata varsha (India). Mauritius is chota Bharata. There are Indians, Maharashtrians, Vitthala temple, Marathi schools, South Indian temples, Balaji temple. There are Brahmanās. You are practically Indian. Prabhupāda says, 'Every ISKCON devotee wherever he is now, if he is a member of the Hare Krishna movement, he is Bharatiya.' This applies to all ISKCON devotees.
"It is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission that every Indian should learn what is this Krishna consciousness and preach it all over the world. That is His order. But our Indians are not taking care of it. Therefore it doesn't matter - Indian, European or Canadian."
We were 3 candidates in 1975. I was Indian, Sridhar Dasa Brahmacāri was Canadian and Pritu putra was European. Prabhupāda mentioned those 3 countries.
"Anyone who carries the order of Caitanya Mahāprabhu will be benefited, and be glorified. So don't hesitate, because the soul is neither Indian nor American. By executing the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu you will be glorified, the country will be glorified, (Mauritius would become glorified), and the whole world will be benefited. Thank you very much."
We are very glad and happy to award sannayasa to Sundaralal Prabhu. There were 4 candidates selected by the GBC this year for sannayasa initiation and 2 of them are from Mauritius. This is the first batch from Mauritius. In ISKCON Mauritius no one ever dared to take sannyāsa. This is the first time 2 sannyāsis are from there. One is Sundaralal Prabhu and the other one is Bhakti Rakshak Radha Golokananda Swami. Radha Golokananda are the Deities in Mauritius at the Phoenix temple. Sundaralal Prabhu also is a part of Radha Golokananda temple. He was also the president in Solapur. He rendered different services. This is good news. The other one is more Indian than Mauritian. He was in India for 20-25 years. I am sure that the devotees in Mauritius must be glad, happy and proud that someone from their country is taking sannayasa today. I think you are all well wishers as he has rendered lots of preaching and programs. Those who are seniors, their blessings are desirable on this occasion of Sundaralal Prabhu's sannayasa initiation.
kāmyānāṁ karmaṇāṁ nyāsaṁ
sannyāsaṁ kavayo viduḥ
prāhus tyāgaṁ vicakṣaṇāḥ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The giving up of activities that are based on material desire is what great learned men call the renounced order of life [sannyāsa]. And giving up the results of all activities is what the wise call renunciation [tyāga]. (BG 18.2)
This is a very big step. No more strings attached. Breaking of all the bonds and making oneself free from all the worldly complications. Giving up bhukti kamna, mukti kamna, siddhi kamna. That is sannayasa (renunciation) - giving up karmakanda, jñānakanda and being full of detachment, renouncing worldly things or thoughts. When you renounce something then you have to get something in return, not becoming null and void. Sannayasis are the Goswamīs of Vrindavan. They are full of love for the Lord by just becoming a sannayāsi. Then we have Mayavadi sannayasis. Today's swami becomes Narayana tomorrow and becomes God. Then there are sannayasis studying Vedānta only, dry philosophy. Caitanya Mahāprabhu defeated those followers of Vedānta. Even Śankaracārya said, 'Enough is Enough. Bhaja govindam.'
sampraapte sannihite kaale
nahi nahi rakshati dukrijnkarane
Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda, Worship Govinda. Oh fool! Rules of Grammar will not save you at the time of your death. (Text 1, Dvadasamanjarika-Stotra, Sri Adi Sankracharya)
You are reciting Vedānta and dry philosophy. But this will not help you at the time of death. You should go for bhaja govindam, worship Govinda. Gaudiya Vaiśnava sannyāsis are expected to be full of love for the Lord. Going for pancham purusharth, not just dharma (religion), artha (money), kama (desire), moksha (liberation) or aham Brahmasmi, unity of the Atman (individual self or soul) with the Brahman (the Absolute). Gaudiya Vaiśnava sannyāsis are known for their love for the Lord because they have to be renounced. They also have to become known for their renunciation. At the same time, they have to be full of love for the Lord and share that love with others wherever they travel to preach. Share that love for the Lord with them.
The six Goswamīs of Vrindavan were ideal sannayasis. Śrila Prabhupāda was an ideal sannayasi. Śrila Bhakti Siddhantha Sarasvati Thakura was an ideal sannayasi. It becomes complete when there is renunciation and love.
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world. (ŚB 1.2.7)
Sannyāsis are the combination of all three. Sannyāsis are renounced, knowledgeable and full of bhakti (devotion). Bhakti is ultimate. Sannyasis are bhaktas and their renunciation and knowledge only compliments their bhakti.