It’s Not that All “Renunciates” are Renounced

notes by

Vipramukhya Swami

CHAKRA (Mayapur, India) – February 11, 2001: His Holiness Prahladananda Swami gave the Bhagavatam class here in Mayapur this morning. The verse reads: “Sannyasis who 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 the greatest rascals.”

“If one is supposed to be renounced,” Maharaja said, “then what is the definition of renounced? One sannyasi decided to get married, and then declared, ‘Now I am getting married, so I am renouncing my renunciation. That is the ultimate renunciation.'”

It is not that everyone, simply by appearing or claiming to be renounced is necessarily renounced, he said. “One has to have knowledge that connects one to a higher platform of consciousness. Without that consciousness there will not be a permanent position.”

One may have many external qualifications, but if one is not factually connected to Krishna in Krishna consciousness, “one’s so-called exalted position and activity will not be maintained for long,” he said. “As soon as there is an opportunity, Maya will lure one into another situation.”

He gave examples from the Bhagavatam to back up his point, including the stories of Visvamitra Muni and Saubhari Muni.

“One may understand that, “I’m eventually going to die, but in the meantime I’m going to have a good time, but this is not real renunciation.”

He told a story about Lord Caitanya and Nityananda who met a so-called sannyasi that was living with his wife, who was a sannyasini. Lord Caitanya did not appreciate this so-called renunciation.

Prahladananda Maharaja said that there are many varieties of desires that arise out of mental concoction, such as eating too much, enjoying too much, or desiring to become the head of a religious organization. “There are so many varieties of Maya from the gross to the subtle, but they are compared to wet stool and dry stool. Some people assume the side of the stool that is dried by the sun is better than the side that is wet. But wet stool and dry stool are both of the same nature. Subtle or gross Maya is still Maya. “

The aim of life is to take shelter of Krishna, he said.

Quoting Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.17, he said, “A neophyte devotee may fall down from the path of Krishna consciousness due to his immaturity, but his service to Krishna never goes in vain. However, a person who remains steadfast in his family duty or so-called social or family obligation but does not take to Krishna consciousness receives no profit.”

The order coming down in disciplic succession is to spread Krishna Consciousness. Such a person who is acting on this is actually a sannyasi. “Follow in the footprints of the devotees,” Maharaja said.

© CHAKRA 11 February 2001

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