Shri Gaudiya Kanthahara

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati | 83,221 words

Shri Gaudiya Kantahara (English translation) was published by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati to train devotees in the philosophy of Krishna-consciousness and to be able to quote the authoritative parts of the Vedas. A collection of over a thousand verses, sorted by tattva, includes general index, alphabetical index of verses. Verses in in Roman tr...

Chapter 15 - Āśrāma-dharma-tattva

The principle of ashrama-dharma

Every Soul is in One of the Four Aśrāmas

15.1

sa hovāca yājñavalkyo brahmacaryaṃ
isamāpya gṛhī bhavet gṛhī bhūtvā vanī bhavet.
vanī bhutvā pravrajet.
yadi' vetarathā brahmacaryādeva pravrajed-gṛhād vāvanād vā.
atha punara vratī vā vrat vāsnātako vā snātako vā utsannāgnir anagniko vā yadahareva virajet tadahareva pravrajet

[Janaka, the sage amongst kings, asked Yājñavalkya, the sage among ṛṣīs, "O great souled sage, please instruct me on the qualifications of sannyāsa and the rules and regulations for following that āśrama]. Yājñavalkya said, "Upon completing one's life as a brahmacārī, one should accept the gṇhastha-āśrama. Having completed one's life as a gṇhastha, one should accept the āśrama of vānaprastha. After living for some time as a detached vānaprastha, one should accept the sannyāsa āśrama.

Of course, if renunciation awakens in a person earlier in his life, he may take sannyāsa directly from the brahmacārī āśrama, or even from the gṇhastha āśrama, without having to first pass though all the āśramas and become a vānaprastha. In any āśrama, 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 āśrama or not, whether he has completed his Vedic study or not, whether he has completed 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 sannyāsī. (Jābālopaniṣad 4.1)

Definition of the Four Aśrāmas

15.2

gṛhāśramo jaghanato brahmacaryaṃ hṛdo mama
vakṣaḥ-sthalād vane-vāsaḥ sannyāsaḥ śirasi sthitaḥ

Out of My universal form the gṇhastha āśrama originated from the loins, brahmacṃrya from the heart, vānaprastha from the chest, and sannyāsa from the head. (Bhāg. 11.17.14)

Rules for the Different Aśramas

15.3

sāvitraṃ prājāpatyaṃ ca brāhmaṃ cātha bṛhat tathā
vārtā sañcaya-śālīna-śiloñcha iti vai gṛhe

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 brahmacṃrya, 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. (Bhāg. 3.12.42)

15.4

vaikhānasā vālakhilyau-dumbarāḥ phenapā vane
nyāse kuṭīcakaḥ pūrvaṃ bahvodo haṃsa-niṣkriyau

The four divisions of vānaprastha, or retired life, are the vaikānasṃs (those who retire from active life and live on half-boiled meals), vālakhilyas (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 sannyāsa, or the renounced order of life are kuṭīcakas (one who has just left the family, but who lives nearby in a kuṭira or hut, without attachment to his family), bahvodas (those who give up all material activities and engage in transcendental service), haṃsas (swanlike souls) and niñriyas (those whose actions are completely spiritual). (Bhāg. 3.12.43)

Rules for Brahmacāris

15.5

dvitīyaṃ prāpyānupūrvyāj janmopanayanaṃ dvijaḥ
vasan guru-kule dānto brahmādhīyīta cāhūtaḥ

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

15.6

ācāryaṃ māṃ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyāsūyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ

[Kṛṣṇa said] The ācārya is My very Self. One should never envy the ācārya or never blaspheme him or consider him an ordinary man, for he is the sum total of the demigods. (Bhāg. 11.17.27)

15.7

sāyaṃ prātar upānīya bhaikṣyaṃ tasmai nivedayet
yac cānyad apy anujñātam upayuñjīta saṃyataḥ

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

15.8

śuśrūṣamāṇa ācāryaṃ sadopāsīta nīca-vat
yāna-śayyāsana-sthānair nāti-dūre kṛtāñjaliḥ

The brahmacārī, should always serve the ācārya and follow him in walking, in resting, standing by with folded hands when he sits, and by attending him humbly in all circumstances. (Bhāg. 11.17.29)

15.9

evaṃ-vṛtto guru-kule vased bhoga-vivarjitaḥ
vidyā samāpyate yāvad bibhrad vratam akhaṇḍitam

Behaving in this way, and strictly following a vow of celibacy, the brahmacārī should avoid sensual pleasures and reside in the āśrama of the ācārya to the end of his studies. (Bhāg. 11.17.30)

15.10

evaṃ bṛhad-vrata-dharo brāhmaṇo 'gnir iva jvalan
mad-bhaktas tīvra-tapasā dagdha-karmāśayo 'malaḥ

Observing the principles, such a brāhmaṇa and life-long brahmacārī, 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 brahmacārī is as brilliant as fire. (Bhāg. 11.17.36)

All Aśramas are Meant for Serving Hari

15.11

brahmacaryaṃ tapaḥ śaucaṃ santoṣo bhūta-sauhṛdam
gṛhasthasyāpy ṛtau gantuḥ sarveṣāṃ mad-upāsanam

Chastity, penance, purity, peacefulness, and kindness to all living beings constitute gṇhastha-dharma. A gṇhastha 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 in society; it is the duty of all varṇas and āśramas. (Bhāg. 11.18.43)

Scriptures Make Concessions for Materialistic People

15.12

loke vyavāyāmiṣa-madya-sevā nityā hi jantor na hi tatra codanā
vyavasthitis teṣu vivāha-yajña-surā-grahair āsu nivṛttir iṣṭā

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, however, 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 Sautramaṛi 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. (Bhāg. 11.5.11)

Gṛhasthas Should Not Get Bewildered by Family Life

15.13
kuṭumbeṣu na sajjeta na pramādyet kuṭumby api
vipaścin naśvaraṃ paśyed adṛṣṭam api dṛṣṭa-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 householder, 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. (Bhāg. 11.17.52)

15.14

putra-dārāpta-bandhūnāṃ saṅgamaḥ pāntha-saṅgamaḥ
anu-dehaṃ viyanty ete svapno nidrānugo yathā

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. (Bhāg. 11.17.53)

15.15

itthaṃ parimṛśan mukto gṛheṣv atithi-vad vasan
na gṛhair anubadhyeta nirmamo nirahaokṛtaḥ

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

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

15.16

karmabhir gṛha-medhīyair iṣṭvā mām eva bhaktimān
tiṣṭhed vanaṃ vopaviśet prajāvān vā parivrajet

Having satisfied Me by executing his family duties properly while dedicating himself to Me, My devotee may continue to remain at home, he may go to the forest as a vānaprastha, or if he has a son, he may take to wandering about as a sannyāsī. (Bhāg. 11.17.55)

The Character of Those too Attached to Family Life

15.17

yas tv āsakta-matir gehe putra-vittaiṣaṇāturaḥ
straiṇaḥ kṛpaṇa-dhīr mūḍho mamāham iti badhyate

On the other hand, a gṇhastha 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." (Bhāg. 11.17.56)

The Destination of Attached Householders

15.18

aho me pitarau vṛddhau bhāryā bālātmajātmajāḥ
anāthā mām ṛte dīnāḥ kathaṃ jīvanti duḥkhitāḥ
evaṃ gṛhāśayākṣipta-hṛdayo mūḍha-dhīr ayam
atṛptas tān anudhyāyan mṛto 'ndhaṃ viśate tamaḥ

[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 without 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. (Bhāg. 11.17.57-58)

Both Men and Women Should Avoid Family Attachment

15.19

tvak-śmaśru-roma-nakha-keśa-pinaddham antar
māṃsāsthi-rakta-kṛmi-viṭ-kapha-pitta-vātam
jīvac-chavaṃ bhajati kānta-matir vimūḍhā
yā te padābja-makarandam ajighratī strī

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 mustaches. (Bhāg. 10.60.45)

Enjoyment of Conjugal Pleasures in Household Life is Condemned

15.20

ye māṃ bhajanti dāmpatye tapasā vrata-caryayā
kāmātmāno 'pavargeśaṃ mohitā mama māyayā

[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 māyā. (Bhāg. 10.60.52)

The Purpose of Household Life

15.21

adhanā api te dhanyāḥ sādhavo gṛha-medhinaḥ
yad-gṛhā hy arha-varyāmbu-tṛṇa-bhūmīśvarāvarāḥ

[Pṇthu Mahārāja told the four Kumāras] 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. (Bhāg. 4.22.11)

The Unholy Household

15.22

vyālālaya-drumā vai teṣv ariktākhila-sampadaḥ
yad-gṛhās tīrtha-pādīya-pādatīrtha-vivarjitāḥ

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. (Bhāg. 4.22.12)

The Duty of Vānaprasthas

15.23

vānaprasthāśrama-padeṣv abhīkṣṇaṃ bhaikṣyam ācaret
saṃsidhyaty āśv asammohaḥ śuddha-sattvaḥ śilāndhasā

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

Homes are in Different Modes

15.24

vanaṃ tu sāttviko vāso grāmo rājasa ucyate
tāmasaṃ dyūta-sadanaṃ man-niketaṃ tu nirguṇam

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. (Bhāg. 11.25.25)

Karma-sannyāsa, Jñāna-sannyāsa, and Tridaṇḍī-sannyāsa

15.25

jñāna-sannyāsinaḥ kecid-veda-sannyāsino 'pare

karma-sannyāsi-nas-tvanye trividhāḥ parikītitāḥ

There are three kinds of sannyāsa: karma-sannyāsa, jñāna-sannyāsa, and vedic-sannyāsa. (Padma Purāṇa, Svarga Khaṇḍa)

A Dhīra Sannyāsī

15.26

gata-svārtham imaṃ dehaṃ virakto mukta-bandhanaḥ
avijñāta-gatir jahyāt sa vai dhīra udāhṛtaḥ

A sannyāsī is known as dhīra, 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. (Bhāg. 1.13.26)

A Narottama Sannyāsī

15.27

yaḥ svakāt parato veha jāta-nirveda ātmavān
hṛdi kṛtvā hariṃ gehāt pravrajet sa narottamaḥ

A narottama, or first class human being, is one who awakens and understands, 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. (Bhāg. 1.13.27)

Prohibition Against Karma-sannyāsa in Kali-yuga

15.28

aśvamedhaṃ gavālambhaṃ sannyāsaṃ pala-paitṛikam

devareṇa sutotpattiṃ kalau pañca vivarjayet

In this age of Kali, the following five kinds of karma-kāṇḍa practices are forbidden: offering a horse in sacrifice, offering a cow in sacrifice, accepting sannyāsa, offering oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man begetting children in his brother's wife. (Malamāsattatva-dhṇta, Brahma Vaivarta Purāṇa, Kṛṣṇa-janma-khaṇḍa 4.115.113)

The Meaning of the Word Tridaṇḍī

15.29

vāgdaḍo'tha mano-daoḍaḥ kāya-daṇḍa-stathaiva ca

yasyaite nihitā-buddhau trīdaṇḍīti sa ucyate

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

15.30

damanaṃ daṇḍaṃ yasya vāo-manaḥ-kāyānāṃ daoḍāḥ niṣiddhābhidhānāḥ sat-saokalpa-­pratiṣiddha-vyāpāra-vyāpāra-tyāgena buddāva-vasthitāḥ sa tridaṇḍīty-ucyate na tu daṇḍa-traya-­dhāraṇa-mātreṇa

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

Rūpa Gosvāmī's Definition of Tridaṇḍī

15.31

vāco vegaṃ manasāh krodha-vagaṃ
jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṃ pṛthivīṃ sa śiṣyāt

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

Tridaṇḍī-sannyāsa is Mentioned in the Ancient Vedas

15.32

tatra paramahaṃsā nāma saṃvartakāruṇi-śvetaketu-durvāsa-ṛbhū-nidāgha-jaḍa-bharata dattātreya-raivataka-

prabhṛtayo'vyakta liogā avyaktācārā, anunmattā unmattavad ācarantastridaṇḍam kamaṇḍallum śikyam pātraṃ jalapavitraṃ śikhāṃ yajñopavītaṃ cetyetat sarvaṃ bhuḥ svāhetyapsu parityajyātmānam-anvicchet

In addition to the previously mentioned paramahaṃsas are these famous wandering sannyāsīs (parivrajakas), Samvartaka, Aruṛinandana, Audṃlaka, Śvetaketu, Durvāsṃ, ṇbhu, Nidṃgha, Jaḍa Bharata, Dattṃtreya, Raivata, and so on. They are all paramahaṃsas; none of them wear the outward signs of varṇāśrama the śikhā and sacred thread of a brāhmaṇa. They are not mad but behave like madmen. The paramahaṃsa, saying the mantra bhū-svāhā (I offer you to the earth) leaves aside all external paraphernalia of the renounced order, including the tridanḍa, staff, the waterpot, the begging bowl made from a gourd, the belt made of straw, the purifying cup for water, 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 Paramātmā. (Jābālopanisad 6.1)

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Mentions Tridaṇḍa-sannyāsa

15.33

kecit tri-veṇuṃ jagṛhur eke pātraṃ kamaṇḍalum
pīṭhaṃ caike 'kṣa-sūtraṃ ca kanthāṃ cīrāṇi kecana
pradāya ca punas tāni darśitāny ādadur muneḥ

Some took away his tridaṇḍa, some stole his begging bowl, and others snatched away his waterpot. Some of them pulled away his āsana, others harassed him by taking his japa-mālā, his beads. Others grabbed at his clothing and took away his cloth. (Bhāg. 11.23.34)

The Tridaṇḍī Attains Perfection According to the Manu-saṃhitā

15.34

tridaṇḍam-etan-nikṣipya sarva-bhūteṣu mānavaḥ

kāma-krodhau tu saṃyamya tataḥ siddhiṃ 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 tridaṇḍī and attains liberation. (Manu-saṃhitā 12.11)

The Hārīta-saṃhitā Glorifies Tridaṇḍa-sannyāsa

15.35

tridaṇḍa-bhṛd-yo hi pṛthak samācarecchanaiḥ śanair-yastu bahir-mukhākṣaḥ san-mucya saṃsāra-samasta-bandhanāt sa yāti viṣṇoramṛtātmanaḥ padam

The tridaṇḍi sannyāsa gradually withdraws his senses from any connection with sight, sound, taste, smell, etc., and becomes indifferent. His mind is gradually freed from any trace of involvement with material enjoyment, and his behavior becomes similarly pure. Such a sannyāsī has freed himself from family bondage and, becoming liberated, he tastes the nectar of spiritual bliss at the lotus feet of Śrī Viṣṇu. (Hārīta-saṃhitā 6.23)

Śrīdhara Svāmī Mentions Tridaṇḍa-sannyāsa

in his Bhāgavatam Commentary

15.36

"evaṃ bahūdakādi dharmān uktvā paramahaṃsa-dharmānāha jñāna-niṣṭha iti sārdhair-daśbhiḥ bahir-virakto mukmukṣḥ san jñāna-niṣṭhā vā mokṣe'py anapekṣo mad-bhakto vā sa saliogān
tridaṇḍādi-sahitān āśramāṃs-tad-dharmāṃs-tyaktvā tadāsaktiṃ tyaktvā yathocitaṃ dharmaṃ cared ity arthaḥ" punarāya

After explaining the duties of other sannyāsīs such as bahūdaka the duties of a paramahaṃsa are described in ten and a half verses begining with this one A paramhaṃsa 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 varṇāśrama-dharma. He gives up the āśrama duties means he gives up attachment to them and performs them with no material motive. (Bhāvārtha-dīpikā commentary on Bhāg. 11.18.28)

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's Opinion on the

Tridaṇḍī Verse of Bhāgavatam

15.37

prabhu kahe,sādhu ei bhikṣura vacana
mukunda sevana-vrata kaila nirdhāraṇa
parātma-niṣṭhā-mātra veṣa-dhāraṇa
mukunda-sevāya haya saṃsāra-tāraṇa
sei veṣa kaila, ebe vṛndāvana giyā
kṛṣṇa-niṣevaṇa kari nibhṛte vasiyā

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu approved of the ekam samasthaya parātma-niñṭham verse on account of the determination of the mendicant sannyāsī 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 sannyāsa is to dedicate oneself to the service of Mukunda. By serving Mukunda, one can actually be liberated from the bondage of material existence. After accepting the sannyāsa order, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu decided to go to Vṇṛdāvana and engage Himself wholly and solely in the service of Mukunda in a solitary place. (Cc. Madhya 3.7-9)

A Tridaṇḍi-sannyāsī Keeps his Śikhā, Sacred Thread,

and Sannyāsī Dress

15.38

śīkhī yajñopavītī syāt tridaṇḍī sa-kamanḍuluḥ
sa pavitraś ca kāṣāyī gāyatrīñ ca japet sadā

A tridaṇḍī sannyāsī keeps his śikhā as well as his sacred thread after renunciation, He also carries a kamaṇḍalu. He wears saffron cloth, and remaining fixed in purity, he chants the gāyatrī mantra and the japa of the holy name. (Skanda Purāṇa, Sūta Saṃhitā)

15.39

ekavāsā dvidvāsātha śikhī. yajñopavītavān

kamaṇḍalukaro vidvāṃs-tridaṇḍo yāti tat-param

Wearing one or two pieces of cloth, maintaining the tuft of hair, and continuing to wear the sacred thread, with a waterpot in his hand, a learned sannyāsī, who is the best of men, attains the Supreme Lord. (Padma Purāṇa, Svarga Khaṇḍa Ādi 13)

The Hundred and Eight Names of the Tridaṇḍī-sannyāsīs

15.40

tīrthāśramavanāraṇya-giri-parvata-sāgarāḥ

sarasvatī bhāratī ca purī nāmāni vai daśa

gabhastinemir vārāhaḥ kṣamit-tṛparamārthinau

turyāśramī nirīhaś ca tridaṇḍī-viṣṇu daivataḥ

bhikṣur-yāyāvaro viṣṭho nyāsī-rābhasiko muniḥ

viṣṭhalalo mahāvīro mahattaro yathāgataḥ

naiskarmya-paramādvaitī śuddhādvaitī jitendriyaḥ

tapasvī yācako nagno raddhantī śuddhādvaitī bhajanonmukhaḥ

sannyāsī maskarī klānto niragnir-nārasiṃhakaḥ

auḍalomi-mahāyogi-śruvāk bhavapāragaḥ

śramaṇo'vahūtaḥ śāntas yathārho daṇḍi-keśavau

nyastaparīgraho bhakti-sāro'kṣrī janārdanaḥ

urdhva manthi-tyakta-gṛhāv-urdhvareto yatoṣṭha-dhṛk viraktodāsīnau tyāgī siddhāntī śrīdharaḥ śikhī

bodhāyano trivikramjo govindo madhusūdanaḥ

vaikhānaso yathāsvo vai vāmano paramahaṃasakaḥ

nārāyaṇa-hṛṣīkesī parivrājaka-maṅgalau

mādhavo padmanābhaś cauḍupako bhrāmī vaiṣṇavaḥ

viṣṇu-dāmodarau svāmī gosvāmī paramogavaḥ

bhāgavato hyakiñcanaḥ santo niskiñcano yatih kṣapaṇko'viṣaktaścordhva puṇdro muṇḍi-sajjanay

nirviṣayī harerjano śrautī sādhu bṛhad-vratī

sthaviras-tat-paro paryaṭakācāryau svatantradhīḥ

kathyante yatināmāni prathitāni mahītale

aṣṭhottara-śatāni tu vaidikakhyāni tāni hi

There are one hundred and eight authorized Vedic names for sannyāsīs, principle among which are these ten: Tīrtha, āñrāma, Vana, āraṛya, Giri, Parvata, Sṃgara, Sarasvatī, Bhāratī, and Purī. In addition there are Gabhastinemi, Vārāha, Kṣamitṃ, Paramārthī, Turyāśramī, Nirtha, Tridaṇḍī, Viṣṇudevata, Bhiksu, Yājāvara, Viñṭha, Nyāsī, Rābhasika, Muni, Viñṭhalala, Mahāvīra, Mahattara, Yathāgata, Naiskarmya, Paramādvaitī, Śuddhādvaitī, Jitendriya, Tapasvī, Yācaka, Nagna, Raddhantī, Bhajanonmukha, Sannyāsī, Maskarī, Klṃnta, Niragni, Nārasiāha, Auḍalomī, Mahāyogī, Sruvāka, Bhavapṃraga, Śramaṛa, Avadhūta, Śānta, Yathārha, Daṇḍī, Keśava, Nyataparigraha, Bhakti-sṃra, Akṣarī, Janārdana, Urdhva-manthī, Tyakta-gṇhā, Urdhvareta, Yatoñṭha-dhṇk, Virakta, Udṃsīna,

Tyāgī, Siddhāntī, Śrīdhara, Śikhī, Bodhāyana, Trivikrama, Govinda, Madhusūdana, Vaikhānasa, Yathāsva, Vāmana, Paramahaṃsa, Nārāyaṇa, Hṛṣikeśa, Parivrājaka, Maṅgala, Mādhava, Padmanābha, Auḍupaka, Bhrāmi, Vaiṣṇava, Viṣṇu, Dāmodara, Svāmī, Gosvāmī, Parmagava, Bhāgavata, Akiṣcana, Santa, Niskiṣcana, Yati, Kṣapaṛako, Aviñakta, Urdhva-puṇḍro, Muṇḍi, Sajjana.Nirviñayī, Harijana, Śrautī, Sādhu, Bṇhad-vratī, Sthavira, Tatpara, Paryaṭaka, Ācārya, and Svatantrī. (Muktikopaniṣad and Sāttvata-saṃhitā)

**

A Tridaṇḍī-sannyāsī is Worshipable by all Aśramas

15.41

devatā-pratimāṃ dṛṣṭvā yatiṃ caiva tridaṇḍinam

namaskāram na kuryācced upavāsena śuddhyati

One who does not offer obeisances upon seeing gods and sannyāsīs should fast all day for his purification. (Ekādaśī-tattve trispṛśaikādasī-prakaraṇa-dhṛta-smṛti-vākya)

A Paramahaṃsa Vaiṣṇava Surpasses all the Aśramas

15.42

vaiṣṇavera bhakti ei dekhāna sākṣāt

mahāśramī o vaiṣṇavere kare daṇḍavat

sannyāsa-grahaṇa kaile hena dharma

tāñra pitā āsi' putrere kare namaskāra
ata eva sannyās-āśrama sabāra vanditā
"sannyāsī-sannyāsī" namaskāra se vihita
tathāpi āśrama-dharma chāḍi' vaiṣṇavere
śikṣā-guru śrī kṛṣṇa āpane namaskare

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

Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya's Example

15.43

sārvabhauma balena, "āśrame baḍa tumi

śāstramate tumi vandya, upāsaka āmi"

Sarvabhauma said to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, [who appeared before him as a sannyāsī], "Your āśrama is great. In the opinion of the śāstra, You are worshipable by one such as myself. (Cb. Antya 3.76)

Impersonalist Sannyāsīs are Condemned

15.44

sannyāsī haiyā niravadhi "nārāyaṇa"

baliveka prema-bhakti-yoge anukṣaṇa

nā bujhiyā śaṅkarācāryera abhiprāya

bhakti chāḍi māthā muḍhāiyā duḥkha pāya

Sannyāsīs always say the name of Nārāyaṇa and worship him in prema-bhakti-yoga. Not understanding the position of Nārāyaṇa, the followers of Śaṅkarācārya give up the path of bhakti; such fools attain only trouble and misery. (Cb. Antya 3.54,55)

Only Unmotivated Devotional Service Gives

Complete Satisfaction to the Soul

15.45

sa vai puṃsāṃ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje

ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati

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. (Bhāg. 1.2.6)

Fallen Sannyāsīs are Compared to Vomit-eaters

15.46

yaḥ pravrajya gṛhāt pūrvaṃ tri-vargāvapanāt punaḥ

yadi seveta tān bhikṣuḥ sa vai vāntāśy apatrapaḥ

One who renounces worldly things, gives up the life of a gṇhastha, and leaves his home to be a mendicant, a sannyāsī, and who then leaves the sannyāsa āśrama 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. (Bhāg. 7.15.36)

15.47

yaiḥ sva-dehaḥ smṛto 'nātmā martyo viṭ-kṛmi-bhasmavat

ta enam ātmasāt kṛtvā ślāghayanti hy asattamāḥ

Sannyāsīs 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-tamaū, un-saintly, ignorant, and the greatest rascals. (Bhāg. 7.15.37)

15.48

gṛhasthasya kriyā-tyāgo vrata-tyāgo vaṭor api

tapasvino grāma-sevā bhikṣor indriya-lolatā

It is abominable for a person living in the gṇhastha-āśrama to give up the regulative principles of householder life. It is abominable for a brahmacārī not to follow the brahmacārī vows while living under the care of the guru. It is abominable for a vānaprastha to live in the village and engage in so-called social activities, and it is abominable for a sannyāsī to be addicted to sense gratification. (Bhāg. 7.15.38)

15.49

āśramāpasadā hy ete khalv āśrama-viḍambanāḥ

deva-māyā-vimūḍhāṃs tān upekṣetānukampayā

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 compassion upon him, teach him, if possible, to resume his original position. (Bhāg. 7.15.39)

Sannyāsīs Should Not Become Vāntāsīs

15.50

sannyāsīra dharma nahe sannyāsa kariñā

nija janma-sthāne rahe kuṭumba lañā

After taking sannyāsa, a sannyāsī 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 Aśramas

15.51

yadā yasānugṛhnāti bhagavān-ātma-bhāvitaḥ

sa jahāti matiṃ loke vede ca pariniṣṭitām

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 attachments to the external strictures of the Vedas (such as those recommending karma-kaṇḍa) which are meant for people in general. (Bhāg. 4.29.46)

15.52

ājñāyaivaṃ guṇān doṣān mayādiṣṭān api svakān

dharmān saṃtyajya yaḥ sarvān māṃ bhajeta sa tu sattamaḥ

[Kṛṣṇa said] Having taken complete shelter of My lotus feet, a saintly person renounces mundane religious and social duties and worships Me alone. Indeed, he is the best of men. (Bhāg. 11.11.32)

The Vedic Explanation of Paramahaṃsa

15.53

asau sva-putra-mitra-kalatra-bvandhvādiñchikhā-

yajñopavīte yāgaṃ satraṃ svādhyāyaṇ

ca sarvakarmāṇi sannyasyāyaṃ brahmāṇḍam

ca ḥitvā kaupīnaṃ daṇḍam ācchādanaṇ

ca sva śarīropabhogārthāya lokasyopakārārthāya ca

parigrahet. tacca na mukhyo'sti ko'yaṃ mukhya iti ced

ayaṃ mukhyaḥ. na daṇḍam na kamaṇḍalūm na śikhāṃ

na yajñopavītaṃ na cācchādanaṃ carati paramahaṃsaḥ

A paramahaṃsa gives up the following as being material and irrelevant: his children, wife, friends, relatives, śikhā, sacred thread, yajña, 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 paramahaṃsa accepts only the bare necessities required to keep body and soul together. The paramahaṃsa may sometimes accept the daṇḍa, śikhā, sacred thread, and dress of a sannyāsī in order to benefit the fallen souls of this world. For a paramahaṃsa the daṇḍa, śikhā, sacred tread, cloth etc. are not important. (Paramahaṃsa Upaniṣad 1-2)

The Supreme Lord, a Paramahaṃsa,

is Transcendental to all Material Considerations

15.54

ahe daṇḍa, āmi yāre bahiye hṛdaye

se tomāre bahiveka e ta' yukta nahe

eta bali' balarāma parama-pracaṇḍa

phelilena daṇḍa bhāṅgi "kari" tina khaṇḍa

O daṇḍa, within my heart, I find you to be external and useless. [since Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a devotee, He is the topmost paramahaṃsa. What need has He to carry a symbol of elevated status within the varṇas and āśramas of human society? A sannyāsa daṇḍa in His hands is redundant] Saying this, Śrī Balarāma, with great violence, broke into three pieces the tridaṇḍī staff of renunciation belonging to Śrī Caitanya. (Cb. Antya 2.205-206)

15.54a

tina khaṇḍa kari' daṇḍa dilā bhāsāñā

Nityānanda Prabhu broke Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's sannyāsa daṇḍa in three places. (Cc. Madhya 5.143)

15.55

daṇḍa-bhaṅga-līlā ei parama gambhīra

sei bujhe, duohāra pade yāora bhakti dhīra

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 Paramahaṃsas, and are Therefore

Transcendental to all Considerations of Aśrama,

the Red Cloth of a Sannyāsī is Inappropriate

15.56

rakta-vastra 'vaiṣṇavera' parite nā yuyāya

Red cloth is unfit for a paramahaṃsa Vaiṣṇava to wear. (Cc. Antya 13.61)

Bhāgavatam Gives the Characteristic Behavior of a Paramahaṃsa

15.57

evaṃ-vrataḥ sva-priya-nāma-kīrtyā jātānurāgo druta-citta uccaiḥ

hasaty atho roditi rauti gāyaty unmāda-van nṛtyati loka-bāhyaḥ

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. (Bhāg. 11.2.40)

The Mentality of a Paramahaṃsa

15.58

nāhaṃ vipro na ca nara-patir nāpi vaiśyo na śūdro

nāhaṃ varṇī na ca gṛha-patir no vanastho yatir vā

kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramānanda-pūrṇāmṛtābdher

gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudasaḥ

I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya or a śūdra. Nor am I a brahmacārī, a householder , a vānaprastha, or a sannyāsī. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the maintainer of the gopīs. (Cc. 13.80 from Padyāvalī 63)

Thus ends the Fifteenth Jewel of the Gauḍīya-Kaṇṭhahāra, entitled Aśrama-dharma-tattva.

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