Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


We shall continue our readings from Chaitanya Charitamrita, the biography of our Mahaprabhu:

“The previous year, Jagadananda Pandita, following the Lord’s order, had returned to the city of Nadia to see Sachimata.” (That is the mother of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu). When he arrived, he offered prayers at her lotus feet and then offered her the cloth and prasadam of Lord Jagannatha. He offered obeisances to Sachimata in the name of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and informed her of all the Lord’s submissive prayers to her. Jagadananda’s coming pleased mother Sachi very much. As he talked of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, she listened day and night. Jagadananda Pandita said, “My dear mother, sometimes the Lord comes here and eats all the food you have offered. After eating the food, the Lord says, ‘Today Mother has fed Me up to My neck. I go there and eat the food My mother offers, but she cannot understand that I am eating it directly. She thinks that this is a dream.” Sachimata said, “I wish Nimai would eat all the nice vegetables I cook. That is my desire. Sometimes I think that Nimai has eaten them, but afterwards I think that I was only dreaming.” In this way, Jagadananda Pandita and mother Sachi talked day and night about the happiness of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Jagadananda Pandita met all the other devotees in Nadia. They were all very happy to have him present. Jagadananda Pandita thereafter went to meet Advaita Ācharya, who also was very happy to have him. Vasudeva Datta and Murari Gupta were so pleased to see Jagadananda Pandita that they kept him at their homes and would not allow him to leave. They heard confidential narrations about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from the mouth of Jagadananda Pandita and forgot themselves in the great happiness of hearing about the Lord. Whenever Jagadananda Pandita went to visit a devotee’s house, that devotee immediately forgot himself in great happiness. All glories to Jagadananda Pandita! He is so favored by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that anyone who meets him thinks; “Now I have gotten the association of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu directly.”[1]

So, looks like nothing special happened in Nadia. One person from far away distant place is visiting a mother. The visitor is Jagadananda; what is the meaning of his name? Happiness of the whole universe. And the mother, she is an abandoned person, because her son has left. This is the fate of the mothers. Their sons do leave. And the mothers stay at home brokenhearted. What to do? Mother Sachi was also devastated by understanding that her son has left, because what is the way the mother thinks? She wants to take care of the children for their whole lifetime. Sometimes by cooking, sometimes by knitting their socks. So, this is the nature of the mothers, always take care. And it doesn’t matter that their sons meanwhile had become kings. They will ask: “Have you taken your breakfast already?” So, we can ask whether the mothers’ conception or the mothers’ vision is distorted, or not? It is distorted, distorted of love. Because what do they see in their big sons? – the small son.

So, Mother Sachi also had to take that experience when the son is leaving. Not for becoming a king, not for establishing a family, but leaving home forever. Why? Because Mahaprabhu had decided to take sannyas. Sannyas means never return. So, if you leave something you should never return to that point. And there are certain specific rules concerning sannyas order. For example at least for five years he should not return to his birth place, shouldn’t stay at one place for a very long time. If it is a village – three days, if it is a town – five days. Oh, wait a minute… I think we made a mistake, the five days are already over. And many other rules. Because sannyas order has quite strict regulations. As you heard previously, one order is: Never even hear the name of a woman. So, sannyas order is not for the feminist movement, because ladies would be offended if not even their names should be heard by the sannyasis. But why is it? Because an ordinary lady is forbidden; but the name of special ladies is recommended to hear by sannyasis. Because it is said that without Radhrani’s blessings there is no sannyas. So, if you don’t hear the name of Shrimati Radharani as a sannyasi, then you are in great trouble. A husband should embrace his wife. Why? Because the next sannyasis also want to come to this world. But what should a sannyasi embrace? He shouldn’t embrace a lady. Of course, he shouldn’t embrace a man either. What can he embrace? It is natural that you want to embrace. Sannyasi should embrace the feminine principle – like tenderness, the care, this motherly qualities that are manifested in Sachi Mata. Although a sannyasi should be a very strong ascetic, nevertheless sometimes we have to embrace these feminine principles and apply them. Because actually the goal of sannyas is not to renounce the world, because this is a negative goal, but to achieve supreme mercy and to become like a loving servant, loving partner of the supreme Divine Couple. So, that we cannot achieve without the help of the feminine principle. Krishna is like a great mountain, you are living on the plain and Shrimati Radharani is the river coming from the mountains and bringing you the nectar. So, therefore to reach the top of the mountain, it’s impossible without following the river. And all the treasures from the mountain are just carried by the waves of this river.

(to be continued)

[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya Lila, 12. 86-101

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