Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


“The last twelve years of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu were passed in this transcendental craziness. Thus He executed His last pastimes in three ways. For the twenty-four years after Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted the renounced order, whatever pastimes He executed were unlimited and unfathomable. Who can understand the purport of such pastimes? Just to indicate those pastimes, I am presenting a general survey of the chief pastimes in the form of a synopsis. This is the first synopsis: After accepting the sannyāsa order, Caitanya Mahāprabhu proceeded toward Vrindavana. When proceeding toward Vrindavana, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krishna, and He lost all remembrance of the external world. In this way He traveled continuously for three days in Radha-deśa, the country where the Ganges River does not flow.” So this is one part of Bengal not close to the Ganges. “First of all, Lord Nityānanda bewildered Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by bringing Him along the banks of the Ganges, saying that it was the river Yamunā. After three days, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to the house of Advaita Ācārya at Śāntipura and accepted alms there.” Practically it was food, but it was given to Him. This was His first acceptance of alms. At night He performed congregational chanting there. At the house of Advaita Prabhu, He met His mother as well as all the devotees from Māyāpura. He adjusted everything and then went to Jagannātha Purī.”[1]

Let us stop a little bit on this first event. Mahaprabhu was living as a householder and in the beginning He was trying to show some influence on people by teaching, educating them. And people were listening and following. But then something came to Mahaprabhu’s mind: “As I live like them, they might think that I am one of them. In this way people will not pay the necessary attention to My message. But if I take sannyasa, sannyasis are respected. So maybe they will pay more attention – not to Me, but to My message.” So He decided: “I should give up this previous lifestyle of Mine and I should enter the renounced order.”

If the goal of any change in your life is that you could serve better then you should make that change. Even if it is difficult. This should always be the measurement – whether this step that I want to take helps my service or not.

Mahaprabhu decided: “I should give up the present state and I should act in a different manner.” So He actually escaped from home, from His loving mother and wife. You know, the mothers are very sensitive. Maybe it’s only the lovers, who are more sensitive. She immediately understood that something is going to happen. Sachimata was down struck, frozen almost to death, almost fainting, because she felt that Nimai is leaving. She never called her son “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu”, never. “Ah, my dear Nimai!” Even she forgot “Pandit” – because He was a teacher and was considered a pandit, a wise man.

So He left and during the whole night He was running practically and finally arrived at Katwa to accept sannyasa. And there it happened, although the master whom He approached was very hesitant to accept – because a young man, so beautiful, so knowledgeable, so prospective – why He should enter the difficult renounced order of life? But Mahaprabhu was very strong in His desire and they started to prepare. You know, when you receive your sannyasa initiation you have to cut your hair. Shave up! So he approached a barber – not from Seville but from Bengal. And he said: “Impossible! I cannot cut Your hair. It’s just so beautiful – first of all! Second – if I cut Your hair You will very easily enter the renounced order – so I will not do that!” But then finally Mahaprabhu convinced him, so he started to cut the hair. You see here on this picture Mahaprabhu is not a shaved up sannyasa, but a shining, beautiful young man who is emanating the luster of dedication toKrishna. Just imagine Him without the hair! Ah, this was very painful to the local people to see their beloved Nimai Pandit so much prepared to the bitter renunciation. So from the people of Katwa – who were gathering – some fainted, others started to cry, because it was very painful for them.

And then you know that finally He received His initiation. But even the master was perplexed. Mahaprabhu first asked: “My master, I had a dream and in this dream I heard a mantra.” And He leaned very close to the ear of the master: “This was the mantra. Is this that you will give to Me?” And the master said: “Yes, yes, this is what I should give to You.” So what happened? Practically Mahaprabhu initiated the master first and then He received the mantra from him. Because we have to go according to the formalities, right? But if you will accept the sannyasa order, please, do not initiate your masters before – with your mantras, with your names, with your versions.


(to be continued)


[1]“Chaitanya Charitamrita”, Madhya-lila, 1.88-95

2 Responses to “Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa initiation”

  1. Kallol Chakraborty Says:

    So Good … Hare Krishna

  2. admin Says:

    Hare, hare!!!

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