Sanatana Gosvami Comes to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
- Category: 2000
- Tuesday, 20 June 2000
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2000
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(Alachua, Florida, June 20,
He was my friend my very bosom friend. He was my siksa guru. He never treated me like a disciple. We were always sitting in one seat together, talking so much hari-katha, and making capatis. We were like friends, laughing and joking. He was a very jokey person and always smiling. He had no false ego that I am so learned, I am Guru or anything. He must have joked with you, his senior disciples, not that he was always very grave and controlling anyone, never. Never controlling but out of love he wanted to control. So I always want to follow him. What I am telling not any word is mine but their words, their realizations, their preaching.
I request you to go very deep in his teachings. If you are always busy to take the meaning of his instructions outwardly, externally only, then you will be deceived, and you will be cheated. Try to go deep and try to understand his teachings. He may tell like other gurus in our acarya parampara so many contradictory things, because there are so many different classes of devotees, grades of devotees. But we have to reconcile them why he told one thing here and another thing there. He may tell these things in different circumstances. There are so many things [apparent contradictions] in Srimad Bhagavatam and in Caitanya Caritamrta also. In Srimad Bhagavatam also we can see so many things. Krishna told gopis in a very dark night, very dangerous forest, so many beasts were there: "You should at once return back." After that Krishna asked, "When did I tell you to go?" There were no dangerous animals and it was not a dark night. It was a full moon night but He said that it was very dark, and "I never told you to return back." But we will have to reconcile. Why did he tell that time, "You should not go from Me. You should stay here and we will dance."? Oh, everything depends on the qualification of the devotees; they must reconcile these things.
Now I am coming to my class. In India after Mahabharata some bad days came, and India came under the control of Mohammedan rulers. At that time in Bengal there was a Muslim king, Hussein Shah. Once he was constructing a very high tomb, engaging thousands of workers. So many expert masons were working very hard. When it was just about completed, the king himself went very high up on the top. Looking at it, he exclaimed, "Oh, very wonderful work they have done. In India there is no tomb like this," and he was appreciating the masons. But the head mason replied, "This tomb is so beautiful, so good and wonderful, but we can do even better than this." At once the king took the hands of that mason and threw him down from there, and he was killed. "If he remained alive, then he could build something more splendid than this. I cannot bear this." So, being very angry, he killed him. At that time one of his personal assistants was there.
The king told him, "At once you should go and bring." But what he was to bring the king never said. "At once you should go." And in fear he ran from there. He was thinking, "What order he has given? What to bring?" He could never figure out what it could be. Being very worried, he left that town and he went to another town to save himself, pondering, "What should I bring?"
Still very worried, he was going down the road one day and saw that there were two brothers, very beautiful. They were looking at him and saw that this man was very worried, so they called to him. These two boys, the two brothers, were sixteen, seventeen years in age. They called him and said, "Oh, we see that everyday you are roaming here and there, and you seem to be very worried. What is your concern? He replied, "I am the personal assistance of my king Hussein Shah. He told me to bring something but what to bring he never told. And out of fear I fled away from there. If he finds me, then he may kill me. That's why I am so worried." "Can you tell us, when he gave you this order, where was he sitting and what was he doing?" Then he told them the whole story, how they were on the tomb and there the king killed that mason and then he ordered me to bring something. "Oh, you need not worry. You should take two very expert masons from here, and at once go and tell the king that in this town there are two very expert masons. You should fetch them and go at once to the king." Then he became very happy even though he was still afraid. He went to the king and told him, "O King, I have brought two expert masons."
Hearing this, the king began to laugh and asked, "How did you know my wish?" "I could never understand, but in that town there are two brothers, very expert and very learned, although they are young in age but very expert in all things. They know many languages, especially Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian and all others. They are very expert."
The king said, "I wanted this but that time I was angry. I told you to bring something, but I didn't tell you what to bring. They seem very wonderful and very intelligent. You should go again and request that those two brothers should come to me, and they should be with me."
Can you tell who were those two brothers? Amar and Santosh. Amar was Sanatana Gosvami and Santosh was Rupa Gosvami-two brothers. The king's officer went there and requested them to come. With some special arrangement he brought them to the king who asked them so many questions, all of which they answered to the point. At once he was very charmed and he kept them in the his kingdom as private secretary and prime-minister. Sanatana Gosvami was the prime-minister, and Rupa Gosvami was the private secretary.
There were three brothers and, as far I know, one sister. They were working as chief minister and private secretary for many years. After Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, He returned to Puri. Then He went to South India and met with Raya Ramananda. Then He returned to Puri and again He declared, "I am going to Vrindavana." He followed the route along the Ganges. He came first to the bank of the Ganges from Puri and from there he was going to Vrindavana.
When he reached Kanayanatshala, the kingdom of Hussein Shah, huge crowds were surrounding Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In Caitanya Caritamrta it is written that more than lakhs of people were always following Him. Kirtana and hari-katha were always going on. They reached Kanayanatshala. That place previously was called by some Mohammedan name, but Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami changed it to Kanayanatshala. They made there Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda, at Ramakeli-grama.
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu came with all His followers, Rupa and Sanatana changed their dresses in the night and, putting on dhotis and shawls, came to Caitanya Mahaprabhu in a mood of great simplicity. Also Anupama came with his son Jiva Gosvami, who was not even two years old. He was in their laps, and they gave this Jiva Gosvami to the lotus feet of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After that Sanatana Gosvami told Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "This is not the process to go to Vrindavana. How should one go? Alone, like a street beggar, not taking any opulence and so much money." You see how Rupa and Sanatana and also Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavana. "So this is not the proper way to go to Vrindavana-with thousands and thousands of persons, because so many problems will come. Here also you have a large crowd-more than two hundred. So this creates some problems-where to stay, where to host, where to take prasadam. It may be that some will be very sick and doctors will be needed. So many problems may come, but go alone with nothing. Keep nothing in pocket. When it is night, we will find any place to stay, and we can beg one chapati in the houses of the devotees so nothing is needed." Caitanya Mahaprabhu answered, "Oh, you are very intelligent. I am making a mistake. If I am going like this, any king might think that I am going to invade his kingdom." Sanatana Gosvami added, "This is exactly the reason why I came to You. Hussein Shah deputed me to go and investigate who is this person and how is it that so many people are with him. Does he want to invade the kingdom and attack me?" So Sanatana Gosvami advised that He should go alone. Then Caitanya Mahaprabhu decided, "Oh, I should return to Puri and again from there next year I will go to Vrindavana." So he returned back. Was this journey in vain? His problem was solved. Bhavad-vidha bhagavatas,tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho,tirthi-kurvanti tirthani, svantah-sthena gadabhrta (SB 1.13.10). What is the meaning?
"Personalities such as Yourself are places of holy pilgrimage. Indeed, You purify the holy places. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in the hearts of saints, such persons can purify even the places of pilgrimage."
They have nothing, no self-interest. Personally I have no self-interest, nothing. In this old age you know how troublesome it is for me to go everywhere. Narada Rsi, Sukadeva Gosvami did not even want any cloth, nothing. Why were they only going here and there? Bhavad-vidha bhagavatas,tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho, tirthi-kurvanti tirthani, svantah-sthena gadabhrta. Pure devotees have no worldly desire except, "Oh, I want to serve Radha-Krishna." They keep Krishna in control in their hearts always -gadabhrta. What is the meaning of gadabhrta? With gada, with His club, He is saving the whole world. This is one meaning, general meaning, but a pure devotee will reject this. For him it will mean "He who speaks very sweetly with vamsi." He calls out, "Radhe, Radhe," and cows, "Kalindi, Gange, Yamune, Pisangi," like this and also gopis, "Radhe, Lalite, Vishake," and they are at once attracted and come to Him. So by vamsi He speaks so sweetly. He is gadadbhrta.
The pure devotees, high-class devotees, always keep this Krishna with Radhika and the gopis in their hearts, and in this way, wherever they go, the place becomes a tirtha (tirthi kurvanti tirthani) They go to tirtha and they make it a holy place. How? By the dust of their lotus feet. They have nothing to take from anywhere. Their only purpose is to give pure bhakti. Swamiji never came for any self-interest, never, not for name or fame. He came out of pity, to serve the order of his Gurudeva, to preach his mission, and that is why he attracted lakhs and lakhs of devotees in a couple of years. He never wanted anything for himself, never, and that is why he successfully preached the mission very quickly.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Ramakeli only to sprinkle His mercy in the hearts of Rupa, Sanatana and Jiva also. Then he told them very secretly, "I want you to give up your jobs and go to Vrindavana. I want you to meet Me in Vrindavana. Become street beggars and come to Me. I will go alone there and you should meet Me." And then He left.
At once, one order was sufficient for them. What Caitanya Mahaprabhu told them they followed very strictly. They wanted to resolve how to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Vrindavana.
Mahaprabhu returned to Puri, and the next year He started alone, going through very dangerous forests where there were elephants, tigers, bears, wild dogs. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had no weapon, no gun, no pistol or anything but the pistol of prema and love. He was always chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Krishna! Krishna! Krishna!
Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! he
Why raksa mam, what is the meaning of pahi mam? I am offering myself totally-pahi, pahi. I am offering everything. Now I am not mine, I am Yours. This called pahi. Like Draupadi: I cannot save myself. Now I have given myself fully at Your lotus feet.
What was Caitanya Mahaprabhu's problem that He was calling like this? Why? Oh, in separation mood. He had taken training in the school of Visakha and Raya Ramananda. Then He was in so much separation for Krishna, feeling that "Myself I am now Radhika.". He was always feeling like this-in the forest also. He saw the forest and said, "Oh, this is Vrindavana," and the river, "Oh, Kalindi is here," some mountains, "Oh, Giriraja Govardhana," some cows, "Oh, these are the cows of Krishna," and seeing the cowherd boys, "Oh, these are the friends of Krishna." And weeping bitterly He was calling, "Krishna Krishna pahi mam! Krishna Krishna raksa mam."
If the tigers, sleeping on the way, were touched by Mahaprabhu's feet, they used to chant "Krishna Krishna."
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
When Mahaprabhu would chant Hare Krishna very loudly, the whole forest used to follow Him and would echo. All the creatures, creepers, trees, animals, and even the grasses would hear and at once they were liberated-miraculously. In this way He reached Vrindavana.
Rupa Gosvami knew that Mahaprabhu had reached Vrindavana, and resigned his post. He went to his house with his younger brother Anupama. This is the process adopted by Rupa Gosvami. You can follow the process if you are eager to follow. He went to his native place where he had kept so much money. He divided it into two parts and gave half in charity to the brahmanas and Vaisnavas and half he kept for his family, telling them to maintain their lives with it and to provide for the education of Jiva Gosvami. And ten thousand gold coins he took with him, which he kept in the capital, in Ramakeli-grama, where he had been staying before. This was to be used to help Sanatana Gosvami, if the need arose. When he left, he wrote a letter to Sanatana Gosvami. Then he became like a street beggar, with nothing in his pocket, no shirt, nothing. He just had some worn and torn cloth, a dhoti only and one chaddar, nothing else. If he needed something, he would beg here and there one or two capatis, not more than that.
Together Rupa and Anupama went to Vrindavana. On the way they wrote a letter and sent it to Sanatana Gosvami. He wrote only some five or six letters which no one could understand. If the king would see, he would not understand. He wrote ka, ma and then sha, and so many letters-six or seven letters-and this made one poem or a sloka. Ka-where did Madhupuri go, the capital place of Krishna-Yadupuri? Do you understand? Once upon a time Mathura was the kingdom of the whole of India, including Dvaraka and Ayodhya. But now it is a desert. What has remained of the kingdoms of Rama and Krishna, where there were so many beautiful palaces? Where are they now? What is the meaning? Ravana is gone, Rama and all His opulence also disappeared, and you are like a poor person in front of them. You should consider this and at once give up all possessions, your opulence, position, everything, and come to Vrindavana. Sanatana Gosvami read this and he understood what Rupa Gosvami was telling. At once he decided to leave his post and everything. He did not go to the council of the king but sent word that he was sick, although he wasn't really. What was he doing? He was hearing Bhagavatam from so many learned scholars, and he was absorbed in discussions with the devotees all the time. He was not having any problem, nothing. Rather, he was always sinking the ocean of love and affection.
The king himself came to see what he was doing and told him, "I am going to a war in Orissa, to invade Jagannath Puri so you should come with me." Sanatana Gosvami told him flatly, "I cannot go. I cannot go to attack Jagannath Puri, never. I don't want be your prime minister. You can give this position to anyone else. Now I cannot do service."
The king told him, "You are my elder brother. I depend on you and you are disobeying my order. I am the ruler. If you do not obey me, I will punish you." Then the king put him in jail and went away.
Sanatana Gosvami was very happy. It has been written: raja more priti kore emor bandhana. My wife is loving me so much that it is bondage for me. The father is giving love-it is bondage for me. What is the meaning of this sloka, do you know? It is a very important thing. If you want to follow Rupa and Sanatana, you should know this meaning and then you can follow them.
It means that if raja, the king, has so much affection for me, he is giving me so much money and position, it is really bondage for me. If a wife has so much love for her husband and the husband wants to be a pure devotee, oh, this is bondage for him, a very big obstacle. If he has a very, very loving child, then this love is like a bondage. He cannot do bhajana. So Sanatana Gosvami is saying, "Somehow I should do something so that the king will become angry with me."
There was a devotee about hundred years old who wanted to take sannyasa, but his wife was so loving that, when he requested to take sannyasa, she presented some obstacles. One day he set his room on fire, took a chaddar and pretended he was sleeping. The fire was coming very near. The wife saw it and at once entered the room. "Oh, you are sleeping? Oh, such a big fire is here. You should leave this place. At once go out from here." Immediately he came out of the house and said to her, "You have told me to go out of the house. Now I will never return to the house. I am going." And thus he left his home. His wife was weeping, but he said, "You have ordered me so I am following your order." This person was Ballabha Acarya. He went to Kasi and took sannyasa from Madhavendra Puri, and the next day he left his body. Sometimes pure devotees want to serve Krishna totally, but they may cheat others by their tricks. Sanatana Gosvami wanted to cheat the king, so he made the king angry.
Thus Sanatana Gosvami was put in prison. He gave five thousand gold coins to the jailer, but he was not satisfied. Sanatana Gosvami told him, "You should help me because I have given this post to you. Then you will gain some sukrti. Don't worry. I will not stay here. I will pose as a Muslim medicant and will go to Mecca. I will not stay in India. So please help me." Sanatana said this because the jailer was Mohammedan. So he became happy. He was still fearing the king, so Sanatana offered him two thousand more gold coins. Then some water came from his tongue and mouth. "So much money I have never seen in my whole life. I cannot make so much money in my whole life. If the king will come and be angry and takes away my post, no harm. I can maintain myself." So he released Sanatana Gosvami, and with one servant he started on his way to Vrindavana.
Aranya Maharaja: When Sanatana Gosvami escaped from the prison, he could not go to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by the main roads because he would be caught, so he was going through the forest areas, very dangerous places. He came to one district called Patna where he was approached by one very wealthy landlord. He told him, "You can stay with me tonight. I will give you some ingredients and you can cook for yourself. Thus you can take prasadam, and in the morning I will send my men with you who will escort you over this dangerous tract of land over the hills. Sri Sanatana Gosvami agreed. He cooked and took prasadam, and when he went to take bath, he was thinking to himself very deeply. Because he had been the prime minister of Nawab Hussein Shah, he knew politics and the art of diplomacy. So he was thinking to himself, "Why would this person offer to help me for no reason? He must have some motivation." Sri Sanatana Gosvami was very intelligent. He returned back to the place where he was staying, and there he approached his servant Isana and inquired from him. "Isana, are you carrying with you any valuable things."
Isana replied, " Oh, yes, Prabhu! I have seven gold coins."
"Why are you bringing this with you? Why are you carrying this wealth with you? This wealth is like Yamaraja himself. Certainly anyone might kill us for this, so this is a very dangerous thing. Give me the coins right now."
So Isana took the gold coins and gave them to Sanatana Gosvami, who immediately went to the landlord and said, "Here. I want you to take these seven gold coins. I will give you them and, for the sake of religious principles, please escort us through this very dangerous tract of land." Then the heart of that landlord, being influenced by the powerful association of Sanatana Gosvami, whose heart was so pure, who was so saturated in bhakti, melted and he began to confess, saying, "You have saved me from a very sinful act. Tonight, this very night I was about to kill you and take your money. I have an assistant who is an astrologer. He knows the art of the astrology, and he had already informed me that two travelers were coming this way, carrying with them eight gold coins, not seven. So we made a plan to intercept you, give you a place to stay and in the night we would have killed you and taken your money." "If I keep this money with me it is certain that somebody else will try to kill me for this. So you should take this money." So then that person accepted the money from Sanatana Gosvami and escorted him over that dangerous tract of land. After they passed that region and the men had gone, Sanatana Gosvami called for his servant Isana: "O Isana, come here. I know that you have with you some balance from these gold coins." Isana hadn't been thoroughly honest with him. He had told Sanatana Gosvami that he had seven gold coins. He gave him seven and one he kept secretly. So what was his intention? "I will give him seven gold coins and one I will keep, because in the future a very difficult situation may come and by this gold we can buy anything we need and solve the problem. I will use this gold in his service." He was not selfish. He intended this one gold coin for the service of Sanatana Gosvami, but Sanatana Gosvami told him, " O Isana, this one gold coin you should keep with you and return to your home."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You
are not qualified to be with me. You are depending on
money, not in Krishna only. I don't want to be with a
person like this. You cannot help me. You will make so
many problems. If you want to be a pure devotee like Rupa
Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and Raghunatha Gosvami, look
at what they did. If you are not going to follow their
Aranya Maharaja: So hearing this, Isana began to cry, his heart broken. "Please don't send me away. I only want to serve you."
But Sanatana Gosvami was very
strong, very strict. He said, "No, you keep this coin and
return to your home." The devotee must be completely
surrendered to Krishna. He will think, "Krishna is my
only maintainer. Krishna is my only protector, and if I
take shelter of money, if I take shelter of
Then he came to one town called Hatipur. There he met with Sri Kanta, who was his brother-in-law, the husband of the sister of Sanatana Gosvami. He was engaged in government service there and had three lakhs of gold coins, three hundred thousand gold coins. That time this is inconceivable amount of wealth. The king had given him this money to purchase horses for the Muslim government. So he was there buying horses and sending them to the emperor. When Sanatana Gosvami came and met with his very wealthy and very aristocratic, highly positioned brother-in-law, his brother-in-law was happy to meet with him.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Sanatana Gosvami was more than him, but he had left everything and had become like a street beggar.
Aranya Maharaja: Sanatana Gosvami, he was in the higher position. He was a prime minister, but he had left that very high position and became like a street beggar. His brother-in-law told him, "You are dirty and your cloth is all ruined. We will give you very some nice cloth, fine clothing and you should stay here for some time with me and live like a very aristocratic gentlemen."
Sanatana Gosvami said, "No, I will not stay here, not even for a second, not one second. Help me to cross over the Ganges and continue my journey."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Why for one second wouldn't he stay there? Bad association. Even the association of his brother-in-law was not helpful for him. So his brother-in-law requested him to stay, but for one moment he would not remain there. He left that place and came to Varanasi, but he accepted something from his brother-in-law.
Aranya Maharaja: As he was leaving that place, his brother-in-law gave him one very costly and luxurious woollen blanket.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Why did he give it? It was the cold season for India, highest cold, so he gave it to him to keep warm. He took it and went to Varanasi. Then what happened when he came to Varanasi on the bank of the Ganges, very sacred place? He heard that Caitanya Mahaprabhu had reached there on His way back from Vrindavan. Lakhs and lakhs of devotee were hearing from Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He had defeated Prakasananda, having cut all his Mayavada arguments. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so prominent that lakhs and lakhs of devotees were coming to see Him. He was staying in the house of Candra Sekhara. Sanatana Gosvami came there searching for Him. He was standing at the door of Candra Sekhara's house, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew that he was there.
Devotee: Then Caitanya Mahaprabhu enquired from Candra Sekhara and asked him to go and see if someone had come to his doorstep. Mahaprabhu said that a devotee had come. When Candra Sekhara came out, he saw no devotee waiting outside and replied to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "I didn't see any devotee standing outside to meet You."
Then Mahaprabhu asked, "Did you see anyone there?" This time Candra Sekhara came out and saw one person who was so dirty and shaggy, with such a big beard, looking like a Muslim. Then Candra Sekhara told this man to come in because Caitanya Mahaprabhu was calling him. When this person who was actually Sanatana Gosvami came in and when Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw him, He quickly ran to embrace him. But what happened? Sanatana Gosvami didn't want Caitanya Mahaprabhu to touch him, but Mahaprabhu wanted to embrace him. Mahaprabhu said that by touching a pure devotee one can completely become pure.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: I am touching you only to become pure Myself.
Devotee: After sometime Mahaprabhu ordered Candra Sekhara to give some nice clothes and to help him to shave up and dress like a devotee. After Sanatana Gosvami shaved up, Candra Sekhara offered him a new cloth which Sanatana Gosvami would not accept. Instead he asked for one of Candra Sekhara's old dhotis which he tore into two pieces, making two pieces of outer sannyasa clothes, the upper and the lower, and he made one kutir out that cloth. In that way he came in front of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw that dress of Sanatana Gosvami He was very happy and He was very pleased how nicely Sanatana Gosvami was following the principles of sannyasa asrama. But Sanatana Gosvami was still keeping that valuable blanket given to him by his brother-in-law. While in conversation Mahaprabhu would sometimes look at the blanket. In the meanwhile they went to Tapana Misra's house where Mahaprabhu was invited for prasadam. Mahaprabhu took Sanatana Gosvami with him to take mahaprasadam. When Mahaprabhu requested Tapana Misra to give mahaprasadam also to Sanatana Gosvami, Tapana Misra replied that he had some duties to do. "You please take first, and after you have taken, then Sanatana Gosvami will honor mahaprasadam." After Mahaprabhu took mahaprasadam and was resting, Tapana Misra gave Mahaprabhu's remnants to Sanatana Gosvami, who saw that Mahaprabhu was noticing this blanket again and again. Then he understood that Caitanya Mahaprabhu wasn't pleased with this. Sanatana Gosvami went to the Ganges where one poor man had washed his old torn quilt and had spread it for drying. Sanatana Gosvami went to him and asked if he could trade his valuable blanket for that quilt. When that person heard these words from Sanatana Gosvami, he was startled and said, "You are a nice gentlemen. Why are you joking with me like this? You are a sane person so why would any sane person would trade this torn old quilt for a valuable blanket?" He was thinking that Sanatana Gosvami was joking with him.
But when Sanatana Gosvami seriously requested him, he gave his valuable blanket to that poor person and took his torn quilt and went with it to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became so happy to see how Sanatana Gosvami was following the strict principles of sannyasa asrama. He was very pleased that by the mercy of Krishna Sanatana Gosvami had given all attraction for all material sense objects.
That blanket was his last material attachment, and now he had completely given that up also. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very happy to see Sanatana Gosvami in that condition, completely depending on Krishna and not having any attachment or attraction for anything mundane. Then Sanatana Gosvami humbly began to inquire from Mahaprabhu.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Thank you. This is the process. What is the purpose of this story? From the beginning of his life, a devotee should follow how Sanatana Gosvami left everything-position wealth and money. Even a servant with one coin he left. Even that blanket-now he had nothing. He only took an old dhoti and made it into four, for his lower and upper cloth. He had nothing else. He had no money. Nothing was left with him. If any person wants to go to any high-class devotee to become a Vaisnava, he should be like Sanatana Gosvami. He should not come with so much wealth in his pockets or with a big bank balance. Otherwise he can never follow this process. He must come like a street beggar.
I can tell you the life history of your Srila Prabhupada, my friend Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. He himself told this story to me. I think he never told others but I am telling you. When he took initiation from Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Sarasvati Thakura, he was telling me this secret thing. "I took initiation and then I began to read Srimad Bhagavatam and to chant and remember also and looking after my job at Bengal Chemical which I was managing at time." He was not only the manger, he was the sole proprietor. But he was fearing-if anyone chants, remembers and follows Krishna, then Krishna will make him a street beggar. So what should he do? "I was thinking and thinking, and I was in a dilemma, always worried about this, but I never stopped chanting, hearing, and reading Srimad Bhagavatam. I went on strictly following my Guru's order." After sometime Bengal Chemical failed. He left it; he was bound to leave it. Then he came to Allahabad and he started one medical factory in a big way, but after two years it failed. Then he started a very prominent shop, where India's prime minister used to come, but after two or three years it also failed. Then he worked as a representative for medicines. He made himself new, new medicines and used to go here and there with them, but that he also could not do. Then penniless he came to me and told me, "Now I am penniless. I have nothing left." So Krishna does this to those He loves.
The purport of the story of Sanatana Gosvami is that if you really want to be a very pure, high-class devotee, you will have to follow him with empty pockets, keeping nothing with you. Then Krishna may give you bhakti, otherwise not. Otherwise, you will have to give up your devotion and return back to where you were before. So you should try to follow Sanatana Gosvami if you want to have high-class precious prema-bhakti. Surely you will have to do this.
We know that all those who have practiced bhakti-yoga have followed this way shown by Rupa, Sanatana, Raghunatha, also Narottama Thakura, who was the son of the king, Syamananda, Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Bhaktivinoda Thakura-he also had a very high- class position and he also left everything. Srila Prabhupada and Swamiji were also very high- class. His father was a very rich person. Our Guru-maharaja was also like a prince. And the father of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was a very rich person, but he left everything for Krishna-prema. Krishna-prema is more valuable. With all opulence you cannot attain Krishna-prema. You have to become a street beggar one day. When you can be like this, then Krishna can give you so much opulence, just He did with Yudhisthira Maharaja, Prahlada Maharaja, Nanda Maharaja, and Svami Maharaja also. He had so much opulence, lakhs and lakhs of daughters and sons and so many centers, so many cows here and there. No one can believe his success. So you should try to follow this line. It is not very easy, but we must follow it. This is the way to achieve Krishna-prema.