[The following is a lecture given by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada in Seattle, Washington, on Oct. 21, 1968, when he was informed in a letter from Srila Narayana Maharaja that his sannyasa-guru had departed from this world.]
SRI SRIMAD BHAKTIPRAJNANA KESAVA GOSVAMI MAHARAJA
Seattle, October 21, 1968
[Srila Prabhupada:] One has to accept the renounced order from another person who is in renounced order. So I never thought that I shall accept this renounced order of life. In my family life, when I was in the midst of my wife and children, sometimes I was dreaming that my spiritual master was calling me, and I was following him. When my dream was over, I was thinking, ... I was little horrified: "Oh, Guru Maharaja wants me to become sannyasi. How can I accept sannyasa?" At that time, I was feeling not very much satisfaction that I will have to give up my family and become a mendicant. At that time, it was a horrible feeling. Sometimes I was thinking, "No, I cannot take sannyasa." But again I saw the same dream.
So in this way I was fortunate. My Guru Maharaja (Prabhupada begins to cry and his voice is choked) pulled me out from this material life. I have not lost anything. He was so kind upon me. I have gained. I left three children, I have got now three hundred children. So I am not a loser. This is material conception. We think that we shall be a loser by accepting Krsna. Nobody is a loser. I say this from my practical experience. I was thinking that "How can I accept this renounced order of life? I cannot accept so much trouble."
But I retired from my family life. I was sitting alone in Vrndavana, writing books. So this, my god-brother, insisted, "Bhaktivedanta prabhu..." This title was given in my family life. It was offered to me by the Vaisnava society. So he insisted me. Actually it is not he who insisted to me. Practically my spiritual master insisted to me through him, saying, "You accept." Without accepting the renounced order of life, nobody can become a preacher, and he wanted me to become a preacher. So he forced me through this god-brother, "You accept."
So unwillingly I accepted. And then I remembered that he wanted me to go to the Western countries. So I am feeling now very much obliged to my, this god-brother, that he carried out the wish of my spiritual master and forced me to accept this sannyasa order.
This god-brother, His Holiness Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, is in this world no more. He has entered Krsna's abode. So I wish to pass a resolution of bereavement and send it to them. I have composed one verse also in this connection in Sanskrit. So you all present, you sign this. I shall send it tomorrow.
The verse I have composed is in Sanskrit: Vairagya-vidya-nija-bhakti-yogam. This Krsna consciousness is vairagya-vidya. Vairagya-vidya means to become detestful of this material world. That is called vairagya-vidya. And that is possible simply by bhakti-yoga. Vairagya-vidya-nija-bhakti-yogam apayayan mam. Just like medicine. The child is afraid of taking medicine. That also I have experienced. In my childhood, when I became ill, I was very stubborn and I would say, "I won't accept any medicine." So my mother used to force medicine into my mouth with a spoon. I was so obstinate. Similarly, I did not want to accept this sannyasa order, but this god-brother forced me, and said,. "You must." Apayayan mam, he forcefully made me to drink this medicine. Anabhipsu andham. Why I was unwilling? Anabhipsu means unwilling. Andham, means one who is blind, who cannot see his future. Spiritual life is the brightest future, but the materialists cannot see this. But the Vaisnavas and the spiritual master forcefully say, "You drink this medicine." Apayayan mam anabhipsu andham sri-kesava-bhakti-prajnana-nama.
So my god-brother, his name is Kesava, Bhaktiprajnana Kesava, did this favor for me because he was an ocean of mercy; krpambudhi. We offer our obeisances to Vaisnavas: Vancha-kalpa-tarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca. The Vaisnavas, the representatives of the Lord, are so kind. They bring the ocean of mercy for distributing to the suffering humanity. Krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye. So I am offering my respectful obeisances unto this His Holiness, because he forcefully made me adopt this sannyasa order.
He is no more in this world. He has entered Krsna's abode. So I am offering my respectful obeisances along with my disciples. On the first day of my sannyasa, I remembered that I'll have to speak in English. I remembered this on that sannyasa day, when there was a reception, so first of all I spoke in English. This was all the arrangement of higher authority, of Krsna.
We are writing this: "Resolved that we the undersigned members and devotees of International Society for Krishna Consciousness Incorporated, in a condolence meeting under the presidency of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, today the 21st of October, 1968, at our Seattle branch, express our profound bereavement on hearing the passing of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, the sannyasa guru, preceptor, of our spiritual master, on October 6th, 1968, at his headquarter residence in Nabadwip, West Bengal. We offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja with the following verse composed on this occasion by our spiritual master." This verse I have already explained to you. So I wish that you all sign this, and I'll send it tomorrow by air mail.
Have you got pencil?
(sound of Prabhupada signing)