The following is a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on October 21, 1968 in Seattle, when he was informed in a letter from Srila Narayana Maharaja that his sannyasa-guru had departed from this world.
"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
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
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.