Devotee: So Mahārāja, exactly what offence did Choṭa Haridāsa perform?
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: We should take it as Mahāprabhu by His own person is teaching it to the public. He was not actually so; but he was made to play the part of such a person. That the, and outwardly that was given serious objection, that in the name of Mahāprabhu he went to beg something from the lady. Mahāprabhu did not like that.
This is to warn us that a particular plea, or under the plea of preaching or something we should not try to satisfy our carnal desire which is within our heart. Outwardly I’m going to meet a person, as if for the service of Kṛṣṇa, or serve the sampradāya, or some benefit divine. But if within our heart there is something underground, and the satisfaction of that, for the satisfaction, for the real satisfaction of our inner lust, if we apply or use the plea of preaching, coming in connection with the outside, that is a very serious offence. Do you follow? Outwardly the plea for the God’s service, but inwardly at the same time I want my sense satisfaction. That has been condemned in very strong way. That is very punishable. Vedāśraya-nāstikya-vāda bhauda keli [?] Half truth is more dangerous than falsehood. To take the advantage of the service and under that disguise to go on one’s own sense pleasure, to seek sense pleasure under the colour of devotion, that is a serious offence. It has been showed there, that you are making your good feeling subservient to the lower tendency. You are asking your Gurudeva to serve you. Such serious thing!
Hare Kṛṣṇa. Gaura Haribol. Gaura Haribol. Gaura Haribol. Nitāi Gaura Haribol. Nitāi Gaura Haribol.
That is a warning. We must be very careful for that when we are preachers. Nitāi Gaura Haribol. But that punishment was given outwardly, but Choṭa Haridāsa he used to sing around Mahāprabhu, and Mahāprabhu could hear his song, and other devotees also could hear. But outwardly he was sacrificed.
Jayatīrtha Mahārāja: Once, one of our sannyāsīs, ISKCON sannyāsīs, apparently had fallen into sense gratification. And afterwards he committed suicide thinking that this was the only way of atonement. But later Śrīla Prabhupāda said it was not a very good idea.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: Mahāprabhu showed that extreme exemplary punishment, but still in our level we should not deprive ourselves from the valuable time in this human birth, most valuable. We must repent and will again take the advantage of this human birth time to utilize. That was extreme case, Choṭa Haridāsa. Mahāprabhu had to be so much strict because He was conserving the love divine which is so similar to the mundane lust. So to show the great difference between love divine, braja prema, and the, what is going on here, the lady love. So to show that though it may look to be similar, but this is just the opposite. So such strict, to keep up the standard, purity of the standard, He had to apply to take to such serious punishment. That under no circumstances, this should not be taken as that.
Vipramukhya: Mahārāja, if a sannyāsī falls down, does he lose the grace of Caitanya Mahāprabhu? If he again takes up the service of the Lord, can he regain the grace of Caitanya Mahāprabhu?
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: Of course temporarily he loses but, bhūmau-skhalita-pādānāṁ bhūmir, again he will try to get up and go on. Fallible creature we are, we won’t leave any stone unturned.
bhūmau-skhalita-pādānāṁ bhūmir evāvalambanam
[tvayi jātāparādhānāṁ, tvam eva śaraṇaṁ prabho]
[“For those who have stumbled and fallen upon the ground, that very ground is the only support by which they can arise once again. Likewise, for those who have offended You, O Lord, You alone are their only refuge.”] [Skanda-Purāṇa]
If we fall down on the ground again with the help of the ground we shall try to stand up. And when the Guru and the sādhu are there, by their forgiveness also we may be, may begun a fresh life again, on behalf of God and they may sanction the mercy.
Vipramukhya: So Mahāprabhu behaves in that way with Choṭa Haridāsa but not with everyone?
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: Not everyone.
Parvat Mahārāja: Would it be correct to assume that He did that…
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: But He did not like. There is another, Kālākṛṣṇa dāsa, who was enticed in the South.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: He took him here and then dismissed him from His company. But Nityānanda Prabhu gave him some service engagement and kept within the fold. He’s more generous.
Once, one, when we were preaching in Ellor, in Andradesha, myself, this Mādhava Mahārāja, at that time Hayagrīva Brahmacārī, and others, two or three, we were preaching in the Ellor town. Then it so happened that one of our brahmacārīs he perhaps had connection with a lady in that, we are living in a chotri [?] that is a dharmaśālā, rest house. And at night some people came with the cry that the brahmacārī has been found in the room of that particular lady. I was at that time aching with headache. I was lying in the room. And they came and roused this Mādhava Mahārāja, the Hayagrīva Brahmacārī and told that, “Such things have happened.”
Then Hayagrīva Prabhu cleverly told that, “Mahārāja is sleeping and his health is not well, so tomorrow morning you will come and we shall do what is necessary.”
Then after they went away, Hayagrīva Prabhu silently saying to me, “Mahārāja, have you heard what things are going on?”
I told, yes I have heard everything. Then what to do? And at that time our Guru Mahārāja was at Madras Maṭha. I asked him, I think you remove this boy just now. Just now consult the railway guide, the train, whether the Madras side or the Bengal side, immediately remove him from this spot. And then in the morning we shall see what to do.
So Hayagrīva Prabhu took his bedding and he put outside under the shade of a tree. And came back and asked him, “You go.”
So he went to Madras. So just now at that time, one o’clock, a train is going towards Madras, Ellor station, and he was sent to Madras.
Then in the morning they came, then Hayagrīva Prabhu told, “When Mahārāja he woke at night I related everything to him and he was very much enraged and immediately dismissed him and has driven him. Where he has gone we don’t know.”
Then of course the culprit was not there so things were arranged smoothly.
Then Tīrtha Mahārāja, that old Tīrtha Mahārāja he was in Madras. Prabhupāda went to open Dacca Maṭha. Anyhow he came to know, “Why you have come?” And something like this, then he, Tīrtha Mahārāja gave a good whipping and drove him away from the Maṭha.
And he was living in Madras, with some industry there. And within six months Prabhupāda again visited the place. And he was coming now and then, “Please accept me.”
Then we told him that, “Prabhupada is coming shortly, at that time you come, then we shall recommend your case.” Then Prabhupāda came and that boy also came and we asked Prabhupāda, “That boy is still in Madras town, he’s taking some business here and he’s coming now and then and he wants to be reinstated. What we can do?”
Prabhupāda told, and it was a strange thing to us, he told, “Mahāprabhu did not accept such persons so I can’t. But Nityānanda Prabhu kept them. So your attitude should be to keep them.”
Then we were perplexed.
Devotees: (Group laughter)
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: Prabhupāda says, “I can’t accept him because Mahāprabhu did not accept. But your duty should be to give him shelter because Nityānanda Prabhu gave shelter.”
In this way, for the time being we were perplexed. “Are we disobedient to you that we’ll go against your order?” But anyhow he told that Nityananda Prabhu…
And another time also, I was in Calcutta Maṭha, letters coming, and someone is reading letters to Prabhupāda. One letter came from Kurukṣetra Maṭha that one gentleman he was driven from the Maṭha for such action, intimate connection with lady, they have driven out. Then again he has come to Kurukṣetra to join. Then the Maṭha commander of the place has asked Prabhupāda permission. “That he’s coming and I have kept him here and whatever you like to say I’m to do that.”
Then Prabhupāda, considering the letter said, “Only connection with the sādhu, that can help us, help a jīva. Sādhu-saṅga, Kṛṣṇa-Nāma: that is the only way to our relief. There is no other way, so how can I drive away that man? Then he will have no alternative.” So asked him to keep him: no other way!
Another time Prabhupāda told, I had some complaint against some big man in our Maṭha that his monetary transaction is suspected. Prabhupāda in the beginning he chastised me, “You have also attraction for money. You are a sannyāsī. Why should you have so much attraction for money? The money may be thrown into water. If necessary for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa money may be thrown into water. What is money?” In this way he rebuked me somewhat. Then after few days in Madras Maṭha, I was there, he was also________ [?] suddenly he took Bhāgavatam to me, “Your answer is here.”
sva-pāda-mūlam bhajataḥ priyasya, tyaktānya-bhāvasya hariḥ pareśaḥ
vikarma yac cotpatitaṁ kathañcid, dhunoti sarvaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ
[“One who has thus given up all other engagements and has taken full shelter at the lotus feet of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is very dear to the Lord. Indeed, if such a surrendered soul accidentally commits some sinful activity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated within everyone’s heart, immediately takes away the reaction to such sin.”] [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 11.5.42]
If any devotee he has got some fault, anything undesirable if is seen in him, he’s not to be punished for that. Either expulsion or any other punishment, he is not to be punished. Why? He’s engaged in a particular thing, that is the service of the Lord and that is the, that can fetch the highest value. So if he’s given some punishment or expulsion, that cannot cure him, purify him. The highest form of purification is in which he’s already engaged, and that can purify to the highest degree. So, no other punishment of any form is necessary for him. He should be allowed to go on in the service, and in no time he will be purified. So it will be injustice. In Bhāgavatam, sva-pāda-mūlam bhajataḥ priyasya, tyaktānya-bhāvasya hariḥ pareśaḥ, vikarma yac cotpatitaṁ kathañcid. Anyhow, if any malpractice is found in him, dhunoti sarvaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ, Hari, staying in his heart, He will purge out everything. He will sweep out everything. No other punishment or any alternative arrangement should be made; for ananya-bhāk, who has exclusively given him for the service of Kṛṣṇa, no other practice. That was shown to me. Hare Kṛṣṇa. So that is the reason. So sometimes from the outward it seems, it appears awkward, that he committed something wrong, and still he’s given indulgence. Sometimes from outside it seems to be awkward, but still that is the theory.
api cet sudurācāro, bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ, samyag vyavasito hi saḥ
[“If even a person of extremely abominable practices, abandoning all non-devotional pursuits of exploitation and renunciation engages in My exclusive and uninterrupted devotional service, he is venerable as a true saint because he has embraced the revolutionary plane of life.”] [Bhagavad-gītā, 9.30]
“Sādhu are sādhu measured from the standard of this māyā, sattya, raja, tama guṇa or guṇamay which is misconception. So from the plane of misconception good or bad should not be applied to My devotee who is working in the nirguṇa plane. This law does not apply there, in the case of ananya-bhāk who is in nirguṇa plane, who has accepted exclusive devotion to Me is all in all.”
Exclusive devotion to Kṛṣṇa, serving promise, devotedness to Kṛṣṇa, when this has been accepted broadly in a soul, then whatever he commits in the calculation of this mundane plane good or bad; that should be ignored totally. Because that is of good or bad, both is unreal in the misconception area. And there whatever little he can collect that is crore times, infinitely of greater value than any valuation, high valuation of this world of miscalculation. That’s the conception. Do you follow?