Renunciation - Better Late than Never - Part 3

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in conclusion of the previous offering titled - "Renunciation - Better Late than Never " wherein we were trying to meditate on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.2.4.

In the previous offering we were seeing the example of Raghunatha das Goswami, who was born in a very rich family. But once he came to know about Caitanya Mahaprabhu and his mission, he renounced his riches and walked all the way to Jagannath Puri to meet Mahaprabhu. We also saw that he was very austere in homouring only the decomposed prasadam that was even rejected by the cows and spent 22 out of 24 hrs in chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. Topics concerning his renunciation are wonderful. Throughout his life he never allowed his tongue sense gratification. He never touched anything to wear except a small torn cloth and a patchwork wrapper. Thus, he very rigidly executed the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 2.2.5 Sukadev Goswami says

cīrāṇi kiṁ pathi na santi diśanti bhikṣāṁ
naivāṅghripāḥ para-bhṛtaḥ sarito ’py aśuṣyan
ruddhā guhāḥ kim ajito ’vati nopasannān
kasmād bhajanti kavayo dhana-durmadāndhān

Are there no torn clothes lying on the common road? Do the trees, which exist for maintaining others, no longer give alms in charity? Do the rivers, being dried up, no longer supply water to the thirsty? Are the caves of the mountains now closed? Or above all, does the Almighty Lord not protect the fully surrendered souls? Why then do the learned sages go to flatter those who are intoxicated by hard-earned wealth?

In his purport to the above verse His Divine Grace says, "The general rule is that a mendicant devotee will accept a simple small loincloth without asking anyone to give it in charity. He simply salvages it from the rejected torn cloth thrown in the street. When he is hungry he may go to a magnanimous tree which drops fruits, and when he is thirsty he may drink water from the flowing river. He does not require to live in a comfortable house, but should find a cave in the hills and not be afraid of jungle animals, keeping faith in God, who lives in everyone’s heart.."

So we find the Goswamis of Vrindavan followed these principle of Bhagavatam.  The below verse emphasizes the importance of renunciation for everyone in this movement.

mahāprabhura bhakta-gaera vairāgya pradhāna
yāhā dekhi’ prīta hana gaura-bhagavān

Renunciation is the basic principle sustaining the lives of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s devotees. Seeing this renunciation, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is extremely satisfied. CC Antya 6.220

Being the followers of Lord Chaitanya, we should be highly inspired by this verse to take up renunciation if we have not already done so. So, if we take up renunciation, then how should we sustain our lives? 

Mahaprabhu says in CC Antya 6.223

vairāgī karibe sadā nāma-sakīrtana
māgiyā khāñā kare jīvana rak

A person in the renounced order should always chant the holy name of the Lord. He should beg some alms to eat, and he should sustain his life in this way.

 HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj in one of his phone conversation with a devotee very nicely says, how renunciation starts from home. Even small acts like giving handful of grains to pigeons, spoonful of sugar to ants is also food distribution. So even if we are not able to do very big services, atleast we should start with these small acts. Regarding how we can be controlled in diet, Maharaj says that when we stop depending on others for food, that is, when we start cooking our own food - we will not look for so much varieties. Then we will be controlled in our diet also. More importantly it is important for us to use the available time in chanting Krishna's names, studying scriptures and not engage in activities which will take us far away from Krishna.

So to summarize:

1. Always chant the holy name of the Lord.

2. Do not depend on others for our sustenance

3. Endeavor only for the minimum necessities of life, just enough to keep the body and soul together.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev
Srividya Sharma