Any kind of cotton cloth, you take, two paisa worth from, or two cent worth, and color, and you get it orange-colored and put on. Because in this age nobody is inquiring whether he is actually a sannyasi or not

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Expressions researched:
"Any kind of cotton cloth, you take, two paisa worth from, or two cent worth, and color, and you get it orange-colored and put on. Because in this age nobody is inquiring whether he is actually a sannyasi or not"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Householder is the only earning member who will feed all these three different status of social orders. But in the Kali-yuga, in this age, some unscrupulous persons, they are taking advantage of this dress because this dress is not very costly. Any kind of cotton cloth, you take, two paisa worth from, or two cent worth, and color, and you get it orange-colored and put on. Because in this age nobody is inquiring whether he is actually a sannyāsī or not, simply by dress... Of course, the dress is the badge.
Lecture on BG 4.39-5.3 -- New York, August 24, 1966:

This is very nice point. Try to understand. The sannyāsī... Just like we are sannyāsī. According to our Vedic system, we are allowed to beg alms from the householders. The social system, the varṇāśrama institution, is so made that the brahmacārī, vānaprastha, and the sannyāsī, and the gṛhastha... Gṛhastha means the householder. Now, the brahmacārī will beg from the householder, the vānaprastha will beg from the householder, and the sannyāsī also beg from the householder. So householder is the only earning member who will feed all these three different status of social orders. But in the Kali-yuga, in this age, some unscrupulous persons, they are taking advantage of this dress because this dress is not very costly. Any kind of cotton cloth, you take, two paisa worth from, or two cent worth, and color, and you get it orange-colored and put on. Because in this age nobody is inquiring whether he is actually a sannyāsī or not, simply by dress... Of course, the dress is the badge.

Now, people are taking advantage of this and they misusing the position. Therefore Kṛṣṇa, I mean to say, foresaw that this will happen in future because He was speaking this Bhagavad-gītā five thousand years before. So, as He is full knowledge, entire knowledge, because He is God, He knows what will happen in the future. Therefore he gave preference to working order than this sannyāsa order. Lord Caitanya also, He also said that in this age sannyāsa is not recommended.

And if you question me that "Swamiji, why you have taken sannyāsa?" You may ask that question. Yes. So I may tell you frankly that I had no desire to accept this sannyāsa. I never dreamt in my householder... I was a householder. I never dreamt. But circumstantially I was forced to accept the sannyāsa dress just to become a preacher. You see? That is a long history. Sannyāsa, (chuckles) but I was forced some way or other to accept the sannyāsa. Of course, as far as possible, I am following the rules and regulations of a sannyāsī, as far as possible.

So here Kṛṣṇa says that tayos tu karma... Everything can be utilized for the ultimate business. Everything can be utilized. Kṛṣṇa says. So there is no difference. Why there is no difference? If your ultimate goal, aim, is Kṛṣṇa conscious, then either you become Kṛṣṇa conscious in a dress of sannyāsī or as an ordinary man, oh, there is no difference. There is no difference because your aim is the same.

Just like... I'll give you one example, very nice example. In India there are different dresses of woman according to his (her) different position. There is in kāma-śāstra, in Manu-saṁhitā, they are mentioned. Of course, nowadays nobody is following. Just like by dress you can understand "Here is a woman who has got his (her) husband, her husband at home. Oh, here is a woman who has lost her husband. And here is an woman whose husband is out of home. Oh, here is a woman. Oh, she is prostitute." Simply by dress one can understand. Because to address woman is difficult job, so the society sanctioned different dresses. So according to that Vedic literature, when the husband is at home a woman is recommended to dress herself very nicely, very beautifully, just to enliven the husband. The husband, if he sees the wife nicely dressed and nicely, beautifully looking, then he takes some encouragement. And similarly, a woman, when her husband is away from home, she should dress very niggardly, very niggardly. Now, you find that the dress... At one time the woman is dressing niggardly, and at one time the woman is dressing very beautifully and nicely. But what is the purpose? The purpose is the husband.

Similarly, if our purpose is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, either I dress myself in this orange color or either you dress in coat, pant, and shirt, oh, there is no question; there is no difference. There is no difference. So the... Because the aim is the same. Everyone combinedly, we have formed a society to work combinedly. Oh, there is no restriction that "Only these orange-colored sannyāsīs will be allowed in the sannyāsī and not the white dress, a man in coat-pants," no. That is not purpose. If the purpose is that we have to become Kṛṣṇa conscious—we have to work combinedly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness—there is no question of changing the dress, neither you haven't got to renounce your present position.

There is another instance in a Bengali poetry, gṛhe vā vanete thāke, sadā gaurāṅga bole ḍāke, that "A man may be situated as a householder or a man may be situated as a renounced order in life. That doesn't matter. If he is attached with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is the perfect man." So here is the indication. "So Arjuna, you are asking what is the difference between the karma-yoga and sannyāsa. Oh. So there is no such difference. Better if you become a karma-yogī." Karma-yoga, meaning "You simply work for Kṛṣṇa." "Then you are better than a sannyāsa." Because a sannyāsī is living at the expense of the society, but a man who is fully alert that "Whatever I am earning and whatever I am doing, oh, it is all meant for Kṛṣṇa," oh, he is the practical man. He's a practical man.

Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was not a sannyāsī. He, after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, he did not take up the renounced order of life and dressed himself in orange-colored dress and went away from the battlefield, no. He remained the same man, the same military man, but he became the most perfect Kṛṣṇa conscious man. So same principle was there. Therefore here Lord Kṛṣṇa says, sannyāsaḥ karma-yogaś ca niḥśreyasa-karāv ubhau: "Either you take sannyāsa or you remain in your position, that doesn't matter. You can attain the highest perfection from any position, provided you are Kṛṣṇa conscious." That's all. Jñeyaḥ sa nitya-sannyāsī yo na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati (BG 5.3). Hear how nicely Kṛṣṇa says. Jñeyaḥ sa nitya-sannyāsī. Just try to understand. That person is always a sannyāsī—not by dress but by his actual activities. What? Na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati. "He does not, I mean to say, hate anything, and he does not desire anything." These two qualifications. He does not hate anything, and he does not desire anything.

Suppose I am working. So suppose I am washing dishes. Oh, so that doesn't matter. I do not hate. Of course, in your country it is very laudable that you can accept any kind of work. It is very good. The same thing is confirmed. There is no question of hating any work. Dignity of labor is always nice. So na dveṣṭi na kāṅkṣati. But after working, the result he does not take. Suppose by doing some lower class of work I get some profit. If that is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then I am sannyāsī—because I don't hate, but I offer the result to Kṛṣṇa. Oh.

Just you take the example of Arjuna always. In the beginning he was hating fighting. He was hating: "Oh, I cannot fight. This fighting with my kinsmen, it is not possible. I am not..." He was hating. But when he understood Bhagavad-gītā, he took up that fighting; he gave up his hating. But the result? Na kāṅkṣati: he never desired the result. Kṛṣṇa ordered to fight. He fought. That's all.

This is real sannyāsa, that he does not act for his own account, for his sense gratification, but he works... Never mind. He does not hate an work. "Any sort of work I am prepared to do, and the result I'll have to offer to Kṛṣṇa"—this is called real sannyāsa. So Kṛṣṇa gives the... Jñeyaḥ sa nitya-sannyāsī. Nitya means eternally, not for the time being, eternally. Nitya-sann..., yo na dveṣṭi. He does not hate any kind of work, but na kāṅkṣati: he does not desire for his own, se..., viṣaya, enjoying the result. Nirdvandvo hi mahā-bāho sukhaṁ bandhāt pramucyate: Oh, "That sort of sannyāsī is always happy, and he is a liberated person." He's a liberated person.

I think, next we shall talk on, next meeting. If you have got any question, you can ask. (break)

...summary is that if you work Kṛṣṇa consciousness without any hate and only for Kṛṣṇa's service, that is the highest perfectional stage of life. That is highest perfectional stage of life. (end)