The gosthyanandi is one who desires to increase the number of devotees all over the world. He travels all over the world just to purify the world and the people residing in it
SB Canto 4
Dear Lord, Your personal associates, devotees, wander all over the world to purify even the holy places of pilgrimage. Is not such activity pleasing to those who are actually afraid of material existence?
There are two kinds of devotees. One is called goṣṭhyānandī and the other bhajanānandī. The word bhajanānandī refers to the devotee who does not move, but remains in one place. Such a devotee is always engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. He chants the mahā-mantra as taught by many ācāryas and sometimes goes out for preaching work. The goṣṭhyānandī is one who desires to increase the number of devotees all over the world. He travels all over the world just to purify the world and the people residing in it. Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised:
- pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
- sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
- (CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126)
Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted His followers to move all over the world to preach in every town and village. In the Caitanya-sampradāya those who strictly follow the principles of Lord Caitanya must travel all over the world to preach the message of Lord Caitanya, which is the same as preaching the words of Kṛṣṇa—Bhagavad-gītā—and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The more the devotees preach the principles of kṛṣṇa-kathā, the more people throughout the world will benefit.
Devotees like the great sage Nārada, who travel all over to preach, are called goṣṭhyānandī. Nārada Muni is always wandering throughout the universe just to create different types of devotees. Nārada even made a hunter a devotee. He also made Dhruva Mahārāja and Prahlāda devotees. Actually, all devotees are indebted to the great sage Nārada, for he has wandered both in heaven and in hell. A devotee of the Lord is not even afraid of hell. He goes to preach the glories of the Lord everywhere—even in hell—because there is no distinction between heaven and hell for a devotee.
- nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve
- na kutaścana bibhyati
- api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ
"A pure devotee of Nārāyaṇa is never afraid of going anywhere and everywhere. For him heaven and hell are one and the same." (SB 6.17.28) Such devotees, wandering all over the world, deliver those who are actually afraid of this material existence. Some people are already disgusted with material existence, being confused and frustrated by material enjoyment, and some people, who are intelligent, are interested in understanding the Supreme Lord. Both may take advantage of the pure devotee who wanders throughout the world.
When a pure devotee goes to a place of pilgrimage, he desires to purify that holy place of pilgrimage. Many sinful men bathe in the holy waters of the places of pilgrimage. They take their baths in the waters of the Ganges and Yamunā at places such as Prayāga, Vṛndāvana and Mathurā. In this way the sinful men are purified, but their sinful actions and reactions remain at the holy places of pilgrimage. When a devotee comes to take his bath at those places of pilgrimage, the sinful reactions left by the sinful men are neutralized by the devotee. Tīrthī-kurvanti tīrthāni svāntaḥ-sthena gadā-bhṛtā (SB 1.13.10). Because the devotee always carries the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, wherever he goes becomes a place of pilgrimage, a holy place for understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is therefore the duty of everyone to associate with a pure devotee and thus attain freedom from material contamination. Everyone should take advantage of the wandering devotees, whose only business is to deliver conditioned souls from the clutches of māyā.