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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mahāprabhu about respect in general

From Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Antya 4. 135-169) we learn that junior devotees should not instruct senior devotees. In this narration we see that Jagadānanda Paṇḍit advised Sanātana Gosvāmī to go to Vṛndāvana, but when Mahāprabhu heard that he was very angry, because Jagadānanda Paṇḍita was junior to Sanātana Goswāmī not just vyavahāre, materially, by being younger in age, but also paramārthe, spiritually, because Sanātana Gosvami was like his Guru (CC Antya 4.159 vyavahāre paramārthe tumi - tāra guru tulya). Mahāprabhu thus set the standard for devotees of all time to act according to maryādā, or protocol. He will be very angry when junior devotees instruct senior ones - maryādā laṅghana āmi sohite nā pāri (C.C. Antya 4.166) "I cannot tolerate breach of the protocol."

One should note, however, that if a devotee senior in age is inferior in spiritual advancement one need not heed the instructions of such a senior devotee-by-age-only. After all, Mahaprabhu said of Sanātana Gosvāmī: kāhā tumi - prāmāṇika, śāstre pravīṇa; kāhā jagā - kālikāra batuyā navīna (CC Antya 4.167) "Where are you, expert in the scriptures and a great authority, and where is Jagadānanda in comparison, a new student?" Sanātana Gosvāmī was not just superior in age.…….

This paragraph is added to the end of my essay 'Who or what is a brahmin or a Guru?' on the 'Articles'- page of

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