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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Qualification for siddha praṇālī

Qualification for siddha praṇālī does not come by just being formally or socially initiated into the renounced order, since rāgānugā bhakti is not about social orders to begin with, it is all about ruci (taste). For example, in 1983, when I lived in a courtyard in Gokulānanda Ghat, Navadvip (not in Sādhu Bābā's ashram!), Jagat and me had a bābājī-guest staying in the garden-house for a while, who slept most of the day and night, and when awake spoke mostly on mundane matters like India's independence day. On the other hand, gṛhasthas like Bosāk Bābu, the founder of Vṛndāvana's Hārā-Bāri, or Ānanda Gopāl Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, my Gurudeva's father, who had 4 children and many disciples, used to get up at 3 a.m. and not speak with anybody, including wife and children, before finishing a strong bhajan until 8 a.m. So it is really all about anurāga, not about āśram. The Guru's personal judgement is the ultimate arbiter. If the Guru finds a householder fit he will give him siddha praṇālī, despite his many worldly responsibilities.

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