London, August 23, 1971
Prabhupäda: Yes, gosvämé or svämé, the same meaning. One who has been able to control his senses… Generally, everyone is controlled by the senses. When one becomes controller of the senses, then he’s gosvämé. So generally, we give this designation to the sannyäsés because sannyäsa means who has fully control of the senses. One should not accept sannyäsa whimsically. One must know about himself, how far he can control the senses. Therefore, generally, sannyäsa is not accepted until one is sixty years old. But in this age there is no guarantee whether we are going to live up to sixty years old age. So sometimes younger generation also offered sannyäsa. Because Caitanya Mahäprabhu accepted at the age of twenty-four years. We are not, of course, imitating Caitanya Mahäprabhu. But for executing Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s mission, if we are sincerely working for Him, then we can take sannyäsa at an early age. Then… But when one is actually a sannyäsa, a sannyäsé, master of the senses, he can be addressed as gosvämé or svämé. Yes?
Lord Caitanya’s Mission
Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the Science of Kåñëa, a task which those who follow Him have continued to carry out down to the present day. The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are in fact most voluminous, exacting and consistent due to the system of disciplic succession. Although Lord Caitanya was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Çikñäñöaka. These eight verses clearly reveal His mission and precepts. These supremely valuable prayers are translated herein.
Glory to the Çré Kåñëa saìkértana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This saìkértana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Kåñëa and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service birth after birth.
O son of Mahäräja Nanda [Kåñëa], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.
O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?
O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.
I know no one but Kåñëa as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord unconditionally.