White dress worn by the six Goswamis

Hare Krishna
19th March, 2015. Gurgaon


Q: Why don’t we (or the sanyasis in ISKCON) wear the white dress as was worn by the six goswamis ?
Answer : Srila Prabhupada said

One who is qualified as a brāhmana, he has to observe the four āśramas:the brahmacārī-āśrama, the grhastha-āśrama, the vānaprastha-āśrama and the sannyāsa-āśrama.

The ksatriyas have to observe three āśramas: brahmacārī, grhastha and vānaprastha.

And the vaiśyas, two āśramas: brahmacārī and grhastha.

And śūdra, only one āśrama – grhastha.

A śūdra is never offered sannyāsa. Only the brāhmana is offered. So in Śankara-sampradāya, strictly, unless one is born in brāhmana family, he’s not offered sannyāsa. He’s not given sannyāsa.

So far we are concerned, we also offer sannyāsa to the brāhmana, and not to the śūdras. But according to quality we create brāhmanas. Not that we are offering sannyāsa to the śūdras, No. The principle is: sannyāsa can be offered only to the brāhmanas. So one may not mistake that we are offering sannyāsa to the mlecchas, yavanas, as they complain. Some of my Godbrothers, they criticize like that, that I am offering sannyāsa to the mlecchas, yavanas. This is wrong idea. This is nārakī-buddhi.

Actually, a Vaisnava is above this varnāśrama-dharma. But we don’t claim that we have become perfect Vaisnava. We are not so impudent. We want to remain under the Vaisnava. Otherwise Vaisnava means… In Caitanya-caritāmrta you’ll find the Vaisnava is paramahamsa. Vaisnava has no saffron cloth. Vaisnava is white cloth because Vaisnava is paramahamsa.

But we don’t claim the position of Vaisnava. We want to remain servant of Vaisnava. Therefore sannyāsa order is below the position of Vaisnava. Sannyāsa order means still in the material classification. But this Vaisnava is paramo nirmatsarānām satām. Dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmat… [SB 1.1.2]. This Vaisnavism is meant for paramo nirmatsarānām, paramahamsa.

Sa gunān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. Vaisnava position is not very easy thing, (He is) above all qualities. Therefore Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thākura introduced not to become an imitation of Rūpa Gosvāmī. Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvami, the Gosvāmīs of Vrndāvana, they are paramahamsas.

And in Vrndāvana you’ll find so-called bābājīs, they have imitated the dress of Rūpa Gosvāmī—half loincloth—but a bidi in the mouth. What is this nonsense? Rūpa Gosvāmī used to smoke bidi? Not only that. You’ll find in Vrndāvana so many Rūpa Gosvāmīs are making bidi. Have you seen in the Gopīnātha Bazaar? They’re making trade – bidis – and shameless. Therefore my Guru Mahārāja introduced this.

Of course, sannyāsa is there in the Vaisnava… All the ācāryas, they were sannyāsis, but later on, it got so degraded that these bidi-smokers, gānjā-smokers, they imitated Rūpa Gosvāmī. Therefore to purify, Guru Mahārāja introduced this sannyāsa system, below the paramahamsas, not that by artificial means I become a paramahamsa, No.

[An excerpt from a lecture given on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.41 in Mayapur, West Bengal on October 21, 1974]

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My prayers

Hare Krishna.


The first time I prayed with all my heart was when HG Sarvabhauma Prabhuji came to Punjabi Bagh temple and gave a lecture on atonement almost two years back. I used to feel a lot of guilt over my past karma and did not know how to get rid of them or ask forgiveness from all the people whom I hurt. All the past incidents would come into my thoughts as I would chant, it was getting difficult to chant. In the lecture Prabhuji mentioned that apart from our own lack of courage to face people and ask for forgiveness, we should also be careful that we don’t hurt them again by opening the old wounds and many a times people don’t see our bad intentions and don’t even know what transpired.  So he suggested a way around it. He told us that we can write all our past mistakes on a letter addressed to Krishna and ask  for forgiveness and a promise to not  repeat them. And later read the letter in front of the altar and again ask for forgiveness with all our heart . After completing it we should tear the lette and the guilt should go away. For me it was a message from Lord and it took me 3 days and many sheets of papers to write my past mistakes. As I wrote I was full of shame and surprised at what I did and wonder for what petty gains. So one morning I went to temple in the afternoon, read my whole letter to Krishna and Balrama and then tore the paper into pieces. It may sound unbelievable but all my guilt went away in less than a week and I could concentrate during my chanting.

Then another time was when I asked HG Rukmini Krishna Prabhuji that I am not able to find a Guru, I was completely blind that time with eyes anointed with ego, I feel ashamed to look back at my conversation. Prabhuji, all merciful,  listened to me patiently and then advised me to pray to Nityanand Prabhu and Lord Balram. I followed his instructions and started praying to Them. I met Guru Maharaj within few months. Hari Bol ! But I was, and still am, so ungrateful that  I didn’t thank any of my Lords. I thought it was all my good luck or my own enthusiasm which made it happen, more shame.

Third incident relates to my trip to Surat this year January to attend Brahma Samhita seminar by Guru Maharaj. I was most fortunate to share the room with HG Nanda Vraja Prabhuji from Auckland. We talked and discussed so many spiritual topics, I shared my concern on the slow progress my family in their devotional journey. He instructed me to recite Shad Goswami Ashtakam. He added that the six Goswami are most merciful and they will bless me to remove any impediments in my spiritual journey. I googled the ashtakam and found it had  difficult sanskrit words and I could not even recite it. I dropped the idea and forgot all about it once I came back home. Many months later,  I don’t remember what was the trigger, but I pulled myself to start reciting Shad Goswami Ashtakam every morning. Well, in next two months I could see the change which I would call nothing short of a miracle.

vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau….. All glories to the six Goswamis.

All glories to the Wonderful institute of ISKCON and its glorious, and most merciful, devotees.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Guru Maharaj.