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Siksastaka 03 trnad api sunicena... cited (Bks)

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Expressions researched:
"amanina mana-dena" |"amanina manadena" |"humble state of mind" |"kirtaniyah sada harih" |"more tolerant than a tree" |"taror api sahisnuna" |"taror iva sahisnuna" |"trnad api su-nicena" |"trnad api sunicena"

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Preface and Introduction

BG Introduction:

In the human society, whether one is a laborer, merchant, administrator or farmer, or even if one belongs to the highest class and is a literary man, a scientist or a theologian, he has to work in order to maintain his existence. The Lord therefore tells Arjuna that he need not give up his occupation, but while he is engaged in his occupation he should remember Kṛṣṇa (mām anusmara (BG 8.7)). If he doesn't practice remembering Kṛṣṇa while he is struggling for existence, then it will not be possible for him to remember Kṛṣṇa at the time of death. Lord Caitanya also advises this. He says, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ: (CC Adi 17.31) one should practice chanting the names of the Lord always. The names of the Lord and the Lord are nondifferent. So Lord Kṛṣṇa's instruction to Arjuna to "remember Me" and Lord Caitanya's injunction to "always chant the names of Lord Kṛṣṇa" are the same instruction. There is no difference, because Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name are nondifferent. In the absolute status there is no difference between reference and referent. Therefore we have to practice remembering the Lord always, twenty-four hours a day, by chanting His names and molding our life's activities in such a way that we can remember Him always.

BG Chapters 7 - 12

BG 8.5, Purport:

Remembrance of Kṛṣṇa is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Kṛṣṇa consciousness in devotional service. Therefore one should practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness from the very beginning of life. If one wants to achieve success at the end of his life, the process of remembering Kṛṣṇa is essential. Therefore one should constantly, incessantly chant the mahā-mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Lord Caitanya has advised that one be as tolerant as a tree (taror iva sahiṣṇunā). There may be so many impediments for a person who is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Nonetheless, tolerating all these impediments, one should continue to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, so that at the end of one's life one can have the full benefit of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 3

SB 3.28.9, Purport:

Practicing the yoga system of exercise and breath control is very difficult for a person in this age, and therefore Lord Caitanya recommended, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ: (CC Adi 17.31) one should always chant the holy name of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, because Kṛṣṇa is the most suitable name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The name Kṛṣṇa and the Supreme Person Kṛṣṇa are nondifferent. Therefore, if one concentrates his mind on hearing and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, the same result is achieved.

SB Canto 4

SB 4.6.47, Purport:

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has been started to deliver the envious persons of the world from the clutches of māyā, and even though devotees are sometimes put into trouble, they push on the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in all tolerance. Lord Caitanya advises:

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." (Śikṣāṣṭaka 3)

SB 4.24.67, Purport:

The first Manu is Svāyambhuva Manu. Each Manu lives for seventy-one yugas, each consisting of some 4,320,000 years. Although the Manus have such a long life-span, they still prepare for the next life by engaging in the devotional service of the Lord. In this age human beings only live for sixty or eighty years, and even this small life-span is gradually decreasing. Therefore it is even more imperative for human beings to take to the worship of the lotus feet of the Lord by constantly chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, as recommended by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

When one is engaged in devotional service, he is often surrounded by envious people, and often many enemies come to try to defeat him or stop him. This is not new in this present age, for even in the days of yore Prahlāda Mahārāja, who was engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, was harassed by his demoniac father, Hiraṇyakaśipu. The atheists are always prepared to harass a devotee; therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu suggested that one be very tolerant of these people. Nonetheless, one has to continue chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and preaching the chanting of this mantra because such preaching and chanting constitute the perfection of life. One should chant and preach about the urgency of making this life perfect in all respects. One should thus engage in the devotional service of the Lord and follow in the footsteps of previous ācāryas, beginning with Lord Brahmā and others.

SB 4.24.70, Translation and Purport:

Therefore, O sons of the King, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is situated in everyone's heart. He is also within your hearts. Therefore chant the glories of the Lord and always meditate upon Him continuously.

The word asakṛt is significant, for it means not just for a few minutes but continuously. That is the instruction given by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka 3. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ: (CC Adi 17.31) "The holy name of the Lord should be chanted twenty-four hours daily." Therefore in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we request the devotees to chant at least sixteen rounds on their beads daily. Actually one has to chant twenty-four hours daily, just like Ṭhākura Haridāsa, who was chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra three hundred thousand times daily. Indeed, he had no other business. Some of the Gosvāmīs, like Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, were also chanting very rigidly and also offering obeisances very rigidly. As stated in Śrīnivāsācārya's prayer to the six Gosvāmīs (Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka): saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau. The word saṅkhyā-pūrvaka means "maintaining a numerical strength." Not only was Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī chanting the holy name of the Lord, but he was also offering obeisances in the same prolific numbers.

SB Canto 5

SB 5.6.16, Purport:

The teachings of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva are for the people of all yugas-Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga and especially Kali-yuga. These instructions are so powerful that even in this age of Kali, one can attain perfection simply by explaining the instructions, following in the footsteps of the ācāryas or listening to the instructions with great attention. If one does so, one can attain the platform of pure devotional service to Lord Vāsudeva. The pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees are recorded in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam so that those who recite these pastimes and listen to them will become purified. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā (SB 1.2.18). As a matter of principle, devotees should read, speak and hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam persistently, twenty-four hours daily if possible. That is the recommendation of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). One should either chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra or read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and thereby try to understand the characteristics and instructions of the Supreme Lord, who appeared as Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, Lord Kapila and Lord Kṛṣṇa. In this way one can become fully aware of the transcendental nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, one who knows the transcendental nature of the Lord's birth and activities attains liberation from material bondage and returns to Godhead.

SB Canto 6

SB 6.4.5, Purport:

Although a Vaiṣṇava has sufficient power in tapasya, he does not become angry when put into difficulty. If one undergoes tapasya but does not become a Vaiṣṇava, however, one does not develop good qualities. For example, Hiraṇyakaśipu and Rāvaṇa also performed great austerities, but they did so to demonstrate their demoniac tendencies. Vaiṣṇavas must meet many opponents while preaching the glories of the Lord, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends that they not become angry while preaching. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given this formula: tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā/ amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). "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." Those engaged in preaching the glories of the Lord should be humbler than grass and more tolerant than a tree; then they can preach the glories of the Lord without difficulty.

SB 6.5.44, Purport:

"The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime." Because Nārada Muni is the most elevated of sādhus, devotees, to deliver Prajāpati Dakṣa he silently tolerated the curse. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has taught this principle to all His devotees:

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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 respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." Following the orders of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one who preaches the glories of the Lord all over the world or all over the universe should be humbler than grass and more tolerant than a tree because a preacher cannot live an easygoing life. Indeed, a preacher must face many impediments. Not only is he sometimes cursed, but sometimes he must also suffer personal injury.

SB 6.17.10, Purport:

Although Citraketu never meant to insult Lord Śiva, he should not have criticized the lord, even though the lord was transgressing social customs. It is said, tejīyasāṁ na doṣāya: one who is very powerful should be understood to be faultless. For example, one should not find faults with the sun, although it evaporates urine from the street. The most powerful cannot be criticized by an ordinary man, or even by a great personality. Citraketu should have known that Lord Śiva, although sitting in that way, was not to be criticized. The difficulty was that Citraketu, having become a great devotee of Lord Viṣṇu, Saṅkarṣaṇa, was somewhat proud at having achieved Lord Saṅkarṣaṇa's favor and therefore thought that he could now criticize anyone, even Lord Śiva. This kind of pride in a devotee is never tolerated. A Vaiṣṇava should always remain very humble and meek and offer respect to others.

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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 ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." A Vaiṣṇava should not try to minimize anyone else's position. It is better to remain humble and meek and chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The word nirjitātmābhimānine indicates that Citraketu thought himself a better controller of the senses than Lord Śiva, although actually he was not. Because of all these considerations, mother Pārvatī was somewhat angry at Citraketu.

SB 6.17.14, Translation and Purport:

This person is puffed up because of his achievements, thinking, "I am the best." He does not deserve to approach the shelter of Lord Viṣṇu's lotus feet, which are worshiped by all saintly persons, for he is impudent, thinking himself greatly important.

If a devotee thinks that he is very much advanced in devotional service, he is considered puffed up and unfit to sit beneath the shelter of the Lord's lotus feet. Again, this instruction by Lord Caitanya is applicable:

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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 ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." Unless one is humble and meek, one cannot qualify to sit at the lotus feet of the Lord.

SB 6.17.27, Purport:

Lord Śiva, the husband of Pārvatī, told his wife, "My dear Pārvatī, you are very beautiful in your bodily features. Certainly you are glorious. But I do not think that you can compete with the beauty and glory of devotees who have become servants of the servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Of course, Lord Śiva smiled when he joked with his wife in that way, for others cannot speak like that. "The Supreme Lord," Śiva continued, "is always exalted in His activities, and here is another example of His wonderful influence upon King Citraketu, His devotee. Just see, although you cursed the King, he was not at all afraid or sorry. Rather, he offered respect to you, called you mother and accepted your curse, thinking himself faulty. He did not say anything in retaliation. This is the excellence of a devotee. By mildly tolerating your curse, he has certainly excelled the glory of your beauty and your power to curse him. I can impartially judge that this devotee, Citraketu, has defeated you and your excellence simply by becoming a pure devotee of the Lord." As stated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, taror api sahiṣṇunā. Just like a tree, a devotee can tolerate all kinds of curses and reversals in life. This is the excellence of a devotee. Indirectly, Lord Śiva forbade Pārvatī to commit the mistake of cursing a devotee like Citraketu. He indicated that although she was powerful, the King, without showing any power, had excelled her power by his tolerance.

SB 6.17.37, Purport:

Upon being informed by Lord Śiva, mother Pārvatī could understand that she was wrong in cursing Citraketu. King Citraketu was so exalted in his character that in spite of being wrongly cursed by Pārvatī, he immediately descended from his airplane and bowed his head before the mother, accepting her curse. This has already been explained: nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28). Citraketu very sportingly felt that since the mother wanted to curse him, he could accept this curse just to please her. This is called sādhu-lakṣaṇam, the characteristic of a sādhu, or a devotee. As explained by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā. A devotee should always be very humble and meek and should offer all respect to others, especially to superiors. Being protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a devotee is always powerful, but a devotee does not wish to show his power unnecessarily. However, when a less intelligent person has some power, he wants to use it for sense gratification. This is not the behavior of a devotee.

SB Canto 7

SB 7.1.4-5, Translation and Purport:

The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, you have put before me an excellent question. Discourses concerning the activities of the Lord, in which the glories of His devotees are also found, are extremely pleasing to devotees. Such wonderful topics always counteract the miseries of the materialistic way of life. Therefore great sages like Nārada always speak upon Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam because it gives one the facility to hear and chant about the wonderful activities of the Lord. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrīla Vyāsadeva and then begin describing topics concerning the activities of Lord Hari.

In this verse Śukadeva Gosvāmī offers his respectful obeisances kṛṣṇāya munaye, which means to Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa. One must first offer one's respectful obeisances to one's spiritual master. Śukadeva Gosvāmī's spiritual master is his father, Vyāsadeva, and therefore he first offers his respectful obeisances to Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa and then begins describing topics of Lord Hari.

Whenever there is an opportunity to hear about the transcendental activities of the Lord, we must take it. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ: (CC Adi 17.31) one should always engage in kṛṣṇa-kathā by chanting and talking about Kṛṣṇa and hearing about Him. That is the only occupation of a Kṛṣṇa conscious person.

SB 7.5.23-24, Purport:

(2) Kīrtanam. The hearing of the holy name has been described above. Now let us try to understand the chanting of the holy name, which is the second item in the consecutive order. It is recommended that such chanting be performed very loudly. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Nārada Muni says that without shame he began traveling all over the world, chanting the holy name of the Lord. Similarly, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has advised:

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

A devotee can very peacefully chant the holy name of the Lord by behaving more humbly than the grass, being tolerant like a tree and offering respects to everyone, without expecting honor from anyone else. Such qualifications make it easier to chant the holy name of the Lord. The process of transcendental chanting can be easily performed by anyone. Even if one is physically unfit, classified lower than others, devoid of material qualifications or not at all elevated in terms of pious activities, the chanting of the holy name is beneficial. An aristocratic birth, an advanced education, beautiful bodily features, wealth and similar results of pious activities are all unnecessary for advancement in spiritual life, for one can very easily advance simply by chanting the holy name. It is understood from the authoritative source of Vedic literature that especially in this age, Kali-yuga, people are generally short-living, extremely bad in their habits, and inclined to accept methods of devotional service that are not bona fide. Moreover, they are always disturbed by material conditions, and they are mostly unfortunate. Under the circumstances, the performance of other processes, such as yajña, dāna, tapaḥ and kriyā—sacrifices, charity and so on—are not at all possible.

SB 7.9.8, Purport:

A Vaiṣṇava who is fully qualified to serve the Lord still thinks himself extremely low while offering prayers to the Lord. For example, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, says:

jagāi mādhāi haite muñi se pāpiṣṭha
purīṣera kīṭa haite muñi se laghiṣṭha
(CC Adi 5.205)

Thus he considers himself unqualified, lower than the worms in stool, and more sinful than Jagāi and Mādhāi. A pure Vaiṣṇava actually thinks of himself in this way. Similarly, although Prahlāda Mahārāja was a pure, exalted Vaiṣṇava, he thought himself most unqualified to offer prayers to the Supreme Lord. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Every pure Vaiṣṇava should think like this. One should not be falsely proud of his Vaiṣṇava qualifications. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has therefore instructed us:

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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." Unless one is meek and humble, to make progress in spiritual life is very difficult.

SB 7.9.46, Purport:

Mauna, for example, does not mean that one should just stop speaking. The tongue is meant for speaking, although sometimes, to make a big show, a person remains silent. There are many who observe silence some day in a week. Vaiṣṇavas, however, do not observe such silence. Silence means not speaking foolishly. Speakers at assemblies, conferences and meetings generally speak foolishly like toads. This is described by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī as vāco vegam. One who wants to say something can show himself to be a big orator, but rather than go on speaking nonsense, better to remain silent. This method of silence, therefore, is recommended for persons very attached to speaking nonsense. One who is not a devotee must speak nonsensically because he does not have the power to speak about the glories of Kṛṣṇa. Thus whatever he says is influenced by the illusory energy and is compared to the croaking of a frog. One who speaks about the glories of the Lord, however, has no need to be silent. Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ: (CC Adi 17.31) one should go on chanting the glories of the Lord twenty-four hours a day. There is no question of becoming mauna, or silent.

SB 7.14.26, Purport:

The Vedas recommend many ritualistic ceremonies to be performed with one's wife, on the birthdays of one's children, or during funeral ceremonies, and there are also personal reformatory methods like initiation. These must be observed according to time and circumstances and the directions of the śāstra. Bhagavad-gītā strongly recommends, jñātvā śāstra-vidhānoktam: everything must be performed as indicated in the śāstras. For Kali-yuga, the śāstras enjoin that saṅkīrtana-yajña be performed always: kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). All the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the śāstras must be preceded and followed by saṅkīrtana. This is the recommendation of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī.

SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13

SB 10.6.27-29, Purport:

While decorating the body with tilaka, we give protection to the body by chanting twelve names of Viṣṇu. Although Govinda, or Lord Viṣṇu, is one, He has different names and forms with which to act differently. But if one cannot remember all the names at one time, one may simply chant, "Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu," and always think of Lord Viṣṇu. Viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param: this is the highest form of worship. If one remembers Viṣṇu always, even though one is disturbed by many bad elements, one can be protected without a doubt. The Āyurveda-śāstra recommends, auṣadhi cintayet viṣṇum: even while taking medicine, one should remember Viṣṇu, because the medicine is not all and all and Lord Viṣṇu is the real protector. The material world is full of danger (padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām (SB 10.14.58)). Therefore one must become a Vaiṣṇava and think of Viṣṇu constantly. This is made easier by the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31) paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam, and kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

CC Adi 7.50, Translation and Purport:

“How long can we tolerate the blasphemy by Your critics against Your conduct? We should give up our lives rather than hear such blasphemy.

One of the most important instructions by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu regarding regular Vaiṣṇava behavior is that a Vaiṣṇava should be tolerant like a tree and submissive like grass.

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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 ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." Nevertheless, the author of these instructions, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, did not tolerate the misbehavior of Jagāi and Mādhāi. When they harmed Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, He immediately became angry and wanted to kill them, and it was only by the mercy of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu that they were saved. One should be very meek and humble in his personal transactions, and if insulted a Vaiṣṇava should be tolerant and not angry. But if there is blasphemy against one's guru or another Vaiṣṇava, one should be as angry as fire. This was exhibited by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One should not tolerate blasphemy against a Vaiṣṇava but should immediately take one of three actions. If someone blasphemes a Vaiṣṇava, one should stop him with arguments and higher reason. If one is not expert enough to do this he should give up his life on the spot, and if he cannot do this, he must go away.

CC Adi 7.51, Translation and Purport:

"The Māyāvādī sannyāsīs are all criticizing Your Holiness. We cannot tolerate hearing such criticism, for this blasphemy breaks our hearts."

This is a manifestation of real love for Kṛṣṇa and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There are three categories of Vaiṣṇavas: kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs, madhyama-adhikārīs and uttama-adhikārīs. The kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, or the devotee in the lowest stage of Vaiṣṇava life, has firm faith but is not familiar with the conclusions of the śāstras. The devotee in the second stage, the madhyama-adhikārī, is completely aware of the śāstric conclusion and has firm faith in his guru and the Lord. He, therefore, avoiding nondevotees, preaches to the innocent. However, the mahā-bhāgavata or uttama-adhikārī, the devotee in the highest stage of devotional life, does not see anyone as being against the Vaiṣṇava principles, for he regards everyone as a Vaiṣṇava but himself. This is the essence of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's instruction that one be more tolerant than a tree and think oneself lower than the straw in the street (tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā). However, even if a devotee is in the uttama-bhāgavata status he must come down to the second status of life, madhyama-adhikārī, to be a preacher, for a preacher should not tolerate blasphemy against another Vaiṣṇava. Although a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī also cannot tolerate such blasphemy, he is not competent to stop it by citing śāstric evidences. Therefore Tapana Miśra and Candraśekhara are understood to be kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs because they could not refute the arguments of the sannyāsīs in Benares. They appealed to Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to take action, for they felt that they could not tolerate such criticism although they also could not stop it.

CC Adi 7.59, Translation and Purport:

As soon as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw the sannyāsīs He immediately offered obeisances, and then He went to wash His feet. After washing His feet, He sat down by the place where He had done so.

By offering His obeisances to the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu very clearly exhibited His humbleness to everyone. Vaiṣṇavas must not be disrespectful to anyone, to say nothing of a sannyāsī. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches, amāninā māna-dena: one should always be respectful to others but should not demand respect for himself. A sannyāsī should always walk barefoot, and therefore when he enters a temple or a society of devotees he should first wash his feet and then sit down in a proper place. In India it is still the prevalent custom that one put his shoes in a specified place and then enter the temple barefoot after washing his feet. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is an ideal ācārya, and those who follow in His footsteps should practice the methods of devotional life that He teaches us.

CC Adi 7.68, Translation and Purport:

“You are a sannyāsī. Why then do You indulge in chanting and dancing, engaging in Your saṅkīrtana movement in the company of fanatics?

This is a challenge by Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura writes in his Anubhāṣya that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is the object of Vedānta philosophical research, has very kindly determined who is an appropriate candidate for study of Vedānta philosophy. The first qualification of such a candidate is expressed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka:

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

This statement indicates that one can hear or speak about Vedānta philosophy through the disciplic succession. One must be very humble and meek, more tolerant than a tree and more humble than the grass. One should not claim respect for himself but should be prepared to give all respect to others. One must have these qualifications to be eligible to understand Vedic knowledge.

CC Adi 8.16, Translation and Purport:

If one is infested with the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, despite his endeavor to chant the holy name for many births, he will not get the love of Godhead that is the ultimate goal of this chanting.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says in this connection that although one may go on chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra for many, many years, there is no possibility of attaining the platform of devotional service unless one accepts Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One must follow strictly the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu given in the Śikṣāṣṭaka (3):

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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." One who follows this direction, being freed from the ten kinds of offenses, becomes successful in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and ultimately reaches the platform of loving service to the Personality of Godhead.

CC Adi 10.85, Purport:

The sahajiyās level three accusations against Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. This is certainly not congenial for the execution of devotional service. The first accusation concerns a materialist who was very proud of his reputation as a great Sanskrit scholar and approached Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana to argue with them about the revealed scriptures. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī, not wanting to waste their time, gave him a written statement that he had defeated them in a debate on the revealed scriptures. Taking this paper, the scholar approached Jīva Gosvāmī for a similar certificate of defeat, but Jīva Gosvāmī did not agree to give him one. On the contrary, he argued with him regarding the scriptures and defeated him. Certainly it was right for Jīva Gosvāmī to stop such a dishonest scholar from advertising that he had defeated Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī, but due to their illiteracy the sahajiyā class refer to this incident to accuse Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī of deviating from the principle of humility. They do not know, however, that humility and meekness are appropriate when one's own honor is insulted but not when Lord Viṣṇu or the ācāryas are blasphemed. In such cases one should not be humble and meek but must act. One should follow the example given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Lord Caitanya says in His Śikṣāṣṭaka (3):

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself 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." Nevertheless, when the Lord was informed that Nityānanda Prabhu was injured by Jagāi and Mādhāi, He immediately went to the spot, angry like fire, wanting to kill them. Thus Lord Caitanya has explained His verse by the example of His own behavior. One should tolerate insults against oneself, but when there is blasphemy committed against superiors such as other Vaiṣṇavas, one should be neither humble nor meek: one must take proper steps to counteract such blasphemy. This is the duty of a servant of a guru and Vaiṣṇavas. Anyone who understands the principle of eternal servitude to the guru and Vaiṣṇavas will appreciate the action of Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī in connection with the so-called scholar's victory over his gurus, Śrīla Rūpa and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī.

CC Adi 17.28, Translation and Purport:

“For even if one cuts a tree, it never protests, and even if it is drying up and dying, it does not ask anyone for water.

This practice of forbearance (taror iva sahiṣṇunā) is very difficult, but when one actually engages in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the quality of forbearance automatically develops. A person advanced in spiritual consciousness through the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra need not practice to develop it separately, for a devotee develops all good qualities simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra regularly.

CC Adi 17.31, Translation and Purport:

"One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord."

The grass is specifically mentioned in this verse because everyone tramples upon it yet the grass never protests. This example indicates that a spiritual master or leader should not be proud of his position; being always humbler than an ordinary common man, he should go on preaching the cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

CC Adi 17.32, Translation and Purport:

Raising my hands, I declare, "Everyone please hear me! String this verse on the thread of the holy name and wear it on your neck for continuous remembrance."

When chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, in the beginning one may commit many offenses, which are called nāmābhāsa and nāma-aparādha. In this stage there is no possibility of achieving perfect love of Kṛṣṇa by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Therefore one must chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra according to the principles of the above verse, tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā. One should note in this connection that chanting involves the activities of the upper and lower lips as well as the tongue. All three must be engaged in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. The words "Hare Kṛṣṇa" should be very distinctly pronounced and heard. Sometimes one mechanically produces a hissing sound instead of chanting with the proper pronunciation with the help of the lips and tongue. Chanting is very simple, but one must practice it seriously. Therefore the author of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, advises everyone to keep this verse always strung about his neck.

CC Adi 17.44, Purport:

There are many untouchables of the lower caste in India, but according to Vaiṣṇava principles everyone is welcome to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement on the spiritual platform of life and thus be freed from trouble. Neither equality nor fraternity is possible on the material platform.

When Lord Caitanya declares tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā, He indicates that one must be above the material conception of life. When one thoroughly understands that he is not the material body but a spiritual soul, he is even humbler than a man of the lower castes, for he is spiritually elevated. Such humility, in which one thinks himself lower than the grass, is called su-nīcatva, and being more tolerant than a tree is called sahiṣṇutva, forbearance. Being situated in devotional service, not caring for the material conception of life, is called amānitva, indifference to material respect; yet a devotee thus situated is called māna-da, for he is prepared to give honor to others without hesitation.

CC Adi 17.212, Purport:

Any man from any part of the world who practices chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa can be liberated and after death go back home, back to Godhead. The rascal pāṣaṇḍīs think that if anyone but a brāhmaṇa chants the holy name, the potency of the holy name is vanquished. According to their judgment, instead of delivering the fallen souls, the potency of the holy name is reduced. Believing in the existence of many gods and considering the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa no better than other hymns, these pāṣaṇḍīs do not believe in the words of the śāstra (harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam). But Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirms in His Śikṣāṣṭaka, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ: (CC Adi 17.31) one must chant the holy name of the Lord always, twenty-four hours a day. The pāṣaṇḍīs, however, are so fallen and falsely proud of having taken birth in brāhmaṇa families that they think that instead of delivering all the fallen souls, the holy name becomes impotent when constantly chanted by lower-class men.

CC Antya-lila

CC Antya 1.202, Translation and Purport:

"I empowered both of these brothers to go to Vṛndāvana to expand the literature of bhakti."

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu informed Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya that he and Sanātana Gosvāmī had engaged equally in devotional service after giving up all relationships with material activity. Such renunciation is a symptom of an unalloyed devotee engaged in the service of the Lord with no tinge of material contamination. According to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, this is the position of tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā. A pure devotee, free from the reactions of the material modes of nature, executes devotional service with tolerance like that of a tree. He also feels humbler than the grass. Such a devotee, who is called niṣkiñcana, or free from all material possessions, is always absorbed in emotional love of Godhead. He is reluctant to perform any kind of sense gratification. In other words, such a devotee is free from all material bondage, but he engages in Kṛṣṇa conscious activities. Such expert devotional service is performed without hypocrisy. Humility, renunciation and learned scholarship were combined in Sanātana Gosvāmī, the ideal pure devotee, who was on the same level of understanding as Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya. Like Rāmānanda Rāya, Sanātana Gosvāmī was a fully cognizant expert in the conclusions of devotional service and was therefore able to describe such transcendental knowledge.

CC Antya 3.137, Purport:

In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we are teaching our followers to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra continuously on beads. Even those who are not accustomed to this practice are advised to chant at least sixteen rounds on their beads so that they may be trained. Otherwise, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended:

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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 ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." Sadā means "always." Haridāsa Ṭhākura says, nirantara nāma lao: "Chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without stopping."

Although Kṛṣṇa wants everyone to surrender to His lotus feet, because of people's sinful activities they cannot do this. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ: (BG 7.15) rascals and fools, the lowest of men, who engage in sinful activities, cannot suddenly surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Nevertheless, if they begin chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and rendering service unto the tulasī plant, they will very soon be able to surrender. One's real duty is to surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, but if one is unable to do so, he should adopt this process, as introduced by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His most confidential servant, Nāmācārya Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura. This is the way to achieve success in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

CC Antya 3.207, Translation and Purport:

"All of you may now go to your homes. May Lord Kṛṣṇa bestow His blessings upon you all. Do not be sorry because of my being insulted."

From this statement by Haridāsa Ṭhākura, it is understood that a pure Vaiṣṇava never takes anyone's insults seriously. This is the teaching of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu:

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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 ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." A Vaiṣṇava is always tolerant and submissive like trees and grass. He tolerates insults offered by others, for he is simply interested in chanting the holy name of the Lord without being disturbed.

CC Antya 3.213, Translation and Purport:

A characteristic of a pure devotee is that he excuses any offense by an ignorant rascal. A characteristic of Kṛṣṇa, however, is that He cannot tolerate blasphemy of His devotees.

The characteristic of a Vaiṣṇava and the characteristic of the Lord mentioned in this verse are very significant. In His Śikṣāṣṭaka (3) Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has taught the characteristics of a Vaiṣṇava:

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

A Vaiṣṇava strictly follows this principle of being humbler than the grass and more tolerant than a tree, expecting no honor from others but offering honor to everyone. In this way, a Vaiṣṇava is simply interested in chanting about the Supreme Personality of Godhead and glorifying Him. Haridāsa Ṭhākura epitomized this foremost order of Vaiṣṇavism.

CC Antya 4.71, Purport:

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.3.22) Yamarāja says:

etāvān eva loke ‘smin
puṁsāṁ dharmaḥ paraḥ smṛtaḥ
bhakti-yogo bhagavati
tan-nāma-grahaṇādibhiḥ

"Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society."

Similarly, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said in His Śikṣāṣṭaka (3):

tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

"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 ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." Regarding the ten offenses in chanting the holy name, one may refer to Ādi-līlā, Chapter Eight, verse 24.

CC Antya 6.239, Translation:

"One who thinks himself lower than grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord."

CC Antya 13.61, Purport:

Sanātana Gosvāmī had adopted the dress of a paramahaṁsa; therefore it was inappropriate for him to wear the saffron cloth on his head. However, a Vaiṣṇava sannyāsī does not think himself fit to imitate the dress of a paramahaṁsa Vaiṣṇava. According to the principles set down by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu (tṛṇād api su-nīcena), one should always think himself in the lowest stage, not on the level of a paramahaṁsa Vaiṣṇava. Thus a Vaiṣṇava will sometimes accept the sannyāsa order just to keep himself below the level of a paramahaṁsa Vaiṣṇava. This is the instruction of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.

CC Antya 20.21, Translation:

“"One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord."

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 18:

Actually, Lord Caitanya was neither foolish nor ignorant of the principles of the Vedānta. His purpose was to demonstrate to modern society that fools who have no history of penance and austerity should not try to study the Vedānta just for some recreational purpose. In His Śikṣāṣṭaka, Lord Caitanya said that one should be in a humble state of mind, should think himself lower than the grass on the street, should be more tolerant than a tree, and should be devoid of all sense of prestige and ready to offer all kinds of respects to others. In such a state of mind, one can chant the Vedānta philosophy or the holy name of God constantly. The Lord also wanted to teach that a serious student of transcendental science should exactly follow the words of his spiritual master. According to the calculations of His spiritual master, Lord Caitanya appeared to be a fool; therefore he said that He should not indulge in the study of the Vedānta but should continue chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Lord Caitanya strictly obeyed this order. In other words, Lord Caitanya impressed on the Māyāvādīs that the words of a bona fide spiritual master must be strictly followed. One who does so becomes perfect in all respects.

Nectar of Instruction

Nectar of Instruction 1, Purport:

Kṛṣṇa is just like the sun, and māyā is just like darkness. If the sun is present, there is no question of darkness. Similarly, if Kṛṣṇa is present in the mind, there is no possibility of the mind's being agitated by māyā's influence. The yogic process of negating all material thoughts will not help. To try to create a vacuum in the mind is artificial. The vacuum will not remain. However, if one always thinks of Kṛṣṇa and how to serve Kṛṣṇa best, one's mind will naturally be controlled.

Similarly, anger can be controlled. We cannot stop anger altogether, but if we simply become angry with those who blaspheme the Lord or the devotees of the Lord, we control our anger in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu became angry with the miscreant brothers Jagāi and Mādhāi, who blasphemed and struck Nityānanda Prabhu. In His Śikṣāṣṭaka Lord Caitanya wrote, tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā: "One should be humbler than the grass and more tolerant than the tree." One may then ask why the Lord exhibited His anger. The point is that one should be ready to tolerate all insults to one's own self, but when Kṛṣṇa or His pure devotee is blasphemed, a genuine devotee becomes angry and acts like fire against the offenders. Krodha, anger, cannot be stopped, but it can be applied rightly. It was in anger that Hanumān set fire to Laṅkā, but he is worshiped as the greatest devotee of Lord Rāmacandra. This means that he utilized his anger in the right way. Arjuna serves as another example. He was not willing to fight, but Kṛṣṇa incited his anger: "You must fight!" To fight without anger is not possible. Anger is controlled, however, when utilized in the service of the Lord.

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Krsna Book 87:

Talking of Kṛṣṇa or singing of Kṛṣṇa is called kīrtana. Lord Caitanya recommends, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31), which means always thinking and talking of Kṛṣṇa and nothing else. That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so sublime that anyone who takes to this process is elevated to the highest perfection of life—far, far beyond the concept of liberation. In the Bhagavad-gītā, therefore, Kṛṣṇa advises everyone always to think of Him, render devotional service to Him, worship Him and offer obeisances to Him. In this way a devotee becomes fully Kṛṣṇa-ized and, being always situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, ultimately goes back to Kṛṣṇa.

Renunciation Through Wisdom

Renunciation Through Wisdom 5.1:

Those who are proud of their knowledge do not surrender to the Lord; instead, they try to attain the Supreme Lord's mercy by the inductive method and thus exhibit an obnoxious mentality. One should constantly remember the Lord and pray to Him for mercy. The Lord, situated in the devotee's heart, responds to such a prayer and illumines his heart with knowledge, which dissipates the darkness of ignorance.

Lord Caitanya has taught:

tṛnād api sunīcena
taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

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 ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

Often people do not understand the transcendental message of this verse. Although they are forced to act by the influence of the three modes, they make an artificial show of humility, pretending to be weak, lowly, and penniless beggars. This sort of cheating mood is most undesirable. Realizing the truth of the Vedic statement ahaṁ brahmāsmi ("I am Brahman") is one meaning of humility. The essence of this teaching is to understand that matter and spirit are diametrically opposed. When we are inspired by devotional service to the Lord, our original identity begins to manifest in us and ultimately brings us to God-realization. The devotees work hard to induce people from the materialistic masses to take up devotional service, all the while trying to not disturb their minds. Such spiritual efforts are never to be confused with the mundane endeavors of fruitive workers, empirical philosophers, or outright sense gratifiers.

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Compiled by Visnu Murti  +
Completed sections ALL  +
Date of first entry 25 April 2011  +
Date of last entry 25 April 2011  +
Total quotes 42  +
Total quotes by section BG: 2  +, SB: 17  +, CC: 19  +, OB: 4  +, Lec: 0  +, Conv: 0  +, and Let: 0  +
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