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Sincere Devotees are Beyond Categories of Householder and Ashramite

Once in our Kolkata Math, a bramhachari did not behave respectfully towards a householder devotee during a festival program, and Srila Tirtha Goswami Maharaj was not pleased with that. He said, “Household devotees come to math for few days leaving aside all their material duties. They come to associate with the sadhus. It is not appropriate to be disrespectful towards them. If we have ego that I am a brahmachari, I am a sanyasi and they are grihastas, then we will not get the grace of the Supreme Lord.

We should give up all types of false ego. Mahaprabhu has instructed:

yei bhaje sei bada, abhakta—hina, chara
krishna-bhajane nahi jati-kuladi-vicar

Anyone who takes to devotional service is exalted, whereas a non-devotee is always condemned and abominable. Therefore in the discharge of devotional service to the Lord, there is no consideration of the status of one’s family. (Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya-lila 4.67.)

Whoever performs bhajan is exalted; there is no consideration of whether one is a sannyasi or a grihasta or literate or illiterate. The more one is devoted to His service the more exalted one is. That is the only qualification, nothing else. Narottam Das Thakur says in his kirtan:

grihe va vanete thake, ha gaurang bale dake,
narottam mange tar sanga"

One may reside in the house or in a forest, but if he constantly chants the holy name of Gauranga, Narottam Das wants his association.

Many of the associates of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu were ideal grihasta devotees. Therefore it is not true that if one is a grihasta, he is fallen. Ambarish Maharaj, Prahlad Maharaj, and Dhruv Maharaj were all household devotees and there were renunciate devotees also like Hanumanji, Garudji, and Narad Muni. So, there no such consideration of whether one is a grihasta or a sannyasi in devotees. He who performs devotion is exalted.”

Maharaj gave this instruction to that brahmachari in Kolkata Math.

—Tridandi Swami Srimad Bhakti Saudha Jitendriya Maharaj (Gurudeva's godbrother who accepted sannyas from Srila Gurudev. Presently the in-charge of Hyderabad Math)

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