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Accepting Paramhansa Vesh


(Bhaktiratna Sadhu Maharaj) #1

By Nitai’s desire & arrangements, as per the Gaudiya Math standards of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, I humbly accepted the white vesh (dress) of the 4th & final level of sannyas known as paramhansa at Shrivas Angan, progressing from my present 3rd stage of parivrakacharya sannyas. I received it on 1/3/18 from Gaudiya Math Babaji Srila Nitya Krishna das, who is the vesh-disciple (1997) of Srila Bhaktipramod Puri Goswami and diksha-disciple (1980) of Srila Bhaktikusum Shraman Goswami. Srila Bhaktikumud Santa Goswami remains my primary sannyas-guru, who gave me the Gopibhava mantra in 2001. Srila Bhaktishastri Parampada das is my diksha-guru, and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami & Srila Vrindavan das Thakur are my shiksha-gurus. I do not think myself qualified for it, but it became very clear that my Prannath Nitai wants me to accept it due to the miraculous sequence of events which unfolded preceding it, as if Nitai Himself is orchestrating all of it.

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Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava Book
By Bhakti Vikasa Swami

Gaudiya Math Sannyasis in White

Throughout the course of his preaching career Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī awarded paramahaṁsa-veśa (the dress of a paramahaṁsa) to thirteen disciples. Except for being white, their attire was the same as that of Gauḍīya Maṭha sannyasis—a cotton cloth knotted at the neck and partially covering the upper body, and a lower piece wrapped around the waist and legs, reaching to or just above the ankles, without a kaccha—thus differing from the short off-white cloth (also called paramahaṁsa-veśa, or bhek) typical of non–Gauḍīya Maṭha bābājīs.

In other Gauḍīya lines, higher-caste men who became bābājīs discarded their sacred thread to symbolize transcending caste identification. But Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī’s bābājīs retained the thread, having adopted it for spiritual reasons. And unlike prākṛta-sahajiyā bābājīs, they were not instructed in līlā-smaraṇa or permitted to study or discuss intimate līlās any more than were other members of the mission.

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Srila Prabhupada explains in Srimad Bhagavatam 2.4.13 purport and at many many other places that there are four progressive stages of sannyasa: “Kuṭīcaka, bahūdaka, parivrājakācārya and paramahaṁsa are gradual progressive stages in the renounced order of life, sannyāsa, and Queen Kuntīdevī, the mother of the Pāṇḍavas, has spoken about them in her prayers for Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

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“Kuṭīcaka, bahūdaka, parivrājakācārya & paramahaṁsa are GRADUAL PROGRESSIVE stages in the renounced order of life, sannyāsa.” (Srila Prabhupada in SB 2.4.13 & so many other places). “GRADUAL PROGRESSIVE” stages means one can PROGRESS to the next stage of sannyasa if one wishes.

Non-Gaudiya Math babajis give up sacred thread & don’t consider babaji vesh as 4th paramhansa sannyas order in varnashram like in Gaudiya Math. So GM parivrajakacharya sannyasis don’t accept such babaji vesh, but may progress to white paramhansa sannyas babaji vesh in varnashram, to remain lower and humble before our Goswamis.

Gaudiya Math paramhansa babajis may become bhajanandis in many cases. But in other cases, they have given kathas, kirtans & even gone out to raise funds, as seen in the life of one of SBSST’s 13 babajis: Mukund das babaji. He used to go to BaraBazar Kolkata to collect funds, etc.

kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei ‘guru’ haya (CC 2.8.128). A Guru is not one who has such & such dress. He is one who knows Krsnatattva, ie. Mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā (SB 11.19.21) "Worship of My devotee (like Nitai) is higher than My Worship.