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Can a grihasta be guru of a sannyasi? (Q&A)





Although Rāmānanda Rāya was a householder, he was not under the control of the six kinds of bodily change. Although apparently a pounds-and-shillings man, he advised even persons in the renounced order. – CC Antya 5.80 


gṛhastha‘ haā nahe rāya ṣaḍ-vargera vaśe
viṣayī‘ haā sannyāsīre upadeśe

gṛhastha haā—being a householdernahe—is not; rāyaRāmānanda Rāyaṣaṭvargera vaśe—under the control of the six kinds of bodily change; viṣayī haā—being a pounds-and-shillings mansannyāsīre upadeśe—advises persons in the renounced order of life.


Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya externally appeared to be a gṛhastha who was under the influence of the external, material energy, not a self-controlled brahmacārī, vānaprastha or sannyāsī. Gṛhasthas (householders) who are under the influence of the external energy accept householder life for the purpose of sense enjoyment, but a transcendentally situated Vaiṣṇava is not subjected to the influence of the senses by the Lord’s material rule of the six kinds of bodily change (kāmakrodhalobhamohamada, and mātsarya), even when he plays the part of a gṛhastha. Thus although Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya acted as a gṛhastha and was accepted as an ordinary pounds-and-shillings man, he was always absorbed in the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore his mind was spiritually situated, and he was interested only in the subject of KṛṣṇaRāmānanda Rāya was not among the Māyāvādī impersonalists or materialistic logicians who are opposed to the principles of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental pastimes. He was already spiritually situated in the order of renounced life; therefore he was able to turn sand into gold by spiritual potency, or, in other words, to elevate a person from a material to a spiritual position.

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