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CC Madhya 8.61

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


prabhu kahe,—“eho bāhya, āge kaha āra”
rāya kahe,—“svadharma-tyāga, ei sādhya-sāra”


prabhu kahe—the Lord replied; eho—this; bāhya—external; āge—ahead; kaha—speak; āra—more; rāya kahe—Rāmānanda Rāya replied; sva-dharma-tyāga—relinquishing one’s occupational duties; ei—this; sādhya-sāra—the essence of all perfection.


“This is also external,” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said. “Please proceed and speak further on this matter.” Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “To give up one’s occupational duties in the varṇāśrama system is the essence of perfection.”


A brāhmaṇa may renounce his family and accept sannyāsa. Others—kṣatriyas and vaiśyas—may also give up their families and take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Such renunciation is called karma-tyāga. By such renunciation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is satisfied.

In contrast, the process of renouncing the results of one’s activities by offering these results to Kṛṣṇa is not considered uncontaminated, because, although such a process implies that one recognizes Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Person, it still involves one in activities on the material platform. Since such activities are within the material universe, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu considered them external. To correct this, Rāmānanda Rāya recommended that one take to the renounced order of life in order to transcend material activities. This is supported by the following verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 11.11.32).