Critical Analysis of Modern Sadhu

by Deen Gauranga Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 1.4.6
katham ālakṣitaḥ pauraiḥ
samprāptaḥ kuru-jāṅgalān
vicaran gaja-sāhvaye

How was he [Śrīla Śukadeva, the son of Vyāsa] recognized by the citizens when he entered the city of Hastināpura [now Delhi], after wandering in the provinces of Kuru and Jāṅgala, appearing like a madman, dumb and retarded?

The present city of Delhi was formerly known as Hastināpura because it was first established by King Hastī. Gosvāmī Śukadeva, after leaving his paternal home, was roaming like a madman, and therefore it was very difficult for the citizens to recognize him in his exalted position. A sage is not, therefore, recognized by sight, but by hearing. One should approach a sādhu or great sage not to see but to hear him. If one is not prepared to hear the words of a sādhu, there is no profit. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was a sādhu who could speak on the transcendental activities of the Lord. He did not satisfy the whims of ordinary citizens. He was recognized when he spoke on the subject of Bhāgavatam, and he never attempted jugglery like a magician. Outwardly he appeared to be a retarded, dumb madman, but in fact he was the most elevated transcendental personality.

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