1. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Rupa Gosvami, & smoking bidis

    Vaisnava position is not very easy thing; above all qualities. Therefore Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura introduced not to become an imitation of Rupa Gosvami. Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana, the Gosvamis of Vrndavana, they are paramahamsas. And in Vrndavana you’ll find so-called babajis, they have imitated the dress of Rupa Gosvami — half loincloth — but a bidi in the mouth. What is this nonsense? Rupa Gosvami used to smoke bidi? [laughter] [chuckles] Not only that; you’ll find in Vrndavana so many Rupa Gosvamis are making bidi. Have you seen in the Gopinatha Bazar? They’re making trade, bidis, and shameless. Therefore my Guru Maharaja introduced this. Of course, sannyasa is there in the Vaisnava… All the acaryas, they were sannyasa, but later on, it so degraded that these bidi-smoker, ganja-smoker, they imitated Rupa Gosvami. Therefore to purify, Guru Maharaja introduced this sannyasa system, below the paramahamsas, not that artificial means I become a paramahamsa.

    From Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.41 — October 21, 1974, Mayapur