1. How Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati follows Rupa Gosvami

    These Gosvamis, although they occupied very exalted positions, they were living in Vrndavana as a very, very poor mendicant. They will not live underneath a tree more than one night, because one may develop some attachment after living two or three nights. There is a process for the sannyasis. A sannyasi cannot live in a place more than three days. That is injunction.

    So it is very difficult nowadays to follow exactly all the rules and regulation. But His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, because he is an acarya, he introduced that a sannyasi can live in a palatial building. It may appear that he introduced something against the principles of the Gosvamis, because our Gaudiya Vaisnava, they are rupanuga-viruddhapa siddhanta-dhvanta-harine [Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Pranati].

    We pray for our spiritual master, rupa anuga viruddha — anything which is against the principles of Rupa Gosvami. Rupanuga-viruddha. Viruddha means “against the principles of”; apasiddhanta, “such kind of conclusion.” His Divine Grace was very much against such principle.

    But one may say that the Rupa Gosvami lived underneath a tree only for one night. Both the brothers also would not live together. Sanatana Gosvami would live somewhere; Rupa Gosvami would live somewhere. They were following. Sometimes Rupa Gosvami will invite his elder brother. In this way they are living in Vrndavana. But does it mean that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami, instead of living under the tree overnight, he was living in Calcutta in a palatial building — so does it mean that he broke the principles of Rupa Gosvami? No.

    That is acarya. The acarya has to make convenient means how people can get the principle. If Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami would not have introduced these principles, nobody would come to the principles of Rupa Gosvami. In these days, nobody is prepared to go to Vrndavana and live underneath a tree overnight. That is very, very difficult task. So acarya’s business is to see how people will take it.

    From Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.46 — January 30, 1971, Prayaga