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Acceptance of Sannyasa by Srila Prabhupada

September 21

“One night, Abhay had an unusual dream. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta appeared before him, beckoning. He was asking Abhay to leave home and take sannyasa. Abhay awoke in an intensely emotional state, “How horrible!” He thought. He knew it was not an ordinary dream, yet the request seemed so difficult and unlikely. Take sannyasa! At least it was not something he could do immediately. Now he had to improve the business, and with the profits he would print books. He went on with his duties, but remained shaken by the dream.” (Satwarup Goswami. 1980. Prabhupada Lilamrta. Page 118.)

In 1948, Abhay closed his Lucknow factory. He had fallen behind in employees’ salaries, and since 1946 he had been paying past rent in installments. But when sales dropped off, continuing the factory became impossible. He lost everything.

Srila Prabhupada: I started a big factory in Lucknow. Those were golden days. My business flourished like anything. Everything in the chemical business knew. But then, gradually, everything dwindled. With the help of some acquaintances in Allahabad, he opened a small factory there, in the same city where his Prayag Pharmacy had failed fifteen years before. He moved to Allahabad with his son Brindaban and continued manufacturing medicines. While the rest of the family remained at Banerjee Lane in Calcutta, Abhay continued his travelling; but now he was often sway for months at a time.

And then he had the dream a second time. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati appeared before him; again he was beckoning, indicating that Abhay should take sannyasa. And again Abhay had to put the dream aside. He was a householder with many responsibilities. To take sannyasa would mean to give up everything. He had to earn money. He now had five children. “Why is Guru Maharaj asking me to take sannyasa?” he thought. It is not possible now.

The Allahabad business was unsuccessful. “At present, the condition of our business is not good,” he wrote his servant Gouranga, who had asked to rejoin him. “When the condition gets better and if you are free at that time I will call for you.” He worked earnestly, but results were meagre.


September 21