(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 09 May 2014, Bhaktivedanta Manor, England, Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.23.36)
One can never be complacent! One can never think, “I’m there, first initiation! Yeah. I’m there, second initiation! You know, bra-ma-na!” and casually forget to put the brahmin thread back, “Oh, it is still hanging there (on the ear).” (Laughing). And then, you know – sannyasa!
Somehow, I received sannyasa here at Bhaktivedanta Manor, in this very spot. I tell you the truth – the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime (Laughter). So here we are, back once again. I remember sitting in the yajna and I was sweating. It was not because of the heat of the fire, it was because of the heat of the vow!
I was 44 years old and I thought to myself, “You are always too bold, always! You always get yourself in big trouble and this time, you really did it!” (Laughter) “Are you really sure that you want to go through with this!? It will look so stupid if you stand up and walk away right now.” So I sat through it and I took the danda although my heart was pounding and yes, it was done; there I was!
A TV crew was also here and then they asked me afterwards, “Do you feel any different now?” Well, I sure did and I told them, “It is just like when someone gets married. When someone gets married and you ask them straight after the marriage if it feels any different. Yes, it does, now you have responsibility.”
So, once you have this danda you have this responsibility. So, after the third initiation, you know, three stars. And then, over time you become a guru, then four stars. And then you get tempted to want a fifth star – I am God! (Laughter)
So it is hard but realize that sannyasa is just an opportunity, a good opportunity, to finally get serious about spiritual life. That is what it is!