Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
THE GLORIES OF SRILA HARIDASA THAKURA
[Today, September 29, 2012, in India, is the divine appearance day of Srila Haridasa Thakura, the great teacher of the glories of the holy name. The following is Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s lecture on his glorification, given on May 25, 2001 in Alachua, Florida:]
Come with me to Jagannatha Puri, near to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Haridasa Thakura. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes are more deep than the ocean, more deep than even thousands upon thousands of oceans. No ordinary person can understand the Lord’s pastimes, and even most devotees cannot realize them.
One day Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, “O Haridasa Thakura, in this world there are many uncultured and materialistic Mohammedans, Muslims, who want to control the world and make all people Muslims by the help of a sword or any other way. They address those who are not Muslims as ‘Kafir,’ meaning ‘against God’ (ka – fir). They tell their followers, “Somehow or other, by hook or by crook, make them Muslims.”
This is still their policy. They don’t honor other religions. They don’t chant the name Hari, Krsna, Govinda, or any other name of God, and they don’t believe in the form of God at all. They are like mayavadis (impersonalists).
Mahaprabhu inquired, “Is there any process by which they can be liberated?”
Haridasa Thakura replied, “Once there was a Mohammedan, a Muslim, who while passing through a forest felt the urge to pass stool. As he sat somewhere in the forest for passing, a very powerful boar saw him from a distance and ran to attack him from the backside. As boars run one-pointed with their eyes closed, so that boar ran to kill the person from the backside by tearing him to pieces with his sharp teeth. As soon as the man saw that the boar was going to attack him, he called out, ‘Ha rama! Ha rama!’ Ha rama means ‘condemned’ or ‘abominable’ or ‘impure.’ He condemned that boar by calling out, ‘Ha rama, ha rama!’
“Hearing that man call out, ‘Ha rama!’ Krsna in the form of His incarnation Lord Rama considered, ‘He is calling Me. I must go and help him.’ Lord Rama came there at once, since He is non-different from His holy name. He gave that man liberation, and attainment of Vaikuntha-dhama. [*See endnote 1] This was all because the man had unknowingly chanted, ‘O Lord Ramacandra’ [ha means ‘O’, and Rama may refer to Lord Ramacandra].”
The holy name is very powerful. If a person does not know the glories of the holy name and yet chants with respect, or even without respect, he will certainly achieve the fruits of chanting the holy names. He will not attain prema, but he will be liberated from this world – up to this. Or, he may gain much wealth. Moreover, if someone takes proper diksa and chants with honor, with a sense of a relation to Krsna, what will become of him? If he is under the guidance of any exalted rasikatattva-jnana Vaisnava, he will gradually attain sraddha (firm faith in sadhu, guru, and Krsna), nistha (steadiness in devotional service), ruci (taste for service and bhajana), and asakti (spontaneous attachment to Krsna). After that he will become liberated [*See endnote 2], and after that he will attain the stages of prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava.
We should try to continuously chant Krsna’s name in this process, like Haridasa Thakura. If a person cannot do this, still, he will achieve liberation. He will not die. [*See endnote 3] Krsna’s name will save him. But try to chant the name in the approved process. First associate with a highly qualified Vaisnava who will give you diksa, at which time you will receive divya-jnana, or all transcendental knowledge. You will then become detached from worldly desires, and very soon you will develop a thick relationship with Krsna that will manifest according to your constitutional form. You will gradually develop sraddha, nistha, ruci, and asakti, and after that rati. This rati is suddha-sattva as I explained yesterday. [*See endnote 4]
This is all being explained by Srila Haridasa Thakura [in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, chapter 3].
Once, by the wish of Sri Krsna, Srila Haridasa Thakura came to see SrilaRaghunatha dasa Gosvami, who was at that time at the premises of his father. Many learned persons and brahmanas had assembled there, and they were discussing the glories of the holy name. Some were telling that the holy name can give liberation, and others told that it can never give liberation; both parties were quarrelling.
Upon the arrival of Haridasa Thakura, everyone honored him, and they asked him the same question with which they were struggling: “Can one achieve liberation by the holy name, or not?” Haridasa Thakura very humbly replied, “There is no need of the pure name for achieving liberation, for even by the semblance ofthe holy name anyone can very easily be liberated.” [*See endnote 5]
[Haridasa Thakura said, “As the sun begins to rise, even before it is visible it dissipates the darkness of night. With the first glimpse of sunlight, fear of thieves, ghosts, and demons immediately disappears, and when the sun is actually visible, everything is manifest and everyone begins performing his religious activities and regulative duties. Similarly, the first hint that offenseless chanting of the Lord’s holy name has awakened dissipates the reactions of sinful life immediately. And when one chants the holy name offenselessly, one awakens to service in ecstatic love at the lotus feet of Krsna. Liberation is the insignificant result derived from a glimpse of the awakening of offenseless chanting of the holy name. While dying, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, intending to call his son Narayana. Nevertheless, he attained the spiritual world. [*See endnote 6] What then to speak of those who chant the holy name with faith and reverence?” (Antya 3.183-187)]
Hearing the words of Haridasa Thakura, a brahmana named Gopal Cakravarti became very angry and began to challenge him. All others warned Gopal not to challenge Haridasa Thakura, because of the Thakura’s elevated position in bhakti, but still he challenged, “Even the name itself cannot give liberation, and you are telling us that namabhasa (the semblance of harinama) can give liberation?! If I am speaking the truth, then your nose will fall off due to leprosy, and if I am wrong and you are right, then my nose will fall off!”
Everyone present became angry at that person, and the father of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami told him, “Get out from our assembly. I have no sympathy for you.” He had been paying that person many thousands of rupees monthly for being his tax-collector, but now he said, “I have stopped all connection with you. Get out of my kingdom.”
After a couple of days, that brahmana’s entire body was attacked by leprosy and his nose melted away. After many days, being extremely upset, he left for Aparadha-bhanjana-pata (the place where offences are destroyed) in Navadvipa. There he prayed to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “I have done wrong. I have committed offenses to the feet of a high-class Vaisnava. Please excuse me.”
Caitanya Mahaprabhu forgave this nama-aparadhi brahmana and instructed him to continuously chant the holy name. Gopala Cakravarti did so, and his leprosy soon disappeared, leaving him beautiful as before. And now, he was a devotee.
So, Haridasa Thakura was a very exalted devotee.
If you chant the holy name, a special kind of power comes to you; whatever you speak will become true. Your words will bear fruit. I have personally tested and examined this. Once I was chanting the holy name, thinking, “If I am chanting this name purely, then this must be done,” and at once it was done. I have examined this so many times. If you are chanting the holy name purely and you tell someone, “Oh, you should die,” then that person will die.
Narada Rsi cursed the sons of Nalakuvera and Manigriva, “At once become trees,” and by the power of his chanting of the holy name, they immediately began turning into trees. Once, Narada told someone, “Oh! You are now dead? Oh, Come on, Come on, Come on.” That person immediately came alive and began to speak. This is the power of the holy name.
Once, the ocean swallowed up a mother bird’s eggs, which she had laid by the ocean’s shore. Garuda came and told the ocean, “You should return the eggs to this bird.” When he did not hear a reply, he breathed in, and by the power of the holy name he drank all of the ocean’s water and the ocean became dry.
You can also examine whether or not this is true. Chant for some years like Srila Haridasa Thakura, or like any pure devotee, and you will see so much power come to you. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was so powerful that in a couple of years he successfully preached everywhere. Why? He was always chanting the holy name. By the power of the holy name and his own bhakti, so many souls came under his shelter. And what I am doing? I am only chanting. I am also successful in my preaching by the power of the name.
So, don’t disbelieve in the holy name. You can very easily receive anything by this name – money, liberation, and all other things, and Haridasa Thakura is an example of this. He never wished ill to the person who challenged him, but that person became attacked by leprosy.
We have seen so many scriptural references about Haridasa Thakura. Last night we explained about a prostitute who was about 16 to 20 years old. Although she tried to seduce Haridasa Thakura, by his grace she became a very prominent devotee. We should try to chant the holy name like him.
Once, the very beautiful Maya-devi herself came to Haridasa Thakura on a full-moon night. He was staying in a solitary place on the side of the Ganges, where she went to him and prayed: “I see that you are the most beautiful man in the entire world, and you can see that I am also beautiful. Look at me for just a moment.” But Haridasa Thakura was absorbed in chanting: “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” She spent the entire night with him, speaking so many words to allure him. In fact, she came there three nights in a row, but each night Haridasa Thakura told her, “Please wait. I have taken a vow to chant 300,000 names a day.”
Finally, at the end of the night of the third day she said to him with folded palms, “I am personally Maya-devi, the illusory energy of the Lord. I have cheatedSankara, Brahma the creator, Narada, Gautama, and so many others. I can cheat all others, but I am defeated by you. I am the same Maya, and now I am begging your mercy. Be pleased with me. I have received Rama-nama , but now I want to be initiated into the Krsna mantra. Please initiate me.”
She continued, “Mukti-hetuka taraka haya rama-nama, krsna-nama paraka haya kare prema-dana – The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation (taraka), [*See endnote 7] but the holy name of Krsna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience (paraka) and at last gives one ecstatic love of Krsna (Vraja-prema).” Being very merciful, Haridasa Thakura initiated her into Krsna-nama.
Although both Ramacandra and Krsna are the same by tattva (philosophical truth), there is some speciality in Rama. What speciality? First, those who take shelter of Rama cannot achieve the position of Sita. And second, Rama sometimes gives up Sita for no reason.
Believing the words of a very bogus washer-man, Rama gave up Sita for His entire life. [*See endnote 8] What was the fault, or offence, of Sita-devi thatRamacandra gave Her up? She had no fault. But Rama believed in the words of a washer-man, who had indirectly convinced Him to leave her. So, if you are chaste in your service to Rama, He may reject you also. We fear this may happen.
With Krsna, on the other hand, even the hunchback prostitute Kubja can come to Him and say, “Oh, I have taken your shelter; please accept me,” and He will accept her.
Do you know Narakasura? He conquered all the kings of India and then collected all the beautiful princesses for his personal enjoyment. Krsna knew about this from Narada Rsi. He went and killed that demon, and He told the sixteen-thousand princesses, “Now you are independent. You can easily go to your fathers, mothers, and others. I will arrange for your return home.” But what did they say? “We don’t want to return. No one will accept us now, because we have been in the house of Narakasura. So, we have taken Your shelter. Please give us the chance to serve Your queens. We will sweep and cook for them, and we will massage them. Somehow, please give us shelter.” Krsna then took them all on His bird-carrier,Garuda, who expanded to a very large size and carried them all to Dvaraka. Krsna also expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms, married them all, and lived with them in separate palaces as His queens.
Rama cannot do this. Can He marry with anyone except Sita? And He can also reject Sita. In fact, in the end, He also left His brother, Laksmana, forever. These scenes are all full of extreme pathos.
So, we will go to Krsna.
ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
manusyah partha sarvasah
[“All of them, as they surrender unto Me, I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.” (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)]
Krsna has promised to reciprocate with our surrender to Him, so we can believe in Him. Sometimes Krsna becomes cruel in His form of Ramacandra inRama-lila, but Krsna Himself is very humble and sweet to all. In her prayer to Haridasa Thakura, Maya-devi herself glorified Krsna as being more merciful than Rama
In her ecstatic love in separation for Krsna, glorifying Him indirectly in the form of rebuke, Srimati Radhika uttered these words:
mrgayur iva kapindram vivyadhe lubdha-dharma
striyam akrta-virupam stri-jitah kama-yanam
balim api balim attvavestayad dhvanksavad yas tad
alam asita-sakhyair dustyajas tat-katharthah
[“Like a hunter, He cruelly shot the king of the monkeys with arrows. Because He was conquered by a woman, He disfigured another woman who came to Him with lusty desires. And even after consuming the gifts of Bali Maharaja, He bound him up with ropes as if he were a crow. So let us give up all friendship with this dark-complexioned boy, even if we can’t give up talking about Him.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.47.17)]
The gopis told Uddhava, “Go and tell Krsna, ‘We have nothing more to do with Him. We don’t want to have any further relation with Him. If He can give us up, we can also give Him up. But what can we do? Our hearts can never give Him up. This is the problem. How cruel He is. All black people are cruel, not only this fellow. All black fellows are cruel.
“There was another black person in Treta-yuga (Lord Ramacandra). A very beautiful lady came to Him and said, ‘I love you. I want to marry you.’ That black person replied, ‘Oh, I will have only one wife. I cannot marry a second. It will be better for you to go to My younger brother, Laksmana. He has no wife.’
“Actually, although Laksmana’s wife was not with Him in the forest, He was married; so Rama had said this only as a trick. That lady then went to Laksmana, who told her, ‘Do you want to be a queen, or do you want to be a maidservant? If you marry Me, you will have to be a servant of Rama’s wife, because She is My queen. I am a servant, so you will be a servant. If you want to be a queen, then marry Rama. Rama can have so many wives.’
“She again came to Rama, but again Rama said, ‘Oh, I cannot do this; better that you go to my younger brother.’ Rejected by Rama, she again went toLaksmana, and was again sent to Rama; and thus she became upset. She wanted to kill Sita, and Rama cut off her ears and nose to stop her.
“Why did He do so? He was lusty. Just to please his wife, He wanted to cut off that other lady’s nose. He could have humbly told her, ‘I cannot do this.’ But He was joking with her and making fun of her. That is why she became furious. He could have humbly told her, ‘Oh, I cannot do this. You should go to your husband, or anyone else.’ But why did he do what He did? Because He was cruel.
“And third is Vamanadeva. What did He do? He took all the possessions of Bali Maharaja and bound him in a snake-rope. Bali Maharaja was weeping. Somehow Prahlada Maharaja and Brahma arrived, and Brahma challenged, “What are You doing?” And then He left.
There are so many deep meanings in these pastimes, but we have no time now to describe all those deep truths. Let us return to our subject.
Regarding Rama-nama: ‘Rama’ refers to Ramacandra, and ‘Rama’ also refers to Krsna Himself. In the maha-mantra, which embodies ‘Hare Krsna’ and ‘HareRama,’ Hare indicates Radhika and Rama indicates Radha-Ramana Krsna. Krsna is also called Rama, so Hare Rama indicates Radha-Krsna.
It is stated in scriptures like Visnu Purana that three Rama names equal one name of Krsna. Rama’s name is equal to Krsna’s name when Rama refers not to Ramacandra but to Radha-Ramana Krsna – and in that connection it is sometimes superior to Krsna. There are so many things to understand here.
Haridasa Thakura has four qualities:
trnad api su-nicena
taror via sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
[One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the hold name of the Lord. (Siksastakam, verse 3)]
How is Haridasa Thakura su-nicena? He used to think, “I am Muslim. I am not qualified to go to Jagannatha’s temple.” He never used to walk on the many streets of Jagannatha Puri, because he was trnad api su-nicena.
When he was staying with Advaita Acarya in Santipura, Advaita Acaryainsisted on honoring him. All Advaita Acarya’s relatives were assembled at His home, along with many brahmanas, as it was the day of their forefathers’ sraddhaceremony. During this ceremony, the plate of prasadam offered to the forefathers is then offered to the best of the brahmanas in the assembly. Instead of offering the first plate to any other brahmana present, Advaita Acarya offered it to Haridasa Thakura, considering him greater than any of the foremost brahmanas. Haridasa began to weep, saying, “I am not qualified. I am a Muslim.” But what did Advaita Acarya reply? “If I give you this offering, this will be the best thing in the universe. All of my forefathers will be liberated if you take this.”
Seeing this, all the brahmanas present became angry at Advaita Acarya andsaid, “By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here! We don’t like your behavior. Your actions are opposed to the principles of caste consideration.” And, taking their water pots, they all stood up to leave. Advaita Acarya replied, “I don’t care if you go. You can go. I want only bhakti. You are foolish persons.” [*See endnote 9]
Soon afterward, those brahmanas returned and fell flat on the lotus feet ofAdvaita Acarya, and also to the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura. Haridasa Thakura is surely ‘out of caste,’ as they challenged, in the sense that he is superior to aparamahamsa. He is a combination of Prahlada Maharaja and Brahma.
So, we should try to follow Haridasa Thakura, always chanting the holy name and being, trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna. [To Prema-prayojana dasa] Can you prove that he is su-nicena?
Prema-prayojana dasa: Srila Haridasa Thakura was very popular. The Muslim king was thinking, “This Haridasa Thakura is giving a bad reputation to Islam. He is born in a Muslim family, so why is he chanting the name of a Hindu God?” He called him to his council and said, “You should not chant the name of Krsna anymore. You should be a very good Muslim and chant the name of Allah. If you don’t do this, there will be a severe punishment for you.”
Haridasa Thakura replied: “My dear sir, you can cut my body into thousands of pieces, and I may give up my life, but my tongue cannot give up the chanting of this name: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” The King then ordered that Haridasa Thakura be beaten in twenty-two marketplaces.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should hear this. Oh, my dear friend, what are you counting? You should hear this. You should give your ears to this hari-katha. What are you counting? Hear this attentively, and don’t allow your mind to wander.
Prema Prayojana dasa: The soldiers took Haridasa Thakura to the marketplace, where they had very strong and powerful whips and were beating him. Usually in one marketplace one will die, because the beating is so severe. First the skin breaks, and then it is cut, and then the skin begins to come off. They were beating him in every market place until there was no skin, no flesh, and even his bones were broken. Like a miracle, he was still chanting the holy name. They couldn’t believe it.
Sometimes, while they were beating him, Haridasa Thakura would look towards them and smile very compassionately. He could see they were sweating from the hard labor of thrashing him. He would say, “I hope your arms are not feeling pain from all of this beating.”
He was very humble. After some time, they became afraid, thinking, “If he doesn’t die, the king will kill us.” They revealed to him, “The king will kill us if you don’t die.” Haridasa Thakura thought, “I don’t want to give any trouble or inconvenience to others.” At once he went into samadhi and it seemed he passed away. They took his body and threw it into the Ganges. The next moment he came out of the Ganges and his body was strong and healthy again. This is the power of harinama. Haridasa Thakura is Lord Brahma and Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada was beaten and tortured by his father, but he never complained or was disturbed.
Lord Brahma has said:
tat te ’nukampam su-samiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak
[“My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.]
It is only a matter of time until a person attains the shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna. What kind of person? That person who in the midst all kinds of difficulties, problems, and adverse conditions says to himself, “It is not your fault; you are not beating me. My own karma is beating me. I have done this to myself. It is my fault.” One who patiently tolerates and considers himself to be the cause of all his problems, and at the same time takes shelter with body, mind, and words in Krsna, that person will easily come to Krsna’s eternal service and be happy forever.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Mahaprabhu performed His pastimes with devotees like Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, Sikhi Mahiti, Madhavi-devi,Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Vakresvara Pandita, Sri Gopinatha Acarya, Kasisvara,Vaninatha Raya, Govinda, Gopala Guru; and all the Gaudiya bhaktas likeSivananda Sena, Raghava Pandita, and Kavi Karnapura as a baby and small boy. And especially, He performed pastimes with Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, and Haridasa Thakura.
Maya-devi personally told Haridasa:
caitanyavatare vahe premamrta-vanya
saba jiva preme bhase, prthivi haila dhanya
[“There is now a flood of the eternal nectar of love of Godhead due to the incarnation of Lord Caitanya. All living entities are floating in that flood. The entire world is now thankful to the Lord.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 3.254)]
The flood of full prema, vraja-prema, was present everywhere during Mahaprabhu’s pastimes. Everywhere there were waves of that flood.
e-vanyaya ye na bhase, sei jiva chara
koti-kalpe kabhu tara nahika nistara
[“Anyone who does not float in this inundation is most condemned. Such a person cannot be delivered for millions of kalpas.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 3.255)]
Those waves are still going on today, and those who are fortunate can take bath in the flood. Those who are not taking this bath are very unfortunate. Chara means ‘wretched’ and ‘fallen.’ Koti-kalpe kabhu tara nahika nistara – if you are not taking bath in that flood of love and affection of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then millions of your births will go in vain; you’ll gain nothing. In this human form, at this present time, you are very near to that flood, as only four or five hundred years have passed since Mahaprabhu’s time. Still, so many waves are coming. Try to take bath in this, and thus become fortunate enough to very easily attain kr?na-prema. We are helping you.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came to help you. He preached, “Give up all these bogus things that you are thinking can give you happiness. Such things can never give you happiness. Wealth cannot give you any happiness, and your relatives cannot give you anything. Your home is opulent with so many facilities. You can turn on a switch and your restroom will come, by another switch your kitchen room will come, or your dish will come, or your office will come. But give up all these facilities. They cannot help you at all.”
Please chant the holy name like Haridasa Thakura:
trnad api su-nicena
taror iva sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
Never wish for reputation. Don’t try to hear your own glories. Rather, give proper honor to all Vaisnavas. This is the teaching of Haridasa Thakura. Let us try to obey him from today; not today, just now. Chant always, without any interruption, “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
One thing more: In the last days of Haridasa Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to go to him daily to give His darsana, along with all His associates, just after the morning arati of Jagannathadeva, He also used to send so much maha-prasadam for Haridasa Thakura through the hands of Govinda, His own servant. What was Govinda? Mahaprabhu’s servant, or disciple, or what? [*See endnote 10]
One day, when Govinda brought some prasada, Haridasa Thakura told him, “Today I shall fast, because I have not completed my regular number of rounds.” So how can I eat? But you have brought maha-prasada, so how can I neglect it?” Haridasa then offered pranama to the prasadam and took a small morsel. Worried, Govinda returned to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and said, “I went with prasadam to serve him, but he said, ‘I am feeling some sickness.’ I think that he is not in good health.”
The next day Mahaprabhu went to see Haridasa, with all His associates – Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, and others – and said, “How are you feeling?” Haridasa Thakura answered, “Oh, I am feeling sick.” Mahaprabhu asked, “What is your sickness?” Haridasa Thakura replied, “My body is okay, but my sickness is that I have not completed my chanting of three lakhs holy names (300,000 names or 192 rounds). I cannot chant. My fingers do not move. Oh! This is my sickness.”
Can you try to be like this? We should try to be like this. This is our only disease – that we have no taste in chanting the holy name, and that we are not chanting.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Haridasa, “Now you are perfect. There is no need to chant so much. As much as you can chant, that will be sufficient.” But Haridasa said, “I don’t want to live in this world for long. I know that very soon You will disappear from here, and I don’t want to see that very pathetic scene. I want to leave my body with my head in Your lap. In that way, I will see Your golden face and chant Your holy name: Saci-nandana Gaura Hari! Gaura Hari! I want to give up this body in this way.” Mahaprabhu told him, “I perform My pastimes with you. If I don’t have My associates like you, then there are no pastimes. Let Me not be alone in this world. I don’t want you to go.” But Haridasa Thakura again and again requested, “I don’t want to see this pathetic scene. Please be merciful to me.”
On the next morning, Caitanya Mahaprabhu assembled all the devotees with Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, and He returned to perform parikramaof Haridasa Thakura with kirtana and so many mrdangas and karatalas:
(hari) haraye namah krsna yadavaya namah
yadavaya madhavaya kesavaya namah
gopala govinda rama sri madhusudana
giridhari gopinatha madana-mohana
[Nama-Sankirtana Srila Narottama dasa Thakuraa (1-2)]
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Requesting His devotees to continue kirtana, He sat down near Haridasa Thakura. He took the head of Haridasa upon His lap. Haridasa was only seeing towards His lotus face and calling out, “Saci-nandana Gaurahari! Gaurahari!Gaurahari,” and he left his body at once.
Mahaprabhu began to weep, and all the devotees began to weep in an intense separation mood. Then, Caitanya Mahaprabhu took Haridasa’s body in His arms and placed him from His arms onto a chariot. What kind of chariot? As we see in Indian Vedic custom. The devotees made a chariot like this, and with nagara-sankirtana they proceeded toward the shore of the ocean. During the devotees’ kirtana and parikrama, Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed Haridasa’s divine body in the sea with His own hands, and declared that spot to have become a great pilgrimage site. He and His devotees anointed Haridasa’s body with Lord Jagannatha’s sandalwood. He placed Haridasa in Samadhi and personally covered his body with sand, after which all the devotees did so. A temporary samadhi mandir was established, and later on a permanent mandira was built.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu announced, “Those who were singing here, those who have done parikrama of Haridasa Thakura, those who gave even one palmful of sand, and those who are in this viraha maha-mahotsava festival will very soon achieve Krsna’s favor. He also announced that He wanted to collect prasadam from all the shopkeepers. All the shopkeepers began to give all their stocks, but Svarupa Damodara told them, “We don’t want everything from you. Please give only a small amount.” In this way, each shopkeeper gave a small amount of his various preparations. Someone gave dahl, someone vegetables, rice, and so on, and the combined quantity became sufficient. Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat all the devotees down and personally began to distribute the prasadam along with a few others, but Svarupa Damodara and everyone else requested Him, “If You are not sitting and taking, then no one else will take.”
Then, Mahaprabhu sat down and uttered the prayer to maha-prasada:
maha-prasade govinde nama-brahmani vaisnave
svalpa-punyavatam rajan visvaso naiva jayate
(Prasada-Seva –from the Skanda Purana)
Maha-prasadam ki jaya!
Harinama sankirtana ki jaya!
Srila Haridasa Thakura ki jaya!
Samagata bhakta-vrnda ki jaya!
Gaura premanande! Hari hari bol!
[*Endnote 1: Liberation in this connection means that in the man’s next life he entered into the proper process to begin his bhakti, and ultimately he attained Vaikuntha-dhama. (Sripada Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja)]
[*Endnote 2: Liberation in this connection meaning that he will attain bhava-bhakti and have his first realization of his relationship with Krsna and services to Him. He sees within himself his own spiritual form and the forms of Krsna and His associates. (Sripada Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja)]
[*Endnote 3: In this connection, ‘He will not die’ means that he will not be thrown by the constables of Yamaraja, the god of death, into hellish planets and lower species of life as a result of his past sins. He will get an opportunity for devotional service in his next life. “Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Krsna consciousness carries a person again to Krsna consciousness, even after the loss of the body” (Bhagavad-gita 2.40 purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja).]
[*Endnote 4: When our object is to attain rati (transcendental mood), and for this, with these material senses, tongue and mind, we will perform sadhana, then it will be sadhana, otherwise not. First there should be an object that, “I want to attain rati.” But, what is rati? What is that desired mood, which should be the object of our devotional activities. Then:
krd asau bhava ucyate
[“When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krsna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava .” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 23.5)]
What is bhava? You should know. If you don’t know what is bhava, or rati, then how can it be your object of attainment? If you don’t know this, how can you perform sadhana (devotional practices performed with the purpose of attaining bhava)? You may be performing sadhana-abhasa (a shadow of sadhana) or lower than that; not actually bhakti. We are all in this category.
We must know the meaning of sattva and suddha-sattva. Sattva means existence, and it is of two kinds; suddha-sattva and misra-sattva. All souls who are now captured in material things are misra-sattva, and those who give up these material conceptions and adopt the transcendental conception of thinking themselves as infinitesimal parts of the Supreme Lord are called suddha-sattva.
Then, suddha-sattva visesatma: Baladeva Prabhu is the origin of all suddha-sattva jivas, as well as everything existing in this world. Baladeva Prabhu is the personification or predominating Deity of Krsna’s sandhini-sakti, His existence potency; everything coming from sandhini-sakti is suddha-sattva.
Visesatma denotes Hladini-sakti (Radhika being the predominating Deity) and samvit-sakti (Krsna being the predominating Deity) of the svarupa-sakti of Krsna (Radhika being the predominating Deity of svarupa-sakti). Samvit means knowledge, and from knowledge this mood will come: all kinds of bhavas to serve Krsna that are in Radhika may come partly. Such moods are full of love and affection, with ananda (unlimited bliss). This is visesa – the essence of hladini-sakti and samvit-sakti, coming on the platform of sandini. Devotees receiving such mercy will have suddha-sattva visesatma descend in their hearts.]
[*Endnote 5: The meaning of this statement is explained in Bhagavad-gita 2.40: “In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.” It is further explained in the purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja: “Activity in Krsna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krsna without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krsna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krsna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krsna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity without a hundred percent success there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of Krsna consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord”]
[*Endnote 6: When Ajamila chanted the four syllables of the name Narayana, the four Visnudutas appeared to save him from the ropes of the Yamadutas, the constables of the god of death. By seeing them and hearing their words, Ajamila was inspired to leave home and perform severe austerities and engage in devotional service to the Lord. When his service became perfect he again saw those Visnudutas, and this time they took him on a celestial airplane to Vaikuntha – ed.]
[*Endnote 7 (Lord Rama easily offers the two types of Vaikuntha liberation as described here in Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s lecture of July, 2002, in France) The bhakti-creeper then goes to paravyoma (the spiritual sky), which is beyond even Siva-loka. Paravyoma, where there is no mixing in brahma, is divided into two sections. The lower of the two is like Vaikuntha, but is not actually Vaikuntha, and the jiva can also go there. It is the Vaikuntha planet within the material world, and it is called Rama-priya Vaikuntha. In that realm there is seva-sukha-uttara. There, the devotee wants to serve Lord Narayana, but he also wants the happiness accrued from the attainment of the four spiritual opulences. That desire for happiness is not like ours, for the devotees there do not have material bodies; still, that desire is not pure. In the higher section there is prema-seva-uttara; the devotee only wants to serve Narayana with love.
There is great aisvarya (opulence) in the Vaikuntha planets: one can have the same bodily features as Narayana (sarupya), he can live on the same planet with Him (salokya), he can have equal opulence (sarsti), and he can have association with the Lord. But a Vaisnava never wants these four types of liberation; he solely wants to serve.]
Narayana-loka, Nrsimha-loka, Rama-loka (Ayodhya), and many other such lokas are within the Paravyoma, and the bhakti-creeper passes beyond all of them. It crosses beyond Narayana-bhakti, Nrsimha-bhakti, and Ramacandra-bhakti. The devotee will say, “I don’t want that,” and that creeper then goes to Goloka.
[*Endnote 8 – Rama and Sita devi stayed together for many years, and everyone was very happy within their kingdom. Some people, however, criticized Rama for accepting Sita back after she had been staying in the palace of Ravana.
According to Vedic principles, it is unacceptable to accept one’s wife after her being away for one night, what to speak of one year. One evening, the wife of a washer-man came home late. Her husband immediately told her that she could not enter the house. He threw her out saying, “I am not like Rama, who accepted His wife after she’d been with another man.”
This news spread and the story got back to Rama. He was most disturbed, and realized that He had to do something to rectify the situation. How could He rule a kingdom where some of the people did not have faith in Him? He called a meeting, asking all of His brothers to come, but none of them could give Him any advice. He Himself then realized what to do. He remembered that Sita wanted to visit all the sages in the forest and shower them with gifts. He asked Laksmana to take Her to the asramas of all the sages, deliver His sorrowful message to Her, and then leave Her in the forest. Laksmana was devastated that He was called upon to do this, but He could not say anything as he was Rama’s younger brother. He therefore had to accept that responsibility. (Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s lecture of April 13, 2000)]
[*Endnote 9 – Haridasa Thakura was born in a Muslim family. At the sraddha ceremony for Advaita Acarya’s father, the highest seat and prasada were to be offered first to the most elevated person. Advaita Acarya was performing the ceremony when the moon was in the appropriate place in the month of Ashwina. All the high-class brahmanas were there – Bhattacarya, Trivedi, Caturvedi, Upadhyaya – and all of them were great scholars. After washing their feet, Advaita Acarya showed them to their respective seats. In front was an elevated seat, and Advaita Prabhu was standing and thinking, “Who will I seat here?”
All of the scholars were thinking, “I know so many scriptures; certainly I will be offered that seat.” Silently they were all aspiring for it. Advaita Acarya then went outside the house and saw Haridasa Thakura, wearing a langoti and sitting at the door. Haridasa was thinking, “The brahmanas will take their meal here, so Advaita Acarya will certainly give us a little of their prasada.” He had so much humility that he was thinking that if he were to go inside, the house would be contaminated.
At once Advaita Acarya embraced him, and Haridasa Thakura said, “Oh, you are a brahmana and I am a Muslim! Having touched me, you must now go and bathe.” But grabbing him and taking him inside, Advaita Acarya sat him on the elevated seat, at which time there was a great outcry in all directions. The brahmanas said, “By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here!” Taking their water pots, they all stood up and left. They were abusing Advaita Acarya, saying, “You are opposed to the principles of dharma!”
But Advaita Acarya said, “Today my birth has become successful, and today my father has attained Vaikuntha. By giving respect to one Vaisnava, today, millions of my ancestors have crossed over maya. If Haridasa Thakura will eat here, that is greater than feeding millions of brahmanas.”
Haridasa Thakura was crying, thinking, “Because of me, all these brahmanas have been insulted and are not eating.” But Advaita Acarya said, “Haridasa, today you will certainly take prasada here. That will be our great good fortune.” Then he said to the brahmanas, “He will stay, and none of you will get prasada. Actually, you should all leave here quickly, because just seeing your faces is a great sin. Haridasa has great regard for maha-prasada, and therefore he is included within the Vaisnava class. Anyone who doesn’t accept this is an atheist, and one who judges a Vaisnava by his birth is an atheist. You can all go away from here, and then your offences will leave with you. You are offending Haridasa, and offending me as well.”
All the scholars left the house, but outside, as they were going, they began speaking amongst themselves. “Advaita Acarya is no ordinary personality. He is a great scholar, he knows all of the scriptures, and he is an exalted preacher of bhakti.” They continued deliberating, and after fully reconsidering, they returned, fell at Advaita Prabhu’s feet, and begged forgiveness. (From Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s Sri Prabhandavali, Chapter 7)]
[*Endnote 10: Both Kasisvara and Govinda were god-brothers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and thus the Lord duly honored them as soon as they arrived. But because Isvara Puri had ordered them to give Caitanya Mahaprabhu personal service, the Lord accepted their service. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 10.140)]