Lord Nityananda Prabhu
Today is auspicious appearance of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. There is a beautiful song by Srila Narottam Das Thakur where he sings –
brajendra-nandana jei, śacī-suta hoilo sei, balarāma hoilo nitāi
He is offering his obeisances to Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who appeared as son of Srimati Sachi devi and who is none other than Brajendra nandana kumar – the beautiful son of Nanda maharaj. Lord Balaram, who is his brother, has appeared as Sri Nityananda prabhu. Sri Krishna is appeared as Sri Chaitanya and Sri Balaram ji appears as Lord Nityananda.
Bala – the spiritual energy of Lord
Bala, Baladev refers to spiritual strength. It is the spiritual power that animates all living beings with in creation. This body is dead. There is no material force or power that can give life to a dead corpse. It is the spiritual energy of God or Bala that is the source of all life and consciousness. Therefore, our very existence is ever dependent on Bala or the divine spiritual energy of the Lord. Therefore Bala dev is considered to eb the original spiritual master – why? Because for spiritual consciousness, for our spiritual life to be awakened we are fully dependent on the shelter of Guru and Baladev is the original guru because he is the original expansion of the lord which emulates his divine potency or strength. So, that Baladev appeared as Lord Nityananda prabhu. There is a place in west Bengal in an area called Radhadesh in which there is a village called Ekachakra and Lord Nityananda appeared there as the son of Haday pandit and his mother Padmavati. He appeared especially for the purpose of revealing the supreme most mercy of any incarnation that has ever existed throughout all eternity. Because the mercy of Lord Sri Nityananda had no reason, had no logic and therefore made no discrimination. When Krishna appeared He demanded – Sarva dharman parityjya mam ekam sara… that you surrender to me! And those who were against Krishna, those are who are against the principles of religion, Sri Krishna with his mighty sudarsan chakra would sever the head and send them back to spiritual world thru that process of liberation. Now Sri Krishna as explained by Srila Rupa Goswami appeared as the most munificent incarnation of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabu.
namo maha -vadanyaya
krishna- prema- pradaya te
krishnaya krishna- caitanya-
namne gaura-tvise namah
Because He is supremely giving that same liberation and beyond, not with the weapon of Sudarshan but with the supreme astra – the holy name, simply by delivering the transcendental sound of holy name of Krishna he is giving every living entity the opportunity of awakening the love of God.
As we know Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the renounced order or life – Sanyasa, so that people would respect and hear from Him. But in doing so He also had to follow very, very strict rules and regulations. Which guard him from properly gaining entrance to various very low class sinful conditions of life. Lord Nityananda, He left home when he was only 12 years old with one Sanyasi and travelled all the holy places in India and at last came to Vrindaban. From there, He simply waited for Sri Chaitanya to reveal His Sankirtan lila – the chanting of the holy names. And then He went to Sri Navadvip Dham. And Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda united to the purpose of showering the supreme mercy of the Lord up on all living beings.
Nityananda Prabhu’s Position
After Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took the Sanyasa order of life, He instructed Lord Nityananda that He should marry, although he was living like a renounciant. The reason why he did this is because those people, those living beings who are so low, if a sanyasi were to associate with such persons they would be condemned by the higher classes of the society. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Lord Nityananda that you be the deliverer of the lowest of the low. Do not discriminate between who is high and who is low. The mercy can only find its place in the heart that feels itself to be the lowest of the low. Because as long as someone thinks that they are worthy or deserving, he can’t be grateful. It is not an act of mercy to deliver such a person. Causeless mercy means there is no cause. Therefore good intelligence, good brain substance with absolutely no qualification for love of God or Bhakti, expertise in performance of rituals, high birth, highest living can give you no entrance in to the realm of Bhakti. There is only one qualification – a very humble heart that is eager and sincere to receive the causeless mercy that we don’t deserve. Until we have that state of consciousness we can’t gain in to the field or realm of Bhakti. So Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, this is what he taught – simply have an eager heart be little sincere to receive my mercy and you will go back to Godhead. Those who doesn’t even have that – that was Lord Nityananda’s quota to deliver. You are not eager to hear about Krishna; you have no sincere desire what so ever? He would search out for those people who wouldn’t accept Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by any means! Mahaprabhu gave so simple. Lord Nityananda would fall at the feet of such person. He would roll in the ground with tears in his eyes and beg them – “please accept Gauranga, please accept the holy name that is emanating from his lips, please chant Gauranga the name of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” In this way Lord Nityananda showed us by his example the supreme humility of God. As He is living, although He is the supreme creator of all creators, he is the master of the entire universe, he is the worshipable lord of all demigods, all the saints and all the sages. He is the unparallel supreme object of love of all the residents of spiritual world Vaikuntha, He is perfect and complete in himself, He is abhijñaḥ svarāṭ – all knowing and independent, he requires nothing from anyone. That same lord prostrates himself at the feet of the lowest, most fallen and most sinful of all beings begging them with tear in His eyes – “please accept the treasure of love of God. Please accept the means out from all the suffering and bondage. Accept the name of Gauranga and be peaceful, supremely be happy forever.” This was the mercy of Lord Nityananda.
Braja Leela and Gaura Leela
Therefore, in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, the followers of Sri Chaitanya mahaprabhu, it is required that we first approach lord Nityananda. You see, to enter in to the realm of Braja Dham, the leela of Radha and Govinda is very difficult. Because, Braja leela is confined to a very, very confidential circle of associates. And unless you are utterly free from all selfish motivations, unless you are totally immersed in unmotivated and uninterrupted pure devotional service of the lord, Radha Krishan’s leela is all theoretical. You can’t taste or experience the true sweetness. But you see, Gaura leela is non-different from Braja leela. Here is only one difference – magnamity. In the Gaura leela, simply distributes indiscriminately in all directions the pure realizations of Braja leela. Breakthrough all the barriers which confines Krishan’s leela to a confidential circles and distribute it to all. Because, as it is said, Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya Radha-Krishna nahi anya – that Radha and Krishna have appeared in one form as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But you see Radha Krishna leela is very much misunderstood. Hardly anyone could really understand as-it is. Everyone have pictures of Radha and Krishna in their house that is very nice, its purifying but to understand, you see as long as we are attached to this material bodily conception, we transfer that conception even on the spiritual principles of life. We have an idea of what is the relationship between a man and a woman in this world. We have an idea of romance. We have an idea of love. As long as our senses are contaminated by Kama or Lust, it is impossible to truly understand “what is the divine love between Radha and Krishna?”
Purification for a PhD
I remember, I tell this story often. I was preaching in Kentucky in United Stated of America. One very famous PhD professor – he received several PhDs. He was also teaching at the Hindu University at Varanasi and also in major colleges in America he is teaching Hinduism. He said to me – “please answer one question. Of all the forms of God to worship, why Radha and Krishna? Have you ever read Gita Govinda? I did my thesis in Jayadeva Goswami’s Giat Govinda. Radha and Krishan, do you know what they used to do in the bushed of the forest of Vrindavan? All immoral activities… such a lusty God.. Of all people to worship why Him?” I explained to him – “my dear sir, you are a PhD correct?” Yes not only one but four. At that point I thanked Krishna I never finished college. Because pride is the greatest daemon that consumes all chances of devotion. I told him if you begin your studies in graduate school or did you begin in a kindergarten or before that nursery school? He said – “I began in nursery school.” I said Jayadev Goswami’s Gita Govinda is graduate study. You should study the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita for about the next 10 years. And purify yourself of all the horrible misconception you have. AS long as we are tainted with material desires it all an imitation to try to understand Krishna’s real love for Radha Rani. Therefore, how merciful is Radha and Krishna. They appeared as lord Chaitanya. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than Radha Krishna in one form.
Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya Radha-Krishna nahi anya
It is described that Krishna was very anxious to experience the sweetness of Srimati Radha Rani’s love. He was thinking that I am called Rama which means the reservoir of all pleasure. Any pleasure anywhere is only coming from the fountainhead of source of all pleasure which is Me. And yet Srimati Radha Rani up on loving Me is experiencing millions of times more pleasure than Me. So I want to try to understand what is Sri Radha’s pleasure? Therefore he approached Srimati Radha Rani, Krishna said – “I am going to appear in this material world because after all its time to establish the Yuga Dharma – the chanting of the holy name – that’s external. But My real reason – I want to appear with your sentiments so that I can personally experience the sweetness of your love. And I want to be like you up on taking my name roll on the ground in ecstasy and see what’s you are feeling?” So Srimati Radha Rani said – “Yes I will bless you by giving you the sentiment of my love but only under one condition – When you roll on the ground in my ecstasy you will hurt yourself very bad. SO I will cover your body with my complexion. And therefore, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna with the complexion and sentiment of Srimati Radha Rani. Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya Radha Krishna Nahi Anya. So Radha Krishna of Braja dham has appeared as Gauranga. But Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the renounced order of life Sanyas and he lived by the highest principles of renunciation. So we see to understand Lord Chaitanya is to understand Radha Krishna and there is no difference. Whatever advancement you make, whatever credit you make in Gaura leela that credit goes right to braja leela. But the difference is this – you cannot understand no matter how much irrealistic your mind at is you can’t pervert the real meaning of Lord Chaitanya’s divine descent. Because He is a sanyasi, all you could do is receive His mercy and chant the holy name. There is nothing to misunderstand. So thinking like this Lord Nityananda, He was told by Lord Chaitanya – you distribute the name of Sri Krishna everywhere you go. Lord Chaitanya himself would be chanting where ever he went –
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Lord Nityananda was thinking – “who will understand Radha and Krishna properly. Better if I team them about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Then automatically they will learn Radha and Krishna.” Therefore Lord Nityananda, wherever he went he would sing beautiful song he composed.
bhaja gauranga kaha gauranga
laha gaurangera name
ye jana gauranga bhaje
sei amara prana re
Worship Gauranga, speak of Gauranga, chant Gauranga’s name. Whoever worships Sri Gauranga is My life and soul.Worship Gauranga. Chant the holy name of Gauranga. Take the mercy of Gauranga. Anyone who is willing to do this is my life and soul. This is the prayer of Lord Nityananda where ever he would roam. He would roam on both eastern and western side of the Ganga, through all cities, towns, and villages with this divine message.
dīna-hīna yata chilo, hari-nāme uddhārilo tāra śākṣī jagāi mādhāi –
He proved that simply by chanting the holy names of the Lord, even the most wicked and sinful of all sinners can be elevated to the top most position. And this is true occurrence of those two wretched dacoits Jagai and Madhai! Therefore the qualification for receiving Lord Nityananda’s mercy is to simply accept that I am a fallen soul! To simply in that humble state of consciousness receive His mercy as it is coming thru the His representative – the Spiritual Master. But you cannot properly receive the mercy of Guru with the representative of Nityananda prabhu unless we consider ourselves fallen.
Being Humble examples
It is explained by Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami in his prayers to Lord Nityananda how it is by the mercy of Lord Nityananda only that he was given entrance in to the great treasure of devotional service. And in his profuse praise of Lord Nityananda he explains the feelings of his own heart. Please understand Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami is the supreme most of all devotees of the Lord in his realization of God. He is the very author of the post graduate study of all the Vedas – the Chaitanya Charitaamrutam. But, Krishna Das is saying – “I am lower than Jagai and Madhai. I am more sinful even than these two demons. I am more abominable than a worm in stool. Anyone who even hears my name looses immediately the credit of all his pious activities of his previous life.” Prabhupad explains he is simply proudly trying to look humble but he was genuinely and honestly speaking the feelings of his heart. This is the nature of a great soul.
Now in the Chaitanya Bhagavat, Brindavan Das Thakur also praying profusely the glories of Sri Nityananda Prabhu as his only shelter – his life and his soul. He is praying that the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda may ever be placed within the altar of his heart. And at the end of his prayers he begins to pray that all living beings, may all be fortunate and be humble your hearts to receive the mercy of Lord Nityananda. For those who are not willing to accept even after hearing all these instructions, I kick them in their head with my foot. So one may ask, what kind of humility is that? Krishana Das Kaviraj Goswami is claiming himself lower than the worm in the stool, more sinful than Jagai and Madhai, he is praying to take the dust at the feet even of the most sinful of all souls on this head! And Brindavan Das Thakur who has the exact same realization as Krishna Das, he is saying he will kick them with his foot in their head!
trinad api sunicena
taror api sahishnuna
kirtaniyah sada harihi
One should be more humble then grass. More tolerant then tree. Ready to offer all respects to others and expect none in return. So how do we understand this being humble? Can anyone answer this question? The great acharyas explain – that Brindavan Das Thakur was the most humble of all humble souls. But how merciful he is in his humility? He was thinking like this that “inevitably there are going to be people that are going to refuse to accept the mercy of Lord Nityananda. And therefore they are lost! What hope is there?” He is so kind so merciful. Without discrimination, there are people who blaspheme him, accuse him, criticize him, and misjudge him. What salvation is there for such persons?” So he was feeling himself the son of Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Because after all a devotees is the representative of the Lord, he is the son, the child. And Brindavan Das Thakur is thinking – I am such a little child that if a child offends somebody then the parents feel so embarrassed that he will give that person some special reward, right? That is the nature love of a parent. So there is no way these people are going to be saved. So somehow or other if I just commit such an offense to these people by kicking them on the head with my foot, at least threatening to do so, then Lord Nityananda will think – “Oh! My son, he is committed such an offense to this person that I have to make it up to you by giving you some special mercy.” This is the humility. This is the humility of a Vaishnava.
Examining Our Motivations in Life
So on this very auspicious day of Nityananda Traydasi, we should very seriously reexamine our motivations in life. You see Lord Nityananda early in the morning before the break of the dawn, he would go to individual person’s houses on the side of the road, he would sing that “you are uselessly throughout the day decorating your dead bodies, and at night you simply waste in the ignorance of sleep. In this way your whole life is passing.” Who would home various forms of prestige, wealth, it’s all nothing but decorations of a dead body. Because this body is dead has always been dead and will always be dead. It is that ‘Bala’ that spiritual spark, that spiritual potency, the spiritual strength of God which is within every soul, part and parcel which gives life. Without nourishing the soul through loving devotion to Krishna, simply living on the bodily concept of life is nothing but the decoration of dead body. Of course, most people would not even think that there is anything wrong in decorating a dead body. Prabhupad used to tell us there is a certain class of very poor people in India that they have nothing they living on the streets and yet they save their money in large amounts until they die and then they have the relatives decorate them very nice with all jewelry and beautiful silk robes and then a nice velvet stretcher or whatever and then they burn it. And everyone says “very nice! He has left in honor.” And of course to such people its natural decorating a dead body. So starve themselves throughout their life just so they can decorate their corpse. And of course a sane person understands the futility of such an existence or does he? We are all doing it 24 hours a day, I am sorry 12 hours a day and the other 12 hours sleeping. So Lord Nityananda would accuse everyone that – “you are wasting the most valuable opportunity of this human life“.
durlabha mānava-janma labhiyā samsāre
Out of the eight million four hundred thousand species of life it takes millions and millions of births going thru sufferings of birth and death to attain human form and what you doing? You are simply spending all your human energy to decorate your dead body? You are getting nice skills you making lots of money; you have a nice house; you have nice bed; you have a nice wife; you have nice family; you have big, big degrees; you have respectability within society; but what is that do for your soul? Absolutely zero! So Lord Nityananda would explain – “wake up sleeping souls! Chant the holy names of the Lord. Accept with an eager and sincere heart the mercy of the Lord which is descended in the sound of His name.”
samsāra-bisānale, dibā-niśi hiyā jwale,
jurāite nā koinu upāy
manusya-janama pāiyā, rādhā-krsna nā bhajiyā,
jāniyā śuniyā bisa khāinu
golokera prema-dhana, hari-nāma-sankīrtana,
It is explained by Narottam Das Thakur that although I attained this rare and valuable human life, I have so sorrowfully pitifully wasting it, simply enjoying my senses, which is nothing less than drinking poison willingly. That the burning scorching heat of material existence is constantly inflicting great anxiety in my heart. And yet, I am so shameful I refuse to worship Radha and Krishna. But from the spiritual world of Goloka has descended the holy name of Krishna. And anyone who simply takes the chanting of the holy name can awaken one’s real life, spiritual life; which is ever lasting full of knowledge and full of real pleasure.
The Matchless Gift
This is the gift of Lord Nityananda prabhu and this is the gift of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
kevala ānanda-kanda –
That simply by chanting, dancing and feasting, these three simple processes, any one from any position can attain the supreme perfection. Even a child! Whether one is from east or from west, whether one is illiterate or very, very, very greatly intelligent, whether one is man or woman, rich or poor, Lord Nityananda made absolutely no discrimination. He profusely gave the name of Krishna, gave the name of Gauranga to everyone in all directions. And Lord Nityananda himself, when he would chant and when he would dance, anyone who would hear him or see him would be captivated by the love of God. So He thought us this process – chant, dance, feast, be happy; there is nothing else required. If you are expert at something; do it for Krishna. But if you are not dancing, chanting and feasting all your other activities are like an empty shell. This is the substance of real spiritual purification in the age of Kali. So therefore, when we celebrate the appearance day of the great incarnations of Godhead we should know that we are doing so for the pleasure of the Lord. What is that verse by Narottam Das Thakur? –
hā hā prabhu nityānanda, premānanda sukhī
krpābalokana koro āmi boro duhkhī
That Lord Nityananda is always the reservoir of the greatest ecstasies as he is chanting and dancing distributing his mercy profusely. So the greatest way to please Him is by accepting His mercy by enthusiastically with great eagerness chanting the holy the names and dancing. What is this dancing Lord Nityananda has taught? It is not a sensual exhibition of physical excellence. Has nothing to do with that. It is meant to be the expression of humility of the heart, gracefully reaching out to the mercy of the Lord. Gracefully dedicating our body, our mind and our words. Our mind is absorbed in hearing the holy name. Our words are absorbed in vibrating the holy name. And our body is absorbed in dancing for the pleasure of the Lord. This process of dancing and chanting is utterly scientific. It is the most full and complete meditation because your entire existence – body, mind, words and soul, everything is immersed, absorbed as an offering to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is very scientific and utterly complete. This is the mercy of Lord Nityananda. Now it’s the time for the celebrated ārati of Sri Sri Nitai Gaur Chandra. We see them on the altar on the left, twenty four hours a day they are dancing like this, they never stop. Their arms never get tired. Until we become like that, we are unfortunate. So, they have come in this beautiful form of Nitai Gaur Chandra. Krishna has come in the guise of His devotee to teach us how to perfect our life. And how are they teaching us? Like this! Can you all do like this? Stay up, they are staying twenty four hours day, you can stay for one minute. Radha, Gopinath are the supreme enjoyers. But that same Radha Gopinath has appeared as Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda to show us by their example how to love them. And how are they teaching us to love Radha Gopinath? Like this –
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.