I would like to thank everyone for coming this evening. Tomorrow is the most celebrated and special event, for those of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. It is the appearance day of Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. (Indistinct)
yadä yadä hi dharmasya
glänir bhavati bhärata
tadätmänaà såjämy aham
He comes in every millennium in order to re-establish the principles of religion and to protect his devotees and as well as to annihilate the miscreants. So in every age the Lord comes in a particular and unique form, just according to the needs of the society for its spiritual upliftment. We worship Lord Krsna on his appearance, on the holy occasion of Janmashtami. Krsna appeared in the Dvapara Yuga, and we are now living in the Kali Yuga, and the Yuga Avatar for the Kali Yuga, as explained in the Srimad Bhagvatam, the Mahabharata and various other great Vedic literatures; is the appearance of Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
yajanti hi su-medhasaù
Bhagavatam explains that those in the age of Kali Yuga, who have good intelligence, should come together and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the process of the congregational chanting of the holy name.
The purpose of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance:
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was called the Yuga Avatar, because he has specially come for the purpose of establishing the ways and means by which even the most fallen of all the souls which includes one hundred percent of the population in this age of Kali, and how they can easily attain the perfection of Prema bhakti, love of God. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was born under the most auspicious conditions of the lunar eclipse when everyone, with great intensity was chanting the holy name. To chant the holy names, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, is to receive the most precious gift that is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to each and every one of us with his own beautiful, loving hands. Sir Gaurasundar, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, with his own personal loving hands, he is delivering the holy name of Krsna. And he along with Lord Nityananda Prabhu come begging each and every living being in whatever condition of life, “Please take the name of Krsna. Take the name of Krsna and find the true joy and peace of life.” Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; although he taught more instructions than anyone could write down, with his own hands he only wrote 8 verses. And these 8 verses are called Sikshastakam. It is the condensed version of all the teachings of the Vedas applicable to this Age of Kali Yuga; which explain from the very beginning the basic stage of how to purify your heart. And as these verses go on, they intensify more and more and gradually reveal the intimate heart of pure devotee and how he cries out for the Lord in great love, humility and devotion. So the Sikshastakam verses should be very carefully studied and understood under the able guidance of a bonafide devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Recognizing the true desire of the soul :
Tomorrow is the glorious day when the Lord appears; tomorrow was the day which is most celebrated and most important because it is the day when the Supreme Lord revealed to us the ultimate extent of his mercy. In the first verse of the Sikshastakam prayers the ultimate extent of his mercy is explained,
änandämbudhi-vardhanaà prati-padaà pürëämåtäsvädanaà
that whoever we are; simply take the name of Krsna and all of your desires, all of your longings, all of your hankerings in life will be fulfilled; because the true hankering in life of every living being is for Krsna. The soul is longing for Krsna; the soul is crying for Krsna. But in this world we have forgotten who we are; we have forgotten the desire of the soul. And under the illusion of Maya we are hankering, crying and longing for the temporary sources of misery of this world. But by the chanting of the holy name of God, all these misconceptions are removed. Sikshastakam explains,
änandämbudhi-vardhanaà prati-padaà pürëämåtäsvädanaà
sarvätma-snapanaà paraà vijayate çré-kåñëa-saìkértanam
By the process of congregational chanting the holy name, all the impurities, the illusions and the misconceptions of life are removed like the dust from the mirror of our hearts. And as we become relieved from the fever of material attachments, what takes place- is our longing for Krsna intensifies more and more and more. The natural aspiration of the soul to reunite with the supreme object of all love-Krsna grows and grows and grows.
The aspiration of a pure soul :
Tonight we read and sung a beautiful song by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, ‘kabe gaura bane’. He is praying, “When will that day be mine, when all of my material attachments are removed from my heart, and I simply long and cry out to be with Krsna; to be in those holy places of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; to wear the dust of the Vaishnavas on my body and to always be remembering him with great love. When will my hard heart melt and when will the desire for Krsna consciousness be my only aspiration in life?” This is the goal of the living being. And Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explains that through the process of chanting of the holy names of God; the soul’s true desires of longing for Krsna will motivate our lives one hundred percent. And that longing in and of itself is the fulfillment of all the desires of the soul eternally. A pure soul; in whatever walk of life he may be, accepting, his aspiration is simply to please the Lord with faith and devotion. This is the result of chanting the holy name. And then all of our desires are fulfilled.
The hair cutting ceremony of the Lord at Katwa :
There is a beautiful story about one great devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and how the Lord arranged within his life the ideal condition, wherein he could become purified and fulfill all of his desires. This devotee’s name was Gangadhar Bhattacharya. And Gangadhar Bhattacharya was a Brahmin by class. He was very learned, very humble and vey devoted to Lord sri Krsna. One time he was travelling to see one great sadhu in a place called Katwa in Bengal. This great sadhu, he was a disciple of Srila Madhavendrapuri whose disappearance day was yesterday. His name was Keshava Bharati Maharaj. And when he came to that place a most wonderful occasion was taking place. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who before that was of the name Nimai Pandit or Vishvambhar, was just about to accept the vows of a Sannyasi. When Gangadhar Bhattacharya arrived, they were just about to have the hair-cutting ceremony to shave the beautiful hair of Lord Vishvambhar. When the barber came, he just began to cry. He said, “How can I touch this person’s hair? He is more beautiful than cupid himself. This is impossible.” But Lord Vishvambhar demanded that, “You cut my hair.” People began to cry. The whole village, they gathered around and they were unbearably buried in a painful condition of heart, thinking, “This beautiful, beautiful child of only 24 years old, who has won everyone’s heart”; they could understand that “he must be Krsna himself, the Supreme enjoyer”. They could not bear him taking the vows of Sannyas and accepting the robes of saffron and the shaved head. So they began to condemn Keshava Bharati who was the Sannyas Guru of the Lord; “You cannot do this, you cannot allow this! This is irreligion personified. You must stop this ceremony. It cannot be.” Meanwhile Vishvambhar explained that it must be. People were threatening suicide; people were threatening to destroy the entire temple compound of Keshava Bharati, “if you allow this to take place.” They were outraged, so nothing could be done. It was at a standstill. It was not auspicious to have such a ceremony when people were so outraged and angry by it. So what happened is, the beautiful Gaurasundar, he began to have Kirtana to chant the name of Krsna very sweetly and began to dance. In this way he inundated all of the person’s hearts with the beautiful congregational chanting of the holy name and everybody became very sweet, very peaceful and very satisfied. And in the next morning, the Kirtana went on throughout the night; Caitanya Mahaprabhu then again ordered the barber, “Cut my hair.” He tried and tried but it was very difficult. Others tried but they could not. But finally on the order of the Lord, he began to cut the hair. And as the hair was falling to the ground, so were the bodies of all the devotees. They could not bear seeing it. They were falling unconscious, rolling in the ground, getting up, crying, and wailing in great sorrow.
Gangadhar Bhattacharya becomes Chaitanya das :
At this time Gangadhar Bhattacharya witnessed this experience. Upon seeing the hair of the beautiful Lord fall to the ground, in his great sacrifice for all conditioned souls he was taking Sannyas; he was also falling to the ground in tears, conscious and unconscious. And then he heard Keshava Bharati pronounce before everyone that, “Now you are a Sannyasi, and your name will be Sri Krsna Chaitanya.” So Gangadhar Bhattacharya just kept repeating over and over again, “Chaitanya, Sri Krsna Chaitanya, Chaitanya, Chaitanya!” he was mad. He could not control himself; he could not remain there seeing the beautiful form of the Lord as a Sannyasi, knowing that he is the Supreme enjoyer, “How could he make this sacrifice of renouncing his wife, his mother, all worldly connections; simply for us who are undeserving? Simply to reach our hard hearts who will not listen to anyone unless they are in such a robe.” He could not bear staying in Katwa. He left that place and went back to his village. But wherever he went he was simply crying, “Chaitanya, Chaitanya, Chaitanya!” Nobody could understand what has happened. Everyone in the village thought that he had gone mad. But then someone explained what had happened; so then Gangadhar Bhattacharya was then given the name by everyone in the town, Chaitanya das. And everyone, seeing his great love for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they respected him and adored him. And he would only respond if someone called him by the name Chaitanya das. And day and night, with tears in his eyes he was simply calling out, “Chaitanya, Chaitanya, Chaitanya! This is what I have heard as his hair was falling to the ground- Chaitanya, Chaitanya, Chaitanya!” Chaitanya das who is most simple and renounced, he never had any material desires. His only desire was to please the Lord.
Chaitanya das desires to have a son :
But suddenly an amazing and wonderful thing took place. Within his heart grew a burning desire to have a son. He has never desired children before. He approached his wife whose name was Laxmipriya and he said, “I do not know what is happening. All of a sudden I am longing and yearning for having a son. I want this child to be a great devotee of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But why? We have never wanted children before. We have never wanted anything of this world before. I do not understand, what are we supposed to do?” So Laxmipriya being very saintly, she explained that, “We should go to Nilachala, Jagganath Puri- where Lord Chaitanya is residing. If we go there and have the darshan of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Jagganath, I am sure, the answer to your question will be.” So they began to walk the long distance from their little village in Bengal to Jagganath Puri.
The Lord appears in Chaitanya das’ dream :
Actually halfway distance they stopped in one place to take rest; and that evening an amazing thing took place. Chaitanya das had a dream. Standing right before him was a beautiful child who looked exactly like Lord Shyamsundar. He was standing in a three-fold bending form with beautiful lotus eyes. He had a complexion like a monsoon rain cloud which was bluish. His head was adorned with a peacock feather. He had beautiful jewelry and a wonderful garland going down to his feet. And he was playing beautiful songs from his flute. As Chaitanya das was seeing this he was offering his repeated obeisances within his dream. And then Shyamsundar changed his form altogether to the beautiful form of Lord Vishvambhar, Nimai Pandit where he was standing with his beautiful golden complexion with long , long ears, with long, long arms coming down beyond his knees. His eyes like the blooming, fully blossomed lotus; his hair beautiful and blackish coming down beyond his shoulders. He had a whitish dhoti with a red border. And then that beautiful form again changed and he was standing before him with the same golden complexion, with the same lotus eyes, but this time he had a shaved head and he was wearing the saffron garb of a Sannyasi. And then he saw this beautiful form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and he expanded and next to him was the form of Krsna playing on his flute. And then he awoke and he explained all of this to his good wife and asked, “What to do? What does all this mean? And she said, “Let us progress towards Nilachala. I am sure all our questions will be answered.”
Chaitanya das meets the Lord :
So they proceeded and they came to Sri Purushottam Jagganath Puri Dham. There they went to the temple of Lord Jagganath. And in through the main gate came Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with his intimate associates. And when the husband and the wife, the two brahmanas saw the beautiful form of Lord Gaurasundar, they could not stop looking at him. Their eyes could not blink. Tears were rolling from their eyes and their hearts were utterly melted by seeing his beauty and his grace. They offered their respectful obeisances. At that time Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came before Chaitanya das and Laxmipriya. He welcomed him with great love and he said, “I know what is your innermost desire”. He said, “Please go before Lord Jagganath and I promise you all of your desires will be fulfilled.” And then Lord Chaitanya told his servant Govinda, “You take Chaitanya Das before Lord Jagganath”. And as he was being escorted before Jagganath, Balaram and Subhadra the deities of Jagganath Puri; Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came along. And when the brahmana and his wife, after offering obeisances he stood up; Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally offered he and his wife’s lives to the feet of Jagganath. And he stood there reverently in silence offering prayers. And then Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him, “Now you go home.” All of the associates were struck with wonder, “What was he praying? What was it that was his desire that the Lord promised would be fulfilled?” Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu told his associates that evening that, “He is a spotless man in heart. His only desire is to please the Lord. I have personally planted within his heart the burning desire for a son because through him one of my eternal associates will come into this world. His name will be Srinivas and he will be known as Srinivas Acharya. He said, “Srila Rupa Goswami, he will write many great books on my order to explain the divine principles of pure devotional service and how to attain it. And it is this Srinivas Acharya who is none other than my very fore arm, who will distribute these books widely amongst all the devotees of the Lord. And by his great attachment to the chanting of the holy name and devotional service he will transform the life of millions and millions into pure self-realized souls.”
Srinivas Acharya is born :
So the next day in the morning, Chaitanya das and Laxmipriya approached Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and they asked, “What is your order?” He said, “You go back to your home in Bengal. Do not be worried about anything. Your desire will be fulfilled. But you simply engage yourself in the chanting of the holy name that is all. And whoever you meet impart to them the great message that all persons will be delivered through this process.” So Chaitanya das was thinking “How difficult it is to leave; that the moving and the non-moving Supreme Personality of Godhead are both here together- Lord Jagganath and Lord Chaitanya. But it is his order”. So he returned to his village and he told the people what had taken place. And day and night he was simply engaging in the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. The people thought he was crazy. “Why don’t you work? What is this chanting? You think you are going to have children by chanting the holy names? You think you are going to be able to support your family by chanting the holy names?” This way he was very much criticized by some and glorified by others because there was a wonderful transformation that took place in his heart. Those who had sincere hearts could see that he was utterly pure and full of devotion. Within a few days his wife Laxmipriya became pregnant and very soon at an auspicious time the great Srinivas Acharya was born by the mercy of the Lord. And the moment he was born they took that baby and the husband and wife with great love and great devotion offered that baby’s body, mind, words, and soul-everything to the feet of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. “My dear Lord, this child is yours”.
Fulfillment of true desires through an infallible process :
In this way we see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to fulfill everyone’s desires; everyone’s real desires. He has not come to fulfill the desires which cast us deeper and deeper into illusion; he has come to fulfill the pure desire of the soul for devotional service to Sri Hari. And what is that gift that he has given to fulfill all of our desires? It is very simple. He told Chaitanya das that, “You always chant the holy names and you take the beautiful darshan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you associate with the devotees of the Lord. It is an infallible process. It is an infallible process because it is the hundred percent unconditional guarantee of God himself that if you simply accept it with sincerity it will work.
The Lord’s sweet weapon :
So yes, tomorrow is the most glorious day. It is the day when that wonderful, most merciful Personality of Godhead appears to distribute love God freely to all.
nämne gaura-tviñe namaù
Srila Rupa Goswami explains that, “My dear Lord Krsna, you have many incarnations but this divine form of Lord Chaitanya is the most merciful of all your incarnations; because in previous ages you have come with a bow and arrow as Rama, or you have come with your sharp nails as Narsimha, or your infallible tusks as Varahadev Dev, you appeared with your Sudarshan chakra as Devakinandan, Gopal Sri Krsna. In this way you killed the asuras who are creating a menace within society. But in this age you come with only one weapon: the weapon of your beauty; the weapon of your beauty to charm the hearts of all living beings and the essence of your beauty you have revealed to the whole world for all time within your holy name. And the weapon of your holy name completely conquers all demoniac qualities by its beauty, by its luster. And as one chants the holy name, one becomes more and more charmed by the beauty of the holy name which possesses all the opulences and qualities of Krsna himself. This is your only weapon-Harinam Sankirtan.
Surrendering to Krsna’s bombs of the holy name :
Just like we see in this war that has been taking place in the Gulf- after being utterly defeated, one President has decided to surrender. He is surrendering because the weapons were too powerful for him. Right? All of the missiles, and all of the heavy artillery, and all of the aerial bombardments; these weapons of the Allied Forces were so inundating and so powerful that finally he has no alternative but to simply surrender. But the Allied Forces say, “No, no we will not accept your surrender until it is unconditional.” So they keep bombing. Krsna is like the Allied forces, he is bombing us with his holy name. But we have to surrender unconditionally. But this type of surrender is different, because the weapon of the holy name which is the artillery of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and his soldiers in this world; its power is in its beauty. And one who simply exposes his life and his heart to the weapon of Lord Chaitanya as the name of Krsna; we become utterly defeated by the beauty of the name. And out of love, in the greatest ecstasy we have no other desire in our life but to surrender ourselves to that beauty. Nothing else can attract us any longer. So therefore we must surrender to that beauty. Rupa Goswami explains, “If you are too much attached to the temporary mortal things of this world, do not look upon the smiling face of Sri Krsna because after seeing that charming face, you will never be attracted to anything or anyone else again.” He is the reservoir of all beauty and he has come within his name; because you see when the Lord calls upon us to surrender unconditionally, he wants us to surrender not to his might, not to his strength, but surrender to his love and surrender to his mercy. This is the natural process of chanting the holy name. And this- the truth is the fulfillment of all the desires of the soul. And this can come upon all persons in all walks of life. When we surrender to Krsna; it does not mean that we give up what we are doing. It means- we give up our selfish motivations and do that same thing in love; in devotion. This is the result of chanting the holy name. Therefore Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur has prayed,
gåhe thäko, vane thäko, sadä ‘hari’ bole’ òäko,
sukhe duùkhe bhulo nä’ko, vadane hari-näm koro re
gäy gorä madhur sware
gäy gorä madhur sware
hare kåñëa hare kåñëa kåñëa kåñëa hare hare
hare räma hare räma räma räma hare hare
gäy gorä madhur sware
gäy gorä madhur sware
The Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come with this message-“Whether you are a Grihastha in this world or you are a Sannyasi living in the jungles, doesn’t matter. Simply chant the holy names. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. And your consciousness will rise above all happiness and all distress and you will attain the supreme position of loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Thank you very much.
So I would like to ask Sukadeva Goswami Maharaj to speak for a few minutes on the importance of Gaura Purnima coming tomorrow and then Vrindavan Das Goswami, Vrindavan Das Maharaj to also speak in this regard. And please everyone come tomorrow night if at all possible. Tomorrow night is the actual real celebration. Tonight is only to awaken the mood of excitement for tomorrow. So we tricked you into coming tonight. Tonight is not the night. But we should be fully generating great enthusiasm and a spirit of devotion to honor the Supreme Personality of Godhead tomorrow. So all day starting at 11 in the morning we will be having bhajans kirtans. Also we will be showing two beautiful films, movies about the life and precepts of Lord Chaitanya. Very wonderful devotees films made in Bengal about 40 years back. And then we will also at 6 o’ clock, have special bhajans. At 6:30 there will be the Abhishek ceremony for their Lordships Nitai Gaurachandra. And then at 7:00 there will be Arati. After that there will be a lecture on the appearance of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And after the lecture there will be Gaura Arati, the greatly celebrated ceremony of the Arati for Lord Sri Gaurachandra. And there will be Maha kirtana at that time. And we will also have two dramas- one by the children and one by the Brahmacharis. And then we will have a wonderful feast of Krsna’s Prasad. Now for those devotees who are strictly following the principles, we fast until the moon-rise tomorrow. So please come and chant Hare Krsna and be happy. So Sukhdev Maharaj Please speak to us and Vrindavan Maharaj. Is Devamrita Prabhu here? He also could speak. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.