bālo ’pi kurute śāstraṁ
(CC Ādi 4.1 )
By the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, even a foolish child can fully describe the real nature of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the enjoyer of the pastimes of Vraja, according to the vision of the revealed scriptures.
One can ascertain the meaning of this Sanskrit śloka only when one is endowed with the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being the absolute Personality of Godhead, cannot be exposed to the mundane instruments of vision. He reserves the right not to be exposed by the intellectual feats of nondevotees. Notwithstanding this truth, even a small child can easily understand Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His transcendental pastimes in the land of Vṛndāvana by the grace of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Jaya jaya śrī-caitanya jaya nityānanda
jayādvaita-candra jaya gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
(CC Ādi 4.2)
All glory to Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glory to Lord Nityānanda! All glory to Śrī Advaita Ācārya! And all glory to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya!
caturtha ślokera artha kaila vivaraṇa
pañcama ślokera artha śuna bhakta-gaṇa
I have described the meaning of the fourth verse. Now, O devotees, kindly hear the explanation of the fifth verse.
mūla-ślokera artha karite prakāśa
artha lāgāite āge kahiye ābhāsa
(CC Ādi 4.4)
Just to explain the original verse, I shall first suggest its meaning.
caturtha ślokera artha ei kaila sāra
prema-nāma pracārite ei avatāra
I have given the essential meaning of the fourth verse: this incarnation [Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu] descends to propagate the chanting of the holy name and spread love of God.
satya ei hetu, kintu eho bahiraṅga
āra eka hetu, śuna, āche antaraṅga
(CC Ādi 4.6)
Although this is true, this is but the external reason for the Lord’s incarnation. Please hear one other reason — the confidential reason — for the Lord’s appearance.
In the third chapter, fourth verse, it has been clearly said that Lord Caitanya appeared in order to distribute love of Kṛṣṇa and the chanting of His transcendental holy name, Hare Kṛṣṇa. That was the secondary purpose of Lord Caitanya’s appearance. The real reason is different, as we shall see in this chapter.
pūrve yena pṛthivīra bhāra haribāre
kṛṣṇa avatīrṇa hailā śāstrete pracāre
The scriptures proclaim that Lord Kṛṣṇa previously descended to take away the burden of the earth.: this incarnation [Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu] descends to propagate the chanting of the holy name and spread love of God.
svayaṁ-bhagavānera karma nahe bhāra-haraṇa
sthiti-kartā viṣṇu karena jagat-pālana
To take away this burden, however, is not the work of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The maintainer, Lord Viṣṇu, is the one who protects the universe.
kintu kṛṣṇera yei haya avatāra-kāla
bhāra-haraṇa-kāla tāte ha-ila miśāla
(CC Ādi 4.9)
But the time to lift the burden of the world mixed with the time for Lord Kṛṣṇa’s incarnation.
We have information from the Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord appears at particular intervals to adjust a time-worn spiritual culture. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared at the end of Dvāpara-yuga to regenerate the spiritual culture of human society and also to manifest His transcendental pastimes. Viṣṇu is the authorized Lord who maintains the created cosmos, and He is also the principal Deity who makes adjustments when there is improper administration in the cosmic creation. But Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being the primeval Lord, appears not in order to make such administrative adjustments but only to exhibit His transcendental pastimes and thus attract the fallen souls back home, back to Godhead.
However, the time for administrative rectification and the time for Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s appearance coincided at the end of the last Dvāpara-yuga. Therefore when Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared, Viṣṇu, the Lord of maintenance, merged with Him because all the plenary portions and parts of the absolute Personality of Godhead merge with Him during His appearance.
pūrṇa bhagavān avatare yei kāle
āra saba avatāra tāṅte āsi’ mile
(CC Ādi 4.10)
When the complete Supreme Personality of Godhead descends, all other incarnations of the Lord meet together within Him.-
nārāyaṇa, catur-vyūha, matsyādy-avatāra
yuga-manvantarāvatāra, yata āche āra
sabe āsi’ kṛṣṇa-aṅge haya avatīrṇa
aiche avatare kṛṣṇa bhagavān pūrṇa
(CC Ādi 4.11-12)
Lord Nārāyaṇa, the four primary expansions [Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha], Matsya and the other līlā incarnations, the yuga-avatāras, the manv-antara incarnations and as many other incarnations as there are — all descend in the body of Lord Kṛṣṇa. In this way the complete Supreme Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself, appears.
At that time, therefore, Lord Viṣṇu is present in the body of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Lord Kṛṣṇa kills the demons through Him. Thus the killing of the demons is but secondary work. I shall now speak of the main reason for the Lord’s incarnation.
prema-rasa-niryāsa karite āsvādana
rāga-mārga bhakti loke karite pracāraṇa
rasika-śekhara kṛṣṇa parama-karuṇa
ei dui hetu haite icchāra udgama
(CC Ādi 4.15-16)
The Lord’s desire to appear was born from two reasons: the Lord wanted to taste the sweet essence of the mellows of love of God, and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction. Thus He is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all.
During the period of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance, the killing of asuras or nonbelievers such as Kaṁsa and Jarāsandha was done by Viṣṇu, who was within the person of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Such apparent killing by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa took place as a matter of course and was an incidental activity for Him. But the real purpose of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance was to stage a dramatic performance of His transcendental pastimes at Vrajabhūmi, thus exhibiting the highest limit of transcendental mellow in the exchanges of reciprocal love between the living entity and the Supreme Lord. These reciprocal exchanges of mellows are called rāga-bhakti, or devotional service to the Lord in transcendental rapture. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa wants to make known to all the conditioned souls that He is more attracted by rāga-bhakti than vidhi-bhakti, or devotional service under scheduled regulations. It is said in the Vedas (Taittirīya Up. 2.7), raso vai saḥ: the Absolute Truth is the reservoir for all kinds of reciprocal exchanges of loving sentiments. He is also causelessly merciful, and He wants to bestow upon us this privilege of rāga-bhakti. Thus He appeared by His own internal energy. He was not forced to appear by any extraneous force.
Here the internal explanations of Sri Krishna’s descend into this world is explained. But before beginning this chapter which is very esoteric, very confidential and very deep, Kaviraj Goswami gives his invocation that by the mercy Lord Chaitanya even a foolish child can fully describe the real nature of Lord Krishna, the enjoyer of the pastimes of Vraja. According to the vision of the revealed scriptures, the subject matter is unapproachable, inconceivable to the mind and the senses. Kaviraj Goswami makes this clear before even trying to explain it. But it is only revealed to one who receives the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. And of course in order to achieve the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, Kaviraj says even if one is a foolish child. We have to first accept that we are a foolish child. Actually that is the qualification to receive Mahaprabhu’s mercy- To approach Him as a foolish child. We have discussed Sanatan Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Swarupa Damodar Goswami, all the great associates of the Lord, how they approached Mahaprabhu with the greatest humility, with the greatest faith only in his mercy not in any of their own qualifications. So if one approaches the Lord with great faith as a foolish child then by the mercy of the Lord and by His mercy only can one fully understand and describe the real nature of Krishna, the enjoyer of the Vrindavan. After all Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was greatest of all scholars and Gopinath Acharya was not near as great of a scholar of Vedanta as his father-in-law Sarwabhauma Bhattacharya. But he had the power to chastise the greatest scholar on all the earth and tell him that all your scholarship is useless because unless one gets the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, one can not understand fully. Unless one gets the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, one can not really properly understand Krishna. So of course Sarwabhauma Bhattacharya through all of his scholarship, he never achieved that mercy but when he realized that he was a foolish child and he fell at the lotus feet in that humility then the mercy was upon him. And it was at that time he realized and understood and was able to describe the glories of Sri Gaurang Mahaprabhu.
When the Lord appears, it is described externally his reasons are to annihilate the demons, to reestablish the principles of religion, to protect the pious. This is one reason. In the previous chapter we read that to establish the yuga dharma, the congregational chanting of the holy name. That is the second reason. And to fulfill the loving prayers of Sri Advaitacharya that compassion upon vaishnava was calling upon Him. That is the third reason. So here Kaviraj Goswami is describing something very special that when Krishna appeared directly, He mixed His incarnation with the ordinary incarnation. You see for the purpose of annihilating the miscreants, reestablishing the principles of religion and protecting the devotees- that is the work of Vishnu. That is the work of the Vishnu avartars. Nrsimhadev, Vaman Avatar, Matsya avatar- They are all avatars of Vishnu. Vishnu is the protector. He is the superintendent protecting all the living entities within this material creation. It is His job. Krishna factually has no responsibilities or duties within this material creation. In His expansion of Vishnu He takes care of all these things. When Krishna appears, Krishna appears only for one reason to just display the dramatic performances of the lila of the Vraja and attract people to that path of raga bhakti or spontaneous love. But Krishna appears as explained by Kaviraj Goswami once in every day of Bramha. Now the time of Krishna’s appearance , He arranged to coincide with the time of Vishnu to come to incarnate to perform these external purposes. And therefore all the avatars, all the incarnations, all the expansions- the lila avatars, the manvantar avatars, the guna avataras, the purusha avatars, all of these avataras enter into the body of Krishna when He appears, a swayam Bhagavan. So Krishna is killing demons, it was actually Vishnu who is killing the demons who is in Krishna. That aspect of Vishnu was doing that work. When the protection of the devotees was taking place in Krishna’s lila, it was actually Vishnu that was protecting the devotees who was present within Krishna. Krishna’s only business is to simply manifest to reciprocal exchanges of love. Kaviraj says, the time to lift the burden of the world mixed with the time for Krishna’s incarnation.
Vishnu who is present in the body of Krishna kills the demons through him. Killing demons is the secondary work. And then he explains the real reasons why Krishna appeared, the internal reason, the most important of reasons. He desired to appear, He wanted to taste the sweet essences of the mellows of love of God and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction thus He is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all. And it is explained here that Krishna was thinking that all the universe is filled with the conception of My majesty but love weakened by that sense of majesty does not satisfy Me. If one regards Me as a Supreme Lord and himself as a subordinate, I do not become subservient to his love nor can it control Me. In whatever transcendental mellow My devotee worships me, I reciprocate with him- that is my natural behavior. In whatever way My devotee surrenders unto Me, I reward him accordingly. Everyone follows my path in all respects. If one cherishes the pure loving devotion to me thinking of me as his son, his friend or his beloved regarding himself as great and considering Me his equal or inferior, I become subordinate to him. This is the path of Raga Bhakti, the path of spontaneous love which is unique in Vrindavan. And this is a very important purport.
In Chaitanya Charitamrita, three kinds of devotional service are described namely Bhakti ordinary devotional service, shudha-bhakti pure devotional service, the dwidha bhakti- the devotional service mixed. When devotional service is executed with some material purpose involving fruitive activities, mental speculation or mystic yoga, it is called mixed or adulterated devotional service. Besides bhakti yoga, Bhagvat Gita also describes karma yoga, gyana yoga and dhyan yoga. Yoga means linking with the Supreme Lord which is possible only through devotion. Fruitive activities aiming in devotional service, philosophical speculation ending in devotional service and the practice of mysticisim ending in devotional service are known respectively as karma yoga, gyana yoga and dhyan yoga. But such devotional service is adulterated by the three kinds of material activities. For those who grossly engaged in identifying the body as the self, highest activity or karma yoga is recommended. For those who identify the mind with the self, philosophical speculation or gyana yoga is recommended. But devotees standing on the spiritual platform have no need of such material conception of adulterated devotion. Adulterated devotional service does not directly aim for love of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore service performed strictly in conformity with revealed scriptures is better than such dwidha bhakti because it free from all kinds of material contamination. It is executed in Krishna consciousness solely to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are spontaneously devoted to the lord and have no aims for material gain are called attracted devotees. They are spontaneously attracted to service of the Lord and they follow in the footsteps of such realized souls. Their pure devotion manifested from pure love of Godhead surpasses the regulative principles of the authoritative scriptures. Sometimes loving ecstasy transcends regulative principles. Such ecstasy however is completely under the spiritual platform and cannot be imitated. The regulative principles help ordinary devotees rise to the stage of perfect love of godhead. Pure love for Krishna is the perfection of the pure devotion. And pure devotional service is identical with spontaneous devotional service. Flawless execution of regulative principles is exhibited in the vaikuntha planets but strictly executing these principles , one can be elevated to the vaikuntha planets. But spontaneous pure loving service is found in Krishna loka alone.
So here we find the uniqueness of Vrindavan. Krishna appeared 5000 years ago to attract us especially to the land of Vraja and to the lila of Vraja. And how to attend this stage it has been explained here that the majesty, the reverence of Vaikuntha is not near as attractive to the heart of Lord as the simple innocent spontaneous love of the Vrajavasis. It is described here that when a devotee considers that I am equal to or better than Krishna that devotion puts the Lord in subordinate position. He becomes subordinate to that love and how is this possible. This is as Prabhupad explained something that we can not imitate. But if something we can adore and worship, we can understand , we can strive ultimately for this realization. But Prabhupad explains to achieve this position is something very great and very rare and it can be done only by the mercy of the Lord Himself and that mercy comes in the process of approaching the Lord and His devotees like a foolish child with all humility. Rupa Goswami explains as Prabhupad is describing here that the path of raga bhakti begins after liberation. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has come to teach us this. He has come to teach us conjugal love affairs of Radha and Krishna. To understand this principle from the great Acharyas is very important. Here is a book that was highly adored by Bhaktisiddhanta saraswati Thakur and its in relationship to the obstacles that come in our way on the spiritual path and various demons of Vraja represent the obstacles on the spiritual path. There are 18 such obstacles that the devotees must be very very much understanding and concern with. So the third of the obstacles is the cart demon shaktasura. Now what does Bhaktisidhanta and his dear disciple say in this regard. The third obstacle is represented by the laiden cart. The injunctions of the scriptures are apt to be followed in their literal sense without due regard to their meaning. This carrying of the lumber of scriptural learnings tends to smother the infant Krishna and requires to be smashed with His help at the very outset. If the object of the knowledge is to realize the state of natural love of Krishna. Does everyone understand that?
This means that when we follow the injunctions of the scriptures literally without really understanding the meaning and the purpose behind these rules and regulations. The rules and regulations themselves are like a heavy burden like carrying a forcart that ultimately smothers the infant Krishna, who is within our heart. The mechanical process of following certain traditions, following certain rules, following certain regulations, adopting certain policies in our lives according to what he have heard from our forefathers, what we have heard from different sages. according to traditions and scriptures but without understanding the reason why we are doing it, and putting this bhava ,putting this feeling into what we are doing. It is like a heavy cart that is meant to smother a child. That was the purpose of the shaktasura – to fall over Krishna and smother him and all of the pots and all of the paraphernalia on the cart represent all the various rules and regulations. but then he goes on. The mechanical pedant has no access to the Vraja. The victims of the pseudo guru are liable to fall into this plight by being prematurely initiated into the process of the state of a female confident engaged in the service as a ‘manjiri’. In another words it is explained that this mechanical process which is taught by pseudo guru, the victims of such pseudo guru are liable to fall into the plight. What is the plight- being prematurely initiate into the process of raga bhakti, being a female counter part, being a gopi, being a lover of Krishna. Such victims do not realize their misfortune by reason of the mechanical aptitude which is exploited by this pseudo guru to their other ruin. So what is this mechanical aptitude. Those who follow the advice of such a guru in their worship quickly fall away from the path of devotion which means is the true path. The amorous mood in such cases can never attain the depth of truly spiritual process. That means although such persons, they are exhibiting the amorous mood, amorous means intimate love, the mood of the Gopis with Krishna , the mood of spontaneous affection of the residents of the Vrindavan. The amorous mood that is exhibited and felt by them can never attain the depth of the truly spiritual process, more over this is like a shadow, something superficial. Such a process never gives entrance to the real amorous mood of true love of God. And what he says in the end , but this is never realizable by the parties themselves. What does that mean? They become so infatuated and so proud by this idea that they are so advanced with such love that they cannot hear this philosophy, they cannot understand this. Therefore it is explained here that at the very onset of one’s spiritual life, one should understand these principle of the obstacle represented by the laiden cart. .
So the uniquess of the incarnation of the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is his teaching of conjugal love of Radha and Krishna and how to enter in being servant of servant of Srimati Radharani in her conjugal pastime. But how to attain that state? One must be very very careful and learned of this 18 obstacles so that one who approach this very high confidential subject matter very carefully and according to the direction of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His folllowers. The essence of the Gaudiya vaishnava philosophy is to enter into manjiri bhava. Also we must have direction of such a guru to how to achieve that.