“All glories, All glories to Lord Jagannath, the dear son of Jagannath Mishra and Sachi Devi. All the three worlds offer prayers unto His lotus feet. In Nilachala He holds the conch shell, disk, club and lotus flower, while in the town of Nadia He holds a Sanyasi’s staff and water pot. It is said that in olden times as Lord Ramachandra He killed the demon Ravana, then later as Lord Krishna, He revealed the splendorously opulent pastimes of Goloka. Now He has come again as Lord Gauranga, the golden avatar, endowed with the ecstatic mood of Sri Radha and has spread widely the chanting of the Holy Names Hare Krishna. Vasudev Ghosh says with folded hands-He who is Gaura, is He who is Krishna, is He who is Jagannath.”
Hare Krishna! Through the day many of us are roaming through the nine islands of Sri Navadwip Dham. In truth, entering into the Holy Dham where the eternal pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His beloved associates are tasting the sweetness of Prema bhakti and in doing so, performing such enthralling pastimes that they are attracting us to enter into those pastimes. When Krishna performs His pastimes in the spiritual world of Goloka, they are perfect and complete. But due to the ways we have chosen to express our free will, we who are His eternal associates by nature, who have the potency to love Him and serve Him forever, remain in this world which is created, maintained and ultimately destroyed. We take birth, we grow, we sustain for some time, some may produce offspring, then we grow old and then inevitably, the body must die. Those are the facts of material life. But the conscious being, the true self, who is witnessing all of these transitions, is ‘Sac-cid-ananda’, eternal, full of knowledge and full of joy, limitless joy.
Being entangled in the networks of so many attachments, attractions and allurements, we become habituated, addicted to certain ways of thinking, to our desires, our aversions, our egos and this Mahamaya, the external energy of the Lord, the Bahiranga Shakti, its all-powerful, its controlling the entire creation. And all the great scriptures tell us that the Jiva, the soul entangled in this Mahamaya has no power to get out, save and expect by turning to our eternal nature. Daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te, Krishna tells that these three modes of nature-goodness, passion and ignorance, they bind us like chains and we are like prisoners and yet we think we are free, that is the illusion. But one who takes shelter, one who takes shelter with a sincere and humble heart, of the Lord, by the Lord’s mercy, we are liberated, Raga-dvesa-vimuktais tuvisayan indriyais caran atma-vasyair vidheyatma prasadam adhigacchati by following these principles of devotional service, one could attract the mercy of the Lord. Through that mercy, we can rise above all the attractions and aversions of this world. Visaya vinivartante niraharasya dehinah rasa-varjam raso ‘py asya param drstva nivartate, we can only give up the temptations that Maya presents to us if we experience a higher taste. That higher taste, is devotion, love. Krishna is all attractive.
Srila Prabhupada explained this in so many ways. One such analogy he used, is a file of metal is naturally attracted to a magnet but when that little piece of metal is covered by layers and layers and layers of dirt, it’s not attracted to the magnetic force. The name Krishna means ‘all attractive’. He is the Supreme, all beautiful, His sweetness, His beauty, His knowledge, His love, is the attractive force that’s ultimately the source of everything that exists. We are naturally attracted to the beauty and the playful pastimes of Krishna. We are naturally attracted to His love, to His mercy and that attraction is expressed through Bhakti, through our devotion, through our eagerness to serve. I remember when I first came to Vrindavan in 1971, I didn’t know what Bhakti was. I just thought it was some sort of Yoga process but I was gradually learning by seeing people who had Bhakti. They were the most exalted people I had ever seen anywhere. The first day I was in Vrindavan, I met one wonderful man and he just looked at me and said, “Bhakti means to serve” and I thought that sounds really simple and it is really simple because to love means to serve. When we love Krishna, we want to serve Krishna with our body, our minds, our words, our life, everything we have. When we love Krishna, we see the whole Universe as Krishna’s property, we want to serve the earth, we want to serve the environment because its Krishna’s. Mamaivamso jiva loke, jiva bhuta sanatana Krishna is in everyone’s heart. Krishna is the father and mother of everyone so when we love Krishna, we want to serve everyone.
That’s the power of attraction. But somehow or the other, that propensity has been blocked by these layers and layers of so much dust and dirt in the form of anger and envy, greed, arrogance and illusion. When Krishna descends from the Spiritual World, He gives such beautiful teachings to teach us who we are, what is the real purpose of life and how to achieve that purpose of life. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata, He has appeared in so many ways throughout the ages. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam, every great and true religion has been established by God Himself where His various incarnations and the various empowered souls who come on His behalf teach various levels of love for Him. When Krishna appears once in a day of Brahma, 8,400,000,000 years is the duration of one day and night of Brahma to reveal the Madhurya Leela, the sweet pastimes of Vrindavan. Not only does Krishna come but He brings His eternal pleasure potency, the Supreme origin of all love and compassion Sri Radha who is non-different from Himself. He brings Balaram, the original Guru Himself, in the mood of a servant of Himself. He brings Yashoda and Nanda, His eternal Mother and Father in the Spiritual world. The Gopis, the prominent Gopis are direct expansions of Srimati Radharani Herself who for the pleasure of Krishna are assisting Her in so many ways in the service of Krishna and so many other Gopis and Gopas, Subala, Sridama, Stoka Krishna, Madhumangala, various cowherd boys who from the Spiritual world come down to joke with Krishna, to laugh with Krishna, to play with Krishna. He brings Surabhi cows, the cows that Goloka, the Spiritual world are named after. He brings from Goloka Vrindavan, Sri Govardhan Hill, His favourite place to perform pastimes with the cows, the Gopas and Gopis. He brings Yamuna Devi, the river of Prema Rasa. In the Spiritual World, Yamuna Devi does no flow with water. It is Prema Ras, it is the nectar of ecstatic love in liquid form that is flowing. That river descends into this world to participate in Krishna’s Leela. The forest of Vrindavan with the Kadamba trees and the peacocks and the parrots and singing birds.
Why? Its already going on up there but He stages this wonderful leela just to attract our hearts. Srimati Radharani’s own personal pet parrot Shuka, descends as Shukadeva Goswami because He knows intimately the pastimes of the Lord. He sees it, he lives with it eternally, he is all knowing and he speaks these wonderful pastimes in the tenth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam to Parikshit Maharaj, such a pastime. A great king, the king of the earth who is at the prime of his youth, who was loved by all of his citizens, there was total prosperity and justice for all, liberty for all. Because he is such a great devotee, practically everyone in the entire kingdom is inspired by Him and they are all great devotees of the Lord. Where the practice of ‘adharma’ is practically non-existent. Everyone simply loves to practice true ‘Sanatana Dharma’, devotional service. He is cursed to die in seven days and he takes it as a blessing. ‘How nice! Krishna wants me to focus my energy exclusively for these seven days in hearing and chanting His glories’. He saw it not as a curse but as an opportunity and there at the banks of Mother Ganga, he heard Shukadeva Goswami speak.
The first nine cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam, are necessary. Until we understand who is Krishna? What is the various ‘Tattavas’ of the Absolute truth, the Supreme all powerful personality of Godhead, the source of the Lord within the heart of every living being, the source of all the almighty, ever present effulgent Brahman, who impersonalists try to achieve for liberation, that’s the source of everything, the source of all other Avatars or incarnations. We learn that from the nine cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam and if we study and practice the teachings, following in the footsteps of great souls like Dhruva and Prahlada and the Pandavas and Kunti, Aranti Dev and the Prachetas, then we are actually ready to hear the tenth canto. And when we see this little child stealing butter, sometimes stealing Gopis’ clothes, we understand who He really is. When Krishna dances with Gopis in His Rasa, it’s not like boys and girls or men and women dancing in this world. Krishna is ‘Atmarama’, He is completely liberated, He is ‘Nirguna’, He has no material qualities whatsoever. When Krishna dances with Gopis, it’s the highest, purest expression of spiritual love being exchanged between them and the greatest renunciates and Sanyasis who have completely given up all the pleasures of this world, wealth and sex and fame they spit it out like poison because they see it has no value in their life. Those personalities honour the love between Krishna and His Gopis as the purest, highest state of renunciation and pure love.
But as the age of Kali progresses, very few people understand it properly. In fact, here in Navadweep which was the high seat of learning for the whole place of India and the whole planet in fact as far as Spiritual truths, there was only a handful of people who understood. Everyone else just took the Vedas as ways of boosting up their reputation, their own fame, their prosperity. Krishna performed His leela, in the most special way. Only once in a day of Brahma He does like this. He comes to taste the sweetness of Radha’s love and to share it with everyone and anyone who is willing to accept it is as Lord Gauranga. We have been discussing Lord Chaitanya being Nimai Pandit, the greatest of all scholars. Consider that in Navadweep there were millions of scholars and these scholars are unlike anyone else on the planet. How they can debate, how they can argue. How they could even manipulate through the mastery of their language in the subtlest ways to say what they wanted to say, to prove what they wanted to prove. Scholarship was the true testimony of a champion in Navadweep.
Nimai Pandit, He was still a boy but He conquered every scholar of Navadweep, even when He was still a student of His own teacher. The greatest scholars, the Bhattacharayas, the Mishras, the Pandits when they would see Him, sometimes they would run away because they knew Nimai would challenge them, He challenged everybody. But He challenged them with such respect although He appeared very arrogant the way He challenged them, He gave them happiness. Usually if you are defeated you feel very upset, very destressed, very angry but He would defeat them in such a way that they felt happy. They felt grateful because they loved him. They didn’t know why they loved Him, they still loved Him. Here is somebody who is basing their whole life around being undefeatable and here is a little boy who defeats you and they are masters in high philosophical subjects and He is just a grammar teacher. But because they loved Him so much. Why did they love Him so much? Because He loved them so much.
Everybody just loved Him so much. He was the most popular person in all of Navadweep. One day, Ishwara Puri came into Navadweep. The way he came, nobody recognised him. He was dressed in very simple, old Sanyasi clothes. He was completely unassuming. Everyone just thought he was an ordinary beggar, that’s all. He came to Sri Adwaita Prabhu’s house which is very close to Srivasangam. Adwaita Prabhu was worshipping his deity. Ishwara Puri was sitting, quietly, not saying a word, just sitting. Adwaita Acharya saw him. He looked like just a very common ordinary beggar. Everybody in Navadweep just completely neglected him, ignored him, didn’t think anything about him. But somehow or other Sri Adwaita Prabhu who was the leader of all the Vaishnavas, who brought Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu into the world by his love and compassion, he saw something special about this simple Sanyasi who was just sitting on the ground quietly. Adwaita approached him. He said, “tell me who are you.” Srila Ishwara Puri Pada replied, “I am just the lowest, most fallen soul who has come to have darshan of your lotus feet.” At that time, Adwaita indicated to Mukunda who could sing about Krishna so sweetly, to sing verses about Krishna from the Srimad Bhagavatam. As he sang Iswara Puri could no longer maintain his very ordinary demeanour.
You see devotees, this is the key to true Bhakti, to not want prestige, not want fame, to be without arrogance. This is the continuous theme of the message of all the great Acharyas. Simply to want to serve ‘Amanina manadena’ to find great happiness in respecting and serving others. But when he heard the beautiful stories of the descriptions of Krishna who is standing with His beautiful threefold bending form, Ishwara Puri began to cry torrents of tears practically losing consciousness and Mukunda just kept singing and Ishwara Puri entered into a whole another world of spiritual ecstasy. Just by seeing him Adwaita Acharya and all the devotees understood, this is the great, the worship able, exalted saint, most intimate associate of Madhavendra Puri. This is Ishwara Puri, he has come to Navadweep. They never wanted to give up his association. One day Ishwara Puri was walking along the bank of the Ganges just alone, unassuming and he happened to see Nimai. Nimai came up to him and touched his feet. At this time Nimai is the Maha Pandit, the greatest scholar, still young, He was married to Lakshmipriya at that time.
We heard this beautiful narration from His Holiness Jayapataka Maharaj yesterday about that marriage. Ishwara Puri was so attracted to the beauty of this young boy. Nimai touched his feet and invited him to His house for Prasad. Iswara Puri said, “who are You?” He said, “My name is Nimai.” “Oh! You are the Nimai Pandit I have been hearing about.” Sachi Mata and Lakshmidevi, they cooked wonderful Prasad, offered it to Lord Vishnu and then Nimai served Ishwara Puri. After Prasad they went into the Temple room. Ishwara Puri spoke for many many hours Krishna Katha, speaking the beautiful stories about Krishna, the teachings of Krishna and although Nimai had not revealed His true purpose of coming into this world in front of this devotee, He humbly listened. He could recognise the genuine ecstatic love. Gopinath Acharya invited Ishwara Puri to live with him and everyday Ishwara Puri would read from a book he was writing entitled ‘Krishna Lilamrita’. Gadadhara Pandit came every day. Gadadhara Pandit is Sri Radharani in Krishna’s leela who appeared, He was at that time a Brahmachari who from His very birth had no interest except loving service to Krishna, absorption in remembering Krishna, hearing and chanting for Krishna’s pleasure. He would come every day and spend His time sitting at the lotus feet of Ishwara Puri and Ishwara Puri loved Gadadhara. Gadadhara loved Ishwara Puri. Everyday Nimai Pandit, the great Vishwambhara would come to hear Ishwara Puri speak.
One day, Ishwara Puri told Nimai that, “You are a very great scholar. Please review my book and make any corrections required.” Lord Chaitanya said, “you are such a pure devotee who loves Krishna, anyone who finds any fault in what you write is completely in ignorance because what you write is with such pure love. I cannot correct anything you do.” Nimai Pandit is saying that. He is correcting everybody even if they don’t wanna be corrected. He is forcibly correcting. He is correcting and defeating and conquering and here He is saying, I cannot correct you because you love Krishna. Ishwara Puri was very happy to hear His appreciation of Bhakti but he said, “Still, I make mistakes so You can correct.” So, one day Lord Chaitanya said, “Actually, this particular word is the wrong word.” ‘Atmanepada’ was the word. He said, “this is not the proper word” and Lord Nimai gave him another word. The next day when Lord Chaitanya came, Ishwara Puri said to Him, “I have been thinking about that correction and after reflecting on it very carefully I have come to the conclusion that You are wrong. Atmanepada is the proper word.” Who could say that to Nimai Pandit? Nimai Pandit was so happy. He was defeated. He didn’t say a word, He just accepted it.
In this way, Ishwara Puri remained in Navadwip for about three months and then he travelled to another place. Meanwhile Nimai, as Jayapataka Maharaj was explaining to us yesterday, He was a student of Gangadas Pandit, He was the top most student and He became the top most teacher. He developed His own school. At the house of Mukunda Sanjay, there were beautiful trees and there was a Chandi Mandap and there he invited Nimai to teach every day, on the bank of the Ganga. Thousands and thousands of students from all directions were coming to learn from Nimai. Everyone wanted to learn from Him. When He went to Bangladesh, we heard yesterday, those were people mostly very poor people, they all wanted to come to Navadweep to learn under Nimai Pandit but they couldn’t so Nimai Pandit came to them. It takes at least twelve years to master Sanskrit grammar under a top teacher but when Lord Chaitanya was in Bangladesh, east Bengal, he taught everyone what ordinarily takes at least twelve years, He taught them that and more in two months and gave them all Graduation certificates. So, who wouldn’t wanna study under Nimai Pandit? Who wouldn’t study under somebody who as He taught you, He empowered you to understand it? Who would not want to study under somebody that you feel loves you more than everybody else and anybody else in this world by millions of times over and who would not want to study under somebody that you just love and you wanna surrender your heart to because of that love? Who is nourishing you with so much wisdom, so much knowledge, so much happiness?
Nimai and His students would sit on the bank of the Ganga and He would discuss so many subjects of Sanskrit grammar with so many different equations and so many different analogies and so many different creative ways of explaining things. There is no record that anyone ever fell asleep during one of His classes, impossible. He was just so exciting, He was so thrilling and He would just go, just convince your mind, your intelligence and strike your heart to its core, that’s how He was teaching and yet appeared so in His own way, arrogant, not the arrogance we know but He pretended like that. I challenge anybody, come. Nobody would come so He would go to them. He would see them on the side of the road, “you are a Bhattacharya, you have so many degrees, you have so many certificates, answer this question.” He would ask a question, they would answer the question, He would defeat his answer, they would stand, “what can we say?” Then He would defeat His answer and establish the original premise then if they tried to defeat that. Krishna is the power to speak. Krishna is the power to think. Sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham. Krishna is in every heart. He is the source and the power within everyone to remember and He is also the power to make us forget. All the Vedas are only to know Him and He is the compiler of the Vedas.
Nimai would wander around with His students. He would go to different people and they just loved Him, they would do anything for Him. He would go to a little shop that was making ‘malas’, ‘malawala’, a flower maker and Nimai would say, “please give Me your best garland. I don’t have any money but maybe I’ll pay you some other time.” And they would give Him the very best garland and they would say, “please take it and keep it and if ever You get some money and You decide to pay me then You could come otherwise just keep it.” Then He would go to a little store where a man was selling fragrances, essential fragrances. He would smile and they would look at Him, so beautiful, golden complexion, the gaze of His lotus eyes which seemed to extend to His ears. He said, “Please give Me your best oil” and they would come and start rubbing their best oils and packing those best oils in bottles and Lord Chaitanya said, “but I don’t have any money” and they would say, “just take it, I’ll give You even more and give You more bottles and if ever You have money You can give me and if not just be happy with these oils.” This is the way everybody was with Him. They loved Him. He was the heart of Navadweep.
He went to an astrologer’s house. The astrologer saw the beauty of Nimai and bowed down. This man was very very learned. You see, to really be a good astrologer, its not just about the technical abilities to calculate. It takes some deep intuition, wisdom, empowerment. Today you know, you just push some buttons on a computer and you get horoscopes and everything but how to read inside of that and actually understand it? In Mumbai we have this experience. If you ask five astrologers, you will get five different answers. I have seen. Sometimes its like that. I don’t want to go into details but this was really an astrologer because he was a sage who knew everything because he chanted this Gopal Mantra, went into meditation and asked Gopal to reveal the truth. And he never failed. You have to really be humble to have the transparency where God’s grace can flow through you. And he was like that. Nimai said to him with a smile on His face, “please tell Me who I was in My past lives?” The all divine seeing sage closed his eyes and chanted Gopal mantra and prayed- ‘Gopal show me who this beautiful young boy was in His previous lives’.
A vision came from his heart into his mind that he was seeing with his inner eyes. He saw a prison, it was very dark, in fact it was midnight and there in that prison was Vishnu. He was standing with four arms, holding the conchshell and the lotus flower and the club and the chakra. He had a Kaustubha Mani, beautiful helmets and jewels and he saw Vasudev and Devaki offering prayers to Him. He kept chanting his mantra, thinking what’s happening. Then he saw Vasudev carrying a little baby across the river Yamuna that was storming. Then he saw that same little baby a little older with little ankle bells. He had a bluish complexion, He was so, so charming and in both of His hands He was holding butter. Then he saw that little baby turn into Krishna standing with His threefold bending form, ‘Tribhanga’ sweetly playing upon His flute. He saw Gopis all around Him. He was bewildered. This is the Lord who he worships, this great sage. And he opened his eyes and he looked at Nimai, then he closed his eyes again and said, “please Gopal I don’t know what You are doing but show me who this boy was in His previous lives.” He saw Ramchandra. He had the complexion of pure Durava grass. He was sitting on a throne holding bow and arrow, there was Sita, there was Lakshman, there was Hanuman, there were so many great devotees. Then within in his inner mind he was seeing this gigantic boar Varaha Deva holding the earth within His tusks. Then He saw Narasinghadeva destroying Hiranyakashipu and giving pleasure, protection and so much love to Prahlada Maharaj. He saw Vamanadeva, a little dwarf walking over and cheating Bali Maharaj and Bali Maharaj, he saw him surrendering to this little dwarf and the sage is thinking, please just take these illusions away and just, who is this boy in His past life and he saw Matsya, an enormous fish just flapping around in the ocean of devastation. Then he saw Balaram holding a club and a plough and next to Balaram was Subhadra, beautiful yellow complexion, the very sister of Krishna and beside Subhadra was Lord Jagannath.
Now, the astrologer was completely bewildered. He was wondering who is this boy? What is He doing to me? Is He some sort of mystical sage just putting spells on me or is He another astrologer just like me who is trying to make a fool out of me or who is He? He is thinking like this silently. Then Nimai interrupts his meditation and said, “Who am I? What do you see? Please answer My question. Who was I in My previous lives?” The astrologer looked at the beauty of Nimai and said, “let me meditate for some more time. Go home now and please come back this evening and I will tell You.”
One of the greatest traumatic crises of Navadweep is about to take place because Navadweep is the highest seat of learning in the entire world because nobody could defeat the Maha Pandits of Navadweep, from anywhere and people, the Pandits of Navadweep, they had such pride in the greatness and the glory of their place. The news spread, the Digvijay Pandit, Keshava Kashmiri was coming to Navadweep. It was known throughout the world of scholars that this Keshava Kashmiri was specially blessed by Goddess Saraswati. Saraswati is the Goddess of wisdom, the Goddess of learning and in her original nature, she is the Goddess of devotion too and he had a reputation that every time he spoke, Goddess Saraswati was on his tongue moving his tongue to speak perfectly. They were thinking how possibly can anyone defeat someone who has Goddess Saraswati living on his tongue? He is her favourite most devotee and he was an embodiment of a mountain of arrogance. He was so smart, so intelligent, so empowered in scholarship. He travelled to every place where there were colleges and universities throughout India. He went to Kashi and he went to Kanchipuram and He went to Mathura and he went to all these places. He went to Mithila, he came from Kashmir and he challenged all of the Pandits of the whole city through debate and completely crushed them. And he travelled with a ‘Jayapatra’ which means a certificate and whoever he defeated, they had to sign, very humiliating- ‘I was crushed and defeated by Keshava Kashmiri.’ They had to sign it.
And if he challenged anybody and they didn’t want to debate with him and be crushed, they had to sign that- ‘I have been defeated.’ And now he is coming to Navadweep. People were thinking, they were really worried, they were in total anxiety, the whole reputation and fame of Navadweep is about to be destroyed. Is there anybody, anybody here in Navadweep who can possibly stand before this man? Nobody could think of anyone. Meanwhile, Keshava Kashmiri, he was not like Ishwara Puri just wandering around like an ordinary man. Everywhere he went was with a procession with decorated horses and elephants and Brahmins chanting his glories and marching bands and he came into Navadweep and the scholars were, they were hiding. And he declared his challenge. I demand a debate and if nobody dares to stand before me because you will be defeated then I want the whole place of Navadweep with all of its Pandits to sign my Jayapatra. Nimai is sitting on the banks of the Ganga with His students and they were really impressed. They said, that this Keshava Kashmiri, Digvijay Pandit, he is coming, he is coming and Goddess Saraswati moves his tongue. Every word he speaks she is speaking through him. What are we going to do? Nimai Pandit smiled. He said, “The Supreme Lord never tolerates false pride. When He shows His mercy to someone, He removes that false pride. The nature of a tree that is filled with good fruits and the nature of a person who actually has good qualities is that they always bow lowly with humility to others. Those who have power and knowledge, if they don’t humble themselves before the Supreme, it will all be lost. Haya Haya, Nahusha, Vena, Banasura, Narakasura, Ravana, they all conquered all directions but they were all defeated and left with nothing. The Lord does not tolerate arrogance and ego for very long. You will see that very soon this Digvijay Pandit will be vanquished in Navadweep Dham.”
Lord Chaitanya was sitting with His students on the bank of the Ganges. The evening was coming and He was thinking, how can I defeat this person without killing him? Because he is so proud, he is un-defeatabale and he has so much fan fare and so much entourage. If I defeat him in front of others, people will plunder his wealth and he will be so disgraced that he will certainly die. I have to privately, in a secluded place, remove his false ego. As He was thinking like this, the moon was rising and the stars were shining. In fact, Lord Chaitanya with His students looked just like the full moon, ‘Gaura Chandra’, surrounded by the stars of all of His students. By the Lord’s own will, Keshava Kashmiri decided to just all alone take a walk to see Mother Ganga. He sprinkled some water on his head, he bowed down to Mother Ganga and there he saw Nimai, surrounded by His students and somehow or other, he was so attracted by the beauty of Nimai. The Digvijay Pandit entered into the assembly of Nimai’s students and Nimai saw him and stood up and said, “Oh we are so honoured, we are so grateful that you have come to join us. You are the great Keshava Kashmiri and we have heard that Saraswati is always speaking through your heart and that you are her favourite devotee and that you can compose poetry that is so incredible that no one can even understand what you say.” And Keshava Kashmiri was arrogant. He said, “and I have heard about You. You are simply a teacher of elementary grammar.” Nimai, He said, “Yes, but you are the greatest poet and pandit in all the world. Please recite the glories of Mother Ganga.”
He immediately composed original poetry. It was mesmerising. He spoke like the thunder from the sky with so much force and so much conviction without pausing for even a moment this beautiful, incredible poetic narration for three hours continuously and the students, they were amazed. How is this possible? How can anyone speak like this? They had never heard it before. When he finished, Nimai, He said, “I would like you now to please explain the elegant ornamentations of your poetry and also describe the faults of your poetry. He said, “my poetry has no faults. I have never had a fault in anything I have ever done.” And then Nimai recited one particular verse out of the hundred verses that he composed. He said, “how did You remember that?” He said, “You are just a typical little teacher of grammar and who am I? I am the master of the most tactical schools of philosophy and logic and scripture. How did You remember that? My words were so fast, they were like the blowing wind.” Nimai, very humble, He said, “just as you have the grace of Saraswati, the Supreme Lord’s grace to recite poetry, I have the grace of being a ‘shrutidhar’, anything I hear, I remember. But anyways, I found that there are five major faults and so many other subtle faults. Please explain the five major faults of this verse and also all the beautiful ornamentations you have put in it.” He said, “there is no fault.” Then Nimai, He explained the faults. Different inconsistencies, different contradictions that nobody could ever detect and then He explained so many of the good qualities.
Nimai said, “so, these are the faults” and everyone was waiting for Keshava Kashmiri to defeat Nimai because this was a serious challenge. He was finding serious faults with his composition. Keshava Kashmiri could not say a word. He couldn’t think. No thoughts came in his mind and he couldn’t talk, he was like a dumb man. He was just standing there and Nimai was smiling, “yes, come on, please tell Me. I found faults, what is your answer?” Stunning. And all the children started laughing but Nimai wanted to protect his dignity so He told the children, “be quiet, do not laugh.” He couldn’t speak a word. And he was thinking in his heart, ‘what’s happening, this has never happened to me’. Nimai said, He said, “actually you must be tired because you just spoke this poetry for three hours and it was such beautiful poetry and such an elegant glorification of Mother Ganga. You must be very very tired so please go home now and study your books and take rest and come tomorrow and we can discuss these things.” He couldn’t say a word. He was in a daze, he walked away. He felt so totally defeated. He was crying, ‘Saraswati, did I make some aparadh to you? Why you didn’t give me thoughts? Why you didn’t give me words? You were always there for me. I am your favourite devotee, why did you do this to me? And this boy, I am the highest scholar of the highest topics and you defeated me through a little boy who is nothing more than a grammar teacher? Why did you do this? What have I done?’
He started chanting his mantra that Goddess Saraswati had given him and fell sleep. Saraswati Devi appeared to him in a dream. She said, “I am going to speak to you the most secret of all the lessons in the Vedas. Nimai Pandit is the Lord of all the universes. I am His eternal maid servant. Although as Saraswati, I empower people with knowledge and wisdom in this world, when I stand before Vishwambhara, Sri Chaitanya, I am embarrassed because whatever I know, I am receiving from Him. In front of Him, I have no power to speak. Even Anantadev with His thousand mouths has no power to speak without His grace. Even Brahma and Shiva are shy to stand or speak before Him. Vishwambhara is the Supreme Brahman. He is the Lord who is seated in everyone’s heart. He manifests in this world as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Ramachandra and He appeared as the son of Vasudev and Devaki. Keshava Kashmiri, the real fruit of your chanting this mantra, the real fruit of your receiving my blessings, is that today you directly were able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Go to Him, surrender to Him and offer your prayers to Him. But do not tell anyone what I have spoken to you.”
She disappeared and he woke up and first thing the next morning he got up and he went to Nimai’s house, just at the time when the sun was rising and here is the great Digvijay Pandit, the limitless mountain of arrogance. He bowed down, he paid his prostrated obeisances again and again and again before Nimai Pandit. Nimai said, “what are you doing? You are such a great scholar, why are you offering obeisances to Me?” He said, “I know who You are. You are the Supreme Lord. You are the cause of all causes. You are the ultimate object of everyone’s worship. It is to love You and serve You that is the goal and purpose of all the Vedas.” His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj ki Jai! He offered many prayers of surrender to Lord Chaitanya and said, “whatever I am speaking to you is what Goddess Saraswati personally told me. Please tell me” this is Digvijay pandit enquiring from Nimai, “please tell me how could I be free from arrogance? How can I be free from the clutches of material existence? How could I please You and serve You and surrender to You in every way?”
Nimai told him, “the real purpose of knowledge is not to conquer other people, not to show how much we know. The real purpose of knowledge is to bring us to the path of worshipping Krishna. Wealth and all the things of this world, fame, they are all causes of suffering and they will all be taken away at the time of death. Absorb yourself in remembering Krishna, in serving Krishna, till you die. That is the purpose of life. Then you will attain eternal life.” And then Lord Chaitanya gave three instructions to Keshava Kashmiri and actually he gave the same three instructions through Keshava Kashmiri to each and every one of us, “Give up your false pride. Worship Krishna and be merciful to all living beings.” From that moment, Keshava Kashmiri became humble like a blade of grass. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati tells that Lord Chaitanya taught Keshava Kashmiri this verse-‘tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā/ amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ’ and he understood it and lived with this verse as the very heart of his heart in everything he did in life. On that very day, Keshava Kashmiri gave in charity, all of his elephants, all of his horses, all of his wealth and then with the Lord’s instruction in the core of his heart, barefoot, all alone, he went and wandered in the world to be an instrument of Lord Chaitanya’s love, to show mercy to all living beings.
Keshava Kashmiri was most struck with wonder how is it possible that You completely crushed my pride without making me feel bad, without embarrassing me in front of others? You must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the news spread, everyone then knew that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the topmost scholar in all of Navadwip and all of the world and more and more and more students were coming to Him and even teachers were coming to learn from Him. Tomorrow is Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day. The day after tomorrow we will discuss how Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu reached in His fame, the ultimate status as a scholar and a teacher and how after meeting His Guru in Gaya, He came back to Navadwip and He gave up all of His scholarship. His scholarly pastimes ended, they are about to end and He established His true purpose of coming to this world, to establish the Yuga Dharma. Krishna, with the love, the compassion of Sri Radhika came to give us His love through the chanting of the Holy Names Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare.