Hare Krishna! By the Divine grace of His Divine grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is the personified embodiment of the limitless causeless mercy of all of the great Acharyas of the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya which manifested in its Supreme fullness in the descent of the Pancha Tattva Sri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu Nityananad, Sri Adwaita, Gadadhara, Srivas and all their devotees. Through that flow of grace, we are here together, people from different continents, different races, different castes, various religious backgrounds, coming together as one family, the family of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the family of the grateful followers of Srila Prabhupada. There are many Holy places of pilgrimage in this world. The Bhakti Shastras tell that in the age of Kali, all of them, although they never actually lose their potency because the potency of every true holy place is ever increasing. But its failed by the power of this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, but the land of Navadwip, shines brighter and brighter and brighter. It is the most powerful, the most munificent of all Holy places in this age of Kali. It is Audarya Dham.

Vrindavan is the holiest of all holy places because the Lord’s sweetest, most intimate, most loving pastimes are revealed. Navadwip is non-different than Vrindavan. But the pastimes of Navadwip are revealed in such a way that the sweetness of Vrindavan is accessible for everyone, even the most unqualified, disqualified and fallen. Namo maha-vadanyaya Krishna-prema-pradaya te Krishnaya Krishna-Chaitanya- namne Gaura-tvishe namah, but it’s so interesting, that outside of Bengal, in the recent past, hardly anyone ever even heard of Navadwip. Before Srila Prabhupada came to bring Krishna consciousness to the western world, there was hardly a single person in the west that ever heard of Vrindavan, or Mathura, what to speak of Navadwip. But Srila Prabhupada, just around 1970-71, he was so much eager to develop a place in Navadwip, that would fulfil the vision of Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, International headquarters for Krishna consciousness. He struggled for quite some time just to get some land, just some little rice paddy fields, nothing on it. With much effort, a tiny straw hut was made where he and all the devotees lived and he called that the International Headquarters.

If we really think about it carefully, it’s inconceivable and materially it makes no sense. After all, it’s very isolated part of Bengal. At that time, Bengal was ruled by Communist Government, who were completely against giving facilities or encouragement. But Srila Prabhupada had faith, that same faith he got on the boat Jaladuta, with less than seven dollars in Indian currency to start a world movement. As we heard yesterday, that faith, it took him almost one year in selling his books and doing all his programs, to raise just about a hundred and seventy-five dollars or something. In 26th Second avenue, the first month’s rent, Srila Prabhupada explained in one talk, was exactly the amount and everything it took him one year to save. How would he get the next month’s rent? He really didn’t even have any followers in those days. He just had some sympathisers. Srila Prabhupada had such faith and such willingness to serve the order of his Spiritual Master. There was no question of failing because as His Holiness Niranjan Maharaj told us yesterday, if we sincerely endeavour, to serve according to the will of our Gurus, that is our success. That is actually where we will find the association of our Guru, of Srila Prabhupada, of Krishna.

Jatayu tried to do what was impossible, to fight Ravan when he was really old. He could hardly even move. When Ram first met him, he was just sitting there as an old man. When he saw Ravana taking Sita away, he had to do something. He fought with all of his force. This story is instructive. It’s not just our intention, but it’s our will and the sincerity of our endeavour. Built on the foundation of good intention, there must be action. Jatayu had the right intention, I’d rather die than see Sita being taken away and he fought with all of his powers. He lost the battle but he won the war. Ram embraced him; Ram shed tears of gratitude. He promised him on this day, I will personally bring you back home back to Godhead, nothing mechanical. So, Srila Prabhupada, he tried. If he didn’t insist even when devotees couldn’t get land here, so many efforts, he just kept sending them, just kept telling them exactly what to do. His Holiness Tamala Krishna Goswami, Prabhupada gave him, rupees in cash and Prabhupada made a money belt out of some cloth to hide it in. He had to write down the serial numbers of every piece of paper, I think. When Prabhupada said that he made our qualifications, it’s very true. His willingness to do the impossible, not only open the doors for us, people all over the world to develop love for Krishna, but he set an example that can never be imitated but we can ever aspire to follow. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took the role of a devotee and brought with Him from the Spiritual world, His eternal loving devotees and they all not only gave us the teachings and the path of Prema Bhakti but they personally demonstrated through their words and through their actions how we should live.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura tells a wonderful story. In Vrindavan, Krishna, small child, still in His ‘kumar lila’, He wasn’t old enough to take care of cows. He and His friends, with Balaram, they would go out every day, to bring the calves, small calves, the baby cows, bulls, through the forest and the pastures of Vrindavan. It was then that Aghasura appeared. He was as deadly as anybody could possibly be. His heart was vastly cruel, envious, hateful. Here’s these little children, all hardly five years old, playing and little calves. Everybody, when they see little calves, their hearts melt. If you get to see them in person. I remember at Govardhan Eco Village, one person, young American man in his mid-twenties, sitting in the Goshala and we were sitting with the calves and one little calf came up and licked him. And then some of the devotees taught him how to go like this to the calves. He went like this and the calf was so happy. The calf put his head on his lap, he was sitting in the hay. He was rubbing him and the calf was looking at him and they were like that and some of the other calves saw how blissful that calf was on his lap so other calves started coming around pushing their noses against him, wanting his attention. So now he was rubbing on calf on his lap, and then he was trying to rub the other calves with his other hand. They were all starting to lay on his lap. That went on for about half hour and afterwards he said to me, with tears in his eyes, “I will never be able to eat meat again.” Because he was just kind of programmed to eat meat his whole life, never really thought about it. But after personally having association with little calves, he saw how they were people and how loving and gentle and nice. What volumes of books may not have convinced him of, that one little calf convinced.

So, can you imagine Krishna’s calves? How absolutely sweet and beautiful they are and they are playing in the pastures and Aghasura, he appears, thinking Krishna killed my sister Putana and my brother Baka. What a deranged type of mentality but that’s the way people can be. We justify, we kind of re-write history according to what justifies our purpose. He was thinking his brother Bakasura who came as a giant bird and just attacked Krishna, ate Him, swallowed Him, tried to stab Him to death. Putana tried to poison Him when He was just a couple days old. But he is thinking, Krishna is such a demon that He killed my sister and He killed my brother. He must die. He wanted revenge so much. He decided to kill every calf and every child, knowing that if they die, then the cows who love their calves and the bulls and all the Brijwasi adults because of their children, they would all die due to broken hearts, genocide. His intent, his determination was to exterminate all life in Vrindavan and he really thought he had the power to do so. So, he appeared as a giant snake and opened his mouth and I am not going to tell this story too much but he attracted all the cowherd boys and the calves to enter into his mouth just to see how they could play inside. Krishna was, He was going to stop them but it was too late. They already went in.

So, then Krishna went in. Hoooopppp….He closed his mouth but it sounded much more terrible than what I did. Now, how do you kill someone when all your friends are inside his body? Krishna had His plan. He expanded Himself bigger and bigger and bigger and Aghasura, expanded himself bigger and bigger but Krishna expanded faster and better and Aghasura suffocated. His lifeforce, his soul burst out from the top of his head into the sky. And now he was just a big, dead snake corpse with his mouth opened. He actually killed all the calves and the children. They were all just laying their unconscious. Krishna glanced at them, brought them back to life and they did not know what happened, they all came out. The soul of Aghasura entered into the body of Krishna. This was incredible, the most incredible thing, is just like Putana attained the form of one of Krishna’s mother’s assistants in the Spiritual world with motherly love, Aghasura attained elevation to be an eternal associate of the Lord in Vaikuntha, the Spiritual world. The Demigods were coming to see how is this. They all feared Agha and then Brahma came down to see who is this Krishna. He knew who is Krishna but somehow or other because Krishna is so playful and so sweet and playing just like an ordinary boy, he forgot. Krishna covered him over.

He wanted to test Krishna and he stole the calves, then he stole all the cowherd boys. Krishna was left with this little lump of yogurt and fruit salad and rice, now what? Krishna was alone, all His friends and all His calves, He knew that Brahma took them. So, Krishna expanded Himself to be identical to every calf and every cowherd boy, so identical that for one full year which was a moment by Brahma’s calculation, the mothers, the fathers, the cows, they could not detect any difference. They though that this was my child. Now for a mother for a small little child, the mother knows intimate details of that little child, she is bathing him, she knows what he likes to eat and she knows what marks are on his body and the cows are the same way, knows every move, knows every way the child speaks. But Krishna was identical. The only difference is that all the cows and all the Brijwasis loved their children more than they ever loved them before and they really loved them before too. In fact, they loved them as much as they loved Krishna, without knowing they were Krishna and after a year Brahma came. It was Balaram’s appearance day so he was giving in charity and getting blessed by Brahmans. On that day, Brahma came and saw everything is the same. He had all the calves and the Gopas in a cave, he went and they were sleeping in the cave and then he went back and he saw them there, he went back and forth and he was bewildered. Are they the same? Is Krishna, this little boy holding the flute in His hand? Is He taking them back to the cave when I go there and then bringing them here when I come here? He has four heads; he can see everything at once. He was really confused, and he is Brahma. He is the secondary creator of the entire Universe.

Then, he saw every calf and boy become Vishnu with four arms, the Lord of Vaikuntha, Narayan and he saw around each one of them were all the Demigods and all the living entities and all the elements of material nature, all worshipping Him. Now he is increasingly bewildered. He is feeling himself like a little mosquito in a herd of giant elephants. Vishnus, Vishnu is his father. Vishnu is the cause of all causes. And there’s millions of Vishnus all around him. Then, just to make things even more intensely mystifying, when he was just about to fall unconscious being completely humbled and bewildered, everything disappears and all that’s left is little Krishna, with the same ‘dahi’, yogurt in His hand as one year before and He is innocently looking, where is My cow, where is My calves, where is My friends? Then Brahma understood this is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He went completely blank. All his senses stopped functioning. Then he came off his chariot and after he was totally humbled by that experience, he could see Vrindavan. He was seeing it before and as far as material senses, what was he seeing compared to what we could see with material senses. But he was seeing only the outer external veneer over Vrindavan because he had pride but after he was deeply humbled, then he could see Vrindavan for what it is. He not only humbled himself but, in that humility, he surrendered to Krishna and the same beautiful dirt on the ground, he saw it is Chintamani and the same beautiful trees, the Banyan trees, the Ashoka trees, the Kadamba trees, the Tamala trees, he saw that they were Kalpa Vrikshas.  The same beautiful, beautiful cows that he was seeing, now he was able to have the vision they are Surabhi cows of the spiritual world and that same, the most beautiful little boy in all of Brahma’s creation and beyond, now he is seeing Krishna as the Supreme source of everything that exists.

He came and put his helmet, his heads on Krishna’s lotus feet and offered beautiful prayers. Bhaktivinoda Thakura tells, Brahma, ‘tene Brahma hriday ada kavaye’ Krishna reveals truths to him from within the heart, he is the original author of the Vedas, ‘Vedais cha sarvair aham eva vedyo’. In the beginning of creation, Krishna revealed the Vedas to him, to establish Parampara. That Brahma, he knew, because he knows the Vedas that after the Dwapar Yuga of Krishna’s leela, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would appear as the most munificent, most merciful of all Avatars, Saba avatar sara shiromani, kevala Ananda kanda, He is the essence of all Avatars. And Brahma, his meditation was, in Dwapar Yuga, I have to have this big powerful post of Lord Brahma, where practically every Yagya, Brahmins are doing offerings to me and all the Demigods, I am the chief. Indra might be the leader of the Swarga Loka, heavenly planets but when demons like Kansa and Jarasandha or Ravana or Hiranyakashipu come, all the Demigods go to Brahma for shelter. What is his power, what is his greatness? He is Pitamaha, he is the father of everyone.

You remember when Bhumi Devi took the form of a cow in great distress, and along with the Demigods they approached Brahma because none of the Demigods could do anything about the demoniac powers that were influencing the Universe. And it was Brahma who took them to the shore of the ocean of milk and they all offered the Purusha Shukta prayers, praying for Krishna to save them and what did Vishnu do? He spoke in the heart of Brahma and Brahma gave the message to everyone else, no one else could hear it. That is the role of Brahma. So, Brahma is thinking, I thought my post was something very great until I saw Vrindavan after he stole the calves and the Gopas, then I understood how insignificant I am, then I understood how little love I have. And here is Brahma, he is praying, longing, wishing that he could be a Gopa, little cowherd boy to be playing with Krishna. Brahma is thinking, millions, billions, trillions of times greater than me is every single one of these cowherd boys because they love Krishna so much but I have all this false ego. Krishna smashed it but still. So, he was thinking, in Krishna’s leela he couldn’t become a cowherd boy but in Krishna’s next incarnation as Lord Gauranga, he wanted to love him with pure devotion and be His associate. ‘Sri Krishna Chaitanya Radha Krishna nahi anya’, So Lord Brahma came to Navadwip because he knows that Krishna appears here in Navadwip. He knows He is going to come with a beautiful golden complexion to give ecstatic love in the mood of the residents of Vrindavan to the people of Kali. So, he was living, just very close to where we are now, around the area where the Yoga peetha is. He was constantly meditating on Lord Gauranga, constantly chanting the Holy Names of Lord Gauranga, performing austerities. The purpose of austerity, ‘tapasya’, is to detach ourselves from our material needs, our material wants, as much as possible to simplify our life so that we can put our full attention in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, in remembering and praying to the Lord. For many days Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, Brahma was here performing Tapasya, praying and chanting. One day, Lord Gauranga appeared to him. When Brahma saw the beautiful form of Lord Chaitanya, Navadweep Chandra, His complexion like radiant molten gold, His eyes fully blossomed lotus petals stretching almost to His ears. His lips, red like the bimba fruit, His arms, extending below His knees, His beautiful long hair cascading down His moon like face, the very complete fullness and essence and source of all beauty and grace. Seeing Lord Gauranga, Brahma fell unconscious. Lord Gauranga placed His lotus feet on Brahma’s head. Brahma came into consciousness again and he prayed to Lord Chaitanya. He prayed that, “I am tired of being the creator, I am tired of being the head of all the Demigods, I am tired of being the father of all the living beings because no matter how much I try having such a high position, so much power, so much influence, nobody can take anything away from me.” We see that people like Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu, Ravana, they could conquer different Demigods but nobody could conquer Brahma or Lord Shiva.

So, Brahma is praying, “please let me be a part of Your leela. I want to serve You. I want to be the servant of the servant of Your servants as part of Your pastimes as Lord Gauranga, something I couldn’t do in Your pastimes as Krishna, please be merciful. Give me a position where I have no false pride, no prestige, I can just freely serve You with love.” That was his only prayer. ‘Na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye mama janmani janmanishvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki twayi’ it’s what Lord Chaitanya taught. ‘I do not want the beauty of the opposite sex, I do not want wealth, I do not want prestige or fame, I do not want high learning, I do not even want liberation from suffering. My only wish is to serve You with unconditional devotion, birth after birth.’ Brahma was in that mood. Lord Chaitanya was satisfied. He said, “I will fulfil your wish. When I appear as Lord Gauranga, you will be My intimate associate. Just so that you don’t have any false pride whatsoever, instead of being in the highest distinction, you will take your birth in an untouchable ‘yavana’, ‘mlechha’ family where people will despise you just because of your birth according to the caste systems, (perverted conceptions of that time). Brahma has Brahmaloka. In this incarnation you will have no fixed house, you will live in caves and you will be driven from one cave to another. But you will be constantly remembering Me because in your next birth, you will be chanting My Holy Names constantly. Every day you will chant at least 300,000 names of Krishna (that’s about a 192 rounds). Your name will be Haridas Thakura and you will live 24 hours every day for your whole life chanting My names, remembering Me with love and you will be living in the spirit of Trinad api sunicena taror eva sahisnuna, amanina manadena kirtaniya sada Hari. You will truly be more humble than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, ready to give all respect to others and not expect anything in return. In this mood you will always be more immersed in hearing and chanting My glories and in your old age you will give up your body looking at My face, gazing into My face and I will be gazing into your eyes, with My lotus feet pressed to your heart and My names on your lips and I will pick up your body and dance with it in ecstatic love.”

Then Lord Chaitanya said, “I am going to reveal to you a secret. When I appear in this form of Gauranga, I will be in the role of My own devotee, in the mood of the servant of the servant of the servant of My devotees and I will establish and expand the Sankirtan movement of spreading throughout the world, the congregational chanting of My Holy Names. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare.” Lord Chaitanya said, “I will come in this incarnation only for the most secret of all secret purposes. Not only will I establish the Holy Names and I will distribute love of Krishna and the Holy Names of Krishna indiscriminately all over the world, but I will come, Krishna, to understand the sweetness of Radha’s love. I will come with the love of Radha in my heart, ‘Sri Krishna Chaitanya Radha Krishna nahin anya’. Radha’s heart will be within Me and then only will I taste the sweetness that only Srimati Radharani realises when She experiences My love, ‘Radha bhava’, I will come with the complexion and the sentiments of Srimati Radharani and I will give this love to My devotees. This great secret I am teaching you here” and Nityananda Prabhu told Jeeva Goswami, “that is why this island is called Antardwip, the place where the most secret of all secrets was revealed.” So please don’t tell anyone. But you can tell everyone, Lord Chaitanya wants you to tell everyone but the real secret is to actually understand it. Just to theoretically hear it may open some door to what we aspire for in life but unless we truly follow in the footsteps of Haridas Thakura we cannot understand the secret. It remains a secret. Even if we can speak it, even if we can memorise it, we can’t understand it unless it is revealed by grace and that grace, Lord Chaitanya wants to give it to everyone but Haridas Thakuara is the ‘Naam Acharya’. He is the one who is teaching us how to chant the Holy Names. If you try to imitate him, you will go insane or you will die, you can’t. Somehow or other we just don’t have that capacity. But the principles he lived by, the aspirations he pursued, our hearts and our purpose in life are meant to be in perfect harmony with that.

We have been discussing Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes in Navadweep where He established…. when He was a little baby He was born when everyone was chanting due to the lunar eclipse. He would cry unless everyone around Him chanted the Holy Names and then He smiled. He revealed that beautiful eight-armed form of Krishna to the pilgrim Brahman but these were all very very secret things. He didn’t actually reveal His Radha Bhava, His love of Sri Radharani and He didn’t openly reveal Sankirtan to the devotees and the people in general. When He was in Bangladesh, Tapan Mishra came. Jayapataka Maharaj told beautifully the story of Lord Chaitanya in Bangladesh but he left this little part for me because he didn’t tell it. When He was just about to leave, He was sitting on the Padma river and all of His students were giving Him whatever gifts they had, some were giving Him a banana, some were giving Him a coconut, some were giving Him all the treasures of their house, you know some little jewels, some vessels and some cloth and Tapan Mishra, he was very much seeking the truth. He was a Brahman, highly learned, very sincere. He learned from so many Yogis and so many Gurus and so many sages and he had read so many scriptures and there were so many different opinions. What is that ‘Saragrahi’, one who seeks the essence? He wanted to know what is truly the highest goal of life and how to achieve it? If you know so much but you don’t know that then you really don’t know anything. In Krishna’s leela those Yagya Brahmans, they knew so many mantras and so many scriptures and so many philosophies and so many Pujas but they didn’t know the goal of life or how to achieve it. Their wives who were just simple ladies in the house, they knew exactly what the goal of life was and how to achieve it. So, whether we are great philosophers or simple, that’s the essence. He was seeking that essence and he couldn’t find it. He was becoming very very discouraged, he was praying, he was craving, he was seeking and then he had a dream. In the dream, a celestial person appeared to him and said, “The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayan, Bhagawan, Sri Krishna, the ultimate object of all life is secretly appearing right here in Bangladesh as Nimai Pandit. Go to Him, and He will teach you everything.” Tapan Mishra came, a very highly esteemed person in society. He offered his Dandavat Pranams. There were tears of sincerity. He prayed to Lord Chaitanya, “please tell me. I have been looking everywhere, I can’t find it, what is truly the goal of life and what is the path to achieve it?” Nimai, who was the topmost teacher of grammar and scholar who in Navadwip was always harassing the devotees because He would never talk about Krishna. The devotees always wanted to talk about Krishna and Nimai would come up and challenge them with so many arguments and so many debates and He was so beautiful and so sweet and so loveable, they couldn’t resist and they got just involved in this whole web of grammatical word jugglery and they just wanted to run away and sometimes they did, they wanted to hide from Him because He was undefeatable. Digvijay Pandit was defeated by Him. But Nimai, ‘ye yathā māḿ prapadyante tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham’.

In Bangladesh everyone was looking for a great education. What generally takes 12 years to achieve, mastery in Sanskrti grammar, every single one of His thousands and thousands of students in Bengal, they achieved that same status and position in less than two months. That’s the kind of teacher Nimai was. Everyone wanted him to be their teacher. Which would you rather do- go to a teacher for twelve years to learn something or be with somebody who is so beautiful and so charming and somebody who loves you more than anything and somebody you love more than anything and He can teach you all these things and thousands of times more in two months? Gopinath Chandra you are a graduate of IIT, you understand. And He was giving them all that and even though they did not know it, He was actually giving them love of God too but it was all happening inside. But Tapan Mishra was specifically seeking the goal of life. Lord Chaitanya said, “the goal of life is unconditional, unmotivated, pure love for Krishna, the one Supreme God of all living beings and the way to achieve it is through the practice of Bhakti and the primary practice of Bhakti, the Yuga Dharma of this age is the chanting of the Holy names- Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare.” Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then, specifically for the first time, we find in the histories of Lord Chaitanya’s leela of Sri Chaitanya Bhagwat, Lord Chaitanya specifically initiates Tapan Mishra into the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. He said, “how to chant the Holy Names of the Lord?” He quoted from the Kali Santarna Upanishad, “this thirty-two syllable sixteen word mantra is the best means” and from Mahaprabhu’s own mouth, came this Mantra- Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare, and then He gave him such beautiful instructions of how to chant the Holy Names.

Tapan Mishra secretly told Lord Chaitanya, that, “I had a dream and it was revealed to me that You are the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself.” Lord Chaitanya told Him, “do not tell anyone this secret” because He had not revealed it to anyone. Tapan Mishra wanted to come back to Navadweep because he knew Lord Chaitanya is about to go to Navadweep to begin the Hari Naam Sankirtan movement very soon. Can you imagine being there at that time? He was that close, because so many other students, just the grammar students of Lord Chaitanya came back to Navadweep with Him. Tapan Mishra said, “I am coming.” Lord Chaitanya said, “I want you to go to Varanasi.” But Varanasi was the capital of Mayavad. There were no devotees there except Chandrasekhar. He did not want to go to Varanasi. He wanted to go with Lord Chaitanya. Lord Chaitanya said, “soon I will come to Varanasi and I will reveal to you all the different teachings of how to achieve the goal of life.” When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was away, His Holiness Jayapataka Maharaj explained, Lakshmidevi, His beloved wife, she gave up Her body feeling such profound ‘Viraha bhava’, love in separation. She gave up this body within this world to go back to the Spiritual world to eternally serve the Lord where there is no such separation.

After some time, we heard from His Holiness Jayapataka Maharaj, He was married to Vishnupriya and he also explained Lord Chaitanya’s visit to Gaya, very Holy pilgrimage. Gaya, in this area was considered very very high place of pilgrimage. The lotus footprint of Vishnu is there. He went there to offer the Shradha to His father but internally it was there that He first manifest this Radha bhava, His innate, that’s where He would first as Krishna, taste the sweetness of Radha’s love because there He would meet His Guru. But Lord Chaitanya wanted to teach us very strongly and it’s a repeated lesson, whats necessary to access the grace of the Holy Name. He is on His way to Gaya where He was going to get initiated by His Guru, Ishwara Puri but half way from Navadweep to that Holy Land, He became very ill, seriously ill with a burning fever. ‘Ishwara paramah Krishna, sac-cid-ananda Vigraha’, how could the Lord whose body is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss, who is Nirguna, who has no material qualities whatsoever, how does He get sick, with a fever? The Lord is playing the role of an ordinary person to teach us lessons. It is His pastime to get sick but in His pastime He actually got sick so He had this fever and His students who were all around Him who loved Him dearly. Although He was not much older than them, some of them were older than Him, they were so concerned, He was their teacher, He was their best father, He was their everything. So they went and got Ayurvedic Doctors and Kavirajs and all sorts of medicines and all sorts of cures. Nothing worked. His fever just kept getting higher and higher, they gave up, they didn’t know what else to do. The Lord likes to put His devotees in suspenseful, culminating situations. He said, “the only medicine that will save Me is bring Me the water that has washed the feet of the Brahman devotee. By drinking that, I will be cured.”

So, previously in their travels, they came to a place where there were some devotees, and they were Brahmans but they were not like Navadweep people, very sophisticated. He was very simple; they didn’t talk so well and they kind of made fun of them. Lord Chaitanya sent to that person. They washed his feet and they took the water that washed his feet in a vessel and brought it back to Lord Chaitanya. He lovingly drank it, Instantly the fever went away and He was cured. Very strong lesson, not just something to enjoy listening to. If we want to actually perform seva to Guru and seva to the Holy Name, ‘Gopī-bhartur pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ’. Taking dust of the feet or drinking the water that has washed the feet, it’s not just the substance, it’s the spirit of truly, genuinely humbling ourselves in the spirit of the servant of a devotee. That’s what it means. And when He came to Puri and He heard Brahmans glorifying the lotus footprint of Vishnu, that footprint, because Gayasura appeared there and Vishnu put His foot on Gayasura’s head. The Brahmans were explaining- the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu is always within the heart of Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma is always praying to achieve His lotus feet. Lakshmi Devi is eternally rendering the most humble service, massaging the lotus feet. Bali Maharaj, great king of the world, he washed the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu and ultimately, he surrendered to those lotus feet, when they became very big. Ananta Shesha with His thousand mouths, is constantly glorifying the lotus feet of Vishnu. So many hundreds of garlands were piled up around the beautiful lotus footprint of Vishnu, ‘Vishnupada’ and as He was hearing the glories of Krishna being sung, Lord Chaitanya began to cry, incessantly cry and right at that moment Ishwara Puri appeared. And we heard this wonderful story.

Lord Chaitanya considered ‘the real blessing of My visit to Gaya is to meet a pure devotee’. One day Lord Chaitanya was cooking prasad for Himself, just enough for Him, cooking with His own hands and just when He finished, just when He made the offering, just when He was about to eat, Ishwara Puri comes right to His little doorstep and Ishwara Puri sees the Prasad is there and Lord Chaitanya is about to eat, Ishwara Puri said, “I came right at the best time.” Lord Chaitanya said, “please have Prasad.” Ishwara Puri said, “but there is only enough for one person, let us take together, You have half, I will have half.” Lord Chaitanya said, “you take everything, I will cook again later.” Lord Chaitanya insisted and served Ishwara Puri all the food that was meant for Him, cooked by Lord Chaitanya, cooked by Radharani and Rama Devi, Lakshmi, secretly came to the kitchen and cooked again for Lord Chaitanya.

He cooked for Ishwara Puri, He offered a garland to him, put sandalwood on him, offered beautiful prayers, sitting place, everything. Then he went around doing all His Shradhas to different Holy places in the Gaya area and one day He approached Ishwara Puri and asked, He said, “I am most fallen. Please give Me love for Krishna. Please give Me initiation.” Ishwara Puri understood that He was Krishna Himself. When he saw the ecstasies of Lord Chaitanya in the Temple in Gaya, he understood. He said, “Ever since I first met You in Navadwip, I can’t stop thinking about You, I am always remembering You and every time I remember You, I feel the same love as loving Krishna.” He connected, he understood that He is Krishna and Krishna is asking him for initiation. Lord Chaitanya is asking, “I want to be your servant, please save Me, give Me love for Krishna, without your mercy I have no hope.” Ishwara Puri said, “I will not only give You initiation but I will surrender my whole life to you. Whatever You like, I am Your servant, I am totally surrendered.”

He gave Him a ten syllable Mantra. Lord Chaitanya was massaging the feet of His Guru, massaging the legs for His Guru, washing the space for His Guru. He was doing the most menial service for Ishwara Puri. But why Lord Chaitanya chose Ishwara Puri of all the great personalities? Among the devotees who were disciples of Madhavendra Puri- Adwaita Acharya, Nityananda Prabhu, Pundarik Vidyanidhi, so many great devotees, Paramananda Puri. Because when Madhavendra Puri,  …..

When everyone, we are hearing this incredible sound system. There are probably seven thousand people here and I believe everyone is hearing so nicely and devotees had to work really hard in the sound system department to make this possible and probably no one is appreciating. It’s taken for granted. But whatever little trouble that they endured for the last, probably ten minutes, trying to make it right, actually the sound system department has been working like that for about twenty years to bring it to where it is today. But because it is so good, they could start getting that Lord Brahma complex. So, Krishna really humbled them today. That’s His mercy. He is trying to humble me too.

So, Sri Chaitanua Mahaprabhu, He taught this principle of being the servant of the servant of the servant. Some years later in Varanasi, when He met Prakashananda Saraswati and those very learned Vedantists, they asked Him. Actually, He came in, they were so much criticising Him. And He accepted to take lunch with all of them one day. They were all in a high place, sitting and He sat where they all washed their feet. He actually sat in the foot washing area. He was so effulgent; they were attracted to that ‘Brahma jyoti’ aspect. They said, “please come, please come.” He said, “no I do not deserve to sit in such a high level with such exalted scholars as you.” The Guru of all of them Prakashananada Saraswati, he was so moved in his heart by the humility and the beauty of Lord Chaitanya that he came down personally and with his own hands, he said, “please come and sit with us.” Because he rendered that service, Srila Prabhupada said it was ‘Agyata Sukriti’, he rendered service for the pleasure of the Lord.

They asked, “why don’t You study with us, You are a Sanyasi(this is years later). You are in the Sankara Sampradaya of Sanyasa. You should be studying Vedanta with us instead of chanting and dancing with all these mundane sentimentalists.” Lord Chaitanya referred to His visit to Gaya. He said, “when I was with my Guru, My Guru said don’t bother trying to understand Vedanta because You are a fool. My Guru called Me a fool. He said ‘just chant the Holy Names’, so I took that order of My Guru and started chanting the Holy Names and I came back to him and said I don’t know what’s happening. My hairs are standing on end, tears are coming out of My eyes, I think I am going mad. My Guru said, ‘this is very good, this is love for Krishna. Now You go and You spread the love of Krishna all over, to all towns and villages’ and he gave Me this beautiful verse ‘Harer Nama Harer Nama Harer Nama Eva kevalam kalau nasty-eva nasty-eva nasty-eva gatir anyatha’. In this age of Kali there is no other way except the chanting of the names of Hari to achieve that highest perfection of pure devotion” and then Lord Chaitanya proceeded on the basis of Vedanta, Vedanta Sutra and various pure Vedic passages, He completely defeated all the Mayavadi philosophers. And He established, as Srila Prabhupada wrote in his Vyas Puja to his Guru, a summary study of the whole message of Lord Chaitanya in this sense. ‘Absolute Is Sentient Thou Hast Proved, Impersonal philosophy thou hast removed’. He established Krishna’s personality, Krishna’s form, Krishna’s qualities, Krishna’s abode as eternal. The impersonal Brahman as the bodily effulgence of that beautiful form of Godhead. That every living entity is part and parcel of Krishna, ‘Jivera swarup hoye Krishnera nitya dasa’, eternal servants of Krishna, to serve Krishna with love is the highest most complete liberation. Where, as parts and parcels of Krishna we have an eternal form, an eternal personality that’s forever subordinate to the Supreme Personality but in love, Krishna by His own free will makes Himself subordinate due to the love of His devotee.

The seed of this was manifested in Gaya. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was meditating on His mantra, He was meditating on Krishna, His Radha Bhava was fully manifesting, He was crying, He was weeping. Early one morning He just decided to go to Vrindavan. He left everything , He rushed to Vrindavan. All His students woke up, they couldn’t find Him, they had no idea where He was. That divine celestial voice spoke to Him that ‘Nimai You have descended to this world to establish the Hari Nam Sankirtan movement in Navadwip, please go there now, deliver the fallen souls of this age of Kali and later You can go to Mathura and Vrindavan. We as Your servants are humbly reminding You of this.’ Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then returned to Navadwip. When he returned from Gaya, He was so different. He met Vishnupriya Devi, He met Sachi Mata and different devotees from towns, people from Navadwip are coming to meet Him. After so many nice meetings, He called just a few of His devotees including Sriman Pandit. He said, “I want to reveal My heart to you.” He started calling out in separation from Krishna ‘where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?’ He was chanting Krishna’s names and He was crying and His hairs were standing erectly and His limbs were trembling. He said, “tomorrow in the morning please bring Sadashiva and Murari to the house of Suklambara Brahmachari, I want to reveal My heart to you.”

The next morning at Srivasa Thakura’s house, there was a vine and every day it was filled with fragrant flowers and different devotees would come there every day. Most of the devotees who were in Navadwip they would come there every day to collect these flowers and be there and sing together as they were plucking flowers and they would bring them back to do the worship of their own ‘Thakurjis’, their own Temple Deities. On this day Sriman Pandit was smiling and the other devotees like Srivasa said, ‘you are smiling, you look very happy, what is this?’ He said, “for a very good reason I am happy, because Gauranga after coming back from Gaya He has become a devotee. What we have been praying for, what we have been doing our Puja for, what we have been chanting for, what we have been crying for, that Nimai becomes a devotee. He has become a devotee. He is no longer proudly defeating people, challenging people in various grammatical puzzles. Now He is only chanting Krishna’s name. I have never seen anything like this. He must be Krishna Himself, there is torrents of tears falling from His eyes, His voice is choked up. His limbs are trembling. Sometimes He falls unconscious in ecstasy. He is decorated with love that no one in this world has ever seen. Nimai has become a devotee and He has asked to meet a few of us at Suklambara Brahmachari’s house this morning.”

When Srivasa Pandit heard this, he smiled. His heart was erupting in ecstasy and he said, “may our family increase. Now that Nimai is a devotee, the family of Vaishnavas, the arrogance and the materialism and the uselessness of life of the people of Navadwip and the people of the world will be transformed because Nimai Pandit has become a devotee.” Those few devotees when to Suklambara Brahmachari’s house. Gauranga, He came to share his heart, to share the ecstatic sadness of His heart. He started crying immediately, “where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?” He leaned against a pillar and He kind of cracked the pillar. His hair was all dishevelled. He fell to the ground and all the devotees started crying and they all fell to the ground and secretly hiding in that house was Gadadhara Pandit. When he heard Nimai crying out ‘where is Krishna’ in such love and separation, he fell to the ground unconscious. When Lord Chaitanya came to consciousness, the rest of them came to consciousness, they were all crying and crying and Lord Chaitanya said, “is anyone else here?” Suklamabara Brahmachari and the others said ‘Gadadhara Pandit’. Lord Chaitanya went to Gadadhara and spoke His heart. He said, “Gadadhara Pandit you are the most fortunate. From your very birth and throughout every stage of your life you have been renounced from material pursuits. You have been completely devoted to Krishna but I am so unfortunate, I uselessly wasted so much of My life in futile academic studies but then by My great fortune, Krishna appeared to Me. He embraced Me, then He disappeared. I am most unfortunate. Where is Krishna, where is My Krishna?”

In this way, Lord Chaitanya told the devotees in Kanai Natashala, while He was on His way back from Gaya, “a beautiful boy with the complexion like a Tamala tree, He had a moon like face with such beautiful lotus eyes. On His lovely lovely enthralling mystifying hair, it was decorated with fresh Kunja berries and a peacock feather. He was wearing beautiful jewels, beautiful armlets, ankle bells. His clothes were like golden lightening. He smiled at Me, He approached Me, Krishna, Krishna embraced Me and then He disappeared. Where is Krishna? How can I ever express the sadness, the unfortunate condition of My life and My heart after wasting My life uselessly, Krishna came to Me and then He left Me.” Continuously He cried out ‘where is Krishna?’ Continuously, in the mood of Sri Radharani, in separation from Krishna, that same mood that Sri Radha had when Krishna left for Mathura. When Uddhava came back to Vrindavan to give Krishna’s message, he saw the love and separation of Sri Radha. The highest, the fullest, ever expanding, most perfect love, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed it to the world. In this mood, now, He could not do anything without chanting the Holy names, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. When Nimai went home, Sachi Mata did not know what to do. He was always crying, “where is Krishna, where is Krishna?” He would cry so much. It is explained, a little later, He had His family Shaligrama Shila and He would go to offer His Puja to Shaligrama Shila and within seconds He was crying so much in the ecstasy of love for  Krishna that all of His clothes would be completely soaked. Then He would have to go bathe and then He would come back to worship Krishna on the altar and again just by looking at Krishna, He would be crying and crying and finally He asked Gadadhara Pandit, “you do the Puja, I can’t, I am not qualified.” Sachi Mata was very much astounded. Vishnupriya, she didn’t know how to approach her husband now. He was always crying for Krishna. So, Sachi Mata was asking people, “my Son, He is just crying all the time for Krishna. He walks, he calls out for Krishna, He falls unconscious and then He comes and He starts crying again. I don’t know what it is?” And she started asking some of the neighbours and the neighbours would look at Him and say, “He has some disarray of His life vital airs” and they started giving all sorts of little remedies, “you should give some Shiva oil or you should bathe Him in oils”. They were giving so many different….she sent a message to Srivasa- ‘People are telling me that my Son has gone mad, please come here.’

Srivas came to Sachi Mata’s house and he saw Tulasi, a beautiful Tulasi plant and Srivasa put some water on the Tulasi and circumambulated. When Nimai saw Srivasa, worshipping Tulasi with so much love, He went mad with ecstatic love. He was trembling, tears were pouring, He was howling. When He would roar in ecstasy, it would reverberate through all the nine islands of Navadweep. In fact, it was such a loud roar that there was no way any ear drum would survive without shattering. But while He roared, He protected everyone’s ear drum, according to the scriptures. Lord Chaitanya looked at Srivasa and said, “people are saying I am mad, am I mad?” Then Srivasa said, “yes, but this is very good madness and I wish, I pray that I could be made like You. This is the madness that is the highest perfection of life, ecstatic love for Krishna.” Then Nimai said, “thank you for telling Me this because other people said, it’s due to my life air not acting properly. If you would have told Me that, I would have jumped in the Ganga.” Then Srivasa, he told Sachi Mata, he said, “your Son, He is exhibiting ecstatic love for Krishna. It’s the highest, best form of madness. It’s the perfection of life, you should be very proud of Him, this is what everybody is seeking but don’t go and tell these ordinary, materialistic neighbours because they will never understand.” Hearing that from Srivasa, Sachi Mata was convinced of the exalted state of her son’s love.

He went to His teacher Gangadas Pandit. Touched his feet and placed the dust of His teacher’s feet on His head. Gangadas Pandit said, “Your students have been waiting for many days since You went to Gaya, they cannot study under any other teacher, they are so attached to You, please today resume Your teachings, they can’t wait any longer.” At the house of Mukunda Sanjay, He would teach at the Chandi Mandap but now there was something different. All He was doing was talking about Krishna’s names. They asked Him, “what is the essential meaning of the first verse of our grammar teachings?” And He went into an elaborate explanation of how its glorification of Krishna’s names. He explained every word of every verse of every scripture, to mean Krishna’s name and to induce people to chant Krishna’s name and He would beoame so absorbed in this chanting of Krishna’s names that for hours and hours and hours, that’s all He did was glorify Krishna’s names. The students did not know what to do. After about ten days like this, they went to Gangadas Pandit, the students and said, “Nimai is different. He doesn’t talk about any of the rules. He doesn’t talk about any of the philosophies. He doesn’t talk about any of the challenges and how to debate. All He talks about is Krishna’s name. Every explanation for every single question we ask is that we should chant the names of Krishna. We don’t know how to understand His teachings.” Gangadas Pandit laughed. He said, “I will speak to Him today, come back this afternoon, bring Him”, He said actually, “bring Him this afternoon to see me.”

The students brought Gauranga to His teacher’s house and Gangadas Pandit said, “Your grandfather Nilambara Chakravarti is a great devotee of Krishna and Your father Jagannath Mishra was a very great devotee of Krishna but still they were scholars, still they teachers, still they followed the systems of education. Just because You are a great devotee of Krishna, doesn’t mean You just throw away all the educational systems that are given. They were such pure devotees of Krishna but they explained according to their duty, according to the system. So, You are now a great devotee of Krishna but You have to honour the system of education that You are teaching these students from. Now go back and teach in this way.” Nimai said,” I will do.” Nimai took dust from the lotus feet of His Guru and put on His head and He was really determined. He went back to His students and He started saying, “let anyone come and challenge Me, let anyone come and ask Me any question, I will defeat them, I will prove through logic and through grammar, I will prove through philosophy, the points that I want to prove” and they would say, “yes, this is the Nimai teacher that we know.” And they were all really excited and He was teaching in that light just like He used to teach but, not far away there was a great devotee. His name was Ratnagarbha Acharya. He was a good friend of Jagannath Mishra. He had three sons who Nimai was friends with.

Ratnagarbha Acharya was a great devotee of the Srimad Bhagavatam. He was chanting a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam about Krishna when Krishna sent His friends Gopas to beg some food from the Brahmans, the yagic Brahmans, they ignored them, they ignored the Gopas and the Gopas came back to Krishna very discouraged and said, “You asked us to get food for You and Balaram and all of us and we wanted to do but they completely ignored us.” Krishna smiled and said, “that’s the nature of begging, sometimes give, sometimes they don’t give. Go to their wives, they are My dear devotees.” When the little boys went to the wives, Krishna actually told them, “don’t say that I am hungry because that will break their hearts.” The little boys went and said, “Krishna is hungry and so are we.” So, they immediately got the best of all food from the Yagyas and they left into the forest, following the cowherd boys. Their husbands said, “stop you can’t leave us now, we need your services”, their sons, their brothers, they were all trying to stop. They didn’t even look, they just left. Brought their food and going through the forest, anticipating, they never met Krishna before, they never saw Krishna before, they simply, when they would go to get flowers and fruits from the market, they would hear the Brijwasi ladies talking about Krishna and just from that they fell in love with Krishna. They totally surrendered their lives to Krishna. They couldn’t think of anything but Krishna, just by hearing about Him. And now… don’t try to see God but try to serve Krishna so that He is pleased to see you. Now, not only are they going to see Krishna personally after longing and separation in loving service but they are actually going to be offering Him the food that they made.

What anticipation. What was in their hearts, what was in their minds as they were carrying the heavy baskets and roaming through the forest, just anticipating at any moment Krishna is going to accept our lives, through this offering of foods, we are going to surrender our hearts, our souls, our lives. And then suddenly, in a little clearing in the forest, near the bank of the Yamuna, there was Krishna, standing with his beautiful complexion like a monsoon cloud, decorated with the minerals and the flowers and the herbs of the Vrindavan forest. He had lilies, over His ears. One hand, He was twirling a lotus flower and the other arm was resting on one of His friends. They gazed upon this Darshan of Krishna and Krishna smiled upon them and gazed upon them. This was the verse that Ratnagarbha Acharya was reciting. At the time when Nimai was really trying to be a good grammar teacher. When Nimai heard that, His love for Krishna became so much uncontrollably ecstatic. He fell unconscious in the middle of His class and then He came to consciousness and tears like the river Ganga, like two river Gangas, that we see here, like that were pouring from His eyes. He was jumping, He was dancing, His limbs were trembling. His body was erupting in so many ways and He looked at Ratnagarbha Acharya and in His ecstasy of love He called out, “go on reciting, go on reciting” and reciprocation is at the heart of Bhakti Yoga. When Krishna feels the love of His devotee, He becomes enthused and when the devotees see Krishna becoming enthused, they become more enthused and this is an ever-increasing relationship. So as Ratnagarbha was chanting, seeing how Lord Chaitanya was appreciating his chanting, going into ecstatic love, it was so contagious, Ratnagarbha’s love was increasing as he was chanting. As he was singing another verse, Lord Chaitanya would be crying and jumping and dancing and falling and waking up and crying out, “go on reciting, go on reciting” and this went on for a long time. This is in the middle of the class. All the students were watching. They didn’t know what to do. And then Gadadhara Pandit saw what was going on and he told Ratnagarbha Acharya, “please stop reciting, please stop” and after some time Lord Chaitanya came into external consciousness.

Then He was just glorifying Krishna’s names. One of the students asked Him a question, He said, “does anyone have any question?” He said, “please explain Datu”, which means like verbal roots. Verbal roots, the root of action. Lord Chaitanya said, “the Datu, the root of all existence is Krishna.” He said, “the root of life, because Krishna is in the heart of every living being because every living being is a part and parcel of Krishna. Because of Krishna’s presence in the heart, the body is alive. The very source of life which gives us all ability for sentient perception, the ability to hate, the ability to love, the whole concept of life is all based on the Datu of Krishna’s presence within the heart and when Krishna leaves the body, the body is just a dead corpse. Even a great king who has such beauty, power, wealth, so attractive, but when that Datu, when that verbal root of Krishna leaves that King’s body, he is just an ugly, dead corpse and even a son who loves him, who idolises him, who has so much pride in him, he lights his body on fire or buries him under the ground. Without Krishna there is no life, Datu, the verb, the root of all, of everyone, of everything is Krishna so we should just chant Krishna’s names. We should never forget Krishna, we should worship Krishna at every moment, whether we are sleeping or eating or walking or running, we should never stop chanting the Holy Names of Krishna, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare.”

He kept speaking like this for hours. Then He came to external consciousness, then He saw His students, they were totally bewildered and Lord Chaitanya became, according to Vrindavan Das Thakura, He became a little ashamed. He said, “what did I just teach you?” They said, “we don’t know.” He said, “well did you ask questions?” They said, “we asked questions.” Nimai said, “well, what did I say?” They said, “everything You said was correct, everything You said was perfect, but…” He said, “well what was it?” The students were one by one telling, “You were talking about Krishna, that Krishna is the source of everything, that Krishna is the root of everything, any question we asked You, all You did was glorify Krishna’s name and express, and emphasise that there is no other purpose of life, there is no other purpose of the scripture, there is no other purpose for anyone, anywhere, than to love Krishna and to chant His names. He said, “I was saying like that?” They said, Yes.” He said, “what else?” They said, “Ratnagarbha Acharya, he was singing Srimad Bhagavatam and as soon as You heard the description of Krishna, You started dancing and crying and we bathe in the Ganga, but now we saw Gangas coming out of Your eyes. We have never seen anything like this. How You were trembling, how your teeth were chattering and how sometimes Your body would become as stiff as a pillar, sometimes it would became as soft as butter, You were howling the name of Krishna for the last nine hours. You have been explaining to us nothing except Krishna’s names.” Lord Chaitanya said, “well, why didn’t you stop Me?” They said, “because everything You are saying is right, everything You are saying is correct. We know it’s correct, we know You are speaking the very essence of the scriptures, the very essence of every word, the very essence of every verse, the very essence of life is Krishna and we can love Krishna by chanting Krishna’s names. We know that’s the perfection, that is something that nobody can debate, nobody can argue, we have complete faith in what You are saying. But that’s not what we have come here to study.”

Lord Chaitanya became very quiet. He said, “I am sorry, I can’t talk about anything except Krishna. Where is Krishna? Love for Krishna. There is nothing else to be achieved in this world or anywhere.” He said, “I can no longer teach the lessons of grammar on scholastics any longer. Krishna has stolen My heart. Krishna has stolen My mind. Krishna has stolen My life. Now I give You permission, you can go to any other teacher and learn from him but I can no longer teach.” Then Lord Chaitanya wrapped up His books, tied them together and said, “I will no longer teach.” The students started to cry, incessantly, they were all weeping and crying. He stole their hearts. They all said, “after having a teacher like You, how possibly could we ever consider having any other teacher? Whatever You say is true. We know, this is the essence of life, Krishna’s names. We want to continue to learn from You” and then all the students wrapped up their books and tied them up and said, “we are finished with these studies.” And at this moment, the scholarly pastimes of Lord Chaitanya concluded and the Sankirtan pastimes were about to begin.

Lord Chaitanya again was glorifying the names of Krishna and the students asked, “please tell us how should we chant the names of Krishna?” Lord Chaitanya gave them a very sweet Kirtan. He said repeat after Me, ‘Hari Haraye Namah Krishna Yadavaye Namah, Gopal Govind Ram Sri Madhusudana.’ Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. Nitai Gaur Hari bol, Hari bol Hari bol, Hari bol. Gaur Premanande, Hari Hari Bol. As the students were chanting and Lord Chaitanya was chanting, Lord Chaitanya was teaching, He began to clap as they were chanting and all the students started clapping. Lord Chaitanya was dancing and clapping and they all started getting up and dancing and clapping and please understand He had thousands of students. He invested within all their hearts His ecstatic love. Now these grammar students were chanting tumultuously. It spread throughout Navadweep this loud Kirtan and the devotees like Adwaita and Srivasa, Gadadhara, they were so happy. It was usually just their Kirtans but now they are seeing thousands of people, students, people of Navadweep chanting, it was so attractive. So many of the people of Navadweep were coming from all directions, it was mystifying, all these children chanting. Thousands and thousands more were joining in the Kirtan and the devotees came crying with such compassion that yes! Mahaprabhu Guaranga has established the Sankirtan movement in Navadweep and He will flood the world with this Kirtan. This was the beginning of the Sankirtan movement.

Adwaita Acharya, by his prayers, by his loud invitation for Krishna to appear, for years he was crying for Krishna to appear to show compassion to the people of this world. Lord Chaitanya, along with Gadadhara went to Adwaita’s house here in Navadweep. Sri Adwaita Acharya was performing Puja, worshipping His Deity on the altar. Now Lord Gauranga, He loved Bhakti, He loved love for Krishna more than anything and everything. When he saw Adwaita Acharya chanting hymns and worshipping with Tulasi leaves and water his Shaligrama Shila Deity, Lord Chaitanya was so deeply moved by Adwaita’s love that He sighed out Hari! and fell unconscious. Now, Adwaita Acharya is the age of Lord Chaitanya’s grandfather, he came and now he understood that what he was praying for, who he was praying for has been fulfilled. It was not revealed to Adwaita Acharya until this moment. Lord Chaitanya was laying there unconscious and right in front of Gadadhara, Adwaita offers his dandavats repeatedly. He puts his head on Lord Chaitanya’s feet. He starts putting oils and fragrances on Lord Chaitanya’s feet. He offers incense, garlands, deep, lamps, a fire. He offered prayers, he was crying again worshipping Lord Chaitanya’s feet and Gadadhara Pandit was really confused because he didn’t know that Lord Chaitanya was Krishna. He was just his best friend. Gadadhara Pandit said to Adwaita, “it is not proper that you should be doing this for this little boy” and Adwaita said, “how long will you be under the misconception that Nimai is just a little boy?” At that moment Gadadhara Pandit understood, the Supreme Absolute truth Krishna has appeared as Lord Gauranga.

When Lord Chaitanya came back to consciousness, He was servant of the servant of the servant. He started offering His prayers to Adwaita Acharya, offering prayers for his devotion, his Puja, his compassion, begging Adwaita Acharya for his blessings. Lord Chaitanya was repeatedly offering obeisances to Adwaita Acharya and begging, “you are a great devotee its only by your blessings and the blessings of all the devotees that I can possibly ever achieve Krishna, please bless Me. From that time, Lord Chaitanya loved to serve the devotees. This is how the Sankirtan movement began. When Lord Chaitanya would be walking along the bathing ghat, He would see the devotees washing their clothes. He would come, take their clothes and finish washing for them. He put the clothes in the Ganga and he squeezed them out and dried them. After drying them, He would fold them and He would carry them back to the house for the devotee. The devotee said, “no, no You should not do this, You are such a great Brahman and You are such a great scholar, now You are such a great devotee and You are Krishna, You shouldn’t be doing this for me. Let me do it myself, I always do it.” But Nimai with such humility and such respect, wouldn’t let them do. If somebody needed Tilak, He would run and get Tilak and bring it to them. If someone needed some Kusha grass to sit on, to do their Puja, He would get a Kusha grass and sit. Anything the devotees…He would see. With His intuition, anything the devotees wanted, most menial services, if someone was carrying something from the marketplace to their home, He would come and take it from their hands and carry it all the way to their homes for them. Lord Chaitanya wanted to teach us by His own example that we cannot really be devotees, we cannot really serve our Gurus, we cannot really chant the Holy Names of the Lord in such a way that Krishna is pleased unless we sincerely strive to adopt this mood of das das das anudas, of being the servant of the servant of the servant.

When the devotees would see Lord Chaitanya’s unparalleled ecstatic love for Krishna, He always approached the devotees with such humility, He said, “I am only connected to Krishna because you have prayed for Me. Its only because of your blessings that Krishna has saved Me from My life of wastefulness, futility.” He would touch the feet of each devotee, “because you have prayed for Me, Krishna has blessed Me.” And He was speaking from His heart. The devotees were so proud, so happy. They said, “yes, we have been praying for years and years because with Your power, with Your beauty, with Your greatness, with Your influence, You can save the world from the suffering and the miseries of this material existence. You can fill the world with the Holy Names what we cannot do. You can fill the world with kirtan.” Lord Chaitanya said, “its only possible with your blessings. I never ever want to give up your association” and the devotees, because He was asking for blessings, they were blessing Him, they were showering so many blessings upon Him and all those blessings was that He would show compassion to all the people who were miserably forgetful of Krishna in this world and in this way, established on this principle of being servant of the servant of the servant of the Vaishnavas, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the devotees from that day on, practically, throughout the day and throughout the night, they were filling the world with the Holy Names. Sachi Mata was amazed, in the day, in the night, Lord Chaitanya, Gadadhara, Srivasa, all the devotees were always chanting, ecstatically chanting, fearlessly chanting, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. We will continue tomorrow.




Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.