Tag Archive | Practical Spiritual lessons

For Lord Sri Balaram’s Appearance Day


Sri Balabhadra-stava-raja
The King of Prayers to Lord Balarama
>From Chp13, Sri Garga Samhita

Text 1

duryodhana uvaca

stotram sri-baladevasya
pradvipaka maha-mune
vada mam krpaya saksat
sarva-siddhi-pradayakam

Duryodhana said: O Pradvipaka, O great sage, please kindly tell me the prayer of Lord Balarama, which grants all perfection.

Text 2

sri-pradvipaka uvaca

stava-rajam tu ramasya
vedavyasa-krtam subham
sarva-siddhi-pradam rajan
chrnu kaivalyadam nrnam

Sri Pradvipaka Muni said: O king, please hear the regal and beautiful prayer of Lord Balarama, a prayer that brings liberation and all perfection.

Text 3

devadi-deva bhagavan
kama-pala namo ‘stu te
namo ‘nantaya sesaya
saksad-ramaya te namah

O master of the demigods, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O fulfiller of desires, obeisances to You! O Lord Ananta Sesa, obeisances to You! O Lord Balarama, obeisances to You!

Text 4

dhara-dharaya purnaya
sva-dhamne sira-panaye
sahasra-sirase nityam
namah sankarsanaya te

O Lord who maintains the earth, O glorious Lord, O perfect and complete Lord, O Lord who holds a plow in Your hand, O Lord who has a thousand heads, O Lord Sankarsana, eternal obeisances to You!

Text 5

revati-ramana tvam vai
baladevacyutagraja
halayudha pralamba-ghna
pahi mam purusottama

O husband of Revati, O Lord Balarama, O elder brother of Lord Krsna, O Lord who holds a plow-weapon, O killer of Pralambasura, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, please protect me!

Text 6

balaya balabhadraya
talankaya namo namah
nilambaraya gauraya
rauhineyaya te namah

O Lord Balarama, who carries a palm-tree flag, obeisances to You! O son of Rohini, O fair-complexioned Lord dressed in blue garments, obeisances to You!

Text 7

dhenukarir mustikarih
kutarir balvalantakah
rukmy-arih kupakarnarih
kumbhandaris tvam eva hi

You are the enemy of Dhenuka, the enemy of Mustika, the enemy of Kuta, the killer of Balvala, the enemy of Rukmi, the enemy of Kupakarna, and the enemy of Kumbhanda.

Text 8

kalindi-bhedano ‘si tvam
hastinapura-karsakah
dvividarir yadavendro
vraja-mandala-mandanah

You are the Lord who broke the Yamuna and dragged Hastinapura. You are the enemy of Dvivida. You are the king of the Yadavas. You are the ornament of Vraja’s circle.

Text 9

kamsa-bhratr-prahantasi
tirtha-yatra-karah prabhuh
duryodhana-guruh saksat
pahi pahi prabho tv atah

You are the killer of Kamsa’s brothers. You are the supreme master, the Lord who went on pilgrimage, and Duryodhana’s guru. O master, please protect me! Please protect me!

Text 10

jaya jayacyuta-deva parat para
svayam ananta-dig-anta-gata-sruta
sura-munindra-phanindra-caraya te
musaline baline haline namah

O infallible Lord, greater than the greatest, O Lord whose glories are heard in all directions without limit, glory to You! Glory to You! O Lord served by the demigods, the kings of the sages, and the kings of the serpents, O powerful Lord who holds a plow and a club, obeisances to You!

Text 11

yah pathet satatam stavanam narah
sa tu hareh paramam padam avrajet
jagati sarva-balam tv ari-mardanam
bhavati tasya dhanam sva-janam dhanam

A person who regularly recites this prayer attains Lord Hari’s transcendental abode. All the strength in the universe is his. He crushes his enemies. He attains great wealth and a great dynasty.

Varuni Beverage for Lord Balaram

Small amount:

7 litres Milk
6 litres Yogurt
1 litre Cream
5 kg Runny Honey
1 kg White Sugar
1/2 bottle Rose water  (7 Roses brand is very nice from Mumbai – 7oz)

Larger amount:

25 litres Milk
15 litres Yogurt
3 litres Cream
10 kg Runny Honey
3 kg White Sugar
1 bottle Rose Water

For Lord Nityananda’s Appearance Day

The Magnanimous Nature of Sri Nityananda Prabhu

by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja

Today is the appearance day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. He is supposed to be thenityananda incarnation of Baladeva in Vrajamandala. Narottama das Thakur says ‘Balaram haila Nitai’. Sanatana Goswami also mentions Nityananda Prabhu as the incarnation of Baladeva in Vrndavana, but some persons within the Gaudiya sampradaya preach that Nityananda Prabhu is the incarnation of Radharani.

So, a vehement protest is given from the side of the Gaudiya Math and we cannot recognize them as the true followers of Gaudiya Vaisnava faith and Mahaprabhu. Nityananda Prabhu took His birth in the district of Virbhum on the Western side of Katwa, north west of Ekachakra, where the Pandavas in disguise lived for sometime.

Nearby is also shown a tree where the Bakaraksasa was killed by Bhimasena. In Ekachakra near Garbhavasa and many other places, we can trace the pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu.

Nityananda Prabhu’s son establised a temple nearby, and Sri Murtis were installed by Him. About two hundred years ago there was a great storm in that area and many ancient arrangements were devastated. A big Zamindar and devotee of the Gaudiya Sampradaya came and restored the puja, the worshipping arrangements at Virachandrapura. All were desolated at that time.

Nityananda Prabhu’s mother’s name was Padmavati, and His father’s name was Hadai Pandit. Ojha was their title although now we do not find any such title.

When Nityananda Prabhu was about 12 years old one sannyasi came and begged Hadai Pandit for his son “I want your son.” The sannyasi came and begged for the child, only one son, and son like Nityananda Prabhu who was very charming. It was almost impossible to live bidding goodbye to such a son, but what to do? A sannyasi has come and asked for him and begging they could not avoid; they could not avoid the sannyasi, they had to give their only son to him. We are told, that sannyasi was no other than Sri Madhavendra Puri, the guru of Iswara Puri, Advaita Acharya, and Pundarika Vidyanidhi. That sannyasi came and took Nityananda Prabhu away from His house when he was only 12 years old; and Nityananda Prabhu wandered with him through the whole of India, visiting all the holy places.

Mahaprabhu did not visit so many holy places. He generally travelled through the south of India, not northern India entirely, only Vrndavana and Prayag. Dvaraka and Badrinarayana were excluded by Mahaprabhu, but Nityananda Prabhu visited all the holy places that exist in India. After Madhavendra Puri disappeared, he was wandering in the holy places. In the meantime Mahaprabhu coming back from Gaya began his Sankirtana Lila in Nabadwipa.

Nityananda Prabhu was wandering here and there and lastly he went to Vrndavana. He was searching for something because of His inner identification with that of Baladeva. When Krsna came he was feeling some tendency of attraction towards him. In the last period, he began searching in Vrndavana very scrutinizingly but did not find that. Then he got some inspiration, “Where to find Krsna?” ‘He is now in Nabadwip,’ “I shall go there,” with this inspiration in his heart he came to Navadwipa Dhama.

Mahaprabhu had already begun his sankirtana movement, and he had a dream at night that someone came in a chariot and at the peak of the chariot there was a palm tree; and he is searching, “Where is Nimai pandit’s house? Where is Nimai Pandit’s house?” Someone then said, “Here is Nimai Pandit’s house.” Mahaprabhu then told to the devotees, “A great personage has come here to Nabadwipa Dhama last night. You (Srivasa and others) try to find out that great person.” The followers tried their best, they searched in every nook and corner but could not find Nityananda Prabhu. They reported to Mahaprabhu “we tried our best but could not trace any noble person, any saint, or any big man.

“Then Mahaprabhu told, ‘Let us try with the followers.” He then went straight to the southern side of Nandana Acharya’s Bhavan. Mahaprabhu went directly to a particular house which is known as Nandana Acharya’s house, and there they found a new gentleman, stout and strong, and golden in appearance, sitting on the veranda of that house. The devotees of Mahaprabhu could then understand him to be the man of whom Sri Gaurangadeva was telling about. He was sitting there in red robes, all others were white dressed. Someone then chanted some Bhagavata sloka, and so many spiritual symptoms gradually appeared in his body.

They could then understand what a great man he is for he was filled with divine love. He was the agreed personage and gradually coming in intimate connection with him they could understand that he was Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Outwardly his movements were not like a scholarly person, or an ordinary man; he was surcharged with a high type of energy and divinity coming forth from his complexion.

Mahaprabhu gradually began preaching, Haridasa Thakura and Nityananda Prabhu were both given orders. “Go from door to door and request them to leave everything aside and take the name of Krsna. Whomever you may meet going from door to door, approach and ask them to take the name of Krsna leaving aside everything else.” At that time Nabadwip Dhama was mostly filled with trantrics, that is the worship of Sakti Devi and Maya Devi.

“This Maya is disturbing us, so we must take shelter under her feet. When she will be satisfied then she will loosen, open the door and we will get out and become Siva. By nature, by birth, jiva means Siva, Siva means the master of Maya. We are now in the clutches of Maya, misunderstanding. When the goddess of misunderstanding is satisfied with us, she will then withdraw and we shall find a door out, we shall go to the other side.

There are so many liberated souls there and we shall join them. They are all enjoying the position of Siva, the master of Maya. Maya cannot force them to do anything and everything as she wills, rather she serves her masters. Maya serves Siva, the liberated souls. Maya serves them though in the relativity of Maya, but they cannot control so they render some service to the liberated souls and they are known as Siva. Pasa baddho bhavet jiva pasa mukta Sadasiva.

When within bondage he is jiva, a fallen soul, when he is outside the bondage of this Maya, this misunderstanding, then he’s always Siva. He can then move here and there at his sweet will and Maya cannot force him, rather she will come to serve him, and that is liberation. We shall then serve Maya devi, and the tantric process involves something, in this way she will be satisfied.

They use many things, they may drink wine and eat meats. They offer them to the deities Maya, Sakti and Kali. They also enjoy the women in different moods. They think that the application of mixing with ladies is such, that they will get liberation from the charm of the ladies. In this way in their process, they approve of the wine, the meat and the ladies it seems to be very harmful to us but these are the underlying principles of the tantric upasana.

In our method, our process of approaching these things which we feel temptation for, we shall get liberation from them. They come to attract us towards them but by a particular process we shall handle them. We shall be masters of those poisonous things, and at that time Navadwipa was filled with such persons.

When Mahaprabhu, Sri Gauranga begun his preaching attempt that everyone should give up everything and take to the name of Krsna, Narayana, he then said, “Not only will you, be out of Maya but you will attain positive life in Vaikuntha, in Vrndavana.” That is higher attainment, and what is to be attained by worshipping the sakti in the method they are following, that is reactionary and sometime again they will have to evolve. This is mentioned in the sastra, but not very extensively. If you are very particular, then you will have to see that in the relativity of this negative world; but it is not safe.

You must enter the positive world then you will be safe. That is not only mere liberation, emancipation from the opposite forces, but practical participation in the serving line, which is very pure. Not to be non-selfish, but must be God-centred, God-serviced. The positive world is there and that is full of pervasive happiness, and that we can attain only through service. Here we are an enjoying unit, an exploiting unit, but it must be given up to get out of the reactionary tendency of life; but we must not wait on the fence, for that is not a safe position.

Then again, that is not paying much because withdrawal from the negative side is not enough. There is a positive world and that is meant for a real high form of life, and that can be attained through service. Service is great, to sacrifice ones own interest, not for any part but for the whole, the absolute good, that is great. Nothing can be compared to that. It is calculative and automatic. To reach the automatic stage of service with love is high pay; so give up all these habits and these former engagements with a lower standard of worshipping, penance and all these things. “Die to Live.” A radical change must be welcome in life.

Life is worth living, life is worth living and it is only open to the human section. In other species it is impossible to get a glimpse of such high light and to begin that way of life, for there are only a very few human beings in the creation. What are the number of human bodies, very small compared to the whole of creation, and that is the door to heaven so you must try to have a positive life. He is Krsna, He is all attractive, He is beautiful, He is the highest reality, He is all accommodating and most charming.

Our life will receive its fulfillment if we can approach that Lord, especially by taking His Holy name. In this age of Kali a special sanction has been given to us that by taking the holy name with satsanga, with the real saints, then we can make progress, enter and approach that high line of preaching.

Nityananda Prabhu was a dynamo of energy and Haridasa Thakura could not follow, a little trouble to carry out the order of Mahaprabhu, what to do?

One day there were so many gunda type persons, they came with an attacking spirit, “You are disturbing us, we are not religious and you have come to preach religion to us; what right have you got? Why do you come to disturb us? As a big society we are following a particular creed, and you are so bold as to blame us for not been religious men. You have come with a new idea of religion and we are to accept that, you fools!

If again you come here you will be taught a good lesson.” In this way they were threatened, but Mahaprabhu still says you must go. Then one day they met Jagai and Madhai. Jagai and Madhai were from Brahmin birth but they did not have any care for religion. They were also entrusted with some administration in the Muslim Government. They had some connection with the Government and they themselves were gundas, although Brahmins by birth. They used to take anything and everything. They were a notorious pair of gundas, Jagadananda and Madhavananda.

Then one day they met him “Oh! You rogues, we have heard of you, you have come to create a new religion here – Never! If we find you again on the street you will receive a licking and will have to weep.” Anyhow, they were given such warning. Nityananda Prabhu had to report every day what progress they had made in their preaching campaign and he almost challenged Mahaprabhu. He said “our life was saved today from the worst pair in the whole of Navadwipa Dham, but if you can deliver them, then I shall think that you have really come to render some service.

They are the greatest rogues ever found in this area and must be converted. If you can do that then we shall say that you have got some power with some objective, and you will be able to do something.” Mahaprabhu felt, “If it is Krsna´s will then everything will be possible.” They again went out preaching and they met those two gundas, Haridasa Thakura coming back and Nityananda Prabhu stood courageously. There was an earthen pot cast away after used on the side of the way. It was taken and thrown on the head of Nityananda Prabhu and his forehead was cut, blood oozing, Nityananda Prabhu standing.

Some person came to Gaurangadeva saying that Nityananda Prabhu was wounded by the rogues. Mahaprabhu very enraged and excited came there. There was blood oozing, “Who has caused this wound on the body of Nityananda Prabhu? I shall finish the whole town, come forward” Mahaprabhu was besides Himself. Then Nityananda Prabhu came, “No! No! Don´t be excited my Lord, in this incarnation we are not to use any force; remember it.” Nityananda Prabhu then reminded Mahaprabhu.

In the meantime there another man approached and told “No, no! They are red-clad mendicants what fame is there in striking them. They are not wholly established rich men or party men, only red-clad sannyasis – there is no credit by killing them or beating them,” and they took Jagai and Madhai away. Nityananda Prabhu then appealed to Mahaprabhu. “What to do, this is not proper. In this age in this time at this juncture what have we come to do, use force? Never!”

In the meantime Madhai came to hit Nityananda Prabhu but Jagai saved him by just opposing him and Mahaprabhu turned around suddenly, “You Jagai, you have protected my Nityananda.” Mahaprabhu then embraced him and Jagai fell at his feet and began to cry “Hare Krsna.” Mental transformation came in Jagai, then Madhai who was standing there said, “for this deed we are two, such a sin, and Jagai´s condition is such,” In that atmosphere his transformation also began.

Then Nityananda Prabhu came to recognize that in the same place with similar persons, one will gain and the other will fail and so he must also be saved.

Then Mahaprabhu said, “Nityananda Prabhu himself is pleading for you, and so you Madhai, you should also be absolved,” Mahaprabhu then embraced him, he also fell, began to weep, and took the holy name Krsna, and there was wholesale conversion of these two great demons. There was within minutes an uproar in the town. “Who is this Nimai Pandita, a scholar, so far we can understand but he is endowed with supernatural power. These two great demons, whoever they came across, or whoever would see them would enter their homes and close their doors, such demoniac persons they were, and they were converted by Nimai Pandita within one hour, what miraculous power.”

So in this way Nimai Pandit, got some footing there. Nimai Pandit is not an ordinary, he is not merely a scholar but he is endowed with some supernatural power, original power. Nityananda Prabhu was famous from that time. Although he was hit on the forehead and blood oozed still he had so much of an extraordinary, patient, forbearing and affectionate heart, that he recommended that gunda who had caused him mischief. Nityananda Prabhu´s position was very safe and very high, a divine position from that time. Nityananda Prabhu has neither an exploiting nor enjoying mood, he is wholeself given to Krsna. Sanatana Goswami has given this in his commentary: In the rasa lila of Krsna, Krsna was enjoying all the gopis, at that time Balarama also had his separate rasa lila.

It is also mentioned in Bhagavatam and other puranas, that Krnsa had His rasa lila and that Baladeva also had his rasa lila, but Sanatana Goswami has given the meaning. That is very fine, very subtle and very difficult to understand. Baladeva continued rasa externally, but in his heart he was making Krsna to participate in that rasa. He was not the party to enjoy the gopis. He is aloof, he is aside, he is only performing, managing the rasa lila with the gopis and Krsna. He is not only indifferent but with so much serving tendency and wholeself serving attitude.

In Vrndavan mandala in vatsalya rasa and sakhya rasa, they also have marriages, they have their sons, but not in any enjoying mood. There is union of men and women but not in an enjoying mood, or then they will have to be left here in the material world. Both parties meet and are united in a serving mood, that is particularly another type of mood, never an enjoying mood, or then they are not to be allowed to enter that domain.

They will be thrown here in the land of exploitation. When they go through the door of emancipation, liberation and enter Vaikuntha, from there also the exploiting tendency is eliminated, what avoidance! They are outwardly participating but internally in a serving mood. It may be impossible to think but it is such, not only the human form but also the birds and beasts, they are also apparently mixing in an enjoying mood, but really their mood is of service attitude. Such a wholesale transformation has to be effected in ones heart, mind and body, before wholly attempting to enter into that domain.

So Hegel said, “Die to live”, if you really want to live in that plane then you will have to die wholesale as you think you are in this life as flesh blood and bones. It is of opposite type, the purity is there, it can be measured; it is not non-scientific but it is really scientific. It is the process of “die to live”! And love is there, the dying tendency for the object of love, that is love proper otherwise it is imitation, it is hypocracy, it is conspiracy to ones own suicidal attainment. The pure thing is that if we have got faith for such divine conception of life then we should come to Bhagavatam, the last gift in the sastric world of vedic literatures.

Vyasadeva´s last gift in the world of vedic literatures is Bhagavatam. The Bhagavatam is so high, so high, prithi vite yata katha dharma nam chole. Our Guru Maharaj´s translation dharmah projjhito kaitavo all the words and tales that are running in this world in the name of religion, Srimad Bhagavatam says all is false, all is false, all is tampered with and not pure, not pure! The pure type of religion is not yet spoken. It is there, all self-centered, the current is towards the centre, not only selflessness but self sacrificing, self forgiving, self forgetfulness, in that way we are to start, we are to start, we are to go.

Sri Nityananda Prabhu came and appealed, “Come to Gauranga, He is the depot, He is the dynamo to send you there very easily. He sang these names of Gauranga on the banks of the Ganges.“Bhaja Gauranga, kaha Gauranga, laha Gauranga nam je jan Gauranga bhaje se amar pran; all you people come and take refuge under the divine feet of Gauranga, give up everything and come fall at the feet of Gauranga. Take His name, remember Him and throw yourself wholly at His disposal. He is my own life, I consider Him to be my life, my soul, my everything.” Nityananda Prabhu saying this began to roll at the door of the householders “Householders! You must do this.” He is rolling and crying, “Accept Gauranga, you don´t know what great benefit you will receive by doing this.”

He is rolling in the dust at the door of the householders with such an appeal. He came to the ordinary masses to give them shelter at the lotus feet of Gauranga, that is Nityananda Prabhu. He came to give Mahaprabhu even to Jagai and Madhai and he appealed to all from door to door to accept Gaurangadeva. You do not know what will be your prospect in life, the highest prospect in life! Nityananda Prabhu is our only hope, He is so benevolent, so generous, so gracious, that very easily we can draw his attention and we can get his recommendation. Gaurangadeva will not be able to disregard his recommendation, and when we have got the grace of Gauranga then the Radha-Krsna lila is within our fists. Nityananda Prabhu´s grace means to get Mahaprabhu´s grace within our clutches and to get Mahaprabhu, means to get Radha-Govinda, Vrndavana, and then everything is within our fists.

sridhar_01

For Govardhan Puja: Govardhana-Dharan-Lila

The Lifting of Govardhana

by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja

The Original Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Himself has revealed the ontological aspects and glories of Sri Govardhana. It has been especially narrated in the most ancient history and civilization of India mentioned in the Rg Veda that Indra, the presiding deity of the clouds, was worshipped on the Earth so that crops could be grown and reanimated by rainfall. We hear from the Srimad-Bhagavatam that according to human tradition and custom, annual worship of Indra was introduced in Vraja-dhama so that there could be cultivation of land and protection of the cows. That was the only means of livelihood for the residents of Vraja-dhama.

Sri Krsna saw that His father Nanda Maharaja and other milkmen had collected many articles for the Indrayag (oblation ceremony for the worship of Indra). Sri Krsna asked His father about the utility of performing such a function. Nanda Maharaja said that if Indra, the presiding deity of the clouds was propitiated, there would be rainfall at the appropriate time. Thereby, paddy crops and grasses would be grown and that would be helpful for their livelihood and for the sustenance of the cows. Nanda Maharaja again said, If we neglect to perform our hereditary custom and duty, we will never get eternal welfare. After hearing this from His father and other milkmen, in order to infuriate Indra, Sri Krsna made the Vrajavasis (residents of Vraja) understand the futility of the worship of Indra and convinced them of the efficacy of worshipping Govardhana: Indra is a demigod without any hold over the fruits of actions. He cannot award bad fruit for a good action and good fruit for a bad action. Birth and death, happiness and affliction are due to the actions of the individual souls. Even worldly actions are the cause of enmity, friendship and indifference. Indra cannot undo the fruits of actions. Although cultivation, trade, protection of cows and money-lending are the livelihood of the vaisyas (trader class of society), the Vrajavasis have only accepted protection of the cows as their principal means of livelihood.

The residents of Vraja-dhama live in the forests and mountains; therefore, cities, crowded human habitation and houses are not good for them. Therefore, they should start an oblation function for the worship of the cows, brahmanas and mountains. Just as an unchaste lady who leaves her husband cannot get actual welfare by serving another person, similarly, the Vrajavasis cannot get actual welfare by serving others, leaving the service of Giriraja Govardhana Who is their actual shelter. Krsna advised the milkmen of Vraja-dhama to worship Giriraja Govardhana with all the articles collected for the Indrayag. He also advised them to bring milk, yoghurt and other milk products to cook different preparations of food, viz. Payasa (preparation of milk, rice and sugar), Mudgasupa (soup prepared from a kind of pigeon pea or pulse), Pistaka and Saskuli (sweet preparations made of rice, coconut, sugar and milk). Krsna also directed them in the method of worship of Giriraja Govardhana: It should be done by the ceremony of giving away cows and offering honorarium to the Vedic brahmanas who will perform the oblation. Brahmanas should be served with good preparations of food. After that, all others, including the Candalas (lowest caste), fallen persons and dogs should be served with appropriate offerings.

Cows should be served with fresh grass. After Govardhana-puja, everyone should be adorned with ornaments, good dresses and anointments and should sit down to honour prasada. Lastly, everyone should circumambulate Govardhana mountain with the cows, brahmanas and the Fire-god. Being enchanted and subdued by his deep parental affection, Nanda Maharaja worshipped Giriraja Govardhana and all the brahmanas properly with all the articles collected for the Indrayag, as per the desire of his beloved son Sri Krsna. After that, while serving the cows with grass and straw, Nanda Maharaja performed parikrama of Govardhana with all the gopas and gopis, with the cows leading in front.

All the gopas were adorned with beautiful ornaments and the gopis sitting on the bullock-carts performed Govardhana parikrama while constantly singing the glories of Krsna. To proclaim to the Vrajavasis that Giriraja Govardhana is non-different from Krsna, Sri Krsna repeatedly and loudly uttered the words, I am the mountain Govardhana, and began to eat all the offerings given to Govardhana by extending thousand of hands. In another Form of Gopala, the son of Nanda Maharaja, Krsna made obeisances to His own manifested Form of Govardhana. Sri Krsna Himself introduced the practice of making prostrated obeisances to Govardhana as well as the circumambulation of Govardhana. Those who disregard Govardhana will be killed by Him in the form of serpents, etc.

Devaraja Indra, the emperor of the demigods, became furious at the Vrajavasis for stopping the Indrayag. Indra oppressed the Vrajavasis by incessant heavy rainfall and a strong hailstorm-like cataclysm. All the Vrajavasis were severely distressed and took shelter of Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna then protected them by lifting Govardhana with His left hand. Later on, Devaraja Indra could understand his mistake and came to Krsna with the Surabhi cow. He worshipped Krsna and prayed to Him to forgive his offence. Giriraja Govardhana is identical with Krsna and He is also the foremost servitor of Krsna.

Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami prays to Giriraja Govardhana as follows:

giri-nrpa! haridasa-sreni-varyeti-nama
mrtam idam uditam sri-radhika-vaktra-candrat
vraja-nava-tilakatve kapta vedai sphutam me
nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana tvam
(Sri Govardhana-vasa-prarthana-dasakam
, verse 8)

O Gririraja Govardhana, when your nectarean name was uttered from the lotus lips of Srimati Radhika in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.21.18), ‘Hantayam adrir abala hari-dasa-varya’, i.e. ‘O simple-hearted innocent gopis, this mountain is foremost amongst all the servitors of Sri Hari,’ then you were consecrated by all the Vedas as the new beautiful tilaka (sandalpaste mark) of Vraja-dhama. I therefore pray to you to bestow me a dwelling place in your vicinity.

The Supreme Lord Sri Krsna stopped the worship of the demigods and introduced the worship of Govardhana, i.e. He introduced the service of Krsna and Krsna-bhaktas. One meaning of Govardhana is to enhance the sense-organs, so Govardhana-puja signifies the enhancement of the transcendental eternal spiritual sense-organs of Krsna and Krsna-bhaktas.

Since heaps of various items of cooked vegetable dishes were offered to Giriraja Govardhana in Govardhana-puja, this festival is also well-known as the Annakuta Festival. Sri Govardhana-dhari Gopala was originally installed by Vajra (the grandson of Krsna and son of Aniruddha). Due to Srila Madhavendra Puripada’s extraordinary pure devotion, Govardhana-dhari Gopala reappeared in Govardhana near the bank of Govinda-kunda. Madhavendra Puripada performed the Annakuta Festival in Kali-yuga. This topic is narrated in detail in the Caitanya-Caritamrta (Madhya-lila, chapter 4).

For Sri Murari Gupta ~ Disappearance

Sri Murari Gupta

murari-gupto hanuman
angadah shri-purandarah
yah shri-sugriva-namasid
govindananda eva sah

Murari Gupta was Hanuman in Ramachandra’s lila; Purandara was Angada and Govindananda Sugriva. (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 91)

The word gupta means “hidden”, so the name Murari Gupta indicates that Murari (Sri Chaitanya Deva) had secretly taken up permanent residence in his heart. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.10.31)

Murari Gupta took birth in a family of Ayurvedic physicians in the district of Sylhet.

Murari Gupta is a physician for the material disease. He was amongst the many associates of Mahaprabhu who appeared in Sylhet. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 1.2.35)

The names of his parents are unknown. He was somewhat older than Mahaprabhu. When his family moved from Sylhet to take up residence in Nabadwip, they lived in the same neighborhood as Sri Chaitanya, so Murari was Nimai’s companion in many of his childhood pastimes. It is also written in the Chaitanya Charitamrita that Murari observed Mahaprabhu’s childhood pastimes. His name is included in the Chaitanya Bhagavat’s list of associates who appeared prior to Mahaprabhu’s incarnation.

Hidden in Nabadwip, there were many who had previously taken birth at the Lord’s command. They included Sri Chandrasekhara, Jagadisa, Gopinath, Sriman, Murari, Sri Garuda and Ganga Das. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 1.2.98-99)

Murari’s Student Life in Nabadwip

Along with Mahaprabhu, he was also a student at Ganga Das Pandit’s Tol. When the Lord was engaged in his pastimes of learning and study, he would often engage Murari in joking and mock debate. Murari Gupta was amazed at Mahaprabhu’s wonderful intelligence and just the touch of his hand would so immerse him in ecstasy that he was early convinced that he was no ordinary human being.

One day, the Lord was pleased with the explanation which Murari Gupta gave him, one which he was able to give through the Lord’s grace. He touched Murari with his hand and his entire body was filled with ecstasy. Murari Gupta thought that this person can in no way be an ordinary human being. Can an ordinary human attain such scholarship so quickly? And his touch brings such ecstatic pleasure! (Chaitanya Bhagavat 1.10.49)

The Vaishnava’s ornament is humility. Mahaprabhu would melt when he saw the humility of Murari Gupta.

Murari Gupta, the twenty-first branch of the Chaitanya tree, was a storehouse of love. The Lord’s heart would melt when he saw Murari’s meekness and humility. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.10.49)

Mahaprabhu’s Special Mercy to Murari

When Mahaprabhu returned from Gaya, he saw Murari at the house of Shuklambar Brahmachari. Murari had heard of Mahaprabhu’s transformations from Sriman Pandit. Mahaprabhu was pleased with Murari and one day he gave him a vision of his form as the Varaha avatar; the Lord lifted Murari’s water jug on his nose as he gave a loud roar. Murari considered his life to have been fulfilled by this vision and he composed a hymn in glorification of the Lord. This event has been beautifully described by Vrindavan Das Thakur in the Chaitanya Bhagavat, Madhya-khanda, chapter 3.

Varaharupa-to-Murari-Gupta

The Lord took on the mood of Varaha in the house of Murari. The Lord climbed on his shoulders and danced in the courtyard. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.17.19)

Lord Gaurahari had the same kind of affection for Murari Gupta that Lord Ramachandra had for his servant, Hanuman. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.3.11) On the occasion of the 21-hour great manifestation (maha-prakasha) at Srivasa Angana, the Lord gave Murari a vision of himself as Ramachandra. When he saw his worshipable deity before him, Murari fainted. Then he glorified the Lord in a way which so pleased him that he gave a benediction to Murari which fulfilled all his desires.

He ordered Murari, “Look at my form”, and lo! Murari saw the form of Raghunatha directly before him. He saw the Lord of the Universe in the swarthy color of durba grass, sitting in the virasana, in the posture of a great bowman. He saw Sita and Lakshman standing on either side of him, and his army of monkeys surrounding him singing hymns of praise. It seemed to him that he was himself one of the monkeys, and as soon as he saw this, he fell down in a faint. The best of the physicians, Murari, lay unconscious on the ground, completely under Mahaprabhu’s spell. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.10.7-11)

On one occasion, when Mahaprabhu heard Murari Gupta recite the glories of Ramachandra, he wrote “the servant of Rama” on his forehead. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.17.61) On another occasion, Mahaprabhu displayed a four-armed Narayan form in the house of Srivasa, and began calling the name of Garuda. Murari Gupta heard the call, and giving a loud roar took the form of the king of birds. Mahaprabhu then climbed on his shoulders. This lila is described in the 20th chapter of the Madhya-khanda of Chaitanya Bhagavat, and in the 12th wave of Bhakti-ratnakara.

Murari and Nityananda Prabhu

At Srivasa’s house, Mahaprabhu taught the spiritual truths about himself, Nityananda Prabhu and matters of etiquette through Murari. One day, Murari Gupta came to Srivasa’s house. Upon arriving, he first paid obeisances to Mahaprabhu and then to Nityananda. Mahaprabhu said, “This is not correct.” Murari could not understand what he meant. That night when he returned home, he had a dream in which he saw Nityananda as Balaram, fanning Mahaprabhu/Krishna with a fly whisk. Murari then understood what Mahaprabhu had been telling him and from then on first paid obeisances to Nityananda and afterwards to Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur writes in his Gaudiya-bhashya, “Sri Murari was a worshiper of Balaram. Therefore to worship the Supreme Lord without first worshiping the guru and the jagad-guru is a mistake in sequence.”

The lotus-eyed Mahaprabhu was sitting down with the smiling Nityananda at his right hand side. Murari paid obeisances first to Nityananda and then to the feet of Vishvambhara. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.20.22-3)

The Lord Gives Murari His Pan

Mahaprabhu had great affection for Murari Gupta and so would give him his own pan, which Murari would eat with relish. When Mahaprabhu told Murari to wash his hands, Murari would simply wipe his hands on his head. It was at this time that Mahaprabhu suddenly began to criticize the false views of the Smarta Brahmins and Prakashananda’s mayavada.

The Lord said, “O foolish one, you will lose your caste status. My remnants are all over your body.” As he spoke, the Lord went into a trance in which he took on his identity as the Supreme Person. He ground his teeth and started to say something special, “There is a sannyasi named Prakashananda in Kashi who is cutting me into little bits. He teaches the Vedanta, but does not accept my form. I have caused him to become leprous, but still he does not understand. The fool does not realize that the unlimited universes are contained within my body, what arrogance that he should deny it! I tell you the truth Murari, for you are my servant: anyone who does not accept my form is bound for ruin.” (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.20.31-36)

Murari Cures the Lord’s Indigestion

The Lord is very happy to accept a devotee’s offering, no matter how it is made. When Murari returned home, he told his wife that he wished to eat. His devoted wife carefully prepared rice with ghee and gave it to her husband. But Murari, absorbed in contemplation on Krishna, took handful after handful of the food and threw it on the ground, offering it to the Lord in this way. The amazing thing is that even though Mahaprabhu was not physically present there at that time, he accepted the offering. The next day he came to Murari’s house and said to him, “I have come to you for medicine. You made me eat so much, insisting that I take and eat. Now I have indigestion. You must give me some water, that will be the remedy for my stomach problem.” Mahaprabhu took water from a jug in Murari’s house, drinking down its entire contents. Seeing this, Murari fainted and all the devotees began to cry. (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.20.69-71)

Murari would cure anyone who came to him, whether their disease was of the body or the soul. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.10.51)

Murari’s Fear of the Lord’s Departure

Murari Gupta analyzed the multiple incarnations of the Lord and came to the conclusion that in each one of the Lord’s appearances, before himself leaving, he arranged for his associates to leave also. Thus, Ramachandra destroyed Ravana to save Sita, but then he abandoned her. Krishna arranged for the destruction of the Yadus. Thus, Mahaprabhu too would inevitably be disappearing at a certain moment. He thought that it would be better for him to depart before that day arrived, for it would be too painful for him. For this reason, Murari purchased a sharp knife and kept it hidden in his home. The Lord knew of his intention and immediately came to his house and asked Murari to hand over the knife. Both the abovementioned lilas are found described in the Bhakti-ratnakara’s twelfth wave.

Murari Gupta would also go on the annual pilgrimage to see Mahaprabhu in Puri. Accompanied by his wife, he would feed Mahaprabhu many preparations. He would participate in the Rathayatra festival as a member of the third sankirtan group in which Mukunda Datta sang and Hari Das Thakur danced.

Murari’s Exclusive Devotion to Rama

Mahaprabhu taught the principle of devotion to one’s worshipable deity through Murari Gupta. One cannot advance in devotional service without a particular devotion to a worshipable deity, or ishta-devata. Murari was an incarnation of Hanuman, and he saw Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as Ramachandra. On one occasion, Mahaprabhu desired to test his loyalty to his worshipable deity Rama by telling him to worship Krishna. He explained to Murari that Krishna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the fountainhead of all the other incarnations. Because he was the ocean of all the devotional flavors, the joy to be had in worshiping Krishna could not be had in the service of any other form of the Lord. Murari promised Mahaprabhu that he would do as he advised and worship Krishna, but when he returned to his home, he could not give up the lotus feet of Ramachandra. Just the thought of it made him upset and he stayed awake the entire night. In the morning, he went to Mahaprabhu and fell at his feet with tears in his eyes. He humbly submitted to the Lord:

I have sold my head to Ramachandra. I cannot remove it from his feet, for as soon as I try, it causes me great pain. I cannot give up the lotus feet of Raghunatha, even though this means disobeying you. What can I do? O merciful one, please allow my to give up my life here before you rather than suffer this fate. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.15.149-151)

shrinathe janaki-nathe
cabhede paramatmani
tathapi mama sarvasvo
ramah kamala-locanah

Both Narayan, the husband of Lakshmi, and Ramachandra, the husband of Sita are equally the supreme personality of Godhead. Even so, the lotus-eyed Rama alone is everything to me.

Mahaprabhu was greatly satisfied to hear this exclusive devotional attitude to the worshipable deity. He said, “You are Hanuman himself, the eternal servant of Ramachandra. Indeed, why should you give up worshiping his feet?” Sri Jiva Goswami’s father Anupama was similarly devoted to Rama. Mahaprabhu compared him to Murari when Sanatan told him that Anupama was not able to give up worshiping Rama despite his brothers’ exhortations.

Mahaprabhu said, “Previously, I tested Murari Gupta and found him also to be devoted to Rama in the same way. That devotee who does not abandon his worshipable deity’s lotus feet is truly glorious. Glorious too is that Lord who does not abandon his devotee.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.4.45-46)

Murari Gupta disappeared on the same full-moon day as the autumn rasa-lila festival.

[Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj]

Originally posted on BVML.

For Nama Acarya Srila Hari Das Thakur Disappearance Day

The Loud Chanting of the Holy Names

Hari Das Thakur constantly chanted the Holy Name and called to the Lord in a loud voice. At that time, not many people were able to understand the value of this practice. Prior to Gauranga-sundara’s appearance, most people were simply interested in sense gratification and were inimical to devotion for Krishna and the chanting of his holy names. Advaita Acharya and Hari Das Thakur were saddened by this terrible situation. When the non-devotees heard them chanting loudly, they would say, “The Lord sleeps during the four months of the rainy season. If you call him out loud in this way, you will wake him up and that will be a grave offense. There will be famine in the country if you keep on with it. Some Brahmins have taken up this chanting business as a way of worshiping their own bellies, no doubt.” They would criticize Hari Das and Advaita by joking in this way. Even though such criticism pained Hari Das, he never stopped chanting Hare Krishna in a loud voice.

One day, a Brahmin from a village named Harinadi (in Jessore district) started a debate with Hari Das on this subject. He argued that the names of the Lord should be meditated upon and that there was no reason to chant them aloud. He wanted to know in which scripture it was stated that one should chant aloud. In answer to these questions, Hari Das Thakur gave a detailed account of the glories of the Holy Name. He said that loud chanting of the Holy Names was a hundred times more powerful than japa. Through the loud chanting of the Names, even the birds, animals and other creatures are also saved.

Animals, birds, insects and other creatures are unable to speak, but if they just hear the Holy Name, they can all cross over. If you chant the Holy Names silently, then you yourself will be saved, but if you chant aloud, then you will benefit others. Therefore, all the scriptures state that by the loud chanting of the Name, a hundred times greater result can be obtained.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 1.16.280-2)

japato harinamani sthane shata-gunadhikah
atmanam ca punaty uccair japan shrotnn punati ca

(Naradiya Purana)

Someone who chants the Holy Names aloud is a hundred times better than one who performs japa, because the one who chanting japa simply benefits himself, while the person who chants japa aloud not only does good for himself, but for all those who hear him as well.

Who is better, the person who earns money and spends it all on himself, or the one who uses his money to support a thousand others? Through japa, one takes care of his own spiritual life, while through ucca-sankirtan, all living beings are benefited. This is the reason for its being considered superior.

Even though he heard Hari Das quote scripture in support of his idea, the Brahmin from Harinadi village was unconvinced. Indeed, he became angry and began to verbally abuse Hari Das by bringing up his low birth. He said, “If everything that you say about the Holy Name is not found in scripture, then I will publicly cut off your nose and ear as a punishment.” As a result of this offensive behavior, the Brahmin contracted smallpox not long afterward and his own nose and ear fell off.

Hari Das Comes to Nabadwip

After this, Hari Das Thakur then went to live in Nabadwip out of a desire to be with pure devotees like Advaita Acharya. There he was a participant in the Lord’s sankirtan pastimes in the houses of Srivasa Pandit and Chandrasekhara Acharya. Mahaprabhu sent Hari Das and Nityananda Prabhu to go from door to door to beg people to chant the names of Krishna, to worship him and to study the Vaishnava scriptures.

One day, the Lord suddenly had an idea and he called Nityananda and Hari Das to tell them: “Listen, listen, Nityananda. Listen, Hari Das. I wish you to go and communicate my order to everyone. Go to every house and beg people to chant the names of Krishna, worship Krishna, study about Krishna. Other than this, say nothing and make others say nothing. At the end of the day, come here and tell me the results of your preaching. You will beg people in this way, and I will come and destroy those who do not comply with my discus in my hand.”
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.13.7-11)

Nityananda Prabhu and Hari Das Thakur followed the Lord’s order and began preaching everywhere in Nabadwip. One day they went up to two feared drunken bandits named Jagai and Madhai, and asked them to chant the Holy Name as the Lord had instructed them. Seeing their fallen condition, Nityananda became merciful toward them, but Jagai and Madhai were in such a state of intoxication that they simply became angry when they heard his appeal, and came forward to beat him and Hari Das up. Nityananda started to run away, but Hari Das being already quite advanced in age (58) was unable to keep up with him. Nevertheless, he somehow managed to escape with his life. Hari Das told Advaita Acharya about the day’s events, saying that he would not go out preaching with Nityananda any more, since his behavior was rash and unpredictable. The all-powerful Lord Nityananda’s running away is certainly a mysterious pastime, but it is to be remembered that he later went out on his own and managed to deliver the two rascals, Jagai and Madhai.

Hari Das Thakur also engaged in water sports with the Lord in Nabadwip. One day, overcome by a mood of love, the Lord tried to drown himself in the Ganges, and Hari Das and Nityananda jumped in to save him. They hid Mahaprabhu in the house of Nandana Acharya because of his wish for seclusion. When Advaita Acharya and the other devotees were feeling the distress of separation, they went and brought Srivasa there and reunited the devotees with the Lord.

When Mahaprabhu put on a play about Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes in the house of Chandrasekhara Acharya, Hari Das played the part of the town constable. He came onto the scene, dressed as a policeman, carrying a stick in his hand. The other actors in the play were Mahaprabhu as Adya shakti, Nityananda as an old cowherd woman, Advaita as the clown, Gadadhara Pandit as a cowherd girl, and Srivasa Pandit as Narada Muni. Hari Das’s duty in the play was to awaken everyone to the service of Krishna. He cried out, “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Srivasa will dance dressed as Narada Muni.” (Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.18.100)

When the Lord took his sankirtan party along the banks of the Bhagirathi, Hari Das joined him. Then Hari Das, the ocean of Krishna-rasa, on Mahaprabhu’s order, danced beautifully.
(Chaitanya Bhagavat 2.23.204)

The night before Mahaprabhu left to take sannyas, Hari Das was staying at his house. He and all the other devotees were desolated by the Lord’s intention to take the renounced order. When the Lord went to Puri. Hari Das went there not long afterwards to see the Rathayatra and never left.

Hari Das Thakur in Puri

When in Puri, though Hari Das was not officially banned from going into the Jagannath temple or the house of Kashi Mishra (where Mahaprabhu was staying), out of humility at his lowly birth, never went there. Rupa and Sanatan Goswamis also demonstrated a similar humility, even though they were born in a very high-caste Brahmin family. They considered themselves to be no better than mlecchas because of their long association with the Muslim court. They would stay with Hari Das when in Puri and not go for darshan of Jagannath or Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu himself would go to meet them.

Neither Hari Das, Rupa, nor Sanatan would go to the Jagannath temple. Mahaprabhu would go there to see the Upala-bhoga in the morning. He would then go to the place where they were staying and would visit them there. It was thus the Lord’s regular practice to meet whichever one of these three was staying in Puri at the time.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.1.63-65)

During Lord Jagannath’s absence from the temple (anavasara-kala), Mahaprabhu would feel separation so intensely that he would go to stay in Alalanath. When he heard the that more than 200 devotees had come from Bengal, he returned to Puri to meet them. When he did not see Hari Das Thakur, he inquired after him. Hari Das was there, but paying his obeisances at the side of the highway. The devotees went to Hari Das and told him that Mahaprabhu wanted to see him. Hari Das said,

”I am a low-born person who has no good qualities. I have no right to go near the temple. If I can find a solitary place to stay in some garden somewhere, then I will pass my time there alone. That way there is no danger that the servants of Jagannath will accidentally touch me. This is my wish.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.11.165-7)

The devotees came back to Mahaprabhu to report what Hari Das had said, and his wish pleased him. He arranged for a house in a solitary garden not far from his own place of worship at Kashi Mishra’s house. Kashi Mishra was happy to have the chance to serve the Lord by making these arrangements according to his order. The Lord went to talk to Hari Das and when he saw him paying his dandavats, lifted him from the ground and embraced him. When Hari Das said, “I am an untouchable. Lord, you should not touch me”, the Lord answered:

”I touch you just to become purified, for your standard of purification is non-existent in me. At every moment you are bathing in the water of every holy place; at every moment you are performing all sacrifices, penances and charity. You constantly are performing the pious activity of studying the Veda. You are more purifying than any Brahmin or sannyasi.”

After saying this, the Lord took him to the flower garden and gave him the solitary room there as a place to stay. “Stay here and chant the Holy Names. I will come every day to visit you here. You can see the discus on the pinnacle of the temple tower from here. When you see it, pay your obeisances to it. I will arrange for Jagannath’s prasad to be brought to you here.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.11.189-95)

This flower garden is now known by the name, Siddha Bakula. Previously it was named Mudra Math. There is a legend connected with the Siddha Bakula tree. The local pandas have a tradition of giving the twig that is used to clean Jagannath’s teeth as prasad to some special person. One day they gave a twig from a bakula tree that had so been used as a gift to Mahaprabhu. The Lord planted this twig in the ground at Hari Das’s place of bhajan. This twig eventually grew into a large tree. It is said that the Lord planted the twig on the first day of the month of Chaitra also known as Mahavishuva Sankranti, i.e. the day when the sun enters into the sign of Aries. For this reason, a festival named the Danta-kashtha-ropana Mahotsava is held on that day ever year to celebrate the occasion.

Srila Hari Das Thakur participated in the kirtan during the Rathayatra festival as the main dancer in one of the seven kirtan sampradayas. He was in the third group, which had Mukunda Datta as its lead singer.

Hari Das’s Teachings on the Holy Name

Mahaprabhu taught the glories of the Holy Name through Hari Das Thakur. One day, the Lord was feeling particularly unhappy about the lot of the conditioned souls. He came to Siddha Bakula and said to the Thakur: “Hari Das, in the age of Kali, the non-Hindus kill the cow and are inimical to the Brahmins. How will these Muslims ever be saved?” Hari Das answered, “Don’t be distressed at seeing the pitiable condition of the Muslims. They will be liberated by the namabhasa, the shadow of the Holy Name, whenever they say haram. In the Nrisingha-purana it is said, [1]

damshtri-dantahato mleccho harameti punah punah
uktvapi muktim apnoti kim punah shraddhaya grinan

When wounded by the tusks of a boar, the Muslim cries out “Harama, Harama!” again and again. If he attains liberation by so doing, then just think what will be the result if one chants the name of Rama with faith.

Bhaktivinoda Thakur says that if any Muslim dies while saying this word, he is immediately liberated. This is namabhasa or nama-sanketa because the speaker makes the correct sound but does not intend the Lord Rama. Therefore, it is impossible to say just what fruits await the sincere and faithful chanter. The example is given of Ajamila who called the name of his son Narayan as he was dying, and through this namabhasa he attained liberation.

When he heard this explanation, Mahaprabhu was very pleased, but again he asked Hari Das, “How will the dumb animals and the trees, etc., be delivered?” Hari Das answered:

”You yourself have instituted the loud chanting of the Holy Names which both the moving and non-moving creatures can hear. The mobile creatures are freed from their bondage to repeated birth and death by hearing the names. As for the immobile, they perform kirtan themselves by echoing the sounds. By your indescribable mercy, the entire universe is engaged in kirtan and the mobile and immobile beings dance when they hear it… You preached the loud chanting of the Holy Names by which the repeated births and deaths of all living beings come to an end.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.3.68-71, 75)

The Disappearance of Hari Das Thakur

Rupa and Sanatan Goswami first met Hari Das when he accompanied Mahaprabhu on his aborted first trip to Vrindavan, when he visited Ramakeli. They thus knew each others’ virtues quite well. One day in Puri, Hari Das recited the glories of Sanatan Goswami, then Sanatan returned the favor by praising him as follows:

”Who else is there who is your equal? You are the most fortunate amongst Mahaprabhu’s entourage. The purpose of the Lord’s incarnation is the preaching of the Holy Name; this personal work of the Lord was done through you. Every single day you chant three lakhs of Holy Names and you glorify the Holy Name to everyone you meet. Some people act properly but do not deliver the message of Krishna consciousness, while others preach but do not meet the behavioral standards. You, sir, both demonstrate ideal behavior as well as preaching. You are the guru of all and the perfect human being in this universe.”
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.4.99-103)

In the eleventh chapter of the Chaitanya Charitamrita’s Antya-lila, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami describes the disappearance of Hari Das Thakur in a most captivating way. It should be read in its entirety on the occasion of Hari Das’s disappearance day. A brief summary is given here:

namami hari dasam tam caitanyam tam ca tat-prabhum
samsthitam api yan-murtim skandhe kritva nanarta yah

I offer my obeisances to Hari Das as well as to his worshipable lord, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who placed his body on his shoulders and danced.

As Hari Das Thakur grew old, it became more and more difficult for him to maintain his vow of chanting three lakhs of names every day. Thus, he had no appetite when Govinda would come with Jagannath’s prasad and only to avoid disrespecting the holy food would he eat a single grain of rice. Out of his affection for Hari Das, Mahaprabhu told him that he was a perfected being and that there was no need for him to show such attachment for devotional service in practice; he could thus reduce the number of Holy Names that he chanted every day. Hari Das then revealed what was really bothering him.

He knew that Mahaprabhu would soon be ending his pastimes in this world and he wished to leave before him. The affectionate Lord granted him his wish, even though he felt desolate at the prospect of losing his company.

Hari Das Thakur sat in front of Mahaprabhu who was standing in front of him. Then, as the tears flowed from his eyes, he gazed at the Lord’s lotus face and took his lotus feet on his chest and, while chanting the names “Krishna Chaitanya”, voluntarily left his body like Bhishma.

The devotees became intoxicated by the kirtan which grew louder and louder, and the Lord lifted Hari Das’s body and started to dance around the courtyard. In the accompaniment of the loud singing of the Holy Names, he and the devotees took Hari Das’s remains to the beach. There they washed the body in the sea and then dug a hole in the sand where they placed it. Mahaprabhu was the first to throw sand into the samadhi. This is how the samadhi ritual of Hari Das Thakur was performed. By virtue of his presence, the seashore became a great place of pilgrimage.

Mahaprabhu circumambulated the burial place and then went personally to the Jagannath temple to beg for prasad for a feast in honor of Hari Das. Svarupa Damodar Goswami would not let Mahaprabhu carry the prasad himself, but took care of making all the arrangements himself. At the feast, all the devotees were given enough food to eat to their fill. In a mood of absorption in divine love, Mahaprabhu said to all the devotees:

”All those who witnessed the disappearance festival of Hari Das Thakur, who danced or sang the Holy Names there, who came to throw sand on his samadhi or took maha prasad on this occasion, will quickly attain Krishna. This is the fruit of seeing a great personality like Hari Das Thakur. The Supreme Lord was so merciful that he gave me his association, and now the independent Lord has wished to deprive me of it. When Hari Das decided that he wanted to leave, there was nothing I could do to keep him back. He left his body at the very moment that he desired to do so, just as we have heard that Bhishma did. Hari Das was the exemplar of humanity in this world, and now that he is gone, the world has lost a jewel. All glories to Hari Das Thakur! Chant the Lord’s names!” And having finished his eulogy, the Lord began once again to dance.
(Chaitanya Charitamrita 3.11.91-98)

Hari Das Thakur’s tirodhana-lila took place on the fourteenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Bhadra.

—-Excerpted from “Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj

For Krishna Janmashtami HH Srila Bodhayan Maharaj Video file from Quebec Canada 09/08/2012

For Lord Sri Balaram’s Appearance Day


Sri Balabhadra-stava-raja
The King of Prayers to Lord Balarama
>From Chp13, Sri Garga Samhita

Text 1

duryodhana uvaca

stotram sri-baladevasya
pradvipaka maha-mune
vada mam krpaya saksat
sarva-siddhi-pradayakam

Duryodhana said: O Pradvipaka, O great sage, please kindly tell me the prayer of Lord Balarama, which grants all perfection.

Text 2

sri-pradvipaka uvaca

stava-rajam tu ramasya
vedavyasa-krtam subham
sarva-siddhi-pradam rajan
chrnu kaivalyadam nrnam

Sri Pradvipaka Muni said: O king, please hear the regal and beautiful prayer of Lord Balarama, a prayer that brings liberation and all perfection.

Text 3

devadi-deva bhagavan
kama-pala namo ‘stu te
namo ‘nantaya sesaya
saksad-ramaya te namah

O master of the demigods, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O fulfiller of desires, obeisances to You! O Lord Ananta Sesa, obeisances to You! O Lord Balarama, obeisances to You!

Text 4

dhara-dharaya purnaya
sva-dhamne sira-panaye
sahasra-sirase nityam
namah sankarsanaya te

O Lord who maintains the earth, O glorious Lord, O perfect and complete Lord, O Lord who holds a plow in Your hand, O Lord who has a thousand heads, O Lord Sankarsana, eternal obeisances to You!

Text 5

revati-ramana tvam vai
baladevacyutagraja
halayudha pralamba-ghna
pahi mam purusottama

O husband of Revati, O Lord Balarama, O elder brother of Lord Krsna, O Lord who holds a plow-weapon, O killer of Pralambasura, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, please protect me!

Text 6

balaya balabhadraya
talankaya namo namah
nilambaraya gauraya
rauhineyaya te namah

O Lord Balarama, who carries a palm-tree flag, obeisances to You! O son of Rohini, O fair-complexioned Lord dressed in blue garments, obeisances to You!

Text 7

dhenukarir mustikarih
kutarir balvalantakah
rukmy-arih kupakarnarih
kumbhandaris tvam eva hi

You are the enemy of Dhenuka, the enemy of Mustika, the enemy of Kuta, the killer of Balvala, the enemy of Rukmi, the enemy of Kupakarna, and the enemy of Kumbhanda.

Text 8

kalindi-bhedano ‘si tvam
hastinapura-karsakah
dvividarir yadavendro
vraja-mandala-mandanah

You are the Lord who broke the Yamuna and dragged Hastinapura. You are the enemy of Dvivida. You are the king of the Yadavas. You are the ornament of Vraja’s circle.

Text 9

kamsa-bhratr-prahantasi
tirtha-yatra-karah prabhuh
duryodhana-guruh saksat
pahi pahi prabho tv atah

You are the killer of Kamsa’s brothers. You are the supreme master, the Lord who went on pilgrimage, and Duryodhana’s guru. O master, please protect me! Please protect me!

Text 10

jaya jayacyuta-deva parat para
svayam ananta-dig-anta-gata-sruta
sura-munindra-phanindra-caraya te
musaline baline haline namah

O infallible Lord, greater than the greatest, O Lord whose glories are heard in all directions without limit, glory to You! Glory to You! O Lord served by the demigods, the kings of the sages, and the kings of the serpents, O powerful Lord who holds a plow and a club, obeisances to You!

Text 11

yah pathet satatam stavanam narah
sa tu hareh paramam padam avrajet
jagati sarva-balam tv ari-mardanam
bhavati tasya dhanam sva-janam dhanam

A person who regularly recites this prayer attains Lord Hari’s transcendental abode. All the strength in the universe is his. He crushes his enemies. He attains great wealth and a great dynasty.

Varuni Beverage for Lord Balaram

Small amount:

7 litres Milk
6 litres Yogurt
1 litre Cream
5 kg Runny Honey
1 kg White Sugar
1/2 bottle Rose water  (7 Roses brand is very nice from Mumbai – 7oz)

Larger amount:

25 litres Milk
15 litres Yogurt
3 litres Cream
10 kg Runny Honey
3 kg White Sugar
1 bottle Rose Water