sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 8, Special Edition Dedicated to Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Posted: 25 November 2015
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Inspired by and under the guidance of
sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 8, Special Edition
Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
The Compassion of Śrī Caitanya-candra
On the auspicious occasion of
the 500th anniversary of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s visit to Vṛndāvana
A humble offering based on the teachings of
our supremely worshipful Śrīla Gurudeva,
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja,
by his insignificant servants
[At the time of presenting this article, the followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu have organized wonderful festivals to celebrate, with great enthusiasm and honour, the 500th anniversary of His coming to Vṛndāvana. In this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s real identity and glory will be remembered in Vṛndāvana for many years to come.
In these celebrations, we get a glimpse of the success of His prediction, ‘pṛthivīte āche jata nagarādi-grāma, sarvatra pracāra haibeka mora nāma – My holy name will be broadcast in every town and village of this Earth planet.’ During the present month of Kārtika, hundreds of faithful devotees from various parts of India and abroad have come to Śrī Vṛndāvana. Many of His followers have walked from Śrī Jagannātha Purī to Śrī Vṛndāvana following, the same route traversed by Him, carrying His deity form and performing kīrtana.
At Imlī-tālā (Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s famous baiṭhaka, or sitting place) and elsewhere in Vṛndāvana, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas are organizing festivals of hari-kathā and kīrtana. The honourable President of India, Śrī Pranab Mukharjee also came to Vṛndāvana in honour of this event and took darśana of the deity of Mahāprabhu, Amiya-Nimāī, temple in Gopīnātha Bazzār and also of the deity of Śrī Rādhā-ramaṇa.
All this bears testimony to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s prediction.
By the celebrations of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s 500th anniversary of visiting Vṛndāvana, an appreciation of His love for Vraja, His eagerness to reveal it, and His auspicious desire to propagate Vraja’s sublime devotional moods everywhere, through the medium of His associates and their ideal life and precepts, naturally awakens in the heart.
We have heard from śrauta-vāṇī, “bahiraṅga laiyā kare nāma-saṅkīrtana, antaraṅga laiyā kare premāsvādana – in public, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would perform nāma-saṅkīrtana, and privately, with His most intimate, internal associates, He would relish vraja-prema.” Although by appearing in this world and performing nāma-saṅkīrtana, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has bestowed, without any distinction, supreme auspiciousness upon all. Who among us can truly comprehend the glory of His kindness and compassion? This glory, which was oftentimes explained by our beloved Śrīla Gurudeva, is the subject of our deliberation below.]
Harmful and beneficial compassion
The living entities bound in the ocean of material existence misconstrue the meaning of the word ‘compassion’ (dayā), as a result of their own exploitive conception of the word. Their supposed compassion is entirely different from the compassion of Svayam Bhagavān Śrī Caitanya-deva.
Ordinary people revere those who satisfy the mundane senses of conditioned souls. They consider such compassion to be topmost. In their opinion, the four goals of human life – dharma (religiosity), artha (economic development), kāma(mundane enjoyment), and mokṣa (liberation from suffering) – are alone the supreme objects of attainment for the living entities. Thus, they consider that to help others compensate for their lacking in these four areas is the highest form of compassion.
On subtle analysis, it can be seen that the compassion displayed by those who are famed in this world for their munificence only intensifies the living entities’ tendency for mundane enjoyment. Just as pouring ghee onto a fire in order to put it out only serves to intensify it, the compassion that increases the conditioned souls’ taste for sensual pleasure is harmful. When the living entities’ desire to satisfy their senses increases, they forget the path to their own eternal well-being and become imprisoned within the jail of material energy (mahāmāyā): this world composed of the three modes.
The compassion that the karmīs, jñānīs and others of this world show to the living entities stems from conceptions of religiosity characterized by the desire for enjoyment (bhoga) and the desire for liberation (mokṣa). Thus, such compassion can never bring true auspiciousness to the living entities who are scorched by the threefold miseries. False compassion covers the inherent nature of the living entity. It is not an exaggeration to describe such compassion as destructive. However, Śrī Caitanya-deva’s compassion is not like this. In His amandodaya-dayā*, inauspiciousness is impossible.
* A-manda – nothing bad; udāya – gives rise; dayā – compassion. Compassion that exclusively awakens immense good fortune, without granting any insignificant results or causing any harm or loss, is called amandodāya-dayā.
Reversing the conditioned souls’ unnatural tendency to be against Bhagavān (bhagavad-vimukha) is the greatest and only duty of the compassionate class. Extracting a living entity from the stronghold of Mahāmāyā, and inclining him toward the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa (kṛṣṇa-sevonmukha), is to truly demonstrate munificence. This is because all living entities are inherently eternal servants of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and kṛṣṇa-prema is their ultimate goal.
The marvelousness of Śrī Caitanya-deva’s compassion
Bhagavān is adhokṣaja (transcendental); He cannot be known by the material senses. Likewise, His compassion is also transcendental; it cannot be perceived by the indulgent senses of conditioned souls.
Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī states in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta:
caitanya-candra dayā karaha vicāra
vicāra karile citte pābe camatkāra
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi-līlā, 8.15)
If one deliberates on the mercy of Śrī Caitanya-candra , his heart will be struck with wonder.
“Mahāprabhu śrī caitanya, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya – Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is none other than Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.” Only one who is well established in this tattva can realize the astonishing nature of Śrī Caitanya-deva’s compassion. And only such a person can manifest that unprecedented compassion within this world, for the auspiciousness of the living entities averse to Bhagavān. The marvelousness of Śrī Caitanya-deva’s compassion is not found in the compassion of any other incarnation of the Lord, and not even in the compassion of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa-candra Himself.
Śrī Caitanya-deva is more merciful than Śrī Kṛṣṇa
Svayaṁ Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa-candra says in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā (4.11) “ye yathā māṁ prapadyante, tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham – in whichever mood a person worships Me, I, in turn, reward them accordingly.”
Karmīs (fruitive workers) worship Śrī Kṛṣṇa through the performance of karma-yoga with a desire to enjoy happiness in this world and the next. The Lord grants them their desired reward. Understanding the pleasure of this world and the next to be insignificant, the jñānīs (seekers of empirical knowledge) worship the Lord with the sole desire of attaining liberation, and the Lord similarly grants them their desired object. But the devotees, not wanting anything for themselves, perform bhajana of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa only to attain that service which will bring Him happiness. Bhagavān, who is unconquerable, comes under the control of such devotees and grants them their due rewards.
However, the compassion of Śrī Gaurahari Śrī Caitanya-deva, the embodiment of magnanimity (audārya), is even more marvelous and astonishing than that of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. His compassion is so bounteous that He does not consider whether one is deserving or not. He does not hesitate for a moment to bestow kṛṣṇa-prema, which is difficult to obtain even for Lord Brahmā, upon those who have simply taken shelter of His feet.
uchalila prema-vanyā caudike veḓāya
strī, vṛddha, bālaka, yuvā, sabāre ḍubāya
sajjana, durjana, paṅgu, jaḓa, andha-gaṇa
prema-vanyāya ḍubāila jagatera jana
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi-līlā, 7.25–26)
The flood of prema initiated by Śrī Gaurahari flowed in all directions. It immersed the women, aged, children, youth, saintly, wicked, lame, blind, invalid, and all others in the world, in its waters.
Drenching the proud scholars
māyāvādī, karma-niṣṭha kutārkika-gaṇa
nindaka, pāsaṇḍī yata paḓuyā adhama
sei saba mahādakṣa dhāiyā palāila
sei vanyā tā-sabāre chũite nārila
tāhā dekhi’ mahāprabhu karena cintana
jagat ḍubāite āmi karilũ yatana
keha keha eḓāila, pratijñā haila bhaṅga
tā-sabā ḍubāite pātiba kichu raṅga
eta bali’ mane kichu kariyā vicāra
sannyāsa-āśrama prabhu kailā aṅgīkāra
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi-līlā, 7.29–33)
However, some impersonalists, fruitive workers, so called logicians, blasphemers, and atheistic students, cunningly avoided that flood of prema so as to remain untouched by it. Seeing this, the Lord thought, “I made a vow that I would drown the entire world in prema-rasa but this vow has been broken. Therefore, I shall certainly devise some way to inundate them all.” Thinking like this, the Lord accepted thesannyāsa order.
Before the supremely merciful Śrī Caitanya-deva appeared in this world, the natural propensity of the consciousness (cetana -vṛtti) – service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa – within the proud paṇḍitas who knew all śāstra, was covered. This was so because they were not able to perceive that the crest jewel of the glorious objective of human life is prema.
By Śrī Caitanya-deva’s appearance in this world, these arrogant paṇḍitas also obtained the qualification to have access to prema-bhakti imbued with the supremely radiant mellows of conjugal love (unnatojjvala-madhura-rasa). Even those who never performed yoga, meditation, mantra recitation, penance, prescribed regulative activity, Vedic study, virtuous practice, and so on, and even those who had not stopped performing sinful activities, joyfully attained the crest-jewel of human life’s attainments: kṛṣṇa-prema.
Śrī Caitanya-deva’s personal associate, Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara Prabhu, has described Śrī Caitanya-deva’s transcendental compassion in the verse he composed to offer Him praṇāma:
heloddhūnita-khedayā viśadayā pronmīlad-āmodayā
śāmyac-chāstra-vivādayā rasa-dayā cittārpitonmādayā
śaśvad-bhakti-vinodayā sa-madayā mādhurya-maryādayā
śrī-caitanya dayā-nidhe tava dayā bhūyād amandodayā
Śrī Caitanya-candrodya nātaka (8.14)
quoted in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 10.119)
O Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, ocean of compassion! Your mercy easily dispels all kinds of material lamentation by making the heart completely pure. It eclipses all kinds of mundane pleasures which are inferior to bhakti by awakening supreme transcendental bliss. Upon arising it settles all confusion arising from disparities among scriptures. It showers rasa, transcendental mellows thus causing transcendental madness appear in the heart. It perpetually stimulates natural inspiration for the delightfulness of bhakti. It accompanies the intoxicating jubilation of conjugal love, and it is the limit of the sweetness. May that most expansive, auspicious and novel compassion of Yours arise within me.
All scriptures, headed by the Vedas, are unable to fully describe the compassion of Śrī Gaurasundara, who is a receptacle of unlimited virtues. The sweetness of Śrī Gaurahari’s qualities is like an unlimited ocean. This ocean has such amazing power that, while trying to shine light on just one drop of it, the topmost yogīs, munis and demigods are unable to obtain satiation. Even four-headed Brahmā and five-headed Śiva are unable to do so. What to speak of them, even Ananta-deva himself, although performing unceasing kīrtana with his unlimited mouths, is unable to obtain satiation.
The pinnacle of all charity
Among Śrī Gaurasundara’s qualities of karuṇya (compassion), mādhurya(sweetness), audārya (abundant and overflowing munificence) and so on, the flow of munificence exceeds all others. It encompasses the flow of karunya and inundates the whole world with its forceful current.
Śrī Gaurasundara’s compassion makes insignificant the charity of the topmost benefactors in the unlimited universes throughout all four yugas, and it gives pre-eminence to the zenith of all charity: unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam; the mood of the maidservants of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. It is famous by the name mahā-vadānya, munificence to its superlative degree.
The astonishing nature of His compassion
His compassion causes one to realize an incomparable and boundless joy, wonder and astonishment, the likes of which cannot be found within any object in creation, nor within any creator or incarnation, nor even within the source of all avatāras Himself, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Gaurasundara’s compassion is replete with transcendental qualities. It bestows the gracious purity by the cessation of anarthas. It, endows one with the core axioms of bhakti-rasa and with the limit of transcendental sweetness (mādhurya).
The unprecedented speciality of Śrī Gaurasundara’s mercy-laden pastimes is such that in them, a recipient’s worthiness or unworthiness, or his being a kin or a stranger, is not considered. Nor does His compassion await the proper or improper time. By hearing the names of Śrī Kṛṣṇa issuing from Śrī Gaurasundara’s lotus mouth, by once seeing His exceptionally sweet form, by once offering praṇāma to His lotus feet, which bestow freedom from lamentation, fear and death, one instantly experiences the nectarean rasa of the prema.
The charm of Gaura’s svarūpa
Śrī Gaurāṅga-deva’s name is charming, His form is charming, His qualities are charming, His pastimes are charming, and His associates are charming. Śrī Gaurasundara is the essesnce of beauty and therefore, the very embodiment of beauty (saundarya). Śrī Gaurasundara’s nature is like nectar. He bestows the confidential essence of the treasure of the most nectarean prema.
The charm of Gaura’s name
There is not even an inkling of difference between the transcendental name, form and personality of the Absolute Truth. By chanting śrī kṛṣṇa-nāma, one comes in contact with both His form and His personality. Therefore, in all ways, śrī kṛṣṇa-nāma is considered the highest means. In chanting śrī kṛṣṇa-nāma, however, offences are considered. Symptoms of spiritual ecstasy will not manifest in an offender.
But śrī gaura-nāma, although being equal to śrī kṛṣṇa-nāma in every respect, has an additional speciality: It does not consider offenses. Śrī gaura-nāma frees the offender from all offenses and arouses his good fortune by bestowing upon him the fruit of prema.
His charming form
The authors of the scriptures, in describing the sweetness of Śrī Gaurasundara’s beautiful form, have said:
je rūpera eka kaṇa, ḍubāya saba tribhuvana, sarva prāṇī kare ākarṣaṇa
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 21.102)
Even a fractional understanding of Sri Kṛṣṇa Caitanya’s beauty can merge all three worlds in the ocean of love. He attracts all living entities.
Since time immemorial, the immense darkness of ignorance has been amassing in the hearts of the inhabitants of the entire universe. The charming names, forms, qualities, pastimes etc. of Śrī Gaurāṅga-deva can completely uproot this darkness.
Śrī Gaurahari’s charming moods and pastimes
In a secluded room called the Gambhīrā, situated in Śrī Jagannātha Purī, Śrī Gaurasundara spent His nights sleepless and overwhelmed. His heart was inconsolable in separation from His beloved. He would remain jabbering, raving and crying, and He would say:
kā̃hā mora prāṇanātha muralī-vadana
kā̃hā karõ kā̃hā pāū̃ vrajendra-nandana
kāhāre kahibô, kebā jāne mora duḥkha
vrajendra-nandana binā phāṭe mora buka
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 2.15–16)
“Where is the Lord of My life who holds the muralī flute? What shall I do? Where shall I find Him? To whom shall I speak My sorrows? Who will understand them? Without Vrajendra-nandana, My heart is breaking.”
And He would also say, “O sakhī, because my senses are not drinking the names and forms of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, they have become stone-like, dry, and useless. How will I now shamelessly maintain them?”
Overwhelmed while relishing the ecstatic moods of prema, Śrī Gaurasundara manifested the activities and signs that symptomize rāga, anurāga, bhāva, and the ultimate stage, mahābhāva. By so doing, He has distributed His amandodaya-dayā by displaying the intrinsic nature of kṛṣṇa-prema to the inhabitants of this world.
The prema that Śrī Gaurasundara manifests, propagates, and bestows, is an ocean of nectar, which is forever swelling.
The glories of His devotees
Not a sign of an iota of materialism is seen in the devotees absorbed in love of Śrī Gaurahari, which drenches the entire universe. Kali-yuga is teeming with vice. The pervasiveness of sensualism and materialism has swallowed the inhabitants of this world from head to foot. It is extremely difficult for the living entities to free themselves from its jaws. Yet, by the influence of the touch of just a particle of gaura-prema, the living entities kick away sensualism and materialism, which pervade the world, and spit on the thirst of the mundane senses for sense pleasure. They completely surrender themselves unto the rasa-laden ocean of service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the supreme, enjoyer of the rasa of the rāsa dance. He is fully replete with the wonders of ever-fresh rasa. He is the worshipful object of those who are rasika (expert in tasting rasa), and the hero of all rasas.
For the purpose of obtaining that śrī kṛṣṇa-prema which was manifested, propagated, and given by Śrī Gaurasundara, His loving devotees take shelter of vipralambha-bhajana, loving service in the mood of separation. In other words, they take shelter of that śrī kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana which was established exclusively by Śrī Gaurasundara. This śrī kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana is the crown-jewel of all processes of worship contained within the innumerable scriptures.
A person may not accept śrī kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana as the sole goal (sādhya) and the sole means (sādhana). Instead, he may have greater honour for another sādhana. Such a person will not experience separation from Śrī Kṛṣṇa in his heart. Instead, the desire to pursue his own happiness, or the desire to pursue dharma, artha, kāma, or mokṣa, will overcome him to varying degrees. But the only medicine to save the life of one who is bereaved in separation from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is narrations about Him or His holy name – tava kathāmṛtam tapta-jīvanaṁ.
The loving devotees of Śrī Gaurasundara are immersed in the mood of separation (vipralambha-bhāva) that was practiced and propagated by Him. Therefore, their natural disposition is as follows: they establish in their vocal cords only the entity they want to serve, and in whose service they are always fully absorbed. Through the distressed cries of their churning hearts, they perform ārati of the lotus feet of that iṣṭa-deva. By this cry of distress, or invocation, meditation, trance, remembrance and meeting are naturally accomplished.
Śrī Caitanya-deva’s compassion leads one to Vraja
Śrī Gaurasundara’s compassion easily removes the accumulation of anarthas present in the heart of the living entity. The heart thus becomes highly pure and is illuminated by the supreme bliss stemming from service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Then, by the causeless compassion (karuṇā) of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya-deva, one attains pure bhakti and prema-bhakti.
Just see the treasure we have received through Śrī Caitanya-deva’s compassion! If He had not come to this world, then who would have heard of prema, the supreme objective of human life? Who would have had the qualification to enter into the profound, sublime sweetness of Vṛndāvana? Who in this world would have been able to describe to us the divine love of Vraja, and especially the glories of the sweet love of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and Her position as our worshipful object?
(yadi) gaurāṅga nahita, tabe ki haita, kemane dharita de?
rādhāra mahimā, prema-rasa-sīmā, jagate jānāta ke?
If Śrī Gaurāṅga had not appeared, then what would have become of us? How would we have survived? Who could have taught the world about the glories of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and the topmost limit of prema-rasa?
Śrī Kṛṣṇa-candra Himself, greedy to relish the prema of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, accepted Her mood (bhāva) and complexion (kānti). He appeared in this world in the form of Gaurāṅga, and bestowed sva-bhakti-śrī – that is, the mood of the maidservants of Śrīmatī Rādhikā – upon the inhabitants of this world. To help them attain the perfection of this mood, He demonstrated the ideal of bhajana in the mood of separation (vipralambha-bhāva), and imparted instructions on the same. This, indeed, is the absolute nature of His amandodaya-dayā.
Even today, the supreme objective of human life – the prema bestowed by Śrī Caitanya-deva in this world – is flowing in the śrauta-paramparā* like the current of the Mandākinī River. Only highly intelligent people embrace the performance of śrī kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana, with a mood of separation, under the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide guru. They can thus become qualified for bathing in the current of that prema.
* A lineal descent of the message of Godhead, passed down from bona fide guru to bona fide disciple, by means of oral reception.
There is nothing equal to or greater than the pastimes of Śrī Gaurahari. They bring about the highest fortune of all living entities. May those pastimes of Śrī Gaurahari – who is endowed with supreme sweetness, who is the relisher of the most elevated mellow and the foremost of all beneficiaries – be triumphant! May His pastimes be triumphant! May they be triumphant!
Prepared by the Rays of The Harmonist team