Jagannatha Puri, India: August 6, 2004
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
gaurabdhir etair amuna vitirnais
[“Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is known as Gauranga, is the ocean of all conclusive knowledge in devotional service. He empowered Shri Ramananda Raya, who may be likened to a cloud of devotional service. This cloud was filled with the water of all the conclusive purports of devotional service and was empowered by the ocean to spread this water over the sea of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Thus the ocean of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became filled with the jewels of the knowledge of pure devotional service.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila 8.1]
The confidential meanings of this verse are herein explained in great detail. Here we find the word “gaurabdhir” (gaura-abdhi), which means that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is like an ocean. This ocean is unlimitedly deep. And it is endless; it has no shores. This ocean has amrta, which has two meanings. The natural meaning is nectar and another meaning is water. Nectar is most appropriate here, because Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the ultimate limit of the nectar of rasa (transcendental mellow taste in loving relationships).
Lord Krishna has been described in the Upanisads: raso vai sah, rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati (Taittiriya Upanisad 2.7.1) Krishna is the embodiment of rasa, the taste of rasa and the object of rasa. If one realizes this rasa, he will become completely blissful and satisfied. Krishna is the reservoir of pleasure and relationships, but here, in the form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He is compared to an ocean. Why? The ocean is salty, so this is not the reason. In the ocean there are many snakes, timingila fish, sharks, crocodiles and dangerous animals, but the ocean of rasa of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not like that. The nectar of that ocean is so tasty that it completely minimizes and criticizes the value of ordinary nectar. It is most desirable.
The ocean of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is full of astonishment. It is miraculous. Nothing is equal to or greater than it, and it is unprecedented. These are the specialties of the ocean of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Gaura-rupi-sagara).
The above-mentioned verse contains the words “sva-bhakti-siddhanta-cayamrtani.” Here the word “sva” means Krishna. “Sva-bhakti” means the bhakti which is performed for Krishna – Krishna is the object. This bhakti is of four types; dasya (servitor) sakhya (friendship), vatsalya, (parental) and madhurya (conjugal).
What Mother Yasoda feels in her heart is not known to Krishna. Moreover, although from His point of view He can relish the love that the gopis of Vrindavan have for Him, He cannot understand how they feel within their hearts. That is not possible for Him. In order to understand these feelings, He Himself had to appear, taking the sentiment and complexion of Shrimati Radhika.
But this was not enough. He had to take shelter of Shrimati Visakha devi, Shrimati Radhika’s very dear friend whose moods are similar to Hers, in the form of Shrila Raya Ramananda. Then, by staying in Shri Gambira in the association of Lalita and Visakha, in their forms of Shri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Raya Ramananda respectively, and hearing from them, He could realize something directly. Without their mercy and assistance, it would not have been possible.
Shrimati Radhika Herself also came and stayed here, in the form of Shri Gadadhara Pandita. She observed Krishna in the form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to see, “Is He playing My role correctly? Perhaps there will be some defect.” Shrimati Radhika was therefore present as Gadadhara Pandita, watching and giving advice.
Krishna had three desires that He could not fulfill in His form as Krishna:
sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso vanayaiva-
svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrso va madiyah
saukhyam casya mad-anubhavatah kidrsam veti lobhat
tad-bhavadhyah samajani saci-garbha-sindhau harinduh
[“Desiring to understand the glory of Radharani's love, the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions, appeared from the womb of Shrimati Saci-devi, as the moon appeared from the ocean.” (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila 1.6)]
How deep is the love of Shrimati Radhika? Krishna Himself did not know. Therefore He appeared as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad
ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau
caitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam caikyam aptam
radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam
[“The loving affairs of Shri Radha and Krishna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord's internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krishna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Shrimati Radharani although He is Krishna Himself.” (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila 1.6)]
When Krishna appeared as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He brought with Him Shrimati Radhika’s bhava and complexion. He brought Her mood and complexion, but can He taste or realize it? And to what degree does He understand it? Shrimati Radhika and Her associates came to help Him.
The example is given in this first verse, that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is like an ocean of bhakti-siddhanta (the conclusive truths of pure devotion). By the influence of the sun, the ocean infuses its water within a cloud. Similarly, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu infused all bhakti-siddhanta in the heart of Shrila Raya Ramananda.
Before they met, Lord Krishna in the form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had not realized Shrimati Radhika’s moods. There is a vast difference between jnana, knowing something intellectually, and vijnana, realizing it. In Shrimad Bhagavatam Lord Narayana inspired four-headed Lord Brahma:
yavan aham yatha-bhavo
astu te mad-anugrahat
[“All of Me, namely My actual eternal form and My transcendental existence, color, qualities and activities—let all be awakened within you by factual realization, out of My causeless mercy.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.9.32)]
“As far as I am to be realized, may My name, form, qualities and loving pastimes be awakened in your heart by My blessings.”
Without the mercy of the Supreme Lord, Shri Guru and pure Vaisnavas, the realization of bhakti-tattva (the truths of pure devotional service) is impossible – even for Lord Krishna Himself.
The ocean has the power to manifest jewels. When the ocean is full of jewels it is called ratnalaya, a repository of precious jewels. When the rain falls at the time of the constellation of stars called svati-naksatra, it has a special potency, for the potential of the ocean to manifest jewels becomes realized at that time.
Here, the rain of svati-naksatra is Shri Ramananda Raya’s explanation of all bhakti-siddhanta. When the clouds of Ramananda Raya sprinkled the rain of explanation on the ocean of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, His heart became the repository of jewels. Those jewels were the "anubhava yukta siddhanta". "Anubhava" means "realization", "yukta" means "combined with" and siddhanta" means "conclusive knowledge". The bhakti-siddhanta that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu inspired within the heart of Ramananda Raya became anubhava-yukta. In other words, His theoretical knowledge of how Shrimati Radhika feels when she is rendering service to Shri Krishna became realized knowledge. The realization of Radhika’s mood came in the heart of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He tasted it, and He began to realize the desires for which He appeared within this world.
This is istagosthi. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Raya Ramananda are about to have a wonderful conversation on the bank of the Godavari, so all should come with me there – by heart – and we should all arrive together at that place.
The author of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, after offering his obeisances to this conversation says:
jaya jaya sri-caitanya jaya nityananda
jayadvaita-candra jaya gaura-bhakta-vrnda
[“Glory to Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda! Glory to Advaitacandra! And glory to all the devotees of Shri Gaura Lord Chaitanya]!”
Without glorifying the Lord and His associates and procuring their blessings, we cannot enter into this very confidential discussion.
According to His previous behavior, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was traveling. Wherever He went He would meet with people and give them the same instruction.
yare dekha, tare kaha `krsna'-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa
["Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Shri Krishna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad-Bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land." (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila 7.128)
To whomever you see and whomever you meet, give them the teachings of Shri Krishna and tell them about Shri Krishna. On My order you should become a guru, a teacher, and liberate everyone in this entire land. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was singing, dancing and preaching everywhere He went; and all would become enlivened, He would convert everyone He met to Vaisnavism, and they would realize the nature of the soul as being servant of Krishna. He told them to engage in proper devotional behavior and also to preach.
Preaching is one type of bhakti. Therefore, all the gurus in our disciplic succession, such as Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, have engaged in their own devotional practices and have also given their energy in preaching to others. In this way, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu distributed prema.
There is a verse in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita which states:
emana krpalu nahi suni tribhuvane
krsna-prema haya yanra dura darasane
[“There is noone as merciful as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Even if someone would see Him from far away, that person would become infused with krsna-prema.”]
Another verse states, “How can you conquer the heart of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Don’t criticize anyone. Have no concern for the nature and activities of others, but rather always chant harinama without committing offense to any living entity.”
We should not think that preaching is karma-kanda (fruitive activity). If one is not practicing, then his preaching is like karma; but if he is practicing, this is not true. Those who practice but don’t preach are somewhat better than those who preach but don’t practice. Those who follow the proper system of devotional service, and also preach, are the best of all. We should try to have association of such a Vaisnava who practices and preaches, whose character is impeccable, who has no attachment to anything in this material world and who is expert at telling hari-katha. By associating and hearing from such a Vaisnava, one will have a sphurti of Krishna in his heart.
When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to the temple of Jiyada-nrsimha He was singing and dancing in ecstacy:
sri-nrsimha, jaya nrsimha, jaya jaya nrsimha
prahladesa jaya padma-mukha-padma-bhrnga
["All glories to Nrsimhadeva! All glories to Nrsimhadeva, who is the Lord of Prahlada Maharaja and, like a honeybee, is always engaged in beholding the lotuslike face of the goddess of fortune.” (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila 8.5)]
"All glories to Shri Nrsimhadeva. He is the Lord of Shri Prahlada Maharaja. The face of Laksmi devi (Padma) is like a lotus flower, and that Laksmi is rendering service to Him. All the moods of her service are expressed by the beauty of her face; and Lord Nrsimhadeva has become like a bumblebee, tasting that nectar. There is a question here:
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is absorbed in radha-bhava and He sings about Lord Krishna’s names and pastimes. So why is He now chanting, “prahladesa jaya padma-mukha-padma-bhrnga”?
His absorbtion is quite uncommon. It is transcendental, not material. He knows that Lord Nrsimhadeva, Ramacandra, Vamanadeva and all other incarnations are not different from Krishna. They are Krishna Himself. To taste the specialities of different types of love Krishna has appeared in different forms. Due to this fact, there is no rasa that He – or Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – cannot taste.
Who is Padma? Padma is none other than a partial manifestation of the service moods of Shrimati Radhika, just as Sita devi is a partial manifestation of Her moods. When Lord Vamanadeva appeared, he was served by Laksmi devi. This Laksmi is also a partial manifestation of the moods of Shrimati Radhika.
Krishna can taste all varieties of moods, and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu can as well. If He would not have been able to taste all varieties of moods, there would be some deficiency in Him. There is no deficiency in Him at all. He is complete.
The conditioned souls in this world are suffering, and Krishna comes here in various incarnations to deliver them. Why? There is some rasa in this too. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained this in Jaiva Dharma, wherein Vrajanatha asked Shri Raghunatha dasa Babaji, “Why is this pastime of the Lord going on – that jivas are suffering so much in this world?” Shri Raghunatha dasa Babaji replied, “Krishna is complete, so there cannot be any pastime missing in Him. There is one kind of taste in giving mercy to those who are helpless and hopeless and have no chance.” This is one kind of mellow that Krishna tastes. All kinds of mellows can be tasted by Shri Krishna and Shrimati Radhika – otherwise there would be some deficiency.
Translator: Prem Prayojana das
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi and Vrnda dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi