O n the concluding night of Kirtan Mela this year (February 20th 2015), devotees in Mayapur bore witness to something truly unforgettable: the Panca Tattva deities shedding profuse tears. The next day we asked His Grace Jananivas Prabhu, head pujari of Sri Sri Mayapur Candradoya Mandir, to comment on the significance of this event. Here’s what he had to say:
“Practically we saw that the deities were crying. We saw the tears coming down their faces. So some people saw Gaura Nitai, Panca Tattva crying. Others were skeptics. And they will say “Oh, it’s just condensation.” See, Krishna has to fulfill everyone’s desire. So the conclusion is that they’re both true. If it’s condensation then Krishna can take advantage of that condensation and cry.
“Take the Ganesha-vesha (Ganesh dress) in Jagannath Puri. There’s story of the Ganesh-bhakta. When the king told him to come and see Jagannath on snana-yatra (bathing festival), he expected to see Ganesh there. He said “I don’t go to any temple except my Ganesha’s.” The king said: “No, no, you’ll see.”
So he went there, he saw Jagannath and he said: “He’s not Bhagavan. If he’s Bhagavan he would have fulfilled my desire.” So as he was leaving they were pouring water for Jagannath’s snana and it washed off the paint. Jagannath has a special paint, it’s not household paint, and it comes off. It ran down and took the face of an elephant. So then he thought: “Here is my worshipable Lord Ganesha!”
“So was it the water or did Jagannath actually manifest that? The answer is that both are there. He took advantage of that snana (bath) and he became Ganesha. If he became Ganesha without the snana then people would have to accept that “Yeah, He’s God.” But there are many skeptics and atheists and Krishna has to fulfill all their desires.
“So just like in the maushala-lila of Krishna when he wound up his pastimes, it’s said he went back to Godhead very quickly. Even Brahma couldn’t detect him going. But he left a material body, for the atheists. If he had just gone back to Godhead like that everyone would have to believe “He’s God. No-one else can do that. He must be God.” So that’s not their desire or their intention to believe in God. They say there is no God or whatever. So Krishna has to fulfill everyone’s desire. He’s sitting in the heart. He has to fulfill their desires. So he makes a program that the atheists will also be satisfied. And the devotees will be satisfied. So the devotees understand that “He went back to Godhead.” And the atheists will say: “Look! Look! He left the material body. He’s cremated like an ordinary man. How can he be God?”
So like that you could say, yeah, it was very hot in there, thousands of devotees, the heat went in, metal is cool, and the condensation came. So then that will satisfy the skeptics. But for the devotees no, they were there, they saw the tears were coming. We were performing the yuga-dharma, chanting Hare Krishna on the final day of Kirtan Mela. Panca Tattva were so pleased. So they were shedding tears of love.
“And anyway, it’s a nitya-lila. We saw it one time, and we think it’s kind of astonishing. But this is a nitya-lila. Every night in Srivas Angan the Panca Tattva were dancing there. And every night Mahaprabhu and the devotees were feeling different ecstasies. Mahaprabhu was constantly going through different ecstasies. Sometimes He was feeling complete humility and tears would pour from his eyes. Sometimes he would feel complete ecstasy, He would sit on the throne. Sometimes he would be feeling separation from Krishna, and He would hold the devotees’ shoulders—”Where is Krishna!”—and cry. All the time Caitanya Bhagavat and Caitanya Caritamrta tell that these are the symptoms that Mahaprabhu and the devotees manifested. The tears were coming from their eyes all the time. So why is it a big thing? We see it one night, but for them it’s a nightly thing. Mahaprabhu and the Panca Tattva are always in ecstasy. There are always tears coming.
“So Krishna has to fulfill both desires. Both are right. For the skeptics it was condensation. For the devotees no, they were happy.”