[Kindly transcribed by Sheela Ravishankar Mataji)
Audio for this lecture may be downloaded here: Download
From: Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!
Date: 15 March, 2014
Verse: CC Adi 13.91-92
Speaker: HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami
a-kalanka gauracandra dila darasana sa-kalanka candre ara kon prayojana
Translation: When the spotless moon of Caitanya Mahaprabhu became visible, what would be the need for a moon full of black marks on its body?
eta jani’ rahu kaila candrera grahana ‘krsna’ ‘krsna’ ‘hari’ name bhase tri-bhuvana
Translation: “Considering this, Rahu, the black planet, covered the full moon, and immediately vibrations of “Krsna! Krsna! Hari!” inundated the three worlds. (Adi-lila 13.91-92)
Purport: According to the Jyotir-veda, a lunar eclipse takes place when the Rahu planet comes in front of the full moon. It is customary in India that all the followers of the Vedic scriptures bathe in the Ganges or the sea as soon as there is a lunar or solar eclipse. All strict followers of the Vedic religion stand up in the water throughout the whole period of the eclipse and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. At the time of the birth of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, such a lunar eclipse took place, and naturally all the people standing in the water were chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami: We are right on the eve of Gaur Purnima, so we are going to focus on Lord Caitanya. It’s a nice description here from the 13th Chapter of the Adi-lila which is discussing the appearance of Lord Caitanya.
First of all it was a full moon and there was an eclipse. So a certain understanding is being given here, what is described elsewhere is that Lord Caitanya is Gauracandra, He is the golden moon. And not just some ordinary gold, like some gold jewelry you may buy in a shop, and not even just molten gold which is when gold is heated and melted then the natural luster of the gold is enhanced quite dramatically and it becomes very effulgent; it’s quite amazing to see. Not even like that, but some super transcendental golden color which we have not really had experience of, something just completely stunning, and more than stunning.
That is Lord Caitanya as Gauracandra, the transcendental golden moon. So he appeared on that Purnima evening and last night we were driving back from Ekacakra and coming down the main road. We could see on the left was almost a full moon, not actually full but very close to a full moon and it looked very nice, silvery colored and it has an effulgence on the full moon night. Everything is lit up to some degree. And you can move around and see to some extent at least the situation around you, etc.
So anyway on that Purnima night 528 years ago, tomorrow, the full moon was there at his silvery best, illuminating and looking very nice. But he knew that Gauracandra, the golden moon of Lord Caitanya was just about to descend and so the description is that our regular silver full moon felt embarrassed. So he hid his face as he didn’t want to be there in the sky. Lord Caitanya would be there and then he would look really insignificant and just nothing particularly wonderful at all. So that silver full moon thought it best to hide his face. That is a sort of an esoteric understanding of those conditions when the eclipse happened on that Gaur Purnima night 528 years ago.
Lord Caitanya is such an extraordinary personality, what to speak of compared to human beings like ourselves and even exceptional beings. But even compared to other forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Caitanya is very exceptional, very amazing and unique. A unique character, personality even amongst the innumerable forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even compared to Krishna actually in certain very important ways. He is just completely outstanding.
You may know that in Caitanya Caritamrta there is a little description of when Lord Krishna returned to Goloka Vrindvana 5000 years ago having completed His pastimes here at that time, speaking Bhagavad Gita etc. etc. So Lord Krishna returned to Goloka Vrindavana and Caitanya-caritamrta describes that there He was remembering what a wonderful time He had here. It was just most glorious and relishable and Krishna was remembering how He was here and all of these most wonderful devotees were serving Him in most wonderful ways, the topmost of all devotees serving Him in just the most amazing ways.
Krishna was remembering this and cherishing the memory – How nice it was when we did this and we did that and certain different devotees were serving Me, I was so happy. I was enjoying so much!
And then Caitanya Caritamrta describes that somehow at some point as the Lord was deep in this ocean of remembrance, an idea struck Him that even though I was enjoying so much when the Gopis were serving Me and the cowherd boys and all the Brajvasis, even though I was enjoying so much, the idea just struck Krishna – it seems to Me, they were enjoying more than Me!
And Krishna went deep into a meditation on this. How they were enjoying more and much more than He was, when they were serving Him, when He was being served by them. And He thought of some particular devotee, this devotee was serving Me, I was so happy. But that devotee was ten times happier than Me. (aside: Sri Sri Radha Madhava Asta sakhi vrinda ki jaya!)
And some other devotee was enjoying a hundred times more than Me. Can you imagine your favorite prasadam whatever it is, and just relishing it, but then you find out that someone was enjoying it a hundred times more than you were. It’s quite inconceivable. And then some other devotee was enjoying a thousand times more! Krishna ‘s head was spinning. And one of the Gopis was enjoying ten thousand times more and another one a hundred thousand times more! It’s truly, just truly fantastic and then He thought of Srimati Radharani.
And Caitanya Caritamrta says that Krishna thinking about Radharani and how she was enjoying serving Him in so many ways, Krishna understood She was enjoying ten million times more than Him. Now that’s a lot isn’t it? (laughter) That’s really a lot and Krishna understood that this was actually the situation and then Krishna thought – Wait! I have been missing out! I have really been missing out! I have got to experience this Myself! I’ve got to become a devotee Myself!
And then He appeared as Lord Caitanya. Of course there are a number of different reasons behind the Lord appearing as Lord Caitanya, of all the different component factors involved, but this is definitely one of them. That Krishna understood that there is more happiness in being a devotee than being the Lord. You may know that also in Caitanya-caritamrta, Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami describes that generally all the other forms of the Lord, other than Krishna are in the mood of being devotees. Lord Balaramai
Jiva Goswami says, if you ask Krishna who is God, Krishna says Me!
If you ask Balarama who is God? Balarama says Krishna! Because Balarama is already and has been for long time, maybe eternally in the mood of being a devotee because he knows this is where the nectar is.
So Krishna He got the idea, it took Him some time, but Krishna understood – I must become a devotee and then I am going to experience the topmost by far.
Then Krishna appeared as Lord Caitanya, as a devotee, in the mood of a devotee. Of course just not any devotee, not just like in a general abstract sense just a devotee. But of a particular devotee, topmost devotee, Srimati Radharani.
sri-krsna-caitanya, radha-krsna nahe anya
Who is Lord Caitanya? He is none other than the combined form of Radha and Krishna. When you read Caitanya-caritamrta you find from time to time, Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami makes the point that the pastimes of Lord Caitanya are the most amazing. They are in a class of their own.
This is Lord Caitanya, in the mood of a devotee, and not just any devotee but specifically Srimati Radharani experiencing the maximum ecstasy, and the maximum of what it means to be a devotee.
There are a number of reasons for Krishna appearing as Lord Caitanya. There are three particular very personal reasons, sometimes called internal reasons why He wanted to appear as a devotee and particularly Radharani. These are also described of course in Caitanya Caritamrta.
One is He wanted to experience the position of Radharani, just what’s it like to be Radharani.
He also wanted to experience what it is in Him which stimulates Radharani to appreciate Him and feel for Him the way She does. That’s the second reason.
And then He wanted to experience how She feels the ecstasy.
The first reason is more similar in a more general sense, the position of Radharani, who She is and how She thinks. But then the third reason is specifically the bliss She feels when She is engaged in His service.
So these are the three very personal reasons why Krishna wanted to appear as Lord Caitanya.
Although he had other reasons, sometimes called external reasons. The time came to inaugurate the yuga-dharma. So Lord Krishna was going to appear as Lord Caitanya to carry out that function, establish the harinama sankirtana movement, yajnaih sankirtana prayair (SB 11.5.32). So the time had come for that. In other words to help people become devotees, preach and give people the gift of Krishna consciousness.
But then you see if you read the third chapter of the Adi-lila it’s discussed in some detail there that Krishna was feeling not just to give people devotional service again in the general sense, that you become a devotee and you serve Krishna in some way or another. But particularly Krishna felt – I want to give everyone the opportunity to get the topmost level of devotional service. I want everyone to get the opportunity to come to the position of the inhabitants of Vrindavana, to actually develop vraja-bhakti and enter Vrindvana.
Otherwise generally the other forms of the Lord, other than Krishna Himself, cannot offer that. They can offer some form of Vaikuntha bhakti which of course is a lot better than whatever you might experience in material life, even the heavenly planets, what to speak of in America or somewhere like that. But still compared to vraja-bhakti the experience of Vaikuntha bhakti cannot compare.
In Brhad Bhagavatamrta, towards the end, Gopa Kumara has gone back to Goloka Vrindavana and realized his eternal relationship with Krishna and entered into it. But somehow or other his position is such that he goes up and down, from Goloka down to planet Earth and up again and down again, this seems to be his program, sometimes.
So he says there when I am going up and down I pass by all the different planets here and there, material world and spiritual world, and Gopa Kumara says I pass by the Vaikuntha planets. And he says when I see the devotees there they seem to me to be very miserable. (laughter) He doesn’t say how he sees the regular people in material life to be. But even the Vaikuntha vasis are not doing so well compared to the inhabitants of Goloka where it’s just another dimension all together even compared to Vaikuntha.
So Lord Krishna was feeling like that – I want to give even the people of Kali-yuga who are degraded and unfortunate in so many ways, I want to give them the opportunity to achieve vraja-bhakti and actually go back to Goloka Vrindavan and enter into eternal relationships with Myself there.
This is another reason for Lord Krishna appearing as Lord Caitanya and conducting Himself as He did. So Lord Caitanya is Krishna, He is also Radharani, radha-krsna nahe anya, She is personally present there with Him, two in one. But particularly He is Krishna, experiencing the position of Radharani.
Radharani is an extremely interesting personality in so many ways. Lord Caitanya is patita pavana, the deliverer of the most fallen. He is particularly known for His mood of audarya, of great compassion and great mercy and expressing that in His activities. So in this way He is distinct even from Krishna. Not that Krishna is not merciful, Krishna is merciful and He expresses Himself in these terms in Bhagavad-gita:
sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja (BG 18.66)
Just surrender to Me, and I will deliver you.
But we see Lord Caitanya’s mood is not like that. Not that you must just surrender to Me, as we probably by now if you have been a devotee for some time, just surrendering to Krishna is not just so easy (laughs) But Lord Caitanya His mood is patita pavana, He is just drowning people in the love of God. When Lord Krishna came He brought the storehouse of love of God but He kept it locked. And when Lord Caitanya and His Panca tattva associates came, they broke open the lock, opened the door and out came a great flood of love of God and everyone drowned, at least all the nice people.
Those who were already devotees or at least pious, like sort of potential devotee types, they all just drowned on the spot immediately in love of God. But then others didn’t or couldn’t, the staunch materialists, the mental speculators, mayavadis, and even the lowest of the student community. They couldn’t drown, they were floating their heads above that flood of love of God. And they were crying out for help and the Panca Tattva were swimming around and they would see these people calling out, please help me, save me!
The Panca tattva would say – Don’t worry here we come! We will help you! We will save you! And that person would think, oh good I am going to be saved! So the Panca tattva would swim over push him under the flood of love of God and he would drown too. And that was Their saving, Their mercy.
In this movement following in the footsteps of the Panca Tattva we are giving drowning lessons, how to drown in the love of God. This is the mood of Lord Caitanya, patita pavana hetu tava avatara, Narottam das Thakura says, this is why You have come, this is why You have descended. Lord Caitanya has that particular mood of mercy distinct from Krishna Himself even and what to speak of other forms of the Lord.
And we should consider Radharani as we mentioned a few minutes ago. She is a very interesting personality, very extraordinary personality. Among many other things She is extremely merciful. Srila Prabhupada in one Radhastami class, you can read it in the Folio, is glorifying Radharani and he says Radharani is such a person that if She sees someone doing a little devotional service, just a little bit, Radharani feels so pleased – Look at this nice person! This person is serving My beloved Lord Krishna! She is so appreciative even of other devotees even if it is not really a devotee so much. Just some person who happens to do some service.
Prabhupada says, so Radharani goes to Krishna and She tells Krishna – Krishna! Down there in somewhere in the material world there is one very nice devotee named, i. Fill in the space, some devotee, named Rajendranandana Prabhu (haribol) and Radharani tells Krishna, he is such a nice devotee, I want You to accept him. And because whatever Radharani says Krishna immediately completely accepts, Krishna says yes yes yes, and He accepts you! And that’s it! Your life becomes perfect on the spot!
Prabhupada continues talking there that even you may be fool and rascal number one but somehow you do little service and Radharani notices and She reports you to Krishna and that’s it, back to Godhead! This is Radharani. Anyway fool and rascal number one there are many competitors for that position (laughter). So this is Radharani, She is so merciful!
And we read again in the Caitanya-caritamrta how the Gopis are going to meet Krishna and Radharani is of course the topmost, in a class of Her own, but in Her humble mood as an extremely sincere devotee who simply wants that Krishna’s pleased, She looks around at the other Gopis, appreciating how nice they are, their different good qualities.
And the other Gopis are also thinking in the same way and they are all thinking, Radharani is the best, She should just go and meet Krishna but Radharani picks some Gopi, and says You! She pushes the Gopi forward, You go and meet Krishna! Because She feels you are the best! And who am I? I am no one in particular!
Radharani is very special transcendental personality and in that combined form of Radha and Krishna, Her personality shows very vividly that mood of compassion, extreme compassion, extreme mercy, even on people who are sort of like ridiculously fallen, the Jagai’s and Madhai’s and so on.
This is the mood of Lord Caitanya. This is the mood of Lord Nityananda. Yesterday we were in Ekacakra and we were thinking about Lord Nityananda and we sang Nitai Pada Kamala, how you can only approach Lord Caitanya through Lord Nityananda. The idea is that Lord Nityananda is more merciful than Lord Caitanya.
It said that that demon whom Lord Ramacandra would kill, Lord Krishna would spare his life. There is a particular example, I forget who exactly it is. One demon who was killed by Lord Rama, Lord Krishna when He met him, didn’t kill him, but spared his life. And then that demon whom Lord Krishna would kill, Lord Caitanya would spare his life. But that demon whom even Lord Caitanya would kill, Lord Nityananda would spare his life-not just spare his life but give him Krishna prema. (haribol)
Like this Lord Nityananda is celebrated. However, as far as I can see at least, it is not quite that simple. For example that song which we sing regularly:
sri krsna caitanya prabhu daya kara more, toma vina ke dayalu jagat-samsare
Oh my dear Lord Caitanya, please be merciful unto me, other than You who can be merciful, who could be-it’s basically a rhetorical question-other than You who could be merciful in this world? Well, nobody of course! Nobody else could even be a little merciful in the real sense of mercy. You know what to speak of the Mother Theresas of this world, the Ambedkars of this world, the Mahatma Gandhis of this world, they can’t actually be merciful.
I was reading a couple of days ago one devotee sent me some excerpts from Mahatma Gandhi about what he thinks about Bhagavad Gita. And you know it’s interesting to read it. I never realized how completely bewildered Mahatma Gandhi was. (laughter). It’s unreal, it’s bizarre, at best it’s dangerous! (laughs)
There are different people meant to be merciful to certain people but Narottama das Thakur says toma vina ke dayalu, other than You who can be merciful in this world of birth and death? And the example is noone.
Patita pavana hetu, the song goes on, but then he says, then he prays to Lord Nityananda: ha ha prabhu nityanands premananda-sukhi, krpa kara kana koro ami bada dukhi
Now You Lord Nityananda, You also be merciful! And then daya kara sita-pati advaita gosai, Advaita Acarya you also be merciful, then the six Goswamis, Svarupa Damodar Goswami, then Srinivas Acarya, all of you be merciful! But he just said in the beginning that Lord Caitanya, toma vina ke dayalu, other than You who can be merciful? It’s not that Narottama das Thakura has become confused and he thinks only Lord Caitanya can be merciful, that’s it. But Lord Nityananda can be too and Advaita Acarya and so on.
The fact is that Lord Caitanya He is really the ocean of mercy, the actual and original ocean of mercy and Lord Nityananda, Advaita Acarya and Srila Prabhupada for that matter they are all getting their mercy from that reservoir, supreme reservoir of mercy who is Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Nityananda Prabhu is completely in the mood of a devotee. What is the mood of a devotee? To ascertain what will please my Lord and then do that! So Lord Nityananda, Prabhupada and all these other great transcendental personalities understand who is Lord Caitanya and have a nice understanding of what is the mood of Lord Caitanya, how merciful is Lord Caitanya, then they accept that mood. This is what will please Him to deliver the fallen souls, let’s do it!
If Lord Caitanya had somehow not been interested in delivering the fallen souls and had been interested in something else, Lord Nityananda would have done that, isn’t it? Beause that’s the mood of a devotee. But because Lord Caitanya is that great reservoir, the ultimate reservoir of mercy for the deliverance of the conditioned souls, then naturally Nityananda as His topmost devotee, that’s His business, that’s His program. Like this Lord Caitanya is such, such a wonderful most wonderful personality.
And we see with Srila Prabhupada, he understood the same point, not just in a sentimental way, emotional way, but he really manifested it in his life. Prabhupada at such a late stage in his life, seventy years old, you know I am not seventy years old yet, but it’s difficult enough, frankly, it’s really difficult enough (laughter), physically and just dealing with reality, with this body.
But Prabhupada was seventy and he didn’t have a nice place to go where there are a whole lot of devotees, and we get together with them, and they will give us nice prasadam, a nice place to stay etc. He just came on his own to a totally foreign alien culture and just full of these crazy people, but he didn’t just give up and say look they are all crazy people, just leave them to them to their craziness and just go back and chant Hare Krishna in Vrindavana.
He persevered, despite some real challenges, because he had that mood of Lord Caitanya. As a devotee he understood what will actually please Lord Caitanya. And he did it and therefore we are all here, everyone last one of us.
So we also following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Himself and taking shelter of the dust of their lotus feet, we should also try to spread this movement of Lord Caitanya all over the world. If we really do our best, you know which may not be that good really, because of our conditioning and our body and our psychological conditions and so on, but at least if we do our best then they will be merciful.
Prabhupada said that. Prabhupada said at the end of one class, to go back to Godhead you have to be 100% pure, all the devotees were like – me, 100% pure, don’t know about that! And Prabhupada noticed and said, at least 90%. And devotees were still – leaves me out. Prabhupada said at least 80%. Still it was the same. And Prabhupada said just take hold of my dhoti and I will take you back, I have the key to the back door. (haribol)
Prabhupada also said if you try your best to spread this sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya, your best is a very individual thing, what anybody’s best may be. You know one person’s best may well vary a lot from another person’s. But if you actually try your best, Prabhupada said that when the time of death comes even if you cannot remember the Lord because it is just too extreme, beyond whatever we may have experienced so far in this lifetime, so even if the devotee can’t remember the Lord, Prabhupada said, Lord Caitanya will force His way into your mind.
Like this if we try our best then one fine day, one fine morning, we will wake up in Goloka Vrindavana. (haribol)
Sri Gaur Purnima Mahotsava ki jaya! Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Gaura premanande haribol!
Hare Krishna! Thank you very much!