Secondly, I offer my dandavat pranam thousands of times at the lotus feet of my Rupanuga Guru Varga; and thirdly, I offer my pranam to all the assembled Vaisnavas, especially unto my pujaniya gurujana, my worshipful superiors, guardians and well-wishers, the disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; unto my Godbrothers and Godsisters; and all the respectable guests who have assembled to hear the nectar of hari katha.
This morning I want to discuss a pastime from Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Antya-lila Chapter 4, Sanatana Gosvami visits Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri. This grantha is called Sri Caitanya Caritamrta. It is the nectar of carita-the qualities, pastimes and life history of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It has another meaning also-Sri Caitanya Caritamrta is nectar, amrta. Mrta means death, amrta means no death. If anyone will drink this Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, this amrta, they cannot die. They will very easily cross over the ocean of birth and death, and there they will taste nectar. What kind of nectar? Sri Caitanya-caitanya means consciousness. Now we are in darkness. We do not have fully blossoming consciousness (purna vikasita cetana)-that consciousness is only ecstatic love and affection flowing from moment to moment, second to second, always fresh and new. This is called caitanya, pure consciousness. Consciousness of whom? Sri-the word 'Sri' indicates Srimati Radhika. If you will drink this Sri Caitanya Caritamrta through the ears, then you will never die. You will become eternal and you can realize full consciousness of Srimati Radhika. This is called Sri Caitanya Caritamrta. Every line, every word, full of deep love, shows us the way to make progress, both externally and internally. This grantha presents all types of maryada, proper behavior, and all types of internal moods in a very wonderful way.
In the chapter that we will discuss today, Kaviraja Gosvami is saying:
vrndavanat punah praptamThis Sanskrit verse explains: when Sri Sanatana Gosvamipada returned from Vrndavana to Jagannatha Puri, he attained the association of Sri Gaura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sanatana Gosvami wanted to commit suicide (deha-patad), but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by His affection, purified him. That means that Mahaprabhu took away this idea, and tested him (pariksaya). He examined the character of Sri Sanatana Gosvami.
sri gaurah sri sanatanam
deha-patad avan snehat
suddham cakre pariksaya
(CC Antya 4.1)
jaya jaya sri-caitanya jaya nityananda
jayadvaita-candra jaya gaura-bhakta-vrnda
nilacala haite rupa gaude yabe gelaThe first time Mahaprabhu tried to go to Vrndavana from Puri was not the first time that He had tried to go to Vrndavana. The first time was from Kattva, after He had taken sannyasa-but on His first attempt to go from Puri, He visited Ramakeli and met Sanatana Gosvamipada for the first time. After that, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu again met Sanatana Gosvamipada when Mahaprabhu was returning from Vrndavana. Following the course of the Yamuna, He came to Prayag and met Rupa Gosvamipada. After that, He continued on and met Sanatana Gosvamipada in Kasi. There, for about 10 or 11 days, He instructed Sanatana Gosvamipada. That is called Sri Sanatana Siksa. After that, Mahaprabhu told Sri Sanatana Gosvamipada to go to Vrndavana, and Mahaprabhu returned to Puri.
mathura haite sanatana nilacala aila
Now Sanatana Gosvamipada is coming from Vrndavana to meet again with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Jagannatha Puri after His tour in South India. When Sanatana Gosvamipada was traveling from Vrndavana to Puri, he came through central India, where there is the Jharikhanda forest. Because he had been fasting and had taken some polluted water, he developed a disease called kandu rasa. It is a skin disease that causes weeping sores to erupt all over the body. On his way to Puri, Sanatana Gosvamipada was thinking to himself:
jagannathe gele tanra darsana na paimu
prabhura darsana sada karite narimu
mandira-nikate suni tanra vasa-sthitiHe was lamenting in his heart, Now I am going to Puri, but when I get there, what will happen? I won't be able to have darsana of Jagannatha-deva because I am an outcaste from the Hindu society. And I have heard that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is staying in quarters very close to the Jagannatha Temple, so I can't go there either, because the servants of Jagannatha-deva are coming back and forth in that area. If they touch me, then it will be an offense on my part because I am low-caste, and now I am covered in sores. I cannot go to Mahaprabhu's quarters and I cannot have darsana of Jagannatha-deva, so what should I do?
mandira-nikate yaite mora nahi sakti
tate yadi ei deha bhala-sthane diyeThis pain that I cannot see Jagannatha-deva and cannot meet with Caitanya Mahaprabhu is unbearable. The only way to get relief is to give up this body. I will wait until the Ratha Yatra festival. When Jagannatha-deva comes out, Mahaprabhu will not be by the Jagannatha temple. He will be on the Grand Road going toward Gundica. I will go there and come before Jagannatha-deva and have His darsana. Then, right in front of Mahaprabhu, I will throw my body under the wheels and give my life there and then. What could be more glorious than to leave this body right before both Jagannatha-deva and Mahaprabhu! Surely I will attain a good destination. This will be a great benediction for me. So he fixed his mind, This is my plan. I'll go there and just bide my time until Jagannatha Ratha Yatra day. Then, seeing my Lords, I can leave this world.
duhkha-santi haya ara sad-gati paiye
In this way, gradually gradually, Sanatana Gosvamipada made his way towards Puri. When he arrived in Puri, he asked the local people for directions. They directed him to the bhajana kutira of Haridasa Thakura at Siddha Bakula. Mahaprabhu had given Haridasa Thakura a place some distance from where He was staying because, being born in a Muslim family, he was not accepted by the Hindu society. Sanatana Gosvamipada went there and offered his pranama to Haridasa Thakura. He knew Sanatana Gosvami so he picked him up and they embraced each other. They were very happy. Then, Haridasa Thakura could see on the face of Sanatana Gosvami an intense eagerness to meet with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Wanting to encourage him, he said, Mahaprabhu will come here any moment now. Just as he was saying this, Caitanya Mahaprabhu arrived there. He was just coming from the Jagannatha temple where He had taken darsana and had observed the bhoga offering. He was coming to Siddha Bakula to bring Haridasa Thakura some maha-prasadam. As soon as they saw Mahaprabhu, both of them offered pranama at His lotus feet. Haridasa Thakura got up, but Sanatana Gosvami remained prone on the ground. Haridasa Thakura said, O my Lord, this person is Sanatana. Mahaprabhu was astonished. On the one hand, we know that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu knows everything. And at the same time, to have very intimate loving relations with His devotees, He acts like an ordinary devotee, saying, Oh, Sanatana has come, as if He was surprised. This is the etiquette-it is the duty of juniors to give pranama to their seniors. You cannot go and embrace your senior devotee; it is not Vaisnava etiquette. You can give pranama to seniors. Then seniors, if they want, can embrace their juniors-it is their prerogative.
When Sanatana Gosvami stood up, Mahaprabhu went to embrace him. But as He reached forward, Sanatana Gosvami was backing off and moving away. He said, My Lord, don't touch me. Please don't touch me. I am very low caste, and what's more, I am covered with sores. But by force, Mahaprabhu caught Sanatana and tightly embraced him. He thus squished Sanatana's sores and got the pus all over His body. Horrified, Sanatana Gosvami said, Oh, no. He wanted to die there and then, unable to bear what had happened. Mahaprabhu introduced Sanatana Gosvami to all the devotees who had come with Him, and Sanatana offered his pranama to all of them. Then Mahaprabhu sat down on a raised place with some devotees also sitting on the same level with Him, while Haridasa Thakura and Sanatana Gosvami sat lower down. Mahaprabhu asked Sanatana Gosvami how he was and exchanged some simple pleasantries with him.
At this time, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu informed Sanatana Gosvami that his brother Anupama had passed away. In this way, they began to discuss what had happened since their last meeting, because Mahaprabhu had met Rupa Gosvami and Anupama first in Prayag. After that He had met Sanatana Gosvami in Kasi. Then He came to Puri, and later, Srila Rupa Gosvamipada joined Him there. When he met with Mahaprabhu, Rupa Gosvami gave Mahaprabhu the news that Sanatana Gosvami's younger brother Anupama had contracted a disease and had left this world. Sanatana Gosvami did not know this, and Mahaprabhu broke the news to him. He told him that Rupa Gosvami had stayed with Him for ten months, and then He sent him to Vrndavana through Bengal. After that Srila Rupa Gosvamipada never met with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu again for the rest of his life. This is a very hard thing to reconcile. Yet he was Mahaprabhu's nearest and dearest of all, and they were always associating by heart.
Some days passed in Puri. One day:
eka-dina asi' prabhu dunhare mililaOne day Sanatana Gosvami met with Mahaprabhu. Haridasa Thakura and other devotees were there. Mahaprabhu said to him:
sanatane acambite kahite lagila
(Cc Antya 4.54)
sanatana, deha-tyage krsna yadi paiyeHey Sanatana! If I could attain Krsna by committing suicide, then I would certainly give up millions and millions of bodies without a moment's hesitation.
koti-deha ksaneke tabe chadite pariye
deha-tyage krsna na pai, paiye bhajaneYou should know that one cannot attain Krsna simply by giving up the body. Krsna is attainable by bhakti, bhajana. There is no other means to attain Him. Acts of suicide are influenced by the mode of ignorance and a person who is in ignorance and passion, tamas and rajas, cannot understand who Krsna is.
krsna-praptyera upaya kona nahi 'bhakti' vine
So here, we see, on the one hand, Mahaprabhu acted as if He did not know who Sanatana Gosvami was, this person on the ground before Him offering pranama. And now, He is showing how He knows his heart. Sanatana Gosvami had not told anyone that he was just waiting for Ratha Yatra to come so that he could give up his life. But Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord, knows everything. But also, He is playing a role. What role? Role of acarya or sad-guru. Sad-guru is like this. He knows the heart of the disciple. If the disciple will approach the bona fide guru and associate with him, he will see again and again how his gurudeva sees everything in his heart and points to that directly by his words and activities. This is a very wonderful thing.
Sanatana Gosvami was an extraordinary personality. Because he was so intelligent, he had been employed by Nawab Hussein Shah, the Muslim emperor, as his prime minister. At the same time, apart from being materially astute, he had great love for Krsna. Even in his days of being prime minister, in his home gardens he and Rupa had constructed Syama Kunda, Radha Kund and Giriraja Govardhana. There the two of them would always engage in hearing hari katha. When they met with Mahaprabhu, He ordered them to leave their homes, and immediately, they gave up everything.
In his Sad Gosvamyastakam, Srinivasa Acarya wrote: what did the Six Gosvamis do? They left all aristocratic society. They were the associates of the most wealthy and famous persons, and they themselves also had vast wealth and power. Tyaktva turnam asesa-mandala-pati-srenim sada tuccha vat. Tyaktva means 'they left'. What did they leave? Asesa-mandala-pati-srenim: sreni means the 'class'; they were in the aristocracy of the mandala-pati, the leaders of society. They had unlimited wealth. Turnam means 'quickly'-quickly they left this position, their money, their families, everything, without hesitation. They left everything. How? Tuccha vat-they realized that all of these things are insignificant, of no value. Anyway, one day you will have to give up everything-by force. Better to leave by choice. They left everything by choice, and although they were accustomed to a very high class of luxurious life-bhutva dina-ganesakau karunaya kaupina-kanthasritau-they accepted only dor kaupin and kantha, one torn cloth-not more than this. They accepted these things as their only possessions. Why? They were setting an example for us. If we will collect things, the mind will go there; we will remember those things, and attachment will come, material moods will come, so never keep anything, only dor kaupin and one old, torn cloth.
Why did they leave all these things? Gopi-bhava-rasamrtabdhi-lahari-kallola-magnau muhur. They are magnau, immersing themselves, muhur-again and again. Where? Gopi-bhava-rasamrtabdhi-lahari-in the very high waves of the moods of the gopis of Vrndavana. Therefore, they can leave everything very easily. They have no attraction for anything else. Sanatana Gosvami is a very great personality. Among the Six Gosvamis, he is the most senior. In Vrndavana, the Vrajavasis call him 'bada baba,' because he is the 'Big Baba'. In my experience also in Vraja-mandala, when I go here and there and meet with the Vrajavasis, they lovingly ask me, Bada baba kahan hain? Where is Bada Baba? But they don't mean Sanatana Gosvami; they mean Gurudeva!
Everyone loved Sanatana Gosvami. He was very kind and friendly, even to useless and attached persons. He was very patient and made relationships even with them. Why? If anyone will have a friendship with him, and only remember his face, how much it will purify their hearts. So Sanatana Gosvamipada was like this-he was an extraordinary person. Now, coming to Puri, he wanted to give up his life. Why? Because in this body he could not have darsana of Jagannatha-deva. He was thinking on the way that he could not have darsana of Mahaprabhu because Mahaprabhu was living near Jagannatha-deva, so he would not be able to go and see Him. Thus, being bereft of the darsana of Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was ready to give up his life. This also indicates the atmosphere in his heart, his internal mood. You should try to have a mood like this. This is called utkantha, eagerness. Any neophyte devotee in the modes of nature has so many anarthas and material desires. He cannot feel separation, but for those devotees who are fully taking shelter of Krsna-nama, giving up the offenses against nama and being under the guidance of bona fide Guru, gradually sambandha-jnana will come. They can realize something of their relationship with Krsna. At that time, when separation from Krsna becomes unbearable, they will always chant and cry, O Krsna, where are you? We want to make progress in this direction-this is bhajana.
Mahaprabhu told Sanatana Gosvami:
na sadhayati mam yogoThis is from Eleventh Canto. Krsna is telling Uddhava, Hey Uddhava! If you will do astanga yoga (controlling the senses), jnana (study of the Vedas), renunciation, austerity, charity, sannyasa, whatever you do, these things will not control Me. I am only controlled by bhakti. Mahaprabhu was explaining to Sanatana, You want to give up your body, but this is not among the 64 angas of bhakti. At Kasi, Mahaprabhu had explained to Sanatana Gosvami the 64 angas of bhakti, but killing oneself is not one of them. Krsna is only attained by bhakti. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah (BG 18.55). He can be understood only by devotion. So that which is not devotion will not bring about the desired effect. The first thing that Kaviraja Gosvamipada says in his Sanskrit introduction to this chapter is that Mahaprabhu took away Sanatana Gosvami's desire to kill himself by being very affectionate to him. Now Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is about to explain to Sanatana Gosvami how he can transform his suicidal tendency into an impetus to become even more deeply absorbed in bhajana. I am saying this because I know that many devotees are also troubled by a semblance of this mood sometimes.
na sankhyam dharma uddhava
na svadhyayas tapas tyago
yatha bhaktir mamorjita
Don't be in Lake Washington. Come now to Puri and be with Mahaprabhu and Sanatana Gosvami there. Hear how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is very lovingly giving him very sweet advice. He is telling him:
premi bhakta viyoge cahe deha chadite
preme krsna mile, seha na pare marite
gadhanuragera viyoga na yaya sahanaHey Sanatana! An advanced devotee of Krsna, due to feelings of separation, sometimes wants to give up his life. But by his feelings of prema, he meets directly with Krsna, and that meeting saves his life. This is actually the process. Tate anuraga vanche apana marana: He is saying here that when a devotee's love is mature, he laments, Oh, I should die! Like Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:
tate anuraga vanche apana marana
keno va achaya prana ki sukha paiyaHe is praying in so many kirtanas, Why am I staying alive? What happiness is there for me? You can see in Prarthana, he says, Alas! Why was I not born at that time when Mahaprabhu was doing kirtana with Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu in Navadvipa? Why did I not take part in that kirtana? Alas! Why was I not born at that time when Rupa, Sanatana and Jiva Gosvamis, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also, would sit down together in any kunja of Vrndavana and speak katha on siddhanta? I have missed those discussions. Why was I not born at that time? Why was I not there when the devotees headed by Haridasa Thakura in Puri would organize a festival? The devotees would cook and have kirtana and have lectures together. Why was I not there? Oh, dik tan, dik tan. Fie on me. Fie on my life. This life is useless. This mood comes to the sincere devotee.
narottama dasa keno na gelo mariya
Gurudeva explained that when we sing these kirtanas, first we should remember the personality who is singing the kirtana and give our pranama to him, understanding that now the kirtaniya's life is in his throat. What does it mean? The soul is in the heart, and when someone is about to die, the prana (the life airs) lift the soul up and the soul comes out. When a Vaisnava is doing kirtana and praying in a grief-stricken, desperate anxiety like this, his prana is in his throat. It means that the the soul has risen up to the throat and that he is on the very brink of leaving his body. We pray that one day we will do kirtana with such intense feelings.
Narottama dasa Thakura is crying and saying, Why was I not there at that time when Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami would sit down together and discuss siddhanta, and as he is singing, his prana is coming to his throat. And just when his prana is in his throat, quickly Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami and Jiva Gosvami come running to him in his antardasa (internal mood), saying, Don't die! Don't die! As he meets with them, he is pacified and his soul goes back down. Then, he sings another verse, Alas! What happened to me? I was not there when Haridasa Thakura would organize a festival in Puri, and again, entering in internal mood, his prana rises to his throat. This time Haridasa Thakura comes, saying, Don't leave your life. Don't give up your life. This is bhajana. When we are singing the kirtanas of Narottama dasa Thakura, actually, I am not singing this kirtana. I am thinking that Narottama Thakura is singing, and I am only hearing his kirtana. By his mercy, some eagerness may come. This eagerness brings about meeting with Krsna. This is our process, our sadhana-our bhakti should be like this.
So now Mahaprabhu, on the pretext of chastizing Sanatana Gosvami because this very mood had come into his heart, wants to give him some drops of nectar from Srimad-Bhagavatam. By these drops of nectar, He is saving Sanatana Gosvami's life, and also showing him the method of attainment. With great affection, Mahaprabhu tells Sanatana Gosvami:
gadhanuragera viyoga na yaya sahanaOne who is deeply in love with Krsna cannot tolerate separation from the Lord. Therefore, such a devotee always desires his own death. Mahaprabhu is giving two examples from Srimad-Bhagavatam. They are very helpful for our bhakti.
tate anuraga vanche apana marana
yasyanghri-pankaja-rajah-snapanam mahantoThis verse was spoken by Rukmini devi. Actually, Mahaprabhu had spoken this verse before in His lila. Mahaprabhu knows all Srimad-Bhagavatam. Whenever a particular mood arises, He knows which verses to cite to reinforce that mood. Just before He took sannyasa, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told all His associates, Today I want to make a drama at Candra Sekhara Bhavan, in the house of Candra Sekhara Acarya. I want My associates to come, but those who have not completely mastered their senses should not be allowed to participate in or witness this drama. So at that point, out of humility Advaita Acarya and Haridasa Thakura became worried, Ohhh, this could be a problem! You know, Advaita Acarya is Mahadeva Siva.
vanchanty uma-patir ivatma-tamo-'pahatyai
yarhy ambujaksa na labheya bhavat-prasadam
jahyam asun vrata-krsan chata-janmabhih syat
Once the Supreme Lord made a drama-He manifested His female form, Mohini Murti. What happened to Mahadeva then? He could not maintain his patience and he ran after Mohini Murti. Just to teach a good lesson to the world, Mohini Murti went to all the asramas where the Saivites were doing their puja. Lord Siva is their hero, and they were all meditating on him, He's such a great yogi-yogi maha-yogi, Mahadeva. He has perfect control of his senses. He is my hero. While they were thinking what a great yogi he was, they saw Mahadeva madly running after a woman. He dropped his trident and his drum, his clothes had fallen off and other things we will not mention. So Mahadeva was running after Mohini Murti who was always ahead of him and sometimes hiding here and there. Afterwards, when Mohini Murti again assumed her Narayana form, Mahadeva was very proud that he had been defeated by his Prabhu, just as the disciple is very proud to be defeated by Guru.
Now, Mahaprabhu was saying, I want to make a drama. I will dance in the moods of My many saktis, like Laksmi devi and Rukmini. Therefore, Advaita Acarya was thinking, Oh, I think I'd better not go. And Haridasa Thakura also began to panic a little. I guess I am not going to the drama either. Why? Because he is Brahma. Lord Brahma chased after his own daughter in the form of a deer. So his senses were also out of control. These are great personalities; there is no defect in them. By Krsna's arrangement, some pastimes had taken place. Now Krsna has come in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, so out of humility both of them came to Mahaprabhu with folded hands, saying, Mahaprabhu, we don't have complete control of all of our senses, so we won't be coming. Mahaprabhu replied, Don't worry. Tonight you will have such strength of your senses, like great maha-yogis, like Mahadeva. You will be all right. He told them to collect all the paraphernalia for the drama, so they arranged for costumes, and assigned the various roles.
In the evening time they assembled there in the house of Candra Sekhara (Mahaprabhu's uncle). The first person to come on stage was Haridasa Thakura. Playing a gatekeeper of Vaikuntha, he was dressed up in a funny way with a great big mustache. The other players followed him, one after another. Eventually, Mahaprabhu Himself came onto the stage, manifesting all the different moods of His saktis. Sometimes He was Durga, sometimes Laksmi devi, and at one point Rukmini. Displaying one of Rukmini's moods, Mahaprabhu began to recite the six verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam that Rukmini devi wrote in her letter to Krsna just before she was about to be married to Sisupala. She wrote this letter imploring Krsna to save her. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recited these verses, all the devotees were crying. Why? Because these verses contain a deep emotion. and beautiful mood that is very helpful for the sadhaka.
Once, Srila Gurudeva raised the question: can you love someone that you have never met? In this world, not really. Actually, there is no love here anyway, so even if you meet someone, you can't really love him. But on the transcendental platform, love can come for a person one has never met. How? Through the hearing process. Simply by hearing about Krsna, rati can come in the heart.
Rukmini devi was the daughter of the king of Vidarbha. It was the custom that many sages and rsis (including Narada Rsi) would come to the palace of the king, and would tell some hari katha. From her childhood, Rukmini heard many of Krsna's sweet pastimes from Narada, and a greed came in her heart. She thought, Krsna is so wonderful. I would like to meet Him. Now, when she was teen-aged, not more than thirteen or fourteen years old, her brother Rukmi had arranged for her to marry Sisupala, one powerful demon. But it was too late-although she had never met Krsna, she had already given her heart to Him. This happened only by the hearing process. So similarly, though we have never met Krsna, if we will hear about Him from a realized person like Narada, from anyone who has met Him, from anyone who knows Him and is related to Him, that katha is so powerful that it can cause rati (deep attachment, spontaneous love) to be awakened in our hearts. Rukmini devi was thinking, What will I do now? She was a sweet, very young teen-age girl, was about to be given to Sisupala for his enjoyment. O my God! Unthinkable! Her family had made all the arrangements for her wedding to take place in only a few days, so she was desperately thinking, What can I do?
Feeling that now her life would be over, and being so eager to meet with Krsna, Rukmini composed a letter. She gave it to a brahmana who took it to Krsna. In that letter, she wrote, You are the most qualified person, the most beautiful and most attractive. You have all the highest characteristics in Your behavior. Your heart is full of affection, so I have given my heart completely to You. Why? Just hearing all about Your nama, guna, rupa and lila was enough to make me give my heart to You exclusively. It is not right that the lion's share should be given to a jackal. How is it possible that the jackel will take the lion's share? No, the lion can take the jackal's share. If a jackal sees something to eat, he says, I will take that. But when the lion comes, he has to run away. So here she is comparing Sisupala to a jackal, and she calls Krsna 'Narasimha'. Here Narasimha does not mean whose head is like a lion's and whosed body is like a man's-half-man half-lion, no. Here, Narasimha means the lion is the king, the most powerful and beautiful among all the many animals in the forest; in the same way there are so many men, but I am not interested in any of them. Among men there is one lion-it is You. So I am giving my heart to You-You are Narasimha. I know that You are afraid that you will have to kill so many of my family members while abducting me. So I suggest that on the day before my wedding, when I go to the temple of Durga, there will be an opportune moment for You to come and steal me away.
And if Krsna would not come, what was Rukmini's mood? She wrote this verse: yasyanghri-pankaja-rajah-snapanah mahanto (SB 10.52.43). Hey Ambujaksa! O Krsna! Your eyes are soft like lotus flowers. This means that You look upon others with compassion. O Krsna, the great personalities such as Siva desire to bathe themselves in the dust of Your lotus feet, because, by that dust, all kinds of ignorance are completely washed away. Thus, I am begging You to please bestow Your mercy upon me. If You will not bestow Your mercy upon me, then: jahyam asun vrata-krsan sata-janmabhih syat. I will observe a vrata as long as You do not give me Your mercy. Until that day, I am going to do austerities-jahyam asun-the austerities by which the duration of my life will be shortened. If one will do very hard austerity, they will not live for very long. I will do such austerities that the duration of my life will be shortened. This is a pretty strong threat for Krsna. She is a very sweet and soft teen-age girl, and she is saying that she will do such hard austerities that gradually gradually all my strength will go away, and I will die. Sata-janmabhih syat-for hundreds of births. And even when I give up this body, in the next life again I will do austerities. And then I will die and again in my next life I will do austerities, and I will go on doing this until You give Your mercy to me.
Here, Rukmini devi has expressed such deep attachment for Krsna; she is the epitome of determination-yes, Srila Gurudeva says sometimes, If you want to do bhajana, you will have to have a motto-do or die! No interest in life (the world) and no interest in life (being alive). Those who do bhajana have no interest in this life, and also they have no interest in their life-both things, do or die. A very beautiful pastime is given here in Srimad-Bhagavatam-how this very sweet and soft girl, with her heart fixed on Krsna, has no desire to live. Not only no desire to live, but she can throw away her life again and again and again, until Krsna gives His mercy to her. So when Krsna received this letter, He also determined, I must save her. And quickly the next day, He came and stole away Rukmini.
When Mahaprabhu was reciting these verses in Candra Sekhara Bhavan, all the devotees were crying. Once Srila Gurudeva was telling us this pastime of Rukmini. He said that there is another very important teaching for us. What is that? If you want to attain success in bhajana, certain conditions must be met. If you are greedy, even this greed will not be enough. You will also have to have samskara, impressions. This will take some time to develop. And cesta-you will have to make some very hard endeavors. Gurudeva said this has been illustrated in this particular pastime of Rukmini. How? First of all, when she was very young, sadhus such as Narada Rsi would come to the palace, and even when she was five, she would hear hari katha, and some greed was coming. But at that time, when she was five, she did not have the samskara to desire to be the lover of Krsna in the married mood. A little girl does not think, I should be married.
When Rukmini became a teen-ager and was eligible to be married, she was meditating, I want to meet Krsna. He should be my husband. I should not be married to anyone else, only to Krsna. Now she was mature and the samskara to have a relation like this had developed. And then comes cesta-hard endeavors. What did she do? She wrote a love-letter. If any girl in Vedic society is about to be married, if she writes a love-letter to someone else, and somehow or other that letter is discovered, then what? She will be finished! Life will be over! This was a big risk. If that brahmana will break her confidence (she has trusted that brahmana), or if something will happen to him and someone will find the letter, then her whole life will be ruined. So, risking everything completely, without hesitation, she has written this letter and given it to the brahmana. This was her cesta. In the same way, if we want to do bhajana, by hearing we have to have some greed. But only greed will not be enough. Gradually by association, some life experiences will come in such a way that the samskara will become thick. Our impressions will be favorable to do bhajana. And then we will have to make a very intense, hard endeavor. When these three things-lobha (greed), samskara (impressions) and cesta (endeavor)-are there, Krsna will come and save us.
This pastime of Rukmini is the first example that Mahaprabhu gave, and it is very appropriate. A sadhaka can sit and chant and remember this verse. A mood should come as if his life is in his throat. He should have a determination like Raghunatha dasa Gosvami: yadiccher avasam vraja-bhuvi sa-ragam prati-janur. O my dear mind, listen to me. If you really want to attain the service of Radha and Krsna directly in Vraja Dhama, then be ready to bow down and pray and remember the lotus feet of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Svarupa Damodara. How? In this life and the next life and the next life and the next life-don't give up. So the sadhaka should have a mood like this. Though Mahaprabhu explained this mood, which is very sweet and powerful and helpful, still He was not satisfied. Why? Because Rukmini spoke this. If the devotee remembers this verse, it does not mean that he should become like Rukmini. Our acaryas have taken verses of Lord Brahma, of Akrura, of the cowherd boys, even of mundane poets, and have explained and meditated upon them according to their own mood, following the gopis' mood, and especially the manjaris' mood. Though Mahaprabhu will see everything in His own mood, still He was not satisfied.
Then another verse came in His heart, and He told Sanatana Gosvami, Please listen.
sincanga nas tvad-adharamrta-purakenaWhose verse is this? This is from Pranaya-Gita. The gopis, since their childhood, had also heard about Krsna throughout their whole lives, but they were also seeing Him. Thus, their attachment rose more and more. As they grew, their samskara also developed. And then they made an endeavor-no letters. Directly pushing their husbands out of the way, they ran into the forest in the middle of the night. This was their cesta, and they came face to face with Krsna. Then Krsna became very tricky. Why? Before, He had stolen their cloth when they were taking bath on the bank of the Yamuna, and He made them come out from the water. They were covering themselves with their hair, but He told them, Any ladies who are doing vrata should not leave their hair loose; they should tie it up. He made them tie up their hair, and pray with folded hands, with hands on their heads, offering pranama to Yamuna. In this way, being very funny, He played with them like dolls, and drank the beauty of their forms. But now He is meeting with them again face to face. This time He wanted to see what beauty is in their hearts. Before, He made them reveal the beauty of their forms; now He wants to make them open their hearts. So when they came, he told them, Go home. You came here to see the beauty of the forest. Very good. Now go back.
no ced vayam viraha-jagny-upayukta-deha
dhyanena yama padayoh padavim sakhe te
(SB 10.29.35, CC Antya 4.64)
At that time, the gopis are speaking to Krsna. This is called Pranaya-Gita. This verse is very important in the context of Sanatana Gosvamipada. The gopis are saying: hasavaloka-kala-gita-ja-hrc-chayagnim. O Krsna, by Your smiling glances, by Your very soft and sweet and melodious words, You have lit a fire-hrc-chayagnim-the fire of kama, the fire of desire within our hearts. You have lit this fire, and there is only one way to extinguish that fire. What is that? Sincanga nas tvad-adharamrta-purakena: You should pour a stream of nectar on that fire. Then it can go out. What is that nectar? Adharamrta-You should give the nectar of Your lips. No ced vayam viraha-jagny-upayukta-deha: our whole body is burning in this fire, and only Your adharamrta can extinguish this. Here gopis are not in separation mood; they are standing in front of Krsna. They know how to completely take His heart. They understand that Krsna is very shy and He is feeling a little hesitant. By their words, they want to remove all His obstacles, so now they are telling him, If You will not extinguish the blazing fire by Your adharamrtam, then our whole bodies will be burnt in that fire. Thus we will give up our bodies. Dhyanena yama padayoh padavim sakhe te: and by meditation, we will attain Your lotus feet-by meditation, just like yogis. When yogis want to attain the lotus feet of the Lord, the yogic fire, which comes out from within, them burns their body completely. And by meditation they go directly to the lotus feet of Narayana.
So the gopis are telling Krsna, We have heard from Paurnamasi, Gargacarya and others:
tasman nandatmajo 'yam teYou have all qualities, just like Narayana. If You will not extinguish the blazing fire in our body by the shower of Your adharamrtam, then by our meditation, our bodies will be burnt to ash in that fire. Thus we will come to You, whether You like it or not, by our meditation. This is very strong statement. If someone will tell you to do something and you reply, Over my dead body! what does it mean? It means that you are not going to change your mind. In the same way, Krsna told them, O My dear gopis, please go home. The gopis reply, We will die first.
Here Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is explaining to Sanatana Gosvami, Your heart is breaking, and you want to die. All right. Don't give up your body, but anyway, this mood is there. So many great devotees have expressed this mood. So following their moods, this will give power in your bhajana. Mahaprabhu continued:
kubuddhi chadiya kara sravana-kirtanaGive up this bad idea of suicide. If you will do sravanam kirtanam in these moods that I have just explained to you, you will definitely attain Krsna's lotus feet-acirat-just now!
acirat pabe tabe krsnera carana
(CC Antya 4.65)
Sanatana Gosvamipada was thinking, You are telling me that by doing bhajana in this mood, I can attain Krsna just now? How is this possible? I am so low and fallen. I am low caste and have taken bad association.
Mahaprabhu answered him:
yei bhaje sei bada, abhakta--hina, charaOne who does bhajana is great, but one who is not doing bhajana is completely worthless. He may be born in a high family or anything, but he is worthless. In the matter of Krsna-bhajana, there is no consideration of birth or family at all. (This is a very important verse. Our sannyasis in the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti often quote this verse, and Prabhupada spoke it to our Gurudeva just before his divine disappearance.)
krsna-bhajane nahi jati-kuladi-vicara
(CC Antya 4.67)
tara madhye sarva-srestha nama-sankirtanaOut of all types of angas of bhajana, the best is nama-sankirtana. If you will do nama-sankirtana without making any aparadha, you will attain prema and attain Krsna. When Sanatana Gosvamipada heard this-eta suni' sanatanera haila camatkara-he was struck with wonder. He understood that Mahaprabhu is sarva-jna, He knows My heart completely, and He did not very much appreciate my idea to commit suicide. Then Mahaprabhu explained to him, Hey Sanatana, your body is My property. I have many objectives, prayojanas, that I want to achieve through you. You will be My pradhana sadhana, My prominent instrument, in the fulfillment of My desires. Vrndavana is very dear to Me, but I cannot stay there because of the order of My mother. Saci Mata wanted Him to be in Puri. Because of My mother's order, I cannot stay in Vrndavana, so who will teach the world how to do Brijabasa? Who will teach the world-ko saba tyaji bhaji vrndavana? In this kirtana (Yan Kali Rupa), it is said, Who especially left everything to reside in Vrndavana and who taught the world how to do Brijabasa? Srila Rupa Gosvami. This is also applicable to Sanatana Gosvamipada.
niraparadhe nama laile paya prema-dhana
(CC Antya 4.71)
This morning we sang: he radhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutah. Srinivasa Acarya described how the Gosvamis were doing parikrama of Govardhana, Barsana, Nanda-gaon, always absorbed in chanting and remembering and feeling separation. Mahaprabhu was thinking, I cannot stay there. Who will show the world how to leave everything and reside in Vrndavana? Who will uncover all the holy places, discover the lost Deities, and write the bhakti granthas? I want to do these things through you. Then Mahaprabhu was laughing with Haridasa Thakura, Hey Haridasa! This Sanatana does not even know the basic principles of religion. We are not talking about bhakti. In varnasrama-dharma you are not allowed to destroy someone else's property. This is common sense. Haridasa Thakura told Sanatana Gosvamipada, You are so lucky. Mahaprabhu wants to do so many things through you. Sanatana Gosvamipada answered, I am just like a puppet. As Mahaprabhu makes me dance, then I am dancing.
This is the mood of sat sisya, the real disciple. Actually, Guru can achieve so many wonderful things through that disciple, but even the disciple does not know how it will happen. When Prabhupada was on the boat coming to America, he prayed, O Krsna, I don't know why You are bringing me to this horrible place. You must have some plan. So make me dance, make me dance. I have no knowledge. I have no devotion. In this way, Sanatana Gosvamipada told Mahaprabhu, A wooden doll can chant and dance according to the direction of a magician, but he does not know how he is doing it. My Lord, You make one dance, and he dances accordingly, but how he is dancing, and who is causing him to dance, he does not know. Sat sisya should have a sraddha and nistha in his Gurudeva such that when Guru gives an order, his only thought is to follow the order. Success may come or not. Very great achievements may even come from the efforts of that disciple, but the disciple thinks, I don't know what I am doing. I am only following the order of my Guru, and by magic everything is going on.
In this conversation between Mahaprabhu and Sanatana Gosvami, their dynamic relationship and sisya abhimana (the identity or self-conception of a disciple) are being expressed very clearly here. Therefore this book is called Sri Caitanya Caritamrtam. If one will accept the disposition of a disciple and also the instructions regarding the proper mood for doing bhajana, then he will easily become perfect and have Sri Caitanya, that is, he will be conscious of Srimati Radharani.
I want to clarify one point here. Mahaprabhu taught Sanatana Gosvami this verse from Pranaya-Gita. The gopis are saying to Krsna, If we cannot have the fire of our prema satisfied by Your adharamrtam, we will give up these bodies, and by meditation we will attain You. The gopis have this attachment directly to Krsna, but we should not have a direct attachment like this. Rather, being inspired by the gopis' moods, we should think, If the fire in the heart of Radhika which has been ignited by Krsna's smiles, glances and sweet words is not extinguished by Krsna's adharamrta, then I can give up my life. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has expressed this mood:
sri krsna-virahe, radhikara dasa, ami to' sahite nari
yugala-milana, sukhera karana, jivana chadite pari
radhika-carana, tyajiya amara, ksaneke pralaya hoya
radhikara tare, sata-bara mari, se duhkha amara soya
e heno radhara, carana-yugale, paricarya pabo kabe
haha braja-jana, more doya kori, kabe vraja-vane lobe
vilasa manjari, ananga manjari, sri rupa manjari araIf a rupanuga sadhaka is doing bhajana, he will be absorbed like this, and not give up his body. Mahaprabhu instructed Sanatana Gosvami to stay in this body and do sravana kirtana, hearing and chanting, and internally He inspired in his heart this mood-sri krsna-virahe, radhikara dasa, ami to' sahite nari. I cannot tolerate Radhika's condition when She feels separation from Krsna. For the sake of the happiness of the meeting of Radha and Krsna, I am ready to give up my life at once. Radhika-carana, tyajiya amara, ksaneke pralaya hoya-if I have to leave the service of the lotus feet of Radhika for only one second, then that moment seems like the moment of universal devastation, as if now the whole world is being annihilated. Radhikara tare, sata-bara mari, se duhkha amara soya-for the sake of Radharani, I can gladly give up my life hundreds and hundreds of times. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is inspiring this mood in the heart of Sanatana Gosvamipada. If we will drink this nectar of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, this amrta will cause us to cross the ocean of birth and death and become 'Sri caitanya', and we will become conscious of Sri-Srimati Radhika-as Rupa and Sanatana in their forms of Rupa Manjari and Labanga Manjari have shown by their own example. As they are serving Her, this mood will definitely come. Sri Caitanya Caritamrta is our valuable treasure. Knowing all these things, Kaviraja Gosvamipada is saying, If anyone will hear this Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, I will wash their feet and drink the water. Why? Because attainment of the position of a maidservant of Srimatiji is the effect of hearing Sri Caitanya Caritamrta.
amake tuliya, loho nija pade, deho more siddhi sara
Contemporary Disciples Page