All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
Article compiled by Jagamohini Devi Dasi
Sri Gaura Purnima 2008
vande gurun isa-bhaktan
at-prakasams cha tach-chhaktih
~Cc Adi-lila 1.1
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual masters, the devotees of the Lord, the Lord’s incarnations, His plenary portions, His energies and the primeval Lord Himself, Sri Krishna Chaitanya."
chitrau san-dau tamo-nudau
~Cc Adi-lila 1.2
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krishna Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all."
anarpita-charim chirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah sachi-nandanah
~Cc Adi-lila 1.4
"May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Sachidevi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of Divine Love."
A Brilliant Transcendental Ray
In an address to the devotees on the occasion of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s holy appearance, His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaj said, “In 1406 Saka there was a special day because Sri Jagannath Misra saw a brilliant transcendental ray make its way into his heart, and again from his heart it entered into the heart of Sri Sachidevi. Feeling thrilled, Jagannath Misra was overwhelmed with joy, and from that day Sachidevi became transformed into a wonderful embodiment of that transcendental ray.”
Sri Jagannath Misra appeared in other ages as Kasyapa, Dasarath, Vasudev and Nanda Maharaj. His pure, generous and compassionate nature was unlimited and incomparable. His wife, Sri Sachidevi was considered the mother of the entire world and the pure resting place of Krishna-bhakti. The divine couple could recognise that an exalted personality would soon take birth and they performed their daily worship with dedication and attentive devotion in preparation for His arrival.
aruna basane sonara suraja
udichhe keno re aja
basanta susama ujari apana
dhale keno jagamajha
~Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
“Why has the Lord appeared suddenly with golden complexion and with golden dress just like the morning sun? Why has He come in the middle of springtime as everything feels so beautiful and wonderful?”
The Golden Moon, Lord Gaurachandra, appeared in this world on 1407 Sakabda, Phalgun, in Sridham Mayapur. It was evening—the atmosphere overflowing with the sweetness of spring and the occasion of the full moon eclipse. His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaj said, “The banks of the Ganges and the roads leading to the Ganges were all filled with throngs of people. Seeing this great crowd of people, one felt as if the whole universe had come here leaving the rest of the fourteen worlds vacant.
“Everyone was filled with ecstatic bliss. The sound of ‘Hari’ filled up and resounded throughout the fourteen worlds. It was as if all the auspicious signs of the universe were rising at the same time. The splendour of Nabadwip was so brilliant. An unprecedented vibration of the Name of Hari resounded from the many devotees gathered on the bank of the Ganges. The flood of Harinam made all inauspicious signs disappear on this occasion of the lunar eclipse, and instead brought boundless joy to everyone.”
When the divine and spotless full moon, Sri Gaurahari, appeared on this earthly planet, the brilliance and luster of the full moon in the evening sky was covered by the shadow of the earth. Outwardly, the lunar eclipse was taking place, but those with the inner eye to see and the heart to understand, have said that the full moon of this world, in his shyness and shame, covered his face. And why has he hidden his face? Because Lord Gaurachandra, the Golden Moon has appeared. He is so glorious, so effulgent that even “the moons on His toenails give such a brilliant, merciful light and outshine millions of moons.”
a-kalanka gaurachandra dila darasana
sa-kalanka chandre ara kon prayojana
~Cc Adi-lila 13.91
“When the spotless moon of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became visible, what would be the need for a moon full of black marks on its body?”
Absolute Sweetness and Goodness
Srila Rupa Goswami has glorified Lord Chaitanya as being the most merciful and generous Lord, because He appeared in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy to share what has never before been given—the most effulgent, sweet and valuable treasure—pure Love of Godhead.
In Sri Guru and His Grace it is said that Gauranga means “a dynamo which wants to distribute Krishna, surcharged with the most magnanimous, intensified pity and kindness for the ordinary people, with the greatest affection even for the criminals.”
Although Lord Gauranga is the Supreme Lord, Krishna, He appears in this age as a devotee, and teaches us by His own radiant example how to establish a connection with the Lord through the practice of pure devotion. He has come to give something of the essence of what is already in our hearts, but hidden. Mahaprabhu demonstrates how one’s heart can be captured by Divine Love for the Lord—so deeply and intensely He immersed Himself in Love for the Lord. It is said that it “captured His entire heart so much that He was externally found to be helpless.”
Sri Gauranga reveals the sound representation of absolute sweetness and goodness, the Holy Names of the Lord. And He demonstrates how by chanting the Holy Name of God with humility, tolerance and respect for every living being , renouncing the desire for name and fame, one can awaken all good fortune by purifying the heart and destroying the contamination of this material existence.
The sincere soul may receive the sublime seed of pure devotion through the grace of Sri Guru and Bhagavan. If carefully tended, this seed will gradually blossom into pure love for the Lord.
yajanti he su-medhasah
~Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32
In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the Names of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions
In His internal function, Krishna appeared as Lord Gauranga Sundar in order to experience the sweetness and intensity of Srimati Radharani’s love for Him. He wants to taste Her mood of incomparable devotion, Her extreme hankering for Her beloved Krishna. He takes Her mood, Her golden complexion, and Her temperament to experience His own ecstasy.
~Sri Sri Premadhama-deva-stotram 54
Diving deep into the reality of His own beauty and sweetness, Krishna stole the mood of Radharani, and garbing Himself in Her brilliant luster, appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. For the last twelve years of His manifest Pastimes, He was deeply absorbed in the mood of union and separation and shared His heart’s inner feelings with His most confidential devotees. In the agony of separation from Krishna, volcanic eruptions of ecstasy flowed from His heart, and His teachings, known as Siksastakam, appeared from His lips like streams of golden lava. I fall at the feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Volcano of Divine Love.
Service to the Servitors
yatha yatha gaura padaravinde
vindeta bhaktim krta punya rasi
tatha tathot sarpati hrdy akasmad
radha padam bhoja sudhambu rasih
~Srila Prabodhananda Saraswati
“To the extent that we can give ourselves fully to Sri Gauranga, a flood of ever-increasing Radha-dasyam, Guru-bhakti will awaken within our heart. As much as we can devote ourselves to the lotus feet of Sri Gauranga we will receive the divine service of Srimati Radharani in Vrindavan.”
All the great and venerable Vaisnavas in the line of Sri Rupa conclude that service to the servitors of Sri Radha is the highest and most sublime attainment. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur prays:
radhapadankita dhama vrndavana yara nama
taha yena asraya karila
“Where does the name ‘Vrndavan’ belong? Upon whose head the footprints of Radharani are borne, that is Vrndavan!”
Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj adds, “It is all-sweet! And there everything is sweet because the paraphernalia has all emanated from Her. Just as the entire screenplay for a film evolves from the brain of the director, who then himself may come to act his own part within it, similarly the entire paraphernalia of Vrndavan has come from Sri Radhika. And from Sri Gauranga we receive the combined gift of the grace of all these things. His gift is full of so much transcendental sweetness and is eternal in its play.”
A Mood of Great Urgency
Before Sriman Mahaprabhu accepted the order of sannyas he spoke intimately with His most dear disciples. Srila Guru Maharaj says that just as in a time of warfare there is a heightened state of emergency, similarly Mahaprabhu’s advice to His beloved devotees came with a mood of great urgency: “Always think of Krishna. Whether you are eating, sleeping, or awake; day and night always think of Krishna. You are in danger. You are in a situation of emergency where at any moment death can take you away from your present position. So consider it as an emergency and go on cultivating Krishna consciousness, Krishnanushilana. By hook or by crook try to stay afloat upon this Krishna consciousness.”
When Lord Gaurachandra was preaching in South India, He again spoke with a firm directive:
yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa
~Cc Madhya 7.128
“Whoever you meet, speak with them about Krishna. This is My request and order to you all.”
Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj illustrates Mahaprabhu’s heart-softening compassion for the living entities, “Save the many suffering souls because they are in danger. Help them because they are drowning in ignorance and illusion. Try as much as you can to rescue them from this drowning position. Rescue the drowning. Take the risk, jump in the ocean and bring out those who are drowning in ignorance and illusion. Try to drag them from darkness to light.”
It is said that preaching, distributing Mahaprabhu’s message, is the special department of Sri Gauranga and Nityananda Prabhu and that it is the holiest engagement in the entire world. It has the divine blessing of Their Lordships. The sincere devotees constantly pray that Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga will forgive all offences and utilise them in spreading Love for the Supreme Lord.
Most Generous-Hearted Aspect
Mahaprabhu instructed Nityananda Prabhu to distribute Divine Love for Radha-Govinda—to preach the Holy Name of Krishna. But Lord Nitai could only preach and sing the glories of Lord Gaura Hari. Everywhere He went He spread Gauranga consciousness. If we desire to approach and give service to Radha-Govinda, we must first approach Mahaprabhu. On our own we cannot approach that divine domain. But how does one move toward the service of Sri Gauranga? Only by the grace of Lord Nityananda we may develop an attraction for Mahaprabhu, and if we receive the grace of Mahaprabhu, then we have got everything. Nitaiyer-karuna habe Vraje Radha-Krsna pabe.
Srila Guru Maharaj has said that Nityananda Prabhu is “the most generous-hearted aspect of Guru-tattva; we must bow down our head to Him, accept His holy feet, and surrender to Him…. We pray, ‘O Nityananda Prabhu , O Gurudev, please give me a drop of faith in Sri Gauranga who is Radha-Govinda combined, tasting the sweetness of the divine nectar of the Pastimes of Vrindavan.’”
The Opulence of Jewels and Gems
His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaj reminds us, “Everything connected with Gaura Hari is eternal. His Name, form, qualities, Pastimes, associates, paraphernalia, etc. are all eternal. His appearance is eternal. For those fortunate persons who are pure in heart, the eternal Lord resides in their hearts always. These things cannot be understood by our tiny brains. So the Lord is achintya bheda abheda appearing in the form of Acharyyadev as the highest conclusion of this principle. Only by the grace of sadhu and Guru are we able to know the glory of Sri Chaitanyadev who is the eternally pure, fully liberated Ultimate Reality. At that time, those fortunate persons who have received the mercy of the sadhus can understand that Gaurachandra appears as Sri Krishna in the mood of Radharani. They feel great ecstasy within their hearts and they are able to understand: ‘Today also Gaurangaraya was performing His Pastimes and only a few fortunate persons were able to see.’”
yo dino dina eva sah
“The advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is like an expanding ocean of nectar. One who does not collect the valuable jewels within that ocean is certainly the poorest of the poor.”
We are poor, impoverished in many ways, but it is our poverty, our disqualification, that qualifies us for the greatest wealth. His Divine Grace Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj has said that “because Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu comes from the highest position, He cannot give ordinary things; He must give the most valuable things, and His attention must be drawn to the most needy. Is it unnatural? The highest magnanimity must take notice of the lowest and most needy. And if He wants to help them, He will do so with His own coin. He cannot distribute to them only glass or stone chips. When He has the opulence of jewels and gems, why should He search for some stone chips to distribute to the lowest level? He must extend to the lowest and poorest people what He thinks to be real wealth.”
His Divine Grace Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, by exalted example, teaches us how to pray, simply and purely, for that untainted wealth:
prema hema-deva dehi-dasaresa manyatam
prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram
~Sri Sri Premadhama-deva-stotram 70
“Oh, my Golden Lord! (Suvarna-varna hemanga) Oh, ocean of prema! Kindly grant me the wealth of Your Divine Love! Please give some slight attention to this fallen soul and pardon his unlimited offences. There are so many servants of Sri Rupa who are so dear to You. My only aspiration is that You count me as one of those servitors. Oh, Gaurasundar, You are the sole protector and embodiment of good fortune for me, Ramananda Das. I offer my obeisances to You, oh Gauranga Sundar, my most beautiful Golden Lord, the divine form of Krishna prema.”
Natural Gentleness and Charm
Vasudev Ghosh says, yadi Gaura na ha’te tabe ki haita kemane dharitam de?
If Mahaprabhu had not appeared in this Kali-yuga, then how could we tolerate living?
How could we sustain our lives? What He has given—the very gist of life, the very taste, the charm of life—without that, we think it is impossible for anyone to live in this world. Such a thing has been invented, discovered by Gauranga. If He had not come, then how could we live? It is impossible to live devoid of such a holy and gracious thing as Divine Love.
Similarly, by the grace of Sri Guru and Sri Chaitanyadev, we have received the gift of Vaisnava association. Without this guidance, this spiritual nourishment, how could we tolerate living? How could we sustain our lives in this world without their gracious glance and their encouragement on our long journey back to Home?
trnad api cha nichata sahaja-saumya-mugdhakrtih
hari-pranaya-vihvala kim api dhir analambita
bhavanti kila sad-guna jagati gaura-bhajam ami
~Srila Prabodhananda Saraswati
“Humbly thinking oneself lower than a blade of grass, natural gentleness and charm, speaking words as sweet as nectar, spitting at the insignificant sense gratification of this world, disinterest in the affairs of this world, and overwhelming Love for Lord Hari are the transcendental virtues of the devotees of Lord Gaura.”
In The Golden Volcano of Divine Love we are reminded that we should always be conscious that we are beggars. But although we are mere beggars, we have come to beg for the highest and most inconceivable treasure. We must take the position of a slave—not only a slave, but the slave of the slave of the slave of the Lord. We are trying for the highest and greatest thing and we want to keep that ideal always over our head and not be distracted or disturbed by the tiny things of this material world. We are reminded not to waste our precious time, but to be a miser with time. To use it for the highest purpose with the firm faith that we may achieve the highest goal of life. We often pray for a drop of mercy, but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has brought a flood of mercy. The saintly devotees show us that we “must approach that mercy with a humble attitude of hankering and expectation. His gift is so great and magnanimous—who can understand it?”
I wish that I could go on and on glorifying Sri Gaura Hari, His associates and His most sincere devotees, but Their glories are unlimited and I am small and limited in every way. “O devotees, please do not consider my offences in this regard. Your feet are my only shelter.”
I offer my obeisances to His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj and all of our divine and blessed Guru-varga who are carrying the treasure and generously distributing the golden gift of Lord Gaurachandra.
jaya gaura-bhakta-gana—gaura yanra prana
All glories to all the devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, for the Lord is their life and soul. All of you, kindly bestow devotional service upon me.
~Jagamohini Devi Dasi
Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
http://scsmath.com | What's New | Main Centres