Caitanya Mahaprabhu returns back way to Vrindavan


Caitanya Mahaprabhu returns back way to Vrindavan


Venue: Durban

Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa at the age of twenty four. Of course could Lord be just twenty four years old? I could be twenty four; I was also twenty four old one time. So that is age of my body, Lord’s body is eternal. This is how we end up saying yes when He was twenty four years old, He took sannyasa, for the benefit of whole world. That sannyasa initiation aroused additional devotion within the heart of the Lord. Well, He is playing the role of the devotee, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself and not only just Krsna but He is also Radha Rani.

sri krsna caitanya radha krsan nahe anya

We say He is not different from Radha and Krsna, but as He is playing role of a devotee, bhakta avatar. He is experiencing intense love for the Lord, which was resulted additional love, which was resulted by this sannyasa diksha. The first thought that Caitanya Mahaprabhu had, was I would like to go to Vrndavan, where is Vrndavan? I want to go to Vrndavan.

Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu was just totally absorbed in Krsna. Where is Krsna? Where is Vrndavan? Few devotees, Nityananda Prabhu and two more devotees were accompanying the Lord. Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, came across some cowherd boys. He inspires them to chant, “Bolo Krsna, Bolo Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna” and they chant Hare Krsna, may be difficult for me to get you to chant Hare Krsna but for Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He is the Lord, He is the Lord of their hearts. So, yes they were all chanting and Mahaprabhu was going closer to them and blessing them, touching their heads.

So Mahaprabhu asked them which way is Vrndavan? Could you please tell me which way is to Vrndavan. And Nityananda Prabhu, he had already kind of prompted, these cowherd boys, if this sannyasi inquires from you which way is to Vrndavan. Just tell Him, go along the banks of Ganga that way, this is Nityananda prabhu’s trick. So the cowherd boys, you want to go to Vrndavan, this is the way just go on the banks of this river and then Caitanya Mahaprabhu was going that way, chanting and dancing. Caitanya Mahaprabhu as you know, He never walked. Did He fly by Air Mauritius, He only danced or He walked but His walking is so artistic like a actor, when He walks, you could watch His steps, its pleasing.

So Mahaprabhu would walk, but only dance and Nityananda Prabhu was following Him. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was was totally absorbed in His, the mood of Krsna. And at one point He notices that Nityananda Prabhu is also following. He said, “Hey, where are you going? I am also going to Vrndavan. So they are walking after some distance Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquires, How far is Vrndavan from here, to this inquiry Nityananda Prabhu said, “Oh, you have reached Vrndavan, here is Yamuna” and as Mahaprabhu heard that He was in Vrndavan and here there was Yamuna, immediately His ecstasy increased now thousand fold and He jumped into the river.

Jai Jamuna Maiya ki Jai……
Jamuna Maiya ki Jai………….
Vrndavan Dham ki Jai………….

At some point , he was kind of finished with his holy dip of Yamuna, but he had no additional garments, he had wet clothes and there He sees Advaita Acarya, I have some clothes for you my dear Lord. Seeing Advait Acarya Caitanya Mahaprabhu, oh how come, how did you know that I was in Vrndavan, soon Mahaprabhu realised and he was thinking, have I come to Vrndavan or am I in Shantipur, in his home town. And that is what had happened, this was trick of Nityananda Prabhu and this was planned that Nityananda and Advait Acarya bring the Lord to Shantipur.

So that residents of Navadvipa (Mayapur) and specially Saci Mata would have another opportunity of having audience with the Lord. So there he ends up, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He was in Shantipur and devotees in great number turned up for darsana and Saci mata was invited to come, she comes running, she takes her Nimai, in her lap and profusely shedding tears as if she was doing abhishek with her tears. Abhishek of her nimai, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu spent several days in Shantipur, specially doing kirtans, big kirtans, for long many hours of kirtans that was life of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, chanting and dancing, Kirtaniya sada Hari, always chanting. Always chanting the glories of the Lord, always chanting the holy name.

So this is place, Saci mata knew Nimai has taken sannyasa, of course you cannot come back home, I know that but could you stay in nearby holy place, of course you could go to, where ever, the whole world is open for you, you could go to Durban also. Door- van oh that, that Van, which is at the long, long distance, Door, because doordarshan, door-van this is one of the vans, one of the vans like Vrndavan, door-van, like another van, another forest. So you could have stayed in Vrndavan or Haridwar or Banaras or Pandarpur or so many places. No, no you please stay in Jagannath Puri, which is not far from Navadvipa (Mayapur) and I will get news from time to time. Devotees from Navadvipa (Mayapur) could visit you more conveniently, so no problem.

Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu gladly accepted the proposal of Saci mata and then he proceeded for Jagnnath Puri. Chanting and dancing again accompanied by a small group of devotees. Caitanya Mahaprabhu proceeded towards Jagnnath Puri and now as they are very close to Jagannath Puri.

Jagannath Puri Dham ki Jai

They could see, Jagannath Puri and at this place Nityananda Prabhu had broken “Danda”, Caitanya Mahaprabhu had taken sannyasa but Nityananda Prabhu took away “Danda” of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and broke into pieces and threw it away, you have nothing to do with this Varna-asram. You don’t have to accept sannyasa and have all these symbols. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was bit annoyed with avadut, Nityananda Prabhu is avadut, he is above the rules and regulations and he didn’t want Caitanya Mahaprabhu also to follow such rules. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu as He was bit disturbed with this act of Nityananda Prabhu, should I go by myself to Puri and from that point onwards Caitanya Mahaprabhu kind of ran towards Puri leaving the main party behind, as if he was getting pulled up by Jagannath, the powerful magnet.

As Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered Jagannath Puri temple and as He saw Lord in front of Him. He couldn’t even utter the full name Jagannath, well we could say nothing happen much to us, but for Him, He could only say, Jag- Jag and His voice was choked up and He fell unconscious losing all the external consciousness. He fell on the temple floor, in the temple hall there was a great personality Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, well he had seen others in the past coming and exhibiting this ecstasies but just as show, they were show portal, the fake ones, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was very curious to understand ecstasies, the symptoms of this personality of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He lifted Mahaprabhu and bought Him to his own residence and examined all the symptoms and he realised that this was not an ordinary bhava but this was mahabhava, genuine symptoms of ecstasy. As soon as the main party arrive, they had darsana they were expecting Mahaprabhu to be there in temple waiting for them, but that wasn’t the case. There was no Mahaprabhu in the temple, as they inquired, they were informed you go to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s home, probably you would find him there. Then all the devotees ran to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s home, they found Lord totally unconscious, they all started chanting and the result was, some good reason for us to sing also, or as by singing this way, we try to become part of that party, Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s party. I tried experience that we are also there and we are witnessing this pastime and we are hearing that party singing and then we also sing along. So Mahaprabhu gradually came to external consciousness. Haribol,

Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu ki Jai.

So, this is how Mahaprabhu entered Jagannath Puri, because He was thinking of Lord Jagannath all the time on the way to Jagannath Puri as “Akrura” was thinking of Sri Krsna on the way to Vrndavan from Mathura. Srila Prabhupada reminds us, this is the way, if we are going to Vrndavan, go to Vrndavan the way Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Jagannath Puri or the way Akrura went to Vrndavan. You cannot purchase a ticket, train does not bring you, plane doesn’t bring you to Vrndavan, to Jagannath Puri, the mood on the way to Puri or Vrndavan will bring us there. Otherwise our body will be there but our mind back in Durban always in touch with mobile phones, keeping in touch with the family, as a result you will be disconnected from the Lord.

So Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was there in Jagannath Puri for total 18 years of which six years He is travelling all over South India. One time He goes to South India and then another time He goes to Bengal and Bangladesh and back to Jagannath Puri, so this second time, back to Jagannath Puri. Third time He goes to Vrndavan through Jharkhand forest, have you heard of Jharkhand forest pastimes? There is also one state now in India, newly formed state like Maharashtra is one and Bihar is another one and Gujarat is like that, there is another new state called Jharkhand. Caitanya Mahaprabhu travelled through Jharkhand forest danced and made the animals also dance in ecstasy, Mahaprabhu goes to Vrndavan, He does His Braja mandal praikrama and comes back. So like this three times He went on travels.

Hare krsna nama gaur karila prachar
Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu had appeared to establish the Yugdharma.
dharma samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge (BG 4.8)

I appear, in every age, to establish the principles of Dharma, the prime principle of Dharma in this age of Kali, is chanting the holy name of the Lord, Lord travelled all over the establishing, chanting dharma, sankirtana dharma. So finally, He was back, also from Vrndavan, now He would be spending twelve more years in Jagannath Puri dhama, which has very similar mood like that of Vrndavan. Soon after as He took sannyasa as we mentioned, He wanted to go to Vrndavan, but He ended up in Jagannath Puri, which is abode of Lord Jagannath, who is Krsna Himself.

Jei gaura, sei Krsna, sei Jagannath.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna, Jagannath Swami is also Krsna, so in Jagannath Puri, Caitanya Mahaprabhu experiences being in Vrndavan. In Jagannath Puri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would go for darsana of Jagannath everyday and two Lords would be taking darsana of each other. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very anxious to see Jagannath. One time Mahaprabhu, He was inquiring, could someone take me, show me the Lord, could someone show me the Lord, He was just stopping the people. Could you show me the Lord? Could you bring me to the Lord? That person, he didn’t know what to do, how to respond and then to another, what about you. Please bring me to my Lord, that also didn’t work and then another one, another one. He was going to shop to shop, stopping people. So anxious, so curious to meet His Lord, to have darsana of His Lord. So finally He came across one smart Jagannath Puri vasi, resident of Jagannath Puri. Oh, you want to see the Lord, yes, yes, please come along, please come along and He took Mahaprabhu , where did he take Him, to the temple, please come along and brought inside Jagannath’s temple. Oh you want to see the Lord, “There you see” and as Mahaprabhu saw, it was no Jagannath there that time, He saw Murlidhar, Shyamsundar playing flute in the place of Jagannath Swami.

jayati jayati devo devaki nandano’sau
jayati jayati ko vrsni vamsa pradipah
(CC madhya lila 13.78)

Caitanya Mahaprabhu also, at the time of rathyatra, He would offer this prayer. Oh Lord, all glories unto you, all glories unto you, jayati jayati devo devaki nandano’sau you are Devaki Nandan, Son of Devaki, you are Krsna Vrsni vamsa you are Vrisni Vansi, Krsna you are in Jagannath Puri. Jagannath Swami is very special Krsna, what is the speciality, what is the special feature of Jagannath? Jagannath is that Krsna, who is feeling very, very intense separation from His devotees, specially Vrndavan vasis, specially gopis and Radha Rani, that is the mood, where are they, where are they? And Lord’s eyes are, that’s why they are bigger. So that is that Jagannath Swami Krsna, feeling separation from His devotees and here is Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He has a mood of devotee, He has a mood of Radha Rani and He is feeling separation from Krsna, the Lord. So this is the match.

Krsna, Jagannath Swami feeling separation from the devotees, He is looking of for where are my devotees, where are my devotees, how are my devotees and here is Caitanya Mahaprabhu where is my Lord, where is my Krsna, Where is my Krsna. So this is a perfect match, Jagannath Swami and Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

In Jagannath Puri temple, there is a Garuda stambha, Garuda is one pillar, Garuda is a carrier of Jagannath, Vishnu, he is like the vehicle. Like yours vehicle is parked in front, as soon you are out of your home, your vehicle is there ever ready. So Garuda also parks himself at the entrance, when ever Lord wants to go, he is ready to go. Caitanya Mahaprabhu would be allowed only to go up to that pillar and not forward, if He would go forward then, finished. There would be a stronger magnetic field, so better to keep Him at a safer distance. So devotees would not allow Him to step forward. He had to stand next to Garuda stambha and take darsana, see Jagannath Swami. So as Mahaprabhu would hold the Garuda stambha, by the touch of the fingers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu there are finger prints of Caitanya Mahaprabhu in that Garuda stambha. I was just there in the past and I had seen and this time also, I not only saw but placed my fingers in the same place and was trying to feel something, trying to go into the past and imagine Mahaprabhu standing there, Him holding that pillar.

suni jara guna gatha
pasu pakhi jhure, pasana vidare
suni jara guna gatha

Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s guna gatha, His qualities, His pastimes are, even the birds, they go in trance as they listen pasu pakhi jhure, pasana vidare, and the rock would melt by His touch or by hearing His pastimes. Such is THE power of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His pastimes, His qualities.

gaurangra madhurya lila
jar karne pravesila
hrdoya nirmala bhelo tar

gaurangra madhurya lila, jar karne pravesila as the pastimes of Gauranga Mahaprabhu enter the ears and it is not sufficient to enter the ears, this pastimes would finally reach the heart because our soul is not in ears, what is the sitting place of the soul? Heart, so it has to go all the way to the heart, not again entering one ear and coming out from the other one. So we take this pastimes in and arrange the meeting, meeting of Lord’s pastimes with the soul, that is the goal. Soul has to be brought in contact with the pastimes of the Lord. Lord is non-different from his pastimes, lila and Lord is non different from His holy name, His holy form or His holy dhama, some of these are Lord’s personal features.

So Narottam Dass Thakur sings that as the pastimes of Gauranga Mahaprabhu are heard, hrdoya nirmala bhelo tar, that person’s heart will become nirmal, free form dirt, free form contamination, free from three modes of material nature. I think that is the purpose of what we are doing here, by hearing this pastimes of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Jagannath Puri, we would like to be purified, yes, is that the purpose?

The pastimes of Gauranga in Jagannath Puri are unlimited, it is the ocean, ocean of pastimes, we just need a drop because we are very tiny, tiny souls, the drop is like a ocean for us, if we get just few drops, we will be drowned in that drop of the past times of Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Jagannath Puri, as He was returning from His travels, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya he approached King Prataprudra, and he enquired where could Lord stay? Please make some arrangement. Prataprudra, he was a great devotee of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu , although king of Orissa, king of Puri but very humble, pure soul, pure devotee he was.

He was always very anxious to serve Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He said, that Kashi Mishra’s home would be a very appropriate place for Mahaprabhu to stay and that is where Caitanya Mahaprabhu, when He returned, Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed at Kashi Mishra’s place. I don’t know, whether you have heard the name “Gambhira.” Gambhira also means very serious, gambhir, serious place, that place is very serious place, that place was chosen because it is not very far from Jagannath Puri temple and it is secluded and is very quiet, for this reason, Kashi Mishra’s home was chosen as residence of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And the place where He stayed was very tiny, very tiny place, very, very small place. Sannyasi as He was renounced, He was happily residing in that small place although Kashi Mishra had a big, big palace quarters, but Mahaprabhu choose that small corner, small quarter, where next 12 years, He would be spending here.

Jagannath Puri is going to be His base. No travels and from there He would go everyday for darsana of Jagannath and after having darsana of Jagannath. Next place Caitanya Mahaprabhu would visit every day, this was a daily practice, visit “Siddha Bakul”, where Namacarya Haridas Thakur, that was his residence.

Nama-acarya Haridas Thakur was born in a Muslim family, as a result he was banned from darsana of Jagannath, don’t think this is just some new policy of modern times, even 500 years ago Haridas Thakur, because he was from a non Hindu family, he was not allowed .

I was also not allowed to have darsana of Jagannath one time. One time as I was, that was my first time, first time in Jagannath Puri must be 1977, as we were going with a group of ISKCON devotees and the panda stopped us. Panda you understand panda, pandit becomes panda and as we why, why not, he said you, you are Christian and this ISKCON people they have converted you. I don’t know where they, they got this very secret, so I tried to convince but didn’t work, panda’s were well built and I am small, they literally picked me up and put me outside. But while as we were battling with the Panda, there was one of my God brother from America born in Christian family but he was having some Indian kind of complexion, skin. So he took advantage panda’s were busy with me, so he was there in front of Jagannath Swami praying for me and he soon returned outside the gate. Maharaja, Tulasi for you, Tulasi for you from, lotus feet of Jagannath. So by his mercy I had at least Tulasi of Jagannath that day. So Haridas Thakur, at least I was fighting to go in there but Haridas Thakur didn’t fight.

He considered himself not qualified for darsana of Jagannath. He would just take darsana of “Chakra” at the top of the temple and that was good enough that is considered good enough, even offerings of food could be made offered to the Chakra, a lot of people do to this day. This is, you could offer food to the Chakra, so Haridas Thakur he would just take darsana of the chakra at the top of the temple dome, but then Mahaprabhu would come to meet Haridas Thakur. So he was not allowed to go in for the darsana of Jagannath but then Jagannath would be walking, He would walk, who is Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

jei gaur, sei Krsna, sei Jagannath

So Jagannath Swami is Gauranga Mahaprabhu, he would come to Haridas Thakur and give Him darsana, embrace him and this was every day. Haridas Thakur he would just chant, that’s all that he did. Haridas Thakur would simply chant and chant and chant and chant and chant. And if we are asked we say can’t chant, can’t, can’t , can’t chant. Chant, chant, chant, can’t can’t, can’t. Prabhupada also said this. So he would always chant, very little rest, very little food always chanting that is why Mahaprabhu gave him title to Haridas Thakur as Nama-acarya Haridas Thakur and nama-acarya. He has another name, he is also Brahma, Haridas what is the name, Brahma Haridas, because he is not different from Brahma. Brahma appeared, but Brahma took little break from his management, managerial affairs , too much stress, so he decided to do little mantra meditation and he is acarya. Srila Prabhupada comes in that parampara, first acarya of our parampara, is Brahma. So he is acarya, so he is setting example, teaching in this age of Kali, chanting is the way, so he didn’t, well delivered so many discourses on this topic but he simply chanted and has set the glorious example. So at this place where Haridas Thakur, there was not so much shelter, lot of times he would be chanting in the hot sun, so one day Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu as He comes to see Haridas Thakur, He brought a tooth brush, it was a “Bakul Tree, the tree like the neem, little twig is used for brushing. So every day as Jagannath Swami is woken up they offer Him this brush. So that day’s brush, the twig Mahaprabhu carried with Him and planted that. And soon that grew into a tree, the shady tree and became known as “siddha bakul”. So the tree that was planted 500 years ago, that tree is still there, giving nice shade, then Haridas Thakur, then he was sitting in the shade of that bakul tree and chanting.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare

So “Siddha Bakul” is another very famous spot in Jagannath Puri. In Jagannath Puri, you feel strong presence of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, where ever you go, the whole atmosphere of Jagannath Puri is surcharged with Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s memories and pastimes and so many places. he Haridas thakur’s samadhi is there, there is Gundicha temple, Gundicha you heard of Gundicha? The day of rathayatra, before a day of rathayatra , Caitanya Mahaprabhu would go there personally and clean the temple. He did not order call up some coolies on phone, 10 rupees okay, or bring some more sweepers with you, no He didn’t, He would personally go, take His devotees, take brooms and take many pots, it’s a wonderful pastime.

Tomorrow we will talk about Gundicha marjana and that is also, a series of festivals which took place 500 years age and for thousands of years. In fact this festivity is just one after the other, one leading to other and to other and other leading to the Jagannath ratha yatra. Jagannath Swami staying in Gundicha temple then “ulta ratha” and Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s visit to “Alarnath” while no darsana available for two week, Jagannath Puri temple is closed. You should know this, from snana yatra time to ratha yatra time about two weeks, if you want to take darsana, you have to go another temple that is where you take darsana of Jagannath or taking darsana of that deities is as good as taking darsana of Jagannath, Caitanya Mahaprabhu would do this.

So I think, so we talk about different festivities in Jagannath Puri and how Caitanya Mahaprabhu was part, how he participated, how He relished making those festivals memorable unforgetful experiences. Because ratha yatra that we are celebrating here, it is because of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He made this ratha yatra’s. He was there for 12 years attending ratha yatra after ratha yatra, after ratha yatra and not just witnessing or taking photographs or standing on the roof tops and making some observations.

But He was integral part of this rathayatra festival, Jagannath up there, He is Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the mood of Radha Rani in front of Him, on the streets of Puri in front of ratha Yatra. So we will discuss that series of festivals and events tomorrow and before we close, we could sing a little and then what happens. Maha Prasade Govinde, it is very popular manta, everyone is waiting for that movement , the two popular mantra’s Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudaye and then you sleep and mahaprasade, you really jump, jump, two popular mantras.

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