Lecture by His Holiness Sivarama Swami (download mp3), given on February 27, at the 2007 Gaura Purnima Festival, Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir, Mayapur, India.
Caitanya-Caritamrita, Antya 1.132
anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
TRANSLATION: "'May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.'"
PURPORT: This verse (Vidagdha-madhava 1.2) also appears in the Adi-lila (1.4 and 3.4). In his commentary on the Vidagdha-madhava, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks, maha-prabhoh sphurtim vina hari-lila-rasasvadananupapatter iti bhavah: "Without the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one cannot describe the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami said, vo yusmakam hrdaya-rupa-guhayam saci-nandano harih pakse simhah sphuratu: "May Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is exactly like a lion that kills all the elephants of desire, be awakened within everyone's heart, for by His merciful blessings one can understand the transcendental pastimes of Krsna." [End of purport]
Sivarama Swami: There are fourteen verses, slokas, which are like the bija or seed of Caitanya-caritamrta. The author, after mentioning them, he says, "I will now elaborate further on these verses." And that is Caitanya-caritamrta is about. Bija, seed, it is like we also have our kama-bija, klim. From that seed then comes the kama-gayatri mantra. Just like with a tree, within the seed the potential for the entire tree is there. In material world, when you have the seed, you don't have the tree. When you have the seed, the tree is gone. In the spiritual context, these things don't exist. In fact, Rupa Goswami describes this later on in Nectar of Devotion. So both the seed exists as well as the tree that comes from the seed.
This is the fourth of the fourteen slokas. The first six describe Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then Lord Nityananda, Advaita Acarya, concluding with panca-tattvatmakam krsnam. These constitute the basis of Caitanya-caritamrta. This verse, anarpita-carim cirat, is composed by Rupa Goswami. It is to be found in his Vidagdha-madhava. It's interesting that those fourteen verses are a compilation of his own composition. Rupa Goswami, Svarupa Damodara Goswami, and also other sources, they are not his, but all together, they present the tattva of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's lila, his ontology, as well as the nature of his rasa, particularly here in this verse and in the two verses that follow this one.
The history of this verse now been spoken, this chapter is entitled "Rupa Goswami's Second Meeting with the Lord". When Caitanya Mahaprabhu was residing in Jagannath Puri, his daily habit would be to visit Thakur Haridas because Haridas Thakur was not able to go to the temple, being born in, considered to be, a mleccha family, although he was a greatly exalted transcendental personality. Still, he followed all the proper rules and regulations and he wouldn't go. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally came. Caitanya Mahaprabhu being non-different than Lord Jagannath, so Jagannath came to visit Haridas Thakur and he brought him prasadam. This went on for the entire duration of Haridas Thakur's stay in Puri up until he finally left his body.
At this time, Rupa Goswami was also residing there. Following the Ratha-yatra festival, Rupa Goswami composed a very beautiful verse. That verse is found in Padyavali. It was in response to another song that Caitanya Mahaprabhu was singing. During Ratha-yatra, Caitanya Mahaprabhu would sing this song beginning with "yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas". This was not a sastric song. It was more like a popular song that was known at that time, but it was more or less a love ballad, but it reflected the spirit or the mood of Ratha-yatra.
When Rupa Goswami heard this, then he presented it in a more direct way. So he wrote this other verse: priyah so 'yam krsnah saha-cari kuru-ksetra-militas tathaham sa radha, and so on. So he wrote this on a palm leaf and left it in the thatched roof of Haridas Thakur's hut. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, he saw this. When he saw it, he showed it to his other associates, and he put up this rhetorical question, "How is it possible that Rupa Goswami could understand my heart?"
Because the song actually describes the meeting of Srimati Radharani and Lord Krsna at Kuruksetra and it describes the spirit of the gopis, "You are the same Krsna, these are the same moonlit nights, I'm the same Srimati Radharani - tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham - this meeting is very nice, it's giving us a lot of pleasure, but it's not the same. There's no Yamuna here, there's no Govardhan Hill, there's no Vrindavan, and there's no flute. Where's your flute? Rather, there is simply the opulence of a great king, so we want to take you back to Vrindavan."
That is the spirit of Ratha-yatra, bringing Krsna, bringing Lord Jagannath from the Dvaraka opulence which he is manifesting in Kuruksetra back to Vrindavan, and ultimately Krsna did go to Vrindavan. They succeeded in bringing him back, but it was a little later time that Krsna followed the inhabitants of Vrindavan back to his home.
So when Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "How is it possible he understood this?"
Ramananda Raya replied, "It's only possible by your mercy. How else could anyone understand anything?" How else can anyone understand Lord Krsna because this is describing Lord Krsna's pastimes, but this is Lord Krsna's pastimes as are revealed in radha bhava dyuti suvalitam, in the innermost core of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's heart.
After that follows this whole episode of speaking, Rupa Goswami reading of speaking certain parts of Lalita-madhava, Vidagdha-madhava. Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to actually glorify Rupa Goswami in the presence of his associates. Srila Prabhupada, Krsnadas Kaviraj Goswami describes how much great pleasure Lord Caitanya derived from this because ultimately, Rupa Goswami is our paramacarya. We are rupanugas. We follow in Rupa Goswami's line. Even though other personalities are extremely elevated in terms of their relationship with Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Krsna, perhaps a certain sense of seniority, but in terms of sri-caitanya-mano-'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale, in terms of the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa Goswami is empowered to do that and he has also established the mission of fulfilling Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's desire of spreading Krsna consciousness all over the world.
Anyway, Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to glorify Rupa Goswami, and interestingly enough, he was also interested in seeing how his associates would react. Particularly in the next verse, raya kahe, rupa kahe, this is sort of a dialogue going on between Ramananda Raya. . . earlier, in the Eighth Chapter of Madhya-lila, there is this very extensive discussion between Ramananda Raya and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, which really reveals the different stages of spiritual life, different stages of devotional service, and the topmost levels of Krsna conscious exchanges, experience between Srimati Radharani and Lord Krsna, and particularly how those are experienced by Lord Caitanya.
It's a very wonderful exchange, one that even back in the late 50's or early 60's Srila Prabhupada wrote this little book, Ramananda-samvada, the discussion or conversation of Ramananda Raya. Anyway, Ramananda Raya was a great scholar. He was now Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associate and he'd also written plays, particularly this Jagannath Vallabha nataka, which is a very beautiful play about the meeting of the Divine Couple, Radha-Madhava, so he wanted to see how he would react and how they would react when they heard Rupa Goswami's composition.
Then they're asking different things and this is in response to the question, "Ramananda Raya said, 'Now please recite the description of the glories of your worshipable Deity.'"
Rupa Goswami was hesitating. He was embarrassed because his worshipable Deity here, Sacinandana, was Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting right there. So Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu encouraged him. He said, "Why are you embarrassed? You should recite it so that the devotees can hear the good fruit of your writing."
"When Rupa Gosvami thus recited his verse, Caitanya Mahaprabhu disapproved of it because it described His personal glories." In the purport Srila Prabhupada is quoting Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur that without Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy, no one can really understand Lord Krsna. Of course this is understand, not describe, the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
This is certainly a most important principle. In fact, it is the essential principle by which we practice, or we are in the Krsna consciousness movement. We are in the Krsna consciousness movement, but Krsna consciousness personified is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore, even in this place Srila Prabhupada on different occasions had repeated that "We cannot go directly to Lord Krsna. We must go through the guru parampara and that begins by going through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."
Otherwise, approaching Krsna becomes extremely difficult. Knowing Krsna becomes difficult. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya. So knowing Krsna tattvatah, Krsna also explains mam vetti tattvatah. To know the real truths of Krsna is very difficult.
Rupa Goswami writes:
aher iva gatih premnah svabhava-kutila bhavet
He says, "If you want to understand Krsna or the pastimes of Vrindavan, they are extremely convoluted, extremely difficult." He says, "They are like the movements of a snake." If you have sen the movements of a snake, they move this way, but they also move sideways. So never know really where they're going. They're moving like this. So understanding Krsna, directly approaching Krsna, is a very difficult thing. Narottama das Thakur also concludes his Prarthana by making this statement. But if someone approaches Krsna through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then that becomes very easy.
Earlier on, Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami says:
kathancana smrte yasmin duskaram sukaram bhavet
If someone remembers Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the most difficult thing, and this is the most difficult thing, understanding Krsna, Krsna-tattva, becomes very, very easy. But:
vismrte viparitam syat sri-caitanyam namami tam
But if you forget Caitanya Mahaprabhu , the easiest thing becomes very, very difficult. So our whole idea, the whole process of Krsna consciousness is to approach Krsna through Caitanya Mahaprabhu and to learn to glorify Krsna through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
There are two nice examples of this that come to mind. One is the example of Puridas, who later became known as Kavi Karnapur. When he was a very little boy, his father, Sivananda Seva, who would annually come to Jagannath Puri from Navadvipa Dham, he would go from here to there and take all of the devotees, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associates. When Puridas came, Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked him to speak something about Krsna. He wouldn't say anything. This sort of went on and on until Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave Puridas his blessings and Puridas actually got the dust of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu lotus feet, at which time immediately he began to talk. In fact, he is known as Kavi because all Gaudiya Vaisnavas consider him to be a great, learned scholar. And although he was a very little boy, he composed this very beautiful verse:
sravasoh kuvalayam aksnor anjanam uraso mahendra-mani-dama vrndavana-ramaninam mandanam akhilam harir jayati
And there he is describing Krsna: Krsna is like a flower decoration for the ears, aksnor anjanam, and just like anjana, premanjana, just like ointment for the eyes, black ointment for the eyes. He is the, Prabhupada says he is the universal ornament for the gopis, and let him be glorified, harir jayati, let that Hari be glorified. Yes, and he is just like a necklace around the neck.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very much pleased with that. In other words, after Puridas received Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy, then he could glorify Lord Krsna.
In fact earlier on, another verse in Caitanya-caritamrta where Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami says:
sri-caitanya-prasadena tad-rupasya vinirnayam balo 'pi
He says bala, bala means a child. He says even a child can describe the glories of Lord Krsna's pastimes in Vrindavan, sastra, according to the way they are described in sastra, sri-caitanya-prasadena, if he has the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This is the particular example of Kavi-karnapura, who was just a little boy.
Of course the other example is our Thakur Bhaktivinod. Just recently I was reading his own statement. Since I can't quote it, I won't even paraphrase, but Bhaktivinod Thakur said that when he started to delve into Gaudiya Vaisnavism, he first started reading Srimad Bhagavatam. And when he read Bhagavatam, he read the Tenth Canto, he was really disturbed. He could not accept that this is God. He could not accept that God in the dead of night is enticing other people's wives to dance with him. It's a highly immoral act. It was an immoral act five thousand years ago, but it was also immoral one hundred years ago, Bhaktivinod Thakur's time. In his words, he more or less rejected. He could not accept that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
But when he read Caitanya-caritamrta, then through Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he said then I could understand. Then it became very clear. Of course our Thakur Bhaktivinod is an eternally liberated soul. But still, he is setting this very suitable example for us that if we want to understand Lord Krsna and if we want to glorify Lord Krsna--which Srila Prabhupada encouraged us to do, Srila Prabhupada instructed all of his followers that you should write. He said that this was our lineage, our tradition, Furthermore, he said that Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted all of his followers to write, that's why he empowered all of the Goswamis to do so. It's not possible unless one actually sees things through the eyes, teachings, worship, and the grace of Lord Caitanya. And Bhaktivinod showed us this thing that if one goes directly, it becomes impossible.
Therefore, we have to do, but for that, one requires real faith in Caitanya Mahaprabhu because ultimately, in Krsna consciousness, any level of achievement is only acquired through the degree or the level of faith that we have. Therefore Vaisnavas must have this great faith in Caitanya Mahaprabhu, not only Caitanya Mahaprabhu but also in Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associates. Gaurangera sangi-gane nitya-siddha, that all of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associates are described as, here Narottama das Thakur says you must accept that they are nitya-siddha, parikaras, they are not ordinary personalities even though they may appear like that.
Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami's elder brother accepted Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but he wouldn't accept Lord Nityananda. He fell down. Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami immediately left his home, left his association. That's how he ended up coming to Vrindavan.
Srila Prabhupada points out that there are Vaisnava schools, what to speak of other religious organizations, who don't accept Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And often, they may propound also that someone else is the yuga-avatara. Prabhupada says that there are some members of the Nimbarka Sampradaya who reject the fact that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the yuga-avatara or that he is directly Krsna. Prabhupada says they think that he is a great saint, that he's a great devotee, but not that he is svayam-bhagavan. That's why here Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami begins by establishing the truth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This third verse:
yad advaitam brahmopanisadi tad apy asya tanu-bha
He says what the brahmavadis consider to be this Brahman, what is the effulgence of his body, and that Paramatma who is residing within the heart of everyone, who the yogis worship, that is his plenary expansion within the heart of every living entity. And that svayam-bhagavan, that is non-different than this Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
This becomes the first premise, the first statement, vastu-nirdesa, establishing what is the vastu, or the substance, or the goal of Caitanya-caritamrta, that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And Prabhupada states that the most important verse which substantiates this is the verse found in the Eleventh Canto:
krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam sangopangastra-parsadam yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah
Srila Prabhupada quotes this verse any time he talks about Caitanya Mahaprabhu being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yuga-avatara. Srila Prabhupada quotes this verse and he quotes other verses to substantiate. It is actually a very important verse.
If you remember, this is Maharaja Nimi questioning the Nava-yogendras and Karabhajan Muni is speaking. Maharaja Nimi is asking, "I want to know, particulary for the Kali-yuga, what is the avatara, how is he worshipped, what is the yajna by which he is meant to be served?"
Karabhajan Muni has gone through the different yugas. Then he says, "Tat srnu", like Krsna says. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur says he makes this point because "Now I am going to tell you something very important. Now you should listen. Up until now we were talking about plenary expansions of the Lord, but now we are talking about the Supreme Personality of Godhead himself."
Then he cites this verse, krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam, which is described, Srila Prabhupada analyses this verse in many different ways. Krsna-varnam, he points out this word varnam, varneti is explained in different way. Srila Prabhupada gives one, someone who always has the syllables krs-na, who is always vibrating the syllables krs-na, he is krsna-varnam. We saw that five hundred years ago, Nimai Pandit, later Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was always chanting Krsna's holy name. Krsna-varnam, varna also means category, so Srila Prabhupada said, just like he is also in the same category as Krsna. In other words, he is also svayam-bhagavan, but he is tvisakrsnam. Tvisa-akrsnam, his complexion is akrsna.
When this question comes up, tvisakrsnam, does it actually mean, because it simply means he is akrsna, tvisa akrsna, he complexion is not krsna, not blackish. Prabhupada very often, when he refers, he quotes Tenth Canto, one verse, very famous verse, which Gargamuni speaks when he's talking to Nanda Maharaja. And he's talking particularly about Krsna. He says, "Your son, he has many different births. In these births, he appears in different colors. That also starts with varna, that verse, but he says:
suklo raktas tatha pita idanim krsnatam gatah
He says, in previous age, he comes in a white incarnation. So because it says akrsna, but Prabhupada says, sukla, the white incarnation, he cannot be white because white incarnation has already come. And he cannot be rakta, he cannot be red, red incarnation has also come. Therefore pita, he is of yellow or golden complexion. Idanim krsnatam gatah, and now he's appearing in this blackish form.
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and other commentators analyze this verse in great detail. They analyze it using Sanskrit grammar, which I don't have a grasp of, but they point out how particularly the fact that Krsna is being described as the last, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In other words, although the chronology should be sukla, rakta, krsna, pita because that is how the appearance comes, it's described like this in order to give emphasis, idanim, "Now he's coming here." The past is given with the first two, the red and the white. And the idanim, presently he's appearing in this color, which by implication means, "And in the future, pita, yellow incarnation." This is meant to be another affirmation from Srimad Bhagavatam that this golden incarnation who appears is actually Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and not some other personality who neither chants Hare Krsna, neither is a golden incarnation.
Just on another point closing on this, which is a statement made by Lord Brahma, very interesting explanation of a Bhagavad-gita verse that we recite regularly. Locana dasa Thakur quotes this. It's a conversation between Brahma and Narada. Lord Brahma is:
yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham
paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge
So in this explanation he is saying when Krsna saying, "sambhavami yuge yuge," he says, "I come in this age, yuge, and in the next age, yuge, and in the one after this." Generally our translation is Krsna comes in "age after age". This particular explanation says, "In this age now I am here as Krsna speaking Bhagavad-gita in front of Arjuna. And in the next age, I am also coming, svayam-bhagavan, Supreme Personality of Godhead."
So the conviction, or the faith, of Gaudiya Vaisnavas, which is based on sastra, but ultimately rests on our acaryas' explanation of sastra is that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And as is described in the verses which follow:
radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad
This Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir, he is the embodiment of Krsna in the radha-bhava-dyuti, in the mood, the complexion of Srimati Radharani.
We have that ultimately, Srila Prabhupada once was arguing back and forth with a Sanskrit Indologist professor. Ultimately when they were giving interpretation, he said, "We accept Caitanya Mahaprabhu's version and as Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings are given to us by our acaryas. This is our ultimate pramana."
Sruti is the ultimate pramana, but how to understand? Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. Therefore Bhaktivinod Thakur says that the highest evidence in the ultimate sense is the words of the self realized souls. Just like for us, members of the Krsna consciousness movement, the highest form of evidence is Srila Prabhupada's words, how Srila Prabhupada explains Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, and as he explains it, even though someone else may say something else apparently, we take that as being gospel and that becomes our pramana. By that conviction, then we have the vision of Lord Krsna as derived through Caitanya Mahaprabhu, anarpita-carim cirat.
Then here the first two words, first two lines are the tatastha-laksana. These are the secondary symptoms and the last two are the svarupa-laksana of this verse and also of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When talking with Sanatana Goswami, Sanatana Goswami was asking about this krsna-varnam sloka. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Activities of the incarnation of the Lord constitute his secondary characteristics and his physical characteristics. That is that he is krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam. These constitute the primary symptoms."
Then Sanatana Goswami started to dig. After all, he was a prime minister. He was very, very smart. He said, "Well, does that meant the yuga-avatara of this age has golden complexion, he is always chanting Hare Krsna, which is implying that he is you?"
Lord Caitanya said, "Don't. You're up to your tricks. Don't make too many tricks." Then he just got off the subject and continued on.
So anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala, all of this is described earlier on by Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami. He says that this verse describes the external reason for Caitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance, that external reason being that Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give, as it is stated here, samarpayitum unnatojjvala. He is giving the topmost process of devotional service, which means that he is teaching us vraja bhakti though the agency of chanting the Hare Krsna Mahamantra.
And ujjvala-rasa, not just vraja bhakti, but ujjvala-rasa refers to in the conjugal mellow. It's not in the translation, but in the word for word, Srila Prabhupada translates ujjvala-rasa - the conjugal mellow and unnata means elevated.
But this is sriyam, this is a treasure. This is a very confidential thing. The next two verse describe the, what Prabhupada uses, he uses words like "confidential reason". He even uses the word "real reason" for Caitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance:
sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso vanayaiva-svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrso . . .
In order to taste the ecstasy, pleasure moods of Srimati Radharani, Lord Krsna has appeared in this form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Then we get this blessing:
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
That we should take this Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within our hearts with his, here, kadamba-sandipitah. He is like the clouds, like the rumbling of the clouds. Here it is called harih. Hari also refers to a lion. When the lion roars, then all of the insignificant creatures in the forest disperse. Similarly, when we hear the chanting of the Hare Krsna Mantra, when we hear Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teaching through Rupa-Sanatana Goswamis, this destroys all of the ignorance within the heart. Also kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah, when we see the beautiful complexion of Lord Caitanya, the golden complexion as we see here in the form of Panca Tattva, then these two things, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's voice and his complexion, they destroy all the obstacles to Krsna consciousness.
Then kathancana smrte yasmin duskaram sukaram bhavet, what's very difficult to achieve becomes very, very easy by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy. Rupa Goswami is giving us that blessing, benediction. This is part of Caitanya-caritamrta, receiving benedictions, part of the invocation. If we accept those blessings of Lord Caitanya, of our guru parampara, then by Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy, we also can glorify Lord Krsna, understand Lord Krsna, and ultimately become Krsna conscious.
That's it as far as our time is concerned.
Thank you very much.
Srila Prabhupada ki jai!
Sri Sri Radha Madhava ki jai!