Lecture by His Holiness Candramauli Swami (download mp3), given on March 1, at the 2007 Gaura Purnima Festival, Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir, Mayapur, India.
Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi 3.47
suvarna-varno hemango varangas candanangadi
sannyasa-krc chamah santo nistha-santi-parayanah
TRANSLATION: "In His early pastimes He appears as a householder with a golden complexion. His limbs are beautiful, and His body, smeared with the pulp of sandalwood, seems like molten gold. In His later pastimes He accepts the sannyasa order, and He is equipoised and peaceful. He is the highest abode of peace and devotion, for He silences the impersonalist nondevotees."
PURPORT: This is a verse from the Mahabharata (Dana-dharma, Visnu-sahasra-nama-stotra). In his commentary on the Visnu-sahasra-nama, called the Namartha-sudha, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, commenting upon this verse, asserts that Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to the evidence of the Upanisads. He explains that suvarna-varnah means a golden complexion. He also quotes the Vedic injunction yada pasyah pasyate rukma-varnam kartaram isam purusam brahma-yonim (Mundaka Up. 3.1.3). Rukma-varnam kartaram isam refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead as having a complexion the color of molten gold. Purusam means the Supreme Lord, and brahma-yonim indicates that He is also the Supreme Brahman. This evidence, too, proves that Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna. Another meaning of the description of the Lord as having a golden hue is that Lord Caitanya's personality is as fascinating as gold is attractive. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana has explained that the word varanga means "exquisitely beautiful."
Lord Caitanya accepted sannyasa, leaving aside His householder life, to preach His mission. He has equanimity in different senses. First, He describes the confidential truth of the Personality of Godhead, and second, He satisfies everyone by knowledge and attachment to Krsna. He is peaceful because He renounces all topics not related to the service of Krsna. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana has explained that the word nistha indicates His being rigidly fixed in chanting the holy name of Sri Krsna. Lord Caitanya subdued all disturbing opponents of devotional service, especially the monists, who are actually averse to the personal feature of the Supreme Lord. [End of purport]
Candramauli Swami: So in these last few days prior to the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Gaura Purnima, we've turned our attention to his personality, his glories, his activities, everything about the Supreme Lord in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
This verse is actually from the Mahabharata. It is describing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It's interesting how with careful research, one can find, in various religious scriptures, indication of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's identity, his appearance, and his activities. Here we find in the Mahabharata. Also in Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the prayers by Prahlad Maharaja to Lord Nrsimhadeva, the Lord is also indicated as one who appears in the color of gold, or yellow, pita.
Also in the same Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the prayers by the residents of Jambudvipa, the Lord is mentioned as tri-yuga. Tri-yuga refers to that personality who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead who appears as the Lord in three yugas: in Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga. In Kali-yuga he is channa-avatara. Channa means hidden. He appears not as the supreme Lord but as his own devotee. Therefore he is referred to as tri-yuga, or as the Lord who appears in three yugas. But in the Kali-yuga he appears as a devotee of himself.
This is the position of Lord Caitanya that actually he is coming as his own devotee. It is explained in the Caitanya-caritamrta in this fourth chapter that he comes for six reasons. Three of them are external and three are internal. It is explained that the internal reasons are foremost, the primary. The external reasons we all know. He comes to fulfill the yuga-dharma, the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord or to spread the mercy of pure love of Godhead in the form of harinama-sankirtana. That is considered external. Also it is mentioned in Bhagavad-gita:
yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham
paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge
He comes in every yuga. In order to fulfill his own words in Bhagavad-gita, he keeps that principle and appears in the Kali-yuga. But he appears once in every thousand yuga cycles in the Kali-yuga as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as the channa-avatara, hidden. Of course the third reason is to satisfy the desire and the heartfelt prayers of Sri Advaita Acarya.
Jaya Radha-Madhava, Asta-Sakhi ki jai!
Sri Advaita Acarya was praying from the core of his heart that these inhabitants of Navadvipa Dham have become so lost. Before the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Navadvipa Dham was considered one of the greatest centers of learning throughout the entire world. People from all over the world would go to get the highest and best education in Navadvipa. It was concerned the greatest of all education bastions. It had some of the greatest scholars in the world. In fact, all of the religious scriptures known were present here. But generally, the population was somewhat pious but not very much absorbed in pure devotional service. People were educated, they had great intelligence, pious activities, good qualities, a lot of material facilities, worshiping demigods, but very little of the essence of spiritual life, pure devotional service.
Advaita Acarya, of course, who is Advaita Acarya? He is a combination of Sada Siva and Mahavisnu. He is praying to the Lord, "Please come."
He was angry to see how people were wasting their lives in material education. They were spending all their money. They would spend practically life savings on weddings and pujas and vratas and homas. They were even doing things like marrying cats and dogs because when you get materially wealthy and situated, after a while, you get bored. You just want to do different things or change. That's what happens when too much material opulence without any real, solid spiritual worship. They get bored after a while, so they do different things. It is explained by Vrindavan Das Thakur in Caitanya-bhagavat that they were engaging in marriage of cats and dogs. Can you imagine?
Advaita Acarya, feeling compassion for the fallen conditioned souls of this age, he went down to the banks of the Ganges with great prayers in his heart, worshiping his Nrsimha-sila with tulasi leaves and praying from the core of his heart, "Please my dear Lord, come."
And Lord Caitanya actually said, "I have come because of the prayers of Advaita Acarya." But there are many reasons. These are the three external reasons.
The internal reasons are actually the primary reasons. What are the internal reasons? These are very interesting. Sri Krsna himself, in order to experience the position of Srimati Radharani, wanting to understand her position in relationship to himself, he took on the position of her. He took on her bhava, her relationship with Krsna. He wanted to understand not only her position but he wanted to understand, "What is so attractive about me. Why am I so attractive to Srimati Radharani?" She cannot, even for a fraction of an iota of an insignificant speck of time, not be absorbed in pure loving service to Krsna. Her love is intense. Even Krsna couldn't understand Radharani's love. He wanted to find out what was the nature of that love and what was it about him that makes her have such deep love. So he wanted to understand his own good qualities.
Krsna is very attractive. There is a story, one time Krsna was walking along and he came across a pillar. The pillar had a reflecting surface. He stopped and looked and said, "Wow, who is that beautiful personality there?" He was so overwhelmed seeing his own image that he just ran toward it to embrace it. Then he realized it was himself. [Chuckles] This is Krsna. He is so attractive that he attracts himself.
But in order to understand his own attractiveness, he had to take the position of the object in order to understand the subject. Also to understand what is the nature of the happiness she experiences from that loving relationship, her happiness, her love, her position, and what are his qualities. These are the internal reasons.
Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami points out in the Caitanya-caritamrta that the time for the yuga-dharma or for descending in order to propagate the teachings of harinama-sankirtana just happened to coincide with Lord Krsna's desire to appear as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to understand the internal reasons of his appearance, in other words, to understand that loving relationship. The external reasons are secondary.
Here in this particular verse it is describing some of his extraordinary qualities. One of the qualities that is mentioned, it was mentioned in the previous class by His Holiness Sivarama Maharaja, that he has a beautiful golden color. Radharani is called Gaurangi and Caitanya Mahaprabhu is called Gauranga, golden complexion. Actually Krsna told Radharani, when he was in the spiritual world, "I am descending in order to taste this loving relationship of your love for me."
When Radharani heard about that, she was quite alarmed because she knew the ecstasy he would experience in trying to experience her bhava. Therefore she said, "Your body will not be able to maintain. Therefore I give you protection of your body. I give you my own color." She gave him the color golden. So here is it is explained: radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam, that he is decorated with the transcendental color of Srimati Radharani. He is called Gauranga.
ajanu-lambita-bhujau kanakavadatau sankirtanaika-pitarau kamalayataksau visvambharau dvija-varau yuga-dharma-palau vande jagat priya-karau karunavatarau
In that verse it is also mentioned that Lord Caitanya has a golden color. His arms extend down to his knees. His eyes are elongated. His is the best of the brahmanas and he is teaching the highest principles of religion. That is, he is initiating personally himself the yuga-dharma, the harinama-sankirtana movement.
This chanting the Holy Name is the essence of all religious principles. Yamaraja himself, when he was speaking to his followers after they had returned in their failed attempt to take the soul of Ajamila to the courtyard of Yamaraja, they were questioning Yamaraja, "What is your position?"
He explained, "Actually, I am not supreme. I am subordinate. The devotees of Krsna are in all sense worshipable. Therefore, even I worship them." Then he explained that in this age, devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest form of religious principles, but the essence of all devotional activities is to chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. That is the essence of the essence.
Sometimes when we preach, or even sometimes in a very uninformed understanding, we cannot understand how important it is to chant Hare Krsna. Actually, Srila Prabhupada said, "All your advancement in devotional service depends on chanting the Holy Names of the Lord." Everything else we do in our devotional service is meant to purify our consciousness so we can approach Krsna's name in the proper consciousness, with the proper mood.
Therefore all practices in devotional service are in one sense supporting the quality of our chanting if we are performing those activities in the right mood, with the right understanding: chanting, reading Srimad-Bhagavatam, associating with devotees, engaging in practical devotional service, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These are various principles of powerful devotional service, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu, being the yuga-avatara, emphasized two things that are primary amongst all religious principles. Those two things are association and service to Vaisnavas and chanting the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. These are the essence of the essence.
Here in Sri Dham Mayapur we have such a wonderful opportunity to serve Vaisnavas and to hear and chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. Prabhupada said, "This Sri Dham Mayapur is the spiritual world. It is non-different."
One time one senior devotee asked Srila Prabhupada, they were in Mayapur, "Srila Prabhupada, sometimes devotees come to the dham and they are trying to enjoy here." It was kind of a question like maybe it's not right.
Prabhupada said, "The dham, it is for enjoyment. It is the spiritual world, spiritual enjoyment." What is that spiritual enjoyment? Chanting, dancing, associating with devotees, taking Krsna prasadam, hearing the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and purifying our hearts. What is the culmination of purifying our hearts? Then these same activities become transcendentally blissful. It's not that we change our activities. The activities actually are the fundamental principle, the essence of devotional practice. But in a purified state of consciousness they bring the goal of life, that is, the direct connection between the Lord and his devotee.
So Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to teach that principle here in Sri Dham Mayapur. We are so fortunate to be here to be able to engage in these devotional activities - chanting the Holy Names, serving the Vaisnavas: nama ruci, vaisnava seva. Then he emphasized one other thing, Lord Caitanya mentioned. That is jiva doya. That is taking this mercy and giving it to others. We might call it preaching, but distributing the mercy to others. Not that we become "packed up", Prabhupada said, "packed up". We become packed up, that's nice, but the pack becomes bigger when you give it.
Lord Caitanya said, "I have the storehouse of the fruits of love of God and the storehouse is overwhelmed with fruits. I am just one gardener and I am trying to distribute these fruits to the entire world. How much can I do? Therefore, please help me to distribute these fruits."
He goes on to explain by distributing the fruits, the storehouse doesn't become less. It actually becomes greater. The more you give Krsna, the more you get Krsna. The more you try to keep Krsna, the more it is hard to find Krsna. Krsna is fast. He is always moving. So we are chasing Krsna by trying to catch him in the form of giving Krsna to others in devotional service. So these three things Lord Caitanya emphasized. So this is the essence of Lord Caitanya's movement. So we worship the Lord in this chanting and dancing.
We also have to be very conscience and cautious to avoid the negative. There are things to do and things not to do: anukulya, pratikula. Things I should do and things I don't do. Things that I don't do, if I do those things and I am still doing the things I do do, it's like building a fire and pouring water on it at the same time. One has to be very conscious to avoid things that are detrimental to devotional service.
Lord Caitanya says, "I give my full mercy to anyone chants the Holy Names of the Lord, serves the Vaisnavas, and does not find fault with others." He says, "Finding fault with others or criticizing others is the fastest way one can destroy the mercy that is being given." It is mentioned in the Caitanya-bhagavat that one who criticizes others, Lord Caitanya said, "That is like drinking poison and if you drink poison, you die." But how to neutralize that poisonous effect? Glorify others. By glorifying others, by glorifying the devotees, by seeing the good qualities in devotees and magnifying those qualities, that is like drinking nectar. When one drinks nectar, one attains immortal life.
So Lord Caitanya gives other considerations. We should be very careful not to engage in prajalpa, or useless talk, finding fault, criticizing, because we are just dampening the mercy that is so easily available in the form of this harinama-sankirtana. So it is important to keep these principles in mind. And Sri Caitanya is very merciful, but he emphasized certain principles that in order to practice devotional service successfully one must develop the qualities:
trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
This verse was spoken by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja sometimes he was asked, "Maharaja, can you tell me what is my svarupa, what is my internal relationship?"
He said, "Your svarupa is:
trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
This is actually the principle that Lord Caitanya emphasized as far as practicing devotional service successfully. And Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami in Caitanya-caritamrta, he emphasizes this verse. He is actually quoting Jiva Goswami, Jiva Goswami says, "You take this verse and string it on the necklace of the Holy Name and wear it as your ornament." What is the result? The result is kirtaniyah sada. One can develop an attraction, an attachment to chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. Lord Caitanya emphasized this verse amongst many, many verses.
So we are here, Sri Dham Mayapur, just on the advent of the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When he appears, of course he is always appearing in the hearts of the devotees who are following his instructions and the instructions of his representative, the spiritual master, but on this Gaura Purnima festival, the Lord's mercy is bestowed in such waves, such oceans that on his appearance day, this more or less inspires us to become more and more serious in our Krsna consciousness.
Many of us have to go back to our respective areas and we have to again associate with the material energy more directly. Sometimes in occupation or just living in mundane materialistic society. Whatever time we are here, we should try to get as much opportunity to absorb in the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, purify our hearts more, bring it back, and preach that message to others.
Prabhupada says there are two aspects to devotional service: become purified and to help others become purified. Just to become Krsna conscious yourself is not possible. One has to actually be an instrument of the mercy for the Lord in whatever way we can. it's not that everyone has to take up a position of being a great scholar of the Vedas or preaching in a formal way. Lord Caitanya said, "Whoever you meet, tell them about Krsna. Whoever you meet, tell them about the chanting of the Holy Names. By my command, be guru, save the land." That means you come in contact, give them an opportunity to somehow come forward.
Lord Caitanya's mission is a mission of compassion. He has taken Radharani's love, which is his own bhava, in the form of this sankirtana movement, and he is garlanding the entire world with that love in the form of this sankirtana movement. This sankirtana movement is Radharani's love for Krsna. This is the internal mood of this entire lila of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to give Radharani's love in the form of this sankirtana movement to the entire world.
We have a legacy. Our legacy is, as Srila Prabhupada said when someone asked him, "How can we serve you Prabhupada?"
Prabhupada said, "Do what I am doing." He means that we should also take the mission of the spiritual master as our life and soul. That means make his mission our practice in devotional service. To try to in any way, we just see what Krsna has given us, he has given us time, energy, facilities, opulences, intelligence, whatever, use that in any way you can to spread Krsna consciousness.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu when he went traveling through South India, he was spreading the Holy Name and everyone who saw him became inspired. That person told another person and that person told another person and that person told another person. In this way, Lord Caitanya's mercy in the form of the sankirtana movement spread throughout the entire continent of India. In the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he made the entire continent of India Krsna conscious by his presence and his travels to South India. That is the power and that same mercy if fully available to us today.
sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Thank you very much.
Srila Prabhupada ki jai!
Do we have time for questions? Are there any questions, comments? Yes?
Question: Hare Krsna. Maharaja, you were speaking about criticism. Can you please explain corrective criticism? Also you were speaking about humility. Can you please explain also . . . ?
Candramauli Maharaja:I'll try. I don't have these qualities.
The spiritual master is in the position to find fault with his disciple. Why? As a service to his disciples, he can correct them to improve their devotional life. In general, a relationship with other devotees, unless it is in the role of a spiritual master-disciple, is to share the six loving exchanges: to talk about Krsna, to hear about Krsna, to give prasadam, to accept prasadam, to give gifts, to accept gifts.
If one finds a situation where one finds there is obligation to do some correction, one should be very, very careful and cautious to do it in such a way that doesn't cause disturbance and that person will accept. Generally when a person is doing something wrong, they are not in a position to understand because already their consciousness is wrong, so one has to be very sensitive in offering corrective criticism.
One should think ahead of time what will be the results. Even if your intention is not to offend and you do offend, it's still an offense. Unintentionally, still it is an offense. The relationships between devotees are very, very sweet, are meant to be very sweet and very, very loving. In order to keep that mood, even in the mood of correction, we should be very, very careful to do it in such a way that that person will accept.
If we feel we can't do that, we should ask someone else who feel may be in a better position to do that correction. It's not wrong to do it, provided it is done in the right consciousness. That means one has to be not in the mood of "I'm the corrector" but in the mood, "I want to help this person and their Krsna consciousness." It is a principle of compassion. Correction means you are trying to make that person act in a more proper way that their Krsna consciousness will not be affected in a negative way. You're trying to help them, but it has to be accepted in that way.
We shouldn't walk around looking for faults to be the all Supreme Personality of Godhead Corrector. Sometimes we find that. Some personalities put themselves in the position of correcting everybody. That is not Vaisnava attitude. The Vaisnava is always trying to see the good. Prabhupada said we should be like bumblebee. Bumblebee goes for the honey. Fly goes for the stool. Devotees may have, practically everyone has good qualities, everyone has faults, except pure devotees.
So you can see what you want to see. You can see the faults or you can see the good qualities. If you see the good qualities, then actually you'll appreciate. We find that as we change ourselves, we also change others. The more we develop our own Krsna consciousness, the more we will see the good qualities in others.
In the form of corrective criticism, if it is done in the proper mood as a service, then that is acceptable. Then again, one has to be careful how to do that. Not, "Hey Prabhu, you're in maya!" That's not going to work. First of all you can't call someone Prabhu and then say he's in maya. "Hey master, you're in maya. Hey, stop that!"
The devotees are humble. Many times they'll accept, but sometimes in their heart they'll feel, "Why did he do it like that? Why wasn't he more gentle and sensitive? I'm not such a demon." So we have to be careful in dealing with Vaisnavas, very careful. We see, we've committed a lot of Vaisnava aparadha in our society. A lot of times devotees go away because these things are done. Therefore, we have to be very, very careful but not foolish to allow things that are against religious principles to go on simply with the idea that we don't want to correct. If someone is doing something wrong of offensive, some attempt should be made. If I can't do it, let me contact someone who can do it more effectively.
Does that help? That didn't answer your question? OK.
Devotees are not fools, but they are humble. Humility does not relegate one to foolishness. Humility is actually a position of empowerment. Humility means, Prabhupada gave different definitions, but one of them is, "I can't do anything; Krsna can do anything. Therefore, the more I take shelter of Krsna and the spiritual master, the more I become empowered."
Srila Prabhupada spread Krsna consciousness around the world, but he was one of the most humble of all personalities ever. He saw himself as an insignificant person, but he was fully devoted to the lotus feet of the Lord. He knew whatever success he is having or whatever he does is simply by the mercy and kindness of the Lord and his spiritual master. That is humility.
Humility also means I don't want to be honored. Prabhupada writes that in Bhagavad-gita in the Fourteenth Chapter. He is describing the qualities amanitvam adambhitvam. The first one is humility, the second one is pirdelessness, the third is tolerance. He explains that these are qualities of knowledge, or principles of knowledge.
The first principle of knowledge is humility because that is the main quality of a Vaisnava. So Prabhupada describes humility means not to want the distinction to be honored by others. Not wanting honor. Therefore amanina manadena, to want to honor others and not want honor for oneself.
If someone gives you honor and if you keep it, then pride can develop. But if someone gives you honor and you say, "All glories to my spiritual master. All glories to the Lord. This person is actually seeing some good qualities in me, that is his good quality he can see something good in me." These are some definitions of humility as give by the acaryas.
Humility also means not to think less oneself, but to think of oneself less. To think of oneself less. We are always thinking about me. We should be thinking about ? or Krsna or how to serve, like that. If we are so much overwhelmed by self consciousness, then that is a perverted principle of humility. "Oh, I am so fallen, I am so useless, I can't do anything. Therefore, I won't do anything." [Chuckles] That is not humility. Humility gives one empowerment, empowers one to do things.
Does that help?
OK, I think we should go on. They say one cannot live by philosophy alone. It's time for prasad.
Thank you very much.
Srila Prabhupada ki jai!