By Jayapataka Swami
Paramananda madhavam sri caitanya isvaram. The situation in Navadvip and the whole of India that time was that people were religious but they were not spiritual. They were religious just to show on the outside but actually they did not know the purpose of religion. People spent a lot to marry off their daughter, to put on a big show to show that they were very religious. One such wealthy had no more daughters to marry off then he married a female cat or a female dog or some demigod. So this was not even in scripture. Marriage is for human beings. Like that they were doing all sorts of bogus religious activities just to show off.
The Vaisnavas were seeing how the people were wasting their valuable human life and nobody was taking up the process of bhagavat-dharma. At that time Sitanath Advaita Gosai was feeling very concerned about how to deliver the fallen souls. So He decided to do a special fast and yajna to bring the Lord down. Since He was an avatara of Maha Visnu therefore His name was Advaita. So He is non-different from Krishna. So He said, “Since I am non-different I will bring Him down. He must come also.”
So He began fasting and He was worshipping His saligram sila. By the way they say that saligrama is still in Santipura if you want to see. So He worshipped the saligram with Ganges water and Tulasi leaves and manjaris and loud crying – Govinda, Govinda, Hare Krishna – to bring the Lord down. His loud cries went all over the universe. His worship, his fasting! So this also reached Lord Caitanya and He agreed to come down.
At the same time or a similar time Jagannath Misra and Saci-mata had eight daughters but mysteriously each daughter died after childbirth. Jagannath Misra was very frustrated so he did a Visnu yajna for a son. Thus he was blessed with a son whom he named Visvarupa. Visvarupa was an expansion of Lord Baladeva. So he was Sankarsana. He was very powerful. He had prepared the womb to receive Lord Caitanya.
Then Jagannath Misra had a dream where he saw a radiant light come on his head to his heart and cross over to the heart of Saci-mata and go into her womb. So he told her about his dream. He thought, “A great soul will be born to us.” And then she became pregnant. Everybody changed. They started treating Jagannath Misra with so much respect and they gave him donations. He was a poor brahmana and so doing his duties he barely made ends meet. But now he was getting things were made of gold and silver. He was amazed at what happened. “It was like the goddess of fortune was living in my house.”
Meanwhile the devas knew the Supreme Lord was going to make His appearance and so they came and offered their prayers to Lord Caitanya in the womb of Mother Saci. They prayed that, “You are going to give out love of Krishna freely to all the conditioned souls. So we are Your devotees in the heavenly planets, the devas and we need Your mercy more. We don’t have material problems because in heavenly planets there is a very comfortable lifestyle but we have two problems. One problem is that sometimes the daityas, the asuras attack us and we have to fight against them risking our lives. Secondly we are so comfortable that we forget to worship You. Therefore we live in a kind of sense gratification and as a result we don’t get love of Krishna. So we need Your mercy more. We need Your mercy so that we can get love of Krishna. So please have mercy on us.”
Normally the devas would be invisible but somehow Saci-mata saw their shadows. By the will of the Lord they cast some shadows so she thought a spirit has come so she started to chant Nrsimha mantras –
namas te narasimhaya prahladahlada-dayine hiranyakasipor vaksah-sila-tanka-nakhalaye [Sri Nrsimha Pranama]
So the devas thought, “How can she see us? How does she know we are here? This is all because of the Lord.” So they had to suddenly leave. So they thought so many things are happening. The thirteenth month of her pregnancy had come up so Saci-mata went to see her father who was Nilambara Cakravati. He was a famous astrologer. So they asked him when the child would be born. He said that He will be born this month at an auspicious time. So He was born on a full moon day. That day was a lunar eclipse. Since He is like a moon and is unblemished why would He need in the material moon which is full of marks?
So the moon was covered by Rahu and because of the lunar eclipse at that time all the Hindus went into the water of the Ganges and they thought it was pure to chant. Otherwise they wouldn’t chant the holy names aloud. But in the water they chanted – Govinda, Govinda. Haribol. Haribol, Haribol. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. So Srivas was hearing the loud chanting of the holy names and he said to his sons, “Why do they say this is an inauspicious day? Listen how everyone is chanting loudly the holy names. This is very auspicious.” The Muslims heard the Hindus chanting and they were making fun, mocking the sinful Hindus – Haribol, Hare Rama hahahaha, Hare Krishna, hahahaha. So somehow or the other everybody was chanting Haribol, Haribol, Haribol Hare Krishna.
At that auspicious time Lord Caitanya appeared at the sunset and moonrise. Then even though they did not know why all the devotees began to dance. They felt so happy. Haridasa Thakura, Advaita Gosai, Srivas and everybody were dancing [Sings] Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. At that time as was customary Saci-mata was outside the house in a little cottage built under the neem tree. So Lord Caitanya was born under a neem tree. Therefore He got the nickname Nimai. A neem tree was considered very auspicious because it would keep away all the evil spirits, ghosts etc.
At that time the village ladies came to visit to see the newborn baby. He was golden in color. Taking the opportunity the heavenly devas descended from the heavenly planets and went along with the local residents to see the baby whom they knew to be an avatara of Lord Krishna. Mother Saci saw these beautiful ladies and wondered where they were all coming from. She did not know that some were devas and some were from other planets. At that time it was all the auspicious – simha, lagna, rasi – all the auspicious stars and astrological influences were there. All the planets lined up just to please the Lord.
On this day actually when the Ganges was brought down by Bhagirath had faced a lot of different problems. One problem was with Jahnu Muni. Jahnu Muni drank the Ganges. That problem was solved and Jahnu Muni re manifested the Ganges but the Ganges stopped outside the birthplace of Lord Caitanya and Bhaghirath was crying, “Why you are stopping?” And she said, “It will soon be Gaura-purnima and I want to be here on that day so that I can get the special blessings then I will go with you down to Sindh.”
So today is also called the Ganganagar(?) day. The day of Lord Hanuman spreading love of Krishna along the Ganges. On this day many devotees like to take their bath. If you go in the morning you will get covered with colors. If you go in the afternoon it should be okay. But you must go in a group. If you are swimming please be very careful. Just dip and out or take some water.
In any case this is a very auspicious day. Lord Krishna although He appeared came in Kali-yuga as a devotee. He did not broadcast that he was the Lord. A few times to some individuals, to Advaita Gosai He showed who He was. Otherwise he would not allow anyone to break the protocol that He was a devotee because that was His lila. As a result many people don’t understand how Lord Caitanya is actually an avatara. But if you see in the various scriptures He was predicted – that the Lord would come in Navadvip, He will be the son of Saci who will live for 24 years as a grhasta and 24 years as a sannyasi. All these things are predicted. So He matches up. He also did activities which no ordinary person could do. Also His symptoms matched with the prediction. So these are the three things how to confirm an avatara.
In two hundred years His movement was covering the whole of the eastern India. It was affected. But somehow there was an influence of sahajyaism that … His movement. People thought that just by imagining they could be considered as a sakhi or some great devotee rather than try to please Krishna, try to serve Krishna, try to do what Krishna wants. Then Krishna will automatically recognise the devotee. Instead they just imagined that I could be whatever I want without doing any real service or sadhana. This was due to the whole influence of the Daityas. They teamed up with Kali to get the …
So our great acaryas like Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had to fight to re-establish Vaisnavism where it belongs. In the time of Bhaktivinoda Thakura there were 30 apasampradayas. He sang about them: aula, baula, kartabhaja, prakrta-sahajiya, sakhi-bheki, jati-gosai, gaura-nagari. All those sampradayas are still there but they are not as strong as they used to be.
One time one of our friends, an editor of a paper had his office and residence in Navadvip brought over one sadhu. She was wearing a sari. I thought this was a chaste lady. She turned around and revealed she was a sakhi bheki. That means a man who is dressed like a lady. The mood was like a sakhi. He wants to experience what it feels like to be a manjari by dressing like one externally.
Prabhupada was saying how Bhaktisiddhanta fought to establish Krishna consciousness and to take away the dominion of the caste brahmanas who were controlling the whole thing. So these caste brahmanas the deferred that anyone who is not born brahmana, even if they are born brahmanas but have some lack in them are not bona fide. So they basically said that such great acaryas like Sanatan Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Narottama Syamananda and so many others are all unbona fide. They are only bona fide. So Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had to go andcall a big meeting and then he said how a Vaisnava has all the qualifications of a brahmana and more.
So these caste brahamanas came together and they said Lord Caitanya is not an avatara. They claimed to be Lord Caitanya’s descendants. Then Bhaktisiddhanta said from the Vedas and the Puranas how Lord Caitanya was predicted. Thus he established lord Caitanya to be actually Krishna avatara. After that these caste brahmanas were defeated.
So Prabhupada was able to initiate devotees all over the world as brahmanas, as Vaisnavas because of the work done by our previous acaryas. We have now the great duty to keep up the fight. Our duty is to establish Lord Caitanya in His rightful position as Krishna Himself who came as a devotee to give freely love of Krishna, to show how to be a devotee and for some internal reasons. So this is our duty. Once Prabhupada said: work now samadhi later.
I went to Srila Prabhupada when I became a devotee. I called my parents and I though they will be very pleased. I called them and told them, “Now I am a devotee and i have all these high moral standards.” My father said, “I am disowning you. I am turning your name over to the American army. You have to fight in the Vietnam.” I went to Prabhupada and said, “What shall I do? My father wants to turn me over to the army.” He said, “Better you fight in Krishna’s army.”
So I joined Krishna’s army. [Applause] So we need a lot of soldiers in an army. I am old now but still I am trying with my last breath to do something for Srila Prabhupada. All of you can please do something to spread this movement. The next thing I like to say he is a very good warrior – Sivarama Maharaj. The parliament n Hungary has declared Iskcon as a bona fide religion. All glories to HH Sivarama Swami and the Hungarian devotees. [Applause] Kirtan or any questions? We have a few minutes for questions.
Prabhu: Maharaj your holiness inspired our enthusiasm and dedicated devotional activities. Today the 526 birth anniversary of Lord Caitanya. You just mentioned that we are all members of the spiritual army of Lord Krishna. We are so much inspired by your devotion and dedication. Just mention please Lord Caitanya is the universal Lord. Why do so many people say that only brahmana can become the pujari of Lord Krishna temple? Why Lord Caitanya mentioned that: prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama. Lord Caitanya said that: kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya, yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei ‘guru’ haya [Cc Madhya 8.128] Why so many spiritual personalities say that only guru should be a brahmana? Hare Krishna. HH Jayapataka Swami: Because some authorities do not know the Vaisnava philosophy. If they know the Vaisnava philosophy they do not say that. That is why you have to read Prabhupada’s books. There are ample books, ample sastra that says that one is brahmana not by birth. Krishna also says: guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg 4.13] By quality, by work. He does not say janma karma, He says guna karma. So these people just want to establish their birthright. By birth right they are brahmana bandhu. To become a brahmana their parents should have done garbhodana samskara. If they did not do that, then they are not really brahmanas. In Kali-yuga one should be a Vaisnava and then automatically the twelve qualities of a brahmana will manifest in that devotee. There are many examples were the brahmanas did not know Vaisnava philosophy as taught by Srila Prabhupada. They are in their little box. They don’t see the bigger picture. They don’t know all the sastras. To preach in India you have to know the sastra because people are a bit more philosophical.
I was standing in Hyderbad outside the general Post Office and someone walked up to me and said, ‘Excuse me. In chapter 12 of Bhagavad-gita, verse 18 says that…” You don’t get that kind of question in America or London usually while standing on a public street. So here you have to know philosophy. If you do then there is no problem. Sastra supports – we are not just sentimentalists. Mataji: Hare Krishna Maharaj. We are very grateful for the activities we have done in the past few years. Your health condition is not so good. My question is if we do some sinful activities and you have to take them. Is there any way you can teach us how to avoid that or to improve that so that you cannot take too much of our sins? HH Jayapataka Swami: One thing is if you sin a lot, doing sinful activities. Through our daily activities of Tulasi puja, japa, seeing the Deities we can burn lot of karma. From the disciples side they should avoid committing sinful activities. The siksa guru does not get sinful activities unless he gives wrong siksa. The diksa guru gets some reactions if the disciple doesn’t follow. Like Prabhupada said if they come up want to advance in Krishna consciousness and if they are serious and sincere you should not turn them away. So we have some testing to see if people are really serious beyond that what can we do? Kirtan! [Applause]
<!–[To receive Mayapurlive lectures by email, write to email@example.com] Listen or download at http://www.mayapurtvarchives.com