Date: March 19, 2008
Verse: Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.32
Speaker: HH Jayapataka Swami
By Ananda Tirtha (das) PVS (Mayapur - IN)
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krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam sangopangastra-parsadam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah
TRANSLATION: In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krsna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krsna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.
PURPORT: This same verse is quoted by Krsnadasa Kaviraja in the Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter Three, verse 52. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has given the following commentary on this verse. “This text is from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32). Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained this verse in his commentary on the Bhagavatam known as the Krama-sandarbha, wherein he says that Lord Krsna also appears with a golden complexion. That golden Lord Krsna is Lord Caitanya, who is worshiped by intelligent men in this age. That is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam by Garga Muni, who said that although the child Krsna was blackish, He also appears in three other colors-red, white and yellow. He exhibited His white and red complexions in the Satya and Treta ages respectively. He did not exhibit the remaining color, yellow-gold, until He appeared as Lord Caitanya, who is known as Gaurahari.
“Srila Jiva Gosvami explains that krsna-varnam means Sri Krsna Caitanya. Krsna-varnam and Krsna Caitanya are equivalent. The name Krsna appears with both Lord Krsna and Lord Caitanya Krsna. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but He always engages in describing Krsna and thus enjoying transcendental bliss by chanting and remembering His name and form. Lord Krsna Himself appears as Lord Caitanya to preach the highest gospel. Varnayati means ‘utters’ or ‘describes.’ Lord Caitanya always chants the holy name of Krsna and describes it also, and because He is Krsna Himself, whoever meets Him will automatically chant the holy name of Krsna and later describe it to others. He injects one with transcendental Krsna consciousness, which merges the chanter in transcendental bliss. In all respects, therefore, He appears before everyone as Krsna, either by personality or by sound. Simply by seeing Lord Caitanya one at once remembers Lord Krsna. One may therefore accept Him as visnu-tattva. In other words, Lord Caitanya is Lord Krsna Himself.
“Sangopangastra-parsadam further indicates that Lord Caitanya is Lord Krsna. His body is always decorated with ornaments of sandalwood and with sandalwood paste. By His superexcellent beauty He subdues all the people of the age. In other descents the Lord sometimes used weapons to defeat the demoniac, but in this age the Lord subdues them with His all-attractive figure as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Jiva Gosvami explains that His beauty is His astra, or weapon, to subdue the demons. Because He is all-attractive, it is to be understood that all the demigods lived with Him as His companions. His acts were uncommon and His associates wonderful. When He propagated the sankirtana movement, He attracted many great scholars and acaryas, especially in Bengal and Orissa. Lord Caitanya is always accompanied by His best associates like Lord Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa.
“Srila Jiva Gosvami cites a verse from the Vedic literature that says that there is no necessity of performing sacrificial demonstrations or ceremonial functions. He comments that instead of engaging in such external, pompous exhibitions, all people, regardless of caste, color or creed, can assemble together and chant Hare Krsna to worship Lord Caitanya. Krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam [SB 11.5.32] indicates that prominence should be given to the name Krsna. Lord Caitanya taught Krsna consciousness and chanted the name of Krsna. Therefore, to worship Lord Caitanya, everyone should together chant the maha-mantra-Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. To propagate worship in churches, temples or mosques is not possible because people have lost interest in that. But anywhere and everywhere, people can chant Hare Krsna. Thus worshiping Lord Caitanya, they can perform the highest activity and fulfill the highest religious purpose of satisfying the Supreme Lord.
“Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, a famous disciple of Lord Caitanya, said: ‘The principle of transcendental devotional service having been lost, Sri Krsna Caitanya has appeared to deliver again the process of devotion. He is so kind that He is distributing love of Krsna. Everyone should be attracted more and more to His lotus feet, as humming bees are attracted to a lotus flower.’ ”
The incarnation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also described in the Sri Visnu-sahasra-nama, which appears in Chapter 189 of the Dana-dharma-parva of Mahabharata. Srila Jiva Gosvami has quoted this reference as follows: suvarna-varno hemango varangas candanangadi. “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.” He has also quoted, sannyasa-krc chamah santo nistha-santi-parayanah: “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.”
Jayapataka Swami: Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta Swami purport. And this is Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto Eleven, Chapter Five, Text 32, with the purport by Prabhupadaâs followers, quoting Prabhupadaâs Caitanya-caritamrta purports, spoken today the 19th of March 2008, Khrstabda, 521 Gaurabda, to celebrate the incoming of the new Gaurabda year, 522, and the Gaura Purnima festival in Navadvipa-Mayapur Dham. [Devotees: Haribol!]
This verse given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam predicts the incarnation of Krsna in the age of Kali coming in a golden complexion, chanting his own names. Sometimes around India people question whether Lord Caitanya is an incarnation. So like this, there are a number of verses that predict the Lord comes in a golden color chanting his names. At the end of this purport, Jiva Goswami quotes the Visnu Sahasra Nama from the Mahabharata where also it describes an incarnation with golden color who was grhastha, beautiful limbs, body smeared with sandalwood, color of molten gold, who later takes sannyasa, who is very equipoised and peaceful. He is the highest abode of peace and devotion and he silences the impersonalists.
So like this there are so many verses that in retrospect it is easy to see that it is referring about Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But when Lord Caitanya was present, many pandits didnât know about these verses. Somehow they were covered by yogamaya, so people didnât understand Lord Caitanyaâs position. Some did. Some devotees understood, but mostly they didnât. This is why it says in scriptures also that the Lord is known as triyuga, as in three yugas he asserts himself, âI am the Supreme Lord.â Like Krsna, aham sarvasya prabhava, everything comes from me. He asserted himself, he showed his universal form if there was any doubt.
In the pastime of Lord Rama, he came as a human, as a perfect king, but he also was not hiding if somebody asked. He was the Supreme Lord. Different forms of the Lord come, he doesnât hide it. We talked about Varaha yesterday, Sivarama Maharaja, how Varaha lifts up the whole world, changes his colour, white, red, black. So these forms of the Lord, Nrsimhadeva, they are not hiding they are Ananta Visnu, the Supreme Visnu, but Lord Caitanya, if somebody approached him and said, âYou are God!â, He would cover his ears, âVisnu, Visnu, Visnu! Donât say that. I am a servant of the Lord.â
Confidentially, to confirm to Advaita Acarya that he was the person that he prayed for, he has to confirm that. Then he sent Ramadasa Pandit to get him, âTell Advaita that I am that person you prayed for.â Yesterday we went to Santipur. We saw the place where Advaita was worshipping the salagrama-sila with Tulasi, Ganges water, holy name, loud crying, tears coming out. I asked them, âWhere is that original salagrama? Is it in your temple?â
He said, âNo, as far as we know, it is in Santipur but in another descendent of Advaita Acaryaâs house.â
Sometime how would you like to see that salagrama? I have not seen myself. But we went to that place. There Advaita was praying. The Lord somehow confirmed in his heart that âI am coming.â In order to confirm that, he had to show that he was Krsna to Advaita. This was not a public display. It wasnât something that he talked about. It was just a rare, very private revelation to Lord Advaita and his associates. When Advaita heard that the Lord had come, he became ecstatic, he danced, he jumped in the air. He said, âI made him come! I made him come! I brought him, I brought him!â Then he had a second thought. âMany people knew that I had prayed for the Lord to come. Maybe it is an impostor.â
In India sometimes you have these impostors who claim to be God. Somebody in South India now was claiming to be Kalki. People said Kalki is not supposed to come for four hundred twenty-eight thousand years; you are a little bit out of schedule. [laughter] He said, âWell, I may not be Kalki, but I am still Narayanaâ. Then they questioned that. âWell, whatever you say, but I am Bhagavan.â
So here we get the blessings cheap. You want the maha blessings from him, you have to pay five lakhs of rupees. Then heâll give you a special drink that makes you go mad for three days. I donât know what that drink is, it might be a controlled substance that might not get through the American or Canadian customs. So these kinds of people are doing their tricks. Thatâs why in Kali-yuga the Lord doesnât assert himself because if he asserts, then everyone will say, âI am Bhagavan; I will give you a blessing.â Make up some decoction of cactus or something, who knows what or some belladonna or something. Give somebody a little shot glass and wipe him out, make a little money, a lot of money.
So we had also in Bengal one person that claimed to be an avatara of Lord Caitanya. He said he was a descendent and he would sit on the stage and smoke cigarettes. He would put his foot out and everybody would come and touch his foot. He would give mass initiations. He said you donât need the scripture because I am here now. Donât bother referring to the scripture. People touched his foot and they felt a deadly cold freezing feeling coming over them. Maybe they were losing all their good karma.
Then the person died and they put his body on a big slab of ice. The neighbours complained, why are you not burying or burning the body, heâs dead. They said, no heâs not dead, heâs in nirvikalpa-samadhi, heâs in a special profound samadhi. So why are you keeping his body on ice? Well, heâs very hot, so weâre keeping him cool.
Then they gave a half price sale on all his buttons, get rid of the stock quick. Finally the police made a raid and found there was a look alike of him, but he was growing his beard, it was not quite as long as the dead so called avataraâs beard. They were obviously planning to do a switch, but they got caught before they could do it. These things are going on. I could tell you so many, but you know the Bhaktivinod Thakur one. What was that? Which baba? We know that story. He kept the power in his hair.
Even although it says in scripture that the Lord does not assert himself, still so many are asserting. Lord Caitanya did not assert, but for his own associates, he revealed to them, especially Advaita Gosai, that âI am the person that you have done your tapasya to bring.â Then Advaita was going to go. Then he decided to hide, that he would be in the village and that the Lord called him although he was out of sight, he put his foot on his head, showed his glories. Then he would believe that it was really him.
Then his wife, Sita Thakurani brought a puja tray. He said, âWhy is that, why are you bringing that?â She said, âIn case he is the Lord, you have to worship him.â Then they went and hid in the village. The Lord called out, âNarai, Narai(?), come!â He came and paid his obeisances. He put his foot on the head. He looked up and saw the effulgent form of Lord Caitanya. Then he started jumping, âHe is here, I brought him, I brought him, itâs him, heâs here, heâs here!â
Then Lord Caitanya said, âYou brought me, you brought me all the way from the spiritual world but why did you bring me here? You have to ask of me a boon, a vara.â One of the Lordâs name is varada. He gives boons. If you pray, âPlease appear to me,â and he appears to you, then he is going to ask you, âWhat do you want?â Just like he did for Kolaveca Sridhara, so many different people on parikrama. So he asked, âWhat do you want? Why did you bring me?â Then Advaita asked for two things. He said, âI want that by your mercy even the most fallen souls, the souls who normally donât have a chance to get back to Godhead, to get love for Krsna, then they will get your mercy.â
The Lord said, âTathasta, so be it.â
Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga!
That means there is hope for us. Someone came to me last night and said, âI am very fallen. I am feeling very depressed. I have no hope.â
I said, âWhat do you mean? If someone is feeling I am very advanced. I am very Krsna conscious, is that the way we are supposed to feel? All the great devotees are feeling I am very fallen, I am very insignificant. The Lord says he is there to deliver the most fallen. So if you feel very fallen, who is the Lord going to deliver first, the person who thinks he is weak and needs the Lord or someone who is puffed up and thinks âI donât need the Lordâs mercy, Iâm already very advancedâ? Then that devotee felt a little better, âOK. . . .â [laughs]
Then Advaita asked for a second boon. He said, âThose people who are very proud, they should not get your mercy.â Proud of their birth, proud of their intelligence, proud of something. They donât think they need, they somehow got already the Lordâs mercy, they deserve it because of being very great–they are disqualified. That means we have to be humble. Try to be humble because if we are proud, we wonât get the mercy.
Then Advaita offered the arati to Lord Caitanya. Because we only had a five minutes talk on the parikrama, I couldnât give all these details. The Lord is very special. Like Narottama dasa Thakur prays:
sri-krsna-caitanya-prabhu daya kara more, toma vina ke dayalu jagat-samsare
patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara, mo sama patita prabhu na paibe ara
That, âYou are the most merciful. You have come down to deliver the fallen souls. There is no soul more fallen than I am; therefore I need your mercy more.â This is the mood of the pure devotees. They take a very humble position.
Once I went to Srila Prabhupada .Someone told me when I first joined, whenever you go to see Prabhupada, you should do three things: first humble yourself, then glorify him, then ask for a blessing. I said, âPrabhupada, you are all-merciful, youâre so great. Srila Prabhupada, I am a great fool.â
He looked at me and said, âYes.â [laughter]
To keep me humble. âPrabhupada I am the most fallen.â
He said, âYou are not the most anything!â
Iâm the most mediocrely fallen. Once I thought, âI am going to please Prabhupada with this one.â I was doing this every day, he was here for two months so it became a whole lila. I donât remember all of the exchanges; a few stick in my mind for obvious reasons. Once I said, âI want to serve you life after life.â I thought you canât lose with this one. Then he told me that, âWhy do you want to make me come back?â [laughter]
I thought, âWhat did I say wrong?â Then I said, âPrabhupada I want to serve you even life after life.â In other words, I am not insisting life after life. If you want to take me back to Godhead, OK, I wonât fight it, but if you want to keep me here, I just want to serve you.â Then he went, âOK.â (?)
You have to be very careful. Sometimes people come up and say give me a blessing for a son. But no, you want a healthy son who is a pure devotee who will helping to preaching the Krsna consciousness movement. You have to ask for the whole thing, not just part of it. Actually I told one of my Godbrothers that I was giving class and asked for a blessing. He said, âI give you a blessing to make everybody laugh.â I didnât plan it, but I guess by telling Prabhupada stories it happened.
We have a lot of work to do. Even in India, I donât know if any other sampradaya accepts Lord Caitanya as an avatara. They accept him as a sannyasi, they accept him as an acarya, as a great preacher, but as an avatara. . . we have work to do. General people may accept through our preaching and become our followers, but we need devotees who become expert in all this Caitanya tattva. We are not saying he is an avatara, scripture is saying. There are two proofs of someone being an avatara. It should mentioned in the scripture. It is mentioned. This verse is very clear. Who fills this verse? This is in Kali-yuga.
Sa-anga means his own expansion like Balarama came, Nityananda; Mahavisnu came, Advaita; Ksirodakasayi Visnu came, Viracandra, the son of Nityananda; these are the sa-angas. Upanga, his energies; astra, his paraphernalia, like this mrdanga. Yesterday we were told the pranama mantra of the mrdanga. It is one of the Lordâs holy astras, weapons, mrdanga, kartals, his personal beauty. Then there is parsada, his confidential devotees. So the energy is Radharani who came as Gadadhara. And parsada is Srivasa Prabhu, who is Narada Muni. Many devas came. Prabhupada said some devas came from Satya-loka and higher planets to help him spread the sankirtana movement. I donât know which of you are coming from other planets, but when you take birth, we wonât know anyway, but at least some people come from previous life being devotees.
We have this very big task to glorify and establish Caitanya Mahaprabhuâs real position. Prabhupada said the reason why he was upset that they didnât let the Western Hare Krsna devotees into the Jagannath Puri temple is because 500 hundred years ago when Lord Caitanya was there, he was playing the part of a devotee. So he didnât let some of his Muslim devotees and others in, OK that made sense. But now, most of the people in Jagannath Puri do accept that Lord Caitanya is an avatara. So if they accept that he is an avatara, then he predicted:
prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama
That in every town and village in the whole world, my holy name will be sung, then when those devotees come to Jagannath Puri fulfilling his prediction, they should be accepted. That was his point that it is offensive to Lord Caitanya, it is diminishing him.
So we have our Indian RGB, the Regional Governing Body, has made a committee to work on opening the temple. How long that will take, but we they working on a strategy. They have written an inquiry, how is it that you go in all the other temples? In other temples, if they have a doubt they make you sign a declaration that I believe that Balaji is God, he is the Absolute Truth. You sign that, you can go in. Like that, they have different systems in different temples. Or they just accept that ISKCON is a bona fide sampradaya and they let us in. In the Sri Vaisnava temples we are generally allowed in all of them.
We have a lot of work to do. There is a lot of acceptance. When we took our Safari to South India we went to the Sri Rangam temple and there we chanted Hare Krsna for the acarya of the Sri Rangam temple, one of the 64 temples of Ramanuja and thatâs maybe the most important that he has. Then he said you are all incarnations of Andal, an incarnation of Laksmi who chanted the holy name and said everyone should go with karatals and drums in the street and chant the name of Krsna. He said you are all incarnations or representatives of Andal, you are doing.
And just recently when we had the Tirupati temple opening, the head acarya was going to come for one day just bless it. But he stayed for all the seven days. When he saw some of the gurukuli devotees leading kirtan, and everybody chanting and dancing and all wearing tilaka, then he made a declaration that, âYou are doing what we should be doing. This is what Ramanujacarya did, he made people devotees. We have become expert in all the rituals but we are not making new devotees. But you are making the new devotees.â
Then Radhanath Swami told me that he did a programme in Sri Rangam and the acarya had publicly over television said, âI want to be a member of ISKCON. [Devotees: Haribol!] They are doing what Ramanujacarya told us to do.â
Gradually we are having some impact, but we still have a lot of work to do. Thatâs probably our Indian focus, but all over the world to establish that Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Lord that came down as a devotee to give us love for Godhead. We are here celebrating that. That is a very big thing that people are coming from all over the world to celebrate Gaura Purnima. Some of the media is coming out here, taking pictures, but we could use some more publicity on it. It is having impact at least here in India where it is getting more coverage, that if people from all over the world accept Caitanya Mahaprabhu as Supreme Lord, maybe they are right. Maybe we have to look at our own sastra and see what it says. So this festival has many important features to it in preaching.
I remember one time, I think it was Ramesvara or Karandhar, he was bringing up that at that time five hundred devotees are coming and they were each spending 1000 dollars on airfare. So that was 500,000 dollars. If everybody gave that money instead to the BBT or to some temple, we could buy a new temple every year.
And then Prabhupada replied that, âWell, the devotees eat so much. If we could just stop eating for one year, then we could have so much money. [chuckles] So he got the point.
So Prabhupada was comparing coming to Mayapur and associating with the devotees. . . . We have devotees here from Khasadesh, from Russia, all over, all the continents of the world, Africa, South America, North America, Asia, Australasia. We come and we see we are all one family. We may not even speak to each other sometimes, we may not know each othersâ language, but we come together, and that is the wisdom of Prabhupada that instead of having our liturgy, our prayers, in English or something which not everyone speaks, we just sing it in the original Sanskrit. Our prayers are not so long, samsara dava, Hare Krsna, or Gauranga! Gauranga! We can all sing and dance together, whether we are from China or Africa or wherever it may be. We get to feel that we are one family.
We pray to Lord Caitanya, to Radha Madhava, Asta Sakhi, Panca Tattva, to all the Deities here, to Prabhupada, that all the devotees get empowered to spread the sankirtana movement, to convince others to chant, to keep our devotees by nicer care and dealings within our community, to expand the community of devotees, to distribute Prabhupadaâs books and expand the philosophy and understanding, to reach out to people wherever every way possible.
This year at the end of November, first days of December, we are having the URI, the United Religion Initiative, which is a worldwide body like the Parliament of Religions. They are having their plenary meeting here for five days because His Holiness Svarupa Damodara Maharaja was a member in his outreach programme to synthesize science and religion. He had invited them. Then he passed away. Out of respect for him as a departed member, they are still going to hold it here. We could use some of our Godbrothers, some senior devotees to come here to help them at that time. There will be seven hundred word leaders from world religions, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, you name it. Every kind of religion there is, theyâre all going to be here and weâre going to have to take care of them.
Anuttama was asking us, âSo you have arranged for toilet paper in your bathrooms?â We need some help to figure out how to make their stay comfortable. These are not the ordinary Vaisnava guests we have. But the organizers said everyone has to be vegetarian while they are here. They are going to eat prasadam for five days and they are going to see Radha Madhava and Panca Tattva. [Devotees: Haribol!] So Anuttama is going to come and his wife, Rukmini. We need some more senior devotees also. This may have a big impact. Every devotee is doing a different kind of outreach program, whether it is on the street meeting one to one with books, or whether it is through Nama Hatta and Bhakti Vrksa congregational programme, or prison preaching or different kinds of interfaith. We need to keep on expanding our outreach. Let people understand, this is not our thing, this is not what we are saying, this is what Srimad-Bhagavatam says:
krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam sangopangastra-parsadam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah
Hari om tat sat. Hare Krsna. Thank you very much. Any question or comment?
I have a special announcement. Today is the appearance of some very important Vaisnavas. You donât have to fast today, but these Vaisnavas are Their Graces Jananivasa Prabhu and Pankajanghri Prabhu. [Applause and Haribols!] They should come up and get their cakes. Where are they? Weâve got one of them here.
Hare Krsna to you!
Hare Krsna to you!
Hare Krsna to you!
Hare Krsna to you!
Hare Krsna to you!
[Jananivasa Prabhu comes up to accept his cake and distributes to all the devotees to more cheering and applause]