(Varari raga – Disha)
(refrain) Pranabhhaya nibedon nibedon nija katha
Kire ki aare ki ore prana hoy
Aage ashirvada mango, yata yata mahabhaga
Tabe se gaiba guna gatha
Aare re haya haya
Mo chhar adhamadhama ki janimun tattva
Gaura guna charitrera ki kaba mahatva
O my dear brother,first of all let me seek blessings of all the mahabhagavatas (great devotees). Only then i shall be able to sing glories of the Lord. I am fallen and the lowest of the lowly persons. How can i possibly understand the spiritual truth about Sri Gauranga’s transcendental personality or the glories of His amazing pastimes.
It is only by the mercy of Sri Guru , the Vaishnavas and Lord Gauranga, that one can make any significant progress in his/her spiritual life. It is by the mercy of the spiritual master, who is a pure devotee of the Lord, and by the mercy of Sri Krishna or Lord Gauranga, the Supreme Lord, that the seeds of devotion get planted in one’s heart (Brahmanda bhromite kono bhagyavan jiva, Guru Krishnera kripay paya bhakti lata bija).
There are nine stages of spiritual advancement in the life of a practitioner (in the following order)-
sraddha (faith),Sadhu-sanga (association of devotees) ,Bhajana-kriya (performance of devotional service),anartha nivrtti (decreasing of unwanted attachments),nistha (steadiness),ruchi (taste),ashakti (attachment),bhava (love), prema (pure love for Gauranga).
The progress through the above nine stages depends upon the causeless mercy of the Lord and the spiritual master. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the most magnanimous incarnation of the Supreme Lord and He bestows this special mercy very freely upon all. Though this mercy is causeless, yet one who places himself/herself in the most favourable position to receive it ,stands the best chance of obtaining His mercy. We can place ourselves in this favourable position by meditating upon Lord Gauranga, His blissful pastimes, chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra daily as per His instructions and preaching His glories to whoever we meet.
The ideal example of such a preacher is Lord Nityananda, who used to go about from door to door, holding straws between His teeth, begging people to worship Lord Gauranga (amare kiniya loho bhajo Gaurahari).
Even the drunkards Jagai and Madhai, who hurled broken pots at Him, and tried to kill Him, did not discourage Nitai from preaching the glories of Lord Gauranga to them. As a result, these two sinful drunkards, were ultimately delivered and by the mercy of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda, they received the ecstatic love of Godhead.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (renowned as the seventh Goswami) writes in Samalochana, Sajjana Tosani
ati alpa dinera madhei mahaprabhu sarva desa vyapi haiya eka matra upasya-tattva haitechen.
-In a very short time, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will become the sole object of worship in all the villages, towns, and cities of the world.
So let us preach the wonderful enchanting pastimes and the peerless glories of Lord Chaitanya throughout the world, and become an instrument of Srila Bhaktivinoda’s divine will.
Na janiya pralap kariya kiba kaaj
Uttama yanera thain thekilei laaj
Adhikari nahe tobu karo paramada
Gauraguna madhurite bara lage swadh
Since i do not know anything, what is the use of my incoherent words. If a great devotee, a pure soul, hears of it, it might become a source for embarrassment. Though i am not qualified, yet i possess an intense desire to sing glories of Lord Gauranga. I yearn to taste the sweet nectar His (unending) qualities.
This verse expresses the humility of Locana das Thakura. Though he is a maha bhagavata devotee, an intimate associate of the supreme Lord, a recipient of abundance of mercy of his Gurudeva, yet he considers himself utterly unqualified and fallen. Such humility is the ornament that adorns the consciousness of Mahaprabhu’s servant.
Another thing to be noted here, is how eagerly he desires to serve and glorify Lord Gaurahari. A servant cannot help but sing praises of his eternal master. This is his natural position. He does not do it for any benefits or worldly gains but does it out of pure love.Locana das Thakura’s intense desire to glorify Lord Gauranga is a spontaneous outflow of his devoted heart.
Sri Jagadananda Pandita sings :
Gaura nama Gaura dhama Gauranga charita
ye bhaje tate mor akaitava prita
(Sri Prema vivarta)
Whoever worships the holy name of Lord Gauranga, His pastime places, His splendid features and characteristics, I sincerely and unreservedly love them.
In fact all living beings , including demigods and the denizens of other planets, are servants of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The living entity remains entrapped in this world of matter due to their forgetfulness of this eternal relationship. It is by the mercy of the Lord and the spiritual master that this cloud of illusion is removed from their eyes and they are able to re-establish their eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord. In Mahaprabhu’s pastimes we find how Sarvabhauma bhattacharya, the greatly renowned mayavadi scholar, had his false ego shattered, could realize this ultimate truth by Lord Chaitanya’s mercy and ultimately find shelter at His lotus feet.
The path to ultimate perfection has been made especially simple in this age of kali. All we need to do is chant the holy names of the Lord and sing His glories to others. This sankirtana yajna , or congregational chanting of the names ,glories and pastimes of the Supreme Lord, is the prescribed medicine for the suffering people of this age. So we need to follow Nityananda Prabhu in this regard who eternally engages Himself and His followers in an intense Gauranga bhajana –
Nirabadhi sri Krishna Chaitanya sankirtana
Karayen karen laiya bhaktagana
(Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.5.329)
Similarly ,Locana das Thakura in this verse also expresses his keen desire to sing and relish the nectarean glories and pastimes of Lord Gauranga.
Sri-Murari gupta bejha baise navadvipa-e
Nirantara rahe Gaurachandera samipe
Tanhara mahima keba paroye kahite
Hanuman bale yara khyati prithivite
While living in Navadvipa, Sri Murari Gupta had the good fortune of being near Sri Gaurachandra. Who has the power to describe his glories ? He is famed throughout the world as the incarnation of Hanuman (servant of Sri Rama).
Samudra langhiya yeba lankapuri dahe
Sita-ra varta uddhariya SriRama-era kahe
Vishalyakarani aani lakhsmana-e jiyaya
Sei se Murari Gupta baishe Nadiyay
The same Murari Gupta, who in his previous incarnation as Hanuman, had burnt the kingdom of Lanka (capital of Ravana), had brought the message of mother Sita to Sri Rama, and had revived Lakshmana (when He was down unconscious) by fetching a medicinal herb, that same Murari Gupta now resides in Nadiya.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When He descends to this world, all the other incarnations of the Supreme, along with all of His associates , they descend along with Him. Sri Murari Gupta is also one of the eternal associates of the Supreme Lord and always accompanies Him in His pastimes. He served as Hanuman in Treta Yuga and assisted Lord Rama in His wonderful pastimes. In the age of Kali, he has incarnated as Murari Gupta, and assists Lord Chaitanya perform His magnanimous pastimes.
Sri Murari Gupta’s residence is situated a few hundred meters from the birthplace of Mahaprabhu at Yogpeeth (in Mayapur).
During the Mahaprakash Leela, Mahaprabhu revealed Himself as Lord Ramachandra and gave darsana to Murari Gupta, who then became overwhelmed with ecstasy.
Sarva-tattva jane se prabhura antareen
Gaura-pada-aravinde bhakata praveen
Janma haite balaka charita yeba kaila
Adyopante yei rupa prema pracharila
He (Sri Murari Gupta) ,being close to Lord Gauranga,is aware of all the spiritual truths. He is eternally fixed upon the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga.He has expertly recited all of Mahaprabhu’s childhood and boyhood pastimes, from the beginning till the end.
Damodara-pandita sarva puchhila tahanre
Adyopanto yata katha kahila prakare
Shlokabande haila punthi ‘Gauranga-charita’
Damodara samvada Murari mukhadita
Sri Svarupa Damodara, Mahaprabhu’s personal assistant, enquired from him (Murari Gupta) about all that he knew. Murari then explained to Svarupa Damodara, all of Mahaprabhu’s exalted pastimes (in Navadvipa) from beginning till the end. Sri Murari had recorded Mahaprabhu’s childhood and boyhood pastimes in his sanskrit epic – Sri Krishna Chaitanya Charita. Damodara pandita then recorded whatever he heard from Murari (in his diary which is also known as his ‘Karcha’).
This book ,Sri Krishna Chaitanya Charita, written by Sri Murari Gupta and notes taken by Svarupa Damodara in his karacha (diary), during his conversation with Murari Gupta, form the very basis of Mahaprabhu’s early pastimes, as mentioned in His renowned biographies like Chaitanya Mangala, Chaitanya Bhagavata and Chaitanya Charitamrita. These three biographies are widely accepted as bonafide and authoritative works on Lord Gauranga’s exalted life and teachings.
Apart from these three books, there are a few other biographies of Lord Chaitanya that have been written, but they are not considered to be bonafide by the Gaudiya Vaishnavas.
Suniya amara mane barila pirita
Panchali-prabandhe kahon Gauranga-charita
Adhikari nahon tabu kahon ei doshe
Abagya na kara keho, na karohi roshe
Hearing the narrations contained in this book, filled my heart with transcendental love. It inspired me to compose this biography ,using the sweet bengali narrative form of ‘Panchali’. Although I am not qualified (to write this book) and prone to many mistakes, please do not neglect me or get angry with me.
Amrita dekhiya kara na lagaye swadh-e
Agyan balak ichha akashera chande
Gaura-guna kahite aichhen mora swadh
Aichhen samaye chahi Vaishnava prasada
Vaishnava-charane muin karon pranama
Gaura-guna gao mora ei hiya kaam
Who would not want to taste nectar upon seeing it? Just like an ignorant little child, desires to catch the moon in the sky, I yearn to speak the glories of Lord Gauranga. Therefore i seek mercy of the Vaishnavas and pay my obeisances unto their lotus feet. Singing the glories of Lord Gauranga is the only desire of my heart.
Sri Jagadananda Pandita writes in Prema Vivarta –
bhai re bhaja mor pranera Gauranga
gaura vina britha sab jivanera ranga
O brother ! Please worship Lord Gauranga, the Very Lord of my heart. Without Gauranga, all the happenings of one’s life are worthless.
The Navadvipa dham mahatmya states –
‘ara eka gudha katha suna sarva jana, kali jive yogya vastu Gaura leela dhana’
Please hear the most confidential secret. The most suitable thing for the conditioned souls in this age of Kali, is the supreme treasure of Lord Gauranga’s pastimes.
Similarly Srila Vasudeva Ghosh writes in one of his songs –
Gao gao punah Gaurangera guna, sarala kariya mana
Ei bhava sagare, emona dayala , na dekhi ye ek jon
Please sing the glories of Lord Gauranga again and again, keeping a simple heart. I have not seen another person in this vast ocean of material existence, as merciful as He.
Sri Locana das Thakura is also a great devotee of Lord Gauranga and he incessantly chants His glories (As stated in the verse). Sri Chaitanya Mangala is an ecstatic composition that glorifies the most munificent incarnation of the supreme and worships Him, in the most melodious way.
Sri Chaitanya Chandramrita states :
Aparasya premojjvala-rasa-rahasyamrita nidhher
Nidhanam brahmesarchita iha hi Chaitanya charanah
Atas tam dhyayantu pranaya bharato yantu sharanam
Tam eva pronmattas tam iha kila gayantu kritinah
Within the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya, which is worshipped by Brahma and Shiva, rests the shoreless nectarean ocean of confidential loving mellows for the Lord.The saintly devotees should always meditate upon these feet, take its exclusive shelter, become intensely attached and intoxicated with love for them and chant their glories.
Aamara thakura prabhu Narahari das
pranati-binati karon pura mora aash
I offer my prayers and humbly beg my Lord, Sri Narahari Sarakara, to fulfill my desires.