Category Archives: talks

Caste and Family Lineage in Devotional Life (Bhakti) | Sri Prema Vivarta

(The Following is an excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta‘ )

syamasundara khardaha

Family Lineage and the eligibility to worship the Lord

If one has faith, then he/she is qualified to chant the holy name of the Lord. The quarrels of dry speculators concerning one’s caste and creed do not count for anything in this matter. A noble birth in the family of brahmanas does not inevitably make one suitable for practicing devotion. Similarly, a person having faith and born in a lower caste is not expelled from the path of devotional service.

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Lord Chaitanya and the Parrot | Holy name of Gauranga | Prema Vivarta

An Excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta

(Sri Jagadananda Pandita writes)

One who does not worship moonlike Lord Chaitanya is crazy. If you worship Him, you shall relish the greatest joy. He is an embodiment of magnanimity. Who can possibly forget Him ? He bestows boundless mercy upon His servants.
Lord Chaitanya is my Lord and I shall never desert Him. He is the Lord of my life. I get up and embrace anyone who utters His name and calls out ‘Chaitanya’ .That person becomes my dearest friend.
I do not look at the face of anyone who doesn’t say ,’O Chaitanya ! You are the treasure of my life’. Seeing the face of anyone who has forgotten Lord Chaitanya, even if they are Gods or Goddesses , spoils my morning.
I will beat anyone with a stick who neglects Chaitanya and honors other renunciates. I will throw fire into the mouth of anyone who leaves aside the discussion of Chaitanya and talks about frivolous or meaningless subjects.
If I need to endure pain to please Lord Chaitanya, then let me suffer such anguish eternally. But if He gives up His pleasures and joys and accepts the life of a renunciant, I feel overwhelmed with grief.

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Goradaha (Gaura-daha) | Lord Gauranga’s Lake, Gadigacha (Godrumadvipa) | Mahaprabhu and the crocodile

(An excerpt from Sri Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta‘)

(Sri Jagadananda Pandita says) I write whatever pastimes of Lord Gauranga come to my mind, even if they are not in proper chronological sequence.

Gauranga’s Prasada (Food remnants)

One day mother Saci, very affectionately, handed me over the plate containing Lord Gauranga’s food remains.
I was delighted to taste Lord Gauranga’s prasad and it appeared just like nectar.
Will I ever be able to relish such delicious food again? Mother Saci cooked foodstuffs with wild spinach (abona Acyuta Sak), banana flowers (mocha ghanta), edible roots (Kachu Sak) with balls of fried pulses, manchaki, nimba patal, and patties of fried pulses in yoghurt (dadhi-bari).

Visiting the village of Gadigacha

Having happily enjoyed my feast, I moved like a swan in the company of Nityananda, Gauranga, and their associates. Traversing along the bank of the Ganges, and chanting the holy names of Lord Hari, we finally reached the village of Gadigacha.
Sri Govinda Ghosh played Mridanga while Sri Vasudeva Ghosh chanted Harinama. Sri Gadadhara Pandita and Vakresvar danced to the tunes. Hearing the sound of ‘Haribol’, there was cheering in all directions. Everyone was intoxicated in divine love with Gauranga.
I do not know how to sing or dance. Yet I dance with my arms upraised. This is occurring because Lord Gauranga has entered my body and is driving me to do so.
I have no sense of tune or rhythm. Yet I continue to dance and sing. I do not know how my moon-like Gauranga reasons.

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Sri Gaura Purnima | Avirbhava (Appearance) of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, had mercifully appeared at Yogpeeth (in Mayapur) about 500 years ago (in the year 1486 AD), to bless us with the most wonderful, deep and ecstatic pastimes of Gaura Lila. The word ‘Yoga’ means ‘connection’ and the term ‘Yogpeeth’ denotes the place where the Supreme Lord connects with or descends into this material world. The identity of Lord Caitanya as the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be verified in several Vedic scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, Garuda Purana, Nrsimha Purana, Padma Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Narada Purana, etc. We are quoting just two of such references below, for the pleasure of the devotees.

aham purno bhavisyami yuga sandhyau visesatah
mayapure navadvipe bhavisyami saci sutah
(Garuda Purana)

Translation – In the future, in first part of Kali yuga, I shall appear in my complete spiritual form at Mayapura, Navadvipa and become the son of Saci.

The mission of the Lord, along with a description of His golden complexion and how He descends with His confidential associates in this age of Kali, to initiate the Sankirtana Yajna is revealed in Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) –

Krishna varnam tvishakrishnam sangopangastra-parsadam
yajnaih sankirtana prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32)

The dire situation of Navadvipa before Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had appeared:

Before Sri Chaitanya had appeared in Navadvipa, its residents were largely preoccupied with material pursuits.People were egoistic about their material possessions and lacking in God consciousness.Those who engaged in discussing Bhagavad Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam, did not touch upon its essence of devotional service. The holy names of Krishna were nowhere to be heard in the entire town of Navadvipa. Being absorbed in the illusory potency of the Lord, people remained in forgetfulness of their eternal master. They misused their wealth in extravagant wedding ceremonies of their children. 

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Kolavecha Sridhara and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu | Mischievous Nimai – Part 4

According to Sri Gaura Gannodesha Deepika, Kolavecha Sridhara is none other than the incarnation of Kusumasavah, one of the twelve famous cowherd boys (Dvadasha Gopala) of Vrindavana. Sridhara was his name and he was nicknamed ‘Kolavecha’, as he traded banana and banana products for a living (‘kola’ translates to banana’ in Bengali). In Mahaprabhu’s nectarean pastimes, Kolavecha was a very poor man, who wore shredded clothes and lived in a broken hut with leaks in the roof. Kolavecha was so impoverished that he slept on the floor and drank from a broken water pot. Lord Chaitanya was very fond of Kolavecha and devised new means of teasing him daily. In this way, Nimai engaged in mischievous pastimes with His beloved servant.

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Nimai spoils Murari Gupta’s lunch | Nimai’s rage | Mischievous Nimai – Part 3

Nimai’s fit of Rage :

One day, before going to bathe, Lord Chaitanya revealed His desire to worship mother Ganges. Hence He asked for a nice flower garland and some sandalwood paste from His mother. Saci devi requested Nimai to wait for some time as she would have to go and bring the requisite puja paraphernalia. As soon as Nimai discovered that it would take some time to procure the garland, He grew enraged.

Janani kahen – ‘Baap shuno mon diya,
Khaneka apeksha kara , mala ani giya’
‘Ani giya’ yei matra shunila vachana
Krodhe rudra hailen Saci-ra nandana

Mother Saci replied -’My dear, please hear attentively. Please wait for sometime as I go and bring the flower garlands’. As soon as Nimai heard the words ‘Let me go and bring’, He became enraged. He appeared as angry as Rudra (Lord Shiva).
(Chiatanya Bhagavat, Adi, 8.129-130)

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Saci Mata’s Sashti puja | Lord Chaitanya teases the residents of Navadvipa | Mischievous Nimai – Part 2

‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ proudly presents to you the Mischievous pastimes enacted by Nimai of Nadia. In the second article of this series, we shall endeavor to recite the naughty playful pastimes of Lord Viswambhara where He taunts and teases His friends, His family and the other residents of Navadvipa. 

Saci mata performs Sashti Puja :

Sri Chaitanya Mangala recites an enchanting pastime concerning Sri Saci devi’s desire to perform Sashti Puja along with the neighborhood ladies. Accordingly, she gathered the required paraphernalia and the foodstuffs for the worship. It is worthwhile mentioning at this point that Sashti is a demigoddess who protects the children and hence it is a common practice in Bengal that mothers pray to her for their child’s safety. Covering the puja paraphernalia with the end of her saree, Saci Mata proceeded towards the banyan tree where these were to be subsequently offered. Just then, Nimai, who was playing nearby, came over to see what His mother was carrying. Nimai opened His arms and obstructed Saci devi’s way. Little Nimai was impatient to know what His mother was carrying. Saci devi then explained to Him that she was taking foodstuffs to be offered unto mother Sashti and directed Nimai to play over there until she returned. She also assured Nimai of sweets (Sandesh) and bananas upon her return. She added that she would plead for the boon that Nimai gets relieved from all afflictions and inauspiciousness.

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‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ proudly presents to you the Mischievous pastimes enacted by Nimai of Nadia. In the second article of this series, we shall endeavor to recite the naughty playful pastimes of Lord Viswambhara where He taunts and teases His friends, His family and the other residents of Navadvipa. 

Saci mata performs Sashti Puja :

Sri Chaitanya Mangala recites an enchanting pastime concerning Sri Saci devi’s desire to perform Sashti Puja along with the neighborhood ladies. Accordingly, she gathered the required paraphernalia and the foodstuffs for the worship. It is worthwhile mentioning at this point that Sashti is a demigoddess who protects the children and hence it is a common practice in Bengal that mothers pray to her for their child’s safety. Covering the puja paraphernalia with the end of her saree, Saci Mata proceeded towards the banyan tree where these were to be subsequently offered. Just then, Nimai, who was playing nearby, came over to see what His mother was carrying. Nimai opened His arms and obstructed Saci devi’s way. Little Nimai was impatient to know what His mother was carrying. Saci devi then explained to Him that she was taking foodstuffs to be offered unto mother Sashti and directed Nimai to play over there until she returned. She also assured Nimai of sweets (Sandesh) and bananas upon her return. She added that she would plead for the boon that Nimai gets relieved from all afflictions and inauspiciousness.

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Mischievous Nimai – Part 1 | Lord Chaitanya plays mischief at the Ganges

Mischievous Nimai

‘The Gaudiya Treasures of Bengal’ proudly presents to you the Mischievous pastimes enacted by Nimai of Nadia. In the first article of this series, we shall try to describe the enchanting pastimes of Lord Gaurahari on the bank of mother Ganges. As Lord Vishwambhara grew up, He absorbed Himself in the restless mood of a young boy and engaged Himself in manifesting mischievous pastimes with other young brahmana boys of Navadvipa. Little Nimai could not be restrained. He would taunt other boys and pick up fights with them. He would always win a quarrel as He was more powerful than anyone else. The coverings of dust and spots of ink seemed to enhance the beauty of Little Nimai’s golden effulgent form. Every day after finishing His studies at noon, Nimai would go and happily bathe in the holy Ganges. Countless people, including householders, sannyasis, distinguished gentlemen and children would accompany the Lord in these water pastimes. The young boys splashed water towards each other. Who can estimate the endless fortune of these people? Mahaprabhu would sometimes float, sometimes swim inside the water and engage in numerous sporting activities. The water that washed the lotus feet of Lord Gaurahari, the supreme personality of Godhead, would touch the body of these supremely fortunate people of Navadvipa.

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Lord Chaitanya and His ecstatic dance | Gauranga’s dance enchants the whole world | Glories of Gauranga

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has manifested the most heart melting pastimes ever witnessed in human history. His mood, His demeanor, His pastimes struck a positive chord even with the most sinful atheists and was instrumental in transforming their hardened hearts. Thousands of men and women abandoned their homes ,raised their arms and joined Mahaprabhu in His ecstatic sankirtana (congregational chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Lord). All of them were surcharged with deep ecstatic feelings. Being completely devoid of external consciousness and surrendering themselves completely, they sang and danced along. Simply by catching a glimpse of His divine lotus feet, people would get infected with the disease of intense love for the Supreme. These men in turn would infect others. In this way, villages, towns and entire cities would become surcharged with the devotional mood of spontaneous loving service unto the Supreme Lord. An ocean of Love would flood the people with waves after waves of divine ecstasy. Observing Lord Gaurahari’s smiling demeanor ,people would completely forget their miseries.Only a fortunate person could possibly attain this most treasured fruit of pure love for God. The most merciful Lord Chaitanya, however distributed this sacred fruit to one and all without making any discrimination. Chaitanya Chandramrta , composed by Prabodhananda Sarasvati, hence exclaims :Continue Reading…


Laws of Karma | Transcending Material Nature | Teachings of Lord Chaitanya

Karma is a Sanskrit term meaning action, work or deed. According to Wikipedia, ‘Karma’ also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect whereby the intent or the actions of an individual (the cause) influences the future of that particular individual (the effect). Good intent and good deeds contribute to good results while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad results. This, in a nutshell, constitutes the Laws of karma. So now let us try to delve deep into this topic to understand what these good or bad deeds are, what the results of performing these deeds are and how one should instead strive to rise above Karma, to achieve the ultimate goal of his/her life.Continue Reading…