We welcome you to the most auspicious celebration of Sri Gaura-purnima, the appearance day of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna Chaitanya. According to Vedic scriptures, the Absolute Truth is realized in three features: Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. The impersonalist speculators want to merge and become one with God, one with the impersonal brahmajyoti, which is nothing but the transcendental effulgence emanating from the divine body of Sri Krishna. Beyond the impersonal Brahman is Paramatma, the Lord within the heart; the purusa-avataras—Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu—are the soul of the universe, the soul of creation, the soul of souls. And beyond realization of the impersonal Brahman and localized Paramatma is realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, who is the source of Paramatma and Brahman.
That same Krishna who appeared about five thousand years ago appeared again some five hundred years ago as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Why is it that Krishna, who came five thousand years ago and spoke the Bhagavad-gita and exhibited so many pastimes, came again? In the authorized scripture Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Lord Krishna’s thoughts after He had manifested His pastimes on earth five thousand years ago are recorded. These thoughts explain why He came again five hundred years ago as Sri Krishna Chaitanya.
We are all sitting here by the mercy of Sri Krishna Chaitanya and His followers in disciplic succession, especially His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. And practically every activity that takes place here is based on the instructions and example of Krishna Chaitanya. You can hardly find any aspect of the Krishna consciousness movement that is not based on His teachings and precedents. So it is very important—essential—to understand Him, because without understanding Him we cannot really progress very well toward the ultimate goal of life.
We read from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter Three: “The External Reasons for the Appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,” text 13. After describing the advent of Lord Krishna on earth, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta describes, beginning with text 13:
Lord Krsna enjoys His transcendental pastimes as long as He wishes, and then He disappears. After disappearing, however, He thinks thus:
“For a long time I have not bestowed unalloyed loving service to Me upon the inhabitants of the world. Without such loving attachment, the existence of the material world is useless.
“Everywhere in the world people worship Me according to scriptural injunctions. But simply by following such regulative principles one cannot attain the loving sentiments of the devotees in Vrajabhumi.
“Knowing My opulences, the whole world looks upon Me with awe and veneration. But devotion made feeble by such reverence does not attract Me.”
PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada
After His appearance, Lord Krsna thought that He had not distributed the transcendental personal dealings with His devotees in dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhurya. One may understand the science of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from the Vedic literature and thus become a devotee of the Lord and worship Him within the regulative principles described in the scriptures, but one will not know in this way how Lord Krsna is served by the residents of Vrajabhumi. By following scriptural injunctions one may enhance his appreciation for the glories of the Lord, but there is no chance for one to enter into personal dealings with Him. Giving too much attention to understanding the exalted glories of the Lord reduces the chance of one’s entering into personal loving affairs with the Lord. To teach the principles of such loving dealings, the Lord decided to appear as Lord Caitanya.
yuga-dharma pravartaimu nama-sankirtana
cari bhava-bhakti diya nacamu bhuvana
“I shall personally inaugurate the religion of the age—nama-sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy name. I shall make the world dance in ecstasy, realizing the four mellows of loving devotional service.
COMMENT by Giriraj Swami
The Lord came to introduce the yuga-dharma, the recommended process for self-realization, or God realization, in the present age, and that is nama-sankirtana, the chanting of the holy names of the Lord.
Today is the auspicious disappearance day of Sri Madhavendra Puri, the grand spiritual master of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Madhavendra Puri’s disciple Isvara Puri was accepted by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as His spiritual master. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is Himself the origin of all knowledge—perfect, Vedic knowledge—and He had no need to accept a spiritual master. But because He was playing the part of a devotee, to set the example for others He accepted a spiritual master. And He accepted Isvara Puri specifically because he came in the line of Madhavendra Puri and was most dear to him. Madhavendra Puri was the first to exhibit love of God in separation, specifically in the mood of the gopis in separation from Krishna after He left Vrindavan. So Madhavendra Puri is a most important person in the history of our disciplic succession—and in the history of the world.
We shall read from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter Eight: “Ramacandra Puri Criticizes the Lord.” Ramachandra Puri was a disciple of Madhavendra Puri and a godbrother of Isvara Puri, but he developed an offensive mentality toward his spiritual master, and as a result became so fallen that he dared to criticize Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We begin with the chapter summary:
“The following summary of the Eighth Chapter is given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya. This chapter describes the history of the Lord’s dealings with Ramacandra Puri. Although Ramacandra Puri was one of the disciples of Madhavendra Puri, he was influenced by dry Mayavadis, and therefore he criticized Madhavendra Puri. Therefore Madhavendra Puri accused him of being an offender and rejected him. Because Ramacandra Puri had been rejected by his spiritual master, he became concerned only with finding faults in others and advising them according to dry Mayavada philosophy. For this reason he was not very respectful to the Vaisnavas, and later he became so fallen that he began criticizing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for His eating. Hearing his criticisms, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu reduced His eating, but after Ramacandra Puri left Jagannatha Puri, the Lord resumed His usual behavior.”
tam vande krsna-caitanyam
laukikaharatah svam yo
Let me offer my respectful obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who reduced His eating due to fear of the criticism of Ramacandra Puri.
jaya jaya sri-caitanya karuna-sindhu-avatara
brahma-sivadika bhaje carana yanhara
All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of the ocean of mercy! His lotus feet are worshiped by demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva.
jaya jaya avadhuta-candra nityananda
jagat bandhila yenha diya prema-phanda
All glories to Nityananda Prabhu, the greatest of mendicants, who bound the entire world with a knot of ecstatic love for God!
jaya jaya advaita isvara avatara
krsna avatari’ kaila jagat-nistara
All glories to Advaita Prabhu, the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead! He induced Krsna to descend and thus delivered the entire world.
jaya jaya srivasadi yata bhakta-gana
sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu—yanra prana-dhana
All glories to all the devotees, headed by Srivasa Thakura! Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is their life and soul.
ei-mata gauracandra nija-bhakta-sange
nilacale krida kare krsna-prema-tarange
Thus Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, at Jagannatha Puri, performed His various pastimes with His devotees in the waves of love for Krsna.
COMMENT by Giriraj Swami
The next verses describe Ramachandra Puri’s arrival in Jagannatha Puri. He came specifically to meet Paramananda Puri and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His policy was to invite Vaishnavas and feed them prasada and by various means induce them to eat more and more—and then criticize them for eating too much. Next, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, the author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, explains the history of Ramachandra Puri, which contains the story of the disappearance of Sri Madhavendra Puri.
One lady raised her hand after Prabhupada had finished a Bhagavad-gita class, as she had a question. She asked, “In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that if one thinks of Krishna at the time of death, one will go to Krishna. Now my question is, What if I think of you at the time of death? Will it have the same effect?”
Prabhupada didn’t answer right away. He closed his eyes for two or three seconds as if he were searching for the answer, and then he smiled and said, “That is very nice. Yes, it will have the same effect.”
—Jaya Gauranga dasa
HH Mukunda Goswami Maharaja relates:
There is an interesting story that I wrote about. It took place when “Govinda” first came out, when the recording was first released. I was in England, and Yamuna was in England, and we sent this recording to the devotees in Los Angeles to show how we were really preaching big time to the Beatles and had done this record. But the devotees in Los Angeles didn’t want Prabhupada to hear this, because they thought it was very strange that a woman’s voice would be leading the Hare Krishna mantra. And so they didn’t let Prabhupada hear it. So, one morning, just before the greeting of the Deities, Prabhupada was sitting on his vyasasana. When the Deity doors open in Los Angeles, there is a big billow of incense smoke from the charcoals. The devotees use a lot of incense, and when they open the doors, it kind of pours out like a big cloud coming out.
So, right before this, Prabhupada said, “What about that record that the devotees sent from London?” He had heard about it. So they told him, “It is just Yamuna singing; we don’t want you to hear it.” And they added, “There is no place to play it.” So he said, “Just play it on the system, the speakers.”
They said, “Okay” and very reluctantly went and fetched the recording and played it. And it was just at the right time, and the song is about five minutes long. As the Deity doors opened, Prabhupada was sitting on his vyasasana, and he didn’t say a word. He just listened with his eyes closed. And devotees got to see streams of tears coming down his cheeks. And that day Prabhupada ordered that the song be played in all temples all over the world at the time of greeting the Deities.