May 232024
 

Today is a very auspicious day, for many reasons. One reason is that today is Chandana-yatra. It is also Sri Madhavendra Puri’s appearance day. So, I thought to read about Sri Madhavendra Puri’s pure devotional service and how he brought candana for the Deity of Gopala and ultimately offered it to the Deity of Gopinatha, who is not different from Gopala.

jaya jaya sri caitanya jaya nityananda
jaya advaitacandra jaya gaura-bhakta-vrnda

We read from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Chapter 4, “Sri Madhavendra Puri’s Devotional Service”:

In his Amrita-pravaha-bhasya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives the following summary of the Fourth Chapter:

One night while in Govardhana, Madhavendra Puri dreamed that the Gopala Deity was within the forest. The next morning, he invited his neighborhood friends to accompany him to excavate the Deity from the jungle. He then established the Deity of Sri Gopalaji on top of Govardhana Hill with great pomp. Gopala was worshiped, and the Annakuta festival was observed. This festival was known everywhere, and many people from the neighboring villages came to join. One night the Gopala Deity again appeared to Madhavendra Puri in a dream and asked him to go to Jagannatha Puri to collect some sandalwood pulp and smear it on the body of the Deity. Having received this order, Madhavendra Puri immediately started for Orissa. Traveling through Bengal, he reached Remuna village and there received a pot of condensed milk (ksira) offered to the Deity of Gopinathaji. This pot of condensed milk was stolen by Gopinatha and delivered to Madhavendra Puri. Since then, the Gopinatha Deity has been known as Ksira-cora-gopinatha, the Deity who stole the pot of condensed milk. After reaching Jagannatha Puri, Madhavendra Puri received permission from the King to take one “mana” of sandalwood and eight ounces of camphor. Aided by two men, he brought these things to Remuna. Again he saw in a dream that Gopala at Govardhana Hill desired that very sandalwood to be turned into pulp mixed with camphor and smeared over the body of Gopinathaji. Understanding that that would satisfy the Gopala Deity at Govardhana, Madhavendra Puri executed the order and returned to Jagannatha Puri.

TEXT 1

yasmai datum corayan ksira-bhandam
  gopinathah ksira-corabhidho ’bhut
sri-gopalah pradurasid vasah san
  yat-premna tam madhavendram nato ’smi

 I offer my respectful obeisances unto Madhavendra Puri, who was given a pot of sweet rice stolen by Sri Gopinatha, celebrated thereafter as ksira-cora. Being pleased by Madhavendra Puri’s love, Sri Gopala, the Deity at Govardhana, appeared to the public vision.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

Bhaktivinoda Thakura annotates that this Gopala Deity was originally installed by Vajra, the great-grandson of Krsna. Madhavendra Puri rediscovered Gopala and established Him on top of Govardhana Hill. This Gopala Deity is still situated at Nathadvara and is under the management of descendants of Vallabhacarya. The worship of the Deity is very luxurious, and one who goes there can purchase varieties of prasadam by paying a small price.

TEXT 2

jaya jaya gauracandra jaya nityananda
jayadvaitacandra jaya gaura-bhakta-vrnda

 All glories to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu! All glories to Nityananda Prabhu! All glories to Advaita Prabhu! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya!

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

Now we will skip to Remuna, where Madhavendra Puri received the pot of condensed milk stolen by the Deity Gopinatha. Madhavendra Puri was afraid that when news of the event spread, everyone would want to see him and appreciate him. So he thought he should not remain there any longer but should leave immediately for Jagannatha Puri.

TEXT 143–146

cali’ cali’ aila puri sri-nilacala
jagannatha dekhi’ haila premete vihvala

Walking and walking, Madhavendra Puri finally reached Jagannatha Puri, which is also known as Nilacala. There he saw Lord Jagannatha and was overwhelmed with loving ecstasy.

When Madhavendra Puri was overwhelmed in the ecstasy of love of Godhead, he sometimes stood up and sometimes fell to the ground. Sometimes he laughed, danced and sang. In this way he enjoyed transcendental bliss by seeing the Jagannatha Deity.

When Madhavendra Puri came to Jagannatha Puri, people were aware of his transcendental reputation. Therefore crowds of people came and offered him all sorts of respect in devotion.

Even though one may not like it, reputation, as ordained by providence, comes to him. Indeed, one’s transcendental reputation is known throughout the entire world.

TEXT 147

pratisthara bhaye puri gela palana
krsna-preme pratistha cale sange gadana

Being afraid of his reputation [pratistha], Madhavendra Puri fled from Remuna. But the reputation brought by love of Godhead is so sublime that it goes along with the devotee, as if following him.

COMMENT

“Being afraid of his reputation [pratistha], Madhavendra Puri fled from Remuna. But the reputation brought by love of Godhead is so sublime that it goes along with the devotee, as if following him.” Actually, Canakya Pandit makes the same statement, which Srila Prabhupada sometimes quoted: “A rich man is famous only in his own place, but a learned man—a pure devotee—is famous all over the world.” Someone may be a rich man in India, but if he goes to America, he’s nobody. A rich man from America wouldn’t be a complete nobody in India, because the beggars would see that he’s a foreigner and this would give him importance. But a rich man is really known and served and worshipped only in his own place, whereas a learned man is known and served and worshipped throughout the world. Just like Srila Prabhupada: wherever he went, he was loved and served and worshipped.

Madhavendra Puri was a great devotee. When the Deity stole condensed milk for him in Remuna, he thought people would come and honor him, so to avoid them he went to Jagannatha Puri. But when he arrived in Puri, people knew that the great devotee Madhavendra Puri had come, so they came to honor him. Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami states, “Being afraid of his reputation [pratistha], Madhavendra Puri fled from Remuna. But the reputation brought by love of Godhead is so sublime that it goes along with the devotee, as if following him.”

PURPORT

Almost all the conditioned souls within the material world are envious. Jealous people generally turn against one who automatically attains some reputation.  Consequently, when a devotee is fit to receive worldly reputation, he is envied by many people. This is quite natural. When a person, out of humility, does not desire fame, people generally think him quite humble and consequently give him all kinds of fame. Actually a Vaisnava does not hanker after fame or a great reputation. Madhavendra Puri, the king of Vaisnavas, bore his reputation, but he wanted to keep himself outside the vision of the general populace. He wanted to cover his real identity as a great devotee of the Lord, but when people saw him overwhelmed in ecstasy in love of Godhead, they naturally gave credit to him. Actually a first-class reputation is due Madhavendra Puri because he was a most confidential devotee of the Lord. Sometimes a sahajiya presents himself as being void of desires for reputation (pratistha) in order to become famous as a humble man. Such people cannot actually attain the platform of celebrated Vaisnavas.

COMMENT

Once when Srila Prabhupada was in Los Angeles, my parents came to visit. I was there, and so many people—old and young, male and female—were also there with Srila Prabhupada on his morning walk in a park, and he was dealing with each and every person in such a way that everyone was pleased, even though they were so different. For example, my mother was fifty-five or so years of age, but Srila Prabhupada told her, “Mrs. Teton, you look so young.” And she was very pleased. Everyone was pleased. At the end of the walk we came to where the cars were parked. Perhaps Karandhar Prabhu had arranged a Rolls Royce for Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada knew the heart of everyone, and even otherwise he might have seen my father glancing at the car. So, he and my father and some devotees were standing around the Rolls Royce, and Srila Prabhupada said to my father, “You should come and ride with me.” “No, no. I cannot.” “No, no, you should come and ride with me.” Then, very humbly and in a very shy way, Srila Prabhupada said, “Actually, my disciples got this for me.” My father immediately said, “No, no. You deserve it.” Afterwards, Srila Prabhupada’s servant Hari Sauri Prabhu commented to him, “Srila Prabhupada, everyone likes you so much.” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “Yes, because I like everyone.”

TEXT 148

yadyapi udvega haila palaite mana
thakurera candana-sadhana ha-ila bandhana

Madhavendra Puri wanted to leave Jagannatha Puri because the people were honoring him as a great devotee; however, this threatened to hinder his collecting sandalwood for the Gopala Deity.

COMMENT

Madhavendra Puri came to Jagannatha Puri for service, but when he got there he found fame, which he did not like. So he wanted to run away from Puri to escape the reputation there. But if he had run away, he would not have been able to do his service to the Deity of Gopala. So he gave more importance to Gopala’s service than to his own likes or dislikes. This is the quality of a pure devotee. The pure devotee does whatever is favorable for the service of the master, even if it is not favorable for his own personal happiness. And, of course, in serving the master and giving happiness to the master, he enjoys the greatest happiness.

TEXT 149–151

Sri Madhavendra Puri told all the servants of Lord Jagannatha and all the great devotees there the story of the appearance of Sri Gopala.

When all the devotees at Jagannatha Puri heard that the Gopala Deity wanted sandalwood, in great pleasure they all endeavored to collect it.

Those who were acquainted with government officers met with them and begged for camphor and sandalwood, which they collected.

PURPORT

It appears that malayaja-candana (sandalwood) and camphor were used for the Jagannatha Deity. The camphor was used in His aratrika, and the sandalwood was used to smear His body. Both these items were under government control; therefore the devotees had to meet with the government officials. Informing them of all the details, they attained permission to take the sandalwood and camphor outside Jagannatha Puri.

TEXT 152

eka vipra, eka sevaka, candana vahite
puri-gosanira sange dila sambala-sahite

 One brahmana and one servant were given to Madhavendra Puri just to carry the sandalwood. He was also given the necessary traveling expenses.

COMMENT

Madhavendra Puri had no material assets. He would not even ask for food. He would just chant the holy name, and whatever food Krishna sent he would accept. He himself had nothing. But when the people of Puri saw his exalted devotional position, they automatically offered to collect candana and camphor, get permission from the government, and even give him money for expenses on the way.

TEXT 153–157

To get past the toll collectors along the way, Madhavendra Puri was supplied with the necessary release papers from government officers. The papers were placed in his hand.

In this way Madhavendra Puri started for Vrndavana with the burden of sandalwood, and after some days he again reached the village of Remuna and the Gopinatha temple there.

When Madhavendra Puri reached the temple of Gopinatha, he offered his respectful obeisances many times at the lotus feet of the Lord. In the ecstasy of love, he began to dance and sing without cessation.

When the priest of Gopinatha saw Madhavendra Puri again, he offered all respects to him and, giving him the sweet rice prasadam, made him eat.

Madhavendra Puri took rest that night in the temple, but toward the end of the night he had another dream.

TEXT 158

gopala asiya kahe,—suna he madhava
karpura-candana ami pailama saba

Madhavendra Puri dreamed that Gopala came before him and said, “O Madhavendra Puri, I have already received all the sandalwood and camphor.

TEXT 159

karpura-sahita ghasi’ e-saba candana
gopinathera ange nitya karaha lepana

“Now just grind all the sandalwood together with the camphor and then smear the pulp on the body of Gopinatha daily until it is finished.

TEXT 160

 gopinatha amara se eka-i anga haya
inhake candana dile habe mora tapa-ksaya

 “There is no difference between My body and Gopinatha’s body. They are one and the same. Therefore if you smear the sandalwood pulp on the body of Gopinatha, you will naturally also smear it on My body. Thus the temperature of My body will be reduced.”

PURPORT

Gopala was situated in Vrndavana, which was far from Remuna. In those days, one had to pass through provinces governed by the Mohammedans, who sometimes hindered travelers. Considering the trouble of His devotee, Lord Gopala, the greatest well-wisher of His devotees, ordered Madhavendra Puri to smear the sandalwood pulp on the body of Gopinatha, which was nondifferent from the body of Gopala. In this way the Lord relieved Madhavendra Puri from trouble and inconvenience.

COMMENT

The devotee always wants to serve the Lord—without any personal consideration. But the Lord also wants to help the devotee—and reciprocates. Madhavendra Puri was ready to carry the sandalwood and camphor all the way from Jagannatha Puri to Vrindavan—on foot, in the heat of summer—to please Gopala. And Gopala was pleased by Madhavendra Puri’s pure, devotional service attitude and felt compassion for him. He didn’t want him to take the trouble to carry the sandalwood all the way from Jagannatha Puri to Vrindavan by foot in the heat. So He appeared to Madhavendra Puri in a dream and told him to “smear the sandalwood pulp mixed with camphor on the Deity of Gopinatha, and because the Deity of Gopinatha and I are the same I will feel relieved.”

TEXT 161–168

dvidha na bhaviha, na kariha kichu mane
visvasa kari’ candana deha amara vacane

 “You should not hesitate to act according to My order. Believing in Me, just do what is needed.”

After giving these instructions, Gopala disappeared, and Madhavendra Puri awoke. He immediately called for all the servants of Gopinatha, and they came before him.

Madhavendra Puri said, “Smear the body of Gopinatha with this camphor and sandalwood I have brought for Gopala in Vrndavana. Do this regularly every day.

“If the sandalwood pulp is smeared over the body of Gopinatha, then Gopala will be cooled. After all, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is completely independent; His order is all-powerful.”

The servants of Gopinatha became very pleased to hear that in the summer all the sandalwood pulp would be used to anoint the body of Gopinatha.

Madhavendra Puri said, “These two assistants will regularly grind the sandalwood, and you should also get two other people to help. I shall pay their salary.”

In this way Gopinathaji was supplied ground sandalwood pulp daily. The servants of Gopinatha were very pleased with this.

In this way the sandalwood pulp was smeared over the body of Gopinatha until the whole stock was finished. Madhavendra Puri stayed there until that time.

TEXT 169

grisma-kala-ante punah nilacale gela
nilacale caturmasya anande rahila

 At the end of summer Madhavendra Puri returned to Jagannatha Puri, where he remained with great pleasure during the whole period of Caturmasya.

PURPORT

The Caturmasya period begins in the month of Asadha (June-July) from the day of Ekadasi called Sayana-ekadasi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon.

COMMENT

In Maharashtra many people go to Pandharpur to celebrate Asadhi-ekadasi, and they do kirtan on the way, chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, or Jaya Jaya Rama Krishna Hari. With great jubilation, they walk in dindi parties until they reach Pandharpur. Then they do parikrama, take darshan of Vitthala, and hear the ISKCON devotees chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. And if they are lucky enough, they will purchase some of Srila Prabhupada’s books and take some prasada.

PURPORT (concluded)

The Caturmasya period begins in the month of Asadha (June-July) from the day of Ekadasi called Sayana-ekadasi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon. The period ends in the month of Karttika (October-November) on the Ekadasi day known as Utthana-ekadasi in the fortnight of the waxing moon. This four-month period is known as Caturmasya. Some Vaisnavas also observe it from the full-moon day of Asadha until the full-moon day of Karttika. That is also a period of four months. This period, calculated by the lunar months, is called Caturmasya, but others also observe Caturmasya according to the solar month from Sravana to Karttika. The whole period, either lunar or solar, takes place during the rainy season. Caturmasya should be observed by all sections of the population. It does not matter whether one is a grhastha or a sannyasi. The observance is obligatory for all asramas. The real purpose behind the vow taken during these four months is to minimize the quantity of sense gratification. This is not very difficult. In the month of Sravana one should not eat spinach, in the month of Bhadra one should not eat yogurt, and in the month of Asvina one should not drink milk. One should not eat fish or other non-vegetarian food during the month of Karttika. A non-vegetarian diet means fish and meat. Similarly, masura dhal and urad dhal are also considered non-vegetarian. These two dhals contain a great amount of protein, and food rich in protein is considered non-vegetarian. On the whole, during the four-month period of Caturmasya, one should practice giving up all food intended for sense enjoyment.

COMMENT

The story we just read was spoken by Lord Chaitanya when He visited Remuna on the way from Bengal to Jagannatha Puri in Orissa. He told the story of Madhavendra Puri to all the devotees with Him, including Nityananda Prabhu.

Now we shall read a short summary of the glories of Madhavendra Puri and pray for his mercy to bless us with the tiniest fraction of his devotion to Krishna:

TEXT 170

sri-mukhe madhava-purira amrta-carita
bhakta-gane sunana prabhu kare asvadita

Thus Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally praised the nectarean characteristics of Madhavendra Puri, and while He related all this to the devotees, He personally relished it.

COMMENT

Devotees take pleasure in speaking and hearing the glories of other devotees. And Lord Chaitanya set the example. He personally relished remembering and discussing the glories of Madhavendra Puri.

TEXT 171

prabhu kahe,—nityananda, karaha vicara
puri-sama bhagyavan jagate nahi ara

 Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked Nityananda Prabhu to judge whether there was anyone within the world as fortunate as Madhavendra Puri.

TEXT 172

dugdha-dana-chale krsna yanre dekha dila
tina-bare svapne asi’ yanre ajna kaila

 Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Madhavendra Puri was so fortunate that Krsna personally appeared before him on the plea of delivering milk. Three times the Lord gave orders to Madhavendra Puri in dreams.”

COMMENT

What were the three orders the Lord gave Madhavendra Puri? First, at Govardhana, Gopala appeared in Madhavendra Puri’s dream and told him, “I’m hidden in the bushes; please take Me out and install Me on top of Govardhana Hill.”

The second time was also at Govardhana. The Deity appeared to Madhavendra Puri and told him, “I’m feeling very hot. Please bring sandalwood pulp to cool Me.”

And the third time was at Remuna, where Gopala appeared to Madhavendra Puri and told him, “The Deity of Gopinatha and I are the same, so you can smear the sandalwood on the body of Gopinatha and I will feel relieved.”

TEXT 173

yanra preme vasa hana prakata ha-ila
seva angikara kari’ jagata tarila

 “Being obliged because of the loving affairs of Madhavendra Puri, Lord Krsna Himself appeared as the Gopala Deity, and, accepting his service, He liberated the whole world.

COMMENT

In other words, the Deity of Gopala was so obliged by Madhavendra Puri’s service that He appeared to Madhavendra Puri just to accept it. And thus the Deity of Gopala delivered the whole world. Even now, an expansion of the Gopala Deity is here, and He is delivering the world.

TEXT 174

yanra lagi’ gopinatha ksira kaila curi
ataeva nama haila ‘ksira-cora’ kari’

 “On account of Madhavendra Puri, Lord Gopinatha stole the pot of sweet rice. Thus He became famous as Ksira-cora [the thief who stole the sweet rice].

COMMENT

Generally, stealing is considered bad. And definitely, stealing is bad. But here we see that the Deity stole. Is the Deity at fault? No. God is absolute, Krishna is absolute, so whatever He does is good. God is good, so whatever Krishna does is all-good, absolutely. Even in Vrindavan, Krishna used to steal butter and yogurt. Of course, the residents of Vrindavan did not think of Krishna as the Lord. They thought of Him as the son of Yasoda and Nanda. The elderly gopis complained to Mother Yasoda, “Your son comes to our houses and does mischief. Sometimes He steals butter and yogurt, and He feeds them to His friends and to monkeys. Sometimes He pinches the babies and makes them cry. Sometimes He passes urine on the floor. What kind of a boy is this? And what kind of a mother are you? You’re not controlling Him. He is becoming a nuisance, and He’ll be spoiled. You should control Him. Keep Him with you and don’t let Him go into other people’s houses and make trouble.”

 Mother Yasoda also did not think that Krishna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She thought, “He is my son, and I’m His mother, and if I don’t take care He will be spoiled.” So, she took it very seriously and kept Krishna at home. But after some time the elderly gopis came and complained, “Krishna is not coming to our houses anymore. He’s not coming to tease our children or steal our butter, and we’re so unhappy.”

This is the absolute nature of Krishna: whatever He does is all pleasing to everyone. Even His stealing gives pleasure. If someone in the ashram steals something, we won’t feel pleasure. In fact, we will want to beat him with a stick and chase him out the door. Our stealing doesn’t give pleasure, because we are conditioned souls in the duality of material nature. So we should not steal. Even Rupa Gosvami has advised devotees to be straightforward in ordinary dealings and to act in the mode of goodness, in the way of brahmans, whose first quality is satyam, truthfulness. But Krishna is on the absolute platform. When He steals, people take pleasure and glorify Him as Makhana-cora, or Ksira-cora, because His stealing and our stealing are not on the same level. We should not imitate. People may think, “Krishna stole; I will also steal.” Whatever Krishna does is all-good, absolutely. But we in the material world who are trying to become devotees (and even those who actually are devotees) act according to religious principles. And according to religious principles, one should not steal, one should not lie, and so on.

We should follow—that is our duty. And Krishna’s duty is to give pleasure to His devotees by any means. And sometimes, to give pleasure to His devotees, He steals. But there is another lesson for us: we should not stock or hoard things. When Srila Prabhupada first had the devotees print BTG in large quantities in America, he said, “Don’t keep the magazines stocked. Distribute them. Otherwise, if you keep them stocked, Krishna may come and steal them, just like the gopis used to keep butter and yogurt and Krishna used to come and steal. So if you keep the transcendental literature stocked, Krishna may come and steal it.”

Krishna’s pastimes can be understood on many levels and in many ways, and we should be sure to understand them properly from Srila Prabhupada. Now Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explains the reciprocation between Madhavendra Puri and Gopala.

TEXT 176

mleccha-dese karpura-candana anite janjala
puri duhkha pabe iha janiya gopala

“In the provinces of India governed by the Mohammedans, there was much inconvenience in traveling with sandalwood and camphor. Because of this, Madhavendra Puri might have gotten into trouble. This became known to the Gopala Deity.

TEXT 177

maha-daya-maya prabhu—bhakata-vatsala
candana pari’ bhakta-srama karila saphala

“The Lord is very merciful and attached to His devotees, so when Gopinatha was covered with sandalwood pulp, Madhavendra Puri’s labor became successful.”

TEXT 178

purira prema-parakastha karaha vicara
alaukika prema citte lage camatkara

 Caitanya Mahaprabhu placed the standard of Madhavendra Puri’s intense love before Nityananda Prabhu for judgment. “All his loving activities are uncommon,” Caitanya Mahaprabhu said. “Indeed, one is struck with wonder to hear of his activities.”

PURPORT

When the living entity feels spiritual separation from Krsna (krsna-viraha), he has achieved the prime success of life.

COMMENT

Here Srila Prabhupada is analyzing what is the actual wonder of Sri Madhavendra Puri’s devotional ecstasy.

PURPORT (continued)

When one becomes disinterested in material things, he is simply experiencing the other side of attraction for material things.

COMMENT

Attachment and aversion. In material life we feel attracted to material things. We want to possess them and enjoy them. And when we try to possess and enjoy them, we suffer. On a morning walk in Juhu, Srila Prabhupada spoke about money, and he said that getting money is a problem, keeping the money is a problem, and when you lose the money, that is also a problem. At every stage there is simply trouble. So, when someone has experienced all the troubles of material life, he may think, “Why shall I bother for all these things? Let me renounce. Let me leave.” But that is not bhakti. That is just the other side of attachment. “First I wanted to get it, and now I want to leave it. I wanted to get it to become happy, but when I actually got it I didn’t become happy. I had more trouble. So, let me leave it.” But the basic principle is one’s personal happiness. The karmi’s idea is to enjoy, but instead of enjoying he suffers. And the idea of the jnani, impersonalist, is that by trying to enjoy he suffered, so now he won’t try to enjoy anymore so he won’t have to suffer anymore. Then: zero. When he was a karmi he wanted plus—enjoyment—but instead of plus he got minus—suffering. Now he thinks, “I don’t want minus. Though I wanted plus, I got minus instead, so now I want zero, because at least zero is better than minus.”

So, both the karmis and jnanis are selfish. And:

bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami—sakali ‘asanta’
krsna-bhakta—niskama, ataeva ‘santa’

 “Fruitive workers desire material enjoyment, jnanis desire liberation, and yogis desire material opulence; therefore they are all lusty and cannot be peaceful. Because a devotee of Lord Krsna is desireless, only he is peaceful.” (Cc Madhya 19.149)

Thus the real glory of Madhavendra Puri, as described by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu here, is not his renunciation, but rather his intense love for Krishna in the mood of separation.

PURPORT (continued)

When one becomes disinterested in material things, he is simply experiencing the other side of attraction for material things. However, feeling separation from Krsna and engaging in the service of the Lord to fulfill His mission constitute the best example of love of Krsna.

COMMENT

Someone might say that the devotee is crying in separation, suffering. But actually he is not suffering; he is enjoying transcendental ecstasy on the spiritual platform. Someone may see that the devotee is laboring—going to Jagannatha Puri, meeting the government officers, getting permits, getting the sandalwood and camphor, carrying everything with him by foot—and think, “Oh, he is laboring, he is suffering.” But he is not suffering. He is enjoying transcendental ecstasy on the spiritual platform, because the central point is Krishna.

PURPORT (concluded)

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to point out this intense love of Krsna exhibited by Madhavendra Puri. All Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s devotees later followed in the footsteps of Madhavendra Puri, serving the Lord without personal considerations.

COMMENT

This is the standard of the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who follow Sri Madhavendra Puri: they serve the Lord without any personal considerations.

TEXT 186

pragadha-premera ei svabhava-acara
nija-duhkha-vighnadira na kare vicara

 “This is the natural result of intense love of Godhead. The devotee does not consider personal inconveniences or impediments. In all circumstances he wants to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

PURPORT

It is natural for those who have developed intense love for Krsna not to care for personal inconvenience and impediments. Such devotees are simply determined to execute the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His representative, the spiritual master. In all circumstances, even amidst the greatest dangers, they undeviatingly carry on with the greatest determination. This definitely proves the intense love of the servitor.

COMMENT

Their love is shown by their being undeviating and unfaltering in serving the order of the spiritual master in the face of all difficulties—not by a show of tears.

PURPORT (continued)

As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam, tat te ’nukampam su-samiksamanah: those who seriously desire to get free from the clutches of material existence, who have developed intense love for Krsna, are worthy candidates for going back home, back to Godhead. An intense lover of Krsna does not care for any number of material discomforts, scarcity, impediments or unhappiness. It is said that when one sees apparent unhappiness or distress in a perfect Vaisnava, it is not at all unhappiness for him; rather, it is transcendental bliss.

COMMENT

Srila Prabhupada’s disciple Jadurani was one of the first artists in ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada used to give her photos as subjects to paint. Once, she looked at one and commented, “Oh, Srila Prabhupada, you look so sad in this picture!” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “That was a moment of ecstasy.” Thus it is said that “when one sees apparent unhappiness or distress in a perfect Vaishnava, it is not at all unhappiness for him. Rather, it is transcendental bliss.”

Once, in New York, the devotees arranged a big program for Srila Prabhupada. Although they had very little money, they rented an expensive hall, but in the end hardly two or three people came. The devotees might have felt discouraged, but Srila Prabhupada said, “Don’t be discouraged. We have prepared a big feast to distribute to the guests, and if guests come, we will distribute the prasada and be happy, and if they don’t come we will eat the prasada and be happy. So in every case we are happy.”

PURPORT (concluded)

In the Siksastaka, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also instructed, aslisya va pada-ratam. The intense lover of Krsna is never deviated from his service, despite all difficulties and impediments brought before him.

 

Sri Madhavendra Puri Prabhu ki jaya!
Sri Gopalaji ki jaya!
Sri Gopinathaji ki jaya
Sri Chandana-yatra ki jaya!
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
Nitai-gaura-premanande hari-haribol!

[A Talk by Giriraj Swami on Chandana-yatra and Madhavendra Puri’s appearance day, May 4, 1995, Chowpatty, Bombay]

 

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