Nityananda-trayodasi: Sri Nityananda Prabhu—An Incarnation of Mercy
We welcome you on the most auspicious occasion of Sri Nityananda-trayodasi in the merciful presence of Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurahari and other Deities. We shall read two verses from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter Five: “The Glories of Lord Nityananda Balarama.”
preme matta nityananda krpa-avatara
uttama, adhama, kichu na kare vicara
preme—in ecstatic love; matta—mad; nityananda—Lord Nityananda; krpa—merciful; avatara—incarnation; uttama—good; adhama—bad; kichu—any; na—not; kare—makes; vicara—consideration.
Because He is intoxicated by ecstatic love and is an incarnation of mercy, He does not distinguish between the good and the bad.
ye age padaye, tare karaye nistara
ataeva nistarila mo-hena duracara
ye—whoever; age—in front; padaye—falls down; tare—unto him; karaye—does; nistara—deliverance; ataeva—therefore; nistarila—delivered; mo—as me; hena—such; duracara—sinful and fallen person.
He delivers all those who fall down before Him. Therefore He has delivered such a sinful and fallen person as me.
COMMENT by Giriraj Swami
First we will discuss some of the important words in these verses so that we can better understand the direct meaning, and then we will see how the verses apply to us.
Preme means “in ecstatic love.” The author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, following Srila Rupa Gosvami, explains that there are different stages in bhakti and that the highest goal of attainment is prema, prema-bhakti—pure love for Godhead. Nityananda Prabhu is an incarnation of Balarama, who is the first expansion of Krishna, and so we may say that Nityananda Prabhu is the first expansion of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu also feels ecstatic love and is intoxicated by such love.
Krpa-avatara. He is an expansion of mercy. The word avatara literally means “one who descends.” Nityananda Prabhu, along with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, descended from the spiritual world specifically to distribute mercy. And in doing so He did not consider who was good or bad (uttama, adhama), high or low; He saved all who fell down before Him. Therefore (ataeva) He delivered one as duracara, sinful and fallen, as me. In other words, being duracara is not a disqualification to receive Nityananda’s mercy, as long as one has the qualification. The qualification is age padaye tare: one should fall down before Him. In other words, one should be humble.
As the first expansion of the Lord, Nityananda Prabhu is the original spiritual master. He is the first servant of the Lord, and He is the first teacher to give knowledge of the Lord (outside of the Lord Himself). The duty of the spiritual master is to engage people in the service of the Lord and to give knowledge of the Lord, and Nityananda Prabhu does both. Age padaye tare, to fall down before Him—to bow or fall down before the spiritual master, to surrender to the spiritual master—is the first qualification for any disciple. The Bhagavad-gita instructs, tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. First, pranipata: you must fall down, surrender, before the spiritual master. So, anyone who falls down before Nityananda Prabhu, even though they may be duracara (sinful and fallen), will be delivered.
How will they be delivered? That is explained by Narottama dasa Thakura:
brajendra-nandana jei saci-suta haila sei
balarama haila nitai
dina-hina jata chila hari-name uddharila
tara saksi jagai madhai
“Lord Krishna, who is the son of the King of Vraja, became the son of Saci (Lord Chaitanya), and Balarama became Nitai. The holy name delivered all those souls who were lowly and wretched. The two sinners Jagai and Madhai are evidence of this.” (Prarthana)
Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda came to reclaim the most fallen souls by giving them hari-nama, the holy names of Krishna, to chant. In other words, They deliver people through the process of Krishna consciousness. And by engaging in bhakti-yoga and chanting the holy names of Krishna, the fallen souls gradually awaken their love for Krishna (golokera prema-dhana hari-nama-sankirtana).
Once, in Bombay, an Indian gentleman approached Srila Prabhupada and appealed to him, “Swamiji, Swamiji, only you can save me, only you can deliver me. Please be merciful. Please save me.” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “I cannot save you. You have to save yourself. But I can give you the process by which you can save yourself.” So, the two Lords Gaura-Nitai have descended in the age of Kali and brought with Them hari-nama-sankirtana to deliver the fallen souls. They give it to us freely, but still, we have to take it.
Another time in Bombay, a disciple said to Srila Prabhupada, “Please give me your mercy so that I can follow your instructions.” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “My mercy is that I have given you my instructions. Now you have to follow them.” And he gave the example that if someone has fallen in a well and a benefactor comes and hands down a rope, the person below cannot pray, “Please make my fingers curl around the rope.” The benefactor has sent down the rope, and he is prepared to pull you out, but you have to hold on to it. So Srila Prabhupada said, “My mercy is that I have given you my instructions. Now you have to follow them.”
So, the Lord gives mercy, but we have to take it. And the qualification for taking it is genuine humility. That is the meaning of pranipata. If you are humble, you will bow down, you will surrender.
If you are too proud, you won’t bow down. You may know the story of Sri Prahlada and Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu was a great and powerful demon, and he wanted his son Prahlada to become a materialist like him. But somehow, Sri Prahlada, even though he was just a young boy of five years, became inclined toward Krishna consciousness and devotional service to Vishnu. Hiranyakasipu was the deadly enemy of Vishnu, because Vishnu, in His incarnation of Varaha, had killed Hiranyakasipu’s brother Hiranyaksa, another great demon. And Hiranyakasipu vowed to avenge his brother’s death. So he considered Vishnu to be his worst enemy and was determined to kill Him.
Now, as devotees, we may think, “How silly. Nobody can kill Vishnu. Vishnu is God.” We know from scriptures that Vishnu is God, but if we were to see Him . . . Of course, we might recognize Him from the descriptions in the scriptures, but otherwise, He looks like a human being. And although He may perform extraordinary acts, any yogi or tapasvi who is advanced enough in his or her practices can develop mystic powers and perform wonderful feats. So, Hiranyakasipu thought that Vishnu was a demigod, perhaps, who had mystic powers and thus could do wonderful things, but he thought that he could do even greater things by his own mystic powers and by the boons he had received from superior authorities by dint of his severe austerities.
One day, Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada, “What is the best thing you have learned in school?” Sometimes we may also ask a child, “What did you learn in school today?” or “What subject do you like best?” So he asked his five-year-old son, “What is the best thing you have learned?” Prahlada replied, sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam/ arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam—in other words, devotional service to Vishnu. And he concluded that one who engages in devotional service to Vishnu is the best-educated person. Hiranyakasipu became furious and accused the boy’s teachers of misguiding him. When they replied, “No, we haven’t taught him about devotional service to Vishnu,” Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada directly, “Where did you get this condemned inclination to serve Vishnu?”
In response, Prahlada ultimately said,
naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah
niskincananam na vrnita yavat
“Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaisnava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Krsna conscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination.” (SB 7.5.32)
Unless one takes the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee of the Lord on his head and bathes in the dust of the lotus feet (pada-rajo-’bhisekam) of great souls (mahiyasam) completely free from material attachments (niskincananam), one cannot become Krishna conscious. Indirectly, as Srila Prabhupada explains, Prahlada told his father, “My dear father . . .” Of course, he didn’t exactly say, “My dear father.” Earlier, he had addressed his father as asura-varya, “the greatest of the demons.” But in effect, he told his father, “You needn’t worry about becoming Krishna conscious, because you will never bow down to the lotus feet of a pure devotee, because you are too proud. So there is no chance that you will become Krishna conscious.”
Thus we come back to the point of falling down before Nityananda Prabhu—falling down before the servants of Nityananda Prabhu, before the representative of Nityananda Prabhu, before the spiritual master. This is the only way to become Krishna conscious, and one who is proud will not bow down—only one who is humble will bow down.
In the earlier days of the movement, in 1968, after a talk in Seattle, Srila Prabhupada asked for questions, and a young man remarked, “I feel that as beings we are all more or less equal. So I don’t feel that I have to bow down to anyone.” Srila Prabhupada replied, “You have diagnosed your own disease. That is the disease of materialism. Everyone is thinking, ‘I want to be master. I don’t want to bow down.’” Prabhupada continued, “You don’t want to bow down, but you are forced to bow down.” The young man admitted that he was subordinate to his boss but maintained that he didn’t want to bow down to anyone spiritually. Srila Prabhupada replied, “You are bowing down to everyone. You are bowing down to death, you are bowing down to disease, you are bowing down to old age. You are bowing down to so many things. You are forced. And still you are thinking, ‘I cannot bow down. I don’t like it.’ So, the question is “Where shall I be happy even by bowing down?” “That,” as Srila Prabhupada said, “is Krishna. Your bowing down will not be stopped, because you are meant for that. But if you bow down to Krishna and Krishna’s representative, you will be happy.” Otherwise, he said, you will be forced to bow down to maya. You have to find out where you can bow down and be happy. So, that is our choice. Nobody can say, “I refuse to bow down.” Every moment we are forced to bow down to the laws of nature and the miseries of material existence. It is not a question of whether we want to or don’t want to bow down; we are forced. The question is to whom or to what we must bow down to become happy. And that is Krishna and Krishna’s representative, Nityananda Prabhu.
So, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami says that anyone who falls down before Nityananda Prabhu—even if he or she is duracara, sinful and fallen—will be delivered. And in his great, his profound, humility, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami gives himself as an example: “He even saved me.”
The famous example is Jagai and Madhai. As Narottama dasa Thakura says, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu have come to deliver all who were lowly and wretched, and the proof is Jagai and Madhai (tara saksi jagai madhai). Although born in a brahman family, these two brothers became the most sinful of living beings—cheaters, thieves, womanizers, drunkards, and even murderers.
One day Lord Chaitanya revealed to His intimate associates—Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura—that He wanted to spread the sankirtana movement throughout Navadvipa. He wanted them to go from street to street, from house to house, and implore people to chant Krishna’s name, to follow Krishna’s instructions, and to worship Krishna: bolo krsna, bhaja krsna, koro krsna-siksa. So Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura took up the order of the Lord, and they considered, “Whom should we approach first?” They concluded, “Let us approach Jagai and Madhai, because they are the most fallen and sinful. If we deliver them, Lord Chaitanya’s reputation as a greatly merciful and powerful incarnation will be spread.”
So they approached Jagai and Madhai, and Jagai and Madhai became infuriated. They blasphemed them, they abused them, and ultimately Madhai threw a clay pot that hit Nityananda Prabhu on the forehead, drawing blood. When word of their heinous acts spread and reached Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu became so furious that His beloved devotee Nitai had been struck that He rushed to the spot and summoned His Sudarsana chakra, ready to kill both the offenders. But Nitai, Nityananda Prabhu, intervened. He said to the Lord, “My dear Lord, You have descended in Kali-yuga to save the fallen souls. Jagai and Madhai are representative of the fallen souls in Kali-yuga. If You kill them, You will have to kill everyone. Then what will happen to Your mission of delivering them?”
Even though He had been physically attacked by the two brothers, Nityananda Prabhu mercifully intervened, and Lord Chaitanya desisted. Seeing Nityananda Prabhu’s mercy, the two brothers bowed down. They fell at the feet of Lord Chaitanya and asked for mercy. And because Nityananda Prabhu had been merciful to them, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy followed and He forgave them. It is described that they had committed so many sins that Candra Gupta, the scribe of Yamaraja who keeps track of all sins, couldn’t keep up. He would be recording their sins, and in the meantime they would be committing more. He practically had a nervous breakdown. Talk about stress in the office! He was under so much pressure trying to keep pace in recording the sins of these two fellows. That is how sinful they were.
But after they surrendered to Nityananda Prabhu and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and promised never to sin again—that is most important: they promised never to sin again—Jagai and Madhai took up the holy name of the Lord. Then Lord Chaitanya absorbed all of their sins. And although Lord Chaitanya was of golden hue, when He accepted the sins of these two miscreants, His beautiful golden body turned black for some time. They had been so polluted with sinful reactions, and He absorbed them all. And Jagai and Madhai became great devotees.
So that is the process: No matter how sinful you are, if you fall down before Lord Nityananda, He will deliver you, and when He is merciful to you, then Lord Chaitanya automatically will be merciful to you. But you have to take the mercy. You have to give up your sinful activities and chant the holy name. And if you do, you can be delivered—no matter how sinful and fallen you may have been.
That is the merciful mission of Gaura-Nitai, and especially Lord Nityananda. He is most merciful. And that is the mission of Srila Prabhupada. Earlier, His Holiness Ganapati Swami Maharaja and I were talking about Srila Prabhupada being an empowered incarnation. There is a verse later in Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya 7.11):
krsna-sakti vina nahe tara pravartana
“The fundamental religious system in the Age of Kali is the chanting of the holy name of Krsna. Unless empowered by Krsna, one cannot propagate the sankirtana movement.”
Sankirtana is the religious process for the Age of Kali, and krsna-sakti vina nahe tara pravartana: without being empowered by Krishna, no one can spread the sankirtana movement. And no one in history had ever spread the sankirtana movement like Srila Prabhupada. He spread it all over the world, which no one else had ever done. Thus the conclusion is that he was empowered. But if we analyze more closely, we can conclude, as one of Srila Prabhupada’s godbrothers suggested, that specifically he was empowered by Nityananda Prabhu, to deliver the duracara, the sinful and fallen. And he did. He was just xanax like we read. The verses describe Nityananda Prabhu, but they could just as well describe Srila Prabhupada: “Because He is intoxicated by ecstatic love and is an incarnation of mercy, He does not distinguish between the good and the bad.” He spread Krishna consciousness without discrimination. “He delivers all those who fall down before Him. Therefore He has delivered such a sinful and fallen person as me.”
One of our dear friends in Bombay, a leading industrialist as well as a wonderful devotee, Hrishikesh Mafatlal, who was initiated as Krsnacandra dasa, told me that he felt that every devotee should see the films taken of Srila Prabhupada when he first came to America, to see the people he was preaching to on the Lower East Side of New York and in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. “One cannot imagine the people Srila Prabhupada was preaching to,” he said. “Until you actually see the films, you cannot have any idea.” And I do suggest you see them. It is beyond the power of words to describe the people that Srila Prabhupada inspired when he first came to America. Just the fact that he went, that he lived amongst them, that he spoke with them, that he invited them and cooked for them, is amazing.
In New York, Srila Prabhupada didn’t even have his own place to stay; he was living in different places. At one stage he was living with a young man who seemed to be interested, and Prabhupada was hopeful he could train him as a Vaishnava, as a brahmachari. But one day, on a dose of LSD, the man went crazy. He stood before Srila Prabhupada in a threatening way—he could have done anything—and Srila Prabhupada had to bolt down the four flights of stairs onto the streets of the Bowery, the worst part of New York, notorious all over the world. He didn’t know where to go. He had no place to go.
Then he went to the loft of another young man, Carl Yeargens. Carl was living with his wife in one large room with areas partitioned off for the bedroom and kitchen. Carl was nice. He was interested in Indian culture, and he liked to be with the Swami. Prabhupada was teaching him Sanskrit. They were all living together, but the wife didn’t very much appreciate having the Swami there all the time. So that became uncomfortable. Then Carl approached Michael Grant, who was later initiated as Mukunda dasa, and they rented a small storefront and apartment for Srila Prabhupada. But even then, Prabhupada was living among drug-addicted hippies who were most fallen and sinful in their habits and morality. But he did that for us, just to save us.
Later, the poet Allen Ginsberg wrote: “Swami Bhaktivedanta came to USA and went swiftly to the Archetype Spiritual Neighborhood, the New York Lower East Side, and installed intact an ancient perfectly preserved piece of street India. He adorned a storefront as his Ashram and adored Krishna therein and by patience and good humor singing chanting and expounding Sanskrit terminology day by day established Krishna Consciousness in the psychedelic (mind-manifesting) center of America East . . . To choose to attend to the Lower East Side, what kindness and humility and intelligence!”
Of course, the history of Srila Prabhupada’s merciful activities would take many days to recount and even then would remain incomplete. I dare say that even Lord Ananta, with His unlimited heads and tongues, with unlimited time, could not finish speaking about all of Srila Prabhupada’s glories.
I will describe just one small but telling incident. When the movement in India was still quite new in India, one of Srila Prabhupada’s early disciples from the Lower East Side went there. We had centers in Calcutta and Bombay and a small rented place in Delhi. So, one day the temple president from Calcutta phoned Bombay and informed Prabhupada’s secretary that that early disciple was in Calcutta and was smoking ganja (marijuana), and asked what he should do. Srila Prabhupada replied, “Tell that devotee that if he doesn’t stop smoking ganja, I will reject him.” After the phone call, Tamal Krishna Goswami asked Prabhupada, “Is it true that you would reject him?” Prabhupada said, “No. I cannot reject anyone.” Then Tamal Krishna Goswami asked, “But isn’t there a limit? Don’t you have to draw the line somewhere?” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “There is no limit to Lord Nityananda’s mercy.”
So, that was Srila Prabhupada’s mood in giving mercy—he wanted to give everyone the chance to chant the holy name in the association of devotees, in the hope that it would reform and transform them. And he wanted us to have to same mood—to give people the holy name. Because most of the time they don’t want to take it, that means somehow or other convincing, or inducing, them to take it. As one devotee said about his first meeting with Tamal Krishna Goswami, Goswami Maharaja said, “Just say two mantras. Bas. Just two mantras,” meaning the maha-mantra twice—just to begin. So, it is very difficult. Srila Prabhupada said that giving Krishna consciousness to people in Kali-yuga is like feeding medicine to a horse. It takes six people to feed medicine to a horse: one on each leg, one to hold the jaws open, and one to put the medicine in. That’s how hard it is to get people to take to Krishna consciousness. But Prabhupada did that. He said that to make one disciple he had to spend gallons of blood, that to deliver one disciple he had to spend hundreds of gallons of blood. And he did that, and that is what he wanted us to do, too.
So, people come to the temple. That is very good. People give some donation. That is even better. But what should really be in their hearts is the desire to advance in love of God and to help others. Devotees are not selfish. People may come to the temple with different motives, and it is good that they come, but a pure devotee has no selfish desire. His only desire is to serve Krishna and please Krishna. People may come with any desire. They may pray, they may put money in the box, but what is their motive? A young lady might want a husband. A husband might want a job. A student might want to pass an exam. People may come with any desire, and pray and offer service, but their real goal may not be to please Krishna, which is the actual purpose of bhakti. Bhakti means to please Krishna. But their real goal is to get something for themselves.
Generally, the demigod worshipers go to Shiva, Durga, or Ganesh and offer something, but their intention is to get something in return. They are doing business, actually, just business. Prabhupada gave the example that if you want to get a customer, you wine him and dine him and give him gifts and everything, but that the real goal is to get something for yourself, something for your business. So, he compared demigod worship to that. He said, “Okay, you offer bel leaves, or fruits, or flowers, or whatever,” but it is like someone wining and dining a potential customer to get an order—not pure.
That is the general tendency in the worshippers of demigods, but people can bring the same type of mentality even to the temple of Krishna. And that is okay. At least they have come. But the problem is that because their goal is material enjoyment they are not likely to bow down. Yes, they might bow superficially—“You are going to fulfill my desire now, aren’t you? Aren’t you?”—but they are not really going to fall down in full surrender, because their goal is material satisfaction. It is only when one is truly humble and falls down before Nityananda Prabhu or His representative that one can be delivered. Still, it is good they come. Whatever they do is to their eternal credit, but it may take some time.
By definition, the real goal in bhakti is to please Krishna:
silanam bhaktir uttama
“One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Krsna favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)
The real goal of bhakti is to please Krishna, and the best way to please Him is to bring others to Him. We should surrender to Krishna and be Krishna conscious, and we should share what we have received with others and bring them to Krishna consciousness. That will please Krishna most, and that is what distinguishes a devotee from a karmi or jnani or yogi. A devotee wants only to please Krishna. And the best way to please Krishna is to bring others to Him. Therefore, genuine devotees do that. They work for that. Difficult as it is, they do.
In one lecture in Los Angeles Srila Prabhupada said, “To approach Radha and Krishna . . .” In a personal sense, that is the ultimate goal for the devotee: to approach Radha and Krishna. So, Srila Prabhupada said, “To approach Radha and Krishna, you need the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. And to get the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, you need the mercy of Lord Nityananda. And to get the mercy of Lord Nityananda, you have to approach people like Jagai and Madhai.” So we start way down at the bottom, and we end up way up at the top. That is the extreme mercy of Lord Chaitanya and especially Lord Nityananda.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives a nice example. It is mentioned here, preme matta nityananda krpa-avatara: He is intoxicated with love of God. This worship of Radha and Krishna is so high. It is not there even in other Vaishnava sampradayas, at least not in the same way. It is very high, and when you get into it, it gets even more specific and more esoteric: manjari-bhava, radha-dasya. Visvanatha Cakravarti raises this question: “How is it that this highest type of devotional service—the service of Radha and Krishna in the mood of the gopis—is being offered to the most fallen people in Kali-yuga? How is it possible?” And he replies, “It is like a king who becomes intoxicated, goes into his treasury, takes out his most precious gems, and then goes out on the street and starts giving them away to the poorest people on the road.” How can you explain it? It is his choice. They are his jewels. He can do with them what he wants. And in his intoxicated state, he distributes them very freely. So, that is what we are reading about here: preme matta nityananda krpa avatara—He is intoxicated with love of God. He is an incarnation of mercy and delivers anyone who falls down before Him, without considering who is high and who is low, and gives them the highest perfection of love of God, through the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Anyone who gets Lord Nityananda’s mercy will get Lord Chaitanya’s mercy and by Lord Chaitanya’s mercy will get this most priceless jewel of devotional service, pure love for Krishna, vraja-bhakti. And that has all been made possible for us and for people all over the world by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy. So we are eternally indebted to him. I can’t even express how indebted we are.
naivopayanty apacitim kavayas tavesa
brahmayusapi krtam rddha-mudah smarantah
yo ‘ntar bahis tanu-bhrtam asubham vidhunvann
acarya-caittya-vapusa sva-gatim vyanakti
[As Sri Uddhava said to Sri Krishna:] “O my Lord! Transcendental poets and experts in spiritual science could not fully express their indebtedness to You, even if they were endowed with the prolonged lifetime of Brahma, for You appear in two features—externally as the acarya and internally as the Supersoul—to deliver the embodied living being by directing him how to come to You.” (SB 11.29.6)
Although we can never repay our debt to Srila Prabhupada, if we have the mood of wanting to repay that debt, then we should follow his merciful example, as he wrote: “If you at all feel indebted to me, then you should preach vigorously like me. That is the proper way to repay me. Of course, no one can repay the debt to the spiritual master, but the spiritual master is very much pleased by such an attitude by the disciple.” We should follow in his footsteps and preach vigorously, work together to spread Krishna consciousness. That should be our prayer.
Of course, we all want Nityananda’s mercy. Everybody wants Nityananda’s mercy. We want the mercy to be able to chant the holy names and to be able to spread the mission—to engage others in chanting the holy names. That will make Nityananda happy, and Gaurahari happy, and then, when They are happy, everyone will be happy. We will automatically be happy.
Narottama dasa Thakura prays, ha ha prabhu nityananda, premananda sukhi/ krpabalokana koro ami boro dukhi: “My dear Nityananda, You are always happy.” Ha ha prabhu nityananda, premananda sukhi: “You are always happy in the bliss of love for Krishna, and I am very unhappy. Please cast Your merciful glance upon me and make me happy.” Now, that might seem like a selfish desire. We said that pure devotees have no selfish desire. But really, the only way we can actually be happy is by making Krishna happy. And by the merciful glance of Lord Nityananda, we can chant the holy names of Krishna and spread the sankirtana movement and through disciplic succession make Krishna happy. Then we will automatically be happy. That is what Lord Nityananda wants. And that is what Srila Prabhupada wanted: for people to be happy. Hence his motto: “Chant and be happy.”
Sri Nityananda Prabhu ki jaya!
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
Any questions or comments?
Ganapati Swami: Although what you said about Lord Nityananda’s nature is true, there may also be a psychological, or practical, reason why in particular He delivered the most fallen, and that is because Lord Chaitanya was preaching to the highest classes. He was preaching to the most learned and aristocratic people, so who would deliver the most fallen? So Lord Nityananda thought, “Let me do it.”
Giriraj Swami: Yes. Excellent.
Ganapati Swami: And Srila Prabhupada was like Lord Nityananda, delivering the most fallen.
Giriraj Swami: Yes. Thank you very much, Maharaja. This is true—when Srila Prabhupada came to America, he was dealing with the lowest, as Allen Ginsberg described and as Srila Prabhupada related to his godbrothers when he said, “I am dragging them out of gutter.” Still, when he went back to India, although he preached widely, there he was more like Lord Chaitanya: he dealt more with the leaders. He was always concerned about everyone, but he didn’t always personally deal with the masses; he dealt more with the leaders, because yad yad acarati sresthas tat tad evetaro janah: whatever the leaders do, the masses follow.
Still, he was concerned about the masses, and he thought the best thing for them would be self-sufficient farm communities where they would produce whatever they needed to live and chant Hare Krishna peacefully. He could see that by coming into the cities, working in factories, they would become implicated in intoxication, illicit sex, and all sorts of bad things—really miserable. So he had programs for the masses, for everyone, but especially in India he dealt personally with the leaders. Like Maharaja said, he paraded us dancing white elephants whom he had brought from America, and that really captured their attention, their imagination.
Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurahari ki jaya!
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
[A Talk by Giriraj Swami, February 10, 2006, Phoenix, Arizona]