Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Adi-lila
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
prabhu kahe,--prasna lagi’ ailama tomara sthane
kaji kahe,--ajna kara, ye tomara mane
prabhu kahe—the Lord said; prasna lagi’-just to inquire from you; ailama—I have come; tomara sthane—at your place; kaji kahe—the Kazi replied; ajna kara—just order me; ye—whatever; tomara mane—(is) in Your mind.
The Lord said, “My dear uncle, I have come to your home just to ask you some questions.”
“Yes,” the Kazi replied, “You are welcome. Just tell me what is in Your mind.”
prabhu kahe,--go-dugdha khao, gabhi tomara mata
vrsa anna upajaya, tate tenho pita
prabhu kahe—the Lord said; go-dugdha khao—you drink cows’ milk; gabhi—the cow (is); tomara—your; mata—mother; vrsa—the bull; anna—grains; upajaya—produces; tate—therefore; tenho—he; pita—(is) your father.
The Lord said, "You drink cows’ milk; therefore the cow is your mother. And the bull produces grains for your maintenance; therefore he is your father.
pita-mata mari’ khao--eba kon dharma
kon bale kara tumi e-mata vikarma
pita-mata—father and mother; mari’-killing; khao—you eat; eba—this; kon—what kind of; dharma—religion; kon bale—on what strength; kara—do; tumi—you; e-mata—such; vikarma—sinful activities.
“Since the bull and cow are your father and mother, how can you kill and eat them? What kind of religious principle is this? On what strength are you so daring that you commit such sinful activities?”
Everyone can understand that we drink the milk of cows and take the help of bulls in producing agricultural products. Therefore, since our real father gives us food grains and our mother gives us milk with which to live, the cow and bull are considered our father and mother. According to Vedic civilization, there are seven mothers, of which the cow is one. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu challenged the Muslim Kazi, “What kind of religious principle do you follow by killing your father and mother to eat them?” In any civilized human society, no one would dare kill his father and mother for the purpose of eating them. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu challenged the system of Muslim religion as patricide and matricide. In the Christian religion also, a principal commandment is “Thou shalt not kill.” Nevertheless, Christians violate this rule; they are very expert in killing and in opening slaughterhouses. In our Krsna consciousness movement, our first provision is that no one should be allowed to eat any kind of flesh. It does not matter whether it is cows’ flesh or goats’ flesh, but we especially stress the prohibition against cows’ flesh because according to sastra the cow is our mother. Thus the Muslims’ cow-killing was challenged by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
kaji kahe,--tomara yaiche veda-purana
taiche amara sastra--ketava ’korana’
kaji kahe—the Kazi replied; tomara—Your; yaiche—as much as; veda-purana—the Vedas and Puranas; taiche—similarly; amara—our; sastra—scripture; ketava—the holy book; korana—the Koran.
The Kazi replied, "As You have Your scriptures called the Vedas and Puranas, we have our scripture, known as the holy Koran.
Chand Kazi agreed to talk with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the strength of the scriptures. According to the Vedic scripture, if one can support his position by quoting from the Vedas, his argument is perfect. Similarly, when the Muslims support their position with quotations from the Koran, their arguments are also authorized. When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu raised the question of the Muslims’ cow-killing and bull-killing, Chand Kazi came to the standard of understanding from his scriptures.
sei sastre kahe,--pravrtti-nivrtti-marga-bheda
nivrtti-marge jiva-matra-vadhera nisedha
sei sastre—in the scripture (the Koran); kahe—it is ordered; pravrtti—of attachment; nivrtti—of detachment; marga—ways; bheda—difference; nivrtti—of detachment; marge—on the path; jiva-matra—of any living entity; vadhera—of killing; nisedha—prohibition.
"According to the Koran, there are two ways of advancement-through increasing the propensity to enjoy and decreasing the propensity to enjoy. On the path of decreasing attachment [nivrtti-marga], the killing of animals is prohibited.
pravrtti-marge go-vadha karite vidhi haya
sastra-ajnaya vadha kaile nahi papa-bhaya
pravrtti-marge—on the path of attachment; go-vadha—the killing of cows; karite—to execute; vidhi—regulative principles; haya—there are; sastra-ajnaya—on the order of the scripture; vadha—killing; kaile—if one commits; nahi—there is no; papa-bhaya—fear of sinful activities.
“On the path of material activities, there is regulation for killing cows. If such killing is done under the guidance of scripture, there is no sin.”
The word sastra is derived from the dhatu, or verbal root, sas. Sas-dhatu pertains to controlling or ruling. A government’s ruling through force or weapons is called sastra. Thus whenever there is ruling, either by weapons or by injunctions, the sas-dhatu is the basic principle. Between sastra (ruling through weapons) and sastra (ruling through the injunctions of the scriptures), the better is sastra. Our Vedic scriptures are not ordinary lawbooks of human common sense; they are the statements of factually liberated persons unaffected by the imperfectness of the senses.
Sastra must be correct always, not sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect. In the Vedic scriptures, the cow is described as a mother. Therefore she is a mother for all time; it is not, as some rascals say, that in the Vedic age she was a mother but she is not in this age. If sastra is an authority, the cow is a mother always; she was a mother in the Vedic age, and she is a mother in this age also.
If one acts according to the injunctions of sastra, he is freed from the reactions of sinful activity. For example, the propensities for eating flesh, drinking wine and enjoying sex life are all natural to the conditioned soul.The path of such enjoyment is called pravrtti-marga. The sastra says, pravrttir esam bhutanam nivrttis tu maha-phala: one should not be carried away by the propensities of defective conditioned life; one should be guided by the principles of the sastras. A child’s propensity is to play all day long, but it is the injunction of the sastras that the parents should take care to educate him. The sastras are there just to guide the activities of human society. But because people do not refer to the instructions of sastras, which are free from defects and imperfections, they are therefore misguided by so-called educated teachers and leaders who are full of the deficiencies of conditioned life.
tomara vedete ache go-vadhera vani
ataeva go-vadha kare bada bada muni
tomara vedete—in Your Vedic literature; ache—there is; go-vadhera—for cow-killing; vani—injunction; ataeva—therefore; go-vadha—cow-killing; kare—does; bada bada—very, very great; muni—sages.
As a learned scholar, the Kazi challenged Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “In Your Vedic scriptures there is an injunction for killing a cow. On the strength of this injunction, great sages peformed sacrifices involving cow-killing.”
prabhu kahe,--vede kahe go-vadha nisedha
ataeva hindu-matra na kare go-vadha
prabhu kahe—the Lord replied; vede—in the Vedas; kahe—is enjoined; go-vadha—cow-killing; nisedha—prohibition; ataeva—therefore; hindu—Hindu; matra—any; na—does not; kare—execute; go-vadha—cow-killing.
Refuting the Kazi’s statement, the Lord immediately replied, "The Vedas clearly enjoin that cows should not be killed. Therefore every Hindu, whoever he may be, avoids indulging in cow-killing.
In the Vedic scriptures there are concessions for meat-eaters. It is said that if one wants to eat meat, he should kill a goat before the goddess Kali and then eat its meat. Meat-eaters are not allowed to purchase meat or flesh from a market or slaughterhouse. There are no sanctions for maintaining regular slaughterhouses to satisfy the tongues of meat-eaters. As far as cow-killing is concerned, it is completely forbidden. Since the cow is considered a mother, how could the Vedas allow cow-killing? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu pointed out that the Kazi’s statement was faulty. In the Bhagavad-gita (18.44) there is a clear injunction that cows should be protected: krsi-goraksya-vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhava-jam. “The duty of vaisyas is to produce agricultural products, trade and give protection to cows.” Therefore it is a false statement that the Vedic scriptures contain injunctions permitting cow-killing.
jiyaite pare yadi, tabe mare prani
veda-purane ache hena ajna-vani
jiyaite—to rejuvenate; pare—one is able; yadi—if; tabe—then; mare—can kill; prani—living being; veda-purane—in the Vedas and Puranas; ache—there are; hena—such; ajna-vani—orders and injunctions.
"In the Vedas and Puranas there are injunctions declaring that if one can revive a living being, be can kill it for experimental purposes.
ataeva jarad-gava mare muni-gana
veda-mantre siddha kare tahara jivana
ataeva—therefore; jarad-gava—old cows; mare—killed; muni-gana—sages; veda-mantre—by the power of Vedic hymns; siddha—rejuvenated; kare—makes; tahara—his; jivana—life.
"Therefore the great sages sometimes killed old cows, and by chanting Vedic hymns they again brought them to life for perfection.
jarad-gava hana yuva haya ara-vara
tate tara vadha nahe, haya upakara
jarad-gava—old, invalid cows; hana—becoming; yuva—young; haya—become; ara-vara—again; tate—in that action; tara—his; vadha—killing; nahe—is not; haya—there is; upakara—benefit.
"The killing and rejuvenation of such old and invalid cows was not truly killing but an act of great benefit.
kali-kale taiche sakti nahika brahmane
ataeva go-vadha keha na kare ekhane
kali-kale—in the Age of Kali; taiche—such; sakti—power; nahika—there is none; brahmane—in the brahmanas; ataeva—therefore; go-vadha—killing of cows; keha—anyone; na—does not; kare—execute; ekhane—at the present.
"Formerly there were powerful brahmanas who could make such experiments using Vedic hymns, but now, because of the Kali-yuga, brahmanas are not so powerful. Therefore the killing of cows and bulls for rejuvenation is forbidden.
kalau panca vivarjayet
asva-medham—a sacrifice offering a horse; gava-alambham—a sacrifice of cows; sannyasam—the renounced order of life; pala-paitrkam—an offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers; devarena—by a husband’s brother; suta-utpattim—begetting children; kalau—in the Age of Kali; panca—five; vivarjayet—one must give up.
" ’In this Age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: the offering of a horse in sacrifice, the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of the order of sannyasa, the offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man’s begetting children in his brother’s wife.’
This is a quotation from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana (Krsna-janma-khanda 185.180).
tomara jiyaite nara,--vadha-matra sara
naraka ha-ite tomara nahika nistara
tomara—you Muslims; jiyaite—bring to life; nara—cannot; vadha-matra—killing only; sara—the essence; naraka ha-ite—from hell; tomara—your; nahika—there is not; nistara—deliverance.
"Since you Muslims cannot bring killed animals back to life, you are responsible for killing them. Therefore you are going to hell; there is no way for your deliverance.
go-ange yata loma, tata sahasra vatsara
go-vadhi raurava-madhye pace nirantara
go-ange—on the body of the cow; yata—as many; loma—hairs; tata—so many; sahasra—a thousand; vatsara—years; go-vadhi—the killer of a cow; raurava-madhye—in a hellish condition of life; pace—decomposes; nirantara—always.
"Cow-killers are condemned to rot in hellish life for as many thousands of years as there are hairs on the body of the cow.
toma-sabara sastra-karta--seha bhranta haila
na jani’ sastrera marma aiche ajna dila
toma-sabara—of all of you; sastra-karta—compilers of scripture; seha—they also; bhranta—mistaken; haila—became; na jani’-without knowing; sastrera marma—the essence of scriptures; aiche—such; ajna—order; dila—gave.
“There are many mistakes and illusions in your scriptures. Their compilers, not knowing the essence of knowledge, gave orders that were against reason and argument.”
suni’ stabdha haila kaji, nahi sphure vani
vicariya kahe kaji parabhava mani’
suni’-by hearing; stabdha—stunned; haila—became; kaji—the Kazi; nahi—does not; sphure—utter; vani—words; vicariya—after due consideration; kahe—said; kaji—the Kazi; parabhava—defeat; mani’-accepting.
After hearing these statements by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Kazi, his arguments stunned, could not put forward any more words. Thus, after due consideration, the Kazi accepted defeat and spoke as follows.
In our practical preaching work we meet many Christians who talk about statements of the Bible. When we question whether God is limited or unlimited, Christian priests say that God is unlimited. But when we question why the unlimited God should have only one son and not unlimited sons, they are unable to answer. Similarly, from a scientific point of view, the answers of the Old Testament, New Testament and Koran to many questions have changed. But a sastra cannot change at a person’s whim. All sastras must be free from the four defects of human nature. The statements of sastras must be correct for all time.
tumi ye kahile, pandita, sei satya haya
adhunika amara sastra, vicara-saha naya
tumi—You; ye—whatever; kahile—have said; pandita—O Nimai Pandita; sei—that; satya—truth; haya—is certainly; adhunika—of modern days; amara—our; sastra—scripture; vicara—logic; saha—with; naya—they are not.
"My dear Nimai Pandita, what You have said is all true. Our scriptures have developed only recently, and they are certainly not logical and philosophical.
The sastras of the yavanas, or meat-eaters, are not eternal scriptures. They have been fashioned recently, and sometimes they contradict one another. The scriptures of the yavanas are three: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Koran. Their compilation has a history; they are not eternal like the Vedic knowledge. Therefore although they have their arguments and reasonings, they are not very sound and transcendental. As such, modern people advanced in science and philosophy deem these scriptures unacceptable.
Sometimes Christian priests come to us inquiring, “Why are our followers neglecting our scriptures and accepting yours?” But when we ask them, “Your Bible says, ’Do not kill.’ Why then are you killing so many animals daily?” they cannot answer. Some of them imperfectly answer that the animals have no souls. But then we ask them, “How do you know that animals have no souls? Animals and children are of the same nature. Does this mean that the children of human society also have no souls?” According to the Vedic scriptures, within the body is the owner of the body, the soul. In the Bhagavad-gita (2.13) it is said:
dehino ’smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
“As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.”
Because the soul is within the body, the body changes through so many forms. There is a soul within the body of every living entity, whether animal, tree, bird or human being, and the soul is transmigrating from one type of body to another. When the scriptures of the yavanas-namely, the Old Testament, New Testament and Koran-cannot properly answer inquisitive followers, naturally those advanced in scientific knowledge and philosophy lose faith in such scriptures. The Kazi admitted this while talking with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Kazi was a very intelligent person. He had full knowledge of his position, as stated in the following verse.
kalpita amara sastra,--ami saba jani
jati-anurodhe tabu sei sastra mani
kalpita—imagined; amara—our; sastra—scripture; ami—I; saba—everything; jani—know; jati—by community; anurodhe—being obliged; tabu—still; sei—that; sastra—scripture; mani—I accept.
"I know that our scriptures are full of imagination and mistaken ideas, yet because I am a Muslim I accept them for the sake of my community, despite their insufficient support.
sahaje yavana-sastre adrdha vicara
hasi’ tahe mahaprabhu puchena ara-vara
sahaje—naturally; yavana-sastre—in the scriptures of the meat-eaters; adrdha—unsound; vicara—judgment; hasi’-smiling; tahe—from him; mahaprabhu—Caitanya Mahaprabhu; puchena—inquired; ara-vara—again.
“The reasoning and arguments in the scriptures of the meat-eaters are not very sound,” the Kazi concluded. Upon hearing this statement, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu smiled and inquired from him as follows.
ara eka prasna kari, suna, tumi mama
yathartha kahibe, chale na vanchibe ama’
ara eka—one more; prasna—inquiry; kari—am putting; suna—hear; tumi—you; mama—maternal uncle; yatha-artha—as it is true; kahibe—you should speak; chale—by tricks; na vanchibe—you should not cheat; ama’-Me.
"My dear maternal uncle, I wish to ask you another question. Please tell Me the truth. Do not try to cheat Me with tricks.
tomara nagare haya sada sankirtana
vadya-gita-kolahala, sangita, nartana
tomara nagare—in your city; haya—there is; sada—always; sankirtana—chanting of the holy name of the Lord; vadya—musical sounds; gita—song; kolahala—tumultuous roaring; sangita—singing; nartana—dancing.
"In your city there is always congregational chanting of the holy name. A tumultuous uproar of music, singing and dancing is always going on.
tumi kaji--hindu-dharma-virodhe adhikari
ebe ye na kara mana bujhite na pari
tumi—you; kaji—the magistrate; hindu-dharma—the religious principles of the Hindus; virodhe—in opposing; adhikari—have the right; ebe—now; ye—that; na kara mana—you do not forbid; bujhite—to understand; na pari—I am not able.
“As a Muslim magistrate, you have the right to oppose the performance of Hindu ceremonies, but now you do not forbid them. I cannot understand the reason why.”
kaji bale--sabhe tomaya bale ’gaurahari’
sei name ami tomaya sambodhana kari
kaji bale—the Kazi said; sabhe—all; tomaya—You; bale—address; gaurahari—by the name Gaurahari; sei name—by that name; ami—I; tomaya—You; sambodhana—address; kari—do.
The Kazi said, "Everyone calls You Gaurahari. Please let me address You by that name.
suna, gaurahari, ei prasnera karana
nibhrta hao yadi, tabe kari nivedana
suna—kindly hear; gaurahari—O Gaurahari; ei prasnera—of this question; karana—reason; nibhrta—solitary; hao—You become; yadi—if; tabe—then; kari—I shall make; nivedana—submission.
“Kindly listen, O Gaurahari! If You come to a private place, I shall then explain the reason.”
prabhu bale,--e loka amara antaranga haya
sphuta kari’ kaha tumi, na kariha bhaya
prabhu bale—the Lord said; e loka—all these men; amara—My; antaranga—confidential associates; haya—are; sphuta kari’-making it clear; kaha—speak; tumi—you; na—do not; kariha bhaya—be afraid.
The Lord replied, “All these men are My confidential associates. You may speak frankly. There is no reason to be afraid of them.”
kaji kahe,--yabe ami hindura ghare giya
kirtana karilun mana mrdanga bhangiya
sei ratre eka simha maha-bhayankara
nara-deha, simha-mukha, garjaye vistara
kaji kahe—the Kazi replied; yabe—when; ami—I; hindura—of a Hindu; ghare—in the house; giya—going there; kirtana—chanting of the holy name; karilun—made; mana—prohibition; mrdanga—the drum; bhangiya—breaking; sei ratre—on that night; eka—one; simha—lion; maha-bhayan-kara—very fearful; nara-deha—having a body like a human being’s; simha-mukha—having a face like a lion’s; garjaye—was roaring; vistara—very loudly.
The Kazi said, "When I went to the Hindu’s house, broke the drum and forbade the performance of congregational chanting, in my dreams that very night I saw a greatly fearful lion, roaring very loudly, His body like a human being’s and His face like a lion’s.
sayane amara upara lapha diya cadi’
atta atta hase, kare danta-kadamadi
sayane—in a sleeping condition; amara—me; upara—upon; lapha diya—jumping; cadi’-mounting; atta atta—rough and hard; hase—laughs; kare—does; danta—teeth; kadamadi—gnashing.
"While I was asleep, the lion jumped on my chest, laughing fiercely and gnashing His teeth.
mora buke nakha diya ghora-svare bale
phadimu tomara buka mrdanga badale
mora—my; buke—on the chest; nakha—nails; diya—placing; ghora—roaring; svare—in a voice; bale—says; phadimu—I shall bifurcate; tomara—your; buka—chest; mrdanga—for the drum; badale—in exchange.
"Placing its nails on my chest, the lion said in a grave voice, ’I shall immediately bifurcate your chest as you broke the mrdanga drum!
mora kirtana mana karis, karimu tora ksaya
ankhi mudi’ kanpi ami pana bada bhaya
mora—My; kirtana—congregational chanting; mana karis—you are forbidding; karimu—I shall do; tora—your; ksaya—destruction; ankhi—eyes; mudi’-closing; kanpi—I was trembling; ami—I; pana—getting; bada—very great; bhaya—fear.
" ’You have forbidden the performance of My congregational chanting. Therefore I must destroy you!’ Being much afraid of Him, I closed my eyes and trembled.
bhita dekhi’ simha bale ha-iya sadaya
tore siksa dite kailu tora parajaya
bhita dekhi’-seeing me so afraid; simha—the lion; bale—says; ha-iya—becoming; sa-daya—merciful; tore—unto you; siksa—lesson; dite—to give; kailu—I have done; tora—your; parajaya—defeat.
"Seeing me so afraid, the lion said, ’I have defeated you just to teach you a lesson, but I must be merciful to you.
se dina bahuta nahi kaili utpata
teni ksama kari’ na karinu pranaghata
se dina—on that day; bahuta—very much; nahi—not; kaili—you did; utpata—disturbance; teni—therefore; ksama kari’-forgiving; na karinu—I did not execute; prana-aghata—the taking of your life.
" ’On that day you did not create a very great disturbance. Therefore I have excused you and not taken your life.
aiche yadi punah kara, tabe na sahimu
savamse tomare mari yavana nasimu
aiche—similarly; yadi—if; punah—again; kara—you do; tabe—then; na sahimu—I shall not tolerate; sa-vamse—along with your family; tomare—you; mari—killing; yavana—the meat-eaters; nasimu—I shall vanquish.
" ’But if you perform such activities again, I shall not be tolerant. At that time I shall kill you, your entire family and all the meat-eaters.’
eta kahi’ simha gela, amara haila bhaya
ei dekha, nakha-cihna amora hrdaya
eta—thus; kahi’-saying; simha—the lion; gela—returned; amara—my; haila—there was; bhaya—fear; ei dekha—just see this; nakha-cihna—the nail marks; amora hrdaya—on my heart.
“After saying this, the lion left, but I was very afraid of Him. Just see the marks of His nails on my heart!”
eta bali’ kaji nija-buka dekhaila
suni’ dekhi’ sarva-loka ascarya manila
eta bali’-saying this; kaji—the Kazi; nija-buka—his chest; dekhaila—showed; suni’-hearing; dekhi’-seeing; sarva-loka—everyone; ascarya—wonderful incident; manila—accepted.
After this description, the Kazi showed his chest. Having heard him and seen the marks, all the people there accepted the wonderful incident.
kaji kahe,--iha ami kare na kahila
sei dina amara eka piyada aila
kaji kahe—the Kazi said; iha—this; ami—I; kare—to others; na kahila—did not tell; sei dina—on that day; amara—my; eka—one; piyada—orderly; aila—came to see me.
The Kazi continued, "I did not speak to anyone about this incident, but on that very day one of my orderlies came to see me.
asi’ kahe,--gelun muni kirtana nisedhite
agni ulka mora mukhe lage acambite
asi’-coming to me; kahe—he said; gelun—went; muni—I; kirtana—congregational chanting; nisedhite—to stop; agni ulka—flames of fire; mora—my; mukhe—in the face; lage—come in contact; acambite—all of a sudden.
"After coming to me, the orderly said, ’When I went to stop the congregational chanting, suddenly flames struck my face.
pudila sakala dadi, mukhe haila vrana
yei peyada yaya, tara ei vivarana
pudila—burned; sakala—all; dadi—beard; mukhe—on the face; haila—there was; vrana—blisters; yei—any; peyada—orderly; yaya—goes; tara—his; ei—this; vivarana—description.
" ’My beard was burned, and there were blisters on my cheeks.’ Every orderly who went gave the same description.
taha dekhi’ rahinu muni maha-bhaya pana
kirtana na varjiha, ghare rahon ta’ vasiya
taha dekhi’-seeing that; rahinu—remained; muni—I; maha-bhaya—great fear; pana—getting; kirtana—the congregational chanting; na—not; varjiha—stop; ghare—at home; rahon—remain; ta’-certainly; vasiya—sitting.
"After seeing this, I was very afraid. I asked them not to stop the congregational chanting but to go sit down at home.