Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Adi-lila
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
rajan patir gurur alam bhavatam yadunam
daivam priyah kula-patih kva ca kinkaro vah
astv evam anga bhagavan bhajatam mukundo
muktim dadati karhicit sma na bhakti-yogam
rajan—O King; patih—master; guruh—spiritual master; alam—certainly; bhavatam—of your; yadunam—of the Yadus; daivam—God; priyah—very dear; kula-patih—head of the family; kva—even sometimes; ca—also; kinkarah—order carrier; vah—you; astu—there is; evam—thus; anga—however; bhagavan—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhajatam—those who are in devotional service; mukundah—Lord Krsna; muktim—liberation; dadati—gives; karhicit—sometimes; sma—certainly; na—not; bhakti-yogam—devotional service.
“The great sage Narada said, ’My dear Maharaja Yudhisthira, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna is always ready to help you. He is your master, guru, God, very dear friend and head of your family. Yet sometimes He agrees to act as your servant or order-carrier. You are greatly fortunate because this relationship is possible only by bhakti-yoga. The Lord can give liberation [mukti] very easily, but He does not very easily give one bhakti-yoga, because by that process He is bound to the devotee.’ ”
This passage is a quotation from Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.6.18). While Sukadeva Gosvami was describing the character of Rsabhadeva, he distinguished between bhakti-yoga and liberation by reciting this verse. In relationship with the Yadus and Pandavas, the Lord acted sometimes as their master, sometimes as their advisor, sometimes as their friend, sometimes as the head of their family and sometimes even as their servant. Krsna once had to carry out an order of Yudhisthira’s by carrying a letter Yudhisthira had written to Duryodhana regarding peace negotiations. Similarly, He also became the chariot driver of Arjuna. This illustrates that in bhakti-yoga there is a relationship established between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the devotee. Such a relationship is established in the transcendental mellows known as dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. If a devotee wants simple liberation, he gets it very easily from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as confirmed by Bilvamangala Thakura. Muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate ’sman: for a devotee, mukti is not very important because mukti is always standing on his doorstep waiting to serve him in some way. A devotee, therefore, must be attracted by the behavior of the inhabitants of Vrndavana, who live in a relationship with Krsna. The land, water, cows, trees and flowers serve Krsna in santa-rasa, His servants serve Him in dasya-rasa, and His cowherd friends serve Him in sakhya-rasa. Similarly, the elder gopis and gopas serve Krsna as father and mother, uncle and other relatives, and the gopis, the young girls, serve Krsna in conjugal love.
While executing devotional service, one must be naturally inclined to serve Krsna in one of these transcendental relationships. That is the actual success of life. For a devotee, to get liberation is not very difficult. Even one who is unable to establish a relationship with Krsna can achieve liberation by merging in the Brahman effulgence. This is called sayujya-mukti. Vaisnavas never accept sayujya-mukti, although sometimes they accept the other forms of liberation, namely, sarupya, salokya, samipya and sarsti. A pure devotee, however, does not accept any kind of mukti. He wants only to serve Krsna in a transcendental relationship. This is the perfectional stage of spiritual life. Mayavadi philosophers desire to merge into the existence of the Brahman effulgence, although this aspect of liberation is always neglected by devotees. Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakura, describing this kind of mukti, which is called kaivalya, or becoming one with the Supreme, has said, kaivalyam narakayate: “Becoming one with the Supreme is as good as going to hell.” Therefore the ideal of Mayavada philosophy, becoming one with the Supreme, is hellish for a devotee; he never accepts it. Mayavadi philosophers do not know that even if they merge in the effulgence of the Supreme, this will not give them ultimate rest. An individual soul cannot live in the Brahman effulgence in a state of inactivity; after some time, he must desire to be active. However, since he is not related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and therefore has no spiritual activity, he must come down for further activities in this material world. This is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.32):
aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah
patanty adho ’nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah
Because Mayavadi philosophers have no information regarding the transcendental service of the Lord, even after attaining liberation from material activities and merging into the Brahman effulgence, they must come down again to this material world to open hospitals or schools or perform similar philanthropic activities.
hena prema sri-caitanya dila yatha tatha
jagai madhai paryanta--anyera ka katha
hena—such; prema—love of Godhead; sri-caitanya—Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; dila—has given; yatha—anywhere; tatha—everywhere; jagai—of the name Jagai; madhai—of the name Madhai; paryanta—up to them; anyera—of others; ka—what to speak; katha—words.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has freely given this love of Krsna everywhere and anywhere, even to the most fallen, such as Jagai and Madhai. What then to speak of those who are already pious and elevated?
The distinction between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s gift to human society and the gifts of others is that whereas so-called philanthropic and humanitarian workers have given some relief to human society as far as the body is concerned, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offers the best facilities for going back home, back to Godhead, with love of Godhead. If one seriously makes a comparative study of the two gifts, certainly if he is at all sober he will give the greatest credit to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It was with this purpose that Kaviraja Gosvami said:
sri-krsna-caitanya-daya karaha vicara
vicara karile citte pabe camatkara
“If you are indeed interested in logic and argument, kindly apply it to the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If you do so, you will find it to be strikingly wonderful.” (Cc. Adi 8.15)
Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says:
dina-hina yata chila, hari-name uddharila,
ta’ra saksi jagai madhai
The two brothers Jagai and Madhai epitomize the sinful population of this Age of Kali. They were most disturbing elements in society because they were meat-eaters, drunkards, woman-hunters, rogues and thieves. Yet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu delivered them, to say nothing of others who were sober, pious, devoted and conscientious. The Bhagavad-gita confirms that to say nothing of the brahminically qualified devotees and rajarsis (kim punar brahmanah punya bhakta rajarsayas tatha), anyone who by the association of a pure devotee comes to Krsna consciousness becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead. In the Bhagavad-gita (9.32) the Lord thus declares:
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te ’pi yanti param gatim
“O son of Prtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth-women, vaisyas [merchants], as well as sudras [workers]-can approach the supreme destination.”
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu delivered the two fallen brothers Jagai and Madhai, but the entire world is presently full of Jagais and Madhais, or, in other words, woman-hunters, meat-eaters, gamblers, thieves and other rogues, who create all kinds of disturbance in society. The activities of such persons have now become common practices. It is no longer considered abominable to be a drunkard, woman-hunter, meat-eater, thief or rogue, for these elements have been assimilated by human society. That does not mean, however, that the abominable qualities of such persons will help free human society from the clutches of maya. Rather, they will entangle humanity more and more in the reactions of the stringent laws of material nature. One’s activities are all performed under the influence of the modes of material nature (prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah). Because people are now associating with the modes of ignorance (tamo-guna) and, to some extent, passion (rajo-guna), with no trace of goodness (sattva-guna), they are becoming increasingly greedy and lusty, for that is the effect of associating with these modes. Tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas ca ye: “By associating with the two lower qualities of material nature, one becomes lusty and greedy.” (Bhag. 1.2.19) Actually, in modern human society, everyone is greedy and lusty, and therefore the only means for deliverance is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana movement, which can promote all the Jagais and Madhais to the topmost position of sattva-guna, or brahminical culture.
Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.18-19) states:
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki
kama-lobhadayas ca ye
ceta etair anaviddham
sthitam sattve prasidati
Considering the chaotic condition of human society, if one actually wants peace and tranquillity, one must take to the Krsna consciousness movement and engage always in bhagavata-dharma. Engagement in bhagavata-dharma dissipates all ignorance and passion, and when ignorance and passion are dissipated one is freed from greed and lust. When freed from greed and lust, one becomes brahminically qualified, and when a brahminically qualified person makes further advancement, he becomes situated on the Vaisnava platform. It is only on this Vaisnava platform that it is possible to awaken one’s dormant love of Godhead, and as soon as one does so, his life is successful.
At present, human society is specifically cultivating the mode of ignorance (tamo-guna), although there may also be some symptoms of passion (rajo-guna). Full of kama and lobha, lust and greed, the entire population of the world consists mostly of sudras and a few vaisyas, and gradually it is coming about that there are sudras only. Communism is a movement of sudras, and capitalism is meant for vaisyas. In the fighting between these two factions, the sudras and vaisyas, gradually, due to the abominable condition of society, the communists will emerge triumphant, and as soon as this takes place, whatever is left of society will be ruined. The only possible remedy that can counteract the tendency toward communism is the Krsna consciousness movement, which can give even communists the real idea of communist society. According to the doctrine of communism, the state should be the proprietor of everything. But the Krsna consciousness movement, expanding this same idea, accepts God as the proprietor of everything. People can’t understand this because they have no sense of God, but the Krsna consciousness movement can help them to understand God and to understand that everything belongs to God. Since everything is the property of God, and all living entities-not only human beings but even animals, birds, plants and so on-are children of God, everyone has the right to live at the cost of God with God consciousness. This is the sum and substance of the Krsna consciousness movement.
svatantra isvara prema-nigudha-bhandara
bilaila yare tare, na kaila vicara
svatantra—fully independent; isvara—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prema—love of God; nigudha—very confidential; bhandara—stock; bilaila—distributed; yare—to anyone; tare—to everyone; na—not; kaila—did; vicara—consideration.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, is fully independent. Therefore, although it is the most confidentially stored benediction, He can distribute love of Godhead to anyone and everyone without consideration.
This is the benefit of Lord Caitanya’s movement. If one somehow or other comes in contact with the Hare Krsna movement, without consideration of his being a sudra, vaisya, Jagai, Madhai or even lower, he becomes advanced in spiritual consciousness and immediately develops love of Godhead. We now have actual experience that throughout the entire world this movement is making many such persons lovers of God simply by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Actually, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has appeared as the spiritual master of the entire world. He does not discriminate between offenders and the innocent. Krsna-prema-pradaya te: He liberally gives love of Godhead to anyone and everyone. This can be actually experienced, as stated in the next verse.
adyapiha dekha caitanya-nama yei laya
krsna-preme pulakasru-vihvala se haya
adyapiha—even up to date; dekha—you see; caitanya-nama—Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s name; yei—anyone; laya—who takes; krsna-preme—in love of Krsna; pulaka-asru—tears in ecstasy; vihvala—overwhelmed; se—he; haya—becomes.
Whether he is offensive or inoffensive, anyone who even now chants sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda is immediately overwhelmed with ecstasy, and tears fill his eyes.
The prakrta-sahajiyas who chant nitai-gaura radhe syama have very little knowledge of the Bhagavata conclusion, and they hardly follow the Vaisnava rules and regulations, and yet because they chant bhaja nitai-gaura, their chanting immediately invokes tears and other signs of ecstasy. Although they do not know the principles of Vaisnava philosophy and are not very advanced in education, by these symptoms they attract many men to become their followers. Their ecstatic tears will of course help them in the long run, for as soon as they come in contact with a pure devotee their lives will become successful. Even in the beginning, however, because they are chanting the holy names of nitai-gaura, their swift advancement on the path of love of Godhead is very prominently visible.
’nityananda’ balite haya krsna-premodaya
aulaya sakala anga, asru-ganga vaya
nityananda balite—while talking of Nityananda Prabhu; haya—it so becomes; krsna-prema-udaya—awakening of love of Krsna; aulaya—agitated; sakala—all; anga—limbs of the body; asru-ganga—tears like the Ganges waters; vaya—flow down.
Simply by talking of Nityananda Prabhu one awakens his love for Krsna. Thus all his bodily limbs are agitated by ecstasy, and tears flow from his eyes like the waters of the Ganges.
’krsna-nama’ kare aparadhera vicara
krsna balile aparadhira na haya vikara
krsna-nama—the holy name of Lord Krsna; kare—takes; aparadhera—of offenses; vicara—consideration; krsna—Lord Krsna; balile—if one chants; aparadhira—of the offenders; na—never; haya—becomes; vikara—changed.
There are offenses to be considered while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. Therefore simply by chanting Hare Krsna one does not become ecstatic.
It is very beneficial to chant the names sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda before chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra because by chanting these two holy names-sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda-one immediately becomes ecstatic, and if he then chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra he becomes free of offenses.
There are ten offenses to avoid in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. The first offense is to blaspheme great personalities who are engaged in distributing the holy name of the Lord. It is said in the sastra (Cc. Antya 7.11), krsna-sakti vina nahe tara pravartana: one cannot distribute the holy names of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra unless he is empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore one should not criticize or blaspheme a devotee who is thus engaged.
Sri Padma Purana states:
satam ninda namnah paramam aparadham vitanute
yatah khyatim yatam katham u sahate tad-vigarham
To blaspheme the great saintly persons who are engaged in preaching the glories of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is the worst offense at the lotus feet of the holy name. One should not criticize a preacher of the glories of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. If one does so, he is an offender. The Nama-prabhu, who is identical with Krsna, will never tolerate such blasphemous activities, even from one who passes as a great devotee.
The second namaparadha is described as follows:
sivasya sri-visnor ya iha guna-namadi-sakalam
dhiya bhinnam pasyet sa khalu hari-namahita-karah
In this material world, the holy name of Visnu is all-auspicious. Visnu’s name, form, qualities and pastimes are all transcendental, absolute knowledge. Therefore, if one tries to separate the Absolute Personality of Godhead from His holy name or His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, thinking them to be material, that is offensive. Similarly, to think the names of demigods such as Lord Siva to be as good as the name of Lord Visnu-or, in other words, to think Lord Siva and the other demigods to be other forms of God and therefore equal to Visnu-is also blasphemous. This is the second offense at the lotus feet of the Lord.
The third offense at the lotus feet of the holy name, which is called guror avajna, is to consider the spiritual master to be material and therefore envy his exalted position. The fourth offense (sruti-sastra-nindanam) is to blaspheme Vedic scriptures such as the four Vedas and the Puranas. The fifth offense (artha-vadah) is to consider the glories of the holy name to be exaggerations. Similarly, the sixth offense (hari-namni kalpanam) is to consider the holy name of the Lord to be imaginary.
The seventh offense is described as follows:
namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhir
na vidyate tasya yamair hi suddhih
To think that since the Hare Krsna mantra can counteract all sinful reactions one may therefore go on with his sinful activities and at the same time chant the Hare Krsna mantra to neutralize them is the greatest offense at the lotus feet of hari-nama.
The eighth offense is stated thus:
subha-kriya-samyam api pramadah
It is offensive to consider the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra to be a religious ritualistic ceremony. Performing religious ceremonies, following vows and practicing renunciation and sacrifice are all materialistic auspicious activities. The chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra must not be compared to such materialistic religiosity.This is an offense at the lotus feet of the Lord.
The ninth offense is described as follows:
asraddadhane vimukhe ’py asrnvati
yas copadesah siva-namaparadhah
It is an offense to preach the glories of the holy name among persons who have no intelligence or no faith in the subject matter. Such people should be given the chance to hear the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, but in the beginning they should not be instructed about the glories or the spiritual significance of the holy name. By constant hearing of the holy name, their hearts will be purified, and then they will be able to understand the transcendental position of the holy name.
The tenth offense is as follows:
srute ’pi nama-mahatmye yah priti-rahito narah
aham-mamadi-paramo namni so ’py aparadha-krt
If one has heard the glories of the transcendental holy name of the Lord but nevertheless continues in a materialistic concept of life, thinking “I am this body and everything belonging to this body is mine [aham mameti],” and does not show respect and love for the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, that is an offense.
tad asma-saram hrdayam batedam
yad grhyamanair hari-namadheyaih
na vikriyetatha yada vikaro
netre jalam gatra-ruhesu harsah
tat—that; asma-saram—as hard as iron; hrdayam—heart; bata—O; idam—this; yat—which; grhyamanaih—in spite of taking the chanting; hari-namadheyaih—meditating on the holy name of the Lord; na—does not; vikriyeta—change; atha—thus; yada—when; vikarah—transformation; netre—in the eyes; jalam—tears; gatra-ruhesu—in the pores of the body; harsah—ecstasy.
“If one’s heart does not change, tears do not flow from his eyes, his body does not shiver, and his bodily hairs do not stand on end as he chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, it should be understood that his heart is as hard as iron. This is due to his offenses at the lotus feet of the Lord’s holy name.”
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, commenting on this verse, which is a quotation from Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.24), remarks that sometimes a maha-bhagavata, or very advanced devotee, does not manifest such transcendental symptoms as tears in the eyes, and sometimes a kanistha-adhikari, a neophyte devotee, displays them artificially. This does not mean, however, that the neophyte is more advanced than the maha-bhagavata devotee. The test of the real change of heart that takes place when one chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is that one becomes detached from material enjoyment. This is the real change. Bhaktir paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (Bhag. 11.2.42). If one is actually advancing in spiritual life, he must become very much detached from material enjoyment. If it is sometimes found that a kanistha-adhikari (neophyte devotee) shows artificial tears in his eyes while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra but is still completely attached to material things, his heart has not really changed. The change must be manifested in terms of one’s real activities.
’eka’ krsna-name kare sarva-papa nasa
premera karana bhakti karena prakasa
eka—one; krsna-name—by chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna; kare—makes; sarva—all; papa—sinful life; nasa—exhausted; premera—of love of Godhead; karana—cause; bhakti—devotional service; karena—becomes; prakasa—manifest.
Simply chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra without offenses vanquishes all sinful activities. Thus pure devotional service, which is the cause of love of Godhead, becomes manifest.
One cannot be situated in the devotional service of the Lord unless one is free from sinful life. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (7.28):
yesam tv anta-gatam
papam jananam punya-karmanam
bhajante mam drdha-vratah
“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life and whose sinful actions are completely eradicated are freed from the duality of delusion, and they engage themselves in My service with determination.” A person who is already cleansed of all tinges of sinful life engages without deviation or duality of purpose in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. In this age, although people are greatly sinful, simply chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra can relieve them from the reactions of their sins. Eka krsna-name: only by chanting Krsna’s name is this possible. This is also confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (kirtanad eva krsnasya). Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also taught us this. While passing on the road, He used to chant:
krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna he
krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna he
krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna raksa mam
krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna pahi mam
rama raghava rama raghava rama raghava raksa mam
krsna kesava krsna kesava krsna kesava pahi mam
If one always chants the holy name Krsna, gradually one is freed from all reactions of sinful life, provided he chants offenselessly and does not commit more sinful activities on the strength of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. In this way one is purified, and his devotional service causes the arousal of his dormant love of God. Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and not committing sinful activities and offenses, one’s life is purified, and thus one comes to the fifth stage of perfection, or engagement in the loving service of the Lord (prema pum-artho mahan).
premera udaye haya premera vikara
premera—of love of Godhead; udaye—when there is awakening; haya—it becomes so; premera—of love of Godhead; vikara—transformation; sveda—perspiration; kampa—trembling; pulaka-adi—throbbing of the heart; gadgada—faltering; asru-dhara—tears in the eyes.
When one’s transcendental loving service to the Lord is actually awakened, it generates transformations in the body such as perspiration, trembling, throbbing of the heart, faltering of the voice and tears in the eyes.
These bodily transformations are automatically manifested when one is actually situated in love of Godhead. One should not artificially imitate them. Our disease is desire for that which is material; even while advancing in spiritual life, we want material acclaim. One must be freed from this disease. Pure devotion must be anyabhilasita-sunyam, without desire for anything material. Advanced devotees manifest many bodily transformations, which are symptoms of ecstasy, but one should not imitate them to achieve cheap adoration from the public. When one actually attains the advanced stage, the ecstatic symptoms will appear automatically; one does not need to imitate them.
anayase bhava-ksaya, krsnera sevana
eka krsna-namera phale pai eta dhana
anayase—without hard labor; bhava-ksaya—stoppage of repetition of birth and death; krsnera—of Lord Krsna; sevana—service; eka—one; krsna-namera—chanting the name of Krsna; phale—as a result of; pai—we achieve; eta—so much; dhana—wealth.
As a result of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one makes such great advancement in spiritual life that simultaneously his material existence terminates and he receives love of Godhead. The holy name of Krsna is so powerful that by chanting even one name, one very easily achieves these transcendental riches.
hena krsna-nama yadi laya bahu-bara
tabu yadi prema nahe, nahe asrudhara
tabe jani, aparadha tahate pracura
krsna-nama-bija tahe na kare ankura
hena—such; krsna-nama—holy name of the Lord; yadi—if; laya—one takes; bahu-bara—again and again; tabu—still; yadi—if; prema—love of Godhead; nahe—is not visible; nahe asru-dhara—there are no tears in the eyes; tabe—then; jani—I understand; aparadha—offense; tahate—there (in that process); pracura—enough; krsna-nama—the holy name of Krsna; bija—seed; tahe—in those activities; na—does not; kare—do; ankura—sprout.
If one chants the exalted holy name of the Lord again and again and yet his love for the Supreme Lord does not develop and tears do not appear in his eyes, it is evident that because of his offenses in chanting, the seed of the holy name of Krsna does not sprout.
If one chants the Hare Krsna mantra offensively, one does not achieve the desired result. Therefore one should carefully avoid the offenses which have already been described in connection with verse 24.
caitanya-nityanande nahi esaba vicara
nama laite prema dena, vahe asrudhara
caitanya-nityanande—when chanting the holy names of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda; nahi—there are not; esaba—all these; vicara—considerations; nama—the holy name; laite—simply by chanting; prema—love of Godhead; dena—they give; vahe—there is a flow; asru-dhara—tears in the eyes.
But if one only chants, with some slight faith, the holy names of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, very quickly he is cleansed of all offenses. Thus as soon as he chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, he feels the ecstasy of love for God.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura remarks in this connection that if one takes shelter of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda, follows Their instructions to become more tolerant than the tree and humbler than the grass,and in this way chants the holy name of the Lord, very soon he achieves the platform of transcendental loving service to the Lord, and tears appear in his eyes. There are offenses to be considered in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, but there are no such considerations in chanting the names of Gaura-Nityananda. Therefore, if one chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra but his life is still full of sinful activities, it will be very difficult for him to achieve the platform of loving service to the Lord. But if in spite of being an offender one chants the holy names of Gaura-Nityananda, he is very quickly freed from the reactions to his offenses. Therefore, one should first approach Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, or worship Guru-Gauranga, and then come to the stage of worshiping Radha-Krsna. In our Krsna consciousness movement, our students are first advised to worship Guru-Gauranga, and then, when they are somewhat advanced, the Radha-Krsna Deity is installed, and they are engaged in the worship of the Lord.
One should first take shelter of Gaura-Nityananda in order to reach, ultimately, Radha-Krsna. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura sings in this connection:
gauranga balite habe pulaka sarira
hari hari balite nayane ba’be nira
ara kabe nitaicandera karuna ha-ibe
samsara-vasana mora kabe tuccha habe
visaya chadiya kabe suddha habe mana
kabe hama heraba sri-vrndavana
In the beginning one should very regularly chant Sri Gaurasundara’s holy name and then chant the holy name of Lord Nityananda. Thus one’s heart will be cleansed of impure desires for material enjoyment. Then one can approach Vrndavana-dhama to worship Lord Krsna. Unless one is favored by Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, there is no need to go to Vrndavana, for unless one’s mind is purified, he cannot see Vrndavana, even if he goes there. Actually going to Vrndavana involves taking shelter of the six Gosvamis by reading Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Vidagdha-madhava, Lalita-madhava and the other books that they have given. In this way one can understand the transcendental loving affairs between Radha and Krsna. Kabe hama bujhaba se yugala-piriti. The conjugal love between Radha and Krsna is not an ordinary human affair; it is fully transcendental. In order to understand Radha and Krsna, worship Them and engage in Their loving service, one must be guided by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu and the six Gosvamis, Lord Caitanya’s direct disciples.
For an ordinary man, worship of Sri Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu or the Panca-tattva is easier than worship of Radha and Krsna. Unless one is very fortunate, he should not be induced to worship Radha-Krsna directly. A neophyte student who is not sufficiently educated or enlightened should not indulge in the worship of Sri Radha and Krsna or the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra. Even if he does so, he cannot get the desired result. One should therefore chant the names of Nitai-Gaura and worship Them without false prestige. Since everyone within this material world is more or less influenced by sinful activities, in the beginning it is essential that one take to the worship of Guru-Gauranga and ask their favor, for thus despite all his disqualifications one will very soon become qualified to worship the Radha-Krsna vigraha.
It should be noted in this connection that the holy names of Lord Krsna and Gaurasundara are both identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore one should not consider one name to be more potent than the other. Considering the position of the people of this age, however, the chanting of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s name is more essential than the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the most magnanimous incarnation and His mercy is very easily achieved. Therefore one must first take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by chanting sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. By serving Gaura-Nityananda one is freed from the entanglements of material existence and thus becomes qualified to worship the Radha-Krsna Deity.