The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on May 5th 1983, in Heidelberg, Germany.
So, I am very happy to be here today, and to be able to address you, coming from India here to West Germany. The topic I would like to tell you about is especially the great personality called Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. His figure is there in the painting, in the in the center, with the raised arms and the yellow robes. His name Caitanya means the living force. The living force as well as the uh... Mahaprabhu means the great master.
Actually every one of us is the living force, and we know that in this body, there is living force. Without living force, without a living energy, this body has no consciousness. If we are to refer to the Bhagavad-gita, then you will find that, there it is described,
hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati
That we are actually situated in the heart. We are actually the living energy, the living force, and this body is a machine made out of the material nature. So, Lord Caitanya, He has come to give knowledge of the living force. The Vedas describe that from the heart, the consciousness is spread all over the body. The heart is also part of the machine. The consciousness is subtle, more conscious... more subtle is the living uh, force. So if we did an experiment, we know that if we cut off the circulation by wrapping a tourniquet around our arm, then we will loose all the consciousness in the hand. That means that this body has no consciousness. The consciousness is being induced through the blood stream, and the source of the consciousness is the living force. So, this science of chemicals, of physical properties may be very interesting, and be very useful, but the most subtle science, which is actually most uh, applicable to each one of us, is to know about the living force.
I am very glad that here in Hiedelberg, there is an institute for Vedic Studies, so that here people may come to learn about the living force, because you won’t find about living force in university. You won’t find about it in the other places, but you can find out here, about the science of the living force. So there are different yogis, and they have described this living force in different ways. Some of them describe the living force, as a light, as an energy, some of them describe the living force as a being uh, filled with knowledge, others describe the living force as being filled with qualities and ultimately a personality which just like different colored glass, that uh, allows different colored light to come through. In the same way the different bodies, are like colored glass, they are presenting different types of personalities, but there is an original personality behind it all. This is the third viewpoint about the living force. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He actually taught that the living force can be realized in all the three ways. That one can realize the living force as a light, as knowledge, as well as a personal form, and the highest realization is the personal form because that includes the other two forms. Ultimately, that… our minute living force is the part of the greater living force or the Supreme living force. That Supreme living force we address, with the vibration “Krishna “, Krish means All Attractive, Na means the reservoir of all happiness. When you combine the two words together to get the word Krishna, that means the Supreme living force. So, in the meditation, or in the activity, Lord Caitanya , He gave a special gift to the philosophy, in India.
His gift is that the spiritual realization does not have to be dry, that yoga does not have to be dry, that in the ultimate issue, yoga in its pure realization is actually realizing various type of spiritual emotions, you see. That in the uh, living force there is another type of emotion, which has got no enibriety or misery mixed with it, and that we call as love... pure love. In this world what we call love, would not come up to His definition. In this world love is always a type of direct reciprocation, going through the material senses, but Caitanyadeva... Caitanya… Lord Caitanya, He describes that love or prema means complete selfless, and that is uh, completely pure without any uh, mixture of sadness or uh, anxiety uh, of material misery.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu came with a secret mission. Lord Caitanya came to actually demonstrate this uh, realization of pure love, and no one in the history of uh, yogis or religionists or anyone has ever exhibited the level of love, which Caitanya Mahaprabhu has exhibited. And one unique quality of Caitanya love is that, He is a… is a very contagious. Simply by coming in touch with Him, others would also become filled with uh, this loving quality. In fact, not only that but someone who came in touch with someone who came in touch with Lord Caitanya would also get this same experience of pure love, you see. That pure love is not dependent upon anything material. Therefore, the great yogis when they experience that, they find that to be most fulfilling of all experiences.
So just to give some examples that Lord Caitanya, when He used to go on His tours, to propagate this Krishna consciousness, He used to chant
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
with so many devotees, with so many uh, followers, and they would be playing the cymbals, the drums and they would create a total mood.
We were describing last night we read from one of the texts in the Bengali language, that how whenever the people would see Lord Caitanya with His party, they would come forward spontaneously, from their houses, and they would just uh, forget about everything, and they would run after the party of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They would run after... some people, they would be filled with uh, desire to offer some uh, respect, so they would start to offer candles or lights made from clarified butter, some people would be throwing flowers, and what happened was a whole festival was created.
Now, I know many of you have been coming here, for some time some of you are here new, newly. So in this regard, I’ll just have to address those who have been coming here more frequently at this time, that you’ll be knowing that this is a Krishna with some of His devotees while they are having a festival. So, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He would also have a festival, through this chanting of Hare Krishna, and the same type of festival that you see on this side will mentally be experienced, by this chanting of Hare Krishna.
Now, Caitanya He only came 500 years ago, in fact He came 497 years ago, and we are about to observe the 500th anniversary in only a two and a half years. So, we are hopeful that you all would be present for our big celebrations. At that time,which also would be held here in Germany and all over the world. So, that wasn’t very long ago. It was very recent. Actually during His time, He had uh, propagated this chanting of Hare Krishna all over India, and today its the main chant or meditation, which is common to all. There may be many chant, but this the common chant for everyone. Caitanya is the one… Lord Chaitanya is the one who actually gave this chanting. So, when Lord Caitanya, just as an example, when He came, that time Bengal was under Mohammedan rule. You may know from the newpapers, from Iran, from Iraq, from the Lebanon crises, that the Muslims are very fanatical people.
In fact, the ruler of the Muslims, Hussain Shah, at that time he was famous for destroying temples of Krishna, and he would do so many uh, violent acts against uh, various saintly people. In spite of that Lord Caitanya took His party and He went within three kilometers of the capital of that Nawab, the Hussain Shah, the Muslim ruler, and with His party, He was doing massive chanting of Hare Krishna. He would chant from the morning to the night and thousands of people, they would all come to see, and when Lord Caitanya danced, He would simply become absorbed in that meditation. He would be sometimes jumping, sometimes spinning, sometimes He’d be dancing slowly, and He would be manifesting various symptoms of ecstasies like crying, laughing, even quivering in His body, sometimes fainting, sometimes jumping up, sometimes loudly crying out and He never stopped. So much energy, that even the other people chanting with Him, they’d have to change, they could not keep up the pace, but He would go on from the morning till the night.
So, some of the uh, leaders of the... of the Hindus, they had a meeting that “We should tell Lord Caitanya to leave this place for His own benefit. That the Nawab, Hussain Shah, if he knows that Lord Chaitnya is here, he may kill him, he may do anything, he is a very cruel uh, ruler who is very envious against anything to do with uh, any other religion or culture except for Islam. So, they just sent a messenger to go to tell Lord Caitanya to leave. The messenger went to see Lord Chaitanya, but Lord Caitanya’s kirtan was going on and on, and he waited for one whole day, there was not a gap to go and tell Lord Caitanya. Then he went to take his meals, take his rest, again the next day there was again kirtan.
Like this for three...
...able to say anything to Lord Caitanya. “I am coming on behalf of all the leaders of the uh... that we respect Lord Caitanya, but we are afraid for Him, that if He continues to chant Hare Krishna here, so close to the Nawab, the Muslim ruler, there may be some violence, there may be some danger. Ask Him to leave, go somewhere else, He is very unpredictable, this Nawab, this uh, Sultan. So, but even those the secretary could not oppose Lord Caitanya. They were just going on and more and more people are coming. They are coming from miles away, from 10-15 kilometers they’re walking, 30 kilometers they’re walking, and literally hundreds of thousands of people, they were congregating, there was a huge crowds to see this uh, festival of chanting Hare Krishna. Even today, at Rama Keli, the place where Lord Caitanya chanted, even after 490 years, this festival is still being observed, and a minimum of 50,0000 people are coming every year. That will be held in uh, the last day of the Bengali month equivalent to May, that is Jyaistha. It goes uh, May 15th till June 12th, like that. In the lunar month.
So, the crowds were building up. Now some of the secretaries of Lord Caitanya, the uh, devotees, they became very ah.. worried, because that fear has been brought to them, by this other people, from the ministers, eh.. favourable to Lord Chaitanya and the cabinet of the Hussain Shah.
So, finally Lord Chaitanya could see that some of His devotees were in anxiety.
He called them inside. He said, “Why you having a dark face? Why you are looking so fearful?” “My Lord, we are afraid for You.”
“Why you are afraid for Me?”
“We are very afraid that You are very close to the Mohammedan ruler, that if anything happens!”
“You think I don’t know?” Lord Chaitanya said, “You think I don’t know who I am? I am not afraid, why you are afraid ? You should just chant Hare Krishna, there is nothing to fear.” Then again Lord Chaitanya, He began His chanting.
So, in the meantime naturally the Hussain Shah, he got information, that Lord Caitanya is there, He is chanting. So, he did an investigation, that how much are the followers of Lord Catanya being paid, how none of them are being paid anything? Try to figure out, you can analyse what is motivating them. He did this study unknown to everyone, for over six months or a year. Even two of His main ministers, they also left his cabinet and joined Caitanyadeva’s movement, they were known as Rupa and Sanatan Gosvamis, the great leaders of the Six Gosvamis, who have written so many literatures.
In German, some of the most literatures are also available, that is called The Upadesamrita, and the Nectar of Devotion, you see. I may read this words by these ex minister of this Hussain Shah, who were known as Rupa and Sanatan Gosvami. So, one of the people, they approached the Hussain Shah, that uh… that just... that “Lord Caintanya is chanting here so many days.”
Then the Hussain Shah asked him, “Who do you think this Lord Caitanya is?”
That person said, “Well, I think He is a… saint…… He is a beggar, He has no money, saint… He goes here and there singing, Hare Krishna” that person was trying to tone it down afraid that if he said too much he would get the wrath of the Shah.
The Hussain Shah said, “No, I do not accept. I think that this Lord Caitanya is not different from Allah, or what the Hindus say isvara, or God.”
They were astonished, “How he is saying this. He is a follower of Islam, how can he say that Lord Caitanya is same as Khuda hafiz, same as Allah.” he saw they were be bewildered.
He said, “Yes, it must be, I have studied, I know in my own kingdom, in my empire, everyone is running Why? For money. If I don’t pay the salary of my army, my ministers, my spies, if I don’t give facilities even to the… my wife… no one will do anything, everyone will desert me. It is all running on my fear and my money, but I noted that Lord Caitanya, He has no army, and He has no money, yet everyone is going after Him, therefore He must be empowered by God or must be God, otherwise how can He attract everyone simply on their feeling, He must be giving them something out of this world, this is my conclusion. Therefore I order that no one, and you broadcast this throughout my Empire, no one should interfere with the movement and with the activities of Lord Caitanya.” It is inconceivable how a fanatical Muslim ruler, during the time of Lord Caitanya, could give the order, that no one would disturb Caitanya’s activities. This was the type of power that Lord Caitanya had manifested. After some time Lord Caitanya left with his followers and they were travelling in different parts of the country. Our movement of chanting Hare Krishna in a big group, is actually started by Lord Caitanya. But that doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean that this process of chanting mantras is just 500 years old. Chanting mantras is uh, very very old. You will find in the Vedas there are so many examples of chanting mantras.
Mantra is just like fire, if you put your hand in fire you will be burned, in the same way if you chant the mantra properly, somehow or another if the vibration comes from the mouth, it will have its effect, therefore it’s not simply some type of uh, artificial process, it is not an imposition on the mind, because otherwise it would not be possible that even without knowledge, even without practice, even if you are sceptical, even then by chanting, there’s also an effect.
There were a group of very cynical people who used to criticize Lord Caitanya’s movement. They would criticize by mimicking, they would say Hare Krisha, Hare Krishna, make funny faces and make funny noises and say Hare Krishna, and what happened they could not stop thinking about Krishna, they couldn’t stop chanting Hare Krishna, they thought that, “What is this ?” Just by chanting they became uh, more and more uh, prone to chanting, why? Because the vibration Hare Krishna is alive. It has its own living force, that is the Supreme living force, and if we chant we can actually experience as we can become more and more awakened, that the chanting is actually alive, and the chanting is with us, but don’t take my word for it. You may experiment, you may try chanting, and experience that what change comes to your life.
Actually what happens is that the identification that we are the body, which is so, uh… which is the cause of all our problems. That is gradually purified and we are able to realize that we are the living force, and the natural happiness of the living force in relation with Krishna is manifested. So there are of course many examples of this. I’ll just give one example, but first I would like to give examples about the chanting.
That one time there was a thief, his name was Dasyu Ratnakara, and he used to rob people to maintain his family. He had a wife, two children, mother and father, who were very old mother and father. He was the only earning member in the family, so he would regularly go and rob people, sometimes he would kill them and he would take their wealth. So, one of the great spiritual masters, in our line of uh, spiritual masters, is called Narada Muni. He is uh, posessing all the mystical powers of yoga and at will he can travel uh, by the… he can travel anywhere in the world. So, this Narada Muni, he happened to be in such a place, that this uh, thief saw him, and he was ready to attack him.
He said, “Alright, give me your wealth.”
Narada Muni said... “Well! You are actually only having this vina, this tanpura.”
He said , “I’m not having anything except this.” Then he played this musical instrument. That had a great effect on the thief.
The thief said “Never mind! Give me whatever wealth you have, you must have something.”
So, Narada said, “I will give you my wealth, but you must tell me, that who are you stealing for?”
He said, “I am stealing for myself, my wife, even my children, and my old invalid mother and father.”
“So you know that by stealing and killing you are getting many bad karmas? That for every action we do, there is a reaction. That action will again come back to us. If we cause pain to others that pain will come back to us. If we make others happy, that happiness will come back to us. So, you are creating so much pain for others, that who is going to share that pain when it comes back to you by the laws of karma?”
So, then he said, “Well, naturally my wife, my children, they will all share, they are all also benefitting by this, they will take a share.”
Then Narada said, “I give my word, I will wait here. You ask them, who will take the share.”
So then, he went back… Dasyu Ratnakara, the thief, the robber, he went back to his cave, and first he approached his old mother and father and requested them, that, “My dear mother and father, I met a great uh, saint on the way and he explained to me about Karma, that for every murder, killing, robbery, that I have done, that I have to get the reaction, in the future, but I have been doing all these to maintain you, my beloved parents, so I just wanted to ask you that you also take a share, a percentage of the reaction.”
They said, “What, What, no we are very old. We are going to die any minute, you want to send us to hell at our last days? We tried to raise you up to be a good boy, but you took this path. You could have done some other occupation, don’t hold us responsible. We have already done a lot for you. We are not saying that you have to do these things. Don’t put us in difficulty at the last leg of life.
So he was a bit disturbed uh, with his mother and father. They wouldn’t take any share.
So then he went to his children, “That my dear children, I am feeding you, I am clothing you, I am providing you everything in life, but surely you will take a share of the reactions for all the activities that I have done. Just that you taking a share of the wealth that I am bringing.”
They said, “We are your children, we didn’t ask to be you children, you could have been a businessman or something, we didn’t ask to be your children, somehow we took birth in your family, we are forced to eat whatever you give us, we can’t be held responsible for all the other things you do, don’t ruin the future of our life by giving us these reactions.” They refused to take any of these karmas. So this time that robber he was very disturbed, that nobody is taking any reactions.”
Now, he went to his beloved wife, “My sweetheart, my companion through life, you have heard the discussions. Through thick and thin, through happiness and distress, we are always together, so surely you will be taking half of all the bad karmas that I have accrued, murdering, killing, everything, to maintain the family.”
“What do you mean. You don’t give me any good clothing, we don’t get to go out in the society, we are always hiding in the cave. I have to raise the children, I have to do the cooking, I have to do everything for you, wash your clothes, and now you want me to take your karm? No I won’t do it, nothing going.”
So he was completely shocked, nobody would take any karma, so he was robbing, stealing, he was killing everything, and also he was giving everything to them, but they wouldn’t take one bit of the responsibility. Then he came back to Narada Muni, the great master, he was shook, that “What you said is true, nobody would take any of the karma for all I was… work I was doing. What should I do, how can I get freed from the karma?” So, then Narada Muni told him, You should chant the name of Rama, you should chant the name of eh…the transcendental name.
He said , “No. No. I can’t say any names like that. I have… I have no habit of saying anything pious or anything good. This not my nature, I can say kill, I can say rob, I can say swear words, all these holy words I can’t say, doesn’t even come in my mind.”
So then Narada Muni told him, “Alright, so you chant the word mara”
In Sanskrit the word mara. Ma ra means to kill, or touh, to attack, to beat. Mara.
He said , “Yes, I can chant mara, this is my nature. I have been doing this all along, murder, kill.”
“Yeah, so you chant mara, mara, go on chanting that.”
Then he sat down and he started to chant.
“Mara mara mara mara
mara mara mara mara
mara mara mara mara
mara mara mara mara
mara mara mara ma
rama rama rama...”
“Mara mara” when you chant together it comes “Rama Rama Rama Rama Rama.”
“Mara mara ma…” after the first syllable it is “Rama Rama Rama Rama.”
So in this way he was not even thinking of Rama, wasn’t thinking of the vibration uh, as being anything (inaudible) he was thinking of only murder, murder, murder but he was saying the vibration. After some time he was actually able to actually see the complete spiritual realization, he was actually able to see his self, he became completely free from all the karmic reactions and he was able to see the whole pastimes of Rama, you see, the incarnation of Godhead and he wrote down the book called Ramayana, which is celebrated all over India, as the most sacred text on yoga uh, and on various spiritual matters.
But... so he became latter, completely changed, he became known as Valmiki Muni, the great sage Valmiki, just by chanting the vibration Rama, even it was an indirect way. Like this, there are many examples of people chanting these vibrations, but they would normally chant individually or in a small groups, but the same chanting is there. What Caitanya... Lord Chaitanya introduced this chanting in a very big way. In Calcutta we have sometimes up to 1 million people chanting together at one time, for the big festival. That vibration is simply incredible. Anyway we would request all of you, either alone or by yourself, or in a small group or come here together for this function, try chanting this vibration Hare Krishna, it will protect you from so many dangers, it will help you understand the philosophy of the… given in Bhagavad-gita, and will also actually give you an experience of the happiness which is coming from... directly from the living force, which is beyond the body.
We don’t deny the body, because we say the body is a machine it doesn’t mean we deny it. We take care of it, we clean it, we give it all the essentials. But we experience happiness which is even beyond the happiness of the body. That is the sublime contribution of Lord Caitanya. That is the purpose of human life, to experience what goes beyond the body. In the animal life they cannot experience beyond the body. But human life, they can experience the body and beyond the body, beyond the mind, they can have… human being can experience the living force, can experience Krishna… the supreme living force.
cetanaś cetanānām, nityas nityānāṁ. There’s that cetanah, there are many living forces in the material world, and there is one cetanānām, there is one supreme living force. Nitya, all the living forces are eternal, they are indestructible, and there is one Supreme nityānāṁ, indestructible living force, who is above all. So that realization is the goal of yoga, this branch is called bhakti-yoga, or the yoga through the process of loving devotion, through the process of spiritual practices, through hearing, chanting, remembering, through offering uh, various uh, composed prayers, and the words through worship, through uh, service, through friendship, and through surrender. These are the nine practices of uh, bhakti-yoga.
Transcribed by Sadananda Krishna Prema Dasa
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari