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Lord Caitanya Loses Ecstasy

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Wednesday, May 5, 1982
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SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 1.16.24 idaṁ mamācakṣva tavādhi-mūlaṁ vasundhare yena vikarśitāsi  kālena vā te balināṁ balīyasā surārcitaṁ kiṁ hṛtam amba saubhagam 

Translation:

Mother, you are the reservoir of all riches. Please inform me of the root cause of your tribulations by which you have been reduced to such a weak state. I think that the powerful influence of time, which conquers the most powerful, might have forcibly taken away all your fortune, which was adored even by the demigods.

http://vedabase.com/en/sb/1/16/24 (link to purport)

Gurumaharaja's Elaboration : No one should consider himself to be self-sufficient or independent of the Lord. This is very important to understand. The Lord is always independent and, in His independent position, He decides and sanctions what will happen to every individual soul to His Paramatma feature. Sometimes allowing the laws of karma to take place, allowing a person’s desires to be fulfilled, and sometimes not. Therefore only Krishna is independent, everyone else is dependent. Even a relative independence that people seek in this world is in itself not the real independence. Therefore there is never any satisfaction, except for a moment. Everyone wants to get further independent; they vote the government, "Let's…" Federal structure, this or that, but everyone is bound by so many limitations that no one can ultimately free oneself except for some marginal, relative more or less but it is actually all dependent. Even a devotee cannot take the mercy of the Lord for granted. A devotee cannot compel Krishna to deliver him or that He must give association… must anything. trinad api suni chena taror api sahishnuna, amanina maana dena, kirtaniya sada harih. One is recommended to always remain in a humble state of mind with prayer to the Lord. Even if one is offensive to of the Lord, He, the Holyname will forgive the offences, if we continue to chant and request the Holy Name to forgive us for making the offences to Him. But it's not a mechanical process that He is obligated. You put in 25 cents and get out your bar of candy. You put in 25,000 Hare Krishna mantras and you get out your bhakti! No. If you don’t want, and if you don’t have the knowledge and you don’t have the desire, and if Krishna doesn’t give His mercy, then there is nothing than can change it, nothing that can force it. Of course the Lord can change His mind any moment and He is the most merciful. Nonetheless, it is not something that is mechanical. Ultimately it is His compassion that delivers. He may deliver sooner than we deserve. Or He may decide to keep the devotee waiting in intense, enthusiastic desire, relishing the devotee’s intense desire to serve His lotus feet. That is Krishna’s own independent sweet will… that He can do what He wants. The Holy Name of Krishna is so powerful. We discussed last night how one has to avoid the offences to the Holy Name. Just like when someone commits an offence to a devotee, then touching the lotus feet of the devotee, requesting the devotee’s forgiveness, he gets absolved. Just as Durvasa, he had to come all the way back to see Ambarish maharaj to get forgiven for his offences. Similarly, if we commit offences to the Holy Name of Krishna, the only way to get absolved of those offences is by chanting Hare Krishna. By chanting Hare Krishna and requesting the Holy Name to forgive us for the offences. And in this way one becomes purified. But with offences, one will not be able to feel transcendental ecstasy. Offences obstruct one’s natural feelings of attachment, taste, ecstasy for chanting the Holy Name.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, when He was having His very ecstatic kirtans, He would only have the devotees present, and in front of non devotees, because they would tend to consider it in some other way, He would not initially manifest those private kirtans. So one time there was an intruder. Srivas’s mother in law – in India, mothers-in-law are very respected people – just like one’s mother, practically. In some cases maybe different, maybe more, especially if it is the boy’s mother in law, depending on the family relationships. But it is a very respectable relationship. So Srivas’s mother in law without telling anyone, she hid in a basket. She thought, "I am going to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic kirtan." So Lord Caitanya came, everyone assembled and they started chanting;Lord Caitanya was chanting. Suddenly He turned. He stopped the kirtan. He said, "I am not feeling any ecstasy. Who is the cause?" Immediately, all the devotees there, they felt completely petrified. They started thinking that maybe I committed some offence, maybe I am the cause. They started looking at each other and feeling a bit nervous. And then Lord Caitanya decided that there must be some outsider here, creating a type non devotional mood which is obstructing our natural ecstasy.

Actually, the ecstasy is not something that is forced, we are servants of the Holy Name, we are not master of the Holy Name. All right, if you chant Hare Krishna, the Hare Krishna machine and then we will immediately force the ecstasies to come– it is not like that. We are the servant of the Holy Name. Lord Caitanya, when He was telling other people about His chanting, He would say My chanting, I cannot help Myself, the chanting makes Me laugh, makes Me dance, makes Me cry. This is simply the Holy Name’s effect, this has nothing to do with Me. So we are the servants of the Holy Name, we chant Hare Krishna and then the Holy Name makes us feel like dancing, this is all the hladini shakti or the spiritual potency, pleasure potency coming from the spiritual platform, from the spiritual world that gives us the enthusiasm. So Lord Caitanya was chanting and He wasn’t getting any ecstasy. The Holy Name wasn’t giving any ecstasy because there was a materialist intruder. So Srivas and everybody else started searching the place and they were all looking and couldn't find anything. They did not see anyone. So then again they started the kirtan, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. The kirtan was going on but Lord Caitanya wasn’t looking very blissful. He stopped the kirtan. Still no ecstasy is coming. Why is this? Who is at fault? Then immediately the devotees became again very anxious and they started thinking, "Maybe I have committed some offence to Lord Caitanya, and Srivas became very determined, I am going to search thoroughly and make sure there is no intruder. There must be some intruder here. So he searched and searched and there under the bamboo basket, was his mother in law!(devotees laugh) But at that time, he was so anxious to please Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that he had no material consideration at all. Although he knew that this was his mother-in-law… How could he not know? He knew. Immediately seeing her, he treated her just like a stranger and he said, "What are you doing here?" He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her out and threw her out of the front door and locked the door behind her. Even though he knew there would be deep repercussions in the future, of one sort or another, he did not think of anything else! Come what may, he wanted to simply please Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He was very angry that the intruder had done such an offensive thing, sneaking up on the Lord’s private sankirtan party. He threw her right out and no one else recognized the lady that he threw out but Lord Caitanya, being sarvagya, the Lord of everyone and everything, He knew. He wasn’t going to let this one pass. After the door was shut, Srivas said all right now the intruder has gone. Lord Caitanya could not resist telling everyone, you know who he just threw out? That was his mother-in -law! (devotees and GM laugh) Then he embraced Srivas and said, you are in fact a real, true devotee! So the Holy Name is a great benediction for us. Because Lord Caitanya is so kind, He is allowing us to take part in sankirtan.

We have to keep faith in the words of the spiritual master. Without the spiritual master, a person is like a ship lost at sea without a captain, without a rudder. Then one is in a very dangerous position. Tad viddhi pari paatena, pari prashnena sevaya, upadekshyanti te gyanam, gyaninas tattva darshinaha. One has to approach the spiritual master, inquire from him submissively, serve the spiritual master and take up the instructions that he gives. In this way, Krishna Himself showed the example. He did whatever His spiritual master asked. Lord Krishna accepted Sandipani Muni as His spiritual master, even though Krishna Himself is the spiritual master of the whole world. Because Krishna explains: yad yad aacharati shreshtas, tad tad eve taro janah, sayat pramaanam kurute, lokas tad anu vartate. That whatever great men do, common men follow. That Krishna, whatever He does, everyone tries to follow. So if He accepts a spiritual master, others will follow. If He does not, then people will say, why should we? Although Krishna Himself is not to be imitated, He did so many things that no one else can do. Like lifting the Govardhan hill at the age of seven. Expanding Himself into sixteen thousand forms in Dwaraka, millions of forms in Vrndavana– so many other inconceivable activities. Like living in the material world and going to the planet of Mahavishnu and so many other things. Obviously no one can imitate it still Krishna, generally, He tries to lead His activities in such a way that people in general may benefit from them. So one of His pastimes was accepting a spiritual master. He did even menial service like carrying the firewood or collecting the firewood from the forest and other services. Similarly, it is essential that we have a spiritual master. When one finds a spiritual master, bona fide, following in the footsteps of the previous spiritual masters, then one carries out the instructions of the spiritual master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead and when one puts faith in this way, one makes rapid advancement in spiritual life. So when one chants the Holy Name, this is a special mercy. By chanting the Holy Name, by avoiding offences to the Holy Name, then one naturally develops spontaneous love, spontaneous devotion, spontaneously achieves the highest liberation from all kinds of material illusions and material conditions.

Sometimes people think that because of their austerities, they are very advanced. They think that just by their being very austere, or by being very learned, that that is enough. But devotion is a very subtle, very specific, at the same time (inaudible word),which we must assimilate to actually achieve the mercy of Krishna. No other extraneous qualification– be it learning, be it austerity, or being very active alone will not help; will not ultimately itself be enough. One has to have devotion.

There was once a very austere brahmachari and he would eat only leaves and he was very austere. He knew the scriptures quite well, but he wasn’t a devotee. He was very proud of his learning, of his austerity. He was well known in Nawadweep. He also went there and visited Srivas in the house and watched the sankirtan of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srivas allowed him, thinking,"Well he is a brahmachari." So he was sitting in the house again Lord Caitanya came in later and Srivas thought, "This will be another situation." So Lord Caitanya started the sankirtan–they all started– and the drums started beating and the kartals playing. The conch shells and bugles blowing, and different (inaudible name of a musical instrument), whompers, and other instruments. Lord Caitanya’s ankle bells jingling, and His garland moving from one side to the other, His arms raised, but again He said, I am not getting any ecstasy. Why is there no ecstasy in the chanting today? Every day we are chanting, and we are getting ecstasy, why today there is no ecstasy? What is the cause? Who is the reason for this? Of course, everyone immediately felt petrified in fear. But Srivas this time immediately owned up to Lord Caitanya, "I brought one very austere brahmachari, very learned in scriptures, I brought him here. He wanted to see the sankirtan so I thought it was all right. He is in my house." Lord Caitanya said, "Who is this brahmachari?" They brought him out. Lord Caitanya said, "He is not a devotee! And He started chastising him, "You are so proud of your austerity, of your learning, what is the use of austerity and simply learning if you do not have pure devotion for Krishna? It is simply false pride. We are not impressed by these things, we want to see surrender unto the Lord. Take him out, he cannot be part of the sankirtan."

So the brahmachari was taken out and he felt greatly humbled by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instructions and he was thinking, "Somehow or other even though for a few moments, I was able to see Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan. I was able to see that pastime, that I am so fortunate. I am not a devotee but somehow I was allowed that opportunity to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan with all of His associates and pastime, even though for a few moments."In this way, he was so absorbed thinking, "Although I am not qualified, somehow I got this special mercy."

Then Lord Caitanya, being in everyone’s heart, He could recognize the sincere sentiment of the brahmachari. He sent someone out to bring him back in. Then Lord Caitanya gave special mercy to the brahmachari and he was made into a pure devotee and he was admitted into the sankirtan party. Nitai Gaura prema anande! Hari bol!

So all the great devotees of Lord Caitanya, they prayed to Lord Caitanya, they are a special class of devotees, they pray, "Wherever You go Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, and have Your transcendental sankirtan pastimes, in whatever universe, in whatever place, that we always be able to go and be associated with your transcendental devotees and your transcendental pastimes. They don’t care for liberation into the spiritual world, they are satisfied going wherever Lord Caitanya and His pastimes are there even in the material world, if they can assist in those transcendental pastimes, that is fully satisfying for those devotees.

Actually this planet, ordinarily is not as opulent as the spiritual sky, as the heavenly planets or upper planetary systems, but when Lord Krishna came, then of course the planet became so opulent, that even the denizens of the heavenly planets were interested in coming. Similarly, when Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, the denizens from the heavenly planets wanted to come, because they could recognize that in a short life time, if we can simply participate in the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we can completely achieve the highest perfection of life in just 50-60 short years. How long does the human being live in this material world in the Kali-Yuga? Not very long. Even 29 year old people, 18 year old people, so many people… they just die in their sleep of cardiac arrest. Yamaraj has made his arrest. (devotees and GM laugh).

When the time is up, then they come and make their arrest, the Yama dhutas. No one can live even one breath longer than the time allotted. So we shouldn’t waste any breaths. So many breaths are wasted in so many material pursuits. We shouldn’t waste any breath. Every breath should be used to glorify Krishna, in the service of Krishna. This is our real shelter. Follow in the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this short lifetime, we can fulfill that which even the demigods cannot achieve in their lifetime of thousands and thousands of years. We should take special consideration of the mercy of Nitai Gaur; They are coming down and giving us the understanding and pure devotion to Sri Sri Radha Gopi Vallabha, so that we can protect ourselves even though we are otherwise unqualified. This is called ahaituki kripa – causeless mercy because there is no cause, there is no way that you can force Lord Caitanya, there is no reason that I should get that special mercy because of this or that reason. The only reason, ultimately is the causeless mercy. There is no compulsion– He may give or not, no matter what you do, He can withhold it if He wants. That means, He is the ultimate authority. Just like a policeman arrests you, like you have some rights under the Fifth Amendment, if he doesn’t do that, according to the law he doesn’t arrest you properly, then you can always take some other action force against him or whatever. You can’t force yourself free to get the love of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to get the love Krishna, there is nothing that can be forced. You can’t change the Fifth Amendment or any other amendment. All you can plead for is mercy. But one can put himself in a very capable position to get that mercy by constantly chanting, by constantly showing the desire for Lord Caitanya to reciprocate–there is no doubt about it. Jai Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita Gadhadhara Srivas Adi Gaura Bhakta Vrinda. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

GM : Is there a question? Yes? Question: Why is it that Lord Caitanya said that He couldn't feel ecstasy in the presence of non-devotees, does it mean that He cannot exhibit ecstasy there are crowds of people present? GM: When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was having the pastimes, He did not want any non devotees to be present. We cannot forget that Lord Caitanya is not really in ecstasy. It was just a manifestation, He knew the person was there. He is the Paramatma, He knows everything that is going on. So He knew the person was trying to do a sneaky peak, what you call it? Window-peaker? Peeping Tom act? And just to teach the devotees a lesson, not to show ecstatic symptoms before non devotees, Lord Caitanya gave these instructions as well as what was the position of a devotee when He made the particular rule that a non- devotee at that time wouldn’t come inside the compound. Lord Caitanya, He can feel ecstasy anytime anywhere but He shows His pastime in that way knowing that there were intruders there. When He was in His Jagannath Puri or other pastimes, sometimes He went into what is known as antar bhava, when He became fixed in an internal consciousness, when He became completely became unaware of what was going on outside, He became completely absorbed in the pastimes of Krishna, that was his very special pastime that was described by Krishnadasa Kaviraja in the Caitanya Caritamrita that as Lord Caitanya’s pastimes progressed in the latter part of His life, that He was absorbed not so much in teaching His followers for spreading the sankirtan movement then, but at that time He was engaged in relishing the inner purpose of His pastime, relishing the pastimes of Krishna in association with some very intimate devotees. So there are different periods of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes when He performed different types of activities. We can only say this activity was performed to give us some specific teaching. Just like Krishna, He may have accepted a guru, Sandipani Muni and He is the guru of everyone and He admitted that when He spoke to Arjuna. So sometimes Krishna, He may do one thing to give an example, then someone will say that since He had a guru why should we except Him to be the Supreme Person? That type of logic will not be appropriate, there are so many other proofs that He is the Supreme Person, and He is accepting guru, He is following different behavior or norms just to show us what is the standard since He is playing as an actor basically in some pastimes. Like a human being. So simultaneously , within the pastimes, you will find this variegatedness and one has to understand it from the position of the realized devotees. Any other question? Question: (Inaudible) GM: Sure. In the history books of India we read about it. In America they do not know anything outside of America. Maybe only a few people [do]. In America they know Thomas Jefferson and this one and that one but whoever is on your dollar bills… So Lord Caitanya, because He was preaching within India, at that time and until now His preaching did not go outside, naturally the Indian people will be more acquainted with Him than the people outside. Now people know Lord Caitanya all over the world. It wasn’t till four hundred years after Jesus Christ that Christianity became established. The time of Constantinople that he became a Christian and after that time Christianity actually gained a foothold in the world. Historically it is not unusual that a spiritual movement takes an international foothold even hundreds of years after the person performed his own pastimes and left his own teachings. Knowing the difference of course is that the scriptures left by Lord Caitanya are still intact that there is no mention that they were edited or changed. In India, the materialists, they called Lord Caitanya the first civil disobedient practitioner, a great social reformer, they have all the materialist vision that He overcame the caste system, He accepted people from all different parts of the society, they had the vision like that, in the history books of the materialists. Even the communists history books have mentioned but not accepted Lord Caitanya as the Personality of Godhead. Although they have made an initial reference that He is an incarnation of God. Actually, the materialists, they do not even know what is God so how can they understand what is an incarnation? Hare Krishna!

Jayaraseshwari dd 14 February 2014