(While Om Vishnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada was residing in Lucknow at 19, Station Road on 7th November 1929, the retired District Sessions Judge of Una, Raya Bahadur Basu directly came to meet Srila Prabhupada. Seeing how Srila Prabhupada was exclusively devoted to Sri Gaurasundara, Raya Bahadur Mahodaya told that his friend Mr. R. (the superintendent engineer) was a fully dedicated devotee of Mahaprabhu. When Mr. R’s only daughter became extremely ill, R. began to chant incessantly day and night, “Gaura! Gaura!” As his daughter’s condition further deteriorated, his chanting also increased. R. Babu started to develop more affinity towards making more elaborate offerings and the frequency of his visits to his Gurudeva’s house increased – so much so that everyone was astounded at his amazing guru-bhakti. Yet, in spite of performing such devotion his only daughter died. On the day that she died, from early in the morning till about nine o’clock at night, his daughter suffered acute breathing problems until she finally gave up her life. Some days later, Raya Bahadur Basu went to meet his friend R. Babu. Raya Bahadur Basu Mahashaya saw that R.’s love and steadfast devotion for Mahaprabhu and his faithful devotion had completely gone. Mr. R. told Raya Bahadur, “There is no ‘Mahaprabhu’! If Bhagavan truly exists, he would never cause His devotee to suffer so much! If He was really antaryami and actually resided in the heart of His devotee, then He would surely know of their anguish and He would have saved my daughter! His greatness as Bhagavan would have been preached much more in this world! The faith and devotion of Bhagavan’s devotees would have soared millions of times! The devotees of Bhagavan would have preached about His glories and brought others to worship Him! Faith and devotion to Mahaprabhu in all members of the family would have increased! And, regaining her life once more, the girl would have more love and attraction towards Bhagavan. Therefore due to their superstitious nature, people believe in the existence of God and recite the Name of Mahaprabhu. Thus it is much more practical and profitable to do any work pertaining to this world than simply chanting, "Gaura, Gaura!")
In answer to these words, Srila Prabhupada spoke thus –
“That Mahaprabhu that we have taken shelter of is not the Mahaprabhu of R. Babu, whom he considers to be like his hired gardener. We have taken shelter of the Mahaprabhu of Srivasa Pandita. That Mahaprabhu, who was so impressed with the love of Srivasa, said–
putra-shoka na janila ye mora preme hena saba sanga muni cchadiba kemane
How could I ever give up the association of one who did not lament for his son due to his love for Me?” (Chaitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda.25.52)
We worship the Mahaprabhu of that Srivasa Pandita who said –
kalarava shuni’ yadi prabhu bahya paya tabe aji ganga praveshimu sarvathaya
If the Lord regains his external consciousness by hearing your commotion, I will drown myself in the Ganga. (Chaitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda.25.36)
We worship Sri Rupa's Mahaprabhu. It is Sri Rupa who says –
virachaya mayi dandam dina-bandho dayam va
gatir iha na bhavattah kachid anya mamasti
nipatatu shata-kotir nirmalam va navambhas
tad api kila payodah stuyate chatakena
O friend of the poor, do what You like with me, give me either mercy or punishment, but in this world I have none to look to except for You, just as the chataka bird always prays for the cloud, regardless of whether it brings rains or hurls a thunderbolt. (Stavamala)
We worship that Mahaprabhu who manifested the lila of being the jagad-guru in order to instruct us –
aslishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
Krishna may embrace me in love or trample me under His feet. He may break my heart by hiding Himself from me. Let that debauchee do whatever He likes, but He will always be the only Lord of my life. (Siksastakam 8)
na gani apana-duhkha, sabe vanchi tanra sukha tanra sukha – amara tatparya more yadi diya duhkha, tanra haila maha-sukha sei duhkha – mora sukha-varya
I do not mind My personal distress. I only wish for the happiness of Krishna, for His happiness is the goal of My life. However, if He feels great happiness in giving Me distress, that distress is the best of My happiness. (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila 20.52)
In order to perform bhajana of this Mahaprabhu, if I need to reject the detrimental things of this world millions of times, I am ready to do that wholeheartedly with all my senses, I am prepared for that. Taking shelter of His feet I accept those misfortunes with the understanding that He is protecting me and dragging me towards His feet – He is supremely merciful to expose my duplicity. He is not allowing me to add more fuel to my material senses. He is making me understand this – that there is no eternal object in this world to take shelter of other than His feet. We are bearing the heavy burden of our karmic reactions upon our shoulders due to our own previous activities. If I am able to tolerate these with a little endeavour, taking shelter at the lotus feet of the eternal Lord, then only will I attain some real auspiciousness.
If we belong to the school of material enjoyment, then when some obstacle hinders our enjoyment, we become angry. The school of renunciation says we should give up material enjoyment. Sri Gauranga’s devotees do not prescribe to any sort of enjoyment, nor do they prescribe to any sort of renunciation. They say, “It should be towards real objects – let the natural propensity of the jivatma be focused upon true transcendental knowledge of the non-dual Absolute.” Even if one accepts the three types of sufferings that continuously immerse us, it is of no advantage, and if one desires to artificially renounce, he cannot. Only one who offers his namaskara to Bhagavan’s feet with his mind, body and words is the rightful heir to liberation. Whatever be the inconveniences one may have to face, he accepts them wholeheartedly as the Bhagavan’s kripa-avatara (the descent of His mercy). It is not possible to estimate all the auspiciousness that Sri Chaitanyadeva has bestowed upon all of us. We are on the path of pleasure (preya), and in order to open our eyes He has meticulously arranged various problems amongst the objects of our material pleasure. He gave us poor health and, step-by-step, He also sent various dangers and gave a specific temporary nature to everything of this world in order that we would eventually tread the path of the highest benefit.
I remember one incident that happened many days before. Mr. Datta, a high court advocate, seeing his son lying on his deathbed, one day told to me, “You are a sadhu. Kindly restore my son's life!” I told him, “I am not the master of bestowing life. But I can try to change the way that you think.” This person was a staunch follower of Comte. He said, “If your God really exists, then you should make Him cure my son.” I told him frankly, “I will not make a campaign against the desire of Bhagavan. I cannot support the philosophy of the Shaktas. Sri Gaurasundara is most merciful, and this is shown by His decorating this world with hundred and hundreds of problems – that is His mercy!”
sri chaitanya-chandrera daya karaha vichara vichara karila chinte pare chamatkara
If you consider the mercy of Sri Chaitanya-chandra, by meditating on such deliberations you will find it most amazing. (Chaitanya-charitamrta, Adi-lila, 8.15)
It is not the duty of the jiva to live in this world in forgetfulness of Bhagavan. This place is not our eternal residence. In order to remind us of this, at every moment, He creates problems in our pursuit of material happiness. Sri Kulashekhara says –
nastha dharme na vasu-nichaye naiva kamopabhoge yad bhavyam tad bhavatu bhagavan purva-karmanurupam etat prarthyam mama bahu matam janma-janmantare 'pi tvat-padambhoruha-yuga-gata nischala bhaktir astu
O my Lord! I have no attachment for religiosity, or for accumulating wealth, or for enjoying sense gratification. Let these come as they inevitably must, in accordance with my past deeds. But I do pray for this most cherished boon: birth after birth, let me render unflinching devotional service unto your two lotus feet. (Mukunda-Mala Stotram 5)
naham vande pada-kamalayor dvandvam advandva-hetoh
kumbhi-pakam gurum api hare narakam napanetum
bhave bhave hridaya-bhavane bhavayeyam bhavantam
O Lord Hari, it is not to be saved from the dualities of material existence or the grim tribulations of the Kumbhipaka hell that I pray to your lotus feet. Nor is my purpose to enjoy the soft-skinned beautiful women who reside in the gardens of heaven. I pray to Your lotus feet only so that I may remember You alone in the core of my heart, birth after birth. (Mukunda-Mala Stotram 4)
A similar shloka has been recited by Sri Gaurasundara –
na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye mama janmani janmanishvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
O Lord, I have no desires to accumulate wealth, followers, beautiful women, or salvation. My only prayer is for Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth. (Siksastakam 4)
I will not fall into deception. Birth after birth I have sank into duplicity, I will not do so again. I will not involve you in the karmic reactions of my previous birth; that is because I have heard the instructions of the Srimad Bhagavata at the lotus feet of Sri Guru –
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu shivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
shrimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krite kim va parair ishvarah
sadyo hridy avarudhyate 'tra kritibhih shushrushubhis tat-kshanat
In this Bhagavata Purana, where fraudulent religiosity and all other mundane goals of humankind have been utterly forsaken, the supreme spiritual duty (parama-dharma) has been expounded. That parama-dharma is pure bhakti-yoga, exemplified by those saints who are absolutely free from envy and full of compassion for all living beings. The Supreme Truth within uproots the three forms of misery and grants the highest form of bliss. When those with ample spiritual merit desire to listen to the message of this beautiful Bhagavatam, which was authored by Maha-muni Sri Narayana Himself, then the Supreme Lord Sri Hari is immediately and permanently captured within their hearts. What is the need of any other message? (Bhag. 1.1.2)
My Sri Gurudeva never accepted service from other people. When someone came to serve him he would curse that fourteen generations of that person’s family would be destroyed. He would tell them, “You want me to become your servant in your next life. You will make me your servant to repay your debt. But I will only become the servant of those who are devotees of Krishna and no one else. Birth after birth I do not wish to be the servant of anyone apart from Sri Radha Thakurani, because She does the maximum service to Krishna.” He used to tell us, “Aspire only for things that are spiritual. You do not need to do anything else.” He could not write anything and was not a scholar of anusvara or visarga. Tears would pour from both his eyes and he would cry out loudly, ”By taking the Names of Gaura-Nityananda I pray that we should not bring disgrace to their Names. Let us not desire such useless trash as dharma, artha, kama and moksha from Gaura-Nitai. Many times he would ask us, “Please tell me what is written in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and Srimad Bhagavata. I do not understand Sanskrit. I do not even know how to write.” We would reply, “What can we say? In your very character we are directly able to see whatever is written in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and Srimad Bhagavata?”
R. Babu took ‘shelter’ of Mahaprabhu as if to enrich Mahaprabhu. It is as if Mahaprabhu would be delivered by his mercy. He had complete attachment to matter, but not to Sri Chaitanya. Mahaprabhu revealed his duplicity. He did not examine the matter from the very beginning and could not come to the right conclusion anywhere. Not even for a moment did he deliberate upon the true form of Mahaprabhu. He considered the lotus feet of Sri Gauranga as nature’s product, or as some type of special medicine. To him, the material object which is medicine that will cure his daughter's disease, is 'Mahaprabhu’. The divine lotus feet of Gaura-Nitai remove all anarthas and award krishna-prema. They can give us Sri Radha-Krishna and They are non-different from Their Names. That Gaura-Nitai are not like some pir-fakir (magicians) or some good luck charm of this world. If he had actually received instructions from the lotus feet of a guru who was a genuine devotee of Gaura, then the Holy Name Himself would have shown mercy to him and his heart would have been elevated.
vaikuntha-nama-grahanam asheshagha haram vidhuh
One who chants the Name of the Lord is liberated from unlimited sins. (Bhag. 6.2.14)
However, taking the Name with a mood of materialism produces unlimited sins. He was committing namaparadha, and due to this he faced misfortune. The result of committing namaparadha is attaining dharma, artha and kama or it may also be adharma, anartha and the non-attainment of kama. He faced the result of non-attainment of his desire. When he genuinely and sincerely accepts shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Gauranga, then only will his namaparadha be nullified. Then gaura-nama will melt his heart and tears will pour from his eyes, then he will understand the words of jagad-guru Sridhara Swamipada –
pra-shabdena mokshabhisandhirapi nirantarah
The word pra refers to the immediate rejection of the desire for liberation.
Jnani means a salvationist, or cinmatravadi, and karmi means elevationist, or jadavadi. Both are misguided. The Srimad Bhagavata has uprooted all types of deception. If one takes shelter of that Mahaprabhu, who continuously stated that the Srimad Bhagavata was the crest-jewel of pramanas, then no kind of cheating or detrimental desire can remain.
Shreyah (the highest benefit) tastes bitter like haritaki, and preya (temporary pleasure) tastes sweet. If a patient requests the doctor to make arrangements for him to consume lots of jaggery instead of haritaki, then the patient’s taking shelter of the doctor is simply a show. Similarly, it is the road to inauspiciousness if, in the name of taking shelter of Bhagavan, we endeavor to increase our disease by using Bhagavan.
If we remain apathetic to the teachings of Sri Chaitanya, then we will enthrone a Satan as a devotee of Chaitanya or even as Chaitanya Himself. When we do endeavor for material benefits, then our false gaura-bhajana will also retire! We worship that Mahaprabhu who was propitiated by Sri Rupa in the following mood –
namo maha-vadanyaya krishna-prema-pradayate krishnaya krishna-chaitanya namne gaura-tvishe namah
O most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani, and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You. (Chaitanya-charitamrita Madhya-lila 19.53)
We worship that Mahaprabhu who was prayed to by Srila Svarupa-damodara Goswami –
heloddhunita-khedaya vishadaya pronmilad-amodaya
samyac-chastra-vivadaya rasa-daya chittarpitonmadaya
sasvad-bhakti-vinodaya sa-madaya madhurya-maryadaya
sri-chaitanya daya-nidhe tava daya bhuyad-amandodaya
O ocean of mercy, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu! Let there be an awakening of Your auspicious mercy, which easily drives away all kinds of material lamentation. By Your mercy, everything is made pure and blissful. It awakens transcendental bliss and covers all gross material pleasures. By Your auspicious mercy, quarrels and disagreements arising among different scriptures are vanquished. Your auspicious mercy causes the heart to jubilate by pouring forth transcendental mellows. Your mercy always stimulates devotional service, which is full of joy. You are always glorifying the conjugal love of God. May transcendental bliss be awakened within my heart by Your causeless mercy. (Chaitanya-chandrodaya-nataka 8.10)
That Mahaprabhu that was prayed to by Srila Prabodhananda Saraswati Prabhu –
kaivalyam narakayate tridasha-purakasha-pushpayate
vishvam purna-sukhayate vidhi-mahendradish cha kitayate
yat karunya kataksha vaibhavavatam tam gauram eva stumah
For those who have attained the merciful sidelong glance of Lord Chaitanya, impersonal liberation becomes as palatable as going to hell, the heavenly cities of the demigods become as enticing as flowers imagined to be floating in the sky, the poisonous fangs of the untameable black snakes of the senses are broken, the whole world becomes full of joy, and Brahma, Indra, and all the other great demigods become as insignificant as tiny insects. Let us glorify that golden-complexioned Lord Chaitanya. (Chaitanya-chandramrita 5)
stri-putradi-katham jahur vivashayinah shastra-pravadam budha yogindra vijahur marun-niyama-ja-klesham tapas tapasah jnanabhyasa-vidhim jahush cha yatayas chaitanya-chandre param avishkurvati bhakti-yoga-padavim naivanya asid rasah
Now that the moon of Sri Chaitanya-chandra has revealed the path of
pure devotional service, the materialists have given up talking about their
wives, children, and material affairs, the scholars have given up debating
the scriptures, the yogis have given up the trouble to control the breath,
the ascetics have given up their austerity, and the impersonalists have
given up impersonalism. Now there is only the sweetness of pure devotional
service. Now nothing else is sweet. (Chaitanya-chandramrita 113)
Even after the teachings of Sri Chaitanya are preached, those that still do not delineate on those teachings are most unfortunate. Sri Gaurasundara is not the object of our enjoyment. In spite of remaining amongst millions and millions of dangers and disasters, one must hear the words pertaining to Sri Gaurasundara, perform kirtana about Him, and preach about Him. All thoughts existing in this world, which existed in the past and will exist in the future, are all blind and bankrupt. We will be able to realize it only when we take shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Gaurasundara without any deceit.
R. could not understand that Gaurasundara is fundamentally spiritual in nature, and only exhibited false bhakti through lip-service – he took shelter of Satan.
anarpita-charim chirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-shriyam
sada hridaya-kandare sphuratu vah shachi-nandanah
May that Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Shachi-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service. (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila 1.4)
Gaurasundara came to the world to propagate unnata-ujjvala-rasa, the highest thing that has never been given before – and I will pray for stool, urine, bones, flesh, blood and pus! Those that consider Mahaprabhu to be Satan will pray to him for all these things.
radha krishna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini shaktir asmad ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau chaitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam chaikyam aptam radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krishna-svarupam
The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krishna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krishna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Sri Krishna Chaitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Srimati Radharani although He is Krishna Himself. (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila 1.5)
Srimati Vrishabhanu-nandini is Krishna’s counter-whole, not His counter-part. Srimati Radhika’s external bodily effulgence has completely surrounded the beauty of Shyama; it has also covered His mind. Such is the intensity of Their embrace. They Both become inseparable. Sri Gaurasundara is not simply Radhika, nor is He simply Krishna – He is the intense embrace of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna,
prasarita-maha-prema piyusha-rasa-sagare chaitanya-chandre prakate yo dino dina eva sah
Now that Sri Chaitanya-chandra – the unlimitedly expansive ocean of the joy of divine love supreme – has made His gracious advent, anyone who remains destitute is surely a genuine pauper. (Chaitanya-chandramrita 36)
Ray Bahadur Basu: Please give me one or two practical suggestions. There are many theoretical statements. How can one be protected from namaparadha?
Prabhupada: Kindly study Hari-nama Chintamani.
Ray Bahadur: But Mahaprabhu said that one should give the Holy Name even to a chandala.
Prabhupada: Only one who is a namacharya can give the Name. Only a person who is free from namaparadha and namabhasa, by the mercy of Mahaprabhu, can give the Holy Name to others.
Ray Bahadur: Then what is the significance of the words, helaya shraddhaya va (the Holy Name may be chanted with faith or inattention)?
Prabhupada: It does not say that namaparadha should be chanted. Will namaparadha bestow auspiciousness on us?
Ray Bahadur: Mahaprabhu does not say that there is something called 'namaparadha'.
Prabhupada: You should study the Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and the Sandarbhas – the topic of namaparadha is mentioned throughout. Niraparadhe nama laile paya prema-dhana (‘by chanting the Holy Name without any offence, one attains the treasure of prema’). One cannot receive the Holy Name from a pseudo-guru who is a nama-aparadhi. He must accept the shelter of a pure namacharya. Such a guru will bestow auspiciousness on the disciple. He will not think that he has achieved success by lording over his disciple. He will not be able to actually chant the Names of Gaura-Nityananda while simultaneously taking shelter of the path of material sense pleasure. Those sections that are enjoyers of Gaura or inimical towards Gaura, are offenders to the Holy Name, thus we should be cautious in dealing with them.
Ray Bahadur: If we just follow all these strict rules, will that be enough to properly chant the Holy Name?
Prabhupada: Imitation chanting will not produce the Holy Name. The true Name will manifest Himself. He Himself will grant His mercy. Those that do not consider such things will commit aparadha. Chanting the Holy Name even once can produce auspiciousness.
Ray Bahadur: How can I purely chant that Name at least once?
Prabhupada: Adau guru-padashraya (‘first take shelter at the feet of a genuine guru)’.
Ray Bahadur: The guru in human shape is very much limited. Even if I am able to accept someone as guru, what about those who are residing in Africa, America or from New Zealand or adhivasis (aborigines) – how will they be able to get such a namacharya?
Prabhupada: They will also receive a guru according to their adhikara, just as they received Christ. When their good fortune arises, and they sincerely search for a genuine guru (sad-guru), then after some births they will eventually receive one.
For the time being, stop and lend your submissive and regardful ear. I say to everyone in this world – leaving aside all your talks, kindly listen a little to the words descending from above. I always favour transcendental sound, I am not in favour of aparadha. I am not prepared to commit aparadha, neither am I prepared to make others commit aparadha. If I continue to carry in my head all the rubbish things that I have collected from here, then I cannot progress even an inch on the path towards Vraja. Those who are famous as the 'giant-intellects 'of this world should refrain from speaking anything for some time and submit to the aural reception of transcendental sound. Empiricism must never be the medium. Bhakti is not a suggestive thing. It is not guesswork. It is a positive and clear understanding of reality. Bhakti is understood as submission to the Personal Godhead.
vismritih krishna-padaravindayoh kshinoty abhadrani cha sham tanoti sattvasya-shuddhim paramatma-bhaktim jnanam cha vijnana-viraga-yuktam
For one who remembers the lotus feet of Krishna, all inauspiciousness soon disappears, and one's good fortune expands. In other words, one becomes free from all material contamination, one attains liberation from repeated birth and death, and one's real spiritual life begins. As one's heart becomes gradually purified, one's devotion for the Lord within the heart awakens, and one realizes the Paramatma. Thus one gradually develops knowledge, realization and renunciation (Bhag. 12.12.55)
Thakura Bilvamangala has said –
bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad daivena nah phalati divya kishora murtih muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate'sman dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratikhsah
O my Lord, if one engages in Your pure devotional service with determination, You become visible in Your original transcendental youthful form as the Supreme Lord. As far as liberation is concerned, she stands before the devotee with folded hands waiting to render service. Religion, economic development and sense gratification are all automatically attained without separate endeavor. (Krishna-karnamrita 107)
At the beginning there was no need for us to form our mission. Only because people have gone the wrong way are we using the mission to render service to Bhagavan – to deliver human society from the wrong direction. In this manner even if we attain supremacy over this world crores of times, still we would discard it like stool and urine. May the human race be delivered from their wrong direction and be established at the lotus feet of Gaurasundara, who is the root of all auspiciousness. Our little endeavour is only for this purpose. If anyone deviates even minutely from the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Deva, whether he be Brahma, Shiva, Vayu, Varuna, a great religious preacher or a religious leader, he will encounter great difficulties.