[Continued from the last article “Prediction of the age of Kali”, based on Sri Gauranga Chandra Udaya portion of Vayu Purana.]
Sri Krishna reveals the Supreme Secret of all Secrets
Due to the compassionate nature of the great sages and saintly persons after hearing of the abominable qualities of the age of Kali, they naturally inquire as to how those born in this age can free themselves of its inherent contamination.
Sri Krishna replied, “My dear Brahma, I will reveal to you the supreme secret of all secrets: In this age of Kali, I will manifest as the son of Sachi to start the Sankirtan Movement.”
This discussion continues wherein Sri Krishna describes His complete incarnation as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, revealing His associates and the identities of His followers.
“May that Lord, who is known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi, be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.” – (Chaitanya-caritamrita Adi-lila, 3.4)
“I take shelter of Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is outwardly of a fair complexion but is inwardly Krishna Himself. In this age of Kali He dislplays His expansions by performing congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord.”
Lord Krishna enjoys His transcendental pastimes as long as He wishes, and then He disappears. After disappearing, however, He thinks thus:
“For a long time I have not bestowed unalloyed loving service to Me upon the inhabitants of the world. Without such loving attachment, the existence of the material world is useless. Everywhere in the world people worship Me according to scriptual injunc tions. But simply by following such regulative principles one cannot attain the loving sentiments of the devotees in Vrajabhumi. Knowing My opulences, the whole world looks upon Me with awe and veneration. But devotion made feeble by such reverence does n ot attract Me. By performing such regulated devotional service in awe and veneration, one may go to Vaikuntha and attain the four kinds of liberation. These liberations are sarsti [achieving opulences equal to those of the Lord], sarupya [having a form th e same as the Lord’s], samipya [living as a personal associate of the Lord] and salokya [living on a Vaikuntha planet]. Devotees never accept sayujya, however, since that is oneness with Brahman.
I shall personally inaugurate the religion of the age – nama-sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy name. I shall make the world dance in ecstasy, realizing the four mellows of loving devotional service. I shall accept the role of a devotee, and I shall teach devotional service by practicing Myself. Unless one practices devotional service himself, he cannot teach it to others. This conclusion is indeed confirmed throughout the Gita and Bhagavatam.
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion – at that time I descend Myself. To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium. If I do not show the proper principles of religion, all these worlds would fall into ruin. I would be a cause of unwanted population and would spoil all these living beings. Whatever actions a great man performs, common people follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
My plenary portions can establish the principles of religion for each age. No one but Me, however, can bestow the kind of loving service performed by the residents of Vraja. There may be many all-auspicious incarnations of the Personality of Godhead, but who other than Lord Sri Krishna can bestow love of God upon the surrendered souls?
Therefore in the company of My devotees I shall appear on the earth and perform various colorful pastimes.”
Thinking thus, the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna Himself, descended at Nadia early in the age of Kali.” (Chaitanya-caritamrita Adi-lila, 3.13-29)
“Adwaita acharya is an incarnation of the Lord as a devotee. His loud calling was the cause for Krishna’s incarnation. Whenever Sri Krishna desires to manifest His incarnation on earth, first He creates the incarnations of His respectable predecessors. Thus respectable personalities such as His father, mother, and spiritual master all take birth on earth first. Madhavendra Puri, Isvara Puri, Srimati Sacimata and Srila Jagannatha Misra all appeared with Sri Adwaita Acharya.
Adwaita Acharya having appeared, found the world devoid of devotional service to Sri Krishna because people were all engrossed in material affairs. Everyone was engrossed in material enjoyment, whether sinfully or virtuously. No one was interested in the tr anscendental service of the Lord, which can give total relief from the repetition of birth and death. Seeing the activities of the world, the Acharya felt compassion and began to ponder how he could act for the people’s benefit.
“If Sri Krishna were to appear as an incarnation, He Himself could preach devotion by His personal example. In this age of Kali there is no religion other than the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, but how in this age will the Lord appear as an incarnation? I shall worship Krishna in a purified state of mind. I shall constantly petition Him in humbleness. My name, Adwaita, will be fitting if I am able to induce Krishna to inaugurate the movement of the chanting of the holy name.”
While he was thinking about how to propitiate Krishna by worship, the following verse came to his mind. “Sri Krishna, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers merely a tulasi leaf and a palmful of water.”
Adwaita Acharya considered the meaning of the verse in this way: Not finding any way to repay the debt He owes to one who offers Him a tulasi leaf and water, Lord Krishna thinks, “There is no wealth in My possession that is equal to a tulasi leaf and water. ” Thus the Lord liquidates the debt by offering His own self to the devotee. Considering this, the acharya began worshiping the Lord.
Thinking of the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, He constantly offered tulasi buds in water from the Ganges. He appealed to Sri Krishna with loud calls and thus made it possible for Krishna to appear.
Therefore the principal external reason for Sri Chaitanya’s descent is this appeal by Adwaita Acharya. The Lord, the protector of religion, appears by the desire of His devotee. (Exerpt from Chaitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 3.92-110).
Further in the Chaitanya-caritamrta, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami has stressed that Lord Chaitanya appeared for three principal reasons of His own. The first purpose was to relish the position of Srimati Radharani, who is the prime reciprocator of transcendental love of Sri Krishna. Lord Krishna is the reservoir of transcendental loving transactions with Srimati Radharani. The subject of those loving transactions is the Lord Himself, and Radharani is the object. Thus the subject, the Lord, wanted to relish the mellow in the position of the object, Radharani.
The second reason for His appearance was to understand the transcendental mellow of Himself. Lord Krishna is all sweetness. Radharani’s attraction for Krishna is sublime, and to experience that attraction and understand the transcendental sweetness of Himself, He accepted the mentality of Radharani.
The third reason that Lord Chaitanya appeared was to enjoy the bliss tasted by Radharani. The Lord thought that undoubtedly Radharani enjoyed His company and He enjoyed the company of Radharani, but the exchange of transcendental mellow between the spiritual couple was more pleasing to Srimati Radharani than to Sri Krishna. Radharani felt more transcendental pleasure in the company of Krishna than He could understand without taking Her position, but for Sri Krishna to enjoy in the position of Srimati Radharani was impossible because that position was completely foreign to Him. Krishna is the transcendental male, and Radharani is the transcendental female. Therefore, to know the transcendental pleasure of loving Krishna, Lord Krishna Himself appeared as Lord Chaitanya, accepting the emotions and bodily luster of Srimati Radharani.
Therefore Sri Krishna as Lord Chaitanya appeared to fulfill His internal confidential desires, and externally, to preach the special significance of chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and to answer the call of His devotees.
“All the universe is filled with the conception of My majesty, but love weakened by that state of majesty does not satisfy Me. If one regards Me as the Supreme Lord and himself as a subordinate, I do not become subservient to his love, nor can it control Me. In whatever transcendental mellow My devotee worships Me, I reciprocate with him. That is My natural behavior.
In whatever way My devotees surrender unto Me, I reward him accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.
If one cherishes pure loving devotion to Me, thinking of Me as his son, his friend or his beloved, regarding himself as great and considering Me his equal or inferior, I become subordinate to him. Devotional service rendered to Me by the living beings revives their eternal life.
O My dear damsels of Vraja, your affection for Me is your good fortune, for it is the only means by which you have obtained My favor.
Mother sometimes binds Me as her son. She nourishes and protects Me, thinking Me utterly helpless. My friends climb on My shoulders in pure friendship, saying, “What kind of big man are You? You and I are equal.” If My beloved consort reproaches Me in a sulky mood, that steals My mind from the reverent hymns of the Vedas.
Taking these pure devotees with Me, I shall descend and sport in various wonderful ways, unknown even in Vaikuntha. I shall broadcast such pastimes by which even I am amazed. The influence of yogamaya will inspire the gopis with the sentiment that I am t heir paramour. Neither the gopis nor I shall notice this, for our minds will always be entranced by one another’s beauty and qualities. Pure attachment will unite us even at the expense of moral and religious duties [dharma]. Destiny will sometimes bring us together and sometimes separate us. I shall taste the essence of all these rasas, and in this way I shall favor all the devotees. Then, by hearing about the pure residents of Vraja, devotees will worship Me on the path of spontaneous love, abandoning a ll rituals of religiosity and fruitive activity. (Chaitanya-caritamrita Adi-lila 4.17-33)
It is described in various places in the sastras that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a covered incarnation. His direct identity is not found very easily. However, His identity is revealed by the activity He performs.
“In kali-yuga human society is infested with hypocrisy and superficiality. There is a strong tendency toward imitation and fraud in this age. Therefore the incarnation of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is revealed in Vedic literature in a confidential, discrete way, so that it will be known to the authorized persons who can then propagate the mission of the Lord on the earth. We actually see in this modern age that many foolish and ordinary persons claim to be God or incarnations, avataras, etc. There are many cheap philosophies and academies that promise, for a moderate fee, to make one God in a short time. In America one famous religious group promises its followers that they will all become the Supreme Lord in heaven. Such bogus preaching goes on in the name of Christianity. Thus, were Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s name widely spoken of in Vedic literature, there would soon be a veritable plague of imitation Chaitanya Mahaprabhus infesting the world.
Therefore, to prevent this pandemonium, discretion is exercised in the Vedic literatures in Kali-yuga, and in a sober, concealed way the actual followers of Vedic culture are informed through the Vedic mantras of the descent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. T his discrete system, selected by the Lord Himself for His appearance in Kali-yuga, is proving to be greatly successful on the earth planet. And throughout the world millions of people are chanting the holy names of Krishna without the unbearable harassment of hundreds and thousands of imitation Chaitanya Mahaprabhus.” (Extract from Srila Hridayananda dasa Goswami’s purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.35)
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
“In this age of Kali there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress other than the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.”
In this age, when everything is polluted by the contamination of Kali, it is instructed in the scriptures and preached by Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that by chanting the holy name of the Lord, we can at once be free from contamination and gradually rise to the status of transcendence and go back to Godhead. The offenseless chanter of the holy name of the Lord is as auspicious as the Lord Himself, and the movement of pure devotees of the Lord all over the world can at once change the troublesome face of the world. Only by the propagation of the chanting of the holy name of the Lord can we be immune from all effects of the age of Kali.
– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.32-33 Purport