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A Description of Nama Hatta
Part One of a Serialized Presentation of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Godruma Kalpatavi:
The Desire Tree of Godruma
First Desire Tree
Shri Shri Godruma-Chandraya namah -
Obeisances unto Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the moon of Godruma,
(one of the nine islands of Shri Shri Navadvipa dhama).
Shri Shri Nama Hatta
The market place of the holy name, located at Shri Shri Navadvipa dhama,
whenever and wherever a part of the holy dhama is manifested.
nama-cintamanih krishnas chaitanya-rasa vigrahah -
The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions,
for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure.
The great scripture Shrimad Bhagavatam,
the well-known Vedanta literature, the essence of the Upanisads and the embodiment of rasa.
The Owner of the Goods:
Lord Shri Nityananda Prabhu.
Shri Advaita Prabhu in Bengal,
Shri Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis in Vrindavan,
Shri Svarupa Damodar Gosvami and Ramananda Raya in Jagannath Puri.
Shri Gadadhara Pandit Gosvami, Shrimati Vishnupriya Thakurani and
Shrimati Jahnava Thakurani in Bengal;
Shri Raghunatha Das Gosvami in Vrindavana;
Shri Paramananda Puri in Jagannath Puri.
The Guards of the Market:
Shri Vamsivadanananda, Shri Vasu Ramananda, Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi,
Shri Damodara Pandita, Shri Jagadananda, Shri Jagadisa and Shri Hiranya Pandita in Bengal;
Shri Lokanath Goswami and Shri Raghava Pandita in Vrindavana;
Shri Haridasa Thakura in Jagannatha Puri.
Shrivasa Pandita and his brothers and Acaryaratna in Bengal;
Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami in Vrindavana;
King Prataparudra in Jagannatha Puri.
The Clerks and Accountants:
Shri Vrndavana dasa Thakura in Bengal;
Shri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami and Shri Visvanatha Cakravarti in Vrindavana;
Shri Vaninatha Pattanayaka in Jagannatha Puri.
Shri Jagannatha Misra and others, Shrimati Sacimata Thakurani, Shrimati Sitadevi and
Shrimati Malinidevi in Bengal;
The Sanodiya brahmana in Vrindavana;
The wife of Shri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya in Jagannatha Puri.
The Currency Examiners:
Shri Gauridasa Pandita, Shri Abhirama Gosvami and Shri Kavi Karnapura in Bengal;
Shri Pradyumna Misra in Jagannatha Puri.
The Brokers, Sales Agents:
Shri Isvara Puri, Shri Kesava Bharati and Shri Vidya-vacaspati in Bengal;
Shri Bhugarbha Gosvami in Vrindavana;
Shri Madhavendra Puri in Jagannatha Puri.
Shri Murari Gupta and Shri Vasu Ramananda in Bengal:
Shri Kaviraja Gosvami in Vrindavana;
Shri Kasi Misra in Jagannatha Puri.
Shri Buddhimanta Khan, Shri Vijayadasa Ratnabahu, Shri Vanamali Pandita,
Shri Garuda Pandita, Shri Nrsimhananda, Shri Ramai Pandita and others in Bengal;
Shri Balabhadra Bhattacarya in Vrindavana;
Shri Govinda, Shri Krishnadasa and Shri Kasisvara Pandita in Jagannatha Puri.
Shri Sanjaya, Shri Suklambara, Kholaveca Shridhara, Shri Nakula Brahmacari and
Shri Pradyumna Brahmacari in Bengal.
Shri Vasudeva Datta, Shri Vasudeva Ghosh, Shri Sivananda Sena and
Shri Gopinatha Simha in Bengal.
Shri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya,Jagai-Madhai, Shri Prakasananda Sarasvati and other devotees.
Explanation by H.H. Jayapataka Maharaja
The mercy of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda comes down through Their devotees. Thus the devotees are recipients of Krishna-prema by the mercy of Lard Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and are able to distribute this love of Godhead. Bhaktivinoda Thakura illustrates this using the analogy of the transcendental market place of the holy name of the Lord.
Every devotee of Lord Chaitanya has some position of devotional service in the Nama Hatta, either assisting some devotes, or carrying the message of the Lord, or helping in analyzing the purity of the devotion exhibited, or training the new devotees.
Lord Nityananda, being the owner of the commodities for sale, is ultimately responsible for the sales and distribution of the holy name,
Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya in Jagannath Puri, Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis in Vrindavan and Advaita Acarya in Bengal were Lord Nityananda's assistants, His delegated representatives responsible for all the devotional activities conducted in their respective prabhu-datta-desa. For instance, during the Gundica-marjana-lila (cleaning of the Gundica Temple) one Bengali devotee who was visiting Puri drank the water from Lord Chaitanya's lotus feet. The Lord called Svarupa Damodara and chastised him, showing that Svarupa Damodara was held responsible for everyone's activities.
The guards in the market were concerned with preserving the spiritual purity of devotional service. Damodar Pandit, for instance, would immediately point out something that he thought may taint the reputation of the Lord. Haridas Thakura would always defend the glories of the holy name.
The storekeepers stored the Lord's mercy, whereas the treasurers were responsible to see that the mercy was distributed to the right people. Shrivasa Pandita would decide who could participate in the confidential kirtanas of Lord Chaitanya. Gopal Bhatta Goswami would decide which Vaishnava practices were allowed and he wrote the Hari Bhakti Vilasa to that end. King Prataparudra was personally financing the sankirtana movement of the Lord in Jagannatha Puri.
Clerks and accountants kept track on how the money was spent. As such Vrindavan das Thakura wrote the sastra known as Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata.
The mercy of Shrimati Radharani comes through in the form of Krishna-prasada to the conditioned souls. Therefore the Nama Hatta cooks are also preachers, by their cooking they are preaching. Shrila Prabhupada mentioned that an army runs on its stomach. Therefore prasada is considered one of the special weapons of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and the cooks are placed in a high position here in the Nama Hatta. The great cooks mentioned here used to cook for Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The currency examiners check whether the devotion is pure or is an imitation. When Abhirama Thakura bowed down before the children of Lord Nityananda they died because they couldn't withstand the force of his obeisances. When Abhiram Thakura would offer obeisances to some non-bonafide salagrama silas (self manifesed deity of the lord) they would explode immediately so powerful were his obeisances. So it is important to consider whether the devotional service exhibited is true or not.
The mercy of the Guru Parampara came down through Madhavendra Puri and Isvara Puri and so they are the brokers of the whole Parampara.
It is hard to understand the meaning of all these terms used by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur to describe the various personalities in the marketplace of the holy name.
The weighers had to weigh the goods to be given out according to how much the customers deserved it. Various devotees participated in the Lord's pastimes and were given the mercy according to how much they deserved.
The servants were personal associates of Lord Chaitanya assisting Him in various ways.
The porters and cart-pullers carried the mercy. Nakula Brahmacari carried Lord Chaitanya within himself; thus he was a saktyavesa (empowered). Lord Chaitanya spoke and acted through him. Suklambara Bramhacari used to go from house to house to preach and take some alms; thus he always carried the mercy to various people. Sivananda Sena and Vasudeva Gosh always carried with them a lot of the Lord's mercy. Sivananda Senu took care of all the devotees when they traveled from Bengal to Jagannath Puri for the annual Ratha Yatra festival (festival of the chariots). Vasudeva Datta was also a great carrier of the mercy of the Lord; he took the sins of all living entities in the world.
The customers of the holy name got the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was a Mayavadi but he was delivered by Lord Chaitanya. Jagai and Madhai were rascals, ruffians, criminals and murderers; nevertheless they got the mercy of the Lord. Prakasananda Sarasvati was a Mayavadi sannyasi but he also got the mercy. Some gentlemen, some ruffians, some Mayavadis, and others got the mercy of the Lord
Thus Bhaktivinoda Thakura has nicely explained the entire preaching movement of Lord Chaitanya in the context of the transcendental market of the holy name.
Thr purport is that in accordance with the order of Lord Chaitanya everyone has to accept Krishna consciousness and give it to others. Somehow everyone should become a vehicle in spreading the holy name of Krishna. It is not stereotyped. Everyone can do it under the guidance of the bonafide spiritual master, the representative of Lord Nityananda, the original spiritual master.
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Part Two of a Serialized Presentation of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's
The Desire Tree of Godruma
Description of the Transcendental Currency
1. Sraddha (faith) is compared to a paisa (a small coin worth only 2-5 cents) by which the Holy Name can be be purchased.
2. Nistha (steady devotional service) is compared to two annas or a 1/8 silver coin by which the Holy Name imbued with the Lord's form (rupa-yukta-nama) can be purchased.
3. Ruci (taste) is compared to four annas or a 1/4 silver coin by which the Holy Name imbued with the Lord's qualities (guna-yukta-nama) can be purchased.
4. Asakti (attachment) is compared to a 1/2 silver coin by which the Holy Name imbued with the Lord's pastimes (lila-yukta-nama) can be purchased.
5. Bhava or Rati (preliminary ecstatic love of Godhead) is compared to a silver coin by which the Holy Name imbued with transcendental mellow (rasita-yukta-nama) can be purchased.
6. Prema (pure love of Godhead) is compared to a golden coin by which the Holy Name imbued with the full potency of all transcendental mellows (sarva-rasa-yukta-nama) can be purchased.
According to the price one pays one will receive the corresponding commodity. But there is a mystery here: when the customer pays and gets the Holy Name and chants the Holy Name, by the mercy of` the owner and His partners, the customer gets back his original payment multiplied many times over.
Commodities for Sale in the Market
* The Holy Name (nama), compared to sugarcane juice.
* The Holy Name imbued with the Lord's form (rupa-yukta-nama), compared to liquid molasses (gur).
* The Holy Name imbued with the Lord's qualities (guna-yukta-nama), compared to solid molasses.
* The Holy Name imbued with the Lord's pastimes (lila-yukta-nama), compared to sugar: "
* The Holy Name imbued with transcendental mellow (rasita-nama), compared to rock candy. "
* The Holy Name imbued with the full potency of all transcendental mellows (sarva-rasa-yukta-nama), compared to lozenges made from rock candy.
Rules of Payment
"Rupees, Paisa, Silver or Gold Coins are not the real currency to purchase the commodities sold in the market place of the Holy Name. Transcendental faith and the like is the the only acceptable currency. Anyone who tries to purchase the above commodities with ordinary material currency makes a great mistake."
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Comment by H.H. Jayapataka Maharaja
In America some companies give rebate coupons: whatever you buy, they mail you back a check of, say, twenty per cent of what you spent, or they send you some other offer. But whatever price you pay in the Market of the Holy Name you get back from the Company a rebate of many many times what you paid.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura is describing the supreme bargain. In the material world we give our love and faith to people, but they can hardly reciprocate a fraction of what was given. The loved ones may sometimes even cause us harm. Here Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that if you give your faith to Krishna, not only you get back the equivalent, but you get many times the value back. So why are we hesitating?
It is not required to live in the temple: everyone gets the benefit according to the faith and devotion he gives, no matter how big or small. Whatever devotion you have, you invest, you get the profit. Thus your capital builds up. Then you reinvest your enhanced capital and in this way very soon you will be spiritually rich.
To live in a temple one should be on the level of bhajana kriya (dedicated or devoted practice) or anartha nivritti (cleansing of unwanted faults). Devotees living in their homes, however, can be on any level, higher or lower. But even if one has only some faith, that still has value and can be invested. Therefore the preachers should encourage people to invest their faith in Krishna.
When Bhaktivinoda Thakura was preaching there was no temple. The members of the Nama Hatta were all grihasthas living at home, but they could still reach love of God; and so it stands today. Krishna consciousness is a free market economy: the actual currency is love and faith. Everyone can invest in Krishna and achieve the highest perfection of life, Krishna Prema (pure love of God).