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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Ishana Nagara > Glories of Advaita Acharya > PRABHU SlTANATHA BESTOWS HIS GRACE ON HARIDASA THAKURA



Advaita Prabhu met Haridasa Thakura, the outcaste devotee who was fully devoted to the chanting of the holy names of Hari. In his previous birth Haridasa Thakura was Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. Brahma took birth in a Muslim family as a result of his offence of stealing the cows and cowherdboys from Sri Krsna, a pastime which is narrated in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavata. Then he purified himself by relishing Gaura-/f/a.4ff He was born in the year 1451 in the present day Bangla Desh in Budana, a place now called after him,

Haridasa-pura. Advaita Prabhu declared him to be both an incarnation of Brahma and Prahlada. Although he was reared by Muslims he only drank milk (not any contaminated food)there. As he grew like the waxing moon, Brahma Haridasa remembered the wrongs of his previous birth and always took the holy name of Hari. After he left home, at the tender age of five, he wandered far and wide until he reached Santipura,where he met Sri Advaita, who, being the mine of all knowledge, immediately recognised him as the human incarnation of the creator Brahma because of his long arms, that stretched

down to his knees.However, in order to maintain the sweetness of human-like pastimes, he asked Haridasa: "What is your caste, and why have you come here?" Brahma Haridasa replied: "I am a fallen mleccha and I have come here to see Your lotus feet.Advaita Prabhu told him: "Stay here and take rest. After studying the scriptures all your aspirations will be ful¬filled." Haridasa said: "I am so fortunate to have attained (You,) the ocean of mercy, whose billowing waves soothe my heart and mind." Then Haridasa studied literature, philosophy and grammar under Advaita Prabhu. After this he studied the purely devotional scriptures, like Srimad Bhagavata. Haridasa was a srutidhara of boundless glory, who made jewelled neck¬laces around his neck of his explanation of the verses.


One day Haridasa sat in solitude with Sri Advaita, and humbly and devotedly told Him: "I know You are the incarnation of Siva— who other than You can redeem the fallen souls?" Hearing these humble words, Sri Advaita Candra said: "Listen, My child, the words of the scriptures are perfect. How can I tell who is superior and inferior? I think the greatest persons are those who act like saints. If a mleccha gets involved in the eight kinds of devotion, his caste does not matter anymore. Whoever worships Krsna is superexcellent, and whoever is averse to Krsna is the lowest of mankind. Sri Krsna's lotus feet are unattainable for those who do not adopt the feelings of the gopis, which can be compared with priceless jewels.Haridasa said: "The feelings of the gopls are inconceivable and cannot awaken within the conditioned soul even by performing pious acts for millions of births. O master, please tell me if there is an easy way to cross over maya and to attain Krsna?"Sri Advaita said:


There is nothing that you cannot perceive, but still you have accepted Me as your Guru! Take the holy name of Hari to preach religious principles, and liberate all conditioned souls by preaching the holy name. Just as the transcendental powers of the Lord are unlimited, similarly the powers of the transcendental holy name are eternally perfect. Even by chanting namabhasa (a reflection of pure chanting, such as casual or accidental chanting) all living beings are liberated from the three kinds of material misery (caused by other living beings, the material elements, or one's own body and mind). The utterance of the holy name of the Lord destroys the bondage of maya (the mundane illusion created by the Lord). The holy name is like a sacred thought-gem, and is nondifferent from the Supreme Lord Himself. There is nothing in the entire universe as real and pure as the holy name. As soon as one becomes fixed in the chanting of the holy names prema awakens, and anyone who untiringly repeats the holy name attains this treasure of prema. The Lord is Himself the fruit that grows on the wish-yielding tree of prema. As soon as this tree becomes firmly rooted this fruit comes to exist. Sri Krsna Himself has proclaimed that the holy name is even greater than its bearer, for all offences are destroyed of one who chants the holy name. Therefore the chanting of the holy name is the greatest thing to do; all wishes are fulfilled for one who has taste for chanting the holy name. But a person who is not instructed by the Vaisnavas and the guru will not attain this Krsna-perfection even in millions of ages. The Vaisnava-reli-gion is the greatest religion of the world, and of all the Vaisnavas he or she who takes shelter of the holy name is endowed with unlimited glories. Of them, the glories of those who have given up household life are unlimited. Those in the asrama of mendicants are endowed with all attributes of renunciation and such twice born persons wear dor and kaupin (loincloth with string to uphold it).A person who is so fortunate to develop such renunciation along with devotion for Krsna can act similarly. He is counted amongst those who are dressed as indifferent to external life. A person who bears these hallmarks of purity will surely attain the lotus feet of Radha-Krsna." After saying this, Advaita Prabhu had Haridasa's head shaven and gave him tila-ka and mala (neckbeads) to wear. Thus Advaita Prabhu taught the world that the wearing of Vaisnava-dress is the right of persons of all castes, creeds and races. Then He empowered Haridasa by giving him hari noma along with His own let-ter-for-letter (ha-re-kr-sna-rd-ma) explanation:


ha karah pltavarnas ca sarva varno varottamah;

jnanajnanam kritam papam ha karo dahati ksanat

re karo rakta varnah syat gopdlena nirupitam; gurvahganam

krtam paparh re karo dahati ksanat

kr karah kandalo varnarh samhdro hata patakah; gati sakti

rati premnah kr karo jayati ksanat

nana rupadharas caiva sna karah parikirtitah; sna

kdroccaranad eva narakad uddhared dhruvam

tatra janmdrcitam pdpam snakdro dahati ksanat; ra karo

gaura varnas ca rasa sakti bhaved dhruvam

ravi candra samobhati tamo rdsi dahet ksanat; ma karo

jyotirupas ca nirahjanah sadarcitah

mithya vakya krtam pdpam ma karo dahati ksanat


The syllable ha stands for the colour yellow, the greatest of all colours. It instantly scorches all sins that are committed either knowingly or unknowingly. The syllable re stands for the colour red and has been defined by Gopala. It instantly scorches sins committed against a superior, like sharing the bed with his wife. The syllable kr stands for the kan-dala colour (a kind of tawny-gold) and destroys all sins, rati and prema are instantly generated by this syllable's moving force. The syllable sna is known in different forms. The mere pronunciation of this syllable certainly saves one from hell indeed, all sins committed in this life are instantly scorched to a crisp! The syllable ra stands for the colour gold and the power of rasa. It instantly erases the darkness with its splendour, that equals that of the sun and the moon. The syllable ma is always worshipped as the transcendental light and instantly scorches sins like speaking lies.An alternate letter-for-letter hari nama-explanation involves the sixteen chief sakhTs or girlfriends of Krsna, standing for the sixteen syllables of the hare krsna mantra— Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campakalata, RahgadevI, Sudevi, Tuhgavidya, Indurekha, Sasilekha, Vimala, Palika, Anahga Manjari, Syamala, MadhumatI, Dhanya and Maiigala. The sixteen sakhas or boyfriends of Krsna represented in the sixteen syllables are: Srldama, Sudama, Vasudama, Subala, Arjuna, Kihkinl, Stoka-krsna, Varuthapa, Arhsuman, Rama, Vrsala, Vrsabha, Devaprastha, Ujjvala, Mahabahu and Mahabala.In a cave near the Gahga this crown jewel of Vaisnavas (Haridasa) attained the Cintamani-gem of hari ndma and went mad of prema. Returning to external consciousness, Haridasa offered prostrated obeisances to Advaita Prabhu, who blessed him by saying: krsna prdptir astu — May you attain Krsna. From now on your name is Brahma Haridasa." Haridasa replied: "I am Your servant." He then accepted a humble garment and made it a rule to chant 3,00,000 names of Krsna daily. After completing that quota of chanting he would preach religious principles. His extraordinary activities astonished the people at large. 2