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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Sixteen: The Glories of Shri Haridasa Thakura
CB Adi-khanda 16.151
yogi jnani yata saba mukhe-matra bale
tumi se paila siddhi maha-kutuhale
“All the so-called yogis and jnanis simply speak big words, but you have actually attained perfection.
“Ordinary pseudo yogis and pseudo jnanis speak of advaya-jnana, or transcendental knowledge beyond duality, simply to make a show of being liberal, but you, Haridasa, are actually a real, perfected maha-purusha, or great personality.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.152
tomare dekhite mui ailun ethare
saba dosha, mahashaya! kshamiba amare
“O sir, I have personally come to meet you, therefore please forgive all my offenses.
CB Adi-khanda 16.153
sakala tomara sama,-shatru-mitra nai
toma’ cine,-hena jana tribhuvane nai
“You are equal to everyone-both friend and enemy-but there is no one in the three worlds who can understand you.
On the strength of their mundane knowledge, the materialists cannot understand the position of a maha-bhagavata, paramahamsa Vaishnava. Actually no one is the friend or enemy of a Vaishnava. Because he considers everyone in the world as a Vaishnava, he is the friend of everyone, and being devoid of conception of mundane enjoyment, he sees everyone, friends and enemies, equally.
CB Adi-khanda 16.154
cala tumi, shubha kara’ apana-icchaya
ganga-tire thaka giya nirjana-gophaya
“You are free to go wherever you wish. You may go stay in a cave on the bank of the Ganges or wherever you desire.
The word gophaya (derived from the Sanskrit word guha and Hindi word gupha) means “a vacant cave.”
The king said, “O Haridasa, now you are freed from arrest, therefore by your own sweet will you may go to a secluded cave on the bank of the Ganges near Phuliya and begin to worship your beloved Lord without disturbance. Though we are most abominable and sinful, please forgive all our unforgivable offenses and glance mercifully on us.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.155
apana-icchaya tumi thaka yatha-tatha
ye tomara iccha, tai karaha sarvatha”
“Now you may stay wherever you like and do whatever you please.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.156
haridasa-thakurera carana dekhile
uttamera ki daya, yavana dekhi’ bhule’
What to speak of the upper classes, on seeing the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura, even the Moslems forgot themselves.
The Moslems are generally devoid of devotional service to the Supreme Lord. If sense enjoyers, fruitive workers, and mental speculators, who are all relatively superior to the Moslems, realize the magnanimous, glorious lotus feet of maha-bhagavata Thakura Haridasa, then they will permanently retire from engagement in the their respective sense gratification. On seeing Haridasa, even Moslems who were sinful and extremely averse to the Lord forgot their endeavors to oppose devotional service, which were induced by the urges of their senses.
CB Adi-khanda 16.157
eta krodhe anileka maribara tare
‘pira’-jnana kari’ aro pa’ye pache dhare
They had angrily taken him to be killed, but they ultimately accepted him as a powerful saint.
Oh, how wonderful are the uncommon glories of the maha-bhagavata, paramahamsa, Vaishnava Thakuras! By seeing the extraordinary shining example of Thakura Haridasa’s forgiveness and tolerance, that same king who was previously envious of the Thakura, who had angrily arrested him in order to severely punish him, who hated Lord Vishnu and the Vaishnavas, and who was most sinful now accepts Thakura Haridasa as a worshipable, uncommon, great personality sent by God. Not only that, being purified by the fire of repentance, that most sinful, atheistic, offensive king begged forgiveness for all his offenses and was obliged to offer obeisances at the Thakura’s lotus feet.
CB Adi-khanda 16.158
yavanere kripa-drishti kariya prakasha
phuliyaya aila thakura-haridasa
After glancing mercifully on the Moslems, Thakura Haridasa entered Phuliya.
CB Adi-khanda 16.159-161
ucca kari’ hari-nama laite laite
ailena haridasa brahmana-sabhate
haridase dekhi’ phuliyara vipra-gana
sabei haila ati parananda-mana
hari-dhvani vipra-gana lagila karite
haridasa lagilena anande nacite
As He loudly chanted the names of Hari, he arrived before an assembly of brahmanas. Seeing Haridasa, the brahmanas were filled with happiness. The brahmanas then began to chant the names of Hari, and Haridasa began to dance in ecstasy.
Being relieved from the torture and repression of the king and the Kazi and in order to benefit the brahmana community of Phuliya, Thakura Haridasa arrived there while loudly chanting the names of Hari. Due to narrow-minded sectarianism and social aversion towards devotional service, some so-called brahmanas did not previously consider it proper to accept Haridasa as the spiritual master for awarding the holy names. But now after hearing about his extraordinary unlimited prowess, all the prestigious brahmanas accepted him as the giver of the holy names, which are nondifferent from the Lord Himself. All of them happily began to respect Haridasa.
CB Adi-khanda 16.162
adbhuta ananta haridasera vikara
ashru, kampa, hasya, murccha, pulaka, hunkara
Haridasa displayed endless ecstatic transformations like crying, shivering, laughing, falling unconscious, hairs standing on end, and roaring.
CB Adi-khanda 16.163
achada khayena haridasa prema-rase
dekhiya brahmana-gana mahanande bhase
Then, in ecstatic love, Haridasa crashed to the ground. Seeing this, the brahmanas began to float in ecstasy.
CB Adi-khanda 16.164
sthira hai’ kshaneke vasila haridasa
vipra-gana vasilena bedi’ caripasha
After a while, when Haridasa became pacified, the brahmanas sat around him.
CB Adi-khanda 16.165
haridasa balena,-“shunaha vipra-gana!
duhkha na bhaviha kichu amara karana
Haridasa then said, “O brahmanas, please listen. Don’t feel sorry for me.
CB Adi-khanda 16.166
prabhu-ninda ami ye shunilun apara
ta’ra shasti karilena ishvara amara
“I’ve heard so much blasphemy of the Lord. That is why He has punished me.
While considering himself an ordinary conditioned soul, forced to enjoy the fruits of karma, Haridasa humbly said, “I had to hear topics that were averse to the Lord as punishment for my previous misdeeds and aversion to the Lord. Due to my tolerance I did not adequately protest the harsh statements of persons who were averse to the Lord. That is why the Lord has awarded this punishment to me.” The Lord awards severe punishment to those who even after hearing blasphemy against the Lord and His devotees do not protest in order to make a show of tolerance. Even after hearing blasphemous words against Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava, the prakrita-sahajiyas’ attempt to justify their abominable, mean, duplicitous nature as ‘Vaishnava etiquette,’ guarantees their frightful degradation. Thakura Haridasa was truly the highest ideal of tolerance, and because the deceitful prakrita-sahajiya sampradaya tries to artificially imitate the quality of his tolerance, they ultimately achieve various miseries in life. Since the maha-bhagavata paramahamsa Vaishnava is personally free from the blasphemy of others, he does not possess the external mundane urges to blaspheme or praise, talk unnecessarily or gossip. But since the prakrita-sahajiyas are not situated on such an exalted platform, their endeavors to imitate result in abominable duplicity. Therefore they inevitably suffer miseries. In order to preach this topic to the deceitful prakrita-sahajiya sampradayas, Haridasa Thakura, like an ordinary human being, invoked the philosophy of enjoying fruitive results. The prakrita-sahajiyas are forced to enjoy the fruits of their activities, but Haridasa Thakura, the crest-jewel among liberated souls and a chanter of the holy names of Hari, is certainly not forced to enjoy the fruits of his activities.
Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada has described this topic in his Shri Namashtaka (4) as follows:
vinasham ayati vina na bhogaih
apaiti nama sphuranena tat te
prarabdha-karmeti virauti vedah
“The seeds of sinful activities that cause rebirth for their fruition are not totally destroyed despite realization of oneness with Brahman through constant meditation. But, O Lord, as soon as Your holy names manifest on the tongue (even in the form of namabhasa) all seeds of sinful activities are totally uprooted. This is elaborately glorified in the Vedas.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.167
bhala haila, ithe bada pailun santosha
alpa shasti kari’ kshamilena bada-dosha
“I’m satisfied, for whatever happened to me was for my benefit. The Lord has relieved me of my great offense by awarding me a token punishment.
Those who even after hearing the blasphemy of Vishnu and the Vaishnavas display their ‘cleverness’ by posing as advanced and liberal (?) on the pretext of artificial gentleness or tolerance without understanding the real purport of taror api sahishnu-“more tolerant than a tree” are understood to be enjoying the results of their grave offenses. One should not consider such grave offenses as trivial and advertise sense gratification aimed at accumulating mundane fame as worship of Hari. For this reason, in order to instruct the people of the world, jagad-guru Thakura Haridasa pointed out the great faults of the foolish prakrita-sahajiyas, who display artificial humility, by humbly saying: “I have heard blasphemy of Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava without hesitation; therefore I am a great offender. Since I did not protest, it would have been proper if Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava had awarded me more severe punishment; but the Lord is most merciful. He awarded me only the token punishment of being inhumanly tortured by the servants of the king and thus freed me from the offenses born from blasphemy of Vishnu and the Vaishnavas. In this way He has proved Himself as causelessly merciful, by which my happiness and satisfaction is increased.
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.14.8) Lord Brahma prays to the Lord as follows:
tat te ‘nukampam su-samikshamano
bhunjana evatma-kritam vipakam
hrid-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak
“‘My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.’ In order to distort and change the meaning and purport of this Bhagavatam verse, I failed to protest; that was my greatest mistake.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.168
kumbhipaka haya vishnu-nindana-shravane
taha ami vistara shunilun papa-kane
“One who hears blasphemy of Lord Vishnu is sent to the hell known as Kumbhipaka, and with my sinful ears I heard so much blasphemy of the Lord.
It is stated in the scriptures that an atheist who hears blasphemy of the Supreme Lord but does not protest attains the most painful hell known as Kumbhipaka after death.
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.4.17) Sati spoke to Prajapati Daksha as follows: “If one hears an irresponsible person blaspheme the master and controller of religion, one should block his ears and go away if unable to punish him. But if one is able to kill, then one should by force cut out the blasphemer’s tongue and kill the offender, and after that one should give up his own life.” This is the devotees’ only remedy.
In the Bhakti-sandarbha (265) it is stated: “If one hears blasphemy of Vishnu and the Vaishnavas, he incurs great sin:
nindam bhagavatah shrinvams tat-parasya janasya va
tato napaiti yah so ‘pi yaty adhah sukritac cyutah
“‘Anyone who fails to immediately leave a place where criticism of the Supreme Lord or His faithful devotee is heard will certainly fall down, bereft of his pious credit.’
Only an incapable person should leave that place, otherwise a capable person must cut out the tongue of one who blasphemes Vishnu and the Vaishnavas. If one is incapable of doing either, then he should give up his body.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.169
yogya shasti karilena ishvara tahara
hena papa ara yena nahe punar-bara”
“Therefore the Lord has given me an appropriate punishment so that I may not commit such sins in the future.”
With the imitative prakrita-sahajiya sampradayas in mind, Haridasa spoke the following words of instruction: “As a Vaishnava, I will never again hear blasphemy against Vishnu and the Vaishnavas under the shelter of trinad api sunicata or on the pretext of taror api sahishnuta. I have had a sufficient lesson this time. The Lord is most merciful; He taught me by awarding a token punishment for a grave offense.” Due to misfortune, the prakrita-sahajiya sampradayas, who are offenders of the holy names, cannot understand the actual purport and substance of these statements of Thakura Haridasa.
CB Adi-khanda 16.170
hena-mate haridasa vipra-gana-sange
nirbhaye karena sankirtana maharange
Thereafter Haridasa and the brahmanas fearlessly enjoyed congregationally chanting the holy names of the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 16.171
tahane o duhkha dila ye-saba yavane
savamshe ucchanna ta’ra haila kata-dine
The Yavanas who had beaten Haridasa, as well as their families, were all destroyed within a few days.
The sinful atheist Yavanas soon achieved the miserable results obtained by persons who torture and envy Vaishnavas. In the Skanda Purana it is stated:
hanti nindati vai dveshti vaishnavan nabhinandati
krudhyate yati no harsham darshane patanani shat
“Whoever kills or blasphemes a Vaishnava, whoever is envious of or angry with a Vaishnava, and whoever does not offer obeisances or feel joy upon seeing a Vaishnava certainly falls into a hellish condition.”
According to this infallible scriptural decree, the Yavanas along with their families were soon destroyed by severe diseases like cholera or smallpox.
CB Adi-khanda 16.172
tabe haridasa ganga-tire gopha kari’
thakena virale ahar-nisha krishna smari’
Then Haridasa went and found a cave on the bank of the Ganges. He remembered Krishna day and night as he resided alone in the cave.
While remaining in a solitary cave on the bank of the Ganges at Phuliya, Shrila Thakura Mahashaya loudly chanted the names of Krishna and passed his days and nights remembering the pastimes of the Lord. Sometimes he would chant the sixteen name, thirty-two syllable, maha-mantra loudly, and sometimes he would chant softly. Every day he would complete the chanting of three hundred thousand holy names, or in a year he would chant one hundred million names of Hari. Many people consider chanting the names of Krishna in a solitary place in the category of upamshu-japa, or “chanting very softly.” They say that this maha-mantra, or chanting the holy names of the Lord, should not be heard by others; only the person who is chanting should hear. If the lips move, or if the holy names are recited, then the names of Krishna will automatically be heard by others. But if one lacks faith in the Vaishnavas who chant the holy names of the Lord, then by the influence of Kali he may dare to quarrel with those Vaishnava chanters. Whenever the pure names of the Lord are glorified and chanted by sadhus who have taken full shelter of the names, and those names do not enter the ears of others, it is called nirjana-bhajana. Such chanting of the names of Hari in a solitary place is intended only for one’s own benefit, therefore such chanting yields no benefit for others. Even if the fixed number of holy names regularly chanted by a person who is inclined to the service of the Lord are chanted in a solitary place, faithful persons may still take advantage by secretly hearing from a distance. On the platform of madhyama-adhikara, one may have to associate with worldly people while preaching the holy names in the course of jive-daya, showing compassion to the living entities, but since he preaches the holy names with utmost attention, he does not become affected by the sinful reactions of the audience, rather he distributes mercy by removing the contamination of their sinful reactions. If while chanting the holy names of the Lord with his many disciples a madhyama-adhikari becomes more or less affected by the reactions of their karma, then his falldown is assured. According to the statement, jivan-mukta api punar yanti samsara-vasanam-“A person considered liberated in this life can again fall down and desire the material atmosphere for material enjoyment,” even a madhyama-adhikari chanter of the holy names can again fall down into material existence. That is why mundane pride in the form of worldly association and accepting many disciples simply produces ku-phala, or evil results. While describing the topics of Haridasa Thakura’s devotional service, the injunction for loudly chanting and attentively hearing the holy names has been prescribed for practitioners who desire their own welfare in order to deliver from great inauspiciousness those who mistakenly consider satisfying their own senses as satisfying Hari while remaining busy in activities of sense gratification such as accepting many disciples like the immature yogis.
shrinvatah shraddhaya nityam grinatash ca sva-ceshtitam
kalena natidirghena bhagavan vishate hridi
“Persons who hear Shrimad Bhagavatam regularly and are always taking the matter very seriously will have the Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna manifested in their hearts within a short time.”
According to the purport of this verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.8.4), Thakura Mahashaya, who is jagad-guru, Vaishnava acarya, and best of the liberated souls, has taught people in general the process of remembering the pastimes of Krishna while personally chanting and hearing the holy names of Krishna in the course of realizing that Krishna is nondifferent from His names, forms, qualities, associates, paraphernalia, and pastimes. Those who give up hearing and loud chanting of the holy names received from the mouths of devotees free from nama-aparadha and in order to gratify their senses display artificial imitation of remembering the pastimes of the Lord in their impure, enjoyment prone hearts-their attempts to imitate remembrance of the Lord’s pastimes in this way is simply thirst for material enjoyment born from aversion to the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 16.173
tina-laksha nama dine karena grahana
gopha haila tan’ra yena vaikuntha-bhavana
He would chant the holy name of the Lord three hundred thousand times a day, and his cave was thus transformed into Vaikuntha.
The cave in which the pure-hearted, great preacher, Hari-Namacarya Thakura Mahashaya loudly chanted the transcendental sound of the holy names of Lord Hari transformed into a place of Lord Krishna’s pastimes, or Vaikuntha, according to the purport of the following statement of a mahajana: ye dina grihe bhajana dekhi, grihete goloka bhaya-“One day while performing devotional practices, I saw my house transformed into Goloka Vrindavana.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.174
maha naga vaise sei gophara bhitare
ta’ra jvala prani-matre sahite na pare
A huge snake lived within that cave, and no living entity could tolerate the burning atmosphere produced from its poison.
CB Adi-khanda 16.175
haridasa-thakurere sambhasha karite
yateka aise, keha na pare rahite
As a result, anyone who visited Haridasa in his cave could not stay more than a few moments.
CB Adi-khanda 16.176
parama-vishera jvala sabei payena
haridasa punah iha kichu na janena
They all felt intense burning from the poison, but Haridasa was again completely oblivious.
CB Adi-khanda 16.177
vasiya karena yukti sarva-vipra-gane
“haridasa-ashrame eteka jvala kene”
The brahmanas sat down together and considered, “What is that burning sensation in Haridasa’s cave?”
CB Adi-khanda 16.178
sei phuliyaya vaise maha-vaidya-gana
ta’ra asi’ janileka sarpera karana
There were some expert physicians living in Phuliya. When they came there, they could understand that the burning sensation was due to the presence of a snake.
CB Adi-khanda 16.179
vaidya balileka,-“ei gophara talaya
eka maha naga ache, tahara jvalaya
A physician said, “There is big snake somewhere inside the cave.
CB Adi-khanda 16.180
rahite na pare keha,-kahilun nishcaya
haridasa satvare caluna anyashraya
“No one can remain here due to the effects of its poison. This is our assurance. Therefore Haridasa should immediately go somewhere else.
Those who came to see Thakura Haridasa in his bhajana-kutira felt great distress due to the burning poison of the snake. They could not understand where the burning heat was coming from. Later on, they brought snakebite doctors and found out that a snake lived within a hole in Haridasa Thakura’s kutira. Due to excessive heat from the burning poison, no one could stay there for any length of time. But Haridasa Thakura, who was solely attached to chanting the holy names and who never wasted a moment, did not feel any inconvenience at all. Considering that it is never proper to live with a cruel, deceitful, fierce, poisonous snake, the visitors requested Haridasa to shift to another place.
CB Adi-khanda 16.181
sarpera sahita vasa kabhu yukta naya
cala sabe kahi’ giya tahana ashraya”
“It is not wise to live with a snake. Let us go to his cave and inform him.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.182
tabe sabe asi’ haridasa-thakurere
kahila vritanta sei gopha chadibare
Then they all went to see Haridasa to explain the situation and request him to move.
CB Adi-khanda 16.183
“maha-naga vaise ei gophara bhitare
tahara jvalaya keha rahite na pare
“There is a big snake living in this cave, and no one can remain here due to the effect of its poison.
CB Adi-khanda 16.184
ataeva e sthane rahite yogya naya
anya sthane asi’ tumi karaha ashraya”
“Therefore it is not wise to live here. Please find another place to stay.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.185
haridasa balena,-“aneka dina achi
kona jvala-visha e gophaya nahi vasi
Haridasa replied, “I have been staying in this cave for many days, but I haven’t felt any burning sensation.
CB Adi-khanda 16.186-188
sabe duhkha,-tomara ye na para’ sahite
eteke calimu kali ami ye-se-bhite
satya yadi ihate thakena mahashaya
tenho yadi kali na chadena e alaya
tabe-ami kali chadi’ yaimu sarvatha
cinta nahi, tomara balaha krishna-gatha”
“But since you are all suffering and unable to tolerate the burning of the poison, I will leave tomorrow for another place. If there is a snake in this cave and it doesn’t leave by tomorrow, then I’ll leave and go some other place. Don’t worry. Let us all chant Krishna’s names.”
In reply Haridasa said, “I have no inconvenience due to the burning poison of the snake, but since all of you are concerned about me I will leave this place for your benefit and satisfaction. Either I or the snake will leave this cave tomorrow. All of you should give up unnecessary talking that is not related to Krishna and constantly sing the glories of Krishna.”
Regarding the second half of verse 188, one should discuss Maharaja Parikshit’s statement to the innumerable rajarshis, maharshis, devarshis, and brahmarshis in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.19.15), wherein he says: “O brahmanas, just accept me as a completely surrendered soul, and let mother Ganges, the representative of the Lord, also accept me in that way, for I have already taken the lotus feet of the Lord into my heart. Let the snake-bird-or whatever magical thing the brahmana created-bite me at once. I only desire that you all continue singing the deeds of Lord Vishnu.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.189
thakite, adbhuta ati haila sei-kshane
As soon as they began to perform kirtana, a wonderful incident took place.
CB Adi-khanda 16.190
‘haridasa chadibena’ shunina vacana
maha-naga chadilena sthana sei-kshana
Hearing that Haridasa was prepared to leave the cave, the large snake immediately left.
CB Adi-khanda 16.191
garta haite uthi’ sarpa sandhyara praveshe
sabei dekhena,-calilena anya-deshe
It was early evening as everyone there saw the snake leave the cave.
The phrase sandhyara praveshe means “in the evening” or “as night approached.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.192
The large wonderful snake looked most fearful, yet it was also very beautiful, being colored yellow, blue, and white.
CB Adi-khanda 16.193
mahamani jvaliteche mastaka-upare
dekhi’ bhaye vipra-gana ‘krishna krishna’ smare
As the brahmanas saw the brilliant jewel adorning its head, they fearfully remembered Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 16.194
sarpa se caliya gela, jvala nahi ara
vipra-gana hailena santosha apara
After the snake left that place, the brahmanas were overjoyed to find that the burning sensation was gone.
CB Adi-khanda 16.195
dekhi’ haridasa thakurera maha-shakti
vipra-ganera janmila vishesha tan’re bhakti
They all appreciated Haridasa’s marvelous potency and developed great devotion for him.
Seeing the departure of the great snake by the influence of Haridasa Thakura’s opulence and magnanimity, even many atheistic nondevotee brahmanas, who were attached to yogic perfections, developed special respect for him. The seminal brahmanas who were obliged to enjoy the fruits of their karma and eligible for Yamaraja’s punishment thought, “Due to one’s previous misdeeds a living entity takes birth in a family lower than that of brahmanas. Similarly, due to his previous misdeeds (?) Haridasa Thakura has taken birth in a Moslem family. Therefore he is certainly inferior to the pious mundane brahmanas.” But now, seeing his easily achieved mystic opulence, who stands before Haridasa with folded hands awaiting his instructions, they accepted him as the best of the brahmanas.
CB Adi-khanda 16.196
haridasa-thakurera e kon prabhava
yan’ra vakya-matre sthana chadileka naga
It is not very glorious that a snake left its cave simply on the request of Haridasa Thakura.
Only persons who are envious of others, who are attached to sense gratification, who are averse to Hari, and who cause anxiety to other living entities are bitten by snakes. But what to speak of causing anxiety, envy, or fear, a maha-bhagavata Vaishnava like Thakura Haridasa has such great influence that even the most envious, fierce, poisonous snake humbly carries out his order.
CB Adi-khanda 16.197
yanra drishti-matre chade avidya-bandhana
krishna na langhana haridasera vacana
Simply by his glance one’s bondage born of nescience is destroyed. Even Lord Krishna does not transgress the words of Haridasa.
Only one who is blessed by Haridasa Thakura is able to constantly chant the names of Hari and take shelter of the pure holy names without committing offenses, and thus his contamination of ignorance, which is the root of material enjoyment, is totally uprooted. As a result of serving Haridasa Thakura and receiving his mercy, the Supreme Lord becomes obliged.
CB Adi-khanda 16.198
ara eka, shuna, ta’na adbhuta akhyana
nagaraja ye kahila mahima tahana
Now please hear another wonderful incident that was narrated by the king of the snakes.
CB Adi-khanda 16.199
eka-dina bada eka lokera mandire
sarpa-kshata danka nace vividha prakare
One day a snake charmer was dancing in the courtyard of one wealthy man.
The phrase sarpa-kshata refers to being bitten by a snake or to a snake charmer who is possessed by the predominating deity of the snakes, Vasuki, who is invoked by mantras when one is bitten by nonpoisonous snake. The word danka (derived from the Hindi word dank, meaning “hood” or “stinger”) refers to the person who makes a snake dance or to a snake charmer.
mridanga-mandira gita-ta’ra mantra ghore
danka bedi’ sabei gayena uccaih-svare
His associates played the mridanga and a flute used for snake charming as they loudly sang on all sides of the snake charmer. The snake charmer was absorbed under the influence of some mantras that he was chanting.
The first line of this verse refers to singing to the accompaniment of musical instruments like the mridanga and cymbals or to be maddened, overwhelmed, or absorbed in the snake charmer’s chanting of mantras.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.