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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Sixteen: The Glories of Shri Haridasa Thakura
CB Adi-khanda 16.201
daiva-gati tathaya aila haridasa
danka-nritya dekhena haiya eka-pasha
By providence Haridasa came there and began to watch the snake charmer from the side.
The phrase daiva-gati means “without any purpose” or “by one’s own sweet will.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.202
manushya-sharire naga-raja mantra-bale
adhishthana haiya nacaye kutuhale
By the power of the mantras chanted by the snake charmer, the king of snakes had appeared in the body of the snake charmer and was happily dancing.
The word naga-raja refers to Shesha, the devotee of Lord Vishnu; Ananta; or Vasuki.
The word adhishthana means “situated” or “possessed.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.203
kaliya-dahe karilena ye natya ishvare
sei gita gayena karunya-ucca-svare
The snake charmer was loudly and sweetly singing about Krishna’s dance in the Kaliya lake.
The phrase kaliya-dahe refers to the particular lake within the Kalindi River named Kaliya-daha. Being afraid of Garuda, the fierce poisonous snake named Kaliya, the son of Kadru and Kashyapa, lived there with his family. For a description of this great snake Kaliya and the pastimes of Krishna subduing this Kaliya by dancing on his heads in the Kaliya-daha, one should see Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.15.47-52, Chapter 16, verses 1-12 and Chapter 17, verses 1-12).
As Krishna, the master of all arts, danced on the heads of Kaliya at Kaliya-daha, the snake charmer imitated that dance while loudly singing songs about the great mercy Krishna gave Kaliya on the pretext of awarding punishment.
CB Adi-khanda 16.204-208
shuni’ nija-prabhura mahima haridasa
padila murcchita hai’ kotha nahi shvasa
kshaneke chaitanya pai, kariya hunkara
anande lagila nritya karite apara
haridasa-thakurera avesha dekhiya
eka-bhita hai’ danka rahilena giya
gadagadi yayena thakura-haridasa
adbhuta pulaka-ashru-kampera prakasha
rodana karena haridasa-mahashaya
shunina prabhura guna haila tanmaya
As Haridasa heard the glorious pastimes of the Lord, he fell unconscious to the ground and his breath stopped. When he regained consciousness some moments later, he roared loudly and began to dance in ecstasy. Seeing Haridasa’s ecstatic mood, the snake charmer stopped his dancing and stood off to the side. Thakura Haridasa rolled on the ground and wonderful ecstatic symptoms like hairs standing on end, crying, and shivering manifest in his body. Haridasa was fully absorbed in ecstatic love after hearing the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and tears of love flowed from his eyes.
Overwhelmed by the snake charmer’s songs describing Krishna’s mercy, Haridasa Thakura fell unconscious due to an awakening of love of God. Even symptoms of external consciousness like breathing could not be found in his body. After a while he regained his external consciousness, roared loudly, and began to dance in ecstatic love of God. Seeing maha-bhagavata Vaishnava Thakura Haridasa dance in the mood of love for Krishna, the snake charmer, who was possessed by Anantadeva, respectfully stood aside. Being absorbed in hearing and remembering Krishna’s incomparably great quality of mercy on the fierce, cruel serpent Kaliya, Thakura Haridasa became absorbed in love of Krishna and began to roll on the ground and cry as his transcendental body manifested tears, shivering, and hairs standing on end.
CB Adi-khanda 16.209
haridase bedi’ sabe gayena harishe
yoda-haste rahi’ danka dekhe eka-pashe
Then everyone surrounding Haridasa joyfully began chanting Krishna’s glories, while the snake charmer respectfully stood to the side with folded hands.
CB Adi-khanda 16.210
kshaneke rahila haridasera avesha
punah asi’ danka nritye karila pravesha
After Haridasa returned to external consciousness, the snake charmer again began to dance.
CB Adi-khanda 16.211
haridasa-thakurera dekhiya avesha
sabei haila ati ananda-vishesha
Everyone was overwhelmed with joy after seeing Haridasa’s ecstatic absorption.
CB Adi-khanda 16.212
yekhane padaye tan’ra caranera dhuli
sabei lepena ange hai’ kutuhali
They all eagerly took the dust from his footprints and smeared it on their bodies.
CB Adi-khanda 16.213-218
ara eka dhanga-vipra thaki’ seikhane
“muni o nacimu aji” gane mane-mane
“bujhilana,-nacilei abodha barbare
alpa manushyere o parama-bhakti kare”
eta bhavi’ sei-kshane achada khaiya
padila yehena maha-aceshta haiya
yei-matra padila dankera nritya-sthane
marite lagila danka maha-krodha-mane
ashe-pashe ghade-mude vetrera prahara
nirghata maraye danka, raksha nahi ara
vetrera prahare dvija jarjara haiya
‘bapa bapa’ bali’ sheshe gela palaiya
One pseudo brahmana who was in the audience thought, “I will also dance today. Even an illiterate fool who dances like he’s in ecstasy is greatly respected by common people.” Thinking in this way, he immediately crashed to the ground and became motionless. As soon as the pseudo brahmana fell near the dancing snake charmer, the snake charmer became angry and began severely beating the brahmana with a stick. After being beaten with a stick all over the body, the anguished brahmana ran away screaming, “Father! Father!”
The word dhanga-vipra refers to that pseudo brahmana, who was a hypocritical, deceitful, cheating, artificial, imitative prakrita-sahajiya and lowest of the brahmanas. Being puffed-up with the pride of being a brahmana and being induced by his polluted intelligence, that pseudo brahmana tried to artificially imitate the transcendental characteristics of maha-bhagavata Vaishnava Thakura Haridasa. He considered, “Due to their blind faith, whenever ordinary foolish people see or hear any dancing or singing in a petty religious function, they offer abundant respect. Therefore, since people offered such respect to Haridasa Thakura, who is an ordinary human being (?) born in a non-Hindu family, while I am born in the topmost varna in Hindu society; if I can imitate the characteristics and eight ecstatic transformations of a Vaishnava Thakura’s love, like an actor on stage, then no one can estimate how much profit, adoration, and distinction I will achieve. When people respect an ordinary human being (?) and nonseminal brahmana like Haridasa Thakura so much just by seeing his display of petty ordinary emotions, then if I, the son of a seminal brahmana, can simply mimic his transcendental emotions, I can’t imagine how much profit, adoration, and distinction I will receive. If I exhibit artificial emotions, then my insignificant material fame will certainly surpass the fame of the transcendental Vaishnava.” Thinking in this way, in order to exhibit artificial sentiments, that atheistic, hypocritical prakrita-sahajiya suddenly fell on the ground and artificially pretended to be unconscious. As soon as that pseudo brahmana deceitfully exhibited artificial sentiments by which one is naturally bound to slip and fall, the snake charmer understood his deceitfulness and saw him as a disturbance and obstruction to his own dancing and therefore began to beat him severely. He incessantly, severely, and mercilessly beat that atheist on his shoulders, head, and other bodily limbs. Due to the excessive beating, that fallen pseudo brahmana ultimately left that place, shouting, “O father, save me! O mother, save me! I’m dying!”
CB Adi-khanda 16.219
tabe danka nija-sukhe nacila vistara
sabara janmila bada vismaya antara
Thereafter the snake charmer happily continued on with his dance, as everyone there watched in astonishment.
CB Adi-khanda 16.220
yoda-haste sabe jijnasena danka-sthane
“kaha dekhi,-e-viprere marila va kene?
Later they all folded their hands and asked the snake charmer, “Please explain for us. Why did you beat the brahmana?
CB Adi-khanda 16.221
haridasa nacite va yoda-haste kene
rahila,-e saba katha kaha ta’ apane?”
“And why did you stand aside with folded hands when Haridasa was dancing?”
CB Adi-khanda 16.222
tabe sei danka-mukhe vishnu-bhakta naga
kahite lagila haridasera prabhava
Then the serpent devotee of Vishnu spoke through the mouth of the snake charmer about the glories of Haridasa.
CB Adi-khanda 16.223
“tomara ye jijnasila,-e bada rahasya
yadyapi akathya, tabu kahimu avashya
“You have asked about Me about a mysterious subject. Although it is confidential, I must disclose it.
The audience asked the snake charmer, “O snake charmer, why did you stand to the side with folded hands when Haridasa Thakura fell unconscious in ecstatic love of God after his uncommon dancing? And why did you mercilessly beat this prakrita-sahajiya when he fell unconscious while exhibiting his artificial sentiments?” In reply, Anantadeva, who was situated within the body of the snake charmer, spoke to everyone through the mouth of the snake charmer, “The subject matter that you have inquired about is very mysterious and indescribable. Though it is most confidential, I will certainly explain everything to you in detail.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.224
haridasa-thakurera dekhiya avesha
tomara ye bhakti bada karila vishesha
“You all felt great reverence for Haridasa when you saw his ecstatic dance.
CB Adi-khanda 16.225
taha dekhi’ o-brahmana dhangati kariya
padila matsarya-buddhye achada khaiya
“Seeing this, that pseudo brahmana fell to the ground in an envious imitation of Haridasa.
CB Adi-khanda 16.226
amara nritya-sukha bhanga karibare
matsarya-buddhye kon jane shakti dhare?
“Who has the power to enviously disturb the pleasure of My dancing?
CB Adi-khanda 16.227
haridasa-sange sparddha mithya kari’ kare
ataeva shasti bahu karilun uhare
“Out of audacity, he tried to imitate Haridasa, and therefore I punished him accordingly.
“Haridasa Thakura is a nonduplicitous, transcendental, spontaneous, pure devotee of the Lord, whereas this pseudo brahmana is an abominable prakrita-sahajiya. Artificial imitation born of false rivalry with nonduplicitous pure devotees is the fraudulent drama of hypocritical sahajiyas. Since this prakrita-sahajiya tried to artificially imitate the activities of a maha-bhagavata Vaishnava Thakura out of envy and hate and with a desire to cheaply acquire mundane fame from the foolish persons ignorant of the truth, I have sufficiently punished him.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.228
“bada loka kari’ loka januka amare”
apanare prakatai dharma-karma kare
“He presented himself as an important person by imitating some religious sentiments.
Like this so-called brahmana, many atheistic hypocrites with the ill-motive, “People will respect me as ‘great’ or ‘a devotee,’” exhibit various reflections of artificial emotions in order to cheat people. In this regard, one should discuss the definitions of baka-vrata and vaidala-vrata as found in the following verses:
adho-drishtir naikritikah svartha-sadhana-tatparah
shatho mithya-vinitash ca baka-vrata-paro dvijah
“An imposter brahmana, the follower of baka-vrata, ‘the vow of the duck,’ is he who always looks down in order to make a show of humility, who is cruel, and who pretends to be submissive.
dharma-dhvaji sada lubdhash chadmiko loka-dambhakah
vaidala-vratiko jneyo himsra-sarvabhisandhikah
“One should know that the dharma-dhvaji (who makes a false show of being religious), the person who always desires other’s wealth, the duplicitous person, the person who cheats, the envious person, and the person who blasphemes are hypocritical brahmanas who follow vaidala-vrati, ‘the vow of a cat.’”
CB Adi-khanda 16.229
e-sakala dambhikera krishne priti nai
akaitava haile se krishna-bhakti pai
“Actually that arrogant and deceitful brahmana has no love for Krishna. To achieve the devotional service of Lord Krishna one has to be free from duplicity.
It is to be understood that those who artificially imitate the transcendental activities of the maha-bhagavata Vaishnava with the desire to accumulate mundane fame as a devotee have no attitude of service to the lotus feet of the Lord. Although in order to gratify their own material senses they proudly accept the dress of devotees, their artificial external exhibition of devotional symptoms is simply meant to cheat people. Pure devotion to Krishna is present wherever the symptoms of dharma-dhvajis, vaidala-vratis, and baka-vratis are absent, and pride, duplicity, and extraneous motives are present wherever such faults are found.
CB Adi-khanda 16.230-231
ei ye dekhila,-nacilena haridasa
o-nritya dekhile sarva-bandha haya nasha
haridasa-nritye krishna nacena apane
brahmanda pavitra haya o-nritya-darshane
“One who sees Haridasa dancing is freed from all bondage. When Haridasa dances, Lord Krishna personally dances. Thus the whole universe can be purified by seeing his dance.
The material bondage of those who see dancing performed for the pleasure of Krishna by Vaishnavas who are inclined to the service of the Lord is destroyed, whereas the exhibition of artificial characteristics by prakrita-sahajiyas simply increases their miseries of material bondage. By seeing dancing performed for the pleasure of Krishna by Vaishnavas, nonduplicitous emotions befitting a Vaishnava are certainly awakened, and the fraudulent endeavors of the hypocritical imitators simply yields evil results in this world. When Thakura Haridasa exhibits the transcendental pastime of dancing, then, being controlled by his nonduplicitous love, Krishnacandra along with His associates also dance. By seeing such transcendental dancing, many fortunate persons of this world become free from heaps of sinful reactions accumulated over many lifetimes and thus achieve piety that leads to devotional service.
CB Adi-khanda 16.232
uhana se yogya pada ‘haridasa’-nama
niravadhi krishna-candra hridaye uhana
“His name, ‘Haridasa,’ is appropriate, for Lord Krishna constantly dwells in his heart.
For an explanation of the second line of this verse, one should see Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.4.63-68).
CB Adi-khanda 16.233
sarva-bhuta-vatsala, sabara upakari
ishvarera sange prati-janme avatari
“He is affectionate to all living entities, and he is always engaged in their welfare. He accompanies the Lord whenever He incarnates.
Haridasa Thakura is affectionate to all living entities and the benefactor for both animate and inanimate beings. He incarnates whenever the Supreme Lord incarnates. In other words, he is a constant associate in the Lord’s pastimes.
CB Adi-khanda 16.234
unhi se niraparadha vishnu-vaishnavete
svapne o unhana drishti na yaya vipathe
“He is never offensive to Vishnu or the Vaishnavas, and even in a dream he does not deviate from the proper path.
Since Haridasa Thakura is a direct associate of the Lord, he cannot commit any offenses against Vishnu or the Vaishnavas. He can never deviate from his endeavor to serve Krishna like an ordinary human being, even in a dream.
CB Adi-khanda 16.235
tilarddha unhana sanga ye-jivera haya
se avashya paya krishna-pada-padmashraya
“One who associates with Haridasa for even a fraction of a moment will certainly attain shelter at the lotus feet of Krishna.
If by the good fortune resulting from accumulated pious activities over many lifetimes, a living entity associates with Haridasa Thakura for even a short time, he will certainly achieve the lotus feet of the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 16.236
brahma-shivo haridasa-hena bhakta-sanga
niravadhi karite cittera bada ranga
“Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva always desire to associate with a devotee like Haridasa.
The demigods headed by Brahma always hanker to become glorious by obtaining the association of a maha-bhagavata devotee like Haridasa.
CB Adi-khanda 16.237
‘jati, kula, saba-nirarthaka’ bujhaite
janmilena nica-kule prabhura ajnate
“On the order of the Lord, Haridasa was born in a low-class family to show that birth in a high caste or good family are useless.
Due to pious and sinful activities, the conditioned souls take birth in higher or lower species of life. This is simply an example of the fruits of their karma. From the spiritual point of view there is no value at all in the prestige resulting from mundane caste and ancestry. By the supreme will of the all-auspicious Lord, Haridasa Thakura appeared in a Moslem family in order to preach this supreme truth to the entire world.
CB Adi-khanda 16.238
‘adhama-kulete yadi vishnu-bhakta haya
tathapi se-i se pujya’-sarva-shastre kaya
“If a devotee of the Lord is born in a low-class family, he is still worthy of worship. This is the verdict of the scriptures.
Taking birth in superior or inferior families indicates the superiority or inferiority of the fruits of one’s karma. The living entity is constitutionally a devotee of Lord Vishnu, and although by temporary familial identification he may be inferior or superior, he is actually superior or inferior in proportion to his devotion to the Lord. This is loudly proclaimed in all Vaishnava literatures. It is not a fact that one who is born in a lower family is not qualified for devotional service to Vishnu. A Vaishnava born in a lower family is a qualified brahmana, spiritual master, and worshipable by all nondevotees born in higher class families.
CB Adi-khanda 16.239
“uttama-kulete janmi’ shri-krishne na bhaje
kule ta’ra ki karibe, narakete maje”
“And if someone is born in a high-class family but does not worship the lotus feet of Shri Krishna, then his high birth is useless and he falls to hell.
Even after taking birth in a higher family as the result of pious activities, if one is averse to the service of the Lord, he will certainly go to hell. This is confirmed in the following statement of Camasa, one of the nine Yogendras, to Maharaja Nimi in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.5.3):
ya esham purusham sakshad atma-prabhavam ishvaram
na bhajanty avajananti sthanad bhrashtah patanty adhah
“If any of the members of the four varnas and four ashramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.240
ei saba veda-vakyera sakshi dekhaite
janmilena haridasa adhama-kulete
“Haridasa thus took birth in a low-class family to prove the words of the scriptures.
CB Adi-khanda 16.241-242
prahlada yehena daitya, kapi hanuman
ei-mata haridasa nica-jati nama
haridasa-sparsha vancha kare deva-gana
ganga o vanchena haridasera majjana
Haridasa was born in a low-class family just as Prahlada was born in a demoniac family and Hanuman was born in a monkey family. The demigods desire the touch of Haridasa, and even mother Ganga desires that Haridasa immerse in her waters.
Just as Shri Prahlada appeared in a demon family that was naturally averse to Vishnu and Shri Hanumanji appeared in a family of animals, by the supreme will of the Lord, Thakura Haridasa appeared in a low-class Moslem family. Generally human beings desire to become purified by either touching the demigods or taking bath in the Ganga. But what to speak of the demigods headed by Lord Brahma, even the most sanctified Ganga, who emanates from the lotus feet of Vishnu, desires to become glorious by the touch of maha-bhagavata, paramahamsa, Vaishnava acarya Haridasa Thakura, who is the representative of all the demigods.
CB Adi-khanda 16.243
sparshera ki daya, dekhilei haridasa
chinde’ sarva-jivera anadi karma-pasha
“What to speak of his touch, just by seeing Haridasa one is released from the bondage of fruitive activities.
What to speak of touching Haridasa, if one simply sees him, then all material bondage born of nescience from time immemorial is at once cut to pieces.
CB Adi-khanda 16.244
haridasa ashraya karibe yei jana
ta’ne dekhile o khande’ samsara-bandhana
“Indeed, even if one sees a person who has taken shelter of Haridasa, he is freed from material bondage.
Even if a conditioned soul sees those who consider Namacarya Haridasa as their spiritual master, he is released from all material bondage.
CB Adi-khanda 16.245-246
shata-varsha shata mukhe uhana mahima
kahile o nahi pari karibare sima
bhagyavanta tomara se, toma’ saba haite
uhana mahima kichu aila mukhete
“If I glorify Haridasa for a hundred years with a hundred mouths I would still not reach the end of his glories. You are all fortunate, for because of you I received an opportunity to glorify Haridasa.
The snake charmer, who was expert in controlling snakes through mantra, said, “All of you are very fortunate, for because of your inquires I was able to speak and reveal some of the glories of the Lord’s devotee. If I sing the glories of the transcendental qualities of Thakura Haridasa for one hundred years with one hundred mouths, I would not finish.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.247
sakrit ye balibeka haridasa-nama
satya satya seha yaibeka krishna-dhama”
“I assure you that one who simply chants the name of Haridasa without offense will certainly attain the abode of Krishna.”
If a person even once utters the transcendental name of the Vaishnava Thakura, “Haridasa,” he will certainly go back to Godhead.
CB Adi-khanda 16.248
eta bali’ mauna hailena naga-raja
tushta hailena shuni’ sajjana-samaja
After speaking in this way, the king of the snakes became silent, and all the pious people there felt fully satisfied.
CB Adi-khanda 16.249
hena haridasa thakurera anubhava
kahiya achena purve shri-vaishnava-naga
Thus the Vaishnava snake related the glories of Haridasa Thakura.
CB Adi-khanda 16.250
sabara parama-priti haridasa-prati
naga-mukhe shuni’ harashita haila ati
By hearing the snake’s narration through the mouth of the snake charmer, all the people felt great affection for Haridasa.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.