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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Sixteen: The Glories of Shri Haridasa Thakura
CB Adi-khanda 16.251
hena-mate vaisena thakura-haridasa
gauracandra na karena bhaktira prakasha
Haridasa Thakura passed his days in this way, before Gaurachandra manifested His devotional feelings.
CB Adi-khanda 16.252
sarva-dike vishnu-bhakti-shunya sarva-jana
uddesho na jane keha kemana kirtana
People throughout the world were devoid of devotional service to Lord Vishnu. They had no understanding of the meaning or goal of kirtana.
The material enjoyers are always accustomed to forget Hari. Somehow or other they remain aloof from devotional service, which aims at remembrance of Hari, and become intoxicated by their own sense gratification. At that time people who were bewildered by maya were fully engaged in gratifying their senses, and therefore they became devoid of devotion to Vishnu. No one could understand why Haridasa Thakura was performing hari-nama-sankirtana and what his motive was, because at that time Shri Gaurasundara had not yet begun propagating love and devotion to Lord Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 16.253
kothao nahika vishnu-bhaktira prakasha
vaishnavere sabei karaye parihasa
There was no trace of devotional service to Vishnu anywhere. Everyone simply taunted the Vaishnavas.
Due to the absence of discussing topics of Hari, people were devoid of devotion to Vishnu. So without understanding the exalted position of the Vaishnavas, people simply ridiculed them.
CB Adi-khanda 16.254
apana-apani saba sadhu-gana meli’
gayena shri-krishna-nama diya karatali
The devotees would meet together and chant the names of Krishna while clapping their hands.
CB Adi-khanda 16.255
tahate o dushta-gana maha-krodha kare
pashandi pashandi meli’ balgiyai mare
The miscreants became most indignant even at this. Those atheists would meet together to blaspheme the devotees.
CB Adi-khanda 16.256
“e vamunagula rajya karibeka nasha
iha saba’ haite ha’be durbhiksha prakasha
“These brahmanas will destroy this country and bring about famine.
CB Adi-khanda 16.257
e vamanagula saba magiya khaite
bhavuka-kirtana kari’ nana chala pate
“These brahmanas perform sentimental kirtana and play various tricks in order to beg alms.
Although the devotees gave up bad association and gathered together to congregationally chant the names of Hari, the godless atheistic persons who were devoid of devotion to the Lord angrily ridiculed them as follows: “In order to fill their bellies and earn their livelihood, these loudly chanting brahmanas spread various deceptions and accept the dress of sentimentalists while chanting the names of Hari. They have no other business than filling their bellies on the pretext of religious performances. Because of their behavior, there will be famine in this country, and in this way they will cause great harm to the world by introducing begging.”
Actually, attributing such false accusations on the devotees of the Lord will never bring any auspiciousness to the world, rather, it will lead people to hell. The devotees engage in the exalted service of the Lord by chanting His holy names. They do not partake of or enjoy the hard-earned wealth of ordinary people under the inducement of greed or by giving indulgence to laziness born of ignorance; rather, the wealth and ingredients that ordinary people accumulate for sense gratification are utilized by the devotees in the service of Hari for the eternal benefit of those persons.
CB Adi-khanda 16.258
gosanira shayana varisha cari-masa
ihate ki yuyaya dakite bada daka?
“The Lord takes rest for four months during the rainy season, but these brahmanas loudly call Him even at that time. Is this proper?
The atheistic smartas who were attached to fruitive activities used to say, “Lord Vishnu takes rest during the four months of Caturmasya, therefore no one should chant the names of Krishna during these four months-Shravana, Bhadra, Ashvina, and Kartika. If one chants the names of Krishna during this period, it will disturb the Lord by interrupting His yoga-nidra. Therefore if the Vaishnavas transgress the scriptural injunctions by loudly chanting the names of Hari during His sleep, the Lord will certainly become very angry and send various tribulations such as famine.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.259
nidra bhanga haile kruddha haibe gosani
durbhiksha karibe deshe,-ithe dvidha nai”
“If the Lord’s sleep is disturbed, He’ll become angry and create a famine in this country. There’s no doubt about it.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.260
keha bale,-“yadi dhanya kichu mulya cade
tabe e-gulare dhari’ kilaimu ghade”
Someone said, “If the price of rice increases, then I’ll catch them and give them a punch.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.261
karibe govinda-nama kari’ uccarane
Someone else said, “On Ekadashi, these devotees stay up all night and chant the name of Govinda.
CB Adi-khanda 16.262
prati-dina uccarana kariya ki kaya?”
ei-rupe bale yata madhyastha-samaja
“What is the need for chanting the Lord’s name every day?” In this way, the atheists condemned the devotees in various ways.
On the pretext of being indifferent, some fruitive workers used to say, “There is no benefit in loudly and repeatedly chanting the names of the Lord every day. Since the living entities are bound by the fruits of their karma, and since the Supreme Lord is also under the subordination of karma, the living entities who are forced to enjoy the fruits of their karma simply increase their bile secretion by chanting the names of the Lord.” In this way, middle class people, who were neither devotees nor nondevotees, put forth such arguments and useless talk.
CB Adi-khanda 16.263
duhkha paya shuniya sakala bhakta-gana
tathapi na chade keha hari-sankirtana
The devotees all felt aggrieved on hearing these things, yet none of them gave up chanting the names of Lord Hari.
CB Adi-khanda 16.264
bhakti-yoge lokera dekhiya anadara
haridasa o duhkha bada payena antara
Haridasa was particularly aggrieved to see the people’s lack of interest in the process of devotional service.
Attempts to serve the Supreme Lord on the pretext of ulterior desires, karma, yoga, or jnana or to act contrary to the service of the Supreme Lord can never be called devotional service. But people of the world at that time were all overwhelmed by such nondevotional considerations. Physical and mental propensities kept the conditioned souls away from the path of devotional service and concealed the shining glories of pure devotional service. Seeing such detrimental propensities in the materialists, Thakura Haridasa felt great distress at heart.
CB Adi-khanda 16.265
tathapiha haridasa uccaihsvara kari’
balena prabhura sankirtana mukha bhari’
In spite of this, Haridasa continued to loudly chant the holy names of the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 16.266
ihate o atyanta dushkriti papi-gana
na pare shunite ucca-hari-sankirtana
The most sinful miscreants were even unable to hear this loud chanting.
Due to their sinful propensities, people did not wish to hear the uninterrupted and unmotivated chanting of the names of Hari from the mouth of Haridasa Thakura. Actually, only unfortunate people develop such sinful and inauspicious propensities. But Haridasa Thakura is a nonduplicitous servant of the Absolute Truth, Lord Krishna, and devoid of all fear born of material absorption. Even after facing various impediments and obstacles from the sinful people, he did not desist from hari-sankirtana.
CB Adi-khanda 16.267
harinadi-grame eka brahmana durjana
haridase dekhi’ krodhe balaye vacana
In this regard, there was one impious brahmana that lived in the village of Harinadi. He once angrily said to Haridasa.
There are two methods for ascertaining one’s varna: (1) One is by seminal consideration. According to normal procedure, the varna of a child is the same as the varna of his legitimate father, because he is born from his semen. (2) The second is to ascertain one’s varna according to his occupation, which is determined by his qualities and activities. The nature of people is of two types-pious and sinful. Vaishnavas who are engaged in the service of the Lord are pious, and proud persons who are averse to the Lord and devoid of good qualities are sinful, though they may belong to any one of the varnas. Although one may be identified as a brahmana according to seminal consideration, as a result of being envious of pious persons, he is considered sinful. Whenever envy is directed towards Vishnu, the devotional service of Vishnu, or the devotees of Vishnu, then due to such demoniac propensities even respected so-called brahmanas are designated as sinful by the pious.
At that time there was a famous village named Harinadi in the district of Yashohara. On seeing Shri Haridasa loudly and constantly chant the holy names, a local seminal brahmana who was envious of devotional service angrily put forward some false arguments.
CB Adi-khanda 16.268
“aye haridasa! e ki vyabhara tomara
dakiya ye nama laha, ki hetu ihara?
“O Haridasa, what is this behavior? Why are you are loudly chanting the names of the Lord?
That foolish, ignorant, atheistic, fallen brahmana said, “There is no injunction for loudly chanting the names of Hari in any scripture; rather, it is recommended that one chant within his mind. Therefore the loud chanting of Hari’s names by Haridasa is prohibited by the scriptures. Therefore his engagement in such activities is most improper.” Being controlled by such blind faith, that brahmana arrogantly asked Haridasa the reason for his loud chanting. His conception was that since Haridasa Thakura was not born in a seminal brahmana family, he was completely unqualified to act as a spiritual master, the giver of the holy names. He feared that if Haridasa loudly chanted the names of Hari he would have to automatically hear the holy names from the mouth of a pure devotee and thus naturally become his disciple, so he wanted Haridasa to refrain from loudly chanting hari-nama, which is the function of a jagad-guru. This proves the brahmana’s foolishness, ignorance, and mistaken ideas regarding the scriptural conclusions.
CB Adi-khanda 16.269
mane mane japiba,-ei se dharma haya
dadiya laite nama kon shastre kaya?
“The injunction is that one should chant in his mind. Which scripture says that one should chant loudly?
CB Adi-khanda 16.270
ka’ra shiksha,-hari-nama dakiya laite?
ei ta’ pandita-sabha, balaha ihate”
“Who has taught you to chant the name of Hari loudly? Please give your explanation before this assembly of learned scholars.”
The word shiksha refers to one of the six corollaries of the Vedas by which word pronunciation is regulated.
CB Adi-khanda 16.271
haridasa balena,-“ihara yata tattva
tomara se jana’ hari-namera mahattva
Haridasa said, “You all know the glories of Lord Hari’s holy names.
CB Adi-khanda 16.272
tomara-sabara mukhe shunina se ami
balitechi, balibana yeba kichu jani
“Therefore I have simply repeated and will repeat whatever I have heard from you.
Thakura Haridasa, who never expected any honor but always honored others, humbly replied, “I have not learned the incomparable glories of Hari’s names from the shastras through the path of argument. Now and in the future I simply repeat whatever I have heard from those who are conversant with the glories of the holy names and who constantly chant the holy names of the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 16.273
ucca kari’ laile shata-guna punya haya
dosha ta’ na kahe shastre, guna se varnana”
“If one chants loudly, he gets one hundred times more benefit. The scriptures never condemn loud chanting, rather they glorify it.
The result one achieves by mentally chanting the names of Hari is multiplied one hundred times by chanting loudly. This is the injunction of all scriptures. It is a fact that by chanting loudly one obtains one hundred times greater results. And there is no fault in such chanting. It is to be understood that those who consider the Hare Krishna maha-mantra should only be chanted softly in japa are averse to realizing the purport of the scriptures. The three names of address-Hare, Krishna, and Rama-are meant both for japa and kirtana. One can call the Lord in his mind or out loud. If one calls the Lord loudly, then many persons can hear the name of the Lord and obtain auspiciousness by such hearing. Hearing the names of the Lord is one of the nine principle limbs of devotional service. Unless the sadhus loudly chant the names of Hari, no one becomes qualified for the devotional process of hearing. Therefore the false arguments of those who are averse to loud chanting are certainly incited by Kali. The chanting of the holy names is more or less imperceptible in the activities of meditation, sacrifice, and Deity worship; that is why in Kali-yuga various controversies arise in the performance of meditation, sacrifice, and Deity worship. When those who are victims of Kali come forward to place obstacles in the path of the devotees’ worship of Hari, then those devotees who are engaged in the Satya, Treta, and Dvapara processes of meditation, sacrifice, and Deity worship do not enter into argument; but those devotees who chant the names of Hari remove the wicked habits of the victims of Kali and chant the unlimited glories of the holy names for the eternal benefit of such people. This is the actual medicine for their argument-infected hearts.
CB Adi-khanda 16.274
uccaih shata-gunam bhavet
“‘If one loudly chants the holy names of the Lord, he obtains one hundred times more benefit than by chanting softly or remembering the holy names.’”
CB Adi-khanda 16.275
vipra bale,-“ucca-nama karile uccara
shata-guna punya-phala haya, ki hetu ihara?”
The brahmana said, “How does one get one hundred times more benefit by loud chanting?”
CB Adi-khanda 16.276
haridasa balena,-“shunaha, mahashaya!
ye tattva ihara, vede bhagavate kaya”
Haridasa replied, “My dear sir, listen to the verdict of the Vedas and Shrimad Bhagavatam in this regard.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.277
sarva-shastra sphure haridasera shri-mukhe
lagila karite vyakhya krishnananda sukhe
Haridasa then revealed the purport of all the scriptures as he began his explanation in the ecstasy of Krishna consciousness.
CB Adi-khanda 16.278
“shuna, vipra! sakrit shunile krishna-nama
pashu, pakshi, kita yaya shri-vaikuntha-dhama
“Listen, dear brahmana. If even animals, birds, or insects hear the holy names from the mouth of a pure devotee, they will go to Vaikuntha.
“O brahmana, when the transcendental sound of Krishna’s holy names emanates from the mouths of sadhus, bhaktas, or Vaishnavas and enters the ear holes of any living entity interested in serving the Lord, then that sound vibration certainly frees him from the bondage of maya. The transcendental sound vibration removes the living entities’ propensity for enjoyment and awakens their propensity for service to the Supreme Lord. Since unlike those of conditioned souls in the material sky, there is no ignorance or material enjoyment in the devotees’ tongues, which are abodes of Vaikuntha, and since the transcendental holy names are full manifestations of advaya-jnana, or the transcendental reality, devotees do not become entangled in material enjoyment while chanting. Therefore if a living entity chants the transcendental name of the Lord, he becomes jivan-mukta, liberated even in this life. In order to become liberated from the bondage of material existence, a conditioned soul should accept mercy from a liberated soul by accepting mantra-diksha, or initiation. When one has perfected his chanting, he becomes qualified to loudly chant the holy names. He then becomes extremely distressed on seeing the conditioned souls’ anarthas born of prajalpa and mundane words that gratify the mind, both of which are unrelated to Krishna; as a jagad-guru, he removes their propensities for mundane enjoyment and sends them to the kingdom of Vaikuntha. Ordinary foolish people think, “The shastric statement that just by once chanting or hearing the transcendental name of the Lord one is certain to go back to Vaikuntha is simply an exaggeration.” But actually the extraordinary influence of the transcendental name is not under the jurisdiction of the most tiny brains of such illusioned materialists who want to measure everything with their blunt material senses. If one considers the transcendental name to be in the category of material objects, then his enjoyment prone evil propensities do not allow him to understand the extraordinary, transcendental, spiritual name that is not perceivable to material senses. That is why the absence of faith in the Vedas or in Vaishnava literatures in pursuance of the Vedas is proof of a living entity’s misfortune.
CB Adi-khanda 16.279
Anyone who chants Your name purifies all who hear his chanting, as well as himself. How much more beneficial, then, is the touch of Your lotus feet?
Once the cowherd men headed by Shri Nanda came to Ambikavana on the bank of the River Sarasvati. After worshiping the demigods and brahmanas with a vow, they took rest there. At that time a fierce looking great snake began to swallow Nanda. Hearing Nanda’s cry of distress, Lord Krishna, who maintains His surrendered souls and who is affectionate to His father, touched that great snake with His left foot. The serpent was immediately freed from his reptilian body and appeared in the effulgent form of a Vidyadhara, and by the order of the Lord he began to relate the history of his sinful activities in his previous life. While offering prayers, he described the glories of receiving the touch of the Lord’s lotus feet, which are rarely attained by the demigods, in the following verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.34.17).
yan-nama grihnann akhilan shrotrin atmanam eva ca
sadyah punati kim bhuyas tasya sprishtah pada hi te
“Moreover, O Lord, I have been directly touched by Your lotus feet. Now I will return to my own planet and purify everyone by my touch, as I have been purified by the touch of Your lotus feet. By the statement, ‘By once chanting the holy names of the Lord a person purifies himself and others,’ the argument that chanting the holy names requires prior faith (in other words, the consideration that until knowledge of one’s relationship with the Lord based on faith is awakened, there is no need to chant the holy names) is refuted. One can and should chant the names of the Lord while avoiding the ten offenses even during the four faithless situations of sanketa (indirectly), parihasa (jokingly), stobha (as musical entertainment), or hela (neglectfully). By the using the verb grihnan, or ‘while chanting,’ in its present tense, the argument that the names are dependent on completeness (in other words, the necessity of considering that until one is able to fully chant the names of the Lord, it is improper and useless to partially chant the names) is refuted. This means that one can and should chant the names of the Lord, even unclearly, improperly, and incompletely or partially. By using the word akhilan, or ‘to the audience,’ the argument that chanting is dependent on qualification (in other words, the necessity of achieving mundane, temporary, external qualifications like taking bath, performing austerity, worshiping the Deity, maintaining purity, studying the Vedas, accepting sannyasa, practicing yoga, performing sacrifice, and accumulating piety) is refuted (in other words, any person in any condition can and should chant the holy names of the Lord). By using the word sadyah, or ‘immediately,’ the argument that chanting is dependent on time (in other words, the consideration that one is purified by chanting only at particular times, not at any time) is refuted (in other words, if a person purely chants the holy names at any time, he can be fully purified). The use of the word shrotrin, or ‘to the audience,’ indicates that one should hear the holy names of the Lord. The word eva, which in this verse bears the meaning of iva or api, indicates that the chanter of the holy names can purify the audience like himself. So by this example the glories of the holy name are further enhanced, because the practices of both hearing and chanting yield the same results. By using the word ca in this verse it is indicated that I will certainly and thoroughly purify persons who engage with me in hearing and chanting because I have been touched by Your lotus feet. There is no doubt about this.” (Shri Sanatana Prabhu’s and Shri Jiva Prabhu’s Vaishnava-toshani)
CB Adi-khanda 16.280
pashu-pakshi-kita-adi balite na pare
shunilei hari-nama ta’ra saba tare’
“Although animals, birds, and insects cannot chant, when they hear the holy names they will all be delivered.
CB Adi-khanda 16.281
japile shri-krishna-nama apane se tare
ucca-sankirtane para upakara kare
“If one silently chants the names of Krishna, then he is delivered; but if one loudly chants, then he delivers others also.
One who softly chants the transcendental names benefits only himself, whereas one who loudly and congregationally chants the transcendental names can benefit the audience along with himself. Only a spiritual master who is engaged in krishna-kirtana is compassionate to all living entities and able to perform the highest welfare activities for all.
CB Adi-khanda 16.282
ataeva ucca kari’ kirtana karile
shata-guna phala haya sarva-shastre bale
“Therefore the scriptures say that one gets a hundred times more benefit by chanting loudly.
CB Adi-khanda 16.283
japato hari-namani sthane shata-gunadhikah
atmanam ca punaty uccair japan shrotrin punati ca
“‘One who loudly chants the holy names of the Lord is a hundred times greater than one who silently chants, because those who chant silently purify only themselves, while those who chant loudly purify themselves as well as those who hear them.’
[This verse was spoken by Prahlada Maharaja in the Naradiya Purana.]
CB Adi-khanda 16.284
japa-karta haite ucca-sankirtana-kari
shata-guna adhika se puranete dhari
“The Puranas say that a person who chants the Lord’s name loudly is a hundred times more pious that the person who chants to himself.
Persons who loudly and congregationally chant the holy names of Hari obtain one hundred times better results than those who chant the holy names softly. If a person secretly hears some ordinary words on the pretext of hearing hari-nama from a foolish so-called guru and, being tempted by material enjoyment, engages in motivated worship, then he will never achieve eternal auspiciousness. Whereas if one loudly chants the pure holy names heard from the mouth of a liberated maha-bhagavata spiritual master, then other Vaishnavas who hear that chanting will discuss the glories of hari-nama amongst each other. As a result, the loud chanters are more benefited than the soft chanters. Those who cannot realize the difference between nama-aparadha, namabhasa, and shuddha-nama often commit the first of the ten nama-aparadhas-criticizing a sadhu or Vaishnava who has fully taken shelter of the holy names-and they commit the grave offense of disregarding the spiritual master by considering him a mortal being and envying him. They commit offense by considering material objects as worshipable and seeing Lord Vishnu, the controller of all, as equal to the demigods. As a result, they become Vaishnava offenders by being faithless of the unalloyed Vaishnavas. They then become inattentive to the service of Shri Nama Prabhu, and the offenses of considering the glories of chanting the holy names as imaginary and giving some interpretation on the holy names capture them. They then consider the holy names as equal to pious activities and become attached to committing sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy names. Being greedy for donations, such people accept the garb of a guru and, like common merchants, pretend to give instructions on the holy names to faithless persons. In this way they bring inauspiciousness to the entire world. Being overwhelmed by thoughts of “I” and “mine,” they gradually become averse to the Vedic literatures and literatures in pursuance of the Vedic version. These ten offenses result in the falldown of chanters; but by the influence of good association the loud chanters of the holy names understand these offenses and therefore retire from the inconvenience of nirjana-bhajana.
CB Adi-khanda 16.285
shuna, vipra! mana diya ihara karana
japi’ apanare sabe karaye poshana
“O brahmana, listen carefully to the reason behind this. One who softly chants the holy names liberates only himself.
CB Adi-khanda 16.286
ucca kari’ karile govinda-sankirtana
jantu-matra shuninai pai vimocana
“One who loudly chants the names of Govinda, however, liberates himself along with all living entities who hear him.
CB Adi-khanda 16.287
jihva painao nara-vina sarva-prani
na pare balite krishna-nama-hena dhvani
“Although all living entities have a tongue, only the human beings are able to chant the names of Krishna.
Apart from human beings, all other living entities also have tongues. Yet even though they are able to make various sounds, no living entity other than a human being is able to chant the names of Krishna. Some people may say, “The birds can also imitate making sounds like the name of Krishna, and as a result they can also attain a higher destination such as liberation.” In reply to this, it may be said that imitating and following are two completely separate activities. Although the imitators may make various sounds perceivable to senses in the material sky as the name of Krishna, they are not uttering with service inclined tongues the pure holy name of Krishna situated in the spiritual sky and perceivable to purified senses. The materially motivated sounds resembling the holy names that are uttered for the purpose of material enjoyment that is unrelated to Krishna are not vaikuntha-nama, or spiritual names. Since such sounds are able to award insignificant results, they are simply known as nama-aparadha, or offenses to the holy names, and as such they cannot awaken one’s love for Krishna, which is the fruit of chanting the pure names.
CB Adi-khanda 16.288
vyartha-janma ihara nistare yaha haite
bala dekhi,-kon dosha se karma karite?
“Tell me, what is wrong with that activity by which living entities who have taken useless births will be delivered?
Although all living entities are not able to chant the spiritual names, they can certainly hear the spiritual names chanted by devotees of the Lord. The lives of those who are not qualified to hear the spiritual names are certainly most useless. Since by hearing the chanting of the spiritual names, all living entities can be eligible for liberation in this lifetime, such loud chanting of Hari’s names can never be the subject of argument, fault, or criticism.
CB Adi-khanda 16.289
keha apanare matra karaye poshana
keha va poshana kare sahasreka jana
“One person may maintain himself, while another may maintain a thousand people.
CB Adi-khanda 16.290
duite ke bada, bhavi’ bujhaha apane
ei abhipraya guna’ ucca-sankirtane”
“Of the two, consider carefully who is better. This is the superior characteristic of loud chanting.”
A selfish person maintains himself, whereas another person may maintain a thousand persons apart from himself. Of the two, whom should we accept as greater? If we carefully consider, we will understand that loud chanters are not selfish; rather, they are selfless benefactors of others. Therefore loud chanters are superior to those who only chant softly, and loud chanting is hundreds and thousands of times superior to chanting only softly.
CB Adi-khanda 16.291
sei vipra shuni’ haridasera kathana
balite lagila krodhe maha-durvacana
After hearing the words of Haridasa, the brahmana began to angrily blaspheme him.
CB Adi-khanda 16.292
“darashana-karta ebe haila haridasa!
kale-kale veda-patha haya dekhi nasha
“Now even Haridasa has become a philosopher! I can see that Vedic culture is being destroyed by the course of time.
That atheistic fallen brahmana angrily spoke the following insulting words, “There are six famous basic philosophies in India. All these philosophies are more or less under the subordination of the Vedas. Now this consideration on liberated souls presented by Haridasa will become famous as the seventh philosophy. This is Kali-yuga, therefore by the influence of time the Vedic path (?) is now about to be destroyed (?) by the pure Vaishnava followers of the Vedas like Haridasa. So far Kapila, Patanjali, Kanada, Akshapada, Jaimini, and Vyasa were the propounders of six philosophies, but now Haridasa has come from somewhere and become the propounder of the seventh philosophy. I don’t know how many more philosophies will crop up from time to time.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.293
yuga-sheshe shudra veda karibe vakhane
ekhanai taha dekhi, sheshe ara kene?
“It is stated that shudras will explain the Vedas at the end of Kali-yuga. But why only at the end of the age? We can see it happening even now.
The phrase yuga-sheshe refers to the last part of Kali-yuga. A maha-yuga consists of the four yugas-Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali. The duration of these four yugas diminishes respectively from 4/10ths, to 3/10ths, to 2/10ths, to 1/10th of a maha-yuga. The duration of Kali-yuga is 432,000 earth years. A manvantara consists of 71 maha-yugas. A kalpa, or a day of Brahma, consists of fourteen manvantaras, or the duration of fifteen Satya-yugas subtracted from one thousand maha-yugas. This Kali-yuga comes in the twenty-eighth maha-yuga, or cycle of four yugas, in the reign of Vaivasvata, the seventh Manu, of the Shveta-varaha-kalpa. We have only passed a few years since the beginning of Kali-yuga. It is mentioned in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (12.1.36-41, 12.2.1-16, and 12.3.31-46) that at the end of Kali-yuga the varnashrama principles will be completely absent. We are already experiencing the future behavior of Kali-yuga in the beginning of the age. According to the varnashrama system, only the three varnas, brahmana, kshatriya, and vaishya, are eligible to study the Vedas; and of them, only the brahmanas are qualified to teach the Vedas. These three twice-born castes generally accept ten samskaras, or purificatory rites, but the sinful shudras are not at all qualified to undergo the samskaras of the twice-born. The shudras can never have any qualification for either studying or teaching the Vedas, but due to the influence of Kali, deviations and distortions in varnashrama principles are seen. Although there are deviations in varnashrama principles, twice-born persons still desire to increase their prestige simply by external symptoms. In the consideration of varna, there are three types of birth-shaukra, by semen; savitra, by initiation; and daiksha, by becoming a perfect brahmana. Those who want to become twice-born through seminal birth must accept the savitra-samskara, or sacred thread ceremony. Then, by taking Vishnu-diksha after becoming a twice-born, one achieves the third, or daiksha, birth. A shudra, however, has no second or third birth. Due to wide-spread discrepancies in the practice of garbhadhana-samskara, it is more reasonable and faultless to ascertain one as a twice-born by his symptoms, nature, and agama-diksha, or Vedic initiation, rather than by seminal consideration. That is why the Vaishnava consideration does not approve of seminal consideration. Though persons engaged in fruitive activities do not highly regard Vaishnava considerations, the Vaishnava considerations based on shastras are the most respectable methods for ascertaining daiva-varnashrama principles. Since ignorant persons expert in material knowledge follow nonscriptural methods of ascertaining varna, the original ever-lasting method has recently become endangered. That is why sinful persons who are engaged in fruitive activities and envious of the Vaishnavas become bewildered by illusion while considering who is brahmana and who is a shudra.
In this case also, the atheistic, meat-eating, nondevotee, seminal, so-called brahmana has presented external, mundane, gross bodily considerations of Vaishnavas. That fallen brahmana mistakenly and sinfully considered that since Thakura Haridasa was not born in a brahmana family, he was completely incapable of acting as a religious instructor. Moreover, taking shelter of vivarta-vada, the theory of illusion, that person angrily condemned the Vaishnavas, who reveal purpose of the Vedas, as shudras. Actually that atheist was himself an abominable shudra. Godlessness, cripple-mindedness, and untruthfulness made him averse to pure Vaishnavas in every sphere of his life. Although he was a fallen shudra who proudly considered himself a brahmana, he considered a Vaishnava, who is spiritual master of the brahmanas, as belonging to a particular caste. In this way he committed a grave offense and went to hell. That fallen sinful shudra, who was envious of the Vaishnavas and proud of being a brahmana, must have heard descriptions of Kali-yuga stating that shudras attentive to worldly subjects rather than the study of the Vedas will become so-called brahmanas and study and teach the Vedas in Kali-yuga. But the popular statement that one can also become a brahmana through shaiva-diksha, or initiation into the worship of Shiva, is not approved by Vedic literature. Rather, according to the Pancaratras, on the strength of vishnu-diksha, the devotees attain Vedic brahminical status. One cannot study the Vedas through shaiva-diksha. This is clearly described in the Brahma-sutra. Shri Yamunacarya has completely refuted the atheists’ view that “Vaishnavas are not brahmanas” by presenting evidence from the agamas, authorized works of Vedic literature, as follows: “Furthermore, the bhagavatas who have abandoned Vedic duties such as savitry-anuvacana (chanting the Vedic mantras that establish someone as a wearer of the sacrificial thread) and instead observe the forty samskaras enjoined in the Ekayana-shruti are properly adhering to the principles enunciated in the Grihya-sutras of their own branch and thus have never fallen from the status of brahmanas on account of not performing the rituals of a different branch. After all, if by not following the rules of all the Vedic branches a brahmana becomes fallen, then the followers of other branches would also have to be considered fallen from brahminical status because they do not perform the rituals of other branches.” Among the devotees of South India, the title of Ayengara (Iyengar) is still current. This Tamil word refers to a brahmana who has undergone more than five samskaras. The nondevotee brahmanas who have undergone ten samskaras are known as Ayara (Iyer). The Ayengaras undergo fifteen samskaras. Among the Gaudiya Vaishnavas there are five additional samskaras. Therefore they undergo twenty samskaras. In his Samskara-dipika, which is an appendix to his Sat-kriya-sara-dipika, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami has mentioned these samskaras.
The Vaishnavas state:
svayam brahmani nikshaptan jatan eva hi mantratah
vinitanatha putradin samskritya pratibodhayet
“When the guru gives mantra to his disciple according to the rules and regulations of pancaratrika-viddhi, then, by the influence of that mantra, the disciple never takes birth again.
A humble disciple behaves with great respect for his spiritual master as if he is a son of the guru. To such a humble disciple, who has been purified by the appropriate samskaras, the guru teaches the meaning of the mantra.”
But since the uninitiated mental speculators who are opposed to Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava do not accept the Vedic and Pancaratrika systems, formidable errors have entered into their process of consideration. Following in the footsteps of such averse persons, this sinful fallen brahmana demonstrated the future behavior of Kali-yuga in the beginning of the age.
na shudra bhagavad-bhaktas te tu bhagavata matah
sarva-varneshu te shudra ye na bhakta janardane
“A devotee should never be considered a shudra. All the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead should be recognized as bhagavatas. If one is not a devotee of Lord Krishna, however, even if born of a brahmana, kshatriya or vaishya family, he should be considered a shudra.”
It should be understood that those who disregard the above evidence of Vaishnava literature have no respect for the Vaishnavas or the pure devotional path; indeed, they are guru-drohi, or envious of the spiritual master.
CB Adi-khanda 16.294
ei-rupe apanare prakata kariya
ghare-ghare bhala bhoga khais buliya
“This is how you advertise yourself, so you can eat nicely at other’s houses.
That sinful fallen brahmana said to Haridasa Thakura, “Being a transcendental philosopher, you have presented an explanation that is hostile to the fruitive workers who are envious of devotional service in such a way that you can advertise your own glories to your followers and cleverly accumulate palatable foodstuffs.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.295
ye vyakhya karile tui, e yadi na lage
tabe tora naka kana kati’ tora age”
“If the explanation that you have made is not true, then I will cut off your nose and ears.”
Hearing Haridasa Thakura’s conclusive scriptural statements regarding the glories of the holy names, that atheistic fallen brahmana’s animalistic propensity became more prominent. Out of anger, he cursed and swore as follows: “If the explanation on the glories of the holy names presented by Haridasa Thakura is not in agreement with the scriptures, then I will take revenge by publicly cutting off his (Haridasa Thakura’s) nose and ears.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.296
shuni’ vipradhamera vacana haridasa
‘hari’ bali’ ishat haila kichu hasa
Hearing the words of that sinful brahmana, Haridasa smiled and chanted the name of Hari.
CB Adi-khanda 16.297
pratyuttara ara kichu tare na kariya
calilena ucca kari’ kirtana gaiya
He did not speak further to that atheistic brahmana, but left immediately while loudly chanting the holy names.
Hearing that atheistic fallen brahmana’s unpalatable words, which would send him to hell, Thakura Haridasa did not reply but rather chanted loudly and immediately left that place, which was polluted with the offense of giving some interpretation on the holy names of the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 16.298
yeba papi sabhasad, seha papa-mati
ucita uttara kichu na karila ithi
The sinful members of that assembly were all wicked-minded. They neither supported the authorized statements of Haridasa nor did they protest the offensive words of the brahmana.
Those sociable persons who support and encourage sinful persons with loose-character are also sinful. What to speak of supporting the scriptural based statements of Thakura Haridasa, the members of that assembly neither supported the scriptural based statements of Haridasa nor protested the unpalatable words of that atheistic fallen brahmana. If in spite of being born in a brahmana family a person becomes averse to the worship of Hari, which is his prescribed brahminical duty, then he is called a rakshasa, or demon. When sinful persons who are averse to the prescribed brahminical duties give up the service of Hari, which is their only duty, then they fall from their position and become rakshasas. Some people call such persons brahmana-bruva-“so-called brahmanas” or brahmanadhama-“fallen brahmanas.” After death such persons receive profuse punishment from Yamaraja, and in this life they fall from their brahminical position.
CB Adi-khanda 16.299
e sakala rakshasa, brahmana nama matra
ei-saba loka yama-yatanara patra
They were brahmanas only in name. Actually they were all demons, fit to be punished by Yamaraja.
CB Adi-khanda 16.300
kali-yuge rakshasa-sakala vipra-ghare
janmibeka sujanera himsa karibare
In Kali-yuga, demons are born in the families of brahmanas in order to harass the saintly persons.
Though demoniac persons who are envious of Vishnu and the Vaishnavas may take birth in brahmana families, they nevertheless envy the Vaishnavas. This is the specialty of Kali-yuga.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.