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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Sixteen: The Glories of Shri Haridasa Thakura
CB Adi-khanda 16.301
rakshasah kalim ashritya jayante brahma-yonishu
utpanna brahmana-kule badhante shrotriyan krishan
“In Kali-yuga, demons will take birth in the families of brahmanas to harass those rare persons who are conversant with the Vedic way of life.”
[This verse was spoken by Lord Shiva in the Varaha Purana.]
CB Adi-khanda 16.302
e saba viprera sparsha, katha, namaskara
dharma-shastre sarvatha nishedha karibara
The scriptures forbid one from touching, speaking to, or offering respects to such brahmanas.
One should not even touch those proud brahmanas who are opposed to Vishnu and the Vaishnavas. If by chance one touches such a brahmana, he should take bath in the Ganges with his clothes on. If one converses with such a brahmana, then his falldown is guaranteed. If one respects such a person by offering him obeisances, then one is sure to be deviated from devotional service to Vishnu. That is why persons and the families of persons who are averse to following Vaishnava etiquette have been declared as fallen in the following words from the Dharma-shastras (Manu 2.168) and the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.5.3):
yo ‘nadhitya dvijo vedam anyatra kurute shramam
sa jivan eva shudratvam ashu gaccati sanvayah
“A brahmana who in his lifetime does not endeavor to study the Vedas but labors hard in other pursuits quickly becomes a shudra along with his family.
ya esham purusham sakshad atma-prabhavam ishvaram
na bhajanty avajananti sthanad bhrashtah patanty adhah
“If one simply maintains an official position in the four varnas and ashramas but does not worship the Supreme Lord Vishnu, he falls down from his puffed-up position into a hellish condition.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.303
kim atra bahunoktena brahmana ye hy avaishnavah
tesham sambhashanam sparsham pramadenapi varjjayet
“There is no need to speak further on this. Even by mistake one should not touch or speak to those brahmanas who have no devotion for the Supreme Lord.
[This and the following verse are spoken by Lord Shiva in the Padma Purana.]
CB Adi-khanda 16.304
shvapakam iva neksheta loke vipram avaishnavam
vaishnavo varna bahyo ‘pi punati bhuvana-trayam
“Just as one in this world should never see a dog-eating candala, one should never see a nondevotee brahmana.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.305
brahmana haiya yadi avaishnava haya
tabe ta’ra alapeha punya yaya kshaya
One who converses with a nondevotee brahmana loses his piety.
If one converses with a person who was born in a seminal brahmana family, who has undergone savitra-samskara yet has not taken Vaishnava initiation, who envies the Vaishnavas and considers himself a non-Vaishnava, then one’s heaps of accumulated piety are destroyed.
CB Adi-khanda 16.306
se vipradhamera kata-divasa thakiya
vasante nasika ta’ra padila khasiya
Within a few days, that wretched brahmana was attacked by smallpox and as a result his nose melted away and fell off.
Within a few days that abominable, envious brahmana became infected with a severe case of smallpox and his nose melted and fell off.
CB Adi-khanda 16.307
haridasa-thakurere balileka yena
krishna o tahara shasti karilena tena
The punishment he had proposed for Haridasa Thakura was awarded to himself by Krishna.
Although Haridasa Thakura did not curse or desire inauspiciousness on that sinful atheist, since that offensive atheist criticized and spoke unpalatable envious words to Haridasa Thakura, the Lord awarded such severe punishment on him.
CB Adi-khanda 16.308
vishayete magna jagat dekhi’ haridasa
duhkhe ‘krishna krishna’ bali’ chadena nihshvasa
Aggrieved to see the entire world absorbed in sense gratification, Haridasa would sigh deeply as he chanted the name of Krishna.
At that time people of the entire world were intoxicated with material knowledge, and being always greedy for material enjoyment they refrained from the cultivation of Krishna consciousness. That is why the Vaishnava Thakuras sighed deeply as distress filled their hearts, which were saturated with compassion seeing the pathetic condition and misfortune of the fallen souls who were averse to Hari.
An elaborate description of the phrase vishayete magna jagat-“the entire world was absorbed in sense gratification,” is found in the statement of Viraga in the Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka as follows: “The world is full of materialists. Alas! Alas! There is no cleanliness, no truthfulness, no control of the mind or senses, no self-restraint, no peacefulness, no tolerance, no friendship, and no mercy. Were my sincere, loving friends uprooted by the people of Kali-yuga? Are they now living in seclusion? Could they have found a place Kali does not know? No, there is no such place to be found.
“The brahmanas are interested only in their sixth duty, accepting charity. A sacred thread is the only sign of their status. The kshatriyas are kshatriyas in name only. The vaishyas are like atheists. The shudras think themselves great scholars and are eager to become gurus and teach the truth of religion. Alas! Alas! Kali has degraded the castes into this!
“The brahmacaris are situated in that ashrama only because they cannot marry. The grihasthas are interested only in filling the bellies of their wives and children. The vanaprasthas are qualified only by the name vanaprastha travelling on the path of the ears. The sannyasis are different from the others only in their saffron dress.
“And look at these mental speculators! From their very birth, they simply discuss words like ‘designation,’ ‘social class,’ ‘logical inference,’ ‘universal principle,’ and thus remain far away from talk of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thinking whoever is most expert at logic is the wisest, these logicians think that their speculation is the only scripture.
“Now here are some Mayavadis. They say that the Supreme is ‘only eternity,’ ‘without qualities,’ ‘without designations,’ ‘beyond thought,’ and ‘without actions,’ and they say ‘I am Brahman.’ Alas, alas, hating the Personality of Godhead’s form and denying the Lord’s inconceivable potencies and qualities, they shun love for the Supreme Person. Obeisances to them from a distance.
“And here learned persons debate the theories of Kapila, Kanada, Patanjali, and Jaimini. Not one of them knows the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“Now I am in South India. This place is filled with Jains, Buddhists, naked yogis, and ferocious atheists. There are also Shaivites, who are almost extinct. I think they will kill me! (After walking a little further) Ah! This must be a holy man cheerfully sitting on a great rock by the riverbank. He seems to be free of anxiety while passing his time meditating on something beyond the modes of nature. Sitting in a yoga posture by the riverbank, his eyes closed and expertly stopping with the tip of his tongue the nectar moonlight flowing from within his forehead, he meditates. But what is this! What broke his meditation? Ah! I know. It is the tinkling conchshell ornaments of a young girl fetching water. He is only staging a play to fill his stomach. (He goes further.) Ah! This looks like a renounced soul. He must be a pilgrim coming from the holy places. I see he is talking to himself, ‘Although I went to Haridvara, Gaya, Prayaga, Mathura, Benares, Pushkara, Shri Ranga, Ayodhya, Badarikashrama, Setubandha, Prabhasa, and many other places, three or four times over in the past year, what would persons like us accomplish even in hundreds of years like this?’
(He goes further on.) “This must be a genuine ascetic. But I see that he is actually worse and more sinful than the above pseudo renunciate. Calling out ‘Hum! Hum! Hum!’ in a sharp and bitter voice, keeping the crowd away with a cruel stare, lifting his feet high as he walks with long strides, his forehead, arms, neck, stomach, and chest smeared with clay, and grasping kusha grass in his hands, he is like pride personified. Therefore I understand that without pure devotional service to Lord Vishnu, expert meditation, samadhi, faith, scriptural study, good works, japa, and austerity are like an actor’s expert playing on a stage. They are only different ways to fill an empty belly.
“O Kali, well done! Well done! You brought the entire earth under your rule. You drove away control of the mind, control of the senses, and all other virtues. You captured them and made them your slaves, working for your own profit. You uprooted the tree of religion, which had friendship and other virtues as its branches. In this situation what can I do? Today, all over the world I have seen disturbances born of irreligiousity and deviations of the mind and speech in pursuit of the truth. But alas! When will I see the pure Vaishnava devotees, who are engaged in krishna-kirtana, who are decorated with tears and hairs standing on end in love of God, and who are equipoised both internally and externally?”
CB Adi-khanda 16.309
kata-dine ‘vaishnava’ dekhite iccha kari’
ailena haridasa navadvipa-puri
After a few days Haridasa went to Navadvipa with a desire to associate with the Vaishnavas there.
In order to see the pure Vaishnavas, Haridasa Thakura came to Shri Mayapur, which is situated in Navadvipa, Gauda-desha’s center of education.
CB Adi-khanda 16.310
haridase dekhiya sakala bhakta-gana
hailena atishaya parananda-mana
All the devotees of Navadvipa were overjoyed on seeing Haridasa.
Seeing Shri Haridasa Thakura, all the Vaishnava brahmanas of Navadvipa became jubilant, considering him a member of their family. From this we can understand that the nondevotee community of Navadvipa did not feel any happiness on the arrival of Haridasa Thakura.
CB Adi-khanda 16.311
acarya-gosani haridasere paiya
rakhilena prana haite adhika kariya
Upon obtaining the association of Haridasa, Advaita Acarya treated him as dear as His own life.
Having received Shri Haridasa at Shri Mayapur-Navadvipa, Shri Advaita Prabhu considered him more dear than his own life and maintained him with utmost care.
CB Adi-khanda 16.312
sarva-vaishnavera priti haridasa-prati
haridas o karena sabare bhakti ati
All the Vaishnavas showered their affection on Haridasa, and he reciprocated with great devotion.
CB Adi-khanda 16.313
pashandi-sakale yata deya vakya-jvala
anyo’nye sabe taha kahite lagila
They discussed amongst themselves the burning offensive statements of the atheists.
Seeing the devotee brahmanas’ love for Haridasa, the envious atheistic persons always shot arrows of envious words at them. Hearing about such statements, the devotees became greatly afflicted with distress and began to discuss those statements.
CB Adi-khanda 16.314
gita-bhagavata lai’ sarva-bhakta-gana
anyo’nye vicare thakena sarva-kshana
Then devotees constantly discussed with each other the topics of Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam.
At that time persons who were intoxicated by material enjoyment would not study Vaishnava literatures like Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam, rather they were constantly engaged in gratifying their senses. But the pure devotees always increased their ecstatic love by discussing Gita and Bhagavata among themselves. Not being intoxicated by artificial, worldly, material rasas like the prakrita-sahajiyas, the devotees of the Lord discussed the conclusive statements of Vaishnava literatures like Gita and Bhagavata. While conducting ishta-goshthis in this way, they desired the highest eternal benefit for the entire world.
CB Adi-khanda 16.315
ye-jane padaye shunaye e-saba akhyana
tahare milibe gauracandra bhagavan
One who reads or hears these topics will attain the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, Shri Gaurachandra.
CB Adi-khanda 16.316
shri krishna-chaitanya nityananda-canda jana
vrindavana dasa tachu pada-yuge gana
Accepting Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu as my life and soul, I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their lotus feet.
Thus ends this English translation of the Gaudiya-bhashya commentary on Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Adi-khanda, Chapter Sixteen, entitled, “The glories of Shri Haridasa Thakura.”