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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Sixteen: The Glories of Shri Haridasa Thakura
CB Adi-khanda 16.51
na bujhiya tahana se durjneya vacana
bandi-saba haila kichu vishadita-mana
Unable to understand his equivocal words, the prisoners felt morose.
CB Adi-khanda 16.52
tabe pache kripa-yukta hai’ haridasa
gupta ashirvada kahe kariya prakasha
Shortly after, however, Haridasa mercifully explained the meaning of his mysterious blessing.
CB Adi-khanda 16.53
“ami toma’-sabare ye kailun ashirvada
tara artha na bujhiya bhavaha vishada
“You have not understood the meaning of the blessings I gave, and therefore you are lamenting.
Upon seeing the all-auspicious smile of Thakura Haridasa, the imprisoned criminals became morose, not understanding that the smile was a confidential blessing in disguise. Seeing their moroseness, Thakura Mahashaya said to them, “I have blessed you with an auspicious smile. Do consider it otherwise and feel sad.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.54
manda ashirvada ami kakhano na kari
mana diya sabe iha bujhaha vicari’
“I never award inauspicious benedictions. Carefully try to understand as I explain.
CB Adi-khanda 16.55
ebe krshna-prati toma’-sabakara mana
yena ache, ei-mata thaku sarva-kshana
“As your minds are presently fixed on Krishna, let them stay that way forever.
Thakura Haridasa said to the prisoners, “Your present state of mind is auspicious for you, because you have received the opportunity to cultivate Krishna consciousness by giving up endeavors for material enjoyment. Therefore always remain engaged in chanting Krishna’s names and in remembering Krishna. If you get freedom from prison life and again indulge in sense gratification, then as a result of associating with wicked persons who are averse to the Lord you will forget the Supreme Lord. As long as the endeavor for material enjoyment is prominent in the living entity, there is no possibility for him to worship Krishna. The goal of the material enjoyers is diametrically opposite to Krishna. The conditioned souls who are devoid of devotional service to Krishna are always merged in topics related to their wives and children, which are the center of their enjoyment. If by the mercy of the Lord a person in this dangerous situation meets a saintly person, his taste for material enjoyment will be turned into taste for the service of the Supreme Lord. When one gives up the cultivation of Krishna consciousness, then his natural material propensities will submerse him in a mire of offenses. I do not mean that you should remain suffering within this prison, but in your present condition you have the opportunity to constantly chant the holy names of the Lord. Therefore do not be distressed. The Vaishnavas always bless all living entities with the words: ‘May your devotion to the Supreme Lord be fixed.’ I consider this the greatest mercy towards the living entities. Your prison life will soon be finished. Never give up your determination for serving the Supreme Lord in any condition.” [This purport also applies to the next twelve verses.]
CB Adi-khanda 16.56
ebe nitya krishna-nama krishnera cintana
sabe meli’ karite thakaha anukshana
“Now you can all together constantly chant the names of Krishna and think of Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 16.57
ebe himsa nahi, nahi prajara pidana
‘krishna’ bali’ kakuvade karaha cintana
“Here you have no envy or trouble from others, so you can humbly chant and think of Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 16.58
ara-bara giya vishayete pravartile
sabe iha pasaribe, gele dushta-mele
“Otherwise if you again return to material enjoyment, by bad association you’ll forget everything about Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 16.59
vishaya thakite krishna-prema nahi haya
vishayira dure krishna janiha nishcaya
“One cannot achieve love for Krishna as long as he is engaged in sense gratification. You should know for certain that Krishna is far away from such persons.
CB Adi-khanda 16.60
vishaye avishta mana badai janjala
stri-putra-maya-jala, ei saba ‘kala’
“The mind that is absorbed in material enjoyment is a great disturbance. Attachment for wife and children are the binding ropes of illusion that lead one to death.
CB Adi-khanda 16.61
daive kona bhagyavan sadhu-sanga paya
vishaye avesha chadi’ krishnere bhajaya
“If by providence a fortunate person achieves the association of a devotee, he gives up his attachment for material enjoyment and worships Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 16.62
sei saba aparadha habe punar-bara
vishayera dharma ei,-shuna katha-sara
“In conclusion, the nature of material enjoyment is that one makes the same mistake again and again.
CB Adi-khanda 16.63
‘bandi thaka’,-hena ashirvada nahi kari
“vishaya pasara’, ahar-nisha bala hari”
“Therefore I did not mean ‘Stay there in prison,’ but rather stay free from thoughts of material enjoyment and always chant the name of Hari.
CB Adi-khanda 16.64
chale karilana ami ei ashirvada
tilarddheka na bhaviha tomara vishada
“Do not even slightly lament that I gave you this blessing in an ambiguous way.
CB Adi-khanda 16.65
sarva-jiva-prati daya-darshana amara
krishne dridha-bhakti hauka toma’-sabakara
“I glance mercifully on all living entities. May you all have firm devotion for Lord Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 16.66
“cinta nahi,-dina dui-tinera bhitare
bandhana ghucibe,-ei kahilun tomare
“Don’t worry, I guarantee that within two or three days you will be freed.
CB Adi-khanda 16.67
vishayete thaka, kiba, thaka yatha-tatha
ei buddhi kabhu na pasariha sarvatha”
“Whether you are a householder or a renunciate-whatever you are-don’t forget these instructions at any cost.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.68
bandi-sakalera kari’ shubhanusandhana
ailena mulukera adhipati-sthana
After offering the prisoners his best wishes, Haridasa went before the king.
CB Adi-khanda 16.69
ati-manohara teja dekhiya tahana
parama-gaurave vasibare dila sthana
When the king saw Haridasa’s brilliant effulgence, he respectfully offered him a seat.
CB Adi-khanda 16.70
apane jijnase tan’re mulukera pati
“kene, bhai, tomara ki-rupa dekhi mati?
Then the king personally inquired, “My dear brother, why do you have such a mentality?
CB Adi-khanda 16.71
kata bhagye, dekha, tumi haiyacha yavana
tabe kene hindura acare deha’ mana?
“By good fortune you’ve been born a Moslem, so why do you follow the religious practices of the Hindus?
CB Adi-khanda 16.72
amara hindure dekhi’ nahi khai bhata
taha chada’ hai’ tumi maha-vamsha-jata
“We don’t even eat rice that’s been touched by Hindus, so why are you degrading yourself? You’ve been born in a high family.
CB Adi-khanda 16.73
jati-dharma langhi’ kara anya-vyavahara
paraloke kemane va paiba nistara?
“You’re transgressing your caste and religion to follow the religion of others. How will you attain salvation?
CB Adi-khanda 16.74
na janiya ye kichu karila anacara
se papa ghucaha kari’ kalma uccara”
“Whatever sinful activities you’ve unknowingly performed can be cleared by uttering kalma.
Considering that Haridasa Thakura was related to him as his brother, the Mohammedan king told him, “I want to know why you have been degraded like this. There is no family superior to the Moslem family. By great fortune you have taken birth in a Moslem family, so why have you accepted the behavior of the inferior Hindus. We do not eat rice touched by the Hindus because they are low-class. You have taken birth in a great family, so it is not proper to degrade yourself into a lower family. How will you be delivered after death if you transgress the Mohammedan religious principles and following other religious principles? Give up such sinful behavior and recite the Cahara Kalma, then you will be freed from the sin incurred by following the Hindu religion.
Kalma (an Arabic word) means “word” or “statement.” Kalma refers to a passage from the Koran indicating the acceptance of Mohammed’s Islam religion.
CB Adi-khanda 16.75
shuni’ maya-mohitera vakya haridasa
“ano vishnu-maya” bali’ haila maha-hasa
After hearing the king, who was illusioned by maya, Haridasa simply laughed and said, “How wonderfully the illusory energy acts.”
Hearing the words of the materially conditioned Mohammedan king, Thakura Haridasa thought, “Such a statement befits a person who is bewildered by the illusory energy of Lord Vishnu.” Since the conditioned souls accept all material ingredients as objects for their sense gratification, they are cheated from realizing the Supreme Lord. The Lord is fully transcendental, and material ingredients are objects of sense gratification for the conditioned souls. Therefore Haridasa Thakura realized the uselessness of the Mohammedan king’s words.
CB Adi-khanda 16.76-77
balite lagila ta’re madhura uttara
“shuna, bapa, sabarai ekai ishvara
nama-matra bheda kare hinduye yavane
paramarthe ‘eka’ kahe korane purane
He then sweetly said to the king, “Listen, dear sir. The Supreme Lord of all is one without a second. The Hindus and Moslems differentiate the Lord only by name, but in spiritual vision the Lord is one. This is confirmed in the Puranas and the Koran.
Still, displaying causeless mercy on the Moslem king, Thakura Haridasa began to sweetly speak as follows: “The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one, eternal, nondual, and the Lord of all living entities. That one Lord is the controller of the Hindus, Moslems, young and old, and male and female. Hindus and non-Hindu Moslems who are ignorant of the science of the Supreme Lord foolishly oppose each other by concocting two different Gods with separate names, but when they give up such discrimination and difference of opinion and indifferently consider their respective religious scriptures, the Puranas and the Koran, then they will never find such differences in the Absolute Truth.
CB Adi-khanda 16.78
eka shudha nitya-vastu akhanda avyaya
paripurna haiya vaise sabara hridaya
The pure, eternal, nondual, inexhaustible Lord sits in the heart of everyone.
The Supreme Lord is pure, free from contamination, and untouched by sinful reactions. He is imperishable and ever-existing. The Supreme Lord cannot be divided by secular consideration. The Supreme Lord does not expand or diminish under the control of the time factor. Therefore He resides in the hearts of all living entities, including the Hindus and Moslems, as the undivided Supersoul. The same Lord who is situated in the hearts of the Moslems is situated in the hearts of the Hindus. Being impure as a result of aversion to the Supreme Lord from time immemorial and thus under the control of temporary misconceptions based on mundane time, place, and person, the living entities consider themselves the enjoyers and become averse to the service of the Lord due to not understanding the undivided Supersoul as the complete whole. Rather, they wrongly consider Him a fragmented living entity like themselves. If only they give up their concocted material enjoyment and mental speculation based on the desire for liberation and engage in devotional service, then they will know Him as the only worshipable Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 16.79
sei prabhu yare yena laoyayena mana
sei-mata karma kare sakala bhuvana
“That Lord induces everyone to work in a particular way, and everyone in the entire world acts accordingly.
Following the whims of their minds, the conditioned souls act according to the inspiration they receive from that undivided, inexhaustible, eternally pure Supreme Lord, who directs them to act.
In the Bhagavad-gita (18.61) it is stated:
ishvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-deshe ‘rjuna tishthati
bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya
“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.80
se prabhura nama guna sakala jagate
balena sakale matra nija-shastra-mate
“The names and qualities of that Lord are chanted by everyone according to their respective scriptural injunctions.
The names, forms, qualities, associates, and pastimes of the Supreme Lord are interpreted differently in different parts of the world by different preachers according to their respective scriptures.
CB Adi-khanda 16.81
ye ishvara, se punah sabara bhava laya
himsa karilei se tahana himsa haya
“The Supreme Lord accepts the devotion of everyone, but if anyone is envious of His children, then He retaliates.
Lord Janardana, who is bhava-grahi, or appreciative of one’s sentiments, is served by everyone according to their respective moods. If a person rejects or envies the mood of another, then such feelings are actually targeted towards the Supreme Lord. Therefore a living entity should never envy other living entities. If one tries to uproot and convert the internal mood of another person into that of his own narrow-mindedness, then the result will be not only criticism of another’s religion but enviousness of the Supreme Lord, who is the goal of all religion. Service and envy directed to the Supreme Lord are two separate matters. If one misidentifies envy as service to the Supreme Lord, then he will be opposed to the service of the Supreme Lord and ultimately become envious of the devotees. When a living entity becomes devoid of loving service to the Lord, he becomes sometimes a sense enjoyer, sometimes a fruitive worker, sometimes an impersonalist, sometimes a hatha-yogi, and sometimes a raja-yogi. To engage such persons in the service of Lord Mukunda for their eternal benefit is not an act or form of envy. Rather, inducing such persons to engage in activities of sense gratification instead of the service of the Lord is to give indulgence to envious activities and therefore must be given up.
CB Adi-khanda 16.82
eteke amare se ishvara yehena
laoyaiyachena citte, kari ami tena
“Therefore I am only acting under the inspiration of the Supreme Lord.
“For this reason I am engaged in the service of the Lord according to the inspiration that He has given me. A person makes progress in the service of the Lord by acting in whatever way the Lord inspires him.”
In the Bhagavad-gita (10.10) it is stated:
tesham satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te
“To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.83
hindu-kule keha yena haiya brahmana
apane asiya haya icchaya yavana
“By his own desire, a Hindu brahmana may also become a Moslem.
“Just as I have taken birth in a Moslem family yet by the will of the Lord I have engaged in devotional service to Vishnu, as befitting a brahmana, a person born in a brahmana family can also give up his brahminical duties by the will of the Lord and follow social codes that are opposed to the Vedas under the influence of his mental whims.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.84
hindu va ki kare ta’re, yara yei karma
apane ye maila, ta’re mariya ki dharma
“What can the Hindus do? That is his karma. If one is already dead, then what is the use of killing him?
The living entities achieve appropriate punishment or reward for the activities they perform under the influence of their respective tastes, therefore there is no need for their separate punishment. It is stated: svakarma-phala-bhuk puman-“Every human being enjoys the fruits of his karma.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.85
mahashaya, tumi ebe karaha vicara
yadi dosha thake, shasti karaha amara”
“Dear sir, now you can judge. If I’m at fault, then you may punish me.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.86
shuniya santosha haila sakala yavana
Hearing Haridasa’s conclusive statements, the Moslems were all satisfied.
CB Adi-khanda 16.87
sabe eka papi kaji muluka-patire
balile lagila,-“shasti karaha ihare
Only the sinful Kazi instigated the king, saying, “Punish him.
CB Adi-khanda 16.88
ei dushta, aro dushta karibe aneka
yavana-kulete amahima anibeka
“This miscreant will simply create other miscreants, and he’ll bring a bad name to the Moslem community.
CB Adi-khanda 16.89
eteke ihara shasti kara’ bhala-mate
nahe va apana-shastra baluka mukhete”
“Therefore punish him in an exemplary way, or at least make him recite the confession from the Koran.”
The atheist Kazi instigated the king by complaining against Haridasa Thakura as follows: “The example of following Hindu principles that Haridasa is setting will certainly bring infamy to the Moslem community, and in the future many Moslems will bring further defamation and disrepute to the Moslem religion by following him. Therefore you should severely punish him as a warning to others so that this may not happen. Otherwise Haridasa should personally repent and beg forgiveness for his actions, then only can he be excused from punishment.”
CB Adi-khanda 90-91
punah bale mulukera pati,-“are bhai!
apanara shastra bala, tabe cinta nai
anyatha karibe shasti saba kaji-gane
baliba o pache, ara laghu haiba kene”
The king again requested Haridasa, “O brother, just recite the confession from the Koran and you’ll have nothing to worry. Otherwise the sinful Kazis will punish you, and you’ll be forced to recite the Koran anyway. In this way you’ll be humiliated.”
The king said to Haridasa, “If you give up the behavior of persons who are opposed to our religious principles and follow the Moslem literatures and behavior, then there is no need for you to fear or worry. Otherwise the Kazi and his men will severely punish you. Even now I am giving you a warning. Why should you diminish your prestige by unnecessarily being punished later on?”
CB Adi-khanda 16.92
haridasa balena,-“ye karana ishvare
taha bai ara keha karite na pare
Haridasa said, “One cannot do anything other than what the Supreme Lord desires.
Hearing the king’s words, Haridasa fearlessly replied, “Whatever the Supreme Lord wills, that alone will happen. Apart from that no one can do anything.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.93
aparadha-anurupa ya’ra yei phala
ishvare se kare,-iha janiha kevala
“Know for certain that the Lord awards the results of one’s offenses.
The Supreme Lord alone is the bestower of the living entities’ fruits of action. The sense of being the doer that living entities who are bewildered by false ego attribute to themselves in the course of their activities is only due to false pride. Only the supreme will of the Lord yields fruits. Although the living entities are instruments, the supreme will of the Lord is most powerful.
CB Adi-khanda 16.94
khanda khanda hai deha yaya yadi prana
tabu ami vadane na chadi hari-nama
“Even if my body is cut into pieces and I give up my life, I will never give up chanting the Lord’s holy name.”
“This material body, which is received from the mother and father, is not permanent. The life that is averse to the service of Krishna and which is presently absorbed in material happiness is also perishable or changeable. But the holy names of the Supreme Lord and the Supreme Lord Himself are not two separate objects. Spiritual names are not like the names of material objects that are invented by human beings within the time factor. The spiritual name and the possessor of the name are one. Therefore I can never give up chanting the holy names and repose my faith in my gross and subtle bodies. The constitutional position of a living entity is that he is the eternal servant of Krishna. In other words, every living entity is a Vaishnava. The Vaishnavas have no other activities than chanting the holy names of Shri Hari. The only duty of both the practitioner and the perfected being is to chant the holy names of the Lord. I cannot give this up to follow man-made social behavior. Even if the result is that society and its administrators torture me as much as they want, I am prepared to tolerate it all with a smiling face. I will never give up the eternal service of Hari to run after temporary material happiness. I have no other activity than congregationally chanting the spiritual names of Krishna that I have received through disciplic succession. Both the body and the mind are distinct from ‘I,’ the owner of the body, because ‘I’ am eternal, while the body and mind are temporary.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.95
shunina tahana vakya mulukera pati
jijnasila,-“ebe ki kariba iha-prati?”
After hearing Haridasa’s statement, the king asked the Kazi, “Now what will you do with him?”
CB Adi-khanda 16.96
kaji bale,-“baisha bajare bedi’ mari’
prana laha, ara kichu vicara na kari’
The Kazi replied, “He should be beaten in the twenty-two marketplaces. Take his life in this way. That is my opinion.
In the end, the atheist Kazi proposed to the king as follows: “Let Haridasa be beaten in each of the twenty-two marketplaces within Ambuya-muluka, then he will die. This is the proper punishment for the sin he has incurred by accepting the behavior of the Hindus and chanting the names of the Hindus’ God.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.97
baisha-bajare marileha yadi jiye
tabe jani,-jnani-saba sacca katha kahe”
“If he survives being beaten in twenty-two marketplaces, then we’ll understand that he’s actually knowledgeable and his words are true.”
“If in spite of being beaten in twenty-two marketplaces, Haridasa remains alive, then we will know that he is truthful and nonduplicitous. And if he dies, then his punishment was proper.”
CB Adi-khanda 16.98
paika-sakale daki’ tarja kari’ kahe
“e-mata maribi,-yena prana nahi rahe
The Kazi then called the guards and sternly ordered them, “Beat him in such a way that he will die.
The word paika (derived from the word padatika) means “guards” or “servants.”
The servant guards were ordered to severely beat Haridasa more than needed to make his life air leave the body.
CB Adi-khanda 16.99
yavana haiya yei hinduyani kare
prananta haile sheshe e papa haite tare’”
“If a Moslem who follows the Hindu religion is killed, then he’ll be delivered from that sin.”
“The death sentence is proper punishment for Moslems who give up their religion and follow the religion and behavior of the infidel Hindus. There is no sin more grave than for a non-Hindu to accept the Hindu religion; death is the only atonement for such a sin.”
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.