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The Beginning of Chaitanya Mangala
Krishna's Decision to Descend as a Devotee
All glories to Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Shri Nityananda. All glories to Shri Advaita Acarya, the abode of bliss and happiness. All glories to Shri Gadadhara Pandita. All glories to Narahari Sarakara. All glories to Shrivasa, the authority on devotion.
With all my heart, I worship the feet of the dear devotees of Lord Chaitanya. Please listen carefully to the following topics about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna Chaitanya.
Previously, Damodara Pandita and Murari Gupta, two most intimate eternal associates of Lord Chaitanya, discussed the appearance of the golden avatara, Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. For the benefit of everyone, that most important discussion is retold here.
Damodara Pandita asked Murari Gupta, "Please explain why Lord Gauranga appeared. I will become blissful by hearing these topics from you. Why did the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, leave his syarna-varna [cloud-blue color] and assume a golden form? Why did He remove His dress as a gallant lover to adopt the dress of a sannyasi? Why did He travel so .widely to preach? Why did He cry when chanting "Radha-Govinda!" Why did He distribute prema-bhakti in each and every home?
I, Locana Dasa, will tell you all these most confidential topics. By hearing them, .the ignorant people of the world will get salvation.
After hearing these questions, Murari Gupta replied, "Pandita Damodara, listen to me. I will explain these truths to you. In Satyayuga, the scriptures say that dharma has four limbs: mercy, cleanliness, austerity, and truthfulness. Treta-yuga has three qualities- mercy, cleanliness, and truthfulness. Dvapara-yuga has two- cleanliness and truthfulness. Kali-yuga has one---truthfulness.
"In Kali-yuga, irreligiosity replaces religion. People reject the rules of Varnasrama-dharma. Under the dense darkness of Kali, everyone becomes sinful and addicted to irreligious acts.
"Narada Muni, the greatest among the sages, feeling compassion for humanity, decided to rout Kali, the personification of sin, from the earth. Seeing that the snake-like Kali had swallowed everyone in sin, Narada appeared to re-establish religion.
"Narada Muni thought to himself, 'Somehow or other, I must immediately bring the Supreme Lord Krishna to the earth. Only He can re-establish religion in this sinful age of Kali. The Vedas and the Agama scriptures concur that the desire of Lord Govinda is one with the desire of His pure devotee.'
"Narada continued his contemplation, 'If I am actually a true servant of Lord Krishna, I will be able to bring Lord Yadu Raya, [Krishna] into this Kali-yuga. First let me observe the activities of the people in Kaliyuga. Then I will summon Shri Krishna, the embodiment of religion. I' 11 also bring the demigods, and Krishna's intimate friends and followers who will act as His weapons and associates. "'
Murari Gupta said to Damodara Pandita, "So, great demigods like Brahma, great sages like Narada Muni, and even Katyayani Devi took birth on earth when the Lord descended. From Dvaraka, members of the Yadu family expanded themselves to also appear on earth.
"Listen carefully. Now I will explain the appearance of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, the essence of all incarnations. He displayed more compassion than any other avatara. Narada Muni, who always.relishes and sings Krishna's names and qualities, became greatly distressed by the sufferings of others. He was eagerly traveling throughout the universe giving out the holy names of Krishna. But unfortunately, being too attached to material existence, the people of Kali-yuga refused to accept the holy name.
"While chanting the holy names of Krishna, sometimes Narada would cry or laugh loudly. Sometimes he became choked in ecstasy. Glorifying Krishna with his vina, Narada sometimes became submerged in the mellows of Krishna-prema. Torrents of tears would rush from his eyes as he chanted Hare Krishna.
Although that love filled Narada's body with ecstatic joy, the people of the world could not appreciate it.
"Amazed, he felt sorry for their fallen condition, and he thought of how to deliver them. The venomous snake Kali had bitten everyone, infecting them with the poison of maya. Totally forgetting Krishna, people were madly pursuing sense enjoyment. Their hearts found delight in the endless waves of lust, anger, greed, envy, illusion, and madness. Living the philosophy of "I" and "mine", they wasted the valuable human form of life without ever inquiring about their real friend, the Supreme Lord ."
Narada Muni Visits Dvaraka
Murari Gupta continued, "Thus the great sage Narada, seeing the miserable condition of the people in Kali-yuga, thought deeply about their deliverance. Knowing that only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna Himself, could rectify the situation, Narada Muni set out for Dvaraka, in the spiritual world.
"At that time, Lord Dvarakadisa, having just spent the night with Queen Satyabhama, decided to visit the palace of Queen Rukmini. As soon as Rukmini learnt that Krishna was coming to see her, she became filled with ecstasy. Her body trembled in anticipation.
"Although the palace was already spotlessly clean, Rukmini, in the ecstasy of receiving Lord Krishna in her palace, dressed nicely and personally cleansed her private chambers. Musicians filled the air with sweet vibrations to greet the Lord. Placing pots full of water near the door, she lit ghee lamps and fragrant incense to provide an auspicious welcome for her Lord.
"The good-natured, topmost Queen Rukmini, along with Mitravinda and Nagnajiti, joyfully received Lord Krishna. Rukmini washed His lotus feet with scented water and offered arati. Taking Krishna's feet as her only property, Rukmini held them to her breasts. While looking lovingly at the Lord, Rukmini cried uncontrollably.
"Cakrapani [Krishna, the wielder of the disc], becoming astonished, asked Rukmini, 'O Devi, I can't understand why you are weeping. Please tell me why you are crying so profusely. The whole world knows that you are My favorite. Who is more dear to Me than you?'
"Krishna continued, 'Have I disobeyed any of your orders, or done anything wrong, My dear? Are you still disturbed over that time I joked with you? Feeling guilty about that, I tried to pacify you in many ways, but I couldn't soften your heart.' "Remembering that time when Krishna spoke cruel words to her, Rukmini spoke in an angry tone mixed with affection, 'My heart may be hard, but still I am most fortunate in that You are my life and soul.'
"Rukmini continued, 'My Lord, Your lotus feet are more dear to me than even You Yourself. After drinking madhvika [an intoxicat'mg celestial drink], Lord Siva dances continually, hoping to attain Your lotus feet. Prabhu, You know everything there is to know, but how is it that You don't understand the heart of one who loves Your lotus feet? You will understand the intensity of the love I feel if you cultivate Radha-bhava, the mood of Shrimati Radharani's selfless love, within Your heart.'
"Becoming astonished by hearing these words' of His dearmost Queen Rukmini, Lord Krishna asked her to explain it again. Lord Krishna said, 'O Devi, I didn't understand exactly what you just said. What is it that remains unknown to Me? Your words have captivated My heart. I have never heard before that there was something which I did not understand. What is that rare substance which is most valuable in the three words? Though I cannot perceive the meaning of Your words, My mind has become blissful just by hearing them. O Devi, I beg You, please tell only, "Me." '
With complete faith in the lotus feet of the Lord, I, Locana Dasa, describe these transcendental pastimes.
The Power of Krishna's Lotus Feet
Murari Gupta cont'mued, "Rukmini Devi, the goddess of fortune, replied to Lord Krishna, 'My dear Lord, You are the crest-jewel of all transcendental qualities. Within Your heart You can't know why I'm crying, even though everything else is known to You. You don't know the power of Your lotus feet. My heart weeps because soon You'll leave my palace and go away.'
'The fragrance of Your lotus feet spreads in all directions. Simply smelling that fragrance frees anyone from old age and death. One who drinks the nectar of Your lotus feet becomes transcendental to day, night, and the passing seasons. The pure devotees who lovingly clasp Your reddish lotus feet are worshiped by the whole world. And the world becomes auspicious by worshiping the feet of such pure devotees.'
The Power of Radharani's Pure Love
"Rukmini Devi continued, 'My dear Lord, You control everyone in the three worlds. No one can control You. Now please listen. I'm going to tell You something from the bottom of my heart. Whoever has intense attachment to serving Your lotus feet will definitely taste transcendental ecstasy. Because I am completely devoted and surrendered to You, I can experience the ecstasy of worshiping Your lotus feet.
'You, however, are the Supreme Lord, so how can you understand this ecstasy? Besides me, only Shrimati Radharani knows how to relish the mellows of love and taste the highest transcendental pleasure. Although devotees discuss these topics throughout the day and night, they are always amazed by the unique quality of Radharani's pure love for You.
'Laksmi Devi, the goddess of fortune; Lord Brahma, the demigods, and the demigoddesses are all eager to serve Your lotus feet. By receiving the nectar of Your feet, they all attained spontaneous devotional service. Kamala, the goddess of fortune, who always lies on your bed enjoying Your kisses and loving embraces, always desires to attain Your lotus feet. Who can estimate the unlimited glories of Your lotus feet?
'Even after enjoying so much happiness, the goddess of fortune longs for the mercy achieved by serving Your lotus feet. Only Radharani who enjoyed with You in Vrndavana, can understand this completely. No one can compare with Radharani.
It mystifies me how Radharani binds You so completely with Her transcendental qualities. Even today, Your heart pines for Her, and tears pour from Your eyes whenever You chant the name of Radha. Just see the power of Radha's pure love.
'Now I'm ecstatic to have Your lotus feet in my home. Fearing our inevitable separation, I can't help but cry. The taste of serving Your lotus feet overpowers my attraction to You. In transcendental love, Your devotees always hanker for Your lotus feet, meditate upon You, and absorb themselves in Your pastimes. You are the only shelter of the pure devotees.
'Laksmi Devi always serves Your lotus feet with a desire to love You. Although You are Her Lord and master, You fail to reciprocate with Her desire and give pain to Her heart. Whoever wants to taste an unlimited supply of nectar will find it by serving Your lotus feet. Laksmi and Sarasvati think themselves most fortunate to have surrendered at Your feet, even if You neglect them.
'Whoever tastes the ecstasy of Your love considers the four kinds of liberation, and even residence on Vaikuntha, to be most insignificant. It is a quality of Your lotus feet that they manifest pure ecstatic love of God in those who serve them. With folded hands, I pray to You, my dear Lord. Your feet are sweeter than lotus nectar. Please give me this benediction. May I become a honeybee forever attached to Your lotus feet. Fearing separation from You, my heart trembles in lamentation. Grant me the boon that You' 11 never leave my home.'"
In reality, this was not a prayer of Rukmini Devi, but rather an outburst of love, gushing from Her heartof pure devotion. Thus, I, Locana Dasa, sing the nectarcan glories of the Lord.
Murari Gupta continued narrating the story to Damodara Pandita. Murari said, "After hearing Rukmini Devi's wonderful words, Krishna's heart danced in ecstasy. His lotus eyes, reddish like the rising sun, filled with tears of compassion. Sitting on His throne, Lord Krishna gently placed Rukmini on His lap and consoled her. He held Rukmini's chin with His right hand and lovingly looked at her. Waves of nectar overflowed from the ocean ofprema within their hearts.
"Lord Krishna said to Rukmini, 'O My beloved, I've never heard such an amazing and wonderful description. Until today, no one has ever suggested to Me that I should personally taste the love that My pure devotees have for Me.'
Lord Krishna Reveals the Form of Gauranga
"Suddenly, just at that moment, the great sage Narada Muni arrived in Dvaraka. His heart was full of anxiety and he appeared disturbed. RUkmini Devi stood up respectfully, and welcomed the sage with sweet words. Krishna offered an asana to Narada, bathed his feet, and then affectionately embraced him. In a happy mood, the Lord inquired about Narada's well-being.
"Narada's eyes were reddish and brimming with tears of divine love. His voice was choked up and his body was shaking'. Narada was so overwhelmed from seeing Krishna that all He could do was cry. Though trying repeatedly, Narada couldn't speak due to the effect of transcendental ecstasy.
"Lord Krishna said to Narada Muni, '0 great sage, please tell us clearly why you are so unhappy and disturbed. You are dearer to Me than My own life. I know also that I am your very life and soul. It devastates Me to see you in such a condition.'
"Narada Muni replied, 'My dear Lord, what shall I say? You are the lord of everything that exists. You are the Supersoul in all living entities. Singing Your holy names and qualities is my nectarean foodstuff. Enchanted by Your transcendental qualities, I traverse the unlimited universes, preaching Your glories.
'However, when I can't hear Your names being chanted, and when I see the conditioned souls intoxicated by pride, absorbed in materialistic activities, and devoid of Krishna consciousness, it gives me great pain. I don't see any means of deliverance for these people. Therefore, my mind is always disturbed thinking about this. I have now revealed to You whatever sorrows I had in my mind. In Your presence, by the mercy of Your lotus feet, I feel greatly relieved.'
"Hearing the words of Narada, Lord Krishna smiled compassionately and said, 'Listen, great sage, somehow you have forgotten about a previous event. Narada, don't you remember the time you gave My rnaha-prasada remnants to Lord Siva. After Parvati Devi ate some, she promised to distribute My rnaha-prasada to all living entities.'
"Lord Krishna continued, 'Listen Narada, I just heard a wonderful description from Rukmini. As a result of that, I want to promise you, Narada, that in the age of Kali, I will manifest a form filled with humility.
I shall become a devotee of Myself in order to taste the happiness relished by My pure devotees. Not only will I experience the bliss of premabhakti, but I will give it out 'to everyone in the world.
'Although I am the Supreme Lord, I will appear as My own devotee. In the association of other devotees, I will freely distribute My love by performing Hari-nama sankirtana, congregational chanting of My holy names. I will appear in the transcendental abode of Navadvipa in Shridhama Mayapur, within the home of Sacimata.'
"'Then Krishna explained the qualities of His incarnation in Kaliyuga by which He would attract the conditioned souls. Lord Krishna said, 'Narada, My transcendental body will be tall, molten gold in color, and My arms will be long and beautiful. The incomparable beauty of My golden form will defeat the beauty of Mt. Sumeru.'
"While absorbed in this ecstasy, Lord Krishna suddenly showed His form as Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu! Narada Muni fainted in divine rapture, upon beholding this most beautiful form of Lord Krishna which would appear in the coming age."
Locana Dasa says this was the first time that Lord Krishna revealed the transcendental form of Lord Gauranga, the beautiful golden Lord, saturated with pure love of God.
Murari Gupta continued his story, "Beholding such a wonderfully beautiful form, Narada Muni's heart burst with love and tears rushed from his eyes in a thousand streams. Gauranga's brilliant golden complexion was more effulgent than millions of suns. The shining beauty of millions of moons and millions of Cupids would have been put to shame by His inconceivably beautiful face. Blinded by Gauranga's dazzling effulgence, the sage closed his eyes and trembled in ecstasy. "Seeing Narada's stunned condition, Lord Krishna withdrew
His glowing effulgencc and called out in a loud voice. Returning to external consciousness, Narada saw Lord Krishna before him, but he was very eager to see the Lord's beautiful form as Gauranga once again.
"Lord Krishna said, '0 Narada, most fortunate sage, you will be loved wherever you go. Please go throughout the universe and tell the residents of Brahmaloka and Sivaloka that I will soon incarnate in Kaliyuga as Lord Gauranga. In this form of personified mercy, I will establish the yuga-dharma of sankirtana-yajna.
'Revealing the glories of Krishna's fioly names, I Will personally preach the glories of devotional service and give the bliss of Krishnaprema freely to all. Although over the ages, many branches of religion have appeared in the world, I will preach pure love of God to unite all people. I will appear on earth, along with My intimate friends and followers. With them I will satisfy My cherished desire to relish the pure love that My devotees taste by serving My lotus feet.'
"Narada's miseries and anxieties disappeared on hearing these divine words from the beautiful mouth of Krishna. Having his heart's desire fulfilled by the Lord, Narada, playing his vina and singing Krishna's names, left Dvaraka."
Narada Visits Uddhava in Naimisaranya
"While traveling through the airways, Narada reflected on this wonderful pastime. Narada thought, 'Oh, what unparalleled beauty have I just seen in the golden form of Lord Gauranga, whose compassionate eyes appeared reddish like the rising sun. Oh, what a profuse expression of nectar I have seen. I saw the sweetest smile on Gaura's beautiful lotus face. He is superior to all the Lord's previous incarnations. Before today, I have never seen such a reservoir of love. My eyes and my life have attained perfection simply by seeing such an embodiment of the ocean of mercy. My heart can never forget Him. My^ eyes long to see Gauranga again and again.'
"While meditating in this way, the sage arrived in Naimisaranya where he met with the great devotee Uddhava. Seeing Narada Muni, Uddhava immediately stood up, offered dandavats to the great sage, and then bathed his feet.
"Then Uddhava said to Narada, 'This day is most auspicious. I consider myself fortunate, because at an auspicious moment you have come to Naimisaranya.'
"Narada gave Uddhava a deep embrace, kissed his forehead, and smelled his head. Narada expressed a mood of parental affection for the younger Uddhava. After offering an asana to Narada, Uddhava revealed his mind to the sage.
"Uddhava said to Narada, 'Today is very special, for I have now attained perfection. There is something that has pained me for a long time, which I must tell you..Previously, Vyasadeva lived here in Naimisaranya compiling the Vedas; but he wasn't satisfied. Then by your confidential instructions Vyasadeva wrote the Shrimad-Bhagavatam in order to deliver the people in gereral.
'Narada, you know the absolute truth and the science of Krishna consciousness. Since you can understand the mind of Lord Krishna, please tell me about the future. The people of Kali-yuga are blinded by total absorption in sinful activities. In the previous ages of Satya, Treta, and Dvapara, people were religious. In Kali-yuga, the darkest of ages, however, people know nothing but impiety. Please dispel my doubt, for no one surpasses your kindness. Can you tell me how people in the age of Kali will be delivered? '
"Narada Muni smiled compassionately, and with a delighted heart said to Uddhava, 'O Uddhava, you are a pure devotee of Lord Krishna, and your question fills me with joy. Now I will reveal a most confidential subject to you. Not long ago, I felt the same anxiety that you do.
'By the mercy of Lord Krishna, I now understand the unique position of Kali-yuga. Quite to the contrary, people in this age are the most fortunate. In previous ages it was always very difficult to follow the particular yuga-dharma [religious practices for perfection]. But in Kalio yuga, the process of self-realization is easy --- to simply chant Lord Krishna's holy names. In the age of Kali, people can attain freedom from the cycle of birth and death by dancing joyfully and happily singing the Lord's names and qualities.
'Uddhava, listen carefully and I' 11 tell you about a wonderful pastime I saw in Dvaraka, in the spiritual world. When I arrived in Dvaraka, Lord Krishna was sitting on His throne with Queen Rukmini. The Lord was telling Rukmini about His desire to distribute His own love to people in general. Seeing I was in a disturbed state, the Lord asked about my condition. Then I expressed my heart to the Lord.
'With a smiling face Lord Krishna said, "Narada, just now, Rukmini is telling Me about the glories of pure love. I'm becoming overwhelmed with ecstasy simply to hear about it. In Kali-yuga, I will manifest a humble mood in order to taste the love of My beloved. I will give that love to the people.
"Of course, in the age of Kali, everyone will be fallen, sinful, and irreligious. So, to explain the principles of religion I will present a meek and humble personality. That humble form, the embodiment of divine love, will be the epitome of beauty. He will be tall, molten gold in color, powerfully built with a broad chest, and long, graceful arms."
'Uddhava, while describing this, the Lord suddenly manifested the golden form of Lord Gauranga. At that time, He promised to distribute His love. This is everything that happened to me in Dvaraka. Now, I'll travel throughout the world to broadcast the wonderful news of Gauranga's appearance. Eager to taste the prema-bhakti of His beloved, the Supreme Lord, in a transcendental form of unlimited mercy and beauty, will descend on earth in Kali-yuga.'
"Listening to Narada's description, Uddhava became stunned with happiness, started crying, and fell down at Narada's feet. Uddhava said, 'Narada, I feel completely rejuvenated by your exciting news.' Then, Narada Muni, playing his vina, went to inform the devotees about the Lord's incarnation in the age of Kali."
By reading the conversation of Narada Muni and Uddhava taken from the Jaiminiya Bharata [Asvamedha Parva], I, Locana Dasa lose myself in transcendental bliss. If you don't understand my words, then you can read the story yourself in the thirty-second chapter of Jaiminiya Bharata.
Narada Muni Visits Lord Siva in Kailasa
Murari Gupta continued his narration to Damodara Pandita. "While playing his vina and continually singing the glories of Gauranga; Narada Muni traveled around the world informing the demigods about Lord Chaitanya's appearance.
"Overwhelmed with spiritual rapture, Narada would fall down on the ground again and again. One moment he would cry; the next moment he would laugh loudly. His whole body would tremble, and he would speak in a faltering voice. Hiking up his dhoti, Narada would sometimes jump around excitedly, loudly roaring, "Gaura! Gaura! Gaura!" It was impossible for Narada to forget the nectarean love of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, and the beautiful transcendental body, more dazzling than the sun, that he had just seen.
"Narada's heart was so full of ecstatic love that sometimes he couldn't move. Nevertheless, within the twinkling of an eye, Narada Muni came to Lord Siva's abode on Mt. Kailasa. Narada felt excited about his upcoming meeting with Mahesa [Lord Siva]. He was eager to tell him all about his recent experiences with Lord Krishna.
"Narada was thinking to himself, 'Krishna-bhakti is the most nectarean subject in the three worlds. In Kali-yuga, the Lord will reveal the treasure of Shri Vrndavana-dharna. Ananta, Siva, and Brahma are ever desirous of the pure love that the Lord will freely distribute to the fallen miscreants of Kali-yuga. Mahesa will feel great happiness when he hears the good news. By the mercy of Goddess Katyayani, I will .take the dust of Lord Siva's feet. By his grace I'll get strength to chant the holy name.'
"Thinking in this way, Narada Muni approached the door of Lord Siva's home. Nandi, Lord Siva's bull, was guarding the door of the powerful Lord Mahesa. After offering respects to the great sage, Nandi informed Siva and Parvati about Narada's arrival.
"In a happy mood, Siva and Parvati came out to greet the sage. Narada Muni, that most intelligent devotee, fell down at the feet of Lord Siva and Parvati. Feeling ecstatic in the presence of such a Vaishnava, Lord Siva immediately lifted Narada up and embraced him.
"In the mood of a loving mother, Katyayani said to Narada, 'O great sage, please tell me. Is everything all right with you? All the truths in the fourteen worlds are known to you. On this most auspicious day, where have you come from?'
"Narada Muni said, 'Goddess Katyayani and Mahesa, please listen to my wonderful story. You are like the mother and father of this universe. You always desire the deliverance of the fallen souls. Now, touching your feet, I will remind you of a confidential subject which you have forgotten. If you listen to my narration, then surely I will receive your mercy. '
'Once upon a time, Uddhava inquired of Lord Krishna, "My Lord, what will happen to the earth after Your disappearance? Will any devotees remain here? How will the conditioned souls in the age of Kali attain liberation?"
'Replying to Uddhava's question, Lord Krishna taught the science of self-realization. He taught Uddhava a philosophy by which a person could attain liberation by seeing the Supreme Lord everywhere and in everything.'
'Lord Krishna said, "Uddhava, always remember that I am the water, the land, the earth, and the tree. I am the demigod, the Gandharva, and the Yaksa. I am the creator and I am the annihilator. I am the life of all living beings. I am within everything, and at the same time, I am outside of everything."
'After hearing Lord Krishna, Uddhava, striking his chest, expressed his feelings to the Lord. "Krishna, I am convinced that You are allpervading. Your lotus feet are more dear to me than You Yourself. I can't find the proper words to glorify the devotees who take shelter of the moonlike nails of Your lotus feet."
'At that time, Uddhava spoke this verse from the ShrimadBhagavatam ( 11.6.46):
"Simply by decorating ourselves with the garlands, fragrant oils, clothes and ornaments that You have already enjoyed, and by eating the remnants of Your meals, we, Your servants, will indeed conquer Your illusory energy."
'Uddhava continued, "Krishna, the ability of this Haridasa to conquer Maya comes from eating Your rnaha-prasada remnants. Therefore, I always desire to receive Your food remnants."
Narada Waits Twelve Years for Maha-prasada
"Narada 'continued speaking to Parvati and Lord Siva. 'Hearing this conversation between Lord Krishna and Uddhava, I became dumbstruck. Although I myself have been on the path of devotion for a long time, and have been constantly chanting the holy name of the Lord, still I had no idea about the potency of Lord Krishna's maha-prasada. Simply on the strength of the Lord's maha-prasada, Haridasa [Uddhava] had' become a powerful, pure devotee-preaCher of the Supreme Lord. In the presence of the Lord, Uddhava praised that maha-prasada.
'Within my heart, however, I felt deprived because I had never tasted the Lord's maha-prasada. Then I thought of how to please the Lord with my actions, so that He would give me a taste of His maha-prasada. With this idea, I visited Vaikuntha and rendered various services to Laksmi Devi.
'Being satisifed with me, Laksmi Devi affectionately said, "Tell Me, Narada, what do you want? I will give you a boon."
'After hearing Her offer, I decided to reveal my heart 's desire. With folded hands, I told Laksmi Devi. "For a long time, I have been feeling pain within my heart. Everyone knows that I am your servant. But somehow, I never got the chance to taste the Lord's maha-prasada. Please glance favorably upon me and give me the booh of receiving a handful of Lord Narayana's maha-prasada. This is my only desire.
'Laksmi Devi became astonished and surprised to hear my request. Then she submissively said, "Narada, Lord Narayana ordered Me not to distribute His maha-prasada remnants to anyone. How can I break the order of the Lord, my dear Narada? But listen, I will disobey His order and give you some. Considering my predicament, however, you must wait for some time. Then I'll collect His maha-prasada for you."
'Fully understanding my situation, Laksmi Thakurani appropriately responded with such sweet and compassionate words. Sometime later, the Lord, in a jolly mood, took Laksmi Devi by the hand and sat her down beside Himself. At that time, Laksmi Devi wanted to ask the Lord about the maha- prasada but she feared His reaction.
'In a very submissive voice, Laksmi Devi said, "My Lord, I have something to ask You, but I am afraid to speak. I have a problem and I need your help. My Lord, please save Your maidservant. Please listen, O abode of all transcendental qualities, I am holding Your feet."
'Smiling slightly with a sign of questioning in His eyes, Lord Narayana cast a glance toward His sudarsana disc. Beginning to tremble, Sudarsana spoke humbly to the Lord, "My Lord, I don't know the cause, but it seems that Laksmi Devi has a problem."
'Then Laksmi Devi said, "It's not Sudarsana's fault. But Narada Muni' s request has put me in anxiety. Although nobody knows it, Narada has served for twelve years. Being pleased, I offered him a boon. Narada repeatedly asked for the same thing. He wants nothing other than Your maha-prasada remnants, my Lord. Although I have no power to disobey your order, I carelessly gave this promise to Narada Muni. O, my Lord, please save me, and engage me in Your service."
'Understanding her dilemma, Lord Narayana said, "Listen, My dear Laksmi, You made a big mistake. Without My knowledge, you can secretly give My remnants to Narada."
'After some days had passed, the mother of the universe, Laksmi, gave me some of Lord Narayana's maha-prasada remnants. I honored the maha-prasada to my full satisfaction. Of course, the incomparable effulgence of Lord Narayana's transcendental form defeats the combined brilliance of millions of moons and millions of suns. And His indescribable beauty puts millions of Kamadevas [Cupids] to shame.
'Yet, by the touch of the Lord 's maha-prasada, my own effulgence and spiritual potency has increased one hundred times. Feeling intense spiritual ecstasy, I chanted Hare Krishna and played my vina as I traveled to Kailasa to see you.'
"Lord Siva said to Narada Muni, 'I must say, Narada, you look extraordinary. Tell my, why do you appear so spiritually surcharged and effulgent?'
"After hearing Narada describe his experiences, Lord Siva scolded him, 'Narada, after getting the Lord's maha-prasada, which is rarely attained, you ate it all yourself, without offering any to me. Out of affection, you have come to see me, but why didn't you bring any of this rare treasure?'
The Effect of Maha-prasada on Lord Siva
"Hearing Siva's statements of dissatisfaction, Narada hung his head down in shame. Then Narada remembered that he still had a morsel of maha-prasada. With great delight, he quickly gave it to Mahesa. Immediately, Lord Siva ate the maha-prasada.
"Then to everyone's surprise, Mahesa Thakura [Siva] began dancing uncontrollably in the joyous ecstasy of love of God. The earth trembled under the pounding of his feet. Everyone became amazed, seeing Mt. Sumeru rocking back and forth in ecstasy, due to Siva's powerful dance. Vasumati [Mother Earth] was also rocking dangerously.
"Overcome by the bliss of pure love of Krishna, Lord Siva totally forgot himself. His devastating dance threatened to drive the earth planet down to Rasatala, the bottom of the universe. The hood of Ananta Deva was stretching back to the point of touching the back of Kurma. Startled by this strange tickling sensation, Kurma poked His head out of his shell and stared at Ananta.
"Lord Siva's loud and euphoric roaring of the Lord's holy names bounced off the dome-like covering of the universe, reverberating throughout the ten directions. Seeing the whole universe shaking in ecstasy, and unable to tolerate the weight of Siva's dancing, Mother Bhumi [earth personified] ran to Mt. Kailasa.
"With folded hands, Mother Bhurnii appealed to Goddess Katyayani, 'O Parvati Devi, please, I will die if your husband keeps on dancing. I see that the whole material word is also in great danger. So you better do something if you want to save the creation from destruction.'
"After heating Mother Bhumi's plea, Parvati rushed to the place where Pasupati [Siva-the lord of the living entities] was dancing in a trance of divine ecstasy. With folded hands, Parvati Devi spoke some harsh words to break Lord Siva's absorption.
"His ecstasy broken by Parvati's strong words, Lord Siva regained exte.rnal consciousness. Feeling very sad, he said, 'Devi, what you just did is not proper. Why did you interrupt my ecstasy? By doing so, you have practically killed me. You are acting like my enemy. I've never tasted so much bliss before in my whole life. Why did you stop it?'
Feeling great distress, Parvati Devi spoke again with doleful words, 'My Lord, just see the earth before you. The weight of your dancing has pushed her down to the bottom of the universe. Because you're threatening to destroy the universe, I spoke such strong words to you. Please forgive me for my offense.'
"With a smile of satisfaction, Lord Siva pardoned his wife. Seeing her husband in a relaxed mood, Parvati humbly asked him a question, 'Prabhu, everyday you dance in the ecstasy of pure Krishna consciousness. Why is it that today your dancing has pushed the earth down to Rasatala? Your spiritual effulgence is as brilliant as ten million suns. I've never seen you exhibit such a magnificent form. Please tell me, why is it that today you displayed such unlimited rapture in Krishnaprema?'
"Lord Siva replied, 'Devi, listen to the joyful news of my good fortune. Today, the great sage, Narada, gave me some of Lord Narayana's maha-prasada remnants. Although glorified in the Vedas, Vishnu's mahaprasada is inconceivably rare. In all three worlds, it is very difficult to get the Lord's remnants, which are mixed with the nectar of Krishna's lips. Today, my life is a success. By the mercy ofNarada Muni, I received Lord Narayana's maha-prasada. This is my real wealth and the source of my ecstasy.'
"Noticeably disturbed by her husband's statement, Mahamaya [Parvati] said, 'For all this time, I thought that you were always kind and merciful to me. As husband and wife we are one, for you have accepted me as half of your body.
'But today, your false love is revealed. It's all just pretension. You cheated me! After getting that rarely attainable maha-prasada, you ate it all yourself. You didn't even give me a speck of it.'
"Sulapani [Siva, holder of the trident] feeling slightly guilty, said, 'O Bhavani [Parvati, goddess of the material energy] you have no right to receive this transcendental wealth.'
The Vishnu-Katyayani Samvada
"These words inflamed adya-sakti [Parvati] with furious anger. ParvatiSaid, 'One of my names is Vaisnavi; and I also have devotion for Lord Vishnu. Now before this assembly, I make a solemn vow. If Lord Narayana bestows His compassion upon me, I will make sure that the Lord' s maha-prasada is distributed to everyone throughout tee universe, even to the dogs and jackals.'
"At that moment, the Lord of Vaikuntha, Vishnu Himself, arrived in Kailasa to uphold Parvati's promise. Respectfully, Parvati stood up and offered obeisances to the Lord. With tears in her eyes, she let out a sigh and told her problem to the Lord."
In a joyful mood, I, Locana Dasa narrate this story.
Murari Gupta continued speaking to Damodara Pandita. "Then Lord Vishnu spoke in a sweet voice, 'Katyayani, don't be in ignorance. You are My adya-sakti, and ,through you I manifest the entire material creation. I know that you have devotion for Me.
'You are My prakrti svarupini [the form of Vishnu's energy]. You always engage in My devotional service. Without you, the material creation can't exist. The whole creation worships you and your husband, Lord Siva, as Hara and Gauri knowing that you both are My very self. Pleasing you removes the. misconception that you and Lord Siva are different from Me. Please be assured I will keep your promise. I will personally distribute My maha-prasada to everyone in the univere.'
"Lord Vishnu, the possessor of all jewel-like qualities, continued speaking. 'Listen, Katyayani Devi. Now I'll tell you a secret about an ancient episode which will alleviate the miseries of the material world. No one knows the inner meaning of the story concerning the demigods' churning of the 'ocean of nectar. They used Mandara mountain a,s the churning rod, and Vasuki, the king of the snakes, as the rope. The first object they produced from churning was a kalpa-taru, a tree which gives unlimited wealth and fulfills all a person desires.
'Within that special tree there was a transcendental effulgence emanating from the beautiful form of Lord Chaitanya, the supreme embodiment of pure mercy. There has never been a form or incarnation equal to the form of Shri Krishna Chaitanya. He is the fountainhead of all incarnations. He will appear in the word, displaying His transcendental pastimes. By preaching Krishna consciousness, I will distribute My mercy to the people in general.
'In the age of Kali, I will manifest the golden form of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu to propagate the sankirtana-yajna, congregational chanting of My holy names. Taking the form of the golden avatara, I will fulfill your vow Parvati, 'and give love of Krishna to everyone. Please keep this confidential topic secret. In the form of Lord Gauranga, the essence of all incarnations and full of all transcendental qualities, I will deliver all people in Kali-yuga.'
'7he preceding conversation between Lord Vishnu and Parvati Devi, which is called the Vishnu-Katyayani Samvada, was taken from the Padma Purana. King Prataparudra, who.was an ocean of transcendental qualities, distributed these teachings throughout his empire.
"Narada Muni continued talking to Lord Siva. 'Mahesa, the L6rd ordered me to announce His upcoming appearance in Kali-yuga. At that time, the Lord and His eternal associates will descend to earth to remove all calamities. The Supreme Lord in the form of Lord Gauranga will appear in a brahmana family.'
"Lord Siva and Parvati Devi became happy after heating the good news from Narada. Bliss filled the home of Lord Siva as everyone loudly chanted the holy names of the Lord. Sounds of ".Had! Had!" vibrated everywhere. Playing sweetly on his vina, Narada Muni left Mt. Kailasa.
Narada Visits Brahmaloka
"As he traveled, a stream of nectarean melodies rose from his vina, enchanting the ears of the three words. Losing external consciousness, Narada couldn't walk properly, and his face turned red due to love. Although unaware of his fatigue, when he arrived in Brahmaloka he was covered with drops of perspiration.
"Seeing his son in this condition, Lord Brahma had mixed feelings of concern and happiness as he welcomed the great sage. Narada offered respects to Brahma, his father and spiritual master. In a fathefty mood, Brahma lifted him up, embraced him, and asked about his well-being.
"Lord Brahma said, 'Narada, I feel immensely satisfied to b..ehold your beautiful face. Please fill my ears with the nectar of your words. Heating you will soothe my heart. Where have you been? Whom have you met, and what have you experienced?'
"Before Narada could answer, his body began trembling in transcendental ecstasy. Tears flooded his eyes, and his face reddened with feelings of joy. Then Narada said, 'Brahma, listen to a wonderful story. You are the creator of everything, and the name brahmanda comes from your name. 'According to the characteristics of each age, the people follow a particular type of dharma. In Kali-yuga, peope are extremely sinful. At the end of Dvapara-yuga, people were full of sorrow and lamentation. They became afraid of the upcoming age of Kali.
'This situation pained me so much that I went straight to the Lord. I boldly asked Him about the deliverance of the people in Kali-yuga. I told Him I was worded because the brahmanas are not following the Vedas. As a result, the people have very little inclination for religious practices.
'On hearing my words of distress, the Lord, who is full of all transcendental qualifies, said, "Narada, to deliver the people in the age of Kali, I will personally descend and preach the science of devotional service. The benefits one derives from charity, sacrifice, austerity, and religious activities will automatically come, simply by doing Hari-nama sankirtana."
'The Lord continued, "Narada, although the age of Kali is full of faults, just by chanting My holy names one will obtain freedom from material existence. Now please go to the abodes of Brahma, Siva, and the others. Tell them to take birth on earth in Kali-yuga, and in the form of Lord Gauranga, the embodiment Of compassion, I will also descend."
"On heating Narada's description, a seed of sweet love sprouted within the heart of Lord Brahma. He became overwhelmed with love of God; tears streamed down his cheeks. Brahma picked up Narada and placed him on his lap.
"At that time, Lord Brahma said, 'O my dear sage, your mercy fills my heart with pleasure. People are blinded by sense gratification and ignorance of the truth. By your mercy they will become free from Maya' s clutches. Delivering fallen people is your only activity. Please listen attentively. I want to tell you about a recent experience.
'Some time ago, my sons like Sanaka and other sages came here to reveal their minds. They said, "Lord Brahma, you are the dear son of the Lord. Please give some brief answers to our questions." Then those sages glorified the qualities of Lord Vishnu.'
'The sages said, "The Lord is inconceivable, inexhaustible, and eternally blissful. He is full of spiritual energy, very subtle, and the controller of all controllers. He is all-pervading and the very form of religion. The Lord is unlimited and devoid of any material qualities. He is free from all contamination, and has no material form. He has no beginning, middle or end. This can be realized only by pure consciousness."
'The sages continued, "Although unborn, the Lord seems to take birth in the material nature. Lord Shri Krishna relished transcendental' rasa with the gopis in Vmdavana. He acted just like an ordinary lusty man, enjoying conjugal affairs, though everyone knows that the Lord is the true atma of all living entities, whether man or woman. So we want to know why the Lord disturbs our minds by perfonning such unusual pleasure pastimes? O Brahma, please dispel our doubts by telling us the truth."
"Lord Brahma said to Narada, 'O Narada, please listen attentively. Hearing the-doubts of the sages filled my heart with anxiety. I became morose, because I also could not fathom the mystery of the Lord's transcendental sports. Literally there are hundreds of Brahmas like me who don't understand this subject. These truths lie far beyond the knowledge of Vedanta.
'While I was expressing my heart like this, the Lord manifested.a wonderful form before me. He appeared as the Hamsa avatara. Lord Hamsa said, "Lord Brahma, the solution to the sages' question appears in the catuh-sloki [four seed verses] of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. I will now disclose this to you."
"Lord Brahma continued, 'Narada, I must tell you that the catuhsloki are the very source of all my bliss. No one in the universe knows the truth about this. For many days, Shrila Vyasadeva stayed in Naimisaranya describing the Mahabharata and the Puranas. After explaining these subjects, Vyasadeva still felt morose.
'Overcome by bewilderment, he didn't know what to do. In the middle of the jungle, he just lost external consciousness. Un9erstanding his difficulty, 'the Lord became compassionate'. Summoning me, the Lord spoke the nectarcan catuh-sloki, and then He ordered me to give this transcendental treasure to Vyasa.
'At that time the Lord said, "Brahmaji, Vyasadeva doesn't know the inner meaning of My pastimes. Give him these four verses and let him write the Shrirnad-Bhagavatarn based on these slokas. Then speak the Bhagavata to Narada Muni, on whose tongue the Goddess Sarasvati always resides. Tell Narada that in every yuga he is the most merciful to the living entities."
"Lord Brahma continued, 'Narada, no other scripture compares with the Shrimad-Bhagavatam which is completely transcendental. Narada, you should teach the Bhagavata, in order to d. eliver all living entities. There is no other subject in the Bhagavata, except the glorification of the supremely independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna. Anyone who m'^sunderstands this point is a fool.
'Narada, now I remember some Bhagavata verses spoken by Gargamuni at the time of Lord Krishna's name-giving ceremony on earth. Gargamuni described that in different yugas, or ages, the Lord appears on the earth in various incarnations. Gargamuni said in the ShrimadBha gavatarn ( 10.8.13):
"Your son Krishna appears as an incarnation in every rfiillennium. In the past, He assumed three different colors---white, red, and yellow--and now He has appeared in a blackish color. [In another Dvaparayuga, He appeared (as Lord Ramacandra) in the color of a suka, a parrot. All such incarnations have now assembled in Krishna.]"
"Lord Brahma said, 'Some people question the break in the usual sequence of the four yugas. They think that the Lord appeared in the four yugas in only three colors. In reality, there are only four colors"white, red, yellow and black---and four yugas--- Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. Please consider which age Lord Gauranga belongs to. For the benefit of ignorant people, I will now explain this by quoting various verses from Shrimad-Bhagavatam ( 11.5.19-3 1):
"King Nimi inquired from Karabhajana Muni: In what colors and forms does the Supreme Personality of Godhead appear in each of the different ages, and with what names and by what types of regulative principles is the Lord worshiped in society?
"Shri Karabhajana Muni replied: In each of the four yugas, or ages~ -Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali--Lord Kesava appears with various complexions, names, and forms and is thus worshiped by various processes.
"In Satya-yuga the Lord is white and four-armed, has matted locks and wears a garment of tree bark. He carries a black deerskin, a sacred thread, prayer beads, and the rod and waterpot of a brahmacari.
"People in Satya-yuga are peaceful, non-envious, friendly to every creature, and steady in all situations. They worship the Supreme Personality by austere meditation and by internal and external sense control.
"In Satya-yuga the Lord is glorified by the names Hamsa, Suparna, Vaikuntha, Dharma, Yogesvara, Amala, Isvara, Purusa, Avyakta and Paramatama.
"In Treta-yuga the Lord appears with a red complexion. He has four arms, golden hair, and wears a triple belt representing initiation into each of the three Vedas. He embodies the knowledge of worship by sacrificial performance, which is contained in the Rg, Sama and Yajur Vedas. His symbols are the ladle, spoon, and other implements of sacrifice.
"In Treta-yuga, those members of human society who are fixed in religiosity and are sincerely interested in achieving the Absolute Truth, worship Lord Hari who contains within Himself all the demigods. The Lord is worshiped by the rituals of sacrifice taught in the three Vedas.
"In Treta-yuga the Lord is glorified by the names Vishnu, Yajna, Prsnigarbha, Sarvadeva, Urukrama, Vrsakapi, Jayanta and Urugaya.
"In Dvapara-yuga the Suprema Personality of Godhead appears with a dark blue complexion, wearing yellow garments. The Lord's transcendental body is marked in this incarnation with Shrivatsa and other distinctive ornaments, and He manifests His personal weapons.
"My dear King, in Dvapara-yuga men who desire to know the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme enjoyer, worship Him in the mood of honoring a great king, following the prescriptions of both the Vedas and tantras.
"Obeisances to You, O Supreme Lord Vasudeva, and to Your forms of Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all obeisances unto You. O Lord Narayana Rsi, O creator of the universe, best of all personalities, master of this cosmos and original form of the universe, O Supersoul of all created entities, all homage unto You.
"O King, in this way people in Dvapara-yuga glorified the Lord of the universe. In Kali-yuga also, people worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead by following various regulations of the revealed scriptures. Now kindly hear this from me." [end of Shrimad-Bhagavatarn quote]'
"Lord Brahma continued speaking to Narada Muni. 'Listen Narada, the three yugas-~Satya, Dvapara and Treta-- have already passed, and the white, red, and black color avataras have appeared respectively. The great sage Karabhaj ana has explained this. Now hear what the sage says about the incarnation in Kali-yuga. Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32):
krishna~varnam tvisa-krishnam / sangopangastra-parsadam yajnaih sankirtana-prayair / yajanti hi su-medhasah
"In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incamarion of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons, and confidential companions."
The Bhagavata Predicts Gauranga's Advent
"Lord Brahma said, 'Narada, listen carefully to my explanation. Whenever the Shrimad-Bhagavatam mentions the two syllables krs and na--it refers to Lord Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word akrishna [mentioned in the verse quoted above] means He was not black in complexion but golden. Therefore we sing "Gaura!" "Gaura!" The Lord incarnated with His eternal associates, His followers and His weapons which took the form of devotees. I say the word anga means Balarama, which I call sanga.
'The word upanga refers to all of His ornaments. His sudarsana disc and other weapons appeared as His associates, along with Narada and Prahlada. Shri Krishna's eternal associates who had served Him in His previous incarnations, appeared now as Shri Krishna Chaitanya's companions and associates. At the time of Lord Chaitanya, someone will identify His associates and give their previous names in Krishna's pastimes.
'The common people will have difficulty understanding this, what to speak of the low-minded. For this reason, the sage Karabhajana said sumedhasah--only intelligent people will understand. In the age of Kali, religion will manifest in the form of sankirtana~yajna. Intelligent people will taste ecstasy by chanting the Lord's holy names.
Shri Krishna: Three Colors, Four Yugas
'Now I will explain again how Lord Krishna came in three different colors in the four yugas. In Satya and Treta-yugas the Lord appeared in two colors- white and red. But in Kali and Dvapara-yugas the Lord came in one color--black. However, there is actually no break in the sequence of colors mentioned by Gargamuni in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.13. There he said the Lord appeared in white, red and yellow colors in the three previous ages.
'Narada, now listen to a blissful elaboration on the Sanskrit words used by Gargamuni. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam verse 10.8.13, Gargamuni said that the four yugas appear within the three phases of time---past, present and future. After passing Satya and Treta yugas, Krishna comes Himself in Dvapara. Then in Kali-yuga, Krishna Himself incarnates as His holy names. Gargamuni has used the word idanim, which means recently. But this pastime will happen in the future. The word bhavisya means future. A scholar can prove the meaning of the future by knowing the past.
'This is sufficiently indicated by the word tatha [in that place] which refers to the Lord's red and white incarnations that have already been seen. The yellow color will be seen in Kali-yuga when Lord Had appears in a yellow color as Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. If someone doesn't accept my explanation, then he must explain why Gargamuni used the word tatha in the verse.'
Locana Dasa says please accept these statements as correct and don't ignore them.
"Lord Brahma continued speaking to Narada, 'This explanation is the supreme proof which shows why Krishna is the avatara for Kaliyuga: Although there is a debate about Krishna's appearance as an avatara outside of the normal time, if you hear carefully, you will understand the truth. The other yuga avataras are either parts or expansions of the parts of Lord Shri Krishna. Krishna Himself is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is not an incarnation, as proven in the Shrimad- Bhagavatam (1.3.28):
ete camsa-kala pumsah / krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokam / mrdayanti yuge yuge
"All the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists."
'Using the authority of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, I will explain why Krishna is called a yuga avatara. Gargamuni's realizations are difficult to understand for ignorant people like us. Only an intelligent devotee can understand.
'Gargamuni said that in the four yugas, the Lord appeared in four colors in three different times--past, present, and future. In Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali-yugas the Lord appears in white, red, yellow and black colors respectively.
'Who is the fountainhead of all incarnations? Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared in the Yadu dynasty, is the source, and all others are His expansions. The Lord comes to establish religion and destroy the atheists. In Dvapara-yuga, the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself appeared on earth, and in Kali-yuga, Krishna came as Lord Gaurachandra. They are the same and they are also different. According to Vyasadeva in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, in two yugas, Dvapara and Kali, the two incarnations of the Lord had the same color, Krishna-- blackish.
'Narada, it's explained in the Brhat Sahasra-Nama-stotra that Lord Siva appears in the beginning of Kali-yuga. He takes the form of Sankaracarya and promotes atheism by preaching impersonal philosophy. In the Bhagavad-gita (4.8,9), Krishna promises that whenever and wherever religion is reduced, He comes to earth to remove atheism and reestablish religion. Due to ignorance people in Kali-yuga become absorbed in sinful activities and sense gratification. Thus, they remain bound in the miserable material existence.
Gauranga, Kali-Yuga, and Sankirtana
'In every yuga, the Supreme Lord comes to earth to deliver the saints, destroy atheism, and reestablish religious principles. In Kaliyuga, Krishna comes as the Gauranga avatara to propagate the chanting of the holy names as the universal yuga-dharma. Glorification of God's holy names is the only religion for the age of Kali.
'Other than the Supreme Lord Himself, who else could have established the yuga-dharrna of Hari-nama sankirtana, which quickly and effectively removes the sins of the age of Kali. Charity, sacrifice, austerity, yajna, self-control, studying the scriptures, renouncing material desires, and other religious principles are automatically attained by sincerely chanting Hare Krishna. The unlimited glories and qualities of Krishna's holy names destroy ignorance and free one from the horrible cycle of birth and death.
'Not knowing this essential quality of the age of Kali, people think that this is just a dark age full of sins. Actually, Kali-yuga is the most wonderful age because of this one quality. From' any position, sinful living entities can attain salvation simply by performing Hari-narna sankirtana. '
"After saying this, Lord Brahma, overwhelmed with ecstasy, warmly embraced Narada Muni. Then Brahma stood up suddenly and proclaimed, 'One will attain unlimited sense pleasure and satisfy all his desires simply by once seeing the radiantly beautiful form of Lord Gauranga'
"Lord Brahma continued his discusson by quoting some sastric verses to verify Lord Krishna's appearance as Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, and to glorify Kali-yuga and the process of Hari-nama sankirtana. He cited the Mahabharata (Vishnu-sahasra-nama stotra):
suvarna-varna hemango /varangas candanangadi
sannyasakrc camah santo / nistha santi parayanah
"When Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears as Shri Gauranga, His complexion is gold [suvarna] in His early pastimes. His limbs are the color of molten white gold [hemanga]. His body is extremely beautiful [varangas], and He is decorated with sandalwood pulp [candanangadi]. These four are the symptoms of the Lord's grhastha-lila.
"The Lord will take sannyasa [sannyasikrc] and show equanimity [sama] in different ways by describing the mysteries of devotion to Shri Krishna, and by satisfying everyone with knowledge and attachment to Krishna. The Lord is peaceful [santa] because He renounces all topics not related to the service of Krishna. His mind is always fixed [nistha] in performing Hari-nama sankirtana. He silences those opposed to.the Lord's service by teaching pure devotional service. He is the abode of the highest spiritual peace and devotion [parayanah] ."
"Lord Brahma quoted another verse to show that Lord Chaitanya's appearance was also predicted in the (Bhavisya Purana):
ajayadhvamaja yadhvam na sansayah kalau sankirtana rambhe bh.avisyami saci sutah
"The Supreme Lord said, 'In Kali-yuga, I will appear as the son of Saci, and inaugurate the sankirtana movement. There is no doubt about
"Lord Brahma continued speaking, 'Narada, listen to some more wonderful topics. The age of Kali is full of darkness, impiety, and sinful acts. The few pious activities that remain are diminishing day by day. The essence of all religions is contained in Hari-nama sankirtana.
'The chanting of the holy names will spread all over the world. If a materialist chants the name of Had, the Lord will give him sense gratification. One who chants with faith, however, will give up all sense enjoyment, and conquer the Lord by his pure love. In Kali-yuga, chanting the Lord's names and qualities is the supreme religion.
'Hari-nama sankirtana is like a big ax to cut the hard knot of sinful activities. The age of Kali is so special that people from previous yugas want to take birth in this age. Why? They want the opportunity to chant Hare Krishna and preach .the holy names. This fact is confirmed in the Shrimad- Bhagavatam (11.5.38) 'The inhabitants of Satya-yuga and other ages eagerly desire to take birth in the age of Kali, since in this age there will be many devotees of the Supreme Lord."
'When the all-powerful Supreme Lord Krishna came, why didn't He give prema-bhakti to the sinful? What other avatara would give prema, even to the undeserving and unsurrendered? That type of compassion was unseen in any other yuga. That supremely merciful form of the Supreme Lord is none other than Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
'A religious man accumulates great benefits and destroys his impious acts by doing pious works, going on pilgrimages, and by following religious rituals; but none of these compares with chanting Hare Krishna. In summary, it is quite clear that Kali-yuga is the best of all ages. There is absolutely no other dharma [religious practice] save and except the congregational chanting of Lord Krishna's holy names.'
"After full deliberation, Lord Brahma came to this conclusion. Narada was extremely delighted to hear these things from Lord Brahma. In appreciation, the sage showered forth sweet music from his vina.
"Then Narada said, 'Brahma, what more shall I say? You have already said whatever I have kept in my heart and soul. Some people pass many kalpas entangled in fruitive activities. Suddenly, by the grace of the Lord they get to render a little service to a Vaishnava. Hearing the divine topics of Krishna from such a Vaishnava, they attain freedom from material bondage. Then they become so devoted to serving Krishna that they don't care a fig for the five kinds of mukti [liberation].
'Brahma, I want to say something about prema-bhakti and who is eligible to receive gopi-bhava [the love of the gopis]. The pure love of the gopis conquers the Lord of the three worlds in the same way that a paramour conquers her lover by her spontaneous love. Who can explain that premarbhakti of the gopis? Uddhava, the great devotee of the Lord, was ready to take birth as a creeper in Vrndavana, in order to get the dust from the feet of the gopis. Uddhava himself describes this in the Shrimad-Bhagavatarn ( 10.47.61 ):
"The gopis of Vrndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons, and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krishna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers, or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their feet."
'The lotus feet of the Lord which are meditated upon by Lord Brahma, Siva, the munis, and the greatest yogis are rarely attained by them. Laksmi Devi massages those feet which have an indescribably sweet effulgence. Although the four Vedas are constantly reciting the glories of the Lord' s lotus feet, they have hardly reached the shore of the ocean where He rests upon the bed of Ananta Sesa.
'Being controlled by their pure spontaneous love, that very same Lord Himself worshiped the feet of the gopis. There are also hundreds of devotees who have brought the Lord under control by following in the footsteps of the gopis. There is no comparison to the confidential pure love shared between the Vraja gopis and Krishna, the Supersoul of all living entities. Their love is matchless and supreme.
'Although it sometimes resembles the lusty dealings between mundane paramours, that love is totally pure and transcendental. That quality of pure bhakti, which Ananta and Laksmi have never even heard of, Lord Gauranga will preach in the age of Kal^i.'
"Then Narada, as per the Lord' s request, asked Lord Brahma to tell everyone in Brahmaloka to expand themselves and take birth on earth in Kali-yuga in order to assist Lord Chaitanya's pastimes. After saying this, Narada, feeling ecstatic, left Brahma's abode.
"Narada continued visiting the demigods. He was playing gently on his vina and singing sweetly. These nectarean sounds showered the world with bliss and enchantment. Absorbed in ecstasy, Narada chanted 'Hari bol! Hari bol!' as he informed the three worlds of the upcoming appearance of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, the avatara for the age of Kali. The Lord would come with His joyful associates."
Locana Dasa says Lord Gauranga's mercy will inundate the world with nectar. All glories, all glories to the Lord of the universe ! In Kaliyuga the Lord appears to propagate Krishna-bhakti. In Kali-yuga the people and the land of Nadia are all fortunate. All glories to Jagannatha Misra, in whose house Gauranga appeared!
Oh how wonderful! The glorious Lord Gauranga, along with the auspicious sound of conches, mrdangas, and karatalas, will preach the transcendental glories of the Lord and flood the fourteen worlds with the mellow love of Krishna. Shri Krishna Chaitanya will first taste the sweet rasa of Vraja-prema. Then He will distribute it to satisfy the hankerings of everyone from the candalas to the demigods.
Forgetting myself in the ecstasy of Krishna consiousness, I, Locana Dasa, proclaim that in this way, the supremely auspicious, blissful treasure of Vmdavana will appear on the earth.
Murari Gupta continued speaking to Damodara Pandita. "Indra, Candra, the Yogindras, and the demigods became joyful and danced ecstatically upon hearing about the Gauranga avatara from Narada Muni. The residents of every planet felt rejuvenated, like dead trees sprouting anew.
Lord Jagannatha Glorifies Gauranga
"When Narada returned to the earth planet, he noticed a decline in the religious practices of the people. They had given up the practices of charity, penances and austerities. Neglecting all pious activities, men were using their bodies, minds, and words only to glorify their wives. Men were totally infatuated with women and sense enjoyment. Nobody cared a fig for yoga or self-realization. Observing these symptoms, Narada became convinced that during his visit to Brahmaloka, the age of Kali had arrived on earth. Feeling disturbed, Narada sat down to meditate.
"Suddenly, he heard a divine voice in the sky: 'I am Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the universe, and I have appeared as daru brahma [form of the Lord in wood]. I am residing in Nilacala beside the sea for the deliverance of all fallen souls. Have you forgotten the past? In order to fulfill the promise of Katyayani Devi, I have descended to distribute my maha-prasada to everyone. Now, 0 best of the sages, come to Nilacala [Jagannatha Puri] and obey My order.'
"Overwhelmed with love, Narada cried out, 'O Jaganrtatha'. Playing his world-enchanting vina he hastened to Nilacala. Entering the grand temple, he saw the large, round lotus face of Lord Jagannatha. His face was more cooling, brilliant and beautiful than a million moons.
"Narada saw Lord Jagannatha as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna, the fountainhead of all incarnations. The Lord was full of ecstasy and had an effulgent smile. Now He had appeared in a most merciful form as a worshipable Deity.
"Falling at Lord Jagannatha's feet, Narada said, 'Please Lord Jagannatha, the age of Kali has come. Please bestow Your mercy. People are bewildered, extremely degraded, and full of lamentation. Controlled by their senses, they're engaged in the most gross sinful activities.'
"Lord Jagannatha smiled, touched Narada's hand and said confidentially, 'Narada, now you should go to Goloka, the topmost spiritual planet. Lord Gaurasundara is residing there. Laksmi and many other ladies lovingly serve Lord Had who is the only enjoyer. The residents are happy there. Radha and Rukmini are the principal queens. Along with their many expansions, they serve the Lord as His consorts. Following in their footsteps, hundreds and thousands of devotees also serve the Lord.
'Satyabhama serves the Lord with her incomparable beauty and matchless qualifies. Indeed, sheis the most beautiful woman in the three worlds. She is the connoisseur of cleverness and knows the limits of rasa. Satyabhama enjoys charming pastimes encompassing the various rasa-laden arts.
'After worshiping Shrimati Radharani, the Lord expanded Himself into many forms to enjoy the rasa dance in Vrndavana with hundreds of loving gopis. With one mouth, how is it possible to describe the limitless glories of this sweet pastime?
'In Dvaraka, all the ladies obey Rukmini Devi. Their minds are full of devotion and they always sing the Lord's glories. Even when they're all together with Krishna, they experience individual flavors of rasa.
'The four types of salvation are given by the Lord of Vaikuntha. Even fallen people in the material word may attain liberation by rendering devotional service. Only pure bhakti, however, can control the Supreme Lord. Being surrounded by Laksmi Devi, the Lord is always rich; but He is always in need of the taste of pure love.
'Just as sugar can't taste its own sweetness, but helps others to taste and enjoy it; similarly, with the help of bhakti, salvation is automatically attained. Liberation impedes the natural flow of pure devotional service. You should know that prema-bhakti-yoga far surpasses the four types of liberation.
'The Supreme Lord of Goloka will come to Puri as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to distribute His mercy. As the Lord of all lords, He will have a tall golden form. By freely giving His mercy He will mitigate everyone's suffering. He will preach, chant, and glorify the holy names. He will distribute the bliss of pure Krishna-prema to deliver all people in Kali-yuga. Now go see Him and you' 11 get relief from all your miseries.'
"After hearing from Lord Jagannatha, Narada Muni left Puri and traveled to Vaikuntha. While moving, Narada was thinking, 'I have heard many confidential talks in the Shrimad- Bhagavatam about mukti and bhakti. I have also heard about that place which is unknown, unmanifest in this world and beyond the knowledge of the Vedas. Today I will see that place manifest before my eyes.'
Narada Visits Vaikuntha
"Infatuated with Krishna-prema and playing his vina, the great sage moved quickly to Vaikuntha. He became even more ecstatic when he heard the sweet singing of the residents of Vaikuntha. Arriving at the gate, Narada praised Lord Vishnu with the most auspicious prayers. The Lord of Vaikuntha was sitting on a jeweled asana, surrounded by His eternal associates. Narada Muni fell at the Lord's feet in respectful submission. Immediately the Lord picked him up and embraced him.
"Laughing and smiling, the Lordssaid, 'Narada, please reveal your mind to Me. Immediately tell Me the secrets of your heart. I am eager to fulfill your desire. I will easily reveal to you whatever you can't understand.'
"With folded hands and a humble heart, Narada replied, 'My Lord Narayana, You are the Supersoul of all living entities. Since You already know everything, what more can I say? In Your daru brahma form as Lord Jagannatha You told me about a wonderful form of Yours. Now I want to see that form.'
"Then Lord Narayana, the jewel mine of all transcendental qualities, said, 'That form is My original form, replete with many different energies standing like a shadow. They serve Him in His unlimited number of incarnations.
'I am all-pervading and within everything. Laksmi Devi and the four muktis [forms of salvation] follow Me. I am the wealth of Laksmi Devi. Narada, this Vaikuntha planet which you have come to is an expansion from the original, topmost spiritual planet called Goloka Vmdavana. The four types of mukti act here like a shadow covering the brilliant reality of bhakti. In Goloka Vmdavana, however, there is nothing but spontaneous pure devotional service.
'Shrimati Radharani is the original energy, the very embodiment of prema. She alone controls Shri Krishna, the supreme enjoyer. Their abode is called the Maha-Vaikuntha, the topmost planet among the Vaikunthas. Three-fourths of the Lord's energy is found in the spiritual world.
'I can definitely say that Gaurahari is beyond the touch of Maya. He is a desire tree full of compassion. O great sage Narada, go to His abode and take shelter of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the siksa-guru for the whole world!'
Narada Sees Gauranga in Goloka
"Nataria moved toward Goloka playing his vina and singing the glories of Hari. Overwhelmed with ecstasy, his body showed various symptoms of transcendental love like hompilation. One momefit he would run, calling out "Gauranga!" The next moment he would stagger a few steps, turn his head around for no reason, and then run forward rapidly.
"Suddenly, a soothing Vaikuntha breeze flowed over him, and in the distance he saw a wonderful effulgence more cooling than a million moons. Narada's senses became inert when he smelled the sweet fragrance of the Lord' s lotus feet. Narada saw that the residents of Goloka were in a joyful mood. "Thousands of Cupids surrounded the Lord, waiting to serve Him. Their bodily features were very attractive. Their talking was a shower of nectar singing, and their walking was full dancing and dramatic gestures. They seemed completely satisfied by an inner bliss created from pure love of God.
"Kalpa-vrksa trees and Kamadhenu [surabhi cows] dotted the landscape. Seeing some flowering vines, Nataria remembered Uddhava's desiring to take birth as a creeper in Vmdavana. Soon Narada came to an attractive private grove in the inner portion of Goloka. There he saw the golden form of Krishna, Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, sitting upon an ornately decorated, brilliant golden throne. The throne was placed on a jewel- studded platform under an incredibly beautiful desire tree.
"Shri Krishna Chaitanya, His gentle face adorned with an ecstatic smile, sat there peacefully. His form was more nectarean and beautiful than the sweetness of honey. A mango twig resting atop a covered water pot sat beside the throne. Gauranga Raya's left toe was touching the waterpot. The grove was illuminated by a bejeweled lamp, shining like the sun.
"Radhika and Her gopi friends [representing the energies of Vrndavana], holding jeweled waterpots, stood on the Lord's right side. On the left side [representing the energies of Dvaraka] were Rukmini and her followers, holding golden waterpots containing jeweled water. Nagnajiti gave a full pot of water to Mitravinda who in turn gave it to Sulakshana. She gave it to Rukmini who then used that celestial Ganges water to bathe Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
"Tilottama [one of Indra's apsaras] filled another waterpot, passed it to Madhupriya, who gave it to Candramukhi. She gave it to Radhika Rai [Radharani] who poured the water on Gauranga's head in abhiseka. Satyabhama gave celestial scents, dresses, garlands and ornaments to Laksmana, Subhadra and Bhadra. With golden waterpots full of celestial Ganges water soaked in jewels, everyone bathed the transcendental form of Lord Chaitanya.
"From all four directions, celestial ladies came with wonderful clothes, jewels and ornaments for the Lord. The best minstrels stood near Lord Gaura Raya, praising Him with select prayers. According to the Vedas, the best meditation is to always remember the abhiseka of the Lord of Goloka.
"The beautiful body of Mahaprabhu shone like molten gold. His two arms were long and graceful. He was being worshiped by devotees chanting the four-syllable mantra. That same form appears with four arms in Vaikuntha. There His body is the color of a newly-formed rain cloud, and He holds the four symbols of Vishnu in His four hands: cakra, padma, sankha, gada.
"Upon seeing Gauranga, the great sage became overwhelmed with divine love. He fell upon the Lord's feet and bathed them with his tears. Smiling, the Lord picked up Narada and put him on His lap.
"At that time, Narada said, 'O my Lord, you a^e very dear to me. You have destroyed all my pains and miseries. My dear Mahaprabhu, I've never seen such amazing things. Now my life is perfect. Never before have I seen such nectarean beauty compressed in one form. Even my father, Brahma, can't understand you. You are completely indescribable.
'Some say You are the supreme effulgence. Others say Your existence defies definition. There's no example to describe Your effulgent aspect. Some say that You're the topmost supreme personality. No amount of speculation can measure You. One can't get liberation even if he knows all about Your all-pervading energy. In this way, Your transcendental pastimes defy comprehension.
'Ananta, with thousands of mouths, can't reach the end of Your transcendental qualities. Although he's trying, he can't properly glorify you. By Your mercy I saw Your form as Lord Gauranga which was impossible for me to perceive otherwise. Yogis and Sankhyaites believe the path of bhakti is the gross way to approach the Supreme. They say only through mysticism and meditation can one realize transcendence. Nevertheless, the devotees are resolute in their consciousness. They simply fix their minds on the lotus feet of the Lord and worship Him with undivided attention.
'According to the Vedas, some follow the path of Varnasrama~ dharma. Some munis, without understanding the Vedas, try to present the conclusion of Vedanta. Why do different philosophers present conflicting views? Some stubbornly insist that the Absolute Truth is non-differentiated oneness. I fully understand that You are beyond the reach of knowledge, guess work or speculation.
'Please give me the mercy of Your lotus feet. I feel great anguish. My Lord, just let me die and be reborn so that I can attainprema-bhakti and lead a life of Krishna consciousness.'
"After hearing Narada Muni's appeal, Lord Gauranga smiled and said, 'Narada, king of the sages, just come with Me. Let us go to Navadvipa and we'll deliver the people of Kali-yuga by preaching My pure devotional service.
'I reside in Svetadvipa along with My elder brother Balarama whose expansion is Ananta. He is served by Lord Siva and the eleven Rudras. Balarama, in His expanded form as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, and His wife Revati, are now sporting in the ocean of milk. He arranges for the incarnations to first enter the material world. Narada, go quickly to Svetadvipa and ask the Lord to take the name of Nityananda and appear on earth with His eternal associates.'
"Narada Muni, feeling blissful and satisfied in his heart to hear from Lord Gauranga, chanted 'Hari bol! Hari bol!"' Locana Dasa declares that one will be swept away in waves of ecstasy by hearing this transcendental conversation.
Gauranga Tells Why He Descends
Murari Gupta continues narrating to Damodara Pandita. "After Narada's departure, the Lord thought to Himself and then announced to His beloved associates: 'Listen carefully as I explain why I incarnate on earth.'
"The Lord, the greatest of all controllers, always thinks about the welfare of the world. He was surrounded by Radharani on His right side and Rukmini on His left. All His delightful queens, dear associates, and intimate followers were also present. They were all eager to listen to the Lord's nectarean words. Millions of eyes were not enough to appreciate the unique beauty of the Lord's face. As many cakora birds hanker after the rays of one moon, similarly their eyes were thirsty to drink the nectar of the moonlike face of Lord Gauranga.
"Revealing the purpose of His incarnation to all His eternal associates, Lord Chaitanya said, 'In every age I appear in the material world to deliver the saints and to reestablish religion. Without understanding the purpose of My advent, the ignorant people continue to commit sinful activities. It hurts Me that after Satya-yuga sinful activities gradually increase with the progress of the ages. Seeing the appalling condition of Kali-yuga, I feel compassionate and personally incarnate in order to manifest My love.
'I will personally teach the people the difference between religion and irreligion. I 'll give them the most difficult-to-attain jewel ofpremabhakti. In Navadvipa on the bank of the Ganges, I'll appear as the son of Jagannatha Misra and Saci Mata. In My previous incarnations I killed the demons, but as Lord Gauranga I'll conquer' them with My love.
'In My other incarnations I took fierce forms and powerful weapons to obliterate many huge and invincible demons. In Kali-yuga, however, I'll use the weapons of My transcendental holy names, qualifies, and the potency of My prema-bhaktas [pure devotees]. With these I'll conquer the people's demoniac mentalities and award them pure devotional service to Radha and Krishna.
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