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HARIDAS THAKUR AT NAVADVIP
HARIDAS Thakur had a cordial reception at Navadvip. The group of devotees there, were extremely delighted to have him in their midst. They rejoiced in his company beyond expression. The joy of Advaita Acharya outweighed that of all the rest. He treated Haridas Thakur as more than his own self. All other devotees too had a special attrac¬tion for Haridas Thakur. He also, in return was very obedient and devotional to them. In the sweet company of all these devotees, mu¬tually discussing on the Excellences of the Supreme Lord daily, Haridas Thakur resided at Navadvip as a favorite guest of Advaita Acharaya. While at Santipur, Haridas, Thakur used to pay occasional visits to Navadvip, situated seventy miles to the north of Calcutta on the banks of the river Bhagirathi. During the time of Thakur Haridas, it was a progressive town, specially eminent in learning. It was here that Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Embodiment of Tran¬scendental Bliss, the Greatest Exponent of Prem Bhakti and Nama-Sankirtan manifested his Advent towards the concluding years of the 15th century.
The then condition of Navadvip
During the time of Haridas Thakur, the conditions prevailing in Navadvip, that vast centre of education, was utterly disappointing.There was a lamentable deterioration of religious ideas and ideals there. Shri Vrindavandas Thakur in his celebrated work 'Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata'describes the then condition thus:- "The world
was utterly bereft on any sign of religion. People appeared to be extremely busy in satisfying the baser instincts of humanity. Even those, who expounded Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita and Shrimad Bhagavata, never observed or made mention of Bhakti or Nama-Sankirtan, nor did they ask their faithful followers to practise > . them in their lives."119
No sacred book of the Hindus is so popular as Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita. It is regarded as a standard book of religion not only by the Hindus in India but even non-Hindus throughout the length and breadth of the globe. Emanating directly from the Holy Mouth of Bhagavan Shri Krishna, it is a synthesis of all the existing religious truths of the world, a reconciliation of all the conflicting theories,true essence of all the Upanishads, a benevolent guide and a loving companion to the travellers of life eternal. It is a veritable reservoir of inspiring religious truths of practical value. Unconditional sur¬render and love to Bhagavan form the substance of the entire scripture. It is a pity-nay, utter ill-luck on the part of the expounders of this book to twist precious Slokas to suit mere empiric sense and thereby misguide the ignorant public.
Who has not in India heard about Shrimad Bhagavata? It is ac¬cepted as the greatest devotional work by all the sincere devotees of the Lord. It is the most splendid and authoritative commentary of the Brahma Sutras from the pen of the author himself the great sage Shri Krishna Dvaipayan Vedavyas, an explanatory meaning of the great epic Mahabharata, a marvellous exposition of the sacred Gayatri and an epitomised quintessence of all the revealed scriptures. This great book has exercised an enormous influence, on the life of numerous persons in India, who pine for the development in them of unalloyed devotion or Prem Bhakti in Bhagavan. This work is a perennial ocean of loving devotion to Shri Krishna. It is equally disappointing, that the dry intellectual exponents of Navadvip, did not spare this favourite book of the loving devotees also, from their far-fetched habitual twisting of words into peculiar ways giving forth queer meanings. We must thank them, however, that they did not totally destroy it from the face of the earth, for promoting their materialistic views.
The Bhaktas of Navadvip gathered in solitary places, and per¬formed Kirtan by clapping their hands. Even this unostentatious per-formancejlid not escape the scathing criticism of the anti-Godly el-emeMsof the town. They abused the devotees indiscriminately."Why dc/these people bawl out like this? I am Brahma, that ever pure, eternal existence. Why should they make this difference as servant ind master? For the purpose of securing alms, they have adopted this method as the most convenient procedure. Come on, let us break their houses and throw them out.' From the few sentences stated above, one can have a vivid picture of the disposition of most of the inhab¬itants of Navadvip during the time of Thakur Haridas. They were in the terrible cnp of a dangerous type of atheism. The theoretical philosophy that they favoured, denounced religion and its ideals as the worst possible hindrance to social unity. Every activity was viewed from the point of economic value and satisfaction of the material senses. Those few innocent devotees, the real benefactors of human¬ity, were unfortunately the target of all their attacks and humilia¬tions.
The state of affairs that is prevailing in our country at present, is not much better than what it was in Navadvip a few centuries ago. A mild but incomplete and superficial survey of the conditions then prevailing, may be helpful to us to realise at first¬hand, the current shaping of events in our contemporary world. Though we boast in every field that we are living in a far superior and civilised world, the fundamental problems of life remain unsolved. Never before in the history of the world, humanity was so badly in need of peace as today. We have totally forgotten the noble ideals of ancient heritage, and hence are being violently tossed about by the waves of materialistic ideas and ideals, and are about to meet, with the worst possible destruction. Our native-land which was once a veritable gra¬nary, of all the noble qualities of humanity, is now converted into a hotbed of all ugly vices. How to save ourselves from this deplorable plight? Unless we make a desperate attempt to revive with full force our cultural civilisation, our spiritual heritage, and take absolute shel¬ter in the infallible Truths of our noble religion, there is little hope of surviving this terrible catastrophe that is facing us today. The glory of our motherland, India, lies not in its high mountains or abysmal valleys, panoramic views or the splendidly rich plantations. No, not even in the snowclad lofty peaks, vast plateaus or the evergreen plains, neither in its industrial output nor in its economic advancements, neither in its political freedom nor in a network of well laid cement concrete roads, but in its unrivalled and inexhaustible spiritual trea¬sures. In this sacred land Bharatavarsha, every true Hindu claims religion as his heritage, the alpha and omega of his life. Did not our elders fulfil this virtue in their everyday life? The soil itself in India has got a special feature. Yes, it is impregnated with a religious in¬stinct.
"Religion, what treasure untold Resides in that heavenly word More precious than silver and gold Or all that this earth can afford."
How impressive is the above poem! How inspiring! Religion is an essential-nay, indispensable factor, a sine qua non of human progress. It is the back-bone of man. He cannot escape it. The innumerable complicated problems facing man at every moment is found satisfactorily answered by religion alone. Man does not find help and solace in any sphere of life other than religion. Mar. without religion or belief in God is like a seed upon the wind, driven this way and that, finding no place of lodgement for germinating. The various calamities that are threatening us with destruction, moral and mate¬rial and above all spiritual, can easily be tackled by a religious re¬naissance.
"Materialistic outlook and the worship of mammon and the ne¬glect of God, are supposed to usher in this era when the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and pride of life degrade man." "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? (Matthew, Gospel 1, ch. 16, 26)". The above two statements from the Christian Scriptures too, reinforce the views that we have pursued so far.
The cause of all the sufferings that humanity is subject to at present, is due to his aversion to God. Someone has properly put it as follows:- "From irreligion is the real nature of everything perverted. Sorrow springs from irreligion only. When irreligion stalks the land, the seasons, the rains, the air, the earth, and plant-life all become vitiated. Then and then only do floods and droughts, pestilence and disease, rapine and bloodshed, sweep the unfortunate land and leave it a prey to disaster and destruction."120
The service of God is the inherent and natural function of every pure soul inseparable from its very constitution. The dislike to the service of God is due to our close association with world-liness which clouds our natural disposition to serve our Maker. We are dynamic beings; stag-nancy is alien to us. Our true inclination is
always Godward, towards the realisation of the divine consciousness, within and without. It is only this experience of the divine consciousness that enhances the irresistible urge or bent of our mind, that long-standing de¬sire for Transcendental Bliss. If we follow this true inward urge of the Jivatma, we become happy and perfect, failing which we get caught in the whirlpool of worldliness, worries, and woes, from which there is no escape. Service to God is the only noble virtue that unites us, all beings together, inspiring in us the presence of the Divinity. It reveals to us the true vision of life and enables us to experience the manifestations of the divine mystery. We also realise the true nature of all things around us, our own self, and its relation with all of them. The want of this virtue converts us to isolated be¬ings, guided by selfishness, impelled by uncontrollable lust for power, which lashes out its bitterness leading to utter destruction. The one contagion that has eaten up the vitals of the present day world, is due to its aversion to the service of God, which is the backbone of every
well regulated society and the bedrock of human solidarity.
Man is said to be an imperfect image of his Maker. The hu¬man souls in their real nature, are infinitesi¬mal parts of the Supreme God-emanations of the Lord's marginal energy, like the rays of the sun, which owe, their existence entirely to the latter. But the sun never owes its existence to the rays. A father finds expressions of delight, playfulness, etc., in the children. He always lakes care of their well-being. They contrib¬ute towards maintaining a sprightly atmosphere in the house. They do not challenge his delightful ways and fancies; on the contrary, they submit and render whole-hearted services to him. Similarly He removes the boredom of the world by mixing alternately in our Nves, happiness and sorrow, to bring out the beauty of happiness against the background of the latter. Or esle, all would get tired of even enjoying happiness continuously. He thus maintains the harmony and sprightliness in this world.
This is a baseless charge on the over Merciful Lord. If it were so, the condition of the world would be unimaginable and unhabitable.The cyclic occurrences of the seasons, supply 0f ample provisions for meeting the legitimate needs of humanity, unity, justice, etc, and over and above the apperance of innumerable ven¬erable saints, the favourites of the Lord to show proper light to us-fallen children groping in darkness and to lead us to life and light eternal, are nothing but genuine expressions of His true com¬passion to us. It is He, Who out of sheer Mercy, preserves us-ungrateful creatures, who audaciously question His right to do as He thinks best The infallible scriptures too, that speak of the Eternal Truth and the appearance of His Advent, as Plenary and Partial Aspects, are nothing but the true expressions of His bound¬less Mercy to us. The Mercy of the Divine Lord manifests Itself in many ways. If we deeply and with an unbiassed mind, study the world and its everyday occurrences, we surely do feel the Merciful Hand of our Maker, Who guides us-His children blind with lust of every kind. He tends us, as no mother ever does, with the Milk of His Divine Mercy and whenever we show signs of our dare-devilry, He mixes it with small doses of bitter sufferings to remove our incurable malady, and to redeem our erring souls. It is but quite natural that He should be partial to His ardent devo¬tees or Bhaktas, like the father who likes his well-behaved children better than the erring ones, who even receive punishment from him for their betterment. If the children are not punished in time, the father will have to bear the approbrium for the neglect of his chil¬dren and dereliction of duty towards them. 'Spare the rod and spoil the child,' is a well known saying. He never fails to reward them when they are reformed. The father never punishes his children just to satisfy his sadistic or perverted tendencies. He is solely guided by the necessity to reform them and their welfare. Similarly, the Lord too punishes us and will desist from doing so the moment we show the signs of reformation. On a careful scrutiny, a wise per¬son will take the events as the best display of impartial justice and fairplay. He has endowed us with discretion. We make or mar our own destinies. The Lord is always impartial. We cannot im¬pute any ulterior motives to His actions, which are guided solely by a spirit of fairplay. 'As we sow, so we reap.'
There are no hardships or restrictions too great to those who genuinely feel in them an incessant and uncontrollable craving to the realisation of the Lord. The obstructions on the onward march of certain aspirants are due to their extreme attachment to transitory pleasures,and transient objects of this world. As such, the Lord never imposes any restrictions, on any particular group of people, nor relaxes them in the case of others. The severity of the restrictions, and hardships felt by the aspirant, depends upon the degree of his attachment, to transient pleasures and worldly objects. Through the purificatory process of hardships and restrictions we are rendered fully eligible to experience the thrilling joy of seeing the Godhead, provided we sincerely practise loving devotion to Him. He never hides anywhere. We live in a maze of doubts and insincer¬ity. We hide ourselves under a thick cloak of falsehood, like the os¬trich that burrows its head in the desert sand. We have to practise loving devotion to Him and incessantly chant His Name and He is as good as purchased. He has said in unequivocal words thus:- "I neither stay in Vaikunth nor in the hearts of Yogis; but wherever My dovotees chant My Names, there I am, O Narada!"
"Now we will revert to Haridas Thakur at Navadvip. When he paid occasional visits to Navadvip from Santipur, he halted in the'Tol' (a school) of Shri Advaita Acharya situated in the neighbourhood of the house of Shri Shrivas
pandit, a great devotee of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. There, Haridas Thakur got into touch with Shrivas Pandit and omers, and in their company he used to spend his time performing Kirtan. At this time, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was only a small Boy- a most wayward Boy, busy in his boyish games and funs. The purpose of His Advent was dormant deeply in Him. He had not shown any sign of manifesting charm and extraordinary features were unaccountably astounding and inspiring to the whole group of devotees-yes, even to the great Advaita Acharya. In course of time, when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu after receiving His initiation at Gaya, changed altogether His whole outlook for a new one-the field of devotional ecstasy, the devoted residents of Navadvip including Advaita Acharya and Haridas Thakur felt highly encouraged and greatly delighted. Within a short period, the whole group found in Him their Saviour, and came under His banner, ac¬cepting Him as their accredited Leader. The new cult of Sankirtan that Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu inculcated among His devo¬tees in the house of Shrivas Pandit daily, met with tremendous opposi¬tion from a section of the community. They employed all their re¬sources in stopping this, what seemed to them a novel religion, which they thought was against the traditions of the Hindu faith, and in harassing the devotees as well. With increasing vigour they started agitations and planned secret plots to destroy the whole movement out and out. They used filthy language and hurled abuses on the devo¬tees; they even threatened these innocent devotees with dire conse¬quences, including physical violence.
Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu felt the gravity of the situation. He pitied the deplorable decadence of the religious and moral principles in them, and the rapid turn of events from bad to worse. He wished to help humanity by popularising His Sankirtan principles through out the length and breadth of His vast native town. He wanted to organise regular preaching from door to door and selected for this purpose from amongst His large list of followers, Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur. He wanted them to convey His Message, "Say Krishna, serve Krishna and practise Krishna"121 at every door and it was executed by them faithfully. Haridas Thakur had gained the special favour of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was now one of the most favourite followers of Shriman Mahaprabhu
When Shriman Mahaprabhu at another time started a crusade against the District Magistrate of Navadvip, Sirajuddin Maulana Chand Kazi, and avowed opponent of Sankirtan,by taking out a huge procession through the various streets of Navadvip, Haridas Thakur played a prominent part. The whole procession consisting of hundreds of thousands of people was divided into groups, and every group was having a party of Sankirtan to lead. Thakur Haridas was a leader of one of those Sankirtan parties, and he by bis devo¬tional dances and holy presence inspired everyone of his followers beyond words. In all important activities of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during His stay at Navadvip till His acceptance of Sanyas, there are not many incidents where we miss Haridas Thakur. He had a signifi¬cant role to play in almost all events.
On the day of the 'Grand Revelation' by Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu at the house of Shrivas Pandit, Shriman Mahaprabhu Him¬self in the presence of all other devotees pro-claimed the glory of Haridas Thakur. He said,"Haridas! Look here. You are dearer to Me than My Own Body. I emphatically declare that there is no categorical difference between your caste and Mine. People under the influence of extreme ignorance may view things from merely the social aspect. They may attribute superiority to My Brahmin Body over your Muslim one. I say, they are utterly under the grip of sheer delusion. I assure you that there is not the least difference between ourselves. The atheistical section of the Hin¬dus, at present consider their bodies as superior to those of Muslims. As a result of this, the Hindus are puffed up with the pride of a supe¬rior caste, which results in condemning even great devotees, who have taken birth in lower communities as inferior. These people, un¬fortunately, are under an erroneous notion. To a materialistic out¬look, there would not be any difference between the holy body of a devotee who is exclusively engaged in the loving services of the. Su¬preme Lord, and that of an ordinary man engrossed in material pur¬suits. This is, without doubt, an offensive attitude! Attributing supe-nority or inferiority to any, on grounds of seminal birth alone, is not the proper method of deciding such issues."
"Just as bell-metal is converted into gold by the occult potency of the touch-stone, even so, by the special influence of Bhakti, a material body is completely spiritualised. In order to establish the unparalleled glory of Bhakti, Bhagavan by His inconceivable potency, brings about the destruction of the material body of a Bhakta and blesses him with a spiritual body, and this is unnoticed by the materiallyminded people of the world. But, since the process is a hidden secret to the materialists, intellectualists, etc., they still hold the opinion that the devotees belong to a particular caste possessing human bodies like them and subject to various reaction of their own actions."122
"By recollecting all those atrocities inflicted upon you by those sinners, My heart breaks. When I saw you being whipped in the streets mercilessly by the employees of that wicked Kazi, I forthwith came down with My Disc with the intention of chopping them off. But what could I do? I was completely helpless, you prayed repeatedly for pardoning them. Even at the risk of your own life and the worst physi¬cal mortifications, you longed for the welfare of all those villains, your enemies. How could I refuse your prayer? I was forced to with¬draw My disc. In order to relieve you from the severe pains of those whippings, I myself received them on My Body. Here they are, Even now you can see those marks of the beatings on My Body. I am not merely bluffing you. Your sorrows have made Me to hurry up to your rescue. Advaita Acharya has truly recognised your greatness. He has made Me a captive by his loving services."
By hearing those words from the Holy Lips of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Haridas Thakur, transported with unbounded joy, fell down unconscious. He remained thus senseless, for awhile lost in an ocean of incomparable delight. Shriman Mahaprabhu woke him up from liis spiritual swoon. He asked Haridas Thakur to witness His Revelation to his heart's entire satisfaction. Haridas Thakur could not see anything, he wept profusely. He had all the signs of spiritual per-turbations on his body. He rolled on the ground; he heaved deep sighs; he swooned; why, he was overcome with divine ecstasy. His feelings had become uncontrollable. Com¬posing himself in a short while, in all humility, and with folded hands, he praised Shriman Mahaprabhu thus:-
"O Lord! O Master of the universe! O Saviour and protector of the infinite number of worlds! Have mercy upon this sinner. You are my Sole Support. Bereft of any qualities, a fallen outcaste as I am, how can I speak of Your infinite Excellences? By my mere sight, people turned out sinners and after my touch, a complete bath was indispensable. It is Your solemn promise that You do not neglect even the lowest and smallest of Your creations, who remember Your Holy Feet and do not spare even sovereigns if they prove arrogant and ungodly. Out of Your causeless Mercy You afford shelter to all those souls who remember You. But, how unfortunate I am! I have not in me even that quality. Words fail me to express the wonderful effect of remembering You. What a marvellous potency It possesses! What a tremendous force It carries! Did You not rescue Draupadi from the terrible grip of the villain Duhsasan, who, under the orders of his wicked brother, the arrogant Duryodhan, dragged her to a huge as¬sembly of many eminent men, heroes, princes, ministers, etc., and made a shameless and boastful attempt to remove her clothes? Ah! How promptly and cleverly You dressed her in clothes when she wailed aloud piteously and surrendered unconditionally! Lo! In spite of all his efforts to undress her, he did not succeed in his efforts. Out of sheer exhaustion and shame he was compelled to leave the assembly, hanging his head down. "Hiranyakasipu did everything to kill his great son Prahlada. He was poisoned, thrown in the midst of huge and extremely venomous serpents, cast into burning fire, and into the sea that he might get drowned, but what was the result? Who amongst us does not know the final fate of Hiranyakasipu? By the efficacy of Your remembrance, the great Prahlada could stand all these atrocities perpetrated on him, without the least suffering.
"When once, in the midst of the wild forest, Yudhishthir remem¬bered You, for saving them from the wrath of the sage Durvasa and his large retinue, You suddenly manifested Yourself there and saved the Pandavas by Your Mercy. You assured Yudhishtir that You would feed all the Rishis headed by Durvasa. Finally, by taking a small particle of some leafy vegetable from the vessel already kept washed, You freed Pandavas from all fear. The Rishis had to leave the place without a word, soon after their bath. They found their stomachs full, even swelling beyond capacity.
"Innumerable are Your Glories and their astounding effects! Con¬stantly remembering You with unflinching love, is the highest of re¬ligious methods that is accessible to one and all. There is no wonder that by sporting in multifarious ways, You redeem all from the suffereings of the world.
"The life of Ajamil of yore, is another inspiring illustration that adds to the Glory of Your remembrance. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, Ajamil, giving up all his virtuous traditions, turned out a great sinner. He had not a single good deed to his credit, but, on the contrary, he was a repository of all sinful act. During the con¬cluding moments of his life, when the fearful messengers of death arrived to wrest his soul from his material body for carrying it to the hideous hell, he uttered the name of his last and affectionate son 'Narayana'; the whole scene changed to a new one; and by the cause¬less efficacy of Your remembrance he was saved from death. All his sufferings of that birth and for births to come, came to an end. There is nothing surprising in this action of Yours. All devotees are really eligible for the great treasure of Your remembrance. In spite of know¬ing all these wonderful effects of Your remembrance, I am such an unlucky and wretched person, that I am utterly destitute of this great wealth. But my Lord! You are an Ocean of Mercy, Overlooking all my defects, You are gracious to accept this insignificant servant. Therein lies the real nature of Your unparalleled magnanimity unde¬serving as I am in all respect, I have only one humble prayer at Your Feet." Before he could conclude all his words, Shriman Mahaprabhu
assured him that He would do the maximum in granting all his prayers.Shriman Mahaprabhu was immensely satisfied on hearing the devo¬tional expressions of Haridas Thakur on the Glory of His remem¬brance and was looking ahead to confer upon him suitable boons.Thakur Haridas continued his prayer. "My Lord! I am an unfortunate wretch, but my demand is too high. It is like that of a dwarf aspiring after the moon. May I be blessed with the sacred remnants of those who serve You with their-body, heart, mind, and soul. May in every birth of mine, the same may be the objects of my devotion. May the idea of accepting their leavings be my duty -My religion. I have no desire for salvation or any other type of attainment of fruits. But, let not my mind even for an insignificant fraction of a moment, deviate from the above prayer of mine, i.e., for the sacred remnants of all Your favourite servants. Let this sinful life of mine bereft of your remembrance be sanctified by the holy leavings of Your genuine devo¬tees. In all the infinite number of worlds there is no higher position than that of becoming a servant of all Thy mservants. I am highly ambitious, hence I prayed for the highest position which I do not, in fact deserve. It is such a lofty position that even great gods are aspirants for it. Perhaps, my prayer may be an offensive one, owing to my ineligibility for achieving such a high attainment. O Lord! O Saviour of fallen souls! Please have the mercy to forgive and forget all the offences of this ignorant and unworthy servant committed consciously or unconsciously. O the Darling of Sachi! O my Lord! Grant me this favour, make me a dog and keep me at the house of Your devotee."
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was highly impressed and moved by this prayer of matchless humility. He said, "Listen, listen to Me, My dear Haridas! You are a jewel amongst the devo-tees. He who has gained your company even for a single day or, with whom you had conversa- tion even for a fraction of a moment, would undoubtedly attain Me. I promise you this. Whosoever respects you, Aspects Me as well. I always remain in your body. It is My pride to flave a servant of your mettle. You have for all time to come impris¬oned Me in your loving heart. I assure you that you need not be afraid of any offence. Exempted from any offence either towards Me or towards My devotees, you are free to carry your devotional prac¬tices."
The boon conferred on Haridas Thakur was received by all other devotees with great pleasure. Who can estimate the fortune of Haridas Thakur? Neither high caste, nor birth in a great family nor the perfor¬mance of noble deeds, nor even the possession of enormous wealth, would help a person to the attainment of the Lord. It is only an ear¬nest longing, a burning appetite for the inexhaustible wealth of Di¬vine Love that will enable one to have access to Shri Krishna.
"If the talent to be engrossed in the essence of devotion to Shri Krishna can be had anywhere, then purchase it by all means. For the price, too, is nothing but excessive passion for it, which cannot be had even by pious deeds in crores of births."123
naivarhaty abhidhatum vai
"O Krishna! People who are puffed up with the vanities of high lineage, prosperity, scholasticism, and personal complexion are unfit to chant Your Name; it is possible only to Your sincere devotees who never identify themselves with any of the acquisitions in the world."124
nishkincanaa vayam shashvan nishkincana-jana-priyaah,
tasmaa tpraayena na hy aadhyaa maam bhajanti su-madhyame..125
"O beautiful one! We have nothing of our own and we are al¬ways the beloved of the people who claim nothing for themselves as theirs. As such wealthy persons generally never render any service to Me."125
yady asya na bhavet stambhas tatraayam mad-anugrahah..126
"In course of this human life, if a person is not puffed up with pride due to the acquisitions of birth in noble ancestry, actions, age, personal complexion, learning, position, wealth, and such other laud¬able qualifications, it is to be understood as due to My Grace."126
yan-naamadheya-shravanaanukirtanaad yat-prahvanaad yat-smaranaad api kvacit,
shvaado ’pi sadyah savanaaya kalpate kutah punas te bhagavan nu darshanaat..127
It is immaterial to worry about the birth of a devotee in any family. He is above all such limitations. The Sastras without a single exception declare it. "O Bhagavan! By listening to your Name and uttering Them by bowing down to You or even by remembering You, a Svapach becomes eligible to perform a Soma sacrifice. As such, what doubt is there regarding the attainment of one's goal who is favoured with Your Darsan (Presence)."127
aho bata shva-paco ’to gariyaan yaj-jihvaagre vartate naama tubhyam,
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur aaryaa brahmaanucur naama grinanti ye te ;128
"O what a wonder! There are no words that can adequately describe the importance of a person who chants the Name of the Lord. He is an object of veneration to all, on the tip of whose tongue Your Name has appeared even once, be he a Svapach. Those who utter Your Name, have performed in previous births all the rites be¬fitting Brahmins, such as all types of penance, sacrifices, bath in sacred rivers, the study of Vedas, rules of right conduct and as they, observing them completely, now in this birth, have taken resort to uttering Your Name."128
na hi bhagavann aghatitam idam tvad-darshanaan nrinaam akhila-paapa-kshayah,
yan-naama sakric chravanaat pukkasho ’pi vimucyate samsaaraat..129
"O Bhagavan! There is nothing surprising in the statement that Your Darsan frees mankind from all their sins; when by hearing Your Name, even once even a Chandal is delivered from the bondage of worldliness."129
bhaktyaaham ekayaa graahyah shraddhayaatmaa priyah sataam,
bhaktih punaati man-nishthaa shva-paakaan api sambhavaat..130
"I, the Soul of all souls and the Most Beloved of all saints, am attainable only by single-minded devotion, born of firm faith. Un¬flinching devotion to Me, purifies even the Chandalas from their low births."130
naaraadhanaaya hi bhavanti parasya pumso bhaktyaa tutosha bhagavaan gaja-yutha-paaya..131
"O Lord! I feel that the various qualifications, such as wealth, noble ancestry, beautiful complexion, severe austerities, vast learn-ing, efficiency of the sense-organs, celibacy, popularity, physical strength, prowess, sharp intelligence, control of the external and in¬ternal senses, or even the practice of the eight-fold principles of Yoga are utterly incompetent to render satisfaction to the Supreme Lord."131
Prahlada was born as the son of demon Hiranyakasipu, Hanuman took his birth amongst sub-human beings-monkeys, and not in a civilised human society. But, both of them are revered as great devo¬tees. Similarly, Haridas Thakur, born in a Muslim community too deserves the same adoration from all. Thakur Haridas preached the Holy Name of Shri Hari, in different parts of Bengal. He halted at various places with different devotees. He has left in all these places deep impressions, the influence of which, one can experience even to this day.
After the acceptance of Sanyas, Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Santipur and halted at the residence of Advaita Acharya for a few days. There, on consultation with all devotees and finally with the permission of His mother Sachidevi, He determined to settle at Jagannatha Puri for the rest of His career. Haridas Thakur did not receive the news heartily. He wept bitterly, as diverse thoughts came to his mind. He anticipated gloomy days awaiting him and said piteously, "You are leaving for Nilachal. What about this unfortunate servant? How can I go over there? I am unfit for the same. This wretch is utterly deprived of your Darsan. Without seeing you, how can this sinner survive?" Shriman Mahaprabhu consoled Haridas Thakur with the most pleasing words. He said, "Haridas! Your un¬paralleled humility moves My heart passionately. I shall certainly plead before Shri Jagannatha on your behalf. I am sure, Shri Jagannatha will favour Me, and you will be taken there shortly."
Haridas Thakur had full belief in temples and the modes of worship followed there. Shriman Mahaprabhu s decision to leave Navadvip, had created a great fear in him. Devotees do not break the rules and regulations laid out by Sastras, nor even social customs. No non-Hindu was allowed to enter into the temple precincts. Hence,if Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu decides to reside inside the temple area, he thought he was undone. He would not have even a glance of Shriman Mahaprabhu. On account of this his condition was for some time, like that of a fish out of water or that of a bird with wings clipped off. Subsequently, when he came to know that there was no such objec¬tion for a member of any caste to reside in a certain sandy area, situated a little away from the said temple limits, he felt relieved of a great anxiety, he had his hopes revived. Soon after he received the news that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had decided to stay at the resi¬dence of Shri Kasi Misra, the joy of Haridas Thakur knew no bounds.