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HARIDAS THAKUR AT PURI
WITHIN a short period after Shriman Mahaprabhu settled at Nilachal, Haridas Thakur reached that place in the company of other devotees from Bengal. Shri Chaitany Mahaprabhu had Strong affection for Haridas Thakur. He was extremely delighted to hear the news of the arrival of Haridas Thakur and other devotees. All devotees except Haridas Thakur proceeded directly to Shriman Mahaprabhu. He received them all. But, Haridas Thakur was conspicuous by his absence. Shriman Mahaprabhu was very eager to meet Haridas Thakur and on inquiry, He received the surprising news that Haridas Thakur was lying prostrate at a long distance on the road itself. Shriman Mahaprabhu immediately sent for him, but Haridas Thakur preferred to remain aloof, he said, "I am of a low caste, a most unworthy person. I do not deserve to go to the temple limits. If I am favoured with a small space some-where inside the garden close by, I could lead a lonely happy life by remaining there. I need not touch the Sevakas of Shri Jagannatha and pollute them, and thereby stand in their way of service of the Lord. Hence, I prefer to remain aloof; this is my humble desire."
Shriman Mahaprabhu was very happy to hear this decision of Haridas Thakur. Though there was none to stand in the way of Haridas Thakur going to the temple or to any other sacred place, he was never a supporter of entering the temple by his own initiative or by force,disregarding all the social barriers/ Such entry"in to the premises of the temple is a deliberate denial of the importance of the temple as a place of religious worship, and hence of its very sanc¬tity itself. Such entry, would not improve a man morally or spiritu¬ally. Temple is not a place where every individual can exercise his whimsical fads or idiosyncratic rights. It is not a place of exhibition or amusement or secular entertainment. It is neither a place for satis¬fying the political or social ambitions of men. It is invariably a place of religious worship that stands solely for the spiritual amelioration of mankind, a place from where thousands and thousands get spiri¬tual inspiration. One should approach such a holy place with real submissiveness, united to a God-fearing temperament and faith in Divine Objects for purposes of prayer or worship and not for the satisfaction of one's turbulent material senses or with a challenging claim to social right.
Entry into the temple is allowable only to those who seek the same for religious worship. Forcing entrance into the temple either at the points of bayonets or by offering bribe to those people who are unenlightened in the prin-
ciples and conduct of even proper behaviour in the temple precincts, is a grave crime against the very institution. Those who are utterly ignorant of the impor¬tance of the temple, the sanctity of the worship and the real nature of the Object worshipped there, fail to receive any benefit even after entering into the temple. Thieves, who somehow manage to force their entry into the temple precincts, do not become spiritual per¬sons, unless they are favoured by theLord's Mercy. Similarly, the various employees, who have made temple as their residence too, remain in the same ignorant stage. By entering into the temple alone, men do not become broad-minded, cultured, or God-realised. 'Nearer the Church, farther from God', is a wise saying. To those who believe in the inspiring position of the temple, it is a place of great sanctity where the Archa (Holy Image) is worshipped with ritualistic prin¬ciples as laid down in the Sastras. The Holy Image or Archa that is worshipped in the temple is not a product of matter designed by the imaginative brain of a mortal and carved out by any ordinary sculp¬tor of the same category. It is not any ordinary piece of stone, wood, metal, marble, or any other lifeless object of this wrold as many of us think. It is the Visible Manifestation of the Lord in this mortal plane. Tliere are hundreds of instances that illustrate the Divine Nature of the Holy Images and the wonderful deeds that They have performed in different places in relation to different devotees. If we patiently study the history of certain temples we are sure to have a marvellous revelation on certain hidden secrets and Glories of These Holy Im¬ages. In many places, Their origin is untraceable, and hence is a great mystery even today. They have manifested Themselves under peculiar circumstances. Though They appear to be lifeless and im¬movable Images to a completely materialised vision, They reveal Their Real Nature to the spiritual and unalloyed loving vision of true devotees. They talk with them, They move in their company, They accept their loving services and offerings, and They make repeated demands of them.
Shriman Mahapfabhu Himself came to meetHaridas Thakur. He was engaged in performing his usual Kirtan with overflowing love for Shri Krishna. Noticing Shriman Mahaprabhu, he fell prostrate at His Feet. Shriman Mahaprabhu, raising Haridas Thakur from the ground, embraced him with boundless joy, though the latter, out of his characteristic humility tried to prevent Shriman Mahaprabhu from touching Him. he said, "O my Lord! Pray do not touch this untouch¬able, this meanest of the beings." For sometimes, both of them were lost in spiritual rapture, and tears of ineffable joy flowed from their eyes.
Shriman Mahaprabhu too properly retorted. "I touch you for My Own purification. I am not favoured with the power to purify others as you are. At all times you are having bath in all the sacred rivers and you are ever performing all the sacrifices, penance, and charity. Always you are studying the Vedas and you are purer than and supe¬rior to all the so called Brahmins or Sanyasis." "O Lord! What a Marvellous feat! Even a Svapach (one who lives upon the flesh of d°gs) becomes highly venerable, on the tip of whose tongue Your Name exists. Not even this much, those who utter Yo^r Name have indeed practised all austerities and penance, performed all the great religious sacrifices, had their bath in all the sacred rivers and have even studied all the Vedas."132
So saying Shriman Mahaprabhu conducted him to the flower gar¬den situated close by and offered a solitary place for his residence, which Shriman Mahaprabhu had reserved specially for him earlier and advised him thus:- "Make yourself comfortable here and carry on your devotional practices undisturbed. I shall certainly meet you daily. Bow down to the disc of the temple of Shri Jagannatha from here. I shall make necessary arrangements to send for you Mahaprasada daily here." Haridas Thakur carried out the advice of Shriman Mahaprabh to the letter.
On another occasion Shriman Mahaprabhu invited Haridas Thakur for taking Mahaprasada in the company of the other devotees and insisted on his presence. But, the latter, a living embodiment of hu¬mility, preferred to remain at a long distance. Shriman Mahaprabhu used to feel inexpressible joy, on the high sense of humility which adorned Haridas Thakur, who stayed in the solitary hut and performed Nama-Kirtan peacefully. That particular spot inside the flower gar¬den of Kasi Misra is now known to the public by the name 'Siddha Bakul'. An ancient Bakul tree, the stem of which is mostly hollow, is the only sacred remnant that one can witness there. This tree is sup¬posed to be there even long before Haridas Thakur, and later on was fortunate enough to offer shade and shelter to the great Haridas Thakur. While staying there, he purposely avoided the main streets, lest he might, by accident, touch some Pujari of Shri Jagannatha and thereby disturb him in the performance of Puja. Whenever he moved out of his residence, he was always very particular in observing these rules as strictly as possible.
Shri Sanatan Gosvami, one of the most zealous followers of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and prominent amongst the six Gosvamis of Vrindavan, visited Puri, and halted with Haridas Thakur. Shri Rupa Gosvami, the most prominent amongst all the followers of Shriman Mahaprabhu too, when he came to visit Shri Jagannatha, remained quite close to the hut of Haridas Thakur, who had the good fortune of witnessing the close association of Shriman Mahaprabhu with Sanatan Gosvami and listen- ing to His personal instructions to him. One day Haridas Thakur said thus to Sanatan Gosvami:-"I fail to find adequate words to describe your immense luck. Shriman Mahaprabhu Himself declared your body as His Own property. What an enviable fortune! Truly, no other devotee is so fortunate as you are. Those functions which Shriman Mahaprabhu Himself could not carry out, were entrusted to you for proper execution and that too in the sacred Vrindavan, the crest-jewel of all the pilgrim spots and the most favourite playground of our Beloved Lord Shri Krishna." Out of immoderate humility Haridas Thakur continued; "This unfortunate body of mine has not served any purpose. I could not utilise this in the service of our Beloved Lord. It is a matter of utter regret that having taken a human form in this sacred land-Bharatavarsha, the gift of this precious human body has been sheerly wasted."
sanaatana kahe,——“tomaa-sama kebaa aache aana
mahaaprabhura gane tumi——mahaa-bhaagyavaan!
sei nija-kaarya prabhu karena tomaara dvaare..133
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita,4.99-100
pratyaha kara tina-laksha naama-sankirtana
sabaara aage kara naamera mahimaa kathana..134
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita,4.101
aapane aacare keha, naa kare pracaara,
pracaara karena keha, naa karena aacaara.
‘aacaara’, ‘pracaara’,——naamera karaha ‘dui’ kaarya,
tumi——sarva-guru, tumi jagatera aarya..135
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita,4.102-103
On hearing the praise from Haridas Thakur, Sanatan Gosvami said, "You are the most fortunate and specially noted amongst the followers of Shriman Mahapraphu. I do not find an equal to you. Shriman Mahaprabhu took His Advent into this world to relish and thereby spread the Glory of the Divine Name adjunctively. He spread the glory of the Name through you."133 Daily you utter three lacs of Names of the Lord. You speak the Glories of the Divine Name before all."134
"To have a beautiful blending of both preaching and practice in religion in one and the same person is the rarest of the rare achievements. We see some practise certain teach-ings of the Sastras and refrain from any preaching. We also notice some who speak much of the Sastras in impressive language with the least practice of the same in their own life. A real preacher is he, who puts all the teachings of the Sastras into the practical living. He is an 'Acharya'. He alone is fit for preaching religion in public. In you, I see both. You are a living and vivid expression of both practice and preaching in one single personality. You are truly the teach¬ing in one single personality. You are truly the teacher of all. You deserve the highest veneration from the whole world."135
Thus Sanatan Gosvami spoke out the rare excellences of Haridas Thakur-the great Acharya of the Holy Name.
Mahaprabhu's Sermon to Thakur and Sanatan Gosvami
Another day Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave ail inspiring ser¬mon to both Sanatan Gosvami and Haridas Thakur foi the benefit of the world. He said, "It is sheer foolishness to disregard a devotee in this world by means of his social status, birth, etc., or even on the gound of his physical health, beauty, and the like. The body of a true Vaishnav is perfeclly transcen¬dental by nature. It is not of a stuff of the material world. It is formed of transcendental ingredients of eternal existence, eternal intelligence, and eternal bliss. Jivas by their real nature are the eternal servants of the Lord. It is his aversion to the Supreme Lord and the abuse of the freedom of will-a special endowment conferred on the Jivas, thai brings the souls imprisoned in various bodies into this material world. Even in this forgotten state, our merciful Lord never forsakes us. He works for our uplift and helps us to accumulate spiritual merits by enabling us to render service, though unaware, to His favourite asso¬ciates, which again, in the long run brings us into contact with spiri¬tual masters, who are all-time servants of the Supreme Lord. The fortunate Jiva receives his training under this master. He understands his position in the material world and his relationship with the Su-preme Lord and with all other objects, animate and inanimate. He realises his helpless position and the folly that had made him come down as a prisoner in this gross body. He, simultaneously feels an urge to surrender unconditionally to his spiritual preceptor; he does so and the preceptor initiates him into the spiritual practice. He is no longer the same old person engrossed in material thoughts. He now becomes a perfectly spiritualised individual, free from any touch of worldly blemish in him. His body together with all his senses has become the object of the transcendental realm to be utilised in the exclusive service of Shri Krishna-the Transcendental Alchemist. They are no longer objects of this perishable and imperfect world. He is engaged for eternity in the Transcendental Services of Shri Krishna in the specific devotional activities that are allotted to him by the spiri¬tual preceptor, a chief representative of the Lord Himself and enjoys the perennial flow of incomparable bliss emanating from such eter¬nal service."
One day as usual with great joy Govinda, the personal attendant of Shriman Mahaprabhu came to Haridas Thakur with Mahaprasada from Shri Jagannatha temple. To the surprise of Govinda, Haridas Thakur lay still on his bed, a
Rare thing at that time of the day. He was chant- ing the Holy Name in a low voice and speed too. Govinda said, "Kindly get up and have your prasada." Haridas Thakur replied that he would observe a fast on that day as he could not complete his usual quota of Nama. He could not also disregard the Mahaprasada. So, he got up, bowed down to it,
and honoured the same, by partaking a small quantity of it.
Haridas Thakur, by his exemplary life lasting up to even ripe old age left deep impressions as to the spiritual conduct a sincere Sadhak should necessarily pursue. It is essential that he must perform his practice of chanting the Holy Name by keeping a regular number under any circumstances; even at the sacrifice of food, rest, sleep, m., he must unfailingly stick to the chanting of the Name till he completes his fixed quota of Names daily. Keeping an unfinished Portion of the number of Names for the succeeding day on some !&nie excuse or other is totally forbidden. Irregular chanting of the Name fixing varying numbers lor different dates is also to be given ""~up/At the time of receiving the Name from the proper spiritual pre¬ceptor, the disciple will be told the minimum number that he should everyday utter. The disciple has not the choice in selecting a number according to his convenience. Strict observance of such regular chant¬ing only, will awaken in us a steadfast addiction to the Divine Name. Without having any attachment to the Name and the process of Its chanting, the aspirants cannot become eligible for the Mercy of the Holy Name.
jihvaara laalase yei iti-uti dhaaya,
shishnodara-paraayana krishna naahi paaya..136
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita,6.227
Mahaprasade gobinde nambrahmani vaisnob,
swalapapunyaonta rajan biswase nevo jayate..137
Once, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, on hearing the news about the sincere renunciation of a great devotee of His, was extremely pleased and expressed the following remarks for the edification of the fallen humanity. "Persons who have renounced the world, their hearths and homes, and their favourite relations, must engage them¬selves in the constant chanting of the Holy Name. They must main¬tain their existence by securing alms. Such persons, who depend upon other worldly-minded people for their maintenance, are sure to fail in their spiritual attempts. They do not succeed in their goal. Shri Krishna also never favours them; He passes them by. Those of the mendicants who run mad after satisfying the various tastes of their tongue, sustain a deplorable fall from their high spiritual living and become slaves to the evil influences of the palate. Constantly chant¬ing the Name, the recluses must live upon harmless food, such as fruits, roots, leafy vegetables, etc. Prompted by the evil temptations of the tongue, those of the recluses, who run after delicious varieties hither and thither, are only gluttons. They do not attain Shri Krishna."136
"O King! Those whose quota of meritorious deeds is insignificant, will neither have faith in Shri Govinda, His Divine Name, His Mahaprasada nor His devotees."137
Another day, Shriman Mahaprabhu came to meet His favourite devotee, the great Haridas Thakur and inquired, "How do you feelHaridas?"
Haridas Thakur replied, "My Lord! Physically I am fit, but men¬tally and intellectually I am rather feeling weak."
Mahaprabhu insisted on him, "What is the trouble with you? Speak frankly."
Haridas Thakur, "I am unable to complete my regular quota of Names."
Mahaprabhu, "Haridas! You are pretty old now. Why don't you reduce the quota of Names? You are a realised soul. Why should you now insist on completing your daily set quota of Names? You have taken your advent for redeeming the world. You have tasted the sweet¬ness of Name enough; you have also spread the Glory of the Divine Name in the world. Now reducing your daily quota of Names, per¬form the Sankirtan."
hridaye dharimu tomaara kamala carana,
nayane dekhimu tomaara caanda vadana.
jihvaaya uccaarimu tomaara ‘krishna-chaitanya’-naama,
ei-mata mora icchaa,——chaadimu paraana..138
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita,11.33-34
Haridas Thakur, "Pray, hear the humble request of this unwor¬thy servant. I have taken birth in a mean community and with a most censurable body. The whole of my life is wasted in loathsome activi¬ties, the most unlucky and fallen wretch. You have delivered such a person, utterly unworthy of even being seen by others, and a right specimen of an untouchable, from the unfathomable depths of the worst hell and lifted him to the most coveted land of incomparable bliss, Vaikunth. You are the Supreme Lord Whose Will is Law. The infinite universes move by Your Free Will and move at Your bidding; By Your inconceivable Powers You perform unimaginable marvels. You convert in no time a crow into the King of birds. By Your cause¬less Mercy You made me dance in various ways. By Your Grace, I, though an untouchable by caste, could eat the food prepared by the most orthodox of Brahmins on Sraddha-day. Since long I am having a great premonition in me. Somehow, I know not why, it appears to me that You may conclude Your role in this world soon. O my Lord! Be merciful to save me from that most heartrending scene. I shall not be able to bear it. Let me be permitted to breathe my last before You conclude Your Lila. "Holding Your Lotus Feet on my breast, my eyes gazing on Your moonlike Face and my tongue uttering your Name, -Shri Krishna Chaitanya, I yearn to give up my life,"138
If you are gracious to me, O Embodiment of Kindness! have the Mercy to grant me this favour. Let this blamable body of mine fall before You. Be pleased to fulfil the long cherished desire of this insignifi¬cant servant." On hearing this humble, devotional, and touching words of Haridas Thakur, Shriman Mahaprabhu replied thus:- "Haridas! Shri Krishna is an Ocean of Mercy. Certainly He will fulfil your desire. What about Me? All My happiness is in your company. Hence, is it proper On your part to leave Me and go away?"
At this pathetic expression of Shriman Mahaprabhu, Haridas Thakur caught hold of His Feet and prayed, "My Lord! Kindly do not deceive me. Be pleased not to have any more attachment to this trifling being. Undoubtedly You will] grant me this prayer of mine. There are innumerable devotees of great eminence who are always present here to assist You in Your Pus limes. How does it matter if a worm like me leaves You? Does Mother Farth feel the loss of an ant in any way? You are Ever-Merciful to Your devotees. I am a humble reflection of a true devotee of Yours. Have Mercy to fulfil my prayer."
On hearing these repeated entreaties of Haridas Thakur, Shriman Mahaprabhu assuring him that He would meet liim the next day, embraced him and departed for performing His noon-ablutions to the sea.
The next morning after paying respects to Shri J agannatha, Shriman Mahaprabhu visited Haridas Thakur early in the morning, accompa¬nied by all His devotees. Haridas Thakur worshipped the Feet of Shriman Mahaprabhu and all other devotees.
Mahaprabhu asked, "Haridas! What is the news?"
Haridas Thakur, "My Lord! As you command."
Forthwith Shriman Mahaprabhu asked His devotees to perform Sankirtan. Prominent devotees like Shri Svarup Damodar, Shri Vakresvar Pandit, Shri Rai Ramananda, Shri Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya, etc., joined the Sankirtan. Shriman Mahaprabhu Himself sang the glories of Haridas Thakur in a most impressive way and seemed totally lost in them. His words moved the heart of every devotee present there.
Haridas Thakur was now convinced that the Merciful Lord granted his prayer and that he must avail himself of this best oppor¬tunity for fulfilling his long cherished desire. Haridas Thakur, ac¬cordingly requested Shriman Mahaprabhu to take His seat exactly in front of him. How can the Merciful Lord everdevoted to His Bhaktas disappoint a favourite devotee like Haridas Thakur? Did He not com¬mit Himself to many still greater deeds to satisfy His devotees? How fascinating is His attachment and love for His devotees! Did He not swallow fire for the sake of His Vrajavasis? Did He not hold the reins of the horses to work as a Charioteer of Arjun on the great battlefield of Kurukshetra causing even His Own soft Body to be pierced by the never-ending shafts of the Kaurav opponents? How many times He broke His Own vows for fulfilling those of His devotees? Was He ever reluctant to act as an Ambassador to the Pandavas before the wicked Kaurav chiefs or as a gate-keeper at the palace of Mahabali?
Yes, Shriman Mahaprabhu sat in front of His devotee. Haridas Thakur fixed his eyes on the Face of Shriman Mahaprabhu like bees on a lotus. He clasped both the Feet of Shriman Mahaprabhu to his bosom, took the feetdust Of
all other devotees on his head, repeatedly ut-tering the Name of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, drinking the Nectarine Beauty of His moonlike Face. With the holy Name in His mouth, the great Namacharya breathed his last. The departure of Haridas Thakur at his sweet will, reminds us of the passing away of the great Bhisma of yore.
Loud Sankirtan rent the sky. Shriman Mahaprabhu transported wiith spiritual ecstasy, became extremely uncontrollable. He lifted up the body of Haridas Thakur and danced in spiritual rapture. Every other devotee present there, could experience an irresistible inspira¬tion. All of them were dancing and singing the
Name of the Lord in the company of Shriman Mahaprabhu, saturated with unbounded joy. After performing Sankirtan for sometime, they placed the body of Haridas Thakur in a specially decorated palanquin, and took out a great procession amidst loud chanting of the Holy Name. Shriman Mahapraphu Himself led the procession, dancing ahead. The procession marched directly to the sea. There, the body of Haridas Thakur was given a bath, while doing so Shriman Mahaprabhu declared, "The sea has become a great Tirtha from to¬day". Since then, that bathing Ghat of Haridas Thakur is considered to be a holy spot in the sea at Puri. Thousands of pilgrims from dif¬ferent parts of India perform their bath daily at this particular spot. Every devotee took the feetwash of Haridas Thakur. They applied to his body the sandal paste brought for the occasion from the temple of Shri Jagannatha, and with all customary observances, his body was placed in the earth amidst loud Sankirtan by all the devotees. Shriman Mahaprabhu Himself placed the sand first on his body. A beautiful 'Samadhi' was constructed and even today it is a place of great im¬portance at Puri. Haridas Thakur's Samadhi is visited by thousands of people throughout the year. Regular worship too is carried out there daily.
The party of devotees headed by Shriman Mahaprabhu, after per¬forming Sankirtan for sometime, circumambulated the Samadhi and came to the 'Sinhadvar', i.e., the gate of Shri Jagannatha temple. Shri man Mahaprabhu Himself, spreading His own cloth, begged alms of Mahaprasada. Everyone dealing with Mahaprasada parted whole¬heartedly whatever quantity they could afford to part with. Within a short interval, a huge quantity of Mahaprasada was collected and a grand feast was given. Shriman Mahaprabhu with His Own hands served Mahaprasada sumptuously to one and all. On completion of honouring Mahaprasada, He presented to all devotees garlands and sandal paste and showered boons on all those who partook in the function. He assured them all the attainment of Shri Krishna soon, as the proper result of the Darsan of Haridas Thakur. He said, "Sn Krishna by His causeless Mercy favoured Me with his company. So Krishna's Will is independent. He has deprived Me today of Haridas» company. When Haridas willed that he must leave the world, how could I retain him here? By his sweet will he left the world as the great Bhishma of hallowed memory. Haridas was the crest-jewel of the world. By his departure, the earth is devoid of her treasure." With these words Shriman Mahaprabhu danced uttering the words, "All glory to Haridas." All the other devotees followed Shriman Mahaprabhu. They too repeated, "Glory to the great Haridas who proclaimed the Transcendental Glories of the Holy Name." Thus, the most glorious, inspiring, and exemplary career of Haridas Thakur as the great 'Namacharya', to our utter ill-luck, is closed from the view of the people of this world. No material words, however rich they may be, are adequate enough to express the glories of this great saint, one of the most favourite eternal associates of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The appearance and disappearance of the eternal associates of the Supreme Lord, are not to be confused with the births and deaths of ordinary mortals. The devotees of the Lord who make their appearance into this world, do
so according to the sweet Divine Will. They do not come here on any compulsion of Karma as in our case. They are not under the influence of the divine illusory energy (Maya) even when they are here. Maya can not exercise any power on the true devotees of her Lord. They are not under her con¬trol. Hence, their appearance is not actuated by the compulsion of Maya, to reap the reactions of their past actions (Prarabdha). Nei¬ther have they any bondage for any of their actions in this world. Actions themselves are not dangerous if they are properly utilised. Actions are harmful to the core and are the very cause of these re¬peated cycle of births and deaths, only when they are done without the least desire of pleasing the Supreme Lord. Actions when per-formed for the pleasure of the Lord result in Bhakti. Acts of Bhakti <"'(-' not the cause of Sansar as godless and selfish actions are. Hence, a devotee, whose very existence itself is to render the maximum plea¬sure to the Supreme Lord, is not responsible for his various actions "i this world. He is an unconditionally surrendered person, who is "Variably under the direct guidance of the Supreme Lord. He has no ption independent of the Lord, his only Object of Worship. Every action of his, however insignificant it may be, is in full accordance with the 1 )ivine Will. As such, there is no Karma Bandha or bondage of actions lor him.
The sanctity that follows the Advent day of Bhagavan, is also equally shared by the birthday of His devotees. Just as Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Sankarshana, Lakshmana, Bharata, Satrughna, etc., ac¬company the Lord whenever He makes His Manifestation in this world, the devotees too, take births according to the Lord's desires. They only follow the Lord in all His Manifestations and retire to the eternal realm along with Him when the purpose of their birth is fully accomplished. The devotees are not bound by any of their actions here.139
The appearance of a devotee of the Supreme Lord is as much an important and eternal even as the Advent of Bhagavan Himself. The devotees of the Lord, are not separate entities entirely different from Him. They appear along with Bhagavan for fulfilling various pur¬poses of His, sometimes in advance, and some of them by the Will of the Lord, appear even after His departure fom this world. The same is the process in their disappearance as well. The devotees make their appearance fully retaining all their spiritual powers and save us from all the awful sufferings. The career of Thakur Haridas is a glorious and living example of all these infallible facts. If we fail to under¬stand these basic truths on the real position of devotees, our failure to understand it is in itself the proof of our aversion to Godhead, the vital cause of our imprisonment into this material bodies.