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Title: THE Scripture of Kali Yuga: Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata

User: Damodara Svarupa dasa      Date: 2005-04-17 04:39:35


THE Scripture of Kali Yuga: Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata - essay by Swami Gaurangapada



The more I loudly recite or sing the pearl-like verses of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata daily, I feel that Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is THE scripture for all the fallen conditioned souls of Kali Yuga due to the following reasons:


(1) The only Incarnation of God who can save the souls of Kali Yuga, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, is abundantly and unparalleledly glorified in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata like in no other scripture in the past, present and future. There is no other way to achieve the causeless mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu other than constantly reading Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata and accepting His mercy through His most beloved associate Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the author of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata.


(2) At end of every chapter or even at the end of a description within a chapter, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura gives the bendiction of pure love for Lord Gauranga-Krishna to the reader, which is the crest-jewel and the most confidential of all achievements in creation. This love which is effortlessly achieved simply be reading Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata may not be achieved even by performing sadhana-bhakti for thousands of lives.


(3) Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata repeately cautions us almost in every chapter about the most heinous and greatest sin in creation which is to criticize or blaspheme devotees. This is the sin which is the greatest impediment and inclination of the fallen people of Kali Yuga and if one reads Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata repeatedly, one becomes very very cautious about not commiting this sin and thus ensures one's success to attain the kingdom of the Lord in this very life.


By reading the most merciful Chapter 22 of the Madhya Khanda of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, even the most unforgivable and grievous crime of offenses towards the devotees is destroyed by the mercy of Lord Nityananda. This destruction of this offense is not possible by any other means in the whole creation as stated in the scriptures as the Lord Gauranga-Narayana states that even He cannot forgive one for offenses towards His devotees. So this proves that Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is even more merciful than the Lord Himself.


(4) Some say that Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is not for rasika devotees who are interested in the mellows of love between Shri Shri Radha Krishna. But this is nonsense because wherever there are Lord Gauranga's pastimes, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna are automatically present there. A rasika devotee in Kali Yuga means one who first relishes and drowns in Nityananda-Gauranga's pastimes and holy names. Then he or she can become intimate to Radha-Krishna as per Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura. (gauranga gunera jhure, nitya-lila tare sphure, se radha-madhava antaranga).


Actually in the offensive age of Kali Yuga, a devotee who drowns in Nityananda-Gauranga's pastimes and holy names stands a higher chance in becoming intimate to Shri Shri Radha Krishna effortlessly (even if one may not aspire for it) much more so then a devotee who articifically reads only Radha-Krishna's pastimes and chants only Their only Their holy names and tries to become intimate to Them directly.


As per Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, it is Lord Nityananda who grants every soul Shri Shri Radha Govinda and Shri Vrindavana Dhama. So all souls whether they assume themselves as rasika (advanced) or not rasika, should take full shelter of constantly reading Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata and become soaked up from head to toe in the causeless mercy of Lord Nityananda found in every verse of this great scripture before even thinking of becoming intimate to Shri Shri Radha-Krishna.


This is the precise reason why Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada recommended the reading of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata to every new devotee and he desired that all his disciples read Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata 100 times in their lives like he himself did. If one looses the focus in the beginning, one will never achieve the goal, similarly if one does not understand the mercy of Lord Nityananda in the beginning of one's spiritual life by reading Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, there is no question of taking another step in spiritual life.


(5) As per Shrila Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, there is only one thing more merciful than the pastimes of Lords Nityananda-Gauranga. That is the pastimes of Their associates. Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is so fully blended with the pastimes of Lords Nityananda-Gauranga and Their pure Associates because the Lords are never alone in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. Thus Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is surely the most merciful scripture in creation.


For each the next 1000 Kali Yugas + another 1000 Yugas during Brahma's night when there will no creation, there will no Chaitanya Bhagavata written by the direct associate of Lord Nityananda, so Shrila Vyasadeva will write a Purana in Sanskrit glorifying the pastimes in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. This after the 10,000 years of this present Kali Yuga, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata will only be revealed in the Kali Yuga after 8,640,000,000 years.


Those who live far away from the association of devotees should read Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata with even more regularity and receive the direct mercy and association of pure associates of Lords Nityananda-Gauranga like Shrila Advaita Acharya, Shrila Gadadhara, Shrila Shrivasa etc. in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata.


(6) The strong mood of Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata to expose and uproot all bogus philosophies and misconceptions is also very important for the misled souls of Kali Yuga.


(7) As per Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata describes those ecstasies and pastimes of the Supreme Lord Gauranga-Krishna which have not even been hinted at in Shrimad Bhagavatam. Also, according to Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata gives the complete essence of the teachings of Shrimad Bhagavatam in a way that is easily accessible, palatable and assimilatable for the dull-brained souls of Kali Yuga. (bhagavate ache jata siddhantera sara, vrindavana dasa likhiya kariya uddhara)


(8) Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada states in his Gaudiya Bhashya to Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata that without diving deep into the simple but sublime esoteric truths of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, it will be almost impossible to penetrate into the mysteries of the spiritual world.


(9) Just like Shrila Krishna Dvaipayana was the Vyasadeva for Dvapara Yuga and Lord Krishna's pastimes, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura is the Vyasa for Kali Yuga and Lord Gauranga's pastimes. So without regularly reading his great holy book Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, no one can hope to factually get relief from the miseries of Kali Yuga. Just like one who has got cancer should take the medicine for cancer for getting cured not the medicine for malaria and so on.


(10) Though Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita is recognized as the post-graduate study of the spiritual science, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is the basic foundation for the graduation in spiritual life. Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata was recommended by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada to the newcomers and neophyte devotees because he knew that if they develop even a tinge of faith in Lords Nityananda-Gauranga by reading Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata in the beginning they will make most rapid advancement in devotional service (bhakti).


Thus he also said that Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita is a supplementary holy book to Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata because before reading the most merciful 24 years of the pastimes of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga in Shri Navadvipa Dhama as decribed in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, no one can enter into the deep mysteries of the esoteric pastimes of Lord Gauranga in Shri Puri Dhama for the next 24 years as described in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita.


(11) The people of Kali Yuga cannot read or maintain interest in just philosophy for a long period of time. The philosophy has to be coated or explained along with pastimes and stories just like a bitter unpalatable medicine is enclosed with a sweetened capsule. Shrila Vyasadeva wrote the 100,000 verses of Mahabharata precisely for that so that he could present the 700 verses of Bhagavata Gita within the stories of the Mahabharata to maintain the interest of the dull-minded people of Kali Yuga. But even Mahabharata does not directly describe the most purifying pastimes of the Supreme Lord except in a few places and it is a very lengthy scripture.


Shrimad Bhagavatam fulfills this gap but even Shrimad Bhagavatam describes the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna, who is source of all incarnations, only in the Tenth Canto. The first nine Cantos describe the pastimes of the various partial incarnations of the Lord which are ofcourse very beautiful and wonderful. Also in the reading of the pastimes of Lord Krishna, there is a consideration of the offenses of the reader, who according to Shrila Prabhupada, has a great chance to misunderstand Lord Krishna's pastimes in the Tenth Canto because of one's own impure heart and impure desires for sense-enjoyment which are very prominent in Kali Yuga.


So, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata was composed by Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the incarnation of Shrila Vyasadeva in Kali Yuga, to give to the world the most merciful scripture which directly describes the most glorious and offenseless pastimes of Their Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga in all the 12,416 verses of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata and which does not consider the qualification and disqualification of the reader. Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata directly describes the direct pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Gauranga Mahaprabhu, who is known as Patita Pavana or the savior Lord of the fallen souls of Kali Yuga.


Shrila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada states in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita that by misunderstanding Shrimad Bhagavatam, the common people are misled in the science of Krishna, but by reading Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, which is a great aid for the common man in Kali Yuga, people can very easily understand the science of Krishna, Nityananda, Gauranga and bhakti or devotional service.


(12) The qualification for reading Shrimad Bhagavatam which is known as the book for the topmost devotee paramhansas (paramhansa samhita) has been described in Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.1.14: nivritta tarshair upagiyamanad..."Those who are completely devoid of material longings and desires can read, hear or properly glorify Shrimad Bhagavatam."


Whereas, on the other hand, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is more causelessly merciful and thus can be heard, read or glorified by all classes of people including dog-eaters, sinful people and wicked people. This is described in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi lila 8.38: shri chaitanya mangala shune yadi pashandi yavana, seha mahavaishnava haya tatah kshana..."Even if the most sinful or crooked person or meat-eater or atheist simply hears or reads Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, such a person will become the topmost Vaishnava instantly that very second."


(13) Without regularly reading or hearing or reciting Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, one will remain dry and in ignorance about the actual merciful glories of Their Supreme Lordships Shri Shri Nityananda Gauranga and thus one may not be able to maintain the chanting of Nityananda and Gauranga's Holy Names along with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra for a long time. One can only achieve success in the steady chanting of the Holy names of the Lord, if one progressively develops more and more faith in the pastimes of the Lord by hearing them most regularly.


Without taking shelter of the reading of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata daily, even the regular chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra will be become an uphill task because of our ever-prevalent offenses which will act as impediments to our chanting. Due to the merciful glories of Lord Nityananda in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is THE scripture which annihilates our offenses and makes us steady, faithful, commited and advanced in our chanting of the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.


(14) More than just reading the English translation of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, it will very beneficial if the devotees read the original Bengali verses of Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata (even if they understand it or not, the original vibration of the pure devotee of Lord Nityananda, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, will purify their heart of all offenses and sinful mentality and then read the translations and if possible the commentaries.


All glories to Seventh Goswami Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura for finding and restoring Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata to it's original form for our benefit and all glories to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada for continuously reading it, commenting on it, publishing and distributing it for the ultimate benefit of the conditioned souls.


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Shrila Prabhupada, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta, Shrila Bhaktivinoda and Shri Shri Nitai-Gaura Bhakta Vrinda! Pranams and Blessings!