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Title: Hanuman Chalisa
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-04-03 08:22:00
†NG HK JSG JSP
Pranam and dandavat.
†Dear Shri Gaurangapada, Gurudev,
†Q.I used to sing the Hanuman Chalisa daily some years ago. Is it an acceptable† practice for an aspiring servant of the Vaishnavas?
I do understand† (well..partially) the tremendious and divine benefits of chanting the† Mantrarajas. I am asking this question regarding the Hanuman Chalisa as also an† example of practices/sadhanas @on the side@ of GD
(ex: others bona fide† mantra repetitions, mixing Christian/Buddhist/e.t.c (-name it!-) practices,† hatha-yoga, Reiki, ......).Can someone benefits from such† practices?While speaking to GD devotees online, I had a very little† realization concerning this matter. A bhaktin and friend of mine began dance† classes. We discussed and she told me how if improved her spiritual life. Now† she dances while chanting and it makes her enter into deep ecstacy of the Holy† Names. My conclusion is that all practices that are done/learned in a karuna† spirit (compassionate for all sentient beings) and that are awakening love for† the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be used to build a strong foundation for† Gauranga-Nityananda Yoga.Am I correct on this?Thank you very much Shrila† Gurudeva, our Gaurangapada.
My eternal pranam to you.
†Haribol! Jaya Lord Nityananda! Jaya Lord Gauranga!
† It is a very indirect way and too much mixing of so many practices from† different places may not yield beneficial results because it is very difficult† to identify whether those practices are authentic or not.
†My conclusion is that all practices that are done/learned in a karuna spirit† (compassionate for all sentient beings) and that are awakening love for the† Supreme Personality of Godhead can be used to build a strong foundation for† Gauranga-Nityananda Yoga.Am I correct on† this?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
†You are right but since there is a very thin line between compassion and† sentimentalism, so we have be very careful with interfaith practices.
†I would like to recount the pastime of Mukunda and Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu† in this regard:
†Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata Madhya Khanda 10.173-265:
Smiling and smiling, Lord Gauranga, who makes true His devotees'† words, granted every boon.
All this while Mukunda was outside,† hiding behind a curtain. Mukunda did not have the power to come before Lord† Gauranga.
The great devotee Mukunda was dear to everyone.† Everyone thought well of him.
When he sang in kirtana, Lord† Gauranga always listened. Why was he being punished by the Lord? No one† knew.
The Lord did not call for him, so he had no power to come.† When the devotees saw this, sadness was born in their hearts.
Shrivasha said, "O master of the universes, please listen. How did Mukunda† offend You?
"Mukunda is dear to You. To us, he is our life and† soul. Who, hearing Mukunda's singing, does not melt?
"He is† diligent in devotional service. He is respectful to all. Without seeing an† offense in him, You have put him in disgrace..
"If he has† committed an offense, then punish him. Why do You reject Your servant and send† him far away?
"If You do not call for him, he cannot come before† You. O Lord, please allow him to see You. Please say that he has† permission."
Then Lord Gauranga said, "Never speak like that to† Me. Don't plead that wretched person's case to Me.
"The words you† have heard, `Sometimes he takes up a blade of grass, and sometimes he takes up† an iron mace,' apply to Mukunda. You don't know the truth about him.
"One moment he has a blade of grass between his teeth, and the next† moment he attacks Me with an iron mace. I will not look at that fellow holding a† blade of grass and an iron mace."
Very eloquent Shrivasa again† said, "Who is qualified to understand Your powers?
"We did not† see any fault in Mukunda. The fact that Your lotus feet made him fearless is a† witness that testifies in his favor."
Then Lord Gauranga said,† "Wherever he goes, that wretch talks like the people he meets.
"When he is with the impersonalists, he talks the imp"ersonal philosophy† of Vasistha. When he is with the devotees, he places a blade of grass between† his teeth and he sings and dances.
"When he is with people of† other sampradayas he does not glorify devotional service. In this way again and† again he attacks Me with an iron mace.
"To these people he says,† `There is something better than devotional service.' In this way again and again† he attacks Me with an iron mace.
"He has committed an offense to† devotional service. Therefore he cannot see Me."
Staying outside,† Mukunda heard everything. He heard the words, "He cannot see Me".
Previously, by his guru's order, Mukunda did not think highly of† devotional service. Lord Gauranga knew all this. That is Lord Gauranga's great† power.
The great devotee Mukunda thought in his heart, "It is not† right for me to keep this body alive.
"I should at once leave† this offensive body. When will I see the Lord again? I don't know."
Then Mukunda openly said, "Listen, O Shrivasa Thakura. Please ask the Lord† when I will see Him again."
Again and again Mukunda shed tears† from his eyes. Because of Mukunda's suffering, all the devotees wept.
Lord Gauranga said, "After ten million births he will see Me again. Of† this there is no doubt."
Hearing these words from the Lord's† mouth, Mukunda became splashed with bliss.
Calling out, "I will!† I will!", he danced wildly. Mukunda, a true servant of the Lord, was overcome† with love.
With his ears hearing the words, "He will see",† Mukunda danced in bliss.
Seeing Mukunda, Lord Gauranga laughed† and said, "Bring Mukunda at once."
All the Vaishnavas called out,† "Bring Mukunda!" Overcome with bliss, Mukunda was not aware of anything.
The Lord said, "Mukunda, your offense is now destroyed. Come. Look at Me.† Take My mercy."
By the Lord's order everyone went, picked up† Mukunda and carried him there. Seeing the Lord, Mukunda at once fell down before† Him.
The Lord said, "Rise. Rise, Mukunda. You do not have even† half a sesame seed worth of an offense to Me.
"Your fault of† associating with bad people is now destroyed. Now you have conquered Me.
"When I said the words, `After ten million births he will see Me again',† in half a sesame seed's worth of time you destroyed all your offenses.
"You had full faith in My words. By that faith you have made Me eternally† a prisoner in your heart.
"You are My singer. Stay in My† association. I enjoy talking and joking with you.
"Even if you† commit ten million offenses, those offenses are not really offenses, for you are† very dear to Me.
"Your body is filled with devotional service.† You are My servant. I always stay on your tongue."
Hearing these† reassuring words from the Lord, Mukunda wept. He rebuked himself. He described† himself as a fool.
He said, "I have no faith in devotional† service. I am worthless like a pile of ashes. I am completely empty of devotion.† Why is it, then, that when I gaze at Your face I become filled with† bliss?
"Duryodhana saw Your universal form, which scholars search† the Vedas to see.
"Although he saw Your universal form,† Duryodhana and his family all perished. He did not find happiness, for he had no† devotion to You.
"Like him, I have no faith in devotional† service. I am worthless like a pile of ashes. Why is it, then, that when I gaze† at Your face I become filled with bliss and love?
"When You went† to kidnap Rukmini, all the kings saw You flying on Garuda.
"At† the time of the abhisheka named Raja-rajeshvara all the kings saw Your effulgent† form.
"The form You directly manifested in the city of Vidarbha,† Brahma and all the demigods yearn to see.
"When they saw Your† form, all the kings perished. They did not attain happiness, for they had no† devotion to You.
"Assuming the form of a boar whose limbs were† made of the Vedi yajnas, You appeared from the waters.
"Then You,† the limitless Lord, picked up the earth in Your tusks. All the demigods yearned† to see this form of Yours.
"The demon Hiranyaksha saw this† wonderful form. Still, he did not attain happiness, for he had no devotion to† You.
"Hiranyaksha's brother also saw a very confidential form of† Yours, and form whose chest is the resting-placed of Goddess Lakshmi.
"The three worlds call this wonderful form `Nrisimha'.Even though he saw† this form, Hiranyaksha's brother perished, for he had no devotion to You.
"I am worthless like a pile of ashes. I have no faith in devotional† service. It is a great wonder, then, that my head has not already been severed† and fallen to the ground.
"How is it that Kubja, the† yajna-patnis, the women of Mathura, and the garland-maker were able to see† You?
"They attained You because they engaged in devotional† service. At the same time Kamsa saw You and perished.
"I am† worthless like a pile of ashes. I have no faith in devotional service. Still You† are merciful and You protect me.
"By the power of His devotional† service, very powerful Lord Ananta Shesha happily holds up the countless† universes.
"Passionately chanting Your glories, He is not even† aware of the universes, which rest like a single drop on one of His thousand† hoods.
"Although He does not rest on anything, everything rests† on Him. It is by the power of His ldevotional service that He is able to support† everything.
"I am a sinner. I have no faith in devotional† service. For endless births my future will not be good.
"Because† he engaged in devotional service Lord Shiva became the giver of auspiciousness. †Because he engaged in devotional service, Narada became the best of the sages.†
"Vyasadeva compiled many scriptures describing the religion of† the Vedas. Still, he did not feel even half a sesame seed worth of satisfaction† in His heart.
"When He briefly explained the secrets of† devotional service, all the offenses in His heart perished.
"On† Narada's order, He explained devotional service in detail. Then the sadness in† His heart fled. Then He transcended the world of birth and death.
"I am a worm who has no faith in devotional service. How did I get the† power to see You?"
Raising his arms, the great devotee Mukunda† wept. His body trembled. He sighed.
By his nature he was a pure† devotee of the Lord. What more can I say? He was one of Lord Gauranga's personal† associates.
Seeing Mukunda's unhappiness, Lord Gauranga became† embarrassed and said,
"Mukunda, your devotion is very pleasing to† Me. Whenever you sing, I will at once come to that place.
"What† you have said is the truth. Without engaging in devotional service, no one can† see Me.
"What I say is the truth: You are very dear to Me.† Who has the power to destroy what I have spoken, through the Veda's mouth, about† pious deeds and about returning to the spiritual world?
"Only I† have the power to these rules. Only I.
"I placed the truth in† your mouth. ,No action is auspicious if it is not devotional service to† Me.
"When someone has no faith in devotional service, that brings† pain to My heart. My pain destroys any happiness they might feel by seeing† Me.
"A washerman saw Me. I even asked something of him. But he† was cheated, for he had no love for Me.