Chaitanya Charitamrita Religion

CC. Adi Lila 1.7-Nityananda Tattva. Hyderabad February 2009

Romapada Swami TalksRomapada Swami speaks:

Very Very auspicious day today! One that is packed with many activities, so we’ll chant this sloka just a few times and then go right into the discussion. The structure of Adi Lila Chapter One of Chaitanya Charitamrita is laid out in a very wonderful way. The initial verses are invocation verses, all of which are very potent! In the course of the following chapters, each packed verse is repeated, then unpacked in great detail, thus filling up the initial seven chapters of the book. The unpacking of this one verse alone, shown on the board, fills one entire chapter in Chaitanya Charitamrita.

Let us chant the verse and unpack a little bit, following in Krsna das Kaviraja’s footsteps. Adi Lila Chapter 1.7:–

sańkarṣaṇaḥ karaṇa-toya-sayi
garbhoda-sayi ca payobdhi-sayi
seṣas ca yasyaḿsa-kalaḥ sa nitya-
nandakhya-ramaḥ saraṇaḿ mamastu

“May Nityananda Rama be the object of my constant remembrance. Sańkarṣaṇa, Seṣa Naga and the Viṣṇus who lie on the Karaṇa Ocean, Garbha Ocean and the Ocean of milk are His plenary portions and the portions of His plenary portions.”

nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te saraswate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
Jai sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu-nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

This morning’s call will be on Nityananda Tattva. This morning’s class will be higher level discussion than this afternoon’s class, when many people will attend who don’t even know who Lord Nityananda is. Since this discussion is intended to be a deeper discussion on Nityananda Tattva, for you to appreciate you have to very attentive. Topics will be based upon Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami’s (KDKG) explanation of who Lord Nityananda is. Nityananda-tattva is not ABC; it’s not complex, but it is very deep subject matter. To understand things that are very deep you have to be in a right mood, you have to be in sattvic mood, in a thoughtful mood, in a receiving mood. I’ll do my best to take you through this wonderful explanation given by KDKG.

It’s nice to remember as we are hearing this narration that KDKG was an initiated disciple of Lord Nityananda. He writes in Chaitanya Charitamrita that “as an initiated disciple of Lord Nityananda, I see Him not only as my Guru and not only as the servant of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu but I see Him as a direct expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Then he explains how and why he sees like that.

Although Vrindaban das Thakur is acknowledged by Gaudiya Vaisnavas including by KDKG, as the Vyasadeva of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes ~ in other words, as Vyasadeva described Krishna’s pastimes in Srimad Bhagwatam, Vrindaban das Thakur described Lord Caitanya’s pastimes in Chaitanya Bhagavat. Although KDKG honors Vrindaban das Thakur in this way, Srila Prabhupada chose to translate Chaitanya Charitamrita first. I was told by those who are Bengali speaking persons that the Bengali in Chaitanya Charitamrita is like Sanskrit. It’s very high Bengali. I don’t know the difference between this Bengali and that Bengali, but the verses of Cc are challenging for the people that are Bengali-speaking to translate into English. The precision of KDKG’s writing and the abundant scriptural evidence he presents is awsome! He is very very VERY profound!

Just prior to Chapter 1 Text 7 is another invocation verse (CC. Adi 1.2)

vande sri-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-
nityanandau sahoditau
gauḍodaye puṣpavantau
citrau san-dau tamo-nudau

Translation:–“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krishna Chaitanya, and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and the moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda. They dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.”

It takes another entire chapter of Adi Lila Chaitanya Charitamrita to explain this wonderful verse. As a brahmachari book distributor for many years, both my sankirtana partner and I would recite this verse and one other Adi Lila verse daily, the verse which explains that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is non-different than Radha and Krishna. We would recite those two verses every day before we began our book distribution and just relish the meaning. Here is KDK’s explanation of the meaning of that verse:–
“Sri Krishna and Balarama, the Personalities of Godhead who formerly appeared in Vrindaban and who are millions of times more effulgent than the sun and the moon have arisen over the eastern horizon of Gauda Desh, West Bengal, being compassionate for the fallen state of the world.” This was the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance and following Him Lord Nityananda.

After Krishna left this world, winding up His pastimes, we find in the first Canto of the Bhagavatam, immediately ~ immediately! ~ all signs of Kali Yuga’s advent were rampant. So much so that Maharaja Yudhisthira, seeing the signs of Kali Yuga, was discussing with Bhima “Look at these awful signs in human society! Discrepancies in conduct, irregular behavior, and cheating! The jackals are crying at night, vomiting fire! The sky is pouring down blood instead of rain. The direction of eternal time has People in general have become very greedy, angry and deceitful. They have adopted foul means of livelihood.” So many very inauspicious omens! He was considering “What is the cause?” He knew what the cause was, he just didn’t want to say it. The Supreme Personality of Godhead who has appeared in this world has now left. For this reason increasingly inauspicious symptoms abundantly manifested themselves.

We were discussing last night how Advaita Acarya along with Haridas Thakur were pleading with the Lord to descend and manifest His full potency of compassion within this world, to reverse the trend of Kali Yuga’s degradation. That very potency of compassion came in the form of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu along with His most compassionate associate, Lord Nityananda, who simply wanted to fulfill the compassionate desire of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And thus the imagery of the sun and the moon is perfect because, although the moon is just the reflection of the light of the sun, the light of the sun can be very intense and scorching while the light of the moon is always soothing and cool. That light of the moon is Lord Nityananda. The Srimad Bhagavatam, which is also described as “as brilliant as the sun but as cooling as the moon”, appeared shortly after Krishna’s departure. In addition, some number of years later, the yuga avatar Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also appeared, along with Lord Nityananda.

The author of this verse is actually Svarup Damodar. He is comparing Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to the sun and Lord Nityananda to the moon, bringing light into the darkness of this age of Kali. Out of His unlimited compassion, Lord Chaitanya manifested the fullness of His compassion, even more compassionate than the personality of the Godhead Krishna Himself. In Krishna’s case, KDKG analyzes, Krishna required “Surrender unto Me and I’ll relieve you of all sinful reactions.” In contrast, Mahaprabhu made no such requirement. Even beyond freely relieving conditioned souls of their sinful reactions, Lord Chaitanya freely bestowed Krishna Prema! “Here it is, please take it!” And still there were no customers. [Laughter] So He engaged Lord Nityananda, the transcendental madman. “You assist me, just go here and there and everywhere and give people Krishna Prema through the chanting of the holy name.” So He did, intoxicated with transcendental happiness, mad with transcendental happiness, distributing the pure holy name. Who is this Lord Nityananda? He’s the transcendental moon, who is the transcendental sun’s associate, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s associate. This verse and chapter describes this flood of mercy so beautifully!

Let’s unpack this verse little bit further. In the chapter which expands the meaning of this verse, we find a beautiful explanation of the spiritual world, the realm of Krishna. In the vastness of the spiritual sky there is the largest of all of the spiritual planets called Krishnaloka. Krishnaloka has three divisions: Vrindaban, Mathura and Dwaraka. Within Goloka Vrindaban Krishna eternally resides. KDKG describes a fourth section of Goloka Vrindaban called Svetadvipa, where Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda eternally reside. Sveta indicates its purity. Sveta means white and white is an indication of purity. Svetadvipa is supremely pure. There is a second Svetadvipa, which comes as a result of the expansion of Lord Balarama. We will hear about that in a moment.

Krishna expands Himself as His own associate, Balarama. Another name for Balarama is Sankarsana. He is called Sankarsana because He maintains the whole spiritual world. He likes to serve Krishna, unlimitedly! This is the only difference between Krishna and Balarama. While this discussion about Balarama is being presented, we should clearly understand that the position of Lord Nityananda is simultaneously being revealed, since the two Lords, Balarama and Nityananda, are non-different. Therefore he is also addressed as Nityananda Ram. From Balarama or Sankarsana in the Dwaraka region of this Krishnaloka, expands the remaining members of the Catur Vyuha. These four ~ Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Vasudeva ~ are the expansions of the Catur Vyuha. In the vastness of the spiritual sky, this Sankarsana of Goloka Vrindaban expands as Narayana in the Vaikuntha realm, another fully pure spiritual realm. Lord Narayana Himself expands as the second Sankarsana in Vaikuntha who is known as Maha Sankarsana.

Extending from the Vaikuntha planets is the vastness of the spiritual sky, the brahmajyoti also sometimes called Brahmaloka ~ not to be confused with the Brahmaloka of the material world where Lord Brahma, the engineer of the universe resides. On the other side of that brahmajyoti is the causal ocean, Karana Samudra. On the other side of the causal ocean is the material energy manifested as pradhana. In that vast causal ocean, one of the expansions of Maha Sankarsana lies Maha Vishnu. Maha Vishnu is reclining in the causal ocean upon another expansion known as Ananta Sesa. From the transcendental body of Maha Vishnu who is reclining in the causal ocean comes unlimited universes. Maha Vishnu then expands Himself as Garbhodakasayi Vishnu within each universe, who then expands Himself within every atom of the universe as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. That Ksirodakasayi Vishnu resides in another Svetadvipa, a spiritual planet, situated within each one of the innumerable universes. Within that Svetadvipa, is where Ksirodakasayi Vishnu resides.

This verse is describing each of those five manifestations. Sankarsana of the spiritual world maintains the spiritual realm in all of its fullness and manifests all required paraphernalia for the Lord’s service. Balarama is really into serving!! In fact, the mood of service of all living entities is imbibed from Balarama. He expands as the shoes of the Lord, the umbrella of the Lord, the bed of the Lord, the drinking vessels of the Lord, all the paraphernalia of the Lord and maintains the whole spiritual world so Krishna can have His pastimes. Sankarsana serves the Lord in all these different ways. He loves to serve the Lord!

To fulfill the Lord’s desire to accommodate the living entities who have a rebellious spirit and they need a place to go, Sankarsana manifests that place for them through His expansions as Maha Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. He also provides the abode and the resting place for each of them as Ananta Sesa. He is really into service!

He personally manifests Himself in all these ways, simply to serve the Lord.

This verse is saying that these five expansions of Nityananda Ram ~ His expansion as Sankarsana, the three Purusa avatars, and Ananta Sesa ~ are His plenary portions, or portions of His plenary portions. This language “portion of plenary portion” refers to the Purusa avatars, the Vishnu forms of the material world. They are all given this nomenclature “Kala” or “portion of the plenary portions”. Sankarsana in the spiritual world is a direct expansion, called a portion. The Vishnu tattvas, they are portions of the plenary portions. Although the language is technical, this is Nityananda tattva according to KDKG.

Ananta Sesa simply serves them all. Whatever they need, whatever they want, he manifests it and maintains it.

That same Krishna of the spiritual world expands Himself as Balarama in the Goloka realm, who in turn manifests these two Svetadvipas ~ the Svetadvipa in Goloka and other Svetadvipa within this universe as the white island in the milk ocean or Ksirodakasayi Visnu’s realm. And He resides there. Why? To fulfill the desire of Krishna. His interest is only to serve Krishna.

Krishna’s interest is to provide the opportunity for the covered living entities to become rectified from their rebellious spirit. Therefore, by design, built into the whole system of creation is a means of elevation or purification. Krishna describes this in Bhagavad Gita third Chapter: along with the creation comes the process of sacrifice. By the process of sacrifice living entities in this world can connect with the Supreme. You can stay connected with the Supreme by the process of sacrifice; but the age of Kali breaks and completely distorts the process of sacrifice because there aren’t persons qualified to perform Vedic sacrifices. There are no qualified brahmanas available who can properly perform these rituals. So what to do? The relationship with the personality of Godhead seems to be broken. For this reason Advaita Acharya called for the Lord to appear. And He appears in response to Advaita Acharya’s call to manifest His full of compassion so that connection can again be made. Who most keenly wants to serve the Lord in performing that function? Nityananda Ram! So He comes too!

Another very important ~ I’ll say it again, very important ~ function of Lord Nityananda is to serve Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna Himself, in the form of providing the teachings by which that connection can be reestablished. Therefore Lord Nityananda is said to be the original Spiritual Master. I’ll read the words of Krishna Das Kaviraj and Prabhupada’s purport here. Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami is about to describe the function of Nityananda as the spiritual master. Again, simply to serve the Personality of Godhead Krishna, He manifest Himself as the original spiritual master. Any spiritual master following Him is but a manifestation of that potency of Lord Nityananda, embodying the empowerment to compassionately reconnect conditioned souls with Krishna once again. That’s a substantial glory of Lord Nityananda.

Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami writes: “Although I know that my spiritual master is a servitor of Sri Caitanya, I also know Him as a plenary manifestation of the Lord.” (CC. Adi 1.44)

Prabhupada’s purport: “Every living entity is essentially a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the spiritual master is also His servant. Still, the spiritual master is a direct manifestation of the Lord.”

There is this potency, guru tattva, a potency of the Supreme Lord specifically manifest for one who is performing that particular service unto the Lord.
(Purport Contd: “With this conviction, a disciple can advance in Krnna consciousness. The spiritual master is nondifferent from Krnna because he is a manifestation of Krnna.”[Paragraph]
“Lord Nityananda, who is Balarama Himself, the first direct manifestation or expansion of Krnna, is the original spiritual master. He helps Lord Krnna in His pastimes, and He is a servant of the Lord.”

One of the Lord’s pastimes is to appear as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to deliver the conditioned souls and Lord Nityananda comes along with Him as the original spiritual master and delivers conditioned souls. Anybody chronologically following Lord Chaitanya is empowered by Lord Nityananda ~ if they are performing this service in the proper manner and the proper mood as the representative of Lord Nityananda. Therefore they are to be respected, just as Lord Nityananda is to be respected. Indeed, Lord Nityananda is to be respected as much as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is to be respected. At the conclusion of chapter one, just to illustrate this, Krishna Das Kaviriaj Goswami describes an incident. And in that incident, his brother invited Minaketana Ramadasa to come to their home for a function. Minaketana Ramadasa was a transcendental associate of Lord Nityananda. When Minaketana Ramadasa arrived, the priest who was presiding over the function was busy doing his puja, so the priest did not discontinue his puja. In fact, he ignored the presence of Minaketana Ramadasa deliberately. Those of you that are familiar with puja know that when you commence your puja you don’t stop, you don’t have a chit chat with somebody and then resume; you must complete your puja without interruption. Similarly, when you start chanting gayatri, do not interrupt, have some conversation and then continue. Uninterruptedly complete gayatri. But the mind of this priest was disrespectful towards Minaketana Ramadasa, not only was he following some regulative injunction. The brother of Krishna Das Kaviraj sided with the priest and he spoke to Krishna Das Kaviraj in that way. Krishna Das Kaviraj blasted his brother. He said one who respects Chaitanya Mahaprabhu but disrespects Lord Nityananda, immediately he would fall and because of this offence you’ll fall down. “You are fool.” KDKG chastised his brother very severely. Meanwhile, the priest finished his puja. At that time Minaketana Ramadasa, understanding the mind of Krishna Das Kaviraj’s brother and the priest, broke his flute which he was carrying because he was a cowherd boy in his mood, threw it to the ground and left. With that Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami told his brother you’ll fall down. And also he left. He left the house of his brother, very disturbed not for himself but that Lord Nityananda and the associate of Lord Nityananda had been offended. That very night he had a dream. It is described by KDKG in the most beautiful imagery! Lord Nityananda came to him in his dream, in the mood of the cowherd boy and the dress of a cowherd boy carrying a cowherd stick. He was in an intoxicated mood, so happy, and said “You have spoken correctly. You have pleased me very much and now I am giving you an instruction. You should leave at once for Vrindaban. I understand you are now qualified to enter Vrindaban. Go to Vrindaban at once and take the association of Rupa and Sanatana Goswami and they’ll guide you to spiritual perfection.” And laughing, and dancing in kirtana, he left. KDKG woke up in ecstasy, crying in ecstasy. “I received the mercy of Lord Nityananda!” At the same time, he was feeling still very conflicted because of the offence of his brother. In Cc KDKG wrote “Sure enough, my brother fell down very badly because of offending Lord Nityananda.”

KDKG wrote that such a confidential passtime should not be disclosed but “I’m disclosing it anyway for the purpose of edification, for teaching how important it is to properly regard Lord Nityananda.”

Throughout the Chaitanya Bhagavat which was written by Vrindaban Das Thakur, he also unabashedly glorifies Lord Nityananda to the world. He is a Nityananda bhakta too. He was initiated by Lord Nityananda. He wanted to be initiated by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had already left this world before he even had the chance to see Him. And he was greatly aggrieved. Lord Nityananda came and consoled him, practically held him in his arms to relieve Vrindaban Das Thakur, who was just a young man at the time, and pacified his heart. Vrindaban Das Thakur soon took initiation from Lord Nityananda. He also understood correctly Nityananda tattva, the position of Lord Nityananda, the direct expansion of the compassion of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Balarama Himself.

Vrindaban Das Thakur was such an ecstatic spontaneous devotee! He didn’t bother explaining anything to anybody regarding the tattva of Lord Nityananda. He just glorified Lord Nityananda to his heart’s content. Krishna Das Kaviraj does both; he explained to us in detail who is Lord Nityananda and why the deep regard for this merciful manifestation of Lord Nityananda should be carefully understood by all. He should be properly accepted because what is the function of Lord Nityananda? To bring souls to devotional service, instruct souls in the ways in devotional service. Similarly that’s the function of the spiritual master, like His representative, His expansion, or as a service unto Lord Nityananda.

Here is KDKG’s description: “According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is non-different from Krishna.” (CC. Adi 1.45)

Later, he gives his scriptural references to support that statement.

“Lord Krishna in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees.” (CC. Adi 1.45)

Let us for a moment consider the following question: “Who is the deliverer of the devotee, is it the spiritual master or is it Krishna?” The answer is- “It’s Krishna!” He is doing so through the agency of the spiritual master. Who is the deliverer? Krishna.

Here are some additional contemplations: What is the function of Maha Vishnu when He sees pradhana? He glances over pradhana. And then what happens when He glances over pradhana? Pradhana becomes activated; its undifferentiated sum total of material ingredients starts to separate and then act. But pradhana doesn’t act without the contact of the Maha Vishnu’s glance. It’s dormant. Then Prabhupada explains “The material science says….” You know what material science says? There is only one thing ~ matter and the laws that govern matter. There is nothing else. That’s material science. So what is science? It’s studying matter and the laws governing matter and there is nothing else. This is called atheism. Theists says – “Mr. Scientist, you are wrong. Matter acts only in contact with Maha Vishnu, the remote cause.” That’s spiritual knowledge. Matter never acts on its own but only by spiritual contact. When spiritual contact is removed it doesn’t act. There is spiritual contact when the soul enters matter, which activates matter. But even the soul is another energy of the Lord, thus the soul cannot activate matter without the sanction of the Supreme soul. Who is that Supreme soul who does the sanctioning? Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. And who is Ksirodakasayi Vishnu? He is an expansion of Nityananda Ram in the spiritual world. Everything is connected, even this material realm is connected, with Nityananda Ram. And those living entities who have wavered, who have gone astray from the Personality of Godhead, what’s their hope? Well, the process of sacrifice is their hope. When that hope is broken, then what to do in the age of Kali? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended to provide the Sankirtana yajna in which anyone and everyone can take part. And the deliverer of that Sankirtana yajna is Nityananda Ram.

Prabhupada writes in his purport, even the speaking of Bhagavad Gita ~ who is the speaker of Bhagavad Gita? It’s Krishna. But Krishna’s primary activity is enjoying in Goloka Vrindaban in Vrajaloka, so the speaking of Bhagavad Gita is carried out through His plenary expansion, Sankarsana or Balarama, to deliver the knowledge of the Personality of Godhead how to return back to Godhead. This function is specifically Balarama’s. I’ll read; it’s very wonderfully explained. Here is the purport of that, Krishna is the spiritual master. Spiritual master is the manifestation of Krishna.

Purport: “The relationship of the disciple with his spiritual master is as good as his relationship with the Supreme Lord.” (Cc. Adi 1.45)

Very profound.

“A spiritual master always represents himself as the humblest servant of the Personality of Godhead but disciple must look upon him as the manifested representative of Godhead.”
One other verse, Cc. Adi 1.47: “One should know the instructing spiritual master to be the Personality of Krishna.” The purport explains that there are two categories – initiating and instructing spiritual master. Both are to be respected equally. The function of instructing spiritual master is the function of Nityananda Ram; unto that representative, on behalf of Nityananda Ram, that potency is invested. Here is Prabhupada’s purport:

“Sri Krnna Himself teaches us as the instructing spiritual master from within and without. From within He teaches as Paramatma, our constant companion, and from without He teaches from the Bhagavad-gita as the instructing spiritual master.”

From within He teaches us as Paramatma our constant companion, and from without he teaches from the Bhagavad Gita as the instructing spiritual master Nityananda Ram.

There are two kinds of instructing spiritual masters. One is the liberated person fully absorbed in meditation in devotional service, and the other is he who invokes the disciple’s spiritual consciousness by means of relevant instructions. Thus the instructions in the science of devotion are differentiated in terms of the objective and subjective ways of understanding. The acarya in the true sense of the term, who is authorized to deliver Krnna, enriches the disciple with full spiritual knowledge and thus awakens him to the activities of devotional service.

Paramatma is situated within our heart and he is giving instructions. He is imparting instructions, but we are tuned out. We are not tuned into the Supersoul channel, we listen to the Maya channel. But externally, the person who is imparting those same instructions, Bhagavad Gita or the message of Bhagavad Gita repeated in disciplic succession, is Paramatma’s representative.

In 1975 in Sri Dham Mayapur, Prabhupada was lecturing on this very subject that I am now discussing. He was taking these initial verses and explaining them one by one in each of the morning classes. When he got to this point he repeated it three times. Listen carefully. Prabhupada was saying “When Krishna says ‘Surrender unto Me’ and when the spiritual master says ‘Surrender unto Krishna’ their speaking is non-different. It is Krishna speaking.” Then he said it again, verbatim, and he said it again, verbatim. And he started to go on, but he couldn’t go on, he fell into a trance. He was sitting on the Vyasaasana and he just entered a trance. His body started to sway like this, like it was blowing in the wind. The muscles of his face slackened, his jaw slightly opened. Normal muscle tension in his face was gone. He was in trance! His eyes were closed, it went on for what seemed like long time, maybe several minutes. The devotees didn’t know what to do! Finally one devotee stood up and very softly played the mridanga and chanted Hare Krishna. That went on for 3-4 minutes when suddenly Prabhupada opened his eyes, his facial muscle features restored, he looked around the room, then he got up off the Vyasasana and went to his room upstairs. Class was over. I don’t know the heart or the mind of one who enters into the state of ecstasy, but the message he repeated three times was very clear: “When the spiritual master speaks, its Krishna speaking.” In a transcendental sense, when one repeats Krishna’s message, it is Krishna speaking. One simply becomes the mouthpiece or the instrument. Just like the amplification system here. The microphone electronically gathers the sound, and the speaker is broadcasting the sound. But the speaker over there is not creating the sound; the speaker is just reproducing the sound according to the person producing the sound. Similarly the spiritual master is just reproducing Krishna’s message. “When Krishna says ‘Surrender unto me’ and the spiritual master says ‘Surrender unto Krishna’ their speaking is non-different. It is Krishna speaking.”

Speaking Krishna’s message to connect again with Krishna ~ that’s Nityananda Ram’s service, a service unto Krishna. You can say it is Krishna speaking and you can say its Nityananda Ram speaking. Both are right. This is not an either/or choice, a binary choice. Very deep.

One must respect Lord Nityananda. If one wants to chant the pure holy name, to receive that gift of Krishna prema that Lord Chaitanya came to give, we must beg, plead for Lord Nityananda’s mercy. “You are most merciful.” This is Bhaktisiddhanta’s teaching directly that I am speaking now, so I’m the speaker but Bhaktisiddhanta is the speaker. [Laughter] I am just reproducing the sound. I have been meditating like this in the course of my chanting the past few weeks. I would like to share this with you. It’s directly in relation to Lord Nityananda. Bhaktisiddhanta said chanting is not merely a matter of making a sound. You can make a machine that makes the sound or train a bird to make the sound and that’s not chanting. Chanting is is when the soul is crying out to Lord Nityananda “Oh most merciful Lord Nityananda, please be merciful upon me and deliver to me the pure holy name.” And when that pure holy name touches the heart, from the soul a sound comes. Then the same lips and the same tongue moves and that sound which comes, that’s the pure holy name, that’s chanting.

On this appearance day of Lord Nityananda, let us try to understand who He is, as best our little capacity permits, by the mercy of Krishna Das Kaviraj. May our consciousness be illumined a little bit to understand who Lord Nityananda is, and fervidly pray to Lord Nityananda in our kirtans and the rest of our japa that we chant today on His appearance day. Enter into this mood of calling, pleading. He is merciful. He is most merciful, but our hearts are hard. So we have to really sincerely plead to Lord Nityananda. “Please deliver the pure holy name, let that touch my heart just once!” When that touches your heart and you call the holy name that’s chanting. Let’s see if we can do some Lord Nityananda kripa chanting today!

Let us now conclude our unpacking of this important verse regarding Nityananda-tattva. (Purport Cc. Adi 1.47 continued: “The instructions in the science of devotional service are differentiated in terms of the objective and the subjective way of understanding.”

The liberated soul is existing and you just happen to by good fortune come in contact with a liberated soul, as what happens when one receives one of Prabhupada’s books. After coming in contact with the liberated soul, one has the opportunity to read or hear transcendental instructions. This receiver of good fortune is encouraged to try to receive the instructions in an inquisitive and submissive manner. What is the message? Visvanath Chakravarti Thakur describes the duty of the disciple or the student is to meticulously hear and consider what he has just received, just as Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami is doing. “What is this gift, this instruction, this mercy that’s been given?” Appreciate it from many different angles, as sincerely as possible. “What is this wonderful gift?” And when you strive like that, Visvanath Chakravarti Thakur describes, some mercy comes into the life of that wandering soul. Some realizations come, some real gratitude awakens and then bhakti starts to develop. Until then we are simply practicing, most likely in a mechanical fashion practicing, but bhakti awakens when that subjective experience of the gift is acknowledged, which has been given by Lord Nityananda Ram or His representatives.

(Purport Contd: – CC. Adi 1.47) “The acharya in the true sense of the term, who is authorized to deliver Krishna, enriches the disciple with full spiritual knowledge and thus awakens him to the activities of devotional service.”

To properly appreciate Lord Nityananda is a very deep subject matter. He is the deliverer of devotional service. “Please take it!”

When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave instructions to Lord Nityananda, He told Lord Nityananda “I want you to distribute love of God by giving the pure holy name. To do this, you can open many franchises.” In one song Bhaktivinoda Thakur uses the Bengali word that means “a franchise.” Modern people know what franchises are. “You open many shops or franchises, but there is one company policy: you have to charge a fair price for this merchandise, the pure holy name.” Do you know what the price is? It is faith. ‘You must charge the price. Some faith, even a little faith. Then they may take it – the pure holy name.” Even a little faith makes us eligible, and that faith needs to be given to the deliverer, Lord Nityananda, or the franchise representatives of Lord Nityananda, the deliverers of the pure holy name in the form of His representatives.

We are honoring Lord Nityananda’s appearance day today. Soon we will perform His abhishek and chanting His holy name. Let us have this prayerful mood when approaching Lord Nityananda, recognizing what His gift is, at least trying to recognize what it is that he wants to give us. The compassion and the enthusiasm that he exhibits when presenting His gift will be received, if only our hearts are open. Let us pray that we can eagerly receive that gift that he wants to give us and honor Him on His appearance day in that way.

Shri Nityananda Ram Ki jay!! Gaura premanandi Haribol!!

About the author

Romapada Swami

Romapada Swami‘s first encounter with Krishna consciousness came in Buffalo, in the shape of a lecture at the State University of New York in 1969. The lecturer was His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The following year, Romapada Swami joined the movement in Boston and was initiated in 1971. Despite being admitted as a pre-med student, he decided to follow his spiritual path 100% and never looked back. He took sannyasa in 1983 and became an initiating spiritual master in 1985.

Under Romapada Swami’s guidance, congregational groups of devotees of Krishna have grown in many places in the US and abroad, including Chicago, Washington DC, St. Louis, Seattle, Detroit, New York, New Jersey, Houston, Orlando, Tennessee, Boston, Hyderabad and Guyana.

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1 Comment

  • This subject matter was very elevated for me to understand fully. But, one thing that was very touching for me is that Lord Nityananda is the original spiritual master, because like our own spiritual master, He comes to deliver a conditioned soul by giving the greatest gift of Krishna-prema. And actually, He also captures the mood with which the disciple must serve his spiritual master, i.e. His mood of service to Krishna is the kind of mood that is the spiritual aspiration or inspiration for all devotees. So, I found that Lord Nityananda exemplifies the mood of both the spiritual master as well as the devotee. Very very nice! May my heart soften to Lord Nityanada’s eagerness to give Krishna-bhakti!

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