viśvambharau dvija-varau yuga-dharma-pālau
vande jagat priya-karau karuṇāvatārau
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, whose arms extend down to Their knees, who have golden yellow complexions, and who inaugurated the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Their eyes resemble the petals of a lotus flower; They are the maintainers of the living entities, the best of the brāhmaṇas, the protectors of religious principles for this age, the benefactors of the universe, and the most merciful of all incarnations.
The father is essential in giving birth to children. There may be a multitude of mothers, but without the father, the mother cannot conceive a child in her womb. Therefore, the father is necessary. Father does not mean farther. A father has love for his children. He is not distant with his children. They are his own heart and soul: ‘atma vai jayate putrah.’ A father requests and prays to God, “Give me one child. He can help me. I have forgotten everything. I have lost my memory. He will be with me at all times as my friend and guardian.” Fathers pray like this. This first verse of Caitanya Bhagavata has this mood, like a father who helps give birth to a baby in the mother’s womb.
Sankirtanaika pitarau. Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu are the fathers of nama sankirtana. This nama sankirtana takes birth in our heart and soul through these two Lords—Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. This verse is comprised of plural nouns, not singular nouns. ‘Pita’ indicates one, but ‘pitarau’ indicates two. Baladeva has come as Nityananda Prabhu, and Krsna as Mahaprabhu; both have come, like an uncle and father. An uncle is a younger or elder brother of the father who has the same love for the children as the father. Guardians other than the father are necessary. If there is one Guru but no Vaishnavas, then who is helping the disciples? Vaishnavas are like mothers and Guru is like the father. The gayatri mantra is also mata. Mantra is mother and Sankirtana-pita, the father, is Mahaprabhu. He is giving this child of sankirtanam. He is the father. This sankirtanam is like a blossoming lotus that attracts everyone by its sweet smelling honey that permeates its surroundings.
Mahaprabhu appeared out of His compassion for the auspiciousness of all the jivas, giving them brahma-jnana, pure knowledge and consciousness. All jivas are Brahma’s parts and parcels; they are brahmanas, but now they are lost. They think, “I am a man,” “I am a woman,” “I am of lower birth,” “I am of higher birth.” They have acquired this false ego. Gaurahari came with a golden complexion, in order to remove any of this dark consciousness. He is making everyone’s consciousness golden, pure and clean. Then the jiva will understand, “Who am I? Where am I? What is my responsibility? What is my real duty?” For this He has come. His hand is everywhere, blessing everybody with mercy. If someone is far away from Him, He takes that person in His lap and makes that person close to Him by giving him pure consciousness.
That Mahaprabhu is our everything. Srila Visvannatha Cakravarti Thakur writes in his purport that when Mahaprabhu appeared in this world, everyone was already engaged in kirtan and chanting harinama, but it was nama-aparadha. On the other hand, there is no aparadha taken into consideration when chanting gaura-nama in gaura dhama, which only became available after Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s appearance. Gaura is giving His name. At the time of chanting one should remember Gaura. Why? ‘Hare Krsna’ is Gaurahari.
mahaprabhu sri caitanya radha krsna nahe anya, rupanuga janera jivana
“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Radha and Krsna combined, is the very life and of the rupanuga Vaisnavas.” (6)
Krsna Hoite Catur-mukha, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada
radha krsna-pranaya-vikrti hladini saktir asmd
ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau
caitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam caikyam aptam
radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam
“The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krsna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Altough Radha and Krsna are one in identity, They separated Themselvevs eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Sri Krsna Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Srimati Radharani although He is Krsna Himself.” Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi 1.5
Gaurahari is Radha and Krsna; Gauranga is not any other. This Hare Krsna mahamantra and Gaurahari are non-different. ‘Hare’ is Radha, and ‘Krsna’ is Krsna, but when combined then it is Gauranga. ‘Gauri anga’: Gauranga. If at the time of chanting you are not remembering Gaurahari, it is nama-aparadha, but if you are remembering Mahaprabhu, then at once He will be present and there will be no aparadha in your chanting. If He is present, He is giving you higher consciousness. The mind will not go here and there and be disturbed. If you are chanting ‘Hare Krsna’, but do not know the deity of this mantra, your chanting will not be very effective. Many think the deity of this mahamantra is Radha and Krsna, but really, Radharani and Krsna are not our servants. Gaurahari came specifically to serve everyone, to give pure consciousness. He is very kind. Once one attains siddhi from Gauranga, then the understanding of Radha and Krsna and attaining siddhi of bhauma Vrndavan comes automatically. First think about this ‘Hare Krsna’ as Gauranga. Sastra reveals this. By serving the mahamantra like this, the jiva will never make offenses and easily attain perfection. This is gaura-nama.
Then what is the meaning of gaura-dhama? He is Nityananda Prabhu. How can I be with Nityananda Prabhu instead of running towards jada ananda? We should be pray, “I do not want to look at the faces of so-called beauty. I do not want to go licking the toes of Maya Devi’s followers and running here and there like a dog. How can I be with my Guru-varga at all times?” If Nityananda is with us, then how will we run towards jada ananda? First remember Guru and Gauranga, and then you will naturally get vraja prema. Without reading and learning what knowledge is being given in the Caitanya Bhagavata, no one can chant harinama and enter into Mahaprabhu’s line. They will remain out of line, out of market, and out of business—very far away. Bhakti is not very easy or simple; only when it is done under Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu then it is real bhakti.
Therefore we should pray to Guru-pada-padma, gurudeva krpa bindu diya koro ei dase trnapeksa ati hina. “When will I be humble? Only then I will be able to understand you Gurudeva, and understand Nityananda Prabhu and this gaura-prema. Then everything will be very easy. Then sankirtana-pita, Mahaprabhu, will embed sankirtanam in my heart.” This sankirtanam is like our child. When a baby is born to us, other babies don’t steal us or acquire us from our own baby. Similarly, when Nama-Prabhu appears in the heart, He makes it His center—there is no place for any other name. Only one child—Gaura-Nityananda, Radha-Krsna, Harinama. This is our child. Nama Prabhu appears in our heart and Gaurahari gives that sankirtanam. Everyone has affection for children, but nobody likes it when children start to grow and become young. Once a child is young, they don’t like to follow anybody. But everybody likes a small child. They won’t even ask you, “Is this your son?” They will just take your baby in their lap and kiss it and give it chocolate and candy. When Nama Prabhu comes into the heart, we will be attached to this nama like a baby, like Gaura-Gopal an Madan-Gopal.
Saci-mata had Deities of Krsna-Baladeva, but Gaura-Nitai were fighting with them and telling them, “Go! Go out! Do not stay in this home anymore. This is not Your time or room. This is Our house and Our room.” Saci-mata thought, “Who is fighting?” She heard two parties fighting in the room inside. “Who are they?” she wondered. Saci-mata came and saw that Krsna-Baladeva’s dresses were torn, their faces red with sweat, and Gaura-Nitai were running away. Saci-mata was surprised, “Who is responsible for this?” So sankirtana-pita is giving nama-rupa in the heart and then you are understanding nama svarupa. Rupa Goswami writes in Sri Krsna-Namastakam:
paritas-tvam harinama! samsrayami (1)
“O Harinama, I take complete shelter of You. The nails of Your lotus feet are worshiped by the glowing radiance emanating from the necklace of jewels known as the Upanishads,which themselves are the crown-jewel of all the shrutis. You are also worshiped by the liberated sages.”
The most superior tasteful thing is Gaura-gopala and Madana-gopala. This baby is acquiring our heart, sitting inside and dancing. But if the father Gaurahari does not appear, then how can the children take birth? Therefore, this mantra-devata is given in the heart by our sankirtana-pita, Gaurahari. Vrndavan das Thakur says, “I’m not telling a lie. I am speaking the reality.”
namas trikāla satyāya jagannātha sutāya ca
sa-bhṛtyāya sa-putrāya sa-kalatrāya te namaḥ
O son of Śrī Jagannātha Miśra! all eternally existing—in the past, present, and future—. I offer my repeated obeisances unto You along with Your associates, Your sons, and Your consorts.
In this verse, Vrndavan Das Thakur is saying, “Yes, they are coming! Trikala satyaya jagannatha suta—Mahaprabhu, His sons, His servants, and His family are all coming to help you, so don’t be worried.” Vrndavan Das Thakur explains that Jagannatha Mishra’s son is Mahaprabhu and all of the Goswamis are Mahaprabhu’s sons. They will come into your house and into your heart. Then Mahaprabhu’s family members will appear: kalatra-bhu-sakti is Visnupriya Devi, sri-sakti is Lakshmipriya, and Gadadhara Pandit is lila-sakti. They all appeared in Navadvipa-dhama. Narahari sarkara also appeared, as well as Ramanada Raya, Jagadananda Pandit, etc. Everybody has come. If a bhakta is respecting Mahaprabhu,chanting harinama and praying to Mahaprabhu, then all of Mahaprabhu’s family will appear one by one in the heart. First Mahaprabhu’s sons will appear, then His associates, and afterwards lila-sakti, bhu-sakti and sri-sakti will appear. You will never be alone then. You will always be very fortunate.
Vrndavan Das Thakur emphasizes that Mahaprabhu is not only present during the time of His appearance in this world. He is trikalajna—He is present in the past, present and future. Do not think that the past is gone or the future is something we cannot guarantee. Mahaprabhu’s constant presense is a guarantee. Present perfect, present continuous, present indefinite and present perfect continuous: these are just grammatical tenses, but by touching on their meanings you will have some understanding. One may think that Mahaprabhu is present indefinite or present perfect, but no, He is present perfect continuous. Therefore Vrndavan Das Thakur is writes tri kala satyaya. Past, present, and future—Gaurahari is giving everyone this nama at all times. The Guru varga will give Nama to anyone who has a desire for it. Then Mahaprabhu Himself will come and give them Nama, and when Nama comes, then He will make a place in your heart and become yours.
If you are not chanting Nama and not thinking of Gauranga, and Nityananda Prabhu, then you will become lost and will run far away to a desert place. You think you can jump and run and catch Radha and Krsna. Oh, it is not so easy. You may think you are catching Radharani or Krsna, but you will only be catching men and women, and it will then be sahajiya. First Mahaprabhu must appear in your heart, then He will give consciousness and soul food and potency, whereupon you will become bona fide and have no more problems. Only then you may participate in kunja-lila and kunja-seva. Otherwise, it will not be possible.
avatīrṇau sa-kāruṇyau paricchinnau sad īśvarau
śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya-nityānandau dvau bhrātarau bhaje
I worship the two brothers, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Śrī Nityānanda, who have descended in this world as the supreme controllers. They have appeared in covered forms as the embodiments of mercy.
Now here it is openly being explained who is our authority. Who are our guardians, who is our almighty lord, and who it is that gives us all our rights? Who can we go and build a relationship with who has the ability to give us everything? Before there was no name mentioned. Now the name is being mentioned. Previous verses referred to this personality as sankirtana pita, the father of sankirtanam; kamalayataksau, one who has lotus eyes; visvambharau, the world’s maintainer; yuga-dharma-palau, the protector of the jivas; jagat-priyakarau, everyone’s helper. Many descriptions were given but it was not stated directly who this is actually referring to. The personality was explained, but who is He? avatīrṇau sa-kāruṇyau paricchinnau sad īśvarau. avatīrṇau means appears. Who appears? Gaurahari appears doing paricchunnau. With His kindness, His karuna shakti, He is catching maya and taking the jivas out of maya. He is the destroyer of maya and is cleaning the jivas and giving them isvarau, two isvaras. One isvara is Nityananda and the other is Gaurahari. Hari bole moder gaura elo. Gaura came and Nityananda came; two isvaras came—sad isvarau. Sad sandhini shakti, Baladeva Prabhu and Caitanya Mahaprabhu came with all incarnations present with Them. Dvau bhratarau bhaje, you only need to worship and do bhajan only of these two brothers, Nityananda and Gauracandra. Ananda-kanda Nityananda, ananda-kanda Gauracandra.
parama karuna pahu dui jana, nitai gaura candra (1)
“The supreme Lords, Nitai and Gaura-candra, are supremely merciful.” Locana das Thakur
Gaurahari is very kind, very sweet and soft. If anyone is not doing bhajan of Gaurahari, then they are crazy. They have no life. Gaurahari is karuna mayi and audarya vigraha. He is very kind and soft. You cannot believe how kind and soft He is to everyone. He is no longer in a high post. He has become madyama akara; He has come down to the middle platform, to hold your hand, embrace you, take you in His lap and say, “Please come with Me, dance with Me, play with Me. Don’t worry about anything, I am yours. I am not distant from you. I do not hate anybody. I do not neglect anybody. Everybody is Mine. You have forgotten Me and you have forgotten yourself, but I am now telling you that I am yours and you are Mine.” If one does not do bhajan of Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu, he will certainly go mad. He will have nothing in this world and will be unable to obtain anything. He will not be able to be relieved or relax, continuously moving in the cycle of birth and death.
nitai-gaura-nama, anandera dhama, jei jana nahi laya
ta’re yamaraya, dha’re la’ye jaya, narake dubaya ta’ya (1)
“The holy names of Nitai and Gaura are the abode of bliss. Yama Maharaja captures those who never utter the names and plunges them into the hellish planets.” Srila Locana dasa Thakur
Anyone can chant “Gauranga, Gauranga,” and “Nityananda, Nityananda.” You do not even need to chant these big names like Gauranga and Nityananda. Just chant Gaura-Nitai. “He Gaura, Ha Nitai! I am fallen. I have no helper. I have no friends. You are my only friends, my all in all. He Gaura, please accept me. Ha Nitai, please accept me.”
sradhavan jana he, sraddhavan jana he,
prabhura ajnaya bhai magi ei bhiksa
bolo krsna, bhajo krsna, karo krsna siksa (2)
“[There Nityananda calls out,] “O persons of faith, O persons of faith! On the order of Sri Gauranga, O brothers, I beg these alms from you: chant the names of Krsna, worship Krsna, and follow the instructions of Krsna.” Nadiya-Godrume, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur
When Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu see if a person is crying and calling out “Ha Gaura! Ha Nitai!”, then this is enough. That person will attain everything. No need for bhajan. Bhakti is very far away. There is no need to endeavor for it; everything is coming automatically. Bhaktivinod Thakur writes in his song, radha krsna bolo sange chalo ei matra biksa cai, radha krsna bol bol bolo re sabai. If you speak about this mahamantra and chant “Hare Krsna! Ha Gaura, Ha Nitai!” wherever you go, while moving, or sleeping—this is enough. We have not taken shelter of this. We have no faith in Gaura-Nitai and therefore we are situated in maya. Some people have the doubt that, “Oh, if I worship Gaura-Nitai then Radha and Krsna will be unhappy and I will be going out of line.” Many people have these sorts of misunderstandings and bad conceptions. They think that if they worship Gaura-Nitai then they will digress and be of a lower class. They think they will not get svarupa siddhi and not go to Vraja-mandala and perform vraja-seva. Vraja-seva is not an easy thing. Do not think that it is so cheap. Such persons think Gaura Nitai is cheap and therefore they have no respect and faith for Gaura-Nitai. They do not see Their value. Such persons will lose everything with such a mentality. They think very cheap things have no value. Ice cream in a 5-star hotel costs 1,000 rupees and the same ice cream on the street is 10 rupees. When they eat the 1,000-rupee ice cream, they think “Oh, wow! This is the best ice cream.” But the same ice cream is merely a 10-rupee ice cream on the street. They have no understanding of value. They carry the conception that because Gaurahari is easily giving this mahamatra, they cannot have respect or love for Gaurahari. What will be accomplished with such a disrespectful understanding?
gaura amara gaura amara mukher bole re nahi cale
gaura acar gaura vicar phal phale
One should follow all of Gaurahari’s rules and regulations. What are His rules? He orders all only to chant krsna-nama. Besides this, there is no need of anything. It is very easy. Everything, including sadhana and siddhi is within this name of ‘Gaurahari,’ but we say, “It is very easy, therefore I cannot chant. I would rather do some yoga, and go visit Buddha Gaya, Varanasi, or Kurukshetra.” We run here and there, but not to Navadvipa-dhama because we have no relation with Dhamaesvar Mahaprabhu.