Darshan this morning with Srila Bhakti Sundar
Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Reported by Sripad Bhakti Pavan Janardan
Maharaj currently staying with His Divine Grace at our Dum Dum Park Temple,
Haridas Thakur was an exemplary devotee who always preached by his words,
his actions, and his mind. Even before the appearance of Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu he was already known as a dedicated devotee and preacher,
and after the appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he dedicated himself
to Mahaprabhu one hundred percent.
Srila Haridas Thakur was
an intimate friend of Sri Adwaita Acharya and Srivas Thakur. When Sri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, Srila Haridas Thakur could understand
than an incarnation of the Lord had come because so many people were
enlivened and chanting the Holy Names of the Lord.
After Mahaprabhu took sannyas,
Srila Haridas Thakur told the Lord that it was impossible for him to
continue living in Nabadwip and that his desire was to be with Mahaprabhu
in Puri. In Puri, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked Kasi Misra for some
place with a simple thatched hut, where there is a garden, and that
place is known as Siddha Bakul. Kasi Misra replied that everything is
for the satisfaction of the Lord Himself, and that Mahaprabhu did not
have to ask, that he could have any place he desired. So Haridas Thakur
was given that place, that garden house, in Siddha Bakul.
The Lord stayed in the Gambhir
and daily he would go to visit Srila Haridas Thakur on his way to the
ocean, where he would bathe at midday.
The society at that time
was very strongly opposed to accepting anyone who was a mleccha, and
Hinduism was very strong. Of course we are not Hindus, or Christians,
or Muslims, or any of those things - but Vaisnavas. Srila Govinda Maharaj
explained that everyone is coming from Vishnu, therefore all
Haridas Thakur was the Nama-Acharya
and always lived for the chanting and glorification of the Holy Names
of the Lord. When he heard Srila Rupa Goswami's glorification of the
Holy Name he was very moved:
"I do not know
how much nectar the two syllables 'Krish-na' have produced. When the
Holy Name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth.
We then desire many, many mouths. When that Name enters the holes
of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the Holy Name
dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of
the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert."
Haridas Thakur commented
that he had heard many verses glorifying the Holy Names but he had not
heard any verse like this glorification given by Srila Rupa Goswami.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
lived for twenty-four years in Puri. The first six years He extensively
travelled, and the last twelve years He was absorbed completely tasting
Radha-Krishna lila in the Gambhir.
Haridas Thakur had a special
ability that he could understand that soon the Lord would disappear
and he commented that he did not want to see that final lila of the
Lord. He asked the Lord to grant his desire: that he could leave this
world before that final chapter of the Lord. In reply, Mahaprabhu assented,
and said that Lord Krishna would satisfy Haridas Thakur's petition.
The next day Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu came there with His devotees and began the chanting of the
Holy Names - a kirtan that lasted more than two hours. Then Haridas
Thakur took the lotus feet of the Lord upon his chest and began chanting,
"Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya...."
He had dedicated his entire
life to the chanting of Krishna's Name. His vow was to daily chant three
lakhs (300,000) Names of the Lord, chanting the Mahamantra. But at the
time of leaving this world, he chanted, "Sri Krishna Chaitanya,"
Mahaprabhu's Name, while looking at the lotus face of the Lord.
Then Mahaprabhu began dancing
while holding the body of Srila Haridas Thakur. After the soul passes
away, the body must be washed with water, and Mahaprabhu took Haridas
Thakur's body to the ocean. Then with His own hands, and with the help
of the devotees, Mahaprabhu dug a hole near the shore and, after burying
Haridas Thakur's body, a mound was made above the body for the samadhi.
In this way the Lord was engaged personally and it was very miraculous.
There, all the devotees had a big kirtan and then all went with the
Lord to bathe in the sea.
Afterwards, Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu went to the shopkeepers near the Jagannath Temple, held out
his uttariya and begged Jagannath Prasad from them for the festival
of Srila Haridas Thakur. They all wanted to give all their stock of
prasadam to Mahaprabhu, but Swarup Damodar, who was so close to Sri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, told the Lord that he would collect the offerings
for the festival. In that way he collected a few palmfuls of each preparation
from each of the shopkeepers and accumulated a large quantity which
was then carried back for the festival. Kasi Misra also sent a large
quantity of Jagannath Prasad for the Lord and all the devotees.
When all the devotees were
to take prasadam, the Lord wanted to serve them, but He wanted to give
each person more than what five men could eat. Then Swarup Damodar told
the Lord that unless He personally sat down to take prasad, no one would
eat. The Lord was made to sit, and Swarup Damodar and others then served
Today is the festival of
the disappearance of Srila Haridas Thakur, and as Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita
notes, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave the boon that all those who participated
in this festival, and those who will participate in the future festivals,
all will receive eternal benefit and go back to Krishna.