(A) Seven centuries ago he came, he whose name is a benediction, he whose memory is fragrant. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu they call him. He was born in far off Nadia in Bengal. He was a great scholar. He was a professor. He was a professor of logic. He laughed at bhaktas, at devotees of God. Whenever the devotees of God visited his town he picked faults in them. He made of them a laughing stock before the people. He did not believe in devotion to God. He disregarded it all.
Suddenly a transformation takes place in his life. His mother has sent him to Gaya, in connection with certain ceremonies which are to be performed on behalf of his dear departed father. And there in the temple of Gaya a miracle happens. The true miracle is the miracle of transformation. The true miracle is when our life is transformed, when we become new. This is what happens to him. This what happens to this professor. In the temple of Gayahe has a vision of Sri Krishna. He has the vision of the nityaleela of the Lord. The Leela that is eternally going on. The veils are lifted from the eyes of Sri Chaitanya. He was known as professor Nimai then. And this professor suddenly becomes prophet. He returns to Nadia, he returns to the University of Nadia. But now there is but one name on his lips: krishna! Krishna! Krishna.
This is the one mantra that he repeats again and again and still again. They put to him many questions. He was the idol of Nadia’s youths. They flocked around him wherever he went. They were eager to catch the pearls of wisdom that dropped out of his lips but he is become a different person. To every question that is put to him, he has but one answer to give, Haribol, Haribol, Haribol bhai.
They put to him this question, they say to him, you have spoken to us concerning the mysteries of the Name Divine, the mysteries of the Holy Name, tell us who is qualified to repeat the Holy Name of the God? Tell us who is qualified to get into tune with the vibration that is the Name Divine? And in answer to this question, this great prophet Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, “If you would get into tune with the vibration which is at the heart of the cosmos, the heart of the universe, which is there within every one of you, if you would become one with this vibration, if you would be lost in this vibration, you must be humble as a blade of grass. You must be more for bearing than a tree and you must seek to honour others without seeking any honour for yourself.”
The books speak of seven sins and every sin keeps us away from the Lord. The greatness amongst these sins is the sin of pride- the sin of egoism. And Sri ChaitanyaMahaprabhu says, if you would be one with the Name Divine, you must be humble as a blade of grass. Regard yourself as nothing. I am nothing O Lord. I am naught. Thou alone are! I am nothing. I am like the dust of road. Men may trample me under foot. I shall not complain. When we arrive at such a state then indeed are we worthy of repeating the Name of God. Then indeed is there hope that we may get in tune with that Cosmic Vibration, which is at the heart of universe.
Krishna became all to Chaitanya. He saw the one light in all, and he blessed all, the Hindu and the Mussalman, the Brahmin and the Outcast. In all temples and shrines and in all creatures, in man and bird and beast, Chaitanya saw his one beloved. If the Master were with us in physical body, would he not say to us all: “All temples and all shrines meet at the one Gate of God?”
This vision of the One Beloved in all filled, the hearts of all disciples of Chaitanya. What joy filled their daily Work and Worship. The joy flowed from a vision of Krishna. In joy they renounced their wealth to become humble servants of the Lord. Krishna’s vision, they said, was far more precious than earthly kingdoms. “What is vice and what is virtue? We know not,” they said, “What we do know is: “Thy Lotus Feet, O Krishna, are the Holy Trasure of life.”
In the silence and solitude of Puri, Sri Chaitanya could be with Krishna, face to face. Who led Chaitanya to the new life rich in contemplation and silence, rich, too, in the service of the poor and lowly, if not krishnaHimself? At Puri, Chaitanya lived, year after year, gazing at the Face Divine and communing with Krishna, the brother and Burden-bearer of all who travailed in agony and pain.
Filled with krishna consciousness, Chaitanya served everyone, irrespective of caste or creed. As Jesus spoke to Judas, so spake Chaitanya to robbers and criminals. It was a life of intense contemplation he lived at Puri: but his contemplation overflowed with a love that served and blessed all. He realised, like the truly great ones of Humanity, that spiritual life was, in its ascent to the Eternal, a marriage of the soul with krishna, a union with Love that filled the heart with tremendous energy for the healing of the broken ones.
At Puri, Chaitanya spoke, day and night, of krishna, with eyes filled with years. Chaitanya saw his Beloved in the cloud, the river and the tree. And how dear to Chaitanya was tulsi. To him the tulsi was a symbol of the gopis of vraja, the Blessed Realm of Vrindavan the “vana”, the “Forest” of Vrinda, the woodland where krishna had ravished the hearts of cowherds and milkmaid with his song of the Flute Divine. The Holy spirit poured on Chaitanya the benediction of the Eternal. And crying, “Krishna! Krishna!”. Chaitanya followed the gleam, followed his vision, followed His Beloved through forest and field.
When we look at the little statue of the Master at Nadia, we are deeply impressed, specially with his delicate, gracious face. Fairer he appears to us than most of the children of men. And we say to ourselves, “Well has he been called Gaur, the fair one!” And we gaze and gaze at the beauty of his face. What a longing in that fair face! And again we say to ourselves, “Blessed are they who thirst for krishna!”
The face reflected, to our mind, the mysterious force of the heart, the force, the shakti of love. Not without reason did they regard him, in the years of his manhood: an avatara (manifestation) of Krishna. Some, indeed, spoke of him as one in whom Krishna and Radha were blended into one. To the majority of men, Nimai was no longer an ordinary man. Nimai was krishna-possessed. How they loved him, loved to look at the beauty of his face! How they believed in him! And how on the roads to his many pilgrimages they went after him in the faith that to look at him was to be blessed. His simplicity was so impressive. Again and again, this simple worshipper of krishna went into ecstasy. And men and women often would stand and watch how he went into silence or in deep, in-expressible love cried out: Hari bol! Hari bol!
Nimai no longer spoke in arguments he spoke in kirtan (song and dance). His kirtan thrilled multitudes of men and women who came to hear him, to see him, to gaze at the beauty of his face, to be blessed by him. His kirtan sprang from the new heart which was a gift to him from krishna. Nimai showed forth to many the beauty of krishna whose roots were in the depths of the heart. The Hidden Krishna became manifest in this Man of Destiny. How men and women in long rows followed him! How even the crippled, the lepers, the sick, the deaf-mutes, the blind followed him from day to day!
Not a few were the miracles the Master wrought with the power of love in his heart. Bengal was ruled, in those days, by a Muslim King. The Muslim king did not enjoy much reputation of being a man of sympathy or statesmanship. Nadia was, in those days, practically under the domination of two influential officials, Jagai and Madhai. They were rich and they were robbers. They robbed the people of their wealth: and they were drunkards. They were converted by Sri Chaitanya.
The two great ministers of the Muslim king were Rupa and Sanatana. So great was the influence on them of the Muslim Ruler that Rupa and Sanatana, though born Hindus and were good students of Sanskrit, denied their race and religion and consented to bear Muslim name: and to live in daily life as children of Islam. Under the influence of Sri Chaitanya, both Rupa and Sanatana changed the course of their lives. They became disciples of the Master. They started living a new life, of simplicity, compassion and love. Sri Chaitanya loved Gita and the Bhagavata. Both are charged with the teaching of the dedicated life: and dedication is offering of all to the Lord in the spirit of bhakti or living devotion.
Chaitanya taught that there was no such thing as “secular” that every act, every deed, every thought, every aspiration, must be dedicated to the Feet of the Lord.
Chaitanya himself grew, from more to more, in the great thought that every aspiration, every activity, every moment of deep silence and meditation, every prayer, every invocation, every adoration of the Lord should be an offering, a, yojana to Sri krishna.
(The writer is President Home of Aged& Infirm, Ambphalla, Jammu)

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