The External Reasons for the Appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu
In this chapter the author has fully discussed the external reasons for the descent of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, after displaying His pastimes as Lord Kṛṣṇa, thought it wise to make His advent in the form of a devotee to explain personally the transcendental mellows of reciprocal service and love exchanged between Himself and His servants, friends, parents and fiancées. According to the Vedic literature, the foremost occupational duty for humanity in this Age of Kali is nāma-saṅkīrtana, or congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord. The incarnation for this age especially preaches this process, but only Kṛṣṇa Himself can explain the confidential loving service performed in the four principal varieties of loving affairs between the Supreme Lord and His devotees. Lord Kṛṣṇa therefore personally appeared, with His plenary portions, as Lord Caitanya. As stated in this chapter, it was for this purpose that Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared personally in Navadvīpa in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja has herein presented much authentic evidence from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other scriptures to substantiate the identity of Lord Caitanya with Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. He has described bodily symptoms in Lord Caitanya that are visible only in the person of the Supreme Lord, and he has proved that Lord Caitanya appeared with His personal associates — Śrī Nityānanda, Advaita, Gadādhara, Śrīvāsa and other devotees — to preach the special significance of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. The appearance of Lord Caitanya is both significant and confidential. He can be appreciated only by pure devotees and only through the process of devotional service. The Lord tried to conceal His identity as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by representing Himself as a devotee, but His pure devotees could recognize Him by His special features. The Vedas and Purāṇas foretell the appearance of Lord Caitanya, but still He is sometimes called, significantly, the concealed descent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Advaita Ācārya was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya’s father. He felt sorry for the condition of the world because even after Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance, no one had interest in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. This forgetfulness was so overwhelming that Advaita Prabhu was convinced that no one but Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself could enlighten people about devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore Advaita requested Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear as Lord Caitanya. Offering tulasī leaves and Ganges water, He cried for the Lord’s appearance. The Lord, being satisfied by His pure devotees, descends to satisfy them. As such, being pleased by Advaita Ācārya, Lord Caitanya appeared.
Text 1: I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. By the potency of the shelter of His lotus feet, even a fool can collect the valuable jewels of conclusive truth from the mines of the revealed scriptures.
Text 2: All glories to Lord Caitanya! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya!
Text 3: I have given the purport of the third verse. Now, O devotees, please listen to the meaning of the fourth with full attention.
Text 4: “May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.”
Text 5: Lord Kṛṣṇa, the son of the King of Vraja, is the Supreme Lord. He eternally enjoys transcendental pastimes in His eternal abode, Goloka, which includes Vrajadhāma.
Text 6: Once in a day of Brahmā, He descends to this world to manifest His transcendental pastimes.
Text 7: We know that there are four ages [yugas], namely Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali. These four together constitute one divya-yuga.
Text 8: Seventy-one divya-yugas constitute one manv-antara. There are fourteen manv-antaras in one day of Brahmā.
Text 9: The present Manu, who is the seventh, is called Vaivasvata [the son of Vivasvān]. Twenty-seven divya-yugas [27 × 4,320,000 solar years] of his age have now passed.
Text 10: At the end of the Dvāpara-yuga of the twenty-eighth divya-yuga, Lord Kṛṣṇa appears on earth with the full paraphernalia of His eternal Vraja-dhāma.
Text 11: Servitude [dāsya], friendship [sakhya], parental affection [vātsalya] and conjugal love [śṛṅgāra] are the four transcendental mellows [rasas]. By the devotees who cherish these four mellows, Lord Kṛṣṇa is subdued.
Text 12: Absorbed in such transcendental love, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa enjoys in Vraja with His devoted servants, friends, parents and conjugal lovers.
Text 13: Lord Kṛṣṇa enjoys His transcendental pastimes as long as He wishes, and then He disappears. After disappearing, however, He thinks thus:
Text 14: “For a long time I have not bestowed unalloyed loving service to Me upon the inhabitants of the world. Without such loving attachment, the existence of the material world is useless.
Text 15: “Everywhere in the world people worship Me according to scriptural injunctions. But simply by following such regulative principles one cannot attain the loving sentiments of the devotees in Vrajabhūmi.
Text 16: “Knowing My opulences, the whole world looks upon Me with awe and veneration. But devotion made feeble by such reverence does not attract Me.
Text 17: “By performing such regulated devotional service in awe and veneration, one may go to Vaikuṇṭha and attain the four kinds of liberation.
Text 18: “These liberations are sārṣṭi [achieving opulences equal to those of the Lord], sārūpya [having a form the same as the Lord’s], sāmīpya [living as a personal associate of the Lord] and sālokya [living on a Vaikuṇṭha planet]. Devotees never accept sāyujya, however, since that is oneness with Brahman.
Text 19: “I shall personally inaugurate the religion of the age — nāma-saṅkīrtana, the congregational chanting of the holy name. I shall make the world dance in ecstasy, realizing the four mellows of loving devotional service.
Text 20: “I shall accept the role of a devotee, and I shall teach devotional service by practicing it Myself.
Text 21: “Unless one practices devotional service himself, he cannot teach it to others. This conclusion is indeed confirmed throughout the Gītā and Bhāgavatam.
Text 22: “ ‘Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion — at that time I descend Myself.
Text 23: “ ‘To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.’
Text 24: “ ‘If I did not show the proper principles of religion, all these worlds would fall into ruin. I would be the cause of unwanted population and would spoil all these living beings.’
Text 25: “ ‘Whatever actions a great man performs, common people follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.’
Text 26: “My plenary portions can establish the principles of religion for each age. No one but Me, however, can bestow the kind of loving service performed by the residents of Vraja.
Text 27: “ ‘There may be many all-auspicious incarnations of the Personality of Godhead, but who other than Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa can bestow love of God upon the surrendered souls?’
Text 28: “Therefore in the company of My devotees I shall appear on earth and perform various colorful pastimes.”
Text 29: Thinking thus, the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, descended at Nadia early in the Age of Kali.
Text 30: Thus the lionlike Lord Caitanya has appeared in Navadvīpa. He has the shoulders of a lion, the powers of a lion, and the loud voice of a lion.
Text 31: May that lion be seated in the core of the heart of every living being. Thus with His resounding roar may He drive away one’s elephantine vices.
Text 32: In His early pastimes He is known as Viśvambhara because He floods the world with the nectar of devotion and thus saves the living beings.
Text 33: The verbal root “ḍubhṛñ” [which is the root of the word “viśvambhara”] indicates nourishing and maintaining. He [Lord Caitanya] nourishes and maintains the three worlds by distributing love of God.
Text 34: In His later pastimes He is known as Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. He blesses the whole world by teaching about the name and fame of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Text 35: Knowing Him [Lord Caitanya] to be the incarnation for Kali-yuga, Garga Muni, during the naming ceremony of Kṛṣṇa, predicted His appearance.
Text 36: “This boy [Kṛṣṇa] has three other colors — white, red and yellow — as He appears in different ages. Now He has appeared in a transcendental blackish color.”
Text 37: White, red and yellow — these are the three bodily lusters that the Lord, the husband of the goddess of fortune, assumes in the ages of Satya, Tretā and Kali respectively.
Text 38: Now, in the Dvāpara-yuga, the Lord had descended in a blackish hue. This is the essence of the statements in the Purāṇas and other Vedic literatures with reference to the context.
Text 39: “In the Dvāpara-yuga the Personality of Godhead appears in a blackish hue. He is dressed in yellow, He holds His own weapons, and He is decorated with the Kaustubha jewel and marks of Śrīvatsa. This is how His symptoms are described.”
Text 40: The religious practice for the Age of Kali is to broadcast the glories of the holy name. Only for this purpose has the Lord, in a yellow color, descended as Lord Caitanya.
Text 41: The luster of His expansive body resembles molten gold. The deep sound of His voice conquers the thundering of newly assembled clouds.
Text 42: One who measures four cubits in height and in breadth by his own hand is celebrated as a great personality.
Text 43: Such a person is called nyagrodha-parimaṇḍala. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who personifies all good qualities, has the body of a nyagrodha-parimaṇḍala.
Text 44: His arms are long enough to reach His knees, His eyes are just like lotus flowers, His nose is like a sesame flower, and His face is as beautiful as the moon.
Text 45: He is peaceful, self-controlled and fully devoted to the transcendental service of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is affectionate toward His devotees, He is gentle, and He is equally disposed toward all living beings.
Text 46: He is decorated with sandalwood bangles and armlets and anointed with the pulp of sandalwood. He especially wears these decorations to dance in śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana.
Text 47: Recording all these qualities of Lord Caitanya, the sage Vaiśampāyana included His name in the Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma.
Text 48: The pastimes of Lord Caitanya have two divisions — the early pastimes [ādi-līlā] and the later pastimes [śeṣa-līlā]. He has four names in each of these two līlās.
Text 49: “In His early pastimes He appears as a householder with a golden complexion. His limbs are beautiful, and His body, smeared with the pulp of sandalwood, seems like molten gold. In His later pastimes He accepts the sannyāsa order, and He is equipoised and peaceful. He is the highest abode of peace and devotion, for He silences the impersonalist nondevotees.”
Text 50: In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is repeatedly and clearly said that the essence of religion in the Age of Kali is the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.
Text 51: “O King, in this way people in Dvāpara-yuga worshiped the Lord of the universe. In Kali-yuga they also worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the regulations of the revealed scriptures. Kindly now hear of that from me.
Text 52: “In the Age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the name of Kṛṣṇa. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.”
Text 53: My dear brothers, please hear all these glories of Lord Caitanya. This verse clearly summarizes His activities and characteristics.
Text 54: The two syllables “kṛṣ-ṇa” are always in His mouth; or, He constantly describes Kṛṣṇa with great pleasure.
Text 55: These are two meanings of the word “kṛṣṇa-varṇa.” Indeed, nothing else but Kṛṣṇa issues from His mouth.
Text 56: If someone tries to describe Him as being of blackish complexion, the next adjective [tviṣā akṛṣṇam] immediately restricts him.
Text 57: His complexion is certainly not blackish. Indeed, His not being blackish indicates that His complexion is yellow.
Text 58: “By performing the sacrifice of congregational chanting of the holy name, learned scholars in the Age of Kali worship Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is now nonblackish because of the great upsurge of the feelings of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. He is the only worshipable Deity for the paramahaṁsas, who have attained the highest stage of the fourth order [sannyāsa]. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Caitanya, show us His great causeless mercy.”
Text 59: One can vividly see His glowing complexion of molten gold, which dispels the darkness of ignorance.
Text 60: The sinful life of the living beings results from ignorance. To destroy that ignorance, He has brought various weapons, such as His plenary associates, His devotees and the holy name.
Text 61: The greatest ignorance consists of activities, whether religious or irreligious, that are opposed to devotional service. They are to be known as sins [kalmaṣa].
Text 62: Raising His arms, chanting the holy name and looking upon all with deep love, He drives away all sins and floods everyone with love of Godhead.
Text 63: “May the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Lord Śrī Caitanya bestow His causeless mercy upon us. His smiling glance at once drives away all the bereavements of the world, and His very words enliven the auspicious creepers of devotion by expanding their leaves. Taking shelter of His lotus feet invokes transcendental love of God at once.”
Text 64: Anyone who looks upon His beautiful body or beautiful face becomes freed from all sins and obtains the wealth of love of Godhead.
Text 65: In other incarnations the Lord descended with armies and weapons, but in this incarnation His soldiers are His plenary parts and associates.
Text 66: “Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is always the most worshipable Deity of the demigods, including Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā, who came in the garb of ordinary men, bearing love for Him. He instructs His own pure devotional service to His own devotees. Will He again be the object of my vision?”
Text 67: His plenary parts and associates perform the work of weapons as their own specific duties. Please hear from me another meaning of the word “aṅga.”
Text 68: According to the evidence of the revealed scriptures, a bodily limb [aṅga] is also called a part [aṁśa], and a part of a limb is called a partial part [upāṅga].
Text 69: “O Lord of lords, You are the seer of all creation. You are indeed everyone’s dearest life. Are You not, therefore, my father, Nārāyaṇa? ‘Nārāyaṇa’ refers to one whose abode is in the water born from Nara [Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu], and that Nārāyaṇa is Your plenary portion. All Your plenary portions are transcendental. They are absolute and are not creations of māyā.”
Text 70: The manifestation of the Nārāyaṇa who predominates in everyone’s heart, as well as the Nārāyaṇa who lives in the waters [Kāraṇa, Garbha and Kṣīra], is Your plenary portion. You are therefore the original Nārāyaṇa.
Text 71: The word “aṅga” indeed refers to plenary portions. Such manifestations should never be considered products of material nature, for they are all transcendental, full of knowledge and full of bliss.
Text 72: Śrī Advaita Prabhu and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu are both plenary portions of Lord Caitanya. Thus They are the limbs [aṅgas] of His body. The parts of these two limbs are called the upāṅgas.
Text 73: Thus the Lord is equipped with sharp weapons in the form of His parts and plenary portions. All these weapons are competent enough to crush the faithless atheists.
Text 74: Śrī Nityānanda Gosāñi is directly Haladhara [Lord Balarāma], and Advaita Ācārya is the Personality of Godhead Himself.
Text 75: These two captains, with Their soldiers such as Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, travel everywhere, chanting the holy name of the Lord.
Text 76: Lord Nityānanda’s very features indicate that He is the subduer of the unbelievers. All sins and unbelievers flee from the loud shouts of Advaita Ācārya.
Text 77: Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is the initiator of saṅkīrtana [congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord]. One who worships Him through saṅkīrtana is fortunate indeed.
Text 78: Such a person is truly intelligent, whereas others, who have but a poor fund of knowledge, must endure the cycle of repeated birth and death. Of all sacrificial performances, the chanting of the Lord’s holy name is the most sublime.
Text 79: One who says that ten million aśvamedha sacrifices are equal to the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa is undoubtedly an atheist. He is sure to be punished by Yamarāja.
Text 80: In the auspicious introduction to the Bhāgavata-sandarbha, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has given the following verse as an explanation.
Text 81: “I take shelter of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is outwardly of a fair complexion but is inwardly Kṛṣṇa Himself. In this Age of Kali He displays His expansions [His aṅgas and upāṅgas] by performing congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord.”
Text 82: In the Upapurāṇas we hear Śrī Kṛṣṇa showing His mercy to Vyāsadeva by speaking to him as follows.
Text 83: “O learned brāhmaṇa, sometimes I accept the renounced order of life to induce the fallen people of the Age of Kali to accept devotional service to the Lord.”
Text 84: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Mahābhārata, the Purāṇas and other Vedic literatures all give evidence to prove that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa.
Text 85: One can also directly see Lord Caitanya’s manifest influence in His uncommon deeds and uncommon Kṛṣṇa conscious realization.
Text 86: But faithless unbelievers do not see what is clearly evident, just as owls do not see the rays of the sun.
Text 87: “O my Lord, those influenced by demoniac principles cannot realize You, although You are clearly the Supreme by dint of Your exalted activities, forms, character and uncommon power, which are confirmed by all the revealed scriptures in the quality of goodness and the celebrated transcendentalists in the divine nature.”
Text 88: Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa tries to hide Himself in various ways, but nevertheless His pure devotees know Him as He is.
Text 89: “O my Lord, everything within material nature is limited by time, space and thought. Your characteristics, however, being unequaled and unsurpassed, are always transcendental to such limitations. You sometimes cover such characteristics by Your own energy, but nevertheless Your unalloyed devotees are always able to see You under all circumstances.”
Text 90: Those whose nature is demoniac cannot know Kṛṣṇa at any time, but He cannot hide Himself from His pure devotees.
Text 91: “There are two classes of men in the created world. One consists of the demoniac and the other of the godly. The devotees of Lord Viṣṇu are the godly, whereas those who are just the opposite are called demons.”
Text 92: Advaita Ācārya Gosvāmī is an incarnation of the Lord as a devotee. His loud calling was the cause for Kṛṣṇa’s incarnation.
Text 93: Whenever Śrī Kṛṣṇa desires to manifest His incarnation on earth, first He creates the incarnations of His respectable predecessors.
Text 94: Thus respectable personalities such as His father, mother and spiritual master all take birth on earth first.
Text 95: Mādhavendra Purī, Īśvara Purī, Śrīmatī Śacīmātā and Śrīla Jagannātha Miśra all appeared with Śrī Advaita Ācārya.
Text 96: Advaita Ācārya having appeared, He found the world devoid of devotional service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa because people were engrossed in material affairs.
Text 97: Everyone was engaged in material enjoyment, whether sinfully or virtuously. No one was interested in the transcendental service of the Lord, which can give total relief from the repetition of birth and death.
Text 98: Seeing the activities of the world, the Ācārya felt compassion and began to ponder how He could act for the people’s benefit.
Text 99: [Advaita Ācārya thought:] “If Śrī Kṛṣṇa were to appear as an incarnation, He Himself could preach devotion by His personal example.
Text 100: “In this Age of Kali there is no religion other than the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, but how in this age will the Lord appear as an incarnation?
Text 101: “I shall worship Kṛṣṇa in a purified state of mind. I shall constantly petition Him in humbleness.
Text 102: “My name, ‘Advaita,’ will be fitting if I am able to induce Kṛṣṇa to inaugurate the movement of the chanting of the holy name.”
Text 103: While He was thinking about how to propitiate Kṛṣṇa by worship, the following verse came to His mind.
Text 104: “Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers Him merely a tulasī leaf and a palmful of water.”
Texts 105-106: Advaita Ācārya considered the meaning of the verse in this way: “Not finding any way to repay the debt He owes to one who offers Him a tulasī leaf and water, Lord Kṛṣṇa thinks, ‘There is no wealth in My possession that is equal to a tulasī leaf and water.’
Text 107: “Thus the Lord liquidates the debt by offering Himself to the devotee.” Considering in this way, the Ācārya began worshiping the Lord.
Text 108: Thinking of the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, He constantly offered tulasī buds in water from the Ganges.
Text 109: He appealed to Śrī Kṛṣṇa with loud calls and thus made it possible for Kṛṣṇa to appear.
Text 110: Therefore the principal reason for Śrī Caitanya’s descent is this appeal by Advaita Ācārya. The Lord, the protector of religion, appears by the desire of His devotee.
Text 111: “O my Lord, You always dwell in the vision and hearing of Your pure devotees. You also live in their lotuslike hearts, which are purified by devotional service. O my Lord, who are glorified by exalted prayers, You show special favor to Your devotees by manifesting Yourself in the eternal forms in which they welcome You.”
Text 112: The essence of the meaning of this verse is that Lord Kṛṣṇa appears in all His innumerable eternal forms because of the desires of His pure devotees.
Text 113: Thus I have surely determined the meaning of the fourth verse. Lord Gaurāṅga [Lord Caitanya] appeared as an incarnation to preach unalloyed love of God.
Text 114: Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.