The Glories of Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura
A summary of the third chapter is given by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura as follows. A beautiful young brāhmaṇa girl in Jagannātha Purī had a very handsome son who was coming every day to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This was not very much to the liking of Dāmodara Paṇḍita, however, who therefore told Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “If You display so much love for this boy, people will doubt Your character.” Hearing these words from Dāmodara Paṇḍita, the Lord sent him to Navadvīpa to supervise the affairs of His mother, Śacīdevī. He also especially requested Dāmodara Paṇḍita to remind His mother that He was sometimes going to her home to accept the food she offered. Thus, following the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Dāmodara Paṇḍita went to Navadvīpa, taking with him all kinds of prasādam from Lord Jagannātha.
On another occasion, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu once inquired from Haridāsa Ṭhākura, who was known as Brahma Haridāsa, how the yavanas, or persons bereft of Vedic culture, would be delivered in Kali-yuga. Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied that their deliverance would be possible if they very loudly chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, for hearing the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra chanted loudly, even with but little realization, would help them.
After describing this incident, the author of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta also describes how Haridāsa Ṭhākura was tested at Benāpola, a village near Śāntipura. A person named Rāmacandra Khān, who was envious of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, sent a professional prostitute to attempt to defame him, but by the mercy of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, even the prostitute was delivered. Because of offending a pure Vaiṣṇava, Rāmacandra Khān was later cursed by Nityānanda Prabhu and ruined.
From Benāpola, Haridāsa Ṭhākura went to the village known as Cāndapura, where he lived at the house of Balarāma Ācārya. Thereafter, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was received by two brothers known as Hiraṇya and Govardhana Majumadāra, but in the course of a discussion he was offended by a caste brāhmaṇa known as Gopāla Cakravartī. Because of this offense, Gopāla Cakravartī was punished by being afflicted with leprosy.
Haridāsa Ṭhākura later left Cāndapura and went to the house of Advaita Ācārya, where he was tested by Māyādevī, the personification of the external energy. She also received his favor by being blessed with the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
Text 1: I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service, unto all the Vaiṣṇavas and unto the six Gosvāmīs, including Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as well as all His devotees, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all the gopīs, headed by Lalitā and Viśākhā.
Text 2: All glories to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glories to Nityānanda Prabhu! All glories to Advaita Ācārya! And all glories to all the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu!
Text 3: In Jagannātha Purī there was a young boy who had been born of an Orissan brāhmaṇa but had later lost his father. The boy’s features were very beautiful, and his behavior was extremely gentle.
Texts 4-5: The boy came daily to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and offered Him respectful obeisances. He was free to talk with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu because the Lord was his life and soul, but the boy’s intimacy with the Lord and the Lord’s mercy toward him were intolerable for Dāmodara Paṇḍita.
Text 6: Dāmodara Paṇḍita again and again forbade the son of the brāhmaṇa to visit the Lord, but the boy could not bear staying home and not seeing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text 7: The boy came every day to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who treated him with great affection. It is the nature of any boy to go see a man who loves him.
Text 8: This was intolerable for Dāmodara Paṇḍita. He became greatly unhappy, but there was nothing he could say, for the boy would ignore his restrictions.
Text 9: One day when the boy came to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord very affectionately inquired from him about all kinds of news.
Text 10: After some time, when the boy stood up and left, the intolerant Dāmodara Paṇḍita began to speak.
Text 11: Dāmodara Paṇḍita impudently said to the Lord, “Everyone says that You are a great teacher because of Your instructions to others, but now we shall find out what kind of teacher You are.
Text 12: “You are known as Gosāñi [teacher or ācārya], but now talk about Your attributes and reputation will spread throughout the city of Puruṣottama. How Your position will be impaired!”
Text 13: Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu knew that Dāmodara Paṇḍita was a pure and simple devotee, upon hearing this impudent talk the Lord said, “My dear Dāmodara, what nonsense are you speaking?”
Text 14: “My dear Lord, You can act as You please. No one can say anything to restrict You. Nevertheless, the entire world is impudent. People can say anything. How can You stop them?
Text 15: “Dear Lord, You are a learned teacher. Why then don’t You consider that this boy is the son of a widowed brāhmaṇī? Why are You so affectionate to him?
Text 16: “Although the boy’s mother is completely austere and chaste, she has one natural fault — she is a very beautiful young girl.
Text 17: “And You, my dear Lord, are a handsome, attractive young man. Therefore certainly people will whisper about You. Why should You give them such an opportunity?”
Text 18: Having said this, Dāmodara Paṇḍita became silent. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu smiled, pleased within Himself, and considered the impudence of Dāmodara Paṇḍita.
Text 19: [Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu thought:] “This impudence is also a sign of pure love for Me. I have no other intimate friend like Dāmodara Paṇḍita.”
Text 20: Thinking in this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to perform His noon duties. The next day, He called Dāmodara Paṇḍita to a solitary place.
Text 21: The Lord said, “My dear friend Dāmodara, you had better go to Nadia and stay with My mother.
Text 22: “I see no one but you to protect her, for you are so careful that you can caution even Me.
Text 23: “You are the most neutral among My associates. This is very good, for without being neutral one cannot protect religious principles.
Text 24: “You can do whatever I cannot. Indeed, you can chastise even Me, what to speak of others.
Text 25: “It is best for you to go to the shelter of My mother’s lotus feet, for no one will be able to behave independently in front of you.
Text 26: “At intervals you may come see Me here and then soon again go there.
Text 27: “Offer My mother millions of My obeisances. Please speak to her about My happiness here and thus give her happiness.
Text 28: “Tell her that I sent you to inform her of My personal activities so that she may share in My happiness.
Text 29: “Speaking in this way, satisfy the mind of mother Śacī. Also, remind her of one most confidential incident with this message from Me.
Text 30: “ ‘I come to your home again and again to eat all the sweetmeats and vegetables you offer.
Text 31: “ ‘You know that I come and eat the offerings, but because of external separation, you consider this a dream.
Text 32: “ ‘During the last Māgha-saṅkrānti festival, you cooked varieties of vegetables, condensed milk, cakes and sweet rice for Me.
Text 33: “ ‘You offered the food to Lord Kṛṣṇa, and while you were in meditation I suddenly appeared, and your eyes filled with tears.
Text 34: “ ‘I went there in great haste and ate everything. When you saw Me eating, you felt great happiness.
Text 35: “ ‘In a moment, after you had wiped your eyes, you saw that the plate you had offered Me was empty. Then you thought, “I dreamt as if Nimāi were eating everything.”
Text 36: “ ‘In the condition of external separation, you were again under illusion, thinking that you had not offered the food to Lord Viṣṇu.
Text 37: “ ‘Then you went to see the cooking pots and found that every pot was filled with food. Therefore you again offered the food, after cleansing the place for the offering.
Text 38: “ ‘Thus I again and again eat everything you offer Me, for I am attracted by your pure love.
Text 39: “ ‘Only by your order am I living in Nīlācala [Jagannātha Purī]. Nevertheless, you still pull Me near you because of your great love for Me.’ ”
Text 40: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Dāmodara Paṇḍita, “Remind mother Śacī in this way again and again and worship her lotus feet in My name.”
Text 41: After saying this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered that varieties of prasādam offered to Lord Jagannātha be brought. The Lord then gave him the prasādam, separately packed, to offer to various Vaiṣṇavas and His mother.
Text 42: In this way Dāmodara Paṇḍita went to Nadia [Navadvīpa]. After meeting mother Śacī, he stayed under the care of her lotus feet.
Text 43: He delivered all the prasādam to such great Vaiṣṇavas as Advaita Ācārya. Thus he stayed there and behaved according to the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text 44: Everyone knew that Dāmodara Paṇḍita was strict in practical dealings. Therefore everyone was afraid of him and dared not do anything independent.
Text 45: Dāmodara Paṇḍita would verbally chastise every devotee of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu whom he found deviating even slightly from proper behavior. Thus he established the standard etiquette.
Text 46: In this way I have described Dāmodara Paṇḍita’s verbal chastisements. As one hears about this, atheistic principles and ignorance depart.
Text 47: The pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are deeper than millions of seas and oceans. Therefore no one can understand what He does or why He does it.
Text 48: I do not know the deep meaning of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s activities. As far as possible I shall try to explain them externally.
Text 49: One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu met Haridāsa Ṭhākura as usual, and in the course of discussion He inquired as follows.
Text 50: “My dear Ṭhākura Haridāsa, in this Age of Kali most people are bereft of Vedic culture, and therefore they are called yavanas. They are concerned only with killing cows and brahminical culture. In this way they all engage in sinful acts.
Text 51: “How will these yavanas be delivered? To My great unhappiness, I do not see any way.”
Text 52: Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied, “My dear Lord, do not be in anxiety. Do not be unhappy to see the condition of the yavanas in material existence.
Text 53: “Because the yavanas are accustomed to saying ‘hā rāma, hā rāma’ [‘O Lord Rāmacandra’], they will very easily be delivered by this nāmābhāsa.
Text 54: “A devotee in advanced ecstatic love exclaims, ‘O my Lord Rāmacandra! O my Lord Rāmacandra!’ But the yavanas also chant, ‘hā rāma, hā rāma!’ Just see their good fortune!”
Text 55: Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura, the authority on the chanting of the holy name, said, “The chanting of the Lord’s holy name to indicate something other than the Lord is an instance of nāmābhāsa. Even when the holy name is chanted in this way, its transcendental power is not destroyed.
Text 56: “ ‘Even a mleccha who is being killed by the tusk of a boar and who cries in distress again and again, “hā rāma, hā rāma” attains liberation. What then to speak of those who chant the holy name with veneration and faith?’
Text 57: “Ajāmila was a great sinner during his life, but at the time of death he accidentally called for his youngest son, whose name was Nārāyaṇa, and the attendants of Lord Viṣṇu came to relieve him from the bonds of Yamarāja, the superintendent of death.
Text 58: “The word ‘rāma’ consists of the two syllables ‘rā’ and ‘ma.’ These are unseparated and are decorated with the loving word ‘hā,’ meaning ‘O.’
Text 59: “The letters of the holy name have so much spiritual potency that they act even when uttered improperly.
Text 60: “ ‘If a devotee once utters the holy name of the Lord, or if it penetrates his mind or enters his ear, which is the channel of aural reception, that holy name will certainly deliver him from material bondage, whether vibrated properly or improperly, with correct or incorrect grammar, or properly joined or vibrated in separate parts. O brāhmaṇa, the potency of the holy name is therefore certainly great. However, if one uses the vibration of the holy name for the benefit of the material body, for material wealth and followers, or under the influence of greed or atheism — in other words, if one utters the name with offenses — such chanting will not produce the desired result very soon. Therefore one should diligently avoid offenses in chanting the holy name of the Lord.’ ”
Text 61: Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura continued, “If one offenselessly utters the holy name even imperfectly, one can be freed from all the results of sinful life.
Text 62: “ ‘O reservoir of all good qualities, just worship Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the purifier of all purifiers, the most exalted of the personalities worshiped by choice poetry. Worship Him with a faithful, unflinching mind, without duplicity and in a highly elevated manner. Thus worship the Lord, whose name is like the sun, for just as a slight appearance of the sun dissipates the darkness of night, so a slight appearance of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa can drive away all the darkness of ignorance that arises in the heart due to greatly sinful activities performed in previous lives.’
Text 63: “Even a faint light from the holy name of the Lord can eradicate all the reactions of sinful life.
Text 64: “ ‘While dying, Ajāmila chanted the holy name of the Lord, intending to call his son Nārāyaṇa. Nevertheless, he attained the spiritual world. What then to speak of those who chant the holy name with faith and reverence?’
Text 65: “Because of even the faintest rays of the effulgence of the Lord’s holy name, one can attain liberation. We can see this in all the revealed scriptures. The evidence appears in the story of Ajāmila in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.”
Text 66: As Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard this from Haridāsa Ṭhākura, the happiness within His heart increased, but as a matter of course, He still inquired further.
Text 67: “On this earth there are many living entities,” the Lord said, “some moving and some not moving. What will happen to the trees, plants, insects and other living entities? How will they be delivered from material bondage?”
Text 68: Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied, “My dear Lord, the deliverance of all moving and nonmoving living entities takes place only by Your mercy. You have already granted this mercy and delivered them.
Text 69: “You have loudly chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and everyone, moving or not moving, has benefited by hearing it.
Text 70: “My Lord, the moving entities who have heard Your loud saṅkīrtana have already been delivered from bondage to the material world, and after the nonmoving living entities like trees hear it, there is an echo.
Text 71: “Actually, however, it is not an echo: it is the kīrtana of the nonmoving living entities. All this, although inconceivable, is possible by Your mercy.
Text 72: “When loud chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is performed all over the world by those who follow in Your footsteps, all living entities, moving and nonmoving, dance in ecstatic devotional love.
Text 73: “My dear Lord, all the incidents that took place while You were going to Vṛndāvana through the forest known as Jhārikhaṇḍa have been related to me by Your servant Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya.
Text 74: “When Your devotee Vāsudeva Datta submitted his plea at Your lotus feet for the deliverance of all living entities, You accepted that request.
Text 75: “My dear Lord, You have accepted the form of a devotee just to deliver all the fallen souls of this world.
Text 76: “You have preached the loud chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and in this way freed all moving and nonmoving living entities from material bondage.”
Text 77: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “If all living entities are liberated, the entire universe will be devoid of living beings.”
Texts 78-79: Haridāsa said, “My Lord, as long as You are situated within the material world, You will send to the spiritual sky all the developed moving and nonmoving living entities in different species. Then again You will awaken the living entities who are not yet developed and engage them in activities.
Text 80: “In this way all moving and nonmoving living entities will come into existence, and the entire universe will be filled as it was previously.
Text 81: “Previously, when Lord Rāmacandra left this world, He took with Him all the living entities of Ayodhyā. Then He filled Ayodhyā again with other living entities.
Text 82: “My dear Lord, You have set a plan in motion by descending to the material world, but no one can understand how You are acting.
Text 83: “Formerly, when Lord Kṛṣṇa descended in Vṛndāvana, He freed all living entities in the universe from material existence in the same way.
Text 84: “Kṛṣṇa, the unborn Supreme Personality of Godhead, master of all masters of mystic power, delivers all living entities, moving and nonmoving. Nothing is astonishing in the activities of the Lord.’
Text 85: “ ‘Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead may be seen, glorified or remembered with an attitude of envy, He nevertheless awards the most confidential liberation, which is rarely achieved by the demigods and demons. What, then, can be said of those who are already fully engaged in devotional service to the Lord?’
Text 86: “By descending as an incarnation at Navadvīpa, You, just like Kṛṣṇa, have already delivered all the living entities of the universe.
Text 87: “One may say that he understands the glories of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He may know whatever he may know, but as far as I am concerned, this is my conclusion.
Text 88: “My dear Lord, Your pastimes are just like an ocean of nectar. It is not possible for me to conceive how great that ocean is or even to understand a drop of it.”
Text 89: Hearing all this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was astonished. “These are actually My confidential pastimes,” He thought. “How could Haridāsa have understood them?”
Text 90: Greatly satisfied by the statements of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced him. Outwardly, however, He avoided further discussions of these matters.
Text 91: This is a characteristic of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although He wants to cover His opulence, He cannot do so before His devotees. This is well known everywhere.
Text 92: “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 93: Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to His personal devotees and began speaking about Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s transcendental qualities as if He had hundreds of mouths.
Text 94: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu derives great pleasure from glorifying His devotees, and among the devotees, Haridāsa Ṭhākura is the foremost.
Text 95: The transcendental qualities of Haridāsa Ṭhākura are innumerable and unfathomable. One may describe a portion of them, but to count them all is impossible.
Text 96: In the Caitanya-maṅgala, Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has described the attributes of Haridāsa Ṭhākura to some extent.
Text 97: No one can describe all the qualities of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. One may say something about them just to purify himself.
Text 98: O devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, please hear something about the qualities of Haridāsa Ṭhākura that Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has not described in detail.
Text 99: After leaving his home, Haridāsa Ṭhākura stayed for some time in the forest of Benāpola.
Text 100: Haridāsa Ṭhākura constructed a cottage in a solitary forest. There he planted a tulasī plant, and in front of the tulasī he would chant the holy name of the Lord 300,000 times daily. He chanted throughout the entire day and night.
Text 101: For his bodily maintenance he would go to a brāhmaṇa’s house and beg some food. He was spiritually so influential that all the neighboring people worshiped him.
Text 102: A landholder named Rāmacandra Khān was the zamindar of that district. He was envious of Vaiṣṇavas and was therefore a great atheist.
Text 103: Unable to tolerate that such respect was being offered to Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Rāmacandra Khān planned in various ways to dishonor him.
Text 104: By no means could he find any fault in the character of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Therefore he called for local prostitutes and began a plan to discredit His Holiness.
Text 105: Rāmacandra Khān said to the prostitutes, “There is a mendicant named Haridāsa Ṭhākura. All of you devise a way to deviate him from his vows of austerity.”
Text 106: Among the prostitutes, one attractive young girl was selected. “I shall attract the mind of Haridāsa Ṭhākura,” she promised, “within three days.”
Text 107: Rāmacandra Khān said to the prostitute, “My constable will go with you so that as soon as he sees you with Haridāsa Ṭhākura, immediately he will arrest him and bring both of you to me.”
Text 108: The prostitute replied, “First let me have union with him once; then the second time I shall take your constable with me to arrest him.”
Text 109: At night the prostitute, after dressing herself most attractively, went to the cottage of Haridāsa Ṭhākura with great jubilation.
Text 110: After offering obeisances to the tulasī plant, she went to the door of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, offered him obeisances and stood there.
Text 111: Exposing part of her body to his view, she sat down on the threshold of the door and spoke to him in very sweet words.
Text 112: “My dear Ṭhākura, O great preacher, great devotee, you are so beautifully built, and your youth is just beginning. Who is the woman who could control her mind after seeing you?
Text 113: “I am eager to be united with you. My mind is greedy for this. If I don’t obtain you, I shall not be able to keep my body and soul together.”
Texts 114-115: Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied, “I shall accept you without fail, but you will have to wait until I have finished chanting my regular rounds on my beads. Until that time, please sit and listen to the chanting of the holy name. As soon as I am finished, I shall fulfill your desire.”
Text 116: Hearing this, the prostitute remained sitting there while Haridāsa Ṭhākura chanted on his beads until the light of morning appeared.
Text 117: When she saw that it was morning, the prostitute stood up and left. Coming before Rāmacandra Khān, she informed him of all the news.
Text 118: “Today Haridāsa Ṭhākura has promised to enjoy with me. Tomorrow certainly I shall have union with him.”
Text 119: The next night, when the prostitute came again, Haridāsa Ṭhākura gave her many assurances.
Text 120: “Last night you were disappointed. Please excuse my offense. I shall certainly accept you.
Text 121: “Please sit down and hear the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra until my regular chanting is finished. Then your desire will surely be fulfilled.”
Text 122: After offering her obeisances to the tulasī plant and Haridāsa Ṭhākura, she sat down at the door. Hearing Haridāsa Ṭhākura chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, she also chanted, “O my Lord Hari, O my Lord Hari.”
Text 123: When the night came to an end, the prostitute was restless. Seeing this, Haridāsa Ṭhākura spoke to her as follows.
Text 124: “I have vowed to chant ten million names in a month. I have taken this vow, but now it is nearing its end.
Text 125: “I thought that today I would be able to finish my performance of yajña, my chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. I tried my best to chant the holy name all night, but I still did not finish.
Text 126: “Tomorrow I will surely finish, and my vow will be fulfilled. Then it will be possible for me to enjoy with you in full freedom.”
Text 127: The prostitute returned to Rāmacandra Khān and informed him of what had happened. The next day she came earlier, at the beginning of the evening, and stayed with Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Text 128: After offering obeisances to the tulasī plant and Haridāsa Ṭhākura, she sat down on the threshold of the room. Thus she began to hear Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s chanting, and she also personally chanted “Hari, Hari,” the holy name of the Lord.
Text 129: “Today it will be possible for me to finish my chanting,” Haridāsa Ṭhākura informed her. “Then I shall satisfy all your desires.”
Text 130: The night ended while Haridāsa Ṭhākura was chanting, but by his association the mind of the prostitute had changed.
Text 131: The prostitute, now purified, fell at the lotus feet of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and confessed that Rāmacandra Khān had appointed her to pollute him.
Text 132: “Because I have taken the profession of a prostitute,” she said, “I have performed unlimited sinful acts. My lord, be merciful to me. Deliver my fallen soul.”
Text 133: Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied, “I know everything about the conspiracy of Rāmacandra Khān. He is nothing but an ignorant fool. Therefore his activities do not make me feel unhappy.
Text 134: “On the very day Rāmacandra Khān was planning his intrigue against me, I would have left this place immediately, but because you came to me I stayed here for three days to deliver you.”
Text 135: The prostitute said, “Kindly act as my spiritual master. Instruct me in my duty, by which I can get relief from material existence.”
Text 136: Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied, “Immediately go home and distribute to the brāhmaṇas whatever property you have. Then come back to this room and stay here forever in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Text 137: “Chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra continuously and render service to the tulasī plant by watering her and offering prayers to her. In this way you will very soon get the opportunity to be sheltered at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa.”
Text 138: After thus instructing the prostitute about the process of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, Haridāsa Ṭhākura stood up and left, continuously chanting “Hari, Hari.”
Text 139: Thereafter, the prostitute distributed to the brāhmaṇas whatever household possessions she had, following the order of her spiritual master.
Text 140: The prostitute shaved her head clean in accordance with Vaiṣṇava principles and stayed in that room wearing only one cloth. Following in the footsteps of her spiritual master, she began chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa 300,000 times a day. She chanted throughout the entire day and night.
Text 141: She worshiped the tulasī plant, following in the footsteps of her spiritual master. Instead of eating regularly, she chewed whatever food she received as alms, and if nothing was supplied she would fast. Thus by eating frugally and fasting she conquered her senses, and as soon as her senses were controlled, symptoms of love of Godhead appeared in her person.
Text 142: Thus the prostitute became a celebrated devotee. She became very advanced in spiritual life, and many stalwart Vaiṣṇavas would come to see her.
Text 143: Seeing the sublime character of the prostitute, everyone was astonished. Everyone glorified the influence of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and offered him obeisances.
Text 144: By inducing a prostitute to disturb Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Rāmacandra Khān caused a seed of offense at his lotus feet to germinate. This seed later became a tree, and when it fructified, Rāmacandra Khān ate its fruits.
Text 145: This offense at the lotus feet of an exalted devotee has resulted in a wonderful narration. Taking advantage of the opportunity afforded by these incidents, I shall explain what happened. O devotees, please listen.
Text 146: Rāmacandra Khān was naturally a nondevotee. Now, having offended the lotus feet of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he became just like a demoniac atheist.
Text 147: Because of blaspheming the cult of Vaiṣṇavism and insulting the devotees for a long time, he now received the results of his offensive activities.
Text 148: When Lord Nityānanda returned to Bengal to preach the cult of bhakti, love of Godhead, He began touring all over the country.
Text 149: For two purposes — to spread the cult of bhakti and to defeat and subdue the atheists — Lord Nityānanda, the most dedicated devotee of the Lord, moved throughout the country.
Text 150: Lord Nityānanda, who is omniscient because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, came to the house of Rāmacandra Khān and sat down on the altar of the Durgā-maṇḍapa.
Text 151: When the Durgā-maṇḍapa and courtyard became filled with crowds of men, Rāmacandra Khān, who was inside the house, sent his servant to Lord Nityānanda.
Text 152: The servant informed Lord Nityānanda, “My dear Sir, Rāmacandra Khān has sent me to accommodate You in some common man’s house.
Text 153: “You might go to the house of a milkman, for the cowshed is spacious, whereas the space here in the Durgā-maṇḍapa is insufficient because You have many followers with You.”
Text 154: When Nityānanda Prabhu heard this order from the servant of Rāmacandra Khān, He became very angry and came out. Laughing very loudly, He spoke as follows.
Text 155: “Rāmacandra Khān has spoken rightly. This place is unfit for Me. It is fit for cow-killing meat-eaters.”
Text 156: Having said this, Lord Nityānanda stood up and left in an angry mood. To chastise Rāmacandra Khān, He did not even stay in that village.
Text 157: Rāmacandra Khān ordered the servant to dig up the dirt in the place where Nityānanda Prabhu had sat.
Text 158: To purify the Durgā-maṇḍapa temple and the courtyard, Rāmacandra Khān sprinkled and smeared it with water mixed with cow dung, but still his mind was unsatisfied.
Text 159: Rāmacandra Khān’s business was questionable, for he tried to avoid paying income tax to the government. Therefore the government’s minister of finance was angry and came to his residence.
Text 160: The Muslim minister made his residence in the Durgā-maṇḍapa of Rāmacandra Khān. He killed a cow and cooked the meat at that very place.
Text 161: He arrested Rāmacandra Khān, along with his wife and sons, and then he continuously plundered the house and village for three days.
Text 162: In that very room he cooked the flesh of a cow for three consecutive days. Then the next day he left, accompanied by his followers.
Text 163: The Muslim minister took away Rāmacandra Khān’s position, wealth and followers. For many days the village remained deserted.
Text 164: Wherever an advanced devotee is insulted, for one man’s fault the entire town or place is afflicted.
Text 165: Haridāsa Ṭhākura walked until he came to the village known as Cāndapura. There he stayed at the house of Balarāma Ācārya.
Text 166: Hiraṇya and Govardhana were the two governmental treasurers in that division of the country. Their priest was named Balarāma Ācārya.
Text 167: Balarāma Ācārya, being favored by Haridāsa Ṭhākura, was very much attached to him. Therefore he kept Haridāsa Ṭhākura in the village with great care and attention.
Text 168: In the village, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was given a solitary thatched cottage, where he performed the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. He accepted prasādam at the house of Balarāma Ācārya.
Text 169: Raghunātha dāsa, who was the son of Govardhana Majumadāra and was later to become Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, was at that time a boy engaged in study. He came to see Haridāsa Ṭhākura daily.
Text 170: Naturally Haridāsa Ṭhākura was merciful toward him, and because of the merciful benediction of this Vaiṣṇava, he later attained the shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet.
Text 171: At the residence of Hiraṇya and Govardhana, discourses took place by which Haridāsa Ṭhākura was glorified. O devotees, please listen to that wonderful story.
Text 172: One day Balarāma Ācārya requested Haridāsa Ṭhākura with great humility to come to the assembly of the Majumadāras, Hiraṇya and Govardhana. Thus Balarāma Ācārya went there with Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Text 173: Seeing Haridāsa Ṭhākura, the two brothers immediately stood up and fell at his lotus feet. Then with great respect they offered him a place to sit.
Text 174: In that assembly were many learned scholars, brāhmaṇas and respectable gentlemen. The two brothers Hiraṇya and Govardhana were also greatly learned.
Text 175: Everyone there began to speak of Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s great qualities as if they had five mouths. Hearing this, both brothers were extremely happy.
Text 176: It was mentioned in the assembly that Haridāsa Ṭhākura chanted the holy names of Kṛṣṇa 300,000 times a day. Thus all the learned scholars began to discuss the glories of the holy name.
Text 177: Some of them said, “By chanting the holy name of the Lord, one is freed from the reactions of all sinful life.”
Text 178: Haridāsa Ṭhākura protested, “These two benedictions are not the true result of chanting the holy name. Actually, by chanting the holy name without offenses, one awakens his ecstatic love for the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa.
Text 179: “ ‘When a person is actually advanced and takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is very dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants the holy name. He also laughs, cries, becomes agitated and chants just like a madman, not caring for outsiders.’
Text 180: “Liberation and extinction of the reactions of sinful life are two concomitant by-products of chanting the holy name of the Lord. An example is found in the gleams of morning sunlight.
Text 181: “ ‘As the rising sun immediately dissipates all the world’s darkness, which is deep like an ocean, so the holy name of the Lord, if chanted once without offenses, dissipates all the reactions of a living being’s sinful life. All glories to that holy name of the Lord, which is auspicious for the entire world.’ ”
Text 182: After reciting this verse, Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, “O learned scholars, please explain the meaning of this verse.”
Text 183: Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, “As the sun begins to rise, even before it is visible it dissipates the darkness of night.
Text 184: “With the first glimpse of sunlight, fear of thieves, ghosts and demons immediately disappears, and when the sun is actually visible, everything is manifest, and everyone begins performing his religious activities and regulative duties.
Text 185: “Similarly, the first hint that offenseless chanting of the Lord’s holy name has awakened dissipates the reactions of sinful life immediately. And when one chants the holy name offenselessly, one awakens to service in ecstatic love at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa.
Text 186: “Liberation is the insignificant result derived from a glimpse of the awakening of offenseless chanting of the holy name.
Text 187: “ ‘While dying, Ajāmila chanted the holy name of the Lord, intending to call his son Nārāyaṇa. Nevertheless, he attained the spiritual world. What then to speak of those who chant the holy name with faith and reverence?’
Text 188: “Liberation, which is unacceptable for a pure devotee, is always offered by Kṛṣṇa without difficulty.
Text 189: “ ‘My devotees do not accept sālokya, sārṣṭi, sārūpya, sāmīpya or oneness with Me — even if I offer these liberations — in preference to serving Me.’ ”
Text 190: At the house of Hiraṇya and Govardhana Majumadāra, a person named Gopāla Cakravartī was officially the chief tax collector.
Text 191: This Gopāla Cakravartī lived in Bengal. His duty as chief tax collector was to collect 1,200,000 coins to deposit in the treasury of the emperor.
Text 192: He had handsome bodily features, and he was learned and youthful, but he could not tolerate the statement that simply by glimpsing the awakening of the Lord’s holy name one can attain liberation.
Text 193: This young man, Gopāla Cakravartī, became very angry upon hearing the statements of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. He immediately criticized him. “O assembly of learned scholars,” he said, “just hear the conclusion of the emotional devotee.
Text 194: “After many millions upon millions of births, when one is complete in absolute knowledge, one still may not attain liberation, yet this man says that one may attain it simply by the awakening of a glimpse of the holy name.”
Text 195: Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, “Why are you doubtful? The revealed scriptures say that one can attain liberation simply by a glimpse of offenseless chanting of the holy name.
Text 196: “For a devotee who enjoys the transcendental bliss of devotional service, liberation is most insignificant. Therefore pure devotees never desire to achieve liberation.
Text 197: “ ‘My dear Lord, O master of the universe, since I have directly seen You, my transcendental bliss has taken the shape of a great ocean. Being situated in that ocean, I now realize all other so-called happiness, including even brahmānanda, to be like the water contained in the hoofprint of a calf.’ ”
Text 198: Gopāla Cakravartī said, “If one is not liberated by nāmābhāsa, then you may be certain that I shall cut off your nose.”
Text 199: Then Haridāsa Ṭhākura accepted the challenge offered by Gopāla Cakravartī. “If by nāmābhāsa liberation is not available,” he said, “certainly I shall cut off my nose.”
Text 200: All the members of the assembly who had heard the challenge were greatly agitated, and they got up, making a tumultuous sound. Hiraṇya and Govardhana Majumadāra both immediately chastised the brāhmaṇa tax collector.
Text 201: The priest named Balarāma Ācārya also chastised Gopāla Cakravartī. “You are a foolish logician,” he said. “What do you know about the devotional service of the Lord?
Text 202: “You have insulted Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Thus there will be a dangerous position for you. You should not expect anything auspicious.”
Text 203: Then Haridāsa Ṭhākura got up to leave, and the Majumadāras, the masters of Gopāla Cakravartī, immediately kicked him out and dismissed him from their service.
Text 204: With all the members of the assembly, the two Majumadāras fell at the lotus feet of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Haridāsa Ṭhākura was smiling, however, and he spoke in a sweet voice.
Text 205: “None of you are at fault,” he said. “Indeed, even this ignorant so-called brāhmaṇa is not at fault, for he is accustomed to dry speculation and logic.
Text 206: “One cannot understand the glories of the holy name simply by logic and argument. Therefore this man cannot possibly understand the glories of the holy name.
Text 207: “All of you may now go to your homes. May Lord Kṛṣṇa bestow His blessings upon you all. Do not be sorry because of my being insulted.”
Text 208: Then Hiraṇya dāsa Majumadāra returned to his home and ordered that Gopāla Cakravartī not be admitted therein.
Text 209: Within three days that brāhmaṇa was attacked by leprosy, and as a result his highly raised nose melted away and fell off.
Text 210: The brāhmaṇa’s toes and fingers were beautiful like golden-colored campaka buds, but because of leprosy they all withered and gradually melted away.
Text 211: Seeing the condition of Gopāla Cakravartī, everyone was astonished. Everyone praised the influence of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and offered him obeisances.
Text 212: Although Haridāsa Ṭhākura, as a Vaiṣṇava, did not take seriously the brāhmaṇa’s offense, the Supreme Personality of Godhead could not tolerate it, and thus he made the brāhmaṇa suffer the consequences.
Text 213: A characteristic of a pure devotee is that he excuses any offense by an ignorant rascal. A characteristic of Kṛṣṇa, however, is that He cannot tolerate blasphemy of His devotees.
Text 214: Haridāsa Ṭhākura was unhappy when he heard that the brāhmaṇa Gopāla Cakravartī had been attacked by leprosy. Thus after informing Balarāma Ācārya, the priest of Hiraṇya Majumadāra, he went to Śāntipura, the home of Advaita Ācārya.
Text 215: Upon meeting Advaita Ācārya, Haridāsa Ṭhākura offered Him respect and obeisances. Advaita Ācārya embraced him and showed respect to him in return.
Text 216: On the bank of the Ganges, in a solitary place, Advaita Ācārya made a cavelike home for Haridāsa Ṭhākura and spoke to him about the real meaning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and the Bhagavad-gītā in terms of devotional service.
Text 217: Haridāsa Ṭhākura accepted food daily at the house of Advaita Ācārya. Meeting together, the two of them would taste the nectar of discourses on the subject matter of Kṛṣṇa.
Text 218: Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, “My dear Advaita Ācārya, let me submit something before Your Honor. Every day You give me alms of food to eat. What is the necessity of this?
Text 219: “Sir, You are living within a society of great, great brāhmaṇas and aristocrats, but without fear or shame You adore a lower-class man like me.
Text 220: “My dear Sir, Your behavior is uncommon. Indeed, sometimes I am afraid to speak to You. But please favor me by protecting me from the behavior of society.”
Text 221: Advaita Ācārya replied, “My dear Haridāsa, do not be afraid. I shall behave strictly according to the principles of the revealed scriptures.
Text 222: “Feeding you is equal to feeding ten million brāhmaṇas,” Advaita Ācārya said. “Therefore, accept this śrāddha-pātra.” Thus Advaita Ācārya made him eat.
Text 223: Advaita Ācārya was always absorbed in thoughts of how to deliver the fallen souls of the entire world. “The entire world is full of nondevotees,” He thought. “How will they be delivered?”
Text 224: Determined to deliver all the fallen souls, Advaita Ācārya decided to cause Kṛṣṇa to descend. With this vow, He began to offer Ganges water and tulasī leaves to worship the Lord.
Text 225: Similarly, Haridāsa Ṭhākura chanted in his cave on the bank of the Ganges with the intention of causing Kṛṣṇa’s descent.
Text 226: Because of the devotional service of these two persons, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu descended as an incarnation. Thus He preached the holy name of the Lord and ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa to deliver the entire world.
Text 227: There is another incident concerning Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s uncommon behavior. One will be astonished to hear about it.
Text 228: Hear about such incidents without putting forth dry arguments, for these incidents are beyond our material reasoning. One must believe in them with faith.
Text 229: One day Haridāsa Ṭhākura was sitting in his cave, reciting the holy name of the Lord very loudly.
Text 230: The night was full of moonlight, which made the waves of the Ganges look dazzling. All directions were clear and bright.
Text 231: Thus everyone who saw the beauty of the cave, with the tulasī plant on a clean altar, was astonished and satisfied at heart.
Text 232: At that time, in that beautiful scene, a woman appeared in the courtyard. The beauty of her body was so bright that it tinged the entire place with a yellow hue.
Text 233: The scent of her body perfumed all directions, and the tinkling of her ornaments startled the ear.
Text 234: After coming there, the woman offered obeisances to the tulasī plant, and after circumambulating the tulasī plant she came to the door of the cave where Haridāsa Ṭhākura was sitting.
Text 235: With folded hands she offered obeisances at the lotus feet of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Sitting at the door, she then spoke in a very sweet voice.
Text 236: “My dear friend,” she said, “you are the friend of the entire world. You are so beautiful and qualified. I have come here only for union with you.
Text 237: “My dear sir, kindly accept me and be merciful toward me, for it is a characteristic of all saintly persons to be kind toward the poor and fallen.”
Text 238: After saying this, she began to manifest various postures, which even the greatest philosopher would lose his patience upon seeing.
Text 239: Haridāsa Ṭhākura was immovable, for he was deeply determined. He began to speak to her, being very merciful toward her.
Text 240: “I have been initiated into a vow to perform a great sacrifice by chanting the holy name a certain number of times every day.
Text 241: “As long as the vow to chant is unfulfilled, I do not desire anything else. When I finish my chanting, then I have an opportunity to do anything.
Text 242: “Sit down at the door and hear the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. As soon as the chanting is finished, I shall satisfy you as you desire.”
Text 243: After saying this, Haridāsa Ṭhākura continued to chant the holy name of the Lord. Thus the woman sitting before him began to hear the chanting of the holy name.
Text 244: In this way, as he chanted and chanted, the morning approached, and when the woman saw that it was morning, she got up and left.
Text 245: For three days she approached Haridāsa Ṭhākura in this way, exhibiting various feminine postures that would bewilder the mind of even Lord Brahmā.
Text 246: Haridāsa Ṭhākura was always absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa and the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore the feminine poses the woman exhibited were just like crying in the forest.
Text 247: At the end of the night of the third day, the woman spoke to Haridāsa Ṭhākura as follows.
Text 248: “My dear sir, for three days you have cheated me by giving me false assurances, for I see that throughout the entire day and night your chanting of the holy name is never finished.”
Text 249: Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, “My dear friend, what can I do? I have made a vow. How, then, can I give it up?”
Text 250: After offering obeisances to Haridāsa Ṭhākura, the woman said, “I am the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I came here to test you.
Text 251: “I have previously captivated the mind of even Brahmā, what to speak of others. Your mind alone have I failed to attract.
Texts 252-253: “My dear sir, you are the foremost devotee. Simply seeing you and hearing you chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa has purified my consciousness. Now I want to chant the holy name of the Lord. Please be kind to me by instructing me about the ecstasy of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
Text 254: “There is now a flood of the eternal nectar of love of Godhead due to the incarnation of Lord Caitanya. All living entities are floating in that flood. The entire world is now thankful to the Lord.
Text 255: “Anyone who does not float in this inundation is most condemned. Such a person cannot be delivered for millions of kalpas.
Text 256: “Formerly I received the holy name of Lord Rāma from Lord Śiva, but now, due to your association, I am greatly eager to chant the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Text 257: “The holy name of Lord Rāma certainly gives liberation, but the holy name of Kṛṣṇa transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience and at last gives one ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa.
Text 258: “Please give me the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and thus make me fortunate, so that I also may float in the flood of love of Godhead inaugurated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.”
Text 259: After speaking in this way, Māyā worshiped the lotus feet of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, who initiated her by saying, “Just perform chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.”
Text 260: After thus being instructed by Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Māyā left with great pleasure. Unfortunately, some people have no faith in these narrations.
Text 261: Therefore I shall explain the reasons why people should have faith. Everyone who hears this will be faithful.
Text 262: During the incarnation of Lord Caitanya to inaugurate the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, even such personalities as Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and the four Kumāras took birth upon this earth, being allured by ecstatic love of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Text 263: All of them, including the great sage Nārada and devotees like Prahlāda, came here in the guise of human beings, chanting the holy names of Lord Kṛṣṇa together and dancing and floating in the inundation of love of Godhead.
Text 264: The goddess of fortune and others, allured by love of Kṛṣṇa, also came down in the form of human beings and tasted the holy name of the Lord in love.
Text 265: What to speak of others, even Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja, personally descends to taste the nectar of love of Godhead in the form of the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Text 266: What is the wonder if the maidservant of Kṛṣṇa, His external energy, begs for love of Godhead? Without the mercy of a devotee and without the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, love of Godhead cannot be possible.
Text 267: In the activities of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the three worlds dance and chant, having come in touch with love of Godhead. This is the characteristic of His pastimes.
Text 268: The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is so attractive that anyone who chants it — including all living entities, moving and nonmoving, and even Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself — becomes imbued with love of Kṛṣṇa. This is the effect of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
Text 269: I have heard from the mouth of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī all that Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī recorded in his notes about the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Text 270: I have briefly described those pastimes. Whatever I have written is by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, since I am an insignificant living being.
Text 271: I have described but a fragment of the glories of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Hearing this satisfies the aural reception of every devotee.
Text 272: 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.