At the end of Dvāpara-yuga, after Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in this world were completed, He returned to His Goloka Vṛndāvana in the spiritual world. There, He began to think of the pure devotion He wanted to distribute to this world, even to the trees and creepers. Only He would be able to give this. The religious principles for each age (yuga-dharma) can been given by Mahā-Viṣṇu (who appeared in Kali-yuga as Śrī Advaita Ācārya) – and this is His function – but kṛṣṇa-prema can only be given by Kṛṣṇa Himself.
That very Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who can give love and devotion to all entities, took the mood and complexion of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and became Śrī Gauracandra. Why did He do this? It is because His mercy is unparalleled and causeless. As the ocean of rasa, He wanted to taste the fulfillment of the three desires that He could not fulfill in His form as Kṛṣṇa, and also to bestow that kṛṣṇa-prema which had not been distributed to the jīvas since the previous day of Lord Brahmā.
anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śrīyam
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.4)
May that Lord, who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī, be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.
The meaning of this verse is profound, for the complete causeless mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is within it.
It is necessary to understand the essence of this verse and thus become very beautiful, qualified devotees. Without properly understanding its moods, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa will not be sufficient to receive the Lord’s full mercy. The quality of our chanting will be enhanced by our thoroughly grasping and embracing its meaning. With a clear understanding of this verse and its mood, we can focus internally while chanting.
Māyāvādīs also chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, but they go to hell because of their great offenses to the holy name. Karmīs also chant, but because of their desire to increase money, name and fame, they are also cheated of the true fruit of chanting. The holy name fulfills their material desires, but bhakti avoids them. On the other hand, those who chant under the guidance of a highly qualified guru or Vaiṣṇava develop a superlative quality of chanting. Therefore, it is most important to understand the essence of the instructions hidden in this verse.