Audio Katha 2020 Vaisnava-tithis Haridas Thakur glories - Prabhuji 1 Sep 2020

Haridas Thakur glories – Prabhuji 1 Sep 2020

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HOW AND WHEN DID SRILA GURUDEVA SEE THE DIVINE FORMS OF CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU AND ASSOCIATES?

As is Vaiṣṇava custom for any appearance day of the Lord, Śrīla Gurudeva fasted on Gaura-pūrṇimā, along with the rest of the devotees congregated at Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha. From morning to evening, the Caitanya-Bhāgavata and Caitanya-caritāmṛta were recited before the assembly, with special emphasis given on the reasons for the Lord’s advent.When the moon began to rise in Navadvīpa, the assembled devotees sang the hymn recounting the birth of Lord Caitanya as Acaryadeva bathed the Deity of Mahāprabhu with milk, yogurt, clarified butter, honey, sugar, water, and fragrant oils. The devotees danced in bliss with their arms raised in unison, roaring, “Nitai-Gaura Haribol!” Some devotees played on trumpets and bugles, others on cymbals and drums, and others waved banners marked with the holy names. After garbing the Deity, Acarya Kesarī joined the kīrtaniyas (singers). Ecstatic symptoms manifested on his body as he danced in unbridled love of God. Mesmerized by the scene, Śrīla Gurudeva prayed for audience of Mahāprabhu and His associates. Suddenly, the material curtain covering the eternal spiritual abode lifted. Mahāprabhu appeared before Gurudeva’s eyes accompanied by Nityānanda Prabhu, Gadādhara Paṇḍa, Advaita Acarya, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍa, Sañjaya, Mukunda, and Vāsu Ghoṣa. Concealed to the ordinary observer, they danced in the courtyard of Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha to the sound of mahā-saṅkīrtana.Śrīla Gurudeva’s hairs stood on end, he wept and shivered uncontrollably, and then he fell senseless on the ground. By the mercy of his divine master, Gurudeva was able to observe Mahāprabhu and His associates. Śrī Guru thereby fulfills the heartfelt desire of the sincere aspirant. Seeing Gaura Nārāyaṇa fallen senseless, Acarya Kesarī lifted him on to his lap. Gurudeva slowly returned to consciousness. Once awake, Gurudeva wept, longing to see the Lord again. He said, “Guru Mahārāja, your mercy is endless. By your grace alone I have witnessed Mahāprabhu and Navadvīpa-dhāma. But now, due to my great misfortune, I am no longer able to see the beauty of Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu.”Acarya Kesarī pacified him, “Be peaceful. Soon you will be able to always perceive Mahāprabhu’s saṅkīrtana.”From that day on Śrīla Gurudeva could not forget the beautiful form of Mahāprabhu; while chanting harināma or engaged in services, the scene of Mahāprabhu’s kīrtana remained fixed in his mind.After Gaura-pūrṇimā, Śrīla Gurudeva accompanied AcaryaKesarī and some close associates to various holy sites in Gauḍa-maṇḍala—the area in Bengal where Mahāprabhu performed His pastimes, which includes the appearance places of many exalted Vaiṣṇavas and associates of Mahāprabhu. They went to Śāntura, the residence of Ādvaita Acarya, and Phuliyā, where Haridāsa Ṭhākura resided. Next they went to Ambikā-kālanā, where Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita worships the Deities of Gaura-Nityānanda that were created from a neem tree by the Lords’ Themselves when Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍa requested the Lords to always stay with him. Acarya Kesarī and Śrīla Gurudeva then went to Cāṭigrāma, the birth village of Mahāprabhu’s dear associates Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, Caitanya Vallabha, Vāsudeva Datta, and Mukunda Datta. They then went to Ekacakrā-dhāma, the birthplace of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, and next to Kaṭavā, where Nimāī Paṇḍa accepted sannyāsa from Keśava Bhāratī. Afterwards, they went to Śrīkhaṇḍa, where many eminent associates of Mahāprabhu took birth, such as: Narahari Sarakāra Ṭhākura, Mukunda Ṭhākura, Raghunandana, and Jagadānanda, to name a few. They finished their parikramā at Pānīhāṭī and Ādi Saptagrāma.Acarya Kesarī described the pastimes and glories of each place they went to. When Gurudeva heard the glories of Ādi Saptagrāma, the appearance place of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, he asked, “Why did renounced Vaiṣṇavas like Haridāsa Ṭhākura go to the house of Hiraṇya and Govardhana Majumadāra? After all, Mahāprabhu said, ‘Meeting with kings and royalty is like taking poison. Renounced Vaiṣṇavas never meet with such men.’ Despite this, we see that numerous Vaiṣṇavas in the renounced order went to the house of the aristocratic viceroy Govardhana. Why was this?”Acarya Kesarī explained, “Haridāsa Ṭhākura had no desire for wealth or anything material. He was niśkiñcana-akiñcana, completely neutral and free of mundane desires. Haridāsa Ṭhākura had the transcendental desire to meet with Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, the son of Govardhana Majumadāra. Dāsa Gosvāmī came from the eternal world of Vraja-maṇḍala. In Mahāprabhu’s līlā he is Raghunātha, but in vraja-līlā he is Rati Mañjarī. Without Rati Mañjarī’s mercy, rati, attraction for Kṛṣṇa will not arise in one’s heart. Rati Mañjarī bestows anurāga and the desire for bhajana, bhakti, and a transcendental relation. At present, our rati is for our own senses. Without spiritual strength and attraction we are unable to transcend our material condition and enter the eternal realm.“Once Nityānanda Prabhu sat under a tree on the bank of the Gaṅga in Pānīhāṭī in the company of Śānanda Sena and thousands of bhaktas. Raghunātha came to meet Nityānanda Prabhu there and prostrated himself before the Lord from a distance. Nityānanda Prabhu called him forward, saying, ‘Thief! You have been hiding from Me; today I will give you a punishment. Now and forevermore you must serve all the Vaiṣṇavas.’ Nityānanda Prabhu placed both His feet on the head of Śrī Raghunātha and said, ‘The living beings are only truly helped when they receive vraja-rati. You must distribute this rati to not only the people that visit your home but to everyone. I have been thinking about pulina-bhojana—how Kṛṣṇa picnics with His friends on the bank of the Yamunā. Arrange prasāda at once for everyone here. This will please Me.’“Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī made all necessary arrangements with haste and ease. The love of svarūpa-śakti empowered him. He did not distribute just sweet yogurt, flat rice, and fruits that morning on the riverbank. In that festival, Rati Mañjarī distributed rati, loving attraction for Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. The medium was flat rice, ghee, fruit, yogurt, and so forth, but in truth he was not giving ordinary substances. On Lord Nityānanda’s order, he gave his pure heartfelt love to the devotees.Mahāprabhu directly manifested in the midst of that festival and Nityānanda Prabhu offered the preparations to Him first. Mahāprabhu gladly accepted that offering, prepared with rati and offered by Nityānanda Prabhu—the original guru of all. Afterwards, His prasāda was distributed to tens of thousands of eager recipients. All became full of bliss, receiving the rati distributed by Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Nityānanda Prabhu ordered Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī to never stop this service.”Gurudeva asked Acarya Kesarī, “Rati Mañjarī gave this vraja-rati; did not Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura—the emissary of svarūpa-śakti—also distribute this rati?”“Indeed he did.”“And you are also distributing this rati, Gurudeva?”“Yes,” Acaryadeva said with a smile, “those fortunate souls who have a ready vessel in their hearts all receive this rati.”“If I pray for this,” Gurudeva asked, “will the Guru-varga bestow  upon me?”“Yes, why wouldn’t they? If you beg for this with faith and respect, the merciful Guru-varga will certainly give it to you.”Acarya Kesarī indicated the occupation of sādhakas. “We are simple beggars,” he said. “Sādhakas visit the places of the Guru-varga and beg for vraja-rati from the ācāryas. If you seek charity from general people they may give one, five, or ten rupees, but they can’t give vraja-rati. They will engender viṣaya-rati, attainment for sense objects, and will try to make you their servant. Only the Guru-varga bestow pure love.”From that time on, Śrīla Gurudeva committed prayers of the Guru-varga to memory and repeated them daily in supplication:tavaivāsmi tavaivāsmi na jīvāmi tvayā vinā. (Click on the Title to read complete post)

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