Guranga and Murarigupta


Jan 04, CANADA (SUN) — A five-part series from 'Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu', edited by Srimad Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Goswami Maharaj, Founder Acharya of the Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission, Ganjam, Orissa.

After conferring the boon on Sridhara, the Lord Gauranga manifested Himself before Murari Gupta as Sri Ramchandra with His bow and arrow with His consort Sita Devi, on the left and Sri Lakshman on the right. On seeing the desired object of his worship, Murari Gupta fell into a swoon. When brought back to his consciousness by the Lord, he began to weep so vehemently out of Divine Love that it melted the hearts of all the devotees assembled there.

Being demanded by the Lord to ask for a boon, Murari prayed with all humility "O Lord, by Thou pleased to grant me this boon that I may sing thy glories in every birth and that I may be the servant of Thy Eternal Associates wherever and whenever they may descend."

"O Lord, I do not crave for that salvation which wipes out the relationship that exists between master and servant in the field of devotion. I do not yearn for piety, wealth, passion or even freedom from bondage, but vouchsafe unto me. O Lord, that I may be a particle of dust at Thy Lotus feet."

The Lord Gauranga was graciously pleased to confer upon Murari Gupta, the boon solicited with this pithy remark that he was aptly named "Murari Gupta" because the Supreme Lord Murari (Sri Krishna) was dwelling secretly in the innermost recess of his heart.

After granting the desired boon to Murari Gupta, Gauranga said, "Thakur Haridas belongs to the same class that of Mine. The attribute, Satchit- Ananda of God-head, was equally applicable to Haridas as the Divine quality manifests itself in a sincere and loving devotee. in his unalloyed existence, whether he is in the spiritual or mundane plane, just as a piece of iron acquires. 'Tadatma' or same quality of blazing fire by coming in close touch with it so a devotee acquires the same quality of God-head when he is thoroughly imbued with the confidential loving service to Him.

Though Thakur Haridas had been suffering from terrible persecutions at the hands of his persecutors, he prayed to the Lord not only to forgive them but also to do them eternal good. So the Lord Himself had to bear the brunt of the persecutions on His own body in order to save Haridas and having a glimpse of Lord Gauranga's Grand Revelation, Thakur Haridas fell into a swoon under the impulse of Supreme Ecstatic Love which is quite distinct from mundane epileptic fit or pseudo trance. Hence a Mahabhagavata was initiated to have a darsan of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna who revealed His own beautiful Human form on him in his trance. Regaining his consciousness, Thakur Haridas began to address the Lord, "O Lord of infinite mercy, I am the most unworthy of the devotees, I am the most untouchable of untouchables, being born in a low caste non- Hindu family. The very sight of mine is sin and the very touch of mine requires purification in the Ganga water. Even without my remembrance of Thy Lotus feet. Thou hast saved me from all perils. I, therefore, beseech These, O Lord of unbounded ocean of mercy, that I may be the recipient of remains of dishes of Thy most beloved servitors."

Hearing him Lord Gauranga said, "O Haridas He who keeps your company even for a single moment and shows loving regard to you, will surely attain Me. As you have no offence against Me and My devotees, I bless you this day for your devotional love for Lord Krishna." By this Lord Gauranga teaches us that Sri Krishna is attainable only by single minded loving devotion i.e. having intense yearning for and pinning agony of separation from Him. No amount of wealth, lineage beauty, austerity, scholasticism, energy, splendour authority, strength, manliness, wisdom of Astangayoga is competent enough to please the Supreme Lord Bhagavan. Whatever caste of community a devotee may belong to, he stands superior to all others, who are void of Krishna Bhakti. Even the remembrance of Thakur Haridas destroys all kinds of sins. Not to speak of the demigods who are aspirants of his touch, even the Ganga yearns for his plunge in her water. Even the very sight of Thakur Haridas, not to speak of his touch, delivers one from the bondage of Maya.

Hearing the blessing voices of the Lord Gauranga about Thakur Haridas, the devotees began to weep out of intense love for the Lord.

Sri Gauranga then reminded Sri Advaita Acharya of his fasting at one night owing to his failure of finding a Bhakti interpretation of a sloka in the Gita and His revealing to him, in dream, the real reading and meaning of the above sloka.

When all the devotees were blessed with their respective boons by Lord Gauranga except Mukunda Datta, Pandit Srivas asked the Lord as to why Mukunda, His favourite musician should be deprived of His blessings and requested the Lord that he might be accepted as a recipient of His Mercy, after adequate punishment for his offence if any. At this Gauranga said that Mukunda does not deserve His blessings as he was (a chit-jadasamanvaya- vadi) an irrational compromiser between spirit and matter. An opportunist some times advocates the theory of illusion, sometimes glorifies Bhakti and sometimes denounces Bhakti supporting the life-less non-devotional activities of Karmi, Jnani yogi to be superior to the devotional practices of pure devotees. Therefore, he was debarred from the delight of Lord's Darsan. Mukunda Datta too heard Gauranga and said to himself, "I have been really guilty as an offender at the Lotus feet of Bhakti Devi, the Delight giving potency or Hladini Sakti of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Bhakti is but the eternal function of an unalloyed self, always searching after the devotional service of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna to His pleasure without the slightest tinges of desire for elevation or salvation. Ignoring this truth, I have misidentified myself with body and mind and have; therefore, taken recourse to the defective, deceptive and fluctuating principles of the illusionists for which act of disservice or offence I must put an end to my life. But before adopting this desperate measure, I must know, if there is any hope of my receiving the Lord's grace in my birth to come."

He then asked pandit Srivas to implore the Lord for him, whether he has any chance of receiving His grace in any life to come and to this the Lord replied, "Mukunda should have to wait for a crore of births to receive My grace." Hearing this Mukunda began to dance with intense love for the Lord. As a result of his devotional fervour Mukunda could over-come the almost unbounded span of one crore of births. When he regained his consciousness from Love intoxicated swoon, the Lord said, "O Mukunda, you have knocked out one core of births by simply putting your firm conviction in My words. You have captured My heart. Your mind and body are surcharged with devotional fervour for Me. You are My eternal servant. I always dance on the tip of your tongue and hear you sing." Hearing this Mukunda, felt remorse for his past nondevotional aptitude and considered himself as the most pitiable wretch in the world void of pure devotion and hence deprived of the delight resulting in the Darsan of the Lord.

Then the Lord Gauranga out of His infinite mercy began to console him. "Mukunda!" you are very dear to Me for your unflinching devotion. I descend whenever and wherever you sing the glories of Krishna. What you have said so long is nothing but truth, There can be no delight for you in My Darsan without Bhakti. Whoever ignores Bhakti incurs My displeasure which stands in the way of his delight in My Darsan." Hearing these blessings of Gauranga on Sri Mukunda Datta all the devotees were thrilled with joy and began to praise his good luck. During the grand revelation of Gauranga every devotee beheld his respective object of worship in the Lord Gauranga in proportion to his loving devotion to Him.

Gauranga then called for Narayani the fortunate four year old niece of Pandit Srivas and with grace and pleasure, offered her the remnants of His chewed betel.

Then Gauranga along with His followers held Sri Nama Yajna every night in the house of Pandit Srivas. While the Sankirtan went on, no outsider was allowed to peep or enter into the compound of Srivas Pandit. One night. Srivasa's mother-in-law, who had kept herself hidden in corner of the room was turned out by the Pandit for her anti-devotional aptitude. Men of malicious disposition, finding the door shut against them cast aspersions on the spot-less character of the Lord's devotees, to which the latter paid no heed at all.

Once Gopala Chapal being refused admission into the compound, out of wrath and jealousy, deposited some objectionable articles such as wine, flesh etc. outside the gate of Pandit Srivas For this offence done to Srivas Pandit, Gopal Chapal was attacked with leprosy and suffered a lot for a long period.

Not being allowed to enter into the court yard of Srivas Pandit, to witness Sankirtan a foulmouthed Brahmin tore his sacred thread in a fit of rage and cursed Gauranga saying." Let your worldly happiness be at an end." Gauranga accepted the curse with great pleasure. By this Gauranga teaches us that complete destruction of worldly desires and prosperity is the significance of God's Grace.

One night an old ascetic, living entirely on milk, earnestly requesting Pandit Srivas, obtained entrance into the fold, but was turned out by Gauranga as a foreign element. Gauranga remarked. 'No amount of severe austerities, scepticism or renunciation is competent enough to please Me. I am pleased only by unadulterated devotion." The Brahmachari accepted this chastisement with good grace and was afterwards redeemed by the Lord Gauranga when he surrendered himself entirely to His Lotus feet. One night when Gauranga and His devotees were lost the ecstatic dance and chanting of the Holy name of Sri Krishna, the only son of Srivas Pandit breathed his last.

Although the members of his family were overwhelmed with grief and began to lament, Srivas immediately stopped them to do so, lest Gauranga's ecstasy would be disturbed. Gauranga apprised of this mishap. Late at night, He went to the place of occurrence with His associates and had the mystery of this sudden departure unravelled from the lips of the departed soul who addressed the Lord with the following ever memorable grief killing words. "I am a jiva soul. At the will of the Lord, I came here and got Pandit Srivas and Malini Devi as my parents. The span of my life came to an end. At the will of the Lord, I am now departing to another world. Please bless me, O Lord, that I may be your eternal servitor wherever I shall be born. I offer my humble prostrations at your Lotus feet and your associates, to be merciful on me." The soul left the body amidst loud cheer of 'Haribol'. The members of Sriva's family were relieved of their anxiety and grief.

There lived Suklambar Brahmachari in Navadweep, a true devotee of the Lord. He lived an exemplary simple life solely consecrated to the service of the Supreme Lord. One day, while he was returning to his hermitage after begging. Gauranga forcibly thrust His hand into his alms bag and ate a morsel of rice particles out of it, to establish the sastric truth that neither riches nor the rich dishes of affluent atheists can have any charm for the Lord, who always accepts with great relish the humblest offerings made with loving devotion.

Once when Gauranga was narrating the glories of the Holy name to His devotees. a student tauntingly remarked. "Is this not simply a highly exaggeration? Is salvation possible only by chanting Name to the exclusion of other religious practices? Such dogmatism or sectarianism should find no favour among the learned Pandits. To consider the glories of the Holy Name as merely hyperbolic or eulogistic is a great offence against the Holy Name." Thereupon the Lord Gauranga indignantly exclaimed to him.

    harer nama harer nama
    harer namaiva kevalam
    kalau nasty eva nasty eva
    nasty eva gatir anyatha

One day, Gauranga recited the above sloka to His disciples and explained to them. "In this Kaliyuga the Supreme Lord, Krishna has revealed Himself in the form of 'Nama'. The chanting of the Holy Name is the only panacea for world disease. To convince the people, the Name of Hari has been repeated thrice.

Hari's Name alone and nothing else can dispel the gloom of ignorance from the people and liberate them from the bondage of maya. The world 'Nasthi', is repeated thrice to leave no room for doubt. The fact that those who consider otherwise and take recourse to other processes than the devotional path are doomed to destruction."

"A devotee willing to chant the Holy Name must feel himself to be humbler than a blade of grass; he must be more forbearing than a tree; he must not give way to lust and anger despite the cause of provocation; he should give due respect to others and must not covet any for himself." While preaching the tenets of Gauranga, Nityananda and Haridas encountered the two brothers Jagai and Madhai who had left no sins, vices or crimes uncommitted. They assaulted the two innocent missionaries of Divine Love. This assault caused the fore-head of Nityananda to bleed profusely. "Gauranga Mahaprabhu came instantly to the spot to punish the miscreants.

The ruffians got terribly afraid and fell prostrate at His Lotus feet to forgive and save them. Gauranga directed them to seek the mercy of Nityananda, at whose feet they have committed serious offences. When they did so, Gauranga promised to take upon Himself all their past sins provided they would promise not to commit any sin in future. With overflooded tears of repentance, the two ruffians responded with submission. The iron was thus changed into pure gold by the philosopher's miraculous touch-stone and thence forward they led the purest life of devotion.

One day to have relief from the fatigue caused by the scorching rays of the mid-day sun, Gauranga took rest in a devotee's house and sowed a mango seed in his compound. Lo! In an instant sprang up a mango tree laden with ripe delicious and beautiful fruit with which Gauranga feasted the devotees those were present to their satisfaction.

Since then, He used to perform such mango festivals everyday after Hari Sankirtan for one year. The place where this miraculous festival was held is still known as "Amrahatta."

Once Gauranga with His devotees went far away from His house, on a Krishna Sankirtan Mission, when the sky was suddenly overcast with dark thick clouds And the rumbling noise being accompanied with lightening and thunders began to threaten the atmosphere. Gauranga immediately desired the clouds to disperse in the interest of the Nama Sankirtan. Where this incident happened is still known as 'Megherchar'. Sri Gauranga named Murari Gupta, a faithful devotee of Sri Ram, Hanuman. One day Gauranga went to his house and assumed the form of the Divine Board lifted up a water pot with His teeth. Intoxicated with Divine Love Murari Gupta carried the Divine Manifestation of the Lord upon his shoulders and went about in his compound dancing. By this He condemned the anti-devotional propaganda. God is void of any Name, Form, Attribute, Entourage pastimes and Realms.

Sachi Devi in a dream saw Nimai and Nitai on one side and Krishna, Balarama and the Tutelary Deities of her house on the other side, snatching from one another the offerings. She revealed her dream to Nitai and invited him to dine with Gauranga. While both Nimai and Nitai were partaking of their meals served by Sachi Devi she saw that they were no other than the veritable Deities, Krishna and Balarama. She fell into swoon transported with unspeakable joy.

On another night the sight of the full moon filled the heart of Gauranga with the thoughts of Vrindavan and He began to play the flute being surcharged with that emotion. None-else heard that melodious sound except Sachi Devi who came out and found her son Nimai seated on the threshold of the Vishnu temple. Then she no longer heard any sound of the flute, but beheld a halo of the moon shining round her son's head. Advaita Acharya being deprived of Gauranga's blessings devised a plan to obtain His favour. He retired to his house at Santipur where he began to expound Mayavada Jnana to his disciples. When Gauranga came to know of this, He hastened there and in a fit of rage began to give him blows saying, "What makes you, Acharya to establish the superiority of Jnana over Bhakti cult? Is it the reason for which you have invoked Me from My Supreme Seat Vaikuntha?" Advaita's desire was thus fulfilled, as he received the loving chastisement from the Lord Himself. By this Gauranga teaches us, that He has appeared to establish Bhagavat-Dharma of the religion of Divine Love all over the world.

One day, Gauranga was heard crying out "Pundarika, Pundarika" other could not make out the real significance of it. Then Gauranga told His devotees that Pundarika-Vidyanidhi , a wonderful devotee from Chitagong would soon visit Sridham Navadweep. Accordingly Pundarika arrived at Navadweep in a short time. He was saturated with Krishna Prema in his heart of hearts. His strong loving nature was hardly recognisable because of his exterior splendid garments. Mukunda who knew Vidyanidhi beforehand wanted to see him accompanied by Pandit Gadadhara, his most intimate friend. Gadadhara a life-long celibate, wholly detached from the world, mistook Vidyanidhi, for a man of the world to deliver Gadadhara from this great offence. Mukunda recited a sloka from Srimad Bhagavata to show how deep Pundarika's love for Sri Krishna was. Hearing the sloka Vidyanidhi, was so much transported with ecstatic joy that he fell into a trance and symptoms of Divine emotions began to manifest themselves in his body. To make amends for his offence against Vidyanidhi, Gadadhara made up his mind to be initiated by him and informed Gauranga of his pious desire to which Mahaprabhu gave His consent.

Sri Gauranga one night staged an unprecedented wonderful dramatic performance known as "Dana Leela" (the Divine Leela of gift) at the house of Chandrasekhar Acharya His elder devotee. The dramatic personnel were Sri Advaitacharya, Sri Nityananda, Pandit Srivas, Thakur Haridas, Pandit Gadadhara and others. They played their respective roles on the stage extempore under the Divine inspiration. Sri Gauranga played the part of Rukmini, the consort of Sri Krishna at Dvaraka. This was the first dramatic performance on the Bengali stage.

Devananda Pandit a learned Brahmin living at Navadweep, had a sanskrit school. He used to give Bhagavat discourses to a large audience daily. Though an empiric reader of the Bhagavat he failed to realise that Krishna is one with, name, form and attributes. He also failed to understand the non-difference between a Bhakta Bhagavata and Grantha Bhagavat both being Divine. One day Srivas Pandit went to listen to Devananda's discourse on Bhagavata. On hearing Sri Krishna Leela, Srivas was so much intoxicated with Divine love that he could not refrain himself and so began to weep out of love in-separation from Sri Krishna. Devananda regarding it as unpleasant disparaged him to his pupils who turned him out of the compound.

Sri Gauranga with His associates while passing by that way saw Devananda reading Bhagavat to a distinguished gathering of Pandits. Gauranga at once flew into a rage and exclaimed "What right has this fellow to read the Bhagavat and thus delude the audience with false and farfetched interpretations? Pride in high lineage empiric scholarship, mundane piety or purity is always an effective bar to the right comprehension of the Bhagavat. It is only understandable by a devotee who renders sincere service and submissively listens to the Sad-Guru. Now he enlightens only himself with this kind of esoteric meaning.

It is a matter of great regret that Devananda not only lacks the above qualities but also commits a great offence at the feet of Pandit Srivas by defaming him the other day. He is a mere dry panditic wrangler of the empiric school and has therefore no right to read the Bhagavat." Devananda fell down at the Lotus feet of Sri Gauranga and begged to be forgiven. Gauranga advised him to ask for the pardon of Pandit Srivas at whose feet he had committed offence and he acted accordingly.

Gauranga through His disciples preached His Nam Sankirtan cult in important towns and villages till His renunciation. As a result of it thousands of people joined His banner. The complete success of His Doctrine of Divine Love stirred up malicious disposition of some of the Navadweep Pandits who brought a charge against Him to Chand Kazi, the then Governor of the city. The Kazi polluted the Holy Nama-Sankirtan by smashing into pieces the Mridangas of the Sankirtan party and introduced prohibition. The place where the incident occurred is still known as Khol Bhangar Danga. There upon Gauranga took out a huge procession of Nama Sankirtan in which almost all the citizens of Navadweep joined, each holding a lighted torch. Frightened by the huge demonstrations and the loud chant of the Holy Name, Kazi concealed himself inside the house. Gauranga sent for the Kazi who came out and met Him.

The Kazi had long conversation with Gauranga about some topic of vital importance. When Gauranga asked as to why there was the slaughter of animals, especially cows and oxen in his jurisdiction, the Kazi replied that it was enjoined in the Quran to kill animals for those who are attached to worldly pleasures and not for those who follow the path of abstention. He supported his statement by a reference to Vedic sanctions to which the Lord objected saying cow killing is strictly prohibited in the Vedas which declare that old oxen but not cows, are to be sacrificed in order to be revivified and rejuvenated by Vedic Mantras. But such psychic powers are sadly lacking in the Brahmins of Kali Yuga.

Further, the Kazi made no secret of the punishment he received in his sleep in the shape of nail scratches on his breast at the hands of a grim lion faced human figure grinding his teeth and reprimanding him for his anti-religious act on the very night of day he broke into pieces the 'Mridangas' of Sankirtan party. He also added that some of his peons who had been out on the anti-theistic errand had their beards burnt by meteorlike flame from heaven and some of them, in spite of unwillingness, repeat, Rama, Krishna, Hari as if by spell. The utterance of Holy Names of Sri Krishna thrice, in this way, purified and melted the heart of Kazi who implored the Lord for His mercy and promised Him to abstain from all further desecrations of His Divine religion and to punish any one for neglecting duty of his community with social punishment. Moved with the truth of the doctrine of Gauranga, the Kazi gladly joined the banner of His Universal religion. The Kazi and his descendents were staunch followers of the Lord for many generations. The conversion of Chand Kazi not only created thrilling sensation all over Navadweep but also attracted thousands of unbelievers to flock under the Lord's banner of Nama Sankirtan.

After converting the Kazi, Gauranga with Sankirtan party passed through the quarters of conch sellers and weavers of Navadweep and at last arrived at Sridhar's house. They then drank with great relish a little quantity of water from patched-up iron pot. Drinking the water He showered His choicest blessings upon Sridhara. Gauranga asked him the cause of his willingness like others, he did not become affluent by worshipping minor Gods. To this Sridhara said, "Eating, drinking, merry making, sleeping and such like sensual pleasures are common factors both in man and animal according to their past deeds. But to please Hari is the exclusive right of human beings a right which is only possible for an 'Akinchana'.

Once Gauranga and Nityananda walked to Santipur to see Advaita Acharya. On their way they met a pseudo Sanyasi who was a prodigal and a drunkard. At Lalitpur. He blessed Gauranga to be happy with all sorts of worldly enjoyments. Gauranga summarily discarded them saying, "Real benediction lies not in the achievement of mundane or celestial happiness, but in the attainment of eternal Krishna Prema, which is the be-all and end-all of human existence." So saying both of them left the place in disgust.

Once when the Lord Gauranga had first paused for a while after His long Sankirtan dance a Brahmin lady touched, caught hold of and repeatedly took the dust of His Lotus feet. This was too much for Him to bear. Being greatly mortified, He threw Himself in to the river Ganga and was rescued by Nityananda and Haridas. He spent that night in the house of Sri Vijay Acharya and was brought home next morning by His devotees. Once a sage was offering his prayers standing in water. When a boy out his childish pranks dragged the legs of the sage under the water, the sage became angry and cursed the body to be born as a crocodile. When the boy besought the sages mercy, the sage pardoned him and said that he would be delivered by the touch of the Lotus feet of Sri Krishna who could soon appear as Sri Gauranga. Now while passing the lake near Godrum, it happened for Gauranga to touch the crocodile with His feet and the crocodile soon changed into a beautiful boy who went to his own place chanting the glories of Sri Gauranga.

After sometime Sri Gauranga converted a Mohammedan tailor into a great Vaishnava as the latter used to stitch the tattered clothes of Pandit Srivas, His intimate associate. Thereby He showed that the slightest service to Vaishnavas entitles one to attain the grace the Lord. One day, Sri Gauranga was chanting the Name of Gopi, instead of Krishna in His home. A student of atheistic views came to Him and not knowing that it was the outcome of unbearable separation in love for Krishna exhorted Him to say Krishna instead of Gopi. His words enkindled in Gauranga deep passionate love for Krishna which prepared Him to change the student in a frenzied mood with a staff in hand. The student took to his heels and reported the matter to his fellow students who, forming a league, began to scoff at the Lord and even went so far as to threaten Him with assault. This impious conduct on the part of students fomented by their professors who were of the same staff, paved the way for their eternal condemnation.


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