Mar 09, 2015 CANADA (SUN) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's English introduction to "Srimad-Gaurangalila-Smaranamangal Stotram", the last of eight parts.
The religion preached by Mahaprabhu is universal and not exclusive. The most learned and the most ignorant are both entitled to embrace it. The learned people will accept it with a knowledge of sambandha-tatwa as explained in the categories. The ignorant have the same privilege, by simply uttering the name of the Deity and mixing in the company of pure Vaishnavs. The principle of kirtan invites, as the future church of the world, all classes of men without distinction of caste or clan to the highest cultivation of the spirit. This church it appears, will extend all over the world and take the place of all sectarian churches, which exclude outsiders from the precincts of the mosque, church or the temple.
Chaitanya as a teacher has taught man both by precepts and by his holy life. There is scarcely a spot in his life which may be made the subject of criticism. His sanyas, his severity to junior Haridas and such like other acts have been questioned as wrong by certain persons, but as far as we understand, we think, as all other independent men would think, that those men have been led by a hasty conclusion or party spirit.
Chaitanya was an undaunted hero in the execution of his resolutions. When he was told by some malicious Brahmins that the Emperor had been sending an army against him, he said he wished that the reigning prince should take cognizance of what he was doing. He was amiable to every body and stern in the discharge of his duty. Bramhananda Bharati, a religious brother of Keshab Bharati, his guru, appeared to him in a tiger's skin. He would not bow down to him until he gave up the skin-dress and wore a linen koupin and vahirvash. He said that the person before him was not the Bharati. How is it that his guru should put on an animal's skin? The sanyasis should not support the killing of beasts for the sake of their use. Bharati understood that Chaitanya did not like that and changed his cloth; and Chaitanya bowed down to him in shewing his respect to his guru's brother !
Chaitanya pressed on his disciples to enter into the spirit of the sastras without confining in the words themselves. Pandit Devananda did not understand the spirit of bhakti while reading the Bhagabat, but when he understood the spirit, Chaitanya embraced him and pardoned him for all that the Pandit had done before.
Chaitanya was a jolly being throughout his life. Though descended from the Eastern Bengal people, he joked with them while a young boy in such a manner that they became angry with him. While Ballava Bhatta (a pandit of great renown) brought an improved commentary of the Bhagabat to shew him and said that he would not submit to Swami (Sridhar Swami) the Lord said it was an unchaste woman who alone disregarded her swami (husband). This was a taunt which mortified the Pandit and dissuaded him from uttering disrespectful expression about Sridhar Swami, the commentator of the Bhagabat.
We leave it to our readers to decide how to deal with Mahaprabhu. The vaishnavas have accepted him as the great Lord Krishna himself. Some have considered him as a bhakta-avatar. It is at the request of some vaishnavas that we have composed the Smaran Mangal verses in the form of a prayer for daily recitation at the time of worship. Those who are not prepared to go with them, may accept Nimai pandit as a noble and Holy teacher. That is all we want our readers to believe. Readers! if you are inclined, after a study of these pages to identify Chaitanya with Krishna, we would beg you not to accept him as God incarnate, for we think that God need not be in a carnal coil like the fallen men. His su¬preme power can bring Him down to the nether world with all His glory and particularities without the assistance of the lower energy— Maya, who has created the material coil. If we believe otherwise we would commit the sin of lowering His spiritual Power.
We make no objetion if you do not believe his miracles as miracles alone never demonstrate Godhead. Demons like Ravan and others have also worked miracles which do not prove that they were Gods. It is unlimited prem and its overwhelming influence which could be seen in none but God himself.
Noble Readers! pardon us for intruding on you with these pages. As servants of Chaitanya, it was our duty to propagate His supreme teachings and in doing a duty we are entitled to pardon for any trouble we have given you. We are natives of Bengal and in couching our words in a foreign language we might have been liable to mistakes for which you will please forgive us.
In conclusion we beg to say that we should be glad to reply to any questions which our brethern would like to address us on these important subjects. We feel great interest in trying to help our friends to seek in the way to Spiritual Love.