19th June 2019
So, number of participants 604, it is Wednesday. It’s Lord’s day because Krishna appeared on Wednesday. In Pandharpur, every Wednesday is very special day, it is appearance day of Sri Krishna.
Lord continues to be unwell, Jagannath Swami. Are you all looking after the deities of Jagannath, taking special care of Him?
In Noida here devotees are taking good care, bedrest and special diet, no visitors and that is also happening in Jagannath Puri right now.
Getting sick is a pastime of Lord Jagannath and that gives us opportunity to think of Jagannath. When someone is not well you kind of think of him, you would like to know how is he? How is he feeling etc. Your mind goes to that person. So, for us also Lord is not well not just somebody is not well but here our Lord, Lord of our heart is not well. Certainly, we must be thinking of Lord. And thinking of what I can do so that Lord becomes well very soon.
500 years ago, when they used to hear news of Jagannath not being well, devotees from all over Bengal would leave their respective towns and move towards Jagannath Puri to see Lord Jagannath. I think they knew that darshan are closed and there is no possibility of having darshan of Jagannath during that period of illness. But they also would know that before Jagannath ratha yatra day, there is Netra utsava. Darshan opens one day before ratha yatra in Jagannath Puri and that day is called Netra utsava din. Netra Utsava- festival for your eyes. Finally, you could see the Lord getting better or He is almost well now.
So, devotees would come to Jagannath Puri to take part in ratha yatra of Jagannath. Number of devotees would be led by Sivananda Sena, they are all heading towards Jagannath Puri and now they are about to enter Jagannath Puri town. They are very very anxious as they could see Jagannath and at the same time they are even more anxious to see Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is also in Jagannath Puri. Now party is about to enter Jagannath Puri town, devotees lead by Sivananda Sena.
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu comes to know that devotees are about to enter, then He used to send Govinda and Svarupa Damodhar to greet all these devotees. Mahaprabhu would send “Ok take these garlands, take this chandan-sandal wood paste, offer them these garlands and smear their foreheads with chandan paste and offer them obeisances, greet them welcome them in Jagannath Puri.”
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is taking interest in welcoming receiving His devotees and He used to send small team of receptionists to see the team coming from Bengal. So, now they have been greeted by Govinda and Svarupa Damodhar and now the party has entered.
Jagannath Puri dhama ki jai! Devotees are dancing in ecstasy and nice kirtan and they are proceeding. The party has arrived in front of the palace of king Prataprudra, the king of Jagannath Puri and as he hears the sound of kirtan and the excitement and exciting scene in front of his palace, the kirtan procession passing by in front of his palace. King Prataprudra has climbed up to the rooftop of his palace; there is Gopinath Acarya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya accompanying King Prataprudra. From rooftop of his palace he is looking down. He sees many devotees, he does not know them but Gopinath Acarya and Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya know the devotees coming from Bengal. King Prataprudra is interested to know who is that one with the beard and wearing white clothes, looks very elderly? Oh! he is Advaitacarya, that is the reply of Sarvabhauma Bhattaharya. And who is that one with bluish garments next to Advaitacarya? Oh! That is Nityananda Prabhu. Who is that person all the way back? Oh! He is this one, like that who is in the front? Who is next to him? King is very curious to know who is this one. Who is that one? He wants to be acquainted with all those personalities those who have come from Bengal and they are all associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The kirtan which was happening in front of his palace, the King was amazed! I have heard kirtan before and this kirtan party has similar kind of mridanga and kartals and they are chanting same mantra.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
I have not heard this kind of kirtan, it is really out of this world. It’s very enchanting, it’s getting my attention, it is arousing and stirring up my emotions deep within. What is this kirtan? What kind of kirtan they are performing?
The response from Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was, ‘My dear king this is called prem kirtan, name of this kirtan is prem kirtan that’s the difference. Others may be doing kirtan but it may be kama kirtana or kama mishra kirtana or yoga mishra kirtan or isvarya mishra kirtan. But this is pure nama kirtan they are performing, prem kirtan they are performing.’
King Prataprudra was satisfied to take darshan of all those devotees and to understand that the kind of kirtan they are performing is prem kirtana. But then the king was curious to know or he was wondering, why is everyone going to Kasi Mishra bhavan? Where Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is residing these days? These pilgrims have just now come to Jagannath Puri and the first place they should be going is Jagannath temple and that’s what they should have done, taken darsana of Jagannath first before doing anything else or before taking any other darshan. But that’s not happening they are all going to Kasi Mishra’s place. This is not right etiquette instead of taking darshan of Jagannath they are going to Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So this was also question of King Prataprudra to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. I can see people carrying loads of Jagannath prasad and all running to Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s residence as if they are going to have festival, darshan, prasad, kirtan why is that? This is because King Prataprudra had no understanding or realization of,
Jei Gaura sei Krishna sei Jagannath
One who is Gauranga Mahaprabhu, He is Krishna and He is also Jagannath. Krishna, Jagannath and Gauranga are one and the same person. King Prataprudra did not have this realization during those days, hence out of ignorance he was enquiring like this and wondering why everyone is going to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and not to Jagannath temple.
Then there was ratha yatra day and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw King Prataprudra dressed like a king with sword and crown. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was amazed and pleased that such a king he had a broom in his hand and he was sweeping the street in front of Jagannath’s cart on the ratha yatra day. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw this, He realized this person deserves to know My identity, who I am. I should give him darshan. This thought aroused in mind of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Darshan which was concealed before was revealed by seeing his 'trinad api sunichena ' his humility.
I am going to tell one more pastime, another time king Prataprudra was taking darshan of Lord Jagannath inside the temple on the altar. As king Prataprudra looked at Jagannath Swami deity, there was no Jagannath, there was someone else there. And that someone else was Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu standing.
visvambharau dvija-varau yuga-dharma palau
vande jagat-priyakaro karunavatarau
That Karunavatar was standing in the altar in place of Jagannath. When he saw Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in place of Jagannath, he was wondering is this true what I am seeing? There were pujaris, he asked one of the pujari. Oh! pujari Baba look at Jagannath, what are you seeing? Iam seeing Jagannath. So while everyone was seeing Jagannath, to King Prataprudra Jagannath was giving darshan as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu proving the same fact,
Jei Gaura sei Krishna sei Jagannath
Jagannath is non- different from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Jai jai Jagannath, Sacinandan
All glories to Jagannath who is Sacinandan, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This is how Chaitanya Mahaprabhu blessed King Prataprudra by revealing His true identity to him. May that Lord Chaitanya be with us.