15 June 2020

Our glorious acarya – Srivas Thakura!

bhaja gaurāńga kaha gaurāńga laha gaurāńgera nāma re
je jan gaurāńga bhaje, sei (hoy) āmāra prāṇa re

Worship Lord Gauranga! Chant Gauranga! Speak about Lord Gauranga only! Those who worships Lord Gauranga is indeed my life and soul.( Anonymous)

We, who are all taking the name of Gauranga are related to each other. We have 815 participants. Today is Srivas Thakura’s disappearance day. All glories to Srivas Thakura! You must have announced this in the temples. Your homes are also temples or if you want to make it a temple, then you must keep checking the Vaisnava calendar. Keep informing members of the family as almost everyday there is some or other significance event. You all should be aware of it. Then according to that particular day, you can remember the glories of that day. By this your future will change. ‘Keep an eye’ on the Vaisnava calendar.

Today is the disappearance day of Srivas Thakura. Do you understand tirobhav? One is the appearance day or birthday and the other is the disappearance day or tirobhav, the day on which the particular Vaisnava enters into the eternal pastimes of Krsna. Today is the disappearance day and that to of Srivas Thakura.

je ānilo prema-dhana koruṇā procure
heno prabhu kothā gelā srivas-ṭhākur

He, who brought the treasure of divine love and who was filled with compassion and mercy–where has such a personality as Advaita Acarya gone? (Swa Parsada Bhagavad Viraha Janita Vilapa Song 1 , by Narottama Dasa Thakura, from Prarthana)

Narottama Dasa Thakura, is expressing his emotions and grief in this way in this song. We generally sing this song on the disappearance day of any Vaisnava. You all should learn all this as this is our Vaisnava culture. Narottama Dasa Thakura can understand this as he experienced in his life that this acarya is no more, and the one whom he desperately wanted to meet, also had disappeared. That time Narottama Dasa Thakura had expressed his grief in this song – je ānilo prema-dhana koruṇā procure

Those who had so much mercy on the universe, on devotees and all other souls, have gone back. One such acarya Srivas Thakura, entered nitya-lila. This is a remembrance meeting going on. Gaudiya Vaisnavas on a day like today come together and remember Srivas Thakura. They will celebrate his Disappearance day. We also come from the same lineage . Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu has connected us with such a lineage which is Gaudiya Vaisnava parampara’s lineage. Our great fortune is being manifested by this. Otherwise whichever family lineage we belong to, we remember that on the day our grandfather or grandmother left their body, or someone else from the family left his body. They perform the shraddha ceremony, remember the deceased soul and celebrate some kind of festival. But by our great fortune now we need not celebrate such festivals, because we have been blessed with the great fortune of celebrating the appearance and disappearance day of our great acaryas. Can we compare the remembrance of Srivas Thakura with the remembrance of some Patil or Patel or of our grandfather , grandmother, uncle or aunt who has passed away? This is our great fortune that we have some relation with Srivas Thakura, who is Narada Muni. Then is it not a great relation? It is a relation directly with Narada Muni.

500 years ago , around 50 years prior to the appearance of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srivas Thakura was born. This is the first generation. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the second generation. Srivas Thakura, namacarya Srila Haridas Thakura Advaitacarya are first generation and then Caitanya Mahaprabhu appears later. Srivas Thakura is one of the Pancatattva.

sri krsna caitanya
prabhu nityananda
sri advaita, gadadhara
( Panchatattva pranam mantra)

When we say Srivasadi it should be understood that he is one of the Pancatattva. He was Narada Muni. He along with other four members of the Pancatattva established the Sankirtana movement. In this way there is a lot of contribution by Narada Muni who is the acarya of bhakti, he who always keeps saying Narayana, Narayana!

nārada muni, bājāy vīṇā

When the great soul Narada Muni plays his vina, the holy name, Radhika-raman, descends and immediately appears amidst the kirtan of the Lord’s devotees ( verse 1 , Namastakam song 8 , in Gitavali by BVT)

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

He is one who preached this maha-mantra. I remember reading that when Kaliyuga started, Narada Muni had approached Brahma who has a dual relation with him – as father and spiritual master. He enquired from him, “As I am a preacher and now that the new yuga has started, which dharma do I have to preach? How can people be uplifted from this material ocean?” Then Brahmaji meditated and said,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

iti sodasakam namnam kali-kalmasa-nasanam
natah parataropayah sarva-vedesu drsyate

The sixteen names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra: hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare destroy all the inauspiciousness of the age of Kali. This is the conclusion of all the Vedas. (Kali-santarana Upanisad from Krsna Yajur Veda)

This way we can say that Narada Muni became initiated by receiving this mantra from Brahma. That Narada Muni appeared before Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a member of the Panchatattva and spread kirtana all over. Caitanya Mahaprabhu started preaching later. But before Him Srivas and his brothers, Srinidhi , Sriram and Sripati were lovers of kirtan and devotees of Lord Caitanya. They did kirtana in Srivas angan at the home of Srivas Thakura. Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu started doing kirtana, which he was doing alone and then started doing it as Sankirtan. When He was initiated in Gaya He returned to Navavipa, Mayapur while doing kirtana. When Sankirtana began it started at the house of Srivas Thakura.

ajanu-lambita-bhujau kanakavadhatau
sankirtanaika-pitarau kamalayataksau
visvambharau dvija-varau yuga-dharma palau
vande jagat-priyakaro karunavatarau

I offer my respects unto Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu, whose arms extend down to Their knees, who have golden yellow complexions, and who inaugurated the congregational chanting of the Holy Names. Their eyes resemble the petals of a lotus; They are the maintainers of all living entities; They are the best of brahmanas, the protectors of religious principles for this age, the benefactors of the universe, and the most merciful of all incarnations. (Caitanya-bhagavata 1.1.1)

Gaurang Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu started this Sankirtana from the house of Srivas Thakura. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s birth place which is known as Yoga Pitha is around hundred metres away from this place of Srivas angan. Have you gone there and seen it? Today there must be special celebrations happening over there. Mahāprabhu’s Sankirtana movements headquarters was Srivas angan from where the Sankirtana movement started. They did kirtanas the whole night. Caitanya Mahaprabhu then Nityananda Prabhu then Advaitacarya then and Srivas Thakura and all other Gaur-bhaktas did kirtana.

This Srivas angan is the place where Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited his maha prakash Lila to the residents of Navadvipa for 7 prahars, namely 21 hours. One day Caitanya Mahaprabhu went and sat in the altar in the house of Srivas Thakura. How can His godliness be covered? Some things were leaked about Sri Krsna Caitanya Radha Krsna nahi anya. This secret was getting exposed, although Caitanya Mahaprabhu was trying to hide it. Then Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu decided once to openly explain His secret. Caitanya Mahaprabhu selected Srivas angan as the place for exposing this secret. This was far better than the Virat-rupa darsana which Arjuna got on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered to call everyone. The devotees advertised the invitation to Srivas angan. Chalo Chalo!! Not to Delhi, but to the courtyard of Srivas Thakura. The whole of Navadvipa gathered there. Srivas angan had the capacity to accommodate 20 – 50 or maybe a hundred people. But on that day lakhs and crores of devotees reached there and could be accommodated. The Lord made such arrangements which was also the exhibition of his godliness. Once Brahma had gone to Dvaraka and he wanted to meet Krsna. He was asked, ‘Which Brahma has come?’ He was puzzled ‘There are other Brahmas also?’ Then Dvarakadhish didn’t answer this in words. He called other Brahmas from various Brahmandas. The Lord is ananta koti Brahmanda Nayak. Koti Brahmanda itself is a large number of Brahmandas. Here we are talking of crores multiplied by infinity. When the Brahmas from all these ananta koti Brahmanda arrived, the hall in which Chaturmukhi Brahma was standing with Krsna went on expanding. Walls of the hall were not broken , but crores of Brahmas were accommodated. A similar situation was happening at Srivas angan. The courtyard where only 10 – 20 or 50 people could be accommodated, now had crores of people assembled in that place. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was giving darsana to everyone.

nirodho ‘syānuśayanam
ātmanaḥ saha śaktibhiḥ
muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ
sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ

The merging of the living entity, along with his conditional living tendency, with the mystic lying down of the Maha-Visnu is called the winding up of the cosmic manifestation. Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies. (SB 2.10.6)

The Lord fixed all the assembled devotees in each of their original forms and when they were perfected and fixed in that way, He gave them darsana in that particular form which they worshiped Him. Maharashtrians were seeing Him as Viththala, some were seeing Him as Balaji and some were seeing Him as Rama. This maha-prakash lila of Mahaprabhu is a very special lila.

Everyday night these kirtanas were going on in the courtyard of Srivas Thakura. One day Srivas Thakura’s son died. Kirtana was going on in the courtyard and this child was sleeping somewhere in the inner chambers of the house. When it was noticed that child is dead, Malini, wife of Srivas Thakura and mother of that child, naturally started weeping along with the other ladies in the house. She had just started crying and could have screamed loudly or banged her head, but Srivas Thakura noticed that there was some problem in the house. He went in. He came to know what had happened. Srivas Thakura didn’t want any disturbance to the Sankirtana which was going on by Mahaprabhu. He thought that if the noise due to the crying reaches outside, then He may stop the kirtana. Srivas Thakura didn’t want this to happen. He then warned everyone to keep quiet! This is not an ordinary thing. His own son has died, but he was not experiencing any shock or grief. That is why his name is Srivas Pandit. He was actually a Pandit ,not just for the name sake. Not a so called Pandit. How we identity a Pandit?

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāmś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūmś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead. ( BG. 2.11)

gatāsūn agatāsūmś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ

gataha means pran. Gataha sun or agataha sun . Whether anyone is alive or dead for anyone of them na anushonanti panditaha. Srivas Thakura was a real Pandit.

When Nityananda Prabhu reached Navadvipa He met Caitanya Mahaprabhu at the home of Nanandnacarya. That time Caitanya Mahaprabhu was 20 years old and Nityananda Prabhu was 32 years. Caitanya Mahaprabhu will stay for 4 more years in Navadvipa. Then He would take up the renounced order. For these four years, there were ecstatic kirtanas. That time Nityananda Prabhu started staying in the house of Srivas Thakura. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was staying at Yogapitha. Srivas Thakura’s wife Malini became the mother of Nityananda Prabhu. These are all inconceivable pastimes. Malini Mataji would breastfeed Nityananda Prabhu. Who can understand such inconceivable pastimes?

acintyā khalu ye bhāvā na taṁś tarkeṇa yo jayet

Do not apply your poor logic in the matters which is inconceivable by you ( Mahabharat , Udyog parva)

acintyā khalu ye bhāvā , such pastimes are inconceivable. One cannot understand it with logic due to our own limited intelligence. This pastime of Vatsalya prema of Malini for Nityanand Prabhuji is one such inconceivable one.

Jiva Goswami left home when he was young. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had gone to Ramkeli gram to invite Rupa and Sanatana Goswami to join His movement. That time Jīva Goswami was a one year old child. Later Jīva Goswami’s father was no more. Then he left the house and came to Navadvipa and went straight to Srivas Thakura’s home. There he met Nityananda Prabhu, his Guru. This happened at the house of Srivas Thakura. This was Nityananda Prabhu and Jīva Goswami’s first meeting. Then Nityananda Prabhu made jīva Goswami do Navadvipa Mandal parikrama. He narated him all the pasttimes. On basis of their conversation itself, Bhaktivinod Thakura wrote the book about Navadvipa Mandal parikrama. Hari Hari.

Before Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the renounced order, He was in Navadvipa and was intimately related with Srivas Thakura. After renunciation, Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed at Jagannatha Puri. Every year devotees from Navadvipa went to Jagannatha Puri. This is the time of the year they went to Jagannatha Puri and stay there. Sivanand Sen was the yatra coordinator. He would announce when the yatra will start every year. Srivas Thakura was always there for this yatra . Advaitacarya, Nityananda Prabhu were also there. The first year when the yatra reached Jagannatha Puri, nobody went to the main temple, instead they went towards the Gambhira. King Prataparudra was astonished to see this. Being pilgrims these devotees were not going for darsana of Jagannatha, but instead were going to the Gambhira to take darsana of Mahaprabhu. Why ? He was standing on the terrace of his palace and watching this group of pilgrims coming and being welcomed. Devotees are meeting each other. Vanca kalpataru is happening. They were embracing each other, garlanding each other. Chandan was applied. Kirtana was happening. King Prataparudra inquired, ‘Who is the one with the beard?’ That’s Advaitacarya. ‘Who is the one in the blue dhoti?’ – That’s Nityananda Prabhu. ‘ Who is the elderly one behind him? ‘ – That is Srivas Thakura. This way all the devotees from Navadvipa, Santipur, Kulingram assembled there. They reached before Snana-Yatra and stayed there for the four months of Chaturmasa. One year even women , wives of these devotees went along with them. Malini mataji and Sita Thakurani also went there. They all wanted to do Puri yatra have darsana of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

The niece of Srivas Thakura, daughter of his brother Narayani was also born in the house of Srivas Thakura. Her son became Vrindavan Das Thakura , who wrote Caitanya Bhagavat. She sucked the big toe of Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a child. Mahaprabhu fed her prasada. When she was around 2 years old , she exhibited exemplary devotion. Sometimes the Lord bestows pure devotion to someone out of His causeless mercy. She exhibited ecstatic symptoms of devotion such as nayanam galadasru dharaya vadanam gadagad hridaya gira. The voice of Narayani became choked. Her skin was showing goosebumps. She started rolling on the ground. Those assembled there observed her state and exclaimed this is wonderful!

sri krsna caitanya daya karah vichar
vichar kailo chitte pabo chamatkar

This is an example of that. The mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the life of Narayani , which also happened at Srivas Thakura’s house.

Srivas Thakura ki jay!
Mayapur Navadvipa dhama ki Jay!!
Gauranga !!!