Lord Caitanaya Mahaprabhu

Five hundred years ago, the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, descended as Lord Caitanya
Mahaprabhu and spread the same message He had spoken fifty centuries before.

A lecture given in Mayapur, West Bengal, March 27, 1975

yad advaitam brahmopanisadi tad apy asya tanu-bha
ya atmantaryami purusa iti so 'syamsa-vibhava
sad-aisvaryaih purno ya iha bhagavan sa svayam ayam
na caitanyat krsnaj jagati para-tattvam param iha

"What the Upanisads describe as the impersonal Brahman is but the effulgence of His body, and the Lord known as the Supersoul is but His localized plenary portion. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna Himself, full with six opulences. He is the Absolute Truth, and no other truth is greater than or equal to Him." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.3)

THE AUTHOR OF THE Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, is establishing with great stress that there is no greater truth than Krsna Caitanya. We are after truth. The author of the Caitanya-caritamrta is asserting, "Here is the Supreme Truth: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."

Krsna has appeared as Krsna Caitanya. We explained this truth yesterday, according to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's declaration:

siksartham ekah purusah puranah
krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye

"Let me take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, who has descended in the form of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to teach us real knowledge, devotional service to Him, and detachment from whatever does not foster Krsna consciousness. He has descended because He is an ocean of transcendental mercy. Let me surrender unto His lotus feet."

The purusah puranah, the oldest person, is Krsna. Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami: "I worship Govinda [Krsna], the primeval Lord." In many Vedic scriptures Krsna is described as the puranah purusah, the oldest person. Puranah purusam nava-yauvanam ca: "Although He is the oldest of all, still He is always a fresh youth."

How it this possible? People are trying to understand God. Sometimes they paint a picture of God as a very old man. "Because He is the original person, by this time He must have become very old." That is imagination. That old man is not actually the form of the Lord. The form of the Lord is described in the Brahma-samhita and other Vedic scriptures. Even Sankaracarya, an impersonalist, has accepted Lord Krsna as the supreme Narayana, the Personality of Godhead. Commenting on the Bhagavad-gita, Sankaracarya says, narayanah parah avyaktat: "Narayana is beyond the material creation." And while describing Narayana, he has affirmed, sa bhagavan svayam krsnah: "Narayana is Krsna." To confirm this he has clearly mentioned, "Now He has appeared as the son of Devaki and Vasudeva," because a person's identity is confirmed when his father's name is given.

Krsna is accepted as para-tattva, the Supreme Truth, by all the acaryas, the great spiritual teachers in the Vedic tradition. We are not talking of the fools and rascals who theorize without any knowledge. We are concerned with the authorities. In India, people follow the Vedic system under the authority of the acaryas. Acaryavan puruso veda: "One who follows the path of the acaryas has real knowledge." We cannot accept anyone as an authority if he does not follow the parampara, the disciplic succession of acaryas. That is the Vedic system.

Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is emphatically asserting, na caitanyat krsnaj jagati para-tattvam param iha: "There is no greater truth than Krsna and Krsna Caitanya." According to the Vedic system, if you say something emphatically you must prove it by Vedic evidence. Otherwise, you can go on talking, but nobody will listen. Sometimes people ask us about Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu "What are the Vedic evidences?" The Vedic evidences are given in later chapters of Caitanya-caritamrta.Kaviraja Gosvami is not falsely asserting. He is a very, very advanced devotee and scholar, not an ordinary human being. To write Caitanya-caritamrta he was empowered by Madana-mohana, a Deity of Krsna in Vrndavana.

No ordinary person should try to write Vedic literature. Vedic literature means the sruti, the smrti, the Puranas, and so on. Srila Rupa Gosvami has confirmed this:

pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate

"Devotional service to the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literature like the Upanisads, Puranas, and Narada-pancaratra is simply a needless disturbance in society." Utpata means "simply a disturbance." People claim, "I can manufacture my own way." But this rascaldom has been condemned by Srila Rupa Gosvami. You will find many so-called bhaktas, devotees, imitating the ecstasy of advanced devotees by crying, falling on the ground, and so on. But immediately after their exhibition you will see them smoking. Why? Because they do not follow the injunction of Srila Rupa Gosvami. They chant very loudly, dance, and after the performance is finished I have seen it "Can you give me a bidi [a cigarette]?" You see? "My throat is now dried up." This is utpata. Srila Rupa Gosvami has described this kind of so-called devotional attitude as simply a disturbance.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has condemned these imitators. There are so many apa-sampradayas, deviant sects, pretending to be Caitanya Mahaprabhu's devotees. Who are they? Aula, baula, kartabhaja, neda, daravesa, sani, sahajiya, sakhibheki, smarta, jata-gosani, ativadi, cudadhari, and gauranga-nagari. Bhaktivinoda says, "I do not associate with these classes of men." After the disappearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, many apa-sampradayas sprang up. So we should be very careful not to be fooled by them.

Sampradaya means those who carefully follow the Vedic principles. Therefore Kaviraja Gosvami, although asserting the truth, is prepared to give Vedic evidences. Now with today's verse he has begun, by citing the Upanisads. The Vedic literature includes the four Vedas, the Upanisads, the Puranas, the Ramayana, the Vedanta-sutra, then the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is the explanation of the Vedanta-sutra. Therefore at the end of each chapter of the Srimad-BhagavatamVyasadeva states, brahma-sutrasya bhasya: "The Srimad-Bhagavatam is the commentary on the Brahma-sutra.Brahma-sutra, or Vedanta-sutra, gives the gist of the Vedic literature in codes. And the Srimad-Bhagavatam explains these codes. TheVedanta-sutra begins, athato brahma-jijnasa: "Now is the time to inquire into the Absolute Truth." And the Srimad-Bhagavatam states, jivasya tattva-jijnasa: "The only business for living beings is to inquire about the Absolute Truth."

That is the only business. People are in trouble because they have given up their real business. Human life is meant for this business brahma-jijnasa, to inquire about the Absolute Truth. We human beings have been given so many facilities by nature. There are so many living entities who must stand rooted to the ground for many years the trees, the plants. The aquatics are in the water for many, many years. The flies and insects remain in their condition for many, many years. And gradually, by the soul's evolution, we come to this form of human life.

The Aryans, especially the advanced, civilized human beings have all the necessary facilities for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Uncivilized men, such as those living in the jungle, cannot utilize such resources. Therefore Narottama Dasa Thakura, in a simple Bengali song, says, hari hari biphale janama gonainu: "O Lord Hari, Krsna, I've wasted my life." This is our position. We have the human form of life, but we are simply spoiling it. In the Krsna consciousness movement we are traveling all over the world, and we see that people are spoiling their valuable human life in the false identification that "I am this body"! Under big, big names "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am German" they are spoiling their life by this bodily conception.

According to sastra, scripture, anyone who identifies himself with his body is a fool. That is the first instruction of the Bhagavad-gita. Krsna brought Arjuna to fight with the Kurus, and because Arjuna identified himself as the body, Arjuna thought, "Killing my cousin-brothers will not be good, because I have a bodily relation with them." So to dissipate that conception of life, Krsna rebuked him, asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase: "While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief."

We are talking very big talks and plans, but actually we are nothing better than cats and dogs. This is our position, because we identify with the body. "My country, my community, my society, my family." This is the basic ignorance. Aham mameti: "I and my." People do not know the truth. They are thinking, "I am this body, and anything in relationship with the body is mine." This is ignorance. But this ignorance is going on all over the world.

Therefore in the beginning of the Caitanya-caritamrta the author says:

vande sri-krsna-caitanya-
nityanandau sahoditau 
gaudodaye puspavantau 
citrau sandau tamo-nudau

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all." Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu have come to deliver the fallen souls of the material world who are in the darkness of false conceptions. Somebody just told me that the king of Saudi Arabia has been killed by his own nephew. This is going on. Even in family affairs it is going on. Why? Because of this darkness: aham mameti, "I and mine."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu along with His associates Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Gadadhara Prabhu, Srivasa, and other devotees are trying to dissipate the darkness of this false identification. Krsna instructed Arjuna about Arjuna's darkness as to his identity. Krsna chided him, "You are talking very big, big words, but you are lamenting on a subject matter for which no learned person laments." Then Krsna said, gatasun agatasums ca nanusocanti panditah: "You are fool number one. No learned person talks like that. Now try to understand the real position."

Krsna then said:

dehino 'smin yatha dehe 
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir 
dhiras tatra na muhyati

"As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change." Or in other words, "First of all try to understand what you are."

That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is not politics. It is knowledge, pure knowledge. The politicians take advantage of it, and the sociologists and so-called swamis and yogis take advantage of it to try to prove their nonsensical theories. But what they present is not at all Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita "as it is" is pure knowledge, beginning with the first knowledge one has to understand: that we are not the body. Because the basic principle of ignorance is: "I am this body," "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am a brahmana," "I am this," "I am that."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu points out the same ignorance in a different way. He says, "I am not a brahmana. I am not a ksatriya [warrior]. I am not a vaisya [merchant]. I am not a sudra [laborer]. I am not a brahmacari [celibate student]. I am not agrhastha [householder]. I am not a vanaprastha [retired person]. I am not a sannyasi [renunciant]." These are negations. Then what is the positive? He says, gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah: "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the gopi-bhartuh, Krsna, who maintains the gopis, His cowherd girlfriends."

So this is also our identity, but we have forgotten. We have forgotten our real relationship with Krsna, and we are trying to be happy by material adjustments. This is modern civilization. One is thinking, "If I get a nice house, a nice motorcar, a nice business, a nice bank balance, a nice wife, nice children …" This is material civilization. But people do not know that this way they will never be happy. Now, you Europeans and Americans have a good qualification: As I have described many times, you are no longer very much interested in all these "nice" things. The real nice thing is spiritual understanding. That nice thing begins, aham brahmasmi: "I am not this body." That is the beginning of the Bhagavad-gita. Krsna is instructing Arjuna, "You are not this body. You are spirit soul. Try to understand."

We should learn from Krsna. We should learn from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krsna Himself. Therefore the author of Caitanya-caritamrta says, "Accept this authority."

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared five hundred years ago, people had already become fools and rascals. They did not care for the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. Therefore He came as a devotee of Krsna to teach us how to serve Krsna, how to love Krsna. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult. When Krsna appeared He said, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: "Give up everything, all your rascaldom. Just surrender to Me." And Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as a devotee, said the same thing. Yare dekha, tare kaha krsna-upadesa: "Whomever you meet, tell him about Krsna's instructions." Lord Caitanya said nothing new. That is the sign of authenticity. Those who say "I have manufactured some way" are all rascals. In your country it is said, "Old wine in a new bottle." Similarly, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is teaching the same thing as Krsna. Krsna says, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: "There is no truth superior to Me." Caitanya Mahaprabhu says the same thing: yare dekha, tare kaha krsna-upadesa. And we are saying the same thing, na caitanyat krsnaj jagati para-tattvam: "There is no truth superior to Krsna Caitanya." Why? Because He is the same truth as Krsna. This is called the parampara system: We are repeating what Krsna said and what Caitanya Mahaprabhu said.

So it is not difficult to understand the Absolute Truth. Krsna says directly, "Surrender to Me." And Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, "Preach Krsna's message." We are not going to teach anything but what is spoken by Krsna and supported by Krsna Caitanyadeva. This is our principle. This is the principle of the Krsna consciousness movement. Krsna preached about Himself, Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached the same principle, and we are preaching the same thing. We do not preach anything else. We do not manufacture anything. That is not our business.

By the grace of Krsna, by the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, you European boys and girls joined this movement at my soliciting. I went to your country with this word only. I did not show you any magic, nor do I have any knowledge of how to play magic. I simply repeat the same message: "Here is Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Here is Krsna Caitanyadeva, the devotional form of Krsna. Accept Them, and your life will be successful."

Thank you very much.