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Vaisnava Songs

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  • Songs of Narottama Dasa Thakura
    • 6)Sacarana-sri-gaura-mahima
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The Glories of Sri Gauranga
(from Prathana)

gaurangera duti pada, jar dhana sampada,
se jane bhakati-rasa-sar
gaurangera madhura-lila, jar karne pravesila,
hrdoya nirmala bhelo tar


je gaurangera nama loy, tara hoy premodoy,
tare mui jai bolihari
gauranga-gunete jhure, nitya-lila tare sphure,
se jana bhakati-adhikari


gaurangera sangi-gane, nitya-siddha kori' mane,
se jay brajendra-suta-pas
sri-gauda-mandala-bhumi, jeba jane cintamani,
tara hoy braja-bhume bas


gaura-prema-rasarnave, se tarange jeba dube,
se radha--madhava-antaranga
grhe ba vanete thake, 'ha gauranga' bo'le dake,
narottama mage tara sanga

by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This is a song by Narottama Dasa Thakura in praise of the glories of Lord Caitanya. Gauranga refers to Lord Caitanya, who has a fair complexion. One who has a fair complexion is called gaura and since Lord Caitanya was very fair, just like molten gold, He was also named Gaurasundara. Narottama Dasa Thakura says, gaurangera duti pada, jar dhana-sampada, se jane bhakati-rasa-sar. Anyone who has accepted the two lotus feet of Lord Caitanya can understand the true essence of devotional service. Devotional service is very difficult. It cannot be understood by any ordinary man. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, out of many thousands of persons who are trying to achieve the perfection of human life, only some actually become perfect and realize the self. And out of many thousands of such self-realized persons, only one can understand Krsna. Without understanding Krsna, how can one engage himself in the service of Krsna? Therefore, the devotional service of Krsna is not an ordinary thing. But fortunately, if one follows in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya (gaurangera duti pada) by following the path shown by Lord Caitanya--the process of simply chanting Hare Krsna--he can very easily understand what devotional service is. Therefore Narottama Das Thakura prays that one take shelter of Lord Caitanya and follow in His footsteps, for then one can understand the essence of devotional service.

Lord Caitanya's pastimes are very pleasing, because the basic principles of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement are chanting, dancing, and eating krsna-prasada. He made His headquarters in Jagannatha Puri and would dance, chant, and then immediately call for prasada to be distributed to the devotees. They were so pleased that every day hundreds of men would come to chant and dance with Lord Caitanya. The temple proprietor, the King of Orissa, Maharaja Prataparudra, had an open order to the workers in the temple to supply as much prasada to Lord Caitanya's devotees as they wanted. Therefore, His pastimes are very pleasing: chant, dance, and take prasada. If one is captivated by the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, simply by chanting and dancing and eating prosada the dirt things in his heart will all become cleansed. The heart of anyone who takes to this movement of chanting, dancing, and eating krsna-prasada will surely be cleansed of all dirty material contamination. Narottama Dasa Thakura says, very rightly, gaurangera madhura-lila, jar karne pravesila, hrdoya nirmala bhelo tar: if one wants to cleanse his heart, he must take to the movement of Lord Caitanya--Krsna consciousness.

Lord Caitanya is so nice that one who simply takes the holy name of Gaurasundara, Sri Krsna Caitanya, will immediately develop love of God. Generally, devotees first chant sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda, for the preliminary process of cleansing the heart is to invoke the mercy of Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityananda, and Their associates. Lila means "pastimes." Without associates there cannot be pastimes, so Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always ac- companied by associates--Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa, and many other devotees. Tar means "his," hoy means "it is effected,'' and premodoy refers to development of love of God. Simply by chanting sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda one immediately develops love of God. To such a person Narottama Das Thakura says, "Bravo!" to encourage him in chanting Lord Caitanya's name and chanting. Just as we clap and say, "Bravo!" similarly he says, jai bolihari: "Very nice. Excellent!"

Then he says, gauranga-gunete jhure, nitya-lila tare sphure: if one appreciates the merciful pastimes of Lord Caitanya and feels ecstasy and sometimes cries, this process will immediately help him to understand the pastimes of Radha-Krsna, which are called nitya-lila. The lying affairs between Radha-Krsna are not a temporary thing. Here in this material world we can see loving affairs between boys and girls, but that is temporary. That is simply for a few months, a few years, or maybe a little more. But then all that so-called love will go to hell. They are not permanent affairs. But if one really wants permanent love affairs, he must enter into the pastimes of Radha-Krsna. Simply by appreciating Lord Caitanya's movement one can immediately enter into or understand Radha-Krsna's eternal pastimes. One who can understand the transcendental, eternal pastimes of Radha-Krsna reaches the highest perfectional stage of devotional service.

The next line is, gaurangera sangi-gane. Sangi-gane means "associates." Lord Caitanya is always associated: He is not alone. We never see a picture of Lord Caitanya alone. At least there must be Lord Nityananda or Gadadhara Pandita. Actually, wherever Lord Caitanya was present, many thousands of devotees would assemble. Such devotees, especially those who were His nearest intimate associates, were nitya-siddha. In the devotional line there are three kinds of perfect devotees. One is called sadhana-siddha. This refers to a person who has very rigidly performed the regulative prescriptions and thereby reached the perfectional stage. Reaching the perfectional stage by executing the regulative principles is called sadhana-siddha. There is another kind of devotee, who is called krpa-siddha. He may not have executed the regulative principles very rigidly, but by his service mood he is specifically blessed by the spiritual master or Krsna. He is immediately promoted to the perfectional stage. This is called krpa-siddha. Nitya-siddha is one who was never contaminated by the material nature. The sadhana-siddhas and the krpa-siddhas were supposed to have once been in the contamination of material nature, but nitya-siddhas never came into contact with the material nature. All the associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu are nitya-siddhas, or eternally perfect. Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama, the immediate expansion of Krsna; Advaita Prabhu is Maha-Visnu (He is also visnu-tattva); Gadadhara Prabhu is an expansion of Radharani; and Srivasa is an incarnation of Narada. They are nitya-siddha, or eternally perfect. They were never imperfect. They were never in contact with material contamination. We should understand that as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krsna Himself, is transcendental, similarly His personal associates are also nitya-siddha, or eternally transcendental. Se jay brajendra-suta-pas. Brajendra-suta means Krsna. Simply by accepting that the associates of Lord Caitanya are eternally free, one can immediately be promoted to the transcendental abode of Lord Krsna.

Sri-gauda-mandala-bhumi. Gauda means West Bengal. Lord Caitanya appeared in West Bengal, Navadvipa, and He especially flooded that part of the country with the sankirtana movement. That part of the country has special significance, for it is non different from Vrndavana. It is as good as Vrndavana. Living in Vrndavana and living in Navadvipa are the same. Narottama Dasa Thakura says, sri-gauda-mandala-bhumi, jeba jane cintamani. Cintamani means the transcendental abode. Tara hoy braja-bhume bas. If one simply understands that this land of Navadvipa is not different from Vrndavana, then he actually lives in Vrndavana. One should not think that he is living in Bengal or any material country; the places where Lord Caitanya had His pastimes are as good as Vrndavana.

Lord Caitanya's distribution of this love of God is compared with an ocean (rasa-arnava). What kind of ocean? tot !he salty ocean thad one cannot taste. The water of this ocean is so nice that if one drinks even one drop, he will like it more and more. It is not ordinary ocean water, of which one cannot taste even a drop. Therefore it is called rasarnava. In this ocean there are different waves; an ocean does not stand still, for it is not impersonal or void. And as the ocean is always dancing with waves, similarly the ocean of transcendental love of Krsna as introduced by Lord Caitanya has constant waves, constant sound. One has to dive deep into that ocean. If one knows the secret and says, "Let me dive deep into the ocean of the transcendental loving movement introduced by Lord Caitanya,'' he immediately becomes one of the confidential devotees of Radha and Krsna.

Therefore Narottama Dasa Thakura concludes this song by saying, grhe ba vanete thake, 'ha gauranga ' bo 'le dake. It is not necessary that one become a mendicant or give up his family life and society. One can remain wherever he finds it suitable, whether as a householder, as a brahmacari, as a vanaprastha, or as a sannyasi. Vanaprasthas and sannyasis are supposed to live outside of the city. Vanete means "forest." Formerly, those who were in spiritual consciousness used to live in the forest to become free of the turmoil of city life. But that is not possible now. In this age no one can go into the forest. That requires practice, and no one is practiced to that line. Therefore, generally one is recommended to live with his friends, wife, and children. That doesn't matter, but he must take to the process of Krsna consciousness as introduced by Lord Caitanya. It is not difficult. The real thing is that one has to accept the movement of Lord Caitanya--chanting, dancing, and eating krsna-prasada. Even if one is in family life, there is no difficulty. He can just sit down, chant Hare Krsna, dance nicely, and then take krsna-prasada. Everyone can do this. Those who have renounced this world, sannyasis, also can do it; there is no difficulty. Therefore, Narottama Dasa Thakura says that it doesn't matter whether one is a brahmacari, grhastha, or sannyasi. He says, "If you have taken to these principles of life, I desire your company, because you are a devotee of Lord Caitanya." In this way, Narottama Dasa Thakura finishes the song.

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