Life-changing shastric conversation between Lord Krishna and Lord Anantadeva to open our eyes about how wrong we are to think that we can directly approach Vrindavan, Harinam and Gaura Radha Krishna without Nitai.
Shrila Prabhupada Glorifies Lord Anantadeva
I would like to begin with a quote from Shrila Prabhupada about Lord Anantadeva to prove to you why this article should be taken very seriously:
“All devotees in the Gaudiya sampradaya accept the activities of Lord Ananta related in the Shrimad Bhagavatam as authentic, and they are thus benefited by going back home, back to Godhead.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.25.8)
Lord Shiva Reveals This Secret to Parvati
Lord Shiva revealed the secret of all secrets to Parvati about how Lord Hari Himself sweetly chastized Lord Anantadeva for trying to approach and worship Radha Krishna directly. Instead He expressly instructed Him to go and take full one-pointed shelter of the Audarya Nama, Rupa, Lila, and Dhama of Nitai Gaura first.
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Secret Scripture
This most esoteric and unique pastime of all is revealed by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura from Ananta Samhita, which was directly heard by Lord Shiva from Lord Anantadeva. It is found in the Pramana Khanda of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s supremely classic scripture Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya.
Since this rarest of all pastimes is not described in any other scripture, some Gaudiyas falsely accuse Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura of manufacturing Ananta Samhita and thus these pastimes in Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya. What they don’t consider is that many of these pastimes are already found in Bhakti Ratnakar of Shrila Narahari Chakravati.
By blaspheming Shrila Bhaktivinoda, they are committing the biggest offense against Nita-tattva-prakashi, Radha-nija-jana, Gaura-shakti-svarupa, Rupanuga-vara, and Nitya Svananda Sukhada Kunjavasi Sakshat Kamal Manjari Sacchidananda Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He is an eternally 12.5-year old Manjari (Radha-palya-dasi) in the nitya-lila wearing a dress of stars (taravali) and having the eternal service of making camphor for the betel-nuts of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna.
How could he ever manufacture anything, when every lila was being truly revealed in his heart? There is nothing which is not accessible to Radha-nija-jana. Our Acharyas don’t write scriptures for fame or following. The four human defects are never present in their writings (Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita: 1.2.86: ārṣa-vijña-vākye nāhi doṣa ei saba). They compose them for their own purification directly from their genuine visions and sphurtis of the Lord.
Even if these visions are not found in other scriptures and may be revealed for the first time ever, they are still bona-fide and the eternal truths. There are no imperfections whatsoever in them. If you don’t have such faith in the writings of Shrila Bhaktivinoda, then please do not read this article.
There are so many scriptures which have been lost in Kaliyuga. And it is not possible even by all the existing scriptures together even if they are all revealed to cover all the infinite pastimes in creation between the Lord and His pure devotees.
What ulterior motive Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura could possibly have to reveal Ananta Samhita and Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya to this world? He was not even accepting disciples at that time. Nor did he know whether even a single person would read the scriptures he was composing. He is just an empowered puppet revealing to us what His puppeteer Lord is showing him in his heart, without adding or subtracting anything.
Lord Anantadeva Wants to See Radha Krishna in Vraja
Lord Anantadeva is worshiped in Brahmaloka by Brahma and the host of all the other demigods in this universe as described in Shri Brihad Bhagavatamrita. He is not an insignificant jiva like us. He is a plenary expansion of Lord Nitai and is guided by the topmost madhurya-rasa gurus including Lord Hari Himself, Vrindadevi, etc.
One may claim that Lord Anantadeva is not in madhurya rasa, so it was difficult for Him to approach Radha Krishna. And that is why Lord Hari chastized Him in this way. This is not correct. If He is not in madhurya, why is He feeling such a strong attraction to approach Radha Krishna in Vraja in the first place?
One day Lord Anantadeva asked a burning question in his heart to Lord Hari with excitement. This sublime pastime is found in Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya (NDM), Pramana Khanda (PRK) 2.18-41:
“О master of the demigods, by Your mercy all that moves and all that stands still may be seen. I now desire to see the pastimes of Shri Shri Radha Madhava. О Lord, О husband of the goddess of fortune, by the mercy of Your lotus feet I have gone to all places, except for the beautiful Shri Vrindavan. I desire to go to this great forest, the best of all spiritual abodes. By Your mercy please tell me how I may go there.”
You Want to Swim the Ocean of Birth and Death by Holding the Tail of a Dog
śrī-bhagavān uvāca: nāgarāja mahā-buddhe, kathaṁ te matir īdṛśī; śuna-śephaḥ samāśrītya, bhavābdhiṁ tartum icchasi?
Lord Hari replied, “О supremely intelligent king of the serpents, how did You get this foolish idea (kathaṁ te matir īdṛśī) of directly approaching Radha Krishna Lila in Vrindavan? Do You wish to swim the vast ocean of birth and death simply by holding on to the tail of a dog (śuna-śephaḥ). (NDM 2.22)”
Bhaktiratna Bhashya: This warning of Lord Hari to us, using Lord Anantadeva as an instrument, is very instructive and critical to understand for all devotees. Many if not most dogs don’t know how to swim. So trying to hold on to a dog’s tail to stay afloat in the water may turn out to be suicidal for us. Lord Hari is comparing the desire to prematurely dabble into Radha Krishna Lila and Vrajavasa to the foolish and impossible idea of trying to cross the material ocean by holding on to the tail of a dog.
Even though Lord Anantadeva is totally free from pride, Lord Hari starts with a very stark example of holding on to a dog’s tail. Lord Hari wants to wake and shake us all up. Actually it is our pride which makes us think we can approach Gaura Radha Krishna’s Names and Pastimes directly. To smash such pride, strong words are needed, which Lord Hari is using here.
Please try to understand that Lord Krishna here is not criticizing Vraja-vasa. He is only criticizing our immature mentality to go for Vraja-vasa thinking oneself already qualified for it. This specific mentality or whimsical desire of taking Bhakti cheaply is being compared to holding on to a dog’s tail to cross an ocean.
This is an illusory mentality because neither the dog nor you can swim. Imagining that a mirage is real does not make it real. Similarly, thinking that you can do it, will never make you qualified for it even in a zillion lifetimes. Deserve and then desire. Simply desiring does not make you deserving.
Even a child knows that it is ridiculous to think that you can cross the ocean by holding on to a dog’s tail. Lord Krishna wants to emphasize to all of us through Lord Anantadeva that it is a no-brainer to understand this foolishness and we should rectify it as soon as possible.
An ostrich pushes the head into the sand in the face of danger instead of trying to run away or trying to find a way to avoid it, simply to fool oneself that the danger is gone. But the danger is still there. The danger is never gone.
In the same way, shamelessly thinking that we are qualified to approach Gaura Radha Krishna’s Names and Pastimes, even when we internally know we are not, will lead to our quick drowning into the cycle of birth and death. Because it will magnify our offense of maryada-langhana i.e. of trying to forcibly push ourselves into the topmost space where we are not yet qualified to enter. As Shrila Bhaktirakshak Shridhar Maharaj used to quote his Shrila Gurudeva, “Fools rush in hastily and perish in places in which the angels fear to even enter”.
The above statement is a sweet but strong rebuke by Lord Hari to Lord Anantadeva that He is trying to rush in too soon into Radha Krishna’s Pastimes in Vraja, a subject matter which He is still not qualified to approach yet. And if Lord Anantadeva, a direct partial expansion of Lord Nitai, is not qualified to approach Radha Krishna’s Names and Pastimes yet, then how can we fallen souls recklessly jump into Them considering ourselves qualified?
This is the biggest foolishness a Gaudiya can make. This is what is called as “sahajiyaism” i.e. to take Bhakti (Radha Krishna’s Names, Pastimes, and Abode) cheaply. In the divine words of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Kalyana Kalpataru, Upadesha 18.4:
na uthiyā vrikshopari, ṭānāṭāni phala dhari’, duṣṭa-phala karile arjana
“If you don’t wait patiently till you are actually able to climb up the tree to pick its ripe and sweet fruits, and instead hurriedly start plucking the drooping raw fruits while standing on the ground, without learning to climb up first, then you will acquire only bitter and sour fruits (duṣṭa-phala).”
No One in the Whole Creation is Qualified to Approach Radha Krishna Directly
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Hari mildly chastized Lord Anantadeva for His premature desire to try to directly see Radha Krishna directly in Vraja.
To prove His point, Lord Hari described how qualified one should be to worship Shri Shri Radha Krishna and approach Shri Vrindavan:
kiṁ vā tvayā kṛtaṁ puṇyaṁ, tapo va dharaṇī-dhara; śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇayor dhāma, gantum icchasi sundaram.
“О holder of the worlds, have you performed enough austerities or pious deeds (puṇyaṁ, tapo va) that You now wish to directly go to Shri Shri Radha Krishna’s beautiful abode? (NDM-PRK 2.23)
“Neither Brahma, the grandfather of the worlds, nor I, the protector Vishnu, nor Lord Siva, can go there. The powerful Lord of the Garbhodaka Ocean was not able to go there, and neither was Lord Maha-Vishnu, the Lord of the Karana Ocean able to go there. The illusory potency Maya cannot stay there. It is the spiritual abode of Krishna, the Lord of Radha.”
“There the trees, leaves, flowers, fruits, cuckoos and other birds, and deer and other animals are all spiritual. There the ground, rivers, hills, and lakes are all spiritual. They are not born from matter. There everything is spiritual.”
“The demigods proclaim this place, Goloka, where Lord Krishna enjoys with Shri Radha, the best of all worlds. This place, Vrindavan, which Brahma and the demigods always yearn to see, is the Lord’s favorite transcendental abode. О best of serpents, from this place were born Vaikunthaloka and all other beautiful spiritual and material realms.”
After that Lord Hari sweetly questioned Lord Anantadeva whether He is qualified to approach Radha Krishna in Vrindavan at all:
kathaṁ tasmin pare dhāmni, tava tāta spṛhā bhavet; svapnenāpi na paśyanti, yad dhāma munayaḥ param.
“О dear one, how is it that You desire (spṛhā bhavet) this supreme abode which the great sages cannot see even in their dreams?” (NDM-PK 2.32)
“Desiring to attain the dust of Shri Shri Radha Krishna’s lotus feet, Lord Brahma performed austerities at Pushkara Kshetra for a hundred years.”
Bhaktiratna Bhashya: Can we perform such austerity for even one day? First Lord Hari describes how rare and close to impossible it is to truly attain Radha Krishna in Vraja for an unqualified soul. Then by saying, “How is that you desire..?”, He questions whether Lord Anantadeva is actually qualified to directly approach and worship Radha Krishna’s Names and Pastimes at all.
Due to our own total ignorance of these strict scriptural injunctions, we, who are zillions of times less qualified than Lord Anantadeva, foolishly think that we can directly go and stay in Vraja or think of and sing the Names and Pastimes of Radha Krishna directly.
You Are Not Qualified to Approach Radha Krishna’s Pastimes
sāra-bhūtāṁ mahā-līlāṁ, śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇayos tayoḥ; draṣṭuṁ na yogyaḥ kasmāt tvaṁ, draṣṭum icchasi cālpa-dhīḥ.
“You are not qualified (draṣṭuṁ na yogyaḥ) to approach Shri Shri Radha Krishna’s sublime transcendental pastimes. How have You become so unintelligent (cālpa-dhīḥ) that You wish to see them (draṣṭum icchasi)? (NDM-PK 2.34)
”О great-hearted one, after accumulation of pious deeds for millions of kalpas one may become a pure devotee. Only then will one become truly attracted to Shri Shri Radha Krishna’s transcendental pastimes. (NDM-PK 2.34, 36)”
Bhaktiratna Bhashya: Here Lord Hari, without mincing any words, directly tells Lord Anantadeva that He is not qualified to see Radha Krishna’s pastimes.
In comparison, let us consider our own situation in this Kaliyuga. We are constantly falling down in Maya by being victimized by the vile desires of our senses. Whereas Lord Anantadeva never even has such thoughts because He is fully situated on the platform of vishuddha sattva.
I will not get into details here but it is a fact that we can’t even follow one injunction of the scriptures perfectly. Because it is simply not possible to do so in this degraded age of Kaliyuga. Whatever we do 24/7 has so many holes, so many mistakes, and so many offenses associated with those actions.
Over and above all this, we constantly let our consciousness be contaminated with so much garbage from the time we wake up till we sleep in the night. I could go on and on. I have written a Hindi song on this for daily remembrance of our actual fallen position, adapted from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s amara jivana song, which I will publish soon with audio.
Even if we take bath three times a day in Kaliyuga, our body is so impure and dirty from inside. Whereas, being an expansion of the Lord, Lord Anantadeva already had a fully transcendental body and His own devotees worshiping Him in Brahmaloka.
Lord Brahma had to leave his body when he ran after his daughter due to mental contamination. He had to accept a new body to continue the creation of this universe in the service of the Lord. Such are the high standards of the Lord. Is anyone of us willing to do that every time we fall down?
But shockingly and disbelievingly, even in such an utterly hopeless condition, we still want to directly see the pastimes of Radha Krishna in Vraja and jump into chanting Their Names, disregarding all these warnings from Lord Hari Himself. This is because we forget our fallen position so quickly in Kaliyuga. The only end-result would be our destruction.
However, Lord Hari was still not satisfied by telling Lord Anantadeva that He is not qualified. So He goes on to warn Lord Anantadeva that because He wishes to directly see Radha Krishna in Vraja without acquiring the necessary qualification, He is actually acting very unintelligently and recklessly in Bhakti.
Lord Hari is making an absolute statement that only after becoming a pure devotee after millions of Kalpas (1 kalpa = 8.64 billion years 1 day of Brahma) can one truly become qualified to see and worship Radha Krishna in Vraja.
So my only question to those devotees who are jumping so much and rushing to Vraja and trying to read, sing, listen to, and remember Radha Krishna’s Names and Pastimes is – “Do you consider yourself to have become a pure devotee after millions of kalpas of sincere Bhakti?”.
Because this is the qualification needed to approach Radha Krishna Lila according to Lord Krishna Himself. If you think so, then I have nothing more to say. Otherwise you can read on…
Without the Direct Association of the Gopis, No One Can Attain Radha Krishna
vinā śrī-gopikā-saṅgaṁ, kalpa-koṭi-śataṁ param; śravaṇāt kīrtanād viṣṇor, na rādhā-kṛṣṇam āpnuyāt.
“О king of serpents, I think You are the best of saintly devotees. That is why You are attracted to Shri Shri Radha Krishna’s transcendental pastimes. A person who fixes his pure heart on Shri Shri Radha Krishna’s pastimes is liberated even as he continues to live in this world. Even the demigods worship him. Without the association of the gopis, even by hearing and chanting Lord Krishna’s glories for hundreds of millions of kalpas, one will not attain Shri Shri Radha Krishna.” (NDM-PK 2.38)
Without Lords Nitai Gaura, No One Can Attain the Gopis
gopī-saṅgaṁ na cāpnoti, śrī-gaura-caraṇād ṛte; tasmāt tvaṁ sarva-bhāvena, śrī-gauraṁ bhaja sarvadā.
”Without fully surrendering to the feet of Lords Nitai Gaura, one can never attain (na cāpnoti) the gopis’ association. Therefore, with all Your heart (sarva-bhāvena) You should always (sarvadā) worship Them one-pointedly.” (NDM-PK 2.39)
How to See Radha Krishna Without Practicing Any Sadhana?
gaurāṅga-charaṇāmbhoja-makaranda-madhuvratāḥ, sādhanena vinā rādhāṁ, kṛṣṇaṁ prāpsyanti niścitam.
“One who becomes a bumblebee tasting the nectar of Nitai Gaura’s lotus feet, most certainly attains Radha Krishna even without having to do any spiritual practices. (sādhanena vinā)” (NDM-PK 2.40)
yāhi tūrṇaṁ navadvīpaṁ, bhaja gauram kṛpā-nidhim; yadi vṛndāvane ramye, śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-sannidhau. dāsatvaṁ durlabhaṁ loke, bhakti-sāraṁ yam icchasi.
“If You desire the most rarest of all kinds of devotional service and essence of all bhakti – the direct service of Shri Shri Radha Krishna in beautiful Vrindavan, then go at once to Navadvipa (of which Ekachakra is a part) and worship Lords Nitai Gaura, Who are infinite oceans of mercy.” (NDM-PK 2.41)
Why Nitai Along With Gaura?
You may ask me that Lord Hari only mentions Lord Gaura’s name in the above verses. Why was Nitai’s and Ekachakra’s names added in the translations? Gaura means Nitai and Nitai means Gaura. They Both are the self-same Avataris according to Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita (sakala sambhava tante, yate avatari). So Srila Prabhupada does specifically mention the Names of Both, not just Gaura, in his purport to Cc 1.8.31 as quoted above.
According to Ananta Samhita, Vayu Purana, Chaitanya Bhagavata, etc., it was Gaura Himself who brought Nitai to this world and requested Nitai to be more merciful than Him by indiscriminately and unconditionally awarding Vraja rasa to everyone without qualification.
tomāra se prema-bhakti, tumi prema-maya; vinā tumi dile kāro, bhakti nāhi haya.
Lord Gaura proclaimed, “Oh Nitai, You are personified Premabhakti because You are fully drenched in divine love. No one in this creation can attain Premabhakti unless You specifically give it to them (vinā tumi dile).” (Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.5.100)
je bhakti gopikā-gaṇera kahe bhāgavate, nityānanda haite tāhā pāila jagate.
“The pure devotional service of the Gopis glorified in the Shrimad Bhagavatam is awarded to all the people of this world indiscrimonately only by Lord Nitai (nityānanda haite).” (Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.5.303)
gopi-gaṇe vyakta je sakala anurāga, ingite se saba bhāva nityānanda raya, dilena sakala priya gaṇere kripāya.
“All the loving mellows (anurāga) of the Gopis for Lord Krishna were freely granted to everyone (dilena sakala) only by Lord Nitai and His associates.” (Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata 3.5.419)“
radhika-mantra-do – “Lord Nitai is Giver of the Mantra of Radhika.” (Shrila Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya in Lord Nitai’s 108 Names)
śrī nityānanda prabhu rādhārāṇira anujā-rupe mādhurya rasera pośaṇa korena
“Shri Nitai directly nourishes madhurya rasa (mādhurya rasera pośaṇa korena) by becoming Ananga Manjari, Shri Radha’s (rādhārāṇira) younger sister (anujā-rupe).” (Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.12.26)
Just like to attain the association of the Gopis, Gaura’s mercy is compulsorily required; in the same way to truly attain Gaura’s favor, the mercy of Nitai is mandatory. There is no other way, as confirmed by Shrila Jiva Goswami prayers in Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya (NDM), Parikrama Khanda as follows:
tomār karuṇā vinā, gaura nāhi pāya; śata janma bhaje jadi, gaurāṅga hiyāya.
“Even if a devotee worships Gauranga whole-heartedly for more than a hundreds births (śata janma bhaje), without Your mercy Nitai, he or she will never attain Him for all eternity (gaura nāhi pāya).” (NDM-PAK 4.34)
gaura daṇḍa kara yadi, tumi rakshā kara; tumi jāre daṇḍa kara, gaura tāra para.
“If Gaura punishes and rejects a devotee, only You (Nitai) still accept and protect that soul (tumi rakshā kara) and somehow still engage him or her in nothing less than Gaura Krishna’s direct service. But Nitai, if You would ever punish a soul, that soul shall become forever estranged from Gaura Krishna for all eternity.” (NDM-PAK 4.35)
Confusing the Shadow with the Real Substance
Let us get back to the topic at hand. One may have some attraction and taste and even some realizations in the remembrance or hearing of the Vraja pastimes of Radha Krishna and the manjaris in the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. But certainly those realizations are just a shadow of the real attraction, which normally takes millions of kalpas for us to attain especially with pure devotion. This is according to Lord Hari Himself in the above verses (NDM-PRK 2.36).
So a really intelligent devotee should take this do-or-die advice of Lord Hari Himself and thus fully focus on and remember the Names and Pastimes of Nitai Gaura, even while chanting and singing the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.
An intelligent devotee will never confuse his or her shadow (abhasa) experiences in the remembrance of Shri Shri Shri Gaura Radha Krishna with the real thing. One will clearly understand that even though there is some genuine attraction to remembering Gaura Radha Krishna in the heart and even if some visions or glimpses are there, it may still take million of kalpas for that attraction to reach its true fruition due to our endless offenses and due to the stringent qualifications required by Gaura Radha Krishna.
This truth is also the reason why Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura has categorically warned us – heno nitāi bine bhāi, rādhā krishna pāite nāi – No one can ever truly attain (Gaura) Radha Krishna without fully surrendering to Nitai one-pointedly.
All The Boons of Visiting Vraja, Hearing Radha Krishna Lila, and Chanting Harinam Are Conditional to Being Us Free from All Offenses First
An intelligent devotee should clearly understand from this above pastime that all the boons given in the scriptures about Vraja, Radha Krishna Lila, and Harinam are conditional to the fact that we have already become pure devotees and totally free from all offenses and material desires – vishaya chadiya kabe shuddha habe mana, kabe hama heribo shri vrindavana..
What Bewildered Souls Never Think About?
Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya, Parikrama Khanda 1.42-58 exposes the most closely-guarded secret of Kaliyuga in very simple yet direct words as follows:
krishna nama, krishna dhama, mahatmya apara; shastrera dvaraya jane sakala samsara. tabu ta sadharane krishna-prema nahi haya, ihara karana tumi chintaha hiyaya. ihate achaye ta eka gudha-tattva sar, maya-mugdha jiva taha na kare vichar. bahu janma krishna bhaji prema nahi haya, aparadha-punja tara achaya nischaya. shri chaitanya avatare bada vilakshana, aparadha-sattve jiva labhe prema-dhana. nitai chaitanya bali jei jiva dake, suvimala krishna-prema anveshaye take. aparadha badha tara kichu nahi kare; nirmala krishna-preme tara ankhi jhare. svalpa kale aparadha apani palaya; hrdaya sodhita haya prema bade taya.
“The glories of Krishna Nama and Krishna Dhama are infinite. The whole world knows these glories very well through the scriptures. But still why are the common people not getting pure love for Krishna? The answer to this question is the secret of all secrets which the souls in illusion will unfortunately never ask or think about ever. The only cause for not attaining Krishna-prema even after worshiping Radha Krishna for trillions of births is the mountains upon mountains of offenses accumulated in the hearts of the souls from time immemorial. Lords Nitai Gaura’s incarnations are however very unorthodox, powerful, and unparalleled. They grant Krishna-prema even when these zillions of offenses are still present in our hearts. Thus, miraculously these offenses, which are still present in our heart, cannot create any further obstacles. The topmost Krishna-prema starts searching for that soul and forcibly enters into the heart of that most fortunate soul who cries out the names of Nitai Gauranga in Kirtan. As a consequence, his or her eyes quickly start weeping with the purest tears of Krishna-prema, even with the offenses still present in our hearts. And eventually but very astonishingly in a very short time these offenses in our hearts flee far away and his or her heart becomes supremely pure as it should be, thereby increasing the intensity of his or her Krishna-prema even more.”
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Reveals The Deepest Secret
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada makes this same secret truth extremely clear in his soul-shocking Anubhashya commentary to the original 1.8.31 verse of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita. His commentary is a supremely shining confirmation of this conversation between Lord Krishna and Lord Anantadeva. In my humble opinion, this is the only commentary which all Gaudiyas need to always remember, never forget, and discuss daily for the rest of their lives till their very last breath. Because Maya makes us easily forget this secret of all secrets and tempts us daily to directly approach Radha Krishna’s Names, Pastimes and Abode so that she can keep us here for zillions of more births:
krishna-nāma aparādhera vichār karena, gaura-nityānandera nāme aparādhera vichār nai. aparādhi krishna-nāma grahana karilei kakhanei nāma-phala (krishna-prema) lābha karena nā. aparadhi thaka-kaleu gaura-nityanandera nama grahanakari nama karite karite aparadha mochanante nama-phala labha karena. ihara vichara o siddhanta ei je – gaura-nityanandera nikata krishna-vimukha sadhaka krishna unmukha haibara janya gamana karena. ara sadhanasiddha, anarthamukta, krishnaunmukera uccharya krishna-nama anarthayukta avasthaya kakhanei phala (krishna-prema) pradana kare na. gaura-nityananda anarthayukta jivera sevya-vastu haoyaya tahadera seva jivera krishnaseva apeksha adhiktara prayojaniya. sadhaka shikshara apraptite siddhabhimane krishna-namera seva karite udyata haile tahara anarthaei asiya upasthita haya. kintu nitai-gaurera bhajane siddhabhimanera chalana na rakhiya anarthayukta avasthayeo jagadguru shikshaka dvayera nikata upasthita haile tahara tahadigake anarthamukta karaiya tanhadigera svayam-rupa o svayam-prakasha svarupa uplabdhi karana. tahatei jivera svarupa-gyanera udaya haya. krishna-nama o gaura-nama – ubhayei namira sahita abhinna. krishnake gaura apeksa laghu va sankirna baliya janile, uhake avidyara karya baliya janite haibe.
prakritapakshe jivera prayojana-vichare shri gaura-nityanandera nama grahanera upayogita adhiktara.
shri gaura-nityananda udara evam audaryera abhyantare madhura. krishnera udarta kevala mukta, siddha ashritajana ganera upara. gaura-nityanandera audarya-shrote anarthayukta aparadhi jiva bhogamaya aparadhera haste haite mukta haiya gaura-krishnera pada-padma labha karena.
“It is an indisputible fact that the holy name of Krishna considers our offenses. Whereas in the holy names of Nitai Gaura there is no consideration of any offenses whatsoever. So offenders (like us) will never ever truly attain the real fruit of Nama (Krishna Prema) by directly approaching Radha Krishna’s Name, Pastimes, and Abode. Hence, as long as offenses are present in our hearts, Nitai Gaura’s Names are the only approachable and acceptible Names for us. By constantly remembering Them, our offenses end forever and so does our offensive mentality from the very root. Only at that time, we will attain the the real fruit of Krishna Nama. I will now explain the thought-process and the siddhanta behind this. The practitioner who is enviously averse to Krishna has to approach Nitai Gaura first to become favorably disposed towards Krishna. Because the Name of Krishna, which is utterable only for the sadhana-siddhas, anartha-muktas, and krishna-unmukhas, will never ever award Krishna-prema to those practitioners who are full of anarthas. Thus Nitai Gaura are the ONLY worshipable objects for the souls filled with anarthas. And hence Their service is much much more suitable, desirable, and recommended (prayojaniya) for such souls than the service of Krishna. An immature practitioner due to lack of proper guidance (shiksha) considers oneself perfect due to false ego and tries to directly indulge in the service of Krishna’s name. But one’s anarthas become so prominent at that time due to such a direct egotistic indulgence in Harinam. But if due to some stroke of extreme good fortune, if such an offensive soul gives up that false ego of thinking oneself advanced enough to indulge in Krishna’s name directly and instead surrenders to the worship of Nitai Gaura one-pointedly, then the two Jagadguru Shikshak Lords make that soul totally anartha-free and make him or her attain the direct darshana of Their Svayam Rupa (Gaura) and Svayam Prakasha (Nitai) forms. With this, the svarupa gyana or the realized knowledge of one’s constitutional position arises in the heart of that soul. Both the name of Krishna and the names of Nitai Gaura are totally non-different from the Nami Lord. Considering One of Them to be higher or lower than the Other on the absolute platform is to be considered a manifestation of gross ignorance or avidya.*
“But even then, considering the fallen position of the people of this age and the spiritual benefit awarded to them in their present condition, the remembrance of the names of Nitai Gaura is much more useful and essential than even the chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra.”
“In the beginning Lords Nitai Gaura are supremely liberal and generous (audarya). And eventually They Themselves become supremely sweet (madhurya) also. The magnanimity of Lord Krishna is ONLY showered on fully liberated (mukta) and perfected (siddha) souls sheltered under Him. Therefore, only and only by the unconditional mercy of this liberal and generous nature of Lords Nitai Gaura can the constantly offensive and anartha-yukta soul become free from the clutches of one’s envious offenses arising from sense-gratification and truly attain the lotus feet of Lord Gaura Krishna.”
Srila Prabhupada confirms the same in his own purport
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s commentary to this same verse of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-Lila 8.31 is clearly a summarized essence of his own Srila Gurudeva’s above commentary:
“A neophyte student who is not sufficiently educated or enlightened should not indulge in the worship of Shri Radha and Krishna or the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. Even if he does so, he cannot get the desired result. One should therefore chant the names of Nitai Gaura and worship Them without false prestige. In the beginning one should very regularly chant Shri Gaurasundara’s holy name and then chant the holy name of Lord Nityananda. Thus one’s heart will be cleansed of impure desires for material enjoyment. Then one can approach Vrindavana-dhama to worship Lord Krishna.”
What is Not Sahajiyaism Then?
In the Amrita Pravaha Bhashya to the Introduction of Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Adi-lila Chapter 8, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura categorily establishes:
ihAte bujhite haibe ye, nAmAparAdhIra sAttvika vikArAdi kevala chalamAtra. yini akapaTe chaitanya-nityAnandera nAma laIyA Ananda prakAza karena, prabhudvaya tAhAra hRdayake sAkSAt niraparAdha karena.
“We should factually understand this deep secret that the ecsatic symptoms manifested by an offensive chanter of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is simply a show off or a ruse to cheat others. Only for one who remembers the Names of Nitai Gaura with a simple and non-duplicitous heart and openly expresses his or her bliss due to that, the two Lords Nitai Gaura will personally make his or her heart truly free of all offenses forever.”
So please heed all these warnings and advice right now, if you don’t want to take millions upon millions of more lives to perfect your bhajana (bahu janme kare jadi, shravan kirtan.. Cc 1.8.16; koti koti varshe dhari shri krishna bhajana, tathapi namete rati na paya durjana.. NDM-PAK 10.33).
An intelligent person learns by reading or hearing and avoids these biggest pitfall of our offensive mentality. Whereas a fool jumps in even if the scriptures are expressly warning against it.
How Do We Become Qualified and How Do We Know When We Are Qualified for Harinam, Vraja, and Radha Krishna Lila?
Since the above quoted Pramana Khanda of the Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya in Sanskrit is the first part, and the Parikrama Khanda in Bengali is the second part, an even more clear answer to this question lies in the second part. This answer, which is the truths of all truths, has directly been given by Lord Nitai Himself as a reply to Shrila Jiva Goswami’s most important question of Kaliyuga. It is found in the 17th Chapter of Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya’s Parikrama Khanda. Lord Nitai replies to Srila Jiva Goswami (Vilasa Manjari) as follows:
It is impossible for an unqualified person to enter into vraja rasa
sei vṛndāvana-dhāma rasera ādhāra, se rasa nā pāya jā’ra nāhi adhikāra.
“Although Shri Vrindavan dhama is the storehouse of rasa, it is impossible for someone who is unqualified to attain it.” (17.14)
The mercy of Shri Navadvipa dhama upon the living entities
kṛpā kari’ sei dhāma navadvīpa haya, hethā rasa-adhikāra jīve upajaya.
“Therefore, that very Shri Vrindavan dhama bestows qualification upon the living entities to taste rasa by manifesting as Navadvipa and Ekachakra.” (17.15)
rādhā-kṛṣṇa-līlā haya sarvarasa-sāra, sahasā tāhāte nāhi haya adhikāra.
“Shri Radha Krishna’s pastimes are the essence of all rasas and, therefore, no one can quickly attain qualification to enter Them.” (17.16)
Aparadha is the Biggest Obstacle in achieving Vraja rasa
jei sei braje giyā nāhi pāya rasa, aparādha-vaśe rasa haya ta’ virasa.
“Anyone and everyone will never obtain that rasa simply by going to Vraja. Because of one’s offenses, rasa becomes bitter (virasa) there.” (17.19)
ghora kalikāle aparādha sarva kāla, jīvera jīvana svalpa baḍai jañjāla.
“In this terrible Kaliyuga, the living entities are always engulfed by offenses. Furthermore, their life lasts for a few days only and is filled with many kinds of troubles.” (17.20)
Even if one is desiring it, it is impossible to obtain Vraja rasa by simply going to Vraja, worshiping Radha Krishna, or by chanting Harinam
icchā karileo braja-rasa labha naya, ataeva kṛṣṇa-kṛpā rasa hetu haya.
“It is impossible to truly obtain vraja-rasa even if one wants it or already relishes it in some way. Therefore, causeless mercy is the sole cause of obtaining it.” (17.21)
The actual method of attaining qualification for Vraja rasa
hethā vāsa kari’ nāma karile āśraya, rase adhikāra janme, aparādha kṣaya.
“By taking shelter of remembering the holy name while specifically residing (physically or mentally) anywhere in Shri Gauda Mandala, qualification for Vraja rasa appears and all kinds of offenses are removed.” (17.25)
svalpa dine kṛṣṇa-prema haya ta’ ujjvala, yugala-rasera vārttā haya ta’ prabala.
“Within a few days (svalpa dine) of Nitai Gaura Nam Bhajan in Navadvipa or Ekachakra, Shri Krishna prema will resplendently manifest within the sadhaka’s heart and a strong genuine longing to understand the loving mellows (rasa) of the Names and Pastimes of Shri Shri Radha Krishna will awaken there along with the proper qualification to truly see Them.” (17.26)
tabe jīva gaura-kṛpā kariyā arjana, yugala-rasera pīṭha pāya vṛndāvana.“
Only in this way, by obtaining the mercy of Shri Nitai Gaurahari first, the living entity attains Shri Vrindavan, the abode of Yugala Radha Krishna’s pastimes.” (17.27)
In order to obtain vraja-rasa, the sadhaka’s prime duty is to accept shelter of Navadvipa or Ekachakra
braja-rasa-adhikāre navadvīpāśraya, jīvera karttavya sadā vallabha-tanaya.
“Therefore, O son of Vallabha, the first and only duty of a human being is to obtain qualification for vraja-rasa by taking full shelter of Nitai Gaura and Navadvipa or Ekachakra dhama.” (17.31)
By the mercy of Shri Navadvipa-dhama one will easily attain Vraja
navadvīpa-kṛpā jabe labhe sādhu-jana, tabe anāyāse labhe dhāma vṛndāvana.
“When any devotee obtains the mercy of Navadvipa or Ekachakra dhama, he or she spontaneously, automatically, and effortlessly attains Shri Vrindavan dhama.” (17.33)
In all holy places except for Gauda Mandala, an offensive person is inevitably punished
anyānya tīrthera kathā rākha bhāi dūre, aparādhī daitya daṇḍa pāya brajapure.
“What to speak of other holy places, even in Vraja-dhama the offensive souls are punished.” (1.56)
The True Glories of Navadvipa or Ekachakra Vasa
e gauḍa-maṇḍale jā’ra vāsa nirantara, baḍa bhāgyavān sei saṁsāra-bhitara.
“Those who eternally reside in Gauda Mandala are the most fortunate souls in this material world.” (2.23)
deva-gaṇe svarge thāki’ dekhe sei jane, chaturbhuja śyāma-kānti apūrva gaṭhane.
“When the demigods in svarga or heaven see people living in Gauda Mandala, they perceive them all as having four arms, darkish complexions, and an astonishingly beautiful body with good stature and strength.” (2.24)
ṣola-krośa-navadvīpa-dhāma-vāsī jata, gaura-kānti, sadā nāma-saṅkīrtane rata.
“All the inhabitants of this thirty-two mile (sixteen krosas) area of Shri Navadvipa Mandala have a golden (gaura) complexion, and they are always absorbed in Nama Sankirtana.” (2.25)
Shri Brahma’s glorification of the residents of Navadvipa
brahmā-ādi deva-gaṇe antarīkṣa haite, navadvīpa-vāsi-gaṇe pūje nānā-mate.
“Even Brahma and other demigods from the celestial realm worship the inhabitants of Navadvipa or Ekachakra in various ways.” (2.26)
brahmā bale,—“kabe mora hena bhāgya ha’be, navadvīpe tṛṇa-kalevara pāba jabe. śrī-gaura-caraṇa-sevā kare jata jana, tā-sabāra pada-reṇu labhiba takhana.
“Lord Brahma prays, ‘When will I be fortunate enough to take birth even as a blade of grass in Navadvipa or Ekachakra? If someone asks why I should desire such a birth even though I am Brahma, I will answer, ‘O brother, in this way I will obtain the foot-dust of all the devotees engaged in the service of Nitai Gaura’s divine lotus feet. This would be impossible otherwise.’” (2.27-28)
And What if One is Not Able to Reside in Gauda Mandala?
navadvīpe śata-śata aparādha kari’, anāyāse nitāi-kṛpāya jāya tari’.
“Even if one commits hundreds upon hundreds of offenses (śata-śata aparādha) in Shri Navadvipa, he or she is still completely delivered by the all-forgiving mercy of Nitai (and Ekachakra).” (1.57)
Nitai is the only Lord in the whole creation who quickly awards His causeless and unconditional mercy to anyone anywhere in the world, without considering his or her qualification.
Our offenses are also further compounded by that fact that all of us cannot go and live in Navadvipa or Ekachakra, as expressly advised by Lord Hari here. In that case, I would suggest mental residence in Ekachakra or Navadvipa from wherever one is situated as it is even more powerful than physical residence.
Humbly thinking oneself as unqualified to physically reside in the Dham creates an intense longing, feeling of separation, and Dham-sambandha in one’s heart due to one’s humility of feeling unqualified for Dhama-vasa (as described by Sri Nitai to Jiva in NDM’s last chapter), which in turn results in the topmost Manasika Dhama-vasa from wherever we live.
In our unqualified state, there is a big risk of developing the subtle pride that I am living in the Dhama and others are not. And then there is a problem of familiarity breeding contempt, i.e. taking the Dhama for granted because we stay there. Due to this, we constantly start committing Dhama and Namaparadha, which may lead to more harm to our souls than benefit. In such a situation, our Dhama-vasa is actually on Maya’s layer over the Dhama not in the Dhama itself (NDM: dhamera upare paya pati jala).
So in this age of extreme pollution of air, water, food, company, thought, word, deed, etc.; one can just live in a place where one’s physical health remains the best free from all these extremes and where there are not too many mundane entanglements. This will make sure that repeated bodily ailments and responsibilities do not create distractions to your constant mental remembrance and residence in the Nitya Ekachakra or Navadvipa Dhamas through the offenseless practices of Nama Smarana, Shravana, and Kirtana. This is the way to truly enter both the Dhamas and all Lilas after death. At the time of death, your soul will go wherever your mind is not where your physically body is (yam yam vapi smaran bhavam…)
Just like we see the Lord by hearing, we can also create the topmost Ekachakra and Navadvipa Dhama sanskaras by hearing with rapt attention about the beauty of Dhama, from wherever we are. Nowadays we see so many unworthy things with our eyes constantly. So those direct visual impressions of the Dhama which we get by physically visiting them don’t remain for very long in our minds and hearts. Because in Kaliyuga our memory is very very short. And also because externally the Dhamas and everyone who physically stays there presently may no longer be like they are in the Nityalila at all. So it becomes even more easier to commit Dhama-aparadha.
Thus these visual impressions of the Dhamas are quickly replaced by other mundane visual impressions. Additionally, we commit Dhama-aparadhas when we are physically in the Dhama even for a short time. But mental residence in the Dhama is so pure that we can’t commit any such offenses. I am expressing these truths after getting so many visual impressions of all the Dhamas from my decades of direct experience of doing hundreds of Dhama Parikramas and after physically residing in the Dhamas for many decades. Just like like Prabhu Darshana is attained by hearing, so the real Manasika Dhama-vasa is also attained by hearing too, from wherever we are.