Dhanurdhara Swami April 10th, 2004
Lessons From The CC: Antya-lila Ch. 9
Lesson 1: In the midst of danger, one should fearlessly take shelter of the holy name.
Gopinatha Pattanayaka was arrested and sentenced to death for a misappropriation of the King?s taxes. His brother Vaninatha was also subsequently arrested. When Sri Caitanya inquired about what Vaninatha was doing after his arrest, he received the following reply:
?The messenger replied, ?He was fearlessly, incessantly chanting the maha-mantra?Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.?? (Cc. Antya 9.56)
Lesson 2: One should not unnecessarily bring their social problems to a person who has dedicated himself to chanting and distributing the holy name of Krishna.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?s reaction after being asked, on four separate occasions, to intercede on behalf of his pure devotee, Gopinatha Pattanakaya, who was arrested and sentenced to be executed:
??I cannot stay here any longer,? the Lord said. ?I shall go to Alalanatha. There are too many disturbances here, and I cannot get any rest.?? (Cc. Antya 9.60)
??As a beggar sannyasi, a mendicant, I wish to live alone in a solitary place, but these people come to tell Me about their unhappiness and disturb Me.?? (Cc. Antya 9.64)
Lesson 3: If a devotee purposefully commits the same offense again and again, they should not necessarily expect protection from God.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?s comment after hearing the good news that Gopinatha Pattanakaya was saved from execution by the fervent prayers of the devotees to Lord Jagannatha:
?Jagannatha has saved him once from death today, but if tomorrow he again does not pay what he owes the treasury, who will give him protection??? (Cc. Antya 9.65)
Lesson 4: One should not approach the Lord with mundane demands.
Seeing that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is disturbed by the incessant demand of His devotees to intercede on behalf of Gopinatha Pattanayaka, even though he broke the law, Kasi Misra assures Him that His pure devotees approach without personal motive only for His satisfaction.
?Kasi Misra continued, ?If one engages in devotional service for Your satisfaction, this will result in his increasingly awakening his dormant love for You. But if one engages in Your devotional service for material purposes, he should be considered a number-one fool.?? (Cc. Antya 9.69)
Lesson 5: Although it is not proper for a devotee to ask the Lord for his own personal happiness and distress, one can pray to the Lord to protect His surrendered souls.
A surrendered soul does not approach the Lord for material things.
?It is not Gopinatha who sent all those men so that You would release him from his plight. Rather, his friends and servants, seeing his distressed condition, informed You because they all knew that Gopinatha is a soul surrendered unto You.? (Cc. Antya 9.74)
Lessons From The CC: Antya-lila Ch. 10
Lesson 1: One should seek the association of pure devotees at all costs, even at the risk of defying the order of the Lord or His devotees.
?Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had ordered Lord Nityananda to stay in Bengal, but nevertheless, because of ecstatic love, Lord Nityananda also went to see Him. Indeed, it is a symptom of real affection that one breaks the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not caring for the regulative principles, to associate with Him. During the rasa dance, Krishna asked all the gopis to return home, but they neglected His order and stayed there for His association. If one carries out Krishna?s order, Krishna is certainly pleased, but if one sometimes breaks His order due to ecstatic love, that gives Him millions of times greater happiness.? (Cc. Antya 10.5-8)
The highest love is executed out of pure affection, not obligation or duty. Therefore, it cannot be checked by stricture or rules. If one is not on the level of spontaneous love, however, one should strictly guide his devotion by guru, sadhu, and sastra.
Lesson 2: The ultimate value of everything, even delicious foodstuff, lies in the love with which it is offered.
Raghava Pandita was famous for bringing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bags of delectable foodstuffs cooked by his sister Damayanti. Out of affection, he also prepared very bitter preparations for medicinal use, fearing that the Lord would overeat and get indigestion. Krishna dasa Kaviraja thus instructs the reader that the ultimate value lies in love and not simply material objects:
?Do not neglect sukuta because it is a bitter preparation. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu derived more happiness from eating this sukuta than from drinking pancamrta [a preparation of milk, sugar, ghee, honey, and yogurt]. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He extracts the purpose from everything. He accepted Damayanti?s affection for Him, and therefore He derived great pleasure even from the dried bitter leaves of sukuta and from kasandi [a sour condiment].? (Cc. Antya 10.17-18)
?A dear lover strung a garland and placed it on the shoulder of his beloved in the presence of her co-wives. She had raised breasts and was very beautiful, yet although the garland was tainted with mud, she did not reject it, for its value lay not in material things but in love.? (Cc. Antya 10.21)
Lesson 3: Impelled by love, a Vaisnava does his service with great care and attention.
Krishna dasa Kaviraja describes the care in which Damayanti packed the eatables for the Lord:
?She then wrapped and sealed each and every bag with great attention. The bags were carried by three bearers, one after another.? (Cc. Antya 10.38)
Lesson 4: One should offer observable affection upon meeting one?s loved ones.
The mutual exchange between the Lord and his devotees upon their arrival in Puri from Bengal:
?All the devotees immediately fell at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and the Lord lifted and embraced every one of them.? (Cc. Antya 10.45)
Lesson 5: For the service of the Lord or His devotees, one can even risk transgressing standard Vaisnava etiquette. For one?s personal service, a risk of committing even the slightest offense should be avoided.
After a vigorous kirtana and a sumptuous meal, an exhausted Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu collapsed in front of the door to his room. In order to massage the Lord properly, His servant Govinda had to step over Mahaprabhu?s body?normally a grievous offense to one?s guru. He did not, however, cross back over the Lord?s body to take the meal that was lying outside the room for him. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked him why this was so, Govinda replied, ?I would not mind committing hundreds and thousands of offenses for the service of the Lord, but I greatly fear committing even a glimpse of an offense for my own self.? (Cc. Antya 10.96)
Lesson 6: One should not eat more than required. Otherwise, the mind will be disturbed.
?Because of Sivananda Sena?s glories, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ate all kinds of prasadam to honor his request. However, the Lord ate more than necessary, and therefore His mind was dissatisfied.? (Cc. Antya 10.147)
Lesson 7: One should cook according to the desire and needs of one?s guests.
?The next day, Caitanya dasa, the son of Sivananda Sena, extended an invitation to the Lord. He could understand the Lord?s mind, however, and therefore he arranged for a different kind of food. He offered yogurt, limes, ginger, soft bada, and salt. Seeing all these arrangements, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very pleased.? (Cc. Antya 10.148-49)
By the grace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Caitanya dasa understood the Lord?s mind. Therefore he arranged for food that would counteract the heavy meal the Lord had eaten the previous day?