Archive for July, 2005

Lessons from the CC | Antya-lila Chapter 6 Texts 38-50

July 14th, 2005

The Glories of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Part IV

Lesson 38: A Vaisnava is quite satisfied to be the servant of the servant of the spiritual master and the Supreme Lord.

“Raghunatha dasa never even spoke a word before the Lord. Instead, he informed the Lord of his desires through Svarupa Damodar Goswami and Govinda.” Antya-lila 6.230

Lesson 39: Although a Vaisnava is humble and will gladly, if necessary, takes his main instructions from others, even from advanced god-siblings, it is not wrong to want to hear directly from spiritual master, as one’s strongest faith usually rests there.

Although on the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha dasa accepted instructions from Svarupa Damodara Goswami, and thus did not place his questions directly before the Lord, still on one occasion he did:

“The next day, Svarupa Damodara Goswami submitted to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ‘Raghunatha dasa has this to say at Your lotus feet. I do not know my duty or the goal of life. Therefore please personally give me instructions from your transcendental mouth.'” Anyta-lila 6.232

Lesson 40: A sannyasi’s devotional practices and their renunciation should be exemplary

Sri Caitanya answers Raghunatha’s inquiry about his duty:

“‘Do not talk like people in general or hear what they have to say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer respects to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krishna in Vrindavana.” Antya-lila 6.236-237

Lesson 41: To get taste for chanting one must be humble.

After instructing Raghunatha dasa about the duties of sannyasa, He gives him one final instruction:

“‘One who thinks himself Lower than grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.'” Antya-lila 6.239

Lesson 42: If one pleases the devotees, one’s heart becomes fertile for the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

When the devotees from Bengal returned from Puri, Raghunatha dasa’s father asks about the welfare of his son. Sivananda Sen informs him through his servant that Raghunatha dasa is renowned for his devotion and strict sannyasa, and that he is indeed the life of all the devotees. Srila Krishna das Kaviraja notes that a similar description of Raghunatha is found in the Sri Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka of Kavi-karnapura.

“Because he is very pleasing to all the devotees, Raghunatha dasa Goswami easily became like the fertile earth of good fortune in which it was suitable for the seed by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to be sown. At the same time that the seed was sown, it grew into a matchless tree of the love of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and produced fruit.” Antya-lila 6.264 [Sri Caitanya-cadrodaya-nataka (10.4)]

Lesson 43: If one collects money from materialist people even for the service of the Lord, there is certainly a danger of contamination. As a result one may use that money for the enhancement of one’s reputation in the guise of devotional service.

Raghunatha dasa used money sent by his father to feed Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Vaisnavas, but then suddenly stopped inviting the devotees fearing that it would be contaminating and not pleasing to the Lord.

“‘My consciousness is impure because I accept all these goods from people who are interested only in pounds, shillings, and pence. Therefore by this kind of invitation I get only some material reputation.'” Antya-lila 6.275

Comment: In his commentary on this verse, Srila Prabhupada explains that this verse is a warning to not accept the invitations of materialistic people who only invite Vaisnavas to their home to increase their reputation. Not only do such programs not give the host the benefit of serving the devotees, but it potentially contaminates the honored Vaisnavas attending as well. Srila Prabhupada explains, however, that “If one engages for the service of the Lord whatever one has honestly earned, that is spiritual service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas.”

Lesson 44: One engaged in serious spiritual practices has to be careful in accepting food cooked by the materially attached. It will adversely affect one’s consciousness.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu hears that Raghunatha das Goswami has stopped inviting the devotees for prasadam as it was sponsored by materialistic people He is very pleased and explains why:

“When one eats food offered by a materialistic man, one’s mind becomes contaminated, and when the mind is contaminated, one is unable to think of Krishna properly.” Antya-lila 6.278

“When one accepts an invitation from a person contaminated by the material mode of passion, the person who offers food and the person who accepts it are both mentally contaminated.” Antya-lila 6.279

Lesson 45: A Vaisnava should be neutral in his dealings.

When Govinda informs Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu the reason why Raghunatha dasa is no longer begging at the Simha-dvara, the Lord inquires about this from Svarupa Damodar:

“Svarupa Damodar replied, ‘Raghunatha dasa felt unhappy standing at the Simha-dvara. Therefore he is now going at midday to beg alms from the charity booth.’ Hearing this news, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘He has done very well by no longer standing at the Simha-dvara gate. Such begging of arms resembles a prostitute.'” Antya-lila 6.283-284

Comment: A Vaisnava’s dealings with others should be on the basis of serving them, not materially benefit from others, otherwise their neutrality is compromised. Sri Caitanya thus aptly describes begging as resembling prostitution which also fosters partiality in relationships based only on money.

Lesson 46: A qualified Vaisnava may worship a Govardhana Sila as the transcendental form of the Lord.

“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Raghunatha dasa, ‘This stone is the transcendental form of Lord Krishna. Worship the stone with great eagerness.'” Antya-lila 6.294

Lesson 47: Proper Deity worship must be done in the mode of goodness.

“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, ‘Worship the stones in the mode of goodness like a perfect brahmana , for by such worship you will surely attain ecstatic love of Krsna without delay.'” Antya-lila 6.295

Comment: Passion means attachment, doing things for some result. Worship, however, must be done out of love, not for some result. Worship, or devotional activities, must therefore be done as much as possible in the mode of goodness, without attachment.

Lesson 48: Success in spiritual life is based on the rigid execution of the order of the Spiritual Master.

“Raghunatha dasa spent more than twenty-two hours out of every twenty-four chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra and remembering the lotus feet of the Lord. He ate and slept for less than an hour and a half and on some days that was also impossible.” Antya-lila 6.310

“Topics concerning his renunciation are wonderful. Throughout his life he never allowed his tongue sense gratification.” Antya-lila 6.311

Comment: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Raghuanatha dasa to be an exemplar of Vaisnava sannyasa. He thus took that as his service. His example is thus of the strict adherence to the order of the spiritual master more than the example of performing tapasya. This is described by Kaviraja Goswami in later verses when he describes Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s reaction when he heard that Raghunatha was eating only the inner portion of decomposed rice:

“He never touched anything to wear except a small torn cloth and a patchwork wrapper. Thus he rigidly executed the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” Antya-lila 6.312

Lesson 49: A devotee is humble and naturally magnifies his own faults.

Kavairja Goswami describes Raghunatha dasa Goswami’s self reproach in eating even the simple food distributed from the charity booth.

“If one’s heart has been cleansed by perfect knowledge and one has understood Krishna, The Supreme Brahman, he then gains everything. Why should a person act like a debauchee by trying to maintain his material body very carefully?” Anty- lila 6.314

Comment: Natural humility is not a psychological aberration akin to a lack of self esteem, for a devotee values their position of humble servant and feels self worth in being in relation to God.

Lesson 50: There is nothing the Lord enjoys more than the love of his devotees.

Raghunatha dasa had renounced even begging at the charity booths. He was just eating Jagannatha prasadam that had been thrown before the cows at the simha-dvara gate by the Puri shopkeepers after decomposing.

“Sri Caitanya Mahprabhu said, ‘Of course everyday I eat varieties of prasadam, but I have never tasted such nice prasadam as that which Raghunatha was eating.'” Antya-lila 6.324

Comment: The decomposed prasadam that Raghunatha dasa was eating represented the height of Raghunatha dasa Goswami’s renunciation for the pleasure of Sri Caitanya. As it represented Raghunatha’s faith and love in Sri Caitanya, it was naturally very delectable for Him.

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Lessons from the CC | Antya-lila Chapter 6 Texts 25-37

July 11th, 2005

The Glories of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Part III

Lesson 25: One should take shelter of a spiritual guide who knows the science of Krishna regardless of their birth.

“Yadunandana Acarya was the priest and spiritual master of Raghunatha dasa. Although born in a brahmana family he had accepted the mercy of Vasudeva Datta.” Antya-lila 6.161

Comment: Vasudeva Datta was not born in a brahmana family.

Lesson 26: Upon seeing the spiritual master one should immediately offer his prostrated obeisances.

“When Yadunandana Acarya entered the house of Raghunatha dasa and stood in the courtyard, Raghunatha dasa went there and fell down to offer his obeisances.” Antya-lila 6.164

Lesson 27: The ultimate order of a Vaisnava guru is to seek full shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If one makes a decision with that intent and their decision also practically serves that purpose, one is following the wishes of their teacher, even if that decision entails superseding another of their instructions.

On his spiritual master’s order, Raghunatha dasa accompanies him to request his guru’s pujari to resume his services. On the way, Raghunatha requests his spiritual master to return home and assures him that his order will be carried out, but instead immediately leaves to join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Puri.

“‘You may go home without anxiety. Following your order, I shall persuade the brahmana.’ On this plea, after taking permission, Raghunatha decided to go away.” Antya-lila 6:169

Comment: Only an advanced soul can make a decision in direct contradiction to the order of their teacher by seeing a higher intention of the spiritual master within that decision. The main principle in spiritual life is to strictly follow the order of the spiritual master.

Lesson 28: By focusing intensely on attaining the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one becomes detached and transcends dualities.

After leaving his home to join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri, Raghunatha dasa took the jungle path. The ardor of his journey is described:

“Not caring about eating, he traveled all day. Hunger was not an impediment, for his mind was concentrated upon obtaining the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”

Lesson 28: To overcome seemingly insurmountable material attachments, one should seek the mercy of the Supreme Lord.

When Raghunatha dasa arrives in Puri after his long and difficult journey, he approaches Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for shelter. In response, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu marvels at the power of Lord Krishna’s mercy.

“Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘The mercy of Lord Krishna is stronger than anything else. Therefore the Lord has delivered you from the ditch of materialistic life, which is like a hole into which people pass stool.'” Antya-lila 6.193

Lesson 29: A Vaisnava first understands Krishna in the mercy they receive from advanced Vaisnavas:

Upon hearing Lord Caitanya’s expressions of appreciation for how the mercy of Sri Krishna has delivered him from materialistic life, Raghunatha dasa responds:

“Raghunatha dasa answered within his mind, ‘I do not know who Krishna is. I simply know that Your mercy, O my Lord, has saved me from family life.'” Antya-lila 6.194

Lesson 30: One may take the liberty to joke with other Vaisnavas only when one has an intimate relationship with them.

Before speaking very strongly against Hiranya and Govardhana Majumdara (the father and uncle of Raghunatha dasa Goswami) for being materially attached, Sri Caitanya qualifies that criticism.

“Since your father and elder brother are young brothers of Nilambara Cakravrti, I may joke about them in this way.” Antya-lila 6.196

Comment: Nilambara Cakravarti is the grandfather of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu so his relationship was naturally also intimate with Hiranya and Govardhana Majumdara who were very close to his grandfather.

Lesson 31: Although one may practice devotional service, worship the Deity and give charity to the brahmanas, one is not a pure Vaisnava unless one is determined to give up material enjoyment.

“Although your father and uncle are charitable to brahmanas, they are nevertheless not pure Vaisnavas. However, they are almost like Vaisnavas.” Antya-lila 6.198

Comment: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu calls them “almost Vaisnvas” because they were materially attached.

Lesson 32: One should express gratitude to the Lord, especially when one is delivered from materialistic life.

In his instructions to Raghunatha dasa, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu glorifies Lord Krishna for delivering him from materialistic life.

“By His own free will, Lord Krishna has delivered you from such a condemned materialistic life. Therefore the glories of Lord Krishna’s causeless mercy cannot be expressed.” Antya-lila 6.200

Lesson 33: One who takes great pains in traveling to attain the darshan of the Lord or His devotees pleases them and invokes their mercy

“Seeing Raghunatha dasa skinny and dirty because of having traveled for twelve days and fasted, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His heart melting due to causeless mercy, spoke to Svarupa Damodar.” Antya-lila 6.201

Lesson 34: One should take special care of pilgrims who have undergone hardship to visit the Dhama.

Appreciating the difficulty that Raghunatha dasa has undergone to visit him, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructs Govinda:

“On the way, Raghunatha dasa has fasted and undergone hardship for many days. Therefore, take good care of him for some days so that he may eat to his satisfaction.” Antya-lila 6.207

Lesson 35: A Vaisnava becomes pleased when another is the object of the Lord’s special mercy.

“Having seen the causeless mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu upon Raghunatha dasa, all the devotees, struck with wonder, praised his good fortune.” Antya-lila 6.210

Lesson 36: The Lord becomes very pleased with one who renounces sense gratification to engage fully in the service of the Lord.

“Renunciation is the basic principle sustaining the lives of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s devotees. Seeing this renunciation, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is extremely satisfied.” Antya-lila 6.207

Lesson 37: A sannyasi must not make extraneous endeavor for their own maintenance, nor depend on others for that purpose, for it will compromise his spirit of detachment and distract him from his main duty-chanting the holy name.

After hearing that Raghunatha dasa is just begging alms for his sustenance, Sri Caitanya becomes pleased and expresses his approval.

“When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard this he was greatly satisfied. ‘Raghunatha dasa has done well,’ He said. ‘He has acted suitable for a person in the renounced order. A person in the renounced order should always chant the holy name of the Lord. He should beg some alms to eat, and he should sustain his life in this way. A vairagi [a person in the renounced order] should not depend on others. If he does so, he will be unsuccessful, and he will neglected by Krishna.'” Antya-lila 6.222-225

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Lessons from the CC | Antya-lila Chapter 6 Texts 13-24

July 7th, 2005

The Glories of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Part II

Lesson 13: A devotee is especially happy to honor and distribute the remnants of prasadam directly from the plate of the Lord or His devotee.

“After receiving the remnants of food left by Lord Nityananda Prabhu, Raghunatha dasa, who was greatly happy, ate some and distributed the rest among his own associates.” Antya-lila 6.99

Lesson 14: Activities done in pure love are incomparably sweet.

“The dancing of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, like the dancing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, cannot be compared to anything within the three worlds” Antya-lila 6.104

“No one can properly describe the sweetness of Lord Nityananda’s dancing. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally comes to see it.” Antya-lila 6.106

Comment: In the next text Lord Nityananda’s dancing is called “nrtyera madhuri”, dancing that is incomparably sweet with love of God.

Lesson 15: Nicely cooked food should not only be tasty, but pleasing to look at and also fragrant.

The cooking of Raghava Pandit was so perfect that the devotees considered that Srimati Radharani personally came to his house to prepare it. It is thus described in superlative terms:

“Aromatic and pleasing to see, the food was the essence of all sweetness. Thus the two brothers, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda, ate it with great satisfaction.” Antya-lila 6.117

Comment: The cooking of Raghava Pandit is described as su-gandhi, very fragrant and sundara, very beautiful. According to ayurveda, digestion begins first with the eyes, what we see, and then with nose, what we smell.

Lesson 16: To honor guests one may offer them garlands and sandalwood paste after prasadam.

“After eating, the two brothers washed Their hands and mouths. Then Raghava Pandita brought flower garlands and sandalwood pulp to decorate Them.” Antya-lila 6.120

Lesson 17: One should honor maha prasadam with utmost respect for it has great spiritual potency.

After the two Lords finished eating lunch, Raghava Pandit encourages Raghunatha dasa to take Their remnants.

He said, “Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has eaten this food. If you take His remnants, you will be released from the bondage of your family.” Antya lila 6.123

Lesson 18: By serving the Deity with pure devotion, one will certainly realize the Lord’s personal presence in one’s home.

After Raghava Pandit cooked for His Deity, he would make a separate offering for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It was done with such devotion that Sri Caitanya would visibly appear to accept those offerings. Krishna dasa Kaviraja comments on this phenomenon:

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead always resides either in the heart or home of the devotee. This fact is sometimes manifest, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is fully independent.” Antya-lila 6.124

Lesson 19: Petitioning the Lord’s mercy should be done with sincere humility.

Raghunatha Das submits his appeal for shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord through Raghava Pandit:

“I am the lowest of men, the most sinful, fallen and condemned. Nevertheless, I desire to attain the shelter at the lotus feet.” Antya-lila 6.128

Lesson 20: One should not just depend on one’s own effort to overcome the insurmountable obstacles in one’s spiritual path, but one should also petition the mercy of Sri Nityananda Prabhu.

Raghunatha dasa appeals to Sri Nityananda Prabhu for the shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

“No one can attain the shelter of Sri Caitanya Maharprabhu without Your mercy, but if you are merciful, even the lowest of men can attain shelter at His lotus feet. Although I am unfit and greatly afraid to submit this plea, I nevertheless request You, Sir, to be especially merciful toward me by granting shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya. Placing Your feet on my head, give me the benediction that I may achieve shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu without difficulty. I pray for this benediction.” Antya-lila 6.131-132

Lesson 21: One can only become indifferent to temporary material happiness by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who bestows the greater happiness of Krishna consciousness.

When Lord Nityananda heard Raghunatha Das’s humble entreaty for shelter at the Lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he praised Raghunatha’s indifference to sense gratification and asked the devotees to benedict him.

“Because of the mercy bestowed upon him by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha dasa, although situated in such material happiness, does not like it at all. Therefore let everyone of you be merciful toward him and give him the benediction that he may very soon attain the shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” Antya-lila 6.135

Comment: The above verse also teaches another important lesson: To help those who desire the shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we may petition the blessings of the Vaisnavas on their behalf.

Lesson 22: Obstacles in spiritual life can best be removed by serving the Vaisnavas.

To relieve Raghunatha dasa’s anxiety about the apparently insurmountable obstacles to his attainment of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s shelter, Lord Nityananda informs him:

“‘My dear Raghunatha dasa,’ He said, ‘since you arranged the feast on the bank of the Ganges, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came here just to show His mercy.'” Antya-lila 6.139

“‘Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Gaurahari, came here personally to deliver you. Now rest assured that all impediments meant for your bondage are gone.'” Antya-lila 6.141

Lesson 23: One should offer daksina (a donation) for the care and worship of the pure Vaisnavas as an expression of our gratitude to them.

Raghunatha dasa offers Raghava Pandit money to be distributed to Lord Nityananda and his assistants in appreciation for Lord’s Nityananda’s mercy upon him.

“‘I want to give money,’ he said, ‘just to worship the lotus feet of all great devotees, servants and subservants of Lord Nityananda.'” Antya-lila 6.150

Lesson 24: A responsible devotee keeps good accounts.

“Raghunatha dasa drew up an account of the amount to be given and submitted it to Raghava Pandita, who then made up a list showing how much money was to be paid to each and every devotee.” Antya-lila 6.152

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Lessons from the CC | Antya-lila Chapter 6 Texts 1-12

July 4th, 2005

The Glories of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Part I

Lesson 1: To perfect spiritual life one must become detached from family life.

In the introductory verse to the chapter, Srila Krishna dasa Kaviraja gives a strong warning about the danger of becoming overly attached to family life.

?With the ropes of His causeless mercy, Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu employed a trick to deliver Raghunatha dasa Gsowami from the blind well of contemptible family life. He made Raghunatha dasa Goswami one of His personal associates, placing him under the charge of Svarupa Damodar Goswami. I offer my obeisances unto Him.? Antya-lila 6.1

Comment: In this verse entanglement in family life is described as ?ku-grha?, contemptible and ?andha kupat?, a blind well. Entanglement in family life is condemned for its tendency to foster the illusion that our relationships in this world, based on bodily identification, is our eternal identity. Although the story of Raghunatha dasa will make this point strongly, it is not just condemning the grhastha ashram, which invokes detachment when properly followed, but the tendency in any ashram to not move forward in spiritual life due to material attachment when a higher level of commitment is beckoning.

Lesson 2: A devotee absorbed in Krishna consciousness is especially sensitive to the feelings of others.

?Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu felt pangs of separation from Krishna, He didn?t manifest His feelings externally, for he feared the unhappiness of His devotees.? Antya-lila 6.4

Lesson 3: An aspirant for sannyasa should be tested before leaving household life.

Raghunatha dasa goes to see the Lord at Santipur with the desire to leave his family. He is instructed, however, by Sri Caitanya to return home.

?Instead of becoming a so called renunciant, Raghunatha dasa, following the instructions of the Lord, returned home and played exactly like a pounds-and shillings man.? Antya-lila 6.14

Comment: Many people seek a life of renunciation without proper qualification and for the wrong reason. Sri Caitanya thus instructs Raghunatha dasa to return home to test his resolve for renunciation.

Lesson 4: True detachment is not just remaining aloof from sense objects, but indifference to them.

?Ragaunatha dasa was inwardly completely renounced, even in family life, but he did not express his renunciation externally. Instead, he acted like an ordinary businessman. Seeing this, his father and mother were satisfied.? Antya-lila 6.14-15

Lesson 5: One should not take sannyasa simply because of material frustration.

While at home Raghunatha dasa demonstrated his competence in material affairs by using his diplomatic skills to resolve his uncle?s serious legal problems. Srila Krishna dasa Kaviraja comments on Raghunatha?s expertise affirming that his eventual renunciation of the world was not due to incompetence and frustration.

?In this way Raghunatha dasa passed one year exactly like a first class business manager, but the next year he again decided to leave home.? Anty- lila 6.35

Lesson 5: The highest renunciation is based on mature devotion invoked by the mercy of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Almost daily, Raghunatha dasa would run away from home only for his father to bring him back. In frustration his mother suggests binding him with ropes. His father replied:

?Raghunatha dasa, our son, has opulences like Indra, the heavenly King, and his wife is as beautiful as an angel. Yet all this could not tie down his mind.? Antya-lila 6.39

?How then could we keep this boy home by binding him with rope? It is not possible even for one?s father to nullify the reactions of one?s past activities.? Antya-lila 6.40

?Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has fully bestowed His mercy on him. Who can keep home such a madman of Caitanyacandra?? Antya-lila 6.41

Lesson 6: One should humbly enter the assembly of an exalted Vaisnava.

As Raghunatha dasa shyly enters the assembly of Lord Nityananda, his arrival is called to the Lord?s attention.

?Raghunatha dasa offered his obeisances by falling prostrate at a distant place, and the servant of Nityananda Prabhu pointed out, ?There is Raghunatha dasa, offering you obeisances.?? Antya-lila 6.47

Comment: Falling prostrate at a distant place is a symptom of natural humility.

Lesson 7: When intimate love is expressed indirectly it increases the expression of that love.

Lord Nityananda responds to the announcement of Raghunatha dasa?s arrival.

?Hearing this, Lord Nityananda Prabhu said, ?You are thief, now you have come here. Today I shall punish you!?? Antya-lila 6.47

Comment: Just as a candle in a dark room loses its brilliance when it is opened to the outside light, the demonstration of intimate love loses force when directly expressed. The strongest expression of love is thus indirect. As an articulation of deep affection for Raghunatha dasa, Lord Nityananda therefore called him a thief, a distant person, when he is actually accepting him as a close associate. He announces that he will punish him, when he is bestowing upon him the highest reward, the service of the Vaisnavas.

Lesson 8: Senior vaisnavas and those socially prominent should be seated in front and served first during prasadam.

?On that platform, all the most important associates of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, as well as other important men, sat down in a circle around the Lord.? Antya-lila 6.60

Comment: The word for the most important associates ?prabhura nija gane? means ?the most intimate associates of the Lord?, and the word for important men is ?bada bada loka? literally ?big, big people?.

Lesson 9: Although prasadam is ideally honored quietly, one may also enthusiastically call the Lords Holy Names.

?Lord Nityananda Prabhu ordered, ?All of you eat, chanting the holy name of Hari.? Immediately the holy names ?Hari, Hari? resounded filling the entire universe?. Antya-lila 6.86

Lesson 10: While honoring prasadam one can also meditate on Krishna and Balarama eating with the cowherd boys.

?When all the Vaisnavas were chanting the holy names ?Hari, Hari? and eating, they remembered how Krishna and Balaram ate with Their companions the cowherd boys on the bank of the Yamuna.? Antya-lila 6.87

Lesson 11: To invoke the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we must appeal to the mercy of Lord Nityananda by serving the Vaisanvas.

During the cida-dadhi mahotsava, where all the vaisnava?s were so excellently served, Lord Nityananda, in meditation, called Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Krishna Das Kaviraja thus comments:

?Who can understand the influence and mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu? He is so powerful that He induced Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to come eat chipped rice on the bank of the Ganges.? Antya-lila 6.89

Lesson 12: A devotee is very eager to distribute prasadam

The author describes the enthusiasm of Raghunatha dasa to distribute the Lord?s prasadam:

?As they came, bringing all kinds of food, Raghunatha dasa purchased it all. He gave them the price for their goods and later fed them the very same food. Anyone who came to see how these funny things were going on was also fed chipped rice, yogurt and bananas.? Antya-lila 6.92-93

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