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Lord Caitanya's Rescue Mission

By: for ISKCON News on Jan. 30, 2014
Opinion
Photo Credits: bbt.org

Lord Caitanya treats everyone with love and respect.

Like the monsoon cloud, He is full of hope and happiness. And like the monsoon rain, He distributes ‘happiness’ freely to all without bothering about friends and foes because He is everyone’s friend. He had come to this world for an important rescue operation. The mission was to cure the diseased souls of material impurities and take them back to their original home, the spiritual world. Lord Chaitanya, an epitome of love, best remembered as most benevolent incarnation of God, appeared in Mayapur, India around 500 years ago.

On a rescue mission

Here in this world, if due to any calamity people get trapped in an inhabitable terrain then government sends rescue team to bring back the survivors. Lord Chaitanya also came on a save-all mission and to reclaim the suffering souls.  However Lord Chaitanya’s task was bit difficult. The survivors of any disaster welcome the rescue team with an open arm and willingly go back with them.  But Lord Chaitanya had to deal here with those who were suffering from spiritual amnesia; in fact the lost souls were not even ready to acknowledge that they were mired in miseries and hence refused any medication. It’s not that the Supreme Lord do not have the power to drag the conditioned souls back to the spiritual world. But Lord has given free will to all to either live with Him in the spiritual kingdom or come to this material world to live independently.  He never interferes with our freedom of choice but constantly reminds us that happiness will elude us in this material world.  In this world, a soul slowly forgets His relationship with the Lord and suffers terribly.

The condition deteriorates in Kaliyuga because amongst all the four ages – Satya yuga, Treta yuga, Dwapar yuga and Kali yuga – Kali yuga is the most dangerous age. It is in this age that vice overshadows virtue, irreligion becomes so prominent that genuine spiritualists get sidelined, hedonistic culture flourish and people mostly look for carnal pleasure. People are so ignorant and arrogant that they negate the existence of God and start giving stiff competition to animals in lifestyle that it becomes difficult to distinguish between humans and animals. Sense control, sex control and self control becomes herculean task for all. People hardly endeavour to inquire about the purpose of their existence and don’t have intelligence to differentiate between matter and spirit.  There condition is akin to a goat that stands in queue in an abattoir for getting slaughtered but continues munching the tasty green grass thinking that the bloodstained butcher’s chopper will be merciful to him.

Chanting is the best medicine

If a disease is severe then an expert doctor is required for treatment. In Kaliyuga, since the pitiable condition of the soul got aggravated so to treat them Lord Chaitanya, the expert physician, personally came. Considering the precarious conditions of the current period, He introduced a very simple yet extremely effective medicine for treatment. The medicine is chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.  In Siksastaka Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explicates the glories of this great mantra, "'Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Krishna expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.” Chanting can be done by anyone and everyone, anywhere and everywhere, one can chant loudly or slowly or in the mind, either individually or in congregation, if done with sincerity it will always have the same impact.  Srila Prabhupada recommended that to purify the consciousness one should at least chant 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra daily on beads; a single round contains 108 beads. Chanting should not be done silently but it should be loud enough so that the chanter is able to hear the sound. Chanting is so glories that it not just purifies the practitioner but also those who hear the transcendental sound.

Vedic books declare Lord Chaitanya the Supreme God

Since Lord Chaitanya hid his identity so most people are not aware that He is actually the Supreme God. However if we turn the pages of Vedic literatures then we would be pleasantly surprised that it contains plethora of information which proves beyond doubt that Lord Chaitanya was in fact the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Few of them I have mentioned below:

  • Mahabharata’s Visnu – sahasra – nama – stotra explains:suvarna varna hemango varangas candanangadi / sannyasa krt-chamah santo nistha shanti parayanah. In His early pastimes He (Lord Chaitanya) appears as a householder with a golden complexion. His limbs are beautiful, and His body, smeared with the pulp of sandalwood, seems like molten gold. In His later pastimes He accepts the sannyasa order, and He is equipoised and peaceful. He is the highest abode of peace and devotion, for He silences the impersonalist non-devotees.
  • In the Adi-Purana and in the Narada Purana, the Supreme Lord says: aham eva dvija-srestho / nityam pracchanna-vigrahah / bhagavad-bhakta-rupena / lokam raksami sarvada"I shall advent in the form of a Brahmana devotee [aham eva dvija-srestho] and I shall hide my factual identity [prachanna vigrahah]. I shall deliver all the worlds [lokam raksami sarvada]."
  • In the Padma-Purana it is mentioned: "The Supreme Personality, Janardana, who is the object of the yogis' meditation, who saves the devotees from various sufferings, and who is the master of all yogic practices, who is always full of divine transcendental ecstasy and bliss, will advent in His own divine form of Sri Chaitanya."
  • In the Garuda Purana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself states: "I will take birth as the son of Sachi, in Navadvip - Mayapur. I will come in my complete spiritual form in the first part of Kali- Yuga."
  • In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Kṛṣṇa. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions:- Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32

Srila Prabhupada endeavored hard to spread the mission and message of Lord Chaitanya all over the world.  It is because of his monumental efforts that today we know that to save our life we need to take shelter of Lord Gauranga. He desired to make Mayapur, the birth place of Lord Chaitanya, as the spiritual capital of the world.  The land has tremendous spiritual potency; its each speck of dust is laden with Lord Chaitanya’s love.  As per Srila Prabhupada’s wish, ISKCON is coming up with a magnificent temple named as “Temple of Vedic Planetarium” in Mayapur, India. This will be one of the largest Vedic temples of the world and is poised to become one of the most important Vedic centers playing a very significant role in spreading the message of Lord Gauranaga in every nook and corner of the world. 

Spiritual wings to fly back to spiritual homes

Many religious traditions of the world in order to attract people advertise that by following their path people’s material desires will materialize which will pave way for a happy and fulfilling life. Being the Supreme Lord, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never misguided the populace and never gave any false hope to the seekers.   

He candidly explained that no one can achieve any peace and bliss in this world because this is a place of suffering – dukhalayam asaswatam (Gita 8.15) – and no amount of material aggrandizement can reduce our miseries. The only way to get rid of all troubles and attain unlimited happiness is when we endeavour to re-establish our relationship with Lord Krishna and return back to the spiritual world. In Siksastakam, which is the only literary work left by Lord Chaitanya, He describes the essence of all spiritual knowledge and the way to achieve pure love of God. If we abide by the instructions of Lord Chaitanya and sincerely chant the holy names of Krishna then we will soon develop spiritual wings to fly back blissfully to our spiritual homes.  

Lord Chaitanya came for us because He was very concerned about us, let us express our gratitude towards Him by eschewing all material desires and conscientiously use our body, mind and words in serving, remembering and glorifying Him.

In Navadvipa Dham Mahatmaya, Bhaktivinod Thakura, a great Vaisnava saint, extols Lord Chaitanya, “Because people in Kali-yuga commit unlimited offenses, which are difficult to check, there can be no means of deliverance other than Gauranga's name. Therefore, in Kali-yuga, I see no alternative to Sri Gauranga.”

Purushottam Kumar is a member of congregation at ISKCON Kolkata. He works in Tech Mahindra, Kolkata as Associate Solution Designer.

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[ avatara ] [ gauranga ] [ lord-caitanya ]
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