Have we ever given any exam or even heard of it where the examinee is given the question and its answer beforehand lest he should not fail. Not just he is given the answer to the complex questions but even the solution is made so simple that the examinee does not have to undergo any mental or physical stress. Not just he is saved from the pain but even the process of preparation is made joyful. And to further compound the comfort of the student the examiner personally comes to teach him and even sends qualified tutors for personal guidance. Lest we start feeling that we are day dreaming of a utopian world we should take a ride on a time machine and travel around 500 years back to 1486 to Mayapur – the year when Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared on the earthly plane.
Then the whole society was mired in materialism. Confused about their goal of life almost all of them had either engrossed themselves in materialistic life forgetting religious principles or were using religion as a means to further their materialistic motives. That the purpose of life is to develop love of God they had almost forgotten. But soon the scene changed with the advent of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. People started giving up their materialistic desires and were just driven with a desire to develop pure love of God.
Life is preparation and death is final examination and we all have to compulsorily give that exam. All of us are aware about the inevitable death but many of us do not know the ultimate goal of human life and how to attain that goal. To remove the ignorance of all spiritually illiterate examinees he gave us the list of questions for which we should be bothered: Who am I? Who is God? What is my relationship with God? What is my ultimate destination? He informed us that we are deathless spirit souls, parts and parcel of Supreme God, Krishna, currently confined in a temporary material body and the only purpose of our life is to revive our relationship with Krishna and return back to his abode where there is no death and no suffering.
He not just educated us about the final destination but he freely distributed to all the elixir of Hare Krishna Mahamantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare – which is the best medicine for entire humanity in this age of Kali Yuga, the age of downfall. “…..although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha – mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51.) Scripture explains that people in Kali yuga are slow – minded, dull – witted, do not have inclination for spiritual life and so they suffer a lot. To salvage such forlorn souls Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who according to the Vedic literatures is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, came. “The Supreme Personality, Janardana, who is the object of the yogis’ meditation, who saves the devotees from various sufferings & who is the master of all yogic practices, who is always full of divine transcendental ecstasy & bliss, will advent in His own divine form of Sri Caitanya”-Padma Purana.
In spite of being the Supreme God, he played the role of a devotee teaching all with his personal example to chant with reverence, with deep love and without any ulterior motive.
Lord Caitanya, the supreme examiner, the supreme saviour, came here to jog our conscience reminding us that being humans we should live like humans and should not lead a whimsical life like an animal who just bother about sleep, sex, security and sustenance. Providing solutions to all our problems he gave us a simple solution for salvation i.e. to chant the names of Krishna with sincerity and assured us of a ticket to return back to the spiritual world. Why to chant? Because chanting cleanses the heart of all material impurities and liberates us from the vicious cycle of birth and death. Just like a father who holds the finger of his child teaching him how to walk he too chanted, sang and danced with the devotees showcasing how to practically perform devotion. He told all to chant sincerely, sing melodiously, dance rhythmically and take prasad (sanctified vegetarian food) profusely.
For material success one needs to put in hard labour. And hard work accompanied with uncertainty always breeds insecurity. However the process of devotion taught to us by Lord Caitanya is so simple, so sublime, so sweet and so joyful that while treading the path of devotion there is no negative emotion. When we chant the holy names of Krishna on beads then each bead becomes a stepping stone to reach Krishna. In fact it is the rarest and an extremely extraordinary and unparalleled gift given to us by Lord Caitanya.
Let us abide by his guidelines and get out of this world to be with him. In that spiritual world we will not be bound by our mortal covering. There death does not exist and bliss never ceases to exist.
Aug 06, 2022
Brahmatirtha das Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies