Striking Humility

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj illuminates the humility taught by Śrīman Mahāprabhu.

Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmīpād composed this verse about Śrīman Mahāprabhu:

namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te
kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 19.53)
[“I eternally offer my obeisance unto You, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya, the supremely merciful, golden form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the giver of Kṛṣṇa-prema.”]

One who distributes Kṛṣṇa-prema is really mahā-vadānya [supremely merciful]. It is very rare to get Kṛṣṇa-prema, and without the mercy of the devotees, it is not possible to get it. Real devotees of Kṛṣṇa always feel, “I am not a devotee. Actually, I am aspiring to be a devotee.” That is their nature. They know what is what; they know what real devotion is. A fully surrendered soul who always depends upon Kṛṣṇa’s will is very rare. A devotee always tries to dedicate himself to Kṛṣṇa’s service. Mahāprabhu and His dear associate Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī have shown what devotion really is.

Before Mahāprabhu went to Gayā Dhām and received dīkṣā from Īśvara Purī, He showed Himself as great paṇḍit. He debated with other paṇḍits, and everyone respected Mahāprabhu as ‘vādi-siṁha’. The society of paṇḍits in Nabadwīp gave Mahāprabhu this title, which means, ‘the lion of debaters’. But after taking the dīkṣā mantram, Mahāprabhu showed His real form as a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. He constantly cried, chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra, and felt separation from Kṛṣṇa.

kāhā̐ mora prāṇa-nātha muralī-vadana
kāhā̐ karo̐ kāhā̐ pāṅ vrajendra-nandana
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 2.15)
[“Where is the Lord of My heart? Where is that Flute Player? What shall I do? Where will I find Vrajendra Nandan?]

After hearing of Mahāprabhu’s transformation, Śrīla Śrīvas Paṇḍit was stunned, “We always thought Nimāi Paṇḍit would become a devotee in the future, but now that it has happened in front of us, we cannot imagine it!”

Previously everyone was afraid of Nimāi Paṇḍit. He was a great paṇḍit, and the entire society of paṇḍits was very disturbed by His logic and power in debate. When Nimāi Paṇḍit assumed the form of a devotee, Śrīvās Paṇḍit said,

gotra bāḍāuna kṛṣṇa āmā’-sabākāra
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavata: Madhya-khaṇḍa, 1.73)

Kṛṣṇa very merciful to us: He has given us the great Nimāi Paṇḍit as our friend. Our society is very poor. A few of us chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra and discuss Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Everyone insults and taunts us. But now that Nimāi Paṇḍit has become a member of our society, we can defeat all disturbing elements.”

Śrīvas Paṇḍit first commented in this way. Other devotees also who came every day to collect flowers at Śuklambar Brahmāchārī’s house were also very happy to hear about Nimāi Paṇḍit. What form did Mahāprabhu show? That of  humility and tolerance. I have told this many times. Only this is our mantram actually.

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