Withdrawal of Srila Haridas Thakur
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Today is a very good, fortunate day for us—today is Haridas Thakur's niryan day (day of withdrawing). On this day Mahaprabhu gave a great festival for Haridas Thakur; on this day Haridas Thakur left this world. Actually, Haridas Thakur is always with us—he did not leave this world, only his body left...
Haridas Thakur always thinks about Mahaprabhu. He never went to the Jagannath temple, but every day Mahaprabhu came to see him. Mahaprabhu would first go to the Jagannath temple, come to Haridas Thakur's bhajan kutir, and then go to the sea for bathing. That is His daily routine.
Haridas Thakur always chanted loudly. When you chant softly, without so much sound, the result is not the same as when you chant loudly—when you chant loudly there is more result, and when you chant and dance there is even more result. So, Haridas Thakur chanted loudly because many birds, cats, dogs, trees, and so on, cannot chant, but they can hear some vibration, so he thought that through hearing the chanting they would be rescued, they would be benefitted.
Every day, Haridas Thakur chanted three lakhs (300,000) Names, and without finishing his chanting he did not take prasadam. Every day prasadam would come from the Jagannath temple, and after Mahaprabhu took it, Govinda (Mahaprabhu's servitor) would take the remnants, whatever was left on Mahaprabhu's plate, to Haridas Thakur.
One day Govinda came to Haridas Thakur with the prasadam, but he heard that Haridas Thakur was chanting very softly. He said, "Prabhu, I have brought prasadam..." Haridas Thakur thought, "Today I could not finish chanting on my beads, my 300,000 Names, how can I take prasadam? At the same time, Mahaprabhu has sent His prasadam, so how can I reject it?" He had promised that without finishing chanting on his beads, he would not take prasadam, but because Mahaprabhu had sent His prasadam, he could not reject it. He took a little, one or two pinches, and told Govinda to go back...
When Govinda came back, he told Mahaprabhu what had happened, thinking that maybe Haridas Thakur had some problem, or maybe he was sick...
When Mahaprabhu came to him later, He asked him, "Haridas, what is your disease?" Haridas Thakur replied, "অসুস্থ নয় মোর শরীর, অসুস্থ হয় মোর মন, asustha naya mora sarira, asustha haya mora mana." It means, "My health is all right, my body is not sick, only my mind is sick." (Our mind is always ill, always disturbs us—our problem is that we always follow our mind.)
Mahaprabhu was surprised to hear it. Then, Haridas Thakur prayed to Mahaprabhu,
"Prabhu, I want to ask You for one thing... I am begging You for one thing. Please, will You grant it to me?
"What do you want to ask? Tell Me first..."
"Prabhu, I have seen so many of Your Pastimes"—by age, Haridas Thakur is elder than Mahaprabhu (at that time Mahaprabhu is about forty-eight or forty-seven years old and Haridas Thakur is an old man)—"You have shown me how You were born, how You played as a child, how You grew up. You have shown me all Your Pastimes, but there is one more lila left that I do not want to see... I think You will not stay much longer, but I do not want to see You leave before me—my eyes will not be able to bear that kind of Pastime. Please, give me permission to go before You. I beg you, I want to leave my body before You."
"Yes, Haridas, you are a devotee of Krishna, and when a devotee of the Lord asks Krishna for anything, He always fulfils their desire, but..."
As soon as Haridas Thakur heard, "But...", he fell at Mahaprabhu's lotus feet and begged Him, "Prabhu, please do not say anything further!" He reached up to cover the Lord's mouth with his hand: "Please do not say anything, Prabhu. Do not give me any maya, do not create any attachment!"
With tears in his eyes, Haridas Thakur begged, "Prabhu, I want to go before You. Please give Your permission. Please allow me to do that. Please grant me this one wish. Before I die, I want to see Your body, Your face, with my eyes; I want to keep Your lotus feet on my chest, in my heart; and with my mouth, I will chant Your name, 'Sri Krishna Chaitanya! Sri Krishna Chaitanya!' This is my wish, my last desire... Please, Prabhu, allow me to leave before You. I am begging You."
"Krishna will fulfil your desire, but how can I leave you? You know why I have come here—you are Namacharya Haridas. I have performed all My Pastimes with you, so how will I continue My lila without you?"
"Prabhu, do not worry. I am less than ant, worse than an insect, so what is the problem if I die? So many persons, so many associates, followers will come to You, do not worry."
Mahaprabhu left, and when He came on the next day, He asked Haridas Thakur, "What is the news today?" Haridas Thakur replied, "As you wish, Prabhu..."
Mahaprabhu ordered the devotees to make a parikrama around Haridas Thakur with sankirtan. Haridas was lying down, and Mahaprabhu and all the devotees were circumambulating him and chanting. Then he caught Mahaprabhu's hand and seated Him down. Taking Mahaprabhu's legs on his chest, looking at Mahaprabhu, crying, Haridas Thakur chanted three times, "Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya," and with the Holy Name on his lips his pran, his life, was gone... This is a transcendental life...
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