At Sri Chatak Parvat and
Sri Tota Gopinath Temple

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Puri Dham, parikrama day one
14 July 2015

 

[His Divine Grace is speaking at the bhajan-kutir of Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur on the first day of Sri Jagannath Dham parikrama in 2015.]

There are three kinds of chanting and three kinds of results that it produces. If you chant in your mind, it is one result; if you chant aloud, it produces another result; and if you dance, clap your hands, and chant, that produces another result. When you chant in your mind, it is called japa; when you chant out loud it is called sankirtan; and if you chant loudly and dance, that is called maha-sankirtan.

Insects, birds, trees, plants, animals—they all cannot chant the Holy Name, but if you chant aloud, they can hear something. That is why Haridas Thakur always chanted out loud.

One day, however, Govinda (Mahaprabhu's servant) came to him and saw that Haridas Thakur was hardly moving his lips and no sound was coming from his mouth—he could not chant... Govinda said to him, "Prabhu, your prasad has come!" Haridas Thakur answered,

"Today, I have to break the rule..."

"What rule?" asked Govinda.

"You have brought me prasad, but how am I to take it? I have not yet completed my rounds. I chant three lakhs Names every day, and when I finish the three lakhs, then prasad comes. You have come today at the usual time, but I have not finished my chanting... At the same time, you have come with prasad and I cannot refuse from it, I must take it...."

So, Haridas Thakur took some prasad in his hand and put it in his mouth, then he told Govinda to go. Govinda went back and told Mahaprabhu, "There is some not good news about Haridas Thakur, he did not seem to be quite in a good health today..." When Mahaprabhu heard this, He went to Haridas Thakur.

"Haridas, what has happened to you?" Mahaprabhu asked him.

(What would we say? We would go, "Oh, my health is bad," or, "Oh, I have a fever, I have a cough," and so on, would not we? But Haridas Thakur said,)

"Prabhu, asustha nay mora sarira, asustha hoya mora mana (অসুস্থ নয় মোর শরীর, অসুস্থ হয় মোর মন): it is my mind that is sick today, Prabhu. I have not completed my chanting..."

(What beautiful words!)

"But you are an elderly Vaishnav," said Mahaprabhu, "You are the topmost jewel! You are Namacharya Haridas! What are you saying? You say you have not finished your rounds, but now you have become old, you can chant a little less. What need is there for you to chant so much?"

Haridas Thakur shook his head and did not argue. He then said, "Prabhu, there is something I would like to ask You for... I have never once asked You for anything before, but today I would like to humbly ask You for something. I am a mlechha, but You gave me the plate of brahmins, you have given me so much honour... I have seen so many of Your pastimes from Your birth, but I am thinking that You will not stay for many more days in this world, so my only one wish, Prabhu, is—please let me go before You. Otherwise You will go before me, and I do not want to see this kind of lila! Please give me Your mercy, give me Your blessings, Your permission—let me go before You. I want to see Your holy face with these eyes, to chant Your Name with my mouth, and keep Your lotus feet on my chest... Let me go like this, with Your Name on my lips..."

"What are you saying, Haridas?... The Lord will fulfil your desire, but—"

Haridas Thakur quickly clasped Mahaprabhu's feet and said, "Please, do not say anything! I am clasping Your feet and begging you, please do not say any 'but's! I am just an ant, and if an ant like me dies, what is the loss for You?"

"All right, I will come tomorrow..." said Mahaprabhu and left.

He came back the next day and asked, "Haridas, what is the news?" Haridas Thakur answered, "As You wish, Prabhu..."

Then Mahaprabhu asked the devotees to start kirtan and do parikrama around the bed of Haridas Thakur. Haridas Thakur was lying down, and when the kirtan began, he quickly pulled Mahaprabhu down and seated him next to himself. He put His feet on his chest and kept saying, "Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya..." As soon as he said it three times, the soul left the body chanting this Name...

Mahaprabhu took the body of Haridas Thakur in His arms and carried him to the ocean. (The place at the ocean where we went to, is the actual place where Mahaprabhu made Haridas Thakur's samadhi. Later, the house where we went to and so many other things appeared.) Mahaprabhu himself dug a hole and put the sand...

When the samadhi was finished, Mahaprabhu went back to the Jagannath temple. He came to the Ananda Bazaar and, holding His uttariya in front of Him, He begged the shopkeepers for prasad. He would go shop to shop, saying, "My Haridas has left today, and I am making a festival today. Please give Me what you can." All shopkeepers gave so much prasad, and Mahaprabhu Himself distributed it to everyone.

This is how Mahaprabhu made a festival in honour of Haridas Thakur...

 

...And now we have come here. This is the bhajan kutir of the Guru of our Gurudev's Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. He is the founder of our Gaudiya Math and of Chaitanya Math in Mayapur. During his life he stayed in Nabadwip, and his birthplace is here in Puri, in a place called Narayana-chhata. We will go there when we will go past the Jagannath temple to the Gundicha temple—we will offer our obeisance there and speak some Hari-katha.

 

And where are we going now? We are going to Tota Gopinath, it is nearby. We will offer our obeisances there and after that go back to the temple.

Tota Gopinath means "Garden" Gopinath—"tota" means "a garden" in Odia (Orissan). One day, Mahaprabhu was walking with Gadadhar Pandit in a garden. He said to him, "Gadadhar, I am going to give you a grand gift today! I am going to give you something wonderful!" Gadadhar Pandit became excited, "Give, Prabhu!" Suddenly, Mahaprabhu began to dig some sand in the garden they were walking in, and He found there a Deity! He said to Gadadhar, "This is My present for you!"

You have probably heard that there are different stories as to where Mahaprabhu disappeared. There are these two different versions, and both of them are correct: some say He disappeared in the Jagannath temple, some say He disappeared in this temple of Tota Gopinath (in the thigh of Gopinath Deity there was some blood, this is how it was understood that Mahaprabhu entered Gopinath).

Gadadhar Pandit served this Deity of Gopinath every day, but one day he said to Gopinath, "Prabhu, I have become extremely old, I cannot do Your service any more... I cannot put a garland on Your neck, I cannot dress You, I cannot do anything properly. I have become useless, Prabhu..." Hearing this—for His devotee's service—the Lord sat down! It is "loving search for the lost servant"! On the next day, when Gadadhar Pandit came to do the arati he saw that Gopinath was sitting!

We will go there now and you can see yourself that the Deity is actually kneeling.

All right, let's go, shall we?

[Chatak Parvat means "sand dune", it is a hilly place where Mahaprabhu once ran madly, taking it for Govardhan Hill.]

 


 

[His Divine Grace is speaking in the temple of Sri Tota Gopinath:]

You know, one day Gadadhar Pandit thought, "I want to see how much Mahaprabhu loves me. I will make some sak (spinach) and not invite Him. Let's see if He comes or not." So, he cooked some sak and invited Nityananda Prabhu and all the devotees, but he did not invite Mahaprabhu.

Mahaprabhu came there and said, "What, Gosai? You are cooking nice sak and not inviting Me? You are trying to cheat Me, do not do this!" Then He sat and took prasad. Gadadhar Pandit read Bhagavatam, and Mahaprabhu listened.

Mahaprabhu gave ksetra-sannyas to Gadadhar Pandit—He told him, "You must stay here and serve this Deity." Gadadhar Pandit was the incarnation of Radharani, and Tota Gopinath was his worshippable Deity.

One day, Gadadhar Pandit came to Mahaprabhu and said, "You must give me initiation." Mahaprabhu replied, "Your Guru is coming from Bangladesh, wait for him." That Guru was a grihastha, he wore fancy clothes, chewed pan and spat it out all the time, but Mahaprabhu liked him and called him "baba (father)." It was Pundarik Vidyanidhi, who is actually an incarnation of Raja Vrisabhanu, Radharani's father in Kali-yuga. So, Gadadhar Pandit saw that Mahaprabhu called him "father," but he would spit pan out all the time, and he thought, "What kind of man is this?!" So, Mahaprabhu said to him, "To atone for your offence, you must now take initiation from him! Here is your Guru!" And Gadadhar Pandit took initiation from Pundarik Vidyanidhi.

One day Mahaprabhu was going out and He noticed that Gadadhar Pandit was walking behind Him. He asked him,

"Where do you think you are going? Are you going with Me? You probably just want to stay at different houses and get nice food, do you not? Do you have no service? You have your service—go serve Gopinath!"

"Prabhu, I am not going with You, I am going to see Ai (Sachi Mata). I can go, can I not?"

"No, you cannot. You have your service!" answered Mahaprabhu.

"Prabhu! I can get the result of doing millions of services to Gopinath just by once seeing Your lotus feet."

(HARI BOL! HARI BOL! [devotees cheer])

"Keep quiet!" Mahaprabhu said quickly, and Gadadhar Pandit could not say a word more.

Then, a boat came, Mahaprabhu got in and went away. Gadadhar Pandit fainted. Such was his love to Mahaprabhu.

As I said earlier, this Deity you see here is the Garden Gopinath—Mahaprabhu dug Him out of the sand of this garden, and they say that Mahaprabhu disappeared by entering this very Gopinath...

Jay Tota Gopinath ki jay!

 

 

 

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The Devotee and the Barber
How do you know there is no God? You never went to God. You never go to Krishna's devotee, you never go to Krishna's temple. Go and then you can understand whether Krishna exists or not..

 

Samsara-davanala
'I offer my obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru, who is always satisfied by satisfying the Lord's devotees with the four types of tasteful Bhagavat-prasad.'
শ্রীগুর্ব্বষ্টকম্

Do not follow your mind. What I am saying, you have to follow that.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"