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Namacharya Srila Haridas Thakur (2)

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Disappearance day of Srila Haridas Thakur
12 September 2019, Kolkata, part 2


Actually, this was every day routine: when prasadam came from Jagannath temple, Govinda would serve it to Mahaprabhu, and every evening, when Mahaprabhu entered His room (Gambhira) and went to bed and Svarup Damodar, Ray Ramananda returned to their own places, Govinda would take that prasadam to siddha-bakul for Srila Haridas Thakur. That was the routine every day. By that time, Haridas Thakur would have finished his chanting three lakhs of Harinam.

One day, however—it was the day before yesterday—Govinda brought the remnants of Mahaprabhu's prasadam and told Haridas Thakur, "Prabhu, please take the prasad!" but at that time Haridas Thakur was lying down in bed. It had never happened before—he would be always seen walking and chanting loudly, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!" He would chant loudly mainly for preaching to others because then others who cannot talk, like birds, trees, etc., can hear some Krishna Nam. But that day Haridas Thakur was lying down in bed and chanting very slowly, slowly, only his lips were moving. When Govinda told him, "Prabhu, please take prasadam; the prasadam is here," Haridas Thakur replied, "Aji karimu langhan (আজি করিমু লঙ্ঘন). Today I will break the rule. Every day, I finish my chanting of the three lakhs (300,000) Holy Names, and then take prasadam, but today I could not finish it. Still, you have brought prasadam, Mahaprabhu has sent it, so how can I reject it? I cannot finish Harinam, neither can I reject this prasadam." So, Haridas Thakur took one ranchi (a little, a drop) and Govinda left. When Govinda came back, he told the news to Mahaprabhu, "Prabhu, Haridas's health is not good."

When Mahaprabhu got that message, He immediately (the next morning) came to Haridas Thakur. Mahaprabhu asked him, "What has happened? What is your disease?" Haridas Thakur replied, "My disease is that I could not finish my rounds of Harinam." Mahaprabhu told him, "You have become old now, and your body is transcendental (siddha)—why is it necessary for you to practise so much? You are not only very old now, but you are Namacharya—why is it necessary for you to chant three lakhs every day? You can chant less rounds now."

Before that, when Mahaprabhu first asked, "What is the problem?" Haridas Thakur said, "Asustha naya mora sarira, asustha haya mora mana (অসুস্থ নয় মোর শরীর, অসুস্থ হয় মোর মন). My body is not sick, it is my mind that is sick." It is necessary to understand this.

We have recently got a message that some devotee felt sick, so he said, "I will go to live in another temple!" Let alone scriptures, there is a saying among common people even that goes, "নদীর এপার কহে ছাড়িয়া নিশ্বাস, ওপারেতে সর্বসুখ আমার বিশ্বাস [a Bengali proverb, synonymous to English 'the grass is always greener on the other side']. Say, you are standing on the bank of a river and you cannot even see the other side because the river is very wide and the bank is very far, but you think, "I guess that other side is better, I must go there!" You do not see what is going on on that other side, so you do not know that the other side is even worse than the side where you are standing! We are also like this. Our mind sometimes tells us, "Maybe this life is not good, maybe this other life is good—maybe the householder life is good!" And then we take a wife, after a while we realise this wife is not good, we get another wife, and some time later we get a third wife, and so on. We think another wife will be better, but it instead only gets worse and worse! This happened in my previous family also.

My uncle (my father's elder brother) was married four times, and it is very rare for a Hindu person to marry four times. When he got married for the first time, his wife has a diarrhoea and died. She left him three small children—who will take care of them? If he got married, another woman could kill those children. So, he got married to the sister of his dead wife (at least she was a relative, so she would take care of the children), and she also gave birth to three children. That was wife number two. She died when another baby was coming, when she was pregnant. Then comes wife number three. My father and everybody else had told him not to get married again, two were sufficient, but he again for married to some woman from the neighbourhood. Then there was another problem. I was about thirteen-fourteen years old at that time. She committed suicide—she hung herself from a tamarind tree. When people saw her hanging from the tree with her tongue sticking out (like Mother Kali, but only she was a pretty girl), everybody became afraid and ran away, but I was strong and did not get scared (perhaps, I thought that she could be still alive)—I climbed on the tree and cut the rope with some scissor used for cutting rice. She was dead. Actually, I had seen that my uncle beat his wife many times... Then he got married fourth time, and this time that woman was very dangerous—this time she used to beat her husband (my uncle)! She was a very strong and young girl and my uncle was old at that time, so she could beat him. That woman is still alive, she has only one son.

Anyhow, Srila Haridas Thakur told to Mahaprabhu, "My body is not sick, my mind is sick. Asustha haya mora mana, asustha naya mora sarira." Then he said,

"Prabhu, I have one request..."

Mahaprabhu asked, "What is it? Tell me."

"Prabhu, I am thinking You have shown me all Your pastimes—I have seen Your marriage, Your householder life, Your childhood life, I have seen Your preaching during later years. You have shown me everything, but I do not want to see You leave us before me. I cannot bear to see that. That is why, I want to go before You. Please, allow this."

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "Yes, Krishna always fulfils His devotees' desire... But..."

As soon as Mahaprabhu said, "But..." Haridas Thakur clasped His feet and prayed, "Prabhu, please, no 'but.'"

Mahaprabhu said, "I have always made all My pastimes with you, but now that you want to go before Me, how shall I stay alone?"

Haridas Thakur replied, "I am only an ant. If one ant dies, what is the problem for You? You have so many followers."

"I know, but you are the main person... OK... You take a good rest, I will come tomorrow."

When Mahaprabhu was about to leave for Gambhira, Haridas Thakur told him, "I have three wishes, actually."

"What is it?"

"When I am leaving my body, I want to see Your lotus face with my eyes; I want to keep Your lotus feet on my chest. And third—I have been chanting Hare Krishna all the time all my life, but when I am leaving my body, I want to chant, 'Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya.'"

Mahaprabhu came back the next day and asked, "Haridas, what is the news?" Haridas Thakur said, "Prabhu, as You wish." Then, telling everybody to start parikrama, Mahaprabhu started circumambulating Haridas Thakur's bed and chanting Hare Krishna. Haridas Thakur caught Mahaprabhu's hand and sat Him down beside him. As he had told before, he took Mahaprabhu's feet on his chest and, looking at Mahaprabhu's face, he chanted, "Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya" and left...

Mahaprabhu took Haridas Thakur's body to the ocean (samudra) in Puri and with the help of all the devotees He began digging a samadhi. They had bathed Haridas Thakur's body with ghee and in the ocean, put tilaks on his holy body, and then Mahaprabhu said, "This ocean (samudra) has become a maha-tirtha, the highest holy place!" Everybody took a drop of water from the ocean and put it in their mouths. Then, the samadhi was finished...

After that, Mahaprabhu went to Ananda Bazaar near Jagannath Temple—it is a market that sold prasadam. There, He went shop to shop and begged for prasadam saying, "I am making a festival for Haridas Thakur, please give something." Every shopkeeper gave so much prasadam to Him, and Mahaprabhu Himself distributed it and served the Vaishnavs. He made a great festival of Haridas Thakur...

Jay Srila Haridas Thakur ki jay
Haridas Thakur's niryan ki jay

That is Haridas Thakur's niryan (departure). Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita describes it very nicely, but I have told you everything that is necessary to tell.

namami haridasam tam
chaitanyam tam cha tat-prabhum
samsthitam api yan-murtim
svanke krtva nanarta yah

"Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Haridas Thakur and his master, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who danced with the body of Haridas Thakur on His lap."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 11.2)

"I am paying obeisance to Haridas Thakur. His master Sri Chaitanyadev took his spiritual body and danced with it." You see how strong Mahaprabhu is—He took Haridas Thakur's body and danced with it!

sankhya-kirtana pure nahi, ke-mate khaiba?
maha-prasada aniyachha, ke-mate upeksiba?

"I have not finished chanting my regular number of rounds. How, then, can I eat? But you have brought maha-prasadam, and how can I neglect it?"

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 11.19)

eta bali' maha-prasada karila vandana
eka rancha lana tara karila bhaksana

"Saying this, he offered prayers to the maha-prasadam, took a little portion, and ate it."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 11.20)

ara dina mahaprabhu tanra thani aila
sustha hao, haridasa—bali' tanre puchhila

The next day, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to Haridas's place and inquired from him, "Haridas, are you well?"

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 11.21)

prabhu kahe,—'kon vyadhi, kaha ta' nirnaya?'
tenho kahe,—'sankhya-kirtana na puraya'

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu further inquired from Haridas, "Can you ascertain what your disease is?" Haridas Thakur replied, "My disease is that I cannot complete my rounds."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 11.23)

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay



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Odds and Ends
'Every day I sing the same songs, morning and evening—what for? I can sing all songs, but I do not do that because you must practise.'


Sri-krsna-chaitanya prabhu jive daya kari'
'To distribute the most rare form of divine love, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu teaches surrender, which is the life of the devotees.'
শ্রীকৃষ্ণচৈতন্য প্রভু
জীবে দয়া করি'

If you give much food to your mind, your mind will become strong.