By: Mahanidhi Swami

One day in Navadvipa when Haridasa went preaching with his partner Sri Nityananda Prabhu, they approached two notoriously violent and degraded drunken brahmins named Jagai and Madhai. Enraged, the drunks chased the divine pair with the intention of beating them to death for disturbing their stupor of intoxication. Haridasa was horrified and after the divine duo reported to Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Haridasa Thakura went to reveal his mind to his best friend Sri Advaita Acarya.

Haridasa Thakura said, “O Acharyaji, Mahaprabhu has sent me out preaching with an extremely restless person. We start out together and then Nitai leaves me behind and who knows where He goes? Sometimes Nitai jumps in the Ganga and tries to catch the crocodiles. I stand on the banks shouting for Him to return, but Nitai just ignores me and floats downstream like a dead man. If He sees some boys on the banks, Nitai comes out of the Ganga and chases them to beat them. And when their parents come with sticks in their hands, I fall at their feet and beg them to return to their homes.

“Sometimes Nitai steals butter and yogurt from the cowherd men and runs away. But I am old and can’t run, so they catch me and want beat me up. Nitai milks other people’s cows and directly drinks it. If the Avadhuta comes across a young maiden, He asks her to marry Him. Absorbed in the bhaava of Shankara Mahadeva, Nitai rides on the back of a bullock and bellows, “I am Mahesh!!!” It seems that everything Nitai does is unreasonable.

“Then when I try to teach Him something, Nitai abuses me and says, ‘What can that Advaita of yours do to Me? And that person whom you call Chaitanya, what can He do to Me?’Acharyaji, I have not said anything about this to Thakura Gauranga, but today I must tell you that my life has been saved by only by the grace of providence.” (CB Madhya 13)

Avadhuta Nityananda Rama ki jai!

Haridasa Thakura ki jai!

Sri Harinama Sankirtana ki jai!

Nitai Gaura Premanande ki jai!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Once upon a time in Nadia, a snake charmer named Nagaraja, who was a great devotee of Lord Ananta Sesa Vishnu earning his living by charming snakes in public performances, glorified Haridasa Thakura after the Namacharya danced in the ecstasy of Krishna prema.

Nagaraja said, “Haridasa is truly worthy of his name because Lord Krishnachandra constantly dwells in his heart. Haridasa is affectionate to all living entities, always engaged in their welfare, and he accompanies Sri Krishna whenever He incarnates. Haridasa never offends Vishnu or the Vaisnavas, and even in dreams he never forgets the spiritual path.

“Haridasa appeared in a low-class family to prove the scriptures which state that even if a devotee takes a low birth, he still worthy of worship. If I glorify Haridasa for a hundred years with a hundred mouths I would still not reach the end of his glories. It is a fact that if one simply chants the name of Haridasa, he will certainly attain the abode of Krishna.” (Chaitanya Bhagavata Adi 16)

Haridasa ki jai! Namacharya Haridasa Thakura ki jai!

Sri Harinama Sankirtana ki jai! Nitai Gaura Premanande ki jai!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Srila Haridasa passed his time relishing the nectar of the holy name and giving his enlightened association to the pious pure-hearted brahmanas of Nadiya. Once in a public assembly, an angry, arrogant brahmin criticized Haridasa Thakura for chanting loudly, and challenged him to prove the validity of his practice. That narrow-minded brahmin said sastra only prescribes silent chanting.

Haridasa Thakura replied, “The main result of loudly chanting God’s Holy Name is that it purifies one a thousand times more than any other form of worship. The Srimad Bhagavatam (10.34.17) states, ‘Anyone who chants Krishna’s name purifies all who hear his chanting, as well as himself.’

Speaking from his own realization, Haridasa Thakura described the efficacy of personal nama-japa v.s. Harinama Sankirtana: “If one does japa of Sri Krishna nama, he delivers himself; but if one performs loud Harinama Sankirtana, he delivers others too, “japile Sri Krishna nama apane se tare, uccha sankirtana para upakara kare. Although all living entities have a tongue, only the human beings are able to chant the names of Krishna.” (CB Adi 16)

Haridasa Thakura daily chanted 192 japa rounds or 3 lacs of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. In the particular circumstance cited above, Haridasa Thakura is preaching to an impious doubtful brahmin about the 100x power of Harinama Sankirtana over solitary Nama japa. But in his personal practice of Nama bhajana, we see that Haridasa Thakura daily chanted 64 totally silent rounds in his mind (manasic-japa); 64 rounds inaudibly whispering (upamshu-japa; and 64 rounds loudly vibrated (uccha-japa), which is technically actually called kirtana or sankirtana. Most devotees have heard about this, and it is confirmed in Ishana Thakura’s Advaita Prakash (7.152): prati-dina tin lakshaa haridasa kore, manane jihvay ar uccaihsvare, “Every day Haridasa Thakura chanted three lacs (300,000 Holy Names) in the mind, with the tongue, and loudly.”

So from the personal example of the Namacharya, one can understand that chanting one’s daily rounds can be done either silently in the mind, inaudibly whispered or chanted loudly as in sankirtana. However, every sadhaka must remember that in all bhakti-sadhana practices it is best to follow the instructions of one’s Guru.

Namacharya Haridasa Thakura ki jai!

Sri Harinama Sankirtana ki jai!

Nitai Gaura Premanande ki jai!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

The Nawab of Nadiya, the Muslim landowner or zamindhar of the district, arrested Haridasa Thakura, a born Muslim, for following Hindu dharma and publically chanting the maha-mantra:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

When asked to plead his case, Haridasa Thakura smiled compassionately at the Muslim Nawab, and spoke in a sweet soothing voice: “My dear sir, there is only one God for all living entities. According to every scripture, be it Koran or Purana, God is one. He is the non-dual, eternal, transcendental Absolute Truth. God is infallible, perfectly complete, and He resides in everyone’s heart. The difference between the Moslem God and the Hindu God is in name only. The names and qualities of the Lord are chanted by the followers of all religions according to their respective doctrines. Irrespective of how God is worshiped, He accepts everyone’s individual mood of surrender. Therefore I am only acting under the inspiration of the Supreme Lord.”

Infuriated with Haridasa’s wisdom, the sinful Nawab ordered Haridasa to either accept the Muslim path or be beaten to death. Remaining peaceful and tolerant, the God realized Haridasa Thakura replied, “Whatever the Supreme Lord desires is destined to happen; no one can check it.”

Haridasa concluded by speaking the following verse which sets the standard of faith and determination for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas to emulate:

khanda khanda hai deha, yaya yadi prana

tabu ami vadane, na chadi hari-nama

“Even if you cut my body into pieces and I give up my life, I will never stop chanting Lord Hari’s Holy Name!” (Chaitanya Bhagavata Adi 16)

Namacharya Haridasa Thakura ki jai!

Sri Harinama Sankirtana ki jai!

Nitai Gaura Premanande ki jai!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Just after the departure of Haridasa Thakura, Mahaprabhu picked up the body of Haridasa Thakura and began dancing in ecstatic love in the garden at Siddha Bakula in Jagannatha Puri. Absorbed in the divine emotions of Mahaprabhu, all the devotees danced along while performing kirtana. While continuing their Harinama sankirtana, the devotees carried the body of Haridasa Thakura to the seashore to place in samadhi.

After Mahaprabhu and the other devotees bathed the body of Haridasa Thakura with seawater, they performed all the appropriate rites and rituals. At that time, Mahaprabhu declared, “This ocean has now become a great place of pilgrimage, samudra maha-tirtha.” Sri Jagannathaji’s prasadi silken ropes, sandalwood pulp, food and cloth, were placed on Haridasa’s body. Amidst a kirtana and blissful dancing, Mahaprabhu personally covered the body of Haridasa Thakura with sand while chanting “Hari bol! Hari bol!” Afterwards, Mahaprabhu bathed in the sea with His devotees, swimming and playing in the water in great jubilation, jala-keli range.

Then to celebrate the Tirobhava Mahotsava of Haridasa Thakura, Mahaprabhu went to Ananda Bazaar inside the Jagannatha Mandira to beg maha-prasadam from all the shops. Sri Chaitanyadeva and all the devotees went to Kashi Mishra’s house to honor Jagannatha’s maha. While personally serving the prasadam, Mahaprabhu put on each devotee’s plate what at least five men could eat. At the request of all the devotees Mahaprabhu sat down and everyone began relishing that most amazingly wonderful maha-prasadam.

Insuring that all the devotees would eat up to their necks “vaisnava savadhan, akantha puran”, Mahaprabhu kept telling the distributors, “Give them more! Give them more!” After prasadam, Mahaprabhu lovingly decorated each devotee with a flower garland and sandalwood pulp.

In conclusion, we can see that Haridasa Thakura was not only a topmost devotee and learned scholar (maha-bhagavata, parama-vidvan), but he attained the supreme fortune of passing away before Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Haridasa Thakura Samadhi Mahaotsava ki jai!

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ki jai!

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Before we describe the most wonderful departure of the Namacharaya, let’s all bow down our heads and hearts to Srila Haridasa Thakura while chanting the following pranama mantra:

namami haridasaa tam, caitanyam tam ca tat prabhum

samsthitam api yan-murtim, svanke krtva nanarta yah

Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Haridasa Thakura and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who danced with the body of Haridasa Thakura on His lap.” (Cc. 3.11.1)

One day in Jagannatha Puri, Govinda came to see Haridasa. He was surprised to see that HaridasaThakura was lying on his back and chanting his rounds very slowly. “Please rise and take your maha-prasadam,” Govinda said.

Haridasa Thakura replied, “Today I shall observe fasting, because I have not finished my fixed number of rounds. But when maha-prasadam is offered, it should never be neglected.” Haridasa offered prayers to the maha-prasadam and respectfully honored a morsel. The next day, Mahaprabhu visited Haridasa Thakura and inquired about his health and asked if he had any disease. After offering obeisances to Mahaprabhu, Haridasa replied, “My body is fine, but my mind and intelligence are not well. My disease is that I cannot complete my rounds.”

Mahaprabhu said, “Now you have become old, you may reduce the number of rounds you chant daily. Besides you are already in your siddha-deha, so what need do you have for sadhana? (Cc. 3.11.24) You have delivered the people of the world by preaching the glories of Harinama, namera mahima prachara. Now please just chant a little nama-sankirtana.”

Haridasa Thakura replied, “O my Lord, please hear my submission. I was born in an inferior family, and my body is most abominable. I am the lowest, most condemned of men, yet You have accepted me as Your servant, delivered me from hell and elevated me to Vaikuntha. By Your mercy so many amazing things happened to me. For example, Advaita Acharya offered me the first plate of festival prasada (sraddha-patra) from the Sraddha ceremony of his father, which should have been offered to first-class brahmins. Mahaprabhu, I feel that soon You will conclude Your lila here and I cannot bear to see that. Therefore, O most merciful Lord, please kindly let me leave my body in Your presence while gazing upon Your moonlike face and chanting Your Holy Name. This is my last desire.”

Gauranga Mahaprabhu said, “My dear Haridasa, Krishna is so merciful that He must do whatever you want. But I experience so much happiness in your association. So it is not fitting for you to go away and leave Me behind.”

The next day Mahaprabhu and all His associates like Raya Ramananda, Svarupa Damodara Goswami and Vakreshvara Pandita came to visit Haridasa Thakura. They performed Harinama Sankirtana, and afterwards Mahaprabhu glorified Haridasa Thakura so profusely that it seemed Gauranga was speaking with five mouths. The more Gaurahari glorified Haridasa Thakura, the more ecstasy He felt.

About to leave his body, Haridasa Thakura asked Mahaprabhu to sit beside him. Then Haridasa Thakura fixed the bumblebees of his eyes on the sweet lotus face of Gaurachanda. He tightly clasped the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu to his heart, and adorned his head with the foot dust of all the devotees, sarva-bhakta pada-renu. While drinking the nectar of Mahaprabhu’s sweet face (prabhu-mukha-madhuri) Haridasa Thakura repeatedly said, “Sri Krishna Chaitanya! Sri Krishna Chaitanya! Sri Krishna Chaitanya!” as tears constantly glided down from his eyes. In this most fortunate and blessed way, the great Namacharya Haridasa Thakura left his mortal coil.

All the devotees loudly chanted with their full hearts, “Hari! Hari! Hari! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna!” and Mahaprabhu became overwhelmed with ecstatic love, prema-ananda. Thus bhakta-vatsala Gauranga, the most affectionate Golden Lord of Love, fulfilled His devotee’s desire by appearing at the final moment. In this regard, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja says, “Anyone who hears the victorious passing away of Haridasa Thakura (haridasa vijaya) will attain determination in bhakti.” (Cc. 3.11.101)

Haridasa Thakura Tirobhava lila ki jai!

Sri Harinama Sankirtana ki jai!

Nitai Gaura Premanande ki jai!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Diving into the fathomless ocean of the Chaitanya-caritamrta, we found some very precious rare rubies in the form of Haridasa Thakura’s direct words. Although Haridasa Thakura is an intimate eternal associate of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he speaks so humbly about himself. His words reveal the nature of the truly unpretentious devotee who has been blessed by the constant loving association of Sri Harinama Prabhu.

By reading and hearing, within the walls of our hearts, the sacred vibrations emanating from the prema-filled heart of Haridasa Thakura, we may someday manifest that type of genuine humility which attracts Sri Harinama Prabhu to come live in our hearts. Kirtaniya sada Hari!

In addition, we have included a brief but powerful illumination on the Holy Name by the Namacharya Srila Haridasa Thakura ki jai!


Haridasa Thakura said, “I am the most sinful and lowest among men (muïi päpiñöha adhama). I am a low-born, abominable person, and I have no qualification to go anywhere near the Jagannatha Mandira (néca-jäti chära mandira-nikaöe, yäite mora nähi ädhikära). O Mahaprabhu, please do not touch me, for I am most fallen an untouchable; I am the lowest of mankind (parama pämare).


In an assembly of Brahmins discussing the glories of Sri Krishna’s Holy Name, Haridasa Thakura revealed the real truth of Nama-tattva:

Namacharya Srila Haridasa Thakura said, “The twin benedictions of liberation and the destruction of sins, papa-kshaya, moksha haya, are not the true result of chanting the Holy Name. The actual result of chanting is that it produces prema, ecstatic divine love, for the lotus feet of Krishna, nämera phale kåñëa-pade prema upajaya. Liberation and extinction of sins are two concomitant by-products of chanting.

“Devotees of Krishna, however, are not concerned with any of the five forms of liberation. They are experiencing such transcendental bliss from serving Krishna (bhakti-sukha) that mukti is completely extremely insignificant (mukti ati-tuccha). Devotees will never accept it. One can never understand the truth and glories of the Holy Name merely by logic and argument.

“Just consider the example of the rising sun, which immediately dissipates the deep darkness of night. As the sun begins to rise, even before it is visible it dissipates the darkness of night, and immediately destroys the fear caura, preta and räkñasa—thieves, ghosts and demons. After sunrise everything is clearly visible, and everyone begins performing his daily rites and religious activities. Similarly, when one begins to chant the Holy Name his sins are diminished, and as he continues chanting he achieves Krishna prema.

“Once chanting of Krishna’s Holy Name completely finishes one’s material bondage to the endless cycle of birth and death, samsara. All glories to Harinama, which fills the whole world with auspiciousness, jayati jagat-maìgalam hari näma!” (Cc. 3.3.178-207)

Namacharya Srila Haridasa Thakura ki jai!

Sri Harinama Sankirtana ki jai!

Nitai Gaura Premanande ki jai!

By:Mahanidhi Swami

In Bhajan Rahasya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura mentions a pancaartrika-mantra, aim gurudevaya namah, as the seed mantra for worshiping the spiritual master. The word namaù is also uttered by all disciples whenever they offer respects unto the lotus feet of their respective spiritual masters.

But exactly what does the word namaù mean? In general, namaù means, “I am offering obeisance unto the lotus feet of my beloved Gurudeva.” On a deeper level, namah means to submit one’s self with the meditation, “I am giving up my worldly vanity and false ego. I renounce the false sense of being the supreme controller and enjoyer.”

The word namah means saying no to false ego, killing the false identity, and fully surrendering to the mastership and control of God standing before you as Sri Guru.

Renouncing one’s pride or vanity is actually the first object to be offered in one’s worship of Sri Guru. Therefore, the act of offering obeisances to the spiritual master means to give up the pride of thinking one’s self the doer, possessor and enjoyer of anything in this world. The real Vyasa-puja begins here. The moment the disciple realizes this and acts solely for the pleasure of Sri Guru, he engages in the true worship and eternal service of his spiritual master.

I pray that someday I can fall at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet, and with the full backing of my dedicated heart, utter this phrase, “Dearest Gurudeva, please accept my most respectful and humble obeisances.”

Om Tat Sat!

Sri Gurudeva ki ja!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura describes how CaitanyaMahaprabhu instituted the first Vyasa-puja ceremony in 1509 a.d. through Sri Nityananda Prabhu in Shrivasa Angana, Mayapura:

“Srivasa Pandita, the head priest for the function, gave Lord Nityananda a flower garland to offer to a painting of Vyasadeva. Holding the garland in His beautiful lotus hand, Nityananda Prabhu hesitated and began glancing here and there as if He was looking for someone. Then to everyone’s surprise, Nityananda offered the garland to Sri Caitanyadeva instead. At that moment, Lord Caitanya immediately manifested His six-armed form, sad-bhuja).” (Caitanya Bhagavata (Madhya khanda chp. 5)

Thus, Sri Nityananda Prabhu completed the Vyasa-puja ceremony by offering a garland to that personality from whom everything emanates and whose empowered incarnation is Sri Vyasa-deva. By this Nityananda Prabhu established the real meaning of Vyasa-puja by worshiping the Supreme Lord Himself in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Gauranga is the guru of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. This is the basis of the worship performed by Lord Nityananda. Therefore, the worship of Vyasa-deva, therefore, is actually the worship of Lord Gauranga in the form of the present acarya.

Although Sri Krishna and Sri Baladeva Prabhu are identical with Sri Caitanyadeva and Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Their activities are different. Nitai and Gaura are the supreme masters, the Supreme Lords, yet they play the role of devotees. The dual Lords act as devotees in order to teach Their servants the art of devotional service. Thus, in this pastime from Caitanya Bhagavata, one Lord, Nityananda, is teaching us that the ultimate recipient of the worship of Vyasa-deva or the spiritual master is the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna Caitanyadeva. Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Lord Balarama, is the ultimate source of the spiritual function of the acarya.

In the scriptures, Sri Krishna tells Uddhava that the acarya is the manifestation of Himself:

acaryam mam vijaniyan, navanmanyeta karhicit

na martya-buddhyasuyeta, sarva-deva-mayo guruh

“One should know the acarya as Myself and never disrespect

him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an

ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.”

(SB 11.17.27)

If Sri Guru is not regarded as identical with the Supreme Lord, the worship of the acarya is not properly performed, and the said worshiper will not realize the true purport of the Vedas.

yasya deve para bhaktir, yatha deve tatha gurau

tasyaite kathita hy arthah, prakashshante mahatmana

For one who has unflinching faith in the lotus feet of the Lord,

as well as in the spiritual master, the real import of Vedic

knowledge can be revealed. (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.23)

Lord Balarama is non-different from Sri Nityananda Prabhu. However, Lord Nityananda plays a unique role in that He is the connecting link between all conditioned souls and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is non-different from Radha-Govinda. The conditioned souls have no access to Lord Balarama in the spiritual world, but here in the material world everyone can access the mercy of Lord Nityananda. Sri Guru is empowered by Sri Nityananda Prabhu to save the fallen souls from the clutches of Maya. As Nityananda Prabhu’s delegatedauthority, the spiritual master liberates the conditioned souls from material world by engaging them in the direct service of Lord Nityananda.

The story of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami’s approaching Sri Caitanya shows the necessity of first receivingthe mercy of Sri Guru and Lord Nityananda before one can attain the service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna Caitanyadeva.

Sri Guru ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

In the form of the Vyasa-deva, Bhagavan Çré Krishna hasrevealed the hidden meaning of the Vedas to the ignorantconditioned souls of Kali-yuga by compiling the SrimadBhagavatam, the sun-like spotless Purana. While in a state ofsamadhi Vyäsa-deva realized the esoteric teachings of theBhagavata Purana by the mercy of his spiritual master, SriNarada Muni, who learned the spiritual science from LordBrahma.

Vyasa-deva is the greatest acarya because he wasdirectly empowered by the Supreme Lord to make the Vedicwisdom available in the present age. Without Vyasa-deva wewould be nowhere, wallowing in the mud of ignorance; trappedin the darkness and illusion of material sense gratification.

Srila Vyasa-deva is the divine propagator, a shaktyavesh avatara, in whom the divine power of transcendental knowledge has been infused. Vyasa-deva has been directly empowered and directed by the Absolute Truth to preach the word of God.

Sri Guru, the spiritual master is the living spokesman, thecontemporary representative of Vyasa-deva. The enlightenedspiritual discourses given by the bona fide guru are based onhis constant and uninterrupted realizations of the activities ofthe Supreme Absolute Truth, Çré Krishna, as described by SrilaVyasa-deva in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

The true guru is the enlightened guide, the merciful master,the messiah of harmony. He not only teaches the science ofGod, but he demonstrates practically by his pure actions thathe is the dearest servitor of the Supreme Lord. Sri Guru thinks,speaks and acts only in terms of his eternal relationship withthe Absolute Truth. The sad-guru has perfect knowledge of thepersonal Godhead, and he constantly associates with the Lordin a most direct and intimate bond of divine love.

The divine guide is fully competent to dispel the darkness ofignorance and remove all doubts from his disciple. He is capableof delivering his disciple to the beautiful lotus feet of Lord ÇréKrishna in the spiritual sky. Sri Guru has the power, granted byGod, to establish the bewildered conditioned soul in his eternalposition as a loving servitor of the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Sri Guru manifests in two forms: the quiet director orParamatma within the heart, and the external preceptor whoteaches us by realized knowledge and spotless behavior. Bothgurus help bewildered souls reach spiritual perfection. However,in the conditioned state one cannot hear the wise counsel ofthe inner guide. Therefore, the external manifestation of theParamatma as Sri Guru is my only hope.

Srila B.R. Sridhara Swami once said, “Sri Guru is the divine messenger of immortal hope and joy in this mortal and miserable world.” Acaryas say the spiritual master is Çré Krishna’s krpa-shakti murti, the very form of Lord Krishna’s mercy and love freely accessible to the suffering souls.

Sri Guru is the spiritual counterpart of the famous ATM machines which leading banks scatter around major cities to offer “Any Time Money” to eager customers thirsty for cash. So just how is Sri Guru an ATM? To anyone, at any time and anyplace the spiritual master gives the true wealth of Çré Krishna’seternal loving service. Therefore, Sri Guru is a Krishna conscious, walking ATM machine giving “Any Time Mercy.” The mercy of Sri Guru is freely available to all who are willing to accept it.

Being completely surrendered to the Supreme Lord, Sri Guruis always engaged in Krishna’s service, and helps others to do the same.

Sri Guru ki jai!

mahanidhi swami