Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The King of rasikas, Syama is beautifully decorated. The Holi festival begins with great enthusiasm as Radha and Krsna douse each other with red powder. Again and again Yugala Kisora throw musk, sandal, kumkuma and flower pollen. The gopis gaze at the splendor of the Divine Couple and go wild with bliss and start singing and playing musical instruments. The restless charming gopis soak each other’s garments with color dyes sprayed from syringes. Syama calls out, “ ho! ho! Holi!!” and claps His hands after spraying Lalita’s head with colored water, making her kajal run down her face. The Divine King of Seasons now thinks, “Who will conclude this blissful pastime of Holi?” The cuckoos answer by continuous cooing saying “Jai, Jai!” Thus everyone is stunned with wonder and bliss.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

“In unalloyed love of Godhead we have to engage our senses, sar vendriya, all the senses. This means that sex is also to be engaged in Krsna consciousness. The conception of God as father or mother (vatsalya-rasa), does not allow engagement of one’s sex in the service of the Lord, because there is no sexual relationship with the father and mother. But in the conception of God as a lover, there is sexual engagement also. Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave the most perfect information of our engagement with the Supreme Lord.”

“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu informs us that one can even have sexual engagement with the Lord. This information is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s unique contribution. In this material world, sexual engagement is considered to be the highest engagement, the greatest pleasure, although it exists only in a perverted form. No one, however, has conceived that there can be sexual engagement in the spiritual world. There is not a single instance of such theology anywhere in the entire world. This information is given for the first time by Caitanya Mahaprabhu; one can have the Supreme Personality of Godhead as one’s husband, as one’s lover.”

“This is possible in the worship of Radha and Krsna, but no one, especially impersonalists can understand Radha-Krsna. The impersonalists have no idea; they cannot even conceive that God has form. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that not only does God have form, but He has sex life also. This is the highest contribution of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” (HDG Srila Prabhupada from book “Science of Self Realisation” SSR)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

If one chants this great prayer with faith and transcendental devotion on Lord Caitanya’s appearance day [Gaura-Pūrṇima], then one perpetually attains the fulfillment of their each and every pure desire.

nāmaskṛtya pravakṣyāmi, deva-devaṁ jagad-gurum
nāmnām-aṣṭottara-śataṁ, caitanyasya mahātmanāh

“Oh great soul! After offering obeisances unto the Lord of Lords, Who is the spiritual master of the entire universe, I will now narrate 108 holy names of Lord Caitanya.

viśvambharo jita-krodho, māyā-mānuṣa-vigrāhaḥ
amāyi māyināṁ śreṣṭo, varo-deśo dvijottamaḥ

Gaurāṅga sustains the universe, is victorious over the influence of mundane anger, and He assumes the illusory form of a human. He is bereft of fradulent behavior, is the foremost of cheaters, appears in the best of lands and is the ultimate brāhmaṇa.

jagannātha-priyā-sutaḥ, pitr-bhakto mahā-manāh
lakṣmī-kāntaḥ śacī-putrāh, premado bhakta-vātsalaḥ

Gaurāṅga is the dearest son of Jagannātha Miśra, Gaurāṅga is the devotee of His father, and He has great mental power. He is the beloved husband of the Goddess of Fortune, the son of mother Śacī, the bestower of ecstatic loving devotion, and He is very affectionate to His devotees.

dvija-priyā dvija-varo, vaiṣṇava-prāna-nāyakaḥ
dvi-jāti-pūjakaḥ śāntaḥ, śrīvāsa-priyā īśvaraḥ

Gaurāṅga is dear to the twice-initiated brāhmaṇas, He is the best among the brāhmaṇas, and He is the hero of the devotee’s life and soul. He worships the brāhmaṇas. He is peaceful and saintly. He is very dear to Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, and He is the supreme controller.

tapta-kāñcana-gaurāṅgaḥ, simha-grīvo mahā-bhujaḥ
pīta-vāsā rakta-paṭṭaḥ, ṣaḍ-bhujo ’tha catur-bhujaḥ

His complexion is like molten gold, His neck is like a lion’s, His arms are very muscular. He wears yellow cloth [as householder] and red cloth as a sannyāsī. He exhibits a six-armed form and also a four-armed form.

dvi-bhujaś ca gadā-pāṇiḥ, cakrī padma-dharo ‘malaḥ
pāñca-janya-dharaḥ śārṅgī, veṇu-pāniḥ surottamaḥ

Gaurāṅga exhibits a two-armed form, holds the mace, discus, lotus, and He is sinless. He holds the pāñcajanya conch shell, the bow, the flute, and is the foremost of the demigods.

kamalākṣeśvaraḥ prīto, gopa-līlādharo yuvā
nīla-ratna-dharo rupya, hārī kaustubha-bhūṣaṇaḥ

Gaurāṅga is the Lord of the lotus-eyed Lakṣmī. He is beloved to all living beings. He is the abode of cowherding pastimes and is supremely youthful. He likes to wear sapphires, silver necklaces, and is adorned with the kaustubha gem.

śrīvatsa-lāñchano bhāsvan, maṇi-dhṛk kañja-locanaḥ
tāṭaṅka-nīla-śrīḥ rudra, līlā-kārī guru-priyāḥ

Gaurāṅga is decorated with the mark of Śrīvatsa and His form is embellished with many brilliant jewels. He has lotus-petal-shaped eyes. His majesty is enhanced by sapphire earrings. He sometimes enacts the pastimes of Lord Śiva, and He is very dear to His spiritual master.

sva-nāma-guṇa-vaktā ca, nāmopadeśa-dāyakaḥ
ācāṇḍāla-priyāḥ śuddhaḥ, sarva-prāṇi-hite rataḥ

Gaurāṅga is aware of the attributes of His own holy names. He imparts teachings about the holy names. He is dear even to the lowest of outcastes. His character is totally immaculate. He is engaged in the welfare of all living beings.

viśvarūpānujaḥ sandhyā, vatāraḥ-śītalāśayaḥ
niḥsīma-karuṇo gupta, ātma-bhakti-pravartakaḥ

Gaurāṅga is the younger brother of Viśvarūpa. He incarnated during dusk. He wants to cool the burning sufferings of living beings. His compassion is limitless. He is very secretive. He preaches devotion unto the true self.

mahānando naṭo nṛtya, gīta-nāma-priyāḥ kaviḥ
ārti-priyāḥ śuciḥ śuddho, bhāvado bhagavat-priyāḥ

Gaurāṅga is absorbed in the greatest bliss. He behaves as a dramatic actor, and is fond of dancing, singing, and chanting holy names. He is a learned scholar and poet. He is dear to those who are suffering. He is meticulously clean and spotlessly pure. He confers ecstatic loving emotions. He is intimate with the great devotees.

indrādi-sarva-lokeśa, vandita-śrī-padāmbujaḥ
nyāsi-cūḍāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇa, sannyāsāśrama-pāvanaḥ

Gaurāṅga’s divine lotus feet are worshiped by Lord Indra and all the rulers of various heavenly planets. He is the crest-jewel of renunciates. He is the all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the purifier of the renounced order.

caitanyaḥ kṛṣṇa-caitanyo, daṇḍa-dhṛg nyasta-daṇḍakaḥ
avadhūta-priyo nityā, nanda-ṣaḍ-bhuja-darśakaḥ

Gaurāṅga is the all-attractive living force of all creation. He carries the staff of the renounced order, and also abandons it. He is dear to Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, the divine madman. He shows His six-armed form to Nityānanda.

mukunda-siddhi-do dīno, vāsudevāmṛta-pradaḥ
gadādhara-prāṇa-nātha, ārti-hā śarana-pradaḥ

Gaurāṅga gives perfection to His devotee Mukunda. He behaves with meek and humble mannerisms. He gives nectar to his devotee Vāsudeva, the leper. He is the Lord of the life of Gadādhara Paṇḍita. He removes the distress of His devotees. He bestows ultimate shelter to His devotees.

akiñcana-priyāḥ prāṇo, guṇa-grāhī jitendriyaḥ
adoṣa-darśī sumukho, madhuraḥ priyā-darśanaḥ

Gaurāṅga is dear to those who possess nothing. He is the life and soul of all creation. He accepts only the good qualities of others. He is victorious over the influence of the material senses. He is blind to the faults of others. He has a pleasant face and is supremely sweet. He is very precious to behold.

pratāpa-rudra-saṁtrātā, rāmānanda-priyo guruḥ
ananta-guṇa-sampannaḥ, sarva-tīrthaika-pāvanaḥ

Gaurāṅga delivers Mahārāja Pratāparudra from obstacles. He is the beloved of Rāmānanda Rāya. He is the spiritual master of every living being. He is endowed with limitless good qualities. He is the sole purifier of all places of pilgrimage.

vaikuṇṭha-nātho lokeśo, bhaktābhimata-rūpa-dhṛk
nārāyaṇo mahā-yogī, jñāna-bhakti-pradaḥ prabhuḥ

Gaurāṅga is the Lord of the anxiety-free spiritual world, and of all material planets. He assumes different forms according to the desires of His devotees. He is the supreme shelter for all living beings. He is the greatest performer of yoga. He imparts intellectual knowledge of devotion. He is the Lord and Master of all.

pīyūṣa-vacanaḥ pṛthvī, pāvanaḥ satya-vāk sahaḥ
oḍa-deśa-janānandī, sandohāmṛta-rūpa-dhṛk

Gaurāṅga’s words emit showers of pure nectar. He is the savior of the earth. He speaks truthfully. He can endure all forms of misery. He delights the people of Orissa. He embodies the form of all universal nectar.

yaḥ paṭhed prātar utthāya, caitanyasya mahātmanaḥ
śraddhayā parayopetaḥ, stotraṁ sarvāgha-nāśanam
prema-bhaktir harau tasya, jāyate nātra saṁśayaḥ

Oh great soul! It is recommended that in the morning [6-8:24a.m.], one faithfully approach and recite this transcendental sin-destroying prayer to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One who does will feel the awakening of ecstatic loving devotion unto Lord Hari; of this there is no doubt.

asādhya-roga-yukto ‘pi, mucyate roga-saṅkaṭāt
sarvāparādha-yukto’pi, so ‘parādhāt pramucyate

Even if one is afflicted with an incurable disease, one becomes freed from all danger of the ailment. Even if one has committed all types of offenses, one becomes freed from their effects.

phālguṇī-paurṇamāsyān tu, caitanya-janma-vāsare
śraddhayā parayā bhaktyā, mahā-stotraṁ japan puraḥ
yad yat prakurute kāmaṁ, tat tad evācirāl labhet

If one chants this great prayer with faith and transcendental devotion on Lord Caitanya’s appearance day [Gaura-Pūrṇima], then one perpetually attains the fulfillment of their each and every pure desire.

aputro vaiṣṇavaṁ putraṁ, labhate nātra saṁśayaḥ
ante caitanya-devasya, smṛtir bhavati śāśvatī

If a devotee couple wishes to have a child but are unable, then they will obtain a child without a doubt. And at the time of death, they will attain remembrance of Śrī Caitanya-deva and enter His eternal pastimes.”

Jagannātha Miśra called His divine son Viśvambhara and Mother Śacī called Him Nimāi. The name Gaurāṅga was given when He took the sacred thread [brāhmaṇa dīkśā]. At school they called Him Nimāi Paṇḍita. His devotees called Him Gaura, Prabhu, or Śrī Gaurāṅga. His last name was Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya because He was engaged in awakening Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, in the hearts of men.

“Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Gaurāṅga is full of bliss, He attracts everyone’s heart. That is His extraordinary nature. Supremely blissful, He can make the living entities also blissful, just as a wealthy person can make someone else wealthy. Gaurāṅga fills everyone’s heart with wonder. That is the sign of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Sri Caitanya candramrita)

“After the disappearance of Lord Caitanya, it was Lord Nityānanda Prabhu who revealed the true nature of Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu to the world. Raising His hands in the air, Lord Nityānanda distributed unlimited mercy by preaching, ‘Come spirit souls of Kali-yuga. Give up this hypocrisy. Just accept the pure ecstatic love of Śrī Gaurāṅga! Give up the troublesome paths of karma and jñāna which aim only at physical and mental comforts. I will give you unlimited happiness without trouble, loss, pain or payment.’

“Just shout the name ‘Gaurāṅga! Gaurāṅga! Gaurāṅga!’ and dance with abandon. The happiness that I am giving is beyond compare. This transcendental happiness is pure, positive, ecstatic, eternal spiritual bliss. It is totally beyond illusion.” (Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya)

bhaja gaurāṅga, koho gaurāṅga
loho gaurāṅgera nāma re
bhaja gaurāṅga, bhaja gaurāṅga
bhaja gaurāṅga nāma re

Worship Gaurāṅga! Speak Gaurāṅga! And chant the name of Gaurāṅga! Worship Gaurāṅga, worship the name of Gaurāṅga! (Caitanya Bhagavat)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sacimata was so aggrieved that she couldn’t even speak. Seeing Saci sobbing, Vishnupriya Devi fainted upon becoming aware of the imminent disaster. After taking His evening meal, Gauranga went to take rest in His bed chamber. Vishnupriya rushed to the Lord and sat by His lotus feet.

Her face was sad. She sighed heavily as she looked at Gauranga. Vishnupriya wrapped her creeper-like hands around Gauranga’s feet and took them into her heart. Tears streamed down her face, wet the sari covering her breasts, and fell upon Gauranga’s feet.
Suddenly, Gauranga woke up. Sitting up in bed, the Lord said, “My dear, why are you crying? You are most dear to Me. I don’t understand why you are crying.”

Sitting Vishnupriya on His lap, Gauranga affectionately touched her chin and spoke some sweet words. Crying and feeling helpless, Vishnupriya didn’t respond. Although Gauranga repeatedly asked her, Vishnupriya remained silent, simply clutching the Lord’s lotus feet. Knowing all the ways of love, the Lord dried the tears from her face with His cloth. Again He asked her the cause of her grief.

In a half-choked voice Vishnupriya said, “O Lord of my life and heart. Please place Your hands on my head. I have heard that You’re going to take sannyasa. This news crushes my heart. I feel like entering the fire. My life, wealth, beauty, dresses, ornaments, glances and gestures are all meant only for You. If You leave me, what value is my life? My heart is burning in the fire of this poison.
“Let my life go to waste. But I want to know how You’ll walk to distant countries. Your feet are softer than sirisha flowers. They’re so soft that even I don’t touch them in fear of giving You pain. With Your feet of reddish-hue, how will You travel through the thorn-filled forests?

“Your moonlike face is a pool of nectar. With the slightest endeavor, pearl-like drops of perspiration appear on Your lotus face. During the monsoon season it will be constantly raining. At other times, scorching sunshine will dry up everything. A sannyasi must endure a life full of suffering.

“I know nothing other than Your lotus feet. Under whose shelter are You leaving me? Your Mother Saci is old and weak. How can You leave her? What will You accomplish by leaving Your dear devotees such as Advaita, Srivasa, Murari, Mukunda and others?
“How can You just leave them and take sannyasa? You are the personification of love, and You love everyone in the world. But the way that You’re acting now seems contradictory. For when You travel far away to distant countries, all Your devotees will die in separation.

“Is it because of me, the worthless one who’s keeping You bound in material existence, that You’re leaving to take sannyasa? If that’s so, then let me take a last loving glance at You before I kill myself by drinking poison. Then You can stay happily here in Your home. O my Lord, please don’t go to distant countries. There is nobody else in my life. When I look at Your face, my heart burns, anticipating our imminent separation.”

Vishnupriya fell silent, incapable of expressing the deep pain within the core of her heart. She kept weeping and clutching the feet of Lord Gauranga. Gently smiling, the Lord picked up Vishnupriya, and sat her on His lap. To alleviate Vishnupriya’s distress, the Lord joked with her.

Gauranga said, “Who told you that I’ll go away and take sannyasa? I will always tell you about My plans. Don’t be overwhelmed by lamenting without a cause.” Then the Lord tenderly kissed Vishnupriya, and pacified her in various ways. They passed the night enjoying the unlimited pleasures of love.
At the end of the night, Vishnupriya still felt a burning pain within her heart. While looking at the dearmost Lord of her life, she put Gaura’s hand on her breast and said:
“Prabhu, don’t tell a lie in fear of hurting me. I can guess that You’re cleverly trying to trick me. Without my knowledge, You’ll just run away suddenly. You are Your own controller; nobody else controls You. Now do whatever You like, and take sannyasa if You want. But please tell me definitely. Are You going to take sannyasa?”

Gauranga Speaks On Reality
Gauranga smiled sweetly and said, “Listen, O, most dear one. Please listen very carefully, because I’m speaking for your benefit. Everything you see in this creation is temporary and always changing. God and the Vaisnavas are the only ever-lasting truths. Besides these two, everything else is temporary and illusory.”
“Sons, husbands, mother, father, man and woman are all false, temporary designations. Ultimately, who belongs to whom? Except the lotus feet of Krishna, no one else can be called our near and dear one. Whatever you see in this world is the Lord’s impermanent external energy.”

“Krishna is the soul of all living entities, be they men or women. Due to maya’s conditioning, they appear as two. Krishna is the purusa, supreme enjoyer. Krishna is the actual husband of everyone. Everything else is prakrti, Krishna’s enjoyable energy. Nobody understands this.”

“By the union of semen and ovum a living being is created in the womb. He is born in total ignorance. After going through boyhood and youth, he suffers many miseries in old age. He becomes completely attached to his body and home. The old man spends his days lamenting to himself, ‘I spent my whole life working hard to maintain and protect my wife and family. And now they criticize and reject me in my old age. In the end I simply feel angry and cheated by those whom I loved.’ “

“Although he’s practically deaf and blind, morose and lamenting, and crying because of the pains of old age–still he will refuse to worship Govinda. Instead of serving Krishna, he accepts another material body, remaining trapped in material existence. Infatuated by false ego, he forgets Lord Krishna, his real master, and suffers severely.

“Your name is Vishnupriya, so make yourself worthy of your name. Don’t uselessly lament for nothing. Just remove all misgivings from your mind, and absorb yourself in Krishna consciousness.”
In this way, Gauranga consoled Vishnupriya, removing all her miseries and lamentation. Suddenly, Gauranga showed His four-armed Vishnu form to his wife. But Vishnupriya still thought of Gauranga as her beloved husband, even after seeing this four-armed form.

Vishnupriya fell down at Gauranga’s lotus feet and said, “Prabhu, please hear my request. I know I have taken a worthless birth in this miserable world of birth and death. Nevertheless, You are my husband and the lord of my life. I am so fortunate to be Your maidservant. Then why am I suffering such difficulty?” Saying this, Vishnupriya cried helplessly on the verge of going mad.

Feeling sorry for the distress of His dear one, Gauranga also cried. The Lord sat Vishnupriya on His lap and tried to comfort her. Gauranga said, “Listen, Vishnupriya Devi, no matter where I may go, if you simply think of Me within your heart, I will be right there to give you shelter. I solemnly promise this to you.”

Vishnupriya thought to herself for a moment and said, “Prabhu, You are the completely independent Supreme Lord. According to Your sweet will, You can do whatever You want. Who will obstruct Your actions?”

Lord Gauranga didn’t reply. Then Vishnupriya hung down her head to keep the Lord from seeing her gushing tears. Out of compassion, Gauranga spoke some affectionate words.
Thus Locana Dasa sings the heart-rending glories of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

 

Gauranga Tells a Secret to Murari
The days and nights pass slowly, burning everyone’s hearts in the fire of anxiety. The devotees found some relief by sitting together to discuss Gauranga’s glories. Sacimata and Vishnupriya sat together crying day and night. For them the ten directions seemed empty and full of darkness. Feeling disturbed and restless, friends and relatives just wandered aimlessly here and there.

At that time, Srivasa, the best among the brahmanas, his heart breaking in anguish, asked Gauranga, “Prabhu, I’m afraid to ask this. But if You permit, I would like to go with You. Let the others come too, for they’ll die if they can’t see You. Listen, Visvambhara, I’ll be the first to die. Thus, I’m revealing my heart to you.”

Smiling, Gaurahari said, “Listen Srivasa, don’t be apprehensive about our imminent separation. I’ll never leave the association of all the devotees and you. Just remember that I am always residing in the Krishna temple within your home.”

That evening after consoling Srivasa, the Lord and Haridasa visited Murari Gupta. Gauranga said confidentially, “Murari, since you are as dear to Me as My own life, I’m telling you this. Please listen attentively to My helpful advice.

“Advaita Acarya is honored throughout the three worlds. He is My best friend. Advaita is an expansion of the Supreme Lord, and he acts as the guru of the whole creation. Any self-interested person should serve Advaita Acarya. He’s the king of the Vaisnavas. He has appeared for the ultimate good of the world. So, one should worship him with unalloyed devotion. By worshiping Advaita, Krishna is worshiped.”

“Now, listen, I will tell you something confidential. Please keep this secret within your heart. You should know that I will exist within the bodies of Gadadhara Pandita, Nityananda, Advaita and Ramai [brother of Srivasa Pandita].”

Murari Gupta, the best among the doctors, fully understood the Lord’s inner intentions. Knowing clearly that Gauranga was leaving to take sannyasa, Murari fell flat on the earth weeping and weeping. He offered his respects to Haridasa, and surrendered himself with the utmost humility.

To pacify Murari, Gauranga said, “I am always with you. And there’s still some time before I take sannyasa. You will find solace by taking shelter of My instructions.”

His heart breaking in sadness, Locana Dasa sings about Gauranga’s sublime pastimes.

(An excerpt from the book Sri Caitanya Mangala)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

From the first day of spring, Vasanta Pancami (Visnupriya’s appearance day) until Gaura Purnima, Lord Gauranga plays Holi for 40 days continuously. On each day of these 40 days, Sri Gaurasundara performs Holi lila in the homes of His various confidential devotees. First Holi is in Advaitacarya’s house on Vasanta Pancami. Then on Trayodasi, He plays Holi in Nityananda’s house. In this month on Sukla Sasthi (March 6) , Gauranga plays Holi in Gauridasa Pandita’s house. Then on astami, in Uddharana Datta’s house. On Purnima, Mahaprabhu plays Holi in own home.

Holi Pastimes of Gauranga

On the bank of the Ganga, Sri Gauranga divided His intimate devotees into two groups: One team with Gauranga, and one team with Gadadhara Pandita. In Gadadhara’s team, there were Svarupa Damodara, Mukunda, Vasu Ghosa and many others. Gauranga’s side was led by Gauridasa Pandita. As previously in Krsna-lila, all the sakhis and manjaris sided with Radha and all the sakhas teamed up together with Krsna to attack the sakhis. And now in Nadiya, the same devotees sided with either Gaura or Gadadhara respectively. Picking up pichkaris (syringes), Gauranga’s team squirted Sri Gadadhara and his team. Then in retaliation, Svarupa Damodara and others began to hurl coloured powders bombarding Gauranga and His party from all sides. As the fun pastimes of Holi progressed, Gauridasa started clapping his hands and shouting excitingly, “Gauranga has won, Gauranga has won!” Then Svarupa Damodara angrily replied, “No, Gauranga has lost. The winner is my Gadadhara!” At this instant, some devotees slapped their chests and others sang and danced raising their hands into the sky, “Haribol! Haribol! Gaura Haribol!” (Mohandasa, disciple of Srinivasa Acarya)

Om tat Sat

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Shiva heard these prayers from Sri Brahmaji and later spoke them to the Pracetas. They are called “Rudra Gita” in the Srimad Bhagavatam. This post highlights its special verses along with the wonderful commentaries of Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada.

Sri Shiva: “Bhagavan Sri Krishna, You have revealed yourself as supreme for producing the most auspicious condition for the best of atmaramas. May I also attain that auspicious condition! May I also attain perfection by worshipping you. I offer respects to you, who are everyone, including guru.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.33)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “May I also attain perfection by worshipping you.”

Sri Krishna replies, “But you will attain my worship by the mercy of a guru and no one else. Not by me.”

Shiva: “But you are the form of everyone. You are the guru and the devotee. Thus you can make me worship you.”

Sri Shiva: “I offer my respects to Bhagavan Sri Aniruddha, the master of the mind, which is the chief sense. I offer respects to the perfect sun, who nourishes the jiva.” 36

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “O devata of the sun! Make my eyes see the beauty of Sri Krishna’s form. (The sun is the devata of eyes.) May the energy coming from my body, non-different from the sun’s energy, be purified!”

Sri Shiva: “I offer respects to the deity of the moon.” 38

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Though already the mind had been purified by offering respects to the upasya devata (for worship) of the mind, Aniruddha, because the mind is difficult to control, Sri Shiva again purifies the mind by offering respects to its presiding deity, the moon devata.”

Sri Shiva: “O Bhagavan Sri Krishna! Show us your form worshipped by the devotees. That beautiful form most treasured by your devotees is endowed with all qualities and senses and we desire to see it.” 44

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Remembering in this way, purifying the body, senses and mind by offering respects, Sri Shiva has become qualified. Now he prays to see Bhagavan Sri Krishna.”

Sri Krishna: “Sri Shiva, what form should I show you?”

Sri Shiva: “It should be a beautiful form, most loved by your devotees. It is attractive with senses, qualities and form. Your form is a beneficial ointment for all the senses. And by seeing it the senses will give up the blindness of material enjoyment and be able to experience you.”

Sri Shiva: “Bhagavan Sri Krishna shines dark like a rain cloud, the sum of all beauty, with four long arms and noble, attractive face. Sri Krishna has lotus eyes, graceful brows and nose, fine teeth and forehead, and well-proportioned ears.” 45-46

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Sneha means affectionate and glossy. Sri Krishna’s form is like a rain cloud showering profusely what the devotee desires. It gives relief from suffering and joy to the mind which is like a cataka bird drinking the rain. In Sri Krishna one finds the combined beauty of all material and spiritual objects.”

“Thus Krishna is completely attractive because there is no comparison with Krishna’s beauty. All beauty feels successful in being accepted by Krishna. Four arms mean Sri Krishna has four arms for serving his lovers. Krishna’s face is beautiful like a perfect lotus and his eyes are like the soft petals of a lotus.”

Sri Shiva: “O Krishna! Show your divine form with a foot beautiful as an autumn lotus petal, which dissipates the darkness in the heart by the light from its toenails! O guru! You are the teacher of bhakti for us, who are covered in ignorance!’’ 52

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Another meaning: Sri Shiva said, ‘O Krishna! I have seen your beautiful form, but I have not seen the beauty of the soles of your feet. Even if you can’t show your two feet completely since you are standing in the Maha-yogapitha, just raise one foot a little while standing on the other. Standing on the earth with your left foot, raise and tilt your right foot to show the sole, so that the fear of material existence will be destroyed.”

Sri Krishna says, ‘Mahadeva! How did such a thought arise in you?’

Sri Shiva: ‘It has arisen by the mercy of guru. O guru! You are the teacher of bhakti for us whose eyes are blinded due to ignorance.’”

Sri Shiva: “Desiring purification of oneself, one should repeatedly meditate on the form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Devotion to Krishna’s form gives freedom from the fear of death, even to those practicing varnashram duties.” 53

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Sri Shiva gives some special information in this verse. As long as one has not seen Krishna one must repeatedly meditate on his beautiful sweet form. This is the best means to purify one’s identity. Eventually the devotee sees Sri Krishna and becomes his associate. Thus the goal of the shuddha-bhakta has been shown.”

Sri Shiva: “Death, who destroys everyone in the universe with his power, cannot take possession of one surrendered to Krishna’s lotus feet.” 56

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “The devotee has no fear of samsara. What need has he to pray for release from samsara? Time does not consider that person who has taken shelter of Sri Krishna’s lotus feet.”

Sri Shiva: “What to speak of any blessings on this earth or on Svarga, even the blessing of liberation cannot compare with even half a moment’s association with a Krishna bhakta.” 57

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “If by half a moment’s association one obtains such results, then how much more result will be obtained if the association takes place with devotion, which produces further bhakti?”

Sri Shiva: “The devotee whose heart is pure is not agitated by external objects, and does not fall asleep during worship. Thus being blessed by Bhakti-devi herself, certainly one will easily see Krishna’s pastimes and beauty.” 59

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “O Sri Krishna! From association with your devotees, the heart becomes especially pure (vishuddham). With a pure heart, one can realize your form, pastimes and beauty. The pure heart (chittam) is described. It is not agitated by external objects nor subject to drowsiness.”

“The reason is that it has been purified by bhakti. Sleep and agitation are caused by nama-aparadha which are offenses to bhakti. When offenses disappear Bhakti-devi becomes pleased and gives mercy. Then there will be no agitation or sleep while doing bhakti. When the heart is pure, one will be able to meditate and see your pastimes and beauty.”

Concluding his “Rudra Gita”, Sri Shiva advises the Pracetas:

tam -evatmanam -atma-stham
sarva-bhuteshv -avasthitam
pujayadhvam –grnantash -ca
dhyayantash –ca -sakrd -dharim

Srila Prabhupada translation: “Therefore, O sons of the King, Bhagavan Sri Hari is situated in everyone’s heart. He is also within your hearts. Therefore, chant the glories of Sri Krishna and always meditate upon Krishna continuously.”

Srila Prabhupada purport: The word asakrt is significant, for it means not just for a few minutes but continuously. That is the instruction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, kirtaniyah –sada –hari. The holy name of the Krishna should be chanted twenty-four hours daily.

“Because the princes [Pracetas] were ready to enter into some severe austerity in order to worship Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Sri Shiva advised them to constantly chant and meditate upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is significant that Sri Shiva personally offered his prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead just as he was taught by his father, Sri Brahma.

“One can search out Bhagavan Sri Krishna very easily within one’s heart, for Krishna is situated in every living entity’s heart. Anyone can sit down anywhere and simply chant the holy names of Krishna.”

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Rudra Gita ki jai! Sri Shiva ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Everyone in Katwa– old men, women, children, the blind and invalid, scholars and fools– ran to look at the all-attractive form of Lord Gaurahari. Some women carried water pots on their hips. Others stood motionless, captivated by the mystifying beauty of the Lord. People ridiculed Kesava Bharati for giving sannyasa to such a handsome young man.

Everyone praised the mother who gave birth to such a remarkable son of matchless beauty. They thought to themselves, “Sacidevi, the fortunate mother of Gauranga, is as glorious as Devaki, the famous mother of Lord Sri Krishna. Whoever got Gauranga as her husband is the most fortunate woman in the three worlds.

“No one can take their eyes off the indescribably attractive form of Gaurasundara. Any woman would die simply by hearing that He’s taking sannyasa. How can we tolerate His taking sannyasa?” The people who were thinking like this began weeping loudly.

Feeling compassionate, Gauranga called them together telling them not to lament. He said, “Please bless Me that I may fulfill My desire to dedicate My life to serving the lotus feet of Krishna. Everyone wants to get a proper master. One’s beauty and youth should be utilized in service of the right master. Without a master or husband all of one’s talents and qualities are useless.

“The service of the feet of Krishna is My only shelter. I will serve the beloved master and lord of My life by offering everything that I have.” Then Gauranga paid obeisances to Kesava Bharati, smiled, and begged him for sannyasa again.

The next day, Gaurahari followed the orders of His guru in performing all the rituals for taking sannyasa. The Vaisnavas shook in fear, and bit the edge of their garments during the head-shaving of Sri Gaurasundara.

His long, beautiful curly hair tied in a topknot, and decorated with fragrant malati flowers, had previously enchanted the three worlds. Devotees maintained their lives just by meditating on Gauranga’s hair. In a previous yuga, that hair forced the gopis to give up their shyness, abandon their homes, families and everything else. That hair which Brahma, Siva, Narada and other demigods had formerly glorified would now be cut off. All the men and women of Kantaka-nagara wept loudly.

His hands trembling in fear, the barber flatly refused even to touch Lord Gauranga’s head. He said, “O my Lord, I humbly request You. I don’t have the power to shave You. I’ve never seen such beautiful, curly hair which captivates the three worlds. Please don’t cut Your hair for it pleases the hearts of everyone. There’s no one like You in the whole world. Now I realize that You are the Lord of the whole creation.”

On hearing this, Lord Gauranga became displeased. The barber became worried seeing the Lord’s unhappiness. The barber knew it was inevitable, yet he insisted, “My Lord, how can I cut Your hair? I’m shaking in fear that I may commit an offense to You. And if I do that, then whose feet could I touch to nullify my aparadha? I’m just a simple barber coming from a low-class family.”

Lord Visvambhara said, “After today you can give up this hair-cutting business. By the mercy of Sri Krishna you’ll live a happy, prosperous life. And at the end you will return to My abode in the spiritual world.” So at the time of shaving the Lord’s head, the barber received this boon.

With a saddended heart, Locana Dasa narrates this pastime.

Gauranga’s head-shaving and sannyasa ceremony took place during the auspicious constellation of Makara Sankranti in the month of Magh (January 14, 1510 a.d) The Lord heard the sannyasa mantra from Kesava Bharati while the Vaisnavas filled the atmosphere with the holy name of Hari.

Visvambhara was inundated by waves of love of Krishna which increased in size hundreds of times. His body exploded in bumps of ecstasy. Tears of prema flowed without cessation from His reddish eyes. Hiking up His dhoti, Gauranga made roaring sounds. Laughing slowly and deeply, He shouted in ecstasy, “I’ve taken sannyasa!” (excerpt from Chaitanya Mangala)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The following is a wonderfully inspiring prayer written by Gaudiya Vaisnava rasika acharya Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada.

By reading this prayer and absorbing his heart’s moods, the burning candle of desire to hear, and directly serve in Krishna’s Vraja lilas will manifest in your heart.

Sri Krishna is the dashing young son of Yashoda, and the most charming boy in all the universes. Madan Gopalaji is the wealthiest of capitalists, possessing a vast, unlimited treasury of transcendental love.

Nagarendra Shyama is immersed in the sentiments of ever-fresh and amorous love divine. Ananda Bihari always increases the ocean of spiritual joy. Madhava ever delights in the magical mellows of madhura rasa. Pranakantha is the divine necklace adorning Radhika’s graceful neck. All glories to Shyamachandra!

Srimati Radharani is the life and soul of Sri Vrindavana-natha. As the transcendental desire-creeper of brilliant divine rapture, Navina-kishori Radha is forever overwhelmed by intense, amorous love for Nandanandana. Sriji is splendid, virtuous, charmingly youthful and very playful. All glories to Radhika!

Flowing through the amorous pastimes of Radha-Madhava is a sweet river of transcendental joking words. Brahmaji, Shivaji, Naradaji and Sukadeva Gosvami all desire to see the astonishing amorous pastimes of Lila Yugala Radha-Krishna.

I pray that my mind may fully submerge in Radha-Krishna’s immaculately pristine pastimes of sweet divine love. The forest of Vrindavana is the natural home of Radha-Gopinatha’s madhurya-lilas. The ever-fresh nectar of Priya-Priyatama’s pastimes is always manifest in the minds and hearts of Their devotees.

The blissfully fulfilling, divinely sweet lilas Sri Sri Radha-Krishna make impersonal liberation taste completely bitter. Syamaa-Shyama’s pastimes give everyone the most sumptuous experience of Sri Hari’s sweeter than sweet lotus feet. At every moment, the enchanting pastimes of Rasika Yugala, which resemble a vast transcendental ocean of sweet nectar, display the inconceivable zenith of divine amorous love.

Munivara Sukadevaji proclaims that when one understands Radha-Ghanasyama’s Vraja-lila, then even the most exalted post of Brahmaji seems trivial and unimportant. The captivating, heart-thrilling and mind stealing ecstatic divya lilas of Radha-Shyamasundara are far far beyond the dull and insignificant play of Maya.

Radhika’s priya sakhis and manjaris can always directly see Her playful pastimes with Prananatha. But even the essence of the four Vedas can never perceieve them. The scintillating spiritual love of Radha Rasabihari innocently expresses itself in an unlimited variety of divinely crooked lilas.

I, Prabodhananda Sarasvati, pray that the overheated, mad elephant of my mind may plunge into the cooling sweet river flow of Srimati Radharani’s astounding transcendental pastimes, which can easily extinguish the manifold miseries burning everyone in this world!  (Sangita Madhava Cp. 15)

Radha-Krishna nitya vraja lila ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

I. Tattva / Identity

Sources: Padma Purana and Hari Bhakti Vilasa, 14th vilasa (verses in brackets)

If one does not take Magha snana, his life is meaningless. Magha snana pleases Krishna more than observing vows, austerities and charity. This is the best month to do pious activities. (160) One should observe Magha vrata every year.

(76) It is the duty of every human being to bathe in a holy place during Magha masa to please  Krishna. (127) Water is pure and destroys unlimited amount of sins during Magha masa because the devatas place all their individual potencies in water. (163)

Dattatreya explains, “The human body is useless without Magha snana.” (P.P. Vol. 46, Pg. 2763). These five acts are very pleasing to Sri Krishna: (i) observe Magha vrata; (ii) observe Karttika vrata; (iii) chant twelve–syllable mantra “Om -Namo -Bhagavate –Vasudevaya”; (iv) worship Sri Visnu daily with sixteen articles; and (v) maintain a Tulasi grove. There is also a triad of vows which is very dear to Sri Visnu ─ Magha vrata, Karttika vrata, Ekadasi vrata.

II. Magha Vrata Summary

It is best to bathe before or at sunrise in a holy place. One should give gifts esp. sesame seeds and gur to brahmanas. Worship Suryadeva and keep the ghee lamps lit in the home or temple.

III. Date to Start and Finish the Vow

Start on pausa Purnima and end on Magha Purnima. (67) On Magha Purnima, feed brahmanas, give charity and break your fast.

IV. The Daily Bath

1. Time:  Best before sunrise (90, 138) or pratah kala (6:00 – 8:30 a.m.).

2. Place: Outside in a pond, lake, kunda or river. Ganga bath awards 1,000 times the benefit. By bathing in Triveni, one gets 1,00,000 times the benefit. Every step one takes to go outside for bathing burns the reactions of sins that have not yet fructified and pleases Yama. (93) It is a sastric injunction to bathe in a holy place only to give pleasure to Sri Krishna. One must bathe outside the home at least 3,5 or 7 times in the month. Even bathing in a mud puddle awards mukti.

House Bath: Set a bucket outside in the open air overnight, bring it inside the next morning and bathe. This equals bathing in a holy place. Such a bath bestows all desirable objects. (Add a drop of Ganga, Yamuna or Radha Kunda water).

3. Sankalpa Mantra Vow: Upon waking in the morning, one should recite this: “O Supreme Sri Madhava! I will bathe every morning without fail during Magha masa.”

maghamasam -imam –purnam, snasye’ham -deva -madhava

4.  Mantra Before Bathing: “O Acyuta, O Govinda, O Madhava! I bathe in the month of Magha when the sun travels to the Makara rasi. O Bhagavan, kindly bestow upon me the appropriate fruit of this vow.”

makaraste -ravau –magha, govinda -acyuta -madhava
snanen-anena -me –deva, yathokta -phalado -bhava

5. Benefits of Magha Snana in a Holy Place: Grave sins committed knowingly or unknowingly are destroyed. (79) Sri Brahma says, “All sins committed with the mind, speech or action are destroyed by bathing in a holy place. Any pious acts (e.g., chanting mantras or yagyas) performed for the pleasure of Sri Krishna give unlimited benefits.” (81) If one person from a family bathes in a holy place, all the past and future relatives get liberated by Sri Krishna. (83) All sins are vanquished. (141, 145).

Just by bathing in a holy place for three days, one gets wealth and long life. One becomes free from all distress and sins and goes to Svarga. (60) One goes to Vaikuntha with 21 generations. (78, 154, 164) Nothing is more effective in destroying sinful reactions than bathing in a holy place. Magha snana in a holy place is the best remedy for conditioned souls because it instantly destroys all sinful reactions. It is more beneficial than all vows. It awards all types of boons. (115)

Gives good health, beauty, good qualities, wealth and long life. (118) Daily Magha snana destroys all sins and calamities, pleases Sri Visnu, and gives liberation. Magha snana fulfills all one’s desires. If one takes Magha snana anywhere outside of home, he will experience no sorrows in this or next life. Magha snana at Prayaga is equal to worshiping Sri Visnu at a 100 crore of other places. The fruit of fasting for ten years is equal to three days Magha snana at Prayaga.

6. Bath rules: You don’t have to follow any other vow. Nothing else is required except bathing in a holy place. If you bathe in a holy place, you don’t have to do anything else. (88) One should bathe in silence. (31, 85) Put clay on your head before bath (tilak). While bathing, offer oblations to Suryadeva. Brahmanas should remember the names of Hari, Madhava, Vasudeva and Visnu.

V. Magha Vrata

1. Rules: (i) One should control the mind and senses, observe celibacy, sleep on floor and follow proper behavior; (ii) no oil on body; (iii) don’t eat food cooked or given by others; (iv) eat once a day; (v) give up receiving gifts; (vi) renounce your favorite object. (106)

2. Deity Puja: Worship the Supreme Sri with special care and attention, offering lamps, food, incense and sandalwood paste. By worshiping the supreme Sri with care and attention, one attains spiritual world. (69) One should worship a brahmana couple with food, sandalwood paste, blanket, cloth, jewels. (46)

Light an akhanda-dipa from sunset to sunrise near Deity, offer lots of tulasi leaves and manjaris to the deity. Offer fragrant rice. If you offer lotus or campaka flower, you’ll go to Vaikuntha. Bathe the Deity daily in water and milk. Offer sesame seed preparations to the Deity, khichri with dry fruits, kheer and ghee fried items.

4. Charity: Give charity according to your capacity throughout the month. Blankets, warm clothes, shoes, wood, waterpot, umbrella, ghee, oil, cotton wicks are preferred items. Giving food items with sesame seeds and gur destroys your sins, especially on Sankranti. Magha masa is a special month to give gifts to brahmanas.

It destroys sins, awards happiness and residence in heaven. Austerities and penances performed without giving gifts don’t shine like sky without sun. Whatever gifts one gives to brahmanas, one gets inexhaustible results. One should also offer food to ancestors.

Sri Krishna says: “On Sankranti, Amavasya or Purnima in Magha, Vaisakha, Asadha and Karttika, if you give charity to a brahmana, you will receive a house, happiness, other enjoyable things and liberation.” It especially pleases Krishna if we give blankets, quilts, warm clothes, shoes, rice, ghee, oil, wood, ghee lamps and kumkuma. (47)

VI. Special Puja Days

Everyone should observe Vasanta Pancami, Bhaimi Ekadasi and Varaha Dvadasi. (166)

Krishna Paksa: 1. Makara Sankranti: offer fragrant rice to thakuraji. Offer lotus or campaka flower ─ go to Vaikuntha. One should definitely take Magha snana in a holy place. One must distribute gur and sesame gajjak to brahmanas in public.

2. Amavasya (Mauni Amavasya): One must take a bath in a holy place. Observe complete silence from sunrise to sunset and constantly chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

Sukla Paksa: 3. Tritiya (Manvantari): Any gifts given on this day bestow inexhaustible results.

4. Pancami (Vasanta):  It is a very important bathing day. Bathe the Deity with milk and coconut water. Offer lots of fruits. Decorate the temple with mango leaves. Dress them in new, fine clothes. Illuminate the house with lamps. Offer whole coconut, grapes, sugarcane juice, green vegetables and yellow food items like saffron rice.

Worship Surydeva, Ganga and Mother Earth. Worship Saraswati, and also worship Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, Guru-Parampara, and articles which are worshiped as dwelling places of Saraswati like notebooks, pens, papers, musical instruments e.g., karatals, mrdangas etc.

Keep everything on the altar and cover the picture of Saraswati with yellow cloth. Serve vaisnavas, sing and dance. (167) Play musical instruments in Vasanta raga. If you worship Sri Krishna on Vasanta Pancami, you will become very dear to Supreme Sri. (170)

5. Saptami: It is a special day to worship Surya Bhagavan (Sun–God). If you fast on this day, you get liberation and attain the punya equal to observing a solar eclipse.

Recite this prayer: “This seventh day of Magha sukla should destroy the sins of my seven lives, and destroy my diseases and miseries. This saptami day is the mother of all Saptamis! Belonging to the Sun, you have appeared on the seventh day. I offer my respects to you, O devi, living on the Sun planet.”

On Sapatmi, donate grains and red cloth out of love for the sun. Worship Surya Narayana. Offer an arka leaf, a fragrant red flower, badri fruit, rice, sacred thread coated with kumkuma, all inside a copper pot. Offer saffron water. Offer grains and red cloth. Also wear red clothes.

6. Bhisma Astami: For five days, beginning on astami, when bathing stand in water facing North and hang one’s brahmana thread like a flower mala. Offer water to Bhisma with this mantra: “Let me offer this oblation of water to the great devotee Bhisma, who belongs to the Vaiyaghra pada (Lion), who is enriched with spiritual understanding and who had no son. (173)

vaiyaghra -padya –gotraya, sankrti -pravaraya -ca
aputraya -dadyam -ye –tat, salilam -bhisma -varmmane

VII. Breaking the Magha Vrata

On Magha Purnima, feed brahmanas and give them gifts. At the end of Purnima tithi, break the fast.  End with this prayer: “O Govinda, Acyuta, Madhava! Please give me the fruit of Magha vrata and eternal service of the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani in the groves of Vrndavana as Her eternal maidservant palyadasi.”

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!