Divine Madness of Mahaprabhu
Worried over Nimai’s apparent mental health, mother Shachi showed Him to a doctor. The doctor examined and said, “Nimai is exhibiting madness, so you must tie His legs together and keep Him home. Massage Nimai’s head with medicated oil and feed Him fresh coconut water until his madness is cured!”
A few days later, Srivasa Thakura visited Vishvambhara in His home in Navadvipa and saw Gaurahari doing tulasi parikrama. Then upon suddenly noticing a devotee, Mahaprabhu swooned and shivered intensely in divine love. Upon assuming external consciousness, Mahaprabhu greeted Srivasa Thakura and said, “They say I am mad, insane. What do you think?”
hāsi’ bale śrīvāsa, paṇḍita bhāla vāi
tomāra ye-mata vāi, tāhā āmi cāi
Smilingly, Srivasa said, “O Mahaprabhu, Your madness is good. I also want the same kind of madness that You have, wherein I experience divine love and the direct mercy of Sri Krishna.” (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.2.98-114)
Since Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lilas are eternally manifest in one universe or another, His divine madness is also eternal. Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja explains:
rādhikāra bhāva yaiche, uddhava-darśane
sei bhāve matta prabhu, rahe rātri-dine
Just as Rādhikā entered a state of divine madness [in mahabhava] upon seeing Uddhava, Mahaprabhu was all day and night in that same state of divine madness [in separation from Krishna] (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.108)
Divine Madness in Vrindavana
preme matta cali’ āilā govardhana-grāma
Arriving at Mt. Govardhana, Mahaprabhu went mad in Krishna prema. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.17)
harideva-āge nāce preme matta hañā
And while taking darshana of Sri Haridevji at Mansi Ganga, Mahaprabhu madly danced in Krishna prema. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.19)
Divine Madness Distribution
śuni’ ‘Krishna’ ‘Krishna’ bali, amogha uṭhilā
premonmāde matta hañā, nācite lāgilā
Upon hearing Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu chant ‘Krishna! Krishna!’ the terminally diseased Amogha immediately got off his deathbed and began to chant Krishna nama. Becoming mad with ecstatic love, Amogha danced very emotionally. (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.15.278)
yāṅhāra darśane loke preme matta hañā
hāse, kānde, nāce, gāya, Krishna-nāma lañā
The people said, “Simply by seeing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, everyone is maddened with love of Krishna. Thus they are laughing, crying, dancing, chanting Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.15.162)
With a mere embrace of mercy from Mahaprabhu, Krishna dasa went mad in love divine and began dancing and singing, “Hari! Hari! Hari!” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.88)
tomā dekhi Krishna-preme, jagata-pāgala
By seeing Mahaprabhu everyone went crazy with Krishna prema. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.120)
ye tomāra ‘nāma’ śune
sei Krishna-preme matta, tāre tribhuvane
If anyone hears Mahaprabhu’s name, he/she will go mad in Krishna prema and perform harinama sankirtana to deliver the three worlds. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.123, 219)
Divine Madness & Harinama Sankirtana
punaḥ punaḥ piyāiyā haya mahāmatta
nāce, kānde, hāse, gāya, yaiche mada-matta
Repeatedly drinking Harinama rasa, Sri Gauranga and the others became greatly mad. So they all started singing, dancing, laughing and crying in the madness of divine delirium. (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.7.22)
And with His saṅkīrtana movement, Mahaprabhu made everyone mad like Himself. We do not find anyone who was not maddened by Gauranga’s saṅkīrtana movement. (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.9.52)
“When the people assembled, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu raised His beautiful long golden arms and shouted, “Haribol!” Responding, the people became ecstatic in divine madness, dancing and chanting the transcendental sound “Hari!” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.17.189)
“Like a mad lion, matta-siṁha, Mahaprabhu danced in the center of a circle of kirtaneers. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.12.137) “If anyone, after hearing from Sri Chaitanya, would chant “Hari Krishna” he or she would go mad in love divine (prema-matta)” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.7.98)
Divine Madness & Krishna Prema
krishna prema phal āsvāde, matta loka ha-ila sakala
Everyone who tastes the fruit of Krishna prema will become mad in divine bliss. (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.9.48)
Srila Prabhupada explains the nature of Krishna prema, separation and madness: “We become mad after Krishna in our separation from Him. This is called Krishna-premā. And this love was distributed by Caitanya Mahāprabhu.” (TLK v. 30 p.)
“When one is separated from Radha-Krishna, then all the bodily symptoms of transcendental ecstasy manifest, and one appears inconceivably crazy i.e. transcendental madness.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.1.87 p.)
Divine Madness Is Krishna Consciousness
Dancing madly on harinama sankirtan, being crazy about Krishna, and going mad in separation from Radha-Govinda Yugala—this is Krishna Consciousness. The true devotee is one who feels intense separation from the sweetness in Shyama, and goes mad by a mere remembrance of those first sweet drops of joy in Krishna bhakti.
The greatest Krishna bhakta is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. His madness in separation from love divine Sri Krishna is legendary and astonishing. As Mahaprabhu was, we too should become mad men/women searching in separation for Krishna within ourselves, within others and within the medium we move.
In the following amazing rasa-filled quote, Srila Prabhupada explains Krishna consciousness in a nutshell.
Srila Prabhupada said, “Sri Caitanya, the greatest symbol of a Krishna-bhakta, was mad after Krishna, [crying continually], ‘Where I can see Krishna? Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna? He was mad after Krishna.”(folio: 670323SB.SF)
“This is Krishna consciousness—when one becomes mad after Krishna, thinking, “How to see Him? How to see Krishna? How to see Him. How to see Him? Where He is? Where He is? Where He is?” Increasing this intense love for Krishna.
“When we will be mad for Krishna that is the perfection of life. We should be very, very serious to see Krishna. At least this attitude will help us: “Where is Krishna? How I will see Him? How I would meet Him?” That is called Krishna consciousness.” (folio: 730901R2.LON)
Madhureṇa Samāpayed: A Sweet Ending
“Murari’s mesmerizing flute forces the maidens of Vraja to forsake their self-control, righteousness and bashfulness. They ramble through the woods of Vrindavan like ones possessed, asking the trees, creepers and shrubs about Sri Krishna. Undoubtedly, a colossal maddening-shakti is working on them.
“Yet the madness of the damsels of Vraja is nothing in comparison to the special divine lunacy of Srimati Radharani i.e. divyonmada mahabhava. Radhika alone has the monopoly over this priceless gem called ‘divine lunacy’. And we are fortunate that we belong to this particular Kali-yuga, wherein Sri Goursundar has relished the sweet rasa of Sri Radha’s divine lunacy.” (Analytical Study of Love: Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja)
Mahaprabhu and Madness! Krishna creates the madness, places it in the hearts of His beloveds, and then relishes the sweet taste of loving separation for time eternal as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We Their humble servants cry in Their footsteps, begging in separation for a drop of prema or a glimpse of Shyama. O Srimati Radharani! With Your power and tender mercy, that impossible vision becomes a sweet reality.
Crazy for Radha-Krishna ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!