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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

According to our Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas, 5,000 years ago, Bhagavan Sri Krishna originally manifested Radha-Syama Kundas on Caitra Purnima. For Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Karttika Bahulastami is the sacred day that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu unveiled the hidden location of Radha Kunda.

Appearance Day

As far as we know, the only Gaudiya Vaisnava pramana or evidence to establish the appearance day of Radha Kunda comes from Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam (10.45.3): “ON CAITRA PURNIMA (March-April) Bhagavan Sri Krishna killed Aristasura at midnight and manifested Shyama-kunda.”

Both the appearance and discovery days of Radha Kunda are equally sacred and worshipable. Because they are always eager to take advantage of every possible opportunity to serve and worship Srimati Radharani, Gaudiya Vaisnavas bathe every year in Radha Kunda at midnight on Caitra Purnima to celebrate the appearance, and also in Karttika on the day of Bahulastami.

Besides being beautiful, Caitra Purnima is the first Purnima of the Hindu new year. One can only imagine how incredibly beautiful, romantic and blissful it was on that magical full moon night five millenniums ago when Madhuri-Madhava manifested Radha-Syama Kundas, and enjoyed a festive rasa dance on the banks! Jai Radhe!

** Note: In 2019, the Chaitra Purnima Tithi bathing is at midnight 18th April.

DISCOVERY DAY

Bhakti-ratnakara and Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya chapter 18) say that Mahaprabhu stayed in Vraja Mandala for about 4 months (September-December). Sri Caitanyadeva first came to Mathura (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.17.155); then Gaurahari toured the 12 forests of Vrndavana (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.17.193); and He arrived in Arita Grama (Radha Kunda) on Karttika Bahulastami when MAHAPRABHU DISCOVERED RADHA KUNDA (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.18.1-13).

Since then, the old Vrajavasi sadhus and Gaudiya saints say that Gaudiya Vaisnavas have been especially honoring Mahaprabhu’s discovery of Radha Kunda by bathing in Radha Kunda on Bahulastami in Karttika. The Goswamis also endorse this practice.

Sri Rupa Goswamipada in Mathura Mahatmyam (verse 439, 441) and Sri Sanatama Goswamipada in Hari Bhakti Vilasa (16.207, 210) both quote the Padma Purana, Karttika mahatmyam which says: “Anyone who BATHES ON THE DAY of Bahulastami in Radha-kunda becomes very dear to Bhagavan Sri Hari, karttike- bahulastamyam, tatra -snatva -haripriya.”

There is no real conflict or problem with having two appearance days because in spiritual matters everything is perfectly included within the complete whole, Sri Krishna. All the different spiritual truths, practices and places exist together in perfect harmony vibrating beautifully for the happiness of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

SUMMARY: Thus for the last five-hundred years, Gaudiya Vaisnavas have been worshiping and bathing in Radha Kunda to celebrate both these wonderful days!

In other words, there are two appearance days:

1) To the eyes of Radha Govinda and all the sakhis when they manifested it 5,000 years ago;

2) To the eyes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He found it in the middle of a field 500 years ago.

Karttika Bahulastami ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Chaitra Purnima Radha-kunda Appearance ki jai!

Mahanidhi Swami

It was summer 1975, a Saturday night Harinama Sankirtana party, 100 saints strong on the streets of Los Angeles, U.S.A.

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

Being a new recruit at that time, I was feeling a little sick and feverish so I was not much “into it”. Just then a blissful loving swami with a big pony tail came up to me while playing wildly enthusiastic mrdanga.

Smiling with the intoxicating taste of love divine, that naturally happy swami said, “Hey, come on, what are you doing? This is Gauranga’s bliss party, so you have to CHANT AND DANCE LIKE A MADMAN!!!”

There and then I went whirling, spinning and jumping, “Hari Bol!” “Hari Bol” as I danced “like a madman” down the sidewalks of Hollywood! Little did I know then, that 500 years ago Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was also doing the same.

Gauranga Mahaprabhu danced in divine madness down the footpaths and byways of India while singing the most magnetic and transforming prema-nama Harinama sankirtana of Sri Krishna’s transcendental names.

Mahaprabhu flooded the lanes of Navadvipa with rivers of pure prema-nama enriched with His dancing in the madness of gopi-bhava. Hari is an extremely rasika, Vraja lila-filled name, so naturally it was one of Gaurahari’s favorites.

Dancing through Nadia, Nimai, the genius child, sweetly and ecstatically sang:

“Hari! Hari!” “Hari! Hari!” “Hari! Hari!” “Hari! Hari!” “Hari! Hari!” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.7.159)

“Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” “Hari bol!” (Caitanya Bhagavata 3.5.155)

Having heard directly from Mahaprabhu’s associates, the Gaura-lila Vedavyasa, Sri Vrindavana Das Thakura, recorded the “all-time favorite” Vraja rasika divine nama-sankirtana names of Sri Krishna that Mahaprabhu loved to sing throughout His blissful, compassionate presence. One can see below that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu often juxtaposed these favorite names to savor different flavors of rasa.

Gathering a group of loving friends, playing mrdangas, karatals, whompers, and divine horns [srnga], Sri Chaitanya sang:

jaya kṛṣṇa murāri, mukunda vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.8.276)
jaya kṛṣṇa mukunda, murāri vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.23.422)
jaya kṛṣṇa gopāla, govinda vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.16.100)
jaya kṛṣṇa govinda gopāla vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.26.17)
kṛṣṇa rāma mukunda, murāri vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.23.29)
hari bolo mukunda, gopāla vanamālī (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.23.435)

Putting the above divya nama together minus references, one gets a complete song that could be sung on Sankirtana. Here it is (refrain: repeat 2x):

hari bol, hari bol, hari bol
jaya krishna murāri, mukunda vanamālī
jaya krishna mukunda, murāri vanamālī
jaya krishna gopāla, govinda vanamālī
jaya krishna govinda, gopāla vanamālī
krishna rāma mukunda, murāri vanamālī
hari bolo mukunda, gopala vanamali
hari bol, hari bol, hari bol!

During Audarya Purusottama, Sri Chaitanya’s Dakshina Bharata tirtha yatra, Mahaprabhu moved along like a maddened lion (matta simha) absorbed in prema-sankirtan singing:

kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! he
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! he
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! rakṣa mām
kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! pāhi mām
kṛṣṇa! keśava! kṛṣṇa! keśava! kṛṣṇa! keśava! rakṣa mām
(Caitanya Caritamrita 2.7.95-96)

Madness: Two Kinds

The English word mad comes from the Sanskrit word mada or matta, which means madness or intoxication. Madness (matta) means to be completely obsessed with, or to be frantic, turbulent, crazy and wild about someone or something. Madness is of two kinds: mundane and transcendental. In other words, one can be crazy for Krishna or crazy for Maya, the illusion of enjoyment.

Regarding the varieties of madness, Srila Prabhupada said, “There are two kinds of madness [material & spiritual]. One madness is for material enjoyment which entangles people more and more in the process of birth and death. So this material madness you have to give up.

“And you have to become mad after Krishna. Then your life is successful. That [divine transcendental] madness is exhibited by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, wherein He experiences one moment to be one yuga. Tears in the eyes like the torrents of rain, Mahaprabhu cried, “I feel the whole world is vacant in separation from Govinda.”

“This madness is wanted, missing Govinda madness. When Krishna left Vṛndāvana and went to Mathurā, the Vraja gopis became so mad that they had no other business than just crying torrents of rain. That is wanted. That is Vṛndāvana life.” (folio: 760910SB.VRN)

“For others, madness is a disease. But if anyone hears about or sees Mahaprabhu’s divine madness in Krishna prema, then that madness will destroy one’s bondage to repeated birth and death.)” (Chaitanya-chandrodaya 2.119)

Definition of Divine Madness

Sri Nama Alvar, the famous Vaisnava premi saint, defined divine madness thus: “When one is overcome by bhakti exaltation and trembling in every cell of his being, one must freely and passively allow this influence to penetrate one’s entire being. It will carry one beyond all known states of consciousness.

“So never be afraid or embarrassed that others may think that you are mad. For that would suppress the display of the rapturous bhakti that deluges your being. That very divine madness is what distinguishes one from ordinary mortals who have no access to such beatific vision.

“That divine madness is the bhakta’s pride. Enveloped in that divine madness, one should follow the saint who implores, “Just sing and cry, laugh, jump and run about so that everyone can witness it.” (Hindu Mysticism)

Crazy for Radha-Krishna ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe! (see part two)

Mahanidhi Swami

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!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Two days before Ratha-yatra, all the devotees from Bengal arrived at the Gambhira in Jagannatha Puri. For the pleasure of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghava Pandita brought many bags of food that had been very nicely prepared and carefully packed by his sister, Damayanti. The bags of food that Damayanti lovingly made for Mahaprabhu have become famous throughout the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya as raghavera jhaali.

Damayanti made varieties of unparalleled food that were the favorites of Mahaprabhu, which the Lord relished continually for one year. The many tasty foods included a hundred varieties of condiments and pickles, various sweets from milk, cream and grains, rich tasty dishes from dried and flat rice. Because of her intense affection for Mahaprabhu, Damayanti thought that Gauranga might get indigestion from eating the heavy foods. So she also packed digestive aids in the bags, such as dried karela and other bitter vegetables known as sukutaa, which help digestion. Mahaprabhu derived more happiness from eating this sukutaa than from drinking pancamrta. Other digestive aids were small sweet balls made of dried ginger, and also one of powdered coriander and anise seeds. Damayanti ingeniously created an amazing digestive aid by drying, powdering and straining mud from the Ganga. Then she mixed in aromatic ingredients and rolled it into small balls.

Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja sums Damayanti’s pure love offering by saying, “I could not mention the names of all these wonderful eatables, even in a lifetime. Damayanti made hundreds and thousands of varieties.”

This blissful spiritual festival, which is still celebrated in Jagannatha Puri every year two days before Ratha-yatra is called “Gaura Gambhira me Raghava Panditaji ka Jhaali Samarpana”.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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