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!