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A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
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A Play: the Life of Lord Chaitanya
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement, Brahma Sampradaya Acharya
San Francisco (at Paradisio), April 5 - 6, 1967. Srila Prabhupada was recuperating from a recent stroke, when one day he called Hayagriva das, an English literature professor and one of the earliest disciples (then still a very new devotee), into his room, and requested him to write a play depicting the life of Lord Chaitanya. In this intimate discussion which took place over 2 days, Srila Prabhupada boiled down the science of Krishna consciousness and life of Lord Chaitanya to its essence for drama presentation.
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Prabhupada: The first scene is that people passing on with sankirtana [chanting in the streets] movement as we have, as we usually do, very nice procession with mridanga, karatalas [clay drum and small brass cymbols] and that bugle, all people, just in the ordinary way. We have to make a nice procession.
The second scene is that Kali, the personified Kali, a person should be decorated blackish. A blackish man with royal dress and very ugly features. And his queen, another ugly-featured girl or lady. So they are disturbed. They'll talk between themselves that "There is sankirtana movement now and how we shall prosecute our business of this Kali-yuga?" There will be, in that scene, in some corner somebody is drinking. Two or three persons drinking. The scene will be like that. They are sitting in the center. In one corner somebody taking part in drinking, and another part somebody is illicitly talking of lust and love with woman. In another section there is slaughtering of a cow, and another section gambling. In this way that scene should be adjusted. And in the middle, the ugly man, black man, and the ugly woman will talk that "We are now in danger. The sankirtana movement has been started. What to do?" In this way you have to finish that scene.
Hayagriva: Now Kali is depicted as a male. As male?
Prabhupada: As male, yes.
Hayagriva: Because sometimes I know he's depicted as female.
Prabhupada: Yes. Male, his feature black, and dressed like a king. Black means ignorance. And similarly the scene is also blackish.
Prabhupada: These things should be ascertained[?]. Then… it is mentioned there, exhibit illicit sex, slaughterhouse, intoxication, gambling.
Then the third scene is very nice. Rasa dance [Krishna dancing with the cowherd maidens of Vrindaban].
Hayagriva: Uh… Just before this… I'm not going to make this I don't believe either eastern or western, but I think this can apply for the whole world in the sense that the names may be Indian names, but I think the exhibition of the assembly of Kali and his consort sin and the exhibition of illicit sex and slaughterhouse, this can all be, it can be from western type prototype.
Prabhupada: That may be. No, why should you… It may be sometimes misunderstood that western people are only under the influence of Kali. Because the world is under the influence of Kali. Not that in your country only this intoxication, illicit sex. No, everywhere it is.
Hayagriva: I realize that.
Prabhupada: More or less. More or less.
Hayagriva: Not only in that scene. My point is that I don't want to make this an Indian play.
Prabhupada: That you may do. That you may do. I have no objection.
But people may not misunderstand that here a scene is depicted simply criticizing the western way. That is my point. Yes.
Hayagriva: Yes. Now that other person, that other Lord Chaitanya… Roy? Who wrote the other Lord Chaitanya? That other play?
Prabhupada: No, nobody…
Hayagriva: I showed you that other play.
Prabhupada: Oh, that Dilip Kumar.
Hayagriva: Yes. That's what I had in mind. I thought it was strictly an Indian type of play.
Prabhupada: Yes, that was Indian type. Yes, that was Indian type. Or if you like… I have no objection. If you present the characters in European style. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu…
Hayagriva: No, no. They wouldn't be presented in a western style, but there wouldn't be either an eastern nor a western flavor.
Prabhupada: That will be very nice. That will be very nice.
Hayagriva: In other words, it could be anywhere.
Hayagriva: The situation could be… Because it's transcendental. It's not here, it's not there.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. No, the Kali is not transcendental. Kali is material.
Hayagriva: Yes. The earth, the whole world is affected, so it's not just one section.
Prabhupada: Yes. Not only earth, this earth. It is whole universe.
Prabhupada: So next scene is rasa dance. Rasa dance means Krishna and Radharani in the center, and the gopis [cowherd maidens], they are surrounding. You have seen that surrounding scene they were dancing the other day in the park, hand to hand.
Hayagriva: Yes, yes.
Prabhupada: So one Krishna and one gopi, they are dancing. That should be, scene should be… Then the rasa dance should be stopped and Krishna will talk with the gopis. Krishna will say to the gopis that "My dear friends, you have come to Me in this dead of night. It is not very good because it is the duty of every woman to please her husband. So what your husband will think that you have come in such dead of night? A woman's duty is not to give up her husband even he is not of good character or if he is unfortunate, if he is old, or if he is diseased. Still, husband is worshiped by the wife. So you have come here, it is very sinful. So you… People will decry it. Please go back. Now we have finished." So in this way the gopis will reply that, "You cannot request us to go back because with great difficulty and with great, I mean to say, ecstatic desire we have come to You, and it is not Your duty to ask us to go back." In this way you arrange some talking that Krishna is asking them to go back, but they are insisting, "No, let us continue our rasa dance." Then when the rasa dance is finished, the gopis will go, then Krishna in His halilak[?], He says that "They are My heart and soul, these gopis. They are so sincere devotees that they do not care for family encumbrances and all, any bad name. They come to Me. So how shall I repay them?" He was thinking. "How shall I repay their so ecstatic love?" So He thought that "I cannot repay them unless and until I take up their situation to understand Me. Because I Myself cannot understand Me. I have to take the position of the gopis, how they are loving Me." So with that consideration He took the form of Lord Chaitanya. Therefore Krishna is blackish, Lord Chaitanya is of the color of the gopis. The whole life of Lord Chaitanya is representation of gopis' love towards Krishna. That should be painted in that picture. You have got to ask anything?
Hayagriva: This is His determination to incarnate as Lord Chaitanya.
Prabhupada: Lord Chaitanya, yes.
Hayagriva: In order to…
Prabhupada: In order to appreciate Krishna in the form of gopis. Just like I have got dealings with you. So you have got your individuality, I have got my individuality, but if I want to study how you are so much obedient and loving to me, then I have to go to your position. It is very natural psychology. Yes. You have to paint in that way.
Hayagriva: I think that's clear.
Prabhupada: Huh? That's clear. Accha.
Then fourth scene is lunar eclipse. You'll have to arrange a scene that just in the evening there is appearance of the full moon on the side of the Ganges and people are taking bath half in the water and half above the water, and they're all chanting, this same scene, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna," with mridanga [clay drum] and… Yes. So somebody comes, Advaita. Advaita comes in the scene to take bath in the Ganges and begins to dance. "Oh, my mission is now fulfilled! My mission is now fulfilled!" He'll talk. He was very sorry to see the condition of the people that everyone is engaged simply for material sense gratification. Nobody is engaged in love of Godhead. So he wanted to rectify their behavior, but he thought that "I am ordinary man, what can I do? If Krishna Himself comes, then He can do it." Therefore he worshiped Krishna, and he simply offered Ganges water and Tulasi leaf. In this way Krishna has taken His incarnation as Lord Chaitanya. So he has understood now at this moment Lord Chaitanya has now taken His appearance. So he was dancing, "Now my mission is fulfilled. Now my mission is fulfilled."
Hayagriva: That's Advaita.
Prabhupada: Advaita. Lunar eclipse, everyone taking bath in the Ganges and chanting.
Hayagriva: And Advaita is introduced there and he's very joyful on this occasion because he had requested that this incarnation…
Prabhupada: Yes. He prayed. He prayed to Krishna that "You come."
Hayagriva: He's aware at this time that this is the occurrence of Lord Chaitanya's incarnation.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. So this scene should be entered like that.
Hayagriva: Now I noticed in the list of characters we have up here, Radharani. She doesn't appear at this point.
Prabhupada: No. Radharani will be in the rasa dance?
Hayagriva: Oh. In the rasa dance.
Hayagriva: That's the…
Prabhupada: Radharani and Krishna in the center. And Krishna has expanded Himself for other gopis, hand to hand.
Hayagriva: That's the third scene, the rasa dance. So Radharani appears in that?
Prabhupada: That's the third scene, yes. There is the appearance, appearance of Radharani.
Hayagriva: The damsels of Vrindavana appear also in the…
Prabhupada: No, the dance was in Vrindavana. Yes. Rasa dance was in Vrindavana.
Hayagriva: The damsels of Vrindavana also appear in the third scene.
Prabhupada: Yes. Third scene. Yes. Rasa dance of Lord Krishna and His associates, Lord Krishna's determination.
Hayagriva: All right. Now we have the fourth scene. Does Advaita speak to anyone in the fourth scene or is that…?
Hayagriva: Is there anyone there? Any of these characters there? I'm trying to introduce these characters.
Prabhupada: Yes, certainly.
Hayagriva: The characters should be introduced in the first act.
Prabhupada: Yes. There should be…
Hayagriva: A few of them. Not all of them, but a few of them should be…
Prabhupada: Shrinivasa. Shrinivasa and Haridasa. Haridasa character is there?
Hayagriva: Yes, I have this.
Prabhupada: Yes. Haridasa should be a old man.
Hayagriva: So Advaita is old too, isn't he?
Prabhupada: Advaita is old.
Hayagriva: And Nivas.
Prabhupada: He is not so old. He is middle-aged man.
Hayagriva: Could you give me a brief rundown on their…? Are they devotee, they're devotees…
Prabhupada: Just like the picture is, Advaita, say, his age is about forty years, and Haridasa and Advaita, he was about more than fifty years old at that time when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was born. They were quite old men. His father's age.
Hayagriva: They're all devotees.
Prabhupada: They're all devotees. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was propagating His sankirtana movement the brahmanas, the orthodox brahmanas, they took objection. "This is not according to Hindu shastra [scriptures]. This is something new." But only these two gentlemen, they… Advaita happened to be the head of the brahmana community. So his support… And he was a well-to-do man, he was rich man, influential man. His support made Chaitanya's movement successful in Nabadwip. He was a very influential man. And similarly, Shrinivasa, he was also, he belonged to the brahmana community. And Advaita gave shelter to Haridasa. Haridasa was a Muhammadan. So he was punished by the Muhammadan magistrate and he took shelter at the house of Advaita. He was maintaining him. You can make them appear in the scene. They were talking between Haridasa and Shrinivasa and Advaita and all of them chanting and dancing, "Now our mission is fulfilled."
Hayagriva: Yes, I see. All right. Now the fifth scene…
Prabhupada: Fifth scene, Lord Chaitanya's mother, Sachidevi, is sitting underneath a tree, a nim tree. It is called nim tree. And the little child on her lap and the visitors, so many visitors are coming, and they are offering some presentation. Somebody is offering gold necklace, somebody offering some bangles, some cloth, some money, and his father, he… what is called… Jagannatha Mishra. Jagannatha Mishra is there? Yes. Jagannatha Mishra, His father. He was, whatever money and clothes and gold and silver, they were coming, he was also distributing to poor men, some dancers. In India there is a system… What you call the eunuchs? Those who are neither male or female. What do you call? What is their name?
Hayagriva: A combination of both, male and female? A hermaphrodite. A hermaphrodite.
Prabhupada: Eunuch, what is that eunuch?
Hayagriva: A eunuch is…
Hayagriva: Impotent, an impotent… Someone who's been castrated.
Prabhupada: Oh, that is called eunuch. By nature, neither man, neither woman.
Hayagriva: Oh, this is also called asexual, that is to say no sex.
Prabhupada: No sex.
Hayagriva: Hermaphroditic means they have the physical features of both man and woman.
Prabhupada: Oh. At the same time?
Hayagriva: At the same time.
Prabhupada: I do not exactly. But such people they have their own society, and their means of living is that whenever there is some good occasion, a marriage or childbirth, like that, so they go there and pray God that this child may be very long living. In this way they make some prayer and get some…
Hayagriva: These people… Now I don't understand… This takes place at… the sixth scene…?
Prabhupada: At Jagannatha Mishra's house.
Hayagriva: Jagannatha Mishra's house. And his wife is who?
Prabhupada: This scene should be mentioned as Jagannatha Mishra's courtyard.
Hayagriva: And who is his wife again?
Hayagriva: Sachidevi, yes.
Prabhupada: Sachidevi is the mother of Lord Chaitanya. She is sitting with the child and everyone is visiting, visiting, presenting, or all, everyone's saying, "Oh, how nice child He is."
Hayagriva: And these asexual people…
Prabhupada: They are dancing.
Hayagriva: They are dancing.
Prabhupada: Yes. They are dancing, Hare Krishna. Yes, like that. So Hare Krishna dancing is going there?
Prabhupada: And visitors coming and presenting. That is a very nice scene. Yes.
The sixth scene is Lord Chaitanya, a naughty boy. He would go to the Ganges side, and it is the system of orthodox brahmanas that they meditate in the Ganges, half. That is the system. Now He will go and swim over the water and throw water in their mouth in this way. Naughty boy. And they will be very much disgusted.
"You naughty boy! You come here!"
"Stop your meditation. What is this meditation? Chant! Chant Hare Krishna!"
He'll say like that. So they will come and complain to His father.
"Your child has become too much naughty and just see that…, teased us like this."
The father will say, "Oh, the boy is going to be very naughty. I'll punish Him. Let Him come."
So father, angry father was waiting. As soon as the boy will come he would punish. But when the boy returns the father sees that He's just coming from school. There is no sign that He has gone to Ganges and taken bath. How is that these gentlemen complained? He will be puzzled. In that way, we have to show.
Hayagriva: How old is He here? How old is Chaitanya here? Maybe five, six?
Prabhupada: That was, He was five or six years old. That's all.
Hayagriva: And this is… What's the location again?
Prabhupada: This location is front of Jagannatha Mishra's house.
Hayagriva: Yes. Six years later in other words.
Hayagriva: All right. That's the… Does He meet any of these characters at the river? Does He meet any of the characters up there?
Prabhupada: No. General public. General public. But they are all brahmanas, rigid brahmanas. They are taking bath. Yes.
Hayagriva: Now is that the end of the first act?
Prabhupada: End of the first… I think you should first of all write this, then you take. Or you take all the notes at a time?
Hayagriva: Do you feel like going on? I don't think I'm going to write these now. I'm just going to use this tape. When I go over a scene I'll just play it back. It's too much to write.
Prabhupada: All right. That's all right.
Hayagriva: If you feel like going on, then go ahead.
Prabhupada: No, I can talk.
Hayagriva: Oh, good.
Prabhupada: I can talk.
Hayagriva: Well let's do as much as possible because you're leaving Sunday.
Prabhupada: All right. All right. Do it.
Hayagriva: This is second act now.
Prabhupada: Second act. Then Lord Chaitanya's sankirtana organization in the house of Shrinivasa. Shrinivasa Acharya. The sankirtana movement was… They were all chanting together Hare Krishna, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked the devotees that "Hello, My dear friends. What do you want to eat?" So some of them said… That was out of season, and still some of them asked that "We shall be very glad if You give us some mangoes." [laughs] So Lord Chaitanya said that "All right. You just bring one seed of mango." So in Bengal there is… seed of mango is available always because the people in the village, they eat mango and throw it in the ground, they say they come out as tree, creeper [seedling]. So it is not very difficult. So he brought some creeper like that, and he sowed it, and at once it became a tree, and there was sufficient quantity of mango fruits. So all the devotees were distributed. And that mango tree remained there and they were taking mango every day. And in that scene, just try to…
The next scene is brahmanas' dissatisfaction. Now some of the brahmanas…
Hayagriva: How old is Chaitanya now?
Prabhupada: He was about…
Prabhupada: Fifteen, sixteen, like that. Yes. Fifteen, sixteen. Yes, you ask me questions, any about that.
Hayagriva: That's His sankirtana organization, that first scene.
Hayagriva: And from this first comes…
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the beginning of…
Hayagriva: A scene of Nivas…
Prabhupada: At Shrinivasa's house.
Hayagriva: Are the people mainly young people like Himself?
Prabhupada: Yes, they were all young.
Hayagriva: Or are they older brahmanas?
Prabhupada: Older, only these…
Hayagriva: Only the three, yes.
Prabhupada: Haridasa, Shrinivasa, and Advaita. They were taking part. Otherwise, all, they were young friends, yes. Young boys. No girls. That is not the system in India. [laughs] Yes.
Now when the second scene, mainly their movement was going on and it was becoming popular. Now Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached that simply by the sankirtana movement everything will be fulfilled. You need not do anything. So the priest class brahmanas they became very much dissatisfied that "He is inviting Muhammadans and all others…" Because according to Hindu society, except the brahmanas… Especially in those days, only the brahmanas were considered the highest in the society, and even the kshatriyas, vaishyas, they all calculated to, in the group of shudras. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was allowing everyone—the Muhammadans, the shudras, the low class, the high class, the brahmanas… He was amalgamating everyone. So these brahmanas, they took objection. "He is making a disastrous movement! The prestige of the brahmanas will go." So they became very much dissatisfied, and they concluded that "We shall go to the magistrate and file our complaint that He is doing against Hindu religion and He's crying always 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna' loudly. The Lord is sleeping. He will be disturbed and there will be disaster, Lord being angry." In this way they filed complaint.
Ask anything, questions.
Hayagriva: Are there any of the characters listed up here among the brahmanas who complained?
Prabhupada: No. They complained… Characters… Ordinary brahmanas.
Hayagriva: Yes. All right. I can't think of anything there. That leads into the next scene, third scene.
Prabhupada: Yes. Then the next scene is that some constables came and during the Hari-sankirtana [chanting party on the street], they broke the mridangas that "You have disobeyed the magistrate order that… So you cannot do it." So as the constables, they do some violence or assault, so they did that. And after the constables went away Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was informed. He came. He saw that the mridangas are broken and everything is strewn away, so Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw. He decided, "All right. Now we shall organize a civil disobedience movement. Now tomorrow we shall organize thousands and thousands of people with mridangas and we shall approach the magistrate house." So He… Next scene… What is that next scene?
Hayagriva: Now the constables broke up a sankirtana carried on by Chaitanya's friends. Any location here particular?
Prabhupada: Yes. It is called the Shrivasa house.
Hayagriva: On a house. At someone's home.
Prabhupada: Yes. Because in India the village houses they have got some compound. Not that only fixed house. Every house has got a compound.
Hayagriva: All right. Very good. Now the fourth scene, this is the meeting with the magistrate.
Prabhupada: Yes. Fourth scene. That…
Hayagriva: They march to the magistrate.
Prabhupada: Magistrate house and in the courtyard all the people, they were very much enthusiastic.
Hayagriva: Several thousand.
Prabhupada: Several thousand. And they were loudly chanting and meeting Lord… So when the chanting was going on the Chand Kazi appeared and there was discussion between… Chand Kazi was also very great scholar, and Lord Chaitanya was also scholar. So Chand Kazi, just to pacify them, he addressed Chaitanya, "My dear boy, You happen to be my nephew. You are my sister's son. Why You are so angry upon Your maternal uncle?" Chaitanya Mahaprabhu got the clue that he was prepared to make compromise. So He also mildly replied, "Yes, you are My uncle, I know. So because you are My uncle, therefore I have come to your house. How is that when the nephew comes that you do not receive Him? In an angry mood you go upstairs?" So in this way, the situation was pacified. Then they sat together and there was a very learned discussion between the two. Because Hindus are always against cow killing. So he was Muhammadan. They were killing cow.
Prabhupada: Chand Kazi.
Prabhupada: Yes. Muhammadan. Chand Kazi was a… Maulana Chand Kazi. His name is Maulana Chand Kazi. He was a great scholar in the Koran scripture. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu first of all asked the Chand Kazi, "My dear uncle, what is your religion that you are eating your mother and father?" [laughs] So he could understand that He was attacking the cow killing process. So he said, "Well, You are just trying to criticize our cow killing, but in Your Vedic literature also I have seen that cow killing is allowed in sacrifice." Then Lord Chaitanya said, "Yes. That is not killing. That is rejuvenating. That is not killing." The sacrifice of cow recommended in the Vedic shastra means that the brahmanas prove how powerful was Vedic mantra that it could give a new life to the old cows and bulls. So then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, that "Such kind of learned brahmanas and Vedic yajna is not possible in this age. Therefore cow killing…" Not cow killing. "Sacrifice by offering cow, sacrifice by offering horse, and…" Ashvamedham gavalambham [Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi-lila 17.164]. And sannyasam pala paitrikam. Sannyasa means to become in the renounced order of life. And these five things. One thing is sacrifice by offering cow. Second, sacrifice by offering horse. Third, to accept renounced order of life. And fourth, offering ablutions… Or what is called? Offering some, something to the forefathers? What is called?
Prabhupada: Oblations. Yes. This, and to beget child by the husband's younger brother. Formerly, the society allowed that if a woman is young, she has no child, but husband died, so if the husband has younger brother, through the younger brother she could have a child. This system was current. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that these five things are forbidden in this age. So Chand Kazi also replied that "Cow killing is also not generally recommended in the Koran. Actually, beef-eating or flesh-eating is not in the higher stage. But those who are inclined to take flesh, for them it is recommended that instead of killing many small animals, one big animal should be killed. So actually in Mecca, Medina, they kill camel. That is also in the mosque." So the substance of his speech was that flesh-eating ultimately is not recommended. "But those who have no other means, they eat flesh and they recommend that one big animal should be killed. So India, the cow is big animal, therefore we kill. But that is not recommended for advanced spiritual students." In this way… So they were friends, and he understood, Chand Kazi understood that it is very nice movement, that "You are preaching love of Godhead. So I did not understand. So my dear boy, henceforward there will be no hindrances in Your movement and I promise that not only myself but all my descendants will never object Your movement, this sankirtana movement."
Hayagriva: All right. Now I don't have any questions there. I probably wouldn't deal quite at such length about the meat. I don't see how that… The main thing was about the sankirtana, the chanting.
Prabhupada: Chanting, and it was mitigated, and he allowed. First of all, there was objection, then there was civil disobedience, then when they compromised, the Chand Kazi allowed the movement. This is the whole idea.
Hayagriva: The fifth scene is renunciation of household life.
Hayagriva: This is at age…? This is considerably later then. This is about ten years later.
Prabhupada: No. Renunciation… Now this Chand Kazi, he was… This movement when He was about 20 years old. Do you follow?
Hayagriva: The sankirtana was when He was around 20. The Kazi.
Prabhupada: The sankirtana was going on.
Hayagriva: When He was 16, 15.
Prabhupada: But practically He started this sankirtana movement vigorously from the age of 15 years. But when He was 20 years old, when the movement took very nice appearance, the brahmanas complained. So this movement was about 20 years old when… Then renunciation…
Hayagriva: He's 24 now.
Prabhupada: Yes. Renunciation. So one day it so happened that instead of chanting Hare Krishna, Lord Chaitanya was chanting, "Gopi, gopi, gopi, gopi, gopi," instead of chanting "Krishna, Krishna." So He had a small school. The brahmanas, generally they keep a small school which is called chatuspathi. [spells out] C… c-h-a-a-t-u-s-p-a-t-h-i. Chatuspathi. Chatuspathi means a school where up to the four Vedas are taught. Grammar and religion and everything is taught there. In every village that was system. The brahmanas should keep up a school like that. Students were all almost they were also of the same age. Some of them were fifteen years old, sixteen years old. So students came and saw Lord Chaitanya was chanting "Gopi, gopi," so they objected. They said, "Oh, why You are chanting 'gopi, gopi'? Why should You not chant 'Krishna'? 'Hare Krishna'?" So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in His ecstasy because He was… In the beginning, His appearance is in the form of gopi, to love Krishna. So He became very much angry, and because they were students, He wanted to chastise them. He took a stick. "You nonsense! What you are speaking? Go away!" So they fled away, but after that they organized. "Oh, how is that? Chaitanya, He is… How He has become so big that He wants to beat us?" In this way they practically they were talking ill of Him. So He decided that "If I remain a householder, these people will not honor Me." Because in those days a sannyasi was honored in the society very much. If a sannyasi comes to your village or to a householder's house it was very... Still it is going on, although not so widely. But still 80% of the population in India, if they find out a sannyasi, they give all honor. So He decided that "Now I shall become a sannyasi." So He happened to see Keshava Bharati, a sannyasi of the Shankara sampradaya, and He requested him that "You give Me sannyasa." So He took sannyasa from Keshava Bharati, and He was assisted by Nityananda, Murari Gupta, and some other people. So this is His renunciation decision and acceptance of sannyasa.
Hayagriva: How does He, How does He accept sannyasa? I mean how does He...?
Prabhupada: Sannyäsa, there is a ceremony. Just like we have got the initiation ceremony.
Hayagriva: Did He have a spiritual master?
Prabhupada: So He accepted spiritual... Not spiritual master, but a sannyasa-guru. That is also master, but he's not spiritual master. But he's also considered as sannyasa-guru, spiritual master who offers him sannyasa. Just like myself, I took initiation from my Guru Maharaja, but I took sannyasa from a Godbrother who is a sannyasi. So my original guru is that spiritual master who initiated me, but he's also a shiksha guru. Like that. Teacher. Then His renunciation of householder. He became sannyasi. Now when He was, after taking sannyasa, when He was going towards Vrindavana, He became always almost mad. So Nityananda, He was with Him. When He saw that Lord Chaitanya is in ecstasy, He misled Him just to… His plan was that "I shall take Lord Chaitanya to the house of Advaita, and then I shall call His mother to see Him for the last time. If Chaitanya goes away from this very point His mother will not be able to see Him." So out of sympathy He said, "Well, Sripada Chaitanya, this is not, this side is not Vrindavana. You go…" He just misdirected Him. So… And He sent one man to Advaita to receive Him that "He has taken sannyasa, just try to make arrangement to receive Him. Then we shall meet." So when He came near the house of Advaita He saw that Advaita was waiting. So then He, I mean to say, came to His senses. "Oh, I am misled? I have come to Advaita's house? How is that Nityananda? You showed Me this way Vrindavana." Then He said, "Oh, wherever You stay, that is Vrindavana." Now Advaita says, "All right, please come to my house." So he received Him and took Him there and sent news to His mother that "Your son has now taken sannyasa. Now if you want to see Him for the last time please come and see." So in this way at Advaita's house He remained for some time. Say about a fortnight. And during that time, in the beginning, His mother came and His mother became so much sorry. That scene you have to describe very nicely. Mother seeing that her son has taken sannyasa, no more He'll come to house. So she was crying. And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu fell on his [her] feet and begged, "My dear mother, yes. This body belongs to you. This body should have been engaged for your service. Unfortunately I've done a mistake. I have already taken sannyasa. Please excuse Me." In this way. That scene described in the Dilip Kumar's house, that Chaitanya is consulting mother, that is a false scene. The actual scene is that after accepting His sannyasa, His mother came to see Him at Advaita's house. That is the…
Hayagriva: Yes. Does she give Him her blessing finally?
Prabhupada: No. Of course, mother's blessings are always there. But the scene was that mother was crying and He was falling on the feet and His mother was very sorry that He had very beautiful hair. Now it is all cut off. In this way, the scene is very pathetic. So in this way, after remaining at Advaita's house, His mother was asking Him through Advaita, "Let Him remain for some time." Then He consulted "Mother, now just you think over that I have taken sannyasa. And if I remain in this way, leaving My own family, and if I leave another family, do you think this is very nice for a sannyasi? So give Me permission to go away." Then mother agreed and other friends like Advaita and Shrinivasa requested His mother that "You give Him permission." Then she said, "Yes, I have to give Him permission because He has already accept sannyasa. If somebody blames Him, blasphemy, that is also not good. So my last request is that He may make His headquarters at Jagannatha Puri so that… Because people generally go to Jagannatha Puri, so I shall be able at least to know about Him, how He is faring there. That is my last request." So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at once accepted. "My dear mother, I shall always stay in Jagannatha Puri, and sometimes I may come to Bengal also to take bath in the Ganges. So there will be meeting. Now let Me go." So in this way they departed and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for the last time saw His friends and mother.
Hayagriva: I don't understand Nityananda's motive. He's a friend. Nityananda, He's a young friend of… Chaitanya's.
Prabhupada: Oh, Nityananda was not actually a family brother. But He was, He is the incarnation of Baladeva, the elder brother of Krishna. So He took His birth in a different family, but He joined Chaitanya's movement as other friends joined. So He is considered the elder brother of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He's actually.
Hayagriva: He opposed Chaitanya's sannyasa.
Prabhupada: No, no. He did not oppose. He did not oppose. He simply, after Chaitanya's acceptance of sannyasa, He wanted simply that He should come to Advaita's place so that His mother may see Him for the last time. That was His plan.
Hayagriva: I see. [break]
Hayagriva: All right, this is third act, first scene.
Prabhupada: So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, after taking leave from His mother, left Bengal towards Orissa, and on the entrance of the district of Balasore there is a nice temple called Kshira-chora-gopinatha temple. And He saw the temple. Here the scene is to be arranged that there is nice temple and within the temple there is Radha-Krishna Deity, Kshira-chora-gopinatha. The pujaris are there, arati is being taken place, and at that time Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entered with His followers chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, and He saw the Deity and danced before Him. And when the arati was finished, prayer was finished, then He sat down, talked with His associates, Nityananda and Gadadhara and Murari. So Nityananda Prabhu described about the Kshira-chora-gopinatha, the story of Kshira-chora-gopinatha. It was very nice story, that formerly one Acharya, Madhavendra Puri came to this temple, Gopinatha, and while that condensed milk which is called kshira was being offered to the Deity, Madhavendra Puri wanted to taste it so that he would also prepare such condensed milk and offer to his Gopala. So after that he thought, "Oh, it is being offered to Krishna and I wanted to taste it. So I am so greedy." So he left the temple, that "I am not worth to visit this temple." He went outside the temple and sat down underneath a tree and was chanting Hare Krishna. Then at dead of night, Gopinatha, the Deity, was awakening His priest by dream, that "You please get up. I have kept one pot of condensed milk behind My…" What is called…. That [pid?] vastra, kings, sometimes they have got, very long tail-like. What is that called?
Hayagriva: Robe or something?
Prabhupada: Yes. What is the name?
Hayagriva: I don't know.
Prabhupada: In Sanskrit it is called [pid?] vastra, backside robe. So under the backside robe He kept one pot of condensed milk by stealing. So the pujari woke up and opened the door and actually saw that there was a pot of condensed milk. The priests were very much astonished that "Oh, He has stolen [laughs] kshira for His devotee." So the order was that "You take this pot and give to Madhavendra Puri. He is sitting underneath a tree." So they, with the pot of the condensed milk, they began to cry, "Oh, who is that Madhavendra Puri? Oh, you are so fortunate. The Deity has stolen condensed milk for you. Take it." So he came forward and he was so pleased that Lord has stolen. "Because I desired to taste so Lord has stolen one pot." So in this way. From that day He became famous, the thief of condensed milk, Kshira-chora. Kshira means condensed milk and chora means thief. So the temple became famous as the temple of the thief of condensed milk.
Hayagriva: Chaitanya, the condensed milk thief.
Prabhupada: No. Oh, you did not hear. Chaitanya, after seeing the Deity, He was sitting and seeing and meantime Nityananda Prabhu narrated the story how His name became Kshira-chora-gopinatha. You did not follow me?
Nityananda was going with Lord
Prabhupada: Yes, how the Deity was known as Kshira-chora-gopinatha. The story was narrated that formerly He stole one…
Hayagriva: Condensed milk.
Prabhupada: Yes. Pot of condensed milk for His devotee.
Hayagriva: Now what direct relationship does this have to Lord Chaitanya?
Prabhupada: Lord Chaitanya also visited. Anyone in those days going to Jagannatha Puri from Bengal they had to pass that way. And on the way the Kshira-chora-gopinatha temple is there. So everyone used to visit. So formerly Madhavendra Puri, he also visited, and for him the Deity stole the condensed milk. From that time He's known as Kshira-chora-gopinatha. That story was narrated to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So while sitting before the Deity, the story was narrated and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu relished it that God is so kind that sometimes He steals for His devotee. This is the significance of this. So here the scene should be arranged that very nice temple, the Deity within, and Lord Chaitanya entered while chanting Hare Krishna and saw the worship, aratrika. These things are to be shown in this scene. And a little story about Him, that's all.
Hayagriva: About the temple.
Prabhupada: About the temple. This will finish the first scene.
Hayagriva: There should be more to the scene I think than that.
Prabhupada: Yes. Arrangement of the scene, yes. A very nice temple.
Hayagriva: We might be able to… Now what is this second scene? This is another temple.
Prabhupada: This is another temple, yes. Here also, this temple, Shakshi-gopala.
Hayagriva: I might be able to combine these if they…
Prabhupada: No. They are different temples. So Lord Chaitanya is visiting different temples, that you have to show. And each temple, the significance of the temple has to be described. Especially the Deity. When the importance is to the Deity, the Deity should be shown nicely decorated. [end of first tape]
Hayagriva: Well I don't know if I have enough information for that first scene. But I'll think of something… I don't know if I have enough information for the first scene. It can be very short.
Prabhupada: First scene, why you have to… The aratrika is going on and kirtana is going on, you can continue for five minutes, ten minutes the kirtana, and short description of the Deity. That's all. That will finish.
Hayagriva: Now the other is the Shakshi-gopala.
Prabhupada: Shakshi-gopala. Shakshi means witness. Gopala. That picture, we have brought that big picture, that is Gopala murti [deity]. Alone standing Krishna and playing… You have seen that big picture?
Hayagriva: The big picture, yes.
Prabhupada: A Deity like that should be situated in that temple. And His name is Shakshi-gopala. Similarly Lord Chaitanya entered with His party and saw the aratrika in Gopala temple. Then the story of the Gopala, Shakshi, why He was known as Shakshi-gopala.
Hayagriva: Saw what? Darate. Saw what? He saw…
Prabhupada: Arati [ceremony of offering lamp, incense, flowers and other paraphernalia to the deity].
Hayagriva: Entered and saw in the Shakshi temple and saw…? What did you say?
Prabhupada: Shakshi-gopala means "witness Gopala". So how He became witness, that story was also narrated by Nityananda to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That story is that in that village, two brahmanas… That's a very long story.
Hayagriva: What does this have to do with this temple? What does this story have to do with the temple? Lord Chaitanya has entered this temple.
Prabhupada: That's all. But how this temple was established, how Gopala was established, that history is in that story. The Shakshi-gopala means witness. This Gopala was situated in Vrindavana, but to give witness for His devotee He came to Orissa, that place. That is the significance of this Gopala. Do you follow?
Hayagriva: No. [laughs] No.
Prabhupada: This Gopala was situated at Vrindavana. Vrindavana means about more than one thousand miles away from where the temple is situated now. But He came one thousand miles to give witness for His devotee. Since then, Gopala is situated there. So that story is narrated. That story should be narrated or what? How to do it? That is the significance of the temple. There was some family quarrel and Gopala came to give witness to decide judgement on that quarrel. So it is possible to describe?
Hayagriva: I think from a dramatic point of view, that in your third act, you can't have too many narrations. It becomes very tedious. If you have a narration. Someone telling the history of various temples. Like in the first scene, now there's a story being told Lord Chaitanya by Nityananda. Now in the second scene He visits another temple. And is there going to be another narration about how the temple was founded? I don't think that's… I don't know. [laughs] Do you think that will be all right?
Prabhupada: No. That will be all right in this way, that the narration should be shortly described in poetry and that will be chanted with kirtana. In that way, you see.
Hayagriva: Yes. You see the first two acts there was a lot of action. Now we're in the third act and we have two scenes of description. Now they can be two short scenes of description. That will be all right, I think.
Hayagriva: So what is the story? A short little story?
Prabhupada: The short story is that there was two brahmanas. Two brahmanas. One young brahmana, one old brahmana. They went to Vrindavana to see Gopala, and the old brahmana was so obliged to the young brahmana, he promised to hand over his youngest daughter to the young brahmana. But when he came back home his eldest son objected. So he kept mum. Then when the young brahmana, I mean to say, reminded him that "You promised before Gopala to hand over your daughter. Now you are silent. What is this?" So his eldest son said, "Well, if Gopala comes to give witness that my father promised before Him then my sister can be married with you." So he went back to Vrindavana and requested Gopala to come and give witness. So He came and the marriage ceremony was performed. This is the sum and substance of the story. And since then Gopala did not… Gopala means statue. So in those days there was no transport service. And when Gopala was present everyone became struck with wonder that "Oh, such a devotee that Gopala has come from Vrindavana to Orissa, more than 1,500 miles." So the king of that place constructed a very nice temple and since then that temple is known as witness Gopala. Shakshi-gopala means witness. So this story can be shortly described and chanted with music and the scene of the temple will be seen, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dancing. Our real purpose will be the dancing and singing and little description.
Hayagriva: Yes. Now, is that all of this?
Prabhupada: Yes. Then He visited Jagannatha temple. And the Jagannatha temple you have to arrange, it is very crowded temple. So many people were visiting Jagannatha temple, at the same time Lord Chaitanya also entered, and He entered alone.
Hayagriva: How old is He at this point?
Prabhupada: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?
Hayagriva: His age at this time?
Prabhupada: Twenty-four years. It is just after His sannyasa. He took sannyasa at the age of twenty-four. So He's visiting. After sannyasa He's going to Jagannatha Puri. On the way He visited this Kshira-chora-gopinatha, Shakshi-gopala, and ultimately He came to Jagannatha temple. And in the Jagannatha temple was very crowded temple because it is always at least 500, 1,000 devotees are always seeing. It is significance of Jagannatha temple. So He entered, and as soon as He saw Jagannatha He became overwhelmed with ecstasy and fell down unconscious. So all the people gathered, "He's a young sannyasi. He has fallen down." So there was Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, the learned scholar of Puri. He saw, "Oh, this young sannyasi, He's not ordinary." So he asked his men to carry Him to his place and that will be the scene. Then after His departure His followers will come, and they will search in the temple that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not there. Then one Gopinatha Acharya, I think the character is there? Gopinatha Acharya?
Hayagriva: Now is this the…
Prabhupada: Yes, Gopinatha Acharya.
Hayagriva: Is this the learned brahmana?
Prabhupada: Gopinatha Acharya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. They were brother-in-law.
Hayagriva: Saba… Be…
Hayagriva: Oh, his name is here. Yes, you didn't mention…
Prabhupada: And Gopinatha Acharya is also there.
Hayagriva: Yes, all right. Sarvabhooma.
Prabhupada: So just note down. First of all, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu enters the temple. As soon as He sees Jagannatha He becomes fainted and fell down unconscious. So all the visitors, they became astonished that here is a young sannyasi and how is that He has fallen down? But Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya noted that He is a high-grade sannyasi. So he asked his men that "You carry this body, unconscious body to my place." So his men took away Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's body unconscious, and Sarvabhauma also and exit. Then after their departure His party entered the temple. Nityananda, Gadadhara, and Murari, all these men entered. So Gopinatha Acharya was present there. He was known to Gadadhara and Gadadhara inquired that is there any sannyasi who came here? Then Gopinatha Acharya said, "Yes, we have seen one sannyasi. He fell down in ecstasy and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya has taken Him to his home." So he invited, "All right, you come with me. I am taking you there." So all the parties were taken to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's place.
Hayagriva: The friends of Chaitanya. What are their names again?
Prabhupada: Their name is Nityananda, Gadadhara…
Hayagriva: What's that name?
Hayagriva: Oh I see, yes. And Murari.
Prabhupada: And Murari and Mukunda. And Haridasa also. Yes.
Hayagriva: And Haridasa. What about Advaita?
Prabhupada: No, Advaita and Shrinivasa, they were left in...
Hayagriva: All right. They're not there.
Prabhupada: The next scene comes to the Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's place.
Hayagriva: Fourth scene.
Prabhupada: Fourth scene. Yes. Lord Chaitanya meets Sarvabhauma. Now from Jagannatha temple the next scene is Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house. Do you follow?
Prabhupada: In that house, Chaitanya, Lord Chaitanya was lying unconscious in ecstasy, the same unconsciousness which He got from the temple. So Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was trying to treat Him with some water so that He may come to consciousness. Now when His other friends, Nityananda, Gadadhara and others arrived there, they told, "Oh, Lord Chaitanya, He becomes unconscious while chanting. So He cannot be revived to His consciousness by any other means. We have to chant." So in the Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house that chanting and dancing began with all the members, and gradually Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to consciousness. Then there was introduction of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu through Gopinatha Acharya and Gadadhara. And Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya told that "You become my guest, you, all of you." And he gave them places. Then… Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was only twenty-four years old, and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, he was old man, about sixty years old. So by acquaintance it was disclosed that Sarvabhauma's father and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's grandfather were class friends. So Jagannatha Mishra in that sense… Jagannatha Mishra means Chaitanya's father, was a relative, brother-in-law of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. So he took Him affectionately and told Him, "My dear boy, You have taken sannyasa at a very early age. So You should be very careful to study Vedanta-sutra from me. Otherwise it will be very much difficult for You, young man." So He agreed, "Yes, you are just like My father. So you will kindly give Me instruction on Vedanta-sutra." So there was discussion of the Vedanta-sutra between Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That discussion is shortly mentioned in the introduction of my Srimad-Bhagavatam. You will see.
Hayagriva: The discussion between Sarvabhooma?
Prabhupada: And Chaitanya.
Hayagriva: And Chaitanya, regarding…
Prabhupada: Regarding Vedanta-sutra.
Hayagriva: That's in the introduction to Srimad-Bhagavatam. Yes, I remember that. All right. There's no sense in going over that. All right. What is the outcome of this now? Final outcome?
Prabhupada: The outcome is that Sarvabhauma was impersonalist and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was Vaishnava. Then by argument, logic, and everything, that is shortly described here, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya became a disciple of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and he became a great devotee. That is the outcome. And it was a great victory on the part of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu because Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was known as the most stubborn scholar of logic of that time and he became a devotee. By Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's becoming a devotee of Lord Chaitanya, practically He became victorious in His missionary activities because Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was the learned scholar in the assembly of the King of Orissa. So the King of Orissa also became a devotee. And many other scholars and big men.
Hayagriva: Of Chaitanya's. They all became devo… the King of Orissa?
Prabhupada: Yes, he became a great devotee.
Hayagriva: That might even be mentioned in this scene. I don't know if you can mention it here.
Prabhupada: It is not mentioned, but…
Hayagriva: Well, that's an outcome of this meeting anyway.
Prabhupada: When Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was meeting the King, the King inquired that "I have heard that there is a big sannyasi has come here. What is the details of the sannyasi? I've heard that you have also become a disciple."
So Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya explained, "Yes, He's not ordinary sannyasi. He's Krishna Himself so far I've studied." So Bhattacharya, he was authority, a great learned man. And the King, when he heard that He is Krishna, he also became a devotee. So all expenditure, all everything was supplied by the King and his officers to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So many people… Always four hundred, five hundred men were visiting Him. So whoever would come he would supply food and place. And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He began His chanting of Hare Krishna in the Jagannatha temple. The same scene is being performed here before the Jagannatha temple, Lord Chaitanya is dancing. When we perform the class I remembered that scene. Yes. That Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is dancing before Jagannatha. Every evening four parties. In each party four mridangas and eight karatalas. So one party this side, one party this side, one party back side, one party front side, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the middle would dance and the four parties will chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna… That was going on every evening so long He stayed at Jagannatha Puri.Hayagriva: That only happened as long as He stayed there. Is that right?
Hayagriva: This no longer...they no longer do this.
Prabhupada: No, not in that way, but kirtana goes on in the temple still.
Hayagriva: Not to such an extent.
Prabhupada: Sometimes to such an extent. But He was different personality. In His presence, that was a different thing. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's, I mean to say, Deity, is within the temple. That Deity is worshiped and kirtana takes place, Bhagavata…[?]
Hayagriva: In Jagannatha.
Prabhupada: In Jagannatha Puri, yes.
Hayagriva: All right. Now is that all of the fourth scene? Anything else in the fourth scene?
Prabhupada: No, nothing.
Hayagriva: All right. Then that's the end of the third act.
Prabhupada: It is the end of third act. [break]
Hayagriva: This is the fourth act, first scene.
Prabhupada: Yes, fourth act, first scene.
Hayagriva: Meets Ramananda Raya.
Prabhupada: Yes. Shall I speak?
Hayagriva: Oh yes.
Prabhupada: So after converting Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu started for His South Indian tour. In South Indian tour, before meeting Ramananda Raya, He visited a very nice temple which is called Vijaya Nrisinga. Shall I…? Shall you give that scene? That is very nice temple. Huh?
Hayagriva: Yes. Go ahead.
Prabhupada: Then the first scene will be the visit of Vijaya Nrisinga Garh temple.
Prabhupada: Vijaya Nrisinga Garh.
Hayagriva: I'll get the spellings of these from you later.
Prabhupada: I'm spelling. V-i-j-a-y N-r-i-s-i-n-g-a G-a-r-h. Vijaya Nrisinga Garh temple. This is near modern Vishakhapatnam shipyard. There is a very great Indian shipyard, Vishakhapatnam. Formerly it was not Vishakhapatnam. So near that, five miles away from that station there is that nice temple on the hill. So I think that the temple scenery may be there and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's visiting that temple. And after that temple He came to the bank of river Godavari. Just like the river Ganges is very sacred river, similarly there are others, four other rivers: Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, Narmada, Ganga. These five rivers are considered very sacred. So He came to the bank of Godavari and He took His bath and was sitting in a nice place underneath a tree and chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. In the meantime He saw that a great procession was coming, and that should be the scenario of this… In that procession… Formerly the kings and governors, they used to take bath in the Ganges with their paraphernalia, band party and many brahmanas and all kinds of charitable things. In this way they used to come to take bath. So Lord Chaitanya saw that somebody is coming in that great procession, and He was told about Ramananda Raya, the governor of Madras province. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya requested Him that "You are going to South India. You must meet Ramananda Raya. He's a great devotee." So when He was sitting on the bank of the Kaveri and Ramananda Raya was coming in procession, He understood that he is Ramananda Raya. But because He was sannyasi, He did not address him. But Ramananda Raya, he was a great devotee, and saw a nice sannyasi, young sannyasi was sitting and chanting Hare Krishna. Generally, the sannyasis they do not chant Hare Krishna. They, "Om, om…" Simply sound om. Not Hare Krishna.
Hayagriva: What do you mean He wouldn't address him because He was a sannyasi?
Prabhupada: Sannyasi, the restriction is the sannyasi should not beg from pound-shilling man or see them. That is a restriction. Women and men of pounds-shillings-pence.
Hayagriva: But I thought Ramananda Raya was a devotee.
Prabhupada: But he was devotee, but undoubtedly, but outwardly he was a governor. Outwardly. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not go him, but he understood that "Here is a nice sannyasi." He came down and offered his respect and sat down before Him. And there was acquaintances, and Lord Chaitanya said that "Bhattacharya has already informed Me about you. You are a great devotee. So I have come to see you." And then he replied, "Well, what devotee? I am a pound-shilling man, politician. But Bhattacharya is very kind to me that he has asked Your Holiness to see me. So if You have come, so kindly, kindly deliver me from this material maya." So there was appointment of time with Ramananda Raya and both of them met again in the evening and there was discussion about, I mean to say, spiritual advancement of life. Lord Chaitanya inquired from him and Ramananda Raya replied. Of course, that's a long story, how He questioned and how he replied.
Hayagriva: Ramananda Raya.
Hayagriva: Well, is that important? That's the scene about the meeting.
Prabhupada: Meeting, meeting, that discussion would you like to give?
Hayagriva: Well, if it has to be rendered in the scene it's important. You want me to render the discussion?
Prabhupada: Important is the scene that He met Ramananda Raya, he came in procession, that was a nice scenery. These things are already complete. Now so far the talks are concerned, the summary of the talk was…
Hayagriva: Just give me the brief summary.
Prabhupada: Brief summary… In this scene Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became the student. Not exactly student. He inquired and Ramananda Raya answered. So the importance of the scene is that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu does not follow the formality, only the sannyasis should be the spiritual master. Anyone who knows the science of Krishna, he can be spiritual master. And to show this example practically, although He was sannyasi and brahmana and Ramananda Raya was a shudra and a grihastha, householder, still He became like a student and inquired Ramananda Raya. Ramananda Raya felt some, I mean to say, hesitation that "How can I take the position of a teacher to a sannyasi?" Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "No, no. Don't hesitate." He stated that either one may be a sannyasi or he may be householder or one may be a brahmana or shudra, it doesn't matter. Anyone who knows the science of Krishna, he can take the place of teacher. So that was His, I mean to say, gift. Because in Indian society it is simply taken that the brahmanas and the sannyasi can be spiritual master. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "No. Anyone can become spiritual master provided he's conversant with the science." And the summary of the discussion was how to elevate oneself in the highest perfection of love of Godhead. And that love of Godhead was described, existed, I mean to say, superexcellently in Radharani. So in the bhava, in the feature of Radharani. And Ramananda Raya, in the feature of Radharani's associates Lalita-sakhi, both of them embraced and began to dance in ecstasy. That will be the end of the scene. Both of them began to dance in ecstasy.
Hayagriva: Ramananda Raya…
Prabhupada: And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Hayagriva: All right. Now the second scene. Is that the end of the first?
Prabhupada: Second scene, fourth act, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, after finishing His South Indian tour, He came back to Jagannatha Puri, His headquarters, and after some days He started for Vrindavana. While He was in Vrindavana He was embracing the tree as old friend, and the birds were sitting on His hand, as if receiving an old friend. Because He was Krishna. So after many years they have seen. And that scene, if you can describe how He's traveling in the Vrindavana forest. Then He took bath in the several vanas and ghatas. Ghatas means bathing place of Krishna's pastimes. And everywhere He felt the ecstasy of Radharani, separation. In this way He returned from Vrindavana, and when He came down to Prayag, modern Allahabad, at that time He met Rupa Gosvami. Rupa Gosvami.
Hayagriva: Now you say the trees were old friends because He could remember that He was Krishna. Krishna used to play in these forests. He used to play in the forest. Yes. Now He met Rupa Gosvami.
Prabhupada: At Prayag.
Hayagriva: At Prayag. Yes.
Prabhupada: Allahabad. And…
Hayagriva: What is His age? I just want to keep checking on this, His age now. Is He twenty, in His twenties still?
Prabhupada: No, no. He took sannyasa at twenty-four. Say twenty-five, twenty-six years.
Hayagriva: Couple years later. All right. Because time is an important factor. You have to keep track of the time in the play.
Prabhupada: Yes. He toured, after His sannyasa, He toured all over India for six years only. That means up to 30th year He toured all over India. And from 30th year to 48th year, 18 years, He constantly remained at Jagannatha Puri. He used to chant in the temple and meet His visitors. Especially during car festival ceremony of Jagannatha, from Bengal about 400, 500 devotees would go and meet Him, and they would remain there for four months continually. July, August, September, October. Four months. And then they would come back. In this way, for 18 years He passed in Jagannatha Puri.
So Rupa Gosvami, He met Rupa Gosvami and He taught him about the science of devotion for ten days. That devotional service He instructed that the living entities they're roaming in the 8,400,000 species of life. Fortunately, if by the mercy of Krishna and if he gets one good spiritual master, then he learns about devotional service. So He taught him about the science of devotional service. That is the importance of meeting Rupa Gosvami.
So here the scenery must be mentioned. It is on the bank of Ganges. There is a nice ghata, just like… You have been to Benares? No. You have been to Hardwar?
Prabhupada: You have seen many ghatas, bathing places.
Hayagriva: Oh yes, yes.
Prabhupada: Similarly, there are ghatas in Benares, Prayag, and all, I mean to say, Vrindavana. That is the specific significance of Indian places of pilgrimage.
Hayagriva: Yes. They bathe there every day I noticed.
Prabhupada: Yes. So similarly, there is a ghata which is called Dashashvamedha Ghata at Prayag. He instructed about the science of devotional service to Rupa Gosvami.
Hayagriva: Now how old is Rupa Goswami? Is he an old man?
Prabhupada: Oh, he was old enough. He was not less than fifty years at that time.
Hayagriva: I see. All right. Anything else in the second scene, fourth act?
Prabhupada: That is it… And then He came back to Benares.
Prabhupada: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Hayagriva: I thought He stayed in Jagannatha… He's not now… He left…
Prabhupada: No, from Jagannatha Puri He went to Vrindavana. From Vrindavana while coming down again He first of all came to Prayag. There He taught Rupa Gosvami. Then when He still came down He came to Benares. At Benares He remained for two months. More than two months. And for two months continually He instructed Sanatana Gosvami about devotional service. That instruction you'll find in the Teachings of Lord Chaitanya. I've written that Teachings of Lord Chaitanya?
Prabhupada: Yes. In that you'll find.
Hayagriva: Now this third scene, meets Sanatana Gosvami, that's in Benares. And Sanatana is how old?
Prabhupada: Sanatana was older than Rupa Gosvami. He was the eldest. He was not less than about 65 or 70 years old. He was old man. Sufficiently old man.
Hayagriva: Yes. And of the instructions to Sanatana Gosvami are in the Teachings of Lord Caitanya. All right. Now…
Prabhupada: Yes. Similarly, the fourth scene, the teachings with Prakashananda Sarasvati, that is also in there.
Hayagriva: Who is this?
Prabhupada: Prakashananda Sarasvati was at Benares. He was a Mayavadi sannyasi, Shankara sampradaya. So he used to… This scene should be given that at Benares He was also walking all over the streets and roads, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna" and thousands and thousands men were following Him. This news arrived to Prakashananda Sarasvati, who was the chief sannyasi there, and some of the devotees told, "Oh, a very nice sannyasi has come to Benares. He's chanting Hare Krishna." So Prakashananda Sarasvati deprecated, "Oh! This is a nonsense! Why a sannyasi should chant and dance? He should concentrate his mind in studying Vedanta. He is a fool." In this way Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was criticized. So one Maharastrian brahmana, he was devotee of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He said that "This incident gave us much pain, sir. If You kindly meet this sannyasi and talk with him about Vedanta-sutra, that would be a nice thing." In the meantime one brahmana came and invited Lord Chaitanya that "I have invited all the sannyasis of Benares, but I know You do not meet these Mayavadi sannyasis, but still I have come to invite You. You kindly accept my invitation." So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw this opportunity of meeting Prakashananda Sarasvati. He accepted his invitation, and there was a meeting, and there was discussion of Vedanta-sutra with Prakashananda Sarasvati, and He converted him to be a Vaishnava. That is another incident.
Hayagriva: How old is this man?
Prabhupada: Prakashananda Sarasvati? He was also old man. Not less than sixty years old. Yes.
Hayagriva: And what was his role again in the town? What was he… He was a Vedantist?
Prabhupada: Prakashananda Sarasvati. He was a Mayavadi sannyasi. He accepted Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's principle and he offered his respect. He touched His feet. And he also joined. But there is no mention that he became officially a Vaishnava, but he accepted the philosophy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya officially, he became a Vaishnava. Then Lord Haridasa meets…
Hayagriva: Fifth scene.
Prabhupada: Fifth scene.
Hayagriva: This is Haridasa Thakura?
Prabhupada: Haridasa Thakura.
Hayagriva: At his death? At Haridasa's death?
Prabhupada: Yes. Haridasa was very old man. He was Muhammadan.
Hayagriva: He was the person that was thrown in the river.
Hayagriva: So he finally met his end here, in the fifth scene.
Prabhupada: We are not meant for those… Of course, Haridasa Thakura has a separate life, but that we are not going to show.
Hayagriva: Yes. All right. This particular incident.
Prabhupada: Particular incident is significant, that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a brahmana and He was a sannyasi. According to social custom He should not touch even a Muhammadan, but this Haridasa Thakura was a Muhammadan, and at his death He took the body Himself and danced, and He put him in the graveyard and distributed prasadam. And Haridasa Thakura for two, three days he was feeling not well. Because he was Muhammadan he did not enter the temple of Jagannatha temple. Because the Hindus were very strict. He was devotee, he… never mind. Why he should create some row? So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appreciated his behavior that he did not want to create any… Because he has become devotee. Forcibly he was not going to the temple. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself was daily coming and seeing him. While going to take bath in the sea, He'll first of all see Haridasa. "Haridasa? What you are doing?" Haridasa will offer his respect and He will sit and talk for some time. Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will go to take His bath. In this way, one day when He came He saw Haridasa not feeling very well. "Haridasa? How is your health?" "Yes Sir, it is not very… After all, it is body." Then the third day He saw that Haridasa is going to leave his body today. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked him, "Haridasa, what do you desire?" Both of them could understand. Haridasa said that "This is my last stage. If You kindly stand before me." So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stood before him and he left his body. [pause]
Hayagriva: You mentioned that…
Prabhupada: After his departure the body was taken by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, and other devotees took him to the seaside and dug his graveyard. That grave is still in Jagannatha Puri. Haridasa Thakura's samadhi, tomb. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began to dance. That was the ceremony. Because in a Vaishnava ceremony, everything is kirtana and dance. So that was His last ceremony of Haridasa Thakura.
Hayagriva: You mentioned something about Chaitanya dancing with Haridasa?
Prabhupada: Haridasa's body. Chaitanya… dead body. Haridasa's dead body.
Hayagriva: Oh, with his dead body?
Prabhupada: Yes. His dead body.
Hayagriva: After his death.
Prabhupada: After his death.
Hayagriva: He conducted the…
Prabhupada: Yes. Funeral ceremony, yes.
Hayagriva: With a kirtana.
Prabhupada: With kirtana. Kirtana is always there. And after burial there was distribution of prasadam and kirtana. Haridasa Thakura. So here you have to show some talks with Haridasa, how feelingly.
Hayagriva: All right. Are there any other… Is there any other information about Haridasa?
Prabhupada: The life history of Haridasa is that he was born in a Muhammadan family. Someway or other he became a devotee and was chanting 300,000 times Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made him Acharya, the authority of chanting. Therefore we glorify him, "Namacharya Haridasa Thakura ki jaya." Because he was made the Acharya, the authority of chanting Hare Krishna. Then, when Lord Chaitanya took sannyasa, Haridasa Thakura desired that "My dear Lord, You are leaving Nabadwip, then what is the use of my life? Either you take me or let me die." So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "No. Why shall you die? You come with Me." So He took him to Jagannatha Puri. At Jagannatha Puri, because he considered himself born of Muhammadan family, he did not enter. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave him a place at Kashinatha Mishra's house and there he was chanting and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sending him prasadam. In that way he was passing his days. And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to come and see him daily, and one day he died like this.
Hayagriva: All right. That's the end of the fourth act. Now the fifth act…
Prabhupada: The fifth act…
Hayagriva: First scene.
Prabhupada: Yes. This is the, in the fifth act, ecstasy. At night Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would become mad in separation of Krishna. He would dash His head on the floor. Sometimes He would write with His nails and sometimes He would go away. Although the house was locked, He would go away, and sometimes He would be found amongst the cowshed of Jagannatha Puri. Sometimes He would be seen in the seashore. One day it was so found that He fell in the ocean and some fisherman caught Him in the net. And as soon as He was in the net and the fisherman touched Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he also began to dance, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. And his brothers, his fellow men thought, "Oh, he's caught ghost, haunted." So in the meantime, His secretary, Damodara Svarupa came to the seashore and he saw that the fisherman was dancing. Then he could understand that he must have some connection with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, [laughs] otherwise why this fisherman is dancing and Hare Krishna? Then asked him, "What has happened to you?" He said, "Sir, I do not know. I am a fish-catcher. Now this morning I caught one big fish, and as soon as I caught I am haunted. So I am dancing." So Swarup Damodar, "Where is that fish, big fish? Let me see." So he saw in the net Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He saw Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, then he told him, "Yes. I'll chant some mantra so the ghost will go away." So he made him some show. "All right. Now your ghost is over." So he took away Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw, He told Swarup Damodar, "Why you have brought Me in the seaside? Oh, I was seeing rasa dance of Krishna. I was enjoying." In this way He was always in ecstasy. And in the last stage, the same ecstasy, He entered Jagannatha temple and He never came back. That is the end of [voice trails off] Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's… So you have to arrange scenes and sounds. That's all.
Hayagriva: Uh, now… In ecstasy here on the seashore, I don't understand. He met this fisherman.
Prabhupada: No! He, at night out of His own accord, He came to the seashore and fell on the sea.
Hayagriva: Oh, He threw Himself in the ocean.
Prabhupada: In the ocean. Bay of Bengal. And the fishermen they came to catch fish. So instead of fish, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's body was in the net.
Hayagriva: Oh, I see.
Prabhupada: He already dropped Himself on the sea.
Hayagriva: He was unconscious.
Prabhupada: Unconscious. He was rolling in the sea.
Hayagriva: So they brought Him out and some of His friends went to find Him.
Prabhupada: Not all. His secretary. Because he knew that Chaitanya must have gone somewhere. So while inquiring where is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, when he came to the seashore he saw that the fisherman was dancing. Then he could understand he is dancing with Hare Krishna, that means he must have some connection with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Prabhupada: Then when he inquired, he told him that "I have caught this morning a big fish and since then I am dancing. I do not know. I got mad. Perhaps I have been caught by some ghost. So I do not know." So Swarup Damodar just to pacify him, "Yes. I am just driving away ghoul, mean to say, ghost. Don't worry. Where is that fish? Let me see it." And when he saw that fish was caught in the net, and it was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Hayagriva: Now the second scene here, this is when Chaitanya on the seashore, this is when He would walk around saying, "Where is Krishna?" Is that right? "Where is Krishna" He would…
Prabhupada: Yes. He was seen on the seashore within the net after being caught by the fisherman. And when He fell on the sea, that is not seen. You can make a scene that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is coming, Hare Krishna, Hare… and fall down in the sea. Then He was caught by the net of the fisherman.
Hayagriva: What is the second scene?
Prabhupada: This is the second scene I have described. First scene and second scene.
Hayagriva: The first scene also.
Prabhupada: They are all. First, second scene, they are all ecstasies. Yes. And the third scene similarly…
Hayagriva: Wait. He must be in His forties now. This is in His forties.
Prabhupada: Yes. These ecstasies were going on daily from His age 30th to 48th year.
Hayagriva: 38 to 48, every day.
Prabhupada: Not 38. 30th.
Prabhupada: 30 to 48. 18 years. Sometimes He was chanting, sometimes He was falling, sometimes He was going there. That was His business all 18 years.
Hayagriva: Every day?
Prabhupada: Every day. Especially at night. [Hayagriva laughs] Simply… The whole program was the whole day He would see the visitors. And so many visitors were coming. In the evening He'll chant and dance in the temple. And at night instead of sleeping He was doing all these… Sometimes falling in the sea, sometimes here, sometimes there. That was His business.
Hayagriva: I see. Now this third scene.
Prabhupada: Third scene. In the same way, one day when He was 48 years old He entered the Jagannatha temple…
Hayagriva: And disappeared.
Prabhupada: Disappeared. His friends outside waited and waited, and He never come back. That's all.
Hayagriva: They never knew what happened to Him. They never found…
Prabhupada: Yes, they knew that He was Krishna. He has merged into the existence of Jagannatha.
Hayagriva: He left. Took off. All right. Now no more. That's the end.
Prabhupada: Now you write and I shall make some addition or alteration when you write. This is the synopsis and framework. Now you can proceed. [end]
A Play: The Life of Lord Chaitanya/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY ©2004 - Hansadutta das
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