Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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“Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu lived at the house of Trimalla Bhatta for the four months of the rainy season. Śrī Trimalla Bhatta was both a member of the Śrī Vaisnava community and a learned scholar; therefore when he saw Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who was both a great scholar and a great devotee of the Lord, he was very much astonished. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed the Cāturmāsya months with the Śrī Vaisnavas, singing, chanting the holy name and dancing. After the end of Cāturmāsya, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued traveling throughout South India. At that time He met Paramānanda Purī. After this, Krsnadāsa, the servant of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, was delivered from the clutches of a Bhattathāri.”[1]

Well, this event was very special, because this Krishnadas, the name is “servant of God, of Krishna” and he was travelling with Mahaprabhu. Still he fell not in ecstasy, but in maya. But Mahaprabhu was dragging him back by the hair. Therefore those, who are willing to fall in maya or who are apt to fall in maya, they should have a shikha. Those who don’t, they don’t need to. Because by the shikha Mahaprabhu can catch it and bring you back to normal condition. So if somebody does not have a shikha that means he is resisting the temptations of illusion.

“Caitanya Mahāprabhu then preached that Lord Krsna’s name should also be chanted by brāhmanas who were accustomed to chanting Lord Rāma’s name. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then met Śrī Rańga Purī and mitigated all the sufferings of a brāhmana named Rāmadāsa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also had a discussion with the Tattvavādī community, and the Tattvavādīs felt themselves to be inferior Vaisnavas.”[2]

Tattvavadi – that means cultivators of tattva or those who follow the principles of tattva. They belong to the Madhva line, so Mahaprabhu had and encounter with both the Shri vaishnavas and the Madhva vaishnavas. Ramanuja and Madhva line are most predominant in South India. But Mahaprabhu met also Madhva vaishnavas in other places – which place?

Kripadham: Gaya.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, Gaya. Gaya is very favourite place, because Kripadham Prabhu had visited it. So later on the Bulgarian vaishnavas, next next generations, will go there and erect a small chapel: “Our great saint, His Holiness Shriman Kripadham Acharya Prabhu, ki jay, has visited this place in 2006.” It is good to record it. And this will be just like a pilgrimage place for the Bulgarian vaishnavism.

But apart from your visit, this is also a famous place. Sita-Ram visited the place, Lord Buddha visited the place; and this very famous Durga temple is there, she also visited somehow, partly she visited. And Lord Vishnu also visited this place, Gaya. Because there was a great demon in Gaya. This was a holy place, so the demon also went there for purification. And finally he achieved that Lord Vishnu was kicking him in the chest. So the Lord has put down His footprint on his chest and that was enough for liberation. This temple is maintained by the Madhva sampradaya. But interesting enough, very close to that temple there is a center of Shankaracharya also. So wherever vaishnavas have gone, Shankara also has put a signal: “We are also here.” But when we met a young brahmin boy there and he said: “Well, I can guide you,” he said: “I am madhva, you are madhva, so we can go into the temple.” He was sharing: “We belong to the same line.” Other times when I met some Shri vaishnavas, they were also very, very nice gentlemen. So in this way Mahaprabhu met both the Ramanuja line, Shri vaishnavism and the Madhva line, Dvaita line.

“Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then visited the Visnu temples of Anantadeva, Purusottama, Śrī Janārdana, Padmanābha and Vāsudeva. After that, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu delivered the celebrated Sapta-tāla trees, took His bath at Setubandha[3] and visited the temple of Lord Śiva known as Rāmeśvara. At Rāmeśvara, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu had a chance to read the Kūrma Purāna, in which He discovered that the form of Sītā kidnapped by Rāvaṇa was not that of the real Sītā but a mere shadow representation. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very glad to read about the false Sītā, and He remembered His meeting with Rāmadāsa Vipra, who was very sorry that mother Sītā had been kidnapped by Rāvana. Indeed, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu eagerly tore this page from the Kūrma Purāna, although the book was very old, and He later showed it to Rāmadāsa Vipra, whose unhappiness was mitigated.”[4]

 So, in this respect it is very important not to imitate the great ones, but to follow. Whenever you see an old book, do not tear the pages out. In the same way, when Krishna is stealing, don’t imitate. Because that is not nice. Whatever is charming from God is very disgusting from humans.

“Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also found two other books — namely, the Brahma-samhitā and Krsna-karnāmṛta. Knowing these books to be excellent, He took them to present to His devotees.” So, those who have “Brahma Samhita” and “Krishna Karnamrita” are very fortunate. “After collecting these books, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī. At that time, the bathing ceremony of Jagannātha was taking place, and He saw it.”[5]

So, this is about the Southern pilgrimage tour of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Of course the places and the whole trip are more elaborately given in the shastras. So maybe once we shall be able to organize a South Indian pilgrimage tour to visit all the places that were visited by Mahaprabhu. But right now we try to organize a pilgrimage to Vrindavana, which was visited by Krishna and where He resides.



[1] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 1.108-112

[2] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 1.112-114

[3] another name is Rāmeshvara, this is the very southern point in India

[4] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 1.115-119

[5] Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 1.120-121



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