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Śrī Kāliyā Kṛṣṇa Dāsa

[December 9, 2023 is the disappearance day of Śrī Kāliyā Kṛṣṇa Dāsa in Vṛndāvana, India. The following is an excerpt of a bhāva anuvāda of a discourse by Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja on December 10, 2012. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content.]


Yesterday was the special tirobhāva tithi of Śrīla Narahari Sarkāra Ṭhākura. In Vṛndāvana [kṛṣṇa-līlā], he was Madhumatī, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s very dear sakhī and today is the tirobhāva tithi of Kāliyā Kṛṣṇa Dāsa, who is Lavaṅga Sakhā in Vṛndāvana [kṛṣṇa-līlā], one of the dvādasa gopālas. Bhagavān’s līlās [pastimes] keep appearing in a cyclic pattern, sometimes in one universe and sometimes in another. For this reason, they are eternal. If any pastime had not happened before and is not happening now, could it be eternal? These pastimes are not manifest to our vision, but they continue in one universe or another.


So, the same personality from kṛṣṇa-līlā also appeared here [in gaura-līlā], however, he did not act like a sakhā. The Śrīpāta of Kāliyā Kṛṣṇa Dāsa is in Bardhamān district, located between the Katwā railway station and the Dain Hāta railway station, at a place known as Akāi Hāta. For preaching, he traveled to the Pābnā district, and chose to reside near the Ichāmati River, near Bandaragā. He belonged to the bārendra brāhmaṇa family but in Akāi Hāta, there was no brāhmaṇa from that family, so he stayed near the Ichāmati River and his dynasty also flourished [in this way he started the lineage of bārendra brāhmaṇas.] When he left Akāi Hāta, others also left. To this day, the ruins of his building and possessions are still present . There is also a pond there. It is said, in this pond, Nityānanda prabhu’s nūpura (anklet) fell, while others claim it was the anklet of Śrīla Raghunandana Ṭhākura, the son of Mukunda. [One day Abhirāma Ṭhākura came to Śrīkhaṇḍa and when he offered praṇāms to Śrīla Raghunandana Ṭhākura and embraced him, Abhirāma Ṭhākura melted with feelings of prema. Then Śrīla Raghunandana Ṭhākura performed a dance (uddaṇḍa nṛtya) jumping so high in the air that one of his ankle bells slipped off and flew some four miles away [in a place called Akai-haṭa near the house of his disciple Kṛṣṇa Dāsa. Later a tank was excavated to commemorate this pastime and given the name Nūpura-kuṇḍa].] For this reason, the pond is still referred to as Nūpura-kuṇḍa.


My parama-gurudeva, Nityalīla Praviśta Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Aṣṭottaraśata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura, in his anubhāsya [commentary] of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya līlā 7.39, explained that this Kāliyā Kṛṣṇa Dāsa and the Kāliyā Kṛṣṇa Dāsa who accompanied Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu on the South India tour carrying His kamaṇḍalu and clothes, are not the same person. He made this very clear so that there would be no confusion. Anyway, today is his tirobhāva tithi.


The āvirbhāva and tirobhāva of Vaiṣṇavas are both auspicious for us. Why should we remember them on their āvirbhāva and tirobhāva?

It is said (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 12.2.55):

avismṛtiḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ kṣiṇoty abhadrāṇi ca śaṁ tanoti sattvasya śuddhiṁ paramātma-bhaktiṁ jñānaṁ ca vijñāna-virāga-yuktam

[Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet destroys everything inauspicious and awards the greatest good fortune. It purifies the heart and bestows devotion for the Supreme Soul, along with knowledge enriched with realization and renunciation.]

Avismṛtiḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ -through the remembrance of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, kṣiṇoty abhadrāṇi - inauspiciousness is weakened or destroyed. Ca śaṁ tanoti - śaṁ means maṅgalam [good fortune], so it gives auspiciousness. Sattvasya śuddhiṁ - the mind is cleansed. In this way, paramātma-bhaktiṁ - we will attain bhakti for paramātma, Bhagavān. Then what will happen? Jñānaṁ ca vijñāna-virāga-yukta - first there will be jñāna (knowledge about the subject) and then vijñāna (direct realization). What is next? Virāga-yuktam - virāga is explained as, 'viṣiśṭe parama puruṣe rāga' [special attachment to the Supreme Person]. Such attachment is the positive aspect, the negative aspect involves detachment towards inferior objects. When will such detachment manifest? When our heart develops affinity towards superior objects, it is very easy to give up inferior objects.


To teach us, Vaiṣṇavas have set the example and expressed in humility –

kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśās teṣāṁ jātā mayi na karuṇā na trapā nopaśāntiḥ utsṛjyaitān atha yadu-pate sāmprataṁ labdha-buddhis tvām āyātaḥ śaraṇam abhayaṁ māṁ niyuṅkṣvātma-dāsye

(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 3.2.35)

["'O my Lord, there is no limit to the unwanted orders of lusty desires. Although I have rendered these desires so much service, they have not shown any mercy to me. I have not been ashamed to serve them, nor have I even desired to give them up. O my Lord, O head of the Yadu dynasty, recently, however, my intelligence has been awakened, and now I am giving them up. Due to transcendental intelligence, I now refuse to obey the unwanted orders of these desires, and I now come to You to surrender myself at Your fearless lotus feet. Kindly engage me in Your personal service and save me.']

Kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā - kāmādīnāṁ means lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy.

‘These senses instruct me in many varieties of wicked ways. They never seem to provide any good advice. Despite following their orders for so long, they did not bestow mercy upon me. They neither left me nor alerted me about my auspiciousness. And even I am so shameless…What to speak of peace, I never even ventured near peace! O! Yadupate! Now, being saved from them due to my intelligence being awakened, I have come to Your lotus feet. Please bestow mercy upon me and make me the servant of Your lotus feet.’


What does Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī have to say on this topic? He has composed Śrī Manaḥ-śīkṣā, containing eleven ślokas, in which he has said in śloka 7:

pratiṣṭhāśā dhṛṣṭā svapaca-ramaṇī me hṛdi naṭet

katham- sādhu-premā spṛśati śucir etan nanu manaḥ

sadā tvam- sevasva prabhu-dayita-sāmantam atulaḿ

yathā tām- niṣkāsya tvaritam iha tam- veṣayati saḥ

[Why is it that deceit still lingers in the heart despite one’s having given up all material sense enjoyment? This verse has been composed in order to answer this question.] O mind, how can pure divine love appear in my heart as long as the shameless dog-eating, outcaste woman of the desire for prestige is audaciously dancing there? Therefore always remember and serve the immeasurably powerful commanders of the army of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the beloved devotees of the Lord. They will at once banish this outcaste woman and initiate the flow of immaculate vraja-prema in your heart.] GVP

Dhṛṣṭā means bad character or prostitute, that too, a cānḍālini (dog eater). She is dancing in my heart. Hence, katham-sādhu-premā - why should sādhu prema touch me? When even normal people won’t go there, why should a sādhu go there? Then, is there no respite for us? Is there no way to escape? Therefore, sadā tvam- sevasva - always serve prabhu-dayita. Dayita means extremely beloved. Sāmantam means commanders (senāpati). Who are they? They are the Vaiṣṇavas. Serve these Vaiṣṇavas because they will remove this prostitute and make place for prema to reside.

Desire for wealth or women can leave the heart, however pratiṣṭhā (the desire for fame) cannot leave the heart very easily, because pratiṣṭhā is not visible externally. Hence, my parama-gurudeva said (Bhajana: Vaiṣṇava ke, Verse11):

‘kanaka-kamini,’ ‘pratistha-baghini,’ chadiyache jare, sei to’ vaisnava

[One is truly a Vaisnava who has given up the habit of falling victim to the ferocious tigress of wealth, beauty, and fame.]

The person whom this tigress of pratiṣṭhā has left, can be considered a Vaiṣṇava.


Only the commanders can do this work. Even in ordinary world it is the same. In 1965, Lal Bahadur Śāstrī was the prime minister when Pakistan attacked India. He gave a moving speech on the radio. He said, “I want to remain amicable, but this does not mean we can tolerate being repeatedly attacked. If that occurs then my commanders will silence the enemy through a powerful counter attack.” His words had so much impact that the commanders reached Lahore [then Pakistan’s capital] within two days. At that time, I was in Chandigarh. As a result, the capital city of Pakistan was changed to Islamabad, instead of Lahore, as it was too close to India. Similarly, Bhagavān’s commanders will do the needful.


In Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta [Ādi 7-164], it is said, dui senā-pati kaila bhakti-pracāraṇa. Who are the two commanders? Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. What did they win over? Wherever there is misconduct, they established good conduct. They reclaimed the lost holy places. They preached the glory of the Holy Name and prema. They manifested service to Śrī Vigraha [Deities] and scriptures [ṣaḍ-grantha]. This is the role of Vaiṣṇavas.


This is why vaiṣṇava sārvabhauma Śrīla Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja ordered my parama-gurudeva who was expert in astrology, to make a pañjikā [almanac], called Navadvīpa Pañjikā, which would contain all the āvirbhāva and tirobhāva tithis of the Vaiṣṇavas. Although Calcutta University was ready to offer him the post of a chairperson, he did not accept it. He was such an astute astrologer that once he defeated another astrologer in such a way that that astrologer defecated [out of fear] in his pants. Parama-gurudeva used to accompany Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura to meet with Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja in Navadvīpa. Afterwards Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja instructed him to make a pañjikā. By the virtue of this, Vaiṣṇavas would be remembered on their respective āvirbhāva and tirobhāva, which is beneficial for us. This is why both the tithis are the equal [in bestowing auspiciousness].


One more reason why we remember the Vaiṣṇavas and beg for their mercy is because Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has said:

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi

na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ

sevonmukhe hi jihvādau

svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ

(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.234)

"No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him."

Nāmādi means name, form, qualities, pastimes, dhāma (holy place) and Vaiṣṇavas. If nāmādi is not perceivable by the materially contaminated senses, then what means do we possess so that we can experience nāmādi? By our eyes we cannot see, by our ears we cannot hear, by our tongue we cannot honor prasāda, by our skin we cannot experience the sense of touch [we cannot experience that which is transcendental with our material senses]. Should we consider ourselves failures? Should we consider there is no necessity or benefit of such an endeavor? What means do we possess? Currently, our senses are bhogonmukha [replete with the enjoying propensity]. But later, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau, our senses become purified through sevonmukha [transcendental service to Bhagavān].


Why has the tongue been mentioned first? Because among all our senses, the tongue is the most unscrupulous. The tongue has three urges (vega) – vaco-vega [urge to speak], jihva-vega [urge of the tongue to eat palatable dishes], udara-upastha-vega [urge of the belly].

Udara-vega, means ‘the tongue felt nice so I overate’. This is a problem. One of our brahmacārīs was traveling with us by train to Purī along with three or four others. He asked me, “Mahārāja can I take little of this [some eatables].” I said, “No problem take as much as you like, there is no restriction. Devotees offered so much - over a hundred rupees to buy fruits on the way.” I immediately gave the money to Śyāmānanda Prabhu, as I don’t keep money. So that brahmacārī bought guavas from the Allahabad station, and generally whatever he saw, he would buy and eat to his heart’s content. Now when we reached Purī, he experienced indigestion so in the maṭha he asked me, “What do I do now?” I told him to visit a doctor. The doctor gave him medicine and forbade him from eating anything else, instructing, “Do not eat anything else until your stomach clears up.” At that time, that brahmacārī told me Śivānanda had given tasty melons to him in Delhi and he overate on the way. Why did he overeat? Because his tongue liked it. And which other urge is there in the tongue? Vaco-vega. Through the medium of the tongue one engages in speaking unpalatable and harsh words, and after doing so, ends up picking a fight with another. Then one engages in fighting and the reason is the tongue!


Which other urge is connected to the tongue? Udar-upastha-vega. When the tongue is offered an excess of palatable stuff, then it causes trouble to the belly and concomitantly the genitals are also affected by the urge to urinate and defecate. That is why it is said, ‘jeete sarvam jeete rase’ - if you conquer the tongue, then you conquer everything. And if you desire to conquer the tongue, what is the remedy? Sing the glories of Vaiṣṇavas and eventually all these urges will no longer remain, and by this, you will be able to ‘purchase’ Bhagavān.

In Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura said, “je vaiṣṇava sevile, acintya kṛṣṇa pāya” – by serving the lotus feet of Vaiṣṇavas, one can attain the service of that Kṛṣṇa who is acintya (inconceivable), whom I cannot even meditate or think about otherwise. Hence there is nothing greater than this. Also it has been mentioned that the glories of Bhagavān will spring forth only from that tongue which has sung the glories of Vaiṣṇavas, not otherwise.

This is why all these arrangements are there [to glorify the Vaiṣṇavas]. Today is the disappearance day of Kāliya Kṛṣṇa Dāsa. By singing his glories and just by hearing his name, our inauspiciousness will go away. We will pray to him so that, in our heart, whatever desires we have which are unfavorable to bhakti will be removed so that we can attain auspiciousness.

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