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Kismet
19 May 2012, 05:43 PM
Namaste All,

It's been a while since I've posted, here or anywhere, mostly because I've been trying to seek out my own truth in this thing called 'life', but now and again something catches my eye, even shocks me, which pulls me back into the loop of internet discussion...

One of the things which has deeply troubled me is the following 'pastime' of Lord Chaitanya in which he, apparently very callously and casually, provokes the suicide of one of his most devoted associates. All this was due merely to his begging of some rice from one 'Madhavi-devi', an elderly women who was also 'very advanced' in devotional service.

So, Chota "Junior" Haridas took the rice, and here is how the rest played out, per the CC:

After begging the rice from her, Junior Haridasa brought it to Bhagavan Acarya, who was very pleased to see its quality.

...

At noon, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to eat the offerings of Bhagavan Acarya, He first appreciated the fine rice and therefore questioned him.

"Where did you get such fine rice?" the Lord asked.
Bhagavan Acarya replied, "I got it by begging from Madhavi-devi."

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked who had begged the rice and brought it back, Bhagavan Acarya mentioned the name of Junior Haridasa.

Praising the quality of the rice, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu partook of the prasadam. Then, after returning to His residence, He gave the following order to Govinda, His personal assistant.

"From this day forward, do not allow Chota Haridasa to come here."

When Junior Haridasa heard that he had been ordered not to approach Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was very unhappy. No one could understand why he had been ordered not to come.

Haridasa fasted continuously for three days. Then Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and other confidential devotees approached Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to inquire from Him.

"What great offense has Junior Haridasa committed? Why has he been forbidden to come to Your door? He has now been fasting for three days."

The Lord replied, "I cannot tolerate seeing the face of a person who has accepted the renounced order of life but who still talks intimately with a woman.

...

After saying this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered His room. Seeing Him in such an angry mood, all the devotees fell silent.

The next day, all the devotees together approached the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to submit an appeal on behalf of Junior Haridasa.

"Haridasa has committed a small offense," they said. "Therefore, O Lord, please be merciful to him. Now he has received a sufficient lesson. In the future he will not commit such an offense."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "My mind is not under My control. It does not like to see anyone in the renounced order who talks intimately with women.

"You should all tend to your respective engagements. Give up this useless talk. If you speak this way again, I shall go away, and you will no longer see Me here."

Hearing this, all the devotees covered their ears with their hands, got up and went about their respective duties.

...
...

After all the devotees saw this example, a mentality of fear grew among them. Therefore they all stopped talking with women, even in dreams.

In this way a complete year passed for Junior Haridasa, but still there was not a sign of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy toward him.

Thus at the end of one night, Junior Haridasa, after offering Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu his respectful obeisances, departed for Prayaga without saying anything to anyone.

Junior Haridasa had conclusively decided to attain shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus he entered deep into the water at Triveni, the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna at Prayaga, and in this way gave up his life.

Immediately after committing suicide in this way, he went in his spiritual body to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and received the mercy of the Lord. However, he still remained invisible.

In a spiritual body resembling that of a Gandharva, Junior Haridasa, although invisible, would sing at night for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to hear. No one but the Lord, however, knew of this.

One day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquired from the devotees, "Where is Haridasa? Now you may bring him here."

The devotees all replied, "One night at the end of a full year, Junior Haridasa got up and went away. No one knows where he has gone."

While hearing the devotees lament, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was mildly smiling. Thus all the devotees were very much astonished.

...

"Junior Haridasa chanted the Hare Krishna mantra throughout his entire life and served the Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Moreover, he is dear to the Lord and has died in a holy place.

"Haridasa cannot have been degraded; he must have attained liberation. This is a pastime of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's. You will all understand it later."

A devotee returned to Navadvipa from Prayaga and told everyone the details of Junior Haridasa's suicide.

He explained how Junior Haridasa had made his resolution and had thus entered the waters at the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges. Hearing these details, Srivasa Thakura and the other devotees were very surprised.

...

When Srivasa Thakura inquired from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "Where is Junior Haridasa?" the Lord replied, "A person is sure to achieve the results of his fruitive activities."

Then Srivasa Thakura related the details of Haridasa's decision and his entering the waters at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard these details, He smiled in a pleased mood and said, "If with sensual intentions one looks at women, this is the only process of atonement."

Then all the devotees, headed by Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, concluded that because Haridasa had committed suicide at the confluence of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna, he must have ultimately attained shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

In this way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of mother Saci, performs His pastimes, which greatly satisfy the ears and minds of pure devotees who hear about them.

...

Thoughts? Concerns? I hope there are at least some!

wundermonk
20 May 2012, 06:00 AM
The story does seem weird.

But I have no idea what Chaitanya Caritamrita is...just googled it and it appears to be the life of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (?).

Can I get by without having to defend it? :p

Kismet
20 May 2012, 12:44 PM
The story does seem weird.

Very true.


But I have no idea what Chaitanya Caritamrita is...just googled it and it appears to be the life of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (?).

Can I get by without having to defend it? :p


Well, I only asked for thoughts and concerns, not necessarily a defense, though I personally would look for one as I do believe Chaitanya was the avatara of Radha and Krsna and this is a verity in my spiritual walk as of right now at least... I cannot deny the Absolute Truth as I see Him, regardless of what issues may arise, even very troubling issues to my mind... At least, it would take more than this incident for me to lose faith.

Again, anybody can voice their opinion here, pro or con, though I would appreciate it even more were a stalwart Vaishnav like smaranam to post a response. :)

Anything to keep the conversation going,

Shanti Aum

Ganeshprasad
21 May 2012, 05:28 PM
Pranam

This is a very delicate subject because we may not know full story behind the incidence.

Anyway what we must understand, Sanyas is an ultimate order for a Hindu, i guess there are different rules within different order but few things could be common, one of that is no Kaama, i know Swaminarayan do not even see a female, if by mistake they do there are prayachit they have to do in the form of a complete fast 24hrs.i don't know what if they fall.

i have heard that in godiya sects if a sanyasi fall down his only option is to take Jalsamdhi, i could be wrong.

i remember years ago at iskcon one Australian Sanyasi fall down at that time Bhagvandas was the Guru in UK, his opinion was that he should remain in the movement, that he serves a better purpose within then out, but off course Bhagvandas himself fell from grace.
So we must understand how exalted this position is and one should only enter it if one is sure, or else one brings disrepute to this high order

Jai Shree Krishna

Kismet
22 May 2012, 05:56 PM
Pranam

This is a very delicate subject because we may not know full story behind the incidence.

Anyway what we must understand, Sanyas is an ultimate order for a Hindu, i guess there are different rules within different order but few things could be common, one of that is no Kaama, i know Swaminarayan do not even see a female, if by mistake they do there are prayachit they have to do in the form of a complete fast 24hrs.i don't know what if they fall.

i have heard that in godiya sects if a sanyasi fall down his only option is to take Jalsamdhi, i could be wrong.

i remember years ago at iskcon one Australian Sanyasi fall down at that time Bhagvandas was the Guru in UK, his opinion was that he should remain in the movement, that he serves a better purpose within then out, but off course Bhagvandas himself fell from grace.
So we must understand how exalted this position is and one should only enter it if one is sure, or else one brings disrepute to this high order

Jai Shree Krishna

If memory serves me correctly, didn't Shankara break his orders of sannyas?

I would say that in these days the position is still serious, but has become less so thanks to people's themselves not taking it seriously.

ZarryT
22 May 2012, 06:50 PM
To put it crudely, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sounds like a bit of an unpleasant character; almost like a cult leader.

Suicide as the only atonement for this? Suicide as anything other than prayopavesa being against ahimsa?

This character is disturbing.

A very peculiar incarnation, if one at all.


Just an initial reaction from someone without background knowledge of the character.

Ganeshprasad
22 May 2012, 06:50 PM
Pranam



If memory serves me correctly, didn't Shankara break his orders of sannyas?

I would say that in these days the position is still serious, but has become less so thanks to people's themselves not taking it seriously.

Yes and no, Sankracharya could only take the order of Sanyas on the promise that he would perform the last rite of his mother, you can hardly compare that with falling from grace.
One should not take such high order if they they can't keep the promise, it is serious matter.
Jai Shree Krishna

Kismet
22 May 2012, 09:43 PM
To put it crudely, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sounds like a bit of an unpleasant character; almost like a cult leader.

Suicide as the only atonement for this? Suicide as anything other than prayopavesa being against ahimsa?

This character is disturbing.

A very peculiar incarnation, if one at all.


Just an initial reaction from someone without background knowledge of the character.

Can't really blame you for thinking that way. It's safe to say a "cult" did organize itself around him if you will; which happened to be the Gaudiya Vaishnava movement. Though I'm sure we can quibble on the precise definition of 'cult.'

I am myself beholden to him in a variety of ways. In ways I can't quite explain... So, given my own position, I can't simply dismiss this person out of my life, even if he is not entirely 'pleasant.' Jesus and Muhammed weren't always pleasant to be around either. And yet their followers remain loyal. I cannot but maintain my allegiance to Shree Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

That said, we may not know, as Ganeshprasad says, the full circumstances and facts behind this story. I'm opting for keeping an open mind and interpreting generously.

Kismet
22 May 2012, 09:46 PM
Pranam

Yes and no, Sankracharya could only take the order of Sanyas on the promise that he would perform the last rite of his mother, you can hardly compare that with falling from grace.
One should not take such high order if they they can't keep the promise, it is serious matter.
Jai Shree Krishna

I agree it is serious. To the extent that I have almost no doubt I myself would never be fit for it this lifetime.

What I mean is... these days it's been cheapened by people who don't live by example (i.e, all the failed sadhus and sannyasins from Iskcon).

Krishna Das
18 June 2014, 02:16 AM
Hare Krishna!

Here's my reply on this:

Anyone may ask, "What was his fault?" Srila Gurudeva explained the answer one day. In the asrama of Madhavi devi there was a girl who was serving her. When Chota Haridasa went there, he had an idea in his mind to look towards that young girl. Even though outwardly he was a renunciate, in his heart he was keeping some lust, some attachment. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu knows the heart of everyone. No one can hide his feelings from Him. Therefore, understanding everything, He banished him.

This is one explanation, but if we go deeper we will see that actually Chota Haridasa is an eternal associate of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He was performing this pastime to set an example to the whole world that those who are renounced and in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu should not have any duplicity or harbor even a trace of any lust in their hearts.

Also - Advaita Acarya, Srivasa Pandit, and Bhavananda Raya were all were with ladies, their wives, and Mahaprabhu was not angry with them. He never corrected them like this because no maya can influence them and they do not watch women with lusty feelings, and Mahaprabhu only pretended to reject Chota Haridasa. Chota Haridasa was His associate. He was liberated. There was actually no offence on his part But Mahaprabhu wanted to teach everyone by this example. He wanted to show that He cannot tolerate this behavior. Even if a married person is lusty, Mahaprabhu cannot tolerate it. so just don't become lusty, see Krishna in everyone instead.

I hope i helped.

Hare Krishna!

ganeshamylord
19 June 2014, 01:00 AM
Hare Krishna!

Here's my reply on this:

Also - Advaita Acarya, Srivasa Pandit, and Bhavananda Raya were all were with ladies, their wives, and Mahaprabhu was not angry with them. He never corrected them like this because no maya can influence them and they do not watch women with lusty feelings, and Mahaprabhu only pretended to reject Chota Haridasa. Chota Haridasa was His associate. He was liberated. There was actually no offence on his part But Mahaprabhu wanted to teach everyone by this example. He wanted to show that He cannot tolerate this behavior. Even if a married person is lusty, Mahaprabhu cannot tolerate it. so just don't become lusty, see Krishna in everyone instead.

I hope i helped.

Hare Krishna!

Yes ofcourse you can make a blind person see but you can never ever make a person pretending to be blind to see. Blind faith makes a person accept even the worst things to suit his agenda and also numbs his brain cells in the process