“In jubilation everyone was chanting the holy name of the Lord – ‘Hari! Hari!’ - and Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then appeared, after first causing the appearance of the holy name.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi, 13.21)Download this episode (right click and save)
I need something to look forward to. Otherwise the days simply repeat themselves. Get up; reluctantly at that. Go through the morning routine. Brush teeth, take shower, put on clothes, eat breakfast, rush out the door. Then at night it’s simply relaxation. At least that is the hope. The next day go through the exact same thing.
One of the things I look forward to is spending time with my friends. I naturally expect the association of my friends to bring me some kind of happiness. Otherwise why would I seek out their company?
Though the Supreme Lord is difficult to define through mental speculation alone, since He is all-pervading it is assumed that He cares for everyone. Universal affection implies friendship. If He is such a good friend, I should expect some type of good feeling from His association. The occasion of Gaura Purnima provides an example of how He brings great joy to others.
The English word “God” is quite vague. One Sanskrit equivalent is Ishvara. This means “great controller.” Ishvara can apply to me and you, also. Ishvara is purusha at the local level, which can mean “person” or “enjoyer.” Take the example of playing in a sandbox. The person moving the sand is Ishvara. They are also purusha. The sand is prakriti, or “that which is enjoyed.” One dominating force exercising its authority over another, inferior entity.
A better Sanskrit word for the Almighty is Bhagavan. From here we start to see separation between the many Ishvaras and the one who controls everyone. Bhagavan is an individual, distinct from you and me. He is a person, purusha, but the topmost; hence one name for Him being Purushottama. He is a controller, Ishvara, but of a supreme variety, Parameshvara.
Bhagavan specifically means that God the person possesses different fortunes. “Fortunes” means attributes, and some of those attributes are beauty, wealth, strength, fame, wisdom and renunciation. Bhagavan has these attributes in full and simultaneously.
Such a person who has everything naturally brings affection to others. Of course the determining factor is mood. The space heater in the living room should bring me comfort in the winter. It is there to help. But unless I plug it in and turn it on, I will remain in the misery caused by the frigid air.
As recently as five hundred years ago Bhagavan the person descended to earth. He came in a special golden form whose Divine nature was hidden from practically everyone. The surrendered souls, the ishvaras who understood the existence and superiority of Parameshvara, got to enjoy His company.
This golden form was known as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and from the Chaitanya Charitamrita we learn that when Bhagavan appeared in this form as a small child the people in the community were very happy. Just how much bliss did they feel? They couldn’t help but chant the name of Hari over and over.
Lord Chaitanya fulfilled His mission even before His birth. The golden avatara’s objective was to get people to chant the holy names of God, especially those found in the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Not just a way to direct people into meditation. Not some sentimental attachment to a specific sound produced by the Sanskrit language. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu knows that everyone will become so happy as a result of this chanting.
He caused the people of Navadvipa to chant Hari, which is another name for God. Only then did Chaitanya appear. In that childhood form He would provide even more bliss to the people around Him. This is the effect of God’s association. On the occasion of Gaura Purnima, we remember the best friend to all living entities, who once displayed the most beautiful golden form to give bliss to the surrendered souls.
How to bring bliss to them knowing,
So beautiful golden form showing.
Mission accomplished even before,
Then childhood form to adore.
“Hari Hari” for Him just say,
In Kali’s age no other way.
Mahaprabhu golden avatara came,
To share glories of holy name.