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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Advent day of Advaita ācāryadeva


How Advaita Prabhu granted the śrāddha plate to Haridās Ṭhākur:

From a lecture by Sītānath Kula-kaustubha Śrī-Śrīla Nikuñja Gopāla Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, held on Advaita Prabhu's advent day, Navadvīp, February 1983:

Advaita Prabhu said: "Haridāsa, it is My order that you accept the prasāda of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Madana Gopāla." Haridāsa humbly folded his hands and said: “Śrīpāda! I am just a Yavan! Where is my adhikāra to accept the mahā prasāda of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Madana Gopāla? Only if I can sit at the gate of the Mandira of Rādhā and Madana Gopāla as a dog to eat the remnants of the brāhmaṇas I will follow Your order!"

So in due course of time Haridās was served prasāda. All the powerful Vaiṣṇavas and brāhmanas were present when Prabhu Sītānātha personally served the śrāddha pātra, that was destined for the brāhmanas, to Haridās. "What is Gurudeva doing?" Haridāsa wondered. Prabhu Sītānātha said: "I am Veda Pañcānana, no one can overrule my order. Feeding you is equal to feeding a hundred brāhmaṇas, no, the result of feeding a hundred brāhmaṇas will be even exceeded by feeding you! Therefore it is my order that you accept this." What could Haridāsa do but bow down his head?

The brāhmaṇas of Navadvīpa were mostly tantriks accepting Satī-mantra. Navadvīpa was the greatest tantra tīrtha of Bengal at that time, and our Prabhu Sītānātha is Sadāśiva (the husband of Satī). The brāhmaṇas that were seated to take prasāda got up and washed their hands, saying: "Advaita, we will not come to Your house anymore. You are acting against the rules!" Sītānātha said: "What have I done that is against the rules?" Brahmins: "You should have given us the pātra. We are brahmaṇas, don't you know?" Sītānātha said: "What was done has been done — what to do now, please accept my rule." The brahmaṇas replied: "From now on we are finished with you. We will give up all connection with you and oust you from the samāja (society)!" Prabhu Sītānātha said: "tathāstu — let it be."

The brahmaṇas went home and that evening when they wanted to take evening prasāda with their sons, grandsons and other relatives their wives were not able to ignite their stoves for cooking, so they could not eat. The housewives went from (brahmaṇa-) home to home to borrow fire, but fire was not appearing in any brahmaṇa-home of Navadvīpa.

The next morning the same thing happened and one of the brahmaṇas thought: "What is going on? There is no fire only in the houses of those brahmaṇas who went to the invitation of Advaita Prabhu." One of the most learned tantrik brahmaṇas then went into his temple and sat down in meditation at the feet of his iṣṭa devatā (Durgā), thinking: "What offense have we committed?" Then, on the strength of his tantrik powers his iṣṭa devatā (Durgā) told him with a divine voice from within his heart: "You have committed an offense to my husband (Śiva = Advaita Prabhu). If you want something to eat tonight, then go to my husband and beg His forgiveness! If He forgives you, your whole life will be blessed and if not, then your whole life will be ruined!" Thus brāhmaṇas came from all over Navadvīpa to Prabhu Sītānātha and prayed to him: "Ohe Prabhu Sītānātha! Ohe Advaita Acarya! Ohe Sadāśiva! Please forgive us our offenses!" (Durgā said:) "What higher rule is there than the one enunciated by my Lord (husband)? What higher is there than bhakti?" Haridās is whole-heartedly surrendered to his Gurudeva's lotusfeet - if Gurudeva understands that he is a vessel of pure devotion, then who has the power to go against that? ādau ante ca madhye ca hari sarvatra gīyate ("In the beginning, middle and end, Hari is sung of everywhere")—the Veda Pancānana could see Hari everywhere. In the same way, devotion to the lotus-feet of Hari is primary. If a person upholds the etiquette by considering a person who is a bhakta as primary, then who is able to infringe that? Our Advaita Prabhu caused a revolution against the harsh influence of the Kali-age by preaching pure bhakti and showing how much power the pure devotion has to purify even the yavanas."

This transcript is added to the link-tab renamed 'Transcripts of some audio material" under 'Sādhu Bābā audio mp3' on http://www.madangopal.com/

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