IBSA (ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Sadhana Asrama), Govardhana, India
27 January 2004
|A painting of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu sitting under the tamala tree.|
Predictions from Vayu Purana
The following is an excerpt of Sesi-khanda of Vayu Purana. These verses predict the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the most merciful avatara of Lord Krsna.
sri satananda uvaca
bruhi tata kripasindho bhaktanugrahakatara
paritranaya lokanam hetum kalmasacetasam
Sri Satananda said:
O father, O ocean of mercy, O saint overcome with mercy for the devotees, to protect the people please tell why the hearts of the people in Kali-yuga have become dirtied with sin.
na tapas ca na cejya ca na dhyanam jnanam avyayam
na danam sattvasamyuktam kalau na dirrghajiivanam
In the Kali-yuga there is no austerity, worship, meditation, eternal knowledge, charity, truth, or long life.
kenopayena nistaro bhavisyati kalau yuge
How may the people in Kali-yuga be delivered?
sri gautama uvaca
sadhu pristam tvaya putra guhyad guhyatamam mama
samahitamana bhutva srinu tat paramadbhutam
Sri Gautama Muni said:
My son, your question is very good. Please attentively hear from me a wonderful answer, an answer that contains the most secret of all secrets.
etad guhyatamam vakyam brahma lokapitamahah
vaikuntham nagaram gatva sendrair devaganaih saha
vakta srilokanatham vai karunamayavigraham
Accompanied by Indra and the demigods, Lord Brahma, the grandfather of the worlds, went to Vaikuntha and spoke to Lord Narayana, the master of the worlds.
sri satananda uvaca
katham vai brahmana tata pristah sri purusottamah
karanam tatra va kim vai kathyatam munipungava
Sri Satananda said: What question did Brahma present before the Supreme Lord? O best of sages, please tell.
sri gautama uvaca
srinu putra prayatnena kalau kalmasasamjnake
sarve paparata lokas chanda mithyavivadinah
Sri Gautama Muni said:
O son, please listen carefully. In the contaminated Kali-yuga everyone is a sinner. Everyone is passionate, hot-tempered, and a liar.
svadhyayadina rahita devatatithivancakah
parasvalolupah keccit paradarabhigaminah
The people do not worship the demigods, observe the holy days, or study the Vedas. Some are eager to snatch the property of others. Some are adulterers.
iti viksya samudvigna dharani bharasankula
dhenurupadhara dina kripana malinanana
Seeing this, the earth-goddess became unhappy with the burden she bore. She assumed the form of a cow. She was filled with lamentation. Her face was filled with sorrow.
gatva vai brahmasadanam rodamana punah punah
sagadgadavaco bhuutva stutva brahmanam isvaram
She approached the demigod Brahma. Weeping again and again, with words choked with grief she said to him:
sarve kalimalagrastah papistha lobhatatparah
Everyone in Kali-yuga is a great sinner, a greedy materialist, a blasphemer of demigods and brahmanas.
tesam padapraharena kampate mamaki tanuh
tasmat lokaparitranam prthivyam kena jayate
My body trembles when they walk. How can the people of the earth be delivered?
tad eva kuru devesa yena santir bhaven mama
ity yuktvadhomukhibhuya stita bhur asurakula
O master of the demigods, please do something to make them peaceful and saintly.
After speaking these words, the earth goddess, troubled by the presence of so many demons, lowered her face.
tatah sancintya devesam brahma lokapitamahah
vaikunthanagaram gatva stutva tam purusottamam
After thinking for some time, Lord Brahmaa, the grandfather of the worlds, went to Vaikuntha and offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
jaya krsna jagannath jaya vaikuthanayaka
jaya deva kripasindho jaya laksmyah pate prabho
Sri Brahma said:
O Krsna, O master of the worlds, glory to You! O master of Vaikuntha, glory to You! O ocean of mercy, glory to You! O husband of Laksmi, glory to You!'
jaya nilambu jashyama nilajimutasaubhaga
kandarpakotisaundarya jaya srivatsalanchana
O Lord dark like a blue lotus, O Lord dark like a monsoon cloud, glory to you! O Lord more handsome than millions of Kaamadevas, O Lord marked with Srivatsa, glory to You!
jaya pitambaradhara jaya kaustubhabhusana
jaya padma palasaksa jaya padmanana prabho
O Lord dressed in yellow garments, glory to You! O Lord decorated with the Kaustubha jewel, glory to You! O Lord whose eyes are lotus petals, glory to You! O Lord whose face is a lotus flower, glory to You!
jaya padmapadadvandva tilapuspasunasika
jaya natha jagadbandho vinatasutavahana
O Lord whose feet are lotus flowers, glory to You! O Lord whose graceful nose is a sesame flower, glory to You! O friend of the worlds, glory to You! O Lord carried by Garuda, glory to You!
jaya cakragadapadmasankhahasta caturbhuja
jaya padmadharitribhyam nisevitapadambuja
O Lord who hold a disc, club, lotus, and conchshell in Your four hands, glory to You! O Lord whose lotus feet are served by the goddesses Padma and Dhariti, glory to You!
sri gautama uvaca
iti samstuyamano'pi shri krsnah karunanidhih
brahmanam devadeveso jagada kripayanvitah
Sri Gautama Muni said:
After hearing these prayers, Lord Krsna, who is an ocean of mercy and the master of the demigods, kindly asked the demigod Brahma:
kim vrittam jagatinatha bruhi kim karavami te
ityuktva padmayonis ca provaca sri gadagrajam
O master of the universe, how are things with You? What may I do for you? Please tell.
Hearing these words, Brahma spoke to Lord Krsna:
kalau paparata lokah svadhyayavidhivarjitah
sudravrittidvijah sudra brahmanadvesakarinah
Sri Brahma said:
In Kali-yuga the people are sinners. They neither study the Vedas nor follow their rules. The brahmanas act like sudras, and the sudras hate the brahmanas.
dvijanam gunato nicah sudra mantrapradayinah
sisnodarapara vipra vipratve sutradharinah
The brahmanas are degraded and addicted to pleasing their bellies and genitals. Brahminical status is determined only by possession of a sacred thread. The sudras are now gurus and give mantras.
mahaharah kharvakaya alasa mandabuddhayah
janas tvadvimukhah sarve paradravyabhilasinah
The people are gluttonous, short in stature, lazy, foolish, greedy after others' property, and averse to You.
In the modern age, the personality of quarrel, Kali, spreads sinfulness and violence throughout the world.
asatpatharatah sarve agamyagaminas tatha
Everyone follows the wrong path. They abandon their prescribed duties, commit adultery, and blaspheme the demigods and brahmanas.
iti tadbharamagna sa dharani rudati punah
tasmal lokaparitram prithivyam kena jayate
tat kurusva jaganatha dinadurgatinasana
Troubled by the burden of these sins, the earth-goddess weeps again and again. How may the people of the earth be delivered? O master of the worlds, please do something to deliver them.
sri gautama uvaca
iti samjnapito devo brahmana prabhu achyutah
sa devan aha tad visnur guhyad guhyatamam vacah
Sri Gautama said:
Hearing Brahma's words, Lord Visnu, the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead, spoke to the demigods words that revealed the most secret of secrets. He said:
diti ja bhuvi jayadhvam jayadhvam bhaktarupinah
kalau sankirtanarambhe bhavisyami sacisutah
O demigods, please take birth as devotees on the earth. I will take birth as Saci-devi's son and I will start the sankirtana movement, a movement of chanting the holy names.
kriite japai mama pritis tretayam homakarmabhih
dvapare paricaryabhih kalau sankirtanair api
In Satya-yuga I am pleased by japa, in Treta-yuga by yajna and karma, in Dvapara-yuga by worship, and in Kali-yuga I am pleased by the chanting of the holy names.
bruhi me karunasindho kirtanam kim svarupakam
katham vatra bhagavtah para pritir bhavisyati
The demigod Brahma said:
O ocean of mercy, please describe to us the nature of this movement of chanting the Lord's holy name. How should it be performed so that Your Lordship will be most pleased?
sri bhagavan uvaca
srnu brahman pravaksyami sankirtanam atah param
samahitamana bhutva sarat sarataram hi yat
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said:
O Brahma, please listen carefully and I will describe to you the most exalted sankirtana movement.
mrdangaih karatalais ca svarabhavasamanvitaih
ragaraganvitam ganam yatah syat tulyakirtanam
In the sankirtana movement are sweet singing and the music of mrdangas, karatalas, and other musical instruments.
te sabdenocyate radha na sabdenocyate janah
teneti srutimatrena yathaivardratarobhavam
When in sankirtana there is the word tena, the syllable te means Radha, and the syllable na means person. In this way the word tena means "O Lord Krsna, O master of Radha!"
tatha catra bhavisyami bhaktyanugrahakamyaya
sahasraso 'vatara me gita brahman yuge yuge
O Brahma, yuga after yuga I kindly appear in many thousands of incarnations.
banamargair vedamargai ripunam tatra sanksayam
bhaktanam taranam kritva khyapitam vayashah ksitau
Walking either on the path of arrows or the path of the Vedas, I deliver the devotees, destroy their enemies, and place My glory on the earth.
kalau nastadrisam esa matpadyarka udesyati
For they who have become blinded by Kali-yuga, a verse with My holy names will rise like a glorious sun. This verse is:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
sakrid dvistrir yathasakti yavaj jivam athapi va
vyaaharan svapaco 'pi syan mama bhakto na samsayah
One should chant this mantra once, twice, thrice, as many times as one is able, or again and again for as long as one lives. By chanting this mantra even a person who was a dogeater may become My devotee. Of this there is no doubt.
sarvavedavido viprah puranagamaparagah
na cen madbhaktabhaktas te dure tisthanti varitah
Even if they are learned in all the Vedas and even if they have traveled to the farther shore of the Agamas and Puranas, they who are not devotees of My devotees cannot approach Me. They must stay far away from Me.
api cet suduracarah pukkasah svapaco 'thava
madbhaktibhaktikritsa syaan mama kaustubhasannibhah
Even a barbarian, a dogeater, or a person who has performed the most abominable action may come very close to Me, almost touching my Kaustubha jewel, if he has devotedly served My devotee.
bhaktarupam aham dhritva bhaktajnaparipalakah
matparan uddharisyami ghorasamsarasagarat
Fulfilling My devotee's request, I will accept the form of a devotee and I will deliver My devotees from the terrible ocean of repeated birth and death.
tilakancitabhalah sri tulasikanthikasritah
sankhacakralasadbahumulah kaupinah vasasah
In that form of a devotee My forehad will be decorated with tilaka, My neck with Tulasi beads, and My hands with the marks of a disc and conchshell. I will accept the dress of a sannyasi.
madbhakta vicarisyanti kalau bhagavatottamah
In Kali-yuga My devotees will work to convince the people to become devotees also.
svarnaditiram asthaya navadvipajanalayah
tatra dvijakulam prapto bhavisyami janalaye
I will take birth in a brahmana family in Navadvipa, by the Ganges' shore.
bhaktiyogapradanaya lokasyanugrahaya ca
sannyasarupam asthaya krsnacaitanyanama dhrk
To show mercy to the people and give them devotional service, I will become a sannyasi. My name will be Sri Krsna Caitanya.
bhaktiyogam pradasyami harikirtanatatparah
Devoted to chanting the holy names of Lord Hari, My eyes filled with tears, and the hairs of My body erect, I will give to the people the gift of devotional service.
tenaiva sarvalokanam nistaro vai bhavisyati
mannamasmaranat kincit kalau nastyeva vaidikam
By remembering My holy names everyone will be delivered. In Kali-yuga it is not possible to follow the path of the Vedas.
madbhakta yatra gayanti tatra tisthami niscitam
tat svayam bhuvi bhakta vai jayadhvam bhaktitatparah
I stay wherever My devotees sing My glories. All of you please become My devotees on the earth.
yena lokasya nistaras tat kurudhvam mama jnaya
dharitri bhavita cabhir mayaiva dvijadehinah
By My order please act in such a way that the people of the world will become delivered. In this way I will accept the form of a brahmana and relieve the earth of her fears.
sadyas tatra svagopanam santa tu kamalalaya
namna gadadhara iti vikhyato dharanitale
The cowherd people of My Vraja village will also take birth on the earth. She who is the resting place of the goddess of fortune will be known on the earth as Gadadhara.
balaramo mamaivamsah so 'pi matpristham esyati
nityananda iti khyato nyasicudamanih ksitau
Lord Balaraama, who is My incarnation, will stay by My side. On the earth His name will be Nityananda. He will be the crest jewel of sannyasis.
kritvavadhutavesam sa dharman bhagavatan bahun
grahayitva janan ittham grihinam asramam tatah
He will give to the people the gift of devotional service to the Lord. First He will be a sannyasi, but then He will be a householder.
jahnavyadibhir atmanam darsayisyati manavan
Accompanied by Jahnavi-devi and many other associates, He will reveal His transcendental form to the people.
kamadeva iti gatva dhruvanandeti samjnitah
jahnavisisyatam etya lokan nistarayisyati
The demigod Kamadeva will be known as Dhruvananda. He will become a disciple of Jahanvi-devi and He will deliver many people.
naicim tanum samasthaya lokasiksarthatatparah
vikhyato haridaso yo mama bhaktim karisyati
To teach the people what is genuinely important, the demigod Brahma will accept the form of a low-caste man. His name will be Haridasa and he will diligently engage in My devotional service.
rudro 'vatirya madbhaktim sri madadvaitasamjnakah
grahayisyati lokams ca yatnat karunikah prabhuh
Merciful Lord Shiva will accept the name Sri Advaita. He will give devotional service to many people.
naaradah sri nivaseti ramanandeti tumburuh
vikhyatim prapya madbhaktau kurutam bhaktim avyaye
Narada will become Srinivasa, and Tumburu will become Ramananda. They will diligently engage in My service.
brihaspatir vasavaguruh sarvabhaumo bhavisyati
nanante vasinas tatra sastranyadhyapayisyati
Indra's guru, Brihaspati, will become Sarvabhauma. He will teach the truth contained in many scriptures.
punah siromanir bhutva nyasadin prathayisyati
The crest jewel of teachers, he will deliver many sannyasis and many others.
candro bhaved vardhamano yas tu dayalutavadhih
evam anye bhavisyanti devah svamsena bhartah
Many other demigods will expand by their parts and appear on the earth. As the moon increases day by day, so their mercy and other virtues will also increase.
tatraiva bhavita brahman vyasah kesavabharatih
sannyasasyopadesena bhavisyati gurur mama
O Brahma, Vyasa will appear as Keshava Bharati. He will become My sannyasa guru.
indro'vatiirya matiman prithivyam prithivipatih
prataparudro vikhyato madbhaktanam samasrayah
Indra will descent to the earth as King Prataaparudra. He will take shelter of My devotees.
anye devaganah sarve madbhaktah matparayanah
kurvanti mamakim bhaktim srinu brahman samahitah
All the other demigods will also become My devotees. They will diligently engage in My devotional service. O Brahma, please hear this with great attention.
sarve samagamisyamah svasthanam punar acyutam
prakasam amam devadyah bhaktah krisnaparayanah
After manifesting these pastimes as devotees of Lord Krsna to assist in My incarnation on the earth, the demigods and others will return to their respective abodes.
idam ye srinuyan nityam bhaktitah parikirtayet
kotijanmar jitam papam tatksanat tasy nasyati
They who with devotion regularly hear or recite these words become free of sin. The sins they committed in ten million births are at once destroyed.
sri gautama uvaca
tato devaganah sarve brahma lokapitamahah
pranamya devadevesam gantarah svapuram yatha
Sri Gautama Muni said:
Accompanied by all the demigods, Lord Brahma, the grandfather of the worlds, bowed down before Lord Krsna, the master of the demigods, and then returned to his own abode.
Sketches of a Devotee's Pre-Krsna Conscious Life in India
Back in the late 1980's I tape-recorded a series of interesting stories told me by an Indian devotee, whom I shall not name to protect his privacy. These stories relate his life as a young man from a South Indian smarta brahmin family, and trace how he gradually turned away from material life to Krsna consciousness. What you will read below begins at a Durga temple in the city of Kalka.
While at the temple I asked the pujari if I could do prashna, a way of putting questions to the murti. He handed me a red and yellow flower. I touched them, and gave them back. He put them on the deity and told me to stand before the altar and think of my question. If the red flower fell, the answer was no. I gazed at Durga's form with my palms pressed together, fingertips touching my chin. 'Should I stay with the shakta baba?' After two or three minutes, the red flower dropped.
I was disappointed. But as I left the temple, I cheered myself up. 'I can check the worth of the prashna by staying with the baba,' I thought. 'Let's see if there's any truth in it. Besides, I don't have a reason to go anywhere else. It's not that the prashna gave me an alternative course of action. ' I returned to the ashram and told Babaji I would remain with him.
The first three days of my stay were uneventful. In the morning I chanted Vishnu-sahashra-nama and did my trotak meditation and pranayama. I sang prayers when he did his homas to Kali, and also did simple chores like fetching firewood. Although Babaji gave me no particular instructions as I expected a guru should, I could see that he had a clear plan in mind for me. I waited to see what would unfold.
Thrice daily he left the ashram with a plate of puja articles-- incense, flowers and a bowl of sindhur--and returned after about half an hour. On the morning of the second day he took me with him. We walked along the tracks in the direction of Kalka, crossed the Simla road and continued for a few minutes until we came to a sand and rock hill a short hike from the rail bed. Babaji led me up a trail to the top. There he showed me a sindhur-covered rock which he said was a drop of Devi's blood. In the Puranas it is said that the goddess, in her incarnation as Sati, gave up her life when her father Daksha insulted her husband Shiva. Maddened with grief, Shiva danced across the sky with her dead body which disintegrated and fell in pieces upon the earth. There are one hundred and eight important Devi temples (devi-pitham) in India that are said to be built on sites where a part of Sati's body landed. "Most people do not know that this site is also a pitha," Babaji confided to me. "The goddess has revealed this place to me alone. It is full of power. " He said this with such conviction that I believed him at once and offered my respects to the blood-red stone. He did a short puja to it and we returned.
The fourth day was amavasya (the dark moon day). That morning, as he left to worship at the pitha, Babaji told me he would go into town from the hill to get ingredients for a special festival we were to observe this evening. He also said I should not eat anything today. While he was gone, I cleaned the ashram. He returned after several hours, his cloth shoulderbag full.
After bathing, Babaji did a homa, this one a little different from the others I'd seen him do. From a metal trunk he took a khadga (a large knife, a type of weapon held by Kali) and placed it in the kunda before lighting the fire. At the completion of the fire sacrifice, he prepared eighteen kinds of offerings from various mixtures of the raw ingredients he'd brought--puffed rice, fruit, sugar candy, flat rice, and so on.
He told me we'd be doing an all-night ceremony at the pitha at which I would have to chant from dusk to dawn. I was excited. Sure that he would judge my worth as a disciple by what he saw tonight, I resolved to play my role in the ceremony with unflagging enthusiasm. A hour before sunset he set out a plate with eighteen bowls, filling each with a preparation. He gave me the plate and told me to bring it up to the pitha. "I'll come shortly," he said. "I must prepare the khadga. We'll be doing a special worship to this at the pitha also. "
Carrying the plate in my hands, I walked down the tracks and up the hill. There was a light drizzle in the air. I hoped it would not get worse and spoil Babaji's ceremony. After setting the plate down near the sacred stone, I felt the need to urinate. Considering the hill a sancified spot, I reversed my steps and descended to the rail bed to relieve myself there. A freight train had stopped on the tracks next to the hill. I had just finished urinating when a man with a lantern came walking alongside the train. It was a signalman.
"Kon hai thum?" (Who are you?) he asked.
"I am with that trackside babaji," I answered smilingly. "Tonight is amavasya, so we're having a special puja up on the hill. I need to wash my hands after passing urine--do you have water?"
Astonished, he stared hard at me. All at once he barked, "Escape-- right now! Quickly--go!"
Not understanding what he meant, I repeated my question about water. "Never mind water," he yelled, seizing me by the should- er. "That man is going to kill you tonight if you don't leave here. Go down the track to the Kalka station. You'll find water there. Report to the stationmaster. " He gave me a push.
Propelled by the urgency of his voice, I trotted the whole way to the station. Who was the killer the signalman warned me about? I wondered if a madman was on the loose. At last, panting and weary, I clambered from the rail bed to the station platform. I saw a spigot and washed my hands and face. After a long refreshing drink, I looked for the stationmaster.
In an office I found a man in a blue uniform. "Excuse me," I said to him, "but I've come here sent by the signalman down the track who said someone wants to kill me. "
"What are you talking about?" he asked, perplexed.
"You see, I'm staying with the babaji down the track. . . "
No sooner than these words had escaped my lips, the man ran out and shouted for a khaki-uniformed guard with an Enfield rifle on his shoulder. "Stay here with him," he ordered the guard. "I'll get the police. Don't let him go anywhere, and don't let anyone enter this room. " 'Oh no,' I thought to myself as the stationmaster rushed out. 'What have I got myself into?'
After fifteen minutes the stationmaster returned with a police inspector and his uniformed driver. The inspector ordered me to identify myself and explain my connection to the baba. I did, but I insisted he tell me what was happening.
"Yes, I'm coming to that. We have reason to believe that man was going to kill you tonight. If you make a complaint against him, we'll take action. "
"You see," the stationmaster added, "for a long time our rail workers have noticed very peculiar things about that baba. He's had assistants like you before, all strangers to these parts, and they just seem to disappear one after the other. "
The police inspector continued, "We've questioned him several times, and he always says his men just suddenly leave to go elsewhere. But bloodstained clothes have been found on the tracks near that hill. He of course denies knowing anything, and we would need more evidence to take further steps against him. But we suspect he's made human sacrifices on that hilltop. There's a rumor going around that he's killed twelve or thirteen people in this way, and that he wants to perform one thousand such sacrifices to gain total control over the elements of nature. "
As I remembered the khadga, an eerie feeling crept over me. But I didn't want to get involved in the entanglement of a police investigation. Clearly it was time I moved on. 'I should have done what the prashna said,' I moaned inwardly.
"Look," I told the inspector. "I stayed with him for four days, and I have no reason to suspect he meant me any harm. But I can see that your concern must be well-taken. I'll not return to that baba. Tomorrow I'm leaving for Simla. "
The stationmaster said earnestly, "People are gossiping about that man. They criticize us--the rail service and the police--for not doing anything about him. If you would testify, we could be rid of this scandal. "
I refused. It was likely that the suspicions against the baba were the result of nothing more than vicious rumors. In any case, he'd done nothing to me. But I wondered what would have happened had I not met the signalman. The stationmaster, genuinely worried for my safety, gave me a room at his house that night. The next day he put me on a bus to Simla, gratis. From a person at the Theosophical Society, I heard the Dalai Lama was in Dharamshalla.