Divinity of Lord Caitanya
[This essay has been proofread against the original and spelling, and other corrections have been made for this VedaBase.—Ed]
Divinity of Lord Caitanya.
The humble form of prayer offered to Lord Caitanya is stated in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa as follows:
“Let us offer our most sincere obeisances to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya who is the protector of all surrendered souls. The Supreme Lord is always anxious to bestow upon us the fortune of unalloyed love of God, untouched by such deviating processes as dry speculative empiric knowledge or unsatiated desire for fruitive activities to acquire shifting material gains. He is the Supreme leader of the chain of disciplic succession in the line of Śrīla Ānanda Tīrtha and is worshiped by Śrī Śrīmad Advaita Prabhu and Śrī Śrīmad Haridāsa Ṭhākuras who are the incarnations of Śiva and Brahmā respectively. He is the Supreme Deliverer from all ailments of His devotees like the leper brāhmaṇa Vāsudeva or Sārvabhauma and King Prataparudra all of whom were suffering from the pangs of material enjoyment and renunciations which are all but physical troubles.
“Let us offer our sincere most obeisances to the lotus feet of the Lord of Lords who superficially accepted the renounced life of a sannyāsī, in order to give effect to the curse of a brāhmaṇa, upon Him. But in fact in the garb of a sannyāsī He initiated the transcendental ecstacy of spontaneous love of God, as was felt by Śrī Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in Her amorous desire to meet Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In the quest of such spontaneous love of God, the Lord relinquished the association of His eternal consort Śrī Śrīmati Lakṣmī Viṣṇupriya Devī who was devout to Him and whose mercy is sought after most ardently by all true devotees of God or even by the denizens of heaven. The Lord accepted this order of life in terms of a prediction in the Mahābhārata and in order to bestow His causeless mercy upon us who are addicted to the false enjoyment of vain glories, women and wealth in this material world.”
In that holy Bhāgavata Purāṇa in the course of a religious discourse between King Nimi of Mithilā and the nine saints known as Nava-yogendras (Canto 11, Chapters 1 to 5), the description of incarnations of the Personality of Godhead was given by Karabhājana Muni one of the nine saints; and he enumerated the different forms of Godhead in the different ages in different complexions. After describing the eternal incarnations of Godhead in Satya-, Tretā- and Dvāpara-yugas, he said that in Kali-yuga the incarnation of Godhead will be non-dark in complexion and will constantly be chanting the holy Name of Kṛṣṇa He shall be accompanied by His eternal associates and follower devotees who will serve as His weapons to establish His authority. This incarnation of Godhead Who would not declare Himself as the Supreme Godhead will be worshiped by the intelligent class of people in the mode of glorifying the transcendental Name of God known as saṅkīrtana.
So Lord Caitanya is non-different from Lord Kṛṣṇa in the context of evidences gathered from the Vedas, Upaniṣads, Purāṇas, etc and His acceptance of the renounced life of a sannyāsī is confirmed both in Mahābhārata and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
The symptoms of Kali-yuga are vividly described in another chapter of Bhāgavatam (Canto 12 Chapter 2) [S.B. 12.2.1]. It is said there that money will be the pivot of all activities in the Kali-yuga. It is money only which shall always and alone classify the different orders of society without any reference to the quality of birth or work and it is money only which will decide the propriety of one’s claim in the matter of justice, freedom and equality. Personal attractiveness will decide the question of conjugal life between husband and wife and the process of cheating each other will be the crux of business transactions. Sexuality will be considered as the standard of men’s or women’s superiority and a mere piece of thread on the body will mark the sign of one’s belonging in higher three orders of society. Simply by a change of garb i.e. from a white garment to the red and holding a rod as a mark of renunciation, will transfer anybody to the renounced order of life. One’s inability to pay sufficiently will deprive one of receiving justice in the court and anyone who shall have the audacity to be an egoist, shall be considered as the most learned fellow.
To become stricken with poverty will be considered as one’s being dishonest and pride and vanity will be the standard of honesty. Marriage will be validated by mere acceptance of an agreement and the simple act of washing one’s body will serve all purposes of dressing.
Holy places of sacred water situated far off from one’s home, will be considered as the place of pilgrimage; keeping long hairs on the head will be misunderstood as increasing the lustre of one’s personal beauty. Self-realization will be identified with the mere filling of one’s belly with foodstuff; truth will be realised by impartinance(?) of behavior; ability will be measured by the process of maintaining one’s family well, and religiosity will be practised for the sake of reputation.
When the whole atmosphere will be surcharged with the abovementioned symptoms of Kali-yuga—whoever amongst the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas or śūdras will be powerful, shall capture the reins of government. Such governmental administrators will naturally be unkind, selfish, covetous and expert in exploiting poor citizens by plundering their money and women. In such conditions of life the citizens will fly from one place to another as displaced refugees and being overpowered by constant visits of famine, epidemic diseases and overburdened by state taxes, will begin to eat grass, roots, meats, seeds, honey and unknown fruits to the risk of life. Due to scarcity of rains in the field they will gradually disappear from the surface of the earth.
The population in the Kali-yuga will be overtroubled by communal strife, hunger, thirst, diseases, winter, summer, rains and unparalleled anxiety for everything. The living bodies will gradually diminish in stature, the spiritual division of social orders such as four castes or four āśramas will be overcrowded only by the faithless unbelievers and they will lose all faith in the Vedic way of spiritual advancement. The infidel ruler will turn to one to become plunderer and the people in general will be infected unnecessarily with the habit of stealing, dishonesty, violence and similar rabid acts. There will remain no other caste except the śūdras, the cow being reduced to the stature of goat, the hermitages and monasteries being coverted into ordinary house, friendship being maintained only in relation with sexuality, medicinal herbs being impotent in efficacy like grass, big trees being shortened like the saplings, monsoon being devoid of rains and full of lightning and the general population being forced to labour like the ass, Śrī Kṛṣṇa the Personality of Godhead will appear to reclaim the faithful and vanquish the faithless.
The life of Kali-yuga is estimated to the extent of four lakhs and thirty-two thousands of years beginning from the time of King Parīkṣit i.e. after the battle of Kurukṣetra. As such it will take long long years before the advent of Kalki Avatāra at the end of the Kali-yuga. But the symptoms of Kali-yuga are already in vogue and the state of affairs will gradually deteriorate from bad to worse as it is stated in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa in the most unambiguous term. The affairs will degrade to such an extent that the people in general will look like the Satan of the first magnitude being perturbed by anxieties in respect of state taxes, want of sufficient fooding, clothing, drinking, sleeping, bathing and sexuality. Addicted to unrestricted sexual pleasures only and act of filling the belly with foodstuff not fit for human consumption, low minded debauches will not scruple even to refuse maintaining old father helpless children and wife married from respectable family. The people of Kali-yuga will not worship the Almighty Godhead who is worshiped even by Brahmā and Śiva.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī the enlightened professor of Bhāgavatam said to King Parīkṣit that in spite of all the abovementioned deformities of the Kali-yuga, there is one most valuable source of transcendental realization in this age. The asset is that in the Kali-yuga one can transcend all the above troubles and reach to the supreme goal of life simply by chanting process of the transcendental holy name of Kṛṣṇa. That is a special prerogative chance for this age.
He (Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī) especially stressed on the process of chanting the holy name of God in this age because the same results obtained through regular meditation of Viṣṇu in the Satya-yuga, by worshipping in the Dvāpara-yuga and by offering sacrifices in the Tretā-yuga, can be achieved easily simply by the abovementioned transcendental chanting method.
So in pursuance of the prophecy of the authoritative scriptures as above mentioned, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Who is no other than Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself appeared in the midst of humanity as the son of Śrīla Jagannātha Miśra and Śrīmati Śāci Devī of Śrīdhāma Māyāpur, Nadia in West Bengal in the year 1486 on the evening of February 1st when there was a lunar eclipse. He is in fact Śrī Kṛṣṇa in disguise to fulfil some specific purpose of His own as it is stated in the Mahābhārata. The specific significance of this Form of the Personality of Godhead is stated therein that the complexion of His body shall represent the hue of melted gold. A well constituted beautifully built human figure anointed with the pulp of white sandalwood all over the body. And later on the same Personality of Godhead will accept the order of a renounced sannyāsī full of sobriety of a perfect devotee, peaceful, full of equanimity and having unflinching attachment in the spiritual science with special reference to the process of chanting the holy name of God. He is therefore the Personality of Godhead in consonance of the prediction of śāstras and not by the calculation of mundane speculators.
Dated: 30/3/53.Abhay Charanarvinda Bhaktivedanta