690804 - Conversation on Lord Caitanya Play - Los Angeles
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The first thing about this . . . can you tell me something about Lord Caitanya's birth, when He was born, what happened, what was it like, all about it?
Prabhupāda: When He was . . .? Description of His birth?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, we will have a scene showing the people chanting by the . . .
Prabhupāda: Oh. One scene you have to show that in the Ganges water people are taking bath, and there is on the sky beginning of the moon eclipse, lunar eclipse. And they are all chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and taking bath. And exactly at that time Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared. This is one scene.
And the appearance of Caitanya Mahāprabhu should be underneath a tree. Under this scene, this scene, one . . . Advaita Prabhu's wife, Śrīvāsa's wife, they were elderly, and all other women of the village, they immediately came with presentation. And some of the demigods, they also came, I mean to say, disguising themselves as ordinary men, with presentation. And His father got so many valuable presentations. And then again, some of the professional dancers, they came, so he distributed charity to them. In this way, that function . . . try to . . .
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Was Nārada there? Did Nārada Muni come?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Nārada Muni also came. You can show that. Yes. All the devatas, all the demigods came: Nārada Muni, Brahmā, Śiva. They came in disguise, and their wife, Savitri, and then Umā. Umā is the wife of Lord Śiva. In that way you can show so many demigods and their wives coming. Yes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: All the women, when Lord Caitanya was a baby, how did they feel about Him?
Prabhupāda: The baby was on the lap of His mother, and they looked little far-off, just to glance over the baby, not touching. Because newly born baby. So they saw from little distant. That's all. And the baby was very beautiful. He was golden complexion. And His grandfather was a great astrologer, His mother's father, Nīlāmbara Cakravartī. He immediately calculated His horoscope, constellation of the stars under which He was born. He calculated that. That, "This boy will be a great reformer."
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What is the position of astrology in Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Prabhupāda: Astrology is a science. Kṛṣṇa consciousness has nothing to do with astrology, but it is the general custom that as soon as a child is born the astrologers come. That is the Indian system, Vedic system.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Lord Caitanya, He would cry so that He could hear them chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa to Him?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is not on that day, but when He was little grown up. As soon as He would cry, so the neighboring friends of His mother, all young girl, would come and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and He'll stop. Sometimes they would tease Him so that He may cry, and they'll see that He's crying, and they'll chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and He'll stop; again tease. (laughs) So that Caitanya Mahāprabhu was preaching Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting by His childhood activities.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What are some of the things that He did when He was a little boy? Some tricks or some?
Prabhupāda: Sometimes He would play with snakes. One day, when He was crawling in the courtyard . . . Indian house . . . as, just like here is compound outside, in Indian house there is courtyard inside. So He was crawling in the yard, and a snake came. A snake. And He began to play with the snake. The snake will do like this, and crawling, and He would see it, he would strike.
In this way the snake was playing and the mother became so much afraid. They cannot touch. If the snake bites . . . so they simply saw that the child is playing with the snake, and after some time the snake went away. And they took up the child, "Oh, God has saved this child; otherwise He would have been killed. Such a venomous, big snake."
Govinda dāsī: It was a big snake? Very big? And was it Śeṣa?
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. It may be understood that He was Śeṣa, but that was the incident. And another incident is that when He was just walking . . . so it is the system that small children, they are decorated with ornaments here, here, bangle, so many ornaments, here. So one thief saw that . . . he stole away the child. So he was seeking some secret place, lonely place, so that he can rob out.
In this way seeking, seeking, he traveled, and at last he came just in front of the house, and he dropped the child, that "Somebody may see that I have taken this child. Then I'll be beaten, I will be caught." So out of fear he fled away. And the guardians, ladies, they were very much anxious, "Who has taken the child? He was with ornaments." But they saw that the child is there. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu enjoyed for some time on the shoulder of the thief.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Were they liberated souls? The thief?
Prabhupāda: At least, after Caitanya Mahāprabhu's getting on their shoulders, (laughs) they must have been liberated.
(aside) No flower? Bring some flower.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He would sometimes eat clay?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That was when He was about three years old. So generally, for morning the children given nice sandeṣa, sweetmeat, and this puffed rice in a cane pot, and He would eat. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu was eating clay. So His mother said: "Oh, why You are eating clay?" Then He said: "What is the difference between clay and this foodstuff? After all, everything is clay. It is produced from clay."
This is criticizing the Māyāvādī philosophy that everything is one. So His mother said: "My dear boy, it is very nice, everything is clay. But when you have to use for practical purpose . . . for example, if you want to keep water, so you have to keep water on the clay pot, not on the clay. So this specific form of the clay is required." Then He said: "Mother, you have taught Me very nice philosophy. I shall not eat any more clay."
Sometimes He would sit in some nasty place where pots, clay pots . . . in India still, the system is, for cooking purpose, for the Deity, every day a new clay pot should be used. In Jagannath temple still it is. No used pot can be accepted. So after using, the rejected pots are stacked in some place. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu was sitting on the rejected pots. So His mother said: "My dear boy, You are sitting in this nasty place. Why?" He said: "Well, how you can say this is nasty place? These pots are very pure."
Govinda dāsī: Tell him.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's all right. You know, we will need a harmonium. Should I wait till we get to India to purchase one?
Prabhupāda: You haven't got in New York?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They have one in New York temple. Los Angeles saṅkīrtana needs a harmonium, a good harmonium. Maybe . . .
Prabhupāda: Can you spare hundred dollars?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Right now . . .
Prabhupāda: You get hundred dollars; then we shall get.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Okay. Joaquin and Son?
Prabhupāda: No, from elsewhere.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: More mṛdaṅgas.
Prabhupāda: These boys, Acyutānanda, they do not write what they are doing, what they are not doing. I do not know whether they have made a plan to go away from the Society and live independently.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It seems like it is very difficult to go to India without you and still come back. It seems . . .
Prabhupāda: No. When we go to India I shall go with you. Yes. We must go.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. We can go to Jagannātha Purī?
Prabhupāda: Everywhere we shall go.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So, what was the last thing? About the pots?
Govinda dāsī: "Mother, these pots are very . . . are pure."
Prabhupāda: He, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, taught that anything in relationship with Kṛṣṇa, it is not impure. That was His purpose. "You should not treat these pots as impure. Ordinarily, when such pots are used for household purposes, that may be impure. But because in these pots prasādam were prepared, that is not impure." That was His . . . (pause)
Govinda dāsī: I don't know what letters you want.
Prabhupāda: There is one letter from . . . let me see.
Govinda dāsī: (indistinct) . . . Karandhara?
Prabhupāda: No. We don't hear anything about . . . from Śivānanda.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In Berlin? Kṛṣṇa dāsa?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Is he in Berlin yet?
(aside) Is Kṛṣṇa dāsa in Berlin? Kṛṣṇa dāsa.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa dāsa and that German boy.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Uttamaśloka.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Can Uttamaśloka come with saṅkīrtana?
Prabhupāda: When you go there.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: When we go to Berlin? . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: (pause) So if we go, there will be good reception in Bombay.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They will pay nice money to hear us?
Prabhupāda: Yes. (reading letter) "This can be made extensive by your team of followers from America arriving in . . ." They are greater. So Indian and American combined kīrtana, oh, it will be very nice. Big kīrtana, and every city will receive. And we shall preach that, "Here is the common platform for everyone. There is no distinction of nation or religion or anything. Come to the platform." So the Muhammadans also will join. The government will appreciate that here is something secular, real secular, at the same time, God is there.
Actually, it is that. All religious people, so-called religious leaders, come here. And religion means this, to love, I mean to say, develop love of God. That is religion. What is this formulary? Simply formula, that "I keep this, I copy that," that is not religion, simply by dressing in different way or sitting in a different way. Where is your understanding? You have no understanding of God. You simply formally attend some church or mosque or temple for some material benefit or for some . . . make some show, but where is your love of God? That is the test of religion, Bhāgavatam says.
A religious person means he has got complete love of God. Then he is religious. All nonsense. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). Simply wasting time. Bhāgavatam says without developing this love of Godhead, if somebody is engaged in religious ritualistic performance, he's simply wasting his time. Śrama . . . that particular word is used, śrama eva hi kevalam. Śrama means labor. Eva. Certainly it is simply laboring. What is called? Labor of love? What is called?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Labor of love.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You love something and unnecessarily you labor. So religion means . . . this is religion, how to develop love of God. That is religion.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Also there is a story in the Bhāgavatam about the girls, they were offering to Lord Śiva.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is another feature of Lord Caitanya. He taught in that instruction that there is no need of worshiping demigods. The incident is that in India the unmarried girls, they are encouraged to worship Lord Śiva, especially in the month of Vaiśākha, March-April. And they will go to the Ganges side and prepare śivaliṅga, and they'll . . . that means Śiva will be pleased upon them to offer a husband like Lord Śiva. Śiva is very peaceful and very great devotee, and most powerful at the same time. So that is the ideal husband.
So they brought worshipable paraphernalia for worshiping Śiva on the bank of the Ganges, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as naughty boy, approached them: "Oh, My dear sister, what you are doing? Oh, you have brought so many nice things. Give it to Me, and Lord Śiva will be very much pleased. Oh, you are worshiping Durga? She is My maidservant, and Lord Śiva is a great devotee of Me. So you please offer Me all these things; they will be satisfied. You don't require to offer separately." By this, He wanted to instruct that worshiping the Supreme Lord is the appeasement of other demigods. You don't require to appease them separately. This instruction.
Then some girls will hesitate. Then He will curse them that, "You'll be married with an old man having seven children by his former wife." So they will be afraid, "Oh, maybe this boy is cursing . . . " Then out of fear they'll offer. Then He'll say: "Oh, you'll have a very nice young husband, and you'll have seven children by him." In this way it was going on.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Lord Caitanya is always doing this on a planet in the material . . . some material universe? These girls . . . all of these pastimes are eternal pastimes.
Prabhupāda: Hmm? No. These are not eternal pastimes. They are instructive particularly for this planet. In the eternal Vaikuṇṭha, Lord Caitanya is engaged in chanting and dancing. That's all.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Maybe you should . . . you must have your massage now. It's time.
Prabhupāda: What is time?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It is twenty-five minutes to, uh . . . maybe we can do a little more. Twenty-five minutes to twelve. Maybe a tiny bit more.
Prabhupāda: You can do; you can ask me for fifteen minutes more.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Okay. We also wish to show a scene of Lord Caitanya in school, learning. Some kind of incident about how nice a pupil He was so we can show people that He was the best student in the school.
Prabhupāda: In India the system is in the school that the best student is appointed . . . what is called in English? The chief student is called "minor," or . . . "M," beginning.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Monitor.
Prabhupāda: Monitor, yes. Monitor. Yes. So He was monitor. That is the same. And He'll teach the students from grammar all Kṛṣṇa. Dhātu. Dhātu. There is subject matter, dhātu means verb. So He will explain, "Dhātu means, when a dhātu is taken away a man is dead, and this dhātu is Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is the life. Without Kṛṣṇa, a man is dead." In this way He explained, Kṛṣṇa explanation.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: How old was He?
Prabhupāda: I may say eight or ten years old.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think that what we will try to do is have Bīrabhadra come with us, and he will play Lord Caitanya as a boy.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That will be nice. And he is a very intelligent boy. He'll pick up.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Are there any other . . . any other nice incidences between this time and when Lord Caitanya got married?
Prabhupāda: In childhood there are many incidents. Another incident . . . that is a very important incident. When He was very small, crawling, so one Brāhmiṇ came as their guest. And the Brāhmiṇ, after preparing food, when he would offer to Kṛṣṇa, this boy, a child, crawling, and take the prasāda and eat.
And the Brāhmin will cry, "Oh, everything is spoiled. This boy . . . child has touched." Then His father would request him, "I should take care of Him. Please cook again and offer to Kṛṣṇa." He said: "It is too late now. I'll eat some fruits." "No. Please cook." So twice He spoiled in that way.
Then it became night, so all the ladies, they went to sleep with the child and locked the door of the room. And at night at about eleven o'clock the Brāhmiṇ, when he was offering to Kṛṣṇa, and the child came and took the prasādam. The Brāhmiṇ again began to cry, "Oh, here again the child has come. How you are taking care?" And nobody heard him, because everyone was sleeping.
(aside) One letter is left here?
Govinda dāsī: Ah, yes. I got that. I got that one out. It was from Bombay.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Keep that. So then He appeared as . . . no. As boy He talked with him that "You are asking Me to come and take, and I am taking, and you are . . . why you are howling like that? What can I do? You are asking Me." Then He showed him that He is Kṛṣṇa Himself and warned him that "Don't disclose this fact. You are My devotee, therefore I disclose. So you were asking Me, so I came." Then the Brāhmiṇ was so satisfied that "Kṛṣṇa is here," and he did not disclose.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Maybe we will show Lord Caitanya's marriage? Is that nice to show?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Marriage. Yes, that is nice. The Indian system, marriage, is that the bridegroom goes to the house of the bride with procession, band, nicely decorated. They'll go . . . and He'll be married with first Lakṣmīpriyā, the first wife. There will be fireworks in the marriage ceremony. Yes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That will be very nice in this . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. You can make band, fireworks, decoration and feasting . . .
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Kīrtana.
Prabhupāda: So many ladies, like that. That scene, I shall direct how to do it. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's father was not very rich man. So there was a big zamindar, he was devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. So he had some affection for Caitanya. So when the marriage ceremony was being settled up, he said: "Oh, His marriage shall not be just like the Brāhmiṇs' marriage." Brāhmiṇ's wife, they are poor, so there is no expenditure.
Some way or other, his marriage is done. But especially kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas, oh, they spend lakhs of rupees in marriage. So he said that, "His marriage will not take place just like the Brāhmiṇs. His marriage will be royal marriage." So he spent all the money, and there was grand, everything grandeur.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Then His wife, she died?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So His mother was feeling . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to East Bengal for teaching, and actually, the girl felt too much separation, and she died. And figuratively it is used that the separation took the form of a serpent and bitten her, and she died. And when He came back His mother requested that "You should marry for the second time," and He agreed. And so next marriage was with Viṣṇupriyā.
In the first marriage, Lakṣmīpriyā, He used to see her when she was bathing in the Ganges ghāṭa, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu desired that "I shall marry this girl." So His father sent one matchmaker. So when the matchmaker came to His mother, that "Such-and-such Brāhmiṇ"—I forget his name, but the name is there in the Caitanya-Bhāgavata—"he desires that his daughter should be married with your son," and Śacīdevī said: "Oh, my son is not yet grown up. He's just a student. How He can be married?" So he practically denied. And the matchmaker was going back, not very satisfied.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu was entering home. He saw the matchmaker and asked, "No, why did you came here?" "Yes, I came to propose Your marriage with such-and-such daughter, but Your mother is not willing." "Oh, mother is not willing? All right. You can go." Then when He came, entered home, He asked mother, "Mother, what did you do? That matchmaker was going very sorry. Why? What did you say?" The mother could understand that He is willing for the marriage. Then he (she) called back the matchmaker, "Yes. I agree for the marriage." So the marriage ceremony . . . so Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave hint that "I want to marry that girl."
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Maybe we can do a nice scene with Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His friends' sojourn. I mean, they do have a nice time.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They can do . . .
Prabhupāda: It is simply adjustment. You can make very nice scene. Everything can be done nice, provided we arrange for that.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Nara-nārāyaṇa, he is very good at building scenery. He can do all of that very quickly.
Prabhupāda: So you'll play in the stage or make studio?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Better that we play either in a big area so we can be right in the middle of people. People will be all around.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That will be very nice.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Because then we include them.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the system. That is called jātrā in India. That is very good system. There is no stage, but by words and feelings everyone becomes absorbed, and chanting. So that will be very nice.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. We will have kīrtana, maybe seven to ten kīrtanas in the play, so everybody will be joining in.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And they'll be asked to join.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes.
Prabhupāda: That will be very nice.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Even maybe when Lord Caitanya says to Nityānanda Prabhu and to . . .
Prabhupāda: No, when singing is there, all the players and all the audience and everyone will sing. That will be very nice.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Even maybe Lord Caitanya says to Nityānanda Prabhu, "Go to all the people and tell them about Kṛṣṇa." So at that moment, we all, all the brahmacārīs, we go into the people and we talk. Then we come back and we tell Lord Caitanya. We can preach too.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So it's . . . it's fifteen.
Prabhupāda: All right.
Govinda dāsī: Stop now?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, we should . . .
Govinda dāsī: Stop it. (break)
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Can you tell me something about Caitanya's initiation in Vaiṣṇava faith? When He was initiated?
Prabhupāda: After His father's death it is the custom amongst the Hindus to offer oblations at Gayā. There is a temple, Viṣṇu temple. They offer prasādam. This is a Hindu custom. And with that prasādam the forefathers and the father is offered. So He went to perform that ceremony, and by chance He met Īśvara Purī, and He was initiated by Īśvara Purī. And after coming back from Gayā, He became very much emotional for Kṛṣṇa, and sometimes people thought that He has become crazy. So His mother treated with some oil. But learned devotees, they said that He has got devotional emotion.
So His initiation was in Gayā, when He went to perform that ceremony. So you can show the Gayā temple or some temple. And He's offering oblations, He's meeting His spiritual master, he's initiating. In this way you can make it two, three scenes. And He became emotional chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa after initiation.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The scenery will be very simple, because . . .
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, yes. That I know. That's all right. There is no need of scenery.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We can do it by pantomime and gestures.
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That way, no matter where we are, people will understand.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. That is nice.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He would swoon whenever He heard Kṛṣṇa's name? He would be swooning? Lord Caitanya would faint?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It says in the Teachings of Lord Caitanya that He revealed His heavenly powers to His associates.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He revealed, He showed His heavenly powers to His associates.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That was done in one day, saṅkīrtana. He asked His devotees after saṅkīrtana, "What do you want to eat?" So some of the devotee out of fun said that, "We want mango." But that was not mango season. So He asked somebody, "All right. Bring some mango seed." So mango seed can be had in Bengal in everywhere, because after eating mangoes they throw it, and gradually they become a small plant. So He brought some small plant mango and immediately sowed it on the courtyard, and immediately it become a big tree and full of mango.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That would be a nice time for us to distribute prasāda to all the people.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If possible, mangoes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes. From the tree. We'll have them hung on the tree and pick.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You have got nice ideas. You can do very nicely. Yes. This is required, creative ideas.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Maybe . . . about Lord Caitanya's civil disobedience. That is with the Kazi? His civil disobedience?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That is the Kazi.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Do you have any . . . I read the Introduction. There is a lot of material on it. Maybe some other things that we can . . .
Prabhupāda: You can make scene that people, His disciples, are performing kīrtana, and one scene you can make Kazi, Muslim magistrate, is sitting, and the Brāhmiṇs, they come, "Sir, you are our protector. You are Kazi. You are magistrate. And this Nimāi Paṇḍita, young boy, He is creating so much disturbance." "What is that?" "He has begun this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is not our Hindu religion. He is chanting so loudly. Now this is the time God is sleeping, so He'll be disturbed. So the whole society will be vanquished if God becomes angry. So He'll be disturbed."
So Kazi . . . after all, Hindus are complaining. So Kazi said: "All right, I am taking steps." So he sent some officers, and they were playing mṛdaṅga, and warned that, "You cannot do this. You are disturbing here." That is going on still. Just like our Los Angeles, it is going on. In New York also, they complain to the Kazi, (laughs) police officer. But they could not do anything. So this complaint is going on since the inauguration of the saṅkīrtana movement.
So Kazi first of all warned. Then He did not care. Then the police also came and broke the mṛdaṅgas forcibly. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "All right. We shall start thousands of men playing mṛdaṅga, and we shall go to the house of Kazi. Let us see what can he do." So He went with many followers, and many followers playing mṛdaṅga, and Kazi became afraid that, "The people have become agitated." So he fled away. Then the people began to create disturbance in his garden. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "Don't do this."
Then Kazi came back, and Kazi was very submissive, and he said: "My dear Nimāi, You are in relationship my nephew." Because Hindus and Muslims in those days, although they had different religions, they had no animosity. They were living very friendly. So the Muslim elderly man will be said by the Hindus as chāchā. And the Muslims they'll call ṭhākura mosai. Like that. Friendly terms. They will invite. In this way they were living.
So the Kazi said that, "Your grandfather, I call him chāchā. He's elderly man. So Your mother is my sister. So You are my nephew. So do you think a nephew can be very angry upon his uncle?" And (chuckling) He said: "No, nephew must be obedient to the uncle. But do You think that uncle, when a nephew comes to his house, will not receive him?" "Oh, yes. You are welcome. You are my nephew. You are my son." In this way the past incidences forgotten. Then they sat down.
Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked him, "My dear uncle, what is your religion that you are killing father and mother?" "Why killing father and mother?" "Oh, you are killing cow, your mother. You are drinking milk. And oxen, he produces grains for you in the field; so he is your father. The father earns for the children, so he is producing grains. And mother gives milk; so cow is giving milk. So how is your religion that the father-mother killing?" Then he could understand that Caitanya is marking on the cow-killing by the Muhammadans.
Then he said: "Oh, this cow-killing is also in your Hindu religion." Then He said: "How is that, Hindu religion cow-killing?" "Oh, there is cow sacrifice." Then He said that, "Cow sacrifice is not like this. Cow sacrifice is giving new life to the old cow. That is cow sacrifi . . . it is not killing." And because at the present moment the Brāhmiṇs are not so qualified that they can give new life, therefore that sacrifice is now forbidden. He cited some verses from Vedic literature that cow sacrifice and horse sacrifice, and to beget children by the younger brother of husband, and sannyāsa, and offering oblations with meat, these things are forbidden. So that is past. This is . . . now it has no significance.
In this way, both of them were scholars. Then they compromised. Agreement was that, the Kazi gave order every one of his descendants that "Nobody will check this saṅkīrtana movement." So that order is being carried by their descendants still there in Nabadwip. The Kazi has got his tomb. He was very big man.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He became a devotee?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Devotee means he was not converted, but he became a very admirer of Caitanya, and he ordered that, "Caitanya can perform saṅkīrtana anywhere. Nobody shall check." So that order is still being carried out.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We can do this in the dark with candles. Men playing drums, some people holding candles, marching to his house.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And it will look very . . .
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Maybe . . . can we show him after Lord Caitanya . . . he talks, they both come out, and everyone has kīrtana, or is this not correct?
Prabhupāda: No, you can do that. Kīrtana, that's all right.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I mean the Kazi, he can be in the kīrtana?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Out of jubilation, yes. That's all right.
Govinda dāsī: Did he stop this cow-killing thereafter? After talking with Caitanya Mahāprabhu?
Prabhupāda: No. Because that is their religious ceremony. Caitanya simply criticized their process, but he replied that, "In Your Vedic there is cow sacrifice." Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied: "That sacrifice is not killing. That's giving new life." So that much.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Madhudvisa, he will play the Kazi.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Madhudvisa . . .
Prabhupāda: That's alright.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He will play the Kazi 'cause he is very . . . you see? So . . . so now, in the Introduction it says Lord Caitanya was realizing how this sectarianism amongst all the religions was very bad, and so He decided to do away with all material . . . well, He could not be . . . He was not material, but He decided to take sannyāsa at this time.
Prabhupāda: Sannyāsī . . . sannyāsa reason was different. There was some misunderstanding between His students and . . . they were of same age. Because Nimāi Paṇḍita was very intelligent boy, so He was teaching other boys practically of the same age. So there was some misunderstanding, and the students wanted to retaliate. He went to strike them with a stick, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And because they're of the same age they made a conference, "Oh, this Nimāi Paṇḍita has become very big man. He wants to strike us. Next time if He does so, then we shall also strike Him."
Then He thought that, "In this householder's position I cannot preach. I must take sannyāsa. Otherwise they will not respect Me." That is the system in India. A sannyāsī, in this dress, whatever rascal he may be, he is offered immediately all respect. That is the system in India. So therefore He took sannyāsa early age, twenty-four years, twenty-four years of age.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So we can show His mother and His wife crying because He is taking sannyāsa. They see Him in His . . .
Prabhupāda: No, no. He took sannyāsa by previous arrangement. One day He went away from home, accompanied by Murāri and Lord Nityānanda, and went to Katwa. There was one Māyāvādī sannyāsī, Keśava Bhāratī, and He took sannyāsa from him. And then He was, in emotion, He was going to Vṛndāvana, but He was misled by Nityānanda, and He was brought to the home of Advaita, and Advaita arranged to bring His mother to see Him for the last. So His mother and many people from Nabadwip came to Sant . . . Advaita's house was in Santipur.
So there was . . . for a few days Caitanya Mahāprabhu stayed there, and saṅkīrtana and prasāda distribution was going on. And His mother feeling, feeling very well. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw that, "My mother is not allowing Me to go. That is not good." So He requested, "Mother, I have taken sannyāsī. If I go on feasting like this with mother, what people will say? So you give Me permission to go."
So mother said: "Yes, my dear boy. You have taken sannyāsī. But anyway, You are happy. That is my happiness. But my only request is that You make Your headquarters at Jagannātha Purī. Because people from Nabadwip generally go there, so I shall get at least Your news. That is my last desire." So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "Yes. I shall make My headquarter in Purī." So people were coming and going. So His mother was getting news of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That was the, last days. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu, after that incident, never met either His mother . . . and there was no question of meeting with wife.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No. So Jānakī, she can play the mother. She is . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. And you can show another scene that His wife, Viṣṇupriyā, he (she) was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, and one round finished, he (she) counted it with one grain of rice. One round finished, one grain rice. So as many rounds finished, he'll (she'll) eat only so much rice. That's all.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Wow. . . . He (she) did that?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He (she) did that all the time?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That was . . . from sixteen years till death she was doing that.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I thought He sometimes would eat a room full of food?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Didn't sometimes He eat a lot of food?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Lord Caitanya.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And His mother would prepare nice dishes and offer to Viṣṇu and think, "Oh, this nice prasādam I could offer my son, Caitanya Mahāprabhu . . . Nimāi, but He is . . ." She would cry. She was crying, "Oh, the boy is no longer here." Then, after some time, she would see the whole finished, whole prasādam. "What happened? I did not offer to Viṣṇu Deity? I simply brought the empty pot? Maybe." Then again she goes to the kitchen, and . . . "There is also nothing." Then again cook. "Perhaps I have forgotten to cook even, thinking of Caitanya." Then again she'll offer.
And Caitanya Mahāprabhu sent news by some men that, "Inform mother that one day she was thinking like that. So I went there, I ate everything, and she saw everything empty. She'll remember. Then again she cooked." And mother will feel happy:, "Oh, then Nimāi came and did it. Oh, it is very nice." So this scene is very pathetic.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. But how will we make . . . we will show Him take the food while her . . . how will we show this? How will we produce this? That she is sitting there, offering the food . . .
Prabhupāda: No. You don't offer. Simply offering, and you'll simply play, "Where is the food?" That way.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Not real food.
Prabhupāda: No. Or . . . real food is not required. Simply that explain it. Or you can do one thing: you can offer real food. And since she will be in devotion, one may take the foodstuff and distribute to the audience and keep it. That will be also nice.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Maybe we can distribute prasāda twice in the play.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Even just to . . . maybe that plate we'll just give to a few people nearby.
Prabhupāda: Yes. (break)
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: . . . first speak in detail about Ṭhākura Haridāsa's disappearance. So tell me maybe how you want it to be performed.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Ṭhākura Haridāsa was living in a cottage which was . . . just like I am living here, and the garage site a little far off, Haridāsa was living a little distance. So when Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to go to the sea for taking bath, He, every day, every morning He used to go to Haridāsa Ṭhākura and taking his informa . . . "Haridāsa, what you are doing?" Because Haridāsa was Muhammadan by birth, so out of his meekness he did not go to the temple. But in those . . .
Especially in those days they were very strict. They do not allow anyone except Hindus to enter the temple. Nowadays, of course, there is law. If somebody is . . . actually has come to the Hindu way of life, he's allowed. Our Jayagovinda and others were allowed to see Jagannātha temple. But in those days there were no such system, and Haridāsa, out of his own accord, he did not wanted to disturb. But Lord Caitanya, God Himself, used to come to see him every day.
So one day when Caitanya came, he looked little bit depressed. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked him, "Haridāsa, you do not look very well today. What is the matter?" "Sir, I'm not very feeling well. And because I do not feel well, I could not finished my chanting." He was chanting daily 300,000 times. "So I could not finish my chanting." So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "All right. You are growing old, and you may not follow the rules now strictly. You can make it lesser."
Haridāsa Ṭhākura said: "No, Sir, so long my life is there I shall try to follow. When the life is over, that is different thing. But I have got one desire, if You fulfill." "What is that?" "Now, I can understand that You will also leave this world very soon. So I cannot tolerate that. So best thing is that before You'll go, I'll go. And my another request is that You shall stand before me, and I shall leave this body." So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "Oh, if that is your desire, that will be all right. That is not difficult."
So next day, when Caitanya Mahāprabhu came, Haridāsa Ṭhākura said: "Sir, today I wish to leave, so You please stand before me." So Caitanya Mahāprabhu also could understand that he's leaving. So He asked His devotees to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and in the presence of Caitanya Mahāprabhu he left.
Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu took this body, and Himself He went . . . He carried the body Himself. He was very stout and strong. And He was dancing and . . . then He went to the seaside, and He bathed the body, and in His own hands He buried Caitanya, uh, Haridāsa Ṭhākura's body within the sand. So that burial place is still there in Purī, Haridāsa Ṭhākura's samādhi.
Then He personally went to the shopkeepers and begged prasādam: "You give Me some prasādam." All people gave Him so many things. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was so well-known. So He asked all the devotees to take prasādam after the burial ceremony was over. In this way Haridāsa Ṭhākura's . . . niryāna. This is called departure of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. That is stated in Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I noticed that someone in the temple was reading a book, The Divine Name.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And it talks about this. Should I look at that book or not at all?
Prabhupāda: Which book?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It's called The Divine Name. It is by one of your Godbrothers.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Is it all right to read it?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. There are some discrepancies, but it is, on the whole, it is nice. Yes. There is . . . Haridāsa Ṭhākura's niryāna is stated there? Yes. Rāghava Caitanya.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, Rāghava Caitanya.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he was my Godbrother. You have secured that book?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Upendra dāsa has it.
Prabhupāda: Oh. That's good. That's nice.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: There's a scene about Lord Caitanya embracing the leper Vasudeva.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Is that a nice scene to perform?
Prabhupāda: Yes. While He was traveling in South India, in a village that leper Vasudeva, he was coming to see Caitanya from a very distant place. And then when he came to see Him, Caitanya Mahāprabhu had already left. So he was so sorry and crying. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu came back and embraced him and he was cured. These are some of the miracles.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In the Introduction to the Teachings of Lord Caitanya, up until the age of thirty-one there is description, but then there is very little description from the age of thirty-one to Lord Caitanya's disappearance. Maybe you can tell me as much as you can of what happened . . .
Prabhupāda: He left His home at the age of twenty-four years. Then He made His headquarter at Jagannātha Purī. For six years He traveled all over India. That means up to thirty years.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. And from there on.
Prabhupāda: And after that He remained in Jagannātha Purī for eighteen years. He was chanting in the evening in the Jagannātha temple, and taking bath. And during this cart festival all devotees, especially from Bengal, would go there and live there for four months. And after seeing the Ratha-yātrā ceremony, they will remain there for four months. Then they will come back. This was going on year after year.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Are there any nice stories you can tell me so that I can . . . see, I need some stories from that part of His life to show in the play how He . . . some incidents, memorable, you know, that . . .
Prabhupāda: There were not many. The Ratha-yātrā is very nice. He was chanting with the group of devotees, and while the cart festival is going on. And sometimes cart used to stop. It still stops. That is the fashion of Jagannātha. And nobody could . . . even a elephant could not draw it. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu will say: "All right, come on." So He will push it with His head, and it will go on.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What did the people say when they saw that?
Prabhupāda: Then . . . that was . . . Caitanya Mahāprabhu was already adored. He was . . . Jagannātha Purī. Ratha-yātrā cart festival, and Guṇḍicā-mārjana. Guṇḍicā-mārjana. Before the Ratha-yātrā festival, the system is Jagannātha goes from the temple to another place, about two miles away. There is a big temple there also, which is called Jagannātha Aunt's house, Mahiṣī badi.
So He stays there for eight days, just like we make program in San Francisco to reside on seaside. So that temple was to be washed. That, Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to do it by personal supervision. So all the devotees . . . and He will check how much dust you have recovered, and then you shall be rewarded. Otherwise, it should be understood that you have not labored nicely. (chuckles)
So He'll sweep over the whole temple nicely and wash the ceilings and walls and everything so clearly. And He'll see in this way if there is any sand. If there is, "Oh, it is not washed." That means He would engage everyone. Then after washing, then call for prasādam and distribute Himself. This is called Guṇḍicā-mārjana. Actually, whatever He was doing, they were washing—"Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa," chanting. That's all.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He used to eat a lot of food?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not always. But people used to present some foodstuff. Especially when the devotees would come from Bengal side, somebody is bringing something, somebody is . . . whatever Caitanya Mahāprabhu likes. And they will prepare the whole year of nice foodstuff. That is, what is called, preserved food. You can keep it for days together. So His personal assistant was Govinda, and everyone will, I mean to say, offer Govinda, "Please offer this food to Prabhu." And Govinda will keep. And everyone is anxious whether his goods are taken. So he was inquiring Govinda, "Has Mahāprabhu has taken my food?" What can he say? "Yes, yes, yes, yes, He has taken." But it is stacked in the store.
So one day Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He said that . . . He was Godbrother also, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He could talk with Him freely. He was not disciple. So, "Guru Mahārāja sent me to serve You, and now the result is that for You I have to speak only lies." "What is that? You are speaking lies for Me?" "Yes. Why not? What can I do?" "Now, what is the matter?" "Now, Your devotees give me so many things for eating, and just lying stacked. And they inquire, and I say, 'Yes, yes. He has taken.' So this is my business, telling lie."
So then Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "All right. Bring something. I shall eat." So he brought one bag and He ate everything. "Bring next." In this way the whole stack, about hundred men's foodstuff, He ate. Then He asked him, "Bring more." "Now the bags are lying only. If You want to eat, (chuckling) You can eat." "All right. Stop." So in half an hour, one hour, He ate all the hundred men's stock. You see? This is also another miracle. He finished the whole stock to save him from speaking lies.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: These are the kind of things that will be very nice to present. Those are the things that I would like to do, because people will . . .
Prabhupāda: Another incident during Purī . . . Rāmānanda Rāya, he was a great devotee. So his younger brother, he was engaged in government service, Mahārāja Pratāparudra's service. But he was a karmī and a rich man. So he misappropriated some money for sense gratification from the treasury. So this was . . . and he had some, what is called, competition, or rivalry, between the king's son and himself. The king's son did not like him, so he was trying to put him in some difficulty, this man. His name is . . . he's Rāmānanda Rāya's brother. His name is there. I can find out.
So he found out some fault with him and informed his father that "Your such-and-such person is doing like this. He has misappropriated the money. I paid him so much money for purchasing horse, and he has purchased horse less price. He was charged so much." "Oh," the king said: "Oh, how is that? He cannot do that. Realize that money." So he got some clue. So he said that "You must pay. This is not the right price. The state cannot accept at high price this kind of horses." So he said, "All right. I shall sell somewhere and repay the price."
Then there was some argument. He said: "Why you have charged so much for this horse? This is not a very good horse." He said: "Yes, it is good horse. My horse does not look like this." That man, that king's son, was looking like this. So he criticized him, so he became more angry. Because you know, everyone, that a horse who looks down like this, that is bad horse. Or looking like this, he's not first-class horse. Do you know that? (laughter) Horse, like this, kat-kat-kat-kat, that is first-class horse. And if horse goes like this, that is not good horse. So he criticized him, and he became angry, and he complained to his father that "He's not paying; rather, he's criticizing me." And he said, "All right. Press him. He'll pay."
So the . . . in those days the highest punishment was cange utthanā. Cange utthanā means a platform is made very high, and swords are put in the . . . this way. And one man is thrown on the swords. That is called cange utthanā. So the arrangement was to punish him like that. So when the arrangement was made, everyone became frightened that, "This man will be killed." So they presented the fact to Caitanya Mahāprabhu that, "He is Your devotee. He has served so much. Now he is in danger. If You kindly send some note to the king, he is also great admirer, then he may save his life."
Caitanya Mahāprabhu refused, "Oh, he has misappropriated state's money, and you want Me to approach a pound-shilling man, king." He was not seeing even the king. "Oh, this is not possible for him. Let him be punished. He has taken money from the state. I don't wish to interfere." Then nobody could request Him anything.
So some way or other, the news approached the king, and the king was astonished, "Oh, why this arrangement was made for killing him? I never ordered. Stop him." Then he sent his special messenger that, "Stop this and call him. What is the matter?" Then he said everything, that, "Your son, I could not pay his money. He wanted money, and he made this arrangement." So, "Why did you take money in this way? Do you think your salary is not sufficient to provide you? All right. Don't do this. All right, I excuse. And I increase your salary double. Don't do this again." So he was saved in his life, his salary was increased. And he was going to be killed. Although Caitanya Mahāprabhu never desired, but these things happened. So?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So if you can just tell me what you . . . the best way to have a nice scene of Jagāi and Mādhāi.
Prabhupāda: The first scene should be that Nityānanda Prabhu and Haridāsa Ṭhākura. They were ordered by Caitanya Mahāprabhu to go every day to . . . from one neighborhood to another and preach. So one day when they came out they saw at a distant place a crowd. So you have to make scene that a crowded place, and these two brothers, Jagāi and Mādhāi, they have pick-pocketed somebody and . . . because they were debauchers, so there was some howling and crowds. And.
So Nityānanda Prabhu inquired, and people said that, "These two brothers, they're born of a very respectable family, but they have now become debauchers." So Nityānanda Prabhu, "Oh, they are so fallen? So best thing is to convert them first. Then Lord Caitanya's name will be glorious that He has delivered such rascals." So He went there to save.
Then he said: "Who are you?" As soon as they came in, "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa," chanting, and these brothers said: "Oh, who are you?" "Oh, we are Nityānanda, and he is Haridāsa. We are preaching. You also join with us." So, "Oh, get out here! Hare Kṛṣṇa, your damn Hare Kṛṣṇa. Get out here!" (chuckles) So Haridāsa Ṭhākura was old man, and he was afraid. But Nityānanda was young man, so He fled away. Haridāsa Ṭhākura could not go so swift. He said: "My dear Nityānanda, I think today my life is at risk."
So anyway, then after they were going away, the crowd dispersed and the brothers were talking. So one brother was talking to the other, "Jagāi, I think that these people very nicely sing. Don't you hear?" "Oh! You are going to be a saṅkīrtana man?" "No, no, no! I am not going to be a saṅkīrtana man. Just I am talking about it." So this was their beginning appreciation.
Then next day, again in the same place, Nityānanda came, and He requested, "My dear brothers, you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." So the Mādhāi . . . no, Jagāi, Jagāi was so angry. They were drinking. So here you drink in bottles; they drink in earthen pot. So there was earthen pot. He hurled against His head, and there was blood oozing out. So the other brother, Mādhāi said: "Oh, what you are doing? What you are doing? This is nonsense."
This news was reached to Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very much angry. He came, "Bring My cakra. I shall kill these rascals immediately." He became so angry. So Nityānanda Prabhu implored, "My dear brother, why You are very angry? They are the sample of this age. So if You become angry, then whom We are going to deliver?" You see? "The whole population is full of like Jagāi and Mādhāi.
So our preaching is for the most fallen. Why do You remember . . . why do You forget this? Don't be angry." Then both the brothers, they fell on the feet of Nityānanda, "Please forgive us. We have done wrong. You are so nice people. You are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa so innocent, and we are so . . ." This is the effect of seeing a pure devotee. Heart becomes soft. This is the association, effect of association. So they surrendered.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "Yes, I will accept you. I don't care for your past deeds, but you have to agree that no more this nonsense." That means before initiation one might have done all nonsense things; that doesn't matter. That is not disqualification. But after initiation one should not. Then his life is changed immediately by this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. This is the instruction of Jagāi-Mādhāi.
So there were only two Jagāi-Mādhāis, but you'll meet hundreds of Jagāi-Mādhāis. So . . . but they can be delivered. There is no question that in their past life they had been sinful. Simply they have to agree that, "No more this nonsense." Therefore I have kept these restriction, these four restriction. Anyone who adopts this life and initiated, and follows these restriction, then he begins a new life.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: How can we show . . . we can't throw a pot at someone's head every night we perform this. It's not feasible to throw something at someone's head each time we do this.
Prabhupāda: You do? No? No, no. You just make a . . . like this. That's all. And Nityānanda may be smearing His head and found some blood. In this way you can do like that. After all, it is show.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What we can do is make the two brothers maybe attack one of the visitors who are watching it.
Prabhupāda: Just like in play they keep some sponge with red color, and somebody stabs, "Oohh!" and he squeezes. (laughter) In that way you can do it like that. After all, it is play. That's all.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I was thinking we could . . .
Prabhupāda: This is very important scene, Jagāi-Mādhāi uddhara. Yes. You have to set very nicely.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Okay. We'll go now.
Prabhupāda: No. You just have ārati? Ārati?
Govinda dāsī: Yes.
Prabhupāda: And that kṛṣṇa-kīrtana. This . . . let them hear. (end)
- 1969 - Conversations
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