Lord Caitanya is also Lord Nrsimha

April 30, 2007 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

BY PAYONIDHI DASA

Apr 28, MARYLAND, USA (SAT) — In the Caitanya Bhagavat we find this interesting verse:

gadadhara parena summukha bhagavata
suniya prakase prabhu prema-bhava yata
prahlada-caritra, ara dhruvera-caritra
sata-vrtti kariya sunena sarhita

“Whenever Sri Gadadhara would recite the Prahlada-caritra and Dhruva-caritra from Bhagavatam, the Lord would manifest various symptoms of love. The Lord would hear the glories of Prahlada and Dhruva hundreds of times.”
(Sri Caitanya-bhagavata, Antya.10.13-14)

We find these teaching of Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam and it seems most proper that all members in ISKCON sit down to study and read all these verses with Srila Prabhupada’s purports, including the prayers of Prahlada Maharaja. Those who follow in the line of Lord Caitanya are very fond of the 7th Canto, especially chapters 5 to 10:

    SB 7.6.1: Prahlada Maharaja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life — in other words, from the tender age of childhood — to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.

    SB 7.6.2: The human form of life affords one a chance to return home, back to Godhead. Therefore every living entity, especially in the human form of life, must engage in devotional service to the lotus feet of Lord Visnu. This devotional service is natural because Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the most beloved, the master of the soul, and the well-wisher of all other living beings.

    SB 7.6.3: Prahlada Maharaja continued: My dear friends born of demoniac families, the happiness perceived with reference to the sense objects by contact with the body can be obtained in any form of life, according to one’s past fruitive activities. Such happiness is automatically obtained without endeavor, just as we obtain distress.

    SB 7.6.4: Endeavors merely for sense gratification or material happiness through economic development are not to be performed, for they result only in a loss of time and energy, with no actual profit. If one’s endeavors are directed toward Krsna consciousness, one can surely attain the spiritual platform of self-realization. There is no such benefit from engaging oneself in economic development.

    SB 7.6.5: Therefore, while in material existence [bhavam asritah], a person fully competent to distinguish wrong from right must endeavor to achieve the highest goal of life as long as the body is stout and strong and is not embarrassed by dwindling.

    SB 7.6.6: Every human being has a maximum duration of life of one hundred years, but for one who cannot control his senses, half of those years are completely lost because at night he sleeps twelve hours, being covered by ignorance. Therefore such a person has a lifetime of only fifty years.

    SB 7.6.7: In the tender age of childhood, when everyone is bewildered, one passes ten years. Similarly, in boyhood, engaged in sporting and playing, one passes another ten years. In this way, twenty years are wasted. Similarly, in old age, when one is an invalid, unable to perform even material activities, one passes another twenty years wastefully.

    SB 7.6.8: One whose mind and senses are uncontrolled becomes increasingly attached to family life because of insatiable lusty desires and very strong illusion. In such a madman’s life, the remaining years are also wasted because even during those years he cannot engage himself in devotional service.

    SB 7.6.9: What person too attached to household life due to being unable to control his senses can liberate himself? An attached householder is bound very strongly by ropes of affection for his family [wife, children and other relatives].

    SB 7.6.10: Money is so dear that one conceives of money as being sweeter than honey. Therefore, who can give up the desire to accumulate money, especially in household life? Thieves, professional servants [soldiers] and merchants try to acquire money even by risking their very dear lives.

    SB 7.6.11-13: How can a person who is most affectionate to his family, the core of his heart being always filled with their pictures, give up their association? Specifically, a wife is always very kind and sympathetic and always pleases her husband in a solitary place. Who could give up the association of such a dear and affectionate wife? Small children talk in broken language, very pleasing to hear, and their affectionate father always thinks of their sweet words. How could he give up their association? One’s elderly parents and one’s sons and daughters are also very dear. A daughter is especially dear to her father, and while living at her husband’s house she is always in his mind. Who could give up that association? Aside from this, in household affairs there are many decorated items of household furniture, and there are also animals and servants. Who could give up such comforts? The attached householder is like a silkworm, which weaves a cocoon in which it becomes imprisoned, unable to get out. Simply for the satisfaction of two important senses — the genitals and the tongue — one is bound by material conditions. How can one escape?

    SB 7.6.14: One who is too attached cannot understand that he is wasting his valuable life for the maintenance of his family. He also fails to understand that the purpose of human life, a life suitable for realization of the Absolute Truth, is being imperceptibly spoiled. However, he is very cleverly attentive to seeing that not a single farthing is lost by mismanagement. Thus although an attached person in material existence always suffers from threefold miseries, he does not develop a distaste for the way of material existence.

    SB 7.6.15: If a person too attached to the duties of family maintenance is unable to control his senses, the core of his heart is immersed in how to accumulate money. Although he knows that one who takes the wealth of others will be punished by the law of the government, and by the laws of Yamaraja after death, he continues cheating others to acquire money.

    SB 7.6.16: O my friends, sons of demons! In this material world, even those who are apparently advanced in education have the propensity to consider, “This is mine, and that is for others.” Thus they are always engaged in providing the necessities of life to their families in a limited conception of family life, just like uneducated cats and dogs. They are unable to take to spiritual knowledge; instead, they are bewildered and overcome by ignorance.

    SB 7.6.17-18: My dear friends, O sons of the demons, it is certain that no one bereft of knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has been able to liberate himself from material bondage at any time or in any country. Rather, those bereft of knowledge of the Lord are bound by the material laws. They are factually addicted to sense gratification, and their target is woman. Indeed, they are actually playthings in the hands of attractive women. Victimized by such a conception of life, they become surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and thus they are shackled to material bondage. Those who are very much addicted to this conception of life are called demons. Therefore, although you are sons of demons, keep aloof from such persons and take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, the origin of all the demigods, because the ultimate goal for the devotees of Narayana is liberation from the bondage of material existence.

    SB 7.6.19: My dear sons of demons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, is the original Supersoul, the father of all living entities. Consequently there are no impediments to pleasing Him or worshiping Him under any conditions, whether one be a child or an old man. The relationship between the living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always a fact, and therefore there is no difficulty in pleasing the Lord.

    SB 7.6.20-23: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, who is infallible and indefatigable, is present in different forms of life, from the inert living beings [sthavara], such as the plants, to Brahma, the foremost created living being. He is also present in the varieties of material creations and in the material elements, the total material energy and the modes of material nature [sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna], as well as the unmanifested material nature and the false ego. Although He is one, He is present everywhere, and He is also the transcendental Supersoul, the cause of all causes, who is present as the observer in the cores of the hearts of all living entities. He is indicated as that which is pervaded and as the all-pervading Supersoul, but actually He cannot be indicated. He is changeless and undivided. He is simply perceived as the supreme sac-cid-ananda [eternity, knowledge and bliss]. Being covered by the curtain of the external energy, to the atheist He appears nonexistent.

    SB 7.6.24: Therefore, my dear young friends born of demons, please act in such a way that the Supreme Lord, who is beyond the conception of material knowledge, will be satisfied. Give up your demoniac nature and act without enmity or duality. Show mercy to all living entities by enlightening them in devotional service, thus becoming their well-wishers.

    SB 7.6.25: Nothing is unobtainable for devotees who have satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the cause of all causes, the original source of everything. The Lord is the reservoir of unlimited spiritual qualities. For devotees, therefore, who are transcendental to the modes of material nature, what is the use of following the principles of religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation, which are all automatically obtainable under the influence of the modes of nature? We devotees always glorify the lotus feet of the Lord, and therefore we need not ask for anything in terms of dharma, karma, artha and moksha.

    SB 7.6.26: Religion, economic development and sense gratification — these are described in the Vedas as tri-varga, or three ways to salvation. Within these three categories are education and self-realization; ritualistic ceremonies performed according to Vedic injunction; logic; the science of law and order; and the various means of earning one’s livelihood. These are the external subject matters of study in the Vedas, and therefore I consider them material. However, I consider surrender to the lotus feet of Lord Visnu to be transcendental.

    SB 7.6.27: Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the well-wisher and friend of all living entities, formerly explained this transcendental knowledge to the great saint Narada. Such knowledge is extremely difficult to understand without the mercy of a saintly person like Narada, but everyone who has taken shelter of Narada’s disciplic succession can understand this confidential knowledge.

    SB 7.6.28: Prahlada Maharaja continued: I received this knowledge from the great saint Narada Muni, who is always engaged in devotional service. This knowledge, which is called bhagavata-dharma, is fully scientific. It is based on logic and philosophy and is free from all material contamination.

    SB 7.6.29-30: The sons of the demons replied: Dear Prahlada, neither you nor we know any teacher or spiritual master other than Sanda and Amarka, the sons of Sukracharaya. After all, we are children and they our controllers. For you especially, who always remain within the palace, it is very difficult to associate with a great personality. Dear friend, most gentle one, would you kindly explain how it was possible for you to hear Narada? Kindly dispel our doubts in this regard.

There are several examples from the Caitanya-caritamrta and Caitanya Bhagavata that Lord Caitanya is also non-different from the form of Lord Narasimha. Here is one from Caitanay Bhagavata Madhya-khanda, ch. 2, 253-269:

    “Walking by the riverbank, He (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) saw a herd of cows. They were mooing and drinking water. With raised tails some ran in the four directions. Some fought. Some napped. Some drank water. Seeing them, the Lord began to roar. I am He! I am He!” The Lord shouted again and again. In this way He ran to Srivasa’s house.

    Srivasa, what are you doing now?”, the Lord roared. Within his home, Srivasa was worshiping Lord Narasimha. Pounding again and again, Sri Caitanya broke the door open. Whom do you worship? On whom do you meditate? Look! The person you worship has come!” the Lord roared.

    Srivasa saw a form like blazing fire, Then his meditation broke. He looked in the four directions. He saw Sri Caitanya sitting in a virasana yoga posture. Sri Caitanya had four arms. He held a conch-shell, cakra, club, and lotus. He roared like a maddened lion. Slapping the palm of His hand against His left shoulder, He made a great sound. Seeing all this, Srivasa trembled. Then he became stunned. He did not move.

    The Lord roared, O Srivasa! For so many days you did not know My true identity? Because of your loud sankirtana I left Vaikuntha and came here with all My associates. Not knowing Me, You left Me and went to Santipura. I will rescue the devotees. I will kill all the demons. Don’t worry. Now recite prayers to Me.” Gazing at the Lord, Srivasa wept tears of love. The fears in his heart died. Now He was confident. His whole body was filled with joy.

    He offered dandavat obeisances. Then, folding his hands, he recited prayers. By his nature, Srivasa Pandita was a great devotee of the Lord. He accepted the Lord’s order. By the Lord’s desire, he recited prayers.”

In the Caitanya-caritamrta there are pastimes mentioned when Lord Caitanya in the mood of Lord Narasimha ran through one village in Navadvipa and roared like Narasimha, picking up a huge club. He did this after hearing Srivasa Pandita, who was chanting the 1,000 names of Lord Visnu. As soon as the name of Lord Narasimha came up (which is in the beginning of the 1,000 names of Visnu Sahasra Nama), He ran through the street scaring everyone. Lord Caitanya felt bad about this, but his pure devotee Srivasa Thakura pacified the Lord and assured Him that everyone that had just seen Him assume the mood of Lord Narasimha would be eternally liberated.

    CC Adi 17.90: One day the Lord ordered Srivasa Thakur to read the Brhat-sahasra- nama [the thousand names of Lord Visnu], for He wanted to hear them at that time.

    CC Adi 17.91: As he read the thousand names of the Lord, in due course the holy name of Lord Nrsimha appeared. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard the holy name of Lord Nrsimha, He became fully absorbed in thought.

    CC Adi 17.92: In the mood of Lord Nrsimhadeva, Lord Caitanya ran through the city streets, club in hand, ready to kill all the atheists.

    CC Adi 17.93: Seeing Him appearing very fierce in the ecstasy of Lord Nrsimha, people ran from the street and fled here and there, afraid of His anger.

    CC Adi 17.94: Seeing the people so afraid, the Lord came to His external senses and thus returned to the house of Srivasa Thakur and threw away the club.

    CC Adi 17.95: The Lord became morose and said to Srivasa Thakur, “When I adopted the mood of Lord Nrsimhadeva, people were greatly afraid. Therefore I stopped, since causing fear among people is an offense.”

    CC Adi 17.96: Srivasa Thakur replied, “Anyone who takes Your holy name vanquishes ten million of his offenses immediately.

    CC Adi 17.97: “There was no offense in Your appearing as Nrsimhadeva. Rather, any man who saw You in that mood was immediately liberated from the bondage of material existence.”

    CC Adi 17.98: After saying this, Srivasa Thakur worshiped the Lord, who was then greatly satisfied and returned to His own home.

Let us offer our obeisances to Lord Caitanya, assuming this mood of Lord Narasimha and may He purify us.

There are so many references to Lord Caitanya’s “lion-like qualities” and lion-like Form. Srila Krsna das Kaviraja states:

simha griva simha-virya simhera hunkar

“He has the shoulders of a lion, the powers of a lion, and the loud voice of a lion.”

And Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati Thakura:

simha skandham…

“May Lord Chaitanya, whose shoulders are like a lion…”

    CC Madhya 7.95: Almost like a mad lion, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went on His tour filled with ecstatic love and performing sankirtana, chanting Krishna’s names as follows.

    CC Madhya 7.96: The Lord chanted: Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! he Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! he Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! raksha mamKrishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! pahi mam That is, “O Lord Krishna, please protect Me and maintain Me.” He also chanted: Rama! Raghava! Rama! Raghava! Rama! Raghava! Raksha mamKrishna! Kesava! Krishna! Kesava! Krishna! Kesava! Pahi mam That is, “O Lord Rama, descendant of King Raghu, please protect Me. O Krishna, O Kesava, killer of the Kesi demon, please maintain Me.”

And the most famous quote about Lord Caitanya’s lion-like qualities is found in the Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 3.30-31:

    Adi 3.30caitanya-simhera navadvipe avatara
    simha-griva, simha-virya, simhera hunkara
    SYNONYMS
    caitanya-simhera — of the lionlike Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu; navadvipe — at Navadvipa; avatara — the incarnation; simha-griva — having the neck of a lion; simha-virya — the strength of a lion; simhera hunkara — the roar of a lion.TRANSLATION
    Thus the lionlike Lord Caitanya has appeared in Navadvipa. He has the shoulders of a lion, the powers of a lion, and the loud voice of a lion.

    Adi 3.31

    sei simha vasuk jivera hridaya-kandare
    kalmasha-dvirada nase yanhara hunkare
    SYNONYMS
    sei — that; simha — lion; vasuk — let Him sit; jivera — of the living entities; hridaya — of the heart; kandare — in the cavern; kalmasha — of sins; dvi-rada — the elephant; nase — destroys; yanhara — of whom; hunkare — the roar.

    TRANSLATION
    May that lion be seated in the core of the heart of every living being. Thus with His resounding roar may He drive away one’s elephantine vices.

We worship Ugra Narasimha in Mayapur but this Form is very difficult to please, as Lord Narasimha in this mood only accepts exalted devotion like that of Prahlada Maharaja, who is completely free from all material contaminations and desires. But we worship Ugra Narasimha through the mercy or Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya, and pray He may burn all impurities in our hearts as He is the source of all transcendental potencies.

Prahlada Maharaja has show us how to offer prayers in the Srimad Bhagavatam 5th Canto, chapter 18 and in the 7th Canto, chapter 9.

Another famous instance when Lord Caitanya showed Himself as non-different from Lord Narasimha is described in the Caitanya-caritamrta, when Nrsimhananda Brahmacari wanted to see Lord Caitanya as non-different from Lord Narasimha. Lord Caitanya accepted the offering made for Lord Narasimha and after, showed him His form as Lord Narasimha.

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Images From Mayapur Parishad: Sri Ramananda Raya

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