Chaitanya's Life and Teachings

by Krishna-das Kaviraj | 1922 | 90,709 words

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is revered by devotees as an incarnation of Krishna and Radharani as avatars of the Parmatma, or Supreme Godhead. He was born in an Oriya Hindu family. According to beliefs of orthodox followers Caitanya Mahaprabhu united in himself two aspects: ecstatic devotee of Krishna and Krishna himself in inseparable union with Radha....

Chapter XIX - On the sweetness of Krishna's attributes

[The Master continued His teaching of Sanátan thus:]

"God in His all-embracing form dwells in the highest Space (para-byom). The diverse Vaikunthas are beyond count. The extent of each Vaikuntha is millions and millions of miles. Ananda inspired by chit fills all the Vaikunthas. All of [His] attendants are filled with the six attributes (aishwaryya). The endless Vaikunthas and Space are His retinue; above all of them is Krishna's Heaven, like the seed-pod of the lotus. Thus, [Krishna's] six attributes are [only] places of [His] incarnation. Even Brahma and Shiva cannot count them, what to speak of men? Vide the Bhágabat, X. xiv. 21, Brahma's hymn to Krishna.

"Thus Krishna's celestial attributes are endless; Brahma, Shiva, Sanak and others cannot see their end. Vide the Bhágabat, X. xiv. 7.

"Not to speak of Brahma and others, even Ananta with his thousand tongues, is eternally singing [of His attributes] without being able to finish them. Vide Bhágabat, II. ii. 40.

"Even Krishna, the omniscient and supreme being, cannot find the end of His own attributes, but remains eagerly longing [to know of them]. Vide Bhágabat, X. lxxxvii. 37.

"The mind fails to comprehend His exploits, even of the time when He incarnated himself in Brindában. At one and the same time He created the natural and the supernatural groups of cow-herds and kine, as described in Bhágabat, [X. xiii and xiv], countless Vaikuntha-born embryos, with their respective Lords. Such a marvel is heard of no other [god]. The hearing of it makes the heart overcome [with rapture]. In that miracle of His every one of the millions and millions of calves, cowboys, their rods, pipes, horns, clothes and ornamems, all assumed the form of the four-armed Lord of Vaikuntha, each with a separate universe, and Brahma adored him. From the body of one Krishna all these appeared! And after a moment they all disappeared in that body! The sight amazed and fascinated Brahma, and after hymning [to Krishna], he declared this, Let him who says that he knows the full extent of Krishna's power, know it. But as for me, I admit with all my body and mind that not a drop of this endless ocean of your power is cognizable by my speech or intellect! Vide Bhágabat, X. xiv. 36.

"Many are the glories of Krishna; who can know them? Think of the wondrous quality of the place Brindában: the Shastras speak of it as 32 miles in extent, and yet in one corner of it the embryos of the universe floated! Krishna's divine power is boundless beyond calculation."

The Master, Himself the ocean of divine attributes, was seized with ecstasy in speaking of Krishna's divine attributes; His mind became absorbed in the subject and He lost consciousness. He (then) recited Bhágabat, III. ii. 21, and expounded it, relishing with delight its sense. "Krishna is the Supreme Deity, God Himself. None else is greater than He or even equal to Him. Vide Brahma Samhita, V. I. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the lords of creation, [preservation, and destruction], all obey Krishna; He is their suzerain. Vide Bhágabat, II. vi. 30.

"Hear the meaning of the phrase unequalled Supreme Lord: Three purush incarnations are the causes of the universe, viz., Mahá-Vishnu, Padmanava, Kshirodak Swámi. These three occupy the souls of everything, gross or subtle. These three are the refuge of all, and the lords of the universe. And yet they are mere particles of Krishna, who is supreme [over them]. Vide Brahma Samhita, v. 54.

"This interpretation is only external. Listen to the esoteric sense. The Shastras speak of three abodes of Krishna, viz., Antahpur, Golok, and Brindában, in which [last] ever dwell [His] parents and friends; where He manifested His sweet attributes, tenderness, mercy, &c; where the illusion of yog was His bondmaid, and where rása and other exploits took place.

"Below it the Supreme Space named Vishnu's Heaven, where dwell Náráyan and other eternal forms of Him, is situated. The middle abode of Krishna is the store-house of the six attributes, where He dwells in His eternal form (ananta). The Vaikunthas are endless, and there the rooms and attendants (even) are full of the six attributes. Vide Brahma Samhita, v. 49, [and other Sanskrit verses].

"Below it is His external abode, beyond the Birajá, where the universes are endless, and the rooms are illimitable. It is named Devidhám, where creatures dwell. The Lakshmi of the Universe nourishes it; illusion dwells there as His slave.

"In these three places does Krishna dwell as the Supreme Lord, viz., Golok, the Supreme Space, and Nature. The region where He manifests His chit power is called the Three-fold Divinity (tripád aishivaryya), whereas the places of the display of His power of illusion are called One-fold (ekapád).

"The Three-fold Divinity of Krishna is beyond speech. Hear, therefore, of the One-fold Divinity. All the Brahmas and Shivas of the eternal universe are embraced by the term 'eternal rulers of spheres' (chira-loka-pála). One day Brahma came to Dwaraka to see Krishna; the porter took the message to Krishna, who asked 'Which Brahma? What is his name?' The porter returned and asked Brahma, who replied in amazement, 'Go, tell him, it is the four-headed father of Sanak.' After taking Krishna's permission, the porter introduced him. Brahma prostrated himself at Krishna's feet, who showed him honour and reverence and asked for the reason of his visit. Brahma replied, 'I shall tell you of that afterwards. First solve one problem of my mind. What did you mean by asking 'Which Brahma?' What Brahma other than I can there be in the universe?' At this Krishna smiled and plunged into meditation, and immediately innumerable troops of Brahmas came there, some with ten heads, some with twenty, hundred, thousand, million, even a milliard, beyond the power of counting. Rudras came with millions of millions of heads. Indras appeared with millions of eyes. At the sight the four-headed Brahma became senseless, like a hare surrounded by a herd of elephants. All these Brahmas prostrated themselves before Krishna's seat, which was touched by their crowns. None can [adequately] describe the unimaginable power of Krishna. In one body there were as many images as there were Brahmás. His seat, struck with the crowns of the Brahmas, set up a sound, as if the crowns recited praises of His seat! With folded palms, Brahma Rudra and other deities hymned Krishna thus: 'Lord! Great is thy mercy to us, as thou hast shown us thy feet. Oh our good fortune! thou hast called and accepted us as thy slaves. Bid us, and we shall place thy behest on our heads.' Krishna replied, 'I longed to see you, and so called you all together. Be ye all happy! Have you any thing to fear from the demons?' They said, 'Thanks to thy grace, we are everywhere triumphant. Latterly thou hast, by incarnating thyself, destroyed the load of sins which used to weigh the Earth down.' This proves the divine nature of Dwaraka and other [spheres], each of which imagines 'Krishna dwells in my region.' The presence of Krishna made Dwaraka feel glory (baibhaba); they had all met together, and yet none could see the others. Then Krishna gave leave to all the Brahmás, and they returned home after bowing to Him. The four-headed Brahma was amazed at the sight, and again bowed at Krishna's feet, saying, 'I have to-day witnessed an example of what I had previously known for certain in my mind.' Vide Bhágabat, X. xiv. 36.

"Krishna replied, 'This universe, though 500 million leagues in extent, is very small; hence you have four heads only. Other universes are a thousand million, a lakh kror, or even a kror kror leagues in extent, and their Brahmas have heads proportioned to these sizes. Thus do I uphold the whole system of universes. Even my one fold divinity cannot be measured. Who will measure my three-fold divinity?' So saying Krishna dismissed Brahma. The divine form of Krishna cannot be explained. The phrase Supreme Lord has another deep meaning: the term tri means the three regions of Krishna, viz., Gokul (named Golok), Mathura, and Dwáráka. In these three He always dwells naturally. These three places are full of His inner complete divinity. Of these three Krishna Himself is the lord. The guardians of directions in all the aforesaid universes, and the eternal guardians of creation in Ananta and Vaikuntha, all bow to Krishna's seat, touching it with the jewel of their crowns. In His own chit power Krishna dwells ever. This property of chit-power is called the six divine attributes; it is also styled Lakshmi in the form of supreme bliss. Hence, the Vedas declare Krishna to be God Himself. I cannot plunge in the boundless nectar-oceah of Krishna's divine power, but have touched only a drop of it". The Master paused for a while, and after composing Himself continued to teach Sanátan. [Text, canto 21.]

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