~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

— Chapter One —

The Glories of the Holy Name

All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga all glories to Lord Nityananda, the life of Srimati Jahnavadevi; glories to Sri Advaita Acarya and Mother Sita; all glories to Srila Srivas Pandit, and to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

The Supreme Lord and His Devotees

IN NlLACALA, WITHIN A TEMPLE near the ocean shore; the Supreme Personality of Godhead resides, visible in His form of wood known as Darubrahman (Lord Jagannatha). The Supreme Lord Hari descends to the material world in the Deity form to save the living entities; He gives, both material pleasure and liberation. In this same holy place, Lord Caitanya, the Supreme Personality, appeared in the role of a renounced sannyasi to benedict humanity; He stayed at Kasi Misra's residence and propagated the dharma necessary for this age of Kali, making everyone understand its real meaning.

Lord Caitanya gathered His devotees at Jagannatha Puri, and together they showered love of Godhead on everyone, just like a wish-fulfulling tree. For the proper dissemination of spiritual instructions, He arranged for different devotees to speak, on various subjects while He gave them a sober audience. He had Sri Ramananda Raya reveal the confidential mellows of the conjugal dealings of the Supreme Lord; Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya explained the truth about liberation; Sri Rupa Gosvami analyzed the levels and varieties of spiritual exchanges with the Lord; and Srila Haridasa Thakura glorified the supreme efficacy and excellence of the Holy Name.

The Lord Inquires from Haridasa

One day, having returned from His bath in the ocean, Lord Caitanya came to see Srila Haridasa Thakura. He found Haridasa sitting under the Siddha Bakula tree. Greatly pleased at meeting Srila Haridasa, the Lord then inquired from him the means by which the conditioned soul can easily attain liberation. Srila Haridasa fell at the Lord's lotus feet and clasped them tightly. His entire body went into rapture, and he offered humble prayers punctuated by shivering and tears.

In a choked voice Srila Haridasa said, "My Lord, Your wonderful pastimes are unfathomable. I am unfortunate and illiterate. My only anchor is Your lotus feet. What is the use of asking questions of a worthless person like me?"

Srila Haridasa continued: "You are Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has appeared in Navadvipa to save the living entities. O my Lord Gauranga, kindly shelter me in the shade of Your lotus feet. Only this can engladden my heart. Your pastimes are ever-expanding; You have manifested Your name, form, qualities and pastimes in this material world so that even a fallen wretch like myself can relish them. It is impossible for the jiva to perceive Your transcendental features, with mundane senses. Lord Krsna has mercifully manifest His transcendental feature of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the panca-tattva for the highest benefit of humanity. These direct manifestations of transcendence are immediate expansions of the internal spiritual potency of the Lord.

"You are the spiritual sun and I am an insignificant spark of Your effulgence; You are my Lord and master and I am Your servitor eternally. The ambrosia emanating from Your lotus feet intoxicates all my senses; my hope lies in the limitless nectar of Your holy name. I am fallen-what can I say of my own volition? I am here just to execute Your orders. I shall be greatly satisfied to speak the words You put into my mouth and I will not consider whether they are right or wrong.