Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Book Compilation
By His Holiness Jayapatākā Swami Mahārāja on 14th January 2021 in
Śrīdhāma Māyāpur, India
mūkaṁ karoti vācālaṁ paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim
yat-kṛpā tam ahaṁ vande śrī-guruṁ dīna-tāraṇam
paramānandaṁ mādhavaṁ śrī caitanya iśvaram
hariḥ oṁ tat sat
Introduction: Today we are continuing with the compilation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya book, today’s chapter entitled:
Lord Caitanya Instructs Kūrma Brāhmaṇa in Kūrma-kṣetra
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.113
śrī-kṛamme gamana o vigraha-darśane nṛtyagīta :—
ei-mata yāite yāite gelā kūrma-sthāne
kūrma dekhi’ kaila tāṅre stavana-praṇāme
Translation: When Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to the holy place known as Kūrma-kṣetra, He saw the Deity and offered prayers and obeisances.
Jayapatākā Swami: Originally, they worshipped this deity as a Śiva liṅga. But then Rāmānujācārya pointed out that this deity had four legs and the Śiva liṅga does not have legs, and then they realized that He was the Kurma deity. So this deity about an hour and half drive from Vishakapatinam. In Vishakapatinam is the Varāha Narasiṁha deity. Somehow Lord Caitanya came to this Kūrma-kṣetra and had His pastimes there.
Purport: Kūrma-sthāna is a well-known place of pilgrimage. There is a temple there of Kūrmadeva. In the Prapannāmṛta it is said that Lord Jagannātha took Śrī Rāmānujācārya from Jagannātha Purī and one night threw him to Kūrma-kṣetra. Kūrma-kṣetra is situated on the line of the Southern Railway in India. One has to go to the railway station known as Srikakulam Road. From this station one goes eight miles to the east to reach the holy place known as Kūrmācala. Those who speak the Telugu language consider this holy place very important. This statement is reported in the government gazette known as Gañjāma Manual. There is the Deity of Kūrma there, and, as mentioned above, Śrīla Rāmānujācārya was thrown from Jagannātha Purī to this place. At that time he thought that the Deity of Kūrma was Lord Śiva’s deity; therefore he was fasting there. Later, when he understood that the kūrma–mūrti was another form of Lord Viṣṇu, he instituted very gorgeous worship of Lord Kūrma. This statement is found in the Prapannāmṛta (Chapter Thirty-six). The holy place of Kūrma-kṣetra, or Kūrma-sthāna, was actually reestablished by Śrīpāda Rāmānujācārya under the influence of Lord Jagannātha-deva at Jagannātha Purī. Later the temple came under the jurisdiction of the king of Vijaya-nagara. The Deity was worshiped by the Vaiṣṇavas of the Madhvācārya-sampradāya. In the temple there are some inscriptions said to be written by Śrī Narahari Tīrtha, who was in the disciplic succession of Madhvācārya. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura explains those inscriptions as follows: (1) Śrī Puruṣottama Yati appeared as the instructor of many learned men. He was a very favorite devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. (2) His preaching was accepted throughout the world with great respect, and by his power he liberated many nondevotees with strong reason and logic. (3) He initiated Ānanda Tīrtha [Madhvācārya], who, after accepting sannyāsa, punished many foolish men with his rod and converted them. (4) All of Madhvācārya’s writings and words are very potent. He gave people devotional service to Lord Viṣṇu so they could be elevated to liberation in the spiritual world. (5) His instructions in devotional service were able to elevate any man to the lotus feet of the Lord. (6) Narahari Tīrtha was initiated by him and became the ruler of Kaliṅga Province. (7) Narahari Tīrtha fought with the Śabaras, who were caṇḍālas, or hunters, and thus saved the temple of Kūrma. (8) Narahari Tīrtha was a very religious and powerful king. (9) In Śaka Era 1203, in the month of Vaiśākha, in the fortnight of the moon’s waxing period, on the day of Ekādaśī, Narahari Tīrtha dedicated to the holy name of Yogānanda Nṛsiṁhadeva the temple he had constructed on His order. [The tablet is dated that very day, corresponding to Saturday, March 29, 1281 A.D.]
Murāri Gupta Kaḍaca 3.14.13
tato jagāma bhagavān lokānugraha-kāmyayā
kūrma-kṣetre jagannāthaṁ dadarśa kūrma-rūpiṇam
Translation: Then, desiring to show mercy to the people, the Lord went to the temple of Kūrma and saw Jagannātha Svāmī there in His form of Kūrma-deva.
Caitanya Carita Mahā Kāvya 12.101
dṛṣṭvā ciraṁ taṁ sa nijāvatāraṁ
punar namaskṛtya kṛtī kṛtajñaḥ
tat karma mādhyandinam asya mānaṁ
cakāra śikṣā-gurutām upetaḥ
Translation: After gazing at the deity, his own avatāra, for a long time, the expert, grateful Lord offered respects again, and acting as a śikṣā-guru, performed his midday rituals with respect.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.114
prabhura nṛtya-gīta-darśane lokera camatkāra :—
premāveśe hāsi’ kāndi’ nṛtya-gīta kaila
dekhi’ sarva lokera citte camatkāra haila
Translation: While at this place, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was in His usual ecstasy of love of Godhead and was laughing, crying, dancing and chanting. Everyone who saw Him was astonished.
Jayapatākā Swami: So, what was normal for Lord Caitanya was very astonishing for the people in general, they were very much influenced by the Lord’s ecstatic symptoms, and naturally they became inspired in devotional service.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.115
āścarya śuniyā loka āila dekhibāre
prabhura rūpa-prema dekhi’ hailā camatkāre
Translation: After hearing of these wonderful occurrences, everyone came to see Him there. When they saw the beauty of the Lord and His ecstatic condition, they were all struck with wonder.
Jayapatākā Swami: Somehow the people were so fortunate they saw Lord Caitanya manifesting His pure love for Kṛṣṇa, and they became very inspired, struck with wonder to see the Lord manifesting these ecstasies.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.116
prabhu darśane lokera vaiṣṇavatva-lābha :—
darśane ‘vaiṣṇava’ haila, bale ‘kṛṣṇa’ ’hari’
premāveśe nāce loka ūrdhva bāhu kari’
Translation: Just by seeing Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, everyone became a devotee. They began to chant “Kṛṣṇa” and “Hari” and all the holy names. They all were merged in a great ecstasy of love, and they began to dance, raising their arms.
Jayapatākā Swami: Simply by seeing Lord Caitanya they also began to chant and dance, and were filled with ecstasy of love for Kṛṣṇa. And they raised their arms dancing in ecstasy, chanting the names Hari bol! Kṛṣṇa! and all the holy names.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.117
sei lokera dvārā sei deśera uddhāra :—
kṛṣṇa-nāma loka-mukhe śuni’ avirāma
sei loka ’vaiṣṇava’ kaila anya saba grāma
Translation: Always hearing them chant the holy names of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the residents of all the other villages also became Vaiṣṇavas.
Jayapatākā Swami: Simply by Lord Caitanya’s mercy everyone who saw Him became a vaiṣṇava devotee of the Lord and those who saw these devotees also became devotee vaisnavas. So this way the Saṅkīrtana movement can spread.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.118
ei-rūpe sakaladeśera uddhāra :—
ei-mata paramparāya deśa ‘vaiṣṇava’ haila
kṛṣṇa-nāmāmṛta-vanyāya deśa bhāsāila
Translation: By hearing the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, the entire country became Vaiṣṇava. It was as if the nectar of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa overflooded the entire country .
Jayapatākā Swami: Just as the ocean produced unlimited waves, Lord Caitanya’s waves of ecstasy as it went out amongst the people, it was as if the country had become flooded with love of Kṛṣṇa and everyone was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa!
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.119
vigraha-sevakera prabhuke sammāna :—
kata-kṣaṇe prabhu yadi bāhya prakāśilā
kūrmera sevaka bahu sammāna karilā
Translation: After some time, when Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu manifested His external consciousness, a priest of the Lord Kūrma Deity gave Him various offerings.
Jayapatākā Swami: When we went to the Kūrma-kṣetra temple, we saw the footprint of Lord Caitanya there. His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, he established the lotus feet footprint of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and there all the priests were chanting the holy name, and they were very grateful and respectful for us to be there.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.120
sarvagrāme giyā prabhura lokoddhāra :—
yei grāme yāya tāhāṅ ei vyavahāra
eka ṭhāñi kahila, nā kahiba āra bāra
Translation: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mode of preaching has already been explained, and I shall not repeat the explanation. In whichever village the Lord entered, His behavior was the same.
Jayapatākā Swami: Lord Caitanya was laughing, crying, chanting and dancing and every village He went to He did the same thing. And there naturally the devotees became empowered by Lord Caitanya’s bhakti-śaktī and in this way He spread the pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness in every village He visited.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.121
‘kūrma’ nāmaka brāhmaṇera prabhu-pūjā :—
‘kūrma’-nāme sei grāme vaidika brāhmaṇa
bahu śraddhā-bhaktye kaila prabhura nimantraṇa
Translation: In one village there was a Vedic brāhmaṇa named Kūrma. He invited Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to his home with great respect and devotion.
Murāri Gupta Kaḍaca 3.14.11-12
āgate kūrma-kṣetre ca kūrma-rūpī janārdanaḥ
kūrma-nāmā ca viprendro gataḥ satkṛti-karmaṇi
bhojayan śraddhayā svannaṁ prasādaṁ kūrma īśvaram
Translation: When He arrived at Kūrma Kṣetra, where Śrī Janārdana forever resides in His Deity form of a tortoise, an exalted vipra also of the name Kūrma came and offered Him a hospitable reception. With great respect, He fed the Lord nicely prepared prasāda.
Jayapatākā Swami: So the brāhmaṇa devotee of the Lord, they got this rare opportunity to serve Lord Caitanya and we understand that His wife, family everyone participated in this and they distributed prasāda to the Lord.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.122
ghare āni’ prabhura kaila pāda prakṣālana
sei jala vaṁśa-sahita karila bhakṣaṇa
Translation: This brāhmaṇa brought Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to his home, washed His lotus feet and, with his family members, drank that water.
Jayapatākā Swami: This is the system they still practice in South India that if a sannyāsī visits the home, the wife would pour the water and the husband would massage the feet and they would collect the water and put it on their heads and drink it.
Murāri Gupta Kaḍaca 3.14.14
kūrma-nāmā dvijaḥ kaścit tad-darśana-mahotsavaḥ
ātithyaṁ vidadhe harṣān mānayan sa-phalaṁ dinam
Translation: That brāhmaṇa, named Kūrma felt engladdened by the sight of Śrī Gaurāṅga. With great happiness, he invited the Lord to be his guest, and considered his day completely fulfilled.
Caitanya Carita Mahā Kāvya 12.102
kṣetre ca tatrāti sudhīr mahatma
vilokya taṁ bhūyaśa eva natvā
sa bhīta-bhīto madhuraṁ jagāda
Translation: At Kūrma-kṣetra, a great soul, who was very intelligent, named Kūrma, born in a brāhmaṇa family, seeing the Lord, offered repeated respects and in fear spoke sweet words.
Caitanya Carita Mahā Kāvya 12.103
adyaivam etat saphalā janiḥ syād
adyaiva me tat saphalaṁ samastam
yad asya pādāmburuha-dvayasya
Translation: “Today my birth has become successful. Today everything has become successful, since my house has obtained the dust of your two lotus feet.”
Jayapatākā Swami: So, by having Lord Caitanya visiting his house, he felt his house was blessed. And till today the gṛhasthas if they are fortunate to have the Lord or His representative visit their house and they feel blessed. Śrīla Prabhupāda used to visit people’s homes and so in this way He purified various homes.
Caitanya Carita Mahā Kāvya 12.104
sa kūrma-nāmā dvija-puṅgavāgryo
vidhṛtya pādau sva-gṛhaṁ nināya
prakṣālayāmāsa ca tau payobhiḥ
Translation: The best of brāhmaṇas, Kūrma, who had accrued abundant pious results, holding the Lord’s feet, brought him into his house and washed his feet with water.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.123
aneka-prakāra snehe bhikṣā karāila
gosāñira śeṣānna sa-vaṁśe khāila
Translation: With great affection and respect, that Kūrma brāhmaṇa made Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu eat all kinds of food. After that, the remnants were shared by all the members of the family.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.124
‘yei pāda-padma tomāra brahmā dhyāna kare
sei pāda-padma sākṣāt āila mora ghare
Translation: The brāhmaṇa then began to pray, “O my Lord, Your lotus feet are meditated upon by Lord Brahmā, and these very lotus feet have come into my home.
Jayapatākā Swami: So the brāhmaṇa Kūrma, he was so respectful and he felt himself so blessed that Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet had entered his house.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.125
mora bhāgyera sīmā nā yāya kahana
āji mora ślāghya haila janma-kula-dhana
Translation: “My dear Lord, there is no limit to my great fortune. It cannot be described. Today my family, birth and riches have all been glorified.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.126
prabhura anugamana-janya kūrma viprera prārthanā :—
kṛpā kara, prabhu, more, yāṅ tomā-saṅge
sahite nā pāri duḥkha viṣaya-taraṅge’
Translation: The brāhmaṇa begged Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “My dear Lord, kindly show me favor and let me go with You. I can no longer tolerate the waves of misery caused by materialistic life.”
Purport: This statement is applicable for everyone, regardless of how rich or prosperous one may be. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has confirmed this statement: saṁsāra-viṣānale, divā-niśi hiyā jvale. He states that the materialistic way of life causes a burning in the heart. One cannot make any provisions for the troublesome life of the material world. It is a fact that one may be very happy as far as riches are concerned and one may be very opulent in every respect, yet one has to manage the viṣayas to meet the demands of the body and of so many family members and subordinates. One has to take so much trouble to minister to others. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore prays: viṣaya chāḍiyā kabe śuddha ha’be mana. Thus one must become freed from the materialistic way of life. One has to merge himself in the ocean of transcendental bliss. In other words, one cannot relish transcendental bliss without being freed from the materialistic way of life. It appears that the brāhmaṇa named Kūrma was materially very happy, for he expressed his family tradition as janma-kula-dhana. Now, being glorious, he wanted to leave all these material opulences. He wanted to travel with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. According to the Vedic way of civilization, one should leave his family after attaining fifty years of age and go to the forest of Vṛndāvana to devote the rest of his life to the service of the Lord.
Jayapatākā Swami: So the Kūrma brāhmaṇa was mentioning to Lord Caitanya that he wanted to give up his materialistic way of life and simply follow Him.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.127
prabhukarttṛka sakalakei ācāryarūpe kṛṣṇanāma-bhakti pracāra karite ādeśa :—
yāre dekha, tāre kaha ’kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa
āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa
Translation: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “Don’t speak like that again. Better to remain at home and chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa always.
Purport: It is not advisable in this Age of Kali to leave one’s family suddenly, for people are not trained as proper brahmacārīs and gṛhasthas. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised the brāhmaṇa not to be too eager to give up family life. It would be better to remain with his family and try to become purified by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā–mantra regularly under the direction of a spiritual master. This is the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If this principle is followed by everyone, there is no need to accept sannyāsa. In the next verse Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advises everyone to become an ideal householder by offenselessly chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and teaching the same principle to everyone he meets.
Jayapatākā Swami: So Lord Caitanya advised the Kūrma brāhmaṇa, not to abruptly change his situation. As a family man, to suddenly give up the family life would be very artificial. And better to practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the home with the family, and thus by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, one can achieve pure love for Kṛṣṇa.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.128
yāre dekha, tāre kaha ’kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa
āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa
Translation: “Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.”
Purport: This is the sublime mission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Many people come and inquire whether they have to give up family life to join the Society, but that is not our mission. One can remain comfortably in his residence. We simply request everyone to chant the mahā–mantra: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. If one is a little literate and can read Bhagavad-gītā As It Is and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that is so much the better. These works are now available in an English translation and are done very authoritatively to appeal to all classes of men. Instead of living engrossed in material activities, people throughout the world should take advantage of this movement and chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra at home with their families. One should also refrain from sinful activities — illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. Out of these four items, illicit sex is very sinful. Every person must get married. Every woman especially must get married. If the women outnumber the men, some men can accept more than one wife. In that way there will be no prostitution in society. If men can marry more than one wife, illicit sex life will be stopped. One can also produce many nice preparations to offer Kṛṣṇa — grain, fruit, flowers and milk. Why should one indulge in unnecessary meat-eating and maintain horrible slaughterhouses? What is the use of smoking and drinking tea and coffee? People are already intoxicated by material enjoyment, and if they indulge in further intoxication, what chance is there for self-realization? Similarly, one should not partake in gambling and unnecessarily agitate the mind. The real purpose of human life is to attain the spiritual platform and return to Godhead. That is the summum bonum of spiritual realization. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to elevate human society to the perfection of life by pursuing the method described by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His advice to the brāhmaṇa Kūrma. That is, one should stay at home, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and preach the instructions of Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Jayapatākā Swami: This purport of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda is giving the purpose of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. That it is not necessary that one leave their material life or leave their family life. Rather they should chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, worship deities in their home and encourage others to also chant. We saw that Lord Caitanya would empower different people with bhakti-śaktī and similarly His representative, the spiritual master will empower people with bhakti-śaktī and in this way they would encourage other people to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is not necessary that one has to leave their family situation, whatever situation you are in, you add Kṛṣṇa and your life will become perfect”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 7.129
kabhu nā bādhibe tomāra viṣaya-taraṅga
punarapi ei ṭhāñi pābe mora saṅga”
Translation: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu further advised the brāhmaṇa Kūrma, “If you follow this instruction, your materialistic life at home will not obstruct your spiritual advancement. Indeed, if you follow these regulative principles, we will again meet here, or, rather, you will never lose My company.”
Purport: This is an opportunity for everyone. If one simply follows the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, under the guidance of His representative, and chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, teaching everyone as far as possible the same principle, the contamination of the materialistic way of life will not even touch him. It does not matter whether one lives in a holy place like Vṛndāvana, Navadvīpa or Jagannātha Purī or in the midst of European cities, where the materialistic way of life is very prominent. If a devotee follows the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he lives in the company of the Lord. Wherever he lives, he converts that place into Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa. This means that materialism cannot touch him. This is the secret of success for one advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Jayapatākā Swami: So the secret to chant every day in your family and to render devotional service, reading Gītā and Śrīmad-bhāgavatam and then encouraging other people to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. In this way one will be protected by Lord Caitanya. So sometimes people asked whether he should be brahmacārī or gṛhastha. We see this from this instruction of Lord Śrī Caitanya and explanation of Śrīla Prabhupāda that one can be in any āśrama but they should continuously chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and engage in following the instruction of Lord Caitanya and thus they will be protected from the materialistic way of life, and their house will be converted into Vṛndāvana or Navadvīpa.
Thus ends the chapter entitled, Lord Caitanya Instructs Kūrma Brāhmaṇa in Kūrmakṣetra.
Transcribed and Verified by JPS Archives team, 14th January 2021