(The audio recording was very poor so please bear with me)
They were very rich, they had their own army, they had cheated the government on tax collection keeping extra amounts themselves. Raghunath das although he had everything, he had a beautiful wife, he had money, he had everything material. But the only thing he wanted was to be with Lord Caitanya. So he even approached Lord Caitanya and asked Him whether he could join Him. But Lord Caitanya said, don’t be a marakata vairagya, a monkey renunciant. Monkeys look very austere but actually they are sex enjoyers. So He said, keep your kind on Krishna, just like a wife has a lover other than her husband, then she will do her household duties very carefully so that she won’t be caught. But her mind is always with her lover. Like that, you do your business very efficiently but you keep your mind on Krishna. So Lord Caitanya did not accept him. For one year, he did what Lord Caitanya said. It is a long story and is in the Caitanya Caritamrita. One minister from the government raided them and the two brothers ran but they caught Raghunath das. He was not responsible and they were afraid to do anything because his caste was a kaayastha. So somehow he negotiated and the brothers were released and got the matter settled. Any way this is a long story.
And then something inspired him and he crossed the river and went to Panihati. There Lord Nityananda was seated under a banyan tree surrounded by his senior disciples and some distinguished gentlemen of the village. And then the secretary pointed out to Nityananda and said, there is Raghunath das. He is offering his obeisances. So Nityananda who was by nature very humorous. He said, ah, here I am going to get you a punishment. You have been hiding like a thief. So come here, I will punish you. So Raghunath das offered his prostrate obeisances and Lord Nityananda got up and touched his head with His lotus feet. And your punishment is that you will have to feed all of My associates mangoes, yogurt, flat rice and fresh fruits. Haribol! Raghunath das said that was not a problem because he was rich and flat rice was cheap. But he got so much mercy, it is described how he mixed all the chida dahi and fruits and he also mixed condensed milk and fruits and somehow Lord Nityananda had seven flavors, we don’t know what the other flavors were. But there were seven pots and the followers of Nityananda increased exponentially. Pretty soon the whole field was filled with people and then people did not have place to stand on land, they were standing in the Ganges up to the knees in water. Everywhere, they were all standing and getting their two pots of yogurt and condensed milk. And the only world that went around was Haribol! Haribol! Haribol! Haribol!
Lord Nityananda brought Lord Caitanya from south India through His meditation. And so for Lord Caitanya there was also an asana, there were pots. So He also ate. Lord Nityananda went into the crowd and started taking from the devotees’ pots. He took some and gave it to Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya took some and fed Lord Nityananda. Nobody could see this but a rare few. So in this way Raghav Pandit came and announced that lunch is ready, and Nitai said I am a cowherd boy I will take lunch much later. He said, sit down, have some chida dahi. Haribol! Haribol! Haribol!
So like this Raghunath das fed all the people. Since then every year there is no advertisement, no sign boards but everybody comes in and want to be part of that Dhanda Mahotsav. So then we also want. We had a lorry of chipped rice, yogurt and sweet things. But the police stopped us and said you cannot go there, there are so many people. And it was packed with hundred to two hundred thousand people and they did not know what to do. And then it started to rain. And then everybody got off the road. So they ran to the banyan trees. Then we had the Nitai Gaur deities on our boat. And then they all came and then they started chanting, Nitai Gaur eshe che, eshe che eshe che – Nitai Gaur, They have come, They have come! Everybody was going wild. Then we sent a devotee out with clay pots to distribute and then we saw a whole lot of people jump on him! They ended up pulling up his legs with the empty clay pot. So we said this is not the way to distribute and somebody climbed up the tree and it started getting into complicated routes, they wanted some cida dahi. Any way that was our first experience. Now HH Bhakti Caru Swami and his disciples have arranged that the people come in a queue and get the pots.
After the festival was over, they all went to Raghav Pandit’s house and then somebody told Raghunath das, you really got all the mercy! Lord Nityananda accepted your offering, He brought Lord Caitanya, all the devotees took, you are truly blessed! So he gave some money to the secretary and he said distribute this to the caretakers of Lord Nityananda in lieu of their responsibilities. So some got more and some got less. There are many other details.
But this chanting Hare Krishna is non-different from the Lord. We are happy to see devotees who have come from the Kurukshetra area and they are chanting Hare Krishna so enthusiastically. We are very happy that all the devotees are utilizing their energy for chanting. This chanting produces similar results that we get by directly associating with the Lord. This chanting of Hare Krishna and singing have been the teaching of Srila Prabhupad and they is very important. So I hope we have a nice chida dahi festival. Why is it they call the festival a punishment? It is all bliss! What was the mistake of Raghunath das? (A devotee answered, he directly approached Lord Caitanya without going through Lord Nityananda). Yes, if we get Lord Nityananda’s mercy, we get the mercy of Lord Caitanya. If we get Lord Caitanya’s mercy we get the mercy of Radha Madhav. So we know that Srila Prabhupad is very dear to Lord Nitai, and Radha Madhav and by his mercy we can get the mercy of Lord Nitai. People wear their neck ties and I told them put it on your knee and it is ‘knee tie’ meaning Nitai. Haribol! Nitai! Nitai! Gauranga!
(We want to enjoy the punishment first – devotee said!)
Also so see you later! Hare Krishna!
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari dd
25 June 2018