When someone leaves his body in the Dhams, he attains the highest destination as kripa-siddhi. How merciful! Who is behind all this? It is Nitai only, the most-caring father of all conditioned souls, who manifests in the form of the Dhams. He is the one who gives solace in the form of the Dhams. He is the one who gives protection in the form of the Dhams. He is the one who gives everyone a chance to attain kripa-siddhi by leaving the body in the Dhams. Who else can think so much about us? How can we be so ungrateful? How can we not realize and feel gratitude for Nitai’s supreme mercy in the form of the Dhams? निताइ
King Prataparudra wanted to meet Gauranga Mahaprabhu desperately. But Mahaprabhu was adamant not to meet a king as He was playing the role of a Sannyasi. Prataparudra became so desperate that he was going to give up his kingdom and become a mendicant. He had lost all hopes of meeting Mahaprabhu. He felt completely dejected.
“The Lord has descended just to deliver all kinds of sinful, lowborn persons. He has even delivered sinners like Jagai and Madhai. But it seems that He has made a promise to deliver the entire universe with the exception of someone named Prataparudra. He may have sworn not to see me, but I have sworn to give up my life if I cannot see Him. Without Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy, my life and kingdom are worthless.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita 2.11.45-6, 48-9)
At this point, Nitai came to his rescue. Our Doyal Nitai is an expert in rescuing everyone.
Nitai requested Mahaprabhu to give His used loincloth (bahirvasa) to Prataparudra. Mahaprabhu agreed and Nitai asked Govinda for the loincloth and sent it to the King via Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. Prataparudra was overjoyed to receive the cloth and he began to worship it as though it were the Lord Himself.
This is a very deep Lila of Nitai. Nitai knew that without adequately worshipping Him, King Prataparudra will not be able to attain the lotus feet of Gaurasundar. That is why He made this arrangement.
“He (Nitai) serves Lord Krishna, assuming all the following forms: umbrella, slippers, bedding, pillow, garments, resting chair, residence, sacred thread and throne.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 5.123)
We know that the garments of Gaur-Krishna are non-different from Nitai. He sent Himself to Prataparudra so that after worshipping Nitai (in the form of the loincloth of Gaur) the king becomes qualified to attain Gaur-Krishna’s direct audience. Can anyone imagine to what extent Nitai goes to unite the Jivas with the Supreme Lord? Can anyone bypass His mercy and worship and directly seek the audience of Gaur-Krishna? Simply not possible!
Worthless disciple of Shrila Nitaipreshthji,
Nitai is very merciful. We say this all the time. We hear this all the time. We have read it so many times that Nitai is very merciful, Nitai is so merciful. But now we say it very casually that Nitai is very merciful but can we really fathom the depth of His mercy? He is an ocean of mercy and when we try to ponder upon His merciful nature, we have no other option but to surrender. His mercy is so overwhelming. When we start feeling His mercy, I mean even a small small fraction of it, He is an ocean of mercy. You can never fathom, you can just say He is very merciful, but you cannot exactly define the word ‘very’ here. The word ‘very’ is very limited. It describes Nitai’s mercy in a very limited way.
So we can just keep on thinking and contemplating within your mind and heart about the mercy of Nitai. The depth because He is an Ocean of Mercy. karuna sindhu. And the more you take shelter of His name, the more you chant His name, you sing His name aloud in kirtana, you do Nitai Namlekhan, the more you realise how deep the ocean of mercy He is. How deep it is. You can actually enter the ocean, go deeper and deeper and you’ll be more surprised at every moment. You will realise His merciful nature with much more clarity.
In the beginning its just an abstract concept for you. It is very vague that yes yes, He is very merciful. The more you take shelter of His name, the more you realise His true.. the true nature of Nitai comes out from the name and you start getting overwhelmed. You get surprised and tears also start falling from your eyes because it is very natural because such kind of mercy is completely inconceivable. It is incomprehensible. Nobody can understand it. Nobody can conceive it. Nobody can even think of it, the kind of mercy Nitai possesses, bestows upon the fallen souls. The more you realise it, the more you will be overwhelmed and the more you will be attracted to Nitai, the more you will surrender to Nitai. You will take His shelter.
nitai-pada sada koro asa
narottama boro dukhi,
nitai more koro sukhi
rakho ranga-caranera pasa
So just like we say Krishna is rasaraj, He is an ocean of Rasa. We say it very casually but the more a devotee realises that, the more one falls in love with Krishna. The more he realises the rasa, the madhurya of Krishna. Similarly we say Nitai is karuna sindhu, He is an ocean of mercy but just saying is not enough, when you start realising that how merciful He actually is then that mercy attracts you so much that you fully surrender to Nitai. You realise that no one is going to actually deliver you other than Nitai. There is no other gati for you other than Nitai.
nitai charana vina nāhiko ashraya
There is no other shelter. So that is why just philosophy is not enough, practice is very important. When you actually take shelter of His name through Nitai Namlekhan, you practice it. Sadhana is also very important. You do Nitai kirtana, you practice then the philosophy becomes alive. Simply by understanding philosophy, by reading articles and posts or just knowing that Nitai is very merciful is… you know, that is also good but that is not enough. We have to practically realise that and for that you need to practice, you have to do sadhana. And you have to please the Nitai Bhaktas.
So philosophy alone won’t help you so much. You have to accompany it with practice also. Very important. And then you will see that philosophy helps practice and practice helps you to understand philosophy in a better way. They both are complementing each other. Philosophy improves practice and practice improves our philosophical understanding.
In the realm of devotional service (Bhakti) if you try to become too practical then you’ll never become ideal. However, if you try to become ideal then the Lord makes everything practical. So go beyond what is practical and embrace what is ideal fearlessly. People may misunderstand idealism but the Lord understands it very well and even appreciates it.
The most striking quality of Krishna is that He is bhakta-vatsal. And the most striking quality of Nitai is that He is abhakta-vatsal too. Krishna has a lot of Vatsalya for his surrendered devotees. But Nitai has immense Vatsalya for all living entities. Uttam adham kichu na kare vichar.
Harinam Japa is a thread to bind Krishna. Harinam Kirtan is a rope to bind Krishna. But where is Krishna? First He needs to come in your heart then only you can bind Him with your thread or rope. What brings Krishna in your heart in the first place? Nitai’s name. (Avashya paibe Krishnachandra sei jane) Therefore, Nitainam Lekhan ki Jaya!
Pearls of the ocean can’t be obtained simply by standing on the shore. One has to muster courage and dive deep. No pain no gain! Hare Krishna!
If you can’t make this extremely difficult move but still aspire for pearls then simply put your faith in Nitai and He will get the pearls for you. No pain still gain. Joy Nitai!
(Self-advice) Either with closed or open eyes, just try to see the most merciful syllables of निताइ‘s name and nothing else. Don’t engage your eyes in seeing any other beautiful object, person, or scene. Otherwise you won’t be able to see the syllables of Nitai Nam clearly. It is up to you now. What do you really want to see?
anakūla pāya jāhā
swīkāra koroye tāhā
So Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur in his bhajana śuddha-bhakata-caraṇa-reṇu, he writes this concluding statement. kṛṣṇa-bhajane, anakūla pāya jāhā. Whatever he finds favorable to Krishna bhajan, everyday prati-dibase, parama-sukhe, with the greatest happiness, he accepts all those activities which are favorable to his bhajana, which are favorable to his bhakti. This is very important. For a devotee, the only goal is to enhance his bhajana quantitatively and qualitatively. The sadhna, bhakti, the seva everything should increase in terms of quantity and in terms of quality. Whatever you find favorable, you get smarana by doing Nitainam Lekhan, by doing Nitai Kirtana, hearing and reading, chanting, association, then do all these things with the greatest happiness. This is the only activity in which you should spend all your time.
Always remain engaged, especially when you are not in dhama, then you cannot waste a single moment, because you are unprotected. If you give up your body outside dhama and you are not even doing bhajana, smarana, if your consciousness is not fixed in the Lord, then you are in a very risky position. So outside dhama you should be more cautious that you do not waste a single moment. You should be very afraid of death. Any moment it may come and then you will waste this precious human life. In the dhama one is more secure, and in dhama bhajana becomes very easy also. But when you are outside dhama, you must be alert, very conscious. prati-dibase, not even a single day you should compromise with your bhajan, your sadhana, your remembrance, your seva, no compromise, there is no room for that because you are in a very very risky position.
So with great delight, with great happiness, parama-sukhe, you must engage yourself in Krishna bhajana and in everything that leads to quantitative and qualitative enhancement of your bhajana. Accept everything that is favorable and reject everything that is unfavourable, then everyday your bliss will increase in bhajana, you will get more and more steadiness and strength to say no to the temptations of maya because you will be drowning in the bliss. You will be actually getting the higher taste which will allow you to give up the lower taste.
And your nishtha for bhakti, your nishtha for the higher taste will reflect in your words, will be reflected in your acharana, your behavior, and others around you will also be inspired to perform bhakti because they’ll feel that you are getting some higher taste, then they will also start hankering for it. Start aspiring for it. They will also start chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, doing Nitainam Lekhan and kirtana, because they will see you directly in so much bliss, pratyaksha, that they will also get inspired.
āśraya loiyā bhaje, tāre kṛṣṇa nāhi tyaje,
āra saba more akāraṇa
ṭhākura vaiṣṇava pada, avanīra sampada,
śuno bhāi hoiyā eka mana
(Thakur Vaishnava Pada by Srila Narottama Das Thakur)
Srila Narottama Das Thakur has beautifully described the importance of taking shelter of vaishnavas in one’s life. He says that make the lotus feet of vaishnavas as your greatest wealth and treasure. Make them the most cherished assets in your life. And he says śuno bhāi hoiyā eka mana. He says with rapt attention, listen to this thing that āśraya loiyā bhaje, tāre kṛṣṇa nāhi tyaje, that if you are surrendered to a vaishnava, if you are dedicated, you have taken shelter of a vaishnava, vaishnavas, if you are sheltered at the lotus feet of the vaishnavas, then Krishna will never reject you. If you perform Krishna bhajana in the shelter of the vaishnavas, then Krishna will not reject you. Even if you make some mistake, Krishna will still, you know consider you as His own because of your love, dedication and surrender for the vaishnavas. So if you do not want to enter the rejected list of Krishna, then never forsake the shelter of vaishnavas. Never try to to worship Krishna independently. Always try to perform Krishna bhakti as humble servants of vaishnavas in their shelter, then you are in a very very safe position. Vaishnavas will always protect you from falling down, from deviating. So its very important to always seek protection and shelter of patita pavana Vaishnava Thakur.