Many popular personalities who tried to eradicate social discrimination, traditional caste system, and untouchability became famous as social reformers in the recent past. They earned a lot of support from the masses but the sad truth is that most of them were atheists, agnostics, or impersonalists who spoiled the entire culture of Sanatan Dharma. In the name of eradicating the vices which tainted Sanatan Dharma and were not part of it, they tried to eradicate Sanatan Dharma itself by propagating their own mundane philosophies based on materialistic philanthropy. In order to end the disease they tried to kill the patient. Their view was, ‘if the patient will die then the disease will also end’. This sheer nonsense should never be appreciated by the pure followers of Sanatan Dharma.
We do not accept any materialistic philanthrope as a Mahajan. For us, exalted devotees like Dhruva, Prahlad, Bhishma, etc., are only Mahajans who delivered mankind from sin and preached (prachar) the message of Godhead by their own exemplary behaviour (achar). The greatest social reformer in the past, present, and future is undoubtedly the most munificent Mahajan Nitai.
nadīyā-godrume nityānanda mahājana
patiyāche nām-hatta jīvera kārana
“In the land of Nadiya, on the island of Godruma, the magnanimous mahajan Nitai has opened up the Marketplace of the Holy Name, meant for the deliverance of all fallen souls.”
Shri Gaurahari confirmed this truth while offering a prayer to Nitai,
nica-jati patita adhama yata jana toma’ haite haila ebe sabara mocana
“All the fallen, wretched, lowborn living entities will now be delivered by Your mercy.” (CB 3.7.41)
Shrila Bhaktisiddhant Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad writes in His commentary to the above verse,
“Nityananda Prabhu delivers all living entities from the conceptions of piety and impiety and superiority and inferiority based on caste by giving them the science of self-realization.”
Nitai brings everyone to the same level, not in bodily terms, but on the highest platform of self-realization and God-realization. Krishna told Arjun that one who has attained self-realization sees everything and everyone with equal vision. This same self-realization and subsequent equal vision was awarded by Nitai to the highest and lowest of the mankind equally. This is what we call a real social reformer.
Nitai accepted prasadam in the houses of the low caste men. He mixed freely with people of all kinds of social backgrounds. At the time when Brahmins used to take a bath in the Ganges upon touching the shadow of an untouchable, Nitai, being a Brahmin Himself, tightly embraced the untouchables in His butter-like long arms and soaked them with His love-filled tears out of burning compassion.
jaya jaya nityananda rohini-kumara
patita uddhara lagi su-bahu pasara
gada gada madhura madhura adha bola
jare dekhe tare preme dhari deya khola
“Glory, glory to Lord Nitai. He is Lord Balarama Himself. To deliver the fallen sinners He extends His two arms. His half words spoken in a choked voice are the sweetest nectar. Whomever He sees He hugs in the ecstasy of spiritual love.”
He not only eradicated all kinds of discrimination on the basis of caste and low birth but also gave them the highest and most confidential attainment of Sanatan Dharm. He picked up the souls from extreme negative and raised them to the level of positive infinity. While other social reformers could only think of bringing them from negative to zero. They could not give them anything which could take them in the positive direction.
All other social reformers could only think of helping those who were fallen by ‘birth’. But Nitai is factually the last limit of mercy as He even delivered those who were not only fallen by ‘birth’ but also fallen by ‘deeds’. No other social reformer thought of doing welfare activity for the sinful people. It was only Nitai who reformed the gross sinners and converted them also into worshipable Mahajans. The most astonishing thing is that, such a personality like Nitai is nowhere mentioned in any list of social reformers. In one sense, it is good also. We don’t want Nitai to be counted among the so-called mundane godless reformers who could do no lasting welfare activity for the fallen souls. We hope one day people will wake up from their deep slumber of ignorance and realize that nobody was, is and will be, a greater social reformer than Nitai.
Worthless disciple of Shrila Nitaipreshthji,