🌿 Are we neglecting the worship of Gaur or Radha Krishna?
🌷 It may be falsely claimed that we are displeasing Nitai by excluding the worship of Gaur by quoting the following verse spoken by Nitai in Chaitanya Bhagavata 2.15.69:
“Anyone who worships Me but does not worship Lord Gauranga, brings pain to Me. Such a person suffers birth after birth.”
In the above verse, Nitai is condemning only those who do not worship Gaur but only worship Him with no faith in Gaur.
🌷1. Let us first of all see how Gaur is worshipped. As per Jaiva Dharma by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakuar:
“Vrajanatha: Since Shri Gauranga is the original complete Absolute Truth, how should one worship Him?
Babaji: As one worships Lord Krishna by chanting the name and mantra of Lord Krishna, so one should worship Lord Gaur by chanting the name and mantra of Gauranga. One may worship Lord Gaur by chanting Krishna-mantras, or for that matter one may worship Lord Krishna by chanting Gaur-mantras. They are all the same. Anyone who thinks Lord Krishna and Lord Gaura are different is a fool. He is a servant of Kali-yuga.”
Presently, the standard for initiation in our Sadhu Maharaj Sanga is to do Nitailekhan and Hare Krishna Mahamantra chanting. You may object that as Gauranga’s Name is no longer being airwritten or chanted in japa, we have left out the worship of Gaur. As per the above quote from Jaiva Dharma, it is quite clear that one may worship Gaur by chanting Krishna’s mantra (krishna-mantre gaurapuja va gaura-mantre krishnapuja-sakalai eka).
So, Gaur’s worship is possible by the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra as authorized by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. Thus, nobody can say that we are worshipping only Nitai and not Gaur because we are diligently following Gaur’s most important order to chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Also, we are worshiping Radha Krishna in the topmost way by the japa and kirtan of the Hare Krishna mahamantra.
🌷2. Nitai gets extremely displeased with those who perceive Him as independent of Gaur. That can be so displeasing to Nitai that He may curse someone to suffer birth after birth for that. We know that there were sects in Bengal who used to worship Nitai, Gaur, or even Advaita as separate Gods without paying attention to the relation they had with each other.
However, we perceive Nitai as the topmost servant of Gaur and His dearmost associate and brother. Nitai is our Prabhu and Gaur is Nitai’s Prabhu. As long as we have this understanding of Vrindavana das Thakura in Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.17.153, there is no problem at all.
amara prabhura prabhu shri gaurasundara
e bada bharasa citte dhari nirantara
Nitai will never mind if we worship Him more as long as we accept in our heart that Nitai is Gaur’s dearmost servant and serves Gaur in many ways. Remembering Nitai means remembering Gaur and Radha Krishna as stated in Chaitanya Bhagavata. When we perceive Nitai as Gauranga’s topmost servant then Nitai is happy. And when we airwrite निताइ and sing His Name then Gaur is happy.
Thus, we are making both the Brothers happy. We know that Nitai is the Adi-Guru, the Guru of all Gurus. if He gets displeased with anyone then that devotee cannot advance an inch in devotion. In fact, one will lose whatever Bhakti one has. (yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi).
However, our devotees are showing contrary results by getting more and more realizations, taste, and bliss in devotional service and harinam. And as Shrila Prabhupada says, phalena paricīyate: one’s success or defeat in any activity is understood by its result. Therefore, it is a certain truth that Nitai is not at all displeased with us.
It is also important to remember that if one displeases Gaur, one can be forgiven by Nitai’s worship but if one displeases Nitai then even Gaur’s worship does not help, as stated by Shrila Jiva to Lord Nitai in Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya 4.34,35:
shata janma bhaje yadi gauranga hiyaya.“Even if someone worships Gauranga whole-heartedly for a hundreds births, without Your
mercy Nitai, they will never attain Him.”
gaura danda kare yadi tumi raksha kara,
tumi jare danda kara gaura tara para.
“If Gauranga wishes to punish someone, Nitai, You always protect that person. But, if You punish someone, the person will go away from Gauranga eternally.”
🌷3. Another point to note is that our philosophy is not to worship only Nitai. We simply try to focus more on Nitai so that attainment of Gaur Radha Krishna becomes a greater reality. Focussing more on Nitai does not exclude the bhajan of Gaur Radha Krishna.
It is known that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is worshipped by sankirtana yajna. And we do worship Mahaprabhu by performing daily sankirtana of Gaur nam, Nitai nam, and Hari nam as an offering to Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Additionally, our Guru and Acarya, Shrila Bhaktiratna Sadhu Maharaj, has personally recommended many a times to remember Gauranga even while singing or chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
🌷4. It was Shrila Bhaktiratna Sadhu Maharaj who established and advocated the chanting of the Gaura Gopala Mantra – “Gauranga”, which is composed of four syllables for the first time so openly in this world. It is due to his untiring efforts that many devotees all over the world have felt attracted to Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
He had published Chaitanya Bhagavat (the prominent biography of Nitai Gaur) and distributed it at cost price widely in order to spread the glories of Nitai Gauranga. He has also written and published an explanatory translation of Chaitanya Chandramrita (a book that contains the exclusive glories of Gaur) and the first chapter of Navadvip Dhama Mahatmaya (a book that contains the glories of Gaur’s Abode).
You can read them here:
Shri Chaitanya Chandramrita
Shri Navadvipa Dham Mahatmaya
Moreover, he published small booklets containing the 100 Names of Gaur and Scriptural Evidences in support of Gaur’s Godhood. For more than a decade, He has been taking devotees on Navadvipa Parikrama, many a times throughout the year.
Even today, our preachers all over the world are spreading the glories of Gaur by establishing that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead on the basis of the Vedic Scriptures. How can anyone claim that we are worshiping only Nitai and not Gaur? Can’t they understand how much Nitai must be pleased with all these efforts to glorify Gaur?
🌷5. Shrila Bhaktiratna Sadhu Maharaj has never stopped anyone from worshiping Gauranga through His name and has no intention to ever do so. In fact, He Himself is very pained by those who stop others from chanting the holy names of Nityananda and Gauranga.
He has written, “Even if they are devotees, I will never forgive deep within my heart, those who discourage or stop others from chanting the names of Nityananda and Gauranga or from airwriting निताइ, along with Hari nam, because they mercilessly strip those souls from the only chance to offenselessly chant Hari nam, simply by giving the excuse of the Panch-tattva mantra, which is a prayer not a mantra for chanting like Nitai nam and Gaur Nam.”
Therefore, even though the present standard for aspiring disciples and followers is to do Nitailekhan and chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, still many of the disciples continue to chant Gaur’s Name and will continue to do that in future as well without any hindrance.
🌷6. Please read these verses from Sri Chaitanya Charitamrit,
kālā-kṛṣṇadāsa baḍa vaiṣṇava-pradhāna
nityānanda-candra vinu nahi jāne āna
(CC Adi 11.37)
“The twenty-second devotee of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu was Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa, who was the ninth cowherd boy. He was a first-class Vaiṣṇava and did not know anything beyond Nityānanda Prabhu.”
hoḍa kṛṣṇadāsa — nityānanda-prabhu-prāṇa
nityānanda-pada vinu nāhi jāne āna
(CC Adi 11.47)
“The thirty-sixth devotee of Lord Nityānanda was Hoḍa Kṛṣṇadāsa, whose life and soul was Nityānanda Prabhu. He was always dedicated to the lotus feet of Nityānanda, and he knew no one else but Him.”
In these verses it is clearly mentioned that these two associates of Nitai knew no one but Nitai. They were exclusively devoted to Nitai. Do you think Nitai was displeased with them? Do you think Nitai will make them suffer birth after birth?
Let us summarize. The verse quoted in the beginning from Chaitanya Bhagavata can never be even remotely applicable to us because of our staunch faith and regard for Lord Gauranga.
In fact, the basic reason for emphasizing more on Nitai is to WIN THE HEART OF GAUR as it is the shortest and surest way to do so. This stress on Nitai’s Name and Glories was an offering by Shrila Bhaktiratna Sadhu to Lord Gauranga on His Appearance Day (Gaur Purnima, 2015). Offerings are given to those whom we adore and whom we wish to please.
He wrote this on that day, “I promise to Gaur today on His appearance day that I will try to spread the airwriting, singing, and chanting of Nitai’s name even more vigorously than before since it the only hope for the rebellious conditioned souls to become favourable towards Nitai Gaur and Radha Krishna bhakti according to all our beloved acharyas.”
Worthless disciple of Shrila Bhaktiratna Sadhu Maharaj,