The Most Merciful Lord Nityananda

Saturday February 7, 2009 is the appearance day of Lord Nityananda, the eternal associate and expansion of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Nityananda (Nitai) is none other than Shri Balarama, while Lord Chaitanya (Gaura) is Shri Krishna himself in the mood of his greatest devotee. Krishna and Balarama appeared on this planet 5,000 years ago, while Lord Chaitanya and Nitai appeared 500 years ago. Lord Gaura and Nitai are amazingly, and unlimitedly merciful forms of God, who have come to Earth to deliver the especially fallen souls (i.e, us!) living in the current time of quarrel and hypocrisy or Kali-yuga . Their lila (divine activities) are very deep and confidential and only the fortunate can enter into them or describe them--we will pray to do our best.

”I offer my respectful obeisances unto Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda [West Bengal] to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.” [Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila 1.2]

For the people of the Western world the many descriptions in the Vedas and their commentaries about the innumerable forms and expansions of God can be rather overwhelming and bewildering. This is partly due to having grown up with only one aspect of God in Islam, Judaism, or Christianity. Of course in Christianity there is also the conception of the Trinity, although it is not very well understood.

Our guru, Shrila Prabhupada referred to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Godhead which generally refers to the nature of God, or the Holy Trinity in the West. However, it could imply other forms or aspects of the one spiritual substance of “Godhead”, which is how I think Prabhupada is using it. Although God is one, he is unlimited and inexhaustible, omnipresent and omnipotent, and we could add for our discussion, "omni-formed".

Admitting our possible prejudice against God having many forms, let us look at the subject with an open mind, accepting at least the possibility. Even the idea of God having any form (which is thought as limiting) is difficult for many to accept, but unlimited forms? Why not? If God can do anything for his Divine purpose, why can’t he have or be one spiritual substance with diversity? And could his spiritual diversity have different aspects or forms? Although our material body is limiting, why does a spiritual form have to be a limitation?

We are a limited living being and we have many sub-personalities and sides of our nature, and people know us variously as well, so why not God? This is one way to understand the different expansions, forms and energies of God. If you are resistant to the idea, certainly you won’t be convinced by one blog or essay—and I am no scholar—yet you can know that some of the greatest philosophers of all time (although generally unknown) have argued convincingly about this subject of a personal God with many expansions, forms or incarnations to serve his divine will.

The Bhagavad-gita, and even more so, the Shrimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita are meant for spiritually inclined thoughtful people who want to understand the truth from different angles of vision—and there are unlimited angles and perspectives of the One Supreme Truth. It is helpful to have a philosophical mind for understand the Krishna conscious philosophy—but not just material reasoning power alone.

This spiritual knowledge is simple for the open-heartedly simple, and difficult for the overly complex. Ultimately we will understand the Absolute Truth in its great complexity through a devoted, loving heart and not just by having a big brain. A devoted heart will incline the Sweet Absolute Shri Krishna and Balarama, or Shri Gaura and Nitai, to allow us to enter into their spiritual mysteries. Then all apparent contradictions will be solved through the logic of love.

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (the greatest master) is considered the most merciful incarnation of God because although the population today is considered spiritually unfit compared to previous ages, he is distributing the most profound and sublime gift of love of Krishna. We would expect the greatest gift to be given to the most qualified, but in the mood of causeless mercy, Lord Chaitanya and Nitai are giving the greatest spiritual love to the most unqualified in the most spiritual deficient age.

"Let me surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Krsna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the most merciful Personality of Godhead. He delivers those souls who are merged in ignorance and offers them the highest gift, love of Krishna, and thus makes them mad for Krishna consciousness." [Govinda-lilamrta (1.2) by Shrila Rupa Gosvami]

Lord Nityananda is considered an extension of the mercy of Shri Chaitanya, and in that way even more merciful. According the scripture Chaitanya Bhagavat, Shri Chaitanya gave prema or love of Godhead to those who wanted that love, while Shri Nityananda gave this love to those that were reluctant to accept it.

I hope your appetite as been wetted to find our more about the great merciful Lord Nitai! If it hasn’t yet here is a prayer by the pioneer of the Krishna consciousness movement in the modern world, Shrila Bhaktivinode, entitled, “Madhur e harinam” or “The Holy Name is so Sweet.”

“Shri Shri Gaura-Nitai are so wonderfully merciful. They brought this harinama [the holy names] from Goloka-Vrndavana [the spiritual world]. Golokera prema-dhana hari-nama sankirtana. It doesn't belong to this material world. Shri Shri Gaura-Nitai brought it here because they are so wonderfully merciful.”
“Who is the custodian of nam-hatta?”
“ Shri Nitai!”
“Nama-hatta means market-place. A market-place where the name is sold and purchased. What is the price?
The price is unflinching faith. He who has strong faith, unflinching faith in the Holy Name and faith in the words of sadhu[holy person], sastra [scripture], Shri Guru and Shri Krishna, only he can purchase it. The market is always eternally open.

“hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare re
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare re

“Shri Nitai is more merciful than Shriman Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Shri Gaurasundara is wonderfully merciful. Shri Nitai is more merciful than Shri Gaurasundara. Shri Nitai is so merciful, He saw that the jivas [conditioned souls] have been suffering here, drowning in this ocean of materialistic existence from time immemorial. His heart bleeds, so Shri Nitai felt love, affection and compassion for them. He became sympathetic for the suffering souls, so He brought the Holy Name from Shri Vrajabhumi for those Kali-yuga people.

“”Lord Sivaji with His five faces is chanting this madhura e harinama; this is so sweet this harinama! Lord Brahma chants this Shri- nama with His four faces, because it is so sweet!
Sri Narada Muni sings this Holy Name with his stringed instrument,

“ “hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare”

“”All are chanting because it is so sweet!
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "By only obtaining the namabhasa stage [clearing stage], Ajamila, a greatly sinful person was delivered. All his sinful reactions were destroyed, then at last he went to Vaikuntha!" So Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "Just chant this Name, utter this Holy Name and go to Sri Vrajabhumi.[the land of Radha and Krishna]"

Combined comments from old site

Tue, 02/10/2009 - 05:33 — dru
The most merciful Nitai..

Hare Krsna,

Thank you prabhu for this beautiful post.. I have nothing more to add than just telling the people coming to this blog, that Nitai is the most merciful, and when he showers the mercy one can feel it, and tears of joy will roll out and an ecstatic feeling of being blessed and blissful is felt..only by his mercy one can relish the names of Krsna.

Jai Gaura-Nitai.
Hari Hari..

Sat, 02/07/2009 - 17:52 — Nitya Navina Das

Hare Krishna Prabhu,
AS always i enjoyed reading the post. Its a befitting way to end my day on Nityananda Trayodasi which has been an unforgettable one filled with hearing the glories of Nityananda, singing Kirtans glorifying Him and getting to know Him.
Thank you.

Fri, 02/06/2009 - 14:53 — Karnamrita.das
Prayer Glorifying Lord Nitai

Here are the first 3 prayers of eight, called Sri-Nityanandastaka by Shrila Vrndavana dasa Thakura:

"Shri Nityananda Prabhu's face is more beautiful and cooling than the autumnal moon. The effulgence coming out from His body is supremely beautiful. He always moves like a mad elephant, since He is always intoxicated with Krishna-prema. He is always mad after Krishna-prema. His body is completely pure spiritual energy. He always has a smiling face. His eyes are very fickle, moving to and fro. His lotus hand always holds a glowing staff. Yes, that is Shri Nityananda, who by the beating of that staff, destroys all our reactions of Kali-yuga. We should take shelter of Shri Nityananda and cry for the mercy of Shri Nityananda! He is the root of Krishna-prema bhakti-kalpa-taru, the root of the tree of loving devotion unto Krishna. I do my bhajana of Lord Nityananda, the very root of the krsna-bhakti-vrksa."

"Shri Nityananda Prabhu is the reservoir of all transcendental mellows. He is the life and soul of all the devotees. Nobody can compare to Him in all the three planetary systems. He is very dear to one and all. He is the beloved husband of Sri Vasudha and Sri Jahnava. He is always in an ecstatic mood of love! Always maddened and intoxicated with that mellow of love, Krishna-prema. He is unknown to crooked and evil-minded persons. I do my bhajana of Lord Nityananda, the very root of the krsna-bhakti-vrksa [tree of devotion to Krishna]."

"Lord Nityananda is very dear to Shriman Gauranga Mahaprabhu. He always does good to the whole universe. He is always supremely blissful. He is the embodiment of supreme happiness and blissfulness. He comes to this material world in this Kali-yuga to deliver the sinful persons. There is no limit to His mercy. He constantly does nama-sankirtana, destroying the pride of this dreadful ocean of material existence. I do my bhajana of Lord Nityananda, the very root of the krsna-bhakti-vrksa."


Fri, 02/06/2009 - 17:58 — abrennan
The remaining 5 verses

Here are the remaining five verses. I got them from the daily email sent our by Guru, Sankarshan Das Adhikari. They appear to be from a different translation but the meaning is clear.

In his email Sankarshan Maharaj says: "To meditate on these prayers bestows the highest benefit, especially on this most auspicious appearance day of Lord Nityananda."

Today is the most auspicious appearance day of Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda is Balarama, the brother of Lord Krishna who descended when Krishna appeared as Lord Caitanya to assist Lord Caitanya in His pastimes of delivering the fallen, conditioned souls of this world. He is most merciful upon those who are sinful, and bestows transcendental bliss upon those who sincerely beg Him for it. A great Vaisnava Acharya, Vrindavan Das Thakur has written eight beautiful prayers describing the glories of Lord Nityananda. To meditate on these prayers bestows the highest benefit, especially on this most auspicious appearance day of Lord Nityananda

Glorifying Lord Nityananda
By Vrindavan Das Thakur

I worship Lord Nityananda, the unlimited root of the tree of devotional service. He spoke to Lord Caitanya saying, "O, brother! The people will become infected with all the sins of Kali-yuga. How will they be able to atone for these sins? Please give them some way by which they can easily approach You."

I worship Lord Nityananda, the unlimited root of the tree of devotional service. He went to each and every house and raised His arms saying, "O, brothers! If you will, please constantly chant the holy name of Lord Hari! If you do this, you will become free from the ocean of birth and death in the material world. Please give this gift of your liberation to Me."

I worship Lord Nityananda, the unlimited root of the tree of devotional service. He is like Agastya Muni who forcibly swallows the ocean of material existence, and He is the rising full moon which is the friend of the lotus flowers and which increases the ocean, which is the welfare of the saintly devotees. He is the blazing sun which removes the darkness which is the community of demons.

I worship Lord Nityananda, the unlimited root of the tree of devotional service. He traveled on every path singing and dancing and repeating, "Hari! Hari!" Without considering His own interests, He was merciful to the people and he gave them His merciful side long glance.

I worship Lord Nityananda, the unlimited root of the tree of devotional service. He held the beautiful lotus hand of His brother, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when They glanced at each others faces, Their hearts became full of transcendental bliss. They wandered through the towns of Bengal and delighted the people there.

These eight verses glorifying Lord Nityananda are the abode of the mellows of devotional service and they are the wealth of the pure devotees expert at relishing these mellows. These verses are very excellent, transcendental, and unprecedented. May the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda continually appear in the hearts of those who read these verses and These verses are very excellent, transcendental, and unprecedented. May the two lotus feet of Lord Nityananda continually appear in the hearts of those who read these verses and remember the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Mon, 02/09/2009 - 22:28 — DBB

Hare Krishna!!!

How wonderful!!

Karnamrita prabhu, that was wonderful peice of writing. And Abrenan Prabhu, thank you so much for additional contribution.

I wish I read them on Saturday!