Sunday, 11 March 2012
The History Of Vaishnava Heritage Part-9(A)
What I want to do in today's class is to first consider Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's prediction. Five hundred years ago, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made a rather impossible prediction that the Krishna consciousness movement would spread in every town and village all over the world. If we consider the impossibility of this prediction, first of all we have to consider that what to speak of "every town and village", people did not even know how many continents there were on this earth because that prediction was made before Columbus discovered America. People did not even know that a continent called America or Australia existed. At a time like that, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu made that prediction. Then, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's movement went through an ominous period. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's dham also was lost. People used to think that Navadwipa was the other side of the river Ganges. They, out of their unscrupulous arrangements, pointed out that "this is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's birthplace. This is Vishnupriya Devi's father's house." They actually created another Navadwipa, so Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's dhama disappeared. Soon after Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's disappearance from this planet, His dham also disappeared and gradually, His teachings also disappeared. In the name of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings, all kinds of unscrupulous people started to introduce their own mental concoctions. They did not have the acceptance that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Srimati Radharani is the personification of His pleasure potency. Actually these people were illiterate people just village people without any education or understanding. They just heard about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings and Krishna's pastimes and they started to imitate those pastimes. Different sampradayas developed. The understanding was that the males used to think that they were Krishna and they would find some woman to become Radha. What goes on after that there is no need to elaborate. As a result of that, the intelligent class of people with refined natures stayed away from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. and thought, "If this is Mahaprabhu's teachings; we do not want to have anything to do with this. As a result of that, Mahaprabhu became practically oblivious from the educated, intelligent community. We have to remember that in those days, the books describing Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings and divine teachings, like Caitanya Caritamrita, Caitanya Bhagavat, Bhakti Ratnakara, the writings of the Goswamis, etc, were not available. When practically Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings were lost and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's dham disappeared from our eyes, at a time like that, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sent Bhaktivinoda Thakur. Bhaktivinoda Thakur started the revival work of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. It is very interesting to note also that at that time, Bengal was completely under the British domination and very heavily influenced by the British culture. The educated class of people used to consider that the British educational system is the education. They completely rejected the Vedic education, Vedic culture, and Vedic wisdom. As a result of that the Vedic scriptures, which are the Absolute Truth, became myth. That means it is fictitious, never really happened. Instead, they introduced all kinds of fiction and novels. Through British education, they also introduced Christianity. The missionaries came to India in those days and established schools. Along with British education, they used to get a heavy dose of Christian influence. Although they did not practically convert most of them, but in their subconscious, the subtle influence was very prominent. Bhaktivinod Thakur was a product of that culture. He had that education. He also accepted a very responsible position in the British government as Deputy Magistrate. He had a position that every Indian in those days would covet. Bhaktivinod Thakur was such a brilliant personality, that not only the Christians, but also the different religions that were coming up to counter the Christian influence, like Brahma Samaj, they all were trying to get Bhaktivinode Thakur in their hold. But Bhaktivinod Thakur, around that time, came across Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings. He actually got to know about Caitanya Mahaprabhu and as a result of that, he was looking for Caitanya Caritamrita. He heard that Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings and pastimes have been presented in a very brilliant way by Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami in a book called Caitanya Caritamrita. Bhaktivinod Thakur had to literally look around everywhere to get this Caitanya Caritamrita.