Srila Govinda Maharaj Standing

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In honour of the appearance day of Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur today, we are presenting the pranam mantra Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj composed for him, as well as a lecture in which Srila Govinda Maharaj explains the mantra’s meaning.

Temple of Love and Affection Verse Twenty-Eight

dāsa-vṛndāvanaṁ vande kṛṣṇa-dāsa-prabhuṁ tathā
chhannāvatāra-chaitanya-līlā-vistāra-kāriṇau
dvau nityānandapādābja-karuṇāreṇu-bhuṣitau
vyakta-chchhannau budhāchintyau vāvande vyāsa-rūpiṇau

“I offer my obeisance unto Śrīla Vṛndāvan Dās Ṭhākur and Śrīla Kṛṣṇa Dās Kavirāj Goswāmī Prabhu. They are the expounders of the Pastimes of the hidden Avatār, Śrī Chaitanya, and they are adorned with ‘mercy-pollen’ from Nityānanda Prabhu’s lotus feet. I offer my obeisance unto these two forms of Vyāsdev, one of whom is manifest and one of whom is hidden; one of whom is intelligible and one of whom is inconceivable.”

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

When I wrote an introduction to Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat I thought, “Both Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami and Vrindavan Das Thakur are Vedavyas but one is vyakta, manifest, and the other is avyakta, or gudha, confidential. Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami is the vyas of Mahaprabhu’s gudha-lila;  he revealed Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s hidden Pastimes. Vrindavan Das Thakur described Mahaprabhu’s Pastimes in Nabadwip and Jagannath Kshetra; these are His vyakta-lila, public Pastimes.”

Thinking in this way, I composed a pranam mantra for Vrindavan Das Thakur and Kaviraj Goswami. That mantra is my heart’s expression and I am so satisfied with it. It has been revealed by the mercy of Vrindavan Das Thakur and Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. They are so merciful to us.

dāsa-vṛndāvanaṁ vande kṛṣṇa-dāsa-prabhuṁ tathā
chhannāvatāra-chaitanya-līlā-vistāra-kāriṇau
dvau nityānandapādābja-karuṇāreṇu-bhuṣitau
vyakta-chchhannau budhāchintyau vāvande vyāsa-rūpiṇau

When I composed this verse I realised that Vrindavan Das Thakur is the first Vedavyas for Chaitanya-lila but that Chaitanya-lila has two forms, a manifest form and a chhanna, hidden, form. In Srimad Bhagavatam where there is a reference to the Lord’s Avatar in Kali-yuga, the word chhanna is used.

itthaṁ nṛ-tiryag-ṛṣi-deva-jhaṣāvatārair
lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
chhannaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo ’tha sa tvam
    (Srimad Bhagavatam: 7.9.38)

In the Kali-yuga Lord Krishna manifested in a chhanna, hidden, form and tasted Radharani’s supreme mood of devotion. Without that mood, Krishna could not taste Himself fully. For this reason He is called the hidden, chhanna, Avatar. The Lord is called Triyuga is this verse from Srimad Bhagavatam: He who appears in three ages. This is because His Avatar in in Kali-yuga is not openly indicated.

Elsewhere in Srimad Bhagavatam, however, there is an explanation of the Lord’s hidden Avatar.

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ
    (Srimad Bhagavatam: 11.5.32)

“The Lord will always chant the Name ‘Krishna’ and His form will be golden. With His associates, He will propagate the sacrifice of sankirtan to the people in general.”

In this way it is proved in the Scriptures that Krishna appears in the Kali-yuga in a hidden form to distribute Himself.

Srila Rupa Goswami also wrote,

anarpita-charīṁ chirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śachī-nandanaḥ
    (Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 1.4)

“Hari Himself, in a effulgent golden form, is intoxicated with His own Name and distributing to the masses the super-excellent devotional mood, madhura-rasa. He is distributing it to whoever desires it. May that Lord, Sri Sachi Nandan, reveal Himself in your heart.”

Rupa Goswami Prabhu composed this shloka as a blessing to his readers.

Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami is the chhanna-vyas-avatar and Vrindavan Das Thakur is the vyakta-vyas-avatar. This feeling came to me and then I composed my pranam mantra for them. After hearing this verse all the Vaishnavas who are qualified in Sanskrit praised it greatly and blessed me. This is very good for our society. All credit goes to the devotees though. It is necessary to get Mahaprabhu’s devotees’ mercy, then one will understand Mahaprabhu’s divine form and gift. By the devotees’ mercy I am inspired and then I give inspiration to others. Everything is the wealth of the devotees, nothing is my personal wealth.

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