Srila Haridasa Thakura Samadhi

By editor - 6.9 2017

SRILA HARIDASA THAKURA SAMADHI AT SRI JAGANNATHA PURI DHAMA

Srila Haridasa Thakura is an eternally liberated associate of the Lord. The associates of the Lord are worshippable wherever they make their appearance. Just as Garuda appeared as a bird, and Hanuman as a monkey, Haridasa Thakura appeared in a family of Yavanas (Mohammedans). From his very birth he was very deeply devoted to the Holy Names of Sri Krishna. Lord Caitanya appointed him the teacher of the holy name, Namacarya. Every day before taking his one and only meal he finished chanting 192 rounds (3,00,000 names) of Hare Krishna maha-mantra:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare |

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||

Thakura Haridasa was present during most of the Lord Caitanya’s pastimes in Nadia, and when the Lord went to Jagannatha Puri, Haridasa also went and took up residence there. Every day, after attending Lord Jagannatha’s mangala arati, Lord Caitanya would come to see Haridasa Thakura and bring him some of Lord Jagannatha’s prasadam. When Sri Sanatana Goswami and Sri Rupa Goswami would come from Vrindavana to Puri they used to stay with Haridasa Thakura. Haridasa, in order to maintain the etiquette, would not go near Lord Jagannatha’s temple but would offer his obeisances to the Cakra on top of the temple, from a distance. As he was considered to be a Mohammedan by birth, his presence in the temple would be objectionable to those who were caste conscious. He passed away in presence of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Haridasa Thakura’s Samadhi

Srila Haridasa Thakura’s Samadhi is situated in Sri Jagannatha Puri Dhama on the oceanfront in the area of Svargadvara. At the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu this place was just a sandy beach and part of it was used as a crematorium. Here Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu put the body of Srila Haridasa Thakura into samadhi with His own hands. The actual samadhi is seen in the courtyard as a small tomb.

Towards the west of the samadhi there are three altars where deities of Lord Gauranga, Lord Nityananda, and Sri Advaita Acarya are worshipped. After the disappearance of Srila Haridasa Thakura, Lord Caitanya would come here every day after taking bath in the ocean, offer prasada to Haridasa’s samadhi and do nilma-bhajana for some time. Thus all the deities are in a sitting posture and doing nilma-bhajana.

Srila Haridasa Thakura was residing in his bhajana-kutira behind Gambhira, at the place at presently known as Siddha-Bakula. In the assembly of devotees, by Lord Caitanya’s grace, Haridasa Thakur’s life air left his body at this place. As he lay there lifeless, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s spiritual rapture and ecstasy went seemingly beyond control. The entire Kirtan became tumultuous. The mrdanga, kartals, the enthusiasm and the love in the Devotees’ voices cried out Krishna’s Holy Names. Mahaprabhu maddened by His love, lifted up Haridasa and embracing him to His heart began to dance! Lord Caitanya carried Srila Haridasa Thakura’s transcendental body in His hands to the oceanfront in a harinama procession. There his body was placed in the samadhi.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Antya-lila chapter 11 verse 101 states: At Purusottama-ksetra, or Jagannatha Puri, there is a temple of Tota-gopinatha. If one goes from there to the sea, he can discover the tomb of Haridasa Thakura still existing. Every year on the date of Ananta-caturdasi there is a festival to commemorate the passing away of Haridasa Thakura. At the same place, Deities of Nityananda Prabhu, Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Advaita Prabhu were established about one hundred years ago. A gentleman named Bhramaravara from Kendrapada, in the province of Orissa, contributed funds to establish these Deities in the temple. The management of the temple was under the Tota-gopinatha gosvamis.

This temple was later sold to someone else, and this party is now maintaining the seva-puja of the temple. Near this temple and the tomb of Haridasa Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura constructed a small house called the Bhakti-kuti (currently ISKCON Puri temple). In the Bengali year 1329 (A.D. 1922), the Purusottama-matha, a branch of the Gaudiya Matha, was established there. In the Bhakti-ratnakara it is stated: “Srinivasa Thakura quickly ran to the seashore. When he saw the tomb of Haridasa Thakura, he immediately fell down offering prayers and almost fainted. The devotees present there pacified him with very sweet and affectionate words, and Srinivasa again offered his obeisances to the tomb. Hearing of the separation that Srinivasa expressed in his lamentation at the tomb of Haridasa Thakura makes one’s heart melt.”

SRILA HARIDASA THAKURA NIRYANA (departure)

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu refers to the disappearance of Thakura Haridasa as the haridasera vijaya-utsava (“the festival of Haridasa Thakura’s passing away” ) and haridasa-thakurera niryana. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami declares that whoever reads these pastimes will attain strong devotion to the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna.

The following is the translation and purports about the passing of Namacarya Srila Haridasa Thakura from Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Antya lila chapter 11 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

The summary of this chapter is given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya as follows. In this chapter it is described how Brahma Haridasa Thakura gave up his body with the consent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and how the Lord Himself personally performed the funeral ceremony and carried the body to the sea. He personally entombed the body, covered it with sand and erected a platform on the site. After taking a bath in the sea, He personally begged prasadam of Jagannatha from shopkeepers and distributed prasadam to the assembled devotees.

Let me [Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami] offer my respectful obeisances unto Haridasa Thakura and his master Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who danced with the body of Haridasa Thakura on His lap. All glories to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is very merciful and who is very dear to Advaita Acarya and Lord Nityananda! All glories to the master of Srinivasa Thakura! All glories to the master of Haridasa Thakura! All glories to the dear master of Gadadhara Pandita! All glories to the master of the life of Svarupa Damodara! All glories to Lord Sri Caitanya, who is very dear to Kasi Misra! He is the Lord of the life of Jagadananda and the Lord of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. All glories to the transcendental form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead! My dear Lord, kindly give me shelter at Your lotus feet by Your causeless mercy. All glories to Lord Nityananda, who is the life and soul of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! My dear Lord, kindly give me engagement in devotional service at Your lotus feet. All glories to Advaita Acarya, who is treated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as superior due to His age and respectability! Please give me engagement in devotional service at Your lotus feet. All glories to all the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, for the Lord is their life and soul! All of you, kindly bestow devotional service upon me. All glories to Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami and Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, the six Gosvamis of Vrindavana! They are all my masters.

I [Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami] am writing this narration of the pastimes and attributes of the Lord by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. I do not know how to write properly, but I am purifying myself by writing this description. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu thus resided at Jagannatha Puri with His personal devotees and enjoyed the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

 

In the daytime Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu engaged in dancing and chanting and in seeing the temple of Lord Jagannatha. At night, in the company of His most confidential devotees, such as Ramananda Raya and Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, He tasted the nectar of the transcendental mellows of Lord Sri Krishna’s pastimes. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu very happily passed His days in this way at Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri. Feeling separation from Krishna, He exhibited many transcendental symptoms all over His body.

Day after day the symptoms increased, and at night they increased even more. All these symptoms, such as transcendental anxiety, agitation and talking like a madman, were present, just as they are described in the sastras. Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Ramananda Raya, the chief assistants in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, remained with Him both day and night.

One day Govinda, the personal servant of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, went in great jubilation to deliver the remnants of Lord Jagannatha’s food to Haridasa Thakura. When Govinda came to Haridasa, he saw that Haridasa Thakura was lying on his back and chanting his rounds very slowly.

“Please rise and take your maha-prasadam,” Govinda said.

Purport: Haridasa Thakura replied, “Today I shall observe fasting.

Haridasa Thakura said: “I have not finished chanting my regular number of rounds. How, then, can I eat? But you have brought maha-prasadam, and how can I neglect it?”

 

Saying this, he offered prayers to the maha-prasadam, took a little portion, and ate it.

 

Purport: Maha-prasadam is non-different from Krishna. Therefore, instead of eating maha-prasadam, one should honor it. It is said here, karila vandana, “he offered prayers.” When taking maha-prasadam, one should not consider the food ordinary preparations. Prasada means favor. One should consider maha-prasadam a favor of Krishna. As stated by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, krsna bada dayamaya karibare jihva jaya svaprasada-anna dila bhai. Krishna is very kind. In this material world we are all very much attached to tasting various types of food. Therefore, Krishna eats many nice varieties of food and offers the food back to the devotees, so that not only are one’s demands for various tastes satisfied, but by eating prasadam one makes advancement in spiritual life. Therefore, we should never consider ordinary food on an equal level with maha-prasadam.

The next day, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Haridasa’s place and inquired from him, “Haridasa, are you well?” Haridasa offered his obeisances to the Lord and replied, “My body is all right, but my mind and intelligence are not well.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu further inquired from Haridasa, “Can you ascertain what your disease is?”
Haridasa Thakura replied, “My disease is that I cannot complete my rounds.”

Purport: If one cannot complete the fixed number of rounds he is assigned, he should be considered to be in a diseased condition of spiritual life. Srila Haridasa Thakura is called namacarya. Of course, we cannot imitate Haridasa Thakura, but everyone must chant a prescribed number of rounds. In our Krishna consciousness movement we have fixed sixteen rounds as the minimum so that the Westerners will not feel burdened. These sixteen rounds must be chanted, and chanted loudly, so that one can hear himself and others.

“Now that you have become old,” the Lord said, “you may reduce the number of rounds you chant daily. You are already liberated, and therefore you need not follow the regulative principles very strictly.

Purport: Unless one has come to the platform of spontaneous love of God, he must follow the regulative principles. Thakura Haridasa was the living example of how to follow the regulative principles. Similarly, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was also such a living example. In the Sad-gosvamy-astaka it is stated, sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhihkalavasani-krtau. The Gosvamis, especially Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, strictly followed all the regulative principles. The first regulative principle is that one must chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra loudly enough so that he can hear himself, and one must vow to chant a fixed number of rounds. Not only was Raghunatha dasa Gosvami chanting a fixed number of rounds, but he had also taken a vow to bow down many times and offer obeisances to the Lord.

“Your role in this incarnation is to deliver the people in general. You have sufficiently preached the glories of the holy name in this world.”

Purport: Haridasa Thakura is known as namacarya because it is he who preached the glories of chanting hari-nama, the holy name of God. By using the words tomara avatara (“your incarnation”), Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms that Haridasa Thakura is the incarnation of Lord Brahma. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that advanced devotees help the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna in His mission and that such devotees or personal associates incarnate by the will of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord incarnates by His own will, and, by His will, competent devotees also incarnate to help Him in His mission. Haridasa Thakura is thus the incarnation of Lord Brahma, and other devotees are likewise incarnations who help in the prosecution of the Lord’s mission.

The Lord concluded, “Now, therefore, please reduce the fixed number of times you chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.”

        Purport: Haridasa Thakura replied, “Kindly hear my real plea.

Haridasa Thakura said: “I was born in an inferior family, and my body is most abominable. I always engage in low work. Therefore, I am the lowest, most condemned of men. I am unseeable and untouchable, but You have accepted me as Your servant. This means that You have delivered me from a hellish condition and raised me to the Vaikuntha platform. My dear Lord, You are the fully independent Personality of Godhead. You act by Your own free will. You cause the whole world to dance and act as You like. My dear Lord, by Your mercy You have made me dance in many ways. For example, I was offered the sraddha-patra, which should have been offered to first-class brahmanas. I ate from it even though I was born in a family of meat-eaters.”

Purport: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, in his Anubhasya, quotes from the Visnu-smrti in reference to the sraddha-patra.

brahmanapasada hy ete kathitah pankti-dusakah
etan vivarjayed yatnat sraddha-karmani panditah

According to this verse, if one is born in a brahmana family but does not behave according to brahminical standards, he should not be offered the sraddha-patra, which is prasadam offered to the forefathers. Advaita Acarya offered the sraddha-patra to Haridasa Thakura, not to a brahmana who had been born in a brahmana family. Although Haridasa Thakura was born in the family of meat-eaters, because he was an advanced devotee he was shown more respect than a first-class brahmana.

Haridasa Thakura continued: “I have had one desire for a very long time. I think that quite soon, my Lord, You will bring to a close Your pastimes within this material world. I wish that You not show me this closing chapter of Your pastimes. Before that time comes, kindly let my body fall down in Your presence. I wish to catch Your lotus like feet upon my heart and see Your moonlike face. With my tongue I shall chant Your holy name, ‘Sri Krishna Caitanya!’ That is my desire. Kindly let me give up my body in this way. O most merciful Lord, if by Your mercy it is possible, kindly grant my desire. Let this lowborn body fall down before You. You can make possible this perfection of all my desires.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “My dear Haridasa, Krishna is so merciful that He must execute whatever you want. But whatever happiness is Mine is all due to your association. It is not fitting for you to go away and leave Me behind.”

Catching the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Haridasa Thakura said, “My Lord, do not create an illusion! Although I am so fallen, You must certainly show me this mercy! My Lord, there are many respectable personalities, millions of devotees, who are fit to sit on my head. They are all helpful in Your pastimes. My Lord, if an insignificant insect like me dies, what is the loss? If an ant dies, where is the loss to the material world? My Lord, You are always affectionate to Your devotees. I am just an imitation devotee, but nevertheless I wish that You fulfill my desire. That is my expectation.”

Because He had to perform His noon duties, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu got up to leave, but it was settled that the following day, after He saw Lord Jagannatha, He would return to visit Haridasa Thakura. After embracing him, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left to perform His noon duties and went to the sea to take His bath.

The next morning, after visiting the Jagannatha temple, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, accompanied by all His devotees, went hastily to see Haridasa Thakura. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the devotees came before Haridasa Thakura, who offered his respects to the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the Vaisnavas.

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquired, “My dear Haridasa, what is the news?”

        Purport: Haridasa Thakura replied, “My Lord, whatever mercy You can bestow upon me.”

Upon hearing this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately began great congregational chanting in the courtyard. Vakresvara Pandita was the chief dancer. Headed by Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, all the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu surrounded Haridasa Thakura and began congregational chanting.

In front of all the great devotees like Ramananda Raya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to describe the holy attributes of Haridasa Thakura. As He described the transcendental attributes of Haridasa Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu seemed to possess five mouths. The more He described, the more His great happiness increased. After hearing of the transcendental qualities of Haridasa Thakura, all the devotees present were struck with wonder. They all offered their respectful obeisances to the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura.

Haridasa Thakura made Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sit down in front of him, and then he fixed his eyes, like two bumblebees, on the lotus face of the Lord. He held the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on his heart and then took the dust of the feet of all the devotees present and put it on his head. He began to chant the holy name of Sri Krishna Caitanya again and again. As he drank the sweetness of the face of the Lord, tears constantly glided down from his eyes.

While chanting the holy name of Sri Krishna Caitanya, he gave up his air of life and left his body. Seeing the wonderful death of Haridasa Thakura by his own will, which was just like a great mystic yogi’s, everyone remembered the passing away of Bhisma. There was a tumultuous noise as they all chanted the holy names “Hari” and “Krishna.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became overwhelmed with ecstatic love.

The Lord raised the body of Haridasa Thakura and placed it on His lap. Then He began to dance in the courtyard in great ecstatic love. Because of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic love, all the devotees were helpless, and in ecstatic love they also began to dance and chant congregationally.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced for some time, and then Svarupa Damodara Gosvami informed Him of other rituals for the body of Thakura Haridasa. The body of Haridasa Thakura was then raised onto a carrier that resembled an airship and taken to the sea, accompanied by congregational chanting. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced in front of the procession, and Vakresvara Pandita, along with the other devotees, chanted and danced behind Him. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed the body of Haridasa Thakura in the sea and then declared, “From this day on, this sea has become a great pilgrimage site.”

Everyone drank the water that had touched the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura, and then they smeared remnants of Lord Jagannatha’s sandalwood pulp over Haridasa Thakura’s body. After a hole was dug in the sand, the body of Haridasa Thakura was placed into it. Remnants from Lord Jagannatha, such as His silken ropes, sandalwood pulp, food and cloth, were placed on the body. All around the body, the devotees performed congregational chanting, and Vakresvara Pandita danced in jubilation. With His transcendental hands, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally covered the body of Haridasa Thakura with sand, chanting “Haribol! Haribol!”

The devotees covered the body of Haridasa Thakura with sand and then constructed a platform upon the site. The platform was protected all around by fencing. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced and chanted all around the platform, and as the holy name of Hari roared tumultuously, the whole universe became filled with the vibration. After sankirtana, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed in the sea with His devotees, swimming and playing in the water in great jubilation. After circumambulating the tomb of Haridasa Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to the Simha-dvara gate of the Jagannatha temple. The whole city chanted in congregation, and the tumultuous sound vibrated all over the city.

Approaching the Simha-dvara gate, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spread His cloth and began to beg prasadam from all the shopkeepers there. “I am begging prasadam for a festival honoring the passing away of Haridasa Thakura,” the Lord said. “Please give Me alms.” Hearing this, all the shopkeepers immediately came forward with big baskets of prasadam, which they jubilantly delivered to Lord Caitanya.

However, Svarupa Damodara stopped them, and the shopkeepers returned to their shops and sat down with their baskets. Svarupa Damodara sent Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu back to His residence and kept with him four Vaisnavas and four servant carriers. Svarupa Damodara said to all the shopkeepers, “Deliver to me four palmfuls of prasadam from each and every item.” In this way varieties of prasadam were collected, then packed up in different loads and carried on the heads of the four servants. Not only did Svarupa Damodara Gosvami bring prasadam, but Vaninatha Pattanayaka and Kasi Misra also sent large quantities.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu made all the devotees sit in rows and personally began to distribute the prasadam, assisted by four other men. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was not accustomed to taking prasadam in small quantities. He therefore put on each plate what at least five men could eat. Svarupa Damodara Gosvami requested Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “Please sit down and watch. With these men to help me, I shall distribute the prasadam.” The four men – Svarupa Damodara, Jagadananda, Kasisvara and Sankara – distributed the prasadam continuously.

All the devotees who sat down would not eat the prasadam as long as the Lord had not eaten. On that day, however, Kasi Misra had extended an invitation to the Lord. Therefore Kasi Misra personally went there and delivered prasadam to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with great attention and made Him eat. With Paramananda Puri and Brahmananda Bharati, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat down and accepted the prasadam. When He began to eat, so did all the Vaisnavas. Everyone was filled up to the neck because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu kept telling the distributors, “Give them more! Give them more!”

After all the devotees finished accepting prasadam and had washed their hands and mouths, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu decorated each of them with a flower garland and sandalwood pulp. Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered a benediction to all the devotees, which all the devotees heard with great satisfaction.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave this benediction: “Anyone who has seen the festival of Sri Haridasa Thakura’s passing away, anyone who has chanted and danced here, anyone who has offered sand on the body of Haridasa Thakura, and anyone who has joined this festival to partake of the prasadam will achieve the favor of Krishna very soon. There is such wonderful power in seeing Haridasa Thakura. Being merciful upon Me, Krishna gave Me the association of Haridasa Thakura. Being independent in His desires, He has now broken that association. When Haridasa Thakura wanted to leave this material world, it was not within My power to detain him. Simply by his will, Haridasa Thakura could give up his life and go away, exactly like Bhisma, who previously died simply by his own desire, as we have heard from sastra. Haridasa Thakura was the crown jewel on the head of this world; without him, this world is now bereft of its valuable jewel.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then told everyone, “Say ‘All glories to Haridasa Thakura!’ and chant the holy name of Hari.” Saying this, He personally began to dance. Everyone began to chant, “All glories to Haridasa Thakura, who revealed the importance of chanting the holy name of the Lord!”

Thereafter, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bade farewell to all the devotees, and He Himself, with mixed feelings of happiness and distress, took rest. Thus I have spoken about the victorious passing away of Haridasa Thakura. Anyone who hears this narration will certainly fix his mind firmly in devotional service to Krishna.

Purport: At Purusottama-ksetra, or Jagannatha Puri, there is a temple of Tota-gopinatha. If one goes from there to the sea, he can discover the tomb of Haridasa Thakura still existing. Every year on the date of Ananta-caturdasi there is a festival to commemorate the passing away of Haridasa Thakura. At the same place, Deities of Nityananda Prabhu, Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Advaita Prabhu were established about one hundred years ago. A gentleman named Bhramaravara from Kendrapada, in the province of Orissa, contributed funds to establish these Deities in the temple. The management of the temple was under the Tota-gopinatha gosvamis.

This temple was later sold to someone else, and this party is now maintaining the seva-puja of the temple. Near this temple and the tomb of Haridasa Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura constructed a small house called the Bhakti-kuti (currently ISKCON Puri temple). In the Bengali year 1329 (A.D. 1922), the Purusottama-matha, a branch of the Gaudiya Matha, was established there. In the Bhakti-ratnakara it is stated:

srinivasa sighra samudrera kule gela
haridasa-thakurera samadhi dekhila

bhumite padiya kaila pranati vistara
bhagavata-gana sri-samadhi-sannidhane
srinivase sthira kaila sasneha-vacane

punah srinivasa sri-samadhi pranamiya
ye vilapa kaila, ta sunile drave hiya

“Srinivasa Thakura quickly ran to the seashore. When he saw the tomb of Haridasa Thakura, he immediately fell down offering prayers and almost fainted. The devotees present there pacified him with very sweet and affectionate words, and Srinivasa again offered his obeisances to the tomb. Hearing of the separation that Srinivasa expressed in his lamentation at the tomb of Haridasa Thakura makes one’s heart melt.”

 

From the incident of Haridasa Thakura’s passing away and the great care Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took in commemorating it, one can understand just how affectionate He is toward His devotees. Although He is the topmost of all sannyasis, He fully satisfied the desire of Haridasa Thakura. When Haridasa Thakura was at the last stage of his life, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave him His company and allowed him to touch Him. Thereafter, He took the body of Thakura Haridasa on His lap and personally danced with it. Out of His causeless mercy the Lord personally covered the body of Haridasa Thakura with sand and personally begged alms from the shopkeepers. Then He conducted a great festival to celebrate the passing away of Haridasa Thakura.

Haridasa Thakura was not only the topmost devotee of the Lord but also a great and learned scholar. It was his great fortune that he passed away before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Purport: Haridasa Thakura is mentioned here as the most learned scholar, parama-vidvan. Actually, the most important science to know is the science of getting out of the clutches of material existence. Anyone who knows this science must be considered the greatest learned person. Anyone who knows the temporary situation of this material world and is expert in achieving a permanent situation in the spiritual world, who knows that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond the jurisdiction of our experimental knowledge, is understood to be the most learned scholar. Haridasa Thakura knew this science perfectly. Therefore, he is described in this connection as parama-vidvan. He personally preached the importance of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, which is approved by the revealed scriptures. As stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 7 chapter 5 verse 24):

iti pumsarpita visnau bhaktis cen nava-laksana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha tan manye ’dhitam uttamam

There are nine different processes of devotional service to Krishna, the most important being sravanam kirtanam – hearing and chanting. Haridasa Thakura knew this science very well, and he can therefore be called, technically, sarva-sastradhiti. Anyone who has learned the essence of all the Vedic scriptures is to be known as a first-class educated person, with full knowledge of all sastra.

The life and characteristics of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are exactly like an ocean of nectar, one drop of which can please the mind and ear. Anyone who desires to cross over the ocean of nescience, please hear with great faith the life and characteristics of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krsnadasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, following in their footsteps.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports to Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Antya-lila, eleventh chapter, describing the passing of Haridasa Thakura.

Srila Haridasa Thakura Samadhi Math at Sri Jagannatha Puri Dhama

Entrance to Srila Haridasa Thakura Samadhi Math

Srila Haridasa Thakura Samadhi Math

 

Towards the west of the samadhi there are three altars where deities of Lord Gauranga, Lord Nityananda, and Sri Advaita Acarya are worshipped. After the disappearance of Srila Haridasa Thakura, Lord Caitanya would come here every day after taking bath in the ocean, offer prasada to Haridasa’s samadhi and do nilma-bhajana for some time. Thus all the deities are in a sitting posture and doing nilma-bhajana.

Deities of Nityananda Prabhu, Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Advaita Prabhu were established about one hundred years ago. A gentleman named Bhramaravara from Kendrapada, in the province of Orissa, contributed funds to establish these Deities in the temple. [Caitanya Caritamrta Antya-lila chapter 11 verse 101]

“As Lord Caitanya described the transcendental attributes of Haridasa Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu seemed to possess five mouths. The more He described, the more His great happiness increased. After hearing of the transcendental qualities of Haridasa Thakura, all the devotees present were struck with wonder. They all offered their respectful obeisances to the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura. Haridasa Thakura made Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sit down in front of him, and then he fixed his eyes, like two bumblebees, on the lotus face of the Lord.” – Caitanya Caritamrita Antya-lila, 11.51-53

Srila Haridasa Thakura was residing in his bhajana-kutira behind Gambhira, at the place at presently known as Siddha-Bakula. He passed away by pressing Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet with his two hands upon his heart, and gazed at Lord Gaurchandra’s lotus face. His eyes were like two bumblebees drinking the nectar of the moon-like face of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And with tears streaming from Haridas Thakur’s eyes, gazing at the Lord he repeatedly chanted with deep emotion. “Sri Krishna Caitanya. Sri Krishna Caitanya.” Haridasa left his body at this place in the presence of Mahaprabhu, who lifted Haridasa in His arms and carried his transcendental body to the oceanfront in a Harinama procession.

Srila Haridasa Thakura gave up his body while chanting the holy name of Sri Krishna Caitanya and crying tears of ecstasy. Lord Caitanya placed the body of Haridasa Thakura on his lap and began to dance in great ecstatic love. All of the devotees present also began to dance and chant enthusiastically seeing Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s love.

The body of Haridasa Thakura was then raised onto a carrier that resembled an airship and taken to the sea, accompanied by congregational chanting. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced in front of the procession, and Vakresvara Pandita, along with the other devotees, chanted and danced behind Him. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed the body of Haridasa Thakura in the sea and then declared, “From this day on, this sea has become a great pilgrimage site.” Everyone drank the water that had touched the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura, and then they smeared remnants of Lord Jagannatha’s sandalwood pulp over Haridasa Thakura’s body.

After a hole was dug in the sand, the body of Haridasa Thakura was placed into it. Remnants from Lord Jagannatha, such as His silken ropes, sandalwood pulp, food and cloth, were placed on the body. All around the body, the devotees performed congregational chanting, and Vakresvara Pandita danced in jubilation. With His transcendental hands, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally covered the body of Haridasa Thakura with sand, chanting “Haribol! Haribol!” The devotees covered the body of Haridasa Thakura with sand and then constructed a platform upon the site. The platform was protected all around by fencing. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced and chanted all around the platform, and as the holy name of Hari roared tumultuously, the whole universe became filled with the vibration. After sankirtana, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed in the sea with His devotees, swimming and playing in the water in great jubilation.

After circumambulating the tomb of Haridasa Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to the Simha-dvara gate of the Jagannatha temple. The whole city chanted in congregation, and the tumultuous sound vibrated all over the city. Approaching the Simha-dvara gate, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spread His cloth and began to beg prasadam from all the shopkeepers there. “I am begging prasadam for a festival honouring the passing away of Haridasa Thakura,” the Lord said. “Please give Me alms.” Hearing this, all the shopkeepers immediately came forward with big baskets of prasadam, which they jubilantly delivered to Lord Caitanya. However, Svarupa Damodara stopped them, and the shopkeepers returned to their shops and sat down with their baskets. Svarupa Damodara sent Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu back to His residence and kept with him four Vaisnavas and four servant carriers. Svarupa Damodara said to all the shopkeepers, “Deliver to me four palmfuls of prasadam from each and every item.” In this way varieties of prasadam were collected, then packed up in different loads and carried on the heads of the four servants. Not only did Svarupa Damodara Gosvami bring prasadam, but Vaninatha Pattanayaka and Kasi Misra also sent large quantities.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu made all the devotees sit in rows and personally began to distribute the prasadam, assisted by four other men. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was not accustomed to taking prasadam in small quantities. He therefore put on each plate what at least five men could eat. Svarupa Damodara Gosvami requested Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “Please sit down and watch. With these men to help me, I shall distribute the prasadam.” The four men – Svarupa Damodara, Jagadananda, Kasisvara and Sankara – distributed the prasadam continuously.

All the devotees who sat down would not eat the prasadam as long as the Lord had not eaten. On that day, however, Kasi Misra had extended an invitation to the Lord. Therefore Kasi Misra personally went there and delivered prasadam to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with great attention and made Him eat. With Paramananda Puri and Brahmananda Bharati, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat down and accepted the prasadam. When He began to eat, so did all the Vaisnavas. Everyone was filled up to the neck because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu kept telling the distributors, “Give them more! Give them more!”

After all the devotees finished accepting prasadam and had washed their hands and mouths, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu decorated each of them with a flower garland and sandalwood pulp. Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered a benediction to all the devotees, which all the devotees heard with great satisfaction.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave this benediction: “Anyone who has seen the festival of Sri Haridasa Thakura’s passing away, anyone who has chanted and danced here, anyone who has offered sand on the body of Haridasa Thakura, and anyone who has joined this festival to partake of the prasadam will achieve the favour of Krishna very soon. There is such wonderful power in seeing Haridasa Thakura. “Being merciful upon Me, Krishna gave Me the association of Haridasa Thakura. Being independent in His desires, He has now broken that association. “When Haridasa Thakura wanted to leave this material world, it was not within My power to detain him. Simply by his will, Haridasa Thakura could give up his life and go away, exactly like Bhisma, who previously died simply by his own desire, as we have heard from sastra. Haridasa Thakura was the crown jewel on the head of this world; without him, this world is now bereft of its valuable jewel.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then told everyone, “Say ‘All glories to Haridasa Thakura!’ and chant the holy name of Hari.” Saying this, He personally began to dance. Everyone began to chant, “All glories to Haridasa Thakura, who revealed the importance of chanting the holy name of the Lord!” Thereafter, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bade farewell to all the devotees, and He Himself, with mixed feelings of happiness and distress, took rest.