na bhaje chaitanya jabe
mora bhaje gaya,
more dukhe seho janma
janma dukha paya.
● Lord Nityananda tells Madhai, “If one worships Me with devotion and sings My glories but does not worship Gaura with devotion, then he or she will suffer life after life due to making Me unhappy.”
“na bhaje chaitanya”
● Clearly, the words “na bhaje chaitanya” in the above verse specifically refer to those who don’t accept Lord Gaura at all as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus reject His Bhakti, while accepting only Lord Nityananda as the Supreme Lord.
● It never refers to those who do Gaura Bhakti (bhaje chaitanya) through Nityananda Bhakti by accepting Lord Gaura as the Master of Their Master of Lord Nityananda (“Amara Prabhura Prabhu”), just like Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura has accepted himself.
● The above statement by Lord Nityananda never refers to those who accept and worship Lord Gaura as the Supreme Lord while choosing to approach Gaura Bhakti through the all-forgiving and all-accessible Bhakti of His beloved brother, topmost devotee and guru Lord Nityananda (Adi Purana: mad bhaktanam cha ye bhaktah, te me bhaktatamah matah).
● This verse was spoken by Lord Nityananda to warn us about some specific apasampradayas in Bengal who accept and worship Lord Nityananda only as the Supreme Lord while minimising, blaspheming, and rejecting Lord Gaura as an ordinary personality who made “mistakes”.
● Some souls did this discrimination and rejection of not accepting Lord Gauranga, for example Lord Advaita’s own last three sons. They accepted Lord Advaita but criticized Lord Gaura. So Lord Advaita had no other choice but to disown and reject them. This is exactly the same thing about which Lord Nityananda is telling Madhai in the above verse.
● It is such blasphemy and total rejection of Lord Gaura which causes great distress to Lord Nityananda, and thus He rejects these offenders, even if they accept and worship Him. This is called ardha-kukkuti-nyaya, or accepting only half of a hen and rejecting the other half.
● Let us not wrongly apply this verse to the genuine Nityananda Bhakti practice of Srila Vrindavana dasa Thakura and his followers’ (Nityananda Bhaktas) like us, who accept and worship Lord Gaura as the Supreme Personality of Godhead simultaneously.
● One should remember that accepting Lord Gaura as the Supreme Lord does not mean that Lord Nityananda can’t be approached and worshiped individually for attaining qualification for Gaura Radha Krishna Bhakti and Shuddha Harinam.
● King Prataprudra, Chota Haridas, Raghunatha dasa Goswami, Vrindavana dasa Thakura and so many other intimate associates would not dare to directly talk to Lord Gaura most of the time. They would convey their questions and prayers to Lord Gaura only through Lord Nityananda and others. Does that mean that they were not worshiping Gaura?
● Are those millions of associates who serve Lord Nityananda exclusively in Nityananda’s own Yogapeeth with Jahnava and Vasudha, without directly participating in Gaura Lila in Srivasa Angana; or those countless cowherd friends of Nityananda, who do not know anything except Nityananda (CC 1.11.37: nityānanda-candra vinu nahi jāne āna, CC 1.11.47: nityānanda-pada vinu nāhi jāne āna), not worshiping Lord Gaura through this one-pointed Nityananda Bhakti of theirs?
● Of course they are, because Nityananda is accepting their worship and not rejecting them. In the above verse, He is only talking about rejecting those who may worship Him but reject His brother Gaura totally. It is not at all about those who want to do Gaura Bhakti through Nityananda Bhakti, like us aspiring Nityananda Bhaktas.
● Nityananda indiscriminately gave His love countless lost souls like the drunkards, prostitute-hunters, thieves, vagabonds, cannibals, chandalas, etc. by personally going to each one of them in Bengal. Remmeber Lord Gaura was not with Him externally at this time, even though He is always there in Nityananda's heart.
● These souls saw only Nityananda and surrendered to Him. They never knew about Lord Gaura in the beginning and never met Him directly. But they were not rejected by Nityananda just because they did not know about Gaura initially. Instead they were actually embraced by Him and granted Gaura Bhakti and Harinam Siddhi. So again the above verse is specifically about those who deliberately and totally reject Lord Gaura while accepting Lord Nityananda.
● Does it mean that these newly delivered souls do not worship Lord Gaura by surrendering to Lord Nityananda? Not at all. They worship the form of Lord Nityananda, which is the divine playground of Lord Gaura at every moment. They saw the form of the Master of their Master Lord Gaura in the form of their own Master Lord Nityananda. Thus, Nityananda Bhakti includes Gaura Bhakti.
● Besides we Nityananda Bhaktas practice direct Gaura Bhakti also by our Harinam Japa and Kirtan, hearing Gaura Lila in Chaitanya Bhagavata, singing Gauranga's and Pastimes in Kirtan, visting Navadvipa, etc.
● The Radha-palya-dasi manjaris in Vraja always take the side of Radha when She has a fight with Krishna. They worship Radha exclusively, desiring Krishna’s service only when He makes Radha happy. They chastize Krishna if He apparently gives pain to Radha.
● Won’t it be extremely offensive to say that all these manjaris don’t worship Krishna, just because of their mood of approaching Krishna only through the service and glorification of their own Swamini Radha? The same thing applies to Nityananda Bhakti also wherein one accepts Gauranga as the Master of one's Master Nityananda.
● It may be falsely claimed that we are displeasing Nityananda by worshiping Him with the help of misquoting the following verse spoken by Nityananda 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.”
Our Second Response:
In the above verse, Nityananda is disliking only and only those who worship Him but at the same time totally reject Gauranga or those who don’t worship Gaura at all.
● 1. Let us first of all see how Gaura is worshipped. As per Jaiva Dharma by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
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 Gaura 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.”
You may object that since we don’t specifically chant in japa Gauranga’s Name, we have left out the worship of Gaura. But we always do Gauranam and Gauralila Kirtan along Harinam Kirtan. Also, as per the above quote from Jaiva Dharma, it is quite clear that one may worship Gaura by chanting Krishna’s mantra (krishna-mantre gaurapuja va gaura-mantre krishnapuja-sakalai eka).
So, Gaura’s worship is possible by the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra as authorized by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Thus, nobody can say that we are worshipping only Nityananda and not Gaura because we are diligently following Gaura’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. Nityananda gets extremely displeased with those who perceive Him as independent of Gaura. That can be so displeasing to Nityananda that He may curse someone to suffer birth after birth for that. We know that there were sects in Bengal who used to worship Nityananda, Gaura, or even Advaita as separate Gods, without paying attention to the relation They had with each other.
However, we perceive Nityananda as the topmost servant of Gaura, His dearmost associate and brother, and also as Avatari Himself, completely non-different from Him. Nityananda is our Prabhu and Gaura is Nityananda’s Prabhu. As long as we have this understanding of Vrindavana das Thakura in Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.17.153 and 1.9.231, there is no problem at all.
amara prabhura prabhu
e bada bharasa citte
jena haya nityananda
tanra haiya bhaji
jena prabhu gauracandra
Nityananda will never mind if we worship Him more as long as we accept in our heart that Nityananda is Gaura’s dearmost servant and serves Gaura in many ways. Remembering Nityananda means remembering Gaura and Radha Krishna as stated in Chaitanya Bhagavata. When we perceive Nityananda as Gauranga’s topmost servant and do Gauranam Kirtan, then both Nityananda Gauraanga are happy. And when we practice Nityananda Gunjan, Nityananda Lila Kirtan, or Nityananda Namlekhan, then also both Nityananda Gaura are happy.
Thus, we are making both the Brothers happy. We know that Nityananda 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 Srila Prabhupada says, phalena paricīyate: one’s success or defeat in any activity is understood by its result. Therefore, it is a certain truth that Nityananda is not at all displeased with us for doing Nityananda's worship.
It is also important to remember that if one displeases Gaura, one can be forgiven by Nityananda's Worship, but if one displeases Nityananda then even Gaura Bhakti does not help, as stated by Srila Jiva to Lord Nityananda in Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya 4.34,35:
vina gaura nahi paya,
shata janma bhaje yadi
“Even if someone worships Gauranga whole-heartedly for a hundreds births, without Your mercy Nityananda, they will never attain Him.”
gaura danda kare yadi
tumi raksha kara,
tumi jare danda kara
gaura tara para.
“If Gaura punishes someone, O Nityananda, You always protect that soul. But, if You punish a soul, the person will never attain Gauranga eternally.”
● 3. Another point to note is that our philosophy is not to worship only Nityananda. We simply try to focus more on Nityananda so that attainment of Gaura Radha Krishna becomes a greater reality. Focussing more on Nityananda does not exclude the bhajan of Gaura Radha Krishna.
It is known that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is worshipped by sankirtana yajna. And we do worship Mahaprabhu by performing daily sankirtana of Gauranam, Nityananda Nam, and Harinam as an offering to Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Additionally, our Bhaktiratna Sadhu, has personally recommended many times to remember Gauranga even while singing or chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
● 4. It was Bhaktiratna Sadhu who established singing of the Gaura Gopala Mantra – “Gauranga”, which is composed of four syllables (gau-ra-a-nga) for the first time so openly in this world, when very few knew about it and almost no one talked about it. It is due to his untiring efforts that many devotees all over the world have felt attracted to Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
He published Chaitanya Bhagavata and Caitanya Caritamrita (the prominent biographies of Nityananda Gauranga) and distributed them widely at cost price in order to spread the glories of Nityananda Gauranga. He has also written and published an explanatory translation of Chaitanya Chandramrita (a book that contains the exclusive glories of Gaura) and the book Our Eternal Home Navadvipa, extensively translating the most hidden verses from Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya Pramana and Parikrama Khandas (books that contain the exclusive glories of Gaura’s Abode). He also has recorded hundreds of YouTube videos each exclusively on Gaura Tattva and Harinam Tattva, and he still practices and teaches those same teachings. So how can someone say otherwise? May good sense prevail!
Moreover, he published small booklets containing the 100 Names of Gaura and Scriptural Evidences in support of Gaura’s Godhood. For more than a decade, He has been taking devotees on Navadvipa Parikrama, many times throughout the year.
Even today, his students all over the world are spreading the glories of Gauranga 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 Nityananda and not Gauranga? Can’t they understand how much Nityananda must be pleased with all these efforts to glorify Gauranga and vice versa?
● 5. Bhaktiratna Sadhu has never stopped anyone from worshiping Gauranga through the singing of His name and has no intention to ever do so. In fact, He Himself is very pained by those who stop others from singing the holy names of Nityananda and Gauranga along with Harinam.
He has written, “Even if they are devotees, I will never forgive deep within my heart, those who discourage or stop others from singing the names of Nityananda and Gauranga along with Harinam, because they mercilessly strip those souls from the only chance to offenselessly chant Harinam.”
● 6. Please read these verses from Sri Caitanya Caritamrta:
nahi jāne āna
“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 except Nityānanda Prabhu.” (CC Adi 11.37)
There were two Kala Krishna dasa’s in the lila. The above one is the nitya-siddha associate.
hoḍa kṛṣṇadāsa —
nāhi jāne āna
“The thirty-sixth devotee of Lord Nityānanda was Hoḍa Kṛṣṇadāsa, whose life and soul was Nityānanda Prabhu. He was always so exclusively dedicated to the lotus feet of Nityananda, that he knew no one else but Him.” (CC Adi 11.47)
In these verses it is clearly mentioned that these two associates of Nityananda knew no one but Nityananda. They were exclusively devoted to Nityananda. Do you think Nityananda, Gauranga, or Radha Krishna were displeased with them? Then you are making the biggest Vaishnava-aparadha against pure devotees. Do you think Nityananda 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 worship for Lord Gauranga through our Doyal Nityananda.
In fact, the basic reason for emphasizing more on Nityananda is to WIN THE HEART OF GAURA as it is the shortest and surest way to do so. This stress on Nityananda’s worship was an offering by Bhaktiratna Sadhu to Lord Gauranga on His Appearance Day (Gaura 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 Gaura today on His appearance day that I will try to practice hearing and singing of Nityananda's glories even more vigorously than before, since it the only hope for the conditioned souls to quickly become favorable towards Shuddha Harinam and Gaura Radha Krishna bhakti, according to all our beloved acharyas.