Published on April 20th, 2023 | by Harmonist staff0
The Ostentatious Vrndavana dasa Thakura
By Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja
While writing Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Kaviraja Goswami has expressed so much humility—humility of such a degree, that he says,
“My position is the worst; I am a sinner far worse than Jagai and Madhai, I am lower than the worm in the stool. If anyone hears my name, his merit will be diminished; and if anyone speaks my name, he commits sin such kind of wretched person I am. But the grace of Nityananda Prabhu has taken me up from such a nasty pit, taken me to Rupa-Sanatana, to Raghunatha das, and to divine Vrindavan.
“I should not proclaim this, I should not speak in such a way, that ‘I have got something’ but if I do not say so, then it will show ingratitude to Nityananda Prabhu, I would be a traitor to him. So I shall have to say, to admit, ‘I have got something,’ and that is by the grace of Nityananda. It is all his property, his grace, otherwise, there is nothing, no worth at all in me.”
With so much humility Kaviraja Goswami is approaching the public and appealing to them to come to Gaura-Nityananda.
But Vrindavana dasa Thakura, in his writing, says,
“I appeal most fervently and with the greatest humility to you all: accept Nityananda and Sri Gauranga! You’ll get the best benefit of your life. This I urgently beg you, with the utmost humility, with a straw between my teeth. But if such appeal of mine fails, and if still, you want to put blame on Nityananda-Gauranga, then I just kick you! I kick such a person, demoniac person.”
eta parihare o ye papi ninda kare
tabe lathi maron ta’ra sirera upare
If, in spite of hearing the glories of Nityananda, one blasphemes him, then I kick the head of such a sinful person.Caitanya Bhagavata, Madhya 11.63
To this, the ordinary commentators will say, “Kaviraja Goswami and others, they are humiliating themselves so much, they are appealing in such a humble way. But this Vrndavana dasa! What kind of egoistic fellow is he? He says, he kicks those who do not come to hear his Gaura-Nityananda. He’ll kick them! Such a boast, he is so proud, is he a Vaishnava? Is this type of person a Vaishnava? Trnad api sunicena, taror api sahisnuna: more humble than straw, more tolerant than a tree. Is he of this type?”
This is how Vrindavana Thakura’s statement is met by the ordinary thinkers; but not long after joining the Gaudiya Math, I heard a revolutionary remark from our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, in which we find a most peculiar meaning or explanation. He said, “For those who had no chance, no possibility of entering into devotional service, by this statement Vrindavana Thakura has created a path. For those who had no chance of getting any service, Vrindavana Thakura has given that chance by kicking them.” How is it so?
Guru Maharaja explained, “Vrindavana Thakura has pronounced such a bold expression against those unbelieving persons to wound their feelings so that Krishna will come to their aid. Just as, if any attendant or son of a gentleman does wrong to some other person, then that person’s guardians will come to help their dependent: “Oh, what he has done to you, don’t mind it; look here, I am giving something to you be pleased, and go on, happily…”
So, because Vrindavana Thakura has in such an ostentatious way apparently committed some wrong against that particular unbelieving section, it will draw Krishna’s attention; Mahaprabhu’s special attention will be drawn towards them, that “My son has done something wrong, some damage to you; don’t take it badly, but forgive and forget now, I am giving something to you, come…”
In this way Vrindavana Thakura has made a new path, by threatening the unbelievers in Gaura-Nityananda; by his strong remark of very abusive character, he has given the chance to those fellows to draw the greater and more special attention of the authority.