Gaura-vani: God's Greatest Gift
by Gokulananda das
He Whom all the Vedic hymns glorify and Whom all the devas worship and obey, the Supreme Lord of all, Parameswara, chose to descend in His most merciful and generous incarnation as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534). His divine appearance in the land of Navadvip had been predicted and celebrated throughout the Vedas, specially the Vedic histories, the Puranas.
Seeing the fallen nature of mankind, whose spiritual blindness kept increasing due to this dark age of quarrel, He descended out of His infinite compassion to bestow upon mankind the most efficacious process of spiritual emancipation, through the simple method of chanting the holy name of God, the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.
The advent of Mahaprabhu is the greatest event in the history of this creation, because Gaura-lila is the highest demonstration of God's love for all souls. The true glories of Karunavatar Sri Caitanya have been revealed to the world through His numerous saintly followers, the Gaudiya Vaisnava Acharyas. Through their inspired and enlightening writings, the world can now drink deeply at the inexhaustible fountain of truth of Gaura vani, His perfect theistic revelations.
Although amply confirmed in many Vedic scriptures, His divinity has been further demonstrated through the amazing lives and pure character of His many Godly followers, full of compassion and dedication to the salvation of all souls. These rare souls perfectly embody Sri Caitanya's divine sentiment of audharya, of God's intense desire to uplift all mankind. They were thus empowered to reveal for our supreme benefit the full scope and depth of Mahaprabhu's sublime teachings, encompassing all aspects of God's transcendental activities (divya-lila). Their brilliant elaborations on His divine instructions culminate in their thorough expositions on the glorious intricacies of divine love (rasa vilasa), thus resolving one of mankind's great dilemnas and mysteries, as to who is God and what does He do.
To fulfill His desire to bless us with these deepest revelations of divine knowledge, His erudite followers were inspired from within to extract the very essence of all the Vedas, pure Bhagavata-dharma. Thus they bestowed upon us the full exposition of Krishna-tattva: the infinite glories of God's supreme personhood, the all-attractive, all-opulent Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the ultimate truth and supreme object of all worship. Such was also the conclusion of the Lord in His Gita.
So now the Master has appeared as the servant, to teach by His own perfect example how to fully worship and love God. Although Mahaprabhu's sacred teachings encompass an exhaustive description of God's transcendental existence (aprakrita-lila), their essence is revealed in His famous Siksastakam, His sublime glorification of the Holy Names, wherein we are allowed a deep intimate glimpse into the very heart of God. Therein He shares His purest divine sentiments of unconditional love and surrender to the will of God.
The vast scope of His sacred teachings is condensed into the following five essential points:
1. Lord Sri Krishna, Vrajendranandana, is the Supreme God, and the Avatari, the source of all other divine incarnations, as confirmed throughout the Vedas.
2. As the Absolute Truth, everything that is directly related to Him is also fully spiritual and eternal, non-different from Himself, such as His abode, name, pastimes, teachings and associates.
3. The highest mode of worship of the Lord is perfectly exemplified by His topmost devotees, the gopis, cowherd maidens of Sri Vrindavan Dham, whose unconditional love for the Lord constitute the zenith of all spiritual perfection.
4. The Amala Purana, Srimad-Bhagavatam, is the highest revelation of transcendental existence, being fully devoted to the complete glorification of the Lord and His perfected devotees, amala-bhaktas.
5. The ultimate goal and perfection of the human form of life is the soul's elevation to pure love of God (Krishna-prema), which lies dormant in every being as the original essence of every soul. Such perfection of love can be revived only by the descending process of pure devotional service, centered on the pure chanting of the Lord's holy names, and conducted under the guidance of a bona-fide spiritual master, one who is fully surrendered to the Lord's eternal service.
As Kaliyugapavana, the great saviour and purifier of all the sins of this degraded age, Sri Caitanya is the greatest benefactor of mankind. His abundant divine gifts have brought great joy to the world. By the constant chanting of the Holy Names, oceans of sorrow and pain have been vanquished. By His ever-present mercy, all souls can now choose to follow His invitation to regain His eternal association in the sure shelter of His sweet service. Jai Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!