(Click on photo to see a larger image of Lord Caitanya.)
"Sri Krsna-caitanya prabhu doya koro more, toma bina ke doyalu jagata-mayare. This is a song composed by Narottama dasa Thakura. He is praying Lord Caitanya that 'My dear Lord, please be merciful upon me because who can be more merciful than Your Lordship within these three worlds?'' Actually, this is the fact. Not only Narottama dasa Thakura, but also Rupa Gosvami, he also prayed for Lord Caitanya when both of them met at Prayaga, Allahabad, in the first meeting of Lord Caitanya and Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga. At that time, Srila Rupa Gosvamī also said, 'My dear Lord, You are the most munificent of all incarnations. Because You are distributing love of Krishna, Krishna consciousness.' In other words, when Krishna was personally present, He simply asked us to surrender, but He did not distribute Himself so easily. He made condition that 'First of all you surrender.' But here, in this incarnation, Lord Caitanya, although He's Krishna Himself, He makes no condition. He simply distributes, 'Take love of Krishna.' Therefore Lord Caitanya is approved as the most munificent incarnation, and Narottama dasa Thakura says that 'Please be merciful upon me. You are so magnanimous because You have seen the fallen souls of this age, and You are very much compassionate upon them. But you should know also that I am the most fallen. Nobody is a greater fallen than me.'' Patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara. 'Your incarnation is just to reclaim the conditioned souls, fallen souls. But I assure You that You will not find a greater fallen than me. Therefore my claim is first."
(Srila Prabhupada, Purport to Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu, 11/01/69)
*Photo courtesy of Gary Paterson, a dedicated servant of the Vancouver Deities for many years.