Lord Chaitanya Induced the Animals to Chant
(Click to enlarge painting of Lord Chaitanya chanting and dancing in the Jharikhanda forest)

"After some time the Lord again started on His tour towards northern India, and He decided to visit Vṛndāvana and its neighboring places. He passed through the jungles of Jharikhaṇḍa (Madhya Bhārata), and all the wild animals also joined His saṅkīrtana movement. The wild tigers, elephants, bears and deer all together accompanied the Lord, and the Lord accompanied them in saṅkīrtana. By this He proved that by the propagation of the saṅkīrtana movement (congregational chanting and glorifying of the name of the Lord) even the wild animals can live in peace and friendship, and what to speak of men who are supposed to be civilized. No man in the world will refuse to join the saṅkīrtana movement. Nor is the Lord's saṅkīrtana movement restricted to any caste, creed, color or species. Here is direct evidence of His great mission: He allowed even the wild animals to partake in His great movement."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Introduction)

"How the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can attract the attention of the whole world and how each and every man can feel pleasure in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is stated in the Padma Purāṇa as follows: 'A person who is engaged in devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to be understood to be doing the best service to the whole world and to be pleasing everyone in the world. In addition to human society, he is pleasing even the trees and animals, because they also become attracted by such a movement.' A practical example of this was shown by Lord Caitanya when He was traveling through the forests of Jhārikhaṇḍa in central India for spreading His saṅkīrtana movement. The tigers, the elephants, the deer and all the other wild animals joined Him and were participating, in their own ways, by dancing and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa."

(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 1)

"Haridāsa Ṭhākura said that the chanting of the holy names is so powerful that even if one chants in the remotest parts of the jungle, the trees and animals will advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness simply by hearing the vibration. This was actually proved by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself when He passed through the forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa. At that time the tigers, snakes, deer and all other animals abandoned their natural animosity and began chanting and dancing in saṅkīrtana. Of course, we cannot imitate the activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but we should follow in His footsteps. We are not powerful enough to enchant the lower animals such as tigers, snakes, cats and dogs or entice them to dance, but by chanting the holy names of the Lord we can actually convert many people throughout the world to Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

(Nectar of Instruction 4, Purport)

"The living entity is encaged in this material body, and he's trying to gratify the senses, one body after another, one body after another, one body after another. This is the position. And dharma means to gradually turn the crows into swan. That is dharma. Just like one man may be..., may remain, may be very illiterate, uncultured, but he can be converted into educated, cultured man, by education, by training. So that possibility is there in the human form of life. I cannot train a dog to become a devotee. That is difficult. It can be done also, but I may not be so powerful. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu did. When He was passing through the jungle, Jharikhaṇḍa, the tigers, the snakes, the deers, all the animals, they became devotee. They became devotee. So what was possible for me, uh, Caitanya Mahāprabhu... Because He's God Himself. He can do anything. We cannot do that. But we can work in the human society. It doesn't matter however fallen a man is, if he follows our instruction then he can be turned. So that is called dharma. Dharma means to bring one to his original position. That is dharma."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, April 25, 1972)

"When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was passing through the forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa, in central India, the all the animals joined with Him. Of course, He's Kṛṣṇa Himself. But if one becomes purified, there is no question that... All animals, living entities, would join in saṅkīrtana movement. There is evidence. But one must be very sincere and powerful preacher. If we cannot preach in the..., in the society of the animals, we can preach at least in the human societies who are supposed to be uncivilized or very lower status of life. Actually, it is so happening."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, November 7, 1972)

"Caitanya Mahāprabhu practically exhibited that hari-nāma saṅkīrtana, kṛṣṇa-kīrtana, can attract even animals—tigers, elephants. They also join with Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Of course, His power, our power is not the same. But there is potency. The potency... The potency, as we become powerful gradually by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, Caitanya Mahāprabhu has shown that one can come to the stage of enchanting the forest animals also."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, November 8, 1972)

"Actually, when Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed through the forest known as Jhārikhaṇḍa in central India, He was only accompanied by his personal attendant, and He was alone. And when He was passing through the forest He touched one tiger. He was sleeping, and the tiger answered roaring. The company, Caitanya Mahāprabhu's attendant, he thought, 'Now we are gone.' But actually, Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked the tiger, 'Why you are sleeping? Just stand up. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.' And the tiger began to dance. So actually, this happened. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, the tigers, the deers, the... Everyone joined.

So of course, we are not so powerful. But it is possible that... At least, we have seen the dogs are dancing in saṅkīrtana. So it is possible also to take... But we may not attempt such great risk. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu could induce tigers to dance; we can at least induce every human being to dance. This is such a nice movement."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, January 16, 1969)

Devotee: I think, Prabhupāda, that your exploits here are no less great than Lord Caitanya going into the Jhārikhaṇḍa forest and making the animals dance.

Prabhupāda: (laughs) Yes.

Devotee: You are the modern-day representative of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, New York, July 12, 1976)

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