(Click to enlarge photo of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, Vrindavan)
Śrīla Prabhupāda: So today, the appearance day of Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu is Baladeva, Baladeva-tattva.
vrajendra-nandana yei, śacī-suta haila sei,
balarāma haila nitāi
"Who was formerly the son of Nanda Mahārāja, He has appeared as the son of Śacīdevi." Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mother's name was Śacīdevi. So Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Balarāma is Nityānanda Prabhu. Now,
vrajendra-nandana yei, śacī-suta haila sei,
balarāma haila nitāi
So Balarāma... In the Vedic literature it is said, nāyam ātmā bala-hinena labhyaḥ, na bahunā śrutena. So bala means strength. Sometimes some rascal philosophers, they take it that bala means bodily strength. They propagate this philosophy that "Unless you are bodily stout and strong, you cannot achieve spiritual salvation. You must be very strong and stout and eat meat and fight, and then you'll get next spiritual birth." No. This bala, this strength, is different. This is spiritual strength.
The difficulty of the present situation is that actually we are moving on account of spiritual strength, but they have no information of the spiritual strength. They are thinking of material strength. That is expressed here that,
ahaṅkāre matta hoiyā, nitāi-pada pāsariyā,
asatyere satya kori māni
This is due to ahaṅkāra. Ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti manyate (BG 3.27). Those who are vimūḍha, especially rascal... Mūḍha means rascal, and vi means viśeṣa, viśeṣanam, "particularly." Ahankara-vimudhātmā. The same thing which is spoken in the Bhagavad-gītā, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says the same thing in a plain Bengali language: ahaṅkāre matta haiyā, nitāi-pada... By the spell of māyā-ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti manyate (BG 3.27), they are thinking that "We are independent. We can do whatever we like." This is called ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā. Under false pretext, false prestige, everyone is thinking that "We are independent. We can find out the solution of the problems of life by material adjustment," so on, so on. So that is our material disease. Ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā. Bewildered, they do not understand that the real strength is spiritual strength. We see daily, see daily that a very strong man, very powerful man, very good brain, very good scientist... So where is the strength? The strength is ātmā. As soon as the ātmā, or the soul, goes out of this body, so intelligent, so strong and so many things, but he is nothing. That is the difference between dead man and the living man. A living man is very powerful, very good position, everything. As soon as he lies down..., he is lying down on the floor, and if you kick him on his face, he'll not protest. So where is that strength? The strength is gone. That is spiritual strength. On the spiritual strength, the body moves. Suppose you have got a very good car, Mercedes car or Rolls Royce car. But when there is no petrol, how the car will move? It is not possible. There is spirit, petrol spirit. Similarly, real strength is spiritual strength. That spiritual strength is Balarāma. Bala means strength. Therefore we have to take shelter of the lotus feet of Balarāma, guru-tattva.
Balarāma means guru-tattva. Balarāma represents guru. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. If we want to understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu, if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then we must take shelter of Balarāma. Nāyam ātmā bala-hinena labhyaḥ. This bala-hinena labhyaḥ, this Vedic injunction, means "Without the mercy of Balarāma you cannot understand, you cannot realize your spiritual identification." So that Balarāma comes as Nityānanda Prabhu: balarāma hailā nitāi. Therefore we must take shelter of Balarāma. That is... This song has been sung by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. Nitāi-pada-kamala, koṭi-candra-suśītala. If we take shelter of Nityānanda Prabhu, then we get peace. Koṭi-candra-suśītala. Just like in daytime, especially in the summer season, we become very much exasperated. But at night, in the evening, as soon as there is moonshine, we become very much satisfied. All day's labor and fatigue is immediately moved. So nitāi-pada-kamala, the shade of Nityānanda Prabhu's lotus feet, is koṭi-candra-suśītala: as pleasing as one crore of moonshine. One moonshine gives us so much pleasure. So if we want actually peace of mind, if we actually want to be free from this material fatiguement, then we must take the shelter of Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu is the strength, spiritual strength. And without spiritual strength you cannot approach Kṛṣṇa. Nāyam ātmā pravaca... Simply by talking nonsense... Nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyaḥ. If you are a good speaker, that does not mean you'll understand, yourself. Na medhayā: "Neither by good brain." Because you have got very good brain you'll understand Kṛṣṇa—no. Nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena. If you think that you are a very good scholar, university degree-holder, then you'll understand—no. This is not possible.
So we must have spiritual strength. That source of spiritual strength is Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa's next manifestation, prakāśa-vigraha. Kṛṣṇa is manifesting Himself through Balarāma. So we have to take shelter of Nityānanda Prabhu.
je chāyāy jagata jurāy
The whole world is suffering, but if you want peace, then you take the shelter of Nityānanda Prabhu.
heno nitāi bine bhāi, rādhā-kṛṣṇa pāite nāi
dhṛdha kori' dharo nitāir pāy
Our real aim of life—how to go back home, back to Godhead, and associate with Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. In another song the same author says,
manuṣya-janama pāiyā, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā,
jāniyā śuniyā biṣa khāinu
Unless you come to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, you cannot get real pleasure. If you want to dance and get pleasure, don't dance independently; dance with Kṛṣṇa. Then you'll be happy. The dancing is there, but dancing without association of Kṛṣṇa... Just like here, in our temple, we are also eating, but we are eating the remnants of foodstuff left by Kṛṣṇa. That is real pleasure. It is not that we are stopping eating. We are not stopping eating. We are not dry philosophers. Kṛṣṇa baro doyāmoy, koribāre jihwā jay, swa-prasād-anna dilo bhāi. All over the world we are eating Kṛṣṇa prasādam, and we have got good experience. At least ten thousand men and women, they are taking Kṛṣṇa prasādam, but we have no anxiety. We have no anxiety. A family consists of a few members. They are full of anxiety how to maintain the family. And we are maintaining a family of ten thousand men. We have no anxiety. Just see practically. We have no anxiety. We require thousands and thousands of rupees for maintaining Europe, America—a costly affair. But because we are under the shelter of Nityānanda Prabhu, Balarāma, we have no anxiety. That means material life means anxiety. You cannot avoid anxiety if you lead a material life. Then you will be anxious.
That is Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction. He was asked by his father, "My dear son, what you have learned, the best thing from your teachers?" So he replied, "My dear father..." He never said "My dear father"; He said "My dear best of the asuras," asura-varya. Tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehinām. Tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehināṁ sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt (SB 7.5.5). The whole human society is suffering, at least suffering from one disease—anxiety. Ask anybody. Take one small ant and take the big elephant; take the President of United States or take one street beggar. Ask him, "Whether you are free from anxiety?" Nobody will say, "No." "I am full of anxiety." That's a fact. So why they are anxiety, in full of anxiety? That Prahlāda Mahārāja had replied, sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt. Because we have taken asad-vastu, that will not exist... Everything, whatever you have got... Our, this body will not exist. And this is the main platform of our existence. In the material world, so long the body is there, you exist. So Prahlāda Mahārāja said that "Real solution of problems of life is to get out of this material condition. That is best thing in my opinion." Sadā samadvigna-dhiyām asad... That is Vedic injunction also. Asato mā sad gamaya: "Don't live in this asat, in this material condition." Sad gamaya: "Go to real existence." That real existence means spiritual life. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). So if we actually want life, blissful life, then we must get out of this material existence. That is Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction. Samudvigna-dhiyām. And if you remain in the material existence, you must suffer some anxiety. There is no excuse.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja advises that hitvātma-ghātam gṛham andha-kūpaṁ vanam gato yad dharim āśrayeta. If you... Real problem is anxiety. And this anxiety will continue so long you are material existent. Therefore the real life is to get out of this material... Hitvātma-ghātam. Ātma-ghāṭam. Ātma-ghātam means killing the soul. This material civilization is killing the soul. That... They have no information of the soul. They do not know how to become peaceful, how to become blissful. They are trying to be peaceful, bahir-artha-māninaḥ, by external material energy. They are thinking by constructing big, big buildings, just like in Bhuvaneśvara they are doing, and having good, very big, big roads and motorcars, that is advancement of civilization. No. That is not advancement. That is increasing their anxiety. There is no solution of the anxiety. There is... Formerly that I was speaking. There was no university. The university was in the cottage—Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva was writing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and all the Purāṇas in a cottage. So university was there. Who can produce such literature as Vyāsadeva has given? From any angle of vision, from literary point of view, from philosophical point of view—everything, so perfect, every literature, Mahābhārata, Purāṇas and Vedānta—Veda-vyāsa, he has given. So there was no need of university. It required clear brain. That was to be done by the brahminical qualifications: śamo damo titikṣā ārjava, jñānaṁ-vijñānam āstikyam brahma-karma svabhāva... (BG 18.42). Where is that education? This education, technical education, how you can very nicely hammer, this will not solve the problem. So if we want real solution of the problems, then our duty is first of all to take the shelter of nitāi-pada-kamala. Then we'll be happy, and we'll get moonshine, and our all fatigueness will be subsided.
Sambandha nāhi jār, bṛthā janma gelo tār. So if you have no connection with Nityānanda Prabhu... Nityānanda means "always." Nitya means "always"; ānanda means "pleasure." This is another meaning you can draw. So therefore, if you have no connection with Nityānanda Prabhu... Se sambandha nāhi jār bṛthā janma gelo tār: "He's simply wasting time." Bṛthā means "useless." Uselessly, he's wasting time. Se paśu boro durācār. And Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has used very strong word. "Anyone who has no connection with Nityānanda Prabhu, he's a paśu." Sei paśu. He's a paśu, means animal. So animal, how one animal can get happiness? That is not possible. The dog, from the childhood he's searching after food, searching after food, and cannot get food. Unless a dog has got a master, he's street dog and he's always unhappy. So better to become a dog of Nityānanda Prabhu. Then we shall be happy. Instead of becoming dog of so many other people... Everyone is dog. Everyone is searching after to serve a master. But none of them are satisfied because that is false master. You take real master—Nityānanda Prabhu—you'll be happy. Se paśu boro durācār. He does not know where is happiness. Where I shall become a dog? That...
Our Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he has sung therefore,
vaisnava ṭhākur, tomāra kukkur,
boliya janaha more
"My dear Vaiṣṇava Ṭhākura, kindly accept me as your dog, as your dog. I am dog already, but I am māyā's dog; I'm not Vaiṣṇava's dog. So kindly accept me." If you become a Vaiṣṇava's dog... Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā, nistār pāiche kebā. If you do not become a dog of Vaiṣṇava and Nityānanda Prabhu... Nityānanda is guru. So if you do not become a dog of Nityānanda Prabhu, Vaiṣṇava or guru, there is no question of happiness. Se sambandha nāhi yār, bṛthā janma gelo..., se paśu boro durācār. Nitāi nā bolilo mukhe, majilā saṁsāra-sukhe. He who has no connection with Nityānanda Prabhu, and he does not say, "Jaya Nitāi! Jaya Gaura!" and majilo saṁsāra-sukhe, he thinks that this society, family and... "Society, friendship and love, divinely bestowed upon man." These materialist persons, they say like that. That is called majilo saṁsāra sukhe. In saṁsāra there cannot be any sukha, but he's attracted. Majilo saṁsāra sukhe. Vidyā-kule ki koribe tār. What we'll do with university education or born in big family or...? This will not help. This is not possible. Vidyā-kule ki karibe tār. Why they're accepting this false? Ahaṅkāre matta hoiyā, nitāi-pada pasariya, asatyere satya kori māni. On account of being misled by false prestige and false egotism, asatyere satya kori māni, we are accepting this body, which is asat, which will not exist, and that we have taken as reality. Ahaṅkare matta hoiya, nitāi pada pasariya. But if we take shelter of Nityānanda Prabhu, then you get the enlightenment. Asatyere satya kori māni. Nitāiyer koruṇā habe, braje rādhā-kṛṣṇa pabe, dharo nitāi-caraṇa du'khāni.
Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura advises that... Today is Nityānanda Prabhu's āvirbhāva, appearance day. Let us at least remember today nitāi-pada-kamala. That is wanted. Nitāi caraṇa satya, tāhāra sevaka nitya. The reality is nitāi-caraṇa, and anyone who is servant of Nitāi... So nitāiyer caraṇa satya, tāhāra sevaka nitya. One who has become the dog of Nityānanda Prabhu, he gets his eternal life. We are eternal, but under misconception of material identification, we are under the subjugation of māyā. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). Tathā dehāntara... (BG 2.13). It is very botheration, but they do not know. I am going from one body to another, transmigration. And that is not guaranteed, what kind of body. They have no science, no knowledge about understanding tathā dehāntara, the very first instruction of Bhagavad-gītā. They are so rascals, and they are proud of their education, their universities. This is going on.
Nitāi caraṇa satya, tāhāra sevaka..., nitāi-pada sadā koro āśā. Therefore we should always expect to be under the shelter of nitāi-pada-kamala. Narottama boro duḥkhī. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, he's ācārya. He is presenting himself... That is ācārya. Means he is not duḥkhī, but he's presenting himself as duḥkhī. That is ācārya. Ācāryas, they are never duḥkhī (unhappy). But taking the common man's position, he says, narottama boro duḥkhī. Or, in other words, Narottama... Narottama means the best of the human being. So here in this material world one may be the best of the human being, very exalted position, but everyone is duḥkī, unhappy. Narottama boro duḥkī. Nitāi more koro sukhī: "Only Nityānanda can make me happy. Otherwise not possible." Rakho raṅga-caraṇera pāśa.
So today is Nityānanda Prabhu's appearance day. We shall always pray Nityānanda Prabhu, "Kindly keep me under Your shelter so that... I am very duḥkī; I am very unhappy. Under the shelter of Your lotus feet I shall be happy." And that is real happiness.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bhuvanesvara, February 2, 1977)