Vanity thought #513. The verse to forget

“rājā dekhi’ mahāprabhu karena dhikkāra chi, chi, viṣayīra sparśa ha-ila āmāra”

This is not “one of those”, this is THE verse you hope never to hear from the Lord in response to your service. It was spoken to Maharaja Prataparudra who picked Lord Chaitanya from the ground when He fell during Ratha Yatra festivities:

After seeing the King, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu condemned Himself, saying, “Oh, how pitiful it is that I have touched a person who is interested in mundane affairs!”

It was actually worse, it wasn’t said to the King, not even in his direction, the King couldn’t get even that minimum attention from the Lord.

The official explanation by Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was that Lord Chaitanya was displaying anger only externally, for the benefit of the onlookers who had to see religious principles being upheld, that inside Lord Chaitanya was full of mercy for the King.

I hope it’s true but I bet it still hurts, and if the Lord is merciful towards you internally you wouldn’t need an explanation, you would just feel it, wouldn’t you?

More important than potentially hurt feelings, this verse tells us straight away what our actual position is. Normally we judge ourselves relatively to other people and by modern standards we are doing rather well, with our principles and chanting, but by Lord Chaitanya’s standards Maharaja Prataparudra is million times more advanced and more pure-hearted than we ever will be, and even he was not welcome to receive Lord’s mercy.

Who among us could honestly say that he has no interest in mundane affairs? Most of us have absolutely no qualms about getting jobs, fighting for promotions, and spending our money at our own pleasure – this is absolutely normal in the modern society. We also take interest in society’s affairs, we know most of the celebrities, we keep up with politics – we actually strive to appear as normal as we possibly can.

This verse, however, tells us that this “normality” is what forever keeps us from joining Lord Chaitanya’s party.

This verse tells us that next time we come to the temple and pray in front of the Deities Lord Chaitanya might resent our presence, avoid eye-contact, and refuse to listen. It sounds unthinkable but had He been present in His visibly moving and talking form, this is what would have most likely to happen.

He is not there to bless our material aspirations or take sympathy in our material interests, He would have nothing to do with it, He would have avoided our association as long a we keep attached to mundane affairs. I know I don’t stand a chance, people who read this on the Internet are probably in the same position, too.

This is why, even after being saved by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and his disciples, we are still five hundred years and thousands kilometers away from the Lord. Like it or not, this is the closest we deserve to be, no transcendental platform for us.

Maybe in the next life we’ll get a better chance, but maybe hearing this kind of verse from the Lord is an integral part of our progress and we all will have to live through it at some point in our lives. Maybe it’s a test of our devotion.

I hope we all pass.

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