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CC Madhya 14.45

Text

kāṅgālera bhojana-raṅga dekhe gaurahari
‘hari-bola’ bali’ tāre upadeśa kari

Synonyms

kāṅgālera — of the beggars; bhojana-raṅga — process of eating; dekhe — sees; gaurahari — Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; hari-bola bali’ — chanting “Haribol”; tāre — them; upadeśa kari — instructs.

Translation

Observing the beggars eating prasādam, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanted, “Haribol!” and instructed them to chant the holy name.

Purport

In a song, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura chants:

miche māyāra vaśe,yāccha bhese’,
khāccha hābuḍubu, bhāi
jīva kṛṣṇa-dāsa,
e viśvāsa,
ka’rle ta’ āra duḥkha nāi

“O people! Why are you being captivated by the waves of the ocean of nescience? If you would immediately accept Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as your eternal master, there would be no chance of being carried away by the waves of illusion. Then all your sufferings would stop.” Kṛṣṇa conducts the material world under the three modes of material nature, and consequently there are three platforms of life — higher, middle and lower. On whatever platform one may be situated, one is tossed by the waves of material nature. Someone may be rich, someone may be middle class, and someone may be a poor beggar — it doesn’t matter. As long as one is under the spell of the three modes of material nature, he must continue to experience these divisions.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore advised the beggars to chant “Haribol!” while taking prasādam. Chanting means accepting one’s self as the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. This is the only solution, regardless of social position. Everyone is suffering under the spell of māyā; therefore the best course is to learn how to get out of the clutches of māyā. How to do so is stated by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā (14.26):

māṁ ca yo ’vyabhicāreṇabhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

“One who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.”

One can overcome the spell of māyā and attain the transcendental platform by agreeing to engage in the devotional service of the Lord. Devotional service begins with śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam; therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised the beggars to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra for elevation to the transcendental position. On the transcendental platform, there is no distinction between the rich, the middle class and the poor.