CC Madhya 17.31
‘kṛṣṇa kaha’ bali’ prabhu jala pheli’ mārilā
prabhu — Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; jala-kṛtya kare — bathed and was chanting the Gāyatrī mantra within the water; āge — in front; hastī — the elephants; āilā — came; kṛṣṇa kaha — chant Hare Kṛṣṇa; bali’ — saying; prabhu — Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; jala pheli’ — throwing water; mārilā — struck.
While the Lord was bathing and murmuring the Gāyatrī mantra, the elephants came before Him. The Lord immediately splashed some water on the elephants and asked them to chant the name of Kṛṣṇa.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was the Supreme Personality of Godhead playing the part of a very great, advanced devotee. On the mahā-bhāgavata platform, the devotee makes no distinction between friends and enemies. On that platform he sees everyone as a servant of Kṛṣṇa. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (5.18):
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater [outcaste].”
A mahā-bhāgavata, being learned and advanced in spiritual consciousness, sees no difference between a tiger, an elephant or a learned scholar. The test of advanced spiritual consciousness is that one becomes fearless. He envies no one, and he is always engaged in the Lord’s service. He sees every living entity as an eternal part and parcel of the Lord, rendering service according to his capacity by the will of the Supreme Lord. As Kṛṣṇa confirms in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15):
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.”
The mahā-bhāgavata knows that Kṛṣṇa is in everyone’s heart. Kṛṣṇa is dictating, and the living entity is following His dictations. Kṛṣṇa is within the heart of the tiger, elephant and boar. Therefore Kṛṣṇa tells them, “Here is a mahā-bhāgavata. Please do not disturb him.” Why, then, should the animals be envious of such a great personality? Those who are neophytes or even a little progressed in devotional service should not try to imitate the mahā-bhāgavata. Rather, they should only follow in his footsteps. The word anukara means “imitating,” and anusara means “trying to follow in the footsteps.” We should not try to imitate the activities of a mahā-bhāgavata or Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Our best efforts should be exerted in trying to follow them according to our ability. The mahā-bhāgavata’s heart is completely freed from material contamination, and he can become very dear even to fierce animals like tigers and elephants. Indeed, the mahā-bhāgavata treats them as his very intimate friends. On this platform there is no question of envy. When the Lord was passing through the forest, He was in ecstasy, thinking the forest to be Vṛndāvana. He was simply searching for Kṛṣṇa.