Antya 11: The Passing of Haridāsa Ṭhākura

The summary of this chapter is given by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya as follows. In this chapter it is described how Brahmā Haridāsa Ṭhākura gave up his body with the consent of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and how the Lord Himself personally performed the funeral ceremony and carried the body to the sea. He personally entombed the body, covered it with sand and erected a platform on the site. After taking a bath in the sea, He personally begged prasādam of Jagannātha from shopkeepers and distributed prasādam to the assembled devotees.

CC Antya 11.1 Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Haridāsa Ṭhākura and his master, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who danced with the body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura on His lap.
CC Antya 11.2 All glories to Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is very merciful and who is very dear to Advaita Ācārya and Lord Nityānanda!
CC Antya 11.3 All glories to the master of Śrīnivāsa Ṭhākura! All glories to the master of Haridāsa Ṭhākura! All glories to the dear master of Gadādhara Paṇḍita! All glories to the master of the life of Svarūpa Dāmodara!
CC Antya 11.4 All glories to Lord Śrī Caitanya, who is very dear to Kāśī Miśra! He is the Lord of the life of Jagadānanda and the Lord of Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.
CC Antya 11.5 All glories to the transcendental form of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is Kṛṣṇa Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead! My dear Lord, kindly give me shelter at Your lotus feet by Your causeless mercy.
CC Antya 11.6 All glories to Lord Nityānanda, who is the life and soul of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! My dear Lord, kindly give me engagement in devotional service at Your lotus feet.
CC Antya 11.7 All glories to Advaita Ācārya, who is treated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as superior due to His age and respectability! Please give me engagement in devotional service at Your lotus feet.
CC Antya 11.8 All glories to all the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, for the Lord is their life and soul! All of you, kindly bestow devotional service upon me.
CC Antya 11.9 All glories to Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī and Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana! They are all my masters.
CC Antya 11.10 I am writing this narration of the pastimes and attributes of the Lord by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates. I do not know how to write properly, but I am purifying myself by writing this description.
CC Antya 11.11 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu thus resided at Jagannātha Purī with His personal devotees and enjoyed the congregational chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
CC Antya 11.12 In the daytime Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu engaged in dancing and chanting and in seeing the temple of Lord Jagannātha. At night, in the company of His most confidential devotees, such as Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, He tasted the nectar of the transcendental mellows of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.
CC Antya 11.13 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu very happily passed His days in this way at Nīlācala, Jagannātha Purī. Feeling separation from Kṛṣṇa, He exhibited many transcendental symptoms all over His body.
CC Antya 11.14 Day after day the symptoms increased, and at night they increased even more. All these symptoms, such as transcendental anxiety, agitation and talking like a madman, were present, just as they are described in the śāstras.
CC Antya 11.15 Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Rāmānanda Rāya, the chief assistants in Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes, remained with Him both day and night.
CC Antya 11.16 One day Govinda, the personal servant of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, went in great jubilation to deliver the remnants of Lord Jagannātha’s food to Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
CC Antya 11.17 When Govinda came to Haridāsa, he saw that Haridāsa Ṭhākura was lying on his back and chanting his rounds very slowly.
CC Antya 11.18 “Please rise and take your mahā-prasādam,” Govinda said.
CC Antya 11.19 “I have not finished chanting my regular number of rounds. How, then, can I eat? But you have brought mahā-prasādam, and how can I neglect it?”
CC Antya 11.20 Saying this, he offered prayers to the mahā-prasādam, took a little portion, and ate it.
CC Antya 11.21 The next day, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to Haridāsa’s place and inquired from him, “Haridāsa, are you well?”
CC Antya 11.22 Haridāsa offered his obeisances to the Lord and replied, “My body is all right, but my mind and intelligence are not well.”
CC Antya 11.23 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu further inquired from Haridāsa, “Can you ascertain what your disease is?”
Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied, “My disease is that I cannot complete my rounds.”
CC Antya 11.24 “Now that you have become old,” the Lord said, “you may reduce the number of rounds you chant daily. You are already liberated, and therefore you need not follow the regulative principles very strictly.
CC Antya 11.25 “Your role in this incarnation is to deliver the people in general. You have sufficiently preached the glories of the holy name in this world.”
CC Antya 11.26 The Lord concluded, “Now, therefore, please reduce the fixed number of times you chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.”
CC Antya 11.27 “I was born in an inferior family, and my body is most abominable. I always engage in low work. Therefore, I am the lowest, most condemned of men.
CC Antya 11.28 “I am unseeable and untouchable, but You have accepted me as Your servant. This means that You have delivered me from a hellish condition and raised me to the Vaikuṇṭha platform.
CC Antya 11.29 “My dear Lord, You are the fully independent Personality of Godhead. You act by Your own free will. You cause the whole world to dance and act as You like.
CC Antya 11.30 “My dear Lord, by Your mercy You have made me dance in many ways. For example, I was offered the śrāddha-pātra, which should have been offered to first-class brāhmaṇas. I ate from it even though I was born in a family of meat-eaters.
CC Antya 11.31 “I have had one desire for a very long time. I think that quite soon, my Lord, You will bring to a close Your pastimes within this material world.
CC Antya 11.32 “I wish that You not show me this closing chapter of Your pastimes. Before that time comes, kindly let my body fall down in Your presence.
CC Antya 11.33 “I wish to catch Your lotuslike feet upon my heart and see Your moonlike face.
CC Antya 11.34 “With my tongue I shall chant Your holy name, ‘Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya!’ That is my desire. Kindly let me give up my body in this way.
CC Antya 11.35 “O most merciful Lord, if by Your mercy it is possible, kindly grant my desire.
CC Antya 11.36 “Let this lowborn body fall down before You. You can make possible this perfection of all my desires.”
CC Antya 11.37 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “My dear Haridāsa, Kṛṣṇa is so merciful that He must execute whatever you want.
CC Antya 11.38 “But whatever happiness is Mine is all due to your association. It is not fitting for you to go away and leave Me behind.”
CC Antya 11.39 Catching the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Haridāsa Ṭhākura said, “My Lord, do not create an illusion! Although I am so fallen, You must certainly show me this mercy!
CC Antya 11.40 “My Lord, there are many respectable personalities, millions of devotees, who are fit to sit on my head. They are all helpful in Your pastimes.
CC Antya 11.41 “My Lord, if an insignificant insect like me dies, what is the loss? If an ant dies, where is the loss to the material world?
CC Antya 11.42 “My Lord, You are always affectionate to Your devotees. I am just an imitation devotee, but nevertheless I wish that You fulfill my desire. That is my expectation.”
CC Antya 11.43 Because He had to perform His noon duties, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu got up to leave, but it was settled that the following day, after He saw Lord Jagannātha, He would return to visit Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
CC Antya 11.44 After embracing him, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu left to perform His noon duties and went to the sea to take His bath.
CC Antya 11.45 The next morning, after visiting the Jagannātha temple, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, accompanied by all His devotees, went hastily to see Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
CC Antya 11.46 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the devotees came before Haridāsa Ṭhākura, who offered his respects to the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all the Vaiṣṇavas.
CC Antya 11.47 Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired, “My dear Haridāsa, what is the news?”
CC Antya 11.48 Upon hearing this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately began great congregational chanting in the courtyard. Vakreśvara Paṇḍita was the chief dancer.
CC Antya 11.49 Headed by Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, all the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu surrounded Haridāsa Ṭhākura and began congregational chanting.
CC Antya 11.50 In front of all the great devotees like Rāmānanda Rāya and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to describe the holy attributes of Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
CC Antya 11.51 As He described the transcendental attributes of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu seemed to possess five mouths. The more He described, the more His great happiness increased.
CC Antya 11.52 After hearing of the transcendental qualities of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, all the devotees present were struck with wonder. They all offered their respectful obeisances to the lotus feet of Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
CC Antya 11.53 Haridāsa Ṭhākura made Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sit down in front of him, and then he fixed his eyes, like two bumblebees, on the lotus face of the Lord.
CC Antya 11.54 He held the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu on his heart and then took the dust of the feet of all the devotees present and put it on his head.
CC Antya 11.55 He began to chant the holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya again and again. As he drank the sweetness of the face of the Lord, tears constantly glided down from his eyes.
CC Antya 11.56 While chanting the holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, he gave up his air of life and left his body.
CC Antya 11.57 Seeing the wonderful death of Haridāsa Ṭhākura by his own will, which was just like a great mystic yogī’s, everyone remembered the passing away of Bhīṣma.
CC Antya 11.58 There was a tumultuous noise as they all chanted the holy names “Hari” and “Kṛṣṇa.” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became overwhelmed with ecstatic love.
CC Antya 11.59 The Lord raised the body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and placed it on His lap. Then He began to dance in the courtyard in great ecstatic love.
CC Antya 11.60 Because of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s ecstatic love, all the devotees were helpless, and in ecstatic love they also began to dance and chant congregationally.
CC Antya 11.61 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced for some time, and then Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī informed Him of other rituals for the body of Ṭhākura Haridāsa.
CC Antya 11.62 The body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura was then raised onto a carrier that resembled an airship and taken to the sea, accompanied by congregational chanting.
CC Antya 11.63 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced in front of the procession, and Vakreśvara Paṇḍita, along with the other devotees, chanted and danced behind Him.
CC Antya 11.64 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bathed the body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura in the sea and then declared, “From this day on, this sea has become a great pilgrimage site.”
CC Antya 11.65 Everyone drank the water that had touched the lotus feet of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, and then they smeared remnants of Lord Jagannātha’s sandalwood pulp over Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s body.
CC Antya 11.66 After a hole was dug in the sand, the body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura was placed into it. Remnants from Lord Jagannātha, such as His silken ropes, sandalwood pulp, food and cloth, were placed on the body.
CC Antya 11.67 All around the body, the devotees performed congregational chanting, and Vakreśvara Paṇḍita danced in jubilation.
CC Antya 11.68 With His transcendental hands, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally covered the body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura with sand, chanting “Haribol! Haribol!”
CC Antya 11.69 The devotees covered the body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura with sand and then constructed a platform upon the site. The platform was protected all around by fencing.
CC Antya 11.70 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced and chanted all around the platform, and as the holy name of Hari roared tumultuously, the whole universe became filled with the vibration.
CC Antya 11.71 After saṅkīrtana, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bathed in the sea with His devotees, swimming and playing in the water in great jubilation.
CC Antya 11.72 After circumambulating the tomb of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to the Siṁha-dvāra gate of the Jagannātha temple. The whole city chanted in congregation, and the tumultuous sound vibrated all over the city.
CC Antya 11.73 Approaching the Siṁha-dvāra gate, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu spread His cloth and began to beg prasādam from all the shopkeepers there.
CC Antya 11.74 “I am begging prasādam for a festival honoring the passing away of Haridāsa Ṭhākura,” the Lord said. “Please give Me alms.”
CC Antya 11.75 Hearing this, all the shopkeepers immediately came forward with big baskets of prasādam, which they jubilantly delivered to Lord Caitanya.
CC Antya 11.76 However, Svarūpa Dāmodara stopped them, and the shopkeepers returned to their shops and sat down with their baskets.
CC Antya 11.77 Svarūpa Dāmodara sent Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu back to His residence and kept with him four Vaiṣṇavas and four servant carriers.
CC Antya 11.78 Svarūpa Dāmodara said to all the shopkeepers, “Deliver to me four palmfuls of prasādam from each and every item.”
CC Antya 11.79 In this way varieties of prasādam were collected, then packed up in different loads and carried on the heads of the four servants.
CC Antya 11.80 Not only did Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī bring prasādam, but Vāṇīnātha Paṭṭanāyaka and Kāśī Miśra also sent large quantities.
CC Antya 11.81 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu made all the devotees sit in rows and personally began to distribute the prasādam, assisted by four other men.
CC Antya 11.82 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was not accustomed to taking prasādam in small quantities. He therefore put on each plate what at least five men could eat.
CC Antya 11.83 Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī requested Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “Please sit down and watch. With these men to help me, I shall distribute the prasādam.”
CC Antya 11.84 The four men — Svarūpa Dāmodara, Jagadānanda, Kāśīśvara and Śaṅkara — distributed the prasādam continuously.
CC Antya 11.85 All the devotees who sat down would not eat the prasādam as long as the Lord had not eaten. On that day, however, Kāśī Miśra had extended an invitation to the Lord.
CC Antya 11.86 Therefore Kāśī Miśra personally went there and delivered prasādam to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu with great attention and made Him eat.
CC Antya 11.87 With Paramānanda Purī and Brahmānanda Bhāratī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sat down and accepted the prasādam. When He began to eat, so did all the Vaiṣṇavas.
CC Antya 11.88 Everyone was filled up to the neck because Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu kept telling the distributors, “Give them more! Give them more!”
CC Antya 11.89 After all the devotees finished accepting prasādam and had washed their hands and mouths, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu decorated each of them with a flower garland and sandalwood pulp.
CC Antya 11.90 Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu offered a benediction to all the devotees, which all the devotees heard with great satisfaction.
CC Antya 11.91-93 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave this benediction: “Anyone who has seen the festival of Śrī Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s passing away, anyone who has chanted and danced here, anyone who has offered sand on the body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, and anyone who has joined this festival to partake of the prasādam will achieve the favor of Kṛṣṇa very soon. There is such wonderful power in seeing Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
CC Antya 11.94 “Being merciful upon Me, Kṛṣṇa gave Me the association of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Being independent in His desires, He has now broken that association.
CC Antya 11.95 “When Haridāsa Ṭhākura wanted to leave this material world, it was not within My power to detain him.
CC Antya 11.96 “Simply by his will, Haridāsa Ṭhākura could give up his life and go away, exactly like Bhīṣma, who previously died simply by his own desire, as we have heard from śāstra.
CC Antya 11.97 “Haridāsa Ṭhākura was the crown jewel on the head of this world; without him, this world is now bereft of its valuable jewel.”
CC Antya 11.98 Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then told everyone, “Say ‘All glories to Haridāsa Ṭhākura!’ and chant the holy name of Hari.” Saying this, He personally began to dance.
CC Antya 11.99 Everyone began to chant, “All glories to Haridāsa Ṭhākura, who revealed the importance of chanting the holy name of the Lord!”
CC Antya 11.100 Thereafter, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu bade farewell to all the devotees, and He Himself, with mixed feelings of happiness and distress, took rest.
CC Antya 11.101 Thus I have spoken about the victorious passing away of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Anyone who hears this narration will certainly fix his mind firmly in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa.
CC Antya 11.102 From the incident of Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s passing away and the great care Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took in commemorating it, one can understand just how affectionate He is toward His devotees. Although He is the topmost of all sannyāsīs, He fully satisfied the desire of Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
CC Antya 11.103 When Haridāsa Ṭhākura was at the last stage of his life, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave him His company and allowed him to touch Him. Thereafter, He took the body of Ṭhākura Haridāsa on His lap and personally danced with it.
CC Antya 11.104 Out of His causeless mercy the Lord personally covered the body of Haridāsa Ṭhākura with sand and personally begged alms from the shopkeepers. Then He conducted a great festival to celebrate the passing away of Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
CC Antya 11.105 Haridāsa Ṭhākura was not only the topmost devotee of the Lord but also a great and learned scholar. It was his great fortune that he passed away before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
CC Antya 11.106 The life and characteristics of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are exactly like an ocean of nectar, one drop of which can please the mind and ear.
CC Antya 11.107 Anyone who desires to cross over the ocean of nescience, please hear with great faith the life and characteristics of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
CC Antya 11.108 Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.