The departure of Srila Haridas Thakur.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Srila Haridas Thakur took a leading part in many Pastimes of Mahaprabhu. Then, when Mahaprabhu took sannyas, He came to the house of Advaita Acharya. There, He said that He would settle in Jagannath Puri, and Haridas Thakur said to Him, “Prabhu, You will stay in Jagannath Puri, but mlechchhas cannot go there. So, what will I do?”

Mahaprabhu said, “I will take you there. You will pray to Jagannath and you will have a place there.”

Haridas knew that Mahaprabhu is the Lord Himself, and he went Jagannath Puri on His order. Mahaprabhu took a place in the garden of Kasi Misra’s house. The Siddha Bakul tree is there now. He saw a thatched hut and said to Kasi Misra, “I want that house for My use.” Then Mahaprabhu gave the house to Haridas Thakur. Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan later came and stayed there with Haridas Thakur. In this way, the Pastimes of Haridas Thakur continued.

Finally, Haridas Thakur wanted to leave his body. One day, he told Mahaprabhu, “It is coming to me that You will soon leave this world. I do not want to see the Pastime of Your divine departure. I pray that I may leave my body before that.”

prabhu kahe, “haridasa, ye tumi magibe
krsna krpamaya taha avasya karibe”
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Antya-lila, 11.37)

Mahaprabhu said, “O Haridas, Krishna must accept what you ask of Him.”

When Mahaprabhu came to Haridas Thakur the next day, Haridas said,

hrdaye dharimu tomara kamala charana
nayane dekhimu tomara chada vadana
jihvaya uchcharimu tomara ‘krsna-chaitanya’-nama
ei-mata mora ichchha, chhadimu parana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Antya-lila, 11.33–4)

“I will hold Your lotus feet on my chest, I will see Your lotus face with my eyes, and I will chant Your Name—Sri Krishna Chaitanya—as I leave my body. This is my desire.”

Here we find the speciality of Haridas Thakur. His whole life he chanted the Name of Krishna 300,000 times a day, but when he wanted to leave his body, he prayed to Mahaprabhu, “I will chant Your Holy Name: Sri Krishna Chaitanya.”

Mahaprabhu accepted Haridas’ prayer. Mahaprabhu did not give His foot-dust to anyone, but He agreed to give it to Haridas Thakur. Mahaprabhu accepted everything from Haridas.

The next day, Mahaprabhu came to Haridas Thakur with His associates, Vakresvara Pandit and others.

prabhu kahe, “haridasa, kaha samachara”
haridasa kahe, “prabhu, ye krpa tomara”
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Antya-lila, 11.47)

[“The Lord said, ‘Haridas, tell me the news.’ Haridas replied, ‘O Lord, whatever may be Your grace.’’]

angane arambhila prabhu mahasankirtana
vakresvara-pandita ta̐ha karena nartana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Antya-lila, 11.48)

Mahaprabhu started a great sankirtan in Haridas Thakur’s ashram, and finally, after two hours of dancing, Mahaprabhu told Haridas, “You may do as you like.” Haridas lied down and told Mahaprabhu to come and put His lotus feet on his chest. Mahaprabhu looked into the face of Haridas Thakur, and Haridas Thakur looked into the face of Mahaprabhu. It was inconceivable.

namera sahita prana kaila utkramana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Antya-lila, 11.56)

While chanting the Holy Name of Mahaprabhu, “Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Sri Krishna Chaitanya”, Haridas himself left his body with the Holy Name.

Mahaprabhu went to beg from everyone at the Jagannath Temple.

haridasa-thakurera mahotsavera tare
prasada magiye bhiksa deha’ ta’ amare
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Antya-lila, 11.74)

Mahaprabhu Himself made the festival for Haridas Thakur’s disappearance. All sellers of mahaprasad inside the Jagannath Temple gave so much. Kasi Misra and Sarvabhauma also sent so much mahaprasad. Mahaprabhu Himself made a grand festival.

harsa-visade prabhu visrama karila
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Antya-lila, 11.100)

Then, both happy and very sad that Haridas left, Mahaprabhu took rest. He was happy that Haridas Thakur did not want to see His more cruel Pastimes [of leaving this world], but also sad that He no longer had Haridas’ association.

Before I give Hari-nam to anyone, I always pray to Haridas Thakur, “I have no capacity, but you have full power. You must  save the spiritual life of this soul. I am only an instrument, and I am giving Hari-nam only by your order and the order of Mahaprabhu.”


Spoken 9 September 2003.

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern representative of the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Both definitive and progressive, his exemplary life, practice, and teachings brilliantly illuminate the path of divine love. For more information on Srila Govinda Maharaj, please visit his biography page.
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