Report of The Preaching Activities
The root of Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa is established at Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma, at Śrī Surabhī Kuñja, Śrī Godruma-kṣetra, and its branches and sub-branches are spread throughout India. From time to time, the employees travel from the main market to different places to see how the work of the Nāma Haṭṭa is progressing. What the inspectors have seen up till now is herewith revealed.
On Sunday, 21 Bhadra, 406 Caitanyābda, the sweeper, the market reporter, and two other employees of the Nāma Haṭṭa visited the Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa in Rampurnagar, in Hooghly District. There, at what is now a Mahāprabhu Mandira, the traveling salesman Śrīyuta Kṛṣṇakiśora Goswami gathered an assembly of devoted brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. After a brief discussion on bhakti and varṇāśrama, the traveling salesman Śrīyuta Kālidās Saha, together with other devotees, sang in a sweet voice Lord Caitanya’s Śikṣāṣṭaka (published in the fourth guṭi of the Bhaktisiddhānta Mālā). The Nāma Haṭṭa employees who were present experienced extreme satisfaction to see the assembled brāhmaṇas’ wonderful devotion for Śrī Caitanya.
On Monday, 5 Aswin, Caitanyābda 406, the sweeper of the Nāma Haṭṭa, his assistant, and the flag bearer arrived after dark in the town of Ghatal, Midnapur District. With saṅkīrtana, the local devotees escorted the Nāma Haṭṭa employees to the Hari-sabhā. More than a thousand devotees of the Nāma Haṭṭa assembled and engaged in massive saṅkīrtana. At sunrise the next day, along with all the devotees of Ramjivanpura, they performed blissful kīrtana and inspected the activities of the Nāma Haṭṭa in the prapannāśrama of Śrīyuta Kuñja-bihāri Paina. More than a thousand devotees assembled, loudly chanting the name of Hari. The Nāma Haṭṭa commander for that area, Śrīyuta Umacharana Vidyāratna, warmly welcomed the sweeper, Bhaktivinoda; his assistant, Bhakti-bṛṅga; the devotee Sītānātha; and the assembled Nāma Haṭṭa employees. The sweeper, Bhaktivinoda, gave a lecture on the glories of the holy name.
The captivating lecture and personally composed Vaiṣṇava songs filled the assembled devotees with prema. The traveling salesmen Śrīyuta Rāmadās Bābājī and Śrīyuta Ädhāracandra Tārakālankara satisfied the assembly with sweet lectures. Three hours after darkness had fallen, the assembly dispersed with loud chanting of “Hari!” and pure nāma-saṅkīrtana.
At daybreak on 7 Aswin, street saṅkīrtana went out with a great gathering of Ramjivanpura villagers. The special decorations and maṇḍapas in front of the houses was a wonderful sight to see. Thereafter, the saṅkīrtana party proceeded on the main road, and from their homes devotees were chanting the name of Hari with great devotion. At one maṇḍapa, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and the traveling salesmen explained the glories and truth of the holy name, while from all four directions the village womenfolk raised their voices in ululations. In some places the school children, breaking loose from their teacher’s care, cried “Haribol!” and ran toward the saṅkīrtana party. All of the devotees were feeling mutual bliss. The minds of everyone present were captured by this enchanting scene. Śrīyuta Śrīvāsacandra Ädya, Śrī Gaṅgādhara Pal, Śrī Rādhānātha Dās, Śrī Mādhavacandra Dey, Śrī Umeścandra Modak, Śrī Trailokya Dāsa, storekeeper Śrī Jadunātha Pal, and the best of the brāhmaṇas, Śrīyuta Dīnānātha Raya, each had at their home a separate individual saṅkīrtana meeting.
Later, at the village of Srinagar, in the Hari-sabhā established by the Nāma Haṭṭa, Bhaktivinoda and the employees gained by their discourses the affection of nearly two thousand assembled persons. Śrīyuta Hṛdāyanātha Karmakar and other Nāma Haṭṭa singers sang sweetly, and the dancer Śrīyuta Sītānātha Harā and others danced to the kīrtana and enchanted all those present.
On 8 Aswin, in a massive gathering at Ramjivanpura, all the Nāma Haṭṭa employees did nāma-kīrtana from house to house. At the homes of Śrīyuta Umeścandra Modaka, Śrīyuta Ananta Gayen, Śrīyuta Rāmacandra Datta, Śrīyuta Śrīnivāsa Rauth, and Śrīyuta Rāmakapa Rauth, a great multitude of persons received the message of Mahāprabhu. Finally, at the nātyaśala of Śrī Pārvatīnātha-Mahādeva, nearly two and a half thousand persons came together, and the commander glorified Mahāprabhu from the Vedas and Purāṇas. During that event of pure devotional preaching, the sweeper, Bhaktivinoda, pointed out the uselessness of the impersonal philosophy. Later, at the prapannāśrama of the storekeeper Śrīyuta Jadunātha Bal, the rasika-maṇḍala performed kīrtana.
On 9 Aswin, all the Nāma Haṭṭa workers gathered at Hatipur Devakhand, where nearly three thousand people had assembled at the nātyaśala of Jagajananī-Bhadrakālī. The traveling salesman of that place, Śrīyuta Keśavacandra Cakravarti, had made many preparations, with gates and pandals. With great enthusiasm, the villagers took the Nāma Haṭṭa workers from the bank of the river to a pandal. Along the way, village women who were filled with ecstasy were ululating.
Those present will not forget the enchanting scene. Everyone lost consciousness and was submerged in the ocean of kṛṣṇa-prema. After all the devotees were properly seated in the maṇḍapa, the following song was sung in the Baul melody.
nitāi nāma hāṭe, o ke jābire bhāi, āya chuṭe
ese pāṣaṇḍa jagāi mādhāi du-jana sakala hāṭer māla nile juṭe
hāṭer aṁsī mahājana, śrī advaita, sanātana
bhāṇḍārī śrī gadādhara paṇḍita vicakṣana
āchena caukidāra haridāsādi halen śrī sañjaya
śrī śrīdhara māte dālāla keśava bhāratī, śrī vidyā vācaspati
paricāraka āchen kṛṣṇadāsa prabhṛti
hon koṣadhyākṣa śrivāsa paṇḍita, jhāḍudāra kedāra jute
hāṭer mūlya nirupaṇa, naya-bhakti prakāśana
prema heno mudrā sarva-sāra saṁyamana nāi kamī veśī samāna
o jana re, saba eto mane bojhaya uthe
ei premera uddeśa, eka sādhu upadeśa
sudhā-maya harināma rūpa su-sandeśa,
ete baro nai re dveṣadveṣa
khāya eka pāte kānu-kuṭhe
(“O brothers! Nityānanda is present in the market-place of the holy name. Whoever is coming to see Him, run quickly! The two greatly sinful rascals Jagāi and Mādhāi have looted the marketplace and taken all the goods.
There you will find the share traders, Śrī Advaita Äcārya and Sanātana Gosvāmī. The storekeeper is the expert Gadādhara Paṇḍita.
The watchmen are Haridāsa Ṭhākura and others, Sanjaya and Śrīdhara are the porters, Keśava Bhāratī and Vidyā-vācaspati are brokers, and Kṛṣṇadāsa and others are servants. Śrīvasa Paṇḍita is the treasurer, and Kedārnātha is appropriately the sweeper.
The cost of the goods in the marketplace is the nine-fold process of devotional service, and the currency is prema, the topmost essence. There is no restriction for purchasing these goods. Here, both customers who have only a little wealth and those who have much wealth are considered equal.
O people, just load up with as much of the goods as you like—there is no shortage. This is good advice for attaining love of God. The auspicious news of this marketplace comes in the form of the nectarean holy name of Lord Hari. While availing yourselves of this benediction, let there be no malice or favoritism. Let all, whoever they may be, eat from the same plate.”)
(For the sake of brevity, the translator omitted the events of 10 Aswin and 11 Aswin.)
In the morning of 12 Aswin, Nāma Haṭṭa workers assembled at Bhakti-nidhī’s Vadana Ganj Prapannāśrama. Later, at Noyapat Bazar, nearly four thousand people came to see the Nāma Haṭṭa workers. The first few minutes were spent in getting the people to be quiet. Bhakti-nidhī’s lecture was followed by a lecture by Bhaktivinoda on the śloka from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam vadanti tat tattva vidas tattvam. With this śloka he destroyed the māyāvādī philosophy and established the truth of pure devotion to Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Thereafter, the traveling salesman Paṇḍita Śrīyuta Amarendranātha Shom gave a lecture filled with devotion. Then salesman Śrīyuta Rāmānanda Dāsa Bābājī gave a long lecture about hari-nāma. During all of these lectures, the listener’s hearts were filled with devotional ecstasy, which was exhibited by frequent applause and the crying of “Hari!” in love-filled enthusiasm.
(For the sake of brevity, the translator omitted the events of 14 Aswin and 16 Aswin.)
On inspecting the Ghatal and Jahanabad groups, the Nāma Haṭṭa workers could see what a tremendous effect the work of the Nāma Haṭṭa had made in such a short time. It is well known that the traveling salesmen have been doing their job with great care. In particular, the supervisor, Śrīyuta Mukhopādhyāya Bhakti-bhūṣaṇa, has done especially noteworthy service in the Ghatal area. If employees such as he were to be found in every area, that would be a source of great joy. We expect to feel equally pleased upon inspecting the other areas under his supervision.
It is important that each worker of the Nāma Haṭṭa very carefully observe the following points:
- The glories of the Nāma Haṭṭa being revealed in every house depends on the work of the tāhaldāra.
- At the time of hari-nāma bhajanas and kīrtanas, we noted the singing of many songs that were filled with conceptions of materialism, voidism, and sense enjoyment. This must not to be done in Nāma Haṭṭa. It is proper to sing only songs composed by the previous mahājanas or ācāryas, or those published by the Vaiṣṇava-siddhānta Mālā, or other Vaiṣṇava songs following in this line. Apart from these, no others should be sung. In this regard, I hope that devotees who are in charge of Nāma Haṭṭa operations in the areas concerned will be vigilant.
- It was seen that in many places the workers of Nāma Haṭṭa received special prasāda from the devotees and that this hampered the workers’ ability to taste transcendental mellows. This is not desirable. But that does not mean that the proper reception of guests is forbidden.
- In several places, various spontaneous songwriters have accepted the Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa verses but still sing songs from their previous experiences. All such songs are against the principles of pure devotion. It is my desire that songs based on pure devotion and the pure name be composed. If the leader in each area can prepare songs with proper verse, melody, and beat, we will print them in the Vaiṣṇava-siddhānta Mālā.
- Those groups who do not discuss pure devotion and the pure name but simply engage in collecting money should not keep a close connection with the Nāma Haṭṭa organization. Otherwise, the glories of the Nāma Haṭṭa will be finished.
(Signed) Śrī Rāma Sevaka Chattopādhyāya Bhakti-bhṛṅga; Śrī Kedārnātha Datta Bhaktivinoda, the sweeper; and Śrī Sitānātha Dās Mahāpatra, the flag bearer
Blissful Preaching Experiences
In the abode of Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma, at Śrī Surabhī Kuñja, Godruma, the Nāma Haṭṭa sweeper, preachers, and other workers have been busily engaged for the occasion of Niyama-sevā, with special religious observances and various festivals of the holy name.
Each day from 27 Aswin through 30 Kārtika, the agenda has been ārati, saṅkīrtana, reading from the scriptures, lectures from the books, darśana of the Deity of Mahāprabhu, and also street saṅkīrtana.
The above-mentioned activities were performed at Gaura Daha, Sapta-ṛṣi Bhajana- sthāna, Haṁsa Bhavan, Svarāṭ-śaila, Hari-Harā–kṣetra, Hiraṇya Kuñja and other places of the Lord’s pastimes. Devotional songs and special lectures connected with the particular pastimes of each place were also performed.
It is not possible to explain how much bliss the villagers in those places experienced upon hearing the glories thereof. Some began rolling in the dust and chanting the name “Gaurāṅga” in transcendental joy, others’ eyes filled with tears, which dampened the earth, and everyone’s hair stood on end due to devotional ecstasy. At Hiraṇya Kuñja, Śrīyuta Naphar Candra Pal Caudhurī did a special kīrtana of the name, wherein he displayed spontaneous bliss.
Headed by the mahānta of Godruma, Śrīyuta Nīla-mādhava Cakravārti, a loud saṅkīrtana party traveled around Navadvīpa and visited various temples, such as Prauḍha-māyā. The listeners were submerged in the pure chanting of the name. Gaurāṅga-kīrtana was performed in the courtyard of Mahāprabhu. Children, babies, and the elderly were all stunned as they listened with rapt attention, and they expressed great satisfaction. With trembling bodies and their eyes filled with tears of love, they began to shower sweets, like a rain of flowers, upon the singers. Many talented and intelligent paṇḍitas were also present. None of them had ever heard such a rendering of the name, which delighted the hearts of all living beings.
Rules for Patrolmen and Commanders
In the Second Desire Tree of this publication, twenty kinds of workers were mentioned. In addition to those, a few others are also employed. As the preaching of the Nāma Haṭṭa continues strongly, atheist demons who support Kali put forth many arguments against the Nāma Haṭṭa. To defeat the atheist Kali and his soldiers, Śrī Nityānanda created an army to protect the transcendental preaching of the Lord’s name imbued with prema. The chief limbs of the army are the commander in chief (pradhāna senāpati), the state commander (pradeśastha senāpati), the area chief (cakrastha senāpati), the patrolman (tāhaldāra, padātika), and other workers to assist these soldiers. The patrolman works in the villages, while the area commander, the state commander, and the commander in chief destroy all atheistic opinions by giving arguments based on scriptures and ultimately establish the glories of chanting the holy name.
Rules for Patrolmen
- Dressed in appropriate Vaiṣṇava apparel, each patrolman will patrol his designated area by doing kīrtana with karatālas. Each day he will visit at least five householders and preach to them the message of Mahāprabhu.
- He will remain at the householder’s place only long enough to preach the order of Śrī Caitanya, and no longer.
- He will sing the order of Mahāprabhu in a humble way.
- No material reward should be either requested or accepted from the householders.
- If a householder resorts to any form of rude behavior, the patrolman should satisfy him with sweet words and attention. Under no circumstances should anger or contempt be allowed to enter the patrolman’s mind.
- If any person wants to engage in debate with the patrolman, the patrolman should inform the local commander.
- The patrolman will carry with him a flag or banner of the Nāma Haṭṭa.
- Those who are beggars and maintain themselves by chanting the holy name are disqualified from becoming patrolmen.
- No one should desire any material reward for his work for the Nāma Haṭṭa. For one’s maintenance, one should depend on his personal occupation. Flags, banners, and karatālas should be purchased by his own income. By thus performing selfless service, he will be able to satisfy the chief merchant, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu.
Rules for Commanders
- The commanders will establish the principle of pure bhakti by taking assistance of the Vedas and of authorized smṛti-śāstras and mimāṁsā-śāstras.
- The commanders will go from village to village to appoint patrolmen, to teach them the protocol, and, if necessary, to protect them by giving instructions filled with bhakti.
(Signed) The sweeper of Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa, the fallen, worthless servant, Śrī Kedārnātha Bhaktivinoda Surabhī Kuñja, Godrumadvīpa, Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma