Nama Acharya Srila Haridas Thakur


Haridas Thakur is considered to be the namacarya, the spiritual master in chanting the holy name of Krsna. Though he was born in a low class, Muslim family, Lord Caitanya’s devotees respected him as being better than the best of brahmanas. He would not eat or sleep until he finished his daily quota of chanting the name of Krsna 300,000 times. Along with Lord Nityananda, Haridas Thakur spread the chanting of Krsna’s name throughout Bengal. In Jagannatha Puri, where Haridas Thakur spent his later days, Lord Caitanya would regularly send him prasadam and discuss with him topics of Krsna. Haridas Thakur died chanting Krsna’s name in the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After Haridas Thakur’s death, Lord Caitanya carried his body to the sea and with His own hands buried him in the sand.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
Antya-lila 3 Text49-
The Glories of Srila Haridasa Thakura

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu derives great pleasure from glorifying His devotees, and among the devotees, Haridāsa Ṭhākura is the foremost.

The transcendental qualities of Haridāsa Ṭhākura are innumerable and unfathomable. One may describe a portion of them, but to count them all is impossible.

In Caitanya-maṅgala, Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has described the attributes of Haridāsa Ṭhākura to some extent.

No one can describe all the qualities of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. One may say something about them just to purify himself.

O devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, please hear something about the qualities of Haridāsa Ṭhākura that Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has not described in detail.

After leaving his home, Haridāsa Ṭhākura stayed for some time in the forest of Benāpola.

Haridāsa Ṭhākura constructed a cottage in a solitary forest. There he planted a tulasī plant, and in front of the tulasī he would chant the holy name of the Lord 300,000 times daily. He chanted throughout the entire day and night.

Purport

The village of Benāpola is situated in the district of Yaśohara, which is now in Bangladesh. Benāpola is near the Banagāṅo station, which is at the border of Bangladesh and may be reached by the eastern railway from Shelda Station in Calcutta. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, being the ācārya of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, is called Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. From his personal Example we can understand that chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and becoming highly elevated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very simple. Without difficulty one can sit down anywhere, especially on the bank of the Ganges, Yamunā or any sacred river, devise a sitting place or cottage, plant a tulasī, and before the tulasī chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra undisturbed.

Haridāsa Ṭhākura used to chant the holy name on his beads 300,000 times daily. Throughout the entire day and night, he would chant the sixteen names of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. One should not, however, imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura, for no one else can chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra 300,000 times a day. Such chanting is for the mukta-puruṣa, or liberated soul. We can follow his example, however, by chanting sixteen rounds of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra on beads every day and offering respect to the tulasī plant. This is not at all difficult for anyone, and the process of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra with a vow before the tulasī plant has such great spiritual potency that simply by doing this one can become spiritually strong. Therefore we request the members of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement to follow Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s example rigidly. Chanting sixteen rounds does not take much time, nor is offering respects to the tulasī plant difficult. The process has immense spiritual potency. One should not miss this opportunity.

Note: As Srila Prabhupada points out in his purport to Adi-lila 10, 43;

“Certainly the chanting of 300,000 holy names of the Lord is wonderful. No ordinary person can chant so many names, nor should one artificially imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s behavior. It is essential, however, that everyone fulfill a specific vow to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Therefore we have prescribed in our Society that all our students must chant at least sixteen rounds daily. Such chanting must be offenseless in order to be of high quality. Mechanical chanting is not as powerful as chanting of the holy name without offenses.”

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