Lord Chaitanya came to this world with a mission to deliver the conditioned souls from material suffering through the chanting of the holy names of Krishna. Although before His
appearance, sacred Vedic mantras were accessible only to the higher castes, especially the brahmanas, Lord Chaitanya was so compassionate that He did not consider who was qualified to receive the holy name and who was not. Seeing all beings as equal on the spiritual platform, in a revolutionary spirit, He overturned the social system of India at the time by freely giving the Hare Krishna mantra to everyone regardless of caste, creed, race, gender, age, or even species! To this day, Lord Chaitanya is noted in the pages of Indian History as a great social reformer who contributed toward abolishing the oppressive Indian caste system by allowing even the “untouchables” to chant Hare Krishna.
His conviction was that anyone who sincerely chants the Hare Krishna mantra and follows the principles of bhakti is immediately elevated to the position of a Vaishnava (devotee of Vishnu or Krishna) which is even higher than that of a brahmana. In other words, by the purifying potency of the holy names, the worst sinner can be transformed into a genuine saint. Since His time, there have been hundreds of thousands of examples to attest to this fact.
Lord Chaitanya’s followers imbibed His mood of jiva-doya, compassion for all living beings, and with His same revolutionary spirit, sought to change the world by sharing the Hare Krishna mantra on a global scale. Most notable in this regard is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder/acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Starting his mission from the age of 69, Srila Prabhupada traveled around the world 14 times in just 11 years and established the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra across every habitable continent. Thus, he took great strides towards fulfilling the vision of Lord Chaitanya who predicted that, “In every town and village all around the world, the holy names of the Lord will be spread.”
Now, the mission is in our hands. Lord Chaitanya gave an open instruction to all of us: “Wherever you go, whomever you meet, tell them about Krishna. In this way, become a guru, and deliver the land.” By following the process chalked out by Lord Chaitanya, anyone can be delivered and can simultaneously by empowered to deliver others. In this way, Lord Chaitanya’s gift is the gift that keeps on giving!
This is because a saintly person cannot bear to see the suffering of others. This past year there has been so much suffering in the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the root cause of all disease, in fact, the root cause of all material suffering, is forgetfulness of our spiritual identity, of our real purpose, and of our relationship with God. Every living being on this planet is infected with this disease to some degree. And all other diseases, like Covid-19, are just secondary symptoms of this one.
Fortunately, the medicine to cure it and the vaccination to prevent it is already here. The chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare – is a potent medicine which knocks out the virus of ignorance and restores us to a state of spiritual well-being. One who chants this mantra daily is effectively immunized against ignorance, vice, and their consequent miseries.
Lord Chaitanya spearheaded the mass distribution of this vaccine over 500 years ago, but distribution has been slow because people are reluctant to take it, having been deterred by the conspiracy theories of misinformed atheists and cynics. Of course, it is true that the medicine has some serious side-effects. Clinical trials on millions of people have shown that within weeks after one starts to chant regularly, one develops peacefulness, self-control, patience, tolerance, cleanliness, wisdom, mercy, equal-vision, truthfulness, and other related symptoms. While chanting, one may spontaneously dance, tears may flow from the eyes uncontrollably, and one may experience trembling of the body. These are natural symptoms of transcendental ecstasy resulting from re-establishing one’s relationship with Krishna.
Lord Chaitanya wants all of us to take the medicine and distribute it to others. He encourages everyone to go door-to-door, town-to-town, wherever people are gathered and distribute the holy names. He also advised that all who do so should learn from a bona-fide spiritual master the science of how the Hare Krishna mantra works. Having acquired a solid philosophically understanding, we will be able to defeat all conspiracy theories and convince others to chant the holy names. In this way, the dangers of material life will be diminished, and whole world will be benefited.
Lord Chaitanya is eager to shower His mercy on any person from any walk of life who is willing to assist in His mercy mission. So, let us all become emissaries of Lord Chaitanya’s compassion and do our part to make this world a happier and healthier place.