Circa 500 years ago, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is Sri Krishna Himself manifested in this world in order to teach every living entity how to practice the path of Bhakti yoga, a simple but the most potent form of connecting our self with the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. He taught the simple process of chanting of the Holy names. He came along with His associates who also imparted a great lesson to humanity. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had said that if we want to understand the essence of scripture or religious activities we have to follow in the footsteps of great souls. His one associate especially came to teach us absorption in Holy name. Chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is Yuga Dharma for this age of Kali Yuga and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught this through Srila Haridas Thakur. Also Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught that if we want to chant then we have to be humble like a blade of grass, tolerate like a tree, offer our respects to all and expect none in return. He has taught this principle through Srila Haridas Thakur. In fact Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught many essential principle through the life of Srila Haridas Thakur. We will take one principle and focus on that in this article.
Krishna says in Gita that it is very difficult to overcome the material nature which consists of three modes but one who surrenders unto Me, he can very easily cross over it. This principle has been taught to us through the life of Srila Haridas Thakur.
Haridas thakur was so absorbed in the Holy names that he became famous and Ramchandra Khan who was the landowner in that area became envious of his fame. He made a plan to taint his character by sending a prostitute to his cottage. Srila Haridas Thakur understood the purpose of this prostitute’s visit to him. Srila Thakur Haridas was immersed in the chanting of the Maha Mantra as part of his vows to chant 192 rounds on daily basis. Srila Haridas Thakur asked her to wait until he finished his rounds. She waited and during her wait heard the chanting and due to hearing the holy names from a pure devotee, her heart was transformed and she became a first class devotee.
Another time Maya herself come to Srila Haridas Thakur to divert him from the path of bhakti. Srila Haridas Thakur remained fixed in his vows and finally his great attachment to holy names made ultimately Maya to take shelter of him and he initiated her also in the holy names.
What does Chaitanya Mahaprabhu want to teach through these incidents to the entire world? One reason is to glorify Srila Haridas Thakur, his attachment to the holy name, his uncontaminated pure devotional service and the other is to teach us that we can also say no to Maya provided we absorb our self in the chanting of holy names. He is a pure devotee of the Lord and will not get attracted to any allurement of this world. Srila Haridas Thakur was put to test for us. To show us how we can overcome the illusory temptations of this world by simply surrendering to Sri Krishna, by absorbing ourselves in the chanting of the Holy Names of Sri Krishna.
In the present age of Kali yoga, practically everywhere there is various temptations offered by the material nature but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us through Srila Haridas Thakur that if we humbly take shelter of Him, His Holy names, the process of Krishna Consciousness then we can say NO to this allurement, which is in the form of lust, ego, etc.
The only thing required is faith in the power of Bhakti and sincere commitment. Many a time we say that that even after years of practice of devotional service anarthas like lust is impossible to overcome. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us through Srila Haridas Thakur that by being completely absorbed in Krishna Consciousness, we can say no to any allurement of this world. Krishna is more stronger than this material nature, after all material nature is working under Him only.
So following in the footsteps of Srila Haridas Thakur, we should absorb ourselves in the Holy names “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare” and this absorption in holy name will keep us away from any allurement of this world.