Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is recognised in the Vedic literature as non different from Krishna. It is said that when any incarnation of the Lord appears in this world it must be that that incarnation is referred to in scripture, not that just anyone can stand and say ” I am God.”
Not long ago I met God, in New York, right?! It was a big surprise because he was an ugly old man in his sixties, so I said, “So, you are God?”
He said, ” Yes, I am it….”
I said ” Well, that’s nice for you, if you are God, then you must have also, supernatural power. You must have divine power. You must be able to control the various forces of nature. If you wish… ”
We were looking at some trees, we were sitting on a park bench looking at some trees I said, “If you wish you could make these trees three times as big, just like that, if you desire so. It would just happen on the spot.”
He said, “No, no, that’s your definition, that’s your definition of God, but my definition is not that.”
I said ” Well, okay, what is your definition?”
He said, “Well, God is love and love is God.”
And that was it, but, nothing to do with power. So what is the point?
If we develop a philosophy that God also has no power to overcome old age and has to sit there, in a sixty five year old body like everybody else, and be weak, and so on. Yes that is not our definition of God, our definition of God is that he is all powerful. All powerful. Unlimitedly powerful, not some personality that says he can control the clouds. I’ve met these people, I met someone years ago, and he told me, that he was controlling the clouds. So I asked him, ” Can you please take them away? Why did you put them here in the first place you rascal! Take them away! There’s too many clouds here. Send them somewhere else will you? Give us some sunshine, if you are controlling the clouds.”
So, the clouds that he was controlling, were maybe not the clouds in the sky. Maybe they were the clouds of smoke coming from the certain substances that he was smoking too much and too often!! Maybe he was controlling those clouds, right?! I think so, and therefore began to see himself as so powerful, but being the Supreme Lord means that one must be all powerful, all knowing and so on.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the embodiment of this extraordinary power. It is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He maintains six special qualities. He has all power, He has all beauty, He has all knowledge, He has all fame, He has all renunciation, and He has all wealth. Naturally, we are looking in other words at the Supreme Lord. When one has all wealth, that means He controls everything that exists. All wealth means everything, that He controls all the energies. So that means it’s all His energy, He has all that. He has all power over all the energy, and yet He is totally renounced. He knows everything that goes on, but He’s not attached to anything. He doesn’t depend on His energies. He doesn’t depend on all His material possesions, not at all.
So one interesting point is that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a person who appeared in West Bengal, who was born from a father and a mother. That is an interesting point. So how can God take birth from some father and mother, how can He be the Supreme Lord? However in the Vedic literature we find this principle, avatar, of one who descends and there are many different forms of the Lord who appear in this world. And it is said different incarnations. The Western word “incarnation” is used which is not the same, means actually to enter into the flesh, and this is not what is taking place. So the word incarnation is actually wrong, because it gives a wrong indication, because the Supreme Lord stays in spirit. The body is always spiritual, it’s not flesh. It’s not that He has appeared in flesh, He appears in a spiritual body and in His spiritual body He is remaining fully potent.
So five hundred years ago the Supreme Lord appeared in a Golden form, and in that Golden form He was effulgent in displaying the greatest devotion to the Supreme Lord. What was the arrangement? The arrangement was that the Lord knew, that with the passing of time, now a period has started of materialism, and in this age of materialism very few will take interest in spiritual life. And even if some will take interest, and if they will actually take notice of spiritual principles, they will not be able to follow it. Therefore let Me appear personally and give the example, and let Me show how to practice spiritual life, how to follow it.
So Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the Supreme Lord, who appeared in this particular form to teach. Now some may think: “Alright. Why not. There can be such avatars, there can be such, divine manifestations. But of course some manifestations are, sometimes appearing and then again disappearing. Such manifestations are temporary.” But No. The manifestation of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not temporary, the manifestation of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is eternal, and the appearance and disappearance of the Form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is like the rising and setting of the sun.
We see that the sun appears, and we see that the sun disappears, but the sun is not actually disappearing, the sun is just moving away from our field of vision. That is all. But the sun continues to shine somewhere else. And if one flies in a plane one can sometimes see a six hour sunrise. That is possible, if you fly from Australia, or come from Australia you can see a six hour sunrise, it goes on and on and on, no end. So we can travel with the sun, that is possible. So in this way we understand that the Supreme Lord appears, and is eternal. So that is interesting, because it means that that particular Golden form, that Human form of the Lord is not just a form that appeared here in this world to relate to us human beings in our present state, but it means that, that is an eternal manifestation!
That very Supreme Lord exists eternally in that personal form. How is that? How can there be personality in eternity, some ask. But, why not? But not an ordinary personality, not a limited personality like we find in this world but the Unlimited Personality. A Personality who embodies all strength and all power. So this is the amazing thing, that here, we find a description how the Supreme Personality of Godhead exists, in an original form and then from Him other forms also expand, and energies expand.
So all these energies are existing outside of Him, and yet He is that too. So it is very interesting, because when there is something existing outside of us then it is separate from us. That’s like….even if something comes out of my body whatever substance comes out they are separated, they are two now, my body still there,and whatever has left that body.
But not in the case of Krishna, or in the case of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that remains the same. Still, all His energies that emanate from Him are also Him and yet He is already complete as a Person!
(Kadamba Kanana Swami 21/06/2004)