(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Mayapur, November 2011) Lecture – Caitanya-caritamrta Part 2
So the Khetari festival (besides it being a transcendental experience) had established Gaudiya Vaisnavism clearly in Bengal. Before that, Nityananda had preached in Bengal (by the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu) and had created a lot of enthusiasm. The Caitanya Bhagavata describes how there were kirtans that were so ecstatic that everyone just joined in….the whole village is emptied out and old men begin to jump up high….. so high that they jumped up right into the trees! And they begin to dance on the branches of the trees…even from the tips of the branches and those branches don’t break!
The young boys were in the kirtan for thirty days. These boys got so fired up…..and more and more fired up that they didn’t even get any prasadam or nothing to eat, but just kirtan non stop for thirty days! In the end they were just mad….totally mad and so fired up that they ripped trees out of the ground!
So it was a fired up kirtan – Nityananda’s kirtan. People were just seeing the kirtan and disappeared right into it! People lost their relatives and so they went looking for them! Whilst looking, they merged into the kirtan, and they too had disappeared! The whole villages and families from those villages had disappeared. Several village leaders would go looking for them and in this way the whole village would disappear into the kirtan of Nityananda. So the kirtan of Nityananda was conquering Bengal…………………………………….The Khetari festival was a festival that brought structure in Bengal where Nityananda brought out the enthusiasm in the people, and ecstasy in the people. There was not much philosophy behind it, but Khetari brought ecstasy and philosophy. So Khetari was very significant!