(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 18 September 2017, Mauritius, Arrival Lecture)
We have to take inspiration from our previous acaryas. Advaita Acarya was around 85 years old when he was given the role as one of the main dancers in Lord Caitanya’s Harinama Sankirtan party and Haridas Thakur was in his 70s and he was another one of the main dancers. They danced in ecstasy, out of taste and spiritual strength. Vakreshwar Pandit would dance for 72 hours.
Then we have the six Goswamis. When people would just see Sanatana Goswami, they would become ecstatic. He was always speaking about Krsna and he was always himself, no strategy was needed for him to preach.
Krsna Das Kaviraj Goswami dreamt of how Lord Nityananda was always moving like an elephant, he was decorated with pearls and diamonds, he was chewing betel nut and was chanting, “KRSNA KRSNA!” and around his feet were a swarm of little gopas who were also chanting, “KRSNA KRSNA!” Then Krsna Das Kaviraj fell to the ground to pay obeisances to Lord Nityananda and Lord Nityananda ordered him to go to Vrndavan, which he immediately did. He was at that time in his 90s and he wrote, “It is a miracle that I am writing. I have become half blind and my memory is finished!” In such a state, he wrote the Caitanya Caritamrta which is full of ecstasy. He also said that whether something is religious or irreligious, if it is not Krsna Conscious, it is sinful.
Srila Narottam das Thakur took his inspiration from Krsna Das Kaviraj Goswami and got completely absorbed in the pastimes of Lord Caitanya.
Then, we skip many generations and we find Srila Visvanath Chakravarthi Thakur who took his inspiration from Srila Narottam das Thakur and the Srila Baladev Vidhyabhusana took inspiration from Srila Visvanath Chakravarthy Thakur and explained how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is connected to Madhvacarya. Then he described how Nanda Maharaj’s house had waterfalls on the walls and so he could look directly into the spiritual world. Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaj would chant for 72 hours on ekadasi. For us 16 rounds are exhaustive. It takes just two hours and we complain. Now imagine chanting for 72 hours. These personalities were just amazing!
Then we have Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who was a district magistrate, at the same time wrote books and also had 13 children whom he brought up in Krsna Consciousness.
We also have Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur who was so learned and intelligent and dedicated his life to setting up and establishing what is right and what is wrong. Then comes Srila Prabhupada, the Spiritual master of all of us.
If we think about Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the previous acaryas and see where we are today, there is a huge difference. We all have different moods of service but chanting should be there always and we have to be faithful devotees of the Lord.