Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

This song of Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura is very famous among devotees in Bengal and Orissa. When Lord Caitanya returned from Gaya, where He was initiated by Śrī Īśvara Purī, He was completely transformed into a God-intoxicated personality whom His students of grammar had never known before. Instead of teaching ordinary grammar studies, Lord Caitanya explained every sentence in such a way that every Sanskrit word and every letter was understood to indicate Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This form of grammar was later on developed by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī in a book called Hari-nāmāmṛta-vyākaraṇa, The Grammar of the Nectar and Name of Śrī Hari. But Lord Caitanya’s students thought that their teacher had become mad, and they rubbed His head with Viṣṇu oil, an oil that cools the brain. Finally they asked Him, “You say that everything means Kṛṣṇa and we should ultimately always be chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa. Just how should we do this?” Then Lord Caitanya began to sing the names of Kṛṣṇa and clap His hands, and He began His nāma-saṅkīrtana movement. The names He sang are the first two lines of this song, and Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura and others have placed these names in the beginning of their writings to immortalize these events in the memory of everyone.

Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura chants the names of Lord Caitanya, Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita and Sītā (Lord Advaita’s consort). Since Lord Hari, the spiritual master, and the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā are all on the transcendental platform, they are given the same respect. Then Śrīla Narottama Dāsa chants the names of the six Gosvāmīs. “I offer my obeisances at their feet,” he sings, “which destroy sufferings accumulated over many long years. I am the servant of these six Gosvāmīs, and the dust of their lotus feet is my five kinds of foodstuffs. To serve their lotus feet and keep the association of devotees is my only business, birth after birth.” When the six Gosvāmīs were staying at Vṛndāvana, they revealed the eternal transcendental pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Before Lord Caitanya the exact location of the places of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes were not known, and therefore Lord Caitanya instructed the Gosvāmīs to uncover the holy places and construct temples. The temple of Śrī Rādhā Dāmodara is situated near the location of the rasa dance, and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and the other Gosvāmīs used to gather there and discuss the topics of their literatures, which scientifically explained the super-excellent pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura says, “In great ecstasy shout the name of Hari and serve the real transcendental master and devotees.” He concludes by saying, “With all hopes in the lotus feet of my guru and the holy Vaiṣṇavas, Narottama Dāsa sings the saṅkīrtana of Lord Hari: Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare/Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.”

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