Storyboard Artist: Sanjay Ghosh
Script: Madanmanjari dd (Meenakshi Pande)
Graphics: Ranjana Sawant & Umesh Modak
Audio Narration: Madanmanjari devi dasi (Meenakshi Pande)
Audio Recording & Editing: Rachana Sule
Video Editing & Animation: Rachana Sule
Music Editing by: Shilpa Gawde & Rachana Sule
Recording Studio: Iskcondesiretree Studio, Mumbai.
Produced by: www.iskcondesiretree.net
Who is Haridas Thakur?
As Prahlada Maharaja appeared in a family of demons and Hanuman appeared as a monkey, Shri Haridasa Thakura appeared amongst the lower caste. Haridasa had a handsome form with all aristocratic features. Highly intellectual, he won all debates in Sanskrit and philosophy. Yet, he never lost his temper. In his youth, he became famous for his extreme devotion and ascetism. Though born in a Muslim family, when he became a Vaishnava, even brahmanas would eagerly smear their bodies with the dust of his feet.
The Supreme Lord Anantadeva Himself praises Haridasa Thakura, “Even Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva always desire to associate with such Devotees as Haridasa. And the demigods desire to touch the transcendental body of Haridasa. Simply by saying his name, Haridasa, one will be promoted to Krishna’s abode.” (Caitanya Bhagavata).Feeling threatened by Haridasa Thakura’s conversion to Vaishnavism, the Muslim ruler arrested him. To enlighten the Kazi Haridasa said, “All living entities in creation are inspired by the Lord in the heart to act in different ways. People of different religions praise the Lord’s Holy Names and qualities according to the view of their scriptures. The Supreme Lord accepts everyone’s mood. If anyone shows malice towards another’s religion he actually shows malice to the Lord Himself, who is worshiped by that religion. Since God is one, that person becomes envious of the same Supreme Lord that he himself is worshiping.”The governor grasped these words, but the Kazi (the local ruler) insisted that Haridasa make a choice: “Either give up your belief or die.” Haridasa replied firmly, “If my body is hacked to pieces and even if I am killed–still I will keep chanting Hare Krishna.” The infuriated Kazi ordered Haridasa Thakura publicly whipped to death. He was brutally beaten, dragged through twenty-two markets, and thrown in the Ganges. Absorbed in remembering Lord Hari, he miraculously survived by God’s grace. The Kazi, the brahman as, and his rivals ran to Haridasa. They gave Haridasa Thakura an enthusiastic welcome and begged forgiveness for their offenses. He forgave them and blessed them with devotion. Haridasa thought the ordeal was fit punishment for his having heard Vaisnava blasphemy from the mouth of the Kazi. Prema-vilasa says Haridasa took diksa from Shri Advaita Acharya. Haridasa Thakura exerted immense influence from the start of Shri Chaitanya’s sankirtana movement. Teaming up with Lord Nityananda, he spread Krishna consciousness in Bengal. When Haridasa Thakura came to Jagannatha Puri Lord Chaitanya gave him a room in the garden next to His. Every day the Lord sent Prasadam to Haridasa. They also met regularly to discuss Krishna-katha.While seeing Lord Chaitanya’s lotus face, holding His feet upon his chest, and chanting Shri Krishna Chaitanya, Haridasa left the world. Lord Chaitanya personally carried the body of Haridasa to the sea. And with His own hands buried him in the sand. Then Mahaprabhu begged alms for a festival to honor Haridasa Thakura’s departure. Lord Chaitanya paid tribute to His pure Devotee: “Let us all sing the glories of Haridasa Thakura. Haridasa was the crest-jewel of the world. By his death the earth has lost its treasure. Out of His great mercy Krishna had given Me his association. And now He has taken him away. When Haridasa himself wished to leave the world I could not hold him back. Just like Bhismadeva, Haridasa gave up his life at his own will.” (Chaitanya-charitamrta Antya 11.93-98.)
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