GGHS – Ram Lakshminarayan speaks on “The Power of Holy Name” through the story of “Srila Haridas Thakur”
Whenever we are discussing about the holy name the first person that comes to our mind is Srila Haridas Thakur. Haridas Thakur’s story is an owe inspiring tale that depicts the power of the holy name like none other.
Haridas Thakur was born in Budana, presently in Bangladesh, in a mohamaddan family. Despite this he from a very early age showed the characteristics of a vaishnava of it’s purest form. He was a follower of Advaita Acharya and also maintained a close friendship. When Haridas was a young devotee, it is said that Maya devi tried to allure him, but his unalloyed devotion in the power of the holy name kept him unaffected. He is also believed to have sat and chanted inside a cave that had a poisonous snake. He was so engrossed that he was’nt aware of the snake’s prescence. When Advaita Acharya saw Haridas Thakur for the first time he immediately knew that he was a incaranation of Lord Brahma and promptly named him ‘haridas’ literally meaning servant of god. He instructs Haridas Thakur to chant the holy names of the lord.
Haridas Thakur used to chant 192 rounds everyday. People of all classes were impressed and respected him. the popularity of Haridas was not tolerable for the Kazi who reported him to the Nawab. “This man is acting like a Hindu. Arrest him and punish him” were the sinful words of Kazi. Haridas Thakur was duly arrested. The impending arrival of Haridas Thakur was a matter of joy for the prisoners who were desperate for his association. In prison, Haridas Thakur instructed the prisoners to have materialistic life after prison and engage in spiritual activities. When he was brought before the Nawab and blasted by the Nawab for taking up the religion of the lowcaste hindus, Haridas thakur tried to explain the constitutional positon of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Nawab was furious and instructed his guards to lash him at the 22 market places until he dies. The guards dragged him away and beat him one market place after the other. However all the while, he kept chanting. He was a pure soul completely surrendered unto the lord.
Despite lashing him continuously he showed least signs of distress. The guards realized this is no ordinary human, who would have been dead by now. They told Haridas Thakur that they would be heavily punished if he wouldn’t die. Showing compassion for the guards, Haridas entered into a deep spiritual trance. Externally, he appeared lifeless. The guards then brought his body to the Nawab who told them to throw it in the Ganga. However as they started taking the body away, krishna entered the body became so heavy that it could not even move a inch. This shows the power of the holy name can overcome any obstacle. Haridas Thakur’s story is a motivation and should act as a catalyst in improving our own efforts at chanting the holy names of the lord.