In the fifteenth century, Krishna came to Earth as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Bengal, in India. He played the role of a philosopher, saint and devotee of the Lord so he could share the deepest secrets with the world; that chanting the Lord’s personal holy names with sincere effort purifies the heart of the chanter, attracts the attention of the Lord and gradually develops a sweet and everlasting relationship between the two.
People were instantly swept up in devotional love for Krishna when they heard Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sing and chant the holy names. He was enchanting; tall, golden-hued and beautiful, he sang with a mesmerising voice and danced with wondrous grace.
He had several close companions and faithful disciples who loved him dearly. One such person was Murari Gupta, a humble and honest physician. He was a simple man who held a deep affection for Lord Ramachandra, a different form of Krishna.
One day in conversation, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Murari Gupta, you should love Lord Krishna – who is supremely sweet and the origin of all avatars. He is a reservoir of love; a mine of gems. You should take shelter of him and worship him exclusively.”
“I will always do as your request, said Murari Gupta humbly, though he went home with a heavy heart.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s instruction had created a terrible dilemma for Murari Gupta. In his every breath he worshipped Lord Ramachandra and had given himself completely to this form of the lord. In his core, he felt Lord Rama was his true master and Lord. He couldn’t imagine serving any other person in the same way. But now Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was asking him to make Krishna his Lord. Murari Gupta was aggrieved. Overwhelmed with sorrow, he spent the night praying and weeping.
The following morning, Murari Gupta quivered before bowing at Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s feet. He said, “My lord, I do not know what to do except come to you with my troubles. I have sold myself as loving servant of Lord Rama. It is not possible for me retreat from this. At the same, this means I break your order. What can I do except beg your mercy that I might die right now before you?”
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was overjoyed. He rushed to embrace Murari Gupta.
“You are wonderful Murari Gupta, wonderful,” he shouted. “You are true to your worship, fixed in your love and determination. What an example! This is exactly how a devotee must love and be loyal to his Lord.
“Just to test your faith, I requested you again and again to change your worship. But you proved true and honest; after all, you are an incarnation of Hanuman, the eternal devotee of Lord Rama, so why should you give up your worship of Lord Rama.”
In a heartfelt declaration Chaitanya Mahaprabhu concluded, “I accept this Murari Gupta as my life and soul. When I think of his humility, it perturbs me completely.”
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