lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo 'tha sa tvam
So here is a very specific statement about Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is avatāra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, but He's channa. Channa means covered, not directly, because He has appeared as a devotee. Avatāra... Rūpa Gosvāmī has found out that He's avatāra of Kṛṣṇa. All the devotees, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, Rūpa Gosvāmī, and in the śāstra, and the Upaniṣad, Mahābhārata, in every... Sādhu-śāstra. Avatāra should be confirmed by great devotees, personalities, and must be collaborated with the statement in the śāstra.
So here is another statement in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The directly, it is stated in the Eleventh Canto, you know,
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtanaiḥ prāyair
yajanti hi sumedhsaḥ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, when He was being described before King Nimi by Karabhājana Muni the different incarnation in different millenniums, yuga-dharma-vṛttam... Caitanya Mahāprabhu is also described by Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura, yuga-dharma-pālo. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu is described here as channaḥ kalau. In the Kali-yuga He's not appearing as other incarnations, not like Nṛsiṁhadeva or many, Vāmanadeva, Lord Rāmacandra. He is appearing as a devotee. Why? Now, this is the most magnanimous avatāra. People are so foolish, they could not understand Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ [Bg. 18.66], they took it: "Who is this person ordering like that, Sarva-dharmān parityajya? What right?" That is our material disease. If somebody is ordered to do something, he protests, "Who are you to order me?" This is the position. God Himself, Kṛṣṇa, what can He say? He orders, the Supreme Person, Supreme Being. He must order. He's the supreme controller. He must order. That is God. But we are so foolish that when God orders that "You do this," we take it otherwise: "Oh, who is this man? He's ordering like that. And sarva-dharmān parityajya, 'giving up everything'? Why shall I give Him?" Sarva-dharmān: "I have created so many dharmas, 'isms.' I shall give it up? Why shall I give it up?" Therefore the same Lord came again as Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Today is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's appearance day, so we must discuss this very thoroughly, that, that Rūpa Gosvāmī understood it. Therefore we have to go through guru. Rūpa Gosvāmī is our guru. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura said,
rūpa-raghunātha-pade, hoibe ākuti,
kabe hāma bujhabo, śrī-yugala-pīriti
If we want to understand the transcendental position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then we have to go through guru, guru-paramparā system. Otherwise it is not possible. Rūpa-raghunātha pade hoibe ākuti. Unless we accept this process, unless we submit... This whole process is submission. Kṛṣṇa wants this. Sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. So if you want to approach Kṛṣṇa, you have to become very submissive. And to whom? "Kṛṣṇa is not here. To whom I shall submit?" No. To His devotee, to His representative. The business is submission. So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared this day for giving mercy to the fallen souls who are so foolish, they cannot take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He is personally teaching how to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is this kīrtana. You'll find. You have seen the picture in our Teachings of Lord Caitanya that in Prayag He was engaged in chanting, and Rūpa Gosvāmī is offering his obeisances. That is the first meeting with Rūpa Gosvāmī, and he composed this verse, namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te... [Cc. Madhya 19.53].
Devotees: ...kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So this is channaḥ-avatāra. He's Kṛṣṇa, He has come to give you kṛṣṇa-prema, but He's acting like a Kṛṣṇa devotee. This is covered. He is not commanding now, "You do this." Yes, He's commanding, "Do this," but in different way. Because people misunderstood, "Oh, who is this person commanding?" Even some so-called rascal scholar, he has said, "It's too much to demand." They have remarked like that. Yes, sophisticated persons, they are thinking like that.
But our process is to submit. Unless we submit, there is no hope of advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching.
tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
[Cc. Ādi 17.31]
If you want to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, then you have to take this principle, tṛṇād api sunīcena. You have to become humbler than the grass. Grass, it is lying on the street. Everyone is trampling down. Never protests. In the lawn you are... Everyone is trampling the grass. There is no protest. Taror api sahiṣṇunā. And tolerant than the tree. The tree is giving us so much help. It is giving us fruit, flower, leaves, and when there is scorching heat, shelter also. Sit down underneath. So beneficial, still, we cut. As soon as I like, I cut it down. But there is no protest. The tree does not say, "I have given you so much help, and you are cutting me?" No. Tolerant. Yes. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has selected, taror api sahiṣṇunā. And amāninā mānadena. For oneself one should not expect any respectful position, but he, the devotee, should offer all respect to anyone. Amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. If we acquire this qualification, then we can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra without any disturbance. This is the qualification.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to teach these principles. He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no... Na caitanyāt kṛṣṇāt para-tattvaṁ param iha. Para-tattvam, the Supreme Truth, is Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Supreme Truth is Kṛṣṇa, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not different from Kṛṣṇa. Na caitanyāt kṛṣṇāt para-tattvaṁ param iha, yad advaitaṁ brahmopaniṣadi [Cc. Ādi 1.3].
Śrī Gaura-Pūrṇimā Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.38 -- Māyāpur, March 16, 1976