…A person in the conditioned stage of material existence is in an atmosphere of helplessness, but the conditioned soul, under the illusion of māyā, or the external energy, thinks that he is completely protected by his country, society, friendship and love, not knowing that at the time of death none of these can save him. The laws of material nature are so strong that none of our material possessions can save us from the cruel hands of death…An intelligent person, therefore, does not put his faith in any material possessions, but completely takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.
Let me offer glorification to the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One who has taken shelter of His lotus feet is the most glorified person. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 2)
…Prabhu means master. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the supreme master of all masters; therefore He is called Mahāprabhu. Any person who takes shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu is most glorified because by the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he is able to get promotion to the platform of loving service to the Lord, which is transcendental to salvation. (from purport to above verse)
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Today we celebrate the Appearance of Lord Nityananda with a few select verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi Lila Chapter 5, entitled “The Glories of Lord Nityananda Balarama”.
“Let me offer my obeisances to Lord Śrī Nityānanda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose opulence is wonderful and unlimited. By His will, even a fool can understand His identity.” (Adi 5.1)
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarāma is His second body.” (Adi 5.4)
“That original Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in Navadvīpa as Lord Caitanya, and Balarāma appeared with Him as Lord Nityānanda.” (Adi 5.6)
Lord Balarama’s Appearance Day
Today marks the auspicious appearance of Lord Balaram. We honor it with a half day fast and celebration.
Lord Balarama is Krishna’s elder brother and His appearance day takes place on the full moon day (purnima), two weeks before Krishna Janmashtami. Krishna and Balarama were the darlings of Vrindavan/ Vraja. Together They would spend the day enjoying the company of the cowherd boys in the forests of Vraja. Their wonderful pastimes are related in the tenth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, which Srila Prabhupada also translated as The Krishna Book. Lord Balarama is also considered the original spiritual master and His worship is therefore most important for Vaishnavas.
Lord Balarāma has two weapons, a plow and a club, from which He takes service when they are required.
(from Kṛṣṇa Book Chapter 65 Lord Balarāma Visits Vṛndāvana)
…In the Upaniṣads it is stated, nāyam ātmā bala-hīnena labhyaḥ. The purport is that one cannot attain the supreme platform of self-realization without being sufficiently favored by Balarāma. Bala does not mean physical strength. No one can attain spiritual perfection by physical strength. One must have the spiritual strength which is infused by Balarāma, or Saṅkarṣaṇa. Ananta, or Śeṣa, is the source of the power which sustains all the planets in their different positions. Materially this sustaining power is known as the law of gravitation, but actually it is a display of the potency of Saṅkarṣaṇa. Balarāma, or Saṅkarṣaṇa, is the source of spiritual power, or the original spiritual master. Therefore Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, who is also the incarnation of Balarāma, is the original spiritual master. And the spiritual master is the representative of Balarāma, the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who supplies spiritual strength. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is confirmed that the spiritual master is the manifestation of the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. (from Kṛṣṇa Book Chapter 2: Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb)