Great Demise of Haridas Thakur

by - March 19, 2021


নমামি হরিদাসং তং চৈতনং তঞ্চ তৎপ্রভুন
                    সংস্থিতমপি জনমূর্ত্তিন স্বানকে কৃত্বা ননর্ত্ত য:।।                
(Namami Haridasang Tang Chaitanyang Tancha Tatprabhung,
Sansthitamopi Janmurting Swanke Kritwa Nanartwa J:) 

.........Chaitanya Charitamrita, 11th Chapter, Antleela

                First of all, I bow at the feet of all the devotees of the world. At the outset, I try to summarize the life of the devotee Javan (Muslim) Haridas Thakur (Tagore) before describing his great demise. Devotee Haridas Thakur (Tagore) was born in the month of Agrahayan in 1449 AD in Keragachhi village of Satkhira district under Kalaroa police station. Father's name is Sumati Mishra and mother's name is Gauri Devi. When Haridas was just two months old, his father Sumati Mishra passed away. Mother Gauridevi accepted Sahamaran (coexistence death) with her husband's Cheeta (burning wood) and Thakur Haridas became an orphan. When no one came forward to take care of the child Haridas Thakur, the farmer Habibullah Kazi, a friend of his father Sumati Mishra, took pity on him and took charge of Haridas Thakur. Baby Haridas was brought up by Habibullah Kazi's wife. He is called Javan (Muslim) Haridas because he was brought up in the house of a Javan (Muslim). After entering teenager from his childhood, Habibullah Kazi hired him to herd cattle. As Haridas grew older, he began to feel a strong attraction of Krishna's love and devotion in his heart. Wherever Harinam Sankirtan was chanted, devotee Haridas would run.

                Devotion to Krishna and strong affection for Harinam appeared in his heart, he started chanting Harinam loudly all the time. As this continued, a complaint was lodged against him in the Kazi's court and the executioner was flogged Haridas Thakur in Baish Bazar by the Kazi's order but could not stop him from chanting of Krishna-name. Everyone was amazed and stunned to see his unwavering devotion to Harinam/Krishnanam. Without informing Judge Kazi, the executioners expressed their remorse and floated the almost dying Thakur Haridas in the Ganges. He then floated in the waters of the Ganges and came to the ghat of Shantipur, where his initiation was completed. By the order of Mahaprabhu, he established an ashram in the forest of Benapole (now Bongaon) for the purpose of proclamation.

                When Haridas Thakur was immersed in chanting Harinam in the forested ashram, word of Haridas Tagore's chanting of three lakh times Harinam spread everywhere. Devotees flocked to the hut in groups attracted by the sweet voice of Harinam. With the presence of devotees, that forested ashram became a place of great pilgrimage. When the oppressive king Ramchandra Khan could not bear the praise of Thakur Haridas and failed to kill him alive, he started conspiring to destroy his fulfillment, fame, and religion with a prostitute named Hira Bai. After failing in all the conspiracies, prostitute Hira became immersed in the Harinam Mahamantra and became an absolute Vaishnavite of Haridas Tagore. Namacharya Sri Sri Haridas Thakur was a shining example of true Vaishnavism and an incarnation of misery. He became famous as Namacharya by chanting Harinam three lakh times every day and attained divinity.

Great Demise of Haridas Thakur

            Devotee Haridas Tagore was very fond of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. An ideal devotee used to chant three lakh times Harinam every day. So when SriRup and Sri Sanatan, a very dear devotee of Mahaprabhu, came to Puri Dham, preferred to stay with Haridas because his hut was in a very secluded place. Haridas Thakur used to spend his time in Harinam or Bhagavat discussions. He never used his tongue in other words. All the devotees had a deep respect for Haridas Thakur.

            Every morning after seeing Jagannath, Mahaprabhu would go straight to Haridas's hut and after spending some time with the discussion of about Lord Krishna, would return to His place. He used to send Mahaprasadam for Haridas every day by devotee Govinda.

            One day Govinda Das came with Mahaprasadam and saw Haridas Thakur lying on the bed and chanting Harinam in a very soft voice. Devotee Govinda realized that the condition of Haridas was not healthy. Haridas honored Mahaprasadam with just one particle. After came back, the devotee Govinda told to Mahaprabhu everything.

            As soon as hearing about Haridas's condition, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rushed to inquire about the health of Haridas. Haridas Tagore replied in a low voice, "Lord, I am not so sick physically, but I am feeling very sad in my heart because I am not able to fulfill the daily goal of chanting Harinam three lakh times (3,00,000)." The Lord said, O dear Haridas, you are a devotee of Paramabhagavata. You have achieved perfection in the pursuit of the name. You are a real example of a true devotee of Lord Krishna. You have preached the glory of Harinam to the world. So there is nothing to regret about whether you can keep the number of Harinam.

            In reply Haridas said with the usual misery, I am your most incompetent disciple, I have a long-standing desire in my heart if you please promise to fulfill it. The Lord said, O dear Haridas, tell me, I will surely fulfill your desire.

            Weeping, Haridas Thakur said, O God of Independence, O my Lord, I want to embrace your lotus feet, to see your Srimukhchandra (face), I want to die with your name on my mouth. Because I found out that soon you will have leisure. Separation from you will be unbearable for me. So give me this blessing so that your disappearance does not have to be seen by me.

এই বাঞ্ছা হয় মোর বহুদিন হইতে। 
লীলা সম্বরিবে তুমি লয় মোর চিতে।। 
সেই লীলা প্রভু মোরে কভু না দেখাইবে। 
আপনার আগে মোর শরীর পড়িবে।।
.........Chaitanya Charitamrita, 11th Chapter, Antleela

            Mahaprabhu just smiled softly and left. The omniscient Mahaprabhu came to Haridas's hut the very next morning with Sridamodar Swarup, Roy Ramananda, Sarbobhouma Bhattacharya, and some other intimate devotees and started chanting. According to Haridas's wishes, He meditated, holding Mahaprabhu's lotus feet on his chest, keeping his eyes fixed on Mahaprabhu's body, just as if two beetles were intoxicated with honey, he breathed his last [(died almost willingly (euthanasia)] with chanting of Lord Sri Krishna's name.

হরিদাস নিজাগ্রেতে প্রভুরে বসাইলা ।
নিজ নেত্র দুই ভৃঙ্গ মুখপদ্মে দিলা ।।
স্বহৃদয়ে আনি ধরিল প্রভুর চরণ। 
সর্ব্বভক্ত পদরেণু মস্তকে ভূষণ ।।
শ্রীকৃষ্ণচৈতন্য শব্দ বলে বার বার ।
প্রভুমুখমাধুরী পিয়ে নেত্রে জলাধার ।।
শ্রীকৃষ্ণচৈতন্য নাম করিতে উচ্চারণ ।
নামের সহিত প্রাণ করিল উৎক্রামন ।।
মহাযোগেশ্বর প্রায় স্বছন্দে মরন (ইচ্ছামৃত্যু)।
ভীষ্মের নির্য্যান সবা হইল স্মরণ ।।
.........Chaitanya Charitamrita, 11th Chapter, Antleela

            Ah! What a glorious demise, awakening the great departure memory of Pitamah Vishma of antiquity, the gathering of devotees, and the chanting of Krishna Name loudly by Mahaprabhu was fulfilled everywhere. The devotees all started chanting and dancing with tears in their eyes.

The sound was heard all around, Great Haridas! Great Mahaprabhu!

                Mahaprabhu and other devotees including Swarup Damodar picked up the body of Haridas and placed it on a well-made bed and Mahaprabhu himself took the body of Haridas Thakur to the beach. After bathing the body in the sea & some activities, He made a big hole in the beach and placed Haridas in it. Then Mahaprabhu himself threw sand on Him, the others did the same by chanting Harekrishna Mahamantra and a tombstone was erected. At present, the place is known as Haridas Samadhi near Swargadwar in Puri and a Samadhi temple has been built. Harinam chanting is still going 24 hours (24x7) in the tomb of Haridas Thakur in Puri.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

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