An explanation of ‘Sri Sri Nitai-Chaitanya-Arati’
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
‘Sri Sri Nitai-Chaitanya-Arati’ composed by Srila Gurudev for the arati to the Deities in our Jagannath Puri Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.
From a lecture by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, during a stay at Sri Govinda Dham, Australia.
Actually there is some background to the reason that I composed this kirttan. In the Gaudiya Vaisnava society, especially in the time of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, we have been singing at the arati time, “jaya jaya gaurāchā̐der ārotiko śobhā.” The divine forms of Radha, Krishna and Mahaprabhu are on the altar, and we are doing arati to the three of Them every day, but only singing glorification of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Why are Radha, Govinda and Mahaprabhu within the same simhasana and what is Their glorification? That type of arati kirttan is not in our sampradaya.
Then I prayed to Srila Guru Maharaj: “Can you kindly make one arati sankirttan of that?” Then Guru Maharaj composed the Radha, Krishna and Mahaprabhu arati, “jayare jayare jaya gaura-sarasvatī bhakativinoda nvaya koruṇā murati.” Then every Friday we were singing that song and giving honour. Now we are singing both “jaya jaya gaurāchā̐der ārotiko śobhā,” and “jayare jayare jaya gaura-sarasvatī,” every day.
At the time of composing “jayare jayare jaya gaura-sarasvatī,” Srila Guru Maharaj was organising the whole Gaudiya Mission.
praṇamāmi sadā prabhupāda-padam 
Many devotees do not know who composed this song. The whole ISKCON temple is chanting this song but they do not know who composed it. It is a composition of Srila Guru Maharaj, a Sanskrit composition.
I felt it was necessary for the Nitai-Chaitanya song because we have Mahaprabhu’s song, but in Puri Dham, Nitai-Chaitanya are living together. The Deities manifested in the time of Srila Guru Maharaj and I thought it would be very good if I could compose a song. Srila Guru Maharaj was showing his age at that time and he could not write any more. Then, taking permission from Srila Guru Maharaj, I composed that song. Nitai-Chaitanya are worshipped by the devotees at arati time, and a special arati kirttan for Nitai-Chaitanya is very appropriate.
jaya guru mahārāja koruṇā-sāgara
śrī bhakti rakṣaka deva-gosvāmī śrīdhara
If we want to do anything we must firstly go to Gurudeva. So we are giving ‘jaya’ to Gurudeva and taking his permission. Our Srila Guru Maharaj is Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami and I am giving ‘jaya’ to His Divine Grace.
prakāśile nīlāchale bhuvana-maṅgala
‘Nilachala’ means Puri Dham. There in Puri Dham, both Nitai and Chaitanyadeva are manifested by the divine mercy of Srila Guru Maharaj and Their service is going on continuously.
gorāpreme mātoyārā nityānanda-rūpa
rasarāja mahābhāva chaitanya-svarūpa
Then comes the glorification of those personalities who are living on the simhasan (altar). First is the glorification of Nityananda Prabhu, because by the grace of Nityananda Prabhu we will get the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We are saying Nitai-Chaitanya, and it is very appropriate because Nityananda Prabhu is the form of Sri Gurudeva and also without His mercy we will not get the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sometimes we are saying Chaitanya-Nitai but normally Nitai-Chaitanya. Both are standing there and giving Their merciful glance to the conditioned souls. One form is in the intoxicated, dancing mood of Nityananda Prabhu, always giving the fearless spiritual wealth by which we will be benefited. Happily we can practise that. The mood of Nityananda Prabhu, with His right hand up and left hand giving merciful blessings is the mood that fearlessly you will do service. And Mahaprabhu is also present there, but in the form of Rasaraja and Mahabhava. Actually Mahaprabhu’s form is Krishna Himself taking the heart and halo of Radharani and becoming Chaitanyadeva. Then Rasaraja is actually Krishna and Mahabhava is Radharani. Krishna and Radharani are both there within one, and that is Chaitanya-svarupa, Mahaprabhu. And His manifestation we are seeing in the simhasan.
kasita-kāñchana jini śrī-aṅga labaṇi
du̐hu̐gale vanamālā bhāvera dolanī
Both are standing effulgent like gold. When gold is cut with a sharp knife its effulgence comes out more and more. Their golden form is like that, fully effulgent. Garlands of different beautiful flowers are there and those garlands are playing on the necks of Nitai-Chaitanyadeva.
murachita koṭikāma rūparāsaraṅge
madhura narttana-bhāva varābhaya bhaṅge
If anyone will see that divine form of Nitai-Chaitanyadeva he will faint with transcendental feelings. They are dancing in the mood of bestowing mercy, touching the hearts of everyone and inconceivably giving mercy to the conditioned souls in an unconditional way.
prema netre dekhe mahā-bhāgyavāna jane
Nitai-Chaitanyadeva are like the morning sun and the full moon but our vision is covered. If we look with clean, devotional eyes, full of love and affection, then we can see Their divine form. And for this vision, we need good fortune which comes through the mercy of the Vaisnavas. Then with sadhu-sanga, association of the Vaisnavas and their merciful glance, we can see that divine form.
mṛdaṅga mandirā bāje suśaṅkha-dhvanita
Here is an ornamental expression. When this type of arati comes and we stand in front of Nitai-Chaitanyadeva and do the arati, what do we do? We play the mrdanga and the karatals and we blow the conch. Externally it happens but also internally. With the panchapati, the ghee lamp with 108 wicks, we are doing arati. Externally we are doing this and internally we shall try to see that each lamp of that arati, is not only a lamp but it is the Vedas. The different parts of the Vedas that are existing within bhakti-yoga have taken form in each lamp as a bhakti-yoga lamp. The 108 Upanishads and all others are taking this form and worshipping the Lord through that arati.
bhuvana-mohana du̐hu̐ rūpera ārati
gupta-vṛndāraṇya-vāsī dekhe niravadhi
Anyone who will look with prema netra (eyes of love) will see love, real love and affection, and they will be extremely charmed. Only those who are living in Gupta Vrindavan can see with that type of vision. Gupta Vrindavan means Nabadwip Dham. Those who are living in Nabadwip Dham are always looking at that arati of Nitai Chaitanyadeva. Every day this arati is performed and by the grace of Srila Guru Maharaj this property of Nabadwip has come to Puri Dham to bestow its mercy on the conditioned souls.
This type of arati is only seen by the Nabadwip Dhambasis, the parshadas (associates) of Sriman Mahaprabhu, and those who are very affectionate with Mahaprabhu, Chaitanyadeva.
śrī svarūpa rāmānanda rūpa-sanātana
raghunātha haridāsa gadādhara dhana
And His associates, Sri Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Raghunatha Das Goswami, Haridas Thakur and Gadadhara Pandit are performing this arati and seeing this arati.
sārvabhauma gopīnātha jīvānuga-jana
dekhena ārati-śobha durllabha-darśana
Sarvabhauma Bhattacharyya, Gopinath Acharyya and Jivanugajana, those who are living in the sampradaya of Jiva Goswami, they are all glorifying that arati, looking at that arati and doing that arati. It is very easy for them to do this but it is very difficult for others.
nadīyā prakāśe nityānanda-gauranidhi
patita-pāvana-kṣetre milāila vidhi
We are so fortunate that the arati of Gauranga and Nityananda is very famous in Nabadwip Dham, where Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu are present eternally. But in patitapavanaksetra, Puri Dham, it has been mercifully given by our fortune-maker, Sri Gurudeva.
śrī guru-prasāde dekhe ei adhama dāsa
‘Avichintya’ means inconceivable. This type of arati can only be conceived by a very fortunate soul. He can see it and can also do that arati if he has received the mercy of Srila Gurudeva. Through the mercy of Gurudeva anyone can see this type of manifestation of Nitai-Chaitanyadeva and Their arati, and can join within that sankirttan.
 “His lotus feet are served in devotion by multitudes of high, virtuous souls; he is the establisher of the religion of the age as he is the presiding monarch of the Viśva-Vaiṣṇava-Rāja-Sabhā—the universal society of the pure devotees that are the true ‘kings’ or guides of all; and he is the fulfiller of the most cherished desires of those who dispel fear (for all souls). I make my obeisance unto the lotus feet of that illustrious great soul, worshipable by one and all—perpetually do I make my obeisance unto the radiance emanating from the toenails of the holy feet of my Lord.” (Śrī Śrī Prabhupāda-padma Stavakaḥ, 1).