Srila Prabhupada explains that Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda came to destroy the darkness of ignorance within our hearts.
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami PrabhupadaLecture given in Mayapur, India, on March 26, 1975
Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda appeared like the sun and moon to bring light to this dark age.

vande shri-krishna-chaitanya-
nityandandau sahoditau
gaudodaye pushpavantau
chitrau shandau tamo-nudau

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krishna Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.” – Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila 1.2

Sri Krishna Chaitanya has many expansions, and the first is Lord Nityananda, who is Krishna’s brother Balarama. We have to understand these things from the mahajanas, the great sages who are learned in the science of Krishna consciousness. Narottama Dasa Thakura, a mahajana, says, brajendra-nandana yei, shachi-suta hoilo sei, balarama hoilo nitai: “Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, and Sri Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama.”

Sometimes foolish people say Nityananda is an expansion of Radharani. That is not a fact. Nityananda is Balarama. We have to know from the mahajanas, the great devotees; we cannot manufacture our own ideas. That is blasphemy.

A mahajana is one who follows the previous mahajanas. This is the system. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu strictly followed this principle, and Krishna also recommended it in the Bhagavad-gita (4.2): evam parampara-praptam. We have to receive knowledge through the disciplic succession; we cannot manufacture it. The concoction of so-called spiritual philosophies has killed the spiritual life of India. “You can think in your way, and I can think in my way” – this idea is not at all scientific. Suppose you claim that two plus two equals three, or five. Is that acceptable? No, two plus two equals four, and you cannot claim otherwise.

So, Balarama is presenting Krishna, and therefore He is the original guru. Any bona fide guru must be a representative of Balarama, or Nityananda. And because Balarama is presenting Krishna, He is called prakasha. When the sun shines, you can see everything clearly. That is called prakasha. At night, in the darkness, everything is covered and we cannot see, but during the daytime, when there is prakasha, illumination, we can see everything.

Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama, prakasha-tattva. And just as Balarama is manifesting Krishna, Nityananda is manifesting Sri Krishna Chaitanya, who is also the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

When Nityananda Prabhu was preaching in Bengal, He first of all delivered Jagai and Madhai, and by delivering them He showed how to serve Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Chaitanya is Krishna Himself: shri krishna chaitanya radha-krishna nahe anya – “Sri Krishna Chaitanya is Radha and Krishna combined.” And Nityananda is presenting Lord Chaitanya.

A Lesson from Lord Nityananda

How can one present Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? By His personal example Nityananda Prabhu has given us a lesson. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would send Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura to preach on the streets, home to home. Once they saw a big crowd on the street, and Nityananda Prabhu inquired from the people, “Why are there so many people assembled?” He was informed that there were two gundas, rogues, creating some trouble. The two gundas were Jagai and Madhai. Now, even though they physically attacked Nityananda Prabhu, He continued to preach Krishna consciousness to them, and He delivered them. This is the best way to serve Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – by preaching Krishna consciousness boldly.

The business of gundas is to create trouble, that’s all. Especially at the present moment in Bengal there are many gundas creating trouble. This is due to not enough preaching of Krishna consciousness. Nityananda Prabhu is not being given the chance to preach. He is very eager to preach Krishna consciousness, but He’s not being given the chance.

In Bengal there is a family who say they are descendants of Nityananda Prabhu. So there is a controversy concerning their claim. But apart from the controversy, if they are descendants of Nityananda Prabhu, their business is to act like Nityananda Prabhu. What is that business? That is described by Narottama Dasa Thakura: dina-hina yata chilo, hari-name uddharilo. Their business should be to do what Nityananda Prabhu did, along with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and that is to deliver all the fallen souls by teaching them to chant Hare Krishna.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda are the same as Lord Krishna and Balarama. When Krishna incarnated, these two brothers were engaged as cowherd boys, as friends of the gopis, and as sons of mother Yashoda and Nanda Maharaja. That was Their life in Vrindavan village.

Later, when They went to Mathura, They killed Kamsa and the wrestlers, and when They went to Dwarka They had to fight so many demons. But They spent Their childhood up to Krishna’s sixteenth year in Vrindavan, living a happy life. Simply love. Krishna and Balarama enacted these early pastimes just to enliven Their devotees (paritranaya sadhunam). The devotees are always anxious to see Krishna and Balarama and Their associates, and they are always very much aggrieved when separated from Them. To rejuvenate their life, Krishna and Balarama played Their childhood days in Vrindavan. And out of Vrindavan, in Mathura and Dwarka and other places, Their business was killing the demons.

Two Businesses

Krishna and Balarama have two businesses – pacifying the devotees and killing the demons. Of course, since Krishna and Balarama are the Absolute Truth there is no difference between Their killing and Their loving. Those who are killed are also delivered from material bondage.

Now these same two brothers have again descended as Sri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. They are compared to the sun and the moon. The business of the sun and the moon is to dissipate darkness. The sun rises during the daytime, and the moon rises at night. But the sun and moon of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda are wonderful because They have appeared simultaneously.

Still, Their business is the same as that of the ordinary sun and moon: tamo-nudau, to dissipate darkness. Everyone in this material world is in darkness. In other words, they’re ignorant, like animals. Why are they animals? Such civilized men, so well dressed and with university degrees. Are they in darkness? Yes, they are in darkness. What is the proof? The proof is that they are not Krishna conscious. That is their darkness.

Now, someone may ask, “Who says this is proof we are in darkness?” We do not say it – Krishna does: na mam dushkritino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah mayayapahrita-jnana. (Gita 7.15)

Mayayapahrita-jnana means that although someone may have a university degree, although he is called civilized his knowledge has been stolen by illusion, and therefore he does not surrender to Krishna. Krishna is personally canvassing: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja. “Just give up your nonsense and surrender to Me.” He’s personally canvassing, but because these rascals and fools are in darkness, they do not know what the goal of life is. Therefore they are not willing to surrender to Him.

Krishna also describes these fools as naradhama, “the lowest of mankind.” How have they become naradhama? By always engaging in sinful life. What is sinful life? Illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, and gambling. People who are addicted to these things are dushkriti, “miscreants,” and naradhama, “the lowest of mankind.” And whatever knowledge they have acquired by their so-called education is all false knowledge (mayayapahrita-jnana). This is their position.

Delivering a World Full of Sinful Activities

Krishna and Balarama, being merciful, have descended again as Sri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. They are canvassing for the same principle – sarva-dharman parityajya (Gita 18.66) – but in a different way. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu have appeared in order to drive away the darkness of ignorance. There is no actual difference between Krishna’s preaching and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s preaching. The only difference is that Krishna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, demands, “You rascal, surrender unto Me. You are suffering so much on account of your dushkriti, sinful activities. I am your father; I want to see you happy. Therefore, I have come. Surrender unto Me and I shall give you all protection.”

Except for Krishna conscious activities, whatever you do is sinful. The whole world is full of sinful activities, and they have been summarized into four categories: illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling, and intoxication. This is the summary, but there are many, many branches of these activities. Still, if you cut the root of sinful activity – illicit sex, gambling, meat-eating, and intoxication – then automatically the other sinful activities will go.

Therefore we who are propagating this Krishna consciousness movement are requesting that you give up these sinful activities. Otherwise, you will be implicated. What is that implication? Your implication is that your sinful life will get you another body. And again you will suffer. As soon as you get a material body, there is suffering. It may be a king’s body or a cobbler’s body; it doesn’t matter: the suffering is there. But because people are mayayapahrita-jnana, ignorant, they are accepting suffering as pleasure. This is called maya, illusion.

When a pig is eating stool, he thinks he’s enjoying life. He does not know that he’s suffering. Maya has given the living entity a pig’s body so that he will suffer, but even in the pig’s body he’s thinking he’s enjoying life. This is illusion.

Everyone in this material world is suffering, but there are different grades of suffering, just as in the prison house. There are different grades of prisoner – first class, second class, third class – but if the first-class prisoner thinks he is enjoying life, that is ignorance. In the prison house, where is the enjoyment? It is all suffering. It may be first-class suffering, but it is still suffering.

So the whole of human society is in darkness, and out of Their kindness Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu have appeared in order to dissipate this darkness.

Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.