Misconception: Fall of Kala Krsnadasa
In Our Original Position, the deviation of Kala Krsnadasa is stated in chapter twelve as factual and inescapable evidence that the jiva soul falls down from the eternal lila
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rejected Kala Krsnadasa from His personal service due to Kala Krsnadasa having been allured by gypsies in the region of Mallara-desa (the area around northern Kerala and southern Karnataka). Kala Krsnadasa was a simple and gentle brahmana yet his intelligence became polluted in the association of the gypsies and he became attracted to women. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu being the ideal sannyasi cannot keep the company of persons who are attracted by women and thus when He returned to Jaganatha Puri He lodged a complaint about the character of Kala Krsnadasa before Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and rejected him.
The first lesson that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is teaching us in this incident is that as long as one is in this material world one should never deviate from the strict principles of pure devotional service. Maya is very strong and the only safety for a devotee in this world is to constantly stick to the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Kala Krsnadasa was a brahmin who was being given the chance to associate personally with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We do not find mention anywhere such as in the Gaur-ganodesh-dipika by Kavi Karnapur, that Kala Krsnadasa was an eternal associate of the Lord who had descended from Krsnaloka to assist the Lord in His pastimes. Thus it can be understood that Kala Krsnadasa was not an eternally liberated soul who fell down from the Lords association but rather he was a candidate from this material world and thus he was still susceptible to maya's influence. Had he been an eternal associate of the Lord his "fall down" could only have taken place due to yogamaya not mahamaya.
Even if one has the personal association of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, or has become a liberated soul, as long as one still has a material body and is in this material world one should not consider oneself liberated and thus independent of the regulative principles of devotional service. Otherwise one will be captured by maya. This is the first lesson.
However, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went immediately to the camp of the gypsies to reclaim His servant, Kala Krsnadasa. When this happened the gypsies tried to hurt Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with various weapons. But the weapons which the gypsies tried to use against the Lord turned against them and began to cut them to pieces. Their arms, legs and heads were severed from their bodies. There were loud cries of pain and agony amidst which Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu grabbed His servant, Kala Krsnadasa, by the hair and saved him.
The second lesson which is to be learned in this incident is that once having taken shelter of the Lords lotus feet the Lord always protects his devotees. Even if there is some accidental fall down on the part of a sincere devotee the Lord rectifies that immediately.
api cet su-duracaro, bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah, samyag vyavasito hi sah
ksipram bhavati dharmatma, sasvac-chantim nigacchati
kaunteya pratijanihi, na me bhaktah pranasyati
"Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes."
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went there immediately to save Kala Krsnadasa from maya. In effect Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not allow Kala Krsnadasa to give up His association even though he had been bewildered by maya. After that it was almost one year before the Lord and Kala Krsnadasa returned to Jaganatha Puri. During that time Kala Krsnadasa continued to serve Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu both day and night. After returning to Puri, then the Lord rejected Kala Krsnadasa from His personal association. The Lord did this in keeping with His high standards as a sannyasi.
The third lesson to learn in this incident is that the Lord's devotees are even more merciful than the Lord Himself. When Kala Krsnadasa was rejected by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he thus received the mercy of four devotees namely; Nityananda Prabhu, Jagadananda Pandit, Mukunda, and Damodara.
The devotees of the Lord are more merciful than the Lord Himself. Sometimes the Lord is very hard or strict whereas the devotees are more inclined to show mercy. It is said,
vajrad api kathorani, mrduni kusumad api
lokottaranam cetamsi, ko nu vijnatum isvarah
"The hearts of those above common behavior are sometimes harder than a thunder bolt and sometimes softer than a flower. How can one accommodate such contradictions in great personalities?"
In many incidents Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu showed His "harder than a thunderbolt" heart in sometimes neglecting His devotees like Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya when he fainted on the road or in preparing to punish the rascals like Jagai and Madhai for their offence. However, in many of these cases Sri Nityananda Prabhu was there to show Supreme Mercy. Thus was the case with Kala Krsnadasa who not only got the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu but of many other eternal associates of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also.
At that time Nityananda Prabhu, Jagadananda Pandit, Mukunda, and Damodara devised a plan and after taking Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's permission Kala Krsnadasa was sent to Bengal to inform all the devotees that the Lord had returned from South India. First Kala Krsnadasa went to the home of Mother Saci and then to the house of Sri Adwaita Acharya. Kala Krsnadasa informed all the devotees about the Lord's return from South India as well as in great detail all about the Lord's travels. Kala Krsnadasa brought great pleasure to all the Vaishnavas and a great festival was held at Sri Adwaita's house.
In this way by the mercy of the devotees Kala Krsnadasa continued to engage in the service of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It should be remembered also that due to the continued services of Kala Krsnadasa the narrations about the Lords tour of South India were available for recording in the Sri Chaitanya-caritamrta. Even the narration of how the Lord delivered Kala Krsnadasa from the gypsies. Those narrations continue to enliven the devotees even up to the present day. Thus the service of Kala Krsnadasa continues.
I have mentioned three beneficial lessons for all devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to follow in regard to the Lord rejecting Kala Krsnadasa. However, the idea that the incident of Kala Krsnadasa supports the Iskcon misconception that the jiva falls from Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrindavana is not acceptable.
We should not think that the Lord has a hatred toward His devotee. On the contrary even if there is some defect in the devotee the Lord does not take that into consideration. All that exists between the Lord and His pure devotees are mutual feelings of love. It is not possible for the pure devotee to envy the Lord nor is it possible for Krsna to reject His pure devotee. Whenever such dealings do appear to take place it should be understood to be the workings of yogamaya not mahamaya.
Nothing is more dear to a devotee than Krsna and nothing is more dear to Krsna than His devotee (na me bhakta priya janah). What more can we say than this.