Haridas Thakur, when he was approached, he was actually arrested and brought before the king. The king has whole militaries. And the Kazi was there. They asked Haridas, “We will give you two choices. Just stop this chanting of Krishna’s names, or at least stop telling others about it. And we’ll let you go free. You could be peaceful. Otherwise, we are going to beat you, torture you till you are dead.” And what did Haridas choose? He said, “You can cut my body into as many pieces as you like. But you can’t stop me from chanting Krishna’s names”.
He could have at least said it and then gone out. He could have said, “Alright, I’ll be good” and then gone underground. “Alright!” He just told them, “No no, you let me live, I will preach.” So, they beat him in twenty-two market places. And he constantly chanted Krishna’s names. And later, years later, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed how he personally took all those beatings upon himself, because he was conquered by the service attitude of Haridas Thakur.
Radhanath Swami describes devotees as places of pilgrimage
And Lord Chaitanya gave Haridas, at that time, in the house of Shrivas, a special benediction – “Because you are so attached to me, anyone who becomes attached to you, I will give ecstatic love for Krishna”. That is Krishna’s special grace within this world, as he sends his devotees. And those devotees are places of pilgrimage.
tīrtha-bhūtāḥ svayaḿ vibho
Because they carry Krishna in their heart and someone who is attached to Krishna, if we become attached to them, it’s the same as being attached to Krishna.
Radhanath Swami describes what attachment to devotees means
Mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika – the Adi Purana says. “Worship of My devotees is more dear to me than worshipping me.” Because a devotee is so attached within his or her heart, by becoming attached to that devotee, by pleasing that devotee, Krishna within the heart of that devotee is most pleased.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed this principal in so many incredible ways. In Navadwip, he went to the house of Shrivas –this is just after he took initiation in Gaya – and he told Shrivas and Shrivas’s wife Malini, “Bring all you servants and maid servants and everyone else.” And they all came. You know, there were people who wash clothes, people who wash the things and people who garden, clean, simple people. They were not educated. They were obviously of the lower caste from that perspective.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed his four-arm form to all of them and put his lotus feet on all of their heads. And gave all of them Krishna Prema. What was their qualification? They were attached to Shrivas and Malini, that’s all. “Anyone who loves my servants and who is loved by my servants is loved by me.”
Radhanath Swami comments on the highest benediction
Kapil Dev tells his mother that the same way that materialists are attached to material things, if we just transfer that attachment to sadhus, to sincere pure-hearted devotees, that is the highest benediction. That’s why we come to Vrindavan – to become attached! But we cannot approach directly. We can in one sense. When we love those who love the Lord, the Lord reveals his love to us. Krishna sends His loving devotees to this world so that we can transfer our attachment.