What is namahatta other than the marketplace of the holy name?
Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote this book where he explains that this marketplace of the holy name is widely available and it can be purchased for the price of one’s faith.
He said there are those who are looking after the marketplace, those who are supplying the marketplace, and there are personalities who look after different marketplaces and sometimes come to supply that marketplace with fresh inspiration.
Then he describes that he was just the sweeper of the marketplace, which is not a simple thing. It is very interesting to look at Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura as the sweeper of the market place. Of course, in India, the sweeper was considered a fallen occupation, so he was taking a very humble position. But it was not just a statement without cognitive meaning. No, because Bhaktivinoda Thakura was the sweeper of the marketplace of the holy name and that was his service to Lord Nityananda.
The marketplace of the holy name had originally been established by Nityananda. When Lord Caitanya sent Lord Nityananda to West Bengal , a whole group of devotees went with him, and it wasn’t easy to go. Because they were so ecstatic and so overwhelmed by ecstatic kirtana, they missed all the turns!
But eventually they got there only by desire and the mercy of Mahaprabhu,and when they reached, there was so much ecstasy that it was just amazing. It was with this ecstasy that Nityananda brought the holy name to West Bengal and engaged people in kirtana. He created the marketplace of the holy name, so originally it was Lord Nityananda who started the namahatta and since then it has been taken around the world.
Our mission is to engage people in devotional service. A little service, and when a little service is done, there will be more service, because that is the nature of devotional service – it changes the heart.