SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Adi Lila Chapter 11
All glories to Sri Gauracandra, the Supreme Lord of all lords. His youthful pastimes as a scholar revealed His attraction for learning. He stayed in Navadvipa, but He concealed His true identity. The best of the brahmanas, Gauracandra, spent all His younger days pursuing His studies. His handsome youthfulness could defeat the beauty of millions upon millions of cupids. Every limb of His transcendental body was a perfection of beauty. His arms extended down to the knees and His exquisite eyes were like lotus petals. His attractive lips were red as if from chewing betel, and He was always dressed in fine, majestic clothes.
Ever in a happy mood, He walked amidst His colleagues and disciples, entertaining them with His sparkling wit. He was their unquestioned leader on the strength of His superior intelligence and learning. He roamed all over Navadvipa carrying His books as if holding Sarasvati devi, the Goddess of Learning, within His palm, for He is the Supreme Lord of the entire cosmic manifestation. No scholar in Navadvipa dared to find faults in His dissertations. Only the brahmana Gangadasa Pandita, a very pious and fortunate soul, was capable of discussing with the Lord.
The different categories of people in Navadvipa saw Mahaprabhu in their own way. The materialistic fruitive workers who were attached to family and home saw Him as the Lord and experienced an inexplicable wonder. "How remarkable that every house He graces should always have prosperity," they exclaimed. The ladies saw Him as the most attractive Cupid. But in the hearts of the atheists He struck fear as the God of death. The scholars were convinced that Brhaspati, the most learned priest of the demigods, had taken birth on earth.
But the Vaisnavas were seriously concerned about Gauranga and His behavior.
"He is endowed with such sublime physical beauty," they sadly commented, "yet He shows no attraction for Lord Krsna. What will all His learning and erudition bring Him except years of wasted time." The Vaisnavas spoke in this manner because they were bewildered by the internal potency of the Lord. Although they saw the Supreme Lord in person before them, they could not recognize Him.
Once a Vaisnava met the Lord and enquired, "What is the use of wasting your time in pursuit of material knowledge."
The Lord smiled at the concern of His devotee and replied, "Truly it is my great fortune that you are instructing Me to accept the path of devotional service."
These are some of the exchanges of mellows between the Supreme Lord and His devotees. Yet even the devotees - what to speak of ordinary men - could not recognize the Lord as He unfolded His pastimes in the mood of a scholar.
Navadvipa was the seat of learning in those days and students and scholars came there from all over. There were many pure Vaisnava devotees amongst them, especially from Chattograma, who had come to live near the bank of the Ganga. By the Lord's desire all those Vaisnava devotees had appeared in Navadvipa. Abandoning all physical and material pleasures, they were fully attached to the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. They met daily, studied together and in solitude - away from the bustle of materialistic life - they discussed pastimes of Lord Govinda's.
Sri Mukunda was especially loved by all the other Vaisnavas because he could melt anyone's heart with his beautiful singing. Towards evening, the devotees would gather in Sri Acarya's house and when Mukunda would sing devotional songs to Lord Krsna, the devotees would lose their composure. Some would cry; others would laugh loudly and still others would dance. Some lost control of themselves and their clothes and would roll on the ground, feeling great ecstasy. Some chanted loudly as if roaring like lions, and others clapped the devotes loudly on their backs. Still others simply touched the feet of Sri Mukunda. The whole place became transformed into a most blissful scene, and all the Vaisnavas forgot their previous sufferings.
The Supreme Lord Gaurasundara was always pleased with Mukunda. Whenever He saw Mukunda He would hurry forward to meet him. Nimai would present Mukunda with problems, and Mukunda would earnestly try to explain them. But the Lord would immediately reply that Mukunda's arguments were all wrong, and inevitably an argument would ensure. Mukunda had become a respected scholar by such meetings with the Lord, and he would argue with the Lord, presenting pros and cons to establish his arguments. Of course the Supreme Lord recognized His devotees and enjoyed such exchanges.
Caitanya also harassed Srivasa in the same manner whenever He saw him, so most of the Vaisnavas tried to avoid meeting the Lord which simply wasted their time in useless sophistry and argument. The Vaisnavas were fully detached from material pleasures, being totally immersed in love of Krsna. Hence, they found no interest in any topics other than Krsna conscious topics.
They were not inspired to argue with the Lord on logic or other such material topics. In any case, the interactions invariably ended with the Lord making fun of them. Therefore when any of them spotted the Lord, they would change their direction and keep their distance. They enjoyed only Krsna conscious topics, yet whenever the Lord met them He would only ask questions about logic and other material subjects.
One day Caitanya was walking down the main street with some other students.
Mukunda happened to be coming that way at the same time, going for his daily bath in the river. Seeing the Lord from a distance, Mukunda quickly turned away. The Lord saw Mukunda sneak away and He asked His servant Govinda, "Why did this fellow run away upon seeing Me?"
"Dear learned brahmana, I don't know why he has gone away," said Govinda. "Maybe he has some other work."
"I know why he ran away," said Gauranga. "He does not like to talk about mundane subject matters. This fellow only studies devotional scriptures while I juggle with astrology, theology, verb rules and grammar. Because I do not talk about Krsna he has avoided Me." Using harsh terms He pretended to slander Mukunda but He was actually very pleased with him. In this way He simultaneously revealed His own Supreme identity.