SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Adi Lila Chapter 12
All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Gaurasundara and all glories to the servant followers of the Supreme Lord.
Nimai was fully engaged in performing His transcendental pastimes as a scholar in Navadvipa. Always with a book in hand, He went about Navadvipa challenging all the scholars and teachers to debate on practically any subject matter, but no one could meet His challenge. The Lord was supposed to have studied only grammar. Yet He regarded acclaimed and titled scholars with disdain. He was a self-satisfied scholar and went about Navadvipa with His disciples and student who were very fortunate due to His association.
One day He quite unexpectedly met Mukunda on the road. Catching him by the hand, the Lord demanded, "What is your reason for avoiding Me and turning away when you see Me? Today let Me see how you escape without answering My questions."
"How am I going to defeat Him today?" thought Mukunda. "I know that He is well versed in grammar, so I shall question Him on 'alankar' (figures of speech) and defeat Him so thoroughly that He will never boast to me again." The debate began and they plied each other with questions. The Lord defeated each of Mukunda's explanations. Then Mukunda suggested, "Grammar is for small children. Only young students discuss these subjects. We should rather discuss figures of speech."
"Whatever you wish." replied Nimai. Mukunda quoted difficult and lofty slokas one after the other, asking questions on different aspects of the figures of speech. The omnipotent Supreme Lord pointed out mistakes in every one of his compositions and smashed all his arguments. Mukunda was unable to establish any new points.
"Today, return to your house and please study your books properly," said the Lord smiling. "Tomorrow, if you want, I will put you to the test again." Mukunda took the dust from the Lord's lotus feet and left thinking about this wonderful incident. "It is not possible for a human being to possess such knowledge," thought Mukunda. "He is well versed in all the scriptures and subjects. There is not one thing He does not know. He is such a genius. If only He were a devotee of Lord Krsna then I would never leave His company for a moment."
The Lord of Vaikuntha enjoyed the mood of a scholar while roaming about Navadvipa. On another occasion He met Gadadhara Pandita. The Lord grasped both of Gadadhara's hands and said, "I heard you study logic. You must answer My questions before you leave." Gadadhara Pandita agreed and the Lord began, "Tell Me the symptoms of liberation."
Gadadhara replied according to knowledge he had gained from the books, but the Lord said, "Your explanations are not up to standard."
Gadadhara insisted, "According to the scriptures liberation comes only after the extirpation of extreme suffering."
Nimai Pandita, the Lord of Sarasvati-Devi, the Goddess of Learning, pointed out discrepancies in various angles of Gadadhara Pandita's explanation. There was no one who could defeat the Lord, no one who could win in a debate with Him.
"Gadadhara, you should go home today, but tomorrow we shall meet again and you will have another chance," said Nimai. But Gadadhara could only think of escaping Nimai's association. He offered due respect to Nimai, but left as quickly as possible. Nimai continued to roam about Navadvipa with His students.
Everyone now recognized Nimai as an erudite scholar and people in general were very respectful towards Him. In the late afternoon the Lord would sit in the midst of His students on the bank of the Ganga. Nothing in the cosmic creation could compare with His charm for He was continually worshiped by Laksmi Devi, the Goddess of Wealth.
Sri Sacinandana explained the scriptures and all His students sat around Him listening. Around evening time the Vaisnavas came and sat at a distance from the Lord listening to His explanations with mixed feelings of elation and depression.
"What is the benefit of possessing so much beauty and such vast learning if one does not worship Krsna?" commented one devotee.
"I have to run away when I see Him, lest He catch me and defeat me with His tricky questions," said another.
"If He catches you, you cannot escape. He forces you to stay as though He had the authority of some government official," complained another.
"But His strength is so extraordinary," concluded one devotee, "that I think He must be some great personality. Although He harasses us with tricky questions, somehow I feel very pleased each time I see Him. I have yet to meet anyone with His erudition. The only thing that disheartens me is that He does not worship Lord Krsna."
The devotees sincerely prayed that Nimai would develop some attachment for the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. They prostrated themselves on the bank of the Ganga and petitioned the Lord on Nimai's behalf.
"O Lord Krsna, please allow the son of Sri Jagannatha Misra to be always absorbed in You, leaving aside His other pursuits," they prayed. "Allow Him to worship You always in loving devotion and then we can all associate with Him." Nimai received the blessings of the pure Vaisnava devotees. As the Supreme Personality of Godhead residing in everyone's heart, He knew the mentality of the devotees.
Whenever He saw Srivasa and other elevated devotees He would always offer them respect. He accepted the blessings of the Vaisnavas, knowing that only through such blessings could love of Krsna be achieved.
Often devotees questioned Him, "Why do You waste Your time pursuing material knowledge? What will You gain?"
Others would advise, "You should begin to worship the Supreme Lord Krsna immediately. What is the ultimate aim of education? It is only to know the Supreme Lord, and if You miss this point then what is the use of all Your erudition?"
The Lord affectionately replied, "I am truly very fortunate that all of you are so intent about teaching Me the path of devotional service to Krsna. Within My heart I know that whoever receives your blessings is most fortunate.
"I have always thought that I would take shelter of a pure Vaisnava devotee but only after I have studied a little longer."
The Lord conversed affectionately with His devotees in this manner and yet remained undetected by anyone through the influence of His internal potency, Maya. The Lord charmed everyone and stole their hearts. There was no one who did not wait eagerly to meet the Lord again. The citizens of Navadvipa were equally happy to meet Sri Gauracandra and whenever they saw Him they offered respect.
Each of the townspeople saw the Lord according to their own mentality. The ladies thought, "O, here is Cupid." The scholars offered Him great respect thinking He was Brhaspati, the priest of the demigods. The mystic yogis considered Him to be a perfected being, while the evil-minded atheists and sinners beheld Him with fear.
Nimai's charm was irresistible. Whoever conversed with Him became captivated as though bound by the ropes of love. Although He acted like a braggart, flaunting His erudition, still people heard Him with affection. Even the Muslims and others felt affection for the Lord. That was only natural because the Lord's nature was magnanimous.
The Supreme Lord of all the spiritual planets was teaching many students in front of Mukunda and Sanjaya's house. Never tiring from debate on any point, the Lord Visvambhara, Sri Sacinandana exhibited His pastimes as a scholar. None of the fortunate souls who had contact with Gaurasundara including Mukunda and Sanjaya could understand the reason for their exhilaration in the Lord's company. The Lord of Vaikuntha had mastered all the branches of education, and He exhibited this transcendental pastime in the mood of a erudite scholar for the pleasure of everyone.
One day the Lord pretended He was sick from a certain kind of disorder and used this to reveal ecstatic symptoms of devotional service. Suddenly He uttered something mystical and indecipherable. Falling to the ground He rolled around breaking everything within reach. He roared like thunder - like a challenging wrestler - and struck whoever came near Him.
At one moment His body would be paralyzed, and in the next moment He would fall unconscious. Those who witnessed the malady were frightened. News spread that He was suffering from a wind disorder and all His friends rushed in to try to help. Buddhimanta Khan, Mukunda and Sanjaya came quickly to His house with the entire group. They applied different medicated herbal oils on His head to bring Him back to a normal condition. In actuality Nimai was pretending to be sick, so no one could cure Him from His condition. His whole body quivered uncontrollably and He alternately sighed and roared, making everyone fearful.
"I am the Lord of the entire universe," said Nimai. "I am the maintainer and holder of the Universe and My name is Visvambhara. I am that same Supreme Personality who is the Lord of all the spiritual planets, but none of you know Me." In His madness He rushed out to catch someone. Although Nimai revealed His real identity during His illness, still no one recognized Him because of the Lord's internal potency.
"Some demon must have possessed Him," commented one person. And another immediately questioned, 'Is this how a witch works?'
"He is speaking constantly, therefore He must have some sort of wind disorder," suggested another person.
In this way each one offered their own opinion, but none of them could understand the Lord in truth because of the influence of His illusory potency, the internal potency of the Supreme Lord Vishnu.
People continued to try to cure the Lord by applying a variety of oils over His head and body. He dripped with oil, yet kept on laughing as if to substantiate the existence of a wind disorder that was affecting His mind. After some time the Lord became normal again of His own accord. Such are the wonderful pastimes of the Supreme Lord.
Everyone was relieved and jubilantly chanted Lord Hari's name. Their relief was so great that they began to give gifts and receive gifts from others without knowing to whom they gave or from whom they took. They all blessed the Lord with a long life. Who can comprehend these transcendental activities of the Lord of Vaikuntha if He Himself does not mercifully reveal it?
The Vaisnavas, who were accustomed to give good advice to the Lord whenever they saw Him, now advised, "Dear Sir, please worship the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. Time is short and the body is temporary. But what can we teach You, for after all You are the most learned person?"
The Lord smiled in acquiescence, offered the Vaisnavas respect, and left to teach His students in the house of the pious Mukunda and Sanjaya. His hair still smelling sweet from the medicated oils, Lord Gaurasundara sat amongst His disciples and began to teach. In that gathering, the Lord looked like a gem surrounded by many precious jewels. It is impossible to give proper analogy. It could have been Lord Narayana in Badarikasram sitting in the midst of His devotees like Sanaka and others. There is no doubt that Sacinandana is that same Lord Narayana, the Supreme Personality. Thus He enacted His scholarly pastimes with His students and devotees.
After holding class for several hours, Gaurasundara and His students would break at midday for their bath in the Ganga. After that the Lord would return home for His daily worship of Lord Vishnu.
He offered water to Tulasi Devi, circumambulated her, and then sat down to eat His meal while chanting the name of Lord Hari. Laksmi-Devi served the prasada to Her Lord while Mother Saci looked on, drinking in the Lord's beauty to her full satisfaction. After eating, the Lord chewed some betel leaf and lay down while Laksmi massaged His lotus feet. For a while He would rest in a transcendental sleep, and upon rising He would again take His books in His hand and leave the house. Out in the street, Gaurasundara gave and received great pleasure in talking with anyone He met. No one knew He was in fact the Supreme Lord, yet everyone offered Him respect. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Sacinandana walked casually throughout the town where everyone could see Him, although He was unapproachable even by demigods.
One day Nimai came to a weaver's house. The weaver received His guest with reverence. "Bring Me a fine piece of cloth," said the Lord, and the weaver immediately produced a very good piece.
"How much will you take for this?" asked Nimai.
"Whatever You want to give," replied the weaver.
Nimai estimated the price and said, "I have no coins today."
"My dear respected brahmana," asserted the weaver, "You can give it to me in ten or fifteen days. Take this cloth and wear it. If You are satisfied, You can pay me later." The Supreme Lord cast His merciful glance on the weaver and left his place.
At the house of the milkman Nimai took advantage of His position as a brahmana. "Bring Me some milk and yogurt," said Gaurasundara. "Today I shall accept some charity from you." To the milkmen Nimai looked like Cupid personified because of His brilliant beauty. Carefully and with great reverence they seated Him comfortably and began joking with Him. Affectionately they called Him Uncle.
"Come Uncle, come to my house and take some rice," said one milkman grasping Nimai's arm as though he would take Him physically. "No, come to my house for rice. Don't You remember when You ate in my house previously?" said another jokingly.
Actually Nimai had never visited their houses - except in His previous incarnation as Sri Krsna. The milkman could not know the depth of his joke, nor did Nimai reveal it. He was satisfied with His secret. The milkmen brought milk, clarified butter, yogurt, cream and curd and offered it to the Lord. The Lord was pleased with the milkmen and after blessing them He left for the house of the perfumer.
The perfume maker received the Lord with great respect and offered prayers at His lotus feet. "Dear brother, bring Me some good perfumes," said Nimai. The perfumer immediately went inside and came back with his best collection.
"What is the price?" asked Nimai.
"You know everything," replied the perfumer. "Would it be proper for me to ask payment from You? Take this perfume and use it for a few days. If the perfume suits You, You may pay me whatever You like." The perfumer smeared Nimai's body with fragrant oil and received indescribable pleasure from the service. How could he have remained unaffected while serving the beautiful body of the Lord who can attract hearts of all living entities? Nimai blessed the perfumer, then went on to the house of the florist.
The florist was wonder stuck to see such an extremely charming person. He offered his obeisances to the Lord and with both respect and affection he gave Him a place to sit.
"I would like a very beautiful garland but I do not have any money with Me," said Nimai.
Noticing the signs of divinity on the Lord's person, the florist said, "You do not have to give anything." The florist then brought a beautiful garland and placed it round the Lord's neck. This pleased the Lord who began to laugh along with the disciples and students who had accompanied Him. The Lord blessed the florist and went nest to the house of the betel leaf dealer.
The pan dealer saw that he had Cupid in person as a visitor. First touching the lotus feet of the Lord, the merchant then offered Him a seat.
"It is my great fortune that You have visited this humble dwelling of mine." He then spontaneously prepared a betel pan leaf for the Lord and offered it to Him. "Why did you give Me this pan without being paid?" asked the Lord with a sweet smile.
"I simply acted on the prompting of my heart," said the pan merchant. The Lord was pleased with the merchant's simple honesty and was satisfied to chew the betel pan He had been given. The dealer made a packet containing betel leaves with other valuable tasty spices like camphor and offered it to the Lord with faith and respect. In return he received the causeless mercy of the Lord. Nimai continued to visit the people of Navadvipa in this way. Being an exact replica of Mathura, Navadvipa was an opulent town even before the advent of the Lord. Its lakhs of inhabitants busied themselves throughout the town. This was all prearranged by the desire of the Lord. Navadvipa was prepared to receive the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Just as Lord Krsna had gone through Mathura meeting the various residents, in this incarnation Lord Caitanya had enacted the same wonderful pastime.
The Lord then visited the house of the conch shell dealer. The merchant received the Lord with great respect and offered his obeisances at the Lord's lotus feet.
"Dear brother, please bring Me a beautiful conch shell," said Nimai. The merchant delivered his most beautiful shell and offered his obeisances again, but the Lord asked, "How will I take it with Me as I am not carrying any money?"
"Respected brahmana, please take this conch shell home with You. You can pay me later, or if You do not pay me at all it does not matter." The Lord was satisfied with the conch shell dealer's affection, and blessed him.
In this manner the Lord visited many houses in Navadvipa and showered each one with His mercy. Because of their great fortune, even today the residents of Navadvipa receive the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Gauracandra and Sri Nityananda.
The fully independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Gauracandra, then went to the house of the astrologer. The astrologer saw a divine personality before him, glowing with spiritual radiance, and he humbly offered his respectful obeisances and a seat.
"I heard that you are a good astrologer," said the Lord. "Tell Me who I was in My previous birth."
The astrologer chanted his Gopala mantra and went into meditation. He saw the four-handed form of Lord Krsna with a complexion of a dark monsoon cloud. The Lord was holding a conch shell, the Sudarsana cakra, a club and a lotus in His hands. He saw the Lord bathed in divine effulgence with the kaustubha jewel around His neck and His breast marked with Srivatsa. He then saw the prison house of Kamsa with Vasudeva and Mother Devaki holding the new born baby in the late night. Then Sri Vasudeva carried the child to Gokula for safety.
Again the astrologer saw the Lord as a charming two-handed little boy without any clothes. The jewelry around His waist tinkled sweetly with each movement and both His hands were filled with creamy butter. The astrologer saw the same divine signs on Sri Caitanya that he had always seen on Gopala, the form of Krsna on which he meditated daily.
Once again the astrologer's vision changed and he saw the curved form of Lord Syamananda Krsna playing His flute while the gopis around Him played on different musical instruments. The wonder-struck astrologer opened his eyes to observe the beautiful form of the Lord on which he continued to meditate.
Then he prayed aloud to his worshipable Lord Sri Gopala ."O Gopala, please reveal to me the real identity of this young brahmana." The astrologer then saw in his meditation the Supreme Lord with the complexion of durba grass holding a bow in one hand while sitting on a kingly throne. Again he saw the Lord as Varaha the boar, balancing the earth between His tusks as He rose magnificently out of the ocean depths. He saw Lord Nrsimhadeva, the terrifying half-human half-lion incarnation who appeared to protect His pure devotees. Then Vamana appeared in the sacrificial arena of Bali Maharaja followed by Matsya the fish saving the Vedic scriptures from destruction in the waters of annihilation.
Within his meditation, the pious astrologer then saw Lord Balarama carrying His divine plough, and after that he saw Jagannatha and Balarama with Subhadra standing between Them. All the incarnations of the Lord appeared to the astrologer, yet because of the Lord's illusory energy he could not understand the deeper meaning of his divine vision.
The astrologer was mystified and thought to himself, "Maybe this brahmana is very expert in chanting mantras for incarnations, or maybe He is some demigod in the form of a brahmana trying to amuse Himself and test me. He certainly possesses an extraordinary effulgence. Maybe He has come as an astrologer and clairvoyant to disgrace me."
The Lord interrupted his thoughts and said, "What do you see? Tell Me, who am I? Tell Me everything in detail."
"Please go now," said the confused astrologer. "Later in the afternoon when I have chanted my mantras properly I shall tell You everything." The Lord wished him well and went to the house of His dear friend, Sridhara.
The Lord was always pleased with Sridhara's behavior and He would use any excuse to visit him. They would converse confidentially and joke with each other. In this way several hours a day could be passed very happily. Sridhara offered the Lord obeisances and a seat as soon as He arrived. Sridhara's calm and mild personality stood in obvious contrast to Nimai's stormy character.
"Sridhara, you are always chanting Lord Hari's name, so what is the reason for your suffering? You are serving the husband and master of Sri Laksmi Devi, the Goddess of Fortune, so why are you always in want of food and clothes?"
"I am not starving," replied Sridhara, "And as You can see, I have clothes on. "They are neither fine clothes nor the right size, but my body is covered."
"But Sridhara," argued the Lord, "your clothes are torn in several places and I know you have neither straw nor rice in the house. Look around you. All the citizens worship Goddess Candi (MOTHER Durga) the destroyer of all enemies, and none of them suffer for want of food, shelter or clothing."
"You have made a good point," replied Sridhara, "but generally speaking, everyone's life is almost the same. The King may live in a palace surrounded by opulence and eat sumptuously while the birds live in the open or in a simple nest in a tree top and gather their own humble food. But basically everyone's approach to life is similar. By the Lord's design each of us must meet the demands of duty, and in doing so we behave more or less alike. Personally, I prefer to live the life I am leading now."
"I am sure you have immense wealth hidden somewhere," accused the Lord, "and you are relishing opulent food in secret. Soon I will make it known to everyone, and then we will see how you continue to cheat the people."
"Come to my house, dear learned brahmana," invited Sridhara, "and see for Yourself. We should not start an argument here."
"I am not going to let you off so easily," said Nimai, "Tell Me what you are going to feed Me?"
"I make a simple living selling leaf cups," replied Sridhara. "What can I offer to give You from such an income, respected brahmana?"
"I am not going to touch your hidden wealth now - that I will get later," assured Nimai. "But if you give Me banana root and some banana stalks right now without taking money, then I will not fight with you any more."
Sridhara thought to himself, "He is a very aggressive brahmana. Someday He might even beat me. But even if He does beat me, what can I do? I really cannot afford to give Him everything He wants for free each day. But I see He has a godly form; He is not an ordinary personality by any means. If He takes my things by force or by some other tricky means, then He is free to do so. I think this is my good fortune, and in spite of my poverty I will continue to give Him whatever He wants."
Having made his decision, Sridhara answered the Lord, "Dear Brahmana, You do not have to pay me anything at all. I will give You whatever You want with an open and happy heart. Take Your bananas and other vegetables, take the leaf cups that I have, and please do not fight with me anymore."
"Yes, that is a very satisfactory agreement," said Nimai. "There should be no further fights, but please see to it that I get good quality bananas, banana stalk and radish." Daily the Lord ate with Sridhara from his leaf cups, relishing his bananas, banana stalks, radishes and Sridhara's cooking in general. When a gourd grew on Sridhara's roof top, the Lord had it cooked into a special preparation made with milk and hot spices.
One day the Lord asked, "Sridhara, what do you think of Me? As soon as you tell Me that, I shall return to My house."
Sridhara replied, "You are a brahmana, part and parcel of the Supreme Lord Vishnu."
"No, you do not know," said Nimai. "I belong to the community of cowherders and milk men. You see Me as a young brahmin boy, but I consider Myself to be simply a milk man."
Sridhara just smiled at the Lord's comment; he could not recognize his own Lord and master, being deluded by the Lord's internal potency.
"Sridhara, I am going to reveal to you an esoteric truth. You see the river Ganges? I am the source of the Ganga."
"O Nimai Pandita! Have You no fear in disrespecting Ganga-devi like this?" asked the disturbed Sridhara. "People usually become grave and serious as they grow older, but Your frivolity seems to have doubled since Your childhood."
After staying with Sridhara for some time, Nimai Pandita returned home. He entered the temple room of Lord Vishnu; His students took this as an indication that they should also return to their homes.
The rising full moon in the evening stirred wonderful spiritual emotions within Lord Nimai. Memories of the moon-like Vrndavana Candra rose within His heart. Nimai's flute played an extraordinary beautiful melody that only Mother Saci could hear. The flute that charms the entire creation stole Mother Saci's consciousness, carrying it away on the wings of ecstasy. Slowly she regained her external awareness and after steadying her mind, she listened to the beautiful melody. The captivating flute seemed to come from Gaurasundara's direction. The music drew Mother Saci from her room to the temple room where she saw Nimai. The sound of the flute stopped completely and on her son's chest she saw the full rising moon and the fathomless firmament. She was overcome by amazement and glanced restively in all directions before returning to her room. She sat down to analyze what she had heard and seen, but she could not find a proper explanation.
Mother Saci was fortunate to see Nimai's endless supernatural phenomenon. Some nights she heard many people singing, dancing and playing instruments as if some festival was in progress. She sometimes noticed the entire house, doors, walls and windows emanating a brilliant light. On some days she saw divinely beautiful ladies - as attractive as Laksmi the Goddess of Fortune - roaming about with lotus flowers in their hands. Occasionally she saw effulgent demigods who would appear and disappear within a moment.
Mother Saci's visions were certainly not imagination. She was the embodiment of devotional service to the Supreme Lord Krsna and all the Vedas glorify her. Merely her glance on any person could purify them so that they could also have the same transcendental visions.
Sri Gaurasundara, the Supreme Lord who is Krsna Himself, lived incognito in Navadvipa, simply relishing His own divine Self. Sometimes He revealed His true identity but none of His eternal servants could recognize Him. In His Navadvipa pastimes the Lord liked to be very arrogant; in fact, no one could match that arrogance. Whenever the Supreme Lord performed any pastime, His activities could not be equaled by anyone. When the Lord feels like performing His chivalrous pastimes, then there is no one to challenge His mastery over weapons. And when He wants to reveal His amorous pastimes, then He captivates the hearts of millions of beautiful damsels. When He wants to enjoy opulence, then His opulence and magnificence is unmatched. Now in His pastimes as an erudite scholar there is no one to match His insolent arrogance, and when the same Lord accepts the renounced order of life, then who can excel Him in devotion, dedication and renunciation? Is there anyone in the three worlds to match Him? Yet in all His incarnations and pastimes the zenith of all activities is voluntary loving defeat in the hands of His pure unalloyed devotees.
One day the Lord was walking down the thoroughfare in Navadvipa surrounded by a few of His student disciples. His movement, dress and behavior was that of a king and He wore a golden yellow dhoti exactly like Krsna. A face that reflected a million rising full moons had soft red lips. People would look and say, "Is He Cupid in person?" His exquisite forehead held the tilaka mark, His hands clutched His books and as soon as anyone beheld His lotus-petaled eyes they were freed of all sinful thoughts and reactions.
The Lord had a restless nature. As He walked along with His students He swung His arms in a carefree manner. Srivasa Pandita also happened to be walking on this road, and as soon he saw the Lord he immediately felt great happiness. The Lord offered His obeisances to Srivasa Pandita as soon as He saw him.
Srivasa Pandita, the magnanimous personality, blessed the Lord saying, "May You live a long life." Then with a laugh he enquired, "Where are You off to now, my dear epitome of vanity? What futile work are You wasting your time on instead of worshiping the Supreme Lord Krsna. And why do You spend days and nights nonstop teaching people? And why do You not allow people to educate themselves so they can get knowledge about Lord Krsna and the process of devotional service? What is the use of education and knowledge if devotional service is not the ultimate goal? From now on do not waste even a single moment in futile activities. You have become educated; now utilize Your time in worshiping Lord Krsna."
"O respected Pandita," replied Nimai, "I am sure that by your grace devotional service to Krsna is possible even for Me."
Graciously the Lord took leave of Srivasa Pandita and went to the bank of the Ganga. The Lord's beauty was indescribable as He sat in the midst of His students. One might say He looked like the moon surrounded by a starry firmament. But that analogy is inaccurate for the moon is not without flaw. Its waxing and waning diminish its glory, whereas the exhilarating beauty of the Lord was continuous. Therefore such a comparison was inaccurate in describing the Lord's beauty. To compare Him with Brhaspati was also inadequate, for Brhaspati was the spiritual master of only the demigods, whereas the Supreme Lord Gauracandra was the supreme shelter and preceptor of all living entities. To compare Him with Cupid is also incorrect, for remembrance of Cupid gives rise to material desire and ultimately grief within the heart, whereas remembrance of the Lord brings purification and freedom from material bondage through which one enjoys blissful eternal life.
It seems that all analogies are inappropriate except the one which is readily accepted by my heart. On the banks of the Jamuna, Sri Nandakumar Krsna sat surrounded by His young cowherd boyfriends. That same Krsnacandra and the same cowherd boys were now also sitting on the banks of river Ganga. Whoever beheld the charming face of the Lord at that time experienced inexplicable ecstasy. The Lord's pure effulgent form inspired many opinions from the people who were present there.
One person said, "Such a brilliant effulgence is impossible for a human being." Another conjectured, "This brahmana must be a part or an expansion of Lord Vishnu."
"He has come to fulfill the prophecy that a brahmana would be the king of Bengal. I can see all the marks of royalty on His body," said another.
People continued to give their opinions as far as their intelligence would allow. And Nimai, the cynosure of the residents of Navadvipa, sat amongst His students, criticizing and minimizing the other teachers of Nadia. He would thoroughly defeat any arguments on any subjects, then by His superior intelligence He would again establish the same arguments He had just defeated.
"I will accept that person as a scholar who has the courage to come and argue with Me," challenged Nimai. "Who has sufficient intelligence to defeat My arguments?" In this way the Supreme Lord boasted, thus destroying the false ego of the scholars of Navadvipa.
The Lord had a countless following of students. People would simply come and offer themselves to the Lord. Everyday many young brahmana boys would come and pray at the lotus feet of the Lord, "O great scholar, I want to study under You so that I may learn something. Please be gracious and grant me this wish." The Lord would smile and accept them all, and in this way His students increased by the day.
The most precious gem of the Vaikuntha planets sat amongst His students on the bank of the river Ganga, revealing His wonderful and pleasurable pastimes. The pious people could all see the Lord, and everyone in Navadvipa could feel His spiritual potency. There was no way to gauge the amount of good fortune that those people accumulated and the bliss they experienced just by seeing the Lord. One could become free from material bondage simply by seeing the fortunate souls whose hearts had been touched by the blissful existence of the Supreme Lord.
But alas for me, I have taken a sinful and wretched birth. I could not be born at that time. My life is bereft of that beautiful transcendental sight of Lord Gaurasundara. In spite of all this, O Lord Gauracandra, please grant me the mercy that I may remember this pastime of Yours in every birth. Wherever You and my Lord Nityananda perform Your transcendental pastimes with Your eternal associates, may I also be present there as Your humble and insignificant servant.
Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu are my life and soul.
Your insignificant servant Vrndavana dasa offers this humble song at Your lotus feet.