SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Adi Lila Chapter 17
All glories to the Vaisnavas. Kindly bestow Your merciful glance on all the living entities so that they may become liberated from material entanglement.
Now listen carefully to the narrations about Lord Gaura Sundara going to Gayadham. The Lord of the Vaikuntha planets now resided in Navadvipa as the crest-jewel teacher and scholar. The condition of human society had deteriorated to such an extent that there was an increase of atheistic people, and the process of devotional service had become very rare. People in general were attracted by the temporary and illusory pleasures of the senses, and this greatly saddened the devotees.
Another reason that the Vaisnava devotees were despairing was that Lord Gaura Sundara was so engrossed in scholastic pursuits. The mischievous and sinful population continued to hurl abuses at the Vaisnava devotees, but they simply bore the insults quietly. The Supreme Lord Gaura Sundara decided within His heart that now the time was ripe to reveal His true identity and manifest His transcendental pastimes. But first He decided to visit Gayadham - such was the desire of the fully independent Supreme Personality Gaura Sundara.
He performed the last rites, sraddha ceremony for His father according to the scriptural injunctions, and then accompanied by His disciples proceeded to Gayadham. The Lord was in a very blissful mood at the thought of being able to see Gayadham, so taking leave of Mother Saci He left for Gaya. He passed through many towns and villages, and by the touch of His transcendental lotus feet they have become places of pilgrimage.
On the way He discussed many spiritual topics and explained difficult conclusions to His disciples; sometimes joking with them, sometimes in a serious mood, finally He arrived in Mondata. In the Mandar hill there is a very famous place. The Lord visited the temples on the hill, the temple of Lord Madhu Sudan. One day while traveling, the Lord pretended to have fever. The Lord of Vaikuntha, the Supreme Personality, in order to teach the living entities, pretended to have fever just like an ordinary mortal. Halfway to Gayadham the Lord got the fever which brought anxiety to His disciples.
They tried various medicines and means to bring the fever down, but such was the desire of the Lord that His fever persisted. At last the Lord Himself suggested a remedy. "The remedy for all suffering is drinking the water that has washed the feet of a pure brahmana." To teach the world about the unique position of a pure brahmana, the Lord drank the water that had washed the feet of a brahmana. Immediately upon drinking that water, the Lord became healthy and His fever was gone. Such activities of the Lord are His real nature; this has been described in all the Vedic scriptures.
In the Srimad Bhagavad-gita (4.11) it is said, "All of them, as they surrender unto Me I reward accordingly. Everyone follows my path in all respects, O son of Pritha." When the devotee sincerely desires to become a servant of the Lord, then the merciful Lord grants them eternal servitude. Therefore He is known as Sevakvatsal or one who is very affectionate to His servitors. The Lord readily accepts defeat if it increases the name and position of His surrendered devotee.
How can devotees who have totally surrendered themselves to the lotus feet of the Lord even think of leaving the shelter of the Lord's lotus feet. The Lord continued His journey now cured of His fever, and arrived at the pilgrimage of Kukkum.
The Lord took His bath and offered worship to the departed soul of His father, and then He entered Gaya Dham.
Upon entering Gaya Dham the Lord offered His obeisances with folded hands to the holy place of pilgrimage. He came to Brahma Kunda and took His bath, and worshiped His father in the proper way. The Lord then went to Cakartier. He went inside to see the impressions of the lotus feet of Lord Visnu. All the brahmin priests sat surrounding the lotus feet of Lord Visnu. Flower garlands offered to the lotus feet were piled around. One could never take account of all the incense, flowers, perfumes, clothes, and ornaments which were offered to the lotus feet, and which now lay all around.
The brahmanas looked like divine beings sitting there describing the wonderful glories of the lotus feet of the Lord. They said, "Lord Vishveshnar, Siva holds these lotus feet always close to his heart, and they are the life and soul of Srimati Laksmi Devi, the Goddess of Fortune. The Supreme Lord blessed Bali Maharaja by placing these feet on his head, now all of you pious souls see His very same lotus feet. Just a moment of sincere meditation on these lotus feet will immediately save you from hell. These lotus feet that are so rarely attained, even by great mystic yogis, you have the good fortune to see now.
"Mother Ganga sprang forth from these lotus feet, and surrendered souls of the Lord always hold these lotus feet deep in their hearts. All you fortunate souls please see these lotus feet that lie on the head of Ananta Sesa."
Hearing the wonderful glories of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, Lord Gauranga merged into an ocean of ecstatic bliss. Tears flowed profusely from His lotus eyes, and ecstatic symptoms like horripilation and shivering manifested on His transcendental body at the sight of the lotus feet. For the benefit of the entire human society, for the good fortune of all living entities, the Supreme Lord Gaura Candra now began to manifest the process of devotional service, love of Godhead.
All the brahmana priests marveled at the sight, as an unrestricted stream like Mother Ganga poured from the Lord's lotus eyes. By divine arrangement, Srila Isvara Puri was also present there at that time. When Lord Gaura Candra saw Srila Isvara Candra Puri, He offered His obeisances with great affection. Isvara Candra Puri was also overjoyed to see Lord Gaura Candra, and he embraced Him very lovingly. They could not control their intense joy of meeting one other, and tears flowed profusely from their eyes, drenching each other.
Lord Gauranga said, "Now that I have seen your lotus feet, My visit to Gaya has become successful and worthy. Oblations offered in a place of pilgrimage for the liberation of the departed souls of forefathers, affect only those whom they are intended for, but just by your presence you have liberated so many innumerable souls of departed forefathers. Therefore no place of pilgrimage can be compared to you. In fact you are the purifier of even the places of pilgrimage. So kindly save Me from drowning in the ocean of material existence, because I am surrendering My heart and soul and body to your feet. The only benediction that I desire from you is that you make Me drink the nectar from Sri Krsna's lotus feet."
Then Isvara Candra Puri spoke, "Listen to me, Pandita! I know very well that You are an expansion of the Supreme Lord. Otherwise how is it possible to possess vast learning like Yourself or have such a transcendental nature as You have? I had a dream last night about meeting the Supreme Lord. And now meeting You, that dream has been fulfilled.
"To tell You the truth, O Pandita, every moment I am feeling increasing ecstasy in Your presence. Ever since I saw You in Navadvipa, there has been nothing else on my mind except You. Whatever I have spoken is certainly the truth. I have no other motivation for speaking this. The bliss one experiences in Lord Krsna's presence - I am experiencing that fully in Your presence."
The Lord was very pleased to hear these sincere words from His beloved Isvara Puri. He said, "It is My good fortune that I have met you." They were very happy with each other's company - talking confidential topics of Krsna consciousness. Srila Veda Vyasa in the future will describe in detail these discussions between Lord Caitanya and Isvara Candra Puri. The Lord then took permission and left Isvara Puri to take His bath and perform sacrifice in honor of His father (the sraddha ceremony).
After completing His necessary rituals of offering oblations to His father, He left for Srinagar in Bedgaya. In Bedgaya Lord S....... again performed a sraddha ceremony and satisfied the attending priests with very humble and sweet words - this was His way of pleasing the priests. From there He proceeded to Dakshir Mamusa then to Rama Gaya. In Rama Gaya, the Lord offered the incarnation of Lord Rama Candra, sraddha. He then proceeded to Yudhisthira Gaya and offered oblations to Yudhisthira Maharaja.
Each time the Lord performed a sraddha ceremony, the brahmin priests would sit around Him and chant mantras. After the sacrifice when the oblations were offered into the water, the brahmana priests practically swooped down upon Him for fees and other gifts. The Lord simply smiled at such behavior, and mercifully cut the knots of material entanglement in their hearts. Then from ......... the Lord Sri Gauranga then went to Bhima Gaya, then to Sva gaya and then to Brahma Gaya and various other holy places. When He arrived in Sourasa Gaya He offered a special sacrifice with sixteen special ingredients, and offered everyone oblations very respectfully. In Brahma Kunda the Lord took His bath then in Gayashir oblations. There the Lord offered beautiful flower garlands and sandalwood paste with His own hands, and worshiped the lotus feet impressions of Lord Visnu. Completing His pilgrimage in all the places, and satisfying all the brahmana priests, He returned to His place of residence.
He rested for a while, then feeling refreshed from rest, He made preparations for cooking. As He completed the last preparation, Srila Isvara Candra Puri came to visit Him. Intoxicated from chanting the holy name of Krsna and feeling ecstatic love for the Lord, he walked into the room swaying as if drunk.
The Lord immediately left His cooking and the kitchen, then offered His respectful obeisances and sat him down comfortably. Laughing, Srila Isvara Candra Puri said, "O Pandita, I have come certainly at the right time." The Lord replied, "How good fortune has smiled upon Me today by sending you here. I pray that you will please accept some rice prasadam." Srila Puripada smiled and said, "But then what will You have?"
The Lord replied, "I will cook some rice for Me now." Srila Puripada asked, "What is the use of cooking again? Whatever You have already cooked, let us share that amongst ourselves."
Smiling, the Lord replied, "Whatever is already prepared, that is all for you. In no time I can prepare something afresh. Please do not feel hesitant; you eat first." Offering to Isvara Puri what He had cooked for Himself, the Lord went back into the kitchen and began preparing food once again.
Feeling great happiness, the Lord exhibited so much mercy to Isvara Candra Puri. Sripada Puri also had no other thought in mind other than Krsna. The Lord served Sripada Puri with His own hands, and Sripada Puri relished the Lord's cooking with great delight. While this was going on, Roma-Devi, Laksmi-Devi, the Goddess of Fortune personally appeared in the kitchen and cooked for the Lord, unseen by anyone. Seeing that Sripada Puri was fully satisfied, the Lord sat down to eat.
These transcendental activities of the Lord and His devotees are so wonderful that anyone who hears them with faith and sincerity is immediately granted unalloyed devotional service at the lotus feet of Lord Krsna.
After the meal, the Lord arranged for Sripada Puri to rest. As a disciple would serve a spiritual master, the Lord began massaging Sripada Puri with scented oil. Who can describe the elevated position of Sri Isvara Candra Puri. Sri Caitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, acting like an ideal disciple, went to see the place of appearance of Sri Isvara Candra Puri. The Lord said, "I offer my obeisances to the village Kumar.. where Sri Isvara Puri appeared."
The Lord was so spiritually moved by this place that He shed profuse tears of love for Isvara Puri, and continuously repeated his name. He picked up a handful of earth and tied it to the corner of His cloth. The Lord said, "This handful of earth from the place of Sri Isvara Candra Puri's appearance is My most precious possession." Only the Supreme Personality of Godhead is capable of increasing the glories of His devotees, as exemplified by Lord Caitanya's intense love for Sri Isvara Candra Puri.
The Lord said, "By being able to associate with you I have fulfilled a reason for coming to Gaya." The next day the Lord went to meet Isvara Puri and approached him for an initiation mantra with sweet and humble words. Srila Puripada said, "How is it that You ask for an initiation mantra from me? I can give You my very life and soul."
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana, the Supreme instructing spiritual master of everyone accepted initiation from Sripada Puri, with an initiation mantra consisting of ten syllables. The Lord circumambulated Sripada Puri and said, "I have surrendered My life to You; please always look upon Me with a merciful glance so that I may always float in an ocean of love of Krsna." Sri Puripada was moved by the Lord's words, and he embraced the Lord holding Him close to his chest. Profuse tears of love flowed like torrents from their eyes, drenching one other.
The omniscient Supreme Lord remained in Gaya for some time distributing His mercy to Srila Puripada so profusely. The time was slowly approaching for the Lord to reveal to the world the reason for accepting this incarnation. His love for Krsna manifested increasingly day by day. One day the Lord sat in a solitary place chanting and meditating on His specific mantra. The Lord was lost in the ecstatic world of meditation on the Supreme Lord, and when His consciousness returned He began lamenting and calling out to the Lord, His object of meditation.
"O my Krsna, My dear Lord. O Lord Hari, You are My life and soul! You have stolen My heart. Now which way have You run away? In which direction can I find My beloved Lord?" The Lord cried out in intense separation from His beloved Lord, and wept bitterly. The Lord was totally absorbed in relishing the nectar of love of Krsna, and rolled on the ground - His body was covered with dust. He cried out as if greatly afflicted, "Where is My beloved Krsna, and where has He gone, leaving Me?"
Lord Nimai, so long a grave and serious scholar teacher, now exhibited extreme restlessness, becoming stunned by the arrow of love of God. He rolled about on the ground and cried out loudly floating on waves of the ecstasy of intense separation from Himself. Soon His students returned and treated the Lord with great care. They brought Him back to a normal condition. The Lord said, "All of you return to your homes. I do not want to go back to My family anymore. I am going to Mathura to find the beloved Lord of My heart, Sri Krsna Candra."
The students used all their intelligence and various means to keep the Lord calm and still. The Lord of Vaikuntha was now in the mood of an unalloyed devotee, and He was constantly absorbed in love of God. His heart was all restless in separation from the Lord. He could not remain still anywhere. In the very early hours of one morning, the Lord slipped out of the house without anyone's notice, wanting to go to Mathura. He was in a state of ecstatic trance. He cried to Krsna as He walked on, "O Lord Krsna, My dear Lord, where can I find You?"
After some distance He heard a divine voice saying, "Do not proceed to Mathura now. The time will come when You will go to Mathura, but for now return to Navadvipa, to Your house. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord of the Vaikuntha planets. You have come into this material world with all Your eternal associates to liberate the entire world. You will propagate the congregational chanting of the holy name of God all over the universe, and distribute freely to everyone the most treasured object, love of Godhead. You are omniscient. You already know everything. We know the reason why You have descended to this material world.
"You have come to distribute the most desired object whose nectarine taste bewitches the mind of even Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Senatka and the other sages, and of whose glories Lord Ananta Sesa continuously sings. We are Your eternal servants - it is our duty to remind You of Your incarnation. We place this request at Your lotus feet. You are the maintainer of all living entities, the Supreme independent truth. No one can obstruct You from carrying out Your own pure desires. So, my Lord, please return to Your home, and very shortly You shall go to Mathura."
The Lord Sri Gaura Sundara returned home feeling very happy after hearing the divine message. His pilgrimage finished in Gaya, the Lord returned to Navadvipa with all His disciples, for now He was to begin the propagation of the holy name of God, and the distribution of love of Godhead to everyone. After His return from Gaya a definite change came over the Lord. He felt ecstatic symptoms of love of Godhead increasing in Him day by day. Whoever hears this narration about the Lord going on a pilgrimage to Gaya with devotion and faith, Lord Gaura Candra will appear in their heart.
One can associate with Lord Krsna simply by hearing the transcendental activities of Lord Krsna, and this association with the Lord is eternal because the Lord will never leave such a pure devotee.
I am able to describe some of the transcendental pastimes of Lord Caitanya in this book only because my beloved Lord and master, Nityananda Prabhu is sitting on the throne in my heart dictating all this to me. It is only by His mercy that I can write about these wonderful transcendental activities of Lord Caitanya. Independently it would be impossible to write all this.
I am just a wooden doll made to dance by the magic spell of a Supreme magician, the Supreme Lord Gaura Candra, for He is making me speak about His transcendental pastimes. Lord Caitanya's transcendental activities are eternal and limitless, without beginning and without end. So it is unfathomable for me; I am simply writing somehow.
On the other hand, my position is like that of a bird who flies in the limitless azure. It flies as far as it is capable of flying. Lord Caitanya's pastimes and glories are like a shoreless ocean. One is capable of narrating them, only to the extent that the mercy they have received from the Lord allows them.
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.18.23) it has been described, "Birds can fly as far as they are capable of flying. Similarly, scholars according to their intelligence, describe the transcendental pastimes of the Lord as well as they know."
I offer my fallen obeisances at the feet of all the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord, so that I may become purified from all my offenses.
If anyone is of the desire to cross this ocean of nescience and drown in the ocean of nectarine love of Godhead, then let them take complete shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda Prabhu.
The greatest hope that eternally keeps alive in my heart is that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Lord of my most beloved Lord Nityananda Prabhu. Many people say different things about my Lord Nityananda. Some say that Lord Nityananda Prabhu is Lord Balarama. Others say that He is the most beloved of Lord Caitanya. Still others say that He is the master of Supreme Power. While others say, "I cannot understand who He really is".
Let Him be a sannyasi spiritual master or a highly knowledgeable devotee of the Lord, or let Him have any sort of relationship with Lord Caitanya. Let anybody say anything about my Lord they desire, but I will hold His lotus feet forever in my heart. And as for those sinful wretched agnostics, who in spite of everything else, criticize my Lord, then I will kick them on their heads.
All glories to Lord Nityananda Prabhu who is the life and soul of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. May I receive the eternal shelter of Your lotus feet.
You are constantly singing the glories of Lord Caitanya. May I also be able to assist You in Lord Caitanya's glorification. My one and only desire is that I may have Your association birth after birth.
Whoever hears these narrations about Lord Caitanya as described in the Adi-Khanda of this book will certainly receive the full benediction of Sri Gaura Candra.
Before leaving Gaya, Nimai Pandita went to Isvara Puri, and begging leave of him, returned back to Navadvipa dham. All the residents of Navadvipa dham were mad with joy at the Lord's return, like a dead body coming suddenly back to life.
Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda Prabhu are my life and soul.
I, Vrndavana dasa, humbly offer this song to Their lotus feet.