SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Adi Lila Chapter 6
Lord Gauranga, like the child Gopala Krsna, performed His playful pastimes in various ways. The time for His formal education approached.
Fixing an auspicious day and an auspicious moment, Sri Misra, the most elevated brahmin, formally placed the writing chalk in the hand of his son. After a few days the Sri Cudakarna ceremony (when young brahmin boys shave their heads leaving only a sikha) was performed amidst all of Nimai's friends. The Karnabedha ceremony which marked the beginning of Nimai's Vedic studies was also observed.
Everyone was amazed that Nimai could write down all the alphabet letters immediately upon seeing them. Within two or three days Nimai had learned all the conjunct letters, and He spent His time writing many different names of Supreme Lord Krsna, like Rama, Krsna, Murari, Banamali, etc. He studied eagerly and wrote day and night.
Narayana, the Lord of the Vaikuntha planets, took the guise of the child Nimai and studied with the other children in Nadia. Only the most fortunate souls could see His wonderful pastimes.
The living entities became enraptured just hearing Nimai's sweet recitation of the Bengali alphabet. Whenever or wherever Lord Gaurasundar performed His extraordinary pastimes, they remained incomprehensible.
If Nimai could not catch the bird He saw flying in the sky, then He wept bitterly and rolled in the dust.
Sometimes He cried for the moon and stars in the heaven and thrashed His arms and legs violently if He could not have them. At such times everyone tried to pacify the child. Jagannatha Misra would take Him in his arms but the child refused to be pacified. "Give! Give!" He would cry.
The only remedy for Nimai's crying was kirtana of the names of Lord Hari. Everyone would clap their hands and chant, "Hari, Hari"; only then would Nimai forget His distress and become calm. The frequent chanting of Lord Hari's names for the pleasure of Nimai turned Sri Jagannatha Misra's house into the transcendental abode of Vaikuntha.
One day the Lord continued to cry in spite of the loud chanting of Hari's name. Someone said, "My dear Nimai, come and dance nicely. We are singing Lord Hari's name". But Nimai continued to cry, not listening to anyone. "Speak, dear child. Why are You crying so much?" they asked Him. Dear child, tell us what You want. We will bring You whatever You like; simply stop Your crying."
The Lord replied, "If you want to save My life, then quickly go to the houses of the two brahmins Jagadisa Pandita and Hiranya Pandita. I am very attracted to the homes of these two pure devotees, and if I could eat their offerings I would become healthy and calm; and I could behave normally."
Nimai's request was impossible. What He wanted was neither practiced among men nor sanctioned in the scriptures. Mother Saci felt distressed. Everyone smiled at His childish words and promised, "We will give You whatever You want, child; but now stop crying."
Jagadisa Pandita and Hiranya Pandita were topmost Vaisnava devotees and inseparable friends of Sri Jagannatha Misra. When they heard Nimai's request they were filled with joy.
The two brahmin Vaisnavas said, "This is a very extraordinary story. We have never seen such an intelligent child. How could He know that today was Ekadasi and that a large variety of food had been offered to the Lord? Now we understand the child's exquisite beauty; Lord Gopala Krsna must be residing in Him. The Supreme Lord Narayana acts through this boy. Sitting in His heart, the Lord prompts Nimai to speak in amazing ways."
The two Vaisnava brahmins decided to give all the offerings to Nimai and they took everything to His house with great delight. "Eat these offerings we made to the Lord," they told Nimai. "Our desire to satisfy Lord Krsna will thus be fulfilled."
Only by Krsna's mercy can one develop the spiritual intelligence to perform devotional service; other than the Lord's servant, no one possesses such intelligence. Only through devotional service can the Supreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, be known as He is. The entire cosmic manifestation has emanated from the pores of the hairs of His body.
The Lord's eternal servants, Jagadisa and Hiranya Pandita, saw to their full satisfaction how the Supreme Lord as a brahmin child performed His transcendentally playful pastimes.
The Lord happily received all the offerings from His devotees, and He tasted a little something from every preparation. Smiling with pleasure, Lord Nimai ate Krsna's offering and all of His unusual whims were appeased. Everyone in the house sang, "Hari, Hari" and the Lord ate and danced to the chanting of His own name. Nimai dropped some of the food on the ground and some wound up smeared on the other family members. In this way the Lord of the universe, the Controller of the threefold miseries, performed His transcendental pastimes.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described in all the Vedas and Puranas, played like a child in Mother Sacidevi's courtyard. As He grew, Nimai became totally absorbed in the restless mood of a young boy with the other restless young sons of the Navadvipa brahmins.
No one could restrain Him and He wandered freely with His friends. Upon meeting another young boy, Nimai would poke fun at him and the boy would return the taunts until a quarrel broke out. Nimai and His friends always won such quarrels because Nimai was more powerful; the opponents inevitably went away defeated.
How enchanting Nimai looked with His body covered in grayish dust and speckled with drops of black writing ink. After finishing their studies each day at noon, Nimai and His friends went to bathe in the Ganga, amusing themselves all the while. Diving in the waters of the Ganga, Nimai and His friends challenged one another by splashing.
Who can describe Nadia's opulence in those days? Hundreds of people gathered in one bathing place on the river. It was impossible to keep track of the number of different people who came to the bathing place. Renunciates in saffron robes, householders, peaceful gentlemen, children, etc., came there to bathe.
The Lord performed wonderful water sports with His friends, sometimes floating with the currents of the Ganga. Using the excuse of water sports, Nimai splashed water from His divine lotus feet on whomever was near Him, thus showering His grace upon them.
People warned Nimai not to be so mischievous but He paid no heed. Nor could anyone catch Him as He was the swiftest swimmer. Nimai forced everyone to bathe several times by contaminating them either by touching them after their bath or sometimes by spitting on them. Unable to catch Nimai to rebuke Him, the enraged brahmins stormed off to His father.
"Dear Misra, my good friend", one gentleman said, "Please listen well. I have come to complain about your son's misconduct. He does not allow us to perform our daily ablutions in the Ganga properly." Another man complained, "He splashes water on us and disturbs our meditation."
"Furthermore, Nimai says, `Who are you meditating upon? Just look at Me. In this Kali Yuga I am directly Lord Narayana Himself'."
They all came with different complaints. One man said, "He stole my Siva linga deity." Another said, "He ran away with my outer clothing." Still another reported, "I prepared for Lord Vishnu's worship and collected in one place different ingredients like flowers, durva grass, sandalwood and a seat for Lord Vishnu. When I went for my bath, Nimai sat on Lord Vishnu's seat, ate the offering and threw the other ingredients away. Then Nimai said, 'Why do you feel so sad? The Lord of your worship has Himself eaten your offering."
The people continued to complain. One brahmin said, "I stepped into the water to recite my Gayatri mantra and from nowhere Nimai came under the water and pulled me away by my feet." Another said, "My clothes and flowers are invariably taken away." Yet another said, "He steals my Bhagavad-Gita scripture." Another exasperated voice added, "My son is very young. Nimai puts water in his ears and makes him weep miserably." Someone else complained, "He sneaks around to my back and climbs onto my shoulders shouting, 'I am Mahesh!' and then jumps down." Another complained, "He sits on my seat of worship and eats all my offerings; and then He performs worship of Lord Vishnu. He throws sand at anyone who has finished bathing and all the other restless mischievous boys join Him. One of His worst tricks is that while the women and men are bathing He mixes up their clothing, so when they want to dress they become quite disturbed."
"Dear Jagannatha Misra, you are a generous and friendly gentleman, but I tell you your son Nimai does this sort of mischief every single day. He remains in the water well past two in the afternoon teasing everyone that comes for their bath. How do you expect Him to maintain His health?"
In the meantime, many angry young girls from the neighborhood approached Sacidevi. They arrested Sacidevi with serious complaints, "Please hear from us, respected mother about your son's misdeeds. He steals our clothes and uses terribly abusive language with us. When we try to correct His speech, He splashes water on us and starts quarreling. We bring fruits and flowers to the Ganga to follow our religious observances, but He scatters and spoils everything. He waits for us to finish our ablution and then throws sand on us. Your son, Nimai stealthily comes up from behind us and suddenly shouts loudly into our ears, mortifying us." "Nimai spat a mouthful of water right into my face, and threw these okada seeds in my hair. They do not come off so easily." Yet another voice complained, "Nimai says He wants to marry me."
"Everyday He behaves in this manner; do you think your son is a prince?" they inquired. "Everything your son Nimai does is exactly what Nanda Maharaja's son Gopala Krsna did a long time ago. We have heard stories of Krsna. If we report all these complaints to our parents they will surely quarrel with you. You should immediately correct your young son; His conduct is certainly not well-received in a town like Nadia."
With a smiling face, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mother embraced each girl and spoke comforting words to them all, "When Nimai returns home today I will beat Him and bind Him up so that He can never again go out and tyrannize anyone."
All of them respectfully took the dust from Sacidevi's feet on their heads, and proceeded to the Ganga to take their baths again. Regardless of how everyone suffered due to Nimai's mischief, each person felt great satisfaction in His presence.
The Supreme Controller of everyone and everything, Sri Gauranga knew that Sri Misra was looking for Him in a state of rage.
Lord Sri Gaurasundar continued to perform His wonderful water sports. Amongst all the boys, He was the most charming. The young maidens took pity on Nimai and said, "Listen Visvambhara, Your angry father is coming in this direction. Right now escape".
Sri Misra searched for Nimai playing amongst His friends while all the brahmin maidens ran away in fear. Nimai had already instructed His friends that when His father enquired about His whereabouts they should say, "Your son did not come for His bath with us. He went back home after class. In fact, we ourselves are waiting for Him."
Nimai returned to His house by another road and Sri Misra arrived at that bathing place on the Ganga. Sri Misra looked everywhere but could not find Nimai amongst the group of boys. "Where did Visvambhara go?" enquired Jagannatha Misra angrily. The young boys replied, "Today He never came for His bath. He returned home on the usual road after class. We are all waiting for Him."
Sri Misra continued to search for Nimai, but unable to find Him, he stood fuming with rage. Those brahmins who had earlier made complaints against Nimai just for some fun, now came to Sri Misra and said, "Visvambhara ran home out of fear. We will accompany you home, lest you do anything to Him that will later be regretted.
"If Nimai does this sort of mischief again then we ourselves will catch Him and bring Him to you. All those complaints we made about Nimai at your residence were simply out of fun. Actually your good fortune is unmatched in all the three worlds. Nimai is such a pleasing son that the members of His family are never touched by hunger, thirst, sorrow or any other material sufferings.
"Your son is the supreme eternal Lord; you are truly very fortunate to be able to serve His lotus feet. We will always keep Visvambhara's memory in our hearts, even if He commits countless offenses."
The personalities of Nadia were eternal devotees and associates of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. For this reason they were endowed with the superior intelligence required to render transcendental devotional service to the Lord. The Supreme Lord performed various transcendental pastimes with His intimate servitors; a mundane person cannot understand such activities of the Lord.
Sri Misra said, "Nimai is a son to all of you. If you should take difference to His offense, then I am bound to you by oath. I beg your forgiveness." Sri Misra warmly embraced everyone and returned home feeling greatly satisfied.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visvambhara had gone home by another road. Shining brightly like the moon, He carried beautiful books in His hands. Blotches of writing ink on different parts of Nimai's body appeared like decorations on His golden complexion. It looked as though a sweet smelling golden champaka flower had attracted a swarm of black bumblebees.
Lord Nimai called out "Mother, give Me oil, I want to go for My bath." Mother Saci's heart gladdened. She could not detect any sign that Nimai had taken a bath. Giving Nimai the oil, Sacidevi thought, "What did the brahmins and the young maidens say about Nimai? His whole body is spotted with ink blotches. He has the same clothes on that He wore to school."
Jagannatha Misra arrived home at that moment and Visvambhara climbed on his lap. Sri Misra lost all external, mundane perceptions in the Lord's loving embrace; he bubbled over with happiness at the sight of his son. Sri Misra saw that Nimai was covered with dust and there were no signs of His having taken a bath. Sri Misra was truly amazed.
Sri Misra said, "Visvambhara, what sort of intelligent boy are You that You do not allow people to take their baths in peace? Why do You steal and disturb the arrangements people make for worshiping Lord Vishnu? You know who Lord Vishnu is, so why do You act like this without any fear?"
"But today I have not yet gone for My bath; all My friends have gone ahead of Me," replied Nimai. "All these people are behaving improperly towards Me. Although I have not been near them, they falsely accuse Me of being at fault. If they continue to find fault and falsely accuse Me, then I will actually misbehave and create trouble for them."
The Lord smiled and left for the Ganga where He met again with all His friends. Nimai's friends embraced Him and laughed merrily when they heard His witty story. They all praised Him saying, "You were very clever, Nimai. You nicely saved Yourself from a good beating today."
Nimai was once again engrossed in water sports with His friends, while back in the house, Mother Sacidevi and Sri Misra seriously considered certain points. All the complaints brought against Nimai were certainly not lies, yet there was no indication that Nimai had taken a bath. Everything was just as it should be. His body was covered with dust, He was dressed in the same clothes and they were dry. His hair was also dry and He still had His books.
"I think our Visvambhara is not an ordinary person," said Sri Misra. "Perhaps the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna, by His internal potency, has appeared in our house as our son. Or perhaps Nimai is some great saintly personality. I am at a loss to know." Sri Misra, the jewel-like brahmin, pondered the matter seriously.
Sri Jagannatha Misra and Mother Sacidevi felt so happy to see their son that all their speculations vanished. Their hearts filled with tender affection for Nimai, and nothing else mattered to them. Both of them felt their son's absence intensely. Nimai's two hours of study seemed like two yugas to His parents.
If the Vedas were to describe the great fortunes of Mother Sacidevi and Sri Misra in a countless variety of ways and with innumerable mouths, that fortune would still remain inconceivable.
I offer countless obeisances at the lotus feet of Mother Sacidevi and Sri Misra who received the Supreme Lord and controller of the limitless cosmic manifestation as their son.
The Lord of Vaikuntha, Lord Visvambhara, performed wonderful pastimes in a pleasing manner. No one could perceive these transcendental activities because of the influence of the Supreme Lord's spiritual energy.
I, Vrndavana dasa, offer this humble song at the lotus feet of Sri Krsna Caitanya and Sri Nityananda Candra Prabhu, who are my life and soul.