SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Adi Lila Chapter 8
All glories to Sri Gauracandra who is an ocean of mercy. All glories to the radiant moon who has risen in the house of Sri Misra and Sacidevi. All glories to the life and soul of Lord Nityananda. All glories to the treasure house of congregational chanting, the religion of this age.
All glories to Lord Gauranga, His devotees and His associates. Just by hearing the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, devotional service to the Supreme Lord is immediately achieved.
While Lord Caitanya lived in Sri Jagannatha Misra's house, His true identity was wrapped in complete secrecy and no one could recognize Him.
As many games as there are for boys in this world, young Nimai played them all. Who knows the names of all these games?
The wonderful pastimes of Lord Caitanya have been revealed in all the Vedas and Puranas; within a short time all fortunate and pious souls will hear about them.
Lord Gauranga passed many years totally absorbed in the mood of a child. Finally the time arrived for Him to accept the sacred brahmana's thread. When Sri Misra decided to initiate his son with the sacred brahmana's thread, he called his friends to his house for the occasion. They arrived in great delight and took up different duties to assist with the ceremony. The ladies ululated in glorification, and sang about the extraordinary qualities of Lord Krsna while the musicians played on different instruments like mrdangas, sanai and flutes. The brahmanas chanted Vedic hymns and the orators offered verses in glorification. Sacidevi's house was flooded with great joy, as if joy personified had made its appearance there.
At the time Lord Gaurasundara was to accept the sacred thread, all the planets were favorably positioned. The month, the day and the moment were all auspicious when Lord Gauranga, who is Sri Hari accepted the sacred thread. The sacred thread adorning the beautiful form of the Lord was an enchanting sight; certainly Ananta Sesa must have assumed a thread form to encircle the body of His beloved Lord.
The Supreme Lord Gauracandra then manifested His Vamana form. Whoever saw that wonderful pastime felt unbounded joy. People saw a wonderful spiritual aura emanating from the Lord and they immediately discarded their anthropomorphic vision.
With a stick in His hand and a cloth bag hanging from His shoulder, Sri Gaurasundara went begging to the houses of His devotees. Each man according to his ability placed alms in Nimai's bag and felt great satisfaction. The ladies also smiled with pleasure as they dropped their alms into His bag. Sri Sarasvati devi, Sri Parvati devi, and the chaste and dedicated wives of other great sages appeared on the scene. Taking the position of brahmanas' wives, they gave alms to the beautiful brahmana boy, Nimai.
Seeing Nimai's radiant Vamana form everyone smiled with satisfaction, and gave Him alms. He enacted the transcendental pastimes of Lord Vamana simply for the redemption of all conditioned souls.
All glories to Lord Gauracandra's beautiful form. Please place those lotus feet in the throne of my heart. Anyone who hears the narration of Lord Visvambhara accepting the sacred thread attains the supreme shelter of Sri Caitanya-candra's lotus feet.
Nimai, the Supreme Lord of Vaikuntha, performed various other pastimes while residing in the house of Sacimata. These pastimes seem obscure in the Vedas.
Nimai already understood the essence of all the scriptures even while studying at home, but still He desired to study in the company of others. Sri Gangadasa Pandita, a resident of Navadvipa, was a crown jewel amongst teachers. He was none other than Sandipani Muni (the teacher of Lord Balarama and Lord Krsna). He was extremely knowledgeable in grammar, and Nimai expressed a strong desire to study under him.
Sri Misra correctly interpreted His son's indications and went with Him to the house of the learned brahmana, Sri Gangadasa. Sri Gangadasa Pandita stood up respectfully upon seeing Sri Misra and went forward to meet him. After embracing him warmly, Sri Gangadasa offered him a seat.
"I give my son to you," said Sri Misra. "Please let Him read and hear from you, and personally teach Him everything."
Sri Gangadasa Pandita replied, "I feel immensely fortunate because of this offer. I will teach Him to the best of my ability." Sri Gangadasa was extremely pleased to have Nimai as a student; he kept Him always by his side like a son.
Simply by hearing Sri Gangadasa's explanations only once, Nimai was able to grasp their meaning. He could refute His teacher's explanations, and then re-establish those same arguments. Gangadasa Pandita had hundreds of students but none could engage in debate with Nimai.
The teacher was extremely pleased with Nimai's extraordinary intelligence and declared Him to be the best student. In the presence of Nimai's arguments the other students in the school danced like puppets. Amongst Nimai's associates, Sri Murari Gupta, Sri Kamla Kanta, Sri Krsnananda and others like them were prominent. Nimai defeated everyone by posing tricky arguments on sophism. The older students, considering Him to be young, simply smiled without offering any rebuttals.
Each day after completing His studies, Nimai went with the boys His own age to bathe in the Ganga. There were countless other students in Navadvipa who also went to bathe in the Ganga after their classes each day at noon. There were many teachers in Navadvipa and each had many students. The students of one teacher would continuously challenge students of other teachers.
Although Nimai was only in His early boyhood, He had a mischievous nature and continually started quarrels with other students. One student might say, "What intelligence does your teacher have?" Another would say, "Look whose student I am." In this way they would begin by being a little abusive towards each other. Then they would splash water at each other, and end up throwing sand. Fights would break out and boys would beat whomever they could catch. Someone might throw mud on another, and then jump on him and beat him as well.
After falsely swearing in the name of the King, some boys would catch other boys and after beating them soundly, swim to safety on the other side of the Ganga. The water of the Ganga became muddy by the wild wrestling and scuffing of the students. The women could not fill their water containers nor could the brahmanas and other respectable people take a bath.
Displaying His extremely restless nature, Visvambhara Raya went from one bathing ghat to another, finding in each place an audience of students - an arena in which to debate and dispute. At one ghat He played the stick game with friends. The advanced students banned together and challenged, "Why do You always quarrel with everyone? Let us see how intelligent You are. Let us hear You give the purport to the explanation of the astrological treatise in the almanac."
Nimai said, "That is very good indeed. I accept your challenge. Whoever wants can question Me?" One irritated student said, "Why are You so conceited?" But Nimai replied, "You may question Me as you like." The student said, "Explain the laws of verbal roots." Nimai replied, "I shall explain them but you must listen attentively."
Nimai, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was the source of all potencies. Naturally His explanations of the grammatical rules were very authorized. The challenging student praised Nimai for His explanation. Then Nimai said, "But now hear Me refute My own arguments."
Nimai picked out the discrepancies in His own explanations, and asked, "Who amongst you has the power to establish any point over and above My arguments?" The students were all amazed by Nimai's original arguments as well as the arguments He used to defeat Himself, so no one dared to say anything. "Alright," He said, "I shall have to establish a new argument which defeats the other two."
Sri Gauracandra gave His new explanation which was as beautiful and poetic as the first two. The students were all truly impressed and embraced Nimai sincerely. The students said, "Go home today, but come back tomorrow and we will have fresh questions for You."
Playing the part of a student enrapt in learning, Nimai, the Lord of Vaikuntha frolicked in the water of the Jahnavi (Ganga). Nimai's erudition was so profound that in the presence of the other students of Navadvipa, He looked like Brhaspati himself surrounded by his disciples.
While performing their daily water sports, Nimai and His friends occasionally swam across the river to the far bank. Since the time that Lord Krsna sported in the water of the Jamuna River, the Ganga had nursed an intense desire to have that same good fortune. Although the Ganga is worshiped by the prayers of such great personalities as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, she nevertheless aspired to achieve the elevated position of the Jamuna. The Supreme Lord Gaurasundara was a desire tree which continuously fulfilled that longing of Jahnavi (Ganga).
After a day of sports and fun, Sri Gaurasundara returned home, worshiped Lord Vishnu in the prescribed manner, offered water to the tulasi tree and sat down to eat. Immediately after His meal, Nimai would take His books and search for a quiet place to study. In that lonely place the gem of all Lords absorbed Himself in study, making annotations on different aphorisms.
Seeing his son's studious mood, Sri Misra floated on the waves of happiness but never revealed his pleasure to anyone. In intense parental devotion he reveled in the unparalleled beauty of his son, and in that mood he gained liberation. But Sri Misra considered the happiness of liberation to be quite insignificant. For the pure devotee there is no joy from either liberation or gross and subtle sense gratification.
I offer my countless obeisances at the feet of Sri Jagannatha Misra whose son is the Supreme Lord of the unlimited material creation. Sri Misra continually floated in an ocean of bliss simply by seeing his charming son, Nimai. Cupid's beauty bows in defeat before the Lord's blossoming freshness. His every exquisite limb exuded incomparable charm.
In parental anxiety Sri Misra once thought, "I hope no witch or spirit ever casts a spell on Nimai." Imagining the worst, he immediately prayed that Lord Krsna would always give his son shelter. Nimai overheard His father's prayers and smiled to Himself.
Sri Misra prayed, "O Lord Krsna, You are the protector of all. Please look upon my son graciously. Impediments of any sort never appear in the life of any person who remembers Your lotus feet, my Lord. Those sinful places where You are not remembered become infested with witches, ghosts and evil spirits. O Lord, I am Your servant, so whatever is mine is automatically Yours. Kindly receive them within Your shelter. Therefore I pray that no obstacles or difficulties will befall my son at anytime." Sri Misra continued to pray with unflinching faith. Lifting both his hands, he begged for the Lord's mercy.
One day by divine arrangement Sri Misra had a dream which caused him both intense delight and extreme grief. He bowed down on the ground and prayed, "O Lord Govinda, allow Nimai to remain in my house. O Lord Krsna, this is the only benediction I beg of You: let Nimai be a householder and live at home."
Surprised, Mother Saci enquired, "Why have you all of the sudden prayed for benedictions from the Lord?"
"Today I had a dream," answered Sri Misra. "In the dream I saw that Nimai had shaved off His sikha. Dressed in indescribably beautiful sannyasi robes, He simultaneously laughed, danced, wept and chanted Krsna's name. Advaita Acarya Prabhu and all the other devotees encircled Nimai and joined in the chanting.
"I saw Nimai sit on Ananta Sesa (Lord Vishnu's couch), and place His foot on everyone's head. Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and Sri Ananta Sesa chanted, 'Jai Sacinandana'. Although everyone around was jubilantly chanting praises, I alone stood silent in fear. In a flash I saw Nimai, followed by millions and millions of people, roaming from town to town, dancing. Countless millions followed Him chanting Lord Hari's name in unison. That sound touched the very coverings of the material universe. While I listened to the glorification of Nimai flowing from every direction, I saw devotees who followed Him to Nilacala, Puri. This dream caused me such anxiety! I am afraid our son will become disgusted with household affairs, and leave home as a sannyasi."
"What you saw was just a dream," pacified Mother Saci. "O learned husband, do not worry. Nimai won't leave us. Nimai knows nothing but His books and He thinks that learning is the all in all." Because of their parental affection, those two extremely noble souls continued to discuss topics related to their son's future.
However, after a few days Sri Jagannatha Misra disappeared from this mortal world in his pure form.
Nimai wept bitterly over His father's disappearance, as had Lord Ramacandra when His father King Dasaratha left his body. Mother Saci survived only because of Nimai's irresistible attractiveness.
As it deepens my grief to discuss this subject, I have described the incidents very briefly.
Nimai stayed close to His bereaved mother, and concealed His own grief well. Mother Saci cared for her fatherless son without a thought of any other work. If Mother Saci lost sight of Nimai for a moment she swooned and both eyes lost their vision.
Nimai also reciprocated. Allowing His love and affection to flow continuously to His mother, he consoled her with calming, hopeful words. "Mother, please do not despair. As long as I am with you nothing shall harm you," He assured her. "Soon I shall bring you that gift which is unobtainable even by demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva."
Mother Saci simply beheld the kind and beautiful face of Nimai, and forgot her own misery. How could she feel discouraged in His presence. The Supreme Personality of Godhead was living as the son of Mother Saci. Simply by remembering Him, everyone's every desire could be fulfilled. How could despair touch Mother Saci? Nimai uplifted her spirits, and she attained an eternal blissful form.
The Lord of Vaikuntha was present in Navadvipa as a young brahmana boy, enjoying the bliss derived from His own supremely opulent self. Poverty in their house was only an external feature. Nimai's commands were expressions from the autocratic all-opulent Lord of lords. Whatever Nimai demanded He had to get without considering its availability. If His demands were not supplied, there was no escaping His wrath. He would break and smash everything in sight, not considering that the loss was His own.
In spite of this, Mother Saci gave her son whatever He wanted only because of her deep affection for Him. One day when Nimai was going to bathe in the Ganga, He asked His Mother for oil, amalaki and other ingredients.
"I want to bathe in the Ganga, and also offer her worship." He said. "So please give me a nice garland and aromatic sandalwood for this purpose."
"Please wait a few minutes, my dear son." said Mother Saci, "I will have to go and get a garland."
Nimai went into a fit of rage like Lord Rudra when He heard the words 'I am going to get it'. "You want to go now to bring a garland?" He raged as He stormed into the house.
In the fury, He smashed all the pots of Ganga water. Then with a stick, He smashed every pot and container He could find. As the Supreme, independent Lord, He did whatever He pleased. Husked rice, cotton, grains, and salt from the broken vessels ran in rivulets created by spilled oil, ghee and milk. Mother Saci saved dried foodstuffs in cloth bags which hung from the ceiling, but Nimai pulled down every bag. He scattered their contents, and in His rage, He even tore up the cloth bags. When nothing in the house remained whole, Nimai directed His wrath on the residents themselves.
Taking up His stick again, Nimai began to beat the walls. Not a soul dared to reproach Him. After the walls, He smashed the windows and doors, and then He attacked a tree in the courtyard with the stick fixed in both hands. And without a moment of remorse over the tirade, He at last struck the ground with His stick and lost His sense entirely. In fear for her life Mother Saci hid in one end of the building.
Lord Gaurasundara, propagator of religious principles, came to establish eternal religion or Sanatana dharma. He would never raise His hand against His mother. Although His anger still boiled visibly, He refrained from beating His mother. Having demolished everything in sight, Nimai fumed as He rolled in the dust of the courtyard.
His beautiful golden form was covered with dust. His glory was truly indescribable, for even in that condition He was utterly charming. At last He grew calm and lay quite still in the dust of the courtyard. That Lord of Vaikuntha called for His internal "Yoga maya" potency with simply a glance and then entered into a "yoga nidra" sleep as He lay on the hard earth. The transcendental form of Lord Ananta Sesa is Nimai's resting place, and Sri Laksmi-devi eternally serves His lotus feet.
That Supreme Personality, who is sought after by the four Vedas, lay asleep in Mother Saci's courtyard. The endless cosmic manifestation emanates from the pores of His body. His servants perform the act of creation, maintenance and annihilation. Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and other elevated personages become overwhelmed while meditating on His transcendental attributes. Yet that Supreme Lord Nimai was resting peacefully in Saci's courtyard.
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu tasted the mellow of self-perception, and then fell asleep as the demigods looked on with joyous tears.
Mother Saci brought a garland for the worship of Ganga devi and placed it directly in front of Nimai. She wiped the sand and dust from His transcendental body and lifted Him up.
"Wake up, dear child," she said softly. "Take Your garland and go and worship Ganga-devi as You desired. What has happened is good, my son. I hope that all dangers and difficulties were driven out with the broken pieces."
Sri Gaurasundara was ashamed, but He rose and went to take His bath.
Mother Saci cleaned the house and prepared to cook. She felt no unhappiness although so much had been wasted by Nimai's tirade. Mother Yasoda in Gokula also endured the restless moods and activities of Lord Krsna. As the Universal Mother, Sacidevi also endured the restless behavior of Sri Gaurasundara. Just as Nimai angrily smashed everything in Mother Saci's house, there were many other restless pastimes He performed. I could narrate many of them. Mother Saci endured everything with body, mind and words as though she were Mother Earth in person.
After some time, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is full of wonderful pastimes, returned home from His bath in the Ganga. He worshiped Lord Vishnu, offered water to tulasi, and then sat down to eat. Satisfied with His meal, Nimai washed Himself and chewed on betel leaf.
After some time, Mother Saci broke the silence. "My son, what was the purpose of so much destruction and waste? This house, the furniture, all the food grains - everything belongs to You, and the loss is Yours. I am not responsible. You insist that You want to go to study this very moment, but I have run out of resources in the house. What will You eat tomorrow?"
Nimai smiled at His mother's words. "Lord Krsna is the maintainer. He will take care of us," replied Nimai. With that, the Lord of Sarasvati took His books in hand and went to study. For some time He remained in the mellow of learning, and in the evening He walked to the banks of the Ganga. From there He returned home.
Calling His mother aside in secrecy, Nimai gave her two tolas of shining gold. "You see Mother, Lord Krsna has given Me a treasure. Exchange it for money and spend it as you need."
Nimai went off to bed, leaving poor dazed Sacidevi to try to resolve the mystery of her son's behaviour. "From where does He bring gold?" she pondered. "I'm afraid some danger will befall us because of this. As soon as there is a shortage of our necessary supplies, He brings gold, not just once but again and again. Does He borrow the gold, or create it by mystic powers? From where or from whom does He get it?" Noble Mother Saci was an innocent and honest woman. She was apprehensive even while exchanging the gold for money. Mother Saci instructed the people, "First show the gold in several different places, then exchange it."
Thus Nimai, the clandestine Supreme Controller of all mystic powers, lived in Navadvipa.
Always seen clutching His books in His graceful hands, Nimai looked like Cupid personified as He studied in the midst of His classmates. An Urdhva tilak mark adorned His forehead, and the beauty of His shining curly hair could rob anyone of their mind. He was the embodiment of transcendental effulgence, and around His shoulder hung the sacred brahmin thread. His ever-smiling enchanting face was delightful, showing off a set of twinkling teeth. How wonderful were His lotus eyes, and how wonderful was the charming manner in which He tucked His bright dhoti thrice into the waistband.
Whoever beheld Nimai's beauty gazed at Him with unblinking eyes. No one could pass by Him without an adulatory comment like, "What extraordinary beauty!"
Nimai Thakura could give such a marvelous explanation for anything that even His teacher would feel immeasurable pleasure when hearing it. Sri Gangadasa Pandita personally honored Nimai by appointing Him foremost of all the students. The teacher said, "My boy, please continue to study attentively and I am very sure You will soon be a great scholar and teacher Yourself." Nimai said, "Sir, once you have blessed someone, what can keep them from attaining the Bhattacarya title?"
There was not a student who could answer any of Nimai's questions. He Himself would establish a law of principle, but in the end He could refute His own conclusions. And if someone could not explain a principle, Nimai would explain it perfectly.
While bathing, while eating, while walking or while performing any other activity, Nimai thought only of scriptural conclusions. In this way Nimai remained absorbed in the mellow of learning and education without revealing Himself to the world, a world spiritually blind and full of offenses. The entire society had become devoid of devotional service to Supreme Lord Hari and the people were preoccupied. Grand festivals were held in honor of sons and relatives. Nothing in society found expression except the pursuit of bodily maintenance, household welfare and other mundane activity. The people in general sought happiness through false aspirations, and the society of Vaisnavas lamented over the condition.
The Vaisnavas chanted Krsna's names and lamented in their prayers, "Oh Supreme Lord Narayana, please be merciful to these unfortunate living entities." And to the whole society they said, "You have not developed any attraction for the all-attractive Lord Krsna, in spite of receiving this rare human birth. How much longer do you want to enjoy such adversity?
"This rare human birth that even demigods desire is being wasted by you in false pleasures. Nobody follows the festivals that glorify and honor Lord Krsna, rather they perform ritualistic ceremonies like marriages to enjoy themselves as they march towards the jaws of death."
And again to the Lord they prayed, "These living entities belong to You, O Lord. You are the Protector. What power do we have to speak? You are the supreme father of everyone."
In this way the devotees considered the benefit of all living entities, and then sang the glories of Lord Krsnacandra.