SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Madhya Lila Chapter 10
My dearest friend, Lord Gauranga, You are an ocean of transcendental qualities. All glory to You and all glory to Lord Nityananda Prabhu, the Supreme Personality without beginning or end.
After bestowing boons to Sridhara, Lord Caitanya began to gently sway His head, and repeated the name "Nada, Nada, Nada." He then spoke to Advaita Acarya: "Acarya, ask what You need." The Acarya replied, "My prayers have already been answered, My Lord." Lord Caitanya appreciated this answer with a thunderous roar that drowned all other sound.
While Lord Caitanya was still manifesting His "Mahaprakasha" lila in the mood of the omnipotent Supremely Opulent Lord, Gadadhara Pandita prepared betel and offered it to the Lord. The Lord took it and ate it. Lord Nityananda, whose partial expansion, Lord Ananta Sesa is the support of the universe, now held an umbrella over Lord Caitanya. Advaita Acarya and other great personages stood before Him.
The Lord ordered Murari, "Look at Me", and Murari saw Lord Ramacandra in person. He saw that Visvambhara, Lord Caitanya was sitting on the kingly throne with a bow, and His complexion was green like freshly tended grass shoots. He saw Janaki-devi or Sita-devi, and Laksmana on His left, and all around the brave monkey leaders were offering prayers. Murari, perceiving his identity as Hanuman, and now seeing his beloved Lord Ramacandra, fell down in an ecstatic swoon due to Lord Caitanya's transcendental pastimes.
Lord Visvambhara called out loudly, "Hey, monkey! You seem to forget how the demon Ravana who stole Sita-devi, burned your face. Enraged, you set ablaze his capital, Sri Lanka, and destroyed his entire race. I am that same Lord, your worshipful Lord. Now you are again in My presence. Rise, rise, Murari! You are as dear to Me as My own life. I am that Lord Ramacandra. You are Hanuman.
"See your Laksmana, your beloved life and soul. You saved his life by bringing the Gandharvamadana mountain. Offer obeisances to the lotus feet of Janaki, Sitadevi, whose distress moved you to profuse tears."
Lord Caitanya's words brought back Murari's consciousness. Upon awakening he saw that wonderful scene, and began to cry in love of Godhead. Murari's ecstatic crying moved even the lifeless dry wood, what to speak of the assembled Vaisnavas.
Again Lord Caitanya began to speak to Murari, "You may ask Me for any boon." Sri Murari replied, "My Lord, I do not want anything. Just grant me one wish: that I may sing only Your glories. I may be put into any situation, but birth after birth I simply want to remember You, that I may serve You in the association of Your servitors. O my Lord! Please do not place me in a position where I may deviate from the Absolute Truth, and forget that You are the Supreme Lord or that I am Your eternal servant. Wherever You descend accompanied by Your eternal associates, I desire to be there as Your insignificant servitor."
The Lord replied, "So be it. So be it. I grant you this boon." Hearing this, a jubilant uproar from the devotees filled the air.
All the Vaisnava devotees were naturally affectionately disposed to Murari who was always compassionate to all living beings. Such was the purity of Murari's devotion, that his mere presence transformed anywhere into a holy place of pilgrimage, transcendental like Vaikuntha. It is impossible to describe the greatness of Murari. Even the Supreme Lord advents for the pleasure of Murari.
Lord Caitanya then declared, "All of you listen carefully. If anybody criticizes Murari, they cannot be saved even by a million dips in the Ganga. In fact, their baths in the Ganga or even chanting of Lord Hari's name will certainly destroy such a sinful wretch. Murari, the Supreme Lord is secretly (gupta) seated in Murari Gupta's heart. This is the spiritual import of Murari's name."
The Vaisnava devotees began to weep in ecstasy chanting Krsna's name, seeing how Lord Caitanya showered His mercy upon Murari. Anyone who hears the pastimes of Lord Caitanya's extraordinary magnanimity will receive love of Godhead.
While Murari and Sridhara cried in love of Godhead in front of the Lord, Lord Caitanya chewed on betel pan with crackling loudness.
Lord Caitanya then turned His benign glance towards Haridasa and called out, "Look at Me, Haridasa. Your body at birth was superior to Mine, and your class and caste were more elevated than Mine. That sinful Muslim tormentor has inflicted great pain on you. However, knowing your compassionate nature, I hesitate in My heart to punish him, for it would disturb you.
"Listen, Haridasa. When you were lashed with the whip in many different market places, I took up My Sudarsan disc and descended to the earth from Vaikuntha, intending to sever the tormentors' heads.
"While your tormentors were trying to beat you to death, all the time you were thinking of their well being. You were unconcerned about your own pains; you had only compassion for them. Because of your merciful heart I could not use force; My Sudarsan disc weapon was rendered impotent.
"I could not strike those men because you were determined to forgive them. So, unable to see your misery, I protected you from their lashes by placing My back on your back.
"I accepted all those lashes meant for you on My back. Now you see the marks on My back; I am not lying. Whatever secondary reasons there were for My descent, I hastened My advent to this world, unable to bear your sufferings. My beloved 'Nada', Advaita Acarya fully recognized who you are. I am totally bound by His loving devotion."
Our beloved Lord Caitanya is very proficient at expanding the glories of His devotees. He will say or do anything to glorify and protect His devotees. He will even swallow fire for His devotees, and willingly become His devotee's slave.
Lord Krsna recognizes only His devotees and knows nothing else. To Krsna there is no one equal in position to His pure devotees. All those mean offenders who are antagonistic towards such pure devotees of the Lord are devoid of all good fortune. You can see from these pastimes and the words Lord Caitanya spoke to Haridasa Thakura, the highly elevated position of the devotees.
When Haridasa heard about the Lord's magnanimous deed, he fell swooning to the ground. He lost all external consciousness and was immersed in an ocean of ecstasy.
Lord Caitanya said, "Wake up, wake up! See My opulent manifestation to your heart's content." Haridasa awoke, becoming externally conscious. Crying, he looked about searching for the Lord's extraordinary manifestation. He rolled about all over the courtyard sometimes breathing heavily, other times swooning. All the ecstatic symptoms swept over Haridasa's body like a hurricane, and although the Lord tried to steady him, Haridasa could not remain still.
Thakura Haridasa said, "O Lord Visvambhara! You are the Lord and Protector of the Universe. Now the responsibility of delivering a lowly fallen wretch like me rests on You, My Lord. How can I describe Your transcendental glories, for I do not possess any good qualifications? I am sinful, and I am not even within the Vedic society. Just seeing me makes a person vulnerable to sin, and touching me makes one so contaminated that they must bathe immediately. How can I say anything about Your divine pastimes?
"There is one fact that You Yourself have stated: anyone remembering Your lotus feet, even one as insignificant and fallen as an insect, is never forsaken by You. Whereas even a mighty king falls from grace, if he disregards Your lotus feet. I am incapable of remembering You, although I know You shelter the most impoverished souls if they simply remember You.
"The evil Duryodhana and Suhsasana dragged the righteous Draupadi into the palace court wanting to disrobe her. Confronted with the danger of disgrace, she remembered You, Krsna. Because of this You made her sari endlessly long by Your mystic potency. Yet the evil-doers could not perceive Your hand in this.
"Once the witches surrounded Parvati devi desiring to eat her. But when she remembered You, You immediately appeared and punished the witches, saving Your devotee.
"I am so sinful that I cannot remember such a magnanimous Personality as You. O Lord! Please therefore give me shelter at Your lotus feet.
"The demon Hiranyakasipu inflicted all varieties of treachery and brutal methods trying to kill Prahlad like poisoning, hurling him down from a mountain, throwing boiling cauldrons of oil, etc. Yet throughout his tribulations, Prahlad meditated upon Your lotus feet and was saved from each and every calamity. In this way, You humbled many of his enemies, and took away all their vitality and strength. Finally You appeared in person due to Prahlad's meditation.
"Once the five Pandavas were in a grave dilemma fearing the wrath of Durvasa Muni, but when they remembered You, You appeared personally and saved them. You calmed Yudhisthira Maharaja with Your assuring words: 'See I am already here. You just sit down and relax. I will take care of this Durvasa Muni, and his army of disciples.'
"Relishing the thought of coming to the aid of His devotees, Lord Krsna ate only a shred of vegetable left stuck to the side of the pot after the Pandavas had eaten. Meanwhile, bathing in the river, the sage with his disciples suddenly felt full in the belly as though they had eaten a sumptuous meal. Ashamed and tearful, they fled.
"The miraculous benefits of remembering Your lotus feet were amply demonstrated by the Pandavas in this incident. The path of true devotion for everyone is to remember You. You perform Your super-excellent activities to rescue Your devotees.
"The story of Ajamila is wonderful in that from the most degraded state he remembered the Supreme Lord at the moment of death. He saw the Yamadutas (angels of death) coming to drag his soul away to the nether regions of hell. In fear and looking for shelter, he saw his son's innocent face and called out his name, 'Narayana', the holy name of the Supreme Lord. This immediately reminded him of the Lord. As soon as his mind rested on the Lord, all his danger and distress disappeared. Only the elevated devotees of the Lord have easy access to the greatest spiritual treasure: the constant remembrance of the Supreme Lord. This is not surprising.
"O Lord! I am so destitute that I do not even possess the sweetness of Your memory, and yet You have not forsaken me. Although I am unfit to see You, You are present before me in person. I am praying to You now for only one benediction."
Lord Caitanya replied, "Say all that you want to say. There is nothing that I do not want to give you."
Haridasa spoke to the Lord with folded hands, "O Lord, I have known only misfortune, but You give me so much hope. Just allow me to partake of the remnants of foodstuffs of Your devotees totally surrendered to Your lotus feet. Let this activity be my permanent and most prominent service life after life. My sinful birth and existence is miserable, without remembering You. But now, please make my life successful by granting me the remnants of Your servitors.
"I feel within my heart that I have committed a grave offense by asking You for elevation to the status of a Vaisnava although I am grossly unfit. O Lord! My master! O protector and the maintainer of the entire creation, I am spiritually lifeless. Therefore, kindly forgive my ignorance. O Lord Visvambhara, the beautiful son of Mother Saci, You are my master. So be merciful to me and keep me as a dog in the house of a Vaisnava."
Haridasa Thakura was overwhelmed by feeling ecstatic devotional emotions. His desire for humility and devotional service still unfulfilled, he repeatedly petitioned the Lord.
Lord Caitanya replied, "Listen, My dear Haridasa. You are a highly elevated Vaisnava. If anyone spends a day in your service and association, or if you kindly speak to someone for a short time, that person certainly achieves Me. There is no doubt about this. Whoever respects and serves you, does so to Me also, for I perpetually reside within you.
"As my servitor, your position is unique. You have therefore imprisoned Me within your heart eternally. I bless you, that since you are crowned already with a faultless character, you will always continue to worship and serve Me and My devotees without a single deviation or offense."
A tumultuous sound of joy from the Vaisnavas greeted Lord Caitanya's boon to Haridasa Thakura. High birth, caste, fruitive activities or wealth are worthless commodities for achieving love of Godhead. Only the intense loving desire for Krsna can bring one to the lotus feet of Krsna.
A Vaisnava may take birth in any family, but he is always the most exalted personality. This is the spiritual verdict. The living proof is Haridasa Thakura who was born in a Muslim family, yet what he saw and spiritually perceived is rarely experienced by even eminent personalities like Lord Brahma, etc.
Only the most wretched sinner will discriminate a Vaisnava's caste, race or nationality, and for doing so they suffer the pangs of repeated birth in the lower species of life.
One who hears this pastime of the Lord and Haridasa Thakura with proper faith will certainly enjoy the fruit of Lord Krsna prema. These words are not my concoction, but the bold declarations of all scriptures. One is sure to experience the bliss of devotional service to Lord Krsna if one hears the transcendental activities of the pure devotees of the Supreme Lord. All glories to Haridasa Thakura, a giant amongst the Vaisnavas. Remembering him, one is freed from all sinful reactions.
Devotees started talking about Haridasa: someone said, "He is like Lord Brahma" Another observed, "Prahlada has come again as Haridasa." Haridasa Thakura was in every respect a great and unalloyed devotee. He is an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya.
Lord Brahma and Lord Siva are always desiring in their hearts the transcendental company of Haridasa Thakura. All the demigods feel this same urge, to associate with Haridasa. Ganga devi wishes to bathe Haridasa in her waters.
Such is Haridasa Thakura's exalted position - that just seeing him relieves one from the bondage of material existence; what to speak of associating with him. Great stalwart devotees like Prahlada, who was the son of a demon, and Hanuman who was a monkey are both considered exalted Vaisnavas. Similarly, although born in a low caste non-Hindu family, Haridasa Thakura is counted amongst the foremost of Vaisnava devotees.
Haridasa along with Murari and Sridhara began to weep joyful tears, while Lord Visvambhara smiled pleasantly upon them, chewing betel. Sitting on the throne, the Lord was engulfed in dazzling effulgence, and an equally brilliantly shining Lord Nityananda stood holding an umbrella over Lord Caitanya.
Lord Caitanya looked towards Advaita Acarya smiling, and began to reveal His inner thoughts, "Listen, Acarya. Do You remember when I once fed You one night? At the time I had not yet advented, and You were endeavoring excessively to bring Me down from My spiritual abode.
"You would hold discourses on the Bhagavad-gita, and explain everything in terms of devotional service. There was hardly a soul who could grasp these topics. Once, when You did not find the meaning of a certain text pertaining to devotional service, You did not look for discrepancies and faults in the text, but rather You gave up the enjoyment of acquiring accurate esoteric knowledge. You were very depressed, and laid back, refusing to eat. Then, I appeared before You.
"When You fast, it is the same for Me too. Whatever You offer me, I accept. I cannot stand to see Your slightest pain, so I appeared in Your dream that night and spoke to You.
"Awake, awake, Acarya and hear the real purport of the Gita text; this is truly its unequivocal meaning. Please get up and eat; give up Your fast. I will reveal to You the esoteric meanings. Eat to Your satisfaction, and everything will happen in a dream."
In this way the Lord distinctly reminded Acarya of the dreams in which He had appeared to Him to clear the doubts that had arisen while discoursing on the Gita. He reminded the Acarya of the correct number, the precise dates, and the exact texts of the dreams in which He had cleared his doubts. Truly, Advaita Acarya's devotion is glorious. How can I describe His unlimited potency and His devotion?
Lord Caitanya continued, "I had explained to You all the texts that were difficult, with the exception of one, and that verse I will explain to You now. The Gita text that reads 'sarvatah panipadauta' meaning the Supreme Being's hands and feet are everywhere, is wrongly interpreted due to the rigidness of partisan thinking of certain schools' philosophical thoughts. The real purport of this verse should be read as 'sarvatra panipadauta', meaning the Supreme Being pervades everything with His Omnipotent presence.
"The complete Gita text reads - 'Sarvabah pani padamtat sarvata ksi-siro-mukham sarvatah srutimal loke sarvam avritya tisthati' (Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes and face, and He hears everything. In this way the Supersoul exists). I have just revealed to You the very confidential meaning of this text. Who else is there other than You, who could correctly comprehend this subject matter?"
Advaita Acarya is a secret disciple of Lord Caitanya, and Lord Caitanya's explanations are His only shelter.
So when Advaita Acarya heard this explanation which was so dear to Him, He was overcome with happiness, and He began to weep. He addressed the Lord saying, "I am unable to say anything. It is only My great fortune and glory that You are My Lord and master." Advaita Acarya was merged in ecstatic bliss seeing the wonderful potency of the Lord.
One who has no faith in these spiritual explanations or such spiritual exchanges is certainly doomed to perish. Only the rare souls, the pure devotees of the Lord can understand the spiritual dissertations of Advaita Acarya, who was personally taught by Lord Caitanya.
The instructions of the Vedas are invariably interpreted in various ways. So also Advaita Acarya's highly esoteric explanations often found different interpretations. Who can grasp the meaning of the Acarya's dissertations that deal with such subtle spiritual matters? Undoubtedly His words are as good as those of the Supreme Lord Himself.
The Acarya's words are like the autumn clouds - they rain in certain areas, while leaving other places dry. His words are understood by a fortunate few, not everyone. Advaita Acarya cannot be blamed for this, for everything depends on one's own ability to understand His words, based on one's piety and good fortune.
Advaita Acarya's main devotional duty was to serve the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. This can be testified to by all the Vaisnavas. Those who disregard the instructions of other Vaisnava associates of Lord Caitanya, with the excuse that they are followers of only Advaita Acarya, cannot gain the Lord's favor. Those who accept Lord Caitanya as the Lord of all the Lords, the Supreme Lord, are true followers of Acarya, and the Acarya also recognizes their service.
Devotional service to the Acarya is imperishable. However, it is rendered impotent if one does not accept Lord Caitanya as the Lord and master of everyone - including Advaita Acarya.
Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Siva, but he did not accept the Supremacy of Lord Ramacandra, who is the Lord of even Siva. Lord Siva was displeased with his devotee, and did not accept his worship or service. So Ravana's worship was useless. Hence he and his entire race were destroyed. Lord Siva does not convey to his devotees his personal feeling about their actions, whether good or bad. Whoever is sufficiently intelligent will understand the desire of Lord Siva in their heart.
In the same way, the followers of Advaita Acarya, not understanding the desire of their master, claim to be His disciples - yet criticize Lord Caitanya. Advaita Acarya does not tell them anything, due to His specific nature. So because of neglecting the advice of other Vaisnavas and the inner desire of Advaita Acarya, they perish. These condemned persons do not understand that Advaita Acarya's exalted position and His mystic perfections are all due to the mercy of Lord Caitanya. If anyone volunteers to instruct them on these matters they become enraged, and attempt to strike their well-wisher. Little do they know that Lord Caitanya's external potency, Mayadevi is exceedingly powerful, and she takes efficient care of such wayward and demoniac souls.
Doomed are those who do not understand that Lord Caitanya is the most beautiful Supreme Personality, and Advaita Acarya is His servitor just like the different jewelry and ornaments that decorate the Lord. Their positions have been clearly defined in the previous verses. Yet if people, in spite of this, fail to comprehend, then they are doomed. A person's elevation and progress in devotional life depend on how much they are serving Lord Caitanya. There is nothing superior to the Lord's devotional service.
The devotees can advance in their devotional service in proportion to the mercy they receive from Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda by rendering devotional service. In this way, devotional mellows constantly increase. Lord Nityananda inspires everyone to chant all the time. He says, "My dear brothers, say 'O my Lord Gauracandra'."
Advaita Acarya was totally engrossed in remembering Lord Caitanya and His pastimes, and often moved to tears by devotional emotions. After hearing these transcendental narrations, if one is unable to develop devotional fervor and love for Lord Caitanya, then contact with such a person should be avoided, for that will wither away one's faith and piety.
One who understands that Advaita Acarya is a foremost Vaisnava devotee of Lord Caitanya, and who serves Him in that capacity are themselves exalted Vaisnavas. They are assured of the shelter of Lord Krsna eternally. Such a Vaisnava is also very dear to Advaita Acarya. Those who do not understand this relationship are despicable rejects of human society.
Advaita Acarya is always extremely pleased to hear His Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu glorified as the Supreme Lord of all. Advaita Acarya, Himself, glorified Lord Caitanya in this manner. There should be no doubt about this. Lord Caitanya revealed the real purport of the Gita to the Acarya, and then hid the portals of devotional life from the non-devotees.
Lord Caitanya suddenly spoke out, lifting His arms, "Everyone look at Me. Ask any boon you desire." All the assembled devotees bubbled over with happiness hearing the Lord's words, and they each asked a boon from the Lord.
Advaita Acarya spoke first saying, "My Lord, I only pray that You shower Your grace on this ignorant and fallen soul." Someone else said, "My father opposes my devotional involvement, so grant me this, O Lord: that his heart may be transformed so that he may become a devotee." In this way they asked for the good blessings of their dear ones, disciples, sons, wives, servants and so on. One of them prayed, "Lord, please increase my faith in my guru."
Lord Visvambhara is the benefactor of all His devotees, and He fulfills all their wishes. Smiling sweetly, He granted everyone's boon.
Mukunda, all this while, was behind the curtains outside the room, unable to muster sufficient courage to appear before the Lord. Mukunda was loved by all, and he knew everyone intimately. No one could understand why he was being ignored, because when he sang, the Lord seemed to hear all the time. The Lord did not call him inside, nor did he come in. The devotees felt sad about Mukunda.
Srivasa Pandita said to the Lord, "O Lord, what offense has Mukunda committed at Your lotus feet? Mukunda is favored by You, and he is dear to all of us. Who can prevent their heart from melting upon hearing Mukunda's singing? He is devotionally inclined, and is always careful in all respects. Yet without seeing any apparent fault in him, You have insulted him, my Lord. If he has committed some mistake then punish him, but why do You disown him and push away Your own servant? O Lord, let him see Your Lordship; he will never come in unless You call him."
The Lord said, "Never speak like that to Me! Do not plead to Me on behalf of that wretched person. The descriptions you have heard about pretenders who make a show of humility, yet the next moment they are aggressive, is in fact a correct assessment of Mukunda. None of you really know him in truth. Mukunda sometimes is a perfect figure of humility, approaching Me holding straw in his teeth; but the next moment, he comes to strike Me with an iron rod. I cannot bear to see that pretentious wretch."
Speaking eloquently in Mukunda's favor, Srivasa said, "Who can understand the inconceivable workings of Your energies? We never noticed anything offensive in Mukunda's character. The shelter of Your lotus feet is witness to his innocence."
Lord Caitanya commented, "That spineless wretch will vociferously agree to all philosophical views to suit the company he is in. When he reads the 'Yoga Vasishtha' with Advaita Acarya, he favors the impersonal mayavadi philosophy. Yet in the company of Vaisnavas, he pretends to be a Vaisnava, singing and dancing with perfect humility. Again when he goes and joins another sampradaya, there he rejects devotional service, and slams the process of 'bhakti' with aggressive criticism.
"One who claims that there is some process which is higher than devotional service, factually strikes Me with an iron rod. They commit a serious offense to the path of devotional service. I cannot see their face."
Mukunda heard everything. Standing outside, he heard that he would not be allowed to see Lord Caitanya. Previously, on his guru's request, Mukunda did not accept the process of devotional service. Lord Caitanya with His inconceivable mystic potency could know all this. So Mukunda, a pure devotee of the Lord, contemplated, "There is no reason to remain alive any longer. I shall finish off this sinful body of mine; I do not know for how long I can go on."
Mukunda spoke up aloud, "Please hear me, Srivasa Thakura. Tell me. Will I ever see my Lord Caitanya again?" He broke down and wept bitterly. Mukunda's condition touched the compassionate hearts of the Vaisnavas.
The Lord replied, "Let him go through another ten million births. Then he can certainly see Me."
When Mukunda heard this promise from the Lord's own mouth, he was overtaken by tremendous joy and stood drenched in tears. Repeating, "I will get, I will get," Mukunda, Lord Caitanya's servitor danced just like a madman in ecstatic love of God. The Lord's assurance that he will see Him, made him dance in ecstasy.
When Lord Caitanya saw Mukunda dancing, He laughed and ordered, "Bring him here immediately." The Vaisnava devotees eagerly asked Mukunda to come quickly to the Lord's presence. But Mukunda did not hear anything; he was completely submerged in ecstasy.
Lord Caitanya said, "O Mukunda, your offenses are forgiven. Come and see Me, and receive My blessings." The devotees went and quickly brought Mukunda in front of the Lord. Mukunda fell to the ground seeing the opulent appearance of the Lord.
The Lord spoke, "Get up, My dear Mukunda. All your offenses have been exonerated. You lost your wealth of devotion by wrong association, but now again by your loving devotion, you have conquered and indebted Me. I said to you that after ten million births you would have your desire to see Me fulfilled. You immediately pushed away all previous doubts and offenses. You had full faith in the infallibility of My words. Thus you have bound Me eternally in your heart with the bonds of loving devotion.
"You are My singer, and you shall remain with Me. All this time I was only joking with you because of our intimacy. And even if perchance you really commit millions of offenses, then I do not consider them to be offenses, because you are eternally My dearly beloved associate. Your body is one hundred percent imbued with loving devotion to Me. I perpetually reside in your tongue as the holy trance."
Mukunda heard Lord Caitanya's reassuring words. They moved him to tears and he felt apathy towards himself. Condemning himself he said, "I am so degraded. I know nothing about devotional service. How can a faithless fool like me experience the bliss of devotion just by seeing You?
"Duryodhana could easily see your Universal Form, whereas scholars study all the scriptures just to perceive that same form. Yet, Duryodhana and his entire family were stamped out, undergoing extreme pain because he lacked the slightest devotion. Therefore, without possessing the proper devotional attitude now, can I experience bliss, even if I see You, my Lord?
"When You went to rescue Rukmini-devi on Her request, from the protection of many powerful kings, they saw You approach mounted on Your bird carrier, Garuda. They saw Your noble kingly bearing and effulgent form. Your devotees, like Lord Brahma, desire in meditation to see this effulgent form, just as You appeared in the Vidarbha kingdom. As You were kidnapping Rukmini-devi, the kings saw You, fought with You, and were all slain - all because they had no devotion for You.
"When You appeared from the waters of the Casual Ocean in the form of a boar, and picked up the earth from the waters between Your tusks, the demon Hiranyaksa saw Your extraordinary brilliant form. The demigods are praying to You to see this wonderful form. But Hiranyaksa was killed by You because he was a demon who had no love or devotion for You.
"His brother saw Your terrible and mighty form of half-man and half-lion that is rarely seen by anyone, whose chest is the resting place of Mother Laksmi, Your eternal consort. This wonderful form of Narasingha, unparalleled in the entire creation, was seen by Hiranyakasipu. Yet his life was squashed with ease by You because he was a gross materialist, a non-devotee.
"O Lord, I have no devotional feelings. Yet strangely I am still alive; my head does not roll due to my grievous sins?
"Kubja, the hunchback maid servant of Mathura, the wives of the sacrificial brahmin priests of Vrndavana, the noble ladies of the palace in Mathura, and the garland-maker Sudama, when did they see You before they saw You for the first time? Yet all of them were elevated to the blissful state of loving devotional service to You. Kamsa, the king of Mathura, at the same time he saw You, was killed. I do not possess any devotion to You, my Lord, but yet You keep me?
"Lord Ananta Sesa, that extremely powerful personality, holds this immense cosmic creation with great pleasure, only because of His devotion to You. The universe sits on just one of His many hundreds of hoods like an insignificant drop of water, while He is submerged in the ecstatic pastime of glorifying You. Although He, Himself, is without support or foundation, He is the support and sustainer of everyone. He can perform such extraordinary feats simply due to the potency of devotional service to You. Yet I am so fallen and impious that I cannot appreciate even such wonderful devotional fervor. I am destined for eternal degradation.
"Lord Siva, Sankara became the husband of Gauri, Durga (Mahamaya) by dint of his devotional service. Narada Muni rose to the platform of an eternal associate of the Lord, also through loving devotion. Vyasadeva compiled the entire Vedic literature, yet he was feeling dissatisfied deep in his heart. You had revealed to him precisely the essence of the highest spiritual knowledge which is the science of devotion, but he was unable to grasp the full import due to slight impurities in the mind. Then You spoke to him again through Narada Muni that same science of devotional service, and in this way he felt resuscitated with happiness, and continued on to make perfect this human birth.
"I am worse than an insect, yet I am not moved by such devotion. O Lord, how can I ask to see You?" Mukunda began to weep, raising his arms up in the air. His body trembled and he released heavy sighs in ecstatic devotional emotion. Mukunda is a pure devotee, with a simple and spontaneous love for the Lord. How can I describe sufficiently the extent of his glories? He is counted amongst the most intimate eternal associates of the Lord.
Lord Visvambhara was moved by His devotee's feelings and suffering. He said, "Mukunda's devotional service is very dear to Me. Wherever and whenever you sing, I will be present there. All you have said is absolutely true; one cannot perceive Me as I am, even if one sees Me. One can see My true self only through the eyes of loving devotion.
"Truly I say to you, for you are very dear to Me, that the instructions I have given in the Vedic literature about the different rites and duties for everyone, and their concomitant results, cannot be changed by anyone. I alone can do as I please, and I supersede these rites and results, because I have full authority to do so.
"I have made you speak the truth about devotional service. Nothing is of any value if it is not My devotional service. It pains Me grievously if someone is against My devotional service, and due to My suffering, such an atheist is deprived of all happiness, even if they see Me.
"Demon King Kamsa's washerman also saw Me. I asked him for help, but he refused. This was very unfortunate for him because he was deprived of the opportunity to render devotional service. He had no attraction for Me. He had performed very severe austerities and penances for many many lifetimes just to see Me. This piety gave him the good fortune to see Me. However, he could not experience the exhilaration of seeing Me, due to lack of devotion.
"I do not show any mercy to non-devotees. Even if they see Me, they are deprived of the transcendental result, eternal happiness. One's devotion is drained if one is offensive to the authorized process of devotional service. Due to the absence of devotion, seeing Me is fruitless. Those things that you said, were actually exactly what I wanted to say. In fact, why should any other topic grace your mouth?
"I shall propagate the process of devotional service everywhere. This I have said to you. I will do this through your voice, through your songs. Hearing your songs, all the Vaisnavas' hearts will melt with ecstatic joy. Just as you are very dear to Me, so will you also be very dear to all My devotees, the Vaisnavas. Wherever I descend, in any incarnation, you will be also present as My singer."
As the Lord showered blessings and boons on Mukunda, the Vaisnava assembly resounded with great jubilation. Devotees clasped their hands and sang out, "Glory to Lord Jagannatha. Glorify the Lord!" and so on. Whoever hears these narrations about Mukunda receiving the Lord's special mercy is favored by the Lord to become an associate of Mukunda as a singer.
All topics about the pastimes of Lord Caitanya are highly confidential subjects undisclosed in the Vedas. Only the intelligent class of men can appreciate these topics, never the foolish. Those who relish these pastimes will certainly be able to see Lord Caitanya face to face.
And so it continued. Each Vaisnava, as they desired, had their wish fulfilled by the Lord. Srivasa Pandita is a very great and exalted personality; all these pastimes took place in his house.
The Lord appeared to each devotee individually as different incarnations according to the devotee's attachment to a particular incarnation of the Lord. All these manifestations were extraordinary and super-excellent. Lord Caitanya performed His pastimes in this manner. Everyday, the Lord revealed His supramundane pastimes, and all the assembled Vaisnavas along with their wives saw these extraordinary happenings.
One who surrenders their body and mind, and becomes the Lord's servitor, can perceive these transcendental activities. In Navadvipa, there is no dearth of men in the sannyasa renounced order, or of mental speculators, or of men who are performing either severe penances by studying the scriptures or by performing yogic practices. Most of them have for long studied the Gita and Bhagavatam, and some of them are even giving lessons about these scriptures. However, not one of them is willing to give up their own ways and practices or religious views. Some undertake strict vows to remain celibate throughout life or to never accept service from others. In this way, they lead a life of extreme hardship.
Their intelligence was covered over by false ego to such an extent that none of them could perceive that Vaikuntha had descended into Srivasa Pandita's residence; nor could they percieve the spiritual bliss emanating from there. That which was seen and experienced by the servants and maidservants in Srivasa Pandita's house is unknown to even scholars well-versed in all the scriptures. The wonderful boon Murari Gupta's servant received went unnoticed even by those who shaved their heads to exhibit renunciation.
Lord Caitanya can be captivated by devotion alone; not by wealth, high birth, erudition or any such mundane means. One may be crowned with wonderful accomplishments, yet they are unable to attract the mercy of Lord Caitanya, for the Lord submits only to unalloyed devotion. This is clearly declared in the Vedas. So in Navadvipa, all the great scholars and pundits were unaware of these extraordinary happenings.
Those who are sinful are like a lake without water, where beauty is absent. How can the living beings otherwise be deprived of the spiritual bliss of experiencing these pastimes? These supramundane pastimes of the Lord are continuously existing, never ever ending. The Vedas describe them as sometimes manifest and at other times unmanifest.
Lord Caitanya's pastimes are being performed even now. Whoever is blessed by the Lord to see, can see; but others cannot see.
The Lord appeared to His different devotees in the particular incarnation in which the devotee worshiped Him. He personally taught them about His Supreme Absolute position, that He is the source of everything and everyone. This knowledge was then later transmitted to posterity.
The Lord said, "In every birth you have received My association. Your servants and disciples will thus also see My pastimes through you." The Lord then distributed the garlands that graced His chest, and all were blessed to receive the chewed remnants of the Lord's betel. The devotees were caught up in a wave of ecstatic joy as they munched on the radiant moon-like Lord's remnants.
The remnants of the Lord's food went to the pious and fortunate Narayani. They gave His remnants to this innocent little niece of Srivasa Pandita (his brother's daughter). She ate the Lord's remnants with joy and relish, and the Vaisnavas blessed her saying that she was most fortunate since she could serve the Supreme Lord Narayana directly at such a young age.
After Narayani had eaten, Lord Caitanya said, "Narayani, let Me hear you cry for Krsna in great ecstasy." Such is the influence of Lord Caitanya's words that she immediately called out "Krsna, Krsna!" and began to weep. Thus the pastime came to be known to all the Vaisnavas, for all times, and she became famous as "Narayani who ate Lord Caitanya's remnants."
As the devotees were beckoned by the Lord, they hastened to His presence. All these pastimes of Lord Caitanya that are being narrated are transcendental. If one does not have faith in them, then their future is dark.
Lord Caitanya is very close and dear to Advaita Acarya. This relationship makes Advaita Acarya glorious. Lord Nityananda is very close and dear to Lord Caitanya. These glories of Lord Nityananda are sung in all the Vedic literatures.
If one does not recognize their identity as a devotee of Lord Caitanya, even though they may be respected by the whole world, they are worth no more than straw to the learned Vaisnava assembly.
Lord Nityananda introduced Himself saying, "I am Lord Caitanya's servant." He is always in this mood of a servitor. Only through His mercy does one develop love for Lord Caitanya. All detriments in spiritual life are overcome by worshiping Lord Nityananda.
The greatest hope I always cherish in my heart is that Lord Caitanya is the Lord of my Lord. O Lord Caitanya, kindly offer me the shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, who as Lord Ananta Sesa is holding this universe. I am able to sing the glorious life and pastimes of Lord Caitanya out of my love and attachment for Lord Balarama. My Lord Balarama is always desiring the best for the world.
Lord Nityananda knows no other designation other than being Lord Caitanya's servant. It is only through serving Lord Nityananda that one is eligible to become a devotee of Lord Caitanya. As by Lord Nityananda's grace I can know Lord Caitanya in truth, similarly to fully comprehend the truth about devotional service, one must receive the blessing of Lord Nityananda.
Lord Nityananda is very dear to all the Vaisnava devotees. Everyone can receive from Lord Nityananda entry into the path of devotional service. Somehow, if by chance someone disregards Lord Nityananda, then Lord Caitanya, Himself, condemns them to eternal suffering. The full glory of Lord Nityananda is very rarely known; even the great yogi and exalted Vaisnava, Lord Siva does not know His unlimited potencies.
One who is not offensive or critical of others, and who chants Krsna's holy name always, will with their love, soon be able to captivate the uncontrollable and invisible Lord Caitanya. The scriptures instruct that spiritual goals are not attracted by the criticism of others. The religion expounded by Bhagavata is to respect everyone.
These narrations of the Madhya Khanda are like nectar, but to an atheist they taste bitter. If one experiences a bitter taste while eating sweets, then this is truly unfortunate and indicates sickness. However, that does not really change the sweet taste to one of bitterness. Similarly, if one cannot relish the nectarine pastimes of Lord Caitanya, then that is their great misfortune.
A person, even though in the renounced order of sannyasa, will enter into countless cycles of births in total ignorance, if they are offensive to Lord Caitanya. Whereas a bird if, even without proper spiritual knowledge, it sings the name of Lord Caitanya, it will enter into the Lord's eternal abode.
All glory to Lord Gauracandra, the life of Lord Nityananda. Kindly make Your beloved Lord Nityananda my life and soul. I offer my obeisances at the lotus feet of all Your associates, with whom You performed so many pleasurable pastimes.
Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda are my life and soul.
I, Vrndavana dasa, offer this song to Their lotus feet.