SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Madhya Lila Chapter 20
All glories to Gaurasimha, the son of Mother Saci. The shade of Your lotus feet drives away all distresses. You are the life and soul of Gadadhara Pandita. Be merciful to me so that my mind may remain fixed at Your lotus feet.
Lord Caitanya was now fully engaged in performing His wonderful pastimes with all His associates, sometimes dancing, sometimes singing, sometimes crying, sometimes laughing - all of which, glorious symptoms of ecstatic love of Godhead.
One day Lord Caitanya was visiting Srinivas Pandita's house with Lord Nityananda. As they were sitting, Murari Gupta came and prostrated himself at the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. Then getting up looking effulgent, he again prostrated himself before Lord Nityananda.
Lord Caitanya was always pleased with Murari Gupta, so now he spoke frankly to Murari saying, "What you did just now, first offering obeisances to Me and then to Nityananda was a violation of Vaisnava etiquette. Why did you, of all persons do this? You are supposed to teach others who are ignorant about these esoteric rules."
Murari replied, "How can I know about this my Lord? You are in full control of my heart. I have acted according to Your desire."
The Lord then said, "Alright, Murari. Go home now; tonight you will come to know everything, and tomorrow we shall meet again."
Murari became grave, and smiling hesitantly, he departed for home. That night, in a dream he saw Lord Nityananda dressed like a kingly wrestler walking before him. Great hoods of snakes were above His head, and in His hands He held the pestle and plough. Lord Nityananda looked exactly like Lord Balarama. Behind Him walked Visvambhara who smiled and spoke in his dream, "Now do you understand, Murari? I am junior. Consider this properly in your mind." Now both the Supreme brothers smiled at Murari, and after instructing him They disappeared.
Murari woke up immediately and began shedding tears; breathing heavily he kept repeating Lord Nityananda's name. His chaste wife became worried and prayed to Lord Krishna, chanting His name loudly. Murari was now convinced that Lord Nityananda was the elder brother, and with this thought he happily hurried to meet the Lord. He saw a benign smile adorning the lips of the lotus-eyed Lord Visvambhara as He sat with Lord Nityananda seated to His right. Murari went first to Lord Nityananda and offered obeisances at His lotus feet, and then he fell at Lord Visvambhar's lotus feet.
The Lord smiled and enquired, "Murari, why did you act in this manner?"
Murari replied, "My Lord, I acted according to Your sweet will. Like a dry blade of grass is blown in the breeze, all living beings perform by Your irresistible power." Again the Lord said, "Murari, you are very dear to Me, hence I have disclosed the confidential truth about Myself to you."
Gadadhara, the Lord's beloved associate who was seated on His left, had prepared Tambula pan for the Lord and gave it to Him. The Lord said, "Murari, you are a stalwart amongst my devotees," as He gave him some of the chewed pan from His lotus mouth. Murari received this on the open palms of his hands with eager respect, and upon eating it he felt great ecstasy racing through his body and soul.
Lord Visvambhar addressed Murari, "Murari, go wash your hands now," but Murari wiped his palms on his head. The Lord exclaimed, "Now you have lost your caste, you foolish fellow. You have become contaminated by wiping your hands on your head, hands that have taken My chewed remnants."
Suddenly the Lord's mood changed. He became angry, grinding His teeth loudly He began to manifest His true supreme identity. He said, "A sannyasi named Prakasananda, living in Benares has the audacity to try and inflict pain upon My person. He is a teacher of Vedanta philosophy but does not accept the existence of God, My Supreme Form. I have punished him by making him contract leprosy, and yet he fails to understand. The entire unlimited creation is a manifestation of My energy, but still he impudently maintains that all this is false.
"Murari, you are my trusted servitor, so I am telling you the truth, that those who do not respect My form, My personality, they inevitably perish. Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Lord Ananta and all the demigods serve the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord as their very dearest object, and by the mere touch of the Lord's body one can be cleansed of all contamination. Such a Lord's form is denied by these shameless rascals. Truly, I declare to you that I, the Supreme Lord, My dear servitors and their servants are all manifestations of the Absolute Truth. My transcendental abode and activities are the absolute reality; anyone denying Their existence and veracity verily inflicts countless wounds upon My body.
"Just by hearing the glories of the Supreme Lord all nescience is nullified, yet that sinful Vedanta teacher says they are unreal. Lord Siva drinks the nectar of the glories of the Lord with his ears and becomes so intoxicated that he is unaware of the loss of his clothing. That great personality, Lord Ananta Sesa himself is forever engaged in singing the glories of the Lord. Sukadeva Goswami, Narada and other exalted personalities become maddened by the sweetness of the Lord's glories. The four Vedas are simply explaining the esoteric nature of the Lord's transcendental glories. And so Murari, anyone who disregards such super-excellent activities and glories of the Lord can never appreciate the real purpose behind my advent."
Thus addressing Murari Gupta in this manner the Lord taught the entire world the cardinal truths about His Absolute nature; the Lord's form, devotees, pastimes and abode are all the absolute reality. Unfortunate non-believers will be annihilated.
After a while, Lord Visvambhar came out of His trance and became His usual humble self. He lovingly embraced Murari calling him brother and spoke sweetly to him, "Murari, indeed you are My pure devotee and thus you have come to perceive the transcendental nature and position of Lord Nityananda. A person may claim to be My devotee but if he holds the slightest grudge against Lord Nityananda then I do not favor him. Now go home Murari, you have purchased Me outright." Hanuman was the only other devotee of the Lord who had received such causeless mercy as Murari. Murari Gupta, now fully immersed in an ocean of bliss, went home treasuring Lord Nityananda and Lord Visvambhar in the inner recesses of his heart. Murari was drinking the nectar from within and his behavior was inconsistent. He would say one thing but do something quite different, loudly chuckling to himself. Exuberantly he called out to his chaste wife to bring his food; she hurriedly brought his plate.
Murari Gupta, fully intoxicated with love of God mixed the rice with the ghee and calling out, "Krishna, come eat, eat" took the mixed rice in his hand, brought it up as if to give to someone, and then began strewing the rice all over the floor. His chaste wife stood there watching and laughing, keeping her husband supplied with fresh rice. She knew well that her husband was a very exalted devotee of the Lord; she called out Krishna's name reminding him to be careful.
Lord Caitanya, always attentive to His devotees wishes, accepted all the food offered to Him by Murari, keeping His word to Murari. The Lord then personally came to Murari's house early the next morning. Murari was then constantly chanting Krishna's holy name and as soon as the Lord came, he paid his obeisances and offered the Lord a seat with great love.
After the Lord had seated Himself comfortably Murari inquired, "What brings the Lord here?" Lord Caitanya replied, "I have come to be treated for indigestion." Murari asked, "What has caused this indigestion? What did You eat yesterday?" The Lord said, "My dear fellow, how will you know? I have taken all that you offered me saying, 'Eat, eat', throwing the food on the ground. You have forgotten but your wife knows everything. Since you offered it to Me how could I refuse. Now you can treat Me for eating your rice or My inability to digest it, but the fact is that I am suffering from indigestion because of eating your rice. I know that drinking sufficient water is a very good remedy. Since I have eaten your rice and become sick, your water is my medicine, so I am going to drink your water."
Saying this the Lord picked up Murari's glass and drank the water from it. The Lord expressed full satisfaction, drinking as though the water was the nectar of His devotee's pure devotion. When Murari saw the Lord's infinite mercy, he was so overwhelmed that he fell down unconscious. All of Murari's servants and relatives began to weep in divine exhilaration. Everything was so wonderful: the Lord, the ecstatic devotional feelings, and the pure devotees of the Lord. All such devotional mellows could only have been manifested by Lord Caitanya's causeless mercy alone.
The mercy and blessings that Murari Gupta's servants received from the Lord were never seen or awarded to any of the so-called Brahman scholars in Nadia. Material knowledge, wealth and distinction are futile, but by becoming a servant of the servant of the Lord, one is rewarded with the greatest boon, loving devotion to the Lord. The servants of the Vaisnava devotees are not just anybody. The Vedic scriptures describe them as "the most elevated souls". Such were the extraordinary activities of Murari Gupta. The Lord showered His blessings on Murari constantly. Whosoever hears these transcendental activities of the pure devotee Murari will indeed experience divine love.
On another occasion Lord Caitanya was in Srivas Pandita's house. Suddenly the Lord manifested His real form as the Supreme Godhead, with four arms holding the conchshell, disc, mace and lotus. He began to loudly call out, "Garuda, Garuda!" Just then Murari Gupta roaring loudly came running to Srivas' house in a devotional trance. His person became surcharged with the mood of Garuda and he said, "I am Garuda, that great devotee." As the Lord called for Garuda again, Murari Gupta replied, "I am here my Lord, Your servant." The Lord said, "Yes, you are My carrier", and Murari replied, "Yes, yes my Lord."
Murari Gupta continued, "Have you forgotten, my Lord? I carried You to the heavenly abodes and brought down the Parijata tree. Another time I carried You to Vanapura where I tore Skandha's peacock to pieces. Here again are my shoulders - I am at Your service. Kindly climb on and order me. Which planet shall I go to?"
The Lord climbed onto Murari's back and everyone at Srivas' house cried out in joy, resounding with glorifications of the Lord and His devotees. As the Lord of the Goddess of Fortune sat astride Murari's shoulders, a blissful Murari went around Srivas' compound with great speed. The ladies made auspicious sounds by moving their tongues, and all the devotees were lifted on waves of ecstatic joy. They chanted the names of God, and some remarked, "I pray that I may never forget this scene." Some of them clapped their hands and thighs while others laughed heartily saying, "What a wonderful Supreme Lord we have." They all glorified the Lord saying, "All glory to Lord Visvambhar and His carrier, Murari."
So many of these extraordinary pastimes were exhibited in Navadvipa, but persons too attached to sinful activities could not see these pastimes of Lord Caitanya. The Supreme Lord is out of reach for those intoxicated with wealth, luxury, power and position; Lord Caitanya becomes purchased only by unalloyed devotional service. Those fortunate and pious souls who have been worshiping the Lord for many births now watched all these transcendental activities as His associates and servitors. Those who saw these pastimes, being compassionate, narrated them to others; but the agnostics and sinful persons could not believe in these transcendental activities. In the Madhya-khanda of this book we find a narration with the Supreme Lord Visvambhar riding on Murari Gupta's shoulders; Murari is an eternal servitor of the Lord and he is present as the Lord's servitor in every incarnation of the Lord. These pastimes have no beginning or end, according to the Vedas they are manifest, and again they disappear.
Lord Gaurasundar came out of His trance and climbed down from Murari's shoulders; Murari also withdrew within himself Garuda's mood. These confidential pastimes are too esoteric to be comprehended by all. The Vaisnavas who were present and saw the causeless mercy received by Murari Gupta began to praise him. Blessed truly is Murari to be able to participate in the Lord's supramundane activities as His carrier; his devotion to the Supreme Lord has thus been crowned with success. These narrations about Murari's activities are fully spiritual and endless.
One day Murari Gupta was considering in his pure heart the activities of the different incarnations of the Supreme Lord. He thought, "I cannot understand the activities of the Lord, why He does certain things. Sometimes He is protecting, and at the same time He is annihilating. So now, as long as the Lord is present with His associates and servitors, I had best think of a way to make amends - for the Lord destroyed Ravana and his entire dynasty, and brought back His wife Sitadevi and then again He rejected Her. What logic could dictate such actions? Then in another incarnation He saw the Yadu dynasty who were His very dear relatives and friends being destroyed. He saw, but just let it happen. Therefore now, as the Lord is still present, I must make preparations to leave my body. The time is ripe; the Lord is still here."
Thus influenced by such whimsical thoughts Murari brought a very sharp shell-cutter's saw and hid it in his house, telling himself, "Tonight I will get rid of this body with pleasure." In the meanwhile, Lord Visvambhar who is the supersoul residing in everyone's heart, came to know about Murari Gupta's desire. He went immediately to Murari's house. Murari welcomed the Lord with great reverence, praying at His lotus feet, and then offering Him a seat. The Lord sat and spoke at length about the transcendental activities of Lord Krishna. Murari gupta was pleased beyond words.
The Lord said, "Murari, will you keep a request of Mine." Gupta replied, "Lord, this body and soul belong to You." The Lord asked, "Is this really true?" Murari replied, "Indeed, my Lord." The Lord then whispered into his ears, "Give Me that saw. You brought it to end your life with, and now you keep it hidden inside your house. Bring it to me." Murari interjected in sheer dejection, "Alas, alas! Who could have told You such a lie?" The Lord said, "Murari, I see that you are very naive. You are saying that someone else has informed Me about this? I know everything: I know who has made this saw, and where it is hidden now."
Nothing is unknown to the omniscient Supreme Lord. He went inside the house and brought out the saw. The Lord said, "Murari, just note how you are behaving with Me! What is My fault that you want to leave Me and go away? If you should go then who will be a partner in My pastimes? Where did you pick up these ideas that you have now? I therefore beg of you this: you must promise never to pursue such whims and ideas."
Lord Caitanya embraced Murari, and taking his hand, He placed it on His head, and said, "It is better that you eat My head. Finish My head if again you desire to leave your body." Hastily Murari threw himself to the ground and with tears of love he washed the Lord's lotus feet. Murari held on tightly to the Lord's feet, but the Lord picked him up, and taking him in His embrace, He wept in love for His pure devotee.
It is impossible to calculate the extent of the mercy that Murari received from the Lord. Even Lakshmidevi, Lord Brahma, Lord Ananta, Lord Siva and others are always craving after it. These demigods are non-different from the Supreme Lord Caitanya; the Vedas are clear about this absolute oneness. Indeed Lord Caitanya expands Himself and becomes Lord Ananta Sesa to support this entire material nature. He again expands Himself as Lord Brahma to create this universe.
The work of annihilating this cosmic manifestation is done by another of His expansions, Lord Siva. As Lord Sesa, He glorifies His own unlimited pastimes. All these demigods are the manifestations of the Lord's potency, and hence are all non-different from Him. They are all serving Lord Caitanya's lotus feet. Such is the potency of Lord Caitanya's name, that even if a bird chants His holy name then it goes directly to the highest spiritual abode of Lord Caitanya. Whereas if a sannyasi, though having taken a vow of celibacy and renunciation, does not accept Lord Caitanya - then he will be born in total ignorance, birth after birth. Such a sannyasi is factually a dacoit in a renunciate's garb, for his activities are of a degraded nature. The Vedas define him as "malicious."
The scriptures condemn such a malicious mentality. In the Padma Purana it is said, "An easily identifiable and shameless sinner is in many respects better, because only he slides down to depths of depravity; whereas a sinful man posing to be a saint is worse because he drags himself, as well as all his followers, down to the darkest hell."
Again, "Dacoits capture their victims in lonely spots and loot them by threatening them with weapons and other forms of trickery, but the hypocrite holy man uses sweet words, plucking at the sentiments of people and confusing them, gradually depriving them of their wealth."
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam [Verse 12:3:38] it is stated, "In Kali Yuga, the sudras will make a living putting on the renunciate's clothes, thus receiving charity. Those who are ill-versed in the scriptures and spiritual knowledge will sit on the Vyasasana and give instructions to people."
The people eagerly hear spiritual instructions from a man they judge merely by appearance. But instead, they unknowingly hear from the impostor offensive words directed against real saintly persons, and due to this offense they plunge into hell.
The Vedas clearly describe that if one hears criticism of a Vaisnava devotee of the Lord then he looses all his accumulated piety and is cast into abominable conditions of life, birth after birth. The dacoit suffers but a lifetime of hell, whereas the offender of a Vaisnava goes through endless miseries. Thus the dacoit is far better than one who is offensive to a Vaisnava (and hence to Lord Visnu Himself).
Everyone, from the highest to the lowest living entities, is a manifestation of Lord Krishna's energy. Therefore Krishna cannot tolerate violence or offenses perpetrated against anyone. And if anyone offenselessly chants Krishna's name, then Krishna will certainly very soon liberate them from material bondage.
A person may be well-versed in all four Vedas but still maintain an offensive attitude towards the Vaisnavas. They are eternally doomed to the worst kind of hell.
A person may study the Srimad-Bhagavatam because of sense gratification. In this way they become misguided and commit offenses at the holy feet of Lord Nityananda, thus bringing about great disaster for themselves. Lord Caitanya mercifully revealed His transcendental pastimes in Navadvipa. Yet the offenders are not sufficiently fortunate to believe in them or understand them. As for those who are attracted to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya, their association is intensely desirable. And equally undesirable is the company of those yogis, masters of the eight mystic perfections, if they are averse to surrendering to Lord Caitanya's lotus feet.
Lord Caitanya finally pacified and satisfied Murari Gupta, and being thus pleased, He went home. In this way Murari Gupta was relishing the Lord's association and pastimes. So wonderful were Murari Gupta's experiences and fortune that I am unable to fully describe them. It is by Lord Nityananda's mercy alone that I have heard and realized a little about the glories of a Vaisnava.
May Lord Nityananda be my eternal master. It is by His grace that I am able to develop attachment for Lord Caitanya.
All glory to Lord Caitanya, the son of Jagannatha Misra; may your beloved Nityananda be enthroned as the crest-jewel of my heart. My greatest hope is that Lord Visvambhar is most precious to my beloved Nityananda Prabhu.
Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu are my life and soul.
I, Vrndavana dasa, humbly offer this song at Their lotus feet.