SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Madhya Lila Chapter 5
All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Caitanya who is also praised by the name Murari! He is the constantly glowing lamp of Navadvipa.
He is like the fearless lion come to slay the elephant-like atheists.
He has taken the knotted thread in order to exemplify the need of daily chanting a specific number of times the Lord's holy name, which are His own names.
All glories to Lord Visvambhara, the Supreme Lord of all living entities. He is the Lord and master of Lord Nityananda and Gadadhara Pandita!
All glories to the Lord, for He is subjugated by the love of pure devotees like Advaita Acarya Prabhu and others!
O Lord, please engage the conditioned living entities in the eternal loving service of Lord Krsna, and release them from the bondage of material existence.
In this manner all the devotees passed their time in great joy, discussing topics of Krsna's pastimes with Lord Nityananda Prabhu. All the assembled Vaisnavas were very elevated souls and unalloyed devotees of the Lord. They became totally immersed in the nectar of Krsna consciousness. Lord Nityananda Prabhu was extremely joyful, and He kept looking around at the Vaisnavas. It was a scene of extreme ecstasy, and tears of happiness cascaded down from everyone's eyes.
Seeing this ecstasy, Lord Visvambhara spoke to Lord Nityananda Prabhu, "Listen, My dear Nityananda Goswami, where shall Your Vyasa-puja be performed? Tomorrow there is a full moon, and it is on this day that Srila Vyasadeva is worshiped. So You may choose anyone, and make arrangements with them."
Nityananda Prabhu could understand Lord Visvambhara's mind, so He took Srivasa Pandita by his hand and smilingly said, "Listen, Visvambhara. I will have My Vyasa-puja in this brahmana's house."
Lord Visvambhara then spoke to Srivasa Pandita, "Now you have a heavy responsibility on your head." Srivasa replied, "No, my Lord; this is no botheration. By Your grace everything required is in this house. The paraphernalia required like clothes, grains, brahmin thread, ghee, etc., are all available here. I have only to get the book which gives the procedure for performing a Vyasa-puja ceremony. Tomorrow, by my great fortune, I shall witness a Vyasa-puja." Lord Visvambhara was very pleased with Srivasa's reply, and all the devotees were jubilant.
Lord Visvambhara said, "Listen, Nityananda Gosai: let us all make preparations to go to Srivasa Pandita's house." Lord Nityananda very much appreciated Lord Visvambhara's words, and He immediately proceeded to Srivasa Pandita's house. The Lord and Nityananda Prabhu, accompanied by Their associates, looked exactly like Krsna and Balarama in Gokula as They roamed about accompanied by Their friends.
As they entered Srivasa Pandita's house, the devotees felt a current of joy run through their bodies. The Lord ordered the doors to be closed, allowing only friends and relatives inside. Then on the signal from Lord Visvambhara, they began singing bhajans and kirtanas, and gradually the external world faded away into oblivion.
The chanting was ecstatic and befitting the occasion of Vyasa-puja. The two Lords began to dance ecstatically, surrounded by the devotees who were singing. The bond of love and affection exists eternally between Lord Nityananda and Lord Visvambhara, and now as They danced together each one was immersed in thoughts of the other.
The devotees were experiencing extraordinary joy. Some began to roar loudly, some fell unconscious, and others could not restrain the flow of joyful tears.
The two Supreme Lords were experiencing all the symptoms of ecstasy like shivering, paling, horripilating, crying, and falling unconscious. Who can describe all the ecstatic symptoms that They manifested?
The two Lords danced, lost in Their ecstasy. Often They would embrace each other, crying. In the mood of brotherly love They tried to catch each other's feet. But because both were wary and cunning, They could not succeed. They were overwhelmed in happiness, and rolled on the ground forgetting Their absolute supreme position. Such are Their wonderful pastimes.
The world of phenomena was forgotten and Their clothes fell from Their body. They could not sit still, and even though the Vaisnavas tried to hold Them down, they were unsuccessful. How is it possible for the Vaisnavas to hold onto the personality who holds the entire universe?
The two Supreme Lords were lost in the nectar of chanting and dancing. Lord Gaurasundara kept repeating, "Chant! Chant!", drenching His whole body with tears of happiness. The Lord, having found that personality whose association He always desired, His eternal brother Lord Nityananda, was floating on an ocean of eternal endless ecstasy. Lord Visvambhara's dancing was so enchanting, sometimes He would touch His head with His feet. When Lord Nityananda Prabhu danced it seemed like there was an earthquake. Thus, the two Supreme Lords danced in ecstasy. Who can describe that scene of great jubilation?
Lord Visvambhara then sat on the seat of Lord Visnu, feeling in the mood of Lord Balarama. Like Lord Balarama, He was expressing madness, and repeatedly cried out, "Bring Me wine. Bring Me wine."
To Nityananda Prabhu the Lord said, "Immediately bring Me a plough." At the Lord's request, Lord Nityananda stretched out His hands and Lord Gauracandra received it in His hand. Some saw the two Lords go through these motions empty-handed, while others saw Lord Nityananda give a plough to Lord Caitanya.
Only by the Lord's mercy can one understand His supreme position. Such confidential pastimes and topics of the Lord as displayed by Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda are known to a very limited few.
Receiving the plough from Lord Nityananda Prabhu, Lord Caitanya now began to ask for wine, acting agitated and mad. Most of the devotees could not understand this mood of Lord Caitanya. They looked at each others' faces in bewilderment, wondering why the Lord was asking for wine. Trying to think logically, they finally brought a pot of Ganga water to the Lord. The Lord distributed the Ganga water to everyone, and drank much of it Himself thinking it to be real wine.
All around, the devotees began to chant hymns about Lord Balarama, and Lord Visvambhara kept repeating "Nara", the name by which He would call Advaita Acarya Prabhu. The Lord continuously called out "Nara", and His head kept dropping as if drunk; but nobody could understand the inner meaning of the word Nara. They asked, "Lord, who is Nara?" The Lord replied, "On whose loud beckoning I am here, the personality you call Advaita Acarya Prabhu is Nara to Me in My present incarnation. Nara has brought Me down from the Vaikuntha planets, but He is enjoying peacefully with Haridasa Thakura. In this incarnation I shall propagate the congregational chanting of the holy name in every home.
"Those who are intoxicated with material knowledge, wealth, family, austerity, etc., are naturally offensive to My pure devotees. To such wretched and fallen people I will not give the gift of loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord, but to the residents of Navadvipa Mayapura I shall bestow that supreme gift of love of God which is most desirable even by Lord Brahma." The devotees were overjoyed upon hearing the Lord, and the Lord gradually became tranquil and still.
The Lord asked the devotees, "Were My speech and actions uncontrolled?" The devotees replied, "No, nothing inconsistent." The Lord embraced everyone with great love and affection, and said, "Please always forgive My offensive nature." All the devotees began to laugh. "Surely", they thought, "the Lord was joking."
Unable to control His ecstasy, Nityananda Prabhu began to roll on the ground. Lord Nityananda was totally immersed in the nectar of love of Godhead. Sometimes He laughed, sometimes He cried, and sometimes He opened His clothes and stood naked, being in the mood of a young boy, and His body manifested this mood. His stick fell in one direction, and His water pot and clothes in another.
That great and tranquil personality, Lord Nityananda was now restless and uncontrollable. Lord Visvambhara had to hold Him still. Lord Caitanya's words acted on Nityananda Prabhu just as a guard acts on a mad elephant. Lord Nityananda Prabhu became still. The Lord said, "Be calm, and if You want, tomorrow You can have the Vyasa-puja." Then the Lord left for His home.
All the devotees returned to their respective homes, and Lord Nityananda remained in Srivasa Pandita's house. Late in the night, overcome with ecstasy, Lord Nityananda began roaring like a lion. He broke His stick and water pot. Who can fathom the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Who knew why Lord Nityananda broke His stick and water pot?
Early the next morning, Ramai Pandita saw the broken stick and water pot. He was amazed and perplexed. He went quickly to Srivasa Pandita and reported this matter to him. Srivasa Pandita said, "Go to Lord Visvambhara."
When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard from Ramai Pandita about the activities of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, He immediately came to the house of Srivasa Pandita. There, He found Lord Nityananda in a trance laughing constantly. Lord Visvambhara took the broken stick and led Lord Nityananda Prabhu to the Ganga.
Srivasa Pandita and the other Vaisnavas accompanied Their Lordships to the Ganga for a bath, and there Lord Visvambhara threw the stick into the river. Lord Nityananda Prabhu, still in a trance, was restless and did not heed anyone's advice; so Caitanya Mahaprabhu loudly chastised Him, which pacified Him a little. A crocodile was swimming down the river, and upon seeing it, Lord Nityananda jumped in to catch it. Immediately Srivasa Pandita and Gadadhara Pandita raised an alarm. Fearlessly, He continued swimming towards midstream. Only Lord Caitanya's words could hold Him still and bring Him back.
Lord Visvambhara cried out to Lord Nityananda, "Come immediately and let us proceed with the worship of Vyasadeva." Obeying Lord Visvambhara, He came out of the water, and accompanied the Lord back to the house.
Soon after, all the devotees assembled and began chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna. Srivasa Pandita was the preceptor for the rules of worship for the Vyasa-puja, and after receiving instructions from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he executed them. A continuous sweet kirtana converted Srivasa Pandita's house into the spiritual world of Vaikuntha. Well-versed in all scriptures, Srivasa Pandita performed the ceremony according to strict scriptural injunctions. He gave Nityananda Prabhu a garland of fragrant flowers and said, "Oh Nityananda Prabhu, please take this garland and offer Your prayers and obeisances to Srila Vyasadeva. The scriptures instruct that Srila Vyasadeva should be garlanded when He is being worshiped, and if Srila Vyasadeva is satisfied, then all our desires will be fulfilled."
The more Srivasa Pandita spoke, the more Lord Nityananda continued repeating, "Yes, yes." But He did not pay any heed to his words. He held the garland and muttered something softly underneath his breath which no one could hear, and just looked all around.
Srivasa Pandita went to Lord Caitanya and reported this matter, "Your Sripada does not want to worship Srila Vyasadeva." The Lord immediately came to the presence of Lord Nityananda and said, "Nityananda, please listen to Me. Offer the garland to Srila Vyasadeva and worship Him." Lord Nityananda saw that Caitanya was there and He immediately placed the garland on the Lord's head. The fragrant flower garland on the Lord's curly hair made a beautiful sight.
At that very moment Lord Caitanya revealed His six-handed form to Lord Nityananda Prabhu. The Lord held in His hands the conchshell, disc, mace, lotus, and plough(?). Seeing this, Lord Nityananda Prabhu immediately went into an ecstatic trance and fell unconscious. All the devotees became very afraid and started praying, "Protect Him, Krsna! Protect Him, Krsna!" while Lord Caitanya clapped His hands loudly on His four arms (?) and continued to roar loudly.
Lord Caitanya then bent down to lift Lord Nityananda up from the ground saying, "Nityananda, please get up and steady Your mind. Listen to the chanting of the holy name. The reason You descended to this material world is to propagate the chanting of the holy name, and now You have perfectly succeeded in this mission. What more do You want?
"You are the absolute proprietor of the treasure house of love of Godhead, and the embodiment of sublime devotional love. No one can receive love of God unless and until You distribute it. Therefore, please get up and look around You. You are surrounded by Your own beloved associates. You may distribute it to anyone You want. If anyone nurtures even the slightest dislike for You, then although they may worship Me, I will never recognize them as dear to Me."
Lord Caitanya's words brought Him out of His trance, and seeing the Lord's six-handed form, He went into a state of great ecstasy. Lord Nityananda Prabhu is nondifferent from Lord Ananta Sesa, in whose heart Lord Gauracandra is an eternal resident. Without a doubt, Lord Nityananda Prabhu is Lord Balarama. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared as Lord Gauracandra, the source of all incarnations. Therefore, it is not surprising that He should manifest His six-armed form.
In His incarnation as Lord Ramacandra He offered oblations to His departed father. At that time His father, King Dasaratha appeared in person to receive the oblations. If this can be considered to be wonderful, then the Lord's six-armed form is also wonderful. But all of this is natural for the Supreme Lord Krsna because His pastimes are extraordinary and supramundane.
Lord Nityananda Prabhu's natural propensity is to serve Lord Gauracandra, and He is never distracted from this service even for a moment. Just like Laksmana served Lord Ramacandra constantly with His mind, body, and heart, similarly, Lord Nityananda Prabhu constantly engages in Lord Gauracandra's loving devotional service. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Lord of every living entity. He is unlimited and the source of everything. Yet He enters the material realm and causes the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the material world. According to the verdict of the Vedas, He is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Controller, yet He remains unaffected by the phenomena of material nature.
In spite of His supreme lordship over everything, Ananta Deva, Sri Nityananda Prabhu is eternally engaged in rendering loving devotional service to Lord Gauracandra. In every millennium and in every incarnation, He accepts that His natural mood is to serve His Supreme Lord Krsna. As Laksmana, He became the younger brother of Lord Ramacandra and served Him constantly. He neglected eating, drinking, sleeping, and other such activities to constantly serve the lotus feet of Lord Ramacandra. Yet He felt unable to satisfy His intense desire to serve.
As Lord Balarama, He was the elder brother of Lord Krsna. However He could not forsake His attitude of serving the Lord deep within His self. He always referred to Krsna as Lord, and He was always in the mood of rendering loving devotional service to Lord Krsna. Such is the wonderful nature of Lord Nityananda, Ananta Sesa. Only the most foolish rascals will see a difference between Lord Nityananda Prabhu and Lord Balarama. One who disrespects a devotee who is fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Visnu commits a great offense at the lotus feet of Lord Visnu Himself.
Sri Laksmidevi, the Goddess of Fortune, is so elevated that Lord Brahma and Lord Siva offer praise and worship to Her. Yet She is naturally inclined to serve the lotus feet of Lord Visnu, Krsna.
Lord Balarama, Sesa is the omnipotent Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet His natural inclination is to serve the Supreme Lord. Therefore, Lord Gauracandra feels most satisfied when He can describe the glories and wonderful devotional attitude of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. It is the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Gauracandra to be subservient to the loving devotional attitude of His devotees. Therefore, the Lord specifically likes to glorify His own surrendered devotees.
There is special significance to hearing the Supreme Lord glorify His own devotees. The Lord and His devotees like to glorify each other, and in this way increase their attachment for one another. I have faithfully presented that which has been propounded in the Vedic literatures and Puranas about the relationship between the Supreme Lord Visnu and His devotees.
Lord Nityananda has only one thought in His mind, "Lord Caitanya is My Lord in every respect, and I am His devoted servant. Whoever considers Me to be the servant of My Lord and master, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, becomes very dear to Me and receives My shelter."
For the pleasure of Lord Nityananda, I have described this pastime of His seeing the six-armed form of Lord Caitanya. Lord Nityananda always sees the transcendental pastimes of Lord Caitanya within His heart, and Lord Caitanya always exhibits His transcendental pastimes in Lord Nityananda's heart. Yet still, the Lord externally manifests His pastimes according to His incarnations. Although Lord Nityananda is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He always serves Lord Gauracandra. Who can understand such ecstatic topics?
The Vedas and Puranas have revealed these philosophical matters. The Vedic literature is actually a compilation of all the wonderful activities of the Supreme Lord. It is the foremost objective of the Vedic literature to propagate the pastimes of the Lord. However, it is not possible to comprehend these spiritual matters without engaging in pure devotional service of the Lord. There are only a few who, by the mercy of Lord Gauracandra, have realized the truth.
The Vaisnava devotees of the Lord are eternally pure and realized souls. Sometimes there are differences of opinion amongst them which might appear like an argument. But in fact, it is an amazing relationship between devotees. Foolish rascals who do not understand this exchange, praise one Vaisnava and denounce the other. Such a mentality will lead to destruction of faith and knowledge.
In the scriptures it says that when a foolish wretch worships the lotus feet of a brahmana, but then strikes him on the head, they will surely go to hell. Similarly, when someone worships the Deity of Lord Visnu, but disrespects or disregards Lord Visnu residing in everyone's heart, then they also go to hell - what to speak of committing offense or violence to a Vaisnava devotee! If someone offends or tortures even an ordinary living entity yet worships Lord Visnu, the Lord of every living entity, then all their worship is worthless, and they suffer great pain. It is verified that to worship Lord Visnu on one hand, but on the other hand to be ignorant about Lord Visnu as the Supersoul in everyone's heart is like touching a brahmana's feet for blessings with one hand while beating him on the head with the other.
Such foolish persons do not know what is most beneficial for them. To criticize a Vaisnava devotee is a thousand times more sinful than offending an ordinary living entity. The person who faithfully worships the Deities, but has no love or respect for the devotees, also possesses no compassion for the ignorant and fallen conditioned souls. They accept one incarnation of the Supreme Lord and worship Him, while they reject another. They treat Lord Krsna differently from Lord Ramacandra, seeing a difference between Them. They do not show any respect or devotion for Lord Balarama or Lord Siva. Such persons are described in the scriptures as the weakest devotees.
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that a person who has surrendered to a spiritual master and received initiation, who has left the association of non-devotees, and who worships the Deity of the Supreme Lord according to the Pancharatra injunctions, but who does not worship the devotees due to a lack of proper understanding of the different categories of devotees, is known as a neophyte, or kanistha devotee - not a pure devotee. I have just briefly mentioned the symptoms of a neophyte devotee incidentally in the course of discussion.
Seeing the six-handed form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Nityananda was totally overwhelmed. Whoever hears this wonderful pastime of Lord Nityananda is immediately released from material bondage. When Lord Nityananda came out of His ecstatic trance, He began to cry profusely, tears flowing from His eyes like rivers. Lord Caitanya then said to everyone, "The Vyasa-puja worship has been completed. Now let the kirtana begin!"
The devotees were jubilant when they received Lord Caitanya's orders and immediately began to loudly chant Lord Krsna's transcendental name. The Brothers, Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya danced like two madmen, having severed all contact with this phenomenal world. The Vyasa-puja was celebrated with great joy and singing, and the Vaisnavas became even more inspired and jubilant. Some danced, some sang, while others rolled on the ground catching each others' feet.
Lord Caitanya's mother, Sacimata, everyone's worshipable Mother, sat alone and watched the transcendental merrymaking. Each time she saw Lord Nityananda and Lord Visvambhara she thought to herself, "Both of Them are my sons."
The celebration of the Vyasa-puja was very ecstatic. It is only possible for Lord Sesa Himself to fully describe it. I am able to give only indications about the wonderful activities of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I know that one advances spiritually if one glorifies the Supreme Lord Krsna in any manner.
The day passed into night and the devotees went on celebrating the Vyasa-puja, dancing with Lord Visvambhara. The Vaisnavas were mad with ecstatic joy and they wept, crying out, "Oh Krsna! Oh Krsna!" In this way the Lord propagated the process of loving devotional service to Himself.
After the kirtana, the Lord sat down with all His devotees. He spoke to Srivasa Pandita saying, "Quickly bring the Vyasa-puja offerings." Srivasa Pandita arranged for all the prasadam to be brought in, and Lord Visvambhara Himself distributed the prasadam to all the devotees. The devotees were in bliss to be personally served by the Supreme Lord Gauracandra.
The Lord called everyone from inside the house and gave them prasadam with His own hands. Receiving prasadam directly from the Lord is extremely fortunate for great personalities like Brahma. But now, even the servants and maidservants of the house were receiving that great spiritual treasure. Who can describe the glories of Srivasa Pandita, in whose house such spiritual activities occurred?
Thus, the Supreme Lord performed wonderful pastimes in Navadvipa, but not everyone was aware of them.
Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda are my life and soul.
I, Vrndavana dasa, humbly offer this song at Their lotus feet.