SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Antya Lila Chapter 6
All glory, all glory to Lord Gauracandra and Lord Nityananda.
All glory to all the Lord's associates.
Lord Nityananda continued His congregational chanting pastimes and experienced great joy in the company of all His eternal associates and servitors. Lord Nityananda performed His pastimes here in Navadvipa just like He had done in His previous incarnation in Vrndavana. He attracted every living entity with amazing simplicity to surrender at the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya.
Lord Nityananda was like the brilliant sun surrounded by His inspired and enthusiastic devotees as they roamed all over Navadvipa performing kirtana. His divine body was covered with ornaments and flower garlands. His lips were ruby red from chewing betel and camphor. Seeing the activities of Lord Nityananda, some experienced divine exhilaration, but there were others who became suspicious.
A certain brahmana residing in Navadvipa who had studied together with Lord Caitanya became suspicious of Lord Nityananda's behavior. The brahmana was very attached to his devotion to Lord Caitanya, but unfortunately he was unaware of Lord Nityananda's transcendental potencies. One day the brahmana decided to go to Nilacala, Puri, where he stayed immersed in sublime joy. Every day, he visited Lord Caitanya and felt a gradual increase in attraction for the Lord. On one of his daily visits he suddenly felt the urge to ask the Lord some questions in confidence.
The brahmana inquired, "O Lord, I have a request. If You allow me then I can present it before You. If You consider me as one of Your servants, then I would like to hear Your views on certain points. Lord Nityananda, the avadhuta is now in Navadvipa. I cannot understand His behavior. People say He is in the renounced order of life, namely sannyasa, yet I see Him chewing betel and camphor all the time. A sannyasi is not supposed to even touch certain things like gold, silver, precious gems and so on, but I see Him decorating His body all over with ornaments made from these substances. Instead of a saffron loin cloth He is putting on flowing silk robes and using sandalwood and flower garlands.
"Another of the Lord's quaintnesses is that He does not carry the sannyasa staff but instead an iron rod. He is always seen in the company of sudras, persons coming from lower castes. I could not see Lord Nityananda always acting strictly according to the instructions of the scriptures, hence I am plagued with doubts about Him. Many persons hail Him as a great personality, yet why does He not act in a way befitting His position as a sannyasi? O Lord, please remember that I am just Your menial servant. Please tell me what all this actually means."
The pious brahmana thus inquired submissively at an opportune moment from Lord Caitanya, and the Lord revealed to him the esoteric meanings of everything without reservation. The Lord smiled gently at the brahmana's words and spoke the following. He said, "Listen carefully, O brahmana. One who is very elevated and a realized soul is free from all faults.
"In the Srimad-Bhagavatam [Verse 11.20.36] it is stated, 'Those who are free from unwanted desires such as attachment to things unconnected to Lord Krsna, those who have transcended the mundane vision of seeing only the material covering of the soul, namely this gross body, and have risen to the platform of perceiving the spiritual spark in every living entity, thus having attained equal vision, those who have become elevated to the spiritual platform of seeing face to face the Supreme Lord who is beyond the three modes of material nature, these great souls, who are dedicated to Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, do not have to enjoy or suffer the results of either pious or impious activities nor do they have to act according to rules and regulations.
"Lord Nityananda is absolutely pure. He is in this material world like the lotus which is untouched by the water in which it stands. O brahmana, know for certain that Lord Krsna is eternally within Him. If any person tries to imitate Lord Nityananda, they will certainly suffer terrible consequences and incur heavy sinful reactions. If anyone other than Lord Siva tries to drink deadly poison, they will surely die. The scriptures carry sufficient examples to substantiate this fact. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam [Verse 10.33.29-30] it affirns that 'No one should try to act in this manner, not even in the mind. Just like any person other than Lord Siva who tries to drink the deadly poison that came out of the ocean is certain to die, similarly if due to foolishness someone tries to imitate the pastimes of the Supreme Lord they will surely be destroyed. O King, the fire is all-consuming, yet it remains unaffected and uncontaminated by any sin or dirt, similarly a very powerful and potent personality should not be condemned for transgressing religious laws or staring lustily at a woman.'
"Therefore if anyone criticizes Lord Nityananda's activities, they will have to suffer for their own mistakes severe reactions life after life. Even if a very elevated soul acts in a derogatory manner, if they are criticized or ridiculed, then that offending critic is surely doomed.
"All these conclusions one can learn from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, but only if it is explained by a pure Vaisnava. Listen attentively to what the Srimad-Bhagavatam has to say about the person who laughed at and ridiculed a great personality.
"Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama were staying and studying in the house of Their guru. After completing Their education They wanted to return home, so They inquired from the guru what They could offer him as a daksina or donation. The guru consulted his wife and said to Them that he and his wife would like to have their dead son brought back to life. Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama immediately went to see Yamaraja, the lord of death. On request from Them all the formalities were concluded and the son was brought back alive to Their guru.
"When Mother Devaki heard about this wonderful happening, she also wanted her dead sons back. So one day she approached Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama and begged them saying, 'O please listen to me, Krsna, Balarama. You are the Lords of the mystics. You are both the original Lords, eternal and absolutely pure. You are the father of this universe. I know You are the cause of all causes. Creation, maintenance and annihilation of this universe are carried out by the partial expansion of Your expansions. Yet in spite of these potencies, You both have appeared in this world as my sons only to alleviate the suffering of this world. Just as You have brought back Your guru's son from the abode of Yamaraja as a parting donation to Your guru and his wife, similarly I also yearn to see all my six sons that the menacing Kamsa has mercilessly murdered. The guru's son had long been dead, and yet You brought him back to life by Your mystical potencies. Then kindly satiate my thirst to see my sons and bring them back to life.'
"As soon as They heard Their mother's wish, They immediately preceded to Bali Maharaja's palace. When Bali Maharaja saw that the visitors were his most worshipable Lordships, Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama, he felt a surge of spiritual bliss in his heart. He surrendered all he possessed, his wealth, wife and children, and himself at their Lordship's lotus feet. The ecstasy of love of Godhead was building up inside him. Horripilation appeared all over his body and he began to shed tears of divine bliss. He fell at Their feet, and clutching them to his heart, he offered prayers to Lord Krsna and Balarama.
"Bali Maharaja prayed, 'All glories to Lord Ananta, who has appeared as Lord Sankarsana, and all glory to Lord Krsna, the crest-jewel of Gokula. O Lord Balarama, Haladhara, You are the best friend and leader of all the young cowherd boys. And Lord Krsna is the most precious treasure of His surrendered devotees. O Lord, both of You are rarely to be seen even by great purified sages who are on the transcendental platform. Yet, my Lord, You are so magnanimous that You have appeared before me, a demon steeped in dark ignorance. Therefore, as is described in the Vedic literature, You have no friends or enemies, and this I am witnessing at this very moment. The one who came to murder You by making You suck her poisoned breast got liberation to the Vaikuntha planets after being killed by You. Hence it is difficult to understand Your heart. Even the Vedas and the great mystic yogis have failed to do so. Your illusory potency is so unfathomable that masters of mysticism fail to grapple with it. Then how can a sinful demon ever understand it? O Lord of the universe, my only prayer is that You do not cast me down to the dark well of material existence. I fall at Your lotus feet. Please just let me live under a tree and pass my days in peace. Kindly count me amongst Your servitors and give me their association, that I may never desire for anything else.'
"Bali Maharaja prayed in this manner at Lord Krsna's and Lord Balarama's lotus feet. Gangadevi or Bhagirathi springing from Lord Narayana's lotus feet purifies the abodes of Lord Siva, Lord Brahma and so on as she flows through them. Now Bali Maharaja and his family having washed Their Lordships' lotus feet were drinking and sprinkling that same sacred Ganga water over their heads.
"Bali Maharaja then worshiped Their Lordships offering Them incense, perfumed oils, flowers, camphor and ghee lamps, clothing and beautiful ornaments. He then prayed to the Lords, 'O Lord, kindly instruct me if You consider me Your servant. Whoever follows Your instructions easily transcends all rules and regulations.' Bali Maharaja's words pleased Their Lordships and now They attended to the business at hand.
"The Lord said, 'Dear Sir Bali, please hear Our reason for coming here. My mother's six sons were murdered by the wicked Kamsa. Later he was killed as a reaction to this grievous sin. Mother Devaki is greatly afflicted by this calamity and whenever she remembers it she cries piteously. You have these six boys with you, so I have come to take them to please My mother. All six of them were Brahma's grandsons and they were perfected beings. I will relate to you how they landed themselves in this distressful situation. Previously they were Lord Brahma's son, Marici's six sons. Once very surprisingly Brahma was struck by Cupid's arrow. Blinded with lust he chased his own daughter. The six young boys began to smirk and laugh seeing this scene, and this caused them to fall down instantly from their godly positions.
Because they had ridiculed a great personality, they had to take birth in the family of the vicious demon, Hiranyakasipu who had avowed to live by the sword and put everyone into subjugation. During the fight between the demigods and the demons, Indra vanquished these six with his powerful thunderbolt weapon. They died after much torment. Yogamaya then arranged for them one by one to be born as Mother Devaki's sons. In this life they also suffered greatly from birth. Even while mere infants they were murdered by their own maternal uncle, Kamsa. Mother Devaki, of course, is unaware of these hidden facts. She considers them to be her sons. I want to return them to My mother, Devaki. Hence My presence here. When they drink Mother Devaki's breast milk, they will be instantaneously acquitted of all their previous sins.
Take heed, O Bali Maharaja, the consequences of ridiculing a devotee of the Lord are very severe. Even perfected yogis suffer heavily if they disrespect a Vaisnava, what to mention lesser humans. A Vaisnava offender has to pay a heavy price life after life. I am delving into this subject for your benefit so you may learn from this and never insult a Vaisnava. If a person worships Me and chants My name, but offends a Vaisnava, he has to suffer severe setbacks in his devotional life. However those who love and respect My devotees, I make Myself easily available to them.
In the scriptures it says, 'There may exist some doubt about the success in attaining perfection by serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but there is no doubt whatsoever in achieving perfection by serving the pure devotees of the Supreme Lord' (Varaha Purana). Further, in another place (Haribhakti suddhodaya 13.76) it states, 'Those who only worship Lord Govinda, Krsna, but do not worship and serve the Lord's devotees, are highly insolent. They never receive the Lord's blessings. Dear Bali, you are dear to Me and you are My servitor, hence I have revealed these esoteric meanings of the scriptures to you.'
"Bali Maharaja felt divine exhilaration from hearing the Lord's instructions. He acted on that moment and brought the six sons and offered them as gifts to the Lord. Lord Balarama and Lord Krsna escorted the six boys to Their mother, Devaki. Mother Devaki was overwhelmed with joy and love seeing her six dead sons now before her. Her breast milk flowed out of affection and she suckled the six sons. When these six boys sucked Mother Devaki's breast milk, they were in fact taking the remnants of the Supreme Lord. This gave them instant realization of the truth. They fell flat on the ground like sticks offering obeisances to the Supreme Lord and everyone else.
"The Lord looked kindly upon them and started instructing them. He said, 'Now you may return to the heavenly abodes of the demigods, your actual residence. But remember: never ridicule or laugh at a great spiritual personality. Lord Brahma is an expansion of the Supreme Lord, and therefore should receive equal respect as the Supreme Lord. He is not to be condemned even if found doing wrong. You have already suffered severe consequences for deriding him, so in the future beware of such mistakes. Now you must go and beg forgiveness from Lord Brahma, then only will you feel cleansed and blissful.'
"So, my dear brahmana, I have related to you these topics from the Srimad-Bhagavatam so that you may give up your suspicions about Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda is in the highest transcendence. Persons with little knowledge and piety cannot comprehend His position. If any person becomes attracted to Him because of the miracles He performs from time to time, then they will also attain liberation. Lord Nityananda has advented only to liberate the fallen conditioned souls. They will be actually liberated because of His causeless mercy.
"Lord Nityananda's behavior is beyond the jurisdiction of any rules or regulations. Who has the capacity to understand His mind? Without properly realizing His extraordinary and supramundane character, if anyone criticizes Him though they may be serving the Supreme Lord, still they will lose all their devotion. So you must immediately leave for Navadvipa and make everyone there understand these esoteric facts about Lord Nityananda. If by any chance someone criticizes Him, then no one can save them from imminent doom. On the other hand, whosoever loves and respects Him is true in their devotion to Me. This I confirm firmly. If Lord Nityananda marries a Muslim girl or enters the drinking house, His lotus feet are still most worshipable, even for Lord Brahma."
Lord Caitanya's potent words acted effectively in the brahmana's heart. He became blissful and his faith and love for Lord Nityananda increased tremendously. The brahmana came to Navadvipa. Immediately when he arrived he went to meet Lord Nityananda. The brahmana honestly admitted his offenses to the Lord.
The Lord in turn heard him patiently and then graced him with His causeless mercy.
Lord Nityananda's activities and character are the most confidential topics in the Vedas. They are inscrutable by human norms. He is the supreme mystic who is also known as the original Supreme Lord, Ananta who holds the entire material creation on one of His thousand hoods. His body is absolute and transcendental. Without Lord Caitanya's mercy it is impossible to fully understand Him.
Different people know Lord Nityananda in different ways. Some say He is exactly like Lord Balarama. Another says He is the foremost and dearest of Lord Caitanya's devotees. Again someone says He is supremely potent, an expansion of the omnipotent Lord. Many persons honestly admit that they cannot fathom His character. In this manner people freely air their opinions about the Lord.
Whatever the people might say about Lord Caitanya or Lord Nityananda, may Their lotus feet be permanently imprinted in my heart. I pray at everyone's feet to invoke their blessings that birth after birth I can remain the Lord's servant and He my eternal master. This is my only desire.
After hearing all this about Lord Nityananda's boundless mercy, if anyone is so degraded and sinful as to still criticize the lord, then I firmly kick him on his head.
Lord Caitanya is the Lord of my Lord and master, Lord Nityananda. This fact gives me great hope and strength.
Will I ever be blessed to see my Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya sitting on a throne surrounded by all Their servitor associates?
All glory to Lord Caitanya.
O Lord Gauranga, kindly bless me so that I may have Lord Nityananda's shelter.
Along with this plea I further pray that even after gaining Lord Nityananda's association I may never forget Your lotus feet.
Wherever You and Lord Nityananda appear as incarnations, there I want to be, eligible to be Your eternal servitor.
Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda Prabhu are my life and soul.
I, Vrndavana dasa, humbly offer this song at Their lotus feet.
T H E E N D