Hari-Katha at Sri Kovvur (Godavari): Part One
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Our Param Gurudev Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj wrote very nicely in his Prema-dhama-deva Stotram:
Later, the Supreme Lord travelled to the holy places of pilgrimage in South India with the clever intention of delivering the fallen souls. Appearing as a beautiful young renunciate, He distributed the sweet Names of the Lord, singing: "Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna he," as He strolled down the different pathways, entered temples, and visited homesteads during the sacred pilgrimage. Infused with an inconceivable type of divine inspiration, the Lord freely chanted "Rama Rama" and joyfully danced with the most charming gestures. Irrespective of time or personal qualification, the assembled bystanders were delivered by the Lord, who inspired them to chant Krishna's Holy Names. I offer my obeisances to that beautiful Golden Lord, Gauranga Sundar, the divine form of Krishna prema.
(Prema-dhama-deva Stotram, 22)
In this stotra, Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj composed seventy-two slokas explaining Mahaprabhu's lifetime. He writes that Mahaprabhu always chanted, "Krishna, Krishna" and through Krishna Nam He spread Krishna consciousness all over India and He came to South India also.
You know that having taken sannyas Mahaprabhu went to Puri—He went with Gadadhar Pandit, Nityananda Prabhu, Mukunda Prabhu, and other devotees. When they were near Atharnala, Mahaprabhu asked Nityananda Prabhu,
"Where is my danda?"
Nityananda Prabhu told some lie, "Prabhu, when You became senseless, some asta-sattvik-vikar happened, You fell down on the danda, and it broke. I threw it into the Bhargi River."
Mahaprabhu understood that Nityananda Prabhu was telling a lie, He understood what had happened, and He said to Nityananda Prabhu, "I have come here... I have left everything in Nabadwip and I did not bring anything, I have brought only one danda with Me, and You have thrown it!" Mahaprabhu showed a little anger and told the devotees, "I will go alone! I will not go with you! I can go first and you can go behind, otherwise you go first and I will go behind."
Everybody consulted with each other and decided, "OK, Mahaprabhu can go first, then we can see where He is going, otherwise if we go before, we will not be able to see where Mahaprabhu is. Let Mahaprabhu go first, we can follow Him."
Then Mahaprabhu left and His walking was like running—devotees were running behind but they could not catch up with Him. Then, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entered Jagannath Temple. He stormed inside chanting Jagannath's name and maha-mantra and fell down at the bamboo bar in front of the altar. Seeing Him, the servants of Jagannath, the pandas, wanted to beat Him, but seeing His form they could not beat Him. Mahaprabhu lay on the ground saying, "Ja-ja-ga-ga, Ja-ja-ga-ga"—He could not say, "Jagannath," only "Ja-ja-ga-ga" came from His lips, then foam started coming from His mouth, and He fainted. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya came there quickly and told the pandas, "I do not know who He is, but take Him to my house."
Very soon after that Nityananda Prabhu, Gadadhar Pandit, Mukunda Prabhu, and others who were going behind Mahaprabhu, came to Puri. They were searching Mahaprabhu everywhere and when they came to the Jagannath temple, they asked the pandas, "Have you see Mahaprabhu?" They said, "No, we did not see Him, but one person has come today—He fell down here and we brought Him to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house." Then, everybody went there, and they saw that Mahaprabhu was lying there senseless. Nityananda Prabhu understood what had happened. He chanted the Holy Name (the Hare Krishna maha-mantra) into Mahaprabhu's ears and Mahaprabhu came to His senses. He asked, "How did I come here? Why have you brought Me here?"
In the meantime, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's relative Sri Gopinath Acharya was also present there, and Gopinath Acharya could recognise who Mahaprabhu was. He told Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya,
"Do you not recognise Him? His Name was Nimai Vishvambhar, and now, after taking sannyas from Keshav Bharati, His Name became Sri Krishna Chaitanya. He is the Lord!"
Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya replied, "You may recognise Him as the Lord, Bhagavan, but I do not think so. I do not think He is the Lord."
Gopinath Acharya said straight then, "Yes, that is because you have no mercy from the Lord; but I have some mercy, then I can see He is the Lord."
Later, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya asked Mahaprabhu, "Why did You take sannyas at this age? You are very young."
Mahaprabhu said, "I have become crazy. I have left My parents, everything, and became a sannyasi, but you are a very great soul, you are a great pandit, please protect My sannyas."
"All right, You have taken sannyas, but what have You studied?"
"I did not read anything. I only learned some vyakaran (primary grammar)."
"Have You not even studied Veda-Vedanta?"
"No, I have never even heard Veda-Vedanta."
"All right," Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya said, "You must study Veda-Vedanta. I will give You class every day and you must listen."
Then Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya started reading and explaining Veda-Vedanta, and Mahaprabhu, like an obedient student, sat in front of him and listened to everything. Seven days later, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya asked Him, "O new sannyasi! You have been listening to me for seven days, and You have not asked me a single question! How can I understand if you understand what I am explaining to You or not?"
Mahaprabhu answered, "When you are reading the Vedanta, I understand it very well, but when you give explanation, I cannot understand anything."
Then Mahaprabhu asked Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya to explain the meaning of the "atmaramas cha munayo" sloka. Sarvabhauma gave nine different explanations, but all his explanations were mayavad-bhasya (impersonalism), and after that Mahaprabhu gave eighteen types of further explanation. Hearing that explanation from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya became astounded—his eyes bulged and became red! But Mahaprabhu thought, "Still he cannot understand Me!" Then Mahaprabhu showed His sad-bhuja murti. Then Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya immediately fell at Mahaprabhu's lotus feet—he fell and did not get up. Mahaprabhu said, "O Sarvabhauma! What has happened? Wake up!" But Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya said, "Prabhu, what form have You just showed me? And what do I see now?" This is how Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya became a devotee of Mahaprabhu.
After that, Mahaprabhu wanted to visit South India and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya told Him, "If You go to South India, please go to the bank of Godavari. There is a rasa-bhakta, a devotee just like You, a devotee of Your line, there. His name is Ramananda Ray, You can meet with him there."
So, Mahaprabhu came here and met with Raya Ramananda at this very place where we have come today. In their conversation, Mahaprabhu discussed raganuga bhakti and established what is our main destination place, what is our highest place. Talking with Ramananda Ray, Mahaprabhu became very happy.
This temple here was established by our Param Gurudev, the Acharya of Sri Gaudiya Math, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupad, and the founder acharya of our Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, and our Gurudev also, Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj also visited this place with devotees.
We are also very fortunate, I am also very fortunate to be able to come here for the first time, to be able to visit this place. I have no qualification, I am a very fallen soul, but by the mercy of devotees, I have come here with you all and I can pay obeisance such a great place as this... That is why we explain something about this place.
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