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Rescuing Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
5 April 2013, Sri Puri Dham


In Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house there were Deities, Sri Sri Radha Krishna and Mahaprabhu, and they are still there. Those Deities were also served by the king's daughter Sachi Devi (she later became a great devotee known as Ganga Mata Goswamini).

Actually, Mahaprabhu appeared in this world to rescue Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya.

You know that Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was a big scholar, a big pandit—a big 'everything'—but at first he did not get mercy from the Lord: "ঈশ্বরের কৃপা-লেশ হয় যাহারে, Isvarera krpa-lesa haya yahare, those who have got mercy from the Lord can understand Him." Acharya Gopinath told him,

"He is the Lord! He is the Lord Himself!"

"I do not think so. How do you know He is the Lord?"

"You have no mercy, that is why you cannot see it. I have some mercy and I can see it."

Soon after the unconscious body of Mahaprabhu was taken from the Jagannath temple to the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, the devotees led by Nityananda Prabhu who were running behind Mahaprabhu reached Puri and began to search for Him there. Finally, they found Him at the house of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and seeing Mahaprabhu's condition (He was unconscious and did not speak, only foam was coming from His mouth), they understood what had happened and began to chant. Mahaprabhu woke up.

Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was surprised by Mahaprabhu's appearance and one day asked Him, "Listen, You are a new sannyasi... What did You take sannyas for? You are only twenty-four years old—You should be reading Vedanta and other scriptures at this age, but why did You take sannyas?" In reply to this, Mahaprabhu said humbly, "Yes, I left My mother's service, it is true. I became crazy. I am a fallen soul, what can I do? I have already taken sannyas, but you are so great, please protect Me." Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya agreed, "All right, sit down here. I am going to read Vedanta to You. Listen to me."

Seven days passed and Mahaprabhu did not ask any questions—He only listened and listened. Puzzled by His behaviour, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya asked, "Look, navada-sannyasi (নবদসান্যাসী, a new sannyasi), I have been reading to You for seven days, but You are not asking any questions, You are not saying anything. How am I to know what You have understood?" Then Mahaprabhu spoke, "When you are reading the Vedanta, I can understand it very well, but when you are explaining it, I cannot understand anything."

Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was amazed, "What is He, this boy, trying to say?" Then he explained the "atmaramas cha munayo" sloka (SB, 1.7.10) in nine different ways, but Mahaprabhu listened to him silently and gave eighteen more meanings in a completely different light (because what Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya had explained was mayavadi bhasya). Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was astonished—his eyes became red and bulged, "I have been teaching this boy for seven days, and it was all nothing! I do not understand who this boy is! What is this?! What is going on?!" All red, he began shaking. Even at that time he still could not believe Mahaprabhu was the Lord Himself—only when Mahaprabhu showed him His chatuh-bhuja murti (four-armed form) did he finally pay obeisance to Him. He bowed to Mahaprabhu and could not get up.

This is how Mahaprabhu rescued Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya.

After that, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya became a good devotee of Mahaprabhu.

Once, early in the morning, after seeing the mangal arati at the Jagannath temple, Mahaprabhu went to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house. (Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya never went for mangal arati, never even took Jagannath prasadam, he did not like it.) Mahaprabhu called out to him, "Sarvabhauma, Sarvabhauma! I have brought prasadam for you!"

"Prabhu, I am still in the bed... I have not brushed my teeth, I have not washed my face..."

"No, no, it is not necessary to do all that to take prasadam! It is not necessary to first brush your teeth—first you take prasad!"

He took that prasadam and from that day he got taste for prasad—Sarvabhauma Bhattacharyaer prasade bhakti haile (Sarvabhauma got devotion to prasad!).

There are many stories related to this Puri Dham, actually. It is Utkale Purusottam (উৎকলে পুরুষোত্তম): Purusottam-ksetra, Odisha. Utkale means that in the Age of Kali it is chosen as the place of the Lord's advent in this world. You know that this is Kalki yuga—it is said in the scriptures that the Lord will come in the village Sambalpur and kill all yavans, all mlechchhas. We sing in the Nrisinghadev kirtan, "ম্লেচ্ছান্ মূর্চ্ছয়তে দশাকৃতিকৃতে কৃষ্ণায় তুভ্যং নমঃ, mlechchhan murchayate dasakrti-krte krsnaya tubhyam namah" ("at the end of Kali-yuga You appear as Kalki to bewilder the mlecchas, degraded low-class men"). The Lord will come to Sambalpur, and riding a horse, with a sword in His hand, He will kill all mlechchhas!


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