At Sri Sarvabhauma Gaudiya Math
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
[His Divine Grace is chanting 'E ghora samsare', 'E mana Gauranga bine nahi ara' and 'Kabe aha Gauranga baliya'.]
e ghora-samsare padiya manava
A person who has fallen into this terrible world never ceases to suffer. If you associate with sadhus and serve Hari, however, your suffering comes to an end.
visaya anale jvalichhe hrdaya
A fallen soul burns in the ever-increasing fire of mundanity. Avoiding offences, chant Krsna's Name. This pours water on the fire.
Kali Das says, "Anyone who has taken shelter of Nitai and Chaitanya's lotus feet is my shelter, in life and in death."
e mana! gauranga bina nahi ara
"Dear mind! There is no one else except Gauranga! Will there ever be an incarnation like the one that has come? Will such divine love be ever preached again?"
duramati ati, patita pasandi,
"He did not kill any living souls, not even the most wicked, fallen or atheist ones! He went begging house to house—giving them the Holy Name, He purified their hearts!"
bhava-virinchira, vanchhita ye prema,
"He lavishly scattered all over this world that divine love which even the creator of the material world, Lord Brahma, has not been able to attain (out of which even he is cheated). Finding some paupers, He simply danced with them, playing karatals!"
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu scattered everywhere the very gift of transcendental love that Lord Siva, Lord Brahma and other greatest souls have not been able to attain, and the paupers who wanted to get it dance and chant this Holy Name, playing drums and karatals!
hasiye kandiye, preme gadagadi,
"Laughing and crying, He rolled on the ground, throwing His limbs apart in great jubilation, and the lowest dog-eating men and brahmans affectionately embraced each other. When has such joy ever been seen?"
They cry, laugh and roll on the ground, overwhelmed with divine love. In Mahaprabhu's line, even chandals (dog eaters) and brahmans embrace each other—there is no discrimination based on anyone's caste!
dakiye hankiye, khola-karatale,
"With the drums and karatals, He loudly called out to everyone, He sometimes went away and then ran back. When Lord Yama sees this, He becomes terrified and slams his door shut!"
e tina bhuvana, anande bharila,
"The entire three worlds swelled with joy, and there arose a loud auspicious outcry. Premananda says, 'No attachment to this Gauranga has appeared within me...'"
Jaya Gaura Hari Jaya Gaura Hari
We must sing one more kirtan about Sri Gauranga.
kabe aha gauranga baliya
"When will I pray to Gauranga and give up food, sleep and everything else related to this body, becoming disinterested and detached?"
We must cry out to Gauranga, praying, "When will give up worrying about food and sleep? When will I stop worrying about this body and become detached? When will I call out 'O Gauranga!' When will I forget all bodily happiness? When will I forget all bodily interests, eating, sleeping—when will I forget everything?!"
kabe aha gauranga baliya
"When will I pray to Gauranga and give up food, sleep and everything else related to this body, becoming disinterested and detached?"
navadvipa-dhame nagare nagare
"I will leave all ego and roam the towns of Nabadwip Dham—I will beg for some alms from the residents of the holy dham and eat what they give to my heart's content."
nadi-tate giya anjali ajnali
"I will come to the bank of the Ganges and, repeatedly scooping water in prayer, will drink the water that comes from the Lord's feet. Falling underneath some tree, I will give up laziness and feel strength in my body."
kakuti kariya ‘gaura-gadadhara'
"I will wander throughout the holy dham, crying helplessly and loudly calling out the names of Gaura-Gadadhar and Sri Radha-Madhav."
vaisnava dekhiya padiba charane
"Seeing a Vaishnav, I will fall at his feet considering him my closest friend (closest to my heart). Vaishnav Thakur will then show me the glories of the Lord, considering me his servant."
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)
Continuing our parikrama, we have come to Sri Sarvabhauma Gaudiya, which is the house and the birthplace of Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. Do you know the name of the Guru of demigods? Have you ever heard it? Brihaspati. In Kali-yuga, Brihaspati comes to this world as Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. This temple here was built in 1936. Please listen carefully.
When Brihaspati, the Guru of demigods, heard that the Lord would appear in Kali-yuga as magnanimous Lord Gauranga and would enjoy His knowledge-related pastimes, he left the assembly of King Indradev and took birth on earth together with his disciples to spend some time before the Lord's appearance trying with great effort to please Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Coming to this world, the great guru of demigods Brihaspati became known as Vasudev Sarvabhauma.
Because Vasudev Sarvabhauma established a school here in Vidyanagar, his name became Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. One day, he thought, "So far, I have not lost my memory, but if I later become tangled in the net of knowledge, I will forget everything." So, he came up with a clever plan. He thought, "If I am really a servant of Gaura, then my Lord will definitely bring me to Him." Keeping all his disciples in Vidyanagar, he went to Nilachal, and not only that — when he came there, he started preaching mayavad scriptures (supporting the impersonal conception of Godhead).
Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu also did that once. From His childhood, Mahaprabhu (Nimai Visvambhar) always treated Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu with much respect — He always offered him obeisance, praised him, etc. Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu did not like it at all. So, one day he thought, "I will teach Him! I will see how clever He is!"
So, one day, he left Nabadwip for Shantipur and started preaching against devotion. When Nimai heard this news, He became very angry and, thinking to punish Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu, ran to Shantipur together with Nityananda Prabhu. When They arrived, Nimai charged Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu, "What are you doing, Advaita?! You called Me with Ganges water and Tulasi leaves, and now you are joking with Me like this? What is wrong with you?" Saying this, Nimai started slapping Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu! When Sita Thakurani (the spouse of Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu) saw this, she began to cry, begging, "Nimai, what are You doing? Do not kill him! Do not kill him!"
Seeing the scene, Nityananda Prabhu, who was standing nearby, burst out laughing and did not say anything. However, Haridas Thakur, who was also there, was very surprised and could not understand anything. Then, Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu said, "Oh really! I have taught You a lesson! You have lost, and I have won! You have come today to punish me! Where is all that honour You have been showing me all the time?" Saying this, Sri Advaita Acharya Prabhu then happily fed Mahaprabhu His favourite sak prasadam.
So, Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya Prabhu also went to Nilachal and started preaching against devotion, and all his disciples stayed here in Sri Vidyanagar. Nimai Pandit had a lot of fun with them — He crushed everyone! Nobody could compete with Him. Sometimes, Nimai would come to Vidyanagar and ask such difficult questions that everyone (both students and professors), not being able to argue with Him, would flee! This is how Mahaprabhu Visvambhar manifested His vidya-lila pastimes, establishing that all ignorance (avidya) flees in the face of knowledge (vidya).
জড়বিদ্যা যয়, মায়ার বৈভব,
jada-vidya yata, mayara vaibhava,
"All mundane learning is a manifestation of illusion (maya) and an obstacle to Your service. It brings about infatuation with the temporary world and turns the soul into an ass."
(Saranagati, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur)
When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyas, He took His danda, which He had got from his sannyas guru, and set off to Puri together with a few devotees (Nityananda Prabhu, Mukunda and others). As Nityananda Prabhu, who is non-different from Balaram, was walking, He thought, "Prabhu is carrying this danda — why must He carry Me?" What did He do then? Sri Nityananda Prabhu took the danda, broke it into three pieces and threw those pieces into the Bhargi River.
(After that, there appeared the tradition of taking tridandi sannyas. The dandas that we carry are composed of three parts. Initially, Mahaprabhu took eka-danda sannyas from Keshav Bharati. There were nirdanda sannyasis [no danda] and ekadanda sannyasis [a single danda], but Nityananda Prabhu broke Mahaprabhu's danda into three parts. These three parts represent body, mind and speech, and Gurudev explained that they mean humility, tolerance and gave honour to others ['trnad api sunichena...'].)
So, Sri Nityananda Prabhu took the danda, broke it into three pieces and threw those pieces into the Bhargi River. Mahaprabhu was overwhelmed with Krishna-prema and did not notice anything — He only kept walking on. As they came to the Atharnala bridge near Puri, Mahaprabhu remembered about His danda. He asked, "Nityananda, give Me My danda!"
Nityananda Prabhu lied, "When You were doing kirtan, You became overwhelmed with divine ecstasy, fell over on the danda and broke it. Since the danda got broken into three pieces, I threw it into the Bhargi River."
Mahaprabhu got very angry, "Nitai, are You kidding Me? I have left everything and took only this one precious thing from Nabadwip, and what did You do? You have destroyed it! You know everything — You know why I have come to this world. I did not take anything with Me, only this danda — a stick! — it was My most precious possession in the whole wide world, but You have thrown even that away! Go! I will not go with you all. Either I will go first and you will go later or you will go first and I will go later. What will you do? Decide quickly."
Everyone reasoned, "If we go first, how will we know in which direction Prabhu will go? We will never find Him then. If Prabhu goes ahead of us, we will be able to see Him from afar." So, Nityananda Prabhu said, "Go first, and we will go behind You."
As soon as Mahaprabhu heard it, He started to walk so fast that even though devotees ran behind Him, they could not catch up with Him! In this way, walking like a mad elephant, Mahaprabhu stormed inside the temple of Lord Jagannath. In the temple of Lord Jagannath, there is a bamboo bar in front of the altar, and when Mahaprabhu ran into the temple, He stumbled onto the bar and fell on the ground. Foam started coming out of His mouth, and all He could say was, "Ja-ja-ga-ga, Ja-ja-ga-ga" (He could not even pronounce the name of Lord Jagannath). His whole appearance became quite horrible: He did not at all look like a man.
Seeing that a mad-looking man had run into the temple, the guards reported about it to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya told them, "Whoever He is, it does not matter — take Him to my house."
In Sri Nilachal, Puri Dham, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was the manager of Lord Jagannath's temple. He lived with his wife and brother-in-law Gopinath Acharya. When Gopinath Acharya saw Mahaprabhu, he immediately recognised Him. He asked Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, "Can you not recognise Him?"
"What do you mean?" Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya asked him in reply.
I have already told you about their conversation. Not everybody can recognise the Lord.
ঈশ্বরের কৃপা-লেশ হয় ত' যাহারে ।
isvarera krpa-lesa haya ta' yahare
"Only those who have received at least a drop of the Lord's mercy can understand the Lord."
(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 6.83)
Everybody comes and sees some wooden or brass Deities, but I can see that here are Vrajendra-nandan, Radharani and Gauranga. That is why it is said that when the Lord gives you His mercy, you will be able to see Him. In the same way, when Sri Guru bestows his mercy on you, you will be able to know him.
So, in the meantime, Nityananda Prabhu and the devotees had reached Jagannath temple and asked the priests if they had seen Mahaprabhu (they described Him to them), and the priests said, "Yes, He has been here, but He is not here now—He was taken to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house." When they came to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house, Mahaprabhu woke up. Actually, He was not asleep—seeing you all half-asleep now, I say 'woke up', but actually He was overwhelmed with the asta-sattvik-vakar. When Nityananda Prabhu came and chanted the Hare Krishna maha-mantra into His ear, He slowly opened His eyes and sat up. Mahaprabhu asked, "Where have You brought Me?" Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya explained that He was at his house, and Mahaprabhu asked, "Where is it?" Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya replied, "This is Puri Dham. Do You not recognise anyone?" Mahaprabhu said, "No, I do not..."
"Why have You taken sannyas at this very young age? What have You studied? Have you studied the Vedas and Vedanta? It is impossible to take sannyas without studying these scriptures first. First you must study, then you can take sannyas. You are so young, but sannyas is usually taken after seventy-five."
"Prabhu," Mahaprabhu replied (pretending not to know anything), "I have become crazy. I gave up My mother's service and, becoming crazy, took sannyas, but you are a great scholar, so please protect My sannyas."
"What have you studied?" asked Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya.
"Not much, I have studied some vyakaran—"
"What is the use of vyakaran (primary grammar)? This is only ABC, the basics! You must study Vedanta. So be it, I will teach it to You."
After that, during seven days, Mahaprabhu listened to Vedanta from Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya — He would sit and listen silently, like an obedient student at Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's feet. During these seven days, Mahaprabhu only listened and did not ask any questions or say anything. Finally, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya said, "You have been only listening to Vedanta all these days, You are not asking anything—how am I to understand whether You have understood anything?
Mahaprabhu replied humbly, "Prabhu, when you read Vedanta, I can understand everything very nicely, but when you start explaining it, I cannot understand anything."
Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was taken aback, "What is He saying? When I was reading, He could understand everything, and when I was explaining, He did not understand anything?! What is this?" Then, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya recited the 'atmaramas cha munayo' sloka, and Mahaprabhu asked, "Prabhu, can you explain what fault is there and what good merit is there in this sloka?" Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya became angry, thinking to himself, "What 'fault'!" but he nonetheless explained the sloka — he gave nine different explanations and then requested Mahaprabhu to speak. Then, Mahaprabhu gave eighteen more explanations of the sloka, not touching the nine explanations of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya.
(It is said that when devotees listen intently, Hari-katha flows from the speaker's mouth. One time, Srila Sanatan Goswami asked Mahaprabhu to explain this same sloka, and Mahaprabhu said, "I do not remember what I said at that time..." Srila Sanatan Goswami Prabhu said, "How can that be? I heard You had explained it in eighteen different ways to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. Can You not explain it now?" Mahaprabhu replied, "I do not know these things, I was mad, and I do not remember what I was saying, but you, Sanatan, are a great devotee and a good listener, then by your mercy I can say something." After that, Mahaprabhu gave sixty-one interpretations of that sloka! You can find that conversation and those interpretations in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. I have also written about it briefly in the Guidance books.)
Mayavadi's teachings means brahma-jnan: they think Brahma has created everything. We sing in the guru-parampara kirtan, "Krishna haite chaturmukha hana Krishna-sevonmukha, Brahma haite Naradera mati. By Krishna's association, Brahma became devoted to Krishna's service, and by Brahma's association, Narad Muni became a devotee." Brahma has got his power from Krishna, but mayavadis say that everything comes from Brahma. This is brahma-jnan. Rabindranath Tagor, Rama Krishna Mission, Sarada Asram, Bharat Seva Asram, Lokanath Math — they are all mayavadis, they do not believe in the doctrine of Krishna consciousness. They cannot tolerate when a Deity of the Lord is installed because they do not believe that the Lord has any form. Actually, the followers of impersonalism (maya-vad) are those who bypass Krishna (Krishna-bad). Suppose I take ten thousand rupees from you today, and after a while I tell about you to others, "Oh, he does not have even a hundred rupees!" Krishna has given us these hands, legs, eyes, nose, ears, everything, but we say, "Krishna has no legs! Krishna has no hands! He has no form!" Rabindranath Tagore said in one of his poems, "What kind of wealth makes you so rich that you dismiss a touchstone? I place Your feet on my head desiring a particle of that wealth." He says he wants to put the Lord's feet on his head, so there must be feet then! How can they deny that the Lord has a form then? That is why we do not read Rabindranath Tagore's books or go to him—he is a mayavadi and a brahma-jnani.
Hearing Mahaprabhu's interpretation, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya still did not believe that Mahaprabhu was the Lord Himself. Then, Mahaprabhu showed His six-armed form, and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya fell in a sastanga dandavat at His feet. He fell on the ground and could not get up. Mahaprabhu called him, "Sarvabhauma, get up! Get up!" Eventually, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya slowly got up. Turning around and looking all around him, he said, "What is this, Prabhu? What kind of form have I just seen? You were standing here, holding a conch, a disc, a club, and a lotus. And what do I see now?" Hiding His form, Mahaprabhu said, "You must have seen something wrong. You have got some love for Krishna, that is why you see all this conch, disc, etc."
After that day, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya became a devotee of Mahaprabhu and a great Vaishnav. He left all mayavadi conceptions and started preaching the pure conception about the Lord. His initial plan was successful — the Lord had personally come and pulled him to Himself.
Hearing about the pastimes of Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and the glory of Vidyanagar, Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu asked Sriman Nityananda Prabhu,
"Prabhu, I have some doubt in my mind. The knowledge of sankhya (detailed teachings of the soul), tarka (debates, logical arguments), etc. is inauspicious. How can it exist in this eternal holy abode?"
Sriman Nityananda Prabhu replied, "Hari bol! Hari bol! Listen to what I will say, Jiva. Nothing inauspicious can exist in a holy abode. Arguments, knowledge, etc. have no power here. Here, everyone and everything is subservient to devotion. Bhakti Devi (the Goddess of Devotion) resides in this abode, and everyone else are her servants and maidservants. Nabadwip is the place of nine kinds of devotion; here, jnana (knowledge) and karma (fruitive pursuits) always serve devotion. If the jiva soul is averse to Krishna, scriptures give them wicked and wrong conceptions, but if the jiva soul is a devotee of Lord Krishna, if their nature is gentle, then scriptures give them attachment to Lord Krishna. Praudha Maya lives here eternally and serves Gauranga Mahaprabhu — she makes those who are averse to Vaisnavism and devoid of devotion blind and inflicts suffering on them.
"All sins, all material activities are destroyed here — this is the place where Maya bestows knowledge. However, if somebody commits an offence to a Vaisnav, Maya removes them from here and leaves them to suffer in material bondage. Such sinners may live here, but they can never get transcendental love for Lord Krishna or the darshan of Gauranga Mahaprabhu — they only get the ignorance of knowledge. Therefore, knowledge is not inauspicious — it is ignorance, the shadow of knowledge, that is inauspicious."
So, this is the story of Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. Coming to his birthplace, we pray to Vaishnav Thakur that they may, bestowing devotion to Lord Krishna upon us, keep us away from the material knowledge that is in fact ignorance and give us pure, transcendental knowledge.
vidyara vilase, katainu kala
"I spent my time enjoying with knowledge, I have become very bold. I never served Your feet, but now You are my shelter."
varddhakye ekhana, saktira abhave
"Now that I am aged and devoid of strength, I do not feel for anything."
jivana yatana, ha-ila ekhana
"My life has become an agony now; this knowledge turned out to be ignorance. I am chocking with the agony of ignorance — that knowledge turned into a powerful arrow driven right into my heart."
tomara charana, bina kichhu dhana
"O Lord! There is nothing of value in this material world other than Your feet. Giving up mundane knowledge, Bhaktivinod accepts Your feet as his all-in-all."
Jay Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya ki jay!
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