The Divine Pastimes of
Compiled from lectures of
His Divine Grace
Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, composed a Sanskrit poem glorifying Sri Nityananda Prabhu called the Sriman Nityananda Dvadasakam. Within that composition Srila Guru Maharaj gave his explanation about the transcendental personal identity of Nityananda Prabhu, and not with one sloka, with four slokas of explanation. Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami glorified Nityananda Prabhu in the beginning of his Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and all the slokas he wrote referred to Nityananda Prabhu's existence above the mundane manifestation in the Paravyoma-Dham, the spiritual world. I was surprised that Srila Guru Maharaj began his explanation about Nityananda Prabhu in that way with this sloka:
yo 'nanto 'nanta-vaktrair niravadhi hari-samkirtanam samvidhatte
(Sriman Nityananda Dvadasakam 1)
"O my heart! Please eternally serve the lotus feet of that beautiful Sri Nityanandachandra who gives us Gaura-Krishna. It is He—Nityananda Prabhu—who in the form of Anantadev perpetually performs Harinama-kirtan with infinite mouths; He perpetually holds on His head the Earth planet like an insignificant speck of dust; and He performs the divine service of His all-in-all, Krishna, as Sesadev Ananta, taking the forms of the Lord's paraphernalia such as the umbrella, bed, seat and clothing."
Srila Guru Maharaj started with this sloka because he was following the main directives of the previous Acharyas. From Vrindavan Das Thakur to Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami and from Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami to Srila Guru Maharaj, we see the line of progress and the speciality of Srila Guru Maharaj.
His second sloka is above brahma-loka:
amsair yah ksirasayi sakala bhuvanapah sarvva jivantarastho
(Sriman Nityananda Dvadasakam 2)
"O my heart! You please eternally serve Sri Nityanandachandra, who gives us Gaura-Krishna. He maintains the entire universe in His expansion of Ksirodakasayi Visnu, residing in the hearts of all living beings; His glories are sung by the Vedic hymns as the Garbhodakasayi Visnu of thousands and thousands of heads—sahasra-sirsa purusah; within His womb (garbha) unlimited universes are situated; He is the Master of the Lord of material nature—Karanodakasayi Visnu—in whose womb unlimited universes are situated and by whom the entire multitude of jiva souls are sheltered."
yasyamso vyuha-madhye vilasati paramavyomni samkarsanakhya
(Sriman Nityananda Dvadasakam 3)
"O my heart, please eternally render divine service to that gracious giver of Gaura-Krishna—Sri Nityanandachandra. In the great transcendental kingdom Paravyoma Vaikuntha He expands into the form of Sankarsana of the first quadruple expansion, in which form He ever expands the ecstasy of the divine Pastimes of Sri Hari in the conscious plane of pure existence (Suddha-sattva); within the jivas He presides as the ego, and sometimes He shows His Divine Pastimes just like an ordinary jiva."
This kind of presentation we see in the style of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. Kaviraj Goswami composed five slokas in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita about Nityananda Prabhu's identity and divine manifestation as Mula-Sankarsana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead's second expansion. And why is it? Because he had felt the divine form of Nityananda Prabhu! He and Vrindavan Das Thakur have tried to give us feelings, transcendental feelings, about Nityananda Prabhu's super-position. Before we hear about Nityananda Prabhu's activities we shouldn't feel anything mundane about Nityananda Prabhu. His character is composed within Goloka Vrindavan of Paravyoma-Dham, within the highest aspect of the spiritual world. He is actually the Origin, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, coming down, down, down, all the way to the form of Ksirodakasayi Visnu, the Supreme Soul living inside of everything in the material universe. But Nityananda Prabhu is a non-different form of Sri Balaram of Goloka Vrindavan and Mula-Sankarsana of Vaikuntha. Srila Guru Maharaj and the Acharyas want to give this consciousness to the conditioned souls to protect them from making any atmosphere of mundanity.
Then Srila Guru Maharaj continued,
sri-krsna-premanama parama-sukhamayah ko 'pyachintyah padartho
(Sriman Nityananda Dvadasakam 5)
"My dear heart, please eternally worship that gracious giver of Gaura-Krishna—Sri Nityanandachandra. It is He who bestows upon us pure unalloyed divine love for the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna (Sri-Krishna-prema) composed of the most supreme and intense ecstasy. The love that He distributes carries an inconceivable import—it is of such ecstasy that the sadhus who may experience only a hint of its fragrance, hatefully cast away all thought of liberation in the 'One' as propounded in the Vedas. Furthermore, His Avataras, who bestow the divine love of service in the transcendental majesty of Vaikuntha, are but expansions of His expansion."
By the mercy of that Nityananda Prabhu we can very easily get that Krishna-prema which gives us all transcendental happiness, joyfulness and ecstasy, everything! Wherever there is a little bit of that Krishna-prema all the wealth of the transcendental world appears.
Two Prabhus and One Maha-Prabhu
In the Scriptures it is written:
eka mahaprabhu, ara prabhu dui-jana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 7.14)
There is one Mahaprabhu, He is the famous Sri Gaurangasundar of Sri Nabadwip Dham, who later became known as Sri Krishna Chaitanya. Advaita Prabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, both are 'Prabhu' (Master) but Mahaprabhu is Maha-Prabhu (the Supreme Master). Both Advaita Acharya and Nityananda Prabhu very happily served Mahaprabhu and spread His conception of Krishna consciousness throughout the universe during Their divine Pastimes. Advaita Prabhu prayed constantly with tears, Ganges water and Tulasi leaves for Lord Krishna to appear and rescue the fallen souls of Kali-yuga and Mahaprabhu appeared in answer to His prayer. So Mahaprabhu appeared by the grace of Advaita Prabhu. But before Mahaprabhu appeared Nityananda Prabhu also appeared and made all the arrangements for rescuing the jiva souls of this world.
Nityananda Prabhu was born in Radha-desa, near Burdwan in the Birbhum district of Bengal, in the village of Ekachakra. Later that village became known as Garbhavas and at present is very famously known as Virachandrapur. Virachandra Prabhu was the son of Nityananda Prabhu and to honour his name the village is famous as Virachandrapur. Gauranga Mahaprabhu also went there, so everyone worships that place. There Nityananda Prabhu took birth as the only son of His mother Padmavati-devi and His father Hadai Pandit Ojha. After Nityananda Prabhu had taken birth all auspiciousness came to Radha-desa, it was enriched so much with Krishna-bhakti. He grew up there with the children of the village and His Pastimes were all very miraculous. All the children of Ekachakra would play with Nityananda Prabhu but He would only play Krishna-lila. Just like Balaram played as a child in Vrindavan, Nityananda Prabhu's childhood very similarly happened in Radha-desa as He enacted so many Pastimes of Krishna-lila with the other children of the village. Many wonderful descriptions of that have been given in the scriptures.
Taken by a Sannyasi
When Nityananda Prabhu was just twelve years old, a sannyasi came to His father's house. As soon as the sannyasi saw young Nityananda he immediately understood that He was not an ordinary boy and felt he could not leave Nityananda Prabhu's association. The sannyasi fainted to see Nityananda Prabhu and finally asked His father, Hadai Pandit, "I am going to many pilgrimage places, and it is my prayer that you give this boy to me as an associate servitor." Hearing this was like a thunderbolt to Hadai Pandit. Hadai Pandit was beside himself to hear that and he fainted. Nityananda Prabhu was the very joy of his life. But at that time religion was very strong within the mind of everyone. It was the custom that if any sannyasi, especially any Vaisnava sannyasi, wants anything, one's son or even one's own life or anything, the people are giving everything to that sannyasi. Nityananda Prabhu was more than life to Hadai Pandit but that was the custom. Hadai Pandit felt he could never leave his only son Nityananda but he also felt he could not say, "No, I cannot leave Nityananda." So finally he considered, "The sannyasi has prayed and we must fulfil his desire." He could not deny the sannyasi's demand and finally he gave Nityananda Prabhu to that sannyasi.
After giving away Nityananda Hadai Pandit was like a pagal man (loke bale "hado ojha haila pagala," Cb 2.3.98). He became half-mad in separation and Mother Padmavati fainted, but still they gave away Nityananda Prabhu.
In this way Nityananda Prabhu left His house when He was twelve years old. His Pastimes were miraculous and He was an avadhut from childhood. He did not care. He went with that sannyasi and toured the whole of India. Some say that sannyasi was Madhavendra Puri, and some say he was another sannyasi, but it is certain that later Nityananda met Madhavendra Puri in the pilgrimage places. It is not clear who the sannyasi was but no doubt he was a great personality and Nityananda Prabhu served him. We think it was Madhavendra Puri, but later we know that Nityananda Prabhu and Madhavendra Puri could understand each other easily and Madhavendra Puri accepted Nityananda Prabhu, by divine will, as his disciple.
Meeting Madhavendra Puri was a turning point in Nityananda Prabhu's life and after that He went to so many pilgrimage places. He saw all the pilgrimage places in the ecstasy of Krishna-prema. Everywhere He went He gave Krishna-prema but He Himself was hiding. Nityananda Prabhu was perhaps one year senior in age to Mahaprabhu and before joining in Mahaprabhu's Pastimes, Nityananda Prabhu did not reveal much of His actual nature, but He was always thinking Himself to be Balaram and His activities were like that. He was not hiding that. Finally He went to Vrindavan, where He searched, "Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?" He asked the braja-basis where He could find Krishna and Krishna Himself in the form of a human came to Him and said, "I am not here, I have now appeared in a household in Nabadwip." Then clearly the feelings manifested within the heart of Nityananda Prabhu, "Now My time has come to join Chaitanyadev—Nimai Pandit, in Nabadwip Dham." He knew that Nimai Pandit was really Krishna Himself.
When Sripad Nityananda Prabhu first came to Nabadwip Dham no one could understand who He was or where He had come from. No one could say whether He was a brahmachari, a grihastha, a vanaprastha or a sannyasi—people saw all these forms in Him. At that time many people came to criticise Nityananda Prabhu's divine character because He lived under no rules or regulations. Actually Nityananda Prabhu's nature was to be an avadhut. The ordinary idea of an avadhut has been given in the Vaishnava Tantra,
antah saktah bahih saivah
"He appears to be internally like a sakta, a worshipper of material energy. Externally he appears like a follower of Lord Siva but still participates in the assemblies of Vaisnavas and seems to appreciate Vaisnava thought. He does not care for any particular dress or follow any rules or regulations as He wanders throughout the world."
But Nityananda Prabhu was fully transcendental and should never be confused with anyone mundane. His nature as an avadhut can be understood in this way, "In His heart (antah) is playing Radha-Krishna (suddha-saktah) and His form externally (bahih) is like Lord Siva (saivah). When He joins an assembly His mentality is fully that of a Vaisnava. When He is travelling sometimes He wears cloth, sometimes He wears no cloth, sometimes He wears many gold ornaments, jewels and rich garments and sometimes He wears sannyasi dress."
Really, avadhut means one who is self-controlled, who is not controlled by scriptural rules or regulations. Whatever He does, that is always right and perfect. He will do anything and everything and is never to be considered wrong. If He is seen to be wrong externally in the eyes of others then that is also right. Nityananda Prabhu became known by everyone as Avadhut. Everyone called Him Avadhut. The people even forgot that His name was Nityananda. They would say, "Oh, Avadhut is coming."
Nityananda Prabhu appeared to the common people as if He were a mad avadhut as He came to Nabadwip. At that time, Mahaprabhu had also came back from Gaya Dham. Mahaprabhu started performing sankirtan every night in Srivas Pandit's house and showed His Krishna-prema to the devotees' assembly. Advaita Prabhu declared that Mahaprabhu was Bhagavan. Srivas Pandit, Gadadhar Pandit and all the devotees everywhere declared that Mahaprabhu was Bhagavan, and Mahaprabhu also showed them that. When the devotees understood the divine form of Mahaprabhu they were very happy and they understood that the Lord Himself had appeared for bestowing His mercy to the world through Harinam-sankirtan. But Mahaprabhu was not showing His full manifestation as the giver of Krishna-prema. Nobody knew why Mahaprabhu was not widely starting His sankirtan movement, but when Nityananda came they understood the cause of Mahaprabhu's behaviour. Mahaprabhu had been waiting for Nityananda.
Nityananda Prabhu came to Nabadwip searching, "Where is Nimai Pandit? Where is Nimai Pandit?" When He understood that Mahaprabhu lived in Jagannath Misra's house, He hid Himself in Mayapur to wait and see if Mahaprabhu would discover Him. He went to the house of Mahaprabhu's dear devotee Nandan Acharya and hid Himself, telling Nandan Acharya, "Do not tell anyone anything; I want to see what Krishna will do." That morning Mahaprabhu told His devotees,
tala-dhvaja eka ratha—samsarera sara
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat: Madhya-khanda, 3.142)
"Last night I saw in My dream a chariot marked with the flag of a palm tree, the chariot of Baladev Himself. Within the chariot there was one mahapurusa, great personality, and He was searching for My house. That chariot came in front of My house and met with Me. I have seen that mahapurusa. I am thinking that Baladev Himself has taken the form of a mahapurusa and He has already come to Nabadwip. You go and search where He is! He must be somewhere in Nabadwip. He has appeared here and I want to see if He discovers Me." The devotees searched everywhere, but they could not find Nityananda Prabhu. They thought it was simply Mahaprabhu's dream and they came back and told Mahaprabhu, "We could not find Him anywhere." But Mahaprabhu said, "It is not only a dream, it is a truthful dream. Nityananda is very powerful and He is hiding Himself. It is a very hidden matter so I shall go to find Him."
Then Mahaprabhu went directly to Nandan Acharya's bhavan and there Mahaprabhu and His devotees saw Nityananda Prabhu seated on the veranda of the house. Nityananda saw Mahaprabhu coming and could not move because His heart was so full of ecstasy and the joy of Krishna-prema. When Mahaprabhu saw Nityananda, His heart was also full with the joy of Krishna-prema and He felt very much intoxicated. They both fainted. Then Mahaprabhu came forward and embraced Nityananda, and They both fainted again. After some time they regained their senses and cried in the Name of Krishna. Nityananda Prabhu said, "I went to Vrindavan, but Krishna was not there. Then someone told Me You were here in Nabadwip, so I have come. Now I beg You, 'Please save Me.'"
Nityananda Prabhu surrendered to Mahaprabhu, and Mahaprabhu embraced Nityananda Prabhu with full love, affection, honour, everything.
Both Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu took Their divine forms, and the devotees understood that Nityananda Prabhu was not an ordinary sannyasi or ordinary brahmachari. They did not know Nityananda Prabhu at the time but they saw Mahaprabhu's expression and Nityananda Prabhu's expression and they immediately understood that They had both appeared from the divine abode. In many places in the Scriptures it is said that Mahaprabhu is non-different from Krishna, abhinna-swarup, and in that way they also considered Nityananda Prabhu.
That was the first day that Nityananda Prabhu joined in Mahaprabhu's party and up to His last days Nityananda Prabhu preached Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's glories. From that day Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu started maha-sankirtan. Mahaprabhu appeared to inaugurate sankirtan-yajna, sacrifice in the form of sankirtan (congregational chanting) as described in Srimad Bhagavatam:
krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam sangopangastra-parsadam
"In the age of Kali, persons of fine theistic intellect perform the sacrifice of congregational chanting (sankirtan-yajna) to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings nothing but the Names of Krishna and describes His glories with great pleasure. He is Krishna Himself appearing in a molten gold complexion born from supreme divine emotion. With His personal beauty, divine Name, all-merciful nature and benevolent associates He destroys the darkness of ignorance in the mundane world."
Mahaprabhu Himself gave the gist of the nature of Harinam-sankirtan:
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Antya-lila, 20.12)
"May Sri Krishna-sankirtan be all-victorious in its pristine glory! This congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord cleanses the looking-glass of consciousness, extinguishes the raging forest fire of material existence, and spreads the benediction moon-rays that cause the lotus of the heart to bloom. This chanting is pure ecstasy, it is the flavour of full nectar at every moment, bathing and cooling the entire self." That param vijayate Sri-Krishna-sankirtanam, that supremely victorious sankirtan of Mahaprabhu, started with Nityananda Prabhu's arrival and in such a glorious way continued day by day in Sri Nabadwip Dham.
Mahaprabhu's Preaching Party
Advaita Acharya had already joined Mahaprabhu. Even before Mahaprabhu, Haridas Thakur very beautifully and intensely preached Krishna consciousness and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Previously, Haridas Thakur had many tests in his preaching but ultimately even the Muslim governor came under his influence. When Haridas Thakur saw Mahaprabhu reveal His divine form of a religious preacher, he joined Mahaprabhu's mission. Then when Nityananda Prabhu joined in the party of Mahaprabhu, the party of Mahaprabhu took full form. Nityananda Prabhu was always intoxicated with Krishna-prema and the treasure of Mahaprabhu's unique gift of divine love. When Nityananda Prabhu joined, Mahaprabhu wanted to publicly preach Krishna consciousness. Haridas Thakur and Nityananda Prabhu were very dear, bosom friends. Both were intoxicated with Harinam-sankirtan and Mahaprabhu chose Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur to begin His preaching programme. He selected them to be like military generals because they could widely, wholeheartedly and affectionately preach Krishna consciousness in a lovely way.
Mahaprabhu's Sacred Order
Mahaprabhu gave them His preaching line,
jagatera pita—krsna, ye na bhaje bapa
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat: Madhya-khanda, 1.202)
"Krishna is the father of the entire universe, and anyone who does not respect his father is rebellious and sinful and therefore subjected to miseries birth after birth."
bolo krsna bhaja krsna laha krsna nama
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat: Madhya-khanda, 13.43)
"Chant Krishna, worship Krishna, and sing the glories of Krishna. Krishna is your mother, Krishna is your father, Krishna is the wealth of your life."
"suno suno nityananda! suno haridasa!
prati ghare ghare giya kara ei bhiksa
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat: Madhya-khanda, 13.8-11)
"Listen, listen, Nityananda! Listen, Haridasa! Go door to door and tell everyone they will practise Krishna consciousness! Tell them, 'Krishna consciousness is the supreme goal of life,' tell them, 'Bolo Krishna, bhaja Krishna, koro Krishna siksa, chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, serve Lord Krishna, and learn the teachings of Sri Krishna.' You will come back to Me daily in the evening. Nothing else is necessary for you to do, and whoever will take it with a clean heart, I shall be a slave of them, and whoever will be 'anti,' I shall punish them." In this way Mahaprabhu gave orders to Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur and started His preaching programme.
Nityananda Prabhu's Benevolent Nature
At first Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur started preaching to gentle families without any problems, but then they saw Jagai and Madhai in the road. Jagai and Madhai were prestigious in the city as local administrators of the government, but they were men of a very bad character. They were always drinking, eating meat and doing many wrong things. That day they were drinking in the road in front of everyone. Nityananda Prabhu had a desperate mood and when He saw Jagai and Madhai seated in the road drinking wine, etc. Nityananda Prabhu told Haridas, "These are the perfect people to purify with Harinam-sankirtan."
Haridas Thakur was a wise man; he said, "Don't go there! The whole world is open for You. Why are You going to them? You can preach Mahaprabhu's conception to everyone. Leave them, they are very bad..."
Nityananda Prabhu said, "This is a perfect target, I must rescue them, then Mahaprabhu's glory will be more and more exalted all over the world."
Haridas was also a little aged. He said, "You can go, I won't go. If they chastise You, You may be able to run away, but I cannot run. So it will be dangerous for me. It is not necessary to go there." He was testing the mind of Nityananda Prabhu, but Nityananda Prabhu said, "No, this is a first class opportunity for showing the quality of Mahaprabhu's mercy. You must go with Me."
Then they went to Jagai and Madhai and said, "O Jagai! O Madhai! You are doing so many things, but if you chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, you will be rescued."
Jagai and Madhai were drunk. They threatened Nityananda and Haridas, "Oh, You are sannyasis and You have come here trying to teach us? We shall teach You! Get out of here, You are nonsense people, otherwise we will kill You!" Nityananda again approached them, but they came to beat Nityananda and Haridas. Haridas Thakur could not run away but he tried. The drunken Jagai and Madhai were unable to run properly, so Nityananda and Haridas got away by some means. They came back and Haridas reported to Mahaprabhu, "Today somehow I saved my life, but I will not go out again with that pagal (crazy) Nityananda!" Mahaprabhu smiled to hear their report knowing what was to come.
Nityananda Prabhu's Determination
The next day Nityananda Prabhu settled, "I must give Krishna-prema to them." Nityananda again targeted Jagai and Madhai. Haridas was behind, what could he do? Mahaprabhu had ordered him and Nityananda to preach together. That day they went and again found Jagai and Madhai drinking wine. Nityananda Prabhu said, "Jagai and Madhai, you can do anything but just chant 'Hare Krishna!' It is the order of Mahaprabhu."
When Nityananda told them Madhai was more drunk and said, "Oh, the order of Mahaprabhu! You ran away yesterday but today again You have come? I'm going to show You!" There was a clay wine pot nearby and Madhai threw it at the head of Nityananda. The pot cut Him and, with blood falling from His head, Nityananda Prabhu said, "This is more of Mahaprabhu's mercy upon Me," and He again told them, "You can beat Me more and more, it is ok, no problem. You have hit Me, but I excuse that. I forgive you. Chant 'Hare Krishna!' It is the order of Mahaprabhu. Without a doubt you will be rescued. Mahaprabhu said, 'Bolo Krishna bhaja Krishna koro Krishna siksa.' You please take this religion of Mahaprabhu."
Madhai said, "Now again You are coming to me! You are so energetic, I am going to show You! I will teach You!" Then again Madhai took a clay wine-pot and went to throw it at Nityananda Prabhu, but his brother Jagai took his hand and told him, "Nonsense! Why are you chastising this pagal sadhu? He is a sannyasi. It is not necessary to hit Him again. Why you are behaving like this? It is nonsense. Leave Him alone!" Like this Jagai made some good comments and stopped him.
In the meantime, Haridas went back and gave news to Mahaprabhu about what had happened: that Nityananda Prabhu had been hit and that He did not want to come back as He was determined to give Harinam and Krishna-prema to Jagai and Madhai.
Then Mahaprabhu went there with His full battalion and He saw the blood on Nityananda Prabhu's head. Mahaprabhu was very angry. He forgot His mundane appearance and called for His sudarsan chakra, ('Chakra, chakra, chakra'—Prabhu dake ghane ghane, Cb, Madhya-khanda, 13.185). "Chakra! Chakra! Chakra!", He called out again and again. He wanted to cut off the heads of Jagai and Madhai. Everyone saw the chakra following behind Mahaprabhu as He chastised Jagai and Madhai, "I will kill you! You have dealt wrongly with Nityananda Prabhu."
Nityananda Prabhu took the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu and said, "What are You doing? This is not Dvapar-yuga. It is Kali-yuga. Here tolerance and humility are necessary. If You want to bestow Your mercy upon others, through tolerance and humility You can do that. You cannot use the chakra in this Avatar. This incarnation is not for that."
Mahaprabhu said, "I cannot tolerate this type of activity of the asuras."
Nityananda replied, "Not both of them are offenders. Madhai is an offender, he hit Me, but Jagai rescued Me from him. One saved Me from the other's stupidity."
Hearing that Jagai saved Nityananda, Mahaprabhu excused Jagai. Jagai took the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and fell down thinking of his previous karma. He took the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, "Mahaprabhu, please forgive my offences. There is no other way for me." Mahaprabhu embraced Jagai and then Jagai received Krishna-prema.
The circumstances were very heavy, but Madhai also became a little conscious by seeing Jagai's activities. Madhai said, "I have done so much sinful work but Jagai has got relief from all his sins, why not me?" Nityananda Prabhu said, "Mahaprabhu, please forgive their offences." Then Madhai took the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, but Mahaprabhu said, "I cannot do the same for you as I did for Jagai. You go to Nityananda Prabhu. If He forgives you, then you will get My embrace. Otherwise, it is impossible for Me to accept you. If Nityananda Prabhu forgives you, you will get that result of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra."
Madhai took Nityananda Prabhu's lotus feet. Nityananda Prabhu embraced Madhai, then Mahaprabhu embraced Madhai and his sin was cleared. Jagai and Madhai became pure devotees and cried so much, "We have done so much wrong, etc., etc." Jagai and Madhai then chanted 'Hare Krishna' and danced with Krishna-prema.
To see Mahaprabhu's Pastimes as the rescuer of the conditioned souls, the general people were so astonished. They glorified Mahaprabhu so much. Mahaprabhu said to Jagai and Madhai,
prabhu bole,—"tora ara na karis papa"
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat: Madhya-khanda, 13.225)
"Jagai and Madhai, if you do not do this again, and you leave the activities you did before, I can forgive your offences forever. From this day you try to practise Krishna consciousness and you will be so glorious. Now chant 'Hare Krishna!'"
Jagai and Madhai said, "'Ara nare vapa,' we will never do that again. You have excused us. We will follow what You say as our duty." Jagai and Madhai then asked Mahaprabhu, "Please give some service to us, accept us as Your servitors." Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu said, "Chant 'Hare Krishna,' give this Hare Krishna Mahamantra to everyone, and do Vaisnava-seva by sweeping the pathway by the Ganges and keeping it clean. Then with a clean heart you can proceed. You do not have to fear Yamaraj." Jagai and Madhai did that every day, and that place is still known as Madhai-ghat. Our parikrama party crosses the Ganges at that place. All the demigods danced to see the rescue of Jagai and Madhai. All the Pastimes of the Lord Nityananda and Mahaprabhu are for rescuing the conditioned jiva souls. In the Pastimes of rescuing Jagai and Madhai we can see that Nityananda Prabhu is more merciful than even Mahaprabhu.
The Ever-Worshipable Nityananda
Nityananda Prabhu's character was like that of an intoxicated madman. He was physically very strong like Lord Balaram. If He saw a bull in the road He would charge the bull and jump over him or hop on his back and ride him. He would jump in and swim with crocodiles in the Ganges even after He had seen crocodiles swimming there. Sometimes He would visit the house of Srivas Pandit and take breast milk from his wife. Nityananda Prabhu had so many miraculous characteristics! Sometimes Nityananda Prabhu would come to Sachi Mata's house unaware that He was naked. It happened many days, and like a child He would call, "Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?" On one occasion Mahaprabhu said, "You are not wearing any cloth! Why are You naked?" Nityananda Prabhu said, "Oh! I did not know I was naked!"
At that time Mahaprabhu was talking with Visnupriya Devi and many devotees were present there. They were very surprised to see Nityananda Prabhu's naked form. Mahaprabhu gave some cloth to Nityananda Prabhu and then divided His kaupin (undergarment) into many pieces. Mahaprabhu Chaitanyadev then distributed the pieces to all His devotees and told them, "Worship this piece of underwear every day because by Nityananda Prabhu's connection you will be rescued from everything. You will have no fear of illusion. You can do anything, but if you chant the Holy Name of 'Nityananda,' you will get relief from all disturbances." Mahaprabhu Himself then further glorified Nityananda Prabhu with this sloka,
madira javani jadi nityananda dhare
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat: Antya-khanda, 6.123)
"Nityananda Prabhu can do anything and everything. Even if you see Nityananda Prabhu mixing with very bad society, if you see Him intoxicated with a drunken woman in one arm and a bottle of wine in His other hand, know that He has divine character. If Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, will see Him at that time he will fall down and pay full dandavat pranams with his four heads at the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu." This is Nityananda Prabhu's inconceivable divine character. He was the protector of the society of Mahaprabhu Chaitanyadev. He was all-in-all.
Mahaprabhu took Sannyas
Every day sankirtan continued with the Pancha-Tattva and Haridas Thakur in Sri Nabadwip Dham. The Pancha-Tattva means,
(Sri Pancha-Tattva Mahamantra)
Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Gadadhar Pandit, Srivas Thakur and all the other devotees of Mahaprabhu every day led thousands of people in Harinam-sankirtan, and the Pancha-Tattva distributed the Harinam Mahamantra in this mundane world. Chand Kazi was delivered and so many things happened in Nabadwip. At one function Mahaprabhu gave permission for Nityananda Prabhu to hold a Vyasa-puja ceremony. Nityananda Prabhu did that puja but He gave the final garland to Mahaprabhu, thereby showing Mahaprabhu's glories. Mahaprabhu chanted the Holy Name of Lord Krishna: "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." This was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's preaching, but more than that, He was the non-different form of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra—He was the non-different form of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bestowed His mercy to the general people and He wanted to rescue the jiva souls all over the world. For that He decided, "I shall take sannyas." Nityananda Prabhu is the main pillar of Mahaprabhu's preaching of Krishna consciousness, and when Mahaprabhu took sannyas Nityananda Prabhu accompanied Him. Mahaprabhu circled Radha-desa for three days, and Nityananda Prabhu eventually brought Him to Advaita Acharya's house. Sachi Mata, Advaita Acharya, and the other devotees gave their overflowing Krishna-prema to the people. Then Mahaprabhu went to Puri. Nityananda Prabhu stayed with Mahaprabhu like a guardian. Nityananda Prabhu had travelled before and He recited the glories of Saksi Gopal for Mahaprabhu as they travelled to Puri.
Why do You need a Danda?
Just before entering Puri Dham, Mahaprabhu bathed in the river at Atharanala. While He was bathing Nityananda Prabhu broke Mahaprabhu's sannyas dandam. It was an eka-danda and Nityananda Prabhu broke it into three pieces and threw it in the river. Mahaprabhu had taken sannyas and showed in His Pastimes much care in following the rules and regulations of a sannyasi very strictly. He showed His anger to Nityananda Prabhu and said, "I have only one possession, My sannyas dandam, and You have broken that and thrown it away!" Nityananda Prabhu did not care about anything. He said, "Why do You need to carry a dandam? You are Krishna Himself, what need do You have for a dandam?" Mahaprabhu said, "I do not want to travel with you all. I shall go alone. Will you all go first, or shall I go first?" They replied, "You go first and we shall go behind." Then Mahaprabhu very quickly ran to Lord Jagannath and fainted in the Jagannath Temple. You know that story. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya took His body to his home. Nityananda Prabhu immediately assessed the situation and understood that Mahaprabhu was at Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya's house. He went there, met with Mahaprabhu, and later went to see Lord Jagannath. In this way Mahaprabhu started preaching in Puri Dham with Nityananda Prabhu and others.
Nityananda Prabhu—The Merciful Lord of all Jiva-Souls.
Nityananda Prabhu accepted everyone but would chastise those who were offensive. Mahaprabhu showed some caution in distributing Krishna-nama and Krishna-prema: He followed the rules and regulations of sannyas life very strictly and because of this Mahaprabhu could not give shelter to offenders. When Mahaprabhu went to South India He took Kaliya Krishna Das with Him. In Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita he is referred to as Kala Krishna Das. On their tour Kaliya Krishna Das suffered some disturbance with some women and Mahaprabhu rescued him from that. Later when they returned to Jagannath Puri Mahaprabhu said, "I want to leave this boy Kaliya Krishna Das, he was irresponsible and greatly disturbed our mission. I don't want to keep him with Me. I do not want to be responsible for him." Kaliya Krishna Das, as an eternal parsad devotee (of Sri Nityananda Prabhu), played this role in the Lord's drama. At that time Nityananda Prabhu did not leave him, He told Mahaprabhu, "If You do not want to keep him it is no problem, I will take him. I will send him to Nabadwip to give news to Sachi Mata and the other devotees that You have come back from South India."
In this way Nityananda Prabhu showed His extreme mercy and Kaliya Krishna Das spent the rest of his life with Nityananda Prabhu. So even when Mahaprabhu is angry, Nityananda Prabhu keeps devotees at His lotus feet. The conditioned souls can have much hope when they see the very deep and merciful character of Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
Mahaprabhu lived in Puri Dham with a limited group of His exclusive devotees. Mahaprabhu had so many devotees but they would come to visit Puri for a few months every year. One year Nityananda Prabhu came to Puri Dham with so many of His followers, all dvadasa-gopalas, the incarnations of the twelve cowherd boys of Vrindavan. They had all been preaching in Bengal and after their visit Mahaprabhu ordered Nityananda Prabhu, "Go to Radha-desa and preach there. I have sent Rupa-Sanatan to Upper India, I shall see to South India. You look after East India. This is our preaching strategy. You are not to come back here to Puri Dham. I will be with You everywhere. Whenever You remember Me I shall appear, wherever You are. So it is not necessary for You to come here every year. Please go to Radha-desa and preach." Then Nityananda Prabhu went back to Bengal with all His followers, first to Santipur, then to Nabadwip, and from there to other places. He preached all over Bengal.
Nityananda Prabhu— The Highest Distributer of Gaura-prema!
Both Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu were born in brahmin families. Mahaprabhu maintained the rules and regulations of sannyas life and preached Krishna consciousness. He distributed the Hare Krishna Mahamantra to everyone and revealed Radha-Krishna-prema in this world. Mahaprabhu always wanted to give Krishna-prema to the fallen souls who were not offensive. Nityananda Prabhu's preaching was different, He did not care for external formality.
preme matta nityananda kripa-avatara
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 5.208)
Nityananda Prabhu was always intoxicated with Gaura-prema, intoxicated with the Name of Sriman Mahaprabhu. He knew only Mahaprabhu and He distributed Mahaprabhu in an intoxicated mood of devotion. If anyone would take shelter of Nityananda Prabhu, He would be very merciful to him. Nityananda Prabhu would not look at who was a good man or who was a bad man. If anyone wanted to take shelter in the shade of His lotus feet He would immediately shelter them and send them to Gauranga Mahaprabhu, He would engage them in the service of Mahaprabhu. If anyone once chanted "Jaya Sachinandana, jaya Gaurahari," Nityananda Prabhu would think, "I am his slave, I will give him everything." Who was fallen, who was not fallen, who was bad, who was good—He made no consideration. Many times Mahaprabhu gave many conditions, but Nityananda Prabhu had no conditions, He only begged, "Surrender to Chaitanyadev, surrender to Gaurangadev, surrender to Nimai Visvambhar, and you will be rescued!" Nityananda Prabhu looked at a person's faith. Anywhere He saw the light of faith within someone He would bestow His mercy. Faith is the very foundation and gist of spiritual life. There was only difficulty for faithless persons but Nityananda Prabhu is so merciful that when He found persons without faith He would supply faith to them. He would give them true spiritual property. In this way Nityananda Prabhu's mercy truly goes everywhere! Even where sunlight does not go, there also Nityananda Prabhu's mercy goes. In this way He gave something even more than Mahaprabhu! That is Nityananda Prabhu's divine character and supreme gift.
Nityananda Prabhu's preaching was actually Gaura consciousness. His preaching was the glorification of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Nityananda Prabhu distributed Mahaprabhu Himself. Nityananda Prabhu's mantram and preaching style was:
bhaja gauranga kaha gauranga laha gaurangera nama
"Chant the Divine Name of Gauranga Mahaprabhu! Whoever is worshipping Lord Gauranga, he is My life and soul, whoever is practising Krishna consciousness under the guidance of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, he is My life and soul."
In this way Nityananda Prabhu preached and His preaching was so successful. Nityananda Prabhu was very merciful to whoever took shelter of Mahaprabhu—He would give them all the wealth of Gaura-prema. This was the character of Nityananda Prabhu. Thousands and thousands of people came to the lotus feet of Nityananda and He made them all the devotees of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. All over the world people are chanting Mahaprabhu's Name and Krishna's Name. It is only by the blessings of Nityananda Prabhu that this has happened. Without His mercy it would not be possible.
Nityananda's Indispensable Mercy
Without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu no one will get Krishna-prema. Without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu one will not proceed even one inch in their spiritual life. There are so many examples in the scriptures that illustrate this. A prominent example of Nityananda Prabhu's all-important mercy is Srila Raghunath Das Goswami. Raghunath Das Goswami was a young prince married to a beautiful young girl and he was incredibly wealthy. But Raghunath Das had an extremely renounced mentality although he had so much property. Both his father and his uncle wanted to give all their riches and property to him for his benefit, but he did not want any of it. He only wanted the mercy of Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu.
Many times Raghunath Das tried to leave his family life to join Mahaprabhu's group but he was always unsuccessful. His father was determined to prevent him from leaving and used all his strength and influence to do this. Security guards and accomplished fighters were employed to keep him at home so he was unable to leave. He wanted nothing but to go to the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and he wanted to leave everything but he was forcefully restrained.
Then, one day Nityananda Prabhu came to Panihati. Raghunath Das Goswami's father's house was perhaps only seven miles or so from there, and seeing this opportunity he told his father, "My dear father, Nityananda Prabhu has come nearby and I want to go and worship Him." His father said, "Yes, that is no difficulty. If you do not run away from home then you can go." So Raghunath Das went to Nityananda Prabhu. Nityananda Prabhu saw him from afar and in a joking mood said, "I shall punish you today." Then Raghunath Das Goswami asked, "Yes Prabhu, what is Your punishment? Please give it to me. I shall take it happily." Nityananda Prabhu blessed him, saying "Yes, now you have come to Me and now you will get relief.
I will arrange for you to leave your mundane condition, but before that I have one condition: there is a thousand devotees with Me, you feed them today and make a feast here. I want to see that. If we are satisfied then I will give My blessings to you."
Raghunath Das Goswami was very happy. Raghunath Das was rich and he immediately arranged dadhi (yoghurt), chida (flat-rice), milk, ksira, sandesa, rasagulla, mango, banana, and so many other foodstuffs. Everyone honoured all these preparations in clay pots. Raghunath Das arranged so much prasadam for thousands and thousands of Nityananda Prabhu's followers—he fed all the devotees there very nicely. So many people were gathered on the banks of the Ganges and the place was so full that some were even standing in the Ganges while they were eating.
Nityananda Prabhu personally invited Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Mahaprabhu came there in His subtle form and accepted prasadam with Nityananda Prabhu and His devotees. Raghunath Das fed all the devotees there, and not only that, he gave pranami to them all in the form of gold coins. According to their positions all the devotees were given pranami. Nityananda Prabhu was given the largest quantity of gold coins, then Raghava Pandit, and then the general devotees. Everyone got some money from Raghunath Das. That festival became very famously known as the Dadhi-Chida-Mahotsava, the yoghurt and chipped rice festival, which enabled Raghunath Das to enter into Chaitanya-lila.
Nityananda Prabhu was so happy that He put His lotus feet on the head of Raghunath Das Goswami, and blessed him: "Now your samsara will be dissolved; you will be clean and free from your family life. I am giving you entrance—you will get Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Now you go back to your house, all your bondage is now gone, and you will soon come to the lotus feet of Chaitanyadev."
Nityananda's Fruitful Blessing
Raghunath Das went back to his house, but from then onwards he did not enter the third 'zone' of the house. In those days, in rich people's homes, there were three zones. The women lived in the third zone; in the second zone lived the masters' rank; and in the first zone lived all others. After receiving Nityananda Prabhu's blessing Raghunath Das stayed only in the first zone of his father's house. But still his father kept twelve guards around him. Then one day, by the grace of Nityananda Prabhu, he got an opportunity and Raghunath Das escaped. From his home it took him twelve days to reach Mahaprabhu in Puri Dham and almost the whole time, day and night, he ran to reach there. That is another history but the point is that by the grace of Nityananda Prabhu, Raghunath Das Goswami got relief from family life and attained the service of Sri Chaitanyadev.
Before he met Nityananda Prabhu he could not leave his samsara, but by the blessing of Nityananda Prabhu he attained Mahaprabhu's lotus feet. And even more than that, Mahaprabhu accepted him as His exclusive servitor and gave him the position as one of the pillars of His conception. He became the prayojana-tattva-acharya, the exemplary distributor of the topmost perfection of Mahaprabhu's highest service ideal—he showed the world the ultimate destination, the very summum bonum of life.
Raghunath Das Goswami expressed his feelings of divine fortune,
nama-srestham manum api sachi-putram atra svarupam
(Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami—Sri Mukta-charitam)
"I bow down to the lotus feet of Sri Guru, by whose causeless mercy I have obtained the highest conception of the Holy Name and the Divine Mantra. I have come to the service of the great saviour Sri Sachinandan, who is like a golden mountain standing to show the direction of Krishna-lila, and the association of His most intimate servitor Srila Svarup Damodar. I gained the association of Srila Rupa Goswami, who was personally ordered by Mahaprabhu Himself to distribute the rasa of spontaneous devotion, and Sanatan Goswami, who revealed to the world perfect sambandha-jnana, proper acquaintance with the environment. I have been given the divine abode of Mathura Vrindavan with Radha Kunda and Govardhan Hill. And finally I have been given the hope and aspiration that one day I may be welcomed into the service plane where Sri Sri Radhika and Madhava are in Their glory, sitting and playing."
Taking a Stand
This sloka of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami is also the expression of Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. He also felt, "Nityananda Prabhu has so mercifully given me the dust of His lotus feet and so I have become Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. I am a very fallen soul, but, by the grace of Nityananda Prabhu, I have got everything. Now I am truly a rich man because Sri Rupa and Raghunath have given me their mercy and they have accepted me as their own servitor." In this way Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami has expressed his real wealth. Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami had also prayed to Nityananda Prabhu just as Raghunath Das did.
Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami lived with his brother's family in Jhamatapur near Katwa in Bengal. One night there was a successful sankirtan festival happening at their home and his brother was very happy. One of Nityananda Prabhu's leading disciples, Minaketan Ram Das, came to the sankirtan and his brother did not give proper honour to him. His brother did not have full faith in Nityananda Prabhu and by failing to honour Minaketan Ram Das he made some offence to Nityananda Prabhu. Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami became very angry with his brother and chastised him so much: "You are giving honour to Chaitanyadev, but not to Nityananda Prabhu? Do you not have faith in Nityananda Prabhu? You have done wrong! Your spiritual life will be spoiled by this! You are very offensive and I do not want to stay here with you anymore!" Kaviraj Goswami said many things in glorification of Nityananda Prabhu and Minaketan Ram Das left angrily from Kaviraj Goswami's house.
But Kaviraj Goswami received Nityananda Prabhu's mercy because he tried to satisfy His servitor Minaketan Ram Das.
Nityananda Appears in a Dream
Nityananda Prabhu was so happy with Kaviraj Goswami and that night, very close to early morning, Nityananda Prabhu appeared before Krishna Das in his dream. Kaviraj Goswami expertly expressed his vision of Nityananda Prabhu's divine form in his Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. Nityananda Prabhu mercifully gave His blessings to Kaviraj Goswami and told him, are are krsnadasa, na karaha bhaya vrindavane yaha,—tanha sarva labhya haya (Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 5.195)
"I am very happy with you. You have nothing to fear. It is My blessing to you that you will leave this house and family life and go to Vrindavan. There you will attain everything by My grace. You will get the exclusive service of Radha-Krishna in Vrindavan."
"I Have Received Everything!"
In the morning Kaviraj Goswami immediately left his house and ran to Vrindavan. In Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita he glorified the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu so much, "Nityananda Prabhu has given me everything! By the grace of Nityananda Prabhu I have received Vrindavan Dham. He ordered me, 'Go to Vrindavan, and there you will receive your super benefit.' And when I came to Vrindavan, I have received the lotus feet of Radha-Madana-Mohan, Radha-Govinda, and Radha-Gopinath. And all the Vaisnavas, those who were alive and those who were no longer alive, I received mercy from them all! And the supermost devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Sanatan Goswami, Srila Jiva Goswami, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami—from all the Goswamis I have received the dust of their lotus feet and received their mercy. Very exclusively they have embraced me, and particularly I have the mercy of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami and Srila Rupa Goswami."
Humility Attracts Mercy
When Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami composed Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita he concluded every chapter with the idea,
sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 1.110, etc.)
Without the mercy of Sri Rupa and Raghunath we cannot understand Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu we cannot enter into Chaitanya-lila or Vrindavan-lila. Nitaiyer koruna hobe, Braje Radha-Krishna pabe. If you will receive the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, then simultaneously you will get the mercy of all the Vaisnavas and Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanyadev. Everything is depending upon the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. And really it is the truth that Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami, he is the most worshipable master of the Sri Chaitanya sampradaya. Kaviraj Goswami was a very high standard Vaisnava, but still he was very humble and tolerant. In his Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita he said,
jagai madhai haite muni se papistha
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila, 5.205-209)
"I am more sinful than Jagai and Madhai and even lower than worms in stool. Anyone who hears my name loses the benefit of his pious activities. Anyone who utters my name becomes sinful. Who in this world but Nityananda Prabhu could show His mercy to such an abominable person as me? Although I am without a doubt the most fallen and abominable, I have taken shelter of Nityananda Prabhu's lotus feet, and He has embraced me, and given all spiritual wealth to me. Preme matta Nityananda, He is always intoxicated with Krishna-prema and Gaura-prema and He is not considering who is good or who is bad. If anyone will fall down before His lotus feet He will give His full mercy to him and he will receive Krishna-prema. That is the style of Nityananda."
Exalted by Mercy
When Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami came to Vrindavan he found the association of hundreds of Vaisnavas following the line of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. All the Vaisnavas requested Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami to narrate the Pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Previously many Vaisnavas had written about Mahaprabhu's character and teachings, but when they heard from Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami all the Vaisnavas in Vrindavan received very, very new light. Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami gave completely unique meanings of slokas from Srimad Bhagavatam and the new light about Mahaprabhu's divine feelings in His final Pastimes which no one before could express. When the Vaisnavas of Vrindavan heard such exclusive description of Mahaprabhu's character they were astonished. By the grace of Nityananda Prabhu and by the mercy of Rupa Goswami, Raghunath Das Goswami and Sanatan Goswami, Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami was so exalted in Vrindavan at that time.
Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami had heard from Raghunath Das Goswami about the final Pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In Puri Dham, Raghunath Das Goswami stayed with Mahaprabhu and observed everything about the character of Sri Chaitanyadev. Srila Rupa Goswami also stayed with Mahaprabhu in Puri for some time and was fully empowered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Raghunath Das later came and stayed with Srila Rupa Goswami in Vrindavan and heard from him. So when Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami heard from Raghunath Das Goswami he received everything about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, especially the final Pastimes of the Lord.
Nityananda's Last Disciple
Still, the whole society of Sri Chaitanyadev's followers, the six Goswamis, all the Vaisnavas in Vrindavan, were already extremely satisfied with Vrindavan Das Thakur's Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat. There, Vrindavan Das Thakur presented unlimited glorification of Sri Chaitanyadev's Pastimes. Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami expressed the final Pastimes of Chaitanya-lila in his Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita but he never crossed the prestige of Vrindavan Das Thakur. He gave full honour to Vrindavan Das Thakur. Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami wrote it many times in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita.
"I am not vyasa, Vrindavan Das Thakur is the incarnation of Vedavyasa in Chaitanya-lila."
Vrindavan Das Thakur was the last direct disciple of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Vrindavan Das Thakur lived in Mamgachchhi and later by the order of Nityananda Prabhu went to Denuda where he spent his final days composing the Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat. There he revealed the Pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu but he was greatly attached to the Pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu and he first glorified Nityananda Prabhu so much. In an intoxicated mood of devotion he described Nityananda Prabhu's Pastimes very widely. We are surprised to hear it and we feel it to be a miracle. He is revealing Mahaprabhu's Pastimes but he is glorifying Nityananda Prabhu so greatly. It is a miracle and we feel his book could also be called the Nityananda-Bhagavat. We are so happy when we are reading the Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat, we cannot believe how sweet it is. Srila Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur wrote in his Gaudiya Bhasya,
sri-chaitanya bhagavata, grantha-suddha-bhakti mata
"Bhaktivinod Thakur has taught that Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat is a suddha-bhakti grantha, a treatise on exclusive pure devotion. It is like the Ganges flowing from above to below and nothing—no misconception or unfortunate influence—can stand in its way. By regularly reading Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat one will obtain the joy of Krishna-prema."
Nityananda Prabhu's Exclusive Follower
By the grace of Vrindavan Das Thakur we can understand the Pastimes of both Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu. But there are always a few who are not attracted by Vrindavan Das Thakur's Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat. He has glorified Nityananda Prabhu in such an intoxicated mood and he cannot tolerate those who have no faith in Lord Nityananda. Sometimes he appears very intolerant:
eta parihare o ye papi ninda kare
(Sri Chaitanya-Bhagavat Adi-lila, 9.225, 17.158)
"If any sinful person disregards the glories of Lord Nityananda and dares criticise Him I will kick his head with my left foot!"
Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur has explained that by this expression Vrindavan Das Thakur is giving unfavourable persons a new chance to come to the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. If someone is apparently mistreated by the Lord's devotee that will attract the special mercy of the Lord to them. Vrindavan Das Thakur fought with the demoniac brahmin society and externally his Pastimes appear very hard. From different corners he met many obstacles but he crossed over everything through his devotional activity and devotional mood and the special mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. Sometimes Nityananda Prabhu even appeared personally in the body of Vrindavan Das Thakur and bestowed mercy to all the conditioned souls.
Vyasa of Chaitanya-lila
Vrindavan Das Thakur glorified the Pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu greatly but he also mentioned that in the future they would be more fully revealed. In many places in Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat Vrindavan Das Thakur mentioned, "What I am expressing, it will be fully expressed in the future when Vedavyasa will appear. I am not Vedavyasa. Vedavyasa will come and He will give you the Pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." But in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami said, "No, Vrindavan Das Thakur really is Vedavyasa. He has truly revealed Chaitanya-lila. What he has willingly left unexpressed, the final Pastimes of Mahaprabhu, that I am describing here in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita." So Vrindavan Das Thakur said, "Vyasa will come in the future." And Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami said, "Vrindavan Das Thakur is Vedavyasa." And we have seen that Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami became Vyasadeva: he revealed the final Pastimes of Mahaprabhu, he fulfilled Vrindavan Das Thakur's prediction.
By the mercy of Srila Guru Maharaj we have got some light from their expressions and the realisation that both are Vedavyasa. First is Vrindavan Das Thakur, who was mentioned by Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami as the vyasa of Chaitanya-lila. And second, Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami, because he also expanded Chaitanya-lila and very scrutinisingly and finely gave us the revelation of the final portion of Chaitanya-lila. Vrindavan Das Thakur's style was overflooded with enthusiasm, and Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami's style was very fine and authentic. I composed two slokas about the two vyasas, Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami and Vrindavan Das Thakur, when we published Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita.
dasa-vrndavanam vande krsna-dasa-prabhum tatha
"I bow to Vrindavan Das Thakur and Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami. They have revealed the hidden Pastimes of Lord Krishna." Krishna is known as Tri-yuga in Srimad Bhagavatam because He only appears open in three ages and He is covered in the Kali-yuga (chhannah kalau yad abhavas Tri-yugo 'tha sa tvam—SB 7.9.38). In Kali-yuga He appears in a hidden way (chhanna) as His own devotee, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the chhanna-Avatar, the hidden Avatar. So Chaitanya-lila is the hidden Pastimes of Lord Krishna. And when the Lord appears in a hidden way as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the Vedavyasa of His lila may also appear in that way, hidden (chhanna).
So first, "I bow down to Vrindavan Das Thakur and then to Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami because they both appeared as Vedavyasa. Vrindavan Das Thakur was the open (vyakta) Vedavyasa and Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami was the hidden (chhanna) vyasa and together they have revealed Chaitanya-lila. But, both are extremely blessed by Nityananda Prabhu! They are decorated with the dust of Nityananda Prabhu's all-merciful lotus feet (dvau Nityanandapadabja-karunarenu-bhusitau)." Vrindavan Das Thakur was Nityananda Prabhu's own disciple and Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami received the all-merciful blessings from Nityananda Prabhu. They were both enriched with the blessings of Nityananda Prabhu. If Nityananda Prabhu had not appeared no one could understand Mahaprabhu and no one would have Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Sri Chaitanya-bhagavat; nowhere would there be Mahaprabhu's whole life history, Mahaprabhu's preaching programme, Mahaprabhu's glorification. We have everything only by the grace of Nityananda Prabhu!
In this way Vrindavan Das Thakur and Srila Kaviraj Goswami blessed me. By their mercy we can understand a little bit of Their glories. Vrindavan Das Thakur was very much intoxicated with the Pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu, but he had unlimited love for Nityananda Prabhu who has given us our real property in Krishna consciousness.
Nityananda Prabhu lived in Radha-desa and preached Krishna consciousness. When Nityananda Prabhu went to Gauri Das Pandit's house in Kalna He met with Gauri Das Pandit and his brother Surya Das Sarkhel. They knew Nityananda Prabhu and were very happy to serve Him. Nityananda Prabhu saw that Surya Das had two daughters and said, "Please make an arrangement, I want to marry them." Their father was very happy that Nityananda Prabhu Himself wanted to marry his daughters, Vasudha Devi and Jahnava Devi. After Nityananda Prabhu's Pastimes Jahnava Devi took a leading part in the sampradaya of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. She became a Guru and travelled like a Queen. Everyone respected her spiritual representation of Nityananda Prabhu and she initiated many devotees. She was the guest of honour at Narottam Das Thakur's grand festival in Kheturi-dham. Vasudha Devi had one son named Virachandra. He was initiated by Jahnavadevi and he came to control the whole society of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sampradaya. He glorified Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu in a very grand way, he spread Their glories more widely than They did. His preaching was extremely liberal and he was even more merciful that Nityananda Prabhu Himself. He did not look at any faults of anyone and always bestowed his mercy upon all. During his time in Bengal there were many Buddhist monks and Virachandra transformed them into devotees of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. He brought thousands and thousands of people to the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu during his Pastimes. So, take the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu! He bestows His mercy not only on His own generation, but He bestows even more divine mercy through His followers like His son Virachandra Prabhu.
The Lotus Feet of Nitai
Narottam Das Thakur also received Nityananda Prabhu's full mercy and he distributed that widely. Narottam Das Thakur was a prince in Bengal who became a servitor of his Guru, Lokanath Das Goswami in Vrindavan. Narottam Das Thakur left everything to take shelter of the Lord. His expression was, "By Nityananda Prabhu's blessings it is possible to leave all mundane attachments." Narottam Das Thakur took the rudder of the ship of Nityananda Prabhu along with Virachandra Prabhu. His preaching was so glorious. Still we are seeing that by the preaching of Narottam Das Thakur everyone in Manipur and Assam sings the glories of Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu. All of Bengal was influenced by his preaching, and by Nityananda Prabhu's mercy so many became Vaisnavas and chanted the Holy Name of the Lord—the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
Narottam Das Thakur, Lochan Das Thakur and other devotees composed many songs about Nityananda Prabhu. Narottam Das Thakur's song Nitai-pada-kamala is a very general but very beautiful song. It is short and very simply expressed but it is very palatable and gives us our main conception about Nityananda Prabhu. If you read and try to understand the meaning you will understand the truth about Nityananda Prabhu.
We have also seen the influence of Sri Nityananda Prabhu in the life of our Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. Without Nityananda Prabhu's blessings upon him we would not have received the mercy of Srila Guru Maharaj. After Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur there was quarrel in the Gaudiya Math. Srila Guru Maharaj tried to cooperate with his good friend Vasudev Prabhu, who became the head of the mission, and Kunja Babu, the secretary of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, who he respected so much.
Finally, many of the leading devotees of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur withdrew from the missionary activities of the Gaudiya Math and Srila Guru Maharaj was the last to leave. But Srila Guru Maharaj did not want to take any disciples. He had two reasons. One was that Vasudev Prabhu was his very close friend. And second, he preached very widely and successfully in the time of his Guru Maharaj, Srila Saraswati Thakur, and he wanted to spend the last portion of his life practising Krishna consciousness, reading Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita and Srimad Bhagavatam; he wanted to stay alone. He had no enthusiasm to make disciples for himself. Srila Guru Maharaj lived in a rented room near the banks of the Ganges. He would spend his days bathing in the Ganges, doing Tulasi seva and maintaining a garden for the worship of his Govardhan-sila, reading, writing and chanting.
All of his Godbrothers were searching for him for maybe one or two years until finally someone saw him bathing in the Ganges. They all came and forcefully requested Srila Guru Maharaj, "We need your association. We will make another institution and you will be the head." Srila Guru Maharaj said, "No, I will not take disciples. If I take disciples others will think I am very enthusiastic to take disciples. I came away from the Gaudiya Math and I do not want to preach again. I want to spend my last life alone."
Srila Guru Maharaj had resolved not to take disciples, like Lokanath Das Goswami. He simply wanted to practise for the rest of his life. They pressured Srila Guru Maharaj so much and finally he told them, "I do not want to be a king in society. I will not be a king, but I can make a king. I can serve in the capacity of a king-maker." And he gave sannyas to many of his Godbrothers and they accepted disciples and started missions under his guidance. But Srila Guru Maharaj lived with a few brahmacharis and from time to time would visit the auspicious birthplaces of the eternal associates of Sriman Mahaprabhu.
The Order of Nityananda Prabhu
Then one day Srila Guru Maharaj went to Ekachakra Dham, the birthplace of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Srila Guru Maharaj said he went to Ekachakra to take the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. He offered his full dandavat pranam at the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu and prayed, "O Nityananda Prabhu, please give Your mercy to me." Then Srila Guru Maharaj heard, "You have the wealth of the mercy of Mahaprabhu in your heart. You have so much spiritual property but you do not want to give that to others. That is not good! Why are you asking for My mercy? If you want the wealth of My blessings then distribute your wealth to others and then you can take more from Me."
Srila Guru Maharaj was surprised and thought, "Yes, it is no doubt that I have received some wealth from Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur." Srila Guru Maharaj reflected deeply on this and then decided he would now very cautiously accept a few disciples to fulfil his debt to his Guru Maharaj and Nityananda Prabhu. Actually, this is why there are not so many disciples of Srila Guru Maharaj. He accepted those who approached him just to satisfy Nityananda Prabhu by acting on His order.
"Dayal Nitai! Dayal Nitai!"
We have seen Srila Guru Maharaj show us that he is always depending on the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. Up to his last days when Srila Guru Maharaj was in his zone, upstairs in his room or on his veranda, he was always chanting, "Dayal Nitai! Dayal Nitai!" Always his consciousness was under Nityananda Prabhu's mercy, and he was always thinking of Nityananda Prabhu. He forgot his position, everything, he was only asking for the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, chanting, "Dayal Nitai! Dayal Nitai! Dayal Nitai!"
When Srila Guru Maharaj would show sickness, his servant Gaura Krishna Prabhu would try to give Srila Guru Maharaj some relief. He thought only Harinam could help and would offer Srila Guru Maharaj his japa mala. He would ask, "Shall I give you your chanting beads? You will get some relief."
Guru Maharaj replied, "No, no, no, give these chanting beads to Govinda Maharaj. My only hope is Dayal Nitai!" It was very clear. He was always calling "Dayal Nitai! Dayal Nitai!" Lastly Guru Maharaj was completely attached to Nityananda Prabhu's merciful glance. This was a miracle for me. Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur gave Srila Guru Maharaj exclusive charge of the Rupanuga line, but Srila Guru Maharaj said that without Nityananda Prabhu you will not be able to enter that line. After entering you can get everything, but you will not gain entrance without Nityananda Prabhu's mercy.
The Power to Rescue
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur expressed in one song,
'dayal nitai chaitanya' bole' nach re amar man
(Gitavali—Sri Nama-kirtan 2.1-2)
"O my mind, just dance! O my mind, just dance! O my mind, please dance, chanting, 'Dayal Nitai Chaitanya!' When you become offenceless you will obtain the treasure of love of God. But in these Names of Chaitanya and Nitai there is no consideration of offences!"
I once asked Srila Guru Maharaj, "How is it possible that there is no consideration of offences in the Names of Chaitanya and Nitai?" Srila Guru Maharaj answered, "To some extent it depends on our realisation, but satapatra vedhah nyaya, a needle can pierce through one hundred leaves within a second. The Names of Nitai and Chaitanya have the power to rescue us so quickly that the time it takes for us to be actually rescued is not countable." In this way Srila Guru Maharaj explained.
Everything is coming by the grace of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Because our Guru Maharaj has shown such deep attachment to Nityananda Prabhu's lotus feet we feel that, and we feel Srila Guru Maharaj to be the incarnation of Nityananda Prabhu. Many things about Nityananda Prabhu's Pastimes are written in the books, and written in the hearts of the devotees. The scripture confirms that Gurudev is always non-different from Nityananda Prabhu, that Nityananda-tattva is Guru-tattva. Even when Guru is Radharani, there also we can see Nityananda Prabhu's mercy coming for others. Nitaiyer koruna habe, Braje Radha-Krishna pabe, dharo Nitaiyer charan du' khani. Nityananda Prabhu is the non-different form of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu no one will get the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And without Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, no one will get entrance into Sri Sri Radha-Krishna's Pastimes. If you want to serve Krishna under the guidance of Radharani then you must surrender to Nityananda Prabhu. By the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu you will receive liberation, and not only liberation, prema-bhakti. Nityananda Prabhu will give you entrance into Vrindavan, a visa to Vraja Dham. Only then will you be able to enter. If you want that, then you must be surrendered to Nityananda Prabhu, and then in the very easiest way it will come to you. This is the easiest and only procedure to get the mercy of Lord Krishna.
We are very fortunate souls because we heard the divine Name of Nityananda Prabhu and we are following, as possible by us, Nityananda Prabhu's line. That is most clean and clear for the conditioned souls. We will get everything by the grace of Nityananda Prabhu and His associates. I must say to everyone: take shelter of the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu and you will have no fear from anywhere. We are all fallen souls and our only hope is the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu.
samsarera para hai' bhaktira sagare
(Sri Chaitanya-Bhagavat: Adi-lila, 1.77)
"If anyone wants to leave mundane attachment and defeat maya, if anyone wants Krishna-prema and Krishna-bhakti, they must worship Nityananda Prabhu's lotus feet."
Nityananda Prabhu is more merciful than Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu's conception was spread mainly by Nityananda Prabhu. He has given everything—full-fledged Krishna consciousness—to everyone. Actually Nityananda Prabhu's full mercy is within sankirtan. The whole world is chanting the Holy Name—the Divine Name of Lord Krishna, the transcendental sound vibration form of the Lord, the Hare Krishna Mahamantra—by His grace.
Here is one thing to understand: depending on your own position you will feel if you have Nityananda Prabhu's mercy or not. If you will feel that within you, then you will be fully satisfied. By the grace of Nityananda Prabhu you will get everything. I pray to Srila Guru Maharaj that he will mercifully give us the shelter of His lotus feet. What can I say more!
• Sriman Nityananda Dvadasakam
• The Divine Pastimes of Sri Nityananda Prabhu
• The Glories of Sri Nityananda Prabhu in the Scriptures
• Kirtans Glorifying Sri Nityananda Prabhu:
|HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE | HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE|
© 2014-2022, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip, India.
Sitemap | Contact us | About us