sábado, 18 de junio de 2011

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura - Ādi-khaṇḍa 11

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura

Chapter Eleven: Meeting with Śrī Īśvara Purī

All glories to Śrī Gauracandra, the Supreme Lord of all lords! His youthful pastimes as a scholar revealed His attraction for learning. He stayed in Navadvīpa, but He concealed His true identity. The best of the brāhmaṇas, Gauracandra, spent all His younger days pursuing His studies. His handsome youthfulness could defeat the beauty of millions upon millions of Cupids. Every limb of His transcendental body was a perfection of beauty. His arms extended down to the knees, and His exquisite eyes were like lotus petals. His attractive lips were red, as if from chewing betel, and He was always dressed in fine, majestic clothes.

Ever in a happy mood, He walked amidst His colleagues and disciples, entertaining them with His sparkling wit. He was their unquestioned leader on the strength of His superior intelligence and learning. He roamed all over Navadvīpa carrying His books as if holding Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning, within His palm, for He is the Supreme Lord of the entire cosmic manifestation. No scholar in Navadvīpa dared to find faults in His dissertations. Only the brāhmaṇa Gaṅgādāsa Paṇḍita, a very pious and fortunate soul, was capable of discussing with the Lord.

The different categories of people in Navadvīpa saw Mahāprabhu in their own way. The materialistic fruitive workers who were attached to family and home saw Him as the Lord and experienced an inexplicable wonder. “How remarkable that every house He graces should always have prosperity!” they exclaimed. The ladies saw Him as the most attractive Cupid. But in the hearts of the atheists He struck fear as the god of death. The scholars were convinced that Bṛhaspati, the most learned priest of the demigods, had taken birth on earth.

But the Vaiṣṇavas were seriously concerned about Gaurāṅga and His behaviour. “He is endowed with such sublime physical beauty,” they sadly commented, “yet He shows no attraction for Lord Kṛṣṇa. What will all His learning and erudition bring Him except years of wasted time” The Vaiṣṇavas spoke in this manner because they were bewildered by the internal potency of the Lord. Although they saw the Supreme Lord in person before them, they could not recognize Him.

Once a Vaiṣṇava met the Lord and inquired, “What is the use of wasting Your time in pursuit of material knowledge?”

The Lord smiled at the concern of His devotee and replied, “Truly it is My great fortune that you are instructing Me to accept the path of devotional service.”

These are some of the exchanges of mellows between the Supreme Lord and His devotees. Yet even the devotees--what to speak of ordinary men--could not recognize the Lord as He unfolded His pastimes in the mood of a scholar. Navadvīpa was the seat of learning in those days, and students and scholars came there from all over. There were many pure Vaiṣṇava amongst them, especially from Caṭṭagrāma, who had come to live near the bank of the Ganges. By the Lord’s desire all those Vaiṣṇavas had appeared in Navadvīpa. Abandoning all physical and material pleasures, they were fully attached to the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. They met daily, studied together and in solitude--away from the bustle of materialistic life--they discussed pastimes of Lord Govinda’s.

Śrī Mukunda was especially loved by all the other Vaiṣṇavas because he could melt anyone’s heart with his beautiful singing. Towards evening, the devotees would gather in Śrī Ācārya’s house, and when Mukunda would sing devotional songs to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the devotees would lose their composure. Some would cry, others would laugh loudly, and still others would dance. Some lost consciousness of themselves and their clothes and would roll on the ground, feeling great ecstasy. Some chanted loudly as if roaring like lions, and others slapped their thighs as wrestlers do. Still others simply touched the feet of Śrī Mukunda. The whole place became transformed into a most blissful scene, and all the Vaiṣṇavas forgot their previous sufferings.

The Supreme Lord Gaurasundara was always pleased with Mukunda. Whenever He saw Mukunda He would go and embrace him. Nimāi would ask Mukunda for his comment on some subject and Mukunda would earnestly try to explain it. But the Lord would immediately reply that Mukunda’s arguments were all wrong, and inevitably an argument would ensure. Mukunda had become a respected scholar by such meetings with the Lord, and he would argue with the Lord, presenting pros and cons to establish his arguments. Of course, the Supreme Lord recognized His devotees and enjoyed such exchanges.

Lord Caitanya also harassed Śrīvāsa in the same manner whenever He saw him. Most of the Vaiṣṇavas therefore tried to avoid meeting the Lord, who they felt simply wasted their time in useless sophistry and argument. The Vaiṣṇavas were fully detached from material pleasures, being totally immersed in love of Kṛṣṇa. Hence, they found no interest in any topics other than those related to Kṛṣṇa. They were not inspired to argue with the Lord on logic or other such material topics. In any case, the interactions invariably ended with the Lord making fun of them. Therefore when any of them spotted the Lord, they would change direction and keep distant. They enjoyed only Kṛṣṇa conscious topics, yet whenever the Lord met them He would only ask questions on logic and other material subjects.

One day Caitanya was walking down the main street with some other students. Mukunda happened to be coming that way at the same time, going for his daily bath in the river. Seeing the Lord from a distance, Mukunda quickly turned away. The Lord saw Mukunda sneak away and He asked His servant Govinda, “Why did this fellow run away on seeing Me?”

“Dear learned brāhmaṇa, I don’t know why he has gone away,” said Govinda. “Maybe he has some other work.”

“I know why he ran away,” said Gaurāṅga. “He does not like to talk about mundane subject matters. This fellow only studies devotional scriptures while I juggle with astrology, theology, verb rules and grammar. Because I do not talk about Kṛṣṇa he has avoided Me.” Using harsh terms He pretended to slander Mukunda, but He was actually very pleased with him. In this way He simultaneously revealed His own supreme identity.

“All right Mukunda, we will see how long you can avoid Me,” laughed the Lord. “Let Me catch you another day and you will see how much of a Vaiṣṇava I am. I will become such a Vaiṣṇava that Śiva and Lord Brahmā will come and stand at My doorstep. So My brothers, now hear from Me carefully. I will become the most famous Vaiṣṇava. Those who are running away at the sight of Me now will also sing My glories.” He laughed at His own speech and left with all His disciples. Who can appreciate such pleasurable pastimes of the Lord Viśvambhara if He Himself does not reveal it within one’s heart?

While the devotees in Navadvīpa displayed wonderful qualities, the rest of the residents were mad after wealth, sons, and other such material properties. If they heard the chanting of the Lord’s holy name they blasphemed the devotees saying, “They are singing only with the hope of filling their bellies.”

Other atheistic persons remarked, “These people want to avoid speculative knowledge and prefer to dance in the road like upstarts. What sort of behaviour is this?”

Another person said, “How much of the Bhāgavata and other scriptures have they read that they dance and cry all the time. Is this their devotional path? This Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita and his three brothers will not even allow us to sleep after a good meal. I would ask them whether there no spiritual benefit from chanting Kṛṣṇa’s name softly, or is it only by howling and dancing that some special benefit is derived?”

The atheists hurled offenses at the Vaiṣṇavas whenever they saw them. The Vaiṣṇavas lamented the state of the people in general and ardently cried Kṛṣṇa’s holy name. “O Lord! How long before all this suffering is eradicated from the world?” they prayed. “Dear Kṛṣṇa, please incarnate in this sinful material world.”

At Advaita Ācārya’s house the Vaiṣṇavas described the insults they had received from the Navadvīpa community. Advaita Ācārya Prabhu could hardly tolerate insults to the devotees and grew enraged like an incarnation of Lord Rudra, the destroyer of the material world. He roared furiously, “I shall destroy everyone! My Lord, the carrier of the Sudarśana disc will soon appear here in Nadia, and then everyone will see what He does. I shall report all these offenses to My Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. Then only will this slave Advaita be worthy to be called the servant of Kṛṣṇa. My dear brothers, please remain patient a little longer, then here in Nadia itself you shall see Kṛṣṇa reveal His wonderful pastimes.”

Advaita Ācārya’s encouraging words instilled new life in their hearts. The Vaiṣṇavas forgot their distressed condition and began chanting the holy name of the Lord. With Śrī Advaita they jubilantly sang the all-auspicious names of Lord Kṛṣṇa and became blissfully intoxicated by the sweet sound. The caustic remarks of the atheists faded far into the background of their thoughts.

Nimāi Paṇḍita continued His education happily. He was a constant source of pleasure for mother Śacī. Around this time Śrī Īśvara Purī came to Navadvīpa unobtrusively dressed as an ekadaṇḍi-sannyāsī. He was a magnanimous personality, always absorbed in tasting the nectar of love of Kṛṣṇa. He was extremely dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa and compassionate towards all. Because of his humble attire, no one recognized him.

One day Īśvara Purī went to Advaita Ācārya’s house, but the ācārya was engaged in seva at that time. Īśvara Purī sat in front of Advaita Prabhu. The Vaiṣṇava’s effulgence cannot be hidden from other Vaiṣṇavas, therefore Advaita Ācārya Prabhu repeatedly glanced towards Īśvara Purī.

Ācārya Prabhu then addressed him respectfully, “Dear saintly person, who are you? I have the feeling that you are a Vaiṣṇava sannyāsī.”

“I am worse than a fourth-class person,” replied Īśvara Purī. I have come here simply to see Your lotus feet.”

Mukunda also recognized the symptoms of a pure Vaiṣṇava in the sannyāsī and so he spontaneously broke into devotional song. At the sound of Mukunda’s voice, Īśvara Purī fell to the ground. Incessant tears poured from his eyes while repeated and increasing bursts of devotional ecstasy overcame him. Advaita Ācārya was alarmed and drew Īśvara Purī quickly into His arms. Soon He was bathed with the saint’s tears and they were both swept away by ecstatic waves of love of God, unable to control their spiritual emotions. Inspired by them, Mukunda sang one śloka after another.

The assembled Vaiṣṇavas were astounded to see such a display of intense spiritual emotions and their hearts filled with divine happiness. Later, when the devotees learned that the humble sannyāsī was Īśvara Purī, they broke into spontaneous kīrtana, overjoyed that such a great devotee was in their presence. In this humble way Śrī Purī wandered around Navadvīpa, not recognized by anyone.

One day Lord Gauracandra was returning home after teaching some students and by divine arrangement He saw Īśvara Purī on the way. Recognizing His servant and dear devotee, the Lord offered him respect. Lord Viśvambhara’s unsurpassed beauty was impossible to describe. He was a perfect personality in all respects. No one could understand His inner feelings, yet everyone regarded Him with awe and respect. Śrīla Īśvara Purī glanced at the Lord and knew immediately that Nimāi was a grave and sublime transcendental personality.

“What is Your name, O learned brāhmaṇa?” asked Śrī Purī. “Which book are You carrying? What do You teach and where is Your place of residence?” Some other students introduced Nimāi and Śrī Īśvara Purī exclaimed, “Oh, You are that same Nimāi Paṇḍita.”

Śrī Īśvara Purī’s pleasure was quite apparent. The Lord begged him to accept prasāda at His house and they returned home together, as Śrī Īśvara Purī lavished affection on Nimāi. Mother Śacī prepared a feast and offered it to Lord Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Purī accepted the mahā-prasāda, and afterwards sat in the temple room. He began to narrate the wonderful pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and at one stage he fell silent, perplexed with ecstatic emotions of love of Godhead and unable to speak any further. Nimāi and everyone else experienced wonderful joy as the nectar of devotion flowed profusely from Śrī Purī.

Īśvara Purī never exhibited ecstatic symptoms amongst materialistic people. He stayed in the house of Gopīnātha Ācārya in Navadvīpa for seven months. The hearts of the Vaiṣṇavas were light with joy because of his association; the Lord himself visited Śrī Purī daily.

Gadādhara Paṇḍita was also a well-loved member of the Vaiṣṇava community because of his love for Lord Kṛṣṇa. From childhood he was completely detached from and disgusted with material life. He was favoured and loved by Īśvara Purī. In his association Śrī Purīpāda would read Kṛṣṇa-līlāmṛta which he had composed, and then he explained the different esoteric truths.

Lord Caitanya visited Īśvara Purī every evening after teaching His students. Īśvara Purī was always glad to see Him. Although he did not know that Nimāi was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his love and affection for Him flowed unrestrained. He spoke affectionately to the Lord, “I know You are a great scholar. I have written a book about Lord Kṛṣṇa. I want you to go through it and find the mistakes. This will please me very much.”

“These are descriptions of Lord Kṛṣṇa by a pure devotee,” replied Nimāi. If anyone finds any mistake, then he is a sinful offender. The pure devotee never writes anything from his imagination, devoid of a scriptural basis. These writings are bona fide and always pleasing to Lord Kṛṣṇa. When offering obeisances in the temple an ignorant person might make a grammatical mistake in addressing Lord Kṛṣṇa, while a learned scholar would address Him using proper grammar. But the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa accepts both their obeisances. The Supreme Lord is not impressed with mere learning, but He is supplicated by the inner mood of surrender of the living entities. Whoever looks for faults in your writings is actually at fault himself because Kṛṣṇa is fully satisfied by the writing of His pure devotee. Whatever you have written is an expression of your love for Kṛṣṇa. Who has the audacity to find some discrepancy in it?”

Īśvara Purī felt ecstasy surge through his entire body with the explanation of Nimāi Paṇḍita. Yet he affectionately persisted, “I know You are not critical, but in my works there may be so many types of errors. Please point them out to me.” Such discussions between Śrī Purī and Nimāi Paṇḍita were a daily occurrence and everyone enjoyed such occasions together.

One day Nimāi Paṇḍita detected a fault in one of Īśvara Purī’s poems and commented that the use of the verb root was inaccurate. “It should be a different verb, not ātmanepadī as you have used here,” said the Lord. After the discussion Nimāi went home. Īśvara Purī was an erudite scholar, well versed in all the scriptures and no less a paṇḍita in grammar and other materialistic subjects. After Nimāi left, he considered Nimāi’s comment from various aspects and compared it with many different grammatical or śāstric conclusions. When Nimāi came to see him the next day Śrī Purī said, “That verb root You considered to be wrong is actually correct as I have used it. It should not be parapadi as You suggested, ātmanepadī is the correct usage.”

The Lord was overjoyed that His servant and devotee was victorious over Him. That was the Lord’s magnanimous nature through which He always increased the name, fame, and victory of His devotees. This has been confirmed in all the Vedic scriptures.

Having enjoyed every moment of his association with the Supreme Lord—engaged in discussion and debate like two scholars—Īśvara Purī left Navadvīpa. He could never remain long in one place because the restlessness of ecstatic devotional love tugged at his heart. He travelled, purifying each place he visited.

Whoever is fortunate enough to attentively hear these wonderful narrations about Īśvara Purī is immediately transported to the place where the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa are ever offering shelter and mercy. Śrīla Īśvara Purī was fully empowered by Śrī Mādhavendra Purī and was thus endowed with intense love of God. He had received that full love and affection from his spiritual master by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. Īśvara Purī roamed everywhere, unconcerned and fully blissful.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Nityānanda Candra are my life and soul. I, Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura, humbly offer my song at Their lotus feet. 

The samādhi of Śrīla Vṛndāvan Dās ṬhākuraThe samādhi of Śrīla Vṛndāvan Dās Ṭhākura

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