lunes, 6 de junio de 2011

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura - Ādi-khaṇḍa 9

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura

Chapter Nine: Nityānanda’s Childhood Pastimes and Travels to Holy Places

All glories to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, the unlimited ocean of mercy! All glories to Lord Nityānanda, the dearest friend of the distressed!

All glories to Lord Caitanya, the life’s treasure and soul of Śrī Advaita Ācārya, and the priceless treasure house of Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita! All glories to Lord Viśvambhara, the son of Śrī Jagannātha Miśra and mother Śacī! All glories to all the devotees who are such dear associates of the Lord!

Lord Ananta Śeṣa appeared in Rāḍhadeśa on an order given previously by Śrī Caitanya. He remained in the material world according to Mahāprabhu’s transcendental desire.

Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, the Lord of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, appeared in the village of Ekacakrā. His father was a brāhmaṇa named Hāḍāi Paṇḍita and his mother was Śrīmatī Padmāvatīdevī.

From His early childhood Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu had a serene disposition and was highly intelligent. He was a reservoir of excellences. His charming beauty overshadowed the attractiveness of millions upon millions of Cupids.

From the time of Nityānanda’s birth, everything became auspicious in Rāḍhadeśa. Famine, poverty and all kinds of disturbances were totally dispelled.

On the day of Lord Caitanya’s appearance in Navadvīpa, Śrī Nityānanda, who was still in Rāḍhadeśa, roared with jubilation.

The sound of that roar filled the universe and robbed every one of his senses.

Some people speculated, “It must be a thunder-clap.” Others thought it was the sound of some impending disaster. Still others said, “We know the reason for this sound. Lord Nityānanda, the Lord of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, is roaring in ecstasy.”

People offered different opinions on this subject, but no one actually knew Lord Nityānanda in truth due to his illusory potency.

Lord Nityānanda concealed his identity and played gleefully with the other young children of His age.

The various games Lord Nityānanda played with His young friends were actually manifestations of different pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

The children got together and formed a divine council where some of them took the role of mother Earth and submitted a petition.

Those children were accompanied by many others when they went to the bank of the milk ocean and offered their choicest prayers to Lord Kṛṣṇa.

A certain young boy unseen by anyone called out in a loud voice, “I shall appear in Gokula, Mathurā.”

On some evenings, Lord Nityānanda gathered his young friends and enacted the marriage of Śrī Vasudeva with Devakī-devī.

Closing all the doors and windows to the room to create a dungeon, Lord Nityānanda enacted the birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa which took place deep in the night while the rest of the world slept.

Then they carried baby Lord Kṛṣṇa to their imaginary Gokula-dhāma and exchanged Him for the baby girl Mahā-māyā, the external potency of the Lord. Thus they tricked the wicked King Kaṁsa.

Nityānanda dressed a young boy as Pūtanā and had someone climb on her breast to suck her milk.

Helped by some friends, He one day built a cart with some tough reeds and then He smashed it.

Unseen by anyone, He entered the milkmen’s houses in the near vicinity and stole butter with His young friends.

The young boys never wanted to leave the company of Lord Nityānanda and return home. Day and night they relished His transcendental association.

The parents of these young boys never remonstrated Him, but all of them affectionately held Him on their laps.

Everyone was amazed. "We never saw such wonderful activities. How does a mere child know so many transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa?”

On another day He made snakes just like Kāliyā out of leaves. He took all the young boys and went down to the water.

When the young boys jumped in the water and fell unconscious, Nityānanda revived them.

One day He went to the forest of tala trees with His young friends. After killing the donkey demon Dhenuka, He enjoyed tala fruits with everyone else.

When He would take His young friends out to graze cows, they would enact many different pastimes. Once He dressed them as Bakāsura, Aghāsura and Vatsāsura and then enacted Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes of killing those demons.

Playing His horn all the way, He would return home at sunset with the cows and His young friends.

One day He enacted the pastime of lifting the Govardhana Hill; another day he recreated Vṛndāvana-dhāma and played about while remembering its many different places.

He performed the pastime of stealing the clothes of the Vraja cowherd damsels, and He also met the wives of the brāhmaṇas who were engaged in performing sacrifices.

Someone would occasionally dress up as Nārada Muni--complete with dress and beard--and give secret council to Kaṁsa while sitting in a secluded place.

Once a young boy dressed as Akrūra enacted the pastime of taking Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma from Vṛndāvana to Mathurā on the order of the cruel King Kaṁsa.

Taking the part of the Vraja gopīs, Nityānanda wept bitterly in a mood of intense separation. His tears flowed like a gushing river and all the boys looked on in amazement.

Being deluded by the illusory potency of Lord Viṣṇu, no one could understand the truth about Lord Nityānanda. Oblivious to his identity the young boys played happily with Him.

After recreating Mathurā in their play, Lord Nityānanda roamed about the city with His young friends. Someone dressed up as a gardener and someone else adorned himself with a flower garland.

He dressed someone as the hunch-backed woman from Mathurā and enacted the pastime of going to her place to be smeared with fragrant sandalwood paste. Next He made a bow, strung it, and then broke it in the midst of great tumult.

Acting like Kṛṣṇa, Lord Nityānanda pretended to kill the mad elephant Kuvalayāpīḍa and the two wrestlers Cāṇūra and Muṣṭika in the arena of Kaṁsa. Then he sought out the young friend who was dressed as Kaṁsa, pulled him down by his hair and straddled his chest.

He danced jubilantly with his young friends after the mock killing of cruel King Kaṁsa. Everyone who watched the drama laughed in appreciation.

In a playful mood Lord Nityānanda imitated the many different transcendental pastimes of the incarnations of the Supreme Godhead, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.

One day Lord Nityānanda became Lord Vāmana, making someone else take the part of Bali Mahārāja. He enacted the pastime of Lord Vāmana tricking King Bali out of his vast kingdom which extended throughout the three worlds.

Someone acting as Śukrācārya appeared in an old man’s attire and forbid Bali Mahārāja to entertain Lord Vāmana’s request for three paces of land. But King Bali granted Lord Vāmana’s request and the Lord blessed him by placing His lotus feet on the King’s head.

One day Lord Nityānanda became Lord Rāmacandra and built a bridge across the ocean to Lanka. All the young boys dressed as monkeys to form a monkey-army for the Lord. Shouting "Jai Raghunātha!" they felled some castor oil trees and threw them on the water, imitating Lord Rāma’s monkeys throwing rocks in the water to build a bridge.

Another time, Lord Nityānanda played Śrī Lakṣmaṇa. Taking His bow in hand, He stalked off angrily to meet Sugrīva. "O you wretched monkey, My Lord is in anguish. If you care for your life then come right now. Rāmacandra awaits us anxiously in Mālyavān Mountain, and here you are enjoying in the midst of women.”

On another day He chastised Śrī Paraśurāma with mounting fury, “I am not to be blamed for this, O brāhmaṇa. Now run away, immediately!"

Lord Nityānanda was extremely adept when accepting the role of Lakṣmaṇa, but the young boys thought it was all in fun. They were unable to grasp its recondite significance. The young boys dressed up as the famous five monkeys and the Lord as Lakṣmaṇa inquired from them, “Who are you? I see all of you belong to the monkey race, but why are you roaming in the forest? I am the servant of Raghunātha, Lord Rāmacandra, please introduce yourselves.”

They replied, “We are roaming in the forest in fear of Bali. Please take us to Lord Rāmacandra so that we may accept the dust from His lotus feet.

After embracing everyone, Lakṣmaṇa brought them to Lord Rāmacandra, and all of them fell at the Lord’s lotus feet, offering Him their prostrated obeisances.

One day Lord Nityānanda enacted the pastime of killing Indrajit, and another day he lost Himself in the emotions of Lakṣmaṇa.

After dressing one boy as Vibhīṣaṇa, Nitāi brought him to Lord Rāmacandra and the Lord appointed him the King of Lanka.

One boy approached Nitāi and said, “I am Rāvaṇa, the demon King. I shall discharge my most powerful Śakti-śilā weapon at you. Avert it if you can, Lakṣmaṇa.” Challenging Lakṣmaṇa with these words the boy threw a lotus flower at Nitāi. Engrossed in Lakṣmaṇa’s battle mood, Nitāi fell back and dropped to the ground unconscious. Despite the boys' efforts to rouse him, Nitāi lay there unmoving.

The Lord lay without a trace of consciousness in His entire body while His friends sat around holding their heads and lamenting. Nitāi’s mother and father rushed to the spot but when they saw their son’s lifeless body they both fainted and dropped to the ground. Whoever observed the situation was certainly astonished.

The young boys described the details to a crowd that had gathered and someone said, “I think I understand the reason for Nitāi’s loss of consciousness.

“Previously Nitāi expertly enacted the role of King Daśaratha who suffered tremendously and finally died when he heard of Rāma’s banishment to the forest.

"He is simply play acting," explained the man, “and if Hanumān gives Him medicine, He will become well again.”

Before the drama Lord Nityānanda had instructed all His young friends, “If I should fall then surround me and weep. After waiting for a few moments send for Śrī Hanumān, and when he holds the medicine to My nose My life will be revived once again.”

The Lord fell unconscious simply experiencing His own mood as Saṅkarṣaṇa, Lakṣmaṇa. Naturally this confounded His young friends.

The boys had become confused by Nimāi’s seeming unconsciousness and forgotten the Lord’s instructions to them. They simply repeated, “Wake up dear brother!" and wept in loud voices.

When the boys heard the man’s suggestions they remembered the instructions of the Lord. A boy dressed as Hanumān and ran off to gather the medicinal herbs.

Another young boy, dressed as an ascetic but actually the demonic maternal uncle of Rāvaṇa, met Śrī Hanumān on his way and invited him to share some fruits and food. "Please remain here, dear Hanumān, and grace my humble hermitage. I feel greatly fortunate to be able to meet a personality like your good self.”

“My mission is urgent and grave," replied Hanumān. "I must hasten; I cannot remain. You must have heard that Lakṣmaṇa, Lord Rāma’s younger brother, is lying in a coma hit by the powerful Śakti-śilā weapon of Rāvaṇa. So I must rush to the Gandharva hills to get medicine and save His life.”

The ascetic persisted, “If you must leave then at least take your bath, and after eating something you can continue your victorious journey.”

By the potency of Lord Nityānanda, His young friends played their individual parts so eloquently that the entire crowd watched in amazement.

On the prompting of the ascetic, Hanumān went to the big lake for his bath. A young boy dressed as a crocodile caught hold of Hanumān’s feet and dragged him into deep water. But mighty Hanumān pulled the crocodile onto the bank of the lake.

He fought a short battle with the crocodile and after vanquishing him, Hanumān, who is also known as Mahāvira, moved on toward his destination.

Another young boy dressed as a demon chased Hanumān with the intent of eating him.

“You have killed the crocodile, but how do you propose to kill me? I shall devour you. Then who will save Lakṣmaṇa’s life?” roared the demon.

Śrī Hanumān retorted, “Your Rāvaṇa is a dog. I despise him. You had better run far away.” They hurled abuses at each other in this manner for some time and then tearing at each other’s hair, they broke into a fist fight. Soon Śrī Hanumān destroyed the demon and continued toward the Gandharva Hill where he entered the forest.

Some young boys dressed as Gandharvas put up a fight and Hanumān was obliged to battle with them.

When they were defeated, Hanumān carried the Gandharva mountain on his head to Lakṣmaṇa.

Another young boy dressed as a physician, placed the medicine next to Śrī Lakṣmaṇa’s nose thinking of Lord Śrī Rāmacandra.

Lord Nityānanda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then stood up, to the great relief of His parents and all others present there.

Śrī Hāḍāi Paṇḍita hurried to Nitāi and took Him fondly on his lap. The young friends felt light hearted and jubilant.

Everyone was impressed with the drama and inquired, “Dear boy, where did you learn to play all these pastimes?”

Nimāi smiled and replied, “These are all My transcendental activities.”

In His early years Lord Nityānanda was an extremely handsome child. Who could resist holding Him to their heart’s delight?

The people of Rāḍhadeśa loved Him more than they loved their own sons; yet no one could recognize Him as the Lord. His associates were deluded by the illusory potency of Lord Viṣṇu.

Lord Nityānanda played in this manner throughout His childhood. His only source of pleasure was the wonderful pastimes of Kṛṣṇa which He enacted.

Away from their homes, the young friends of Nityānanda enjoyed His sweet company.

I offer my countless obeisances at the feet of all those young associates of Lord Nityānanda who enjoy pleasurable pastimes with Him.

From His childhood Nityānanda’s only inclination was to relive the transcendental activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Who can describe the unlimited superhuman pastimes of Lord Ananta Śeṣa, Śrī Nityānanda? Only by His mercy can proper percipience manifest within the heart.

Lord Nityānanda lived at home for twelve years, continuously enacting such pastimes. Thereafter He left on pilgrimage.

He travelled to different places of pilgrimage for twenty years. Then He at last met Śrī Caitanya.

Please hear the narrations of Lord Nityānanda’s travels to different places of pilgrimage as I have written in this Ādi-khaṇḍa portion of the book. Whoever criticizes the Lord and His activities in anyway is certainly a mischievous sinful atheist. This Supreme Personality Lord Nityānanda, who liberated the entire universe, is surely the unlimited ocean of mercy. By His grace I am able to know the transcendental truth of Lord Caitanya, and by the same grace the divine glories of Lord Caitanya are revealed to me.

Hear attentively the description of the pilgrimage of Lord Nityānanda, the most beloved associate of Śrī Caitanya.

The first holy place Lord Nityānanda visited on His journey was the temple of Vakreśvara; thereafter He roamed the forests of Vaidyanātha all alone.

After visiting Gayā, Nityānanda went to Kāśī, the principal pilgrimage place for the Śaivites which is situated on the banks of the Ganges as she flows swiftly westward. Lord Nityānanda was exhilarated by drinking and bathing in the waters, yet for some reason his longing and fatigue clung to Him.

In Prayāga, the Lord bathed at the rivers' confluence in the early hours of a chilly Magha morning. Then He proceeded to Mathurā where He had appeared in a previous yuga. There He visited Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace.

Attracted by the River Yamunā, the Lord sported in her gentle waters at the bathing place named Viśrāma-ghāṭa. He then circumambulated Govardhana Hill and experienced spiritual ecstasy. One by one the Lord visited all twelve forests including Śrī Vṛndāvana and roamed at will in their shady woods.

In Gokula, the Lord saw the residence of Nanda Mahārāja. In ecstasy He sat down and wept profusely. The Lord then offered worship to the deity of Lord Madana Gopāla and went to Hastināpura, the famous fortress city of the valiant Pāṇḍavas.

Lord Nityānanda wept, being intensely moved by the sanctified place of the elevated devotees of the Supreme Lord. However, the residents of that place could not comprehend such emotions due to their lack of devotional sentiments.

The visit to Hastināpura brought back memories of Lord Balarāma’s activities, and Lord Nityānanda called out, “Save Me O Lord Haladhara!" In this way he worshiped the holy place.

Thereafter Śrī Nityānanda travelled to the holy city of Dvārakā and bathed in the ocean, feeling great spiritual bliss.

Next He went to Siddhapura. That place was rendered holy by the presence of Lord Kapila. After that Nityānanda went to Matsya-tīrtha where He gave away grains in charity on the occasion of a big festival.

The Lord visited Śiva-kāñcī and Viṣṇu-kāñcī. Being the original Supreme Person, Nityānanda was amused at the fanatical conflict that existed between the followers of Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu.

He travelled to Kurukṣetra, Pṛthūdaka, Bindu Sarovara, Prabhāsa and Sudarśana-tīrtha. Then He went to Trita kūpa, Viśāla, Brahmā-tīrtha, and Cakra-tīrtha.

With exhilarated spirits Nityānanda then travelled to Pratisrotā where the Prācī-Sarasvatī flows gently into the ocean. From there He visited the forest of Naimiṣāraṇya.

Lord Nityānanda travelled to the city of Ayodhya. Seeing the birthplace of Lord Rāmacandra, He felt spiritual ecstasy moving Him to shed profuse tears of divine love.

Then He travelled to the tribal kingdom of King Guhaka (Srnga Verapura). King Guhaka reigned during the time of Lord Rāmacandra, and in that holy place Śrī Nityānanda fell into a massive ecstatic trance.

When Śrī Nityānanda thought of His devotee, the tribal king of Guhaka, He went into an ecstatic trance for three days.

Lord Nityānanda visited the different forests in which the Supreme Lord Rāmacandra once roamed. His feeling of separation from the Lord made Him roll in the ground in anguish.

Then the Lord went to the spot where the holy Sarayū River quietly flows in Ayodhyā. After bathing in the water of the Kauśikī River, He continued to Pulasta āśrama, a most sanctified place.

Thereafter Śrī Nityānanda went to Gomati and bathed in the waters of Gandaki and Sona. He climbed the Mahendra Hill where He offered obeisances to Lord Paraśurāma. From there He travelled to Haridvāra, the source of mother Ganges.

He visited Pampa, Bhīma, Godavari, Benva and in the Bipasa (or Vyāsa) river He remained submerged in the water for a while.

In Madurai he visited the temple of Lord Kārtika and then went on to the place known as Śrī Prabat. There, in a massive and impressive temple, His devotees Lord Śiva and Pārvatī were being opulently worshiped as a brāhmaṇa and his wife.

Lord Śiva and Pārvatī recognized Lord Nityānanda as their worshipable Supreme Lord. The original Saṅkarṣaṇa appeared before them as a pilgrim in mendicant’s dress.

Śiva and Pārvatī joyfully received their exalted guest and attended to him affectionately. Pārvatī cooked palatable dishes for His satisfaction and in reciprocation Śrī Nityānanda offered them his obeisances.

Only Lord Kṛṣṇa, knows the confidential topics that transpired between them, but thereafter Lord Nityānanda went to the Dravida territory.

He travelled through different pilgrimage spots touching upon the places of Vyeṅkaṭa-nātha, Kāmakoṣṭhī-purī, and Kāñcī, arriving at last at the sacred River Kāverī. Then He proceeded to the famous holy place of Śrī-raṅgam where merciful Lord Śrī Raghunātha received opulent worship from His devotees. Thereafter Lord Nityānanda visited Hari-kṣetra.

He then visited Ṛṣabha Hills, Madurai, Kṛtamālā, Tāmraparṇī, and Uttara Jawra. In the Malaya Hills He went to Agastya’s hermitage and all the residents were spiritually enthralled by having such a divine personality as their guest.

Arriving in Badarikāśrama with unbounded spiritual joy, He absorbed its divine atmosphere and spent some days in quiet solitude.

From there He trekked to the hermitage of Śrīla Vyāsadeva who immediately recognized Lord Nityānanda as His worshipable Lord Balarāma. He cared for his guest attentively and Śrī Nityānanda reciprocated by offering His obeisances to Śrīla Vyāsadeva.

Continuing His travels, Lord Nityānanda came across a place where a number of Buddhist monks were sitting around. He made a few inquiries there but none of the monks would reply. This sparked His anger and He chastised them for their misbehaviour by kicking each one in the head. The Buddhists dispersed in fear, and the Lord continued His journey, strolling fearlessly through the forest.

Śrī Nityānanda travelled South to Kanyā Kumārī and saw the beautiful deity of Durgādevī installed near the shore of the Indian Ocean at the southern tip of India.

He also went to Śrī Avantapura and the Pañcāpsarā Lake. In Gokarṇa He visited the temples of Lord Śiva. In Kerala and Trigarla He went house to house showering His causeless mercy.

He crossed most of the rivers that flowed down from the Vindhya Hills and covered the tract of land south of the Vindhyas known as Payonci; then He wandered a while in Tapti. He visited Reba, Māhiṣmatī, Malla tīrtha, Sūrpāraka and then headed westward.

Lord Nityānanda travelled all over the country in a joyful mood, fearless and carefree. He was constantly submerged in ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa. Overcome with ecstasy, sometimes He cried and sometimes He laughed. Who can understand the blissful turmoil which stirred in His heart?

During the period of His journey when He travelled in the western provinces, He met Śrī Mādhavendra Purī by divine arrangement.

Śrī Mādhavendra Purī is the embodiment of ecstatic transcendental love for Lord Kṛṣṇa and all His swanlike disciples are full of that spiritual love. His only means of subsistence is the nectar that flows out of Kṛṣṇa’s loving exchanges. Lord Kṛṣṇa personally resides in the form of such unalloyed devotees as Śrī Mādhavendra Purī.

Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu is foremost amongst Śrī Mādhavendra Purī’s disciples, so how can I begin to describe his intense love for Kṛṣṇa provided as I am with inadequate words.

On meeting Śrī Mādhavendra Purī Lord Nityānanda became paralyzed and lost consciousness, overpowered by ecstatic transcendental love; and Mādhavendra Purī also went into an ecstatic trance, losing all external senses upon seeing Lord Nityānanda.

Lord Caitanya often remarked that Śrī Mādhavendra Purī was the main trunk of the tree of nectarean devotional mellows.

Īśvara Purī and other disciples of Mādhavendra Purī witnessed the unique meeting. Tears flowed freely from their eyes as they saw the two forms lying in devotional trance.

When consciousness returned and they became aware of each other’s presence, Mādhavendra Purī and Nityānanda embraced while crying tears of joy. They rolled in the sand and roared loudly, unabashed in expressing their sublime emotions, totally absorbed in the ecstasy of love of Godhead. Their profuse, unrestrained tears purified the earth. Mother Earth felt she was receiving her greatest benediction. Within their bodies different ecstatic symptoms of shivering, weeping and horripilation appeared in endless waves; such devotional emotions confirmed that Śrī Caitanya resided within each of them.

Lord Nityānanda spoke first saying, “Today, in one instance, I have received the utmost benefit of My pilgrimages. My eyes have rested on the lotus feet of Śrī Mādhavendra Purī and seeing his transcendental love, My life has become blessed and meaningful.”

Śrī Mādhavendra Purī sat speechless holding Lord Nityānanda to his breast, his voice choked with tears of ecstatic emotions. Such was his feeling of love for Nityānanda that he never desired to release Him from his embrace. Īśvara Purī, Brahmānanda Purī and all the other disciples could perceive what had just spiritually transpired, so their natural attraction and attachment for the Lord increased.

In the past both Mādhavendra Purī and Nityānanda had seen pilgrims and many amongst them in saintly garb, but now they realized that none of those pilgrims had possessed the transcendental gift of love of God.

Remembering their brief association and conversations with such non-devotional persons they were overcome with remorse. They had wandered everywhere looking intently for Kṛṣṇa and His pure loving devotees. They found each other--pure transcendentalists--and they felt the burden of their despondency lift in each other’s association. In each other they witnessed the manifestation of love of God.

Blissful days passed, filled with confidential Kṛṣṇa conscious discussions which created in both the Lord and Mādhavendra Purī an insatiable thirst for continued association. Śrī Mādhavendra’s spontaneity drove him into ecstatic trance when he saw a dark cloud that reminded him of Kṛṣṇa’s complexion. Day and night he seemed intoxicated by his love for Kṛṣṇa, sometimes laughing, next moment crying and sometimes making a great deal of noise or shouting.

Lord Nityānanda was also drunk with the divine nectar of love of Lord Govinda. He stumbled and fell repeatedly, often roaring with laughter.

The disciples were very impressed by the extent of their spiritual master’s and Lord Nityānanda’s extraordinary love for the Supreme Lord, and they in turn responded by continuously singing the name of Śrī Hari. Steeped in the ambrosia of transcendental love, they lost count of time; no one knew when day turned to night and their surroundings passed into oblivion.

Who can grasp the highly confidential topics Śrī Mādhavendra Purī discussed with Lord Nityānanda? Only Lord Kṛṣṇa, the omniscient Supersoul, knows everything. Śrī Purī grew so attached to Lord Nityānanda that he could not imagine leaving His company; he spent every moment of his time with Him.

Śrī Mādhavendra Purī said, “Nowhere have I found the exhibition of such supramundane love par excellence as in Lord Nityānanda. Wherever that love is found becomes the best of all the holy pilgrimages. I am now convinced that the blessed Lord Kṛṣṇa is graciously disposed towards me because I have found an intimate associate like Lord Nityānanda. Wherever one meets Lord Nityānanda - that place becomes the most holy place. The very spiritual planet of Vaikuṇṭha descends there. Whoever associates with Lord Nityānanda and hears from Him will surely attain purest devotional love at the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. And whoever harbours even a tinge of apathy for Lord Nityānanda is forever cast aside by Lord Kṛṣṇa, though he may be in the guise of a devotee.”

Śrī Mādhavendra Purī expressed his feeling of deep affection for Lord Nityānanda with unhesitating praises. Simultaneously Lord Nityānanda developed His affection and reverential mood towards Śrī Purī which can only be offered to a mentor. A wonderful relationship blossomed where each continually exhilarated the other with his ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.

They relished each other’s transcendental association for some days and then Lord Nityānanda left for the South where Lord Rāmacandra built a bridge to Lanka with the help of the monkey army. Śrī Mādhavendra Purī set out towards Sarājau. They parted ways, merged in a state of complete bliss of love of Kṛṣṇa, unmindful of even their own physical conditions.

Lives of such unalloyed devotees of Kṛṣṇa are sustained only by their intense love for the Lord. Otherwise, once they are aware of that love it would not be possible for them to continue living, feeling the excruciating pangs of separation from Him.

Those faithful souls who hear this narration of the wonderful meeting between Śrī Mādhavendra and Lord Nityānanda will surely attain the highest perfection, love of Kṛṣṇa.

Lord Nityānanda travelled for a few days submerged in that ambrosia of love of Kṛṣṇa and finally arrived in Setubandha. He bathed in Dhanus tīrtha and proceeded to Rāmeśvara. Thereafter He travelled to Vijayanagara, and from there, on to the temple of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva in Geoda. He visited Māyāpurī, Avanti, and the Godavari River. This time the Lord decided to go to Jagannātha Purī and on the way He visited Tirumala and Kūrma-kṣetra.

The Lord saw the high fluttering flag of Lord Jagannātha’s temple just as He entered Puruṣottama-kṣetra, Purī, and immediately He fell into an ecstatic trance. He saw Lord Jagannātha, as the Lord of Dvārakā along with all His divine associates and devotees present in that holy dhāma. Such visions revived Lord Nityānanda’s ecstatic mood and He fell unconscious to the ground. When He regained consciousness, the different ecstatic symptoms of shivering, paling, weeping, horripilation and loud roaring became manifest and again He fell to the ground. Who can perceive the magnitude of Lord Nityānanda’s extraordinary love of Godhead?

He spent a few days more in Nīlācala and then, immersed in total spiritual joy, He travelled north to Gańgā sāgara. How is it possible for me to describe Lord Nityānanda’s pilgrimage? My feeble attempt is made possible only by His grace.

Caught up in the fervour of His pilgrimage, the Lord again travelled to Mathurā and Vṛndāvana. Completely absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Nityānanda was unaware of the passage of many days and nights in Vṛndāvana. He forgot about eating and only occasionally drank a little milk if it came to Him unsolicited.

Śrī Nityānanda could visualize His Lord, Śrī Caitanya, living as an ordinary boy in Navadvīpa. He thought to Himself, “When Lord Gauracandra reveals his magnanimous pastimes of congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy name, at that time I shall devote Myself to His service.” He thus resolved to wait in Vṛndāvana and not proceed to Navadvīpa. He filled His days happily frolicking in the dark cool waters of the Kālindī, lost in the mood of a young cowherd boy. At other times He found inexplicable pleasure playing in the sand with young friends.

Lord Nityānanda was the original Lord Viṣṇu and He possessed the absolute full potency to grace anyone with love of Godhead. Yet He restrained Himself and waited patiently so that He could execute the order of Śrī Caitanya and profusely distribute that precious love of God to everyone. Lord Caitanya’s associates did not desire to act without their Lord’s instructions to guide them, nor did they feel slighted by taking a humble position. Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva all carried out Lord Caitanya’s orders to maintain, create and annihilate this world according to their respective duties. Unfortunately the sinful atheists feel unhappy because they cannot accept this point, and unseen by the poor Vaiṣṇavas they thrive everywhere. Yet Lord Nityānanda is famous for inundating the universe with love of God.

Lord Nityānanda is the original devotee of Lord Caitanya. His tongue is the abode of Lord Caitanya’s glories, vibrating incessantly the sublime pastimes of Śrī Gauracandra. One can obtain full devotion at Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet simply by worshiping Lord Nityānanda. All glories to Lord Nityānanda, the primeval Lord! It is only by His causeless mercy that the glorious pastimes of Śrī Caitanya manifest in one’s heart. And by the grace of Gauracandra one can become lovingly attached to Lord Nityānanda. All obstacles and misfortunes in life are extirpated as soon as the knowledge of the truth about Lord Nityānanda dawns upon one. Those who desire to overcome the material whirlpool and drown in the ocean of devotional service should worship Nitāicandra. Many praise my Lord saying, “Lord Nityānanda is like Lord Brahmā", while others say, “He is very dear to Lord Caitanya.” I hear various opinions about Him--that He is a sannyāsī, or a humble devotee, or an erudite Vedic scholar. People conjecture without inhibition and stop at nothing; some go to the extent of saying that His connection with Lord Caitanya is not intimate. None of these affect me at all; I simply pray that His lotus feet remain impressed upon my heart eternally.

After repeated attempts to invoke good judgement in all people, if some sinful lot continues to criticize my Lord, then I kick them in their heads to save them from imminent disaster. Those who misinterpret the remarks of Advaita Ācārya Prabhu or Lord Nityānanda as criticism of Caitanya Mahāprabhu should realize that those remarks were in fact shaded glorifications of my Lord. All the Vaiṣṇava associates of Lord Caitanya are externally liberated and enlightened souls. What is wrongly understood to be disturbing arguments or abusive language used between them is actually one way they express their deep love for each other. An ordinary person is therefore discouraged from taking sides in such a mock fight, for if he criticizes anyone then he places himself in a precarious position. That person who is not critical of Lord Nityānanda and who is steadfast in his spiritual practices will certainly attain the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. I intensely yearn to see the lotus feet of my Lord and master Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Caitanya.

Lord Nityānanda is my absolute master; by taking shelter of His lotus feet let me worship Lord Caitanya. I greatly desire to study Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in Lord Nityānanda’s presence. This is my humble submission eternally. All glories to Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya! You are fully independent to act as You wish. You can give me the lotus feet of Lord Nityānanda or separate me from them. I pray that You, my Lord Caitanya, be merciful to me and grant that my whole heart and soul remain fixed at Your lotus feet and at the lotus feet of Śrī Nityānanda. Nitāicandra is devoted exclusively to You so no one can attain His shelter without Your blessings.

Lord Nityānanda roamed throughout Vṛndāvana waiting for Lord Gauracandra to manifest His pastimes openly. Lord Nityānanda’s pilgrimage was part of His transcendental pastimes. Whoever hears these narrations with devotion is crowned with the most precious gem of success--love of Godhead. Lord Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda are my heart and soul. Their humble servant, Vṛndāvana dāsa, offers his song at their lotus feet.

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

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