SRI CAITANYA BHAGAVATA
Antya Lila Chapter 2
All glories to Lord Gauracandra, the life and soul of every living being. He is terror personified for the miscreants, and He is the protector of the devotees.
He is the Lord and master of Ananta Sesa, Laksmidevi, Brahma and Siva, and He is the friend of the poor. He is an ocean of benevolence and the best of all sannyasis.
All glory to the Lord and all His associates. May He shower benedictions upon me so my mind may remain in eternal meditation on His lotus feet.
The Lord passed that night in Advaita's house relishing unlimited spiritual bliss. He and His loving associates relished confidential talks about His transcendental activities. In the morning, after completing His daily morning duties, the Lord sat down with all the Vaisnavas. He said, "I am going to Nilacala, but you should not become despondent because of this.
"After offering My obeisances to Lord Jagannatha, I will return to be amongst you again. Return to your houses and blissfully engage in performing kirtana, for you are My eternal associates and are more dear to Me than My own life."
The devotees replied, "As You wish, O Lord. No one can divert You from Your decision. Yet it must be mentioned that at the present time it is unsafe for travel to Orissa. The kingdoms of Bengal and Orissa are on the verge of war. The way is infested with dacoits. Please consider waiting until the situation improves." The Lord said, "Obstacles may be there, but I must go."
Advaita Acarya could understand the Lord's heart, He was bent on going to Nilacala. Advaita approached the Lord with folded hands and said truthfully to Him, "Who can obstruct Your path? All hindrances are Your slaves, so who has the power to stop You? Once You have made up Your mind to go to Nilacala then You can leave at Your own sweet will." The Lord was pleased to hear the truth spoken so plainly from Advaita, and He acknowledged it by loudly chanting "Hari! Hari!"
The Lord set out towards Nilacala. His gait was that of a stalking maddened lion. The devotees ran after Him unable to control their emotions and tears. After a distance, the Lord turned to them and spoke sweet loving words, "Please do not be sad, I will never leave you. Go home now and take shelter of the holy name. I will return in a few days." He embraced everyone one by one and soaked them with His tears of love. It was a moving scene as the Lord and the devotees cried in each others' arms. Finally pacifying and reassuring everyone, the Lord traveled south. But the devotees were not to be consoled so easily. As the Lord disappeared from their sight, they fell to the ground crying piteously.
Just as the gopis of Vrndavana had wept bitterly as though thrown into an ocean of endless woe when Krsna was journeying to Mathura leaving Vrndavana, that very same mood of separation was now being experienced by the devotees of Lord Caitanya. The situation and mood then in Krsna's pastime is the same now in Lord Caitanya's pastime. Life and death are entirely controlled by Krsna. It is of no consequence whether one consumes poison or the elixir of immortality, only what Krsna wants will happen. If He wants, someone will die; if He wants, someone will go on living.
The Lord was journeying happily towards Nilacala with Nityananda, Gadadhara, Mukunda, Govinda, Jagadananda, and Brahmananda. The Lord wanted to test His devotees. He inquired, "Please tell Me frankly whether any one of you has brought any necessary things for the journey." They replied, "No one has the power to act independently, my Lord. Without Your permission we did not bring anything." The Lord was greatly pleased at their reply. The Lord now spoke, delineating the import of this seemingly simple question.
He said, "You have made Me very happy by not bringing anything with you. Everyone is liable to enjoy only what is destined to them. Even if they are in the forest, that which is due to them through destiny will find them. If Providence wills that someone goes without food, then even if they are a prince they will have to fast. The prince's kitchen may be filled with food, but if the Lord so wills it, the prince cannot eat. He might suddenly get into a quarrel with someone and out of anger refuse to eat and remain sulking. He may also, without warning, be attacked by high fever, in which case there is no question of eating anything. This is all happening in truth by the Lord's sweet will. The entire universe is Lord Krsna's storehouse filled with grains and foodstuff. If the Lord desires, we can get food anywhere and everywhere."
The Lord was teaching everyone the proper attitude towards God. One who accepts to heart these instructions becomes perfectly happy in life. One may try very carefully to do something, but the result of that endeavor depends entirely on the Lord's will. Discussing in this manner, they arrived at the village of Atisara.
A very saintly personality named Ananta Pandita was living in Atisara. The Lord decided to sojourn at his residence. This shows how fortunate Ananta Pandita was. Ananta Pandita was overwhelmed with divine bliss to have the Lord of Vaikuntha personally come to his house as his guest. He joyfully busied himself feeding the Lord and all the devotees. The Lord sat down together with all the devotees and relished and honored prasada. He was instructing everyone how to lead the ideal mendicant life of a sannyasi by begging everything. That whole night He spent in discussing topics of Krsna's pastimes.
The next morning after blessing Ananta Pandita with His merciful glance, the Lord continued on His journey, Krsna's name constantly vibrating on His lips. When the villagers saw the Lord's compassionate moon-like face, which was a soothing balm to all tribulations, they spontaneously began to repeat the Lord's holy name. Yogis steeped in meditation find it practically impossible to attain His lotus feet in their hearts, yet now even ordinary persons could see Him as He went on His journey.
The Lord traveled along the banks of the Ganga and arrived at a place known as Catrabhoga. Here the Ganges was flowing in one hundred separate streams for the benediction and joy of the people. Also situated here is a bathing place known as Ambulinga-ghat. Lord Siva is present here in his linga form known as Ambulinga-in-water. I shall now relate the history behind this form of Lord Siva. In the distant past, Bhagirath had worshiped Gangadevi praying to her to descend to the earth. The waters of Ganga were the only means to bring his ancestors back to life. When Gangadevi complied and started flowing on the earth, Lord Siva was pining for her association. Finally Lord Siva came to earth. Seeing her flow in Catrabhoga, he became overwhelmed with emotion and entered her waters, himself taking the form of water.
Gangadevi, upon seeing Lord Siva, began to worship him with great devotion. Lord Siva knows the depth of Gangadevi's devotion and attachment for the Lord, and Gangadevi is also aware of Lord Siva's highly elevated position. By the touch of Ganga water Lord Siva became water, and Gangadevi offered him prayers with deep reverence.
From that time, the place became famous as Ambulinga ghat. Catrabhoga also became an important place of pilgrimage with both Gangadevi and Lord Siva present there. And now the transcendental significance of this pilgrimage site was further enhanced by the foot marks of Lord Caitanya. The Lord approached the pilgrimage spot with increasing ecstasy. He roared loudly the holy names and fell swooning only to be swept timely into Nityananda Prabhu's safe embrace. The devotees responded loudly praising the Lord's name. The Lord took everyone into the waters of the Ganga at the Ambulinga ghat and bathed. The Lord and the devotees enjoyed an exhilarating bath. All these descriptions will be compiled later in detail by Vedavyasa.
The Lord came out of the water feeling uncontrollable spiritual emotions storming in His heart. As He changed into fresh dry clothes, His clothes became soaked with tears of ecstasy. On the land Ganga was flowing in one hundred streams and the tears from the Lord's eyes also cascaded down in a hundred streams. The devotees were so amazed that they could only laugh at this extraordinary phenomenon.
The landlord of the village was Ramacandra Khan. Although he was a materialist, he was also a pious man. Otherwise how could he meet Lord Caitanya? The Lord by some divine arrangement came to his house. As soon as he saw the powerful and effulgent appearance of the Lord, Ramacandra Khan hurriedly got down from his swing in great awe. He prostrated himself before the Lord. The Lord was still absorbed in love of God, and oblivious to everything around Him. He was crying profusely, heaving deep sighs, and falling to the ground. He kept chanting "O Jagannatha! O Jagannatha!"
Ramacandra Khan was extremely moved to see such an intense devotional mood. He thought, "There is no way to stop this piteous crying." And then he himself broke out in tears. Who in the three worlds could remain passive to see these tearful entreaties? Even a stone-hearted person would melt. The Lord calmed Himself and inquired from Ramacandra, "Who are you?" Offering prostrated obeisances at the Lord's feet, Ramacandra spoke with folded hands, "O Lord, I am the servant of Your servant." Then the local people spoke up, informing the Lord, "He is the landlord of this entire southern part of the state."
The Lord said, "It is nice that you are the chieftain here. Please tell Me how I can proceed to Nilacala tomorrow." As the Lord was speaking about Nilacala, He was once again overcome by divine ecstasy. Crying out Lord Jagannatha's name, He began to weep profusely and fell to the ground swooning. Ramacandra spoke in a concerned voice, "O Lord, whatever You order I consider my prime duty to fulfill. The roads are very dangerous. Traveling between the two countries has become practically impossible. The inimical kings have placed camouflaged spears along the border. And if the soldiers find even an innocent traveler, they capture him and torture him thinking him an enemy spy. The only way I could arrange would be to send You in secret.
"I place myself in great danger, but I do not care for this danger, I will certainly carry out Your bidding. And my Lord if You kindly accept me as Your servitor then I pray that You and Your associates take food in my house. I will use everything I possess - money, influence, men - to bring You across the border tonight." The Lord was pleased with Ramacandra and blessed him with His merciful glance.
By that one glance, Ramacandra was purified of all material attachments. The Lord went to his residence. Ramacandra's house became sanctified and everyone in the house became extremely joyous, practically experiencing the results of their previous piety. The brahmana, Ramacandra himself prepared the food with devotion and deference. These days the Lord ate very frugally. He had no spare moments away from His deep absorption within Himself. He sat down to eat only for the satisfaction of His devotees. His real food was always the spiritual mellows. His eating habits had changed ever since He embarked on this journey to Jagannatha Puri.
All the way here the Lord had exhibited the mood of separation, imploring Lord Jagannatha. Day or night, land or water were just fading images of no consequence to Him. He was steeped in meditation within Himself tasting the bliss of love of God. The devotees were always by His side keeping watch over Him, and protecting Him from any external harm. The different ecstatic moods exhibited by the Lord are impossible for an ordinary mortal to describe. This is possible by Vedavyasa only.
Who can understand the character of the Supreme Lord? Who can predict how Krsna will act next? Lord Nityananda knows fully well the object of Lord Caitanya's love, for whom He pines so imploringly. The Lord of Vaikuntha, Sri Krsna Caitanya is always engrossed in transcendental exchanges of mellows where He Himself is the object of love. Yet He forgets Himself as the main actor of these pastimes. On one hand He thinks of Himself as Lord Jagannatha, and on the other hand He yearns for union with Lord Jagannatha; in this way He brings the devotees to His side with concern for Him. How can the living entities realize the Supreme if He Himself does not shower them with His causeless mercy?
The Lord sat with Nityananda Prabhu and the other devotees who were so dear to Him. He barely took a morsel of food and got up with a thunderous roar. With the after-lunch ablutions done, He kept on asking, "How far is Jagannatha Puri? How far is Jagannatha Swami?" Mukunda quickly started to sing. The Lord began to dance. The residents of Catrabhoga being pious had a rare treat. They saw the Supreme Lord, the hero of Vaikuntha dance before their very eyes. As He danced, one after another of the ecstatic symptoms began manifesting on His person. Crying, shivering, roaring, horripilation, perspiring profusely, becoming statue-like and so on. Who knows the many subtle spiritual transformations that reflected on Him as He spun round and round. Tears gushed out of His eyes like the rushing currents of the Ganga in a monsoon state drenching everyone. The incarnation of love of Godhead in the form of Lord Caitanya had descended, for who else but Lord Caitanya has the potency to exhibit such pastimes?
Time passed; the night was almost ending. The Lord calmed Himself and sat down. Although it was late night, the long hours seemed to have swiftly gone by like a few moments only. Everyone was delivered by the Lord's causeless mercy. Ramacandra Khan, waiting for this opportune moment, said, "My Lord, the boats are ready and waiting for You." The Lord immediately got up and went to the river bank. He boarded the boat and cast His benedicting glance on everyone. The boat headed toward Jagannatha Puri, His own abode.
The Lord asked Mukunda to sing. He began to sing while the boat moved silently in the still night. The boatman was a simple and illiterate person. He said, "This singing is very fearful. I will surely lose my life tonight. On land the tigers will maul us, and the water is infested with crocodiles. This part of the river is terrorized by bands of dacoits who if they catch us will forcibly take both our wealth and our lives. So please remain quiet until we reach Orissa."
The devotees became dismayed, but the Lord's absorption in spiritual mellows continued uninterrupted. In a short while, the Lord sounded like thunder and said, "What do you fear? Who are you afraid of? The sudarsana cakra, the lethal spinning disk of the Supreme Lord that protects the Vaisnavas at all times from every danger is here. Just look around you. Do not fear; continue the Krsna kirtana. The reassuring words from the Lord had a miraculous effect on the devotees and they began to sing with renewed gusto.
Utilizing this demanding situation, the Lord gave instructions to the devotees, "The sudarsana cakra is always present to protect the devotees of the Lord. The sudarsana destroys any inimical and atheistic forces who try to harass the devotees. The devotees have such an invincible protector as Lord Visnu's own weapon, so who can possibly harm the Vaisnavas?" Only those who have received the Lord's mercy can fathom the meaning of these confidential instructions. Soon the boat reached Orissa. The devotees had performed kirtan the entire way. The boat stopped at the river port called Prayaga ghat and Lord Caitanya got off the boat. The hearing of this narration of the Lord entering Orissa accelerates the process of reaching spiritual perfection. The Lord was extremely joyful, having set His lotus feet on the soil of Orissa. He offered obeisances, and the devotees did the same.
In that area is a well-known bathing place called Ganga ghat. The Lord took His bath there. He then went to offer obeisances to a Siva linga deity known as Mahesa. This deity was established right next to the bathing place by King Yudhistira of the Pandavas. The Lord brought the devotees to a temple and requested them to wait there while He went away to beg alms. The Lord went door to door with His cloth spread out to receive alms. As He stood before each house, the people were captivated by His magnanimous appearance and immediately offered Him something. Whatever was available in the household they gave it with great pleasure. Laksmidevi, the Goddess of Fortune and the giver of all food and opulence, is always praying to receive shelter at the Lord's lotus feet. That same Supreme Personality is now knocking on every door in the guise of a sannyasi begging alms only to benedict the conditioned souls.
The Lord returned to the devotees after collecting alms feeling content. The devotees began to laugh seeing what the Lord had begged and said, "The Lord can certainly maintain us." Jagadananda Pandita eagerly prepared the food. The Lord sat down with all the devotees and ate. They passed the night in that village performing Krsna kirtana. At dawn they were on the road again walking towards Puri.
After a few miles they were suddenly stopped by persons demanding tax, refusing right of way to the devotees unless they paid. But when the tax collectors saw the grave and imposing figure of the Lord, they were impressed. They inquired, "How many men are with You?" The Lord replied, "I do not have anyone in this world, and I do not belong to anyone. I am all alone. The entire world is Mine." Saying this, the Lord began shedding incessant tears, flowing out in streams. The taxman said, "O master, You may kindly leave, but I will not release the others until I have received full payment." The Lord left the group of devotees, remembering Lord Krsna and chanting His names. The devotees were plunged into an abyss of despondency, thinking the Lord had left them.
The devotees, after some consideration, began to laugh at how the Lord had displayed wonderful impartiality, but in the next moment they were again despairing, worried that the Lord would leave them entirely. Nityananda Prabhu pacified them saying, "Do not worry. The Lord will not leave us behind."
The taxman said, "You are not accompanying that sannyasi, so you must pay the proper charges." The Lord had gone just a short distance and sat with His head hanging down, tears welling out of His eyes. Even a heart of stone would melt seeing the Lord weeping in such an entreating way. The taxman was filled with wonderment. He said, "He is certainly not an ordinary soul. It is impossible for a human being to shed such an excessive amount of tears." Looking again carefully at everyone, he enquired from several devotees, "Tell me clearly who you are. Whose associates are you?" They replied, "That sannyasi is our master. You must have heard of Him. His name is Sri Krsna Caitanya. We are His servitors." Saying this, the devotees broke down in tears of divine love for their Lord. The taxman was now dumbfounded. Being infused by their mood and purified by their association, he also began to cry, tears coursing down his cheeks.
The taxman now hastened toward the sitting figure of the Lord and threw himself down on the ground like a rod before the Lord's lotus feet. Very humbly he said, "The great fortune of seeing You has actually resulted from pious activities of many millions of lifetimes. Kindly forgive me for my offenses at Your feet, and I pray that You may arrive safely in Nilacala."
Lord Caitanya blessed the taxman and continued His journey. The Supreme Lord has advented as Lord Caitanya to deliver all living entities. Only the atheistic sinners who are inimical towards the Vaisnavas and addicted to performing the most abominable activities will be deprived of the Lord's mercy. Lord Caitanya's name is so potent that even the demons have a change of heart by chanting His name and glories. Yet the devilish reprobates do not accept this mercy nor have faith in its powers.
The Lord of Vaikuntha showered His merciful glances on everyone as He proceeded on His way to Nilacala. He was always absorbed in deeply drinking the endless nectarean ocean of loving mellows of Lord Krsna.
One day He arrived on the banks of the river Subarnarekha. The Lord and the devotees found the water crystal clear so they bathed in the river, thus sanctifying it. Then they continued on towards their destination.
Somehow, Nityananda Prabhu and Jagadananda Pandita had fallen back a distance from the rest of the group. Lord Caitanya decided to sit down and wait for the two to catch up with them. Nityananda Prabhu was always engrossed in deep meditation on Lord Caitanya. This loving mellow made Him act intoxicated and mad. Sometimes He cried loudly almost wailing, then He would suddenly begin roaring loudly in an earsplitting voice, and then He would abruptly start to laugh. When He saw a river or stream He plunged into the water and swam for a long time. At times He covered His body with dust. He would sometimes fall swooning in ecstasy to the ground so hard that people were made to believe that all His bones were shattered. When He started dancing just on His own, it was difficult, or so it seemed, to keep the earth steady from tilting off balance. This sort of behavior and power are not unnatural for Lord Nityananda. Lord Ananta Sesa is His partial expansion and Lord Caitanya resides eternally in His heart.
Jagadananda Pandita wanted to go and beg food from the village; therefore he wanted to leave the Lord's danda behind. He had been assigned by the Lord to carry His sannyasa danda (or staff) during the journey. He left Nityananda, saying "Here - look after the Lord's danda very carefully while I am gone." Then he gave Him the danda. Nityananda Prabhu, who was always meditating on Lord Caitanya, took the danda and sat down.
He started laughing, holding the danda in one hand and began speaking to the danda. He said, "O danda, where is the logic that you should be carried by that personality whom I bear in My heart." Nityananda Prabhu, who is Lord Balarama got up, and then, smashed the danda to the ground with immense force, breaking it in three places.
The Supreme Lord alone knows His own desires. How can I know why Nityananda Balarama broke the danda? Nityananda Prabhu knows intimately Lord Caitanya's mind. Lord Caitanya also fully understands Lord Nityananda's mind. They are brothers eternally, and They appear together in every millennium. Rama and Laksmana knew each other's hearts deeply. They are the one and same Supreme Lord. They have separated only to teach and enhance the loving mellows of devotional service. I am able to know Lord Caitanya and His pastimes only by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. Who other than Lord Balarama Himself would have the power to smash the Lord's danda? Actually, it is Lord Caitanya, the supreme teacher who teaches through many subtle ways. One who understands this essential truth enjoys blissful devotional life.
When Jagadananda Pandita returned, he found Nityananda sitting with the three broken pieces of the danda lying next to Him. Startled at first, but soon beginning to worry, he inquired of Nityananda, "Who broke the danda?" Nityananda replied, "The one who took the danda in the first place. The Lord Himself has broken His own danda. Who else could do such a thing?" Jagadananda picked up the broken pieces of the danda and without replying, silently walked away.
Jagadananda went directly to where Lord Caitanya was seated. He threw the broken pieces of the danda in front of the Lord. The Lord looked up and asked, "How was the danda smashed like this? Did you get in a fight? Tell Me what happened." Jagadananda narrated everything as he had seen it.
He said, "Nityananda, who is always rapt in meditation, has done this."
Lord Caitanya turned to Nityananda and inquired, "What was Your reason for smashing My danda?"
Nityananda Prabhu retorted, "They were just some bamboo sticks that I broke, and if You cannot forgive Me for this, then punish Me as You wish."
The Lord replied, "A danda is the residence of all the demigods, and You reduce its importance to some bamboo poles!?"
Who can comprehend the esoteric pastimes of Lord Caitanya? What He considers in His mind He never speaks, but says something quite different. So if anyone falsely claims to know the Lord's mind, they are certainly ignorant cheats. If the Lord decides to destroy someone, upon meeting them the Lord treats them affably. But to devotees who are as dear to Him as His very soul He shows Himself to be unbiasedly disposed. These are the various moods and pastimes the Lord reveals. They are inconceivable, hence only those who are graced by the Lord's mercy can perceive their true nature.
The danda was broken by the Lord's own desire, yet now He was showing His anger. The Lord said, "I had only My danda as a companion, but now that also is broken by Krsna's will. Now I am alone, so all of you go ahead and I will follow behind." No one dared to refute Lord Caitanya's decision. The devotees became concerned over this matter. Mukunda intervened and said, "You go ahead of us my Lord, for we must stay back for some work." With polite agreement the Lord left, walking away like a lithe, mad lion with a supple gait that is hard to describe.
The Lord soon arrived in Jalesvara village. He went directly to the temple of Lord Siva, the main deity in that village. The Siva linga deity was well looked after by the local brahmana priest. The floral decorations in the temple and on the deity were attractive, and the smell of incense permeated the air giving the place an exhilarating devotional mood. Devotees in the temple were singing, playing musical instruments and dancing. The Lord's anger subsided in that joyful atmosphere. He let the loving devotional feelings in His heart gradually flow and merge with the music. Enlivened by His dear devotee's (Lord Siva's) opulence and influence in the temple, Lord Caitanya began to dance happily. Lord Caitanya knows Lord Siva's glorious character, for he is the favorite amongst His devotees. If anyone disrespects Lord Siva, not following the example of Lord Caitanya, then they cannot be considered a Vaisnava, and all their spiritual advancement is nullified.
As the Lord danced, He made joyful sounds so loud that the very mountains seemed to tremble. Lord Siva's devotees were struck with amazement, and thought that Lord Siva must have appeared in person. The musicians and singers again reached a crescendo, and the Lord became fully absorbed in dancing, losing all contact with the outside world. Meanwhile, His devotees arrived. Mukunda began to sing, joined by others. Seeing His beloved associates, the Lord experienced great joy, and danced more vigorously while the devotees danced circling Him. The whole scene was dynamically transformed. Tears flowed profusely into a hundred streams from the Lord's eyes. Who can describe all that happened properly? This temple of Lord Siva was now sanctified by the Lord's presence and dancing. The real purpose for which the temple was built was now fulfilled.
After a while, the Lord became peaceful and embraced all His devotees with great love, giving them divine pleasure. Upon seeing Nityananda Prabhu, the Lord rushed to embrace Him. Holding Him firmly He said, "Your real business is to calm Me down and restrain Me and help Me maintain My sannyasa vows, but instead You are increasing My madness. If You continue in this way, soon You can have My head too. I am openly declaring that whatever You want of Me I will always do accordingly. This is the real truth."
The Lord thus instructed everyone, "Always take great care about Nityananda Prabhu. His position is much more elevated than Mine. This is not spoken in an exaggerating manner; it is the simple truth. If anyone commits an offense at His lotus feet, but has not offended Me directly, still they are refused entry into the more confidential devotional service of the Lord. An offender against Nityananda may be situated in devotional service, hence is considered by some as a devotee, but I reject them." When Nityananda Prabhu heard His own praise, He bashfully hung His head.
All of the Lord's pastimes are so wonderful, and they bring much pleasure to the devotees.
Passing that night in Jalesvara the Lord started on His journey again at early dawn accompanied by all the devotees. He went towards Bansdaha, and on the way was stopped by a sakta sannyasi (one who worships the energy of the Lord in the position of the Lord Himself). The Lord knew that the stranger was a sakta, but spoke to him with sweet words. The Lord said, "Please tell Me My friend, where have you been for so long that I am meeting you only now? Where are your other friends?" The sakta became captivated by the Lord and slowly he began revealing everything about himself and all the other saktas. Lord Caitanya smiled as He listened to him. The sakta invited the Lord to his so-called monastery: "Please come now to my matha and we can all enjoy the bliss drink together," The sakta was referring to an alcoholic drink as "bliss" and this amused Lord Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. The Lord replied, "I will definitely come to enjoy your bliss drink. You should go ahead first to be sure everything is prepared for Our arrival." The sakta was very pleased to hear that his invitation was accepted and he left quickly, feeling elated. How fathomless is the Lord's character.
The Vedas declare that Lord Krsna is the friend and deliverer of the poor and wretched. Hence the Lord spoke so amiably to the sakta sannyasi. People began to say, "This sakta has now been delivered, and by his contact other saktas will also become purified just like him." The Lord uses various means to liberate the conditioned souls.
The Lord arrived at Remuna village. In Remuna is the Deity of Lord Gopinatha.
Upon seeing Himself in the Deity form, the Lord began to dance ecstatically with all His devotees. Lost in love of Himself, He became oblivious to everything. He wept piteously in loving separation. Even the cruelest hearts melted hearing Him cry. After a few days, Lord Gaurasundara came to Jaipura village and stayed in a locality called Brahman nagara. There He visited the temple of Lord Adi Varaha. This Deity is unique and was self-manifested. By seeing this Deity, all material entanglements are severed. The temple was situated on the bank of the river Vaitarini. Just by seeing this river one is cleansed of all sins. This entire area is a very holy pilgrimage site.
Even if an animal crosses the river at this spot, the demigods have the vision to see them take a four-handed Vaikuntha form. Nilacala Puri is exactly eighty miles away from this spot known as Nabhigaya or Virajaksetra. This entire area is dotted with many temples. It is impossible to tabulate all of them with details.
At first the Lord went with the devotees to bathe in the river by the bathing place named Dasasvamedha ghat. Then they went to offer worship to Lord Varaha. The Lord danced ecstatically in front of Adi-Varaha deva, and the devotees sang, creating a wonderful devotionally saturated atmosphere.
The Lord was very happy to be in Jaipura. His happiness increased with time, and He danced more vigorously. Suddenly, without warning, Lord Caitanya left the devotees and disappeared. It is difficult to know the Lord's desire and the reason for His actions. When the devotees found Lord Caitanya missing from their company, they began to look around in the temple in desperation. Their search proved futile. They became very worried. Nityananda Prabhu, realizing the plight of the devotees said, "Please calm yourselves. I am certain I know where the Lord has gone. He wants to visit all the temples and holy places in Jaipura alone. So we should also go out begging and return to this same spot. We will spend the night here, for the Lord is sure to return here tomorrow morning."
The devotees went out and collected food and returned. They cooked the food received as alms and ate together. Lord Caitanya in the meantime had visited the different temples and returned to the devotees. The devotees were jubilant, and greeted Him with loud chanting of "Hari! Hari!" In this way the Lord with His associates blessed Jaipura with His presence, and then continued on the journey.
After a few days, the Lord arrived in Kataka city. From there He went to take a dip in the river Mahanadi. He then went to the temple of Saksi Gopala to offer worship. The charming, unsurpassable beauty of the Deity of Saksi Gopala greatly impressed Lord Caitanya, and feeling surging ecstasy, He began to roar with a thunderous voice. He offered many prayers, and exhibited wonderful devotional symptoms crying in ecstasy for the Lord. The authorized and recommended procedure to invoke life into the Deity is by chanting the mahamantra. This mahamantra was propagated by Lord Caitanya. And although He is the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, still He is always exhibiting the mood of servitorship to the Supreme Lord.
Lord Caitanya then came to Bhuvanesvara. This city is actually the hidden Kasi, the residence of Lord Siva. Lord Siva had collected waters from all the different holy places and brought them to Bhuvanesvara and formed the lake known as Bindusarovara. Lord Caitanya knew the significance of the lake - that it was Lord Siva's favorite. He took His bath in the lake and further increased its auspiciousness.
The linga form of Lord Siva that was being worshiped there was self-manifest. He went to see the linga and mingled with the crowd of Siva devotees who were chanting loud praises of Lord Siva. The linga was surrounded by small lit ghee lamps set in rows offered by the visiting devotees. Lord Caitanya was pleased to see the opulence of His beloved devotee, Lord Siva. The Lord's associates were also very happy in that devotional atmosphere. Lord Siva is always immersed in meditation on the Supreme Lord, which makes him relish the nectar of devotion, and dance continuously. That same Supreme Lord Gauracandra, his master, was dancing ecstatically in front of him. The Lord and His devotees spent the night there.
I will now describe from the Skanda Purana how Lord Siva found this place. Lord Siva and his consort, Parvatidevi, were living contentedly in Kasi for a very long time. Then they went to Kailasa and left Kasi to be ruled by kings. Soon a king named Kasiraja ascended to the throne. He was an ardent worshiper of Lord Siva. Suddenly by the will of destiny he lost everything in a war. He was determined to destroy his victor in battle, Sri Krsna. With vengeance in his heart he sat down to perform the most terrible of austerities, meditating on Lord Siva.
Lord Siva, attracted to appear before him by the potency of his austerity, offered him to choose any boon. Kasiraja eagerly asked, "I pray only for this boon from you, my lord, that I may avenge my defeat and destroy Krsna in battle." Lord Siva is a magnanimous personality. No one can say how he will grace someone with his favor. He said to Kasiraja, "O King, prepare for battle. My army of followers will be right behind you in the field. Let me see who is strong enough to defeat you as long as I am behind you with my weapon, Pasupati."
Reassured by Siva's words, the foolish King Kasiraja went to battle against Krsna, smiling confidently. Lord Siva, accompanied by his associates and followers, followed the army of Kasiraja. His intention was to fight for the king. Krsna, the Supersoul situated within everyone's heart, could know immediately what was happening. He swiftly sent His disc weapon, Sudarsana to destroy the enemy. The Lord's Sudarsana disc is invincible, so unchallenged it went straight to Kasiraja and severed his head from his body. Then Sudarsana started destroying the city of Varanasi, the capitol of Kasiraja. This enraged Lord Siva. Seeing that his abode was being plundered, he released his terrible Pasupati weapon. What can any other weapon, however powerful, do against Sudarsana? The Pasupati weapon quickly retreated in fear.
Sudarsana then went after Lord Siva himself. Lord Siva fled from the awesome weapon. The power and heat from the Sudarsana covered the whole world, and Siva had no place to hide. Lord Siva found himself in the same predicament as the sage Durvasa when he was being chased by the fearsome weapon.
Lord Siva finally understood that he was being preyed upon by the Sudarsana disc, and that only Lord Krsna could help him out of his dilemma. Then, making his decision, he remembered Lord Krsna, taking shelter at His lotus feet. He began to offer prayers to the Lord, "All glory to the Supreme Godhead, Krsna, the son of Mother Devaki. You are omnipresent and the shelter of all living entities. You give men both good intelligence and ill motivations. You are the creator, maintainer and protector. You never see the faults of others and You are an ocean of compassion. You are the only well-wishing friend of all those who are suffering. You are the forgiver of all offenses, so kindly forgive my offenses since I have taken shelter of You."
Lord Krsna, being appeased by Lord Siva's prayers, recalled His Sudarsana and appeared before him. Lord Siva saw Him faintly smiling, although His eyes were still stern. He was surrounded by His cowherd boyfriends and Vrndavana damsels. Krsna said, "O Siva, you are well-aware of My position and power, so what suddenly prompted you to act in this fashion? That degraded king, Kasiraja is no better than a little insect. By siding with him, you are fighting with Me.
"Now you have seen the fearsome might of My Sudarsana disc which not even you could counter. All the most powerful weapons like Brahma astra and Pasupati astra put together are no match for Sudarsana. The unique feature of the Sudarsana disc is to prey after the one who sends counter weapons. Now I am feeling that there is no one in the entire creation who dislikes Me more than you." Hearing these somewhat angry words of chastisement, Lord Siva felt trepidation within.
Lord Siva threw himself down to the ground and caught hold of Lord Krsna's lotus feet. Surrendering himself to the Lord, Siva said, "O Lord, the entire creation is subservient to Your will. Who can claim to act independently? Just as dry straws are strewn by the wind, so does the entire material nature bend to Your commands. Everyone executes Your wishes. There is no one who can disobey Your biddings. Somehow You have given this feeling of false pride, and blinded by this I was unable to see anything but myself as being big and powerful. I am helpless, my Lord, since it is You only who made me think in this manner.
"Your lotus feet were always my life and soul; I stayed in the forest and meditated solely on Your lotus feet. Yet You churned this mood of arrogance within me. What can I do? I acted as You desired. In spite of everything, I have committed serious offenses at Your feet, so now kindly forgive me and bless me with Your mercy. I pray for this boon: that I may never again develop such evil intelligence. I have been rightly punished for my arrogance. Now kindly tell me where I can stay, for who else but You can I turn to with such problems."
Lord Krsna smiled slightly and spoke kindly, "Listen, My dear Siva, I am giving you a very beautiful place. Live here with all your associates and followers. This place is known as Ekamraka-vana. In this idyllic surrounding you will appear and be worshiped as Kotitigesvara. This place is in every way as captivating as Varanasi. Besides, this place is also spiritually extremely elevated, but is not known to all. Today I will reveal to you the esoteric significance of this place which is so dear to Me.
On the shores of the ocean, covering a very large area is the place known as Nilacala. This is also known as Purusottama-ksetra or the abode of the Supreme Person. It has a most pleasing and peaceful atmosphere. Even at the time of the cosmic annihilation, this place remains intact, unscathed. I reside eternally here, and daily receive opulent offerings of foodstuffs. Its area is spread over eighty square miles. All living entities living within this area, by the influence of this place, possess four-handed forms (although visible only to the demigods and their equals). The demigods glorify this place as the most auspicious of all places of pilgrimage. The act of sleeping here is equivalent to deep meditation or samadhi.
Similarly, lying postures accrue the same pious result as offering obeisances to the Deity. Simply walking around here is the same as circumambulation, pradiksina, and all speeches here are glorifications. These are all enumerated in the Vedas. Such is the potency of this ksetra that even if one eats fish here it is the same as eating sacred vegetarian food or havisya. This place is very dear to Me, hence it is known by My name. All the residents here are My equals. It is outside the jurisdiction of Yamaraja, the guardian of death. I am the judge here who decides about evil and pious deeds, and their results.
The place I have designated as your residence lies north of My abode, Puri. Your place is, as I have described before, very beautiful and charming. Here one can very easily attain liberation and bliss. This place will be famous as Bhuvanesvara.
The glories of Jagannatha Puri greatly impressed Lord Siva. He again embraced the Lord's lotus feet and began to speak, "O Lord of my life, I have one prayer. I am always so falsely proud, therefore if I remain far away from Your association, it will be most detrimental for me. I am yearning in my heart to stay close to You, because I can never benefit from bad association. If You consider me Your servant, then kindly allow me a place in Your own abode. After hearing the wonderful glories of Your dham from Your lotus lips, I am feeling an uncontrollable urge to simply live there. Living very humbly, I want to render menial service to You. All I pray for is just a little space in Your dhama. His voice choked with emotion. Tears coursed down his cheeks.
The Lord was very pleased with Siva's words and He embraced him firmly saying, "Hear Me, O Siva. You are as precious to Me as My own body. One who is dear to you is even more dear to Me. I reside always within you - there is no doubt about this. I allow you to stay in all My abodes. In fact, you are the protector and maintainer of all the dhamas. This place known as ekamra vana I am giving to you. Stay here and make it your home. This place is also My favorite. I will be pleased if you stay here always. One who claims to be My devotee but disregards you is only trying to pretend devotion to Me." This is how Lord Siva came to reside in this famous place, Bhuvanesvara. It is still existing.
In order to teach everyone that Lord Siva is very dear to Lord Krsna, Lord Caitanya danced in front of Lord Siva. He was now practically demonstrating all the instructions of Lord Krsna as they are found in the Puranas and other Vedic scriptures. Clapping His hands, Lord Caitanya danced and sang "Siva Rama Govinda." The Lord then offered worship to Lord Siva with all His devotees. The Supreme Lord is the supreme instructing spiritual master. One who does not follow His instructions suffers due to this grievous mistake.
The Lord took His disciples and went around Bhuvanesvara visiting different temples of Lord Siva. The Lord was particularly happy to see one Siva linga that was off the beaten track. When He left Bhuvanesvara, He was feeling very elated all the way to Kamalapura village. From Kamalapura the Lord looked in the direction of Puri and saw the fluttering flags in the distance atop the Jagannatha temple. His heart flooded with spiritual emotions, drowning Him in an ocean of ecstatic bliss. The Lord began to cry out rumbling like thunder. The transformation in mood was amazing. He began to shiver and became sluggish, unable to move. His eyes were fixed on the temple spires, as He stumbled on, reciting Sanskrit verses.
Take careful note of the verse - "Just see, the cowherd boy, Krsna is shyly smiling from the top of the temple seeing Me, thus increasing the extraordinary beauty of His face." Such is the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord's pastime that He kept repeating this verse, and at the same time He stumbled and fell swooning with each step. Such was the force of His fall simultaneously exhibiting intense separation that even the expressive inner voice felt inadequate to describe everything.
The Lord moved forward offering full obeisances on the ground. Thus instead of walking He fell like a stick to the ground, and stood up each time at distances measuring the length of His body. He stood up, looked up at the temple spires, chanted the verse, then fell crashing to the ground. People all around stared agape in complete awe and amazement. No one else could have done this. It was possible for the Lord because He was the divine incarnation of supreme spiritual love. The whole way, He exhibited the apex of divine love for the Supreme Godhead. How fortunate were the souls that lined the roads to see the Supreme Lord lost in ecstasy. They said about the Lord, "He certainly is the Supreme Lord, Narayana, Himself."
The devotees moved along with their Lord, surrounding Him on all sides, their freely flowing tears of ecstasy soaking the earth. The distance from Kamalapura to Arthara-nalla is a good hour and a half's walk. The Lord required six times more than that. When He reached Arthara-nalla He withdrew within Himself all the ecstatic moods and feelings. Now equipoised, He sat down with all the devotees. He spoke entreatingly to them saying, "You have been real well-wishing friends to Me, having brought Me to Lord Jagannatha. Now kindly tell Me whether I go after you, or I am allowed to go ahead of you alone." Mukunda replied, "You go ahead of us."
The Lord left their company and walked towards the temple of Lord Jagannatha. His gate was regal like the maddened king of the forest. With quickening steps He entered Jagannatha Puri temple. Whoever hears this narration of the Lord entering Nilacala Puri will be carried on waves of ecstatic bliss. By the will of the Supreme Lord, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya also came at the same time to see and worship Lord Jagannatha in the temple.
As Lord Caitanya stood in front of the Deities of Lord Jagannatha, Subhadra, and Sankarsana Balarama, He began to roar loudly like the booming of the ocean waves. He was yearning to hold Lord Jagannatha in His embrace. He jumped and pranced as His spiritual emotions became exuberant. His spouting tears sprinkled all around. Suddenly He fell crashing to the ground swooning with uncontrollable bliss. How can one fathom such moods of the Supreme Lord?
The ignorant and foolish interior guards of the temple, thinking that the Lord was misbehaving, immediately prepared to punish Him and beat Him. Just then however, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya rushed to the supine form of the Lord and stopped the guards from striking Him. He saw the unconscious body and thought to himself, "Studying all the symptoms, I think this person is not a human being. It is impossible for anyone to call out so loudly, shedding such incessant tears. This is all very extraordinary. Maybe He is Krsna Caitanya." Such were the thoughts which flashed through the mind of the blessed Saravbhauma.
The temple guards were warded off by Sarvabhauma, and they stood now at a distance watching on with fear and reverence. Lord Caitanya still lay almost unconscious being moved to such a state of ecstasy upon seeing His very own self on the altar. The Vedas are inadequate to describe these esoteric transformations of the Supreme Lord. Lord Gaurasundara, the Supreme Lord, is sitting on the altar in His caturvyuha expansions feeling content.
That self-same Lord has now become the devotee rendering service to Himself. The Lord knows these transcendental mysteries about Himself. This is delineated in the Vedas and Bhagavatam. The Vedas always describe the Lord's pastimes only with the good intentions of delivering the conditioned souls.
Sarvabhauma remained patiently waiting, protecting the Lord from any harm.
The Lord still remained deeply immersed in love of Godhead in the mood of a devotee, oblivious to the external world. Finally Sarvabhauma decided to take the Lord to his own house. He spoke to the sentries, "Please carry this jewel amongst saints and follow me." The sentries lifted the still unconscious form of the Lord on their shoulders and carried Him out. Sarvabhauma's arrival in the temple at the same time as the Lord's transcendental ecstasies was not a mere coincidence. The Lord's character is incomprehensible to humans. They don't know how events take place.
Once outside the temple, they carried the Lord amidst thunderous chanting. The large crowd which had gathered was very jubilant. Just then, the rest of the devotees from the Lord's party arrived, and they met their Lord being carried out in front of the simhadvara. They became very joyful seeing their beloved Lord. Everyone in the crowd wanted a chance to carry the Lord, so the Lord was passed down from hand to hand like being transported by a swarm of ants passing food down a long line. The devotees paid their obeisances to the Lord, and joined the flowing mass of jubilant people. So many people had come carrying the Lord that when they arrived at Sarvabhauma's house the doors had to be closed to keep the huge crowd outside.
Sarvabhauma was extremely pleased to see the associates of the Lord. He received them with proper respect and etiquette, seating them comfortably. By now his doubts about the Lord's identity were calmed. Sarvabhauma was feeling elated beyond words. How very fortunate he was. That Personality whom the Vedic literatures so eloquently and repeatedly glorify (with entire volumes fully dedicated to His glorification) was now here in his house in person.
When he saw Nityananda, a radiant Personality, he fell to the ground, and smeared his head with the dust from His lotus feet. Then he gathered some of his men and asked them to accompany the Lord's associates to the temple of Lord Jagannatha.
Their guides were at first hesitant, but then thinking frankness a better proposition, they began to earnestly petition the devotees in the following manner. With folded hands they said, "Please be calm and composed when in front of the Deity of Lord Jagannatha. Do not act like your guru did some time ago. We do not know who you are, but only if you give your word to remain equipoised in the temple are we willing to accompany you. The way your guru acted, we are sure that it was only by God's will that Lord Jagannatha remained on His altar.
"There is no need to elaborate further on the subject, because all of you saw how your guru crashed to the ground. If it were anyone else, he would have died on the spot. This is all very inconceivable to us. Therefore, we request that you please remain composed." The devotees began to laugh, but they assured their guides that they had nothing to worry about, that they would behave normally.
The devotees went inside the temple and beheld Lord Jagannatha who is the source of the quadruple expansions of caturvyuha. He was the Lord of the universe, and He manifested Himself as the source of all bliss, always in the presence of His devotees. The devotees exulted in His presence, shed tears of ecstasy, and circumambulated the Lord, all the time glorifying Him with Vedic prayers. The priests brought them the Lord's flower garlands, prasadimala, and placed them around their necks. The devotees were very happy, and begging permission from the priests to leave, they returned to Sarvabhauma's house.
Lord Caitanya was still in the same condition, deeply absorbed within Himself in the ecstasy of love of Godhead. Sarvabhauma sat at His feet, and the rest of the people were loudly chanting "Rama, Krsna." The Lord's activities are all inconceivable. He was in a state of unconsciousness for more than nine hours continuously. Then gradually the Lord began to stir. He was awake again, and the devotees greeted Him jubilantly chanting the Lord's name. Collecting Himself, the Lord requested, "Please describe to Me exactly what transpired." The devotees remained quiet.
Lord Nityananda at last spoke, "You had gone to see Lord Jagannatha in the temple, and as soon as You saw the Deity, You fell swooning in ecstasy. By the will of Providence, Sarvabhauma was there at that moment; he took care of You and took You to his house. You have been totally absorbed in ecstasy for the past nine hours. Here is Sarvabhauma offering obeisances to You." Lord Caitanya quickly got up and embraced Sarvabhauma.
The Lord spoke to Sarvabhauma, "Lord Jagannatha is very merciful; He has brought Me to Sarvabhauma's house. I was wondering how to contact you and have your association. Lord Krsna has easily fulfilled My desire." The Lord looked kindly at Sarvabhauma and smiled. He continued to speak, "Kindly hear Me. I came to the temple and saw Lord Jagannatha. Upon seeing Him I felt the immense urge in My heart to go and embrace Him and hold Him to My chest. Luckily, Sarvabhauma was there, and I was saved from a serious danger. Therefore, I firmly declare that from today I will see Lord Jagannatha from a distance, not entering into the inner sanctum. I will stand next to the pillar of Garuda and see the Lord. I am fortunate today that I did not embrace the Lord, thereby avoiding a dangerous situation."
Nityananda Prabhu said, "You certainly averted a possible mishap. It is late. You should quickly bathe." Lord Caitanya replied, "Nityananda, You should always correct Me and steady Me. I have given this body of Mine into Your total care." After completing His bath and other rituals, and feeling refreshed, the Lord came and sat with the devotees, a sweet smile faintly playing on His lips. Sarvabhauma had arranged for a lot of mahaprasada, so he had it brought in and placed before the Lord. The Lord offered His prayer of thanks to the Lord for the opulent mahaprasada, and sat down to partake of it with all the devotees.
The Lord said, "Give Me as much as you can of the latra preparation, and you can take all the pitha, cheese dumplings and other sweets. The Lord appreciated the transcendental taste of the mahaprasada very much. He ate His latra with the greatest relish while the devotees enjoyed this simple, spiritually saturated pastime. They laughed with boyish joy. Sarvabhauma, who had arranged this feast, was certainly an eternal associate of the Lord - otherwise, no person could have this sort of rare gift and fortune. He brought rice for the Lord on a golden plate and gave it to Him. The Lord immediately began eating it. The scene was so transcendentally exhilarating that the details fail me and are therefore reserved to be later delineated by Vedavyasa.
After the meal, the devotees sat around their Lord. The meal was a treat for all in every respect. Anyone who hears these transcendental pastimes with devotion will indeed be blessed with Lord Caitanya's direct association. And anyone who hears the narration in Antya-lila about how Lord Caitanya came to Nilacala will swim in an ocean of devotional love.
Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu are my life and soul.
I, Vrndavana dasa, humbly offer this song at Their lotus feet.