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Shri Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi Bilas;
Shri Chaitanya Deb, Who is adept in the art of dancing, is the crest jewel produced from the churning of the ocean of all wonderful and auspicious qualities. Though I am completely unqualified and without any means to acquire such a rare gem, Providence has nevertheless placed in my hand this remarkable touchstone, which can fulfill all desires.
All glories to Shri Gaursundor, the Life of all that lives. All glories to Shri Nityananda and Shri Adwaita, the abodes of pure love. All glories to Shri Jagadananda and Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi, who are very intimately connected with Shri Gauranga Ray, Who is their life and soul.
Shri Biddanidhi, known by the name Pundarik, is the dearmost of Shri Krishna. The tract of land in the east, called Catigram, became most fortunate when the Lord caused the blessed descent of Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi there.
Now please hear the description of Shri Biddanidhi's arrival in Nabadwip. When the Lord Shri Gaursundor began to manifest His pastimes as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Nadiya, He felt sad to see that Shri Biddanidhi was not present, and thus he sighed very deeply.
One day, after engaging in His ecstatic pastimes of dancing in the circle of devotees absorbed in the congregational chanting of the holy names of Shri Krishna, He seated Himself and while shedding profuse tears, called at the top of His voice, "Pundarik!, Father!"
"Pundarik is My father, My dearmost friend. When will I see him again?!"
Such a recipient of the Lord's affection was Shri Biddanidhi and thus did the Lord reveal this fact to His devotees. Crying and crying, He called again and again for Pundarik but none of the devotees could understand Who He was calling? They thought that Pundarikaksa is a name of Krishna, so He must be feeling separation from Krishna and calling to Him. But then again hearing the name Biddanidhi, they thought that He must be calling one of His dear devotees. However none of them was familiar with a devotee by that name.
When the Lord regained His external consciousness they submissively inquired, "Please just tell us for whom are you crying? We will become blessed to make the acquaintance of such a devotee as dear to You as he must be. Where is he from and what are his activities? Please tell us the truth of this matter."
The Lord replied, "You are all very fortunate in desiring to hear about this particular devotee. His characteristics are exceptionally wonderful. Simply by hearing his name the worlds become purified. He covers his real self in the guise of an enjoyer of worldly pleasures and thus no one can recognize that he is a Baisnab.
The place of his birth is known as Catigram. He is a learned scholar and brahmana and in the execution of his religious duties he is highly esteemed by all classes of men. He remains continually floating in the ocean of devotion to Shri Krishna which is evidenced by the ecstatic symptoms in his body-, tears in the eyes, quaking and horripilation (standing on end of the hairs of the body). It is seen that he doesn't take bath in the Ganges due to fear of touching Mother Ganges with his feet, but he regularly takes darshan of the Ganges at night, just to purify himself. To see the indecent activities of the people in general, while taking their baths in Mother Ganges (rinsing their mouths in the water, brushing their teeth and combing their hair) causes him much pain. For this reason he makes it his regular practice to only go to the Ganges at night. Before performing worship of his Deities he sips some Ganges water for purification, and only after first doing so will he engage in Their service. Thus by his activities scholars are made to understand the actual process of religion. As well as having his estate in Catigram, he also has a house here in Nabadwip , on the banks of the Ganges. He is coming here very soon and thus you will get the chance to meet him. At first glance no one can recognize him and they suppose him to be a materialistic sense enjoyer. I however, am very restless for want of his association. Therefore all of you please attract him here by your minds' desire."
While talking of the super-excellent qualities of His devotee, Shri Gaursundor became absorbed in ecstatic love and again began to shed incessant tears, all the while calling, "Pundarik! Father!"
Who but the omniscient Lord Himself can fully know the hearts of His devotees and knowing such, He wept very loudly, feeling separation from Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi.
Being forcibly attracted by his Lord, Shri Biddanidhi thought to come to Nabadwip. With a large retinue of brahmanas, disciples and servants, as well as a vast stock of personal possessions, he thus began the journey.
Arriving in Nabadwip he kept his real self concealed under the guise of an enjoyer of worldly pleasures. Except for Mukunda, no one in the Baisnab community could understand who he was. Since Mukunda's birthplace was also at Catigram and as he was previously acquainted with Shri Biddanidhi, he was aware of the actual situation. Realizing that Premnidhi had come, Shri Gaursundor could not contain His joy. Nevertheless, He did not disclose to anyone the real truth and therefore the Baisnabs could not recognize Shri Pundarik, thinking him to be like a sense enjoyer. Only the two brothers from Catigram, Shri Mukunda and Basudeb Datta, knew to some extent of the exalted state of his devotion and depths of his ecstatic emotions.
Pandit Gadadhar was extremely dear to Mukunda, who always remained as his companion. Coming to see him one day, Mukunda related the latest news, "Today one very extraordinary Baisnab has arrived in Nabadwip. Listen to me carefully. As I know you are very much interested to have the association of Baisnabs, today I will introduce you to one of the most exceptional amongst them, and I only ask in return that you will always remember me as your servant."
Hearing this cheerful news Gadadhar was delighted and they set out immediately, taking the name, "Krishna, Krishna!"
They very quickly arrived at Biddanidhi's house where he was seated in the midst of many persons. Gadadhar paid his obeisance and was in turn seated and offered a cordial reception.
Shri Pundarik inquired from Mukunda, "What is this nice boy's name and where is he from? By the effulgence in his person his devotion to Lord Bisnu is evident, and such a pleasant demeanour and bearing he has."
Mukunda replied, "His name is Gadadhar, and his father's name is Shri Madhab Misra, but by dint of his good fortune he is averse to family life since his very childhood. He is the object of affection of all the Baisnabs. He treads very strictly the path of devotion and prefers to keep company only with devotees. Hearing your name, he has come to meet you."
Having received this introduction Shri Biddanidhi was very pleased and he made every effort to extend a warm welcome to his guests.
Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi looked very elegant, resembling in appearance a prince crowned with victory. He was seated on an excellent bedstead, stained deep vermilion and embellished with brass filigree. Above the bed were three fancy, coloured canopies and the bedsheets were of the finest cloth. On all sides he was surrounded by pillows covered with first-class silken cloths. Five to seven water pots of various sizes and with decorated spouts were placed here and there. Sitting on the bed next to him was an ornamented brass box containing pan leaves, betel nuts and spices for chewing, and on each side, on the floor, were two brass spittoons. Seeing in the mirror that his lips had become red from chewing pan, he laughed. Standing behind him on both sides were two servants holding beautiful peacock fans, who fanned him all the while. His forehead was decorated with tilok made from gopi candan mixed with sandalwood and a red dot adorning the centre. What can I say about the care with which his hair was dressed, the scent of oil of myrobalan (amalaki) was pervading the entire room. Actually it was due to the potency of his devotion that his body appeared like another Cupid, but those who could not recognize his real self thought him to be like a prince. In the front of the room was a swing in which one could lie down, as though it was a bed. Really, his behaviour was just like that of a worldly pleasure seeker.
Upon seeing that this personality was enjoying himself as though he was a demigod, Gadadhar felt some doubts arise within himself. Since Gadadhar was unattached to material life practically from the time of his birth, he was quite apprehensive towards Biddanidhi Mahasoy.
"What a fitting Baisnab is this, all dressed up to enjoy the pleasures of worldly life; enjoying the finest in life in such excellent accommodations, and with his hair perfumed so sweetly! Hearing about him from Mukunda I naturally felt some admiration but upon seeing him, whatever I previously felt has now vanished."
Mukunda could understand very well what Gadadhar was thinking to himself and therefore he decided to reveal the actual personality of Shri Biddanidhi. Gadadhar was especially favoured by Krishna, Who is Master over illusion, in that the truth of all matters was made known to him, thus he was also always free from misconceptions (illusion).
Mukunda was a very accomplished singer of Krishna's glories and so he proceeded to narrate the glories of devotion in a very sweet voice. Reciting some verses, he described that, "Putana was a cruel and fiendish demoness who delighted in drinking the blood of young children. Smearing deadly poison on her breasts she came to kill the Lord, Who in turn accepted her as His mother. Only the dull-headed persons will not worship such an all-merciful Lord as this."
"Alas, how shall I take shelter of One more merciful than He, Who granted the position of mother to a she-demon (Putana) although she was unfaithful and had prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breast"
"Putana was always hankering for the blood of human children, and with that desire she came to kill Krishna, but because she offered her breast to the Lord, she attained the greatest achievement." (Bhag. 10.6.35)
Simply by hearing this much description of the glories of the path of devotional service, Shri Biddanidhi began to shed tears. An unprecedented shower of tears began to flow from his eyes as though Mother Ganges had again advented herself. All of the ecstatic symptoms, tears in the eyes, shivering, perspiration, fainting, horripilation and loud roaring were present in his body simultaneously. In a thundering voice he cried, "Say more! Say more!"
Not being able to contain himself he fell to the ground and as his legs trashed about all of the articles in the room were broken to pieces. What happened to that excellent bedstead, those pan and betel nuts. Where did all the water pots go? Where have those fine bedsheets fallen to, being kicked and dragged to the floor? Maddened by ecstatic love his fine clothes have been torn in two. What happened to his hair which was so exquisitely dressed and perfumed? Everything has fallen into the dust on the floor and become muddy by the shedding of incessant tears.
"Krishna is my Lord, He is my life, He is everything to me. Still he treats me as though I was simply stone or wood!!" In a loud voice Shri Pundarik repented, "Such an infinitely merciful Lord as this still chooses to deprive me of His mercy!!"
Rolling here and there on the ground, all the while crying very loudly, all of the articles in the room were knocked down and fell to the ground broken. All those present began to consider, "His bones will be pulverized if this continues much longer."
Such were the transformations produced in his body due to ecstatic emotions. Although ten men tried to hold him, still they could not. His clothes, the bedding, waterpots, spittoons, all of his possessions were reduced to nothing by the furious movement of his legs. Though all the servants tried to restrain him, they were forced to retreat in the face of such overwhelming ecstasy. In this way the transformations and manifestations of his ecstatic love competed with one another for some time until finally his emotions reached the level at which external consciousness ceases to exist. At that time there was not even the faintest expression in his body. He had drowned himself in the ocean of ecstatic love.
Having seen all of this Gadadhar became completely stunned and astonished. Feeling quite perplexed he began to wonder, "I have disrespected such an extraordinarily high-souled saintly person as this! As I came here with good intentions how have such inauspicious circumstances fallen upon me?"
Feeling extremely indebted to and pleased with Mukunda, Gadadhar embraced him. As Mukunda was being sprinkled by the tears of ecstatic love falling from Gadadhar's eyes, Gadadhar spoke to him, "Mukunda, you have treated me as a true friend. By your mercy I have been so fortunate as to witness such uncommon devotion as that possessed by Biddanidhi Bhattacarja. Can any other Baisnab like this exist elsewhere within the three worlds? The whole universe becomes purified in the presence of such rare devotion as this. I was heading into a critically dangerous position, but by your bringing me here today, I have been able to avoid that pitfall. Seeing Shri Biddanidhi Mahasoy dressed as a sense enjoyer, I supposed that he was a materialistic devotee. But you were able to understand my mind and therefore you so kindly caused his devotion to dawn, just as the sun rises in the east in the morning. As long as I continue to make mistakes you should always remain diligent to point out to me the errors in my thinking. All those who take up this path of devotion accept a spiritual guide. But I have not as yet accepted anyone as my preceptor. I should get myself initiated by this great personality. If I can do that then the fault of whatever contempt I felt will be reduced."
In this way Gadadhar revealed his desire to Mukunda to accept Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi as his guru. Mukunda was very happy to hear this proposal and commended his idea again and again.
After six hours Shri Premnidhi regained his consciousness and seated himself, feeling perfectly calm and composed. Gadadhar Pandit could not restrain the flood of tears from his eyes and thus his whole body became wet. Biddanidhi Mahasoy was very pleased and embraced Gadadhar, accepting him as his own heart and soul.
Gadadhar remained very reverential and submissive as Mukunda expressed his (Gadadhar's) heart's desire to Premnidhi, "Seeing that in demeanour you had assumed a position almost like that of a god, Gadadhar found some fault in his mind. But now he wishes to rectify his mistake by accepting initiation from your good self. He is a devotee of Lord Bisnu. He is very materially detached and since his childhood he is very mature in his thinking, unlike most young boys who frivolously waste their time playing. He also comes from a good family; his father being Shri Madhab Misra. Since childhood he is a constant companion of our Lord Shri Gaursundor. I think that there is no one other than yourself as fit to be his guru, nor anyone like him as fit to be your disciple. Considering when is an auspicious day, you can decide when to initiate him with the appropriate mantra in the service of your worshipful Deity."
Hearing these words of Mukunda, Pundarik Biddanidhi smiled and said, "Providence has awarded me a rare gem in the person of Gadadhar. Certainly I will accept him as my disciple. To get such a disciple as he is the result of many life times accumulation of good fortune. On the next twelfth day of the bright fortnight there is an auspicious conjunction in the constellations. On that day his desire will be fulfilled."
Gadadhar was very happy to hear this. With a large smile on his face he offered his obeisances to Premnidhi Mahasoy, and after taking leave of Mukunda, came to see Shri Gaura Ray. Shri Bishwambhar felt unlimited joy within Himself to hear the news of the arrival of Premnidhi.
That night, Shri Biddanidhi came alone and unnoticed to see Mahaprabhu. Upon seeing the Lord of his life, before he was even able to offer his dandabats, he fell unconscious to the ground.
Regaining consciousness after a few moments, he began to curse himself roaring very loudly, "Krishna, You are my life and soul, my only own, my father. But seeing that I am sinful You only give me sorrow. He Who is the father of all the worlds has delivered every living entity within the universe. But You have deprived me alone of Your mercy."
Though none of the devotees present were acquainted with Shri Biddanidhi, upon hearing his sorrowful lament, they also began to cry. Shri Biswambhar, Who is very affectionate to His devotees, reverentially picked Premnidhi up and embraced him.
Saying, "Pundarik! My father!", the Lord began to cry. "Today I have seen again the object of my vision."
Now all of the devotees could understand that the Pundarik Biddanidhi for whom the Lord had previously cried, had now arrived, and as such they all continued to shed tears of happiness. This scene was so touching that I am unable to properly describe it.
Holding Pundarik to His chest, Shri Gaursundor continued to sprinkle his body with the tears of His love. Knowing him to be one of the dearmost servitors of the Lord, the other devotees looked upon him with affection and awe, accepting him now as their very own. The Lord could not release His arms and continued to hold Premnidhi tightly to his chest and as such it appeared that the two bodies had become one. Shri Gaursundor remained motionless for one prahar (three hours) after which time He regained His external consciousness and called out, "Hari! Today I have attained the fulfilment of my innermost heart's desire."
Mahaprabhu brought Premnidhi amongst all the other devotees and they performed together congregational chanting of the names of Shri Hari. Then, to introduce him to all the Baisnabs, Mahaprabhu announced, "His title is Pundarik Biddanidhi, and he has been dispatched by Providence to distribute to the inhabitants of this universe, loving devotion to the supreme Lord Krishna."
Continuing to describe Premnidhi's wonderful qualities in this way, Shri Gaursundor called out loudly, "Hari!", raising His two arms in the sky as he did so. "Today is such an auspicious day for me as I knew it would be. When I awoke this morning I could see Premnidhi face to face."
By this time Premnidhi had gradually regained his external consciousness. Recognizing the Lord he offered his obeisances, first to Mahaprabhu and then to Adwaita Acarja also. Thereafter he greeted all the other devotees in a manner befitting his relationship with them. The devotees all merged in bliss to see such a devotee as Premnidhi Pundarik. Actually, only Byasdeb is qualified to describe the sentiments of loving devotion which appeared at that moment.
Thereafter, Gadadhar came forward to solicit the order of Mahaprabhu, to take initiation from Shri Pundarik. He confessed, "Not understanding his incomprehensible nature, there was some disregard towards him in my mind. Now I wish to become his disciple. Certainly the guru will tolerate the faults of his disciple."
Mahaprabhu was quite satisfied to hear Gadadhar's proposal and so told him, "Do it quickly! Do It quickly!"
In this way Gadadhar became the initiated disciple of Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi, thus to his own infinite satisfaction. What more can I say about the glories of Shri Pundarik Premnidhi? Can there be any limit of devotion in one who has Gadadhar Pandit as his disciple?
Thus I have tried to describe something about Shri Biddanidhi. In doing so I have one desire to fulfill, which is that I may one day see him. These two, Pundarik and Gadadhar; being so dear to Shri Krishna Chaitanya, are each one supremely qualified in relationship to each other (guru to disciple and disciple to guru). Whoever recites or hears of the meeting of Pundarik and Gadadhar will receive the treasure of Love of God. Thus sings Brindaban das of the glories of Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda Candra. [C.B.Madhya 7]
Shri Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi Bilas / Part two
All glories, all glories to Shri Gaurcandra, Who is non-different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Narayan, Who bears the mark of Shribatsa on His chest. All glories to the Son of Mother Saci, Who eternally embodies the principles of eternal religion. All glories to Gauranga Gopal, to Whom the congregational chanting of the name of Shri Hari is so dear. All glories to He Who is so dear to the gentle and refined folk and all glories to this morbid, malignant, vile and vicious Kali (because it is in this age that Mahaprabhu has appeared). All glories to Shri Gauranga in the midst of His family of loving devotees. Whoever hears the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Candra attains unalloyed devotion to His lotus feet. In the form of a sannyasi, He appears as the hero of Baikuntha, sporting with His followers in ecstatic pastimes.
One day, Shri Gadadhardeb came to Mahaprabhu to tell Him of some difficulty he was having concerning the mantra he had received from his guru at the time of initiation. "As a result of repeating this mantra to someone, I am no longer able to meditate on it properly as I did before. Again You should give me the mantra so that its clear expression will naturally be reawakened, and my mind can again become calm and happy."
To this Mahaprabhu replied, "Gadadhar, take heed, you are treading on dangerous ground. As you have your guru, to accept the mantra from Me would be an offence to your Gurudeb. It is a fact that this mantra invigorates and sustains our soul, but as long as you have your gurudeb you cannot expect to solve this problem by transgressing his authority in this matter."
Gadadhar however implored Him, "But he is not here now. In his stead You can do the needful."
Mahaprabhu replied, "Your guru is Shri Biddanidhi. Why are you being unfaithful? Providence can very easily arrange that you meet him again soon."
The omniscient Lord, Who is completely aware of everything continued, "Shri Biddanidhi will come to Orissa very soon. In fact, he should be here within ten days or so. I am always thinking of Shri Biddanidhi and he is coming here just to see Me. Now however I can understand that he is actually being attracted here by your desire."
When Shri Biddanidhi arrived in Puri, the Lord, by His omniscience was internally aware of this, and as soon as He became conscious of this fact, He came out to meet him. Seeing Shri Biddanidhi He began to laugh, saying, "Father has come! Father has come!"
Premnidhi became overwhelmed in ecstatic love, as his heart began to overflow with loving mellows. The Supreme Lord, Shri Gaurcandra, Who is very affectionate to His devotees, clasped Premnidhi to his chest and began to cry. At that time, the devotees who surrounded them on all sides also began to cry, but this crying was actually a genuine manifestation of the real form of happiness in Baikuntha. Upon seeing Premnidhi, the love and affection of the devotees for him increased continually, moment upon moment.
Swarup Damodar was previously acquainted with Premnidhi as his intimate friend. In the presence of Mahaprabhu they were delighted to see each other once again. Each one wanted to take the dust of the feet of the other, so quite a scuffle ensued as they each tried to simultaneously catch the feet of one another, but at the same time trying to avoid the capture of their own feet. Neither one was successful in his attempts since they were both quite strong, but they nevertheless caused everyone to laugh as Shri Gauranga Himself took great pleasure in their sporting activities. As they all gradually regained their external consciousness, Mahaprabhu requested Shri Biddanidhi, "You should remain at Nilacal for some time."
Hearing these words Premnidhi was very satisfied and considered himself very fortunate to be able to stay near Mahaprabhu. In great love, Shri Gadadhar at this time again accepted initiation from his Gurudeb in the mantra of his worshipful Deity.
What more can I say about the glories of Shri Premnidhi? Can there be any limit of ecstatic love in the Guru of Gadadhar Pandit? His glories are sung by Murari and Hari das, and by Adwaita and Shrinibas. In fact there is not any devotee who does not praise him. With their bodies, mind and words they always eulogize him. There is not the slightest hint of self-conceit or vanity in him. I cannot understand the extent to which the Lord Shri Chaitanya has showered His mercy on him.
I should now like to write of something which I have heard directly from the lotus mouth of Shri Gadadhar, concerning how dear Premnidhi was to Shri Krishna.
Near His own residence Mahaprabhu arranged for Shri Biddanidhi's accommodation at Jameshwar, on the shore of the ocean. Shri Premnidhi was extremely dear to Swarup Damodar, and the two of them used to go together to take darshan of Lord Jagannath. They were both on the same level of advancement in Krishna consciousness and thus their mutual exchange of nectarean topics on the mellows of Krishna's pastimes was very tasty and relishable.
By and by, it was announced that the festival of Oran sasthi would be observed, during which time Lord Jagannath puts on His new clothes. On this day the Lord is dressed in new, starched garments. As the Lord desires to be served so His servants serve Him.
As a great tumultuous sound produced by the blowing of conches and the beating of seven different types of drums resounded from within the temple, Shri Gaursundor arrived along with His devotees to observe the festival. The new clothes which are offered to the Lord on this day are used by Him until the end of the month of Magh (Jan-Feb). Floating in an ocean of ecstatic love, Mahaprabhu and His associates saw the Lord dressed in various new garments which He continued to wear up until the end of the night.
Lord Chaitanya Himself is the worshipper as well as the worshipped (Lord Jagannath). Without His mercy, who can understand His mind? In the form of a sannyasi He worships Himself (Lord Jagannath) with devotion.
Fine silken cloths of various colours (white, yellow and blue) and embroidered with pearls and gold adorned the Lord's blackish body. He was also decorated with various ornaments such as bangles, necklaces and a crown, all fashioned out of flowers. After performing His worship with the sixteen different articles (sandalwood, flowers, incense, lamps, etc.), He was offered a wide variety of foodstuffs.
Mahaprabhu returned to His residence after observing the festival, all the while feeling great joy. Taking leave of His devotees, He began to contemplate His own bliss in the seclusion of His room. All the devotees then returned to their respective quarters. Shri Biddanidhi and Swarup Damodar enjoyed some friendly discussion as they proceeded along the way to their residence.
Shri Biddanidhi was doubtful as to why Lord Jagannath had been dressed in starched garments, and so he inquired from Swarup Damodara on this point, "As knowledge of the scriptures is current in this part of the world, I am perplexed as to why starched clothes which have not first been washed were offered to the Lord?"
Swarup Damodar replied, "This is simply custom here. Why do you consider this to be such an important point? You should not see any fault in this. Just because one is conversant with all scriptural rules and regulations doesn't mean that he will follow them at all times and in every way or manner. This festival has been observed in this way for a very long time. If it is contrary to the Lord's desire then why hasn't the king put a stop to it?"
Shri Biddanidhi continued, "That's alright, the independent Supreme Lord can do whatever He pleases. But why should His servitors think that they can do likewise? The priest who offers the puja; the pujari who dresses the Deity; the superintendent of the temple; the bearers; how is it that they are all handling this cloth which is impure? Lord Jagannath is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; everything is possible for Him. But does that mean that others should imitate Him? After touching starched cloth, only by washing one's hands do they become purified. If all of these servitors are supposed to be conscientious in their duties, then why don't they do that? The king's ministers are simply dull-headed if they don't consider these things. I suppose the king also wears starched cloths on his head?"
Swarup Damodar replied, "My dear brother, please hear me. As far as I can understand, there is no fault in the observance of this festival. Lord Jagannath is an incarnation of the Supreme, Absolute Being. He is under no obligation to consider what are the prescriptions and edicts of the scriptures."
Biddanidhi continued, "That is not my point. I accept that Lord Jagannath is in every way the Supreme, Absolute Being, and there can be no fault in Him even if He does cross over some of the regulations and prohibitions of the scriptures. But has everyone else also become situated on the Absolute plane just by living in Nilacal? Why have they also rejected the codes of standard behaviour? I think that everyone here must have become an incarnation of the Supreme, Absolute Being (Brahman)!"
In this way the conversation proceeded as they walked along the path, joking and laughing at the faults in the conduct of the servants of Lord Jagannath. No one knows the influence of all these servitors, but Krishna knows, based on their attachment to Him. Sometimes Krishna causes His servitors to commit some mistake, but thereafter He Himself rectifies the mistake, because by nature His heart is full of compassion. Therefore it was actually Krishna who caused this erroneous thinking in the mind of Biddanidhi and it was Krishna Who rectified the situation by His unlimited mercy.
Now please hear about how He very wonderfully accomplished that.
The two friends (Swarup Damodar and Pundarik Biddanidhi) joked with one another in this way and then, as they each had some service to render to Krishna, they parted company and returned to their respective residences.
After completing his duties, Shri Biddanidhi retired for the evening. Prabhu Chaitanya Gosai, Who knows everything, took the form of Lord Jagannath and went to pay a visit to Premnidhi, in the land of dreams.
There, Biddanidhi Mahasoy saw that Lord Jagannath and Lord Balaram were very triumphantly approaching him. Lord Jagannath, Who was in a very angry mood, caught hold of Shri Biddanidhi and slapped him in the face. Then the two brothers teamed up and began to slap him on both of his cheeks. They slapped him so hard that Their fingers and his cheeks became swollen.
Feeling afflicted Biddanidhi began to call out, "Krishna save me! Please forgive my offence!" Saying this he fell at Their lotus feet, "What offence have I committed for which you are beating me so, Gosai?"
The Lord replied, "There is no limit to your offences. Neither I nor my servants are designated by any particular caste, therefore We are not subject to any of the creeds or deeds which are meant for other classes of men. You know all of this but nevertheless you continue to harp on the same point. You are so persistent in trying to disgrace My servitors and thus attach some stigma to their lineage. If you want to save your own face you had better return to your own country right away. The way in which I have ordained that My festival should be observed you consider to be against the scriptures. Saying that I am the Supreme, Absolute Being, but then criticizing My servitors you find some fault in the starched clothes that were offered to Me."
Feeling very fearful Biddanidhi began to cry and clasped his head to the Lord's lotus feet, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt anyone. Please forgive the offences of this sinner, my Lord. You have properly punished that mouth which laughed at Your servants. Today is the most auspicious day for me. You have made me the most fortunate person by slapping my face with Your lotus hands."
The Lord replied, "Because I consider you also to be My dear devotee, I have shown you this special favour."
Just to show Their love for him, the Two Brothers, Ram and Hari, came to see Pundarik Biddanidhi in his dreams.
Seeing this dream, Biddanidhi woke up. Feeling that his cheeks were still smarting, he began to laugh. By the slaps of the Lord's lotus hands his cheeks were quite swollen. Seeing this he said, "This is very good. This is wonderful. Because I committed some offence the Lord has very kindly rectified that by punishing me. Actually the punishment I received is light, considering the weight of my offence."
Just see the exalted position of Shri Biddanidhi. He has received the topmost limit of the Lord's mercy. The Lord never beat His own son Pradyumna like this, not even for the purpose of instructing others. Sitadebi, Rukmini, Satyabhama, not even the Lord's near and dear ones have received such favour. Though of course the Lord sometimes personally chastises the miscreants, never before has it been seen that He bestowed His mercy in the form of punishment awarded in a dream. Even if someone is punished for his sins or gains some wealth in a dream, when he wakes up he sees that there is nothing. Instead of awarding chastisement in a dream, if the Lord were to have punished that person openly, then others would also come to know of his crime. Therefore there cannot be anyone more fortunate than that person who has received such mercy as to have been chastised like this. In a dream the non-devotees cannot say anything, whereas if they had been present, they would have passed their judgement. These Jabans (Mohammedans), who are accustomed to slander and tease others, get no opportunity to carry out their activities in dreams. What to speak of the Jabans, even the virtuous brahmanas, if they find fault with a devotee, will simply subject themselves, as well as that devotee, to further grief. The non-devotees and sinners are deprived of the benefits of instructions imparted in dreams. Whoever the Lord instructs in a dream should know that he is the most fortunate person, but at the same time he can remain humble since others won't know what has transpired. Thus it happened that in a dream the Supreme Lord Himself came to punish Shri Premnidhi by beating him. When Premnidhi awoke in the early morning he felt how swollen his cheeks had become!
Everyday Swarup Damodar would come to Shri Biddanidhi's house and then the two of them would go to take darshan of Lord Jagannath. As on every day Swarup Damodar arrived that morning and asked Premnidhi, "You always go with me to see Lord Jagannath, why are you still lying in bed?!"
Biddanidhi replied, "Come inside. I'll tell you everything. Just come here and sit down."
Swarup Damodar came in and saw that Premnidhi's two cheeks were quite swollen and bore imprints of very large fingers.
Damodar Swarup inquired, "What is this? Your cheeks are so swollen. Are you in pain!?"
Biddanidhi Mahasoy, laughed as he replied, "Swarup! Today all my doubts have been destroyed. Remember how I criticized the use of starched clothes in Lord Jagannath's worship? Just see the reaction to that offence in my two cheeks. In a dream, Lord Jagannath and Lord Balaram came to me, and for almost an hour They beat me severely, without any rest.
They asked me, "Do you have anything more to say about Our new clothes?" Berating me in this fashion, They both continued to slap my face. As They beat me the rings on Their fingers struck me, but I could not make any proper reply. In my present embarrassment I don't want to meet anybody. When the swelling goes down then I'll be able to go out again. I think that this is not fit to speak of to anyone else but I nevertheless feel in my heart that I am very fortunate. I have received a fitting punishment for my offence. If it weren't for this act of the Lord's mercy I would have fallen into hell.
Swarup Damodar was elated to hear this description of the Lord's affection for his friend. As someone feels jubilant to see that his friend has acquired some possession, similarly Swarup Damodar delighted in his friend's good fortune and the two of them laughed together in great joy.
Damodar Swarup told him, "My dear brother, I have never heard that the Lord personally comes in a dream to chastise someone, but I am seeing that He does when I look at you."
Thus the two friends felt supremely satisfied. In their discussions of the mellows of Krishna's pastimes they forgot whether it was night or day. By the influence of Pundarik Biddanidhi's devotion Shri Gaurcandra called him Father. Out of fear of touching Mother Ganges with his feet he does not bathe in her waters but regularly comes to see her and sips her water for purification. Taking this devotee's name the Lord Gauranga would shed incessant tears, crying all the while, "Pundarik! Father!" Whoever hears of the wonderful character of Pundarik Biddanidhi will undoubtedly attain the shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna. Thus sings Brindaban das of the glories of Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda Candra. Here also ends the Shri Chaitanya Bhagavat [Antyalila Chap. 10]
There is a very nice temple at the birthplace of Shri Pundarik Biddanidhi managed by the devotees of Chaitanya Cultural Society (ISKCON). Catigram is now known as Cattagram or Chittagong (British pronunciation). From the city of Chittagong one has to go to Hatajari and from there to the village of Mekhala. There is a small temple there at least five hundred years old which is said to be the bhajan kutir of Biddanidhi Mahasoy.