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All glories to Shri Chaitanya! All glories to Sitanatha! All glories to Nityananda, along with all the devotees!
One day Lord Chaitanya came to Rupa Gosvami in a dream and gently said, “O Rupa, you have written a wonderful drama in which you have revealed the transcendental pastimes of Radha-Shyama. I strongly desire to hear that sweet beautiful drama.”
Saying this, Shri Chaitanya disappeared and Rupa woke up, but then fell unconscious in ecstasy. After some time, Rupa Gosvami, the topmost devotee, came to his senses and started weeping and calling out, “Where is Gauranga?”
The next moment he lamented, “It is difficult to comprehend Your transcendental pastimes. You have descended in order to glorify Your devotees. You have kindly appeared before Your devotee in a dream to give instruction.”
Rupa Gosvami then danced and jumped high. At that time Sanatana arrived there and inquired, “What is the news? I assume that Gaura has showered His mercy on you today.”
Rupa replied, “O Prabhu, you are well-versed in all the scriptures. Gaura has appeared in my dream to instruct me.”
Sanatana said, “You are most fortunate! Because you have seen Gauranga in a dream, you will certainly see Him face to face.”
Rupa then said, “Your words are as good as the Vedas. I will go to Purushottama-kshetra to see Gauranga.”
Rupa offered obeisances to Sanatana and then started his auspicious journey while remembering Gaurahari. Absorbed in love for Gauranga, he eventually arrived in Shri Kshetra. When Rupa saw Lord Gauranga, tears of love flowed from his eyes. He offered hundreds of obeisances to the Lord, who reciprocated by warmly embracing Rupa. Rupa Gosvami said, “I am an untouchable wretch. Why do You make me an offender by touching me?”
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “You are the topmost devotee. Your body is as pure as the Mandakini Ganges.”
Shri Rupa said, “You are an ocean of mercy. A particle of Your mercy is the source of all auspiciousness. If by great fortune someone touches Your feet, he gets the most pure body of a Vaishnava; just as by the touch of a shalagrama-shila, the water in a ordinary well becomes so pure that it can destroy all sins and it is rarely attained even by the demigods.”
Mahaprabhu said, “This is exaggerated glorification.”
Rupa then said, “I've hardly spoken a drop of Your glories.”
Then Gauranga personally glorified Rupa Gosvami's spotless detachment to Ramananda Raya and others. The happiness of Gauranga's followers expanded in the association of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. They surrounded Gauranga and began chanting the holy names. In great ecstasy someone sang and someone danced. Someone else called out the name of Gauranga and cried in ecstatic love. In this way the waves of Gaura's love swelled as the devotees chanted Hare Krishna and danced. One moment they laughed, another moment they were stunned, and the next moment they began to perspire. Then they cried out, “O Lord of our lives!”
Shri Krishna Chaitanya and His devotees thus blessed the whole world with a cloud of nectarean love. After some time, when the sankirtana came to an end, everyone took Gaura's permission and returned to their respective duties.
One day, as Gauranga was joyfully discussing spiritual topics with His devotees, Rupa Gosvami arrived there. He offered obeisances to Gaurachandra, who embraced Rupa and asked him to sit there. Rupa offered his respects to the devotees and sat at a distance. Lord Chaitanya, the supreme controller who resides in everyone's heart as the Supersoul, said to Rupa, “I have heard from a devotee that you have written a drama about Krishna's pastimes. Please recite that drama in this assembly of Vaishnavas. I am eager to hear it.”
Shri Rupa said, “I am a wretch and the lowest of men, while Krishna's pastimes are the topmost of all subjects. This fool's ability to explain the scriptures is like a wingless bird's ability to fly. Whatever I have written is like a child's play. I feel ashamed and afraid to read it. Still, I cannot disobey Your order. Everyone kindly forgive my offense.”
Rupa Gosvami then read his drama, and the devotees all became overwhelmed in ecstasy. Absorbed in love, Ramananda Raya and others remarked, “We have become purified by hearing this drama. The glories of Krishna's names are certainly sweet. We have never heard such a glorious composition of verses.”
In ecstatic love, Mahaprabhu said to Shri Rupa, “It would be good if you divide this drama into two parts. The two names, Vidagdha-madhava and Lalita-madhava, will give pleasure to the heart.”
The Vaishnavas all responded by chanting the name of Hari. These two books became well-known throughout the world. Shri Gauranga's associates have inconceivable qualities. Shrila Rupa Gosvami's glories are vibrated everywhere. On seeing his great humility, Gauranga and His followers were overwhelmed with love.
Rupa Gosvami stayed there for some days, taking darshana of Lord Jagannatha in ecstatic love. Then, following the instruction of Mahaprabhu, he returned to Vrindavana. The glories of Gauranga and His devotees cannot be fully described by even Lord Brahma. By hearing their glories from saintly persons my mind was not pacified, so I have written those topics in brief for the benefit of others.
One day Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was explaining the devotional purport of Shrimad Bhagavatam to Acyuta, who remarked, “This is the best explanation of Shrimad Bhagavatam I have ever heard. There is no need for the commentary of others, like Shridhara Svami. This commentary is the essence of all others and it includes points not mentioned elsewhere.”
Shri Krishna Chaitanya replied, “If the glories of saintly persons are diminished by this commentary, then it must be discarded.”
Hearing this, Shri Acyuta was surprised and said, “On hearing this order, my heart breaks. Your commentary is like the monarch of the kingdom of devotional service. Every line is a storehouse of transcendental mellows. By stopping the propagation of such wonderful devotional purports, You have actually verified Yourself as an ocean of mercy.”
Acyuta began to cry in ecstatic love, and Gaura bathed him with His tears. There is no limit to Shri Chaitanya's ocean of mercy, even Lord Ananta cannot reach its end. Gauranga sacrificed His own prestige to make the living entities happy. Such humility was never shown even by Lord Krishna.
Previously, when Gaura was studying the scriptures, He had written a commentary on the principles of logic. When He went to the bank of the Ganges with that commentary, a brahmana inquired, “O Mahashaya, what is that book You have?”
Gaura replied, “This is a commentary on the principles of logic.”
The brahmana looked through that commentary and began to lament, “Alas, all my work is ruined! On seeing this commentary, mine will be shunned.”
Shri Gauranga said, “O brahmana, don't be discouraged.”
Gaura, the ocean of mercy, immediately displayed His compassion by throwing His commentary into the Ganges. Seeing this, that brahmana blissfully said, “No living entity can display such renunciation. You must be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu Himself! I offer millions of obeisances at Your feet.”
Saying this, the brahmana joyfully departed, while Gaurachandra's shining fame filled the universe. Accepting the glories of Shri Chaitanya as inconceivable, I, an insignificant insect, consider the brief pastimes written here as atomic in size.
Shri Shacinandana then said to Acyuta, “Why are My faultless eyes quivering?”
Acyuta said, “You are the embodiment of auspiciousness. Good fortune always resides within You. I can understand that one of Your dear devotees will become very fortunate. That is why the eyes of He who is controlled by His devotees are quivering.”
At that time, Sanatana Gosvami, the topmost devotee, arrived from Vraja and came there before Gaura. Gauranga jubilantly said, “The words of Krishna and His eternal associates are always infallible.”
Shri Acyuta said, “You are the controller of the mind. In the form of sound, You cause the living entities to act.”
As soon as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu heard this, He immediately remembered Lord Vishnu. Meanwhile, Sanatana was absorbed in loving sentiments by seeing Gaura. His hairs stood on end, he lamented, and then he became stunned. Then, crying in love, he washed Gauranga's feet. Gaura embraced Sanatana, who lamented, “You have made me a great offender. I am untouchable and fallen, moreover I am an object of hatred, for I have a disease that has produced wet sores on my body.”
Mahaprabhu said, “Where are your wet sores? I see a pure body that resembles the sunlight.”
Sanatana looked and was surprised to see that his body had now become healthy. Accepting the mercy of Shri Krishna Chaitanya as inconceivable, Sanatana began dancing in ecstasy with raised hands. All the devotees joyfully cried out, and then Mahaprabhu began sankirtana.
Someone played the mridanga, and others played karatalas. Some devotees laughed, and others cried in ecstasy as though they were intoxicated. Gradually the waves of the ocean of sankirtana expanded, and Gauranga was immersed in loving ecstasy. Gaura then manifest various ecstatic symptoms like crying, shivering, and falling unconscious. Sometimes He cried out the name of Hari, and then He would offer humble prayers.
After a long time, they stopped sankirtana and Lord Gauranga sat down with the devotees. Then Sanatana gently inquired from Mahaprabhu, “Amongst all religious principles, which are the eternal religious principles?”
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “You are the topmost devotee, and you know all the scriptures. Among intelligent persons, you are the most experienced. Still, following the behavior of saintly persons, you inquire, because saintly persons never tire of discussing spiritual matters with devotees. We call Vaishnava principles eternal religious principles, and other principles are all secondary. According to the Vedas, Vaishnava principles are eternally perfect. Secondary religious principles were preached by Lord Shiva under the order of Lord Krishna. The instructions of Lord Shiva can never be fruitless, but they bring success indirectly, just as when a person takes a crooked path, his journey simply increases. After worshiping the demigods for many lifetimes, one's heart is purified when he obtains the worship of Lord Vishnu, who is like a desire tree. Then, by the desire of the devotee, Vishnu offers one a gift more rare than liberation.”
Sanatana Gosvami said, “I understand the basic meaning. Vaishnava religious principles are perfect from time immemorial.”
Mahaprabhu said, “Vaishnava principles are supreme. According to saintly persons, the most important aspect of Vaishnava principles is to develop a taste for chanting the holy name.”
In this way Mahaprabhu revealed many devotional principles, and the devotees headed by Sanatana felt jubilant. Then on the occasion of Lord Jagannatha's Ratha-yatra, many devotees came from various provinces. The followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu coming from Bengal were headed by Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu.
Gauranga became joyful to regain the association of His followers. He gradually inquired about each devotee's welfare. The devotees offered their obeisancs to Gauranga and told Him all the auspicious news, and Gauranga embraced each one of them. Then Mahaprabhu joyfully took bath with His devotees in the king of all holy places, the ocean. They all went to see Lord Jagannatha, and then they took prasada together.
The joy they experienced cannot be described. Only the most fortunate people could see those pastimes. Mahaprabhu then narrated to His devotees descriptions about the topmost mood of the Vraja gopis. When the devotees became intoxicated in pure love by hearing those topics, they began sankirtana in Gauranga's association. Devotees from many various backgrounds played mridangas and karatalas. Some of them sweetly danced with their arms raised.
Advaita danced nicely, so He was placed in front. Gaura and Nityananda danced in the middle. The devotees danced behind with their hairs standing on end. Intoxicated with ecstasy, they made various poses. Their wonderful dancing amazed the people, and their singing the glories of Lord Hari resembled the Gandharvas. As the cakoralike devotees drank the nectar of sankirtana, some cried in ecstatic love, some embraced others, and some, intoxicated in ecstasy, laughed loudly. Some others fell unconscious, being overwhelmed with love.
The wonderful joy of their sankirtana attracted even the demigods. Many sinful people were delivered by the boat of the holy names. On the day of Ratha-yatra there was a large joyful festival, which I am unable to describe.
The chariot of Subhadra went first, and behind her chariot came the chariot of Balarama. Millions of people pulled the chariot of Lord Jagannatha, but they were unable to move it even an inch. All the pilgrims were struck with wonder. Then Mahaprabhu smiled and pulled the rope. Simply by His touch, the chariot moved quickly, and everyone jubilantly chanted the name of Hari.
Lord Jagannatha and Lord Gauranga both performed wonderful pastimes. Whoever witnessed those pastimes was delivered from the ocean of material existence. Lord Jagannatha mercifully appears in a form corresponding to one's meditation on Him. Some see the form of Krishna and some see Vamana, but according to the Vedas neither will take another birth. And if someone in illusion thinks of the objects of the senses, he sees those objects, not Krishna.
The transcendental pastimes of Lord Jagannatha are unlimited, and the potency of His maha-prasada is beyond the conception of the demigods. In Jagannatha Puri, a brahmana eats the prasada brought by a candala; and if he hesitates, he is soon attacked by severe disease. When a dog eats maha-prasada, if something falls from its mouth, that is eatable even by the demigods. The potency of maha-prasada is inconceivable and inexhaustible, even Shri Ananta cannot understand the extent of its potency. Anyone who takes even a fragment of maha-prasada is freed from all sins and goes back to Godhead. Nowhere are the glories of maha-prasada heard as much as they are in Shri Purushottama.
I am an insignificant insect, so I have no ability. Therefore I have written just a fragment of these pastimes. After the Ratha-yatra festival, Gaura called His devotees and said, “You have suffered great distress on My account. There is no need for you to come every year. Stay at home and always distribute the holy names. You have all appeared to preach the eternal principles of religion. Make your lives successful by preaching. I will engage in confidential devotional service for some days. Thus all My cherished desires will be fulfilled.”
Gauranga ordered Nityananda Prabhu to marry, and then He ordered the devotees to return home. Gaura then went to a solitary place and chanted the holy names, absorbed in love. At that time Gaura saw only His intimate devotees, and He became fully absorbed in the holy names, which are the only means of success.
Chant the holy names, meditate on the holy names, and make the holy names the essence of your life! Wherever the holy name is chanted, Lord Hari performs His pastimes. The holy name is Hari Himself, there is no difference. This is established by the Vedas and Puranas.
Now listen to the description of the disappearance of Brahma Haridasa, who daily chanted three hundred thousand holy names. We haven't seen anyone with such taste for chanting the holy names. All the devotees were astounded by his activities. Knowing his disappearance from this world as imminent, Haridasa came and lay down in the middle of the chanting devotees. He then held Mahaprabhu's lotus feet to his heart and left his body while calling out, “Shri Krishna Chaitanya!”
Seeing this, Gauranga loudly chanted the holy name of Hari. The devotees exclaimed, “He was the crest jewel amongst the devotees.”
The breeze of hari-nama began blowing from all sides and the waves of sankirtana gradually swelled up. Lord Chaitanya was immersed in that ocean of ecstatic love, and all the devotees enjoyed swimming in that ocean.
Gaura then placed Haridasa in samadhi, and they all joyfully held a grand festival. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is an ocean of mercy. We have never heard of such a munificent incarnation. The omnipotent source of all incarnations, Lord Gauranga, performed these transcendental pastimes to deliver the people in general. Without considering whether the place is proper or not, He has mercifully offered everyone the holy names and pure love of God that is rarely attained by even Lord Brahma. I offer millions of obeisances to the feet of Shri Guru and Gauranga. I am always praying for a fragment of their mercy.
Praying at the the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya and Shri Advaita, always desiring Their mercy, I, Ishana Nagara, narrate Shri Advaita Prakasha.