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ADVAITA PRABHU'S MARRIAGE
One day Sri Syama dasa told Advaita Prabhu: Prabhu, I wish that You would marry and have children through them this world could easily be delivered. Advaita Prabhu remembered the order of His Gurudeva Srila Madhavendra Puripada, that He should get married in order to become eligible for the service of Sri-Sri Radha-Madana Gopala and preach pure devotion, the supreme goal of human life, to mankind at large. Still He said: "I am an old man who will give Me a maiden in marriage? Anyway, who knows what wish Krsna is revealing through your words? Syama dasa replied: By the grace of the Lord my Prabhu will find Himself a beloved Isvari. I think she has already manifest herself in this world. Advaita Prabhu said: Syama dasa, you have great ambitions. Krsna always fulfills His devotees' desires.One day Sri Advaita took His devotees out for a Gangabath, as He was accustomed to do. Just then Nrsirhha Bhadudl,the jewel of learned brahmanas from the Narayana-pura-village of Saptagrama, and a great devotee of Lord Narayana, passed by that ghata in a boat with his two daughters, the most beautiful Sita and Sri. His chaste and beautiful daughter Sita became very happy to behold the Lord's handsome features, and thought: No ordinary person can be as handsome. His body shines brighter than gold. His arms reach down to His knees and His hands resemble lotus flowers. His fingers are shaped like Campaka-buds and His feet are as tender as lotus flowers. When I see Him thus the lotus of my heart starts blooming. I have offered my heart and mind to this maha purusa (great man), and if I cannot attain Him I will give up my life!" Thinking like this, she cast her Cakora-bird-like eyes on Advaita and drank the nectar of His moon-like face. The manifestation (expansion) of Slta is Sri Sri Thakuranl. This chaste sister of Slta was as beautiful as Laksml. When she beheld Advaita Prabhu's form she also became elated within, and she told her sister: "didi, behold that supremely handsome man there on the bank of the Gahga. It is as if millions of moons have assumed a golden radiance and have descended to earth. How extraordinary is the fragrance that emanates from His body, defeating the scent of millions of blooming lotus flowers! His beautiful face shines like nothing else and His mere sight soothes my heart and mind. Blessed is the birth of the woman who has Him for a husband!Sriman Nrsirhha BhadudI, the jewel of brdhmanas, also considered himself blessed when he beheld Advaita Prabhu. Seeing the almighty brahmajyoti emanating from Advaita Prabhu's body, he thought: This can never be an ordinary human being of flesh and blood." According to etiquette, he humbly addressed Him and when Advaita Prabhu saw the brahmana, He told him "namo ndrayana - obeisances to Lord Narayana. Gently Sri Advaita asked him who he was and the excellent BhadudI humbly introduced himself. I live in the village of Narayana-pura; my title is BhadudI and my first name is Nrsirhha. I heard from the people about Your extraordinary attributes. I have come here to see Your siddha murti now many days of aspiration have become fulfilled by finally meeting You. Today I am so fortunate that my wishes are fulfilled.
Advaita Prabhu replied:I am low. What is My power? Bless Me by becoming a guest in My house. Sri Nrsirhha said: You are Sadasiva Himself. Which person is able to disobey Your orders?" Saying this, Nrsirhha BhadudI took his two daughters along and blissfully went along to Advaita's house. Advaita Prabhu then worshipped His guests according to the rules, by washing their feet with scented water and offering them Sri Radha-Madana Gopala's prasdda. Advaita Prabhu cooked many preparations, known as chdppdnna bhoga chatrisa vyanjana at once sweet rice, dal, milk, and rice. He sat cooking on the veranda in front of everyone, diffusing His brahmajyoti effulgence.To dispel any doubt about His status as Sadasiva and Mahavisnu combined, Advaita Prabhu then expanded two more arms from His body and began to prepare four dishes at once. Prabhu Sltanatha then offered the dishes He prepared to Sri Radha-Madana Gopala and served the prasdda to His guests. BhadudI Mahasaya thought to himself:Today my birth has been successful, today I have reaped the fruits of millions of pious acts! Now I have seen with my own eyes He of whom I had heard so much I have now found the proper match for my daughter^)! Just as lac melts when being heated, similarly the hearts of this couple melt with love for each other. My wishes are totally fulfilled when Hari shows His grace upon me.Then he told Advaita Prabhu:Prabhu, I am but a poor brahmana please accept my eldest daughter Slta-devI as your wife, and since I am but poor, please accept my younger daughter Srl-devl as her dowry.Then Sri Advaita Candra, who is the Inner Overseer of all, appeared like a great king through His own divine prowess. Advaita's house became like a mansion, beautified by different flowers, like the abode of Indra. The whole of Santipura-d/iama was captivated by a superb divine scent and Advaita Prabhu was seated on a jewelled royal throne. His body mocked the radiance of Jambunada-gold and His capti¬vating form defeated the splendour of many moons. He wore a jewelled crown on His head and bangles around His wrists, earrings on His ears and beautiful anklebells on His feet. He wore a beautiful two-piece white, silken cloth, viz. a dhoti and cador, and His body was anointed with sandalwood pulp, musk and aguru. His neck and chest were adorned with a wonderful white garland and male and female servants were sur¬rounding Him on all sides. Counsellors were also surrounding Advaita Prabhu. Sri Yadunandana Acarya was His deputy, Pandita Krsna dasa was His clerk, Sri Brahma Haridasa was His minister and His match maker was Sriman Syama dasacarya. He would be expert enough to negotiate the marriage.When Sri Nrsirhha beheld this assembly, he was aston¬ished. Just then Srivasa Pandita, who assists Gaura in His pas¬times as the incarnation of Narada Muni, appeared on the scene. He had the power of the antarydmT (the Inner Overseer) and by Krsna's mercy he was a pure, devotion-bestowing brahmana, always absorbed in Krsna-consciousness. Out of his special grace he advented himself in Navadvlpa, speaking of nothing but Sri Hari. When Advaita Prabhu saw him, he immediately embraced him and Srivasa addressed the Lord with proper words.Sitting down in the assembly, he said: "Listen everybody this Sri Advaita is non-different from Lord Hari, who has advented Himself on earth to save the conditioned souls. How can an insignificant wretch like me know Him? Only Padma-yoni (Brahma, present in the assembly as Haridasa) knows some of His glories. And this Sri Nrsirhha BhadudI Mahasaya came forth from a meeting between the milk-ocean and the Himalaya . He is the greatest of virtuous truthful saints, learned in the religious scriptures, aristocratic and respectable. His daughter Sita is PaurnamasI herself, who manages Krsna's pastimes in Vraja as Yogamaya.^ People don't know it, but she is ayoni sambhava, not born from a womb. Nrsirhha Mahasaya got her as the result of his great piety." Anyone who hears the story of Sita devl's appearance will be freed from all sins.
Nrsirhha Bhadudi daily went out to pick flowers and Sri Tulasl-leaves for his worship of Sri Narayana. Close to his village of Narayana pura is a deva khdta (a lake only meant for the deity's service) where many a lotus flower is blooming. Their fine smell entered even into the village and brought ecstasy into Nrsirhha Mahasaya's heart. When he smelled the exquisite scent, he thought: "There must be many blossoming lotus flowers there for the service of Sri Narayana. Anyone who offers lotus flowers to Narayana will reach Sri Vaikuntha after leaving the body.Saying this, the noble Sri Nrsirhha went to the lake and selected many lotus flowers to be picked. As he picked them he saw a hundred-leafed lotus flower, providing a home to a little girl, the size of a thumb and shining beautifully like lightning. Seeing this girl, Nrsirhha thought: "I understand that this is Sri Kamala (Laksmi), who assists Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava in Their eternal pastimes." Indeed, Sita was like the goddess of fortune churned from the nectar ocean of Saptagrama's bra/imana-community. Nrsirhha thought: "Her body shines brighter than the sun and is beautified by four lotus-like arms, while her nails resemble rising moons! I have never seen any¬one so beautiful!" Thus he took the jewel-like girl home. Picking the huge lotus and keeping it to his chest, he quickly went home. By the will of the Lord, Nrsirhha's wife gave birth to another daughter that very same day. This very beautiful girl was named Sri.Slta-devI and Srl-devI appeared in the world in the month of Bhadra (August-September), four days before RadhastamI, the appearance day of Srimatl Radharam. One might wonder why both Advaita Prabhu and Slta-devI are called Yogamaya-Paurnamasl. The reason is that Slta and Advaita are one principle divided into two forever, just as Nityananda and his wife Jahnava, who are both said to be Anahga Manjari, Srimatl Radharanl's younger sister.BhadudI Mahasaya blissfully entered into the lying-in chamber and secretly showed his wife the other little daughter on the lotus flower. Nrsirhha's good wife was named Narasirhhl, and she was as pious, beautiful and chaste as Menaka, the mother of Parvati. When she saw the wonderful girl she was astonished and sweetly told Nrsiihha: "Aho Prabhu! This girl is the size of a mere thumb, but she shines like the sun at daybreak! I understand that Mahamaya has come here to display her illusions. If she will remain here as our daughter I will consider that her mercy.As the couple discussed this, Devi suddenly grew into the size of an ordinary baby. And so the people knew nothing else than that twins had been born to Nrsirhha and Narasirhhl. All the women of the village came to see the two girls, and they all agreed that they were as pretty as Laksml. They thought that Slta was the older child and Sri the younger. Mother Nrsirhhi passed away early, though, and, seeing that childhood left the bodies of his daughters and adolescence entered into them, the aging Nrsirhha BhadudI now faced the problem of marrying his two daughters.Who can describe all the pastimes of Sri and Slta? When they were five years old they crossed the Gahga on foot and taught a sannydsi a few lessons. One day a powerful sannydsi came and stayed at Nrsirhha Bhadudi's house as a guest. Many people came to see him, and Sri and Slta came there to purify him. Everyone offered obeisances to the sannydsi with great devotion, but when the sannydsi saw Slta and Sri, he became deluded. His mystic perfections like animd (the ability to make oneself as small as an atom) disappeared. Thus he offered them his obeisances, humbly holding a straw between his teeth. Slta asked him: "Why are you praising us two girls? You are, after all, such a powerful sannydsiV The sannydsi replied: "Mother, you are the supreme goddess of fortune. Please tell me how I can attain liberation, attaining a form like Visnu's (sarupya mukti)! Reveal the truth and thus remove my illusion. The world will remain filled with your great glories.
Slta devl, who is the very form of compassion, then said: "Mukti-cfevf is the maidservant of Bhakti-devF Bhakti is the supreme goddess of all. If someone attains one of the five kinds of liberation, he may still not attain the eternal lotus feet of Sri Hari. It is the nature of liberation to make the liber¬ated soul proud and therefore to send him back into material life with trifle knowledge. The glories of Bhakti-devf, however, are extraordinary and boundless. Anyone upon whom she bestows her knowledge will not take birth again in this material world. Through devotion the pure devotee attains the bliss of prema, and when he attains Krsna the bliss of brahman becomes insignificant.Then Srl-devI smiled and told that best of sannydsTs:Attaining sarupya mukti with Lord Visnu is utterly disgust¬ing. Is it better to drink honey or to be honey? Thus Krsna's devotees relish even more ecstatic love than Krsna Himself." In this way the two girls revealed devotional principles, hearing which the sannydsi became a pure Vaisnava.Sri Slta devl is famous for performing another divine frolic. Once there was a great devotional festival on the opposite bank of the Gahga, involving music, dance and nama sanklrtana. Many people attended it and Nrsirhha Bhadudi went there too, taking his two daughters along. When they came to the bank of the Gahga they saw a huge gale rising, creating billowing waves on the surface of the water. Seeing this, the king of brahmanas (Nrsirhha) became scared and kept his two daughters under guard on the bank of the river, crossing the river himself in a large, stout boat. Seeing this, Sri and Slta walked over the Gahga's surface, using their divine prowess. Beholding the divine sport of the sisters, he was highly astonished and quickly took his daughters into his arms. Seeing Slta's conduct, atheists and barbarics proudly followed her by walking over the Gahga's surface. However, they plunged in when it became deep, seeing which all people laughed loudly. In this way Sri and Slta performed so many childhood pastimes.Sri Advaita Prabhu said: "Nothing is impossible Krsna's servants and maidservants have inconceivable powers. On Krsna's mere glance they achieve all eight mystic perfections each devotee is able to purify the entire universe." While Advaita Prabhu thus extolled the devotees, Srivasa humbly told Him: "You are the bhakta avatdra and a transcendental touch stone all principles of devotion to Krsna reside in You alone. You alone know the truth about the Lord's devotees and everybody knows that You are Gopesvara Siva. This Slta devl is Your Yogamaya, who is different from Sri-devl only in body. Please marry both these girls then Your storehouse will be unlimited. That will be very favorable for serving Sri Krsna and the Vaisnavas. Your family will deliver all the conditioned souls.In 'Advaita Mahgala', Sri Haricarana dasa describes how Nrsirhha Bhadudi initially had some reservations about the match, telling Syama dasa: The Lord is an ascetic He is elderly and knows nothing about household life.
I know that He is ever-powerful, but if I tell my family of this match they may not approve. I will have to consult them first I will let you know of my decision later." Slta-devI said, however: "No, the brdhmana (Syama dasa) is right you know that He (Advaita Prabhu) is the independent Supreme Lord. You will become dependent (not belonging to His liberated state) by consulting your amily.Hearing these words of his daughter, Bhadudi Mahasaya told Syama dasa: "Go and tell the Lord that I will give Him my daughter and that I am His servant.Advaita Prabhu then indicated that He agreed to the marriage, saying: "Please allow Me to engage your two daughters in the service of Sri-Sri Radha-Madana Gopala, on the order of my Gurudeva Srila Madhavendra Puripada", and thus Bhadudi Mahasaya gave away his two daughters according to the rules. On the occasion of the marriage special bhoga of dif¬ferent sweets and fruits were offered to Sri Radha-Madana Gopala and all men and women present were given the prasdda to eat. According to 'Advaita Mahgala' Slta devl herself cooked on her wedding day. Her cooking defeated the taste of nectar.Prema Vilasa (Chapter 24) describes the marriage as follows: "Advaita Acarya sat dressed like the Supreme Lord on a nicely decorated new palanquin for the bridegroom. He went to Phuliya Ghata on the bank of the Gahga, where Bhadudi Mahasaya gave Him his daughters. The whole wed¬ding was paid for by the wealthy brothers Hiranya and Govardhana Majumdara, who were in charge of the Saptagrama region and who were the objects of Advaita Acarya's mercy, being the dearmost disciples of Advaita Prabhu's disciple Yadunandana Acarya. Who can fathom their glories? Govardhana's son was Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvaml!After the wedding ceremony everyone left in great joy, having relished the prasdda. Slta ThakuranI and Sri ThakuranI can be considered two bodies with one soul due to their strong mutual love. Their deep commitment to the service of the Lord and to their husband increased day by day.Slta became a faithful maidservant of Her husband Advaita Prabhu. At brahma muhurta time (one hour before sunrise) she got up, bathed and prepared her husband's puja paraphernalia, cooked and blissfully offered everything to the deities. The Lord was very pleased with this and said: "You are qualified to cook for Krsna.Slta-devI always gave great pleasure to Advaita Prabhu with her cooking. She was an expert cook. One day she was serving rice to Advaita Prabhu and all His disciples when her veil was wiped away by a breeze. She pulled her veil straight with two hands and continued serving the rice with another two hands. The brahmanas present were astonished to see this divine mystery, so Advaita Prabhu admonished her, saying: "O Site, this is preaching of the age of Kali." She then quickly made the extra two hands vanish.
One day Sri Madhavendra Purlpada appeared to moth¬er Sri Sita in a dream and told her with sweet words 'Listen, O Slta devi! My name is Madhavendra. Sri Advaita Candra took mantra from me. I will now give you the same siddha mantra that I have given to your husband and that attracts Krsna. Krsna does not eat grains offered to Him by an uninitiated person, and it is a great offence to act in a wayward manner." STta-devI said: "I am very fortunate that I met you. Please purify my heart and body with mantra initiation." Then Madhavendra Purlpada gave Krma-mantra initiation to Slta, after which he vanished.When Mother Slta awoke, she said: "How amazing! Madhavendra Purlpada gave me mantra dlksa in a visionary dream!" Slta dev! told everything to Advaita Acarya, who said: "You are very fortunate. All your bonds have been sev¬ered." Still, despite Slta's vision, He gave her initiation again, according to the rules, on an auspicious moment.