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ADVAITA RECOGNISES MAHAPRABHU
When the devotees saw Mahaprabhu's loving ecstasy after His return from Gaya, they were all highly astonished, and with great satisfaction they told Advaita all they had seen. On the strength of His bhakti yoga the most powerful Advaita knew that the Supreme Lord had descended, but due to His inconceivable nature He did not reveal this truth yet. In great joy Advaita Prabhu told the assembled Vaisnavas:"Hear, O brothers, what I experienced last night. There was a verse from Bhagavad Glta that I could not understand, so in an unhappy mood I fasted, but at night someone told Me: "O Acarya! Get up! I will tell You the meaning of this verse. Get up and eat and then do puja of Me. Why should You remain unhappy? You will get all the understanding You need. Your aspirations will be fulfilled, Your fasts, worship and Your crying out for Krsna with raised arms will all be fulfilled. All countries, towns and villages will be filled with krsna kirtana, and by Your grace the devotion that is rarely attained even by Brahma will be seen by everyone. All the Vaisnavas will see it in the house of Srivasa. Eat now I will take My leave now. I will come again at eating time.When I opened My eyes I saw this Visvambhara, and as I looked He disappeared again. I cannot understand anything of Krsna's pastimes how He reveals Himself and to whom. Nimai's elder brother VisVarupa used to discuss Bhagavad Glta with Me, when this child (Nimai) came by to call him for lunch. He was most beautiful and sweet, and I lost My mind upon beholding Him. He blessed Me, saying: "May You be devoted". He is from a very high family, His maternal grandfather is NTlambara Cakravartl. He Himself is also most qualified and learned, so it is proper that He also becomes a devotee of Krsna. I am very happy to hear You praising Him like this. All of you please bless Him, so that He will fulfill that promise. May Sri Krsna's compassion rest on everyone and may the whole world be filled with the chanting of Krsna's holy name. If this is the truth then may everybody come to that brdhmana's (Nimai's) house." After proclaiming this, Sri Advaita roared like anything and all the Vaisnavas sang 'jayajayal hari hariV
One day Mahaprabhu blissfully went to see Advaita, taking Gadadhara along. When the two men arrived, they saw Advaita offering water and Tulasl-leaves to the Lord, raising His arms and shouting 'hari hariV Sometimes He wept, some¬times He laughed and sometimes He went beyond Himself. Sometimes He roared like a mad lion and sometimes He became angry like the Rudra-avarara. As soon as Visvambhara saw Advaita in this manner, He fainted and fell to the ground. On the strength of His great bhakti yoga, the most powerful Advaita knew: "This is the Lord of My life. Where will this thief flee to? For so long You have been rambling around here, stealing— but You will not escape from Advaita's hands! Now I will steal from the thief!" Thinking like this, Advaita Gosai approached the lotusfeet of Sri Caitanya and worshipped them with pddya (foot-water) arghya (hand-water) and dcamani (mouth-water). While also offering perfumes, flowers, incense and lamps to these lotus feet, He offered obeisances to the Lord again and again while reciting a Sanskrit verse spoken by Prahlada in the Visnu Purdna
namo brahmanya-devdya go-brdhmana hitdya ca
jagad dhitdya krsnaya govinddya namo namah
My repeated obeisance to Krsna, who is Govinda, the Lord of the brdhmanas, the benefactor of the cow and the brahmana and the whole universe.Anyway, Advaita Prabhu recognised His Lord and wept, falling at the Lord's feet and constantly repeating the above verse. Sitting at the Lord's footsoles with folded hands, He constantly showered them with His tears. Gadadhara laughed, bit His tongue and said:O Gosai! You should not treat a child like Nimai in this way." Advaita laughed at Gadadhara in return and said: Gadadhara! How much longer will You see Him as a child?This remark greatly astonished Gadadhara, who thus understood that the Supreme Lord had descended. After a while Visvambhara returned to external consciousness and saw Advaita Acarya absorbed in ecstasy. Visvambhara tried to conceal Himself, but Advaita prayed to Him with folded hands. Mahaprabhu took the dust of Advaita's feet and offered obeisances unto Him, submitting unto Him:O Mahasaya, be kind to Me! Know for sure that I am Yours! I am blessed by receiving Your audience. If You bestow Your mercy the holy name of Krsna will be manifest on My tongue! You are able to destroy mundane bondage, and Krsna is always manifest with¬in Your heart.Thus the Lord is expert in expanding His devotees' glories. Advaita, meanwhile, thought: Why are You deceiving Me like this? Today I have cheated the cheater." Then He smiled and said: "O Visvambhara, You are the greatest of all may I always be able to see You! All the Vaisnavas wish to see You and do krsna klrtana with You!" Hearing Advaita's words, Mahaprabhu was most happy and, after accepting this praise, He returned to His own abode.Now Advaita knew that the Lord had shown Himself, and to test it He went to live in Santipura again. "If He is real¬ly the Lord and I am His servant, then He will bind Me up and take Me to Him." Who is able to understand Advaita's heart and mind? His power has caused Sri Caitanya to descend to earth.
One day Mahaprabhu was in isvaravesa (God-like absorption) when He ordered Ramai:O Ramai! Go to the house of Advaita and tell Him to come and see Me. Tell Him that the Lord He has worshipped, for Whom He has wept at length and for Whom He has fasted has now appeared to distribute bhakti yoga. Tell Him to quickly bring His wife and ingredients for puja with Him!"Rama, Srivasa's younger brother, took Mahaprabhu's order on his head and at once left, remembering Hari. Out of ecstasy Ramai did not know where to go it was Sri Caitanya's order itself that brought him to the right place. Ramai Pandita offered his obeisances unto Advaita Acarya Gosai with indescribable ecstasy. The omniscient Advaita knew Mahaprabhu's order in advance, and when He saw Ramai He laughed and said: I understand that the Lord ordered you to bring Me to Him." With folded hands Ramai Pandit replied: "You know everything, so come with me quickly. Acarya Gosai was overwhelmed with ecstasy and had no idea where He was. Who can understand Advaita's grave conduct? Even those who know it describe it in different ways.Advaita challenged Ramai, saying: "Which scripture proclaims that the Supreme Lord will descend to this place of Navadvlpa? Your brother Srivasa knows all about My devo¬tion, My spiritual way of life, My dispassion and My transcendental knowledge.Ramai knew all about Advaita's extraordinary charac¬ter, therefore he did not react, but just laughed within his mind. Again Advaita Prabhu inquired: "Tell Me, O Ramai Pandita! Why have you come here so suddenly?" Understanding that the Acarya had somewhat calmed down, Ramai wept and said:"That Lord for Whom You have extensively wept, Whom You have extensively worshipped and for Whom You have extensively fasted, has now appeared before You. He has come to distribute bhakti yoga take Your wife and Your puja -paraphernalia with You and come, on that Lord's order! Nityananda has also come He is the Lord's second body and Your very life. You already know this, so what more should I say? If I am lucky enough then I will see You all together.When Advaita Prabhu learned of this order He raised His arms, wept and fainted of ecstasy. Seeing this, everyone present was astonished. After a while Advaita Prabhu returned to external consciousness and roared: "I have brought Him! I have brought Him! For My sake the Lord has left Vaikuntha!" Then He wept and fell to the ground once more.Advaita's very chaste wife, the mother of the universe, wept and cried simultaneously when she heard that the Lord had descended, and Advaita's young son Acyutananda also wept extensively. While Advaita, His wives and sons were weeping, they were surrounded by their servants who also began to weep.
Thus Advaita's abode was filled with prema. Advaita was unable to calm down His body was constantly jolting of ecstasy. "Ramai Re!" He said, "what are you telling Me?" Ramai said: "Quickly come along with me!" "Listen O Ramai Pandita!", Advaita replied, I say you truly I will accept that My Lord has really come if He shows Me His divine prowess and if He places His feet on My head." Ramai replied:O Lord, what can I say? If I am fortunate enough I can see the Lord with my own eyes. Whatever is Your desire is also Mahaprabhu's desire He has, after all, descended especially for You.When Advaita heard Ramai's words He became pleased and prepared Himself for an auspicious journey. "Get ready to leave immediately, and take the ingredients for puja with you", He told His wife. Advaita's chaste wife, who knew the truth about Lord Caitanya, at once collected all auspicious ingredients for pujd such as perfumes, garlands, incense, gar¬ments, milk, yoghurt, cream, butter, camphor and betelleaves. Then Advaita Prabhu and His wife set out to see Mahaprabhu, but Advaita forbade Ramai to tell the Lord that He was com¬ing. "Just tell Him that the Acarya did not come. Let's see what My Mahaprabhu will say then. I will hide Myself in Nandana Acarya's house, just tell everyone that I have not come.Visvambhara sits in everyone's heart and He was well aware of Advaita's resolve. Knowing that Advaita Acarya had come, He went to the house of Snvasa Thakura, where all of His dear devotees also met. Everyone understood that the Lord was absorbed in contemplation, so they fearfully kept silent. The Lord then roared and sat down on Lord Visnu's throne, saying: "Nadha has come, Nadha has come! He wants to see My divine prowess!Nityananda, understanding the Lord's hint, quickly came forward to shade Him with an umbrella and Gadadhara, who also understood the Lord's purpose, offered Him cam¬phor-laced betel leaves. All the other devotees began to engage in devotional service also, while others again engaged in eulo¬gising the Lord. Just then Ramai appeared. Since he did not speak, the Lord told him with shaking head: "Nadha has sent you to test Me! Nadha has come, I tell you! He's always try¬ing to trick Me. He has sent you to test Me, while He Himself is hiding in Nandana Acarya's house. Quickly bring Him here!Ramai Pandita blissfully went off and told Advaita all that the Lord had said. Hearing these narrations, Advaita Acarya floated in an ocean of bliss and went to see the Lord, considering His plan a success. Staying at a distance, He Offered prostrated obeisances unto the Lord and, together with His wife, He offered many praises.
When He gave up His awe and reverence, He came before the Lord to behold the most beautiful Person in the world:"May that Lord, whose satisfied face is more bright than millions of moons, who is more lovely and beautiful than millions of Cupids, whose body shines like gold, be kind upon Advaita. His two arms defeat millions of golden pillars and are decorated with divine ornaments. His chest is beautified by the Srivatsa-mark, the great Kaustubha gem, His Makara-earrings and VaijayantI garland of flowers, while His boundless radi¬ance defeats that of millions of suns. Rama (the goddess of fortune) sits at His lotus feet and Ananta deva shades Him with a golden umbrella. His nails cannot be distinguished from jew¬els. He smiles as He stands in His threefold bending form and plays His flute. Everything — the Lord, His associates and His ornaments — shines without comparison.Advaita saw four-faced Brahma, five-faced Siva and six-faced Kartikeya offering prayers in great awe, along with Narada and Suka. One exquisite lady, riding a chariot pulled by a Makara-whale, looked like Gariga as she offered prostrat¬ed obeisances. Advaita also saw thousand-headed Sesa offer¬ing prayers and gods shimmering in all directions. Turning around, He saw that thousands upon thousands of gods had fallen at Krsna's footsoles and were chanting His holy name. Out of great respect Advaita gave up His prostrated obeisance and got up to behold more wonders. He saw many great snakes, each with a thousand raised hoods, each of them prais¬ing the Lord. He saw the sky filled with divine chariots with their celestial elephant-, swan- and horse-carriers jamming the ethereal highways. Millions of snake-wives praised Krsna with tear-filled eyes, and great sages thronged both the earth and the heavens to offer their prayers to the Lord. When Advaita and His wife saw this huge display of majesty they became speechless.
Prabhu Visvambhara became compassionately dis¬posed towards Advaita and told Him: "I have descended because of Your resolve and Your elaborate worship of Me. I was reclining within the Milk Ocean when Your cries of love awoke Me. You could no longer tolerate seeing the suffering of the conditioned souls, so You brought Me to rescue them. All these associates of Mine that You see all around Me have descended because of You. All people will now be able to see those Vaisnavas whom even Brahma covets to see.Hearing all these words, Advaita Prabhu and His wife raised their arms and began to weep. "Today the rising of the sun has become a success for Me. Today all My wishes have been fulfilled. Today My birth and My activities are fulfilled, for I have now seen Your lotus feet with My own eyes. You who are only glorified, but never seen by the Vedas, have now Personally appeared before Me. I don't have any personal power. Is there anybody who can rescue the conditioned souls without being empowered by Your compassion?As Advaita Acarya spoke He floated in prema. The Lord said: "Go ahead now with Your puja of Me." Receiving the Lord's order, Advaita performed an elaborate puja of Lord Caitanya's lotus feet. First He washed these lotus feet with scented water, then He daubed Tulasi-man/am in sandalwood pulp and placed them on these feet. Then, as tears of love streamed from His eyes, He continued His puja with five ingredients perfumes, flowers, incense and lamps. Then He kindled a five-wicked lamp and praised the Lord as He offered it in a circular way. After that He commenced a puja with six¬teen ingredients and He offered garlands, garments and orna¬ments. After He had performed His puja according to scrip¬tural injunctions, He offered prostrated obeisances and recited the following verse:
namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana hitdya ca
jagad dhitaya krsnaya govindaya namo namah
My repeated obeisance to Sri Krsna, who is Govinda, the Lord of the brahmanas, the benefactor of the cow and the brahmana and the whole universe.After reciting this verse He offered the following scriptural praises to the Lord:"All glories to Visvambhara, the Lord of everyone's heart, all glories to Gauracandra, the ocean of mercy! All glo¬ries to He who makes the devotees' words come true! All glo¬ries to the great avatara Mahaprabhu! All glories to He whose beauty enchants even Sindhu-suta (Laksml)! All glories to He who is adorned with the Srlvatsa-mark and the Kaustubha gem! All glories to He who revealed the hare krsna mantral All glories to He who relishes the acceptance of His own serv¬ice! All glories to Mahaprabhu, Who reclines on the snake bed Ananta! All glories to the shelter of all living entities!You are Visnu, You are Krsna, You are Narayana! You are Matsya, You are Kurma, You are Sanatana. You are Varaha, You are Vamana, and You are the guardian of the Vedas, age after age. You are the destroyer of demoniac dynasties, the very life of JanakI (Slta). You bestowed a benediction on the candala Guha and You rescued Ahalya. You are that Lord Narasirhha who descended to rescue Prahlada by killing Hiranyakaslpu. You are the crown jewel of all gods, You are the king of brahmanas, and You have Your famous meals in Nllacala (as Lord Jagannatha). The four Vedas are seeking You, but You Yourself have come here to conceal Yourself. O Lord, You are very expert in hiding Yourself, but Your devotees are expert in bringing You out again. You descended to start the sahkirtana movement. In all the worlds there is nobody like You. Gauri-Sahkara are mad after the flavours of Your lotus feet, that are attentively served by the goddess of fortune. The glories of these feet, that are constantly worshipped by Brahma, are sung by thousand-headed Sesa. The srutis, smrtis and Puranas sing the glories of these feet, that once reached up to Satya-loka to bless the head of Bali Maharaja. From these feet Gahga descends into the worlds, so powerfully that Sahkara has to stem the flow by carrying it on His own head.
Advaita's intelligence exceeds that of millions of Brhaspatis He knew very well of Lord Caitanya's sanctity. As He described the glories of the Lord's lotus feet, He showered them- and Himself with His tears. Then He fell at them in prostrated obeisance. Being the omniscient antaryaml (inner monitor), Sri Gauranga placed His lotus feet upon Advaita Prabhu's head, causing an explosion of 'jayajaya'-chants by all the devotees that were present. Everyone who saw it was in ecstasy and a tumultuous sound of chanting lhari! hariV became audible. Some rolled over the ground, some slapped each other, some embraced each other and some cried loudly.The wishes of Advaita and His wife were fulfilled, since they had received Mahaprabhu's feet on their heads. On Mahaprabhu's order Advaita Gosai then began to dance with great devotion arey Nadhal Dance in My kirtanal" A beautiful kirtana arose and Advaita began to dance before Gauracandra. Sometimes He danced violently, sometimes He danced sweetly, sometimes He danced with a straw between His teeth (a sign of humility), sometimes He twirled around, sometimes He got up and sometimes He fell to the ground and rolled around, sometimes He sighed deeply and sometimes He fainted. He was not fixed in one particular feeling, He simply danced in ecstasy, reciprocating with any kind of kirtana that was performed. As He ran towards Mahaprabhu He suddenly saw Nityananda and with a frown and a smile He said: "Nitai! How nice that You came! I didn't see You for so long, but if You want to go anywhere now I will bind You up!All the Vaisnavas were drowning in an ocean of bliss when they beheld Advaita's dancing. As soon as Mahaprabhu ordered Him to stop dancing, Advaita stopped. Mahaprabhu hung His own garland around Advaita's neck, laughed and said: "Ask a benediction! Ask a benediction!" At first Advaita remained silent, but when Visvambhara insisted, He said: "What other benediction can I wish for? You have already ful¬filled all of My wishes. I have met You, danced before You, I have seen You descending in very Person, and so on.Mahaprabhu nodded His head and said: "I have appeared in this world only for You. I will preach kirtana from door to door and the whole world will dance to My glorifica¬tion. I will give You the devotion that Brahma, Siva and Narada perform penances for to attain.Advaita said: "O Prabhu Visvambhara! If You really want to offer Me a benediction, then offer Your devotion to the women, labourers, pariahs and fools. Persons that are proud of their money, knowledge or high birth, but who slight Your devotees or devotion to You are sinful rascals, and I will see them all scorching to death. Let the dog-eaters dance to Your klrtanas When the Lord heard Advaita's petition He roared and said: "I truly accept Your prayer!" Even today it can be seen in practise that Mahaprabhu fulfilled Advaita's appeal, for all over the world fools, pariahs and dog-eaters are receiving Mahaprabhu's mercy.