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MAHAPRABHU EATS ALONE IN ADVAITA'S NILACALA-ABODE
One day, as they were staying at Purl, Sltanatha told Sita-devT: "Listen, O mother of Krsna dasa! I don't feel that we can feed Sri Gaurahga as much as we would like to. This sorrow is keeping My mind awake day and night. And even if we manage to bring Him to our house, then He is always sur¬rounded by so many other sannyasis. Gora then gives all of His food to the sannyasis and thus My aspirations are thwart¬ed." Hearing this, Sita-devT said: "You are absolutely right. If we could just get Gaura alone once, our heartache would cease and we could feed Him His favorite dishes. Then our long standing heart's desire would be fulfilled.Just then a great storm arose. Clouds gathered and blackened the daylight and a terrible hail-shower came down. By $ri Caitanya's wish, however, no one knew of this and no one dared to leave his home. Only at the place where Slta and Sri Advaita were cooking it was just slightly drizzling. At that time Sri Gaurahga, who is everyone's Inner Overseer, went out to fulfill His devotees' wishes. He went to Advaita Prabhu's house alone. When Slta and Advaita saw Gaura approaching, chanting 'hare krsna, hare krsna'in ecstatic love, they floated in their own tears of love. Sitadvaita are reservoirs of ambrosial love for Gaura. They are completely fixed in Him and are to be known as nitya siddhas (eternally perfect souls). They quickly got up and called out: "O Prana Gaura! Come, come to us! You, who are the bumblebee on the devoteeslotus-like hearts, know everything! Your body is a great ocean of ambrosial compassion!" Advaita humbly offered His obei¬sances unto the Lord's lotus feet; then He and His wife seated Gaura on a divine asana and made various arrangements for His service.Their servant Isana then came forward to wash Mahaprabhu's lotus feet, but Mahaprabhu said: "Wait, wait! brahmanas are the body of Visnu!" Isana then exclaimed: "Alas! Alas! How unfortunate I am! I am unqualified to serve the feet of Sri Gauranga! Those feet, that are served by every¬one, beginning with Ananta deva, are unattainable for me, just as a child cannot catch the moon! I thought that Krsna is the ocean of mercy who descends to save the fallen souls! I am so fallen, but why does He not wish to bestow His mercy on me? If I weep and fall at His feet He will become merciful to me. This yajna sutra (brdhmana-thread) obstructs my devotional service, and creates a lot of false pride as well — this is why the Vaisnavas give it up." Saying this, Isana broke his brahmana-thread, seeing which Advaita Prabhu smiled and said: "O Isana! Why are you destroying your brahmana-prin¬ciple? This yajna sutra purifies the minds of the twice-born and constantly engages their hearts in the supreme brahma." Saying this, Advaita Prabhu gave him another paita (brahmana-thread)." Isana wept to Advaita Prabhu: "O Prabhu, what is the use of this thread if it bars me from serv¬ing Gaura? Don't deprive me of this service, please!" Advaita Prabhu told Mahaprabhu of Isana's distress, and asked Him: "You are giving pain to the heart of a devotee without consid¬eration.Hearing Advaita Prabhu's words, Mahaprabhu fell silent and Advaita Prabhu told Isana: "Now go and serve the Lord's lotus feet." Thus the mercy of Sri Guru granted Isana his long-coveted devotional service. Things that are unattain¬able even through millions of births of pious activities can be easily achieved by the mercy of Sri Guru. There is no end to the glories of the mercy of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas. Even Lord Brahma cannot reach its limits.
Mahaprabhu then went to the dining hall and blissful¬ly sat on a divine seat, saying: "Sit down, Acarya Gosai." But Advaita Prabhu replied: "Gaura, give up Your trickery. Today You will eat everything we serve You. After that I promise I will let You go." Mahaprabhu laughed and began to eat while mother Slta began to serve Him. She served rows of different vegetables, cakes, milk, yoghurt, cream, Sandesa-sweets and drinks, too many to mention, all with TulasI buds, and Gaura, the wish-yielding tree of His devotees, blissfully ate all these favorite dishes of His that Slta served Him. Gaura laughed and said: "Listen O Acarya! Where did You learn such cooking? I have never eaten such sdka or all the other wonderful things You have cooked. I cannot remember ever having eaten so much in this lifetime!" Advaita Prabhu smiled and said: "Listen, Nimai! Don't conceal Yourself through trickery! There are three great forces eternally present in Your tongue— Praises of the devotees, saintly instructions and words of humility.Hearing all this, Mahaprabhu remembered Sri Visnu, washed His mouth and took betel leaves. Just as Advaita Acarya urged the Lord to recline the hail-storm subsided and Advaita Prabhu began to offer praises to Indra, the god of rain. "Today, O Indra, I have learned with certainty that you are a Vaisnava! From today onwards I will offer you flowers and water. Today, O Indra, You have purchased Me wholesale!Mahaprabhu said: "O Acarya! Tell Me, why are You offering so much praise to Indra?" Advaita said: "You just eat. What is the need of You hearing all this?" Mahaprabhu said: "Why are You hiding it? This hail-storm is all Your doing! Otherwise, how could it have arisen so suddenly? You have given the necessary order to Indra. You thought that if I came along with a group of sannydsis I would not get anything to eat Myself and that I could eat everything Myself if I came alone? Now You have fed Me everything and thus fulfilled Your wish¬es. What power do You have that You can order around Indra, and how fortunate Indra is that he is devoted to You?! Krsna never breaks His promise and since Krsna-candra is following Your request (By descending in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the request of Advaita Prabhu), is it so amaz¬ing that this hail-storm has occurred? Is it so amazing for You to create this hail-storm while Death personified carries Your orders on his head and all the great sages and mystics desire to be released from material bondage simply by remembering You? Who is there in the world who knows You in truth? If You bestow Your mercy, one's devotion becomes a success.Advaita replied; "You are the benefactor of Your devotees and I carry that grace-power of Yours with body, mind and words. On the strength of My devotion to You I am always like a lion. Please bless Me that You will never leave Me.Such are the loving dealings between Hari (Sri Krsna Caitanya) and Hara (Advaita Prabhu), that cannot be under¬stood by fools. After thus fulfilling Advaita Simha's long¬standing desire, Sri Caitanya Bhagavan returned to His abode.
In Caitanya Caritamrta it is mentioned that Advaita worshipped Mahaprabhu to get Him to accept His invitations: "When the Lord returned to His abode Advaita came and per¬formed His puja He offered pddya (footwater) and arghya (oblations) with scented water and anointed the Lord's whole body with fragrant sandalwood pulp. Then He hung a flower garland around His neck and placed Tulasl-buds on His head. With folded hands Advaita then offered praise tothe Lord's feet. Mahaprabhu in His turn worshipped Advaita Acarya with flowers and TulasI, reciting the mantra : yo'si so'si namo'stu te "You are who You are, but I offer My obeisances unto You." He then made Advaita Acarya laugh by making funny sounds. Advaita Prabhu seized the opportunity to repeatedly invite the Lord for prasada.Once, after performing sahklrtana for a long time dur¬ing the Ratha Yatra in NUacala Mahaprabhu took the devotees along to bathe in Indradyumna-Sarovara. Sri Advaita and Nityananda's joy surged as They took the pure devotees along to play in the water. In loving ecstasy, Gora reclined on Advaita's body as He lay on His back in the water. In ecstasy, Gaura climbed on Prabhu Sltanatha's chest as Maha-Visnu reclines on the bed of Ananta Sesa and the devotees were in ecstasy to witness Prabhu STtanatha expand His prowess to make Mahaprabhu float on Him. Afterwards Prabhu STtanatha invited Mahaprabhu for prasada.One year Krsna Misra, Advaita's second son, also wanted to join the pilgrimage, but Sri Advaita told him: "The path is very difficult, you need not come along this time." Krsna Misra said: "This material world is useless— the only essential reality is the shelter of Sri Gaurahga's lotus feet." Although Krsna Misra was endowed with eternal dispassion, this feeling surged even more when he meditated on Gaurahga. Noticing this, Mother Slta told him: "The time has not yet come for you to go to Sri Ksetra (Jagannatha Purl). Listen to your mother's advice and carry it on your head— stay at home and worship Krsna. Thus all auspiciousness will come. Your older brother Acyuta is a renounced kumara (brah-macart), whereas I deem you suitable for serving (the deity of) Krsna and your parents. Take mantra along with your wife Sri Vijaya and you will attain all perfection in the service of Krsna. Of this there is no doubt." Saying this, mother Slta took the young couple to the bank of the Gahga and gave them her siddha mantra. When the young couple received this nitya sid-dha krsna mantra, they fell at mother's feet in great loving ecstasy and offered her many praises.