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RECEIVING DIKSA FROM MADHAVENDRA PURI
Returning from Vraja to 6antipura, Advaita Prabhu began to engage in severe tapasya (penance) at the base of a Tulasi-tree, doing noma japa in the daytime and studying scripture at night. krishna dasa, the resident of the holy place of Kamyavana, was in His company. Seeing the Lord's conduct, he began to serve Him by carrying His waterpot and His kusasana (mat-seat made of sacred grass). Day and night this learned brahmana boy rendered services and after ten years the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him as His disci¬ple. Every day the boy rose at brahma muhurta time (an hour before sunrise), anointed the Lord with TulasT-buds, and bringing cold water for Him in the summer, grinding musk and sandalwood for Him. As Advaita Prabhu sat beneath the Tulasi-tree, reciting 6rimad Bhagavata, He was surrounded by an audience of about ten persons. The Tulasi-tree was very old— it stemmed from the Treta-age, yet its flowers and leaves were eternally fresh. krishna das always served this TulasI tree with fragrant flowers, and he always served the Lord with Ganga (water) and TulasI (leaves and buds). After worship¬ping TulasT with flowers he threw the flowers far away, hence the surrounding area became known as Phuliya.Actually, the village of 6antipura extends over one yojana (eight miles). Advaita Prabhu proclaimed it an eternal abode, equal to Mathura. Just as Vaikuntha is surrounded on four sides by the Viraja river, so Santipura is surrounded on three sides by the Gahga. Sometimes the Lord floated on the captivating billowing waves of the Gahga as if it were the Milk Ocean. He performed Gahga-puja with sandalwood pulp and flowers and roared, but still no one understood yet why.The Lord's flower garden was known as Phula Badl. krishna dasa would always look for land-lotuses here to offer them to Advaita Prabhu. Santipura's beauty can not be described the female LaksmI and the male Visnu always reside there, brahmanas recite the Vedas, visited by angels, demigods and sages that appear in human forms. There are jewelled Bokul-, Tentul-, Kadamba-, coconut- and Banyan trees there and upstream the Gahga there are Campanula flow¬ers. People would pick oranges and Campa-bananas and bring them to the Lord. The Lord remained silent and offered it all to the Gahga; then He gave everyone their favourite fruits. All the residents of Santipura — old folks, youngsters, regardless — took daily baths in the Gahga, the year round. After bathing they always circumambulated TulasT and offered obeisances unto Advaita Prabhu.One day Srila Madhavendra Puri came to Santipura, rising there like the moon of devotion. He was like a veritable manifestation of Vraja's kalpa tarn (wish yielding tree of love), His mouth ever filled with krishna's names and His body filled with \heprema called mafia bhava. He was so renounced that he was totally free from external reliance, but still, out of affection, he visited Advaita Prabhu's abode.
Seeing Madhavendra Puripada, Advaita Prabhu was overwhelmed by feelings of ecstatic love and humbly offered His prostrated obeisances to him. Madhavendra Puripada embraced Advaita and inquired about His welfare. Advaita Prabhu said: "I was in Vrndavana (Vraja) and I looked for you 32 This description is found in Sri Haricarana dasa's 'Advaita Marigala' (Kaisora, 3)verywhere, but I could not find you. I saw your bhajan kutir at Govinda Kunda-" but your servant there told Me that you had gone down south. Now you were so kind to come and see Me. As long as you stay here, please speak of Sri krishna!Madhavendra Puri said:Just as You revealed Madana Gopala, similarly Gopala has appeared to me, to order me. The Vrajavasls have placed Him in a temple on top of Mount Govardhana and are now serving Him very nicely. Then Gopala ordered me to bring sandalwood pulp for Him." Advaita Prabhu floated in transcendental bliss when He heard about the appearance of the Gopala deity. He offered a meal to Madhavendra Puripada and they spent the rest of the night talking about krishna, ecstatically remembering the pastimes of both Madana Gopala and Gopala. The next morning they woke up and sat on the bank of the Gahga to discuss the scrip¬tures. Advaita Prabhu personally cooked and offered the prasada to Srila Madhavendra Puripada. Madhavendra Puri was an ayacaka, a mendicant who only ate when something was offered to him, without asking for it, and whenever he did partook of something, it was only milk. This time, however, he blissfully accepted a full meal, for krishna's prasada transcends all these rules. Thus Sri Madhavendra Puripada took Advaita Prabhu's offered meals as long as he stayed in Santipura elsewhere he would only drink milk.Maddened by ecstatic love, they discussed topics of krishna's service. By the grace of Madhavendra Puripada Sri Advaita Prabhu felt just like Sri Radhika when She first fell in love with krishna, so He told him: "You are always showing Me krishna by your grace I have attained krishna completely, sim¬ply by seeing you." Madhavendra Puri said: "You are the Lord's devotee-incarnation don't be crazy, just do what You have come here to do. Advaita Prabhu replied: "I have come 33 Near the place where Madhavendra Pun found and installed the Gopala deity. This place still exists today.here to bring Sri krishna Caitanya— He will be the Master and I the servant. Thus My desires will be fulfilled.
Advaita Prakasa continues the story of the picture of Madana Gopala that Prabhu Sltanatha had brought from Vraja. It says that when Madhavendra Puripada arrived in Santipura, he told Advaita Prabhu: There is an extraordinary spiritual power in the (deity-) service of krishna— through it, the condi¬tioned soul attains the Lord's eternal abode." Who can under¬stand the glories of a mahd bhagavata like Srlpada Madhaven¬dra Pun? When he beheld the picture he sometimes laughed, wept or danced in ecstatic love.After a while he regained external consciousness and spoke about the easy way to attain krishna. Puripada was very happy to hear of Madana Gopala's order and said: "O child of mine, You are filled with pure love now make a picture of Sri Radhika also. When You behold Radha-krishna together You will cultivated the love of the gopis — hence the deity service of Radha-krishna as a pair is the best of all.Thus Madhaven¬dra Puripada explained to Advaita the inappropriateness of worshipping 3ri krishna without Sri Radha, since krishna can never be happy without Her company. She is His pleasure-giv¬ing potency, or hlddim-sakti. It is explained in Caitanya Caritamrta (Adi 4.9) that She is the full energy and krishna is the full energetic—radha puma sakti, krishna puma saktimdn. Govinda Lilamrta (11.122) states: ka krishnasya pranaya-janibhuh srlmati rddhikaika. kdsya preyasyanupama-guna rddhikaika na cdnyd "Who is the birthplace of Sri krishna's love? It is only Srlmati Radhika and no one else." Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvaml has written: ya ekath govindam bhajati kapatT dambhikatayd (Svaniyama Dasakam, 6) "He who worships Govinda alone without Radha is deceitful and proud", and Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati has written in Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi (80):The last two paragraphs are quoted from Sri Haricarana's 'Advaita Marigala'
radha dasyam apasya yah prayatate govinda sahgasaye
so 'yam purna sudharuceh paricayam rakarh vina kanksati
kim ca sydma rati pravdha laharT bijam na ye tarn vidus
te prapyapi mahamrtambudhim
aho bindum pararh prdpnuyuh
Anyone who gives up the service of Radha, desiring the association of Govinda, is like one who desires the full moon night without the full moon, and anyone who does not know that She is the seed of the stream of Syama's love is like one who has reached the great ocean of nectar but only tasted a drop of it.Madhavendra Purl then told Advaita: "Get married and run Your household for krishna. By krishna's grace You will have many sons who will redeem the conditioned souls by dis¬tributing the holy name of krishna." Advaita Prabhu said: "Deity service is certainly very auspicious, but if we commit offences My family will go to hell." Madhavendra Puripada said: "krishna is an ocean of mercy and He is completely subdued by Your love. He will not take offences from the next fourteen generations of Your dynasty.One might wonder why Madhavendra Purl suggested that recluses and bachelors are unqualified for deity-worship. The reason is that a recluse is guilty of an offence if he neg¬lects to worship the deity due to disease or death. He will have to suffer the reactions to such an offence in his next birth. A householder, though, has his wife, children and other relatives around to take over the service of the deity if he falls ill or dies. This was one reason why Advaita Prabhu got married and cre¬ated the Advaita family-lineages. Another reason was, as Nityananda Prabhu did later, to spread the yuga-dharma (religious practise for the present age) of Sri Caitanya Mahaprab-hu to society at large, i.e. the householders, rather than just to a select group of hermits and transcendentalists.
Advaita Prakasa continues: "Advaita Prabhu was absorbed in ecstatic love when He received this order from His guru and He drew a picture of Sri Radhika. Anyone who sees these two siddha murtis (perfect paintings) easily attains the treasure of love for Radha and krishna. Madhavendra Puripada then enthusiastically performed the abhiseka-ceremony for Sri Radhika and Sriman Madana Gopala, offered Them different sweetmeats, a mouth-wash and betelleaves. Anyone who saw these two wonderful paintings offered prostrated obeisances and hosts of prayers. Their maha prasdda was attractive through its divine fragrance, and whoever was thus attracted devotedly partook of krishna's food remnants. Then, to teach the people at, large (that initiation is compulsory) Advaita Prabhu took initiation in the king of krishna-mantras from Srila Madhavendra Puripada.
A few days later Madhavendra Purl wanted to leave, but with great effort Advaita Prabhu dissuaded him from doing so. Madhavendra Purl said: "I am now going to Sri Purusotta-ma (Jagannatha Ymi-dhdma), for Gopala has ordered me to bring sandalwood for His service." Advaita Prabhu said: "Why does Gopala need sandalwood pulp? I am very eager to hear this." Sri Madhavendra Purl replied: "Sri Gopala is the inde¬pendent controller, and He has thus revealed His mercy upon a fallen soul like me. In a visionary dream He told me: "Puri! My body is greatly scorching! Please go and get sandalwood for Me from Nllacala— If you anoint Me with such sandal¬wood pulp you will soothe My affliction!" Who can disobey such an explicit order from Gopala? Hence I have come here, looking for sandalwood. I have come to this tranquil abode of Santipura, attracted to the shining sunlight of Your devotional aspirations for krishna.Hearing about krishna's merciful plan from Madhaven¬dra Puri's mouth, Advaita Acarya roared of ecstatic love. He said: "krishnacandra is very merciful, He is the powerful shel¬ter of great affection for the devotees, He constantly increases His devotees' true virtues and He descends for their sake, without considering the time." Saying this, that best of Lords became stunned. Srila Madhavendra Puripada consoled Him and then took leave of Him. Advaita Prabhu offered prostrat¬ed obeisances unto Madhavendra Puripada, who embraced Him and blessed Him in return.