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Chapter 2—About Shri Prema-vivarta
Lord chaitanya's beauty and transcendental attributes always sustain my remembrance; my heart cries out, my body swells and twists unceasingly.Amongst incessant tears, a desire to write subdues all other thoughts. I take up the pen and write, pushing aside shame and fears.
I am a pandita or scholar by name only. I do not possess any real knowledge. Yet I have a strong yearning to write about Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's transcendental pastimes.
Shrila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Shri Jagadananda Pandita
Svarupa Damodara Gosvami once enquired. "What do you write, Panditji?" I replied, "I simply write about subjects which are most dear to me."
"I wish to secretly write down those pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that are stored in my memory."
Svarupa Damodara Gosvami said, "Then write about the wonderful characteristics of the Lord. The entire world can derive their greatest benefit from reading them."
I said, "I am ignorant about what is beneficial to the world. I'll just write down whatever appeals to me."
Svarupa Damodara Gosvami left me alone, knowing I was eccentric. Sitting by myself, I meditate upon the Lord, and I simply write about His pastimes. I have witnessed many of my Lord's pastimes, because I have always stayed by Him. I am writing down some of those events according to my bent of mind.
I remember the Lord's activities and my mind and heart cry out in separation, my eyes shed incessant tears. I write down the incidents as they come to memory.
Lord Chaitanya and the author
One day the Lord jokingly said to me, "You have been the chief queen of Dvaraka for a long time, and I am just a poor beggar. Why do you serve Me? You can get so many hundreds of renunciants like Myself to serve."
I replied, "Give up Your pretension and deceit. Why don't You say that I am simply a maidservant engaged at the lotus feet of Shrimati Radharani.
"You have stolen the lustre of my dear mistress Radharani: hence, You are a thief, and I shall catch You and return You back to the land of Vraja.
"My only desire is to serve Shrimati Radharani, but You want to send me to far away Dvaraka. This is all Your mischievous pastime. Your activities as a renounced sannyasi are only too well-known to me. In fact, You just want to deceive and deprive us while You serve the lotus feet of Radharani all by Yourself."
Remembering the Lord's childhood pastimes
Oh! How wonderful are Lord Chaitanya's lotus feet. They are my most cherished treasure in devotional service. Where has He gone, leaving me alone, a lonesome wretch? He has left me, yet I am still alive? I toss and turn, suffering this unbearable agony of separation!
Once in our early boyhood days, we had a quarrel in school. Feeling very sad and hurt, I sat down on the bank of the Ganga in Mayapura and cried all day and night. My Lord, always the most merciful master, came to me at the break of dawn with Gadadhara Pandita. He called out to me, "Jagadananda, such anger is not at all good. Speak to us and forget your stubbornness."
My anger melted just looking at His ecstatic face, and I asked Him, "Why did you come in the darkness of early morning? Nadia roads are very hard and full of stones. It must have caused you great pain to walk on it. You have undertaken so much difficulty just for my sake?
The Lord said, "Come, let us go! The night has ended. Go to your house and eat. I know the sadness you feel. I have also fasted all this while and slept on the stone floor.
"Gadadhara Pandita came to My house, so together we have come to search for you. It is good that you have given up your insolence. Now go to your house, tomorrow we can joyfully play together again."
Catching hold of Gadadhara's feet, I sat up slowly, for it was impossible for me to disregard my Lord's instructions. I then went to the Lord's house, ate a little and laid down to rest for a few hours.
In the morning Mother Saci and Jagannatha Misra fed me rice and milk and then sent me off to school with the Lord. After classes I went to my home with the Lord, and sitting together, we ate.
The love one feels for the beloved after a quarrel is like pure nectar, and so I also felt intense ecstasy. The Lord said, "It is because of ecstatic love that you and I get angry. Our love for each other continues to increase after every quarrel.
The author's love for the Lord
My Lord Gauranga is a moon-like personality, one's life becomes a series of illusions without worshipping Him, but one can experience supreme ecstasy by rendering Him devotional service. The Lord is the embodiment of magnanimity, so who can ever forget Him? He endlessly distributes mercy to His servants.
Lord Chaitanya is my Lord and master, and I will never leave His shelter. He is the Lord of my heart. Whoever utters His name 'Shri Chaitanya!' becomes my dearest friend and I will rush to embrace him.
O Lord Chaitanya! You are the most precious treasure of my heart. I refuse to see the face of that faithless person who has never glorified the name of Lord Chaitanya. However if by chance I see the face of anyone who has forgotten the Lord or disregard His lotus feet, then my whole day is ruined!
I shall beat with a stick that person who offers respect to some other sannyasi, neglecting Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and I shall put fire to the mouth of the person who discusses frivolous and mundane topics, avoiding the nectarean pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
If to please Lord Chaitanya I have to experience pain, then let me suffer eternal anguish. And if my Lord renounces pleasure and joy, accepting an austere life style, then I shall drown in an ocean of grief.
Lord Chaitanya and Shrila Gadadhara Pandita
One day, while I was totally absorbed in playing, my Lord entered the deep forest on the bank of the river Alokananda Ganga. Gadadhara Pandita and I quickly got up and followed behind Him. A splendid parrot perched on a fragrant Bakula tree observed our movements.
The Lord saw the parrot. Catching hold of him He said, "You are Vyasadeva's son, so you should sing the glories of Shri Radha and Krishna and increase our bliss." The parrot, ignoring the Lord's words, began to sing — "Gaura Hari"! The Lord feigning anger, hurled the parrot away.
The parrot continued to sing, "Gaura! Gaura!" and began to dance. We immediately felt the stirrings of ecstatic emotions hearing the parrot's wonderful song. The Lord again said, "O parrot! This is Vrndavana! Sing loudly the divine names of Radha and Krishna so that everyone can hear."
The parrot replied, "Vrndavana has now been transformed into Navadvipa, and I see Radha and Krishna in the form of Gaura Hari. I am a parrot living in this forest, simply surviving on the chanting of the holy name of Gaura. You are my Krishna, and Gadadhara here is my Radharani."
I offer my prostrated obeisances at the feet of anyone who remembers the ambrosial pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Shri Navadvipa and Shri Vrndavana
To me, Shri Gadadhara and Shri Gauranga are Radha and Syama, and I see the thirty-two square miles area of Navadvipa-dhama as an exact replica of Vrndavana. Whoever differentiates between Lord Krishna, the son of Mother Yasoda and Lord Nimai, the son of Mother Saci, is to be avoided like poison.
He who cannot perceive Vrndavana in Navadvipa is a foolish logician whose life is merely a burden to him.
Worship of Radha-Krishna without approaching Lord Gauranga is futile
I have unconditional love for one who worships the holy name, the holy abode, and the wonderful pastimes and characteristics of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Any person, even though born in Bengal, will never feel attraction in his heart for the transcendental name, pastimes and abode of Shri Radha and Krishna, if he does not take shelter of the transcendental form, name, ecstatic pastimes and sublime abode of Lord Chaitanya first.