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Chapter 15The Forenoon Pastimes of Navadvipa-dhama
Whatever transcendental pastimes of Lord Gauranga come to my memory I write down, turning a blind eye to their chronological accuracy.
Lord Gauranga's mercy
One day Mother Saci very carefully collected Lord Chaitanya's prasadam remnants and offered them to me. I relished the divine nectar of my Lord's remnants and experienced sublime ecstasy.
Will I again be so fortunate as to relish Mother Saci's cooking of acyuta-sak, a spinach that grows wild abundantly and other wonderful preparations made from banana flowers known as moca-ghanta, kachu-sak with fried balls of pasted pulses and man chaki, nimba patal and dabhi bari etc.
Visit to the village of Gadigacha
Fully satisfied with the Lord's remnants, I joined Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda Prabhu and all their associates, who were moving gracefully like swans along the banks of the Ganga. We finally came to the village Gadigacha singing the holy name of Lord Krishna all the way.
Shri Govinda played the mrdanga, Shri Vasu Ghosa sang, and Shrila Gadadhara Pandita and Shrila Vakresvara Pandita danced ecstatically. Sounds of Lord Hari's name filled the air, the ladies' shrill voices rent the sky, and everyone was submerged in the ecstatic ocean of love of Lord Gauranga.
I am very awkward at singing and dancing, yet I am also dancing with the others, waving high my upraised hands. This is happening because my Lord Gauranga has entered my body and heart and is forcing me to do it. I have no concept of either tune or rhythm, yet I am dancing and singing. I do not know how this is possible. I only know that my Lord the effulgent, moon like Gauranga knows everything about me.
The cowherd boys of the village serve the Lord
Upon entering the village of Gadigacha, we went to the locality of the cowherders and milkmen, where Lord Gauranga addressed us, "My dear devotees! Now we will rest for a while on the bank of this pond and sleep under a tree. The cows are happily grazing and the cowherd men are resting under this banyan tree. Let us join them." Seeing us approach, many of the cowherd men came forward with yoghurt, curd, butter and other palatable delicacies made out of milk. Their warm welcome and fine food relieved our travel fatigue.
Shri Nrsimhananda, Shri Pradyumna and Shri Purusottama Acarya all came to join us in the congregational chanting of the holy name of Krishna. The throbbing sound of the mrdanga rose above all of the music and drew everyone out of their homes. The loud, jubilant sound of Lord Hari's name rose up and filled the azure sky.
The cowherd boy named Bhima
A noble-hearted cowherd boy named Bhima approached saying, "O revered Sirs, my mother Syama is a very pious and well-respected lady in our community. she is the daughter of Sadhu, a cowherdman residing in Ganganagar.
"She is always serving Mother Saci in her heart and calls her 'Mother'. On the strength of this relationship, You are my maternal uncle. Come with me, my uncle, and bring Your whole group. Let them continue to happily chant Lord Krishna's holy name.
"Whatever milk and yoghurt is stored in our house by my mother, I shall distribute to all of the devotees and then I want to serve You by massaging Your lotus feet.
Lord Gauranga visits Bhima's house and eats sweet rice
When the Lord found Bhima adamant and determined to take everyone to his house, He was softened by his affection, and agreed. Syama, Bhima's mother, welcomed every devotee with the usual loud, shrill sound ladies make by moving their tongues. She then arranged for everyone to sit down.
Lady Syama asked Gauranga, "My dear elder brother, Pandita Nimai, how is Mother Saci?" The Lord replied, "Oh! Very well, very well indeed!" Syama spread banana-leaf plates for the devotees and served them with sweetened condensed milk. Nimai and all of His associates relished and ate with great pleasure.
The pond of Goradaha
After eating, the Lord, accompanied by His associates, returned to the bank of the same pond and began softly singing the glories of the Supreme Lord Hari. A cowherd boy by the name of Ramadasa shyly approached the Lord, and said that for some reason the cows refused to drink the water from the pond.
He said a fearful looking crocodile lived in the waters of the pond and having seen him, the cows refused to drink and began mooing and lowing in fear. Hearing this, Lord Gauranga started to loudly chant the holy name, and immediately the crocodile was attracted by the sweet, melodious singing.
The crocodile quickly climbed onto the bank and came and touched the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga. By the Lord's touch he was instantaneously transformed into a celestial being having the form of an infant boy. He cried and offered prayers to the Lord and then narrated the sad story of his life.
The infant boy's past life
The little boy said, "My dear Lord! I took this terrible form of a crocodile by the curse of the sage Durvasa. Wherever I went afterward, I terrified everyone.
"Once in the Kamyavana forest the great sage lay asleep. I, being a restless mischievous young boy, cut a few strands of his matted locks. He wok up in a rage and cursed me to become a crocodile and to remain in that body for the next four yugas."
"I began to bitterly lament and begged him to forgive me. The sage, feeling compassionate, called me and said, 'My dear celestial boy! When Lord Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, appears in Navadvipa as the darling of Mother Saci, you will hear Him sing the Lord's holy name, and this curse will then be absolved. You will regain your celestial form and transcend the three worlds.
The boy offers prayers
"All glories to the son of Mother Saci. He is the purifier of fallen conditioned souls, the magnanimous shelter of the hopeless, wretched and poverty-stricken souls!
"Your wonderful activities are eulogised throughout the entire universe. You are so merciful that You have saved an abominable character like me.
"Navadvipa is the super excellent dhama, the essence of all the other places of pilgrimage, and it is here that the most munificent incarnation of the Lord has appeared in this age of Kali. You have come to liberate the conditioned souls of Kali-yuga by profusely distributing the holy names of God. I offer You my humblest obeisances, for You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"For four yugas I have remained continuously in the hideous body of a crocodile, and now You have come and liberated me from this suffering. Certainly, You are the infinitely munificent, Supreme Lord Hari Himself. To hear You chant the holy name of the Lord is so nectarean that innumerable moving and non-moving living entities have been saved by your sweet songs.
"My dear Lord, I beg leave of You. Now I want to return to my celestial home and see my parents again. They will be very happy to meet me."
The boy goes back to his home
After the boy had recited his choicest prayers to the Lord, he offered obeisances and proceeded to leave amidst jubilant chanting of the holy name of God. Seeing that the sun had reached the meridian, the devotees accompanying the Lord prepared to go back to Mayapura.
Whosoever hears this wonderful pastime of Lord Gauranga with faith and attention will become liberated from even the worst curse known as 'Brahmasapa'.
The result of seeing the pond Goradaha
After this incident the pond became known as Goradaha and it is like the Kaliyadaha pond in Vraja where Lord Krishna subdued the snake Kaliya. Just by seeing this pond or touching its waters, one becomes free from all sinful reactions. Gradually, he comes to the platform of pure devotional service to Lord Krishna. This has been explained in the Vedas.
The cowherd men marvelled at this miracle which took place right before their eyes. With great joy they lifted the Lord upon their shoulders shouting, "All victory to our material uncle! Marna".
Lord Gauranga's mid-day pastimes are identical to the mid-day pastimes of Lord Balarama and Lord Krishna in Vrndavana. Govardhana Hill, the Manasi Ganga and Lord Krishna's pastimes of pasturing the cows all manifested simultaneously to the devotees at that site.
These cowherd men actually realised the transcendental nature of Lord Nimai, for His pastimes are non-different from the pastimes of Shri Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja.