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The Fifth Vilasa
All glories to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda, Advaita and all the devotees. Please bestow your mercy upon this poor soul. All glories to the merciful listeners. Now listen attentively as I continue my narration.
When Narottama arrived at the famous village of Shrikhanda in Gaura, someone spotted him approaching the house of Sarkara Thakura and rushed ahead to announce his arrival: "A very attractive man with a magnificent gait is coming this way, along with four other persons. Most likely he is coming come from Nilacala." Thakura immediately understood that it was none other than Narottama. Seeing Narottama in the distance, Shri Raghunandana rushed to greet him. When the local people informed Narottama about Raghunandana, he happily fell on the ground offering obeisances as Raghunandana approached him running. Raghunandana immediately embraced Narottama. Speechless with emotion he cried uncontrollably. Gradually he managed to calm himself and quickly took Narottama to his house. There Narottama saw Shri Sarkara Thakura and fell at his feet. Though Sarkara Thakura was sunk in the ocean of sorrow due to separation from the Lord, when he saw Narottama he was overwhelmed with joy. He took Narottama in his lap and tearfully told him, "I am so happy to see you. In Mahaprabhu's absence, He will distribute love of God through you. Many fallen souls will take shelter in you, and you will spread the Lord's ecstatic message by manifesting a new type of kirtana. In this way all your desires will be fulfilled by the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. Do not worry about anything. You should go to Kheturi via Yajigrama, as Shrinivasa Acarya recently returned from Vanavisnupura and is eagerly waiting for you there. He is constantly thinking about you. Yesterday he came here but returned to his house on the same day." After that he asked Narottama about Shri Ksetra and Narottama vividly reported everything, which filled Sarkara Thakura with ecstatic emotions. Checking his sentiments, Thakura ordered Shri Raghunandana to take Narottama to the courtyard of Gauranga.
Upon seeing the Deity of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Narottama could not control himself and fell on the ground in a pool of tears. The priest tried to console him by offering him the garland from the Deity. Having heard of Narottama's arrival, the inhabitants of Shrikhanda eagerly gathered in the courtyard of Gauranga to greet and praise Narottama. Narottama then took some maha-prasada to the house of Shri Sarkara and asked Raghunandana to offer it to Sarkara Thakura, who became ecstatic upon eating the prasada of Shri Jagannatha. He then ordered Shri Raghunandana to distribute the maha-prasada to all the devotees. Thus everyone relished the prasada, while absorbed in memories of Shri Gauranga and His pastimes in Nilacala. Thereafter they sat together and enjoyed discussions about Shri Krishna. In this way the devotees happily treasured Narottama's association and could not even think of being separated from him.
In the morning, Narottama finished his daily duties, took darsana of Shri Gauranga, and went to meet Sarkara Thakura. With deep feeling and gravity Thakura looked at Narottama and said, "How peaceful it is to look upon your face. I shall not have this opportunity a second time." Narottama could not bear this sad thought and fell at Thakura's feet crying. Shri Thakura embraced Narottama and bade him farewell. Narottama bowed to the feet of all the inhabitants of Shrikhanda and began his journey. Shri Raghunandana, not wanting to leave Narottama's company, walked along with him for some distance. He then appointed one man to accompany Narottama to Yajigrama and tearfully said good-bye.
Upon reaching Yajigrama, the escort pointed to one house and said, "That is the house of Shrinivasa Acarya where he teaches his students."
In the meantime someone reported to Acarya that Shri Thakura Mahasaya had come from Shri Ksetra. Shrinivasa Acarya at once got up and hurried towards the door, when Narottama suddenly entered the house. Seeing each other, their hearts leapt with joy and both of them burst into tears. Narottama fell at Acarya's feet and Acarya lovingly embraced him. Who can understand the nature of such exalted personalities? Although physically two different persons, they were of such like minds that they felt as if one. When they had calmed down they sat and conversed together intently.
In the meantime, a learned brahmana, who had come from Ksetra in hopes of studying the books of the Goswamis, arrived there. He politely submitted himself before Shrinivasa, who inquired from him about events in Shri Nilacala. Heaving a heavy sigh, the brahmana said tearfully, "Nilacala has lost her jewels. Since the day that Thakura Mahasaya left a chain of miserable events has come to reign there. Practically all the associates of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began to disappear from this world. Syamananda faced terrible miseries when he arrived there. Only due to the will of the Lord, was he able to maintain his life. Those who are still alive, consoled Syamananda and bade him farewell then he returned to his own place. I witnessed all of this with my own eyes and was unable to stay there any longer, so I started walking and didn't not stop until I reached Gauda." Saying this the brahmana began to cry, calling out the names of the departed devotees of Ksetra. Acarya Thakura, Narottama, Vyasa Cakravarti and Krishnavallabha all cried along with him. Considerable time passed before Acarya Thakura was able to console himself and the brahmana. He then arranged accommodations for the brahmana and from that day began teaching him. Who knows what Acarya Thakura and Narottama discussed privately amongst themselves.
The next day morning, Thakura Mahasaya took his leave of Acarya Thakura. Acarya Thakura stood stone-like staring at the path which Narottama traversed, bathing himself with his own tears. Vyasa Cakravarti and a few other devotees accompanied Narottama for some distance, until Narottama very lovingly forbade them go any further.
Narottama eventually arrived at Kantakanagara, the place of Shri Kesava Bharati. Who can describe Narottama's condition upon seeing Dasa Gadadhara's Deity of Shri Gauranga there. Shri Yadunandana Cakravarti, the disciple of Shri Gadadhara and a scholar of all scriptures, became excited when he saw Narottama and hurried out of the temple to greet him. He offered the Lord's garland to Narottama and embraced him warmly with tears in his eyes. In a chocked voice he told Narottama, "It is so wonderful that you have finally come here. Prabhu Gadadhara has been impatiently waiting for you for a long time. Again and again he has asked me, `Go see whether Narottama has come yet.' O my dear brother, what can I say ? The ocean of misery is extremely turbulent here. After the demise of Shri Vishnupriya Isvari, my Prabhu returned from Navadvipa and has been spending his days alone here. Lost in an ocean of misery, he is unable to eat and has become completely emaciated."
Saying this he took Narottama to Dasa Gadadhara who was sitting alone with dust all over his body. His closed eyes continuously shed tears. Merged in thoughts of Shri Gaurahari, he sighed heavily and repeatedly uttered, "Hari, Hari." At an opportune moment, Yadunandana said quietly, "Narottama has come from Ksetra."
As soon as the name of Narottama entered his ears, Shri Gadadhara opened his eyes cried loudly. With outstretched hands, he embraced Narottama soaking him with his tears. Narottama touched the feet of Gadadhara and reported everything to him about his recent travels. Blessing Narottama, Shri Gadadhara said, "All your desires will be fulfilled. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will definitely dance along with your kirtana. Now you should go to Kheturi and distribute love of God to the people there."
Shri Yadunandana then took Narottama to another dwelling place and said, "See, this is the place where Shri Kesava Bharati lived. And here is the place where Prabhu cut His hair and took sannyasa from Bharati." At this point they broke into tears and Narottama fell unconscious on the ground. A long time passed before they were able to enter into the temple and observe the beautiful Deity of Gaurachandra. Narottama stayed there for the day and the following morning, thinking of the lotus feet of Shri Nityananda Balarama, he started for Ekacakra village in Radha.
At the entrance of the village Nityananda, in the guise of an old brahmana, asked Narottama, "What is your name and from where are you coming? Where will you go and for what purpose?" Narottama replied, "I am Narottama, coming from Ksetra. I have come to the birth place of Nityananda, whose parents were Padmavati and Hadai Pandita, because I want to see the sacred places where Shri Nityananda Prabhu performed his pastimes. I live on the other side of the Padmavati in Shri Kheturi, from here I shall return there." Hearing Narottama's sweet words, the old brahmana smiled and without disclosing anything said, "I know everything. Come along with me, I shall show you all."
The brahmana guided Narottama to a particular spot and said, "See, this is the place where Nityananda and His friends enjoyed grazing cattle like the Gopas. Nityananda roamed about in this area holding His club and plow. And this is the place where He performed Ramalila. As Balarama performed His pastimes in Svetadvipa, similarly Nityananda performed His pastimes here. Now let me show you the house of Hadai Pandita where Nityananda Raya took birth. Here is the spot where He held a snake. See, over here, this is where His Gurukarana ceremony was performed. Now look at this temple of Vishnu where He used to worship the Lord. This is where that sannyasi came and ate and afterwards begged Nityananda from his father. This is the road by which the sannyasi and Nityananda left, followed by all the inhabitants of this village. In this spot Nityananda's mother loudly lamented for her son, and over here Hadai Pandita rolled on the ground in anguish at losing his son. Here Padmavati devi laid unconscious and Hadai Pandita consoled her. O Narottama, mind these places which I am showing you are beyond the grasp of even the demigods. In this Ekacakra village, Nityananda Raya still performs His pastimes and only the fortunate can see." Saying this much, the brahmana vanished.
The sudden disappearance of the old brahmana bewildered Narottama. "What is this," he thought, "one moment he was here and then he vanished like a bolt from the blue." Narottama became extremely restless and thought, "If I cannot see him anymore, I shall commit suicide by entering into fire." Saying this Narottama began to lament pitifully. Nityananda, Haladhara who is an ocean of mercy, again appeared before Narottama in the guise of the old brahmana. This time, the brahmana suddenly turned into Balarama, carrying his club and plow, wearing a topknot on his head and dressed in beautiful garments. Then suddenly Balarama turned into Nityananda. Smilingly he said to Narottama, "You are my favorite, I have no intention to deceive you. Very soon all your desires will be fulfilled. But don't disclose to anyone that you have seen Me here." Saying this He disappeared. Narottama stood transfixed like a statue, unable to move or speak. He stayed that day at Ekacakra and the following morning, while glorifying Nityananda Prabhu, King of Ekacakra, the son of Rohini and the life of the most fallen souls, Narottama began his journey. Crossing over the Padmavati river he headed towards Kheturi. Listen attentively as I, Narahari, narrated this Narottama Vilasa.