Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Narahari Chakravarti Thakura > Narottama-vilasa > The Fourth Vilasa

The Fourth Vilasa


All glories to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acarya, and all the devotees of the Lord. Please shower your mercy upon this poor soul. All glories to the all-merciful listeners. Now listen attentively as I narrate this episode of Narottama Vilasa.

As Shri Thakura Mahasaya began his journey to Nilacala his mind was filled with loving thoughts of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. With due reverence Narottama choose to take the same road which had formerly been traversed by Shri Chaitanya Candra Himself. At night Narottama halted at the same villages which the Lord had chosen as His resting place, and also discussed topics of Krishna with the local people, just as Mahaprabhu had done previously. When Narottama happened to meet someone who had personally met Mahaprabhu, he could not check his emotions and cried uncontrollably. Everyone who meet Narottama was extremely pleased and immediately began glorifying him, "Shri Krishna Chaitanya is the most merciful and loving incarnation. Only one who is His great devotee is capable of displaying such divine attributes as we see in this handsome young man. Just see how gracefully walks, and how comforting it is to one's eyes to simply glance upon his face." Speaking in this way the people became enchanted by the presence of Narottama. In the morning when it was time for Narottama to resume his journey crowds of local people swarmed around him, following along behind him as he walked. Narottama was unable to disperse the crowd, but eventually, with sweet words, he bid them farewell and continued his journey, halting only in those places where Mahaprabhu had performed His divine pastimes.

Narottama became ecstatic upon reaching the place where Nityananda Prabhu had broken the sannyasa stick of Shri Chaitanya. He listened intently as the local people described this incidence, then, after expressing his gratitude to those persons, he continued along his way.

An aged brahmana, who was a great Vaishnava scholar, happened to pass Narottama on the road. Observing Narottama's devotional mood, suddenly something came to his mind. He slowly approached Narottama and asked mildly, "What is your name, my son? From when are you coming?"

Upon hearing Narottama's reply the brahmana's suspicion was confirmed. With tears of ecstasy rolling down his face the brahmana warmly embraced Narottama saying, "For so long I have heard about you and I was cherishing the hope of one day meeting you. Today providence has shown its mercy upon me. I have just come Ksetra, where I received the mercy of those associates of Prabhu who are still alive in Nilacala, and now I have luckily found you here. With great pleasure I heard them describe your glories while I resided there. I heard that you were bringing books from Vrndavana to Gauda, but unfortunately they were stolen along the way. I also heard that you would soon be coming to Ksetra and everyone was eagerly waiting for you. Gopinatha Acarya, Kasi Misra explained that Mahaprabhu had called for you when He visited the village of Ramakeli. At that time Nityananda and other devotees were very happy and since then they have all been eagerly waiting for you. Today, I have received the good fortune to meet you personally, but now you must not delay. Go as quickly as possible to Ksetra and I shall meet you there later."

At that time the brahmana's son arrived there. He introduced his son to Narottama and ordered him to accompany Narottama to Ksetra. The brahmana then happily bade them farewell. Narottama took the dust of the feet of the brahmana to his head and started his journey with the son of the brahmana.

Upon reaching Ksetra, Narottama and his companion observed the beauty of Lake Narendra. Remembering the Lord's pastimes sporting within the water there, Narottama was unable to hold back his tears. He quickly took his bath and hurried off towards the Lion Gate.

At that time Shri Gopinatha Acarya and other devotees where also walking towards the Simhadvara. While walking Shri Sikhi Mahiti said to Mangaraja, "I can't understand why my mind is leaping with joy." And Kanai Khuntia said, "I don't understand what is about to happen but it is evident from the auspicious omens that something wonderful is awaiting us." Gopinatha Acarya told Vaninatha, "I think we are going to meet Narottama here soon."

As they were speaking in this way the brahmanas son approached them and informed them of Narottama's arrival. Who can describe the devotees jubilation upon receiving this news? The brahmana boy then rushed back to Narottama and helped him to identify the devotees who were approaching from a distance. Seeing all the devotees Narottama was overwhelmed with emotion. He immediately fell on the ground bowing to their feet. With tears streaming from his eyes, Gopinatha Acarya ran to greet Narottama and embraced him affectionately.

Later, when Narottama had calmed down, they took him to the temple to see Shri Jagannatha Deva. After entering through the Lion Gate, Narottama first bowed before Shri Nrsimha Deva. Upon seeing Shri Jagannatha along with Shri Balarama and Shri Subhadra sitting on Their thrones, Narottama was filled with ecstatic emotions. Shri Padmalocana Shri Jagannatha Deva benevolently bestowed His mercy upon Narottama. The priest of Shri Jagannatha Deva, understanding the mind of his Lord, brought Shri Jagannatha Deva's garland and offered it to Narottama.

Narottama was unable to control his emotions and wept incessantly. After pacifying Narottama, Gopinatha Acarya took him to his house. There he instructed one experienced person to accompany Narottama to the samadhis of the departed associates of the Lord. Thereafter he informed everyone of Narottama's arrival in Nilacala and brought varieties of mahaprasada from the temple for him.

Meanwhile, Narottama came across some persons who were talking to one another in this way: "Alas, Nilacala has now Nilacala become the abode of misery. All the associates of Shri Gaurachandra are gradually departing from this world. Shri Gopinatha Acarya and other great Vaishnavas have become lean and weak. " Some one else said: "I recently visited Gopinatha and I cannot describe what I saw there. Unable to bear the misery of separation from Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Mamu Gosvami is practically lifeless. He is lying emaciated in a lonely corner. I am afraid that he will die soon." Overhearing this conversation, Narottama's heart ached with misery.

Narottama then traveled on to have darsana of Tota Gopinatha. The vision of the beautiful Lord with His shining black complexion seated upon His throne could easily defeat the pride of Cupid. Narottama, deeply moved, lay prostrate before the Deity crying. Seeing him the priest offered him the Lord's garland. Narottama and his escort then went to see the seat of Shri Pandita Gosvami. He fell on the ground before the seat, and, again the priest gave him a garland. Crying uncontrollably Narottama lamented, "O Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami, how unfortunate I am for not having the opportunity to see you." Narottama's pathetic crying could melt even wood or stone.

Shri Mamu Gosvami, who had been lying in a half-unconscious state crying, suddenly got up and heaving a heavy sigh asked, "Who is crying?" They replied, "Narottama has arrived from Gauda." Upon hearing the name of Narottama, he broke out in floods of tears and embraced Narottama emotionally. Unable to control himself, Mamu Gosvami fell on the ground, and outcry of anguish arose from the devotees in the temple of Gopinatha. By the grace of the Lord, Mamu Gosvami gradually calmed down and everyone was pacified. Though Gosvami's life was in a precarious state, he was exceedingly happy to see Narottama and asked about his well being. Hearing Narottama's sweet words, Mamu Gosvami was He became extremely moved by Narottama's sweet words and thus dedicated Narottama to the feet of Gopinatha and ordered him, "Go to see the tomb of Haridasa Thakura, Gopinatha Acarya is waiting for you there."

Without delay, Narottama and his escort went to the tomb of Haridasa Thakura on the seashore. he was so shaken to see the tomb that no one could pacify him. Eventually, the Vaishnava in charge of the samadhi, managed to slightly console Narottama and sent him to Gopinatha Acarya's house. Gopinatha Acarya was a very warm hearted person, with tender words encouraged Narottama to sit peacefully by his side and told him, "Everyone here is greatly eager to see you. Take some rest now and afterwards you can meet all the devotees.

How can I describe the state of mind of the residents of Nilacala? Due to the Lord's disappearance, they had given up eating, drinking and sleeping. They lived only in hopes of seeing Narottama. Thus when they saw Narottama approaching their houses, they eagerly rushed out to greet him. As Narottama's escort introduced each devotee, they affectionate embraced him and Narottama and touched their feet. Thereafter they went to the house of Gopinatha who lovingly offered them seats. Everyone had questions to ask Narottama and he answered them all, reporting everything in detail. Thereafter Gopinatha Acarya requested the devotees to relish mahaprasada along with Narottama. After washing their mouths, they returned to their houses and requested Narottama to take some rest.

When it was time to go to the temple, Narottama got up and took his bath and Kanai Khuntia took him to the temple of Jagannatha. Narottama remained there throughout the afternoon, observing all three arati ceremonies {sandhya (evening) and sayana (at bed time)} one after another. He and Kanai Khuntia then returned to the house of Gopinatha Acarya. No one wanted to give up Narottama's association, but on the order of Acarya, they took their leave. Gopinatha, whose affection for Narottama was beyond compare, then requested him to take rest. After Narottama went to bed, Gopinatha also entered into his room.

However, Narottama's mind was too agitated and he was unable to sleep. Yet after some time, by the wish of the Lord, he finally fell asleep and in his dream he saw his worshipful Lord and all the devotees dancing in front of the chariot of Shri Jagannatha. He saw Shri Krishna Chaitanya, Nitai, Shri Advaita, Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami, Shrivasa Pandita, Murari Gupta, Govinda, Haridasa, Kasi Misra, Ramananda Raya, Vasudeva Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Kasisvara, Jagadisa Pandita, Vasu Ghosa, Mukunda, Madhava, Vakresvara, Govinda dasa, Mahesa Pandita, Damodara, Svarupa Gosvami, Suklambara brahmacari, dasa Gadadhara, Yadu, Shri Kamsari, Shridhara, Suryadasa, Ramai Sundara, Dhananjaya, Ramananda Vasu Ghosa, Sankara, Sanjaya, Lokanatha, Bhugarbha, Shri Rupa, Sanatana, Shri Jiva, Gopala Bhatta, Krishnadasa brahmacari, Pandita Raghava, Paramananda Bhattacarya, Acarya Madhava, Raghunatha, Raghunatha Bhatta, Shri Tapana Misra, King Shri Prataparudra, Acarya Gopinatha, Shri Sikhi Mahiti etc.

He saw all Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's devotees from Gauda, Vraja, Utkala and South India performing pastimes with the Lord. Who could describe the extraordinary captivating beauty of this scene? Shri Gaurachandra danced in the middle surrounded by all the devotees. Inspired by the Lord's presence, the devotees performed ecstatic sankirtana, joyfully dancing, singing and playing musical instruments. The atmosphere was so divine that even the demigods came down from their heavenly abodes to enjoy the Lord's pastimes. As the sound of sankirtana penetrated the air, the entire three worlds began to float on waves of happiness. Huge crowds of people eagerly pushed forward to get a glimpse of the Lord's beautiful dancing, as the demigods showered flowers on Mahaprabhu's head. Even the lame, the blind and the deaf suddenly forgot their handicaps and dashed forward to join in the sankirtana. Even stone hearted persons wept in joy upon hearing the melodious chanting. Even the animals and birds became restless.

Standing in the corner Narottama joyfully watched this wonderful scene with tears rolling down his cheeks. Seeing Narottama, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in trance, grabbed hold of Narottama's hands and said mildly, "You must manifest a new type of kirtana which will have the potency to mesmerize the people. Through your songs and music you should explain My pastimes and mission. Don't worry about anything, all your desires will be fulfilled. Now go to Gauda as soon as possible and preach the glories of devotional service. Those who are fortunate enough to take shelter in you will receive the most precious wealth of love of God. Soon you will link up with Ramacandra, son of Ciranjiva Sena. What else can I say? I shall always take care of you." All the devotees of the Lord were extremely happy to see Lord Chaitanya shower His so profusely upon Narottama. Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, Haridasa, Sarvabhauma, Ramananda Raya, Shrivasa, Vakresvara and others embraced Narottama tightly. Narottama feel on the ground in a pool of tears. Mahaprabhu’s devotees consoled Narottama and advised him to go to Gauda.

Suddenly Narottama awoke with a heavy heart. Somehow he managed to calm himself and hastily finished his morning duties. Afterwards, Gopinatha Acarya sent him with Sikhi Mahiti to Shri Jagannatha Deva's arati. As soon as Narottama began to think about going to Gauda, Lord Jagannatha's garland fell from His neck and the priest gave Narottama that garland. Narottama considered this the Lord's indication to him to leave at once for Gauda. After bowing to the feet of Jagannatha, he went to the house of Gopinatha Acarya and before Narottama could say anything, Gopinatha said, "The Lord has ordered you to go to Gauda." Thus after consulting with the other mahantas of Shriksetra a date was fixed for Narottama's departure.

When Narottama was about to leave the devotees held his hands and said happily, "We eagerly waited to meet you for so long, now our dreams have finally been fulfilled. We are also hoping to have to good fortune to meet Shrinivasa Acarya, and perhaps someday we will have the darsana of the exalted Duhkhi Krishnadasa, who is now called Syamananda." Saying this they began to weep. Hearing their loving words Narottama was also moved to tears. After assigning an escort to accompany Narottama, they reluctantly bade farewell. Narottama began his journey along with his escort who carefully carried a basket of mahaprasada.

With a heavy heart and tear filled eyes, Narottama traveled until reaching Narendra lake. There he met the brahmana and his son whom he had met upon arriving at Ksetra. Narottama took the dust of his feet to his head and the brahmana embraced him saying, "O my dear Narottama, you are more dear to me than my life. I knew that you would be passing by today on your way to Gauda so I finished my duties as quickly as possible. Now, by the mercy of Jagannatha Deva, you have come. If I would have missed you I would have burned in the fire of my own sorrow." He did not want to let Narottama go but he had to. He blessed Narottama and walking along with him begging again and again to come with him, but Narottama would not consent.

Narottama then started walking swiftly. He took rest for two days at Yajapura and then on to Nrsimhapura. Someone who spotted him rushed ahead and informed Syamananda that Shri Thakura Mahasaya was coming from Ksetra. Syamananda was overwhelmed with ecstasy. Hurriedly, he and his men rushed to greet Shri Thakura Mahasaya. Seeing each other, they were both overcome with emotion and wept and bowed to each of continuously. Narottama held Syamananda tightly to his bosom and did not want to be separated.

Those who observed their meeting were amazed. Someone said, "O, how incredible, I have never seen anything so wonderful in my life!" Another person commented, "O, how lucky I am to see Shri Thakura Mahasaya for whom I was waiting for such a long time!" Someone else said, "Will we be so fortunate as to see Acarya Thakura once in our life?" Another person answered, "Certainly Shrinivasa Acarya will bestow his mercy upon us." Even the villagers came running to see Shri Thakura Mahasaya. Although Syamananda arranged a solitary house for Shri Thakura Mahasaya, still the people came to see Narottama in his house. Those persons who had the extraordinary good fortune to receive Thakura Mahasaya and Syamananda's association and mercy were fortunate beyond compare. The entire country became blessed by contact with Shri Syamananda.

Shri Thakura Mahasaya happily bathed and performed his other duties. Afterwards he sat down with Syamananda, who slowly informed Narottama, "A few days ago Acarya Thakura left Vanavisnupura for Yajigrama. Yesterday afternoon I received this letter. Please look at it." Narottama cried joyfully and happily read the letter with the utmost care. Syamananda then explained, "He sent another letter along with mahaprasada from Shri Ambika." Again Narottama's hearted surged with happiness and he praised Syamananda for his good fortune. Touching the mahaprasada to his head, he ate some of it and became mad with joy. Shri Thakura Mahasaya ordered his men, "Bring the mahaprasada of Shri Jagannatha" and gave some of it to Syamananda. Narottama then carefully explained to Syamananda, "The associates of Lord Chaitanya who are still alive in Nilacala are now suffering greatly due to the miserable fire of separation. I cannot describe their condition. Only due to the Lord's desire they are still alive. They are simply waiting to see you. So, please do not make delay, start for Nilacala at once. After touching the feet of the devotees there, go to Utkala and benedict the people there by distributing the sublime treasure of pure devotional service. After sometime I will send you a letter, requesting you and your men to go to Kheturi."

Syamananda and Narottama stayed together a few more days, meanwhile the entire village came to know of Syamananda and Narottama's imminent departure. Who could describe the sadness at the time of their separation? All of Syamananda's disciples cried miserably, especially Rasika Murari could not stop crying. Shri Thakura Mahasaya affectionately embraced him and was extremely loving and merciful to all those who had taken shelter at the feet of Syamananda. Thakura Mahasaya blessed all of them and then started for Gauda. At this point Syamananda helplessly broke out in tears and no one could pacify him. Thereafter, with a heavy heart, Syamananda began his journey to Nilacala. I have described Syamananda's journey to Nilacala in Bhaktiratnakara. Please listen attentively as I, Narahari, narrate Narottama Vilasa.