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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Nisikant Sanyal > Sree Krishna Chaitanya > Volume II-Sree Krishna Chaitanya

(VOL.  II)





Senior Professor of History, Ravenshaw Collegue, Cuttack










President of Sree Vishwa Vaishnaba Raj-Sabha





Tridandi Swami Bhakti Hradaya bon





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All glory to sree guru and gauranga

Volume II—Sree Krishna Chaitanya


Auspicatory Observance



I make my prostrated obeisance to Sree Guru in the two forms of the Guide who imparts enlightenment and those who teach the function of Divine service to prevent lapse into the conditioned state by ensuring progressive advance on the path of devotion. Obeisance to the Devotees of the Lord, to the Supreme Lord Himself, to those eternal Forms in which the Lord manifests His Appearances (Avataras) on this mundane plane, to His different Manifestations and His Powers! I bow to the Name Krishna Chaitanya Who is Krishna Himself and all the Divine Categories. Obeisance to Sree Krishna-Chaitanya with Lord Nityananda Who are like the Sun and the Moon risen in conjunction on the Eastern Hill of Gauda ! Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya manifested His Appearance in this world in order to give away by His causeless mercy the highest loving service of Himself that had never been bestowed on the conditioned souls of this world prior to His Appearance. May Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya, resplendent with the concentrated hue of beauteous shining gold, manifest Himself in the inmost chamber of the hearts of all persons!


Submission to Sree Hari, Sree Guru and the Vaishnavas is the only condition of attaining to loving devotion to the Feet of Sree Krishna and His devotees. The fulfillment of this condition assures the success of the undertaking by enabling all persons who listen to the Narrative of the Deeds of Sree Krishna-Chaitanya to obtain His mercy in the shape of the highest quality of devotion to the Feet of Sree Radha-Krishna.


Sree Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami in the opening verses of his work on the Deeds of Sree Krishna-Chaitanya has mercifully explained in some detail, for our benefit, the nature, purpose and necessity of the auspicatory observance as a preliminary for the success of all spiritual undertakings. I can do no better than follow in his footsteps by attempting to e~;plain the significance of the form of the auspicatory observance.


The auspicatory observance consists of three parts, viz, (1) the postulation of the subject-matter, (2) benedictory purpose, and (3) offering of submissive obeisance.


The subject-matter of the present work is Sree Krishna Chaitanya.

Sree Krishna-Chaitanya is identical with Sree Krishna. He is the Final and Absolute Reality. He is Isvara, the Gurus, the Devotees, the Divine Appearances and the Divine Powers. These are the distinctive Divine Identities. The undifferentiated Brahman of the Upanishads is the glow of His Person. The Oversoul, Who indwells and regulates every entity, is His Portion. Bhagawan, Who is full of all Supremacy, all Power, all Glory, all Beauty, all Knowledge and Freedom from every mundane Desire, is Sree Chaitanya. There is no higher Entity than Chaitanya and Sree Krishna.


The Deeds of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya are narrated in this work. His Deeds were made manifest to the view of the people of this world that all conditioned souls may be enabled thereby to attain to the realization of loving devotion to the Feet of Sree Sree Radha-Govinda, which constitutes the highest platform of the service of the Divinity and the knowledge of which had not been divulged to any soul of this world by any former Dispensation. All this will flash to the hearts of all persons who really seek for the Truth, by the causeless mercy of the Son of Sree Sachi Devi wearing the yellow colour of shining gold.


The Deeds of Sree Chaitanya are grounded in His Divinity!-. The Activity of the Hlhadini Potency born of the reciprocal Love of Sree Sree Radha Krishna, Who constitute One Personality, brings about differentiation of Divine Body as Couple. The Two Bodies of the Divine Couple re-unite as Chaitanya. The united Form is Krishna's Own self clothed with the glow of the Beauty of Sree Radhika.


The secondary Purpose of the Appearance of Sree Krishna Chaitanya in this world found in the Scriptures is what has been stated above, viz., the bestowal of loving devotion to all conditioned souls. But there was another Purpose which is the main cause of His Appearance. It is not explicitly mentioned in the Scriptures but is recognizable as their hidden Import.


The main Purpose of the Appearance of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya is connected with His distinctive Nature that has been indicated. Krishna is anxious to learn how His Divine Counter-Whole, Sree Radhika, realizes His Own Sweetness and Beauty. In order to have this experience Sree Krishna clothes Himself with the mood of Sree Radhika and appears in the Form of an Eternal Union with Her, alongside of and identical with the coupled Form.


This is the inner hidden significance of the Deeds of Sree Krishna-Chaitanya. This distinguishes the Leela of Sree Chaitanya from that of Sree Krishna.


Sree Nityananda and Sree Advaita are inseparably associated with the Appearance of Sree Chaitanya in this world. It is not possible to realize the nature of the Deeds of Sree Chaitanya without the knowledge of the Personalities of Sree Nityananda and Sree Advaita.


Through Nityananda and Advaita the connection of Sree Krishna with the mundane world is established and maintained. This brings us to the question of the transcendental cosmology of the Scriptures. There is a gradation of spheres one above another up to Goloka, the Abode of Sree Krishna. In Goloka are found Baladeva, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, the “Other Selves” of Krishna. Nityananda is identical with Baladeva in Goloka.





Below Goloka, in the realm of the Absolute, is Vaikuntha. In Goloka  Balarama or Baladeva is the serving Self of Krishna (Bilas-bigraha). Baladeva is Krishna in the role of serving His Own Self in various capacities. Vaikuntha  is the realm of the exclusive Activities of Baladeva. In Vaikuntha, accordingly, the fourfold expansion of Sree Narayana, the Lord of Vaikuntha, the manifestation of Baladeva corresponds to the “Other Selves” of Krishna in Goloka  with the difference that in Vaikuntha  the “expansion” (byuha.) is of the “Other Self” of Krishna or Baladeva Who is delegated the power of expressing his service of Sree Krishna in a realm of his own where His plenary Manifestation, Sree Narayana, is served by the method of reverence. Baladeva and his realm of Vaikuntha  express and serve the Majesty of Sree Krishna. The conception of the service of Sree Baladeva, the Majestic Other Self of Krishna, is the highest that is reached by the help of such imperfect Revelation as is not wholly unacceptable to the empiric instinct, although the practice of this pure form of the reverential service is also very rare in this world. All the revealed Scriptures, with the single exception of the Bhagawatum, are to a more or less extent the text-books of reverential worship. The reverential service of Godhead in its genuine form is wholly free from any mundane grossness, although there is in it a comparative reference of eligibility. The ordinary degenerate practices of the revealed religions are a caricature of the real function which cannot be realized till the soul is released from the fetters of Nescience.


In Vaikuntha there exist positive transcendental activities resulting from the relationships of servants and Master between the individual souls and Godhead. But Godhead is there present in His Majesty and not in His Beauty and Sweetness except in the sense that is compatible with the predominance of His Majesty. The ideal of Heaven and Paradise of the Elevationist religions is a misrepresentation of Vaikuntha in terms of mundane felicity. Vaikuntha is, however, the goal that is dear to ordinary theistically inclined persons with pure morals. It is substantially inconceivable but is not apparently opposed to the ordinary aspirations and functions of this world, at the first sight.


Next below Vaikuntha  is the realm of the Brahman in which there is no specific spiritual activity neither any form of worldly existence but which is full of a light which has the negative quality of dispelling all worldly ignorance without having power to disclose the specific nature of the transcendental realm. This is the realm of the Brahman of the Upanishads, which has been the source and support, as manipulated by Sree Sankaracharya, of the empiric worship current in this country that denies the existence of Godhead and substitutes in place of the religion of His service one aiming at complete spiritual annihilation by the process of merging the individual soul in the Divinity. As a matter of fact the realm of the Brahman of the Upanishads is not a habitable region at all but a sphere of light which has to be got across to reach the realm from where it proceeds and with which alone the emancipated soul can have anything really to do.





The realm of the Brahman is the outer limit of the Absolute world. Between this outer uninhabited zone of the spiritual realm and the highest sphere of this mundane world there flows the stream of the Biraja  whose water is the causal essence in the nascent form of liquid. This liquid is pure from all mundane quality. A person who bathes in the river prior to entry into the realm of the Brahman is freed from all mundane aptitudes.


It is in this stream that there appears the Purusha, Who is the derivative of Balarama, being a secondary plenary Form of the Divinity. There are three Purushas in the successive order of such secondary derivative manifestation, viz, (1) He, Who lies in the Ocean of the causal water of the Biraja, (2) He Who lies in the-water of the Ocean of Milk, and (3) He Who lies in the Ocean of the fluid of the Womb of the worlds. It is these Purushas, the secondary extended Selves of Baladeva, each being the proximate source of the One next following Him, Who are the Creators and Regulators of the mundane world without being themselves any constituent part, or whole, of the same.


The first of these three Purushas wills the creation of the world and wills to make use of the deluding Potency for the purpose. In respect of the process of material creation He occupies the position that the potter occupies in the making of pots of clay. The potter's wheel, clay and appliances attain their effective existence by another potency of the same Purusha. It is, therefore, the first of the series of the Purushas Who is the source of both the efficient as well as material cause of creation. But in neither capacity He Himself belongs to this world. He does all this work from outside the plane of the limiting energy. Brahma and Siva are connected with the material energy by actual incorporation with her. While Vishnu (the Purusha), although exercising His function with reference to the material world, is situated wholly beyond all touch with, the material energy. The Purushas bear the Name of Vishu by reason of this transcendental pervading relationship with the mundane world.


As transcendence, in the form of both cause and material of the mundane creation, belongs to the first Purusha, the second Purusha is charged by Him with the function of the collective regulation of the created entities. The third Purusha performs the same function from inside each separate created entity. These two, therefore, are the sources of those spiritual functions that bear some analogy to the imperfect empiric notions, enunciated hy Kant and other philosophers of the idealist schools of the West, conveyed by the ill-defined terms, Immanence and Transcendence. These terms of the empiric vocabulary refer to aspects of limited phenomena but the immanence and transcendence of the third and second Purusha Avataras of Vishnu are not a continuum of the material shelf which is called phenomenon. always the categorical difference of plane between the phenomena and the spiritual transcendent and immanent functions of Vishnu that have a reference to them by way of being their spiritual source.


The functions of Brahma and Siva are those of creation and destruction. These two great personages belong to this phenomenal world and are in charge of its temporal regulation in a semi-conscious manner. The semi-conscious nature of the ruling functions of Brahma and Siva makes them the prototypes of the conditioned soul. They are the ideals of personality conceivable by the mind of man, possessed of the super-human powers of creation and destruction of all phenomena. The nature of this power itself is not intelligible to its wielders although they knou that they are really endowed with the same by some unknown superior agency in an unknown manner. There are other “powers” of this class who wield similar but lesser powers over the phenomenal world than Brahma and Siva. These super-human beings possessed of specific powers over physical nature in different measures, are the highest order of souls in the conditioned state.


The Will of Vishnu in the Forms of the three Purushas is ultimately derived from Nityananda. The source of the material cause of creation is also Vishnu in the Form of the first Purusha or Maha-Vishnu in whom the Material cause and creating Will of the Divinity by reference to this mundane world are incorporated and reconciled.


The word ‘Advaita’ means ‘non-duality’. Matter and Will are not categorically different from one another at their source. Neither are they, as regards their source, different from Godhead. But matter as it appears to the conditioned soul as well as the operative will of Godhead as viewed by the same agency, appear to be altogether dissociated from and incompatible with the spiritual essence which is the Nature proper of the Divinity. The solution of this difficulty that besets all speculative inquiry is to be sought in the actual knowledge of the substantive Reality in His graduated Manifestations and not in the hypotheses of inevitable ignorance of fundamental conditions.


The Appearance of Sree Krishna-Chaitanya so far as the Event has a reference to the deliverance of conditioned souls, was effected by the agencies of Nityananda and Advaita. The functions of Nityananda and Advaita should, however, be neither over-estimated nor underestimated as regards Their respective bearings on the Deeds of Sree Krishna-Chaitanya. Those functions are of primary importance. to the conditioned soul who, however, need not, therefore, remain confined to the contemplation of these plenary Manifestations of the Divinity. Neither need the conditioned soul suppose himself to be above all help from Advaita and Nityananda either at the initial or the advanced stages of spiritual endeavour and realisation.


The Real Purpose of the Appearance of Sree KrishnaChaitanva is not the deliverance of the conditioned souls. The Real Purpose is one that exclusively concerns the Divinity as He is. It is that which was meant when we observed above that the Deeds of Sree Krishna-Chaitanya, as Those of Sree Krishna, are grounded in His Divinity. The Knowledge of those Deeds is identical with the Deeds Themselves. It is for this reason that it is necessarv to approach this Narrative with the reverence and confidence that is due to the Person of Godhead Himself. Such reverence and confidence are also necessarily complete. There must be no reservation. The least reservation will lead the hearer or reader of this Narrative to a certain face of the limited energy and not even to the level of the Purusha Avataras Who are related to this world without being of it.




But the mercy of Sree Krishna:Chaitanya enables all conditioned souls to pass through an these graded stages of spiritual progress, by appearing to us in the form of this Divine Narrative of His Deeds. This Narrative has been made available by the mercy of Sree Advaita and Sree Nityananda Who are the eternal Divine Intermediaries between ourselves and the Supreme Lord.


The function of making our prostrated obeisance to Hari, Guru and the Vaishnavas is not an idle or symbolic ceremony. It is exercise of the function of devotion to Godhead made possible by the causeless grace of Sree Advaita who is the source of the material as well as the sanction of all spiritual, functions of us, conditioned souls, under all circumstances. Obeisance to Sree Advaita is obeisance to the Vaishnavas. Obeisance to Nityananda is obeisance to Sree Guru. Obeisance to Sree Krishna-Chaitanva is obeisance to Godhead Himself as He is. Obeisance to Sree Krishna-Chaitanya is obeisance both to Sree Krishna and His Divine Counter-Whole Sree Radhika in One.


The relationship of Sree Radhika to Sree Krishna must not be confounded with the mundane sexual relationship between male and female of this world. The service of Sree Radhika is not an amorous function in the disruptive specific unwholesome sense of the analogous mundane activity. That supposition, which is due to the mundane import of the term used in describing the Divine Function, may lead the ignorant critic to presume to find the defects of the mundane passion in even the Divine Activity as He is, i.e., in His Fullest and Most Perfect Manifestation. It is, therefore, necessary to implore our readers not to approach the study of this Narrative in such unnecessarily irreverent and superficial temper which will necessarily prevent his regarding the subject from the only genuine point of view, viz., that of the Scriptures. It is only by loyally following the method of submitting to look at the subject unreservedly from the point of view of the Narrative itself that it will be possible for the impartial reader, after he has gone through his self-imposed task with the patience that is due to the right understanding of a subject which is likely to be radically different, at any rate to many of our European readers, from most current standards in its outlook on and valuation of the activities of this world, to attempt to form a comparative estimate of the view of the Absolute that is presented to him in the following pages.


Vaishnavism stands alone among the revealed Religions of the world in providing a specific account of the Name, Form, Qualities, Activities and the individual personalities of the Servitors of Godhead Himself. The silence of the other Religions on this subject should not be misunderstood as implying the non-existence of any or all specification in the Absolute. There is also no rational ground for supposing that Godhead is unwilling or unable to disclose His Own Specific Self and Divine Paraphernalia to the serving impulse of pure souls.



All Glory to Sree Guru and Gauranga





Chapter I

—Country and Society—



The historical significance of the term Gauda, the name that is borne by the country of Sree Chaitanya's Nativity is obscure. It occurs in the works of the famous Grammarian Panini as the name of a well-known city ‘of the East’. The geographical location of the regions bearing the name, referred to in ancient literature, presents a bewildering variety, being applied to tracts and towns scattered in all directions and attaining an extent that is sometimes equivalent to the greater part of Northern India. It supplies the designation to a wide division of the Brahmanas, a well known style of the Sanskrit rhetoricians and a technical term, connected with the metal ‘silver’, to the industrialists, of Old India. The name of the spiritual preceptor of Sree Sankaracharya is Gaudapada, While Sreeman Madhvacharya, an inhabitant of the extreme south of the country, bears the interesting name of “Gaudapurnananda”. No theory regarding the historical origin or application of the word is yet forthcoming that offers any satisfactory clue to the copious use of the word by the ancients in such diverse connections.


There is evidence to prove that there were similar grades in the geographical denotation of the word ‘Gauda’ also at the period of the Advent of Sree Chaitanya. It was then applied to (1) the country under the rule of the Muhammedan King of Bengal, (2) to his Capital situated in the modern district of Malda, (3) to the tract adjoining the old town of Nabadwip to which the Capital of the country had been transferred from Gauda in Malda by Lakshmana Sena, the last independent Hindu King of Bengal; (4) while the compound ‘pancha-Gauda’ ‘the five Gaudas’ meant practically the whole of Northern India and, specifically, (5) the five countries of Kurukshetra, Kanauj, Utkal, Mithila and Gauda (Bengal), (6) the Brahmana residents of which regions were also designated as ‘pancha-Gauda’ The terms ‘Gauda’ and ‘Gauda-mandala’ (Circle of Gauda) used by the associates and followers of Sree Chaitanyadeva, as a designation of themselves and their country, mean the greater part of the modern province of Bengal with old Nabadwip ‘the city of the Nine Islands,’ as centre; and for the purpose of this Narrative we shall accordingly accept this external regional denotation of the word, without losing sight of its true spiritual import.


But it is well at the very outset to remind our readers of the historical fact that neither the Land nor the Activities of Sree Chaitanya are regarded by the authors of the works that form the original sources of this account, as historical, geographical, or any other entities in the mundane sense. The Gaudamandala, or Circle of Gauda is to them the spiritual realm of the Appearance of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya and. His eternally associated devotees. The spiritual significance of their attitude may be thus indicated. Godhead is All-powerful. There is a transcendental world in which He dwells with His Own. The only business of all inhabitants of that world is to serve Godhead directly. That world is the spiritual world. It is free from all limitations and defects of this mundane world. When Godhead chooses to come down into this world, He never does so only by Himself. Just as a high and mighty Sovereign of this mundane world, when he chooses to favour a remote part of his dominions with his Royal visit, goes there with his attendants and other paraphernalia of sovereignty, in like manner Godhead also descends into this world with His Own, His Servitors, all His Divine Paraphernalia, and His Eternal Spiritual Realm. It is not possible for any earthly sovereign, even if he is so minded, to move out with all the circumstances and pomp of his Royal Magnificence, for sheer want of power and for other obvious reasons. But Godhead is not troubled by such difficulties. He is here in this world with His realm and complete followings and is present at one and the same time in His fully manifest realm of the spiritual world. That is to say, Divinity and His Realm without being duplicated, is capable of revealing Himself according to the serving aptitude of mundane beholders.


It is this which happens when the Supreme Lord manifests His Auspicious Appearance in this world. The realm of Gauda in which Sree Krishna-Chaitanya appears with His kindred, associates and eternal devotees, is not the mundane region that is visible to the eyes of conditioned souls. The Spiritual Circle of Gauda that appears to bound jivas in the figure of a definite tract of land of this physical world, is, in reality, in its own manifest nature, no other than the “White Island” (Svetadveepa) of the Scriptures, the eternal realm of the Divinity in His Own Most Beneficent Form. This principle of spiritual identity of periodic manifestation also applies to other parts of the sacred land of Bharata (India). This sacredness of the land is not a figment of the human imagination nor due to any association of any mundane country with the Appearances of the Divinity by way of fortuitous concurrences. The Holy Realm of Godhead, in all its infinite vastness and diversity, appears also in this world being identical with spiritual Bharata (India) as its centre. But spiritual Bharata is not always manifest to the view of fettered souls. When the Divinity chooses to come down into this world, the spiritual realm is also unveiled to the unobstructed gaze of mortals. ‘But unbelievers do not see what is then really opened to their view, just as the owl does not see the light of the Sun when he shines in all his mid-day splendour.’


It would not also be in strict conformity with historical judgment to regard the view just sketched as an exaggeration of patriotic partiality for the land of one’s mundane birth. The Vaishnava point of view is that everything of this world is to be used in the service of Godhead, and it is only by such use of the most beautiful and valued things of this world that man is enabled to earn the position of the highest distinction that is open to him on this condition. This level of view regarding human life and this world, which marks the highest achievement of human civilization, has, of all countries of the world, been most nearly realized by the spiritual community of Vaishnavas in India. Indeed, Godhead Himself comes into this world only for the sake of the Vaishnavas who follow faithfully His highest teaching by desiring, instead of piety (dharma), wealth, sensuous pleasure, relief from worldly misery, etc., which are universally coveted by all mortals, only the unconditional service of the Divinity. In all parts of the world less spiritual people have always been engaged in a perpetual strife for the fulfillment of their mundane aspirations. Godhead has sometimes sent His agents to teach the peoples of other countries the transitory and miserable end of all worldly pursuits and thereby win them to desire for liberation and moral living. But such mere improvement of the procedure of earthly pursuits effected thereby, the summum bonum, in the shape of the unalloyed spiritual service of the Supreme Lord, is never attained. The quasi spiritual ideals help at best to establish a certain apparently moral order amidst the unrestrained pursuit of sensuous activities.


These facts offer the undisputed evidence that is historically available to all of us, which establishes the spiritual superiority of the theistic civilization in India and its premier claim to the Mercy of the Divinity by the sole right of His unalloyed service. The patriotic or any other worldly sentiment, has no place in such views.


As India is thus the most sacred country of the world, the land of Gauda is the most sacred of all parts of India. This is so because it corresponds to ‘Svetadveep’ wherein the Divinity abides eternally as Embodiment of Perfect Magnanimity. The land Braja, full of the most exquisite bliss, is the realm of the most delicious Rasa1 pastimes of Youthful Krishna Who is identical with Sree Chaitanya. The land of Gauda is most liberal, as it is only here that Godhead manifests the Leela2 of bestowing on all the unalloyed love for Himself which alone confers on the emancipated jiva3 the right of entry into the happy realm of Braja and join there in the eternal pastimes of Sree Sree Radha-Govinda. Therefore, for the same reason which makes the Svetadveepa in Sree Brindavana more magnanimous, the land of Gauda is more liberal than the enchanting realm of Braja overflowing with every bliss. There is also a corresponding mellowness in the subdued charms, reminiscent of the chastened mood of faithful lovers temporarily parted, of this land of Gauda, which can be utilised by any one who cares to enter its wide portals ever open to receive, with the unspeakable welcome of Divine love in its most unreserved and indiscriminate generosity, all those who want to receive the summum bonum free gift from the Hands of Godhead Himself .


The reader will now be in a position to understand why, the Vaishnava authors expatiate on the minutest features of the holy Circle of Gauda with such intense devotional fervour and why we can perfectly rely on any information of a historical or geographical nature, that they may have cared to record, as being free from all sectarian bias in its ordinary narrow worldly sense; as the genuine Vaishnava authors have nothing to do that is worldly either in their life or in their faith for which alone they live Most of these Acharayas lived by themselves a secluded life far from home and family on scanty alms procured by short rounds of day–to–day begging or given unsolicited by well wishers, and in the humblest styles conceivable even in India. Many of the them discarded inherited worldly affluence for greater convenience of devoting themselves to the practice of the religion which forms the subject of this work and for recording and expounding its principles for the benefit of all animate beings. Such is the spiritual Circle of Gauda and all truly pure souls are the denizens of the Eternal Realm of the Divinity.


The remains of old Nabadwip, the city of the ‘Nine Islands’ are situated at the junction of the Bhagirathi and Jalangi rivers bout sixty-five miles above Calcutta. The present town of Nabadwip one of the ‘Nine Islands’ of old Nabadwip. The name Nabadwip at the time of Sree Chaitanya was applied to the actual conglomerate of nine separate islands cut up by the channels of the Bhagirathi, which had their different individual designations also. The main part of the old city was situated on the eastern bank of the Bhagirathi which split up Nabadwip into two groups of ‘Islands’ of which four bearing respectively the names of Antardwip, Simantadwip, Godrumadwip and Madhyadwip were to the east, and the remaining five, viz. , Koladwip (modern town of Nadia), Rtudwip, Jahnudwip, Modadrumadwip and Rudradwip were located to the west, of the main channel of the Bhagirathi. These details are given clearly in several of the old books and they are supplemented by bits of topographical notices of old Nabadwip that have been recorded by later writers who treated the subject in pursuance of the traditional description.


Antardwip, as its name implies, was the central ‘island’, or the heart of the old town. Sree Mayapur, the quarter of Nabadwip which contained the house of Sree Jagannatha Misra, the father of Sree Chaitanya, was located in the centre of ,Antardwip. Accordingly, the old chroniclers, in describing Nabadwip, always compare it to a full-blown lotus afloat on the stream of the Bhagirathi. The eight islands surrounding Antardwip, which is the core of the Lotus, are described as forming its eight extended petals. Holy Mayapur, with the Yogapeetha or the House of God, is described as the central part of the core. The House of God thus forms the central point of an immense circle of which the circumference is stated to be thirty-two miles. This is the Circle of the Nine Islands. The Circle of Gauda is stated these writers to be 168 miles in circumference.


The Vaishnava authors are tireless in reminding their readers that these place appearing to mortal eyes as the divisions of an ordinary tract of land of this earth, must never be regarded as the real Nabadwip and Should not be reverenced as such. Such reverence would constitute an offense against the Abode of the Divinity which is transcendental. They lend no countenance to the practice, so prevalent in all parts of the world, of putting the seal and label of mundane history. and geography on spiritual sites and occurrences, a practice that has been the parent of much misery and of the worst superstitions that abound in all the ancient creeds. The Divine cannot be pinned down to any place, time or event of this world. There cannot be a greater offense against Godhead than to suppose that His Body or anything pertaining to Him can at all be of the nature of the things of this world.


So ‘Nabaddwip’ of Vaishnavas is not a geographical town bearing the name situated in the geographical country known to the historians and geographers of this world under the name of Gauda. Such a place is not only not Nabadwip but if it is ever considered as real Nabadwip, the latter refuses to manifest her proper form to the view of an offender who chooses to think in this unspiritual way. Real or spiritual Navadwip, real or spiritual Sree Mayapur and real Yogapeetha, are open only to the view of the Vaishnavas, or uneclipsed serving souls, and whatever they say about the Divine Realm is also, therefore, necessarily true. What other people designate as Nabadwip or Sree Mayapur or the Circle of Gauda or Bharatavarsha, in as much as it happens to be the mundane view, is entitled to no hearing from a Vaishnava and the very notion that the realm of the Divinity can possibly be any other than spiritual should be most carefully discarded once for all by those who want to understand what the Vaishnavas have really to say.


The reader, who complains that such a procedure will block the way of impartial scientific enquiry, would not also be quite reasonable; because it is he who, under this unscientific pretext, really, wants to block the way of the only true inquiry. What the Vaishnava wants the empiric scientist to admit is that he should allow the devotee to deliver the tidings of the Spiritual Realm and not to insist on identifying the geography and history of this world with the Geography and History of the Spiritual Realm. The empiricist is also not entitled to exclude spiritual Geography and History from the account of the spiritual events if his purpose really be to represent a thing, as it actually is, by available evidence and not as he thinks it ought to be. The two categories are quite distinct from one another; and it would be fair to the spiritual subject to admit unreservedly its transcendental nature, not merely in theory but in practice as well.

If the career of Sree Chaitanya is written in accordance with the rules laid down by empiric biographers, the narrative would be worse than a parody: it would be a blasphemy. Such a performance is not the purpose of the writer. His object is to faithfully record the events as he finds them in the original sources, offering no opinion of his own except only such as help the elucidation of the subject in its spiritual sense which is foreign to ordinary mundane experience. This method leads to frequent digressions to caution both the writer as well as the readers at every step not to misunderstand the subject. These digressions, which are offered as the real explanation of the subject, have been gathered from the monumental works of the Acharyas, who quote text and verse of the Scriptures to prove by scriptural evidence the absolute truth of every word they write and take no credit for originality, and in conformity with the personal experience of the transcendental teaching and activities the writer’s most revered Gurudeva and his associates.


The geographical site of the Yogapeetha, the Abode of Godhead, passed out of the memory of most people due to the misfortune reflected by tradition of havoc wrought by the shiftings of the course of the Bhagirathi. The religion taught By Sree Chaitanya was not properly grasped by posterity and suffered from misrepresentation in the hands of pseudo-teachers who soon abounded at Nabadwip and in other parts of the country. There have, indeed, been a small number of persons forming the inner following of the Acharyas, in all these generations, who have kept up the real tradition. But these have failed to win, for the purely spiritual religion up till now, any appreciable measure of general

The pseudo-Vaishnavas themselves also divided into an increasing number of hostile groups, each of which followed a novel inspiration, some of them taking to grossly immoral practices which they were not ashamed to give out as the religion taught by Sree Chaitanya. The history of these tragic occurrence will be told in the concluding chapters of this narrative. The preponderance of the pseudo-forms of the religion has, however, secured their deserved banishment from the society of the cultured classes, and in consequence of this, the real tradition itself has tended to fall into utter neglect and is regarded with mistrust even by the orthodox Hindu society at the instigation of the Smarta priests.


The pseudo-cults, that usurped the name of the religion of love, were invaded by all those evils of the older atheistical creeds which Sree Chaitanya wishes to put down. The descendants of the old associates and followers of Sree Chaitanya set themselves up as hereditary teachers of the pseudo-religion which proved to them the means of eking out a miserable livelihood by exploitation of the credulity of the lowest classes and the most immoral sections of the people. The reader may for the present accept this as a moderate statement of the evils that have made us forget the teaching of Sree Chaitanya, in order to be able to understand why His Religion in course of time ceased to prevail in the upper ranks of society and was allowed to be substituted by wretched counterfeits to suit the whims and wickedness of designing quacks and knaves who earned their living by pandering to the worst vices of the dregs of society claiming exemption from even the ordinary salutary checks of communities obeying the rules of the old civilization of the country.


It is this which has made the identification of the old geographical sites a matter of hostile interest to the professional Goswamis even of this day and their misguided followers. When the old town was being deserted the shrines and the holy Forms (Vigrahas) were taken by their migrating proprietors to the new sites. And, as the cultured society took little interest in the matter, the old sites quickly passed out of the memory of the nation. But with the revival of interest in the religion of Sree Chaitanya among the cultured classes within the last fifty years or so, there also arose a natural desire to find out the old sites connected with Sree Chaitanya.


Neither has it been really difficult to discover them with the help of the old books. The actual site of the home of Sree Jagannath Misra which had escaped the general havoc wrought by the Bhagirathi, has been settled on the testimony of Vaishnava authors supplemented by the help of the actual knowledge of the most revered Vaishnava saints. The process by which the old sites have been identified is the same as that by which at the time of Sree Chaitanya the holy sites of Sree Brindavan were identified and made known. For the proper identification of a spiritual site the testimony of the pure Vaishnavas is, spiritually speaking, the one thing needful, as they alone are privileged to recognize the site. Geographical and historical considerations by themselves are extraneous and can only be ancillary to the spiritual method.




Sree Mayapurdham, so identified, is situated geographically to the east of the river Bhagirathi, nearly opposite the present town of Nadia which is located on the western bank of the river identifiable with old Koladwip one of the “Nine Islands” forming old Nabadwip.


          The name Antardwip, changed into Atopur (vide Bhakti Ratnakar), persists to the present day and includes Sree Mayapur which still maintains its name unchanged. The river has constantly shifted its course, up to quite recent times. The oldest maps enable us to follow the changes only as far back as 1763 A.D. We have to rely exclusively on the testimony of the old writers for avoiding mistaken identification that is being attempted by interested parties by availing the shiftings of the location of the places during the two hundred and seventy six years that elapsed between the Appearance of Sree Chaitanya and the publication of Major Rennel’s Atlas. But tradition had always pointed to those deserted parts as the site of the old city. Of this fact we possess reliable and continuous testimony.


          The method, that appears to us on the whole to be best for the purpose of describing the place, is to follow the old writers, taking help of such light as is afforded by recent investigations for the purpose of understanding their statements. It is not our purpose to enter at this place into the details of any recent evidence for which the reader is referred to the investigations of Thakur Bhaktivinode which have been summarized in different publications and which have formed the basis of subsequent inquiries regarding the real position of the old sites.


          Sree Mayapur which has escaped the widespread destruction that was apparently caused by sudden changes of the course of he Bhagirathi from a very early period is distinguishable from the adjoining lower alluvial plain by its elevation and older soil of adhesive clay. A modern village occupying a part of the site of Mayapur is inhabited by a number of Muhammedan families who began to settle on this old site, which appears in course of time to have been totally deserted, from the year 1785. This is traceable


          The actual site of the Yogapeetha, the Home of Sree Jagannatha Misra, was identified by the famous saint Chaitanyadas Babaji about eighty years ago It appears that the actual site was known as such to the few Vaishnavas who cared to he informed about it and had also been visited by them for their devotional purposes. The place was noted by the inhabitants of adjoining villages for alleged peculiarities. They maintain to this day that the place used to be always overgrown with sacred tulasi, for which reason people had instinctively desisted from any act of defilement or occupation for the purpose of erecting any private dwelling. This reverence towards the site which is displayed by the Muhammedan residents in occupation of the adjoining plots, indeed, point to a definite conclusion. The row of high mounds, that are now crowned by a number of substantial buildings erected by the piety of Vaishnavas since the re-discovery of the old sites, had never before been occupied by the villagers on their own account who had always regarded with a sort of sacred awe those sites which were collectively known as the ‘Vaishnava settlement’ (Vairagi danga).


There are many current stories of miraculous occurrences connected with the sites. But the most startling miracle of all is the fact that the persistent local tales are now found to be confirmed in their details by the topographical description of. the old writers. For example, we read in the Bhakti Ratnakar that the court-yard of Shribas Pandit, where Sree Chaitanya inaugurated His own distinctive form of worship viz., the congregational Kirtan of Hari and where, in the early days of His Preaching, Sree Chaitanya used to chant daily the Kirtan all through the nights in the company of His close associates, was situated one hundred dhanus (two hundred yards) to the north of the ‘House of God’. A plot of land, adjoining the site of the House of Jagannath Misra, finally and definitely identified by Sree Jagannath Das Babaji and easily recognizable by the evidence of local tradition, still bears the name of ‘khola  bhangar danga,’ i.e., the mound where the ‘khol’ i.e. mridanga was broken, which event, according to Sree Chaitanya Bhagavata, the biography of Sree Chaitanya by a contemporary, took place in a locality close to the ‘yard of Shribas’. The site is found to have continued to bear this name from the time when the ‘khol’ of the offending townsman, who persisted in playing on the mridanga for accompanying the chant, was broken by Chand Kazi for arresting the further progress of the movement, as described in that work.


          The tomb of Chand Kazi himself, who afterwards turned into a staunch supporter of Sree Chaitanya, still exists at a place, the situation of which perfectly, tallies with the topography of the books. It has, therefore, been possible on the testimony of such excellent corroborative evidence to identify many of the old sites and even the actual location of the houses of the prominent persons connected with the Activities of Sree Chaitanya in old Nabadwip.


          Antardwip which formed the heart of the old straggling city was situated at the time of Sree Chaitanya on the eastern bank of the Bhagirathi whose current then flowed under the city. The old bank of the river is identifiable with the help of the old topography. The following old sites have been traced up until now in the above manner—(1) The House of God (Bhagavadgriham), i.e., the Yogapeetha  or House of Sree Jagannath Misra, father of Sree Chaitanya; (2) the house of Sreebas Pandit in whose ‘yard’ the Kirtana was first regularly sung in company; (3) the house of Sree Advaitacharya, the meeting-place of the Vaishnavas in the early days of the movement; (4) the house of Sree Chandrasekhar Acharya in which Sree Chaitanya acted the part of Sree Rukmini in a dramatic performance staged by His associates; (5) the tomb of Chand Kazi which is shaded by a marvelous champaka tree reputed to be over four hundred years old; (6) the old bank of the Bhagirathi marked by its four prominent bathing ghats, viz., ( a) the ghat of old Siva, ( b ) Gauranga’s own ghat, (c) Madhai’s ghat, and (d) Barakona ghat, all of which possess famous associations; (7) the shrines of old Siva and of praura Maya. All these, with the exception of (5) belong to the village that still bears the name of Mayapur.


Close to the tomb of Chand Kazi is the site of Shridhar’s house. The house of Chandrasekhar is situated on ‘Ballal’s Tank’ which bears the name of the famous independent Hindu king of Bengal, whose successor Lakshmana Sena permanently removed the capital from Gauda near Malda to the old town of Nabadwip. ‘The Mound of Ballal’ situate within a short distance of Sree Chaitanya Math is regarded locally as marking the site of the palace of the Sena kings which was shunned by all persons after its desecration by the first Muhammedan conquerors of Bengal. The residence of Sree Nilambar Chakravarti, father of Sree Chaitanya’s mother Sree Sachi Devi, was in the quarter of the town where the Kazi lived, which is the same as present Bamanpukur (identical with Belpukur of the chroniclers).


We shall, therefore, follow the order of the sites that was observed by pious devotees who performed the circumambulation of the holy Nabadwipdham as described by the old writers, in offering a brief account of the surroundings of Sree Mayapur that are associated with the early career of Sree Chaitanya.


Antardwip (literally, the central island), within which Sree Mayapur is situated, forms the first of the ‘Nine Islands’ and the starting point of the circumambulators. The more famous of the recognizable old sites of Antardwip (Atopur) have already been noticed above.


Simantadwip is the next ‘Island’ that is reached by the pilgrim. Its present name is Simulia situated to the north of Sree Mayapur. Sardanga close to Simulia contains an old shrine of Sree Jagannathadeva. Sondanga, Villvapushkarini, the tract known as megharchar, etc., lie close together. The house of Sachi Devi’s father, as already stated, was situated near Belpukur.


The third of the ‘Islands’ is Godrumadwip (modern Gadigachha) to the south and east of Sree Mayapur. Close to it is Suvarna-bihar with very ancient associations. Other old places of this locality are Harihara-kshetra, which contains the mounds Surya, Brahma, Indra and other gods, and . Devapalli with an old temple of Sree Nrisingha. This ‘Island’ contains the bhajan kutir (cottage of devotional practice) and samadhi (resting place) of Thakur Bhaktivinode.


The fourth ‘Island’ is Madhyadwip (Majida) situated to the south of Sree Mayapur. It contains the Mounds of the Seven Rishis, a channel bearing the name of Gomati, the adjoining wooded tract being known as Naimisharanya, Sree Brahmanpuskaras (Baman-paukhera), Uchchahatta ( Hatdanga ) and other sites of pious association.


The fifth of the ‘Islands’ is Koladwip (the modern town of Nadia) to the west-south-west of .Sree Mayapur. At the time of Sree Chaitanya Koladwip or Kulia was separated from Nadia, the Home of Sree Chaitanya, only by the intervening main channel of the Bhagirathi. It is called ‘the place of expiation’ in reference to the incidents connected with Gopal-Chapal and Devananda Pandit, whose offenses were forgiven by Sree Chaitanya at Kulia. it is sometimes designated as ‘the high bank of Kulia,’ and is connected by old writers with very ancient events. Close to it is Samudragarh.




The sixth ‘Island’ is Rtudwip south-west of Koladwip. In it is situated the village of Champahati which was formerly a grove of champaka trees. The old shrine of Sree Gaur-Gadadhar erected by Dvija Baninath, one of the principal associates of Sree Chaitanya, still exists at Champahati. It was also the residence of the famous poet Jayadeva of the time of King Lakshmana Sena.


The seventh ‘Island’ was anciently called Jahnudwip (modern Jahnnagar) to the north of Rutdwip. Close to it is Vidyanagar where the Academy of the famous Vasudeva Sarbahhauma was situated .


Modadrumadwip is the eighth ‘Island’ to the north of Jahnudwip. Here is the village of Mamgachhi, the birth-place of Thakur Brindabandas, author of Sree Chaitanya-Bhagavat, the contemporary, systematic account of the career of Sree Chaitanya written in Bengali verse. At Mamgachhi was located the paternal residence of Sree Malini Devi, spouse of Shribas Pandit. Close to the birthsite of Thakur Brindabandas is the shrine of Sree Madan Gopala installed by Sree Vasudeva Datta Thakur, brother of Sree Mukunda Datta Thakur of Chattagram, the close associate of Sree Chaitanya. This shrine contains also the holy Form (Vigraha) installed by Saranga Murari Thakur, the associate of Sree Chaitanya.


The ninth ‘Island’ is Rudradwip north-east of .Modadrumadwip.

These ‘Nine Islands’ constitute the Circle of Shridham Nabadwip the circumference of which is given as thirty-two miles.


Sree Mayapur and the adjoining places are at the present day, in their outward appearance, very different from the old town of Nabadwip at the time of Sree Chaitanya. The present town of Nadia, which is not a very- beautiful place except its shrines, is now the only part of the ‘City of the Nine Islands’ that bears anything approaching an urban appearance, judged even by the modest standard of a Bengal town. The other parts are almost purely rural and are mostly overgrown with jungle. The numerous small channels of the Bhagirathi, which abound about this point, impart a charming openness to the landscape and salubrious freshness to the soft rural breezes that love to haunt the silent places of practices of the only absolute pure faith. The main stream of the sacred Bhagirathi, which is here swelled to noble proportion by the tribute of the great body of sweet and pure water that is poured into it just below Sree Mayapur by the Jalangi, forms now, as it did also at the time of Sree Chaitanya, the central feature of the countryside. But the main current of the Bhagirathi in old time flowed past the landing places of the old populous city. The riverside of the old city is partly traceable. The bank was washed away probably by a sudden shifting of the course of the river due to a great earthquake that fearfully damaged the place in 1515 A.D. shortly after Sree Chaitanya had renounced home and family


But the splendours of the old city lingered long in the memory of the inhabitants. Thakur Brindabandas who wrote his Divine Narrative, Sree Chaitanya Bhagavat, not long after the disappearance of the Supreme Lord, gives the following description of the old town to his contemporaries who could also confirm his eulogies. “There was not another town in the world”, says Thakur Brindabandas, “like Nabadwip where Sree Chaitanya was born. The divine architect must have known beforehand His impending Advent and had accordingly lavished with a prodigal hand all his bounty to make of Nabadwip the ideal place that it was. Who could describe the opulence of Nabadwip? Every single bathing-ghat was thronged by a hundred thousand bathers. Each caste resident in Nabadwip had lakhs of members of every age. All the people were highly skilled in their respective occupations by the grace of the goddess of learning. All of them boasted of being masters in their line and mere boys contended with the Brahmana teachers in scholastic disputations. People from various countries flocked to Nabadwip. One could obtain the real taste of learning only by studying at Nabadwip. The great fame of its learning drew countless students who were taught by an incredibly large number of the most erudite teachers. This atmosphere of learning was also one of great happiness by the kind glance of the goddess of wealth.


But the spiritual condition of the town, in which we are specially interested, was not encouraging. This is what the same competent observer has to say on the subject. “The people were blessed with the choicest favours of the goddesses of learning and wealth. In these respects they had attained the sunmit of their desire. There was only one drawback. The time of all people was wholly wasted in the enjoyments of secular pursuits. The world was destitute of devotion for Krishna and Rama (Baladeva). At this earliest stage of the Iron Age there came to prevail prematurely those worst practices that have been predicted by the Scriptures about the far-off future of this Age of Evil. The people sat up whole nights at the songs of Mangalchandi (goddess of worldly blessing) . This was the only practice of religion known to the people. There were a few who in their vanity worshipped the goddess Bishahari (healer of poison). Some lavished immense wealth on the making of grand idols. Wealth was squandered on the marriages of sons and daughters. The time of the people was passed in such vanities. The great Chakravartis and Bhattacharyas were wholly unaware of the significance of the great Shastras. By their teaching of the Scriptures they earned for themselves and their hearers only entanglement in the toils spread by the pitiless hand of Death. They never expounded the Divine Dispensation of the Age in the shape of the kirtana of Krishna. They spoke only of faults, and never of the good qualities, of anyone. There was a great number of arrogant recluses and ascetics whose mouths never uttered such a sound as the Names of Hari. Those persons, who were most reputed for their piety, used to utter the Names of Govinda and Pundarikaksha only at their baths. Even those who professed to teach the Geeta and the Bhagavatam, never employed their tongues to the task of explaining the principles of devotion to Godhead. No one could be persuaded even by entreaty to take the Name of Krishna. Every one harped ad nauseum on the merits of learning and social rank.’


There was one notable exception to the above rule. ‘Sree Advaita Acharya who lived at Nadia was most highly respected for his unrivaled learning, his high birth and honoured position in society. He was an eminent professor of the Scriptures and excelled in expounding the true spiritual practice and principle. He was equal to the great Sankara (Siva) himself in expounding the subject of devotion to Krishna. He was equally well versed in all branches of the Scriptures; and, in teaching them, he was always careful to explain that devotion to the Feet of Krishna was the essence of all the Scriptures. He was always engaged in worshipping Krishna with the greatest ardour, in the simplest and purest manner, by the offering of sprays of the holy tulasi, dearly loved of Krishna, steeped in the sacred water of the Ganges. He often gave  vent to deep ejaculations of sorrow , resembling the rumbling of thunder and impregnated with the fiery energy of Krishna, which, passing beyond the limits of this universe, reverberated in the Holy Realm of Vaikuntha.


Sree Advaita Acharya was the leader of a small band of sincere devotees who were at this time settled in Nabadwip. These Vaishnavas were opposed by atheists, specially on account of their practice of frequently uttering the Name of Hari with a loud voice. This practice together with their theistic views was sufficient to mark them out as the legitimate objects of their invectives and ridicule, from which they could not be effectively shielded even by the great influence of Sree Advaita Acharya himself who was regarded with respect and awe all over Nadia.


The reason for such hostility were many: the foremost being that the Vaishnavas eschewed all worldly pleasures and enjoyments, which was regarded as a deprecation of the life of epicurean ease that was fashionable in all ranks of the then society. There was no want of aggressive epicureans in that Age also who openly condemned all pretensions to a life that was in every way above animality. They wrote scurrilous ballads against the Vaishnavas and sang them in the streets. ‘The ascetic, the chaste woman, no less than others,’ so ran these effusions, ‘will go the way of all the flesh. He alone can be said to have done good deeds in his previous birth who rides the dola and the horse and is preceded and followed by scores of running footmen. Much as your Holiness cries in the mood of devotion, yet it does not cancel your Holiness's sorrows of poverty. Your Holiness never ceases to call upon the Name of Hari with a very loud voice. It may surely anger the Lord to be addressed by shouts.’ The frank realism of these fifteenth century Bengali followers of Charvaka  cannot be outdone by their most up-to-date successors of the present day. This was almost the general attitude of the citizens of a profligate town devoid of all taste for anything higher than bodily enjoyments of a refined character engendered by their engrossing secular studies and urban pursuits.


There was another class of objectors who also ridiculed the mode of kirtana with a loud voice. The ground for their objection was, however, different from that of the refined epicureans. ‘I myself,’ such were the ideas of these people, ‘am the Brahman Who is devoid of all the qualities. Why then do they make any such distinction as that between servant and Master?’ These men were the worst enemies of the Vaishnavas. There were also many persons who looked upon the Vaishnavas as designing worldly people who took to begging to earn their livelihood by that easy method, for sheer idleness.


We frequently hear the complaint that religion suffers degradation by scarcity of people who really lead the religious life. It is supposed that if religion is freed from the clutches of these people who have so long monopolized it for their profit and pleasure and have degraded it by their foul lives, people in general would voluntarily follow the lead of truly devout persons. If only the preachers of religion, say these open atheists, lead truly spiritual lives themselves, their example would prove irresistible in winning everybody to spiritual living. But the opposite of this is what almost invariably happens in this world. The sincere devotees are always ridiculed and persecuted by the people. This is also exactly as was likely in the circumstances. Those who are steeped in worldliness have a spontaneous dislike for persons who openly profess principles and follow a mode of life that are in essential contradiction to theirs. The conduct of the devotees is always regarded by worldly people, who have no inclination for listening to the unpalatable truth, as both foolish and mischievous. Therefore, instead of following the example of such persons the worldlings always look upon the pure souls as enemies of every useful institution and set themselves in vindictive opposition to their activities. To what ferocious persecution the bona fide Vaishnavas have been subjected at the hands of their opponents from time to time, is not sufficiently well known, although it forms the most pathetic and the most shameful chapter of the history of India. Sree Chaitanya says, “It is our only duty always to chant the kirtana of Hari with humility greater than that of the blade of grass, with greater endurance than that of the tree, giving all due honour to others without desiring any honour for ourselves.” But nothing can make amends, in the eyes of worldly people, for the crime of chanting the Name of Hari or proclaiming the unvarnished Truth in and out of season and at all time with body, mind and speech as required by the teaching of all the Scripture embodied in the institution of the whole-time kirtana of the Absolute.


We have already described in a preceding chapter the state of religious opinion in the country of the time of Sree Chaitanya. There was no lack of unspiritual doctrines and practices upheld by ancient philosophical systems most of which were mere apologies, or even justifications, of the ordinary ungodly practices of the misguided jivas of this world. The system that was in most vogue among the Pandits of Nabadwip at this period and has been fashionable ever since, is the atheistical system of Nabya Nyaya. The other atheistical systems of philosophy were also assiduously taught in the schools of Nabadwip. We learn that scholars even from Mithila (Tirhoot) came to Nabadwip to study the New Logic. Sannyasins and learned Professors from Benares and all parts of North India came to Nabadwip for the study of Vedanta. We also read of students coming to Nabadwip even from distant Kanchi and the southernmost part of the country.

These materialistic studies had acquired such preponderance at that period that scholarship and ungodliness came to be regarded as necessarily identical. The masses sang the songs of Mangalchandi and considered the endeavour for increasing the means of worldly enjoyment as the ideal of religion. The common people, and especially the wealthy trading communities, performed with great eclat the worship of Mangalchandi and, by subsidizing the Brahmana Pandits with liberal pecuniary gifts, were enabled to buy their subservient approval of those unscriptural practices. Much money was recklessly squandered on the short-lived idols and no less on the exhibition of pantomime dolls, which was an invariable and costly item of expense on all festive occasions. There were very few permanent Holy Vigrahas in Bengal at that time. The worship of the permanent Holy Vigraha became a tradition in Bengal only subsequent to the Advent of Sree Chaitanya and as the effect of His Teachings. Temporary images were the only objects of worship. Those images were immersed in water after the festivity in their honour was concluded, on the wrong assumption that the Form of Godhead is a material and temporary entity.

This posture of affairs filled the devotees with grief and despair. No one served Godhead, no one ever talked about Him, or took His Holy Name, or could be persuaded to listen to any discourse about Him. This was the blighted waste glutted with every form of luxury aggravated by the strenuous pursuit of worldly knowledge, which evoked the tenderest solicitude, of that small band of pure souls and impelled them to adopt every method that could be devised for rousing the deluded people to a sense of their eternal duty and thereby saving them from their impending terrible doom. But all their efforts for the amelioration of the spiritual condition of the people were misunderstood and responded to by the bitterest invectives, ridicule and cruel persecution! Yet those servants of Godhead did not lose their faith nor relax their efforts, although their very food did not taste in their mouths at the sight of the miseries of their kindred. The Bhagavatas applied themselves to their devotions in the forms of the worship of Krishna, discourse about Krishna, and bathing in the holy stream of the Ganges. And all of them incessantly blessed the world, ‘May Krishna soon bestow His mercy on all!’



Chapter  II

—Family and Elders—



The Advent of Sree Chaitanya was preceded by the appearance of a numerous body of pure devotees in different parts of the country who joined Him at Nabadwip in due course and became incorporated in His Activities. This galaxy of the stars of the first magnitude occupies the foreground of the picture that it is our purpose to offer. Sree Chaitanya is unintelligible without intimate knowledge of the doings of His associates. He is expressed in the only intelligible form in the lives of His associates. He is expressed in the only intelligible form in the lives of His bona fide devotees. These devotees were not so many imitators of Sree Chaitanya. Each of them has a great, living, individual personality; each serves Sree Chaitanya in his own way and helps to demonstrate the quality of unbounded catholicity and endless variety of manifestation in individual personalities of our only eternal function. The conduct of these devotees is even more instructive than the Transcendental Activities of Sree Chaitanya Himself Whom it was the function of these great souls to express by serving the Absolute Truth identical with the Personality of Sree Chaitanya under every form of circumstance and every manner of disposition, by the method of incorporated, subordinate service.


The Vaishnava authors always offer the esoteric view of those events. When Godhead Himself comes down into this world, He does not come un-attended by His eternal associates and Divine paraphernalia. They accompany Him to this world. The transcendental realm of the ‘White Island’ is the Eternal Divine Abode of Sree Chaitanya Who is identical with Sree Krishna and presents the Divinity’s Own Benevolent Nature dominating over all other Divine Qualities.


The Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya dwells in the White Island, as does Krishnachandra in Braja, with all His elders, kindred, associates and complete entourage. When Sree Chaitanya deigns to come down into this world, He comes in His Fullness, with all His elders, associates, servitors and realm. His advent is, therefore, preceded by the appearance of His elders. All these are a part and parcel of Himself and are in fact the extension of His own Divine Self. It is by their reciprocal means that the Lord manifests His own Full Personality. What the Lord is in His supermanifest Nature cannot and need not be known to any one except Himself. Others need know the Lord only to the fullest extent and in the fullest manner in which He chooses to manifest Himself to them individually. By the manifestation of Godhead to the individual soul, the later is fully satisfied and, as a matter of fact, such an individual does not desire, nor does he think it necessary to know anything more, not merely for the time being but for all time.


The jiva to whom Godhead reveals Himself sees the same Divine manifestation everywhere and always, in His infinity of aspects. His cherished Divinity is to him verily an endless Ocean of perfect and exquisite bliss, free from every species of unwholesomeness, imperatively requiring his perennial loving service by His perpetual manifestations. The appearance of the Lord is for the purpose of making His devotees happy by affording them the Sight of Himself. The establishment of religion and the destruction of demons who appear as the enemies of Godhead do not require the Personal Appearance of Supreme Godhead Sree Krishna Himself. These functions can be, and as a matter of fact are ordinarily, performed by the Vishnu Avataras, or sometimes even by the favoured among the pure jivas, by His command. The establishment of the samkirtana of Krishna, which is the Divine Dispensation of this Kali Age, is effected by the Avatara for the Age, and it would not be necessary for Godhead to come down into this world for this purpose alone.


But there is a function which cannot be delegated, viz., that of pleasing the devotees. Love for Himself can neither be conferred nor be satisfied by anything short of Himself. It was for the purpose of bestowing, on fallen jivas, love for Himself in the perfect form that is found only in Goloka, that Sree Krishna, wearing the devotional mood and grace of Sree Radhika, appeared in this world in His Eternal Identical Form of Sree Krishna Chaitanya, with all His associates, elders and servitors eternally manifest in the ‘White Island’, the realm of Krishna’s boundless and causeless Mercy.


In Braja Sree Radhika sets the model for the highest service of Krishna. In the ‘White Island’ it is Sree Krishna Himself who performs the function of teaching all individual souls how Sree Radhika serves Sree Krishna in Braja, by putting on Sree Radhika ‘s grace and devotion in order to enable Himself to serve Sree Krishna after the manner of Sree Radhika  in Her highest Mood, viz., during Her separation from Sree Krishna. The service that is rendered by Sree Radhika manifests itself in this world in Braja at the close of the Dvapara Age. But in its direct manifestation it is not at all understood by mortals. It is only the Lord Himself Who can bestow this perfect loving devotion to Himself even on souls that are averse to Him on principle and thereby enable them to realize the true meaning of such pure devotion.


This explanation of the real purpose of the advent of Sree Chaitanya is fully corroborated by the Scriptures and by the Activities of Sree Chaitanya Himself. When godhead Himself appears in this world, all His secondary Manifestations automatically merge in Him. It was in this wise that there were born among men, by the command of Godhead, in advance of His own Appearance, the kindreds, associates and servitors of the Lord.


Sree Ananta, Siva, Brahma, the Rishis and all the relations and associates of every divine Avatara were born and their prototypes. some of them appeared in Nabadwip, some inChattagram, Shrihatta, some were born in Rahr, in Odra, and the West. the devotees descending into this world from their transcendental realm appeared in various places, and, coming up subsequently to Nabadwip, were there joined together around the Person of the Lord. All the Vaishnavas were born in Nabadwip, except a few who appeared elsewhere.




The Elders who were first to appear were Sree Sachi, Sree Jagannath, Sree Madhabendra Puri, Sree Keshava Bharati, Sree Isvara Puri, Sree Advaita Acharya, Sree Pundarik Vidyanidhi, Sree Thakur Haridas, Sree Upendra Misra, father of Sree Jagannath Misra, with his seven sons, Sree Nilambar Chakravarti, father of Sree Sachi Devi, Sree Sree Prabhu Nityananda, Sree Gangadas Pandit, Sree Murari Gupta, Sree Mukunda and others.

Our records show that a certain Brahmana of Western India, bearing the name of Sree Madhukar Misra, a devotee of Sree Sree Narayana, for some unknown reason, came to Sylhet and settled there. Sree Upendra Misra was the second son of Sree Madhukar Misra. Sree Upendra Misra was a Vaishnava, a great scholar, wealthy and possessed of an abundance of good qualities. Sree Upendra Misra was the father of seven sons,—(1) Kamsari, (2) Paramananda, (3) Jagannath, (4) Sarbeswar, (5) Padmanabh, (6) Janardan, and (7) Trilokanath. Sree Jagannath Misra, one of the seven sons of Sree Upendra Misra, migrated from Sylhet to Nabadwip, the emporium of all learning of the Age. The title of Sree Jagannath Misra, earned by his shastric scholarship, was Purandara.


At Nabadwip Sree Purandara Misra espoused Sree Sachi Devi, the eldest daughter of Sree Nilambar Chakravarti. With the intention of dwelling in the neighbourhood of the sacred stream of the Bhagirathi, that has issued from the Feet of Vishnu, in the company of high-born Sree Sachi Devi, who was the embodiment of devotion to Vishnu, pure-hearted magnanimous Purandara Misra settled in Sree Mayapur in the central ‘Island’ of the City of Nine Islands.

Sree Chandrasekhar Acharya was the maternal uncle(mother’s sister’s husband) of Sree Chaitanya. Sree Murari Gupta, the author of Sree Chaitanya Charit, belonging to a Vaidya family of Sylhet, had migrated to Nabadwip. He was senior in years to Sree Chaitanya. Sree Pundarik Vidyanidhi, also known as ‘Premanidhi, and ‘Acharyanidhi,, had his paternal home in the village of Mekhala about fourteen miles to the north of the town of Chittagong, where his sacred ‘seat’ still exists. His partner’s name was Ratnavati. His father was Vaneswar (or Suklambar) Bhatta and his mother’s name was Ganga Devi. He was the disciple of Sree Madhabendra Puri and was himself accepted as his Guru by Sree Gadadhar Pandit Goswami. Sree Chaitanya called Pundarik Vidyanidhi ‘father’ and bestowed on him the name of ‘Premanidhi’ indicative of servitorship of Godhead. Shribas and his younger  brother Sree Rama left their home at Sree Mayapur and removed to Kumarhatta after Sree Chaitanya’s renunciation of the world.


Sree Nityananda Prabhu, the Associated Facsimile of Sree Chaitanya, made His appearance in the village of Ekchakra in the country of Rahr, not far from Mollarpur station of the E.I. Railway, within the modern district of Birbhum. Hadai Pandit or Hadai Ojha, the father of Nityananda, was a good Brahmana from Mithila, resembling Vasudeva in the immaculate purity of his nature. The name of the wife of Hadai Pandit was Padmavati. Nityananda made His appearance in this world on the tithi which is ever hallowed by His birth, that corresponds to the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Magh. As a child, Nityananda startled all the neighbours by being constantly occupied in the company of His associates in rehearsing the events of the Avataras of Vishnu. The details of these childish pastime have been reverentially preserved. Their nature may be briefly indicated.

          He made His playmates form themselves into the assembly of gods. One of the boys, representing the Earth, having complained to it of her unbearable sufferings under the crushing weight of iniquities, those children who acted as members of the assembly of gods repaired to the bank of the adjoining river and there prayed to the Lord Who rests in the Ocean of Milk. One of the boys, hid behind the tree, gives this reply of Godhead to their prayer, ‘I will soon be born in the Home of Vasudeva at Mathura’. Sometimes personating the Divine Avatara of the Dwarf, Nityananda affected to deliver Bali. On another occasion He would fall into a swoon acting the part of Lakshmana in the Leela of Godhead’s Avatara as Sree Ramachandra hit by the powerful dart of Indrajit. Then one of the boys, acting the part of Hanuman, hastened to procure the required curative herb from the Gandhamadana Mount and by that means effected His recovery. Such pastimes of the little Boy amazed all beholders who could not account for this extraordinary conduct of the little Child. Twelve years were passed in these pleasant activities under the roof of His parents.


Nityananda set out on His long travel to all places of pilgrimage at the age of twelve. The incident that immediately led to this long pilgrimage is thus stated. A certain sannyasin became a chance-guest at the house of Hadai Pandit. He begged of Hadai Pandit to give Nityananda to him; and, in order not to transgress against the rule laid down by the Shastras, Hadai Pandit found himself obliged, against his own wish, to hand to the sannyasin the Darling of his heart Who was much more to him than even his own life. The grief of the parents, in being thus parted for good from their Child of twelve, knew no bounds. The nature of the renunciation of the world for the sake of Godhead must on no account be confounded with renunciation for any other purpose, which latter is an unpardonable and clear dereliction of one’s duty. The renunciation exhibited by Godhead and His devotees redounds to the good of the whole world, and, most of all, of those very persons who appear, to the superficial observer, to be the greatest sufferers by their abandonment.


Lord Nityananda, after thus leaving His parental home, traveled to all the tirthas. in company of the sannyasin, till the twentieth year of His age. The places He thus visited include Bakreswar, Vaidyanath, Gaya, Kasi, Prayag, Mathura, Brindabana, Hastinapur, Dwaraka, Siddhapura, Matsyatirtha, Siva-Kanchi, Vishnu-Kanchi, Kurukshetra, Bindu Sarobar, Pravaasa, Sudarsantirtha, Tritakup, Vishala, Brahmatirtha, Chakratirtha, Prati-Srota, Naimisharanya, Ayodhya, Shringaharpur, Kausiki, Pulastasrama, Gomati, Gandaki, Mahendra-giri, Haridwar, Godavari, Benvatirtha, Sree Parbata, Sree Ranganatha, Hari-kshetra, Rishabha-Parbata, Kritamala, Madura, Tamraparni, Malay-aparbata, Badarikasrama, Gokarna, Surparaka, Kanyakanagara, Nirbindha and all the countless holy sites. He journeyed to all those places in order to sanctify them by His visit.


          At the conclusion of this long pilgrimage Nityananda enacted the Leela of obtaining the only reward of pilgrimage in the shape of attainment of the privilege of the companionship of the true devotee, in as much as He now Joined Sree Madhabendra Puri, ‘the first shoot of the Purpose Tree of Loving Devotion’ from whom He accepted His initiation into spiritual life (or, according to some, He accepted His initiation from Sree Lakshmipati, the Guru of Sree Madhabendra Puri). The meeting with His Guru is thus described by Sree Ghanasyam Thakur, the writer of Bhakti Ratnakar: ‘Lakshmipati, so famous in the school of Madhya, the owner of all good qualities, most dear to the Lord of Sree Lakshmi Devi, partook of his meal obtained by begging, interspersed with Krishna-talk, at the house of that Brahmana. Nityananda in the Form of BalaRama showed Himself to Lakshmipati under the guise of a dream: ‘A certain Brahmana boy has come to this village in the garb of a super-ascetic; He will be your disciple; make Him your disciple by means of this mantram, and He spoke the mantram into his ear.’ Nityananda on meeting him repeatedly said to the sanyasin: ‘Do thou deliver Me by initiation by the mantram.’ After initiation Nityananda was given the Brahmachari’s name of ‘Svarup’ and has accordingly been sometimes called ‘Nityananda-Svarup’ both by Sree Brindabandas Thakur as well as by Shrila Kaviraj Goswami. Sree Nityananda subsequently made His way to Nabadwip where He joined Sree Chaitanya.


Thakur Haridas made his appearance in this world in about the year 1451 A.D. (1372 Sh.), thirty-five years before the Advent of Sree Chaitanya, in the village of Budhan in the district of Jessore. He came of a Muhammedan family and in some manner, of which we do not possess any trustworthy record, obtained very early in life the mercy of a Vaishnava who initiated him into the religion of all souls. He, thereupon, left his parent’s house and his kin, and came to Benapole where he made a small hut and lived therein. His method of worship consisted in repeating, constantly and with a loud voice, the holy maha-mantram of the sixteen Names of Godhead. He recited the maha-mantram three lakhs of times every day. For this purpose he cut himself off completely from every form of worldly association. It was not long, however, before his practice found a malicious opponent in a local landholder of a most villainous character, of the name of Ramachandra Khan. Ramachandra Khan was as foolish as he was wicked and was incited to adopt the infamous method, described below, by the representations of a fanatical section of the Hindu residents of the locality who felt themselves scandalized by a Muhammedan presuming to adopt their language in taking the name of Godhead in the manner that could pierce even the ear-holes of such a great personage as Ramachandra Khan ! !

Ramachandra Khan did not believe that a person in the full bloom of early youth could have really no attachment for woman. He accordingly deputed a shameless harlot of great beauty, whom he subsidised for the purpose, to employ her seductive arts to compass the ruin of the young devotee.

This abandoned woman continued to offer herself regularly at the solitary hut of devotion of Thakur Haridas for three successive nights. She was kept waiting for the whole night by Thakur Haridas by the assurance that he would attend to her request after the utterance of the quota of the Names that he was under obligation to take daily, was completed. Towards the close of the third night that harlot, whose mind had been completely changed by listening to the Holy Name of Godhead from the lips of the great saint who was so completely unmindful of those irresistible charms of a young woman that are the cause of ruin of so many so-called Rishis of all ages and conditions, fell prostrate at the feet of Thakur Haridas and, with a contrite and chastened heart, implored him to enable her to worship Godhead in the pure manner that he himself did. The woman opened her heart frankly to Thakur Haridas and told him all about the infernal conspiracy and also of her own past life which had been utterly sinful.

Haridas said to her that she was fit to take the Holy Name of Godhead, and he accordingly initiated her into the life of the pure service of Krishna. Haridas then advised her to give away all her treasure to the pious Brahmanas and devote herself to the worship of Krishna by constantly uttering His Name living apart from all other people in the solitary hut which he had built for his own worship. Thereupon, bestowing his own hut on that woman, Thakur Haridas left Benapole for good. That harlot became thenceforward a most renowned devotee of Krishna.


From Benapole Thakur Haridas proceeded to Chandpur eastward of Saptagrama, the residence of the father of the future Raghunathdas Goswami who was at this time a little boy. The name of Raghunath’s father was Gobardhan Mazumdar. Hiranya was the elder brother of Gobardhan. They were employed under Sultan Hussain Shah to collect the revenues of Saptagrama, which totaled twenty lakhs of rupees of which twelve had to be remitted to the Royal Treasury, the collectors being entitled to retain for themselves the balance of eight lakhs. They were consequently among the richest persons of that time. Thakur Haridas put up with Balaram Acharya of Chandpur who was the priest of Hiranya and Gobardhan. The boy Raghunath Das frequently visited Thakur Haridas. This was the cause of his obtaining the mercy of Sree Chaitanya later on.


At the request of Balaram Acharya, Thakur Haridas once presented himself at the gathering of Brahmanas in the halls of Hiranya and Gobardhan who were patrons of Brahmanas and pious persons. The Thakur was well received by both brothers. Presently, evidently in view of the practice of the Thakur, the assembly began to praise the taking of the Holy Name, some maintaining that the Name destroys sin, others contending that the Name confers deliverance from the bondage of the world. Thakur Haridas said that those secondary results are effected by the dim reflection of the Name. The effect of the Name Himself is to arouse love to the Feet of Krishna. Emancipation is the trivial effect of the dim reflection of the Name.


A Brahmana by the name of Gopa1 Chakravarti, who was employed by Hiranya Mazumdar in connection with the remittance of revenues to Gauda and who happened to be present, felt greatly chagrined to hear these statements of Thakur Haridas and asked the assembly not to be led away by the ridiculous effusions of an impostor, acting the part of a sadhu to deceive ignorant people, by endorsing the view that emancipation, which is not attainable in crores of births on the path of knowledge of the Brahman, is gained by the mere dim glow of the Name. This, he said, was impossible and intolerable.


When Thakur Haridas, with great calmness, quoted the Scriptures to show that emancipation, resulting from the dim glow of the Name, is trivial and is not accepted by devotees even when it becomes available to them, the Brahmana’s anger was so much inflamed by this exhibition of firmness that he shouted to Thakur Haridas that if he failed to prove from the Scriptures that emancipation results from the dim glow of the Name, was he prepared to have his nose cut off? The Thakur intimated his readiness to submit to the bet proposed, whereupon all the assembled people and especially Balaram Acharya strongly condemned the outrageous conduct of Gopal, and all of them, including Hiranya and Gobardhan, begged the forgiveness of the Thakur for the insult that had been openly offered to him in their presence. Thakur Haridas observed that Gopal’s anger was due to his ignorance of the Scriptures and he was, therefore, not to blame; and saying this, he left the place, resuming the loud chant of the Name of Krishna. It is recorded that for this offense Gopal Chakravarti was afflicted with the worst form of leprosy in the course of three days and his nose fell off in consequence, and that although the Thakur so readily forgave him, his offense was not pardoned by Godhead.


From Chandpur Thakur Haridas made his way to Santipur and presented himself at the house of Sree Advaita Acharya. The latter was very much encouraged by the appearance of Haridas and provided him with a suitable place for his devotional practices by finding out a cave in a retired part of the bank of the Ganges.


Thakur Haridas lived in this cell and had his daily meal at the house of Advaita with whom he could talk about Krishna. Haridas expressed his fear that the conduct of Advaita in feeding him daily with the most unreserved hospitality might bring social troubles to him, he being a Muhammedan by birth. Sree Advaita Acharya, in answer to this, formally offered to Thakur Haridas the meal cooked for the occasion of the anniversary of the sradha  ceremony of his departed father, that had to be given to the Brahmanas according to custom, with the remark that ‘by feeding you, crores of Brahmanas are truly fed’.


It is said that the Thakur Haridas was tempted a second time by a woman while he was staying at the cave at Santipur, and that this time the woman was no less than Maya herself, the deluding power of Godhead, whose solicitation, which no jiva, from Brahma downwards, can resist, produced on Haridas the only effect of increasing still further his ardent devotion to the Feet of Krishna. Mayadevi sought and obtained the gift of the Name of Krishna from Thakur Haridas in lieu of her effort to test the sincerity of the devotion of Haridas.


From Santipur Thakur Haridas made his way to the village of Fulia which was the residence of a strong community of Brahmanas. Fulia  is situated three miles to the east of Santipur. Thakur Haridas lived here in a cell on the bank of the Bhagirathi as at Santipur and chanted aloud the maha-mantram of sixteen Names of godhead three lakhs of times every day. The Muhammedans who lived in the neighbourhood were incited by the Brahmanas of  Fulia  to complain to the Kazi about the behaviour of Haridas, which, they pointed out, was bound to produce a most undesirable effect on the prestige of the Muhammedan community and religion.

The Kazi took this seriously and had Haridas brought to the presence of the Governor for trial. He was at first treated with great respect and allowed to visit the prison as he desired to converse with the prisoners. The prisoners, who did not expect in their midst a saint who was treated with respect by the keepers, thought he might obtain their release from captivity. They accordingly pressed round him and begged him to intercede with the Governor for their liberation. The Thakur in reply congratulated them on their captivity and wished that their state of bondage might be prolonged. This filled the prisoners with dismay.

Haridas hastened to remove their mistake by explaining what he meant. He said that they were forcibly kept away from the pursuit of worldly objects in their state of captivity. This gave them a respite for the worship of Godhead. Because Godhead cannot be worshipped when one’s mind is engrossed in the affairs of this world. They should avail themselves of this opportunity, so mercifully placed in their way, of turning their thoughts to Godhead; so that, having acquired the taste for such life, even after they were set free, they might continue to serve Godhead in the midst of the various temptations of the world. He did not really desire the prolongation of their state of captivity in the ordinary sense.


When Thakur Haridas was produced before the Governor for his trial, he was offered a good seat in the court and the Governor pleaded, with every appearance of sincere good will, that he should revert to his own society, its customs and religion. Thakur Haridas replied: ‘A man follows the path that appears to him to be the best. This is the dispensation of Providence. Under this law a man born in a high Brahmana family sometimes embraces the Muhammedan religion. And although he was born in a Muhammedan family, God has been merciful to him and has shown him the path of the highest good. This path he intends to follow. If such conduct appears to the Governor to be deserving of punishment, he is prepared to undergo any consequences that it may involve.’


The Governor then began to revile Vishnu and threatened to punish Thakur Haridas with severe whipping till he would be forced to give up the heinous course. Thakur Haridas simply replied: ‘Even if he is actually cut to pieces he would never for a moment cease to utter the Name of Hari with his mouth.’


The Governor, at the instance of the Kazi, now carried out his threat by ordering Thakur Haridas to be whipped in twenty-two market-places of amua Mulk. This barbarous order was duly executed. When Thakur Haridas appeared to be dead, the ruffians who had been employed to cudgel him, tried to throw his body into the Ganges. It is said that they failed to lift the body with all their efforts. This frightened the Governor and his aiders and abettors in this horrible sin.


The Governor now spoke kind words to Haridas. He was convinced that Haridas was a real Pir (holy man) and not a cheat as he had taken him to be. He was sorry for what he had done and even begged his forgiveness. He then ordered his men to liberate Haridas and assured him of immunity from all further molestation on his part, desiring him to do as he liked. Thakur Haridas returned to his cell at Fulia, undaunted by this terrible proof of the implacable vindictiveness of his opponents.


On another day a snake-charmer was giving a display of his art at the house of a wealthy resident of Fulia to the accompaniment of dance and music. Thakur Haridas happened to arrive on the spot and taking his stand on one side watched the performance which was a representation of a Feat of Sree Krishna, viz., the quelling of the serpent Kaliya.


Overpowered by the associations awakened in him by the sacred theme, Thakur Haridas fainted away, and, when he was helped to regain his consciousness, himself joined in the dance, exhibiting all the external signs of the eight satvika perturbations. The snake-charmer stopped his performance, and, with palms joined in the attitude of reverence standing motionless on one side, gazed with awe on the devotional activities of Thakur. This mood of Haridas was, however, soon over; and, after he had stopped, the snake-charmer resumed his musical performance. Those present were so moved by the occurrence that they devoutly took the dust of the feet of Thakur.


A Brahmana, who happened to be in the crowd and had watched the whole affair, thought of acquiring a cheap reputation for sanctity by imitating the satvika perturbations of Haridas that he had witnessed. He accordingly affected to swoon away and forthwith began to sing, dance, laugh and shiver, in imitation of Thakur Haridas.


The snake-charmer now behaved in a most strange manner. He, who had been so quiet and respectful towards Thakur Haridas, suddenly fell upon the unlucky Brahmana with great fury and began to belabor him, with a cudgel that he snatched from one of his men, in a most merciless fashion. That Brahmana, unable to bear the severe thrashing, took to his heels in a very short time. On being asked by the spectators the reason of his strange and violent conduct towards the Brahmana, the snake-charmer replied that he had beat the Brahmana, because by his hypocritical exhibitions he was trying to bring into contempt the conduct of the revered Thakur Haridas.


Another Brahmana of Fulia opposed the practice of chanting loudly the Name of Hari by Haridas on the ground that it was against the Scriptures. He denied that Haridas, who was born of a Muhammedan family, had any right to dabble in the philosophy and religion of the Hindus; that this very fact of a Muhammedan posing as a teacher of the Scriptures of the Hindus, portended the appearance, long before its appointed time, of the worst period of the Age of evil. ‘This impostor has the effrontery of procuring the best food by begging from door to door, presuming to teach the Shastras to respectable people!  If his explanation regarding chanting of the Name of Hari with a loud voice, is not found in the Scriptures, his nose ought to be cut off., Accosted by the infuriated Brahmana in the above fashion Thakur Haridas with a smile left the place to chant loudly the Name of Hari. That Brahmana also met with the condign punishment of his offense by being smitten with the small-pox in the course of a few days, that cost him his nose.


Thakur Haridas now made his way to Nabadwip and there joined the congregation of the small group of Vaishnavas that was gradually forming round the figures of Sree Advaita acharya, who had settled there as a teacher with his own Academy (tol) and Shribas Pandit who lived close to the Academy of Sree Advaita Acharya. At this time Thakur Haridas constantly traveled to different parts of the country with the object of preaching the kirtana of Hari to the people. Shortly after his arrival at Nabadwip, he joined Sree Chaitanya as one of His most devoted associates.


Sree Advaita Acharya, who was the acknowledged leader of the small Vaishnava community of Nabadwip at the time of the Appearance of Sree Chaitanya, was a person of vast erudition, possessed of great wealth and occupied a position of the highest respect in the society of Nabadwip. He appears to have been originally a native of the village of Nabagram in some as yet unidentified part of Bengal. He subsequently settled at Santipur, whither he had come in course of a pilgrimage that he had undertaken after the departure of his parents from this world. At Santipur he married Sree Sita Devi. Sree Advaita Acharya met Thakur Haridas for the first time at Santipur where he offered him the meal on the occasion of the annual funeral ceremony of his departed father, instead of giving the same to the Brahmanas by seminal birth as is the custom of the smartas.


Advaita built a small house at Nabadwip where he set up his Academy ( tol ) in which he taught different branches of the Shastras. Advaita Acharya soon acquired the reputation of being one of the most eminent Professors of Nabadwip who upheld in all his teachings the pre-eminence of the principle of unalloyed devotion to Krishna, which he conclusively established by the evidence of the whole body of the Scriptures. This marked him out from among the host of the other Brahmanas who also taught the Scriptures at Nabadwip.


Sree Advaita Acharya, in conformity with his teaching, was a devout worshipper of Krishna. He did not perform his worship with the elaborate ceremonials that characterized its development in the Dvapara Age. He worshipped Krishna with the offerings of the spray of tulasi, most beloved of Krishna, and the sacred water of the Ganges which issued from His Feet. This simplicity of worship a concomitant of the philosophy of pure, transcendental devotion which he expounded in his Academy. He wanted to keep the pure devotion to Krishna distinct from the lifeless rituals of the elevationists and liberationists. Advaita worshipped Krishna with the pure devotion of unclouded cognition and with the specific purpose of moving Krishna to come down into the world to re-establish the Eternal Religion. The Advent of Sree Chaitanya is attributed by all His devotees to the sincere and ardent invocations of Sree Advaita Acharya. That Advaita Acharya’s prayers and worship brought about the appearance of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya in this world, has been repeatedly declared by Sree Chaitanya Himself.


The Academy of Sree Advaita Acharya was the regular meeting place of all the Vaishnavas of whom the foremost was Shribas Pandit who lived close to Advaita, not far from the House of Sree Jagannatha Misra.


Sree Advaita Acharya belonged to the community of Sree MadhvAcharya which is one of the four authorized Vaishnava communities. He was the disciple of the famous Madhabendra Puri, the spiritual preceptor of Sree Nityananda, Sree Iswara Puri and several other elders of Sree Chaitanya.


Madhabendra Puri is regarded by the most illustrious followers of Sree Chaitanya as ‘the first tender shoot of the mighty Tree of Transcendental Love represented by Sree Chaitanya Himself in its full growth’. There is to be found no trace of the amorous love for Krishna in the School of Madhva prior to Madhabendra Puri. The disciplic succession of the followers of Sree Chaitanya, through Madhabendra Puri, is to be found in Sree Gauraganoddesa, Sree Prameyaratnavali, the works of Sree Gopalguru Goswami, and also in the Bhaktiratnakar. The line of succession is as follows:






Suka   Madhva

Padmanabha  Nrihari Madhaba


Jaya Teertha








Vyasa Teertha


Madhabendra Puri

Nityananda    Iswara Puri    Advaita



We reserve the detailed discussion of the esoteric implication of the spiritual disciplic succession for a future chapter in connection with the doctrine of Sree Chaitanya.


The following particulars regarding Sree Madhabendra Puri are found in Sree Chaitanyacharitamrita. He went, unattended by any other person, to Sree Brindavana. on his arrival there, as he was seated under a tree on the bank of the pool (kunda) of Govinda, Sree Krishna appeared to Madhabendra as a cow-boy under the guise of offering him milk for appeasing his hunger. Led by a dream Madhabendra then installed the Divine Form of Gopala on the Gobardhana Mount. His sojourn to Puri to fetch camphor and sandal for Gopala and the episode of Kshira-chora Gopinath will be described later. At Mathura, Madhabendra Puri accepted the alms of cooked food from a Sanoria Brahmana, whose touched water is not accepted by high class Smartas, in violation of the smarta practice which errs by applying caste rules to the devotee of Godhead and its notions of ceremonial cleanliness to food accepted by Krishna (maha-prasad).


Madhabendra Puri rebuked Ramachandra Puri for his disrespect to himself, his spiritual preceptor, and blessed Iswara Puri for his whole-hearted devotion to his preceptor by expressing the hope that he might attain to love for Krishna. Sree Madhabendra Puri’s utterance at his disappearance is cherished by all pure devotees. ‘ It runs thus: ‘Thou Lord, Who art ever melted to kindness towards the humble, when wilt Thou, O Lord of Mathura, be seen by me? My heart, Dearest, sad for not beholding Thee, grows delirious. Oh! What shall I do now?’


Sree Iswara Puri came of a Brahmana family belonging to the village of Kumarahatta (near Halishahar Station of the E. B. Railway) and was the most beloved disciple of Sree Madhabendra Puri. Sree Madhabendra Puri, being satisfied with his devotion, blessed him saying, ‘May you attain loving devotion for Krishna.’ Sree Chaitanya did him the favour of receiving initiation in the ten-lettered mantra from him at Gaya. Govinda and Kashiswara Brahmachari, disciples of Sree Iswara Puri, joined Sree Chaitanya at Puri on the disappearance of Sree Iswara Puri.


The attitude, which the reader is expected to take up towards the associates of Sree Chaitanya, is put tersely in the opening verse of Sree Chaitanyacharitamrita. “Sree Krishna-Chaitanya is Godhead Himself as is indicated by His Name Who means the Self-conscious Principle, Krishna. Godhead sports in six Divine Forms, viz., as (1) Krishna, (2) the Two Preceptors, (3) the Devotees, (4) the Avataras (5) the Manifestations, and (6) the Powers. In other words, the Spiritual Preceptors are Chaitanyadeva; the devotees such as Shribas, etc., are also Chaitanyadeva; the Avataras are Chaitanyadeva; and the Powers are also Chaitanyadeva Who is himself Krishna’s Own Cognitive Self, the Subjective Divine Personality Whose Essence is Pure Cognition. We shall discuss these truths in greater detail in the succeeding chapters.


I have tried briefly to put before the reader some of those considerations the substantive truth of which has to be realized by the disciple in order to be fit for studying profitably the holy narrative of the career of Sree Chaitanya.


I cannot do better than conclude this chapter with the cautious words of Thakur Brindabandas, ‘Know for certain that the Activities of Chaitanyachandra, by listening to which the heart is purified, manifest themselves only by the grace of the devotees of Godhead. Who can know the Deeds of Chaitanya that are the hidden secret of the Vedas  I write only what I have heard from the lips of the devotees. I make my obeisance at the feet of all the Vaishnavas. May there be no offense committed by me by such an attempt.’



Chapter III

—Birth and Infancy—



Why Krishna comes into this world is known only to Himself. The invocation of the Lord by Sree Advaita Acharya is stated by devotees as the cause of the Advent of Sree Chaitanya. The spiritual Academy of Advaita was the gathering-place of all the Vaishnavas of Nabadwip. There they met daily and spent a greater part of their time in holy discourses about Krishna. They were regarded as a peculiar group whose ways and words appeared alike singular and distasteful to the people in the midst of whom they found themselves placed by Providence. This small group of devotees felt keenly for the miseries that their worldly-minded brethren brought upon themselves by their attachment to interests other than Krishna. They tried to instruct them about Krishna. But this only served to increase all the more their aversion to Krishna and His devotees.


It was this apparently hopeless state of affairs that led Advaita to the conclusion that the universal and stubborn godlessness that prevailed everywhere could only be relieved by Krishnachandra Himself. Advaita believed in the efficacy of prayer that is offered by one who knows nothing except Godhead. He believed that the intolerable anguish, of those sincere devotees who daily gathered under his roof, caused by the extreme misery of the worldly people due to their bitter aversion to Krishna, must appeal to the Lord and have power to draw Him in no long time from His Eternal Seat of Goloka into this world, for the consolation of His own beloved ones. Advaita, who was well versed in the Scriptures, noticed all these favourable indications. He was so convinced of the impending Appearance of Krishna that in his prayers he began to call upon Him most ardently night and day to save the world by His speedy Appearance.


That Advaita felt sure about the Appearance of Sree Krishna and worshipped Him for this specific purpose with tulasi and the holy water of the Ganges, which are most acceptable to Krishna,


With the single-hearted desire for His Appearance, was known to all the Vaishnavas. He, in fact, actually assured them most clearly and emphatically about the expected Advent of Krishna into their midst within a short time. I have stated already that Sree Chaitanya Himself repeatedly declared that His Advent was solely due to the whole-hearted prayers of Advaita.


The Advent of Sree Chaitanya in the particular Kali Age that follows the Appearance of Sree Krishna at the close of Dvapara, is also hinted by the Scriptures. In the Mahabharata it is declared that Krishna appears in the Kali Age as a Brahmana  with a yellow complexion to promulgate the yajna in the form of congregational Chanting of the kirtana of Hari. The Bhagavatam contains the same statement and adds that Krishna appears in the above manner in the Kali Age with all His kin, associates, consorts and servitors. Krishna Himself appears towards the end of the Dvapara Age of the Vaivasvata Manvantara of the twenty-eighth aggregate of four-Yugas of the Kalpa of the White Boar. He appears as a Brahmana with the yellow complexion in the particular Kali Age following His Appearance in the Dvapara. In the Dvapara Krishna appears as Godhead served by His consorts, kindred and servitors. In the Kali Age Sree Krishna-Chaitanya appears as the Best of devotees in company of the congregation of devotees, viz., His own beloved ones in order to teach by His own example how Krishna, i.e., He Himself, is to be served. This is the main cause of the Advent of Sree Chaitanya. The prayer of Advaita and the suffering of the devotees are the secondary cause. Unless this real cause of His Appearance is properly grasped, the most characteristic Activities of Sree Chaitanya can never be rightly understood.


The Appearance of Sree Chaitanya came about in the following way. In Nabadwip there dwelt a most generous and pure hearted Brahmana devoted to the zealous performance of all religious duties, resembling in his immaculate piety Vasudeva, the father of Sree Krishna. The name of this ideal Brahmana was Sree Jagannath Misra. we have stated his ancestry in another place. His revered consort’s name was Sree Sachi Devi. Sree Sachi Devi was the most loyal of matrons, the very embodiment of the pure devotion to Vishnu and mother of the whole world. Eight daughters were born to Sachi Devi one after another; all of them leaving this world in their infancy. The ninth issue was a son whom his parents obtained in response to their prayer to Vishnu for a male offspring. The name of this boy was Bisvarupa, the elder brother of Sree Chaitanya.


Sree Krishna entered the persons of Sachi and Jagannath Misra towards the end of the month of Magh in the Saka  Year fourteen hundred and six (January, 1485 A.D.). The mouths of Sree Ananta uttered paeans of triumph that were heard by Sachi and Jagannath, as in a dream. Jagannath Misra thereupon said to Sachi, ‘I had a dream that a realm of light entered my heart and from my heart it passed into yours. It seems some great personage is about to be born., There were other indications. Misra felt a difference everywhere. His body and the house appeared shining like a place dwelt by Lakshmi, the Goddess of every well-being. All people showed him honour at all places. Money, clothing, rice, etc., poured unsolicited into his house. Sachi noticed heavenly figures in the sky that appeared in the attitude of prayer to herself; but no one else observed them. Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi felt transported with inexpressible delight and applying themselves with a mind restrained from all other pursuits and with special ardour to the worship of Sree Shalagrama, awaited the impending Advent of the Lord. Thirteen months were passed in this state of expectant suspense.


Sree Krishna-Chaitanya made His auspicious Appearance in this world on the 23rd day. of Falgun of the Saka Year 1407, which corresponds to the 18th of February of 1486 A. D. He was born in the evening just with the rising of the full-moon, which was then in eclipse, in the midst of the loud chant of the Name of Hari by the people of Nadia, as is the custom on the occasion of an eclipse. Nature joined with man and the gods to pay homage to the Moon of Nadia risen on the Eastern Hills. The spotted lunar disc hid its face in shame, under the guise of eclipse, on the Appearance of the Perfect Moon absolutely free from all spots. On that blessed Moment of Nativity of the exquisitely beautiful Baby were shed in unstinted profusion all the most auspicious influences of all the favouring constellations, that blended together to greet the Advent of the Lord. Strange forms were observed to crowd into the yard of Sachi, lying prostrate on the bare earth in the act of adoration, waving the whisk, holding aloft the umbrella, singing, dancing and beating the drum or playing on the flute, in an ecstasy of unbounded joy


That very Moment Advaita suddenly leaped with delight in home and danced with joy arm-in-arm with Thakur Haridas to the blissful surprise of on-lookers. All the devotees had the same experience. The tide of joy that swept and eddied over all Nadia and threw the very birds and beasts and all dumb Nature into a delirium of ecstatic joy, the pens of Thakur Brindabandas and Kaviraj Goswami are alone privileged to describe. The brush of no earthly or celestial painter can do justice to the delicate assemblage of colour, warmth, holy perfume, the volume of delirious joy, free from the least suggestion of grossness, that manifested themselves at the Birth of Sree Krishna-Chaitanya and have ever clung to the Holy Eve of His Advent most highly cherished by all pure devotees who declare the worship of the day of the Lord’s Advent to have power to kindle love for Krishna.


The Birth of the Baby drew a long train of visitors, male and female, who hastened to have a view of the Divine Child and make suitable offerings. Gods and goddesses, assuming the forms of men and women, mixing with the crowd, made their way to the home of Jagannath Misra, in order to obtain a sight of the Baby and greet the Feet of Sree Gaurasundar, dancers, singers, musicians, promulgators of auspicious tidings, flocked thither to swell the joy of the Festive Occasion.


Sree Chandrasekhar Acharya and Shribas Pandit duly performed the purificatory Birth Rites of the Son of Jagannath Misra. Sree Purandar Misra made suitable gifts to all those who brought presents for his Boy on this auspicious occasion. Sree Sita Thakurani, the consort of Advaita Acharya, made her way to Sree Mayapur from her residence at Santipur to see the Prince of Boys. Sree Malini Devi, pure-hearted consort of Shribas Pandit, accompanied Sita Thakurani with various presents and afforded her eyes the opportunity, that they longed for like the bird chakora, of feasting on the nectar flowing from the moonlike Face of the Transcendental Baby. Misra distributed whatever he had, with an open hand, to the Brahmanas, having first offered the same to Godhead. He kept back nothing of the rich variety of presents for himself. Sree Nilambar Chakravarti, father of Sachi Devi, taking Misra aside, informed him in a whisper that the signs on the Person of the Child prognosticated a very great Transcendental Personage Who would deliver the world.


The Birth of Sree Chaitanya, of which we have culled the above account from the narratives of His associates, was never regarded by them as anything like the ordinary occurrence of this world with which all of us are so familiar. The raison d’etre of their attitude is thus put by Thakur Brindabandas in a passage of the Nativity Hymn sung by the gods on the occasion: ‘He, Who is All-Will Who can destroy the whole world at His Will, could certainly also therefore destroy Kamsa, Ravana and other enemies of Godhead instantaneously, and by His mere fiat. But although He could do so, He killed Ravana by, being Himself born in the Home of Dasaratha and slew Kamsa by, being Himself born as the Son of Vasudeva; because He is ever full of All-joyous Activities.


‘The realm of Nabadwip where Krishna makes His Appearance is no mundane region.’ The transcendental realm of Sree Krishna is identical with the power of Godhead known as Neela or Leela and is an object of worship of His devotees. The Yoga peetha, i.e., the Abode of Sachi-Jagannath, situate in the center of Sree Mayapur, is the Plane of the Appearance of the Lord and is identical with Brindavana or the mind of the devotee constituted of the pure cognitive essence. Sree Nabadwip is replete with the ninefold devotion, being of the nature of the heart of those pure devotees who have found the Refuge of the Lotus-Feet of Sree Gurudeva. Such is the language of realization that is used by the devotees in regard to Nabadwip, which is necessarily unintelligible by, the method of delusive mundane analogies. But we need not, therefore, reject the testimony of those whom we have accepted as our authorities, not on the ground that it is untrustworthy or dishonest but for the irrelevant reason that it is not perfectly intelligible to those who are destitute of pure devotion to the Holy Feet of Godhead. This would be against all principles of impartial history and, as regards the theistic account, will result in the retention of the chaff by elimination of the grain under the untenable plea of our own ignorance.


We have merely referred to certain spiritual values to prevent misconception of the Great Event that we are describing. Those values will be fully discussed later on when we arrive at the proper point of the narrative. But there are other considerations that it is necessary to place before the reader in order to enable him to follow the development of the narrative itself.


Godhead and His devotees appear in this world by the operation of the transcendental positive Power of the Divinity that directly attends on His Person. Individual souls (jivas) are born by the operation of the deluding stupefying power of Godhead that can never abide in the Presence of the Divinity. The material cases enveloping individual souls (jivas) are the creation of the deluding power and such envelopment is the misfortune that overtakes them in consequence of the deliberate practice of aversion to Godhead. The worldly birth, through the medium of material bodies, belongs to the category of material phenomena, being brought about by the operation of the Deluding Energy as the result of the soul’s desire for worldly enjoyment.


The Appearance of Godhead and His devotees in this world is not the consequence of the practice of any previous aversion to Godhead either by wish or activity, nor due to the operation of the Deluding Power. Godhead and His devotees appear in this world their own will through the medium of the Transcendental Power. The Nature of Godhead and His devotees is such that it simultaneously enlightens and deludes conditioned souls to whom They appear. They reveal their transcendence to those conditioned souls who sincerely want to serve the Lord and at one and the same time appear to those who are averse to His service, as deluding phenomena of this world. The Birth of Godhead, the Realm of Godhead, the devotees of Godhead, thus remain, in their proper transcendental nature, ever inaccessible to the deluded understanding of all irreverent persons. This may not be tasty to arrogant godless intellectualism, but is nevertheless the only position that is perfectly reasonable and logical to the understanding that is not prepared to hypocritically disown its consciousness of its present limitations and the consequent imperative necessity of welcoming the entry of the Truth, however opposed the Truth may seem at first sight to all its most deeply cherished prejudices.


Those, therefore, who are prepared to maintain that the Birth of Sree Chaitanya is an ordinary affair of this world, start deliberately on the wrong track and should not blame anybody but themselves if they find the narrative not perfectly amenable to those rules of probability which are derived from their worldly experience. Sree Chaitanya’s Birth appeared, for this very reason at the time of its occurrence, as an ordinary event of this world to His contemporaries with the exception of the comparatively small group of His devotees. It is not the untrue experience of the atheists which the reader of these pages is offered as ‘the history of theism’. Neither is he asked to deny the existence of the experience of the atheists. But he is asked not to accept their experience as theistic or true nor to confound Godhead with the fallen souls of this world.


The Birth of Sree Chaitanya was brought about by the operation of the Transcendental Power of Godhead who is categorically different from His material Energy. Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi who is not metaphorically but really the mother of the whole world, are the eternal Parents of Godhead. Their minds and bodies are constituted of the principle of pure cognition which is categorically different from the constituent principle of the body and mind of ordinary mortals. ‘Vasudeva’ is the Scriptural term to denote this pure cognitive essence. Vasudeva, Son of Vasudeva, manifests Himself only in Vasudeva, or the pure consciousness, for playing His Pastimes. The relationship between Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi or the seeming pregnancy of the latter, does not belong to the category of the sensual affairs of men and women who are given to the pleasures of the flesh. The real significance of the Conception of the Lord by Sree Sachi Devi and of its transcendental purity will appear to the mind, only if it is in a position to realize the eternal difference between the spiritual and the material. The account of the devotees will then be truly understood and it cannot be understood in any other way even by the greatest intellectual giants of this world.


The process of the Transcendental Birth of Godhead is thus described in Sreemad Bhagavatam. ‘Thereafter the Portion of the Changeless transmitted by Sree Vasudeva was conceived by Devaki of pure cognitive essence. Just as the quarter of the East conceives the image of the moon, Sree Devaki also conceived in the same manner Sree Hari, the Supreme Soul of all souls, by her non-mundane mind.’ This process is not confined to only Vasudeva and Devaki. It is the same also in the case of the devotees. Before Godhead manifests Himself to the devotee in the visible Form, a long period passes during which He is manifest internally in his pure consciousness. ‘Thereafter as the quarter of the East holds the disc of the moon, Devaki of pure cognition by the process of initiation in Krishna by Surasena (Vasudeva) received in her transcendentaly pure heart Sree Achyuta, the Embodiment of the universal well-being, the Supreme Soul of all souls.’ From these statements of the Bhagavatam it would appear that Sree Krishna first appeared in the heart of Anakadundubhi and from there appeared in the heart of Sree Devaki. The entry into the womb of Sree Devaki alluded to in the Nativity Hymn of the Bhagavatam is not different from the above.

Godhead and His devotees are not born by the operation of the material Energy by means of the seminal fluid and blood, etc. The greatest of all offenses that it is possible to commit against the Divinity is to suppose that His Body is material like that of the bound jiva. Godhead and His devotees have no material bodies and are not born by the operation of any material conditions. The Appearance of Sree Chaitanya and His devotees is free from any touch of the material principle. This is the realization of all the devotees in accordance with the declaration of the Scriptures. Theistic history, although it certainly transcends and explains does not ignore this phenomenal world; and those, who object to the transcendental on the ground that it is not conformable by the worldly experience of men, do not thereby disprove either the reality or the necessity of such history.

The successive disappearances of eight daughters, followed by the appearance of Viswarup and Sree Chaitanya, the two Sons, of Sree Sachi Devi, are explained on the analogy of the case of Sree Devaki recorded in the Bhagavatam as symbolizing the esoteric fact that the Appearance of Sree Krishna is preceded by that of Samkarsana, the Pure Cognitive Principle who manifests Himself on the subsidence of the eightfold envelope of physical Nature, viz., the eight pseudo-egoistic principles, that bars the access of the bound jiva to the transcendental.


The necessity of the closest consideration of the difference between the spiritual and material can alone enable one to reconcile the apparently contradictory statements regarding the Absolute that are a subject of standing complaint to all who, for extraneous reasons, do not seek the explanation in the Scriptures themselves. The Lord says: ‘I exist eternally; nothing existed before Me, neither the non-existent nor the existent and nothing exists to the end and beyond the end except Myself. Therefore, those foolish persons, who think slightingly of My Human Form, do so through ignorance of My real Nature Who transcends everything of this world. They think that I am like themselves subject to the laws that have been made by Myself. They cannot understand that I exist in absolute independence of all rules which only serve to manifest Myself; and that I am the Supreme Lord of everything including all rules and conditions. Therefore, I can make My real Form visible to mortal eyes without ceasing to be the Master of this world and without submitting to any laws of physical Nature, and may at the same time delude all those who are averse to Me by appearing to them as an ordinary human being, subject, like themselves, to the operation of the laws of this universe. Know that this is the specific privilege reserved for Godhead, and herein lies the proof of His Supremacy, that He remains unaffected by the qualities of physical Nature even when He appears to be situated within its sphere.’ Godhead has a specific Personality of His own, but He is subject to no limitations. In Him all opposite qualities meet and are reconciled losing all their apparent grossness. But He also chooses to appear as an abstract principle to the idealist and as capable of grossness to the materialist, who are thus punished for trying to make the Absolute submit to their deluded speculations.

Sree Chaitanya appeared in this world on the full-moon eve of the month of Falgun, that most glorious eve of spring, which is reverentially consecrated to the Swinging Festival of Sree Krishna, like unto the spotless Moon risen on the Eastern Hills of Gau_adesha, the lunar disc itself having just then undergone a total eclipse. His Advent was greeted by an outburst of the universal chant of the Name Hari by all people of Nadia. In the midst of this unconscious jubilation, the Baby came out of the mother’s womb and began at once to smile. Sachi and Jagannath were transformed into the very image of joy on beholding the beautiful Face of their Son. The ladies in attendance got perplexed and did not know what to do and accordingly began, for no reason, to shout ‘Jais’ (jubilations).


The glad tidings quickly brought together all the relations and friends who dwelt in the neighbourhood. We have already related the communication of Sree Nilambar Chakravarti, father of Sachi Devi, to Misra regarding the marvellous signs that he noticed on the Person of the new-born Babe. Nilambar Chakravarti was a very great astrologer. After considering the positions of the planets and the constellations at the Birth of the Child, he declared that the Boy would be far greater than a ‘King’, greater than Brihaspati, the celestial sage, in learning and would without effort come to possess all good qualities. Presently there arrived by accident a certain Brahmana, also an astrologer, who applied himself to the casting of the horoscope of the Newborn. That Brahmana declared as the result of his calculations that the Boy is no other than Narayana Himself. ‘He will re-establish the Religion. He will be the extraordinary Preacher of the Religion. He will deliver the whole world. All persons will obtain from Him what is constantly coveted by the greatest devotees, such as Brahma, Siva, Suka, etc. At the sight of Him all the people of the world will be melted to pity for all jivas, become indifferent to pain and pleasure alike, and attain to love for Him the Embodiment of love for Krishna. Not to speak of others, even the Yavanas, who are declared enemies of Vishnu, will worship the Feet of this Child. All the countless worlds will sing His praise. All people, from the Brahmanas downwards, will do obeisance to Him. His Form is the very Embodiment of the religion of the greatest devotees, the Embodiment of patience and of respect for the gods, Brahmanas, preceptors and parents. Just as Vishnu appearing in this world persuades all jivas to religion, exactly same will be all the Doings of this Child. How fortunate indeed am I to be called to calculate such a horoscope! His name will be Sree Vishwambhar.’ The astrologer purposely omitted to mention the Renunciation of Sree Chaitanya, lest it would mar the unmixed happiness of the occasion.


Misra was so greatly moved by these statements that he first of all thought of offering a suitable reward to the astrologer; but, presently- remembering the extreme poverty of himself, grasped the feet of the Brahmana and burst into tears, unable any longer to contain his joy. That Brahmana also wept, clasping the feet of Sree Jagannath Misra. All the people caught the impulse and joyously shouted the Name of Hari. The friends and well-wishers of Misra, on hearing of the nature of the Divine Horoscope, joined in this loud demonstration of joy.




It may interest the reader to be reminded of the fact that the great astrologer Garga who calculated the horoscope of Sree Krishna is described in the Bhagavatam as a Brahmana skilled in the transcendental science. The Name Viswambhara is applied to Vishnu in the Atharva-Veda Samhita (2-3-4-5) and means ‘One Who holds or nourishes the world’.


Sachi noticed female figures, who were divinely beautiful, who smilingly put blades of the durba with grains of unhusked rice on the Head of the Infant and uttered the benedictory formula, ‘Live Thou for ever’, and who took the dust of her feet on their heads as they departed. Sachi was dumb with joy and could not even ask the names of those new-comers. These performances were accompanied by the customary song, dance and music of the professional musicians on such occasions.


The Baby had to remain for a full moth in the lying-in chamber according to custom. The small hut, that was made for the occasion for the temporary accommodation of the mother and the Child, was watched night and day by all kinsfolk. This was due to two reasons. The Boy cried incessantly and kept quiet only just as long as He heard the Name of Hari uttered in a loud voice. This was soon grasped by all, who chanted aloud the Name of Hari, as soon as the Child began to cry, as the only means of pacifying Him. There was another reason for constant vigilance. There was an unaccountable fear, which was shared by all persons, that the life of the Baby was in danger from goblins and thieves. They accordingly often recited the customary invocations to Vishnu and Devi for the protection of the Child. The Name of Nrisimha was often similarly taken. Mantrams were used to render all sides of the hut secure against evil influences. But notwithstanding all these precautions, there were frequent alarms caused by supposed detection of the egress of thieves and goblins who often made their way into the house unperceived even by such a large body of devoted watchers. It was, in fact, the gods who played all these pranks for a sight of the Baby and lingered to amuse on the causeless anxiety of all persons on the Baby’s account.


At the end of the period of confinement all the ladies accompanied Sree Sachi Devi for her bath in the Bhagirathi. After bathing in the river and having worshipped the Ganges, they made their way to the grove of the goddess ‘Sashi’ accompanied by singers and musicians. On their return to the house, Sachi honoured every one of the party by presents of fried rice, plantain, oil, vermillion, areca-nut and betel. Thereupon the ladies went back to their homes after greeting the feet of the mother.


Orthodox smarta Hindus are likely to read in the above account an apparent justification of their customary practices as being confirmed, by having been duly observed by Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi whose minds are free from all impurities and errors. Those, on the other hand, who look upon such local Hindu practices as being due to ignorance of the Shastras, superstition or historical circumstances, will also naturally experience a certain measure of the qualms of an outraged conscience if they have to prepare to swallow these descriptions, with the best of grace that they can call to their help, through sheer good-will for an otherwise untenable cause. Historians will feel scandalized by this attempt to chronicle the unnecessary details of such petty domestic matters that are perfectly known to everybody. Those, who look for the account of the Absolute as a  philosophical realization, will regard it as puerile sentimentalism. Those, who believe in the Personal God but expect a narrative in keeping with the supreme dignity of the Subject, may also be disposed to scratch their heads. And the atheists will pooh pooh what they will at once recognize as a brazen, ridiculous, insipid, and silly attempt of passing off the minutiae of Bengali superstitious usages upon credulous religionists in the name of the latest Divine Dispensation, etc., etc.


But the reader, who has followed the narrative so far, need not be told that events that happen in this world are divisible into two groups that are quite distinct from one another, viz., ( 1 ) those events that take place on the physical plane, and (2) those that occurring on the spiritual manifest Themselves also on the mundane plane. The Birth of Godhead in this world is an Event that belongs to the second group. It appears like an event belonging to the first group, to all bound jivas for the reason that they try to see Godhead by their own right, whereas the Absolute never submits to the inspection of the limited. To such people accordingly even the Transcendental Activities of Godhead appear as limited occurrences capable of being accurately graded in an order of importance ( ?) .


But Krishna is declared by the Scriptures to be identical with the Absolute Truth Whose Activities admit of no such offensive classifications. Good and bad, great and small, are notions that only belong to the realm of the relative, limited, divisible and fragmentary knowledge. The Reality is Only One, in spite of the fact that only a perverted view of Him happens to be the sole, undoubted birthright of all conditioned souls. No event is really good or bad, small or great. All events are of infinite dimensions and instinct with the cognitive potency. They appear to be limited, inert, cramped and possessed of unwholesome qualities to those jivas whose own natures seem to their deluded judgment to be limited, inert, cramped and gross for the time being. The vision of the devotee is free from all defects, and when they describe to us what they see, we, conditioned souls, pretend to feel in duty bound to disagree with them on the strength of our own unreliable but actual experience of those very same events.


No petty domestic event of this world, meaning what appears as such to the vision of bound jivas, can have even its so-called limited existence, unless it belongs to the realm of Vaikuntha where it can be also neither petty nor great in the material sense. The domestic events, connected with Godhead Himself (and His own) when He chooses to appear in this world, possess this additional peculiarity that they are really free from all grossness even from the point of view of the bound jiva, if he does not deliberately shut his eyes and ears and refuse to see and hear. That is to say, if he only really begins to see and hear with an unbiased mind, he at once realizes this truth for himself. This process is known as the descent of the transcendental into this world. The birth and activities of conditioned souls (jivas) do not possess the transcendental quality. Their bodies and minds are of this world and their activities are only insubstantial mimicries of the Reality. This mimicry is not Absolute but relative reality, being the result of the operation of the deluding power of Godhead. Its existence is not denied, nor its nature which is, however, categorically different from that of the spiritual. Its essence is comparable to that of the reflected image of the actual form of an object. By no manner of inspection of the image a knowledge of the nature and qualities of the actual substance can be obtained. But when the actual substance presents itself to our inspection, we can easily get the true knowledge of it, if only we do not perversely choose to regard it as image on the strength of deceptive analogical arguments supplied by our exclusive experience of a world of reflected images.


The paternal affection of Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi for Sree Gaursundar is also likewise different from the apparently similar affection of mundane parents for their mundane child. In the former case, the Parents, Son and Affection are real and free from all worldly grossness, while the latter is a perverted mimicry of the same event reflected on the screen of the physical plane. But this qualitative difference between the two cannot be grasped by those who have not the patience to give an unbiased hearing to the words of the devotees describing the Reality Who alone possesses an unclouded vision, even though they may appear to hasty, prejudiced or superficial observers to be in no way unlike ordinary bound jivas. The devotees alone can teach us the real meaning of the Scriptures, and our duty, as will appear from what has been said already, consists in listening to their words with faith in order to be able to understand what they have got to deliver.


The affection of Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi for their Divine Son, being the Substantive Reality deserves to be considered by all bound jivas from every angle of vision with the object not of ignoring but of understanding its transcendental nature.


Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi, by reason of their perfect purity of heart, when they desired to have a Son born to them, could only mean to serve Godhead thereby. This exclusive and real reference to Him in every act is innate in the only function of the pure cognitive principle. A really pure heart is not satisfied with the mundane relationship, neither does it want to lose the faculty for contracting all relationship. It wants to realize all relationships in their true forms. This is its very nature who finds himself thwarted at every step in the conditioned state by undesirable factors. The ascetic’s heart is not really pure, if it stands merely for the negation of all attachments for the reason that they happen to be always of a mixed character in this world. Such a view errs by seeking the ease of its deluded self by the self-contradictory process of suicide. This is the strange aspiration of all negativist thinkers. Those, whose hearts are somewhat purer, try to adjust themselves to existing conditions to the best of their power. They also err in as much as they vainly try to deal with the shadow by. gratuitously assuming it to be the substance. This wild goose-chase goes in our Shastras under the name of fruitive work (Karma). Those, whose hearts are purest, begin to see the impossibility and unwholesomeness of the task that is attempted by fruitive workers and the suicidal policy of nihilistic thinkers and ascetics. It is at this stage that the Reality manifests Himself of His own accord to the absolutely pure vision. And as soon as such favoured persons have thus a vision of the Truth, they want to communicate the tidings of Him to their suffering brethren; but they soon find that the hearts of the latter are not sufficiently pure either to grasp or even tolerate the real Truth Whom they also profess with their lips to be willing to serve. Such perverse people can hardly be expected to understand the nature of the longing for a Son of Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi, nor the reason of their causeless and holy joy on beholding the beautiful Face of New-born Gaursundar.


Of course neither Sree Jagannath Misra nor Sree Sachi Devi was aware that their Son was Sree Krishna Himself. They simply looked upon Sree Gaursundar as their Son Whom it was their duty and pleasure to serve in every way. This is also the highest form of the spiritual service. The Lord can be served in all circumstances and under every form. He is served as a Son, because a perfectly pure heart serves nothing except the Lord, but also does so unconsciously by reason of the very perfection of his serving disposition. Those, who want to serve Sree Krishna as their Son in a conscious way, are not altogether free from the idea of reverence due to Godhead! They will fail to practice the unmixed parental affection for the Lord, if they are at all conscious of His Divinity. In such a case they will revere and love Him. Such parental affection does not perfectly please Godhead, the Son. He wants to be served with the perfect impulse of unmixed parental love which is absolutely free from any considerations that stand in the way of loving by a spontaneous impulse. In such hearts the Lord Himself appears as the Son Who is also entirely dependent on His parents for His safety and nourishment.


It will appear, therefore, that the only condition of the service of the Lord is a perfectly pure heart. No opposition to form is admissible. Therefore, those who look only to the form, may suppose that the customs of Bengal or India should be adopted, if the Lord is to be properly served. This is the national or smarta point of view.


The perfectly pure heart is neither wedded, nor opposed, to the form of the mundane customs of any Age or country. What he wants to do is to serve the Lord. Any real method is legitimate that actually enables him to do this one thing needful. If he appears thereby to put himself even under specific restraints, he does so for all the greater facility of such unconditional service. Why the devotee behaves in a particular way is known only to himself and to Krishna. It is not something external and capable of external regulation or explanation. It is perfectly free. It cannot be squeezed into the four corners of a social or a tentative religious code. Whatever the devotee does is right and proper by reason of his exclusive devotion to Sree Krishna. Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi really belong to this superior plane. Their conduct should not be supposed to come under any class of activities capable of being regulated by a conventional and rigid code of rules. Rules are intended for those who are disinclined to serve, i.e., for restraining those who are disposed to worldliness, for the purpose, if possible, of preventing a conduct that is incompatible with real freedom. But the rules themselves are not identical with freedom. The strict observance of any rules cannot produce the purity of heart that is necessarily free. Therefore, one must not allow himself to be unduly obsessed by these rules, when one has to consider the transcendental conduct of the real devotee. We should rather try to understand the limits of the rules from the conduct of the devotee. It is only ,the underlying principle of devotion to Godhead that can impart any value to such rules.


The worship of the Ganges and of the goddess ‘Sasthi’ by Sree Sachi Devi are such concrete processes. In her case they were rendered of universal significance fit for the service of the Lord by reason of her devotion to Sree Gaursundar. This led the Lord Himself to directly accept any service, whatever its form, that was rendered by her pure heart. Whatever method is adopted for the service of the Lord forthwith loses its mundane character by reason of its being so employed and becomes spiritual on being accepted by Krishna. All those, who watched the Baby and recited invocatory verses calling upon Devi and Nrisimha for the protection of the Baby, also served the Lord in the perfect manner, because they served Him spontaneously. Whenever any efforts are directed towards the Divinity without reservation, they automatically lose all their unwholesomeness for the reason that God is pleased to accept our whole-hearted service. This causeless Divine mercy towards all souls prompted the Appearance of Sree Gaursundar in this world.


It will thus appear that any and all exercise of the senses, when it is really directed towards the Lord of our senses, is perfect, while apparently the same activity, when it is practiced towards any other object, is not only not perfect but is positively harmful being obstructive of the possibility of attainment of the natural function. In the language of the Vaishnavas, “Serving Sree Krishna with all our spiritual senses, is ‘love’; while similarly serving any other object is ‘lust’.” Or to put it in another way, ‘the desire to gratify. the senses of Krishna is love, while the wish to satisfy one’s own senses is lust. The proposition is liable to be misunderstood and, as a matter of fact, has actually been misunderstood, in different ways. The philanthropists have supposed that it is mundane relationship with Krishna that is recommended. But as Krishna is not available in a bodily form in this world, they accordingly want to devise a method of serving themselves by personating Krishna and the milk-maids, or trying to imagine that they are spiritually occupied in every act of their gross sensuality. They choose to think gratuitously that Krishna is a being of this world like themselves. There is another class of philanthropists who proceed in the negative way, being repelled by the debaucheries of the first group. These suppose that it is a sin to believe that the Absolute can at all be served in a concrete manner. The Absolute is accordingly supposed to be capable of being served only on the mental plane by the homage of thought. These philanthropists keep their life in its concrete acts strictly separate from the Absolute reserving it for the gratification of their own sensuous desires excusing themselves by imagining that this is unavoidable as long as they continue in the state of mundane existence. They supplement their disregard of the virtuous activities of this life by an endeavour to rise above them (?) by meditation (?) on the Activities (?) of Krishna, or by fictitious avoidance of all thinking.


In these ways the people of this world delude themselves by the pernicious practice of actual debauchery or by hypocritical and impracticable abstention into supposing that their method is higher than that of professed sensualists. But in both cases the root of the error is the same, viz., the belief that Krishna, when He chooses to appear to us in the Human Form, puts on a body of flesh like ourselves and that, therefore, those, who served Him at the time of His Appearance in different ways as servants, friends, parents, sweet-hearts, practiced activities that are in no way different from those with which we ourselves are so familiar in this world and from the grossness of which we have no desire of seeking to escape. The one class directly swallows the mud, the other group pretends to live on nectar while actually deriving their sustenance from the same polluted source but with great labour and through a longer pipe. None of them suspect that it is the mud, nor that it is capable of being transformed into nectar by the real Touch of the Divinity, or, in other words, that there is a third alternative to enjoyment and hypocritical show of abstention which has the form of spiritual service that transcends both and reconciles those opposites on a higher plane. What is really necessary is not to wrangle over the sharing of the mud, but to be lifted out of such necessity for feasting on the manna. The idealist’s position is a mere travesty by which the love of gross matter is attempted to be disguised from the observation of dull persons. But it only mocks the thirsty soul by the offer of the masked bowl of the dregs of the noxious preparation, in place of the ostentatiously filled cup of poison, to the thirsty soul who has need of only the life-giving drink.



Chapter IV

—Infancy and Boyhood—



But although Sree Gaursundar submitted to be served by the unconscious perfect love of Braja by His parents, relatives, friends and servants, His Divinity was manifested in every Act of His Infancy, unnoticed by anyone. This is the hidden Leela. of Sree Chaitanya. He can never be really known except through His Grace which is available to all jivas who sincerely seek to obtain it.


The Baby continued to keep everybody occupied by His peculiar Ways. The most noticeable of these was that He would begin to cry if He did not hear the loud chant of the Name of Hari. So He was always surrounded by a group of ladies who sang constantly the kirtan in order to keep Him in countenance. The moment they would begin to perform kirtan, the Boy showed every mode of delight and would laugh in the most enchanting manner. They clapped their hands, sang and considered themselves amply repaid by His Sweet Smiles. This was noticed and advertised by everybody as a most extraordinary circumstance. The conduct of the Baby and the devoted attachment of the ladies, who were so loath to leave His Presence form a most striking episode on which all narratives of His Infancy love to dwell with great tenderness.


The Lord used always to lie on His Back surrounded by the ladies, except while He slept. One day Sachi was brought to the room, where the Baby slept, by His waking cry. As she entered the apartment, she was surprised to find the floor of the room littered with all different substances. Oil, ghee, milk, curd, pulse, etc., with broken earthen pots, were all jumbled together in every part of the room. Sachi Devi chanted the Name of Hari in order to pacify the Baby of barely four months, who lay crying in His little bed. She noticed the presence of no other person in the room. Other members of the family presently came to the spot, but no one could discover any trace of an intruder. Some opined that a demon must have found his way into the room but failed to do any harm to the Child by reason of His protective amulet. His failure to harm the Baby had made him angry and commit all the mischief before he fled back to his place. Jagannath Misra on beholding the scene of havoc said nothing, regarding it as an act of the gods. The parents thought in this wise in their joy that no harm had befallen the Baby.


There was some funny incident or other like this every day, to afford an opportunity of service to the parents and others. Their service must not be supposed to be on a level with the activities of worldly people who are always very much attached to their own children. The affection of worldly people for their children, is purely an attachment of the flesh for the flesh that serves to gratify their sensuous instincts. Such affection only rivets the chain of bondage to the thing of this world, all of which are the contrivances of the deluding Energy or non-God. It was not so in this case. The paternal affection, that serves Godhead, is not only altogether different from the apparently similar worldly sentiment, but, on the contrary, is so much opposed in its nature to the latter that the two cannot co-exist in the same heart. One who loves his worldly son, as son, can never realize the nature of the affection of Sree Sachi Devi and Sree Jagannath Misra for Sree Gaursundar, because the worldly passion itself stands in the way of such realization.


The time passed in such pastimes till at last the day of naming the Baby made its appearance. For this purpose there assembled a number of friends versed in the Scriptures, chief of whom was Sree Nilambar Chakravarti. There was also a corresponding gathering of the matrons. The latter declared that the Baby should be called ‘Nimai’ after the ‘Neem’ tree, for the reason that the bitter taste characteristic of the said tree would repel the god of death who had taken away so many children of His parents, and would also serve to scare away ghosts, demons and other evil spirits. The learned headed by Nilambar Chakravarti agreed to accept the Name ‘Nimai’ as a secondary one, and proposed ‘Viswambhar’ as the primary Name of the Baby. The reason given for their choice of this Name was that the fear of famine, which had threatened the whole country, had been dissipated by the Birth of the Child, which had brought in its train copious showers of rain after a prolonged drought. As the Birth of the Child had saved the world from famine, the Name Viswambhar was appropriate for Him as it means ‘One Who maintains the world’. Another reason for the selection of the Name was that in His horoscope the Boy was described as ‘the Source-light’ which meant that ‘all other lights (of the family) were derived from this One’. The ceremony was performed at an auspicious moment Amidst the holy chant of the Name of Hari, the sound of conches and bells, by men and gods, while the Brahmanas read the Geeta  and the Bhagavatam.


Naming a baby is one of the ten purificatory rites that are enjoined by the Shastras and are performed by the smartas to free a new-born child from sin due to the impurities of seminal birth from the mother’s womb. The sin as well as its expiatory rite, as contemplated by the smartas, are conceived in terms of material well-being. There is no question in it of the soul, or spiritual consideration. The birth of a bound jiva is no doubt a material circumstance and the smarta rites are also admittedly a material device to ward off certain worldly results of such birth. The material world being the limit of the smarta  outlook, a smarta family adheres to those ceremonies in the hope of the mundane reward promised by the sections of the Scriptures that treat of fruitive works and ceremonies. But a Vaishnava has nothing to do with any so-called mundane well-being that has no connection with the soul. Moreover Sree Gaursundar’s Birth, or the birth of any devotee of Godhead, as we have seen already, is never to be considered, for very good reasons, as a temporal affair at all. What, therefore, it may be asked, is the significance of the parents of Sree Gaursundar following the smarta  practice that has led the Vaishnava narrators of the Career of Sree Chaitanya to write of it as a praise-worthy performance?


We have already considered a similar objection in connection with the worship of the goddess Sasthi by Sree Sachi Devi. The Vaishnavas regard the presiding deities of this mundane world as servants of Krishna and honour them as such. They do not regard them as independent divinities. They never worship these gods for securing any worldly advantages which are bestowed by them in accordance with the Will of Godhead. The Vaishnavas hold that those gods are not fully- pleased if they are worshipped for worldly favours; and, as servants of Godhead, they are also not entitled to be worshipped on their own account. They are fully and truly served by the worship of Godhead. and, therefore, the Vaishnavas worship only Vishnu. The worship of the goddess Sasthi, who is protectress of new-born babies, in the case of Sree Sachi Devi, did not, however, degenerate into poly theism or atheism for the reason that it happened to be performed for the sake of God Himself. Any act that possesses this characteristic is essentially spiritual. The conduct of Sachi cannot, therefore, serve as a precedent to justify the similar materialistic smarta  practices which have nothing to do with Godhead.


The above argument applies to the performance by Sachi of all other Shastric rites also. Those acts being performed for the sake of Godhead Himself are thereby converted into spiritual service of Godhead. Instead of being a cause of further bondage, which is the desired result of the smarta  practices, the apparently similar activities of Sree Jagannath Misra and Sree Sachi Devi add new variety of exquisiteness to the service of Godhead, in the shape of parental affection.


The Name Viswambhar should not also be supposed to be on a level with the ordinary names that are bestowed on babies on this occasion by the smarta priests. The reason for the choice of the Name, as given out by Sree Nilambar Chakravarti, the great astrologer of Nabadwip of his day, has been already reproduced. That statement deliberately conceals, under metaphorical garb, the Truth that revealed Himself clearly to him. The Name ‘Viswambhar’ is a well-known Shastric Name of the Divinity. The Name refers specifically to the Acts of two Avataras of Vishnu, vis., the Varaha ( Boar ) and the Hayagriba ( Horse-headed ) . The Former lifted with His Tusk the world submerged by the Deluge, while the Latter rescued the Vedas when they were on the point of being suppressed by materialistic learning. Anyone with a slight acquaintance with the Scriptures would, in thinking of Godhead, connect these events with the Name ‘Viswambhar’. The Name ‘Nimai’, intended to scare away premature death and all fear, is also perfectly applicable to Godhead. But this is not all. Gargacharya, who calculated the Name of Sree Krishna, is described in the Bhagavatam as being the greatest of those who know the Brahman and was selected for this reason by King Nanda to choose the Name of his New-born Son. In fact no one who has not access to the spiritual realm, can know the Name of the Divinity.


The Holy Name of Godhead is eternal and is identical with Godhead Himself. In the case of Godhead there is no difference between Name, Form, Quality, Acts and Associates, as we find on the finite plane in the case of conditioned souls. The eternal Name of God, who manifested Himself to the pure consciousness of Sree Gargacharya, made Himself known to the people of this world under the guise of the ceremony of Naming the Divine Baby, for the highest benefit of the conditioned souls. The Names Visambhar and Nimai similarly made Themselves known through Sree Nilambar Chakravarti and the pure-hearted matrons, not to cleanse the so-called impurities of birth of the material body of a new-born child which is the object of the smarta ceremony, but in order to bless the whole world by making it possible for all conditioned souls to take the Holy Names of Godhead, identical with Godhead Himself and having the specific power, if taken without offense, i.e., with the object of realizing one’s eternally loving relationship with God, to deliver all fallen jivas from the bondage of this world.


Sree Gargacharya disclosed the Names Rama and Krishna, the most cherished Treasures of his heart that was eternally illuminated with Their Divine Radiance, confidentially to a few devotees only, lest They came to the ears of atheists like Kamsa who might be betrayed into the offense of confounding Them with ordinary appellations of things of this world. The shloka of the Bhagavata embodying the statement of Garga on this subject, also contains one of the few direct explicit references to the Appearance of Krishna in the Kali Age. The shloka may be quoted at this place: ‘This Son of yours, O Nanda, assumes different Colours in the different Ages. His Colour is White in the Satya Age, Red in the Treta, and Gaura, i.e., Yellow tinctured with Red, in the Kali Age. His Colour in this present Age (Dvapara) is Black as you see.’


On the occasion of naming a baby there is an old custom of putting to the new-born child a variety of articles to induce him to choose any of them, in order to ascertain the natural bent of the infant. In pursuance of this time-honoured custom a number of objects were held out to Nimai, such as unhusked rice, books, fried rice, cowrie, gold, silver, etc. Sree Jagannath Misra then called upon the Child to choose whichever of them He liked. Nimai clasped the Bhagavatam tightly to His Bosom. Some said that it was a very good augury and prognosticated that the Child would be a great Pandit. Others said He would be a Vaishnava and would easily understand the meaning of the Scriptures. The preference shown for the Bhagavatam by Nimai may be explained as meaning that the acquisition of the riches of this world and even the maintenance of the body should not be valued for their own sake and that the unalloyed service of the Lord, which is expounded in the Bhagavata, is the one thing needful and includes all the rest.


This old custom may be interpreted as supplying a clue to another matter of importance. Why was it necessary for the father, the natural guardian of the infant, to try to ascertain the tendency of his new-born Child? If the boy had chosen gold and silver, or fried rice, what inference would be drawn? Would such inference have any effect on the future of the Boy? If the son of a Brahmana is supposed to possess the nature of a Brahmana by reason of seminal birth, why should he be again subjected to a further test based on a different principle? How was the varna (disposition) of a Brahmana really settled in very old times? In the case of Nimai it was comparatively easy by the above test to arrive at a favourable conclusion. The Bhagavatam has been declared to be the exposition of the holy Gayatri, the mantram, the knowledge of which is essential for the Brahmana. The choice of the Bhagavatam by Nimai, therefore, clearly would mark Him out as possessing the natural disposition of a Brahmana.


If seminal birth had been sufficient by itself to confer the varna of a Brahmana, there would have been no meaning of the ceremony of spiritual purification by Gayatri; nor would the latter process be significantly styled the second birth. The texts support the view that the varna of a Brahmana has to be fixed by natural disposition. There is also no text that attaches exclusive value to the seminal birth for the ascertainment of natural disposition. There are also many actual cases of the condition (varna) of a Brahmana having been acquired by persons who were not born in Brahmana families. Conversely we find that all the sons of a Brahmana did not necessarily become Brahmanas in every case. The varna of the one hundred sons of Rshabha Deva was settled by their respective dispositions. Some of them were found to be Kshatriyas, some were recognized as Brahmanas, while many were declared to be Vaishyas. The status of each was settled by the Father Who is Avatara of the Divinity. The bad effects and futility of trying to fix the spiritual status (varna) of a Brahmana by birth alone are most vividly brought out in the career of Prahlada on whom his father Hiranyakashipu tried forcibly to impose his own creed and occupation with the help of ‘hereditary’ preceptors.


The effects of heredity and education in forming one’s disposition are overvalued by those who try to deduce everything from them. Heredity itself is a complex matter and runs backward in an endless ramification of ancestry through father and mother. No empiric pronouncement on the basis of heredity can be made, unless the nature of the whole of these two series is definitely known. Education, in so far as it tries to artificially widen our worldly experience, is also most uncertain in its operation on disposition. Seminal birth has been considered by the most ambitious of its modern empiric protagonists as decisive in settling one’s physical and mental disposition that are closely interconnected. In our old Scriptures seminal birth as well as secular and even empiric knowledge of the Scriptures are categorically differentiated from the Gayatri birth and the transcendental knowledge respectively. The latter is nowhere declared as capable of being derived, or even helped in any way, by the former. The natural disposition of a Brahmana, that is conferred by the purificatory ceremony of the Gayatri mantram, and the transcendental knowledge, that is the result of initiation by the spiritual preceptor, refer to the soul and have nothing to do with the secondary enveloping disposition that manifests itself, when the soul is engrossed in, i.e., incompatibly associated with, matter. Brahmanahood, according to the Mahabharatam, means the condition of a person possessing the disposition that seeks to realize the nature of the soul and accordingly the status of a Brahmana should be conferred only on those persons in whom such disposition manifests itself, and by no other consideration.


The spiritual status of the Brahmana cannot be tested and settled By any one who does not himself possess the realized Brahmana disposition, that is to say, by no one except the spiritual preceptor. The purificatory rite is the authoritative recognition by the Guru of the possession of such disposition by the disciple. The recognition by the Guru also serves to bring into play the spiritual disposition. By mechanically mimicking the external rite, only confusion is caused, as it has been caused in the past, and is being still caused, by the unprincipled ambitions of men who are inordinately proud of their high lineage and worldly qualities. Unless the superior status corresponds to the internal disposition there can be no proper subordination of the worldly to the spiritual interest which is sought to be effected by the varnashrama organization under the lead of the Brahmanas. This settlement of the status (varna) of a person was made soon after the birth of a child with the help of competent persons in order to provide specific training suited to the particular nature of the new-born child, for inclining him towards the spiritual life from the very beginning of his worldly sojourn. This may sound far too advanced an arrangement to be achieved in such remote antiquity which modern history teaches us, on no conclusive evidence, to regard as having been universally utterly backward and benighted. Spiritual enlightenment is an eternal affair and has always possessed the inclination as well as capacity of organizing the spiritual community in its minutest details for helping the realization of the theistic ideal. The weakness, that is nowadays noticeable in the historical organization of caste which is regarded as the residual legatee of the varnashrama organization, is due to atheistical preponderance. As the spiritual life slackened its manifestation in this world, the varnashrama organization was increasingly neglected and was replaced by the meaningless, cumbrous and effete cast system. The pseudo-spiritual organization, viz., caste, failed to withstand the persevering onslaughts of organized materialism by means of its proper agents in the shape of the utterly barbarous tribes possessing no spiritual tradition, that dwelt beyond the Indian borderland, who banded together for the purpose of overthrowing a decayed spiritual society. The morale of the Indian people had been completely undermined by the rise of the pseudo-religious systems and practices and by the atheistic speculations of the philosophers, that have already been noticed briefly in a previous chapter.


After India had been subjugated by the brute force of these foreign invaders, attempts were made from time to time by the Vaishnava Acharyas to revive the theistic life in this country, against very great odds, in which they were not, however, permanently successful. This theistic reaction reached its culmination in the Activities of Sree Chaitanya Who propounded the comprehensive system, that provides the true remedy for all the ills of the world, resting on the broad base of the whole body of the spiritual Scriptures. The world is, however, not yet prepared to accept His Teaching in its entirety, although the leading scholars of all the centres of culture in India of His day were decisively vanquished in a series of open controversies. A great literature embodying the true scriptural doctrines was produced and the rejuvenated worship of Godhead was organized and provided with a considerable number of establishments in the form of the noblest shrines. The world was externally shaken by the mighty impulse, but failed to recover from its inner stupor and continued to drift aimlessly under the pilotage of professors of open and concealed atheism who quickly recovered their lead and even exploited the elaborate form of the caste organization that professes to represent the varnashrama institution of the Scriptures, for the propagation of atheism. After the arrival of the Europeans, through the agencies of the newly-established secular universities and an organized industrial and commercial system, the people have been further inoculated with the secular outlook of materialistic civilization of a most thorough-going type. This new outlook is unhesitatingly distrustful of existing social and religious systems of the country and is desirous of real reform but is far too materialistic in itself not to hesitate to welcome the Teaching of Sree Chaitanya, which is based on the Scriptures and which favours the rejuvenation of the theistic varnashrama  organization of society.


This digression, if such it may perchance appear to be to the patient reader, from the regular track of our narrative, is necessary in order to prevent misconceptions regarding the Activities of the Infant Chaitanya which are quoted by His pseudo-followers of the present day in justification of their adoption of the current atheistical practices of the smarta caste organization. The associates of Sree Chaitanya, however, arrived at a very different conclusion, that has been stated above, from the Acts of the Lord Himself as the Supreme Teacher by His Own Conduct.


Nimai retained His habit of indulging in frequent fits of crying and would not be consoled by any of the methods that are usually effective in the case of ordinary children. He did not cry for having anything of this world. He used to cry in order to make those around Him chant constantly the Name of Hari. Nimai would laugh and dance in the mother’s lap at the sound of the kirtan of Hari with such extraordinary Grace of Expression and Movement of His Limbs that those, who chanted the Name of Hari to please Him, did so for their own pleasure. Those who are obstinately incredulous about the authenticity of the facts of religious history, need not reject these on the plea of want of contemporary evidence. They were faithfully put into writing by the eternal companions of Sree Chaitanya and none of the numerous enemies and opponents of Sree Chaitanya of that or subsequent Age ever thought of contradicting them on the ground that they were the concoctions of the imagination which should be impossible in the case of a series of great writers, unless they deliberately conspired for stating and accepting as facts the products of their mesmerized imaginations.

Neither can we altogether admire the judgment of those secular historians who may be disposed to regard them as trivial and the explanations of them offered by the associates and followers of Sree Chaitanya, as laboured after-thoughts. To the candid reader the least of these so-called trifles and laboured after-thoughts may perchance possess more value for the real weal and woe of mankind in a proportion that is inversely proportional to the cumulative blighting influence of all the empirical accounts that have ever been written of the authentic deeds of the mighty heroes of this world.


Godhead, when He chooses to sport as Infant, is more fully Divine than when He plays the open role of the Supreme Ruler by His Omnipotence of all these countless worlds. His Activities in either case are, however, alike incomprehensible to the perverted understanding of the conditioned soul who is averse to His service. No Tittle of such Activities has also the least chance of suffering any exaggeration by any amount of our poor and misdirected human praise that may be wrongly lavished upon it. The praise of them that is practiced by the devotees is the only method of enabling us to realize their most wonderful and exclusive fitness for all true praise. This is the kirtan of Krishna and it was this Truth Whom Infant Nimai constantly tried to impress on His attendants through their realized experience of Him, by making them sing constantly the kirtan of Hari without offense, i.e., in order to please the Lord Himself. This is the central subject of the Teaching of Sree Gaursundar, and its importance and early manifestation have accordingly been noted with reverent admiration by those who had been enabled by the Grace of Sree Chaitanya to realize the Highest Truth to Whose service the jiva can aspire to attain by the loving service of the Truth Himself.

Lord Visvambhar now exhibited the Pastime of moving about on His Knees in the yard of Sachi. He sped about on His Knees with the most enchanting art, while the tiny bells on His Waistband made a most delicious music. He roved over the yard most fearlessly and grasped at everything that He saw, whether it was the fire or the venomous serpent.


One day while thus roaming the yard, Nimai actually caught hold of a huge serpent that had found its way into the house. At the touch of the Child’s Hand, the brute immediately coiled up. Viswambhar then quietly laid Himself down on the soft cushion of its coils. The sight of this sent a thrill of horror into the hearts of all who beheld it. In their utter dismay and helplessness they called upon Garuda to save the Child. The parents with many others set up a wail of great agony. Nimai laughed as He lay couched on the coils of the monster. The lamentations of the onlookers at last induced the serpent to move off of its own accord. The Son of Sree Sachi pursued the retreating brute with the intent of catching it again. They dashed at the Child and brought Him away and pressed Him tightly to their bosoms. All the ladies blessed the Child saying, ‘May Thou live for ever’. Some tied protective amulets, some recited texts of benediction, while some fetched the Feet-wash of Vishnu and sprinkled His body therewith. Some said that the Boy was born a second time. Some said that the serpent happened to be of the particular species that did no harm, which was the reason why His life was saved. Gaursundar only went on laughing and frequently essayed to make after the track of the serpent and was as often anxiously brought back by all the people.


The relation of all fearful objects to the Lord is the exact opposite of their relation to the jiva: Godhead is the Source of all fear. He is fear Himself. Mahakala, the Destroyer of all things, is afraid of Him. Those who love the Lord are not, therefore, afraid of anything. Those, who do not trust the Lord and think that the various dreadful objects are not afraid of Him, are necessarily afraid of them. All such fear is condemnable for the reason that it has no reference to Godhead and is, therefore, due to the anxiety for one’s worldly safety. This looking away from Godhead to one’s false self is the cause of all fear and is the reason why such fear is also sordid. The fear of Sachi and Jagannath and of the assembled people for the safety of Nimai does not belong to the category of such sordid fear and is, therefore, an event that deserves to be recorded and was also exhibited by them, by the beneficent contrivance of the Spiritual Power of the Lord, to teach the proper use of the instinct of fear to all ungodly conditioned souls.


Besides providing the opportunity of service to those devotees who did not know, by the force of the beneficent spiritual Power, that He was Godhead Himself, Sree Gaursundar also contrived to receive by this method the perfect homage of the most highly beloved of His fully conscious transcendental servitors whom He wanted to specially favour. Fire and the serpent, that were the causes of the consternation of friends and relatives, were respectively the god who identifies himself with the element of fire and Sree Ananta Deva Who is the Plenary Form of Sree Samkarsana and Who serves as the Couch of the Supreme Lord. Sree Gaursundar chose to receive their service for the purpose of His Pastime on this occasion. The pervert yogi only deludes the people by his display of seeming immunity from mundane fire and serpent in juggling imitation of these Acts of the Lord. Their exhibitions tempt other atheistical people like themselves to follow the method of the astanga yoga for the profane attainment of powers of apparent mastery over Nature. There are also people who are disposed to class Sree Chaitanya and His devotees with these pseudo-yogis and explain also Their Performances by the possession of improper yogic powers. But as a matter of fact the display of the pseudo-yogic power is no part of the function of the pure soul taught and practiced by Sree Chaitanya and His associates. The power which the pervert yogi imagines as belonging to himself being acquired by his own meritorious endeavours, is a penal delusion which is as condemnable as the attempt of acquiring any other form of worldly power. It happens to possess the appearance of a superhuman entity in degree and measure, but is, as a matter of fact, only a still more objectionable form of selfish material enjoyment and only a potent means of self-deception or godlessness. For this reason, those, who try to understand the Doings of Sree Gaursundar and His devotees from the point of view of the astanga yoga, obtain, as the due punishment of their selfish labours, a further increase of aversion to Godhead.



Chapter V




And now the Son of Sree Sachi Devi began to toddle on His tender legs. These pedestrian performances with uncertain steps were confined to the yard of Sree Sachi. The Child constantly moved about in the yard. Every limb of the Boy was most exquisitely beautiful. His Face was the envy of the Moon. His Head was beautifully rounded. A profusion of fine curls gracefully clustered round the Forehead. His Eyes were remarkably wide, resembling the petals of the lotus-flower. These reminded one of the Appearance of Boy-Krishna His long Hands hang down to the Knees. The Lips were crimson. His Bosom was wide and possessed of every auspicious feature. The whole Form of Gaura had a most pleasing yellowish tint that matched Him to perfection. His Fingers, Hands and Feet were particularly beautiful. While the Lord tripped about in the haphazard fashion of children, the mother used to get alarmed, as it seemed to her that blood came out of the delicate Feet of the Boy as They pressed lightly on the ground.


The parents were unspeakably happy. They felt and whispered to each other that a great Personage was born in the family, which ensured deliverance of themselves and the family from the bondage of this world. These high hopes of the parents were confirmed by the peculiarity that the Child fell to crying if He did not hear the sound of the Name of Hari. He was the very Embodiment of Joy, whenever the Name of Hari was chanted to Him by clap of hand, and would express His gladness by unceasing laughter and dancing as long as the Name of Hari continued to be sung. This circumstance drew all the ladies of the neighbourhood into the house from early dawn, who formed themselves into a merry ring round Gaursundar and performed the samkirtan with clap of hand. The attentive Boy danced, rolled on the ground gray with dust, and, climbing into the lap of mother, burst into merry peals of laughter. He danced with such charming poses of the limbs that it filled all the onlookers with inexpressible delight. The Lord in this artless manner of childhood made all of them perform the kirtan of Hari: but they did not understand it.


As the Boy grew up He began to manifest great restlessness of disposition and constantly sped in and out of the house. He would frequently leave the house unattended and would beg from the passers-by fried rice, plantain, sweetmeats, and, in fact, whatever eatables they happened to be carrying. The extraordinary Beauty of the Boy softened everybody towards Him, and perfect strangers gave Him, as soon as they saw Him, whatever He asked. No sooner did He obtain any gift than He ran into the house with the greatest joy and gave it to those ladies who chanted the Name of Hari. Such precocity of the Child made all persons laugh with great delight, and they would continue to chant the Name of Hari with clap of hand. The Lord often left the house in this manner at all hours of the day and even in the evenings.


That the Holy Name of Godhead should be sung constantly, to the exclusion of every other activity, is a proposition that is repeatedly enjoined by the Scriptures, although it may appear at first sight to be impracticable. The mercenary preacher accepts a pecuniary remuneration for his exertions in delivering the Word of God on the ground that he must have something to live upon. How can the Name of Godhead be taken night and day without exposing oneself to sure starvation? The physical needs of the body compel every mortal to devote a part of his time to activities of this world. It may be urged with apparent reasonableness that the worldly activity for earning a livelihood is imperative and cannot be neglected by anybody in this world, whether he is a prince or a peasant, an atheist or a preacher of the Word of God. Therefore, the declaration of the Scriptures, that the chanting of the Name of Godhead at a11 time is the only function of every soul, requires to be liberally interpreted in its application to the people of this world. The impracticability is perfectly clear and simple and can be understood even by a child. It is not possible that this obvious difficulty should have been overlooked and overruled by the numerous Scriptural declarations, unless for a very good reason. That reason is also quite plain and may be briefly stated as follows. Godhead Himself has the Power and the Will to provide for the maintenance of those who devote themselves wholeheartedly, night and day, to the performance of the kirtan of Himself. Wherefore, it is expressly forbidden in the Scriptures to sell the Word of God in exchange for anything. If a person, who sets up as a preacher of the Word of God, makes of it a trade for the maintenance of himself and his family, for lacking the necessary faith in the promise of Godhead that he need not think for his own maintenance, he thereby commits an act of disobedience against Godhead and by reason of such sinfulness becomes unfit to receive or still less convey to others the Holy Word of the Lord.


Sree Chaitanya taught that the Name of Godhead should be taken at all time with patience and humility. The patience consists in practicing perfect reliance on the Word of God. The humility consists in giving up all thought of selfish enjoyment and accepting the desire to please and obey Godhead as the only object of one’s serving activity. These considerations supply the real explanation of the otherwise mysterious Behaviour of the Divine Child. Godhead Himself procures the necessaries for the maintenance of every one who devotes himself to the chanting of the Name of God,—declare the Scriptures. The level of conduct of all preachers should come up to this cardinal fact of spiritual practice, if they expect to make their hearers believe, or make themselves believe, in the Truth of the Scriptures. Dancing and singing are forbidden to the Brahmanas, i.e., to those who know Godhead, except to serve the pleasure of Godhead and His devotees. The Brahmanas alone, who abstain from singing and dancing for any worldly purpose, are not only fit, but it is their duty to dance and sing the kirtan of Hari for pleasing Godhead and His devotees.


Nimai now set Himself to carrying out in a systematic manner a series of reckless depredations in the households of the friends of the family who resided in the neighbourhood. He took to thieving and it was His daily pastime to steal something or other. He would stealthily drink the milk of one household, eat the cooked rice of another without notice, or, if He could obtain nothing to eat, He would break the earthen cooking pots, of a third home. He would poke the babies put to sleep and make them cry, beating a hasty retreat the moment He was detected. If anybody chanced to catch Him at His tricks, He would fall at his feet and express repentance. ‘Let Me go this time. I won’t come again. I give My Word to you that I won’t steal again., Every one was astonished at such precocity of the little Child. No one was ever angered by these freaks; on the contrary, they all loved Him. Nay, they loved Him far more tenderly than they loved their own children. He stole away every faculty of the heart at the very first sight. The Divine Child took His pleasure in such extreme naughtinesses.


          The Favour of God bears no resemblance to the favour that is expected from or conferred by worldly persons. We desire, by everything we do, only the gratification of our own senses in a gross or subtle form. When, therefore, we want to favour anybody, we naturally suppose that the only means of doing this is by providing him with the means of his sensuous gratification. ‘All the ills that flesh is heir to, are traceable to this inveterate self-indulging principle of our conditioned nature. The elaborate social machinery, with its so-called ethical codes, has been devised for the express purpose of augmenting each man’s average share of worldly enjoyment.


          But we are all of us more or less conscious of the wild-goose chase character of the pursuit of all worldly enjoyments. The causes of disappointment are many. Our hopes are never fully realized. The bliss, that we promise ourselves, invariably palls on its seeming attainment. We are perpetually oppressed with the sense of some besetting evil that poisons everything we desire to taste in the very act of tasting. We may be temporarily dazzled by worldly performances; but the inevitable dross is sure to discover itself in the long run in the most promising deeds of our lives. There is always this skeleton in the cupboard. The tragedies and comedies of worldly life alike repel us in the end by their grossness and triviality. Those, who consider it heroic to put a good face on the inevitable, thereby only display their disinclination to honestly tackle the issue that confronts them all the same, The attitude of patience for the inevitable, which appeals so strongly to the so-called practical temperament, is tantamount to an avoidance to think on the solution a besetting problem under the tacit plea that one’s duty is done by simply shutting one’s eye to the inexplicable side of one’s conduct.


          But it is only a display of thoughtless egotism that imagines the presence of adverse circumstances and their abundance in this world for which the person himself is not in any way responsible. This attitude is both dishonest and shallow. It means only that one should consider it his duty to move heaven and earth for securing his own enjoyment and, after having secured a fair share of it, when he finds that it does not answer his purpose, must still go on advocating The wisdom of such course and shut his eyes to the real worthlessness of such policy. This attitude is possible only when a person is too much enamoured of the sensuous life despite its utterly disappointing quality. The faculties of the mind of such a person are viciously attracted towards hollow worldly advantages. He is so completely engrossed in his contemplation that he has neither time nor inclination to look to the other side.


          To such people the conduct of the Boy Nimai would appear to be not at all different from that of ordinary naughty children who often turn into moral men and women on attaining the age of discretion and whose childish vices, therefore, are a mere result of the exuberance of their animal spirit and should not be put in the same category with the objectionable vices of grown-up people. Even this sort of moral condonation of childish vices seems unnecessary to a school of thinkers who are disposed to give every child a long rope in order to enable him to develop freely all sides of his nature. According to this school, a virile and aggressive personality in the worldly sense is better than a regulated and cramped one. The conduct of Gaursundar and His parents may, therefore, meet with the worldly approval of people of this stamp.


          But the attitude that the associates of Sree Gaursundar want us to realize in regard to these Activities of the Lord is different from what are recommended by both the above views. The depredations that are committed against our worldly ‘possessions’ by Godhead are of the nature of His Special Favour. This becomes self-evident, as soon as they are understood as proceeding directly from the Will of the Lord. In the cases we are considering just now, this latter condition was supplied automatically by the fact that the mischievous Acts of the Child were actually liked by those persons against whom they were committed by the Lord Himself and were liked because of their connection with the Lord. If we love a frail mortal child, the imperfections of the object of our passion prevent the sentiment from acquiring the permanence that is its due and without which its full requirement is not satisfied. Hence the love of average worldly people for their children is unsure and shallow and cannot, by the very nature of its imperfection, extend to other children or even to all acts of one’s own child. If one sets himself deliberately to love all little children without reservation, he will be rightly charged with trying to do something that is unnatural and fictitious. Such affection has no real basis to stand upon. We want to love our children from a natural impulse which is baulked of its satisfaction by the unworthiness of the object to which it is directed. There was no cause of any such disappointment in the case of their love for Sree Gaursundar, as He is, indeed, Godhead Himself. Hence, says the Bhagavatam, ‘all the faculties really succeed in obtaining what they seek only when they are directed towards Godhead.’ This overwhelming attractiveness also supplies an indirect proof of the Perfect Personality of the Supreme Lord.


          An incident. of these Infant days is thus recorded by Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami. One day Sachi brought a vessel full of fried rice and sweetmeats and gave it to Nimai, asking Him to sit down and eat the same. Sachi then left Him to attend to household work. The Boy, however, began to eat raw earth by avoiding any notice. Sachi, however, perceived this and came running to the Child with expostulations of disapproval, snatched the earth from the Boy and asked Him why He preferred it to the other eatables. The Child burst into tears. ‘Why are you angry?’ He said, ‘How am I to blame? It is you who gave Me the earth to eat. Fried rice, sweetmeats, cooked rice, etc., are all transformations of earth. This, which I am eating, is earth; those are also earth. Why do you consider them to be different? This body is of earth; its food is also earth. Consider this well. I am helpless, if you blame without reflection.’ Sachi was very much surprised in her heart at such reply. ‘Who taught you,’ she said, ‘to eat earth by the barren policy of intellectualists ? The body is nourished only by eating cooked rice which is a transformation of earth. If raw earth is eaten, disease is produced and the body is destroyed thereby. We fetch water in a pitcher which is a transformation of earth. If we put water on a lump of clay, it soaks and dries up., The Child said, ‘Why did you not tell Me this before? I shall no more eat earth now that I know. When I feel hungry, I shall suck your breast.’ And, saying this, the Boy smiled and climbed to the lap of mother and began to suck. These revelations of Supreme Power were constant and various. They were secured against recognition by the display of childishness that followed and served to blind everybody’s judgment.


Sree Sachi Devi did not evidently belong to the school of empiric abstractionists who deny Godhead the power of real manifestation and real creation, regarding the latter as temporary, unwholesome and illusive and, therefore, impossible of being in any way related to perfect Godhead. Sachi Devi, on the contrary, believed in the relationship of simultaneous unity and diversity of Power with Possessor of Power and was not prepared to ignore qualitative differences that really exist between the fried rice and raw earth, after the manner of the Buddhists or believers in the Undifferentiated Abstract Negation as Brahman. Child Nimai was more easily converted to the, creed of His mother by her effective protest than falls to the lot of the average Mayavadin.


One day as the Child was roaming in the town as usual by Himself and with ornaments on all parts of His Body, He attracted the attention of two thieves who thought on a plan of robbing His ornaments. Accordingly, one of them with sweet words took up the Lord into his arms, saying that they had been searching for Him and would take Him home. The Lord at once consented to their proposal and was carried on their shoulders a long distance through intricate lanes towards the place where the nefarious deed was to be perpetrated with safety and secrecy. Those thieves endeavoured all this time to keep Nimai in humour by sweet words and the offer of prospective sweetmeats. While the Lord was being thus hurried off to their rendezvous, the members of His family missed Him and began to search in all directions, but could find the Boy nowhere. A great fear gradually took possession of their minds. Meanwhile the thieves had been led by the Deluding Power of Vishnu into taking the road to the Home of Jagannath Misra, under the impression that it led to their own place and, on their arrival at Misra’s house, felt quite sure that they had successfully reached their destination.


They accordingly made the Boy descend from their shoulders just where Jagannath Misra and the friends and relations of the family were sitting in silent grief, apprehending a great calamity. Nimai at once ran into the arms of His father and all present shouted ‘Hari, Hari’ in the joy of a great relief, as if Life Himself was restored to their bodies. The thieves looked foolish and perplexed and were very much frightened when they found out that it was not their own place. Thereupon availing of the confusion caused by the arrival of Nimai they made good their escape.




They did not stop till they felt that they were out of the reach of any possible pursuers. They were amazed by the nature of their adventure and thought that they had been under the spell of a black magician and had been saved only by the grace of goddess Chandi whom they worshipped. They hugged each other in a close embrace in their ecstasy of joy at their Providential escape. As a matter of fact, it was also no ordinary good luck that had provided them an opportunity of carrying Nimai on their shoulders.


Here, at the house of Jagannath Misra, after the first outburst of joy had subsided, they began to look about for the person who had brought Nimai home with the object of rewarding him by the present of a head-dress. This was a piece of cloth which they wanted to tie round his head with their own hands. But although it transpired that two men had actually brought the Child on their shoulders, no one came forward to claim the reward. Nimai was questioned and declared that He had gone to the bank of the Bhagirathi and had been brought on the shoulders of two strangers by paths that were unknown to Him. The people arrived at the conclusion that it was an instance of what the Scriptures declare, viz., that children, old men and those who have nobody to look after them, are protected by the gods in the shape of luck. Thus thought they in their ignorance, unable to realize the significance of the occurrence by reason of the sportive intervention of the Power of Vishnu. Those, concludes Thakur Brindabandas, who listen to this story, which is one of the hidden narratives of the Scriptures, attain to firm devotion to the Feet of Sree Chaitanya.


Vishnu’s Power possesses at one and the same time a double face. One of these confers the knowledge of the Divinity on one disposed to serve, the other obscures the spiritual vision and makes the jiva, who is averse to the service of Godhead, hanker for sensuous enjoyment. The jiva falls into the clutches of the latter, also called Maya  if he makes the attempt to understand the Divinity by the resources of his own paltry intellect. In this instance the thieves were prevented by the Spiritual Energy to act in the wrong way, in spite of their bad intentions. The members of the family of Jagannath Misra were also prevented by the Spiritual Power, who supplies the conjunction of events forming the Leela of Godhead, from realizing the whole truth of the incident. The jiva possesses freedom of will but is lacking in the power of taking the effective initiative which belongs exclusively to Godhead. The jivas are made conscious of the Purpose of Godhead in what they are enabled to do, just in the proportion that is necessary for the Divine Purpose. Those, who rely on their own judgment for finding out the Divine Purpose, without desiring to receive the knowledge of it from Himself, are guided by the Deluding Energy into wrong conclusions; but they are not themselves aware that their conclusions are wrong.


This is, however, really opaque delusion. Those, who submit to receive their enlightenment from Godhead, are not thus deprived of the service of Godhead by the Deluding Power. In this instance it is not the Deluding Energy but the preventing Spiritual Power that relieved the thieves from their thievish propensity and sowed the seed for future service of the Divinity. Herein the thieves were really most fortunate. It could not be otherwise, as Godhead Himself is directly concerned. When thieves steal the property of worldly people, they are under the deluding Power who punishes those who desire to serve themselves instead of God by helping them to gain their object in the shape of the attainment of their selfish enjoyment. But stealth, which is contrived by the Spiritual Power to be directed apparently against God Himself for enhancing the charm of the Divine Leela, produces the best results in spite of the apparently evil intention of the person who attempts to rob Him, if the thief is not really anxious to go consciously against Godhead. In the case even of demon Ravana, who apparently succeeded in robbing Sita Devi, the illusion of his apparent success operated for his benefit by his death at the Hands of Godhead Himself.


From these instances we should be careful, however, not to draw the wrong conclusion and suppose that Godhead is apt to reward those who cherish evil intentions towards Himself for such offensive conduct. God rewards everybody impartially and fully. But the reward takes different forms according to the different antecedents of the recipients. In the case of the thieves, the stealth of God’s property was prevented; but of this they were not conscious and God was also served unconsciously by allowing Himself to be carried on their shoulders to His Own Home. In the case of Ravana, he was deluded by the Spiritual Power into the belief that he was successful in stealing Sita. He, however, stole only the delusive form of Sita. This proved a means of correction for Ravana, although he had planned his offense against good advice. He was punished by the Spiritual Power by the slaughter of himself with all his kindred and followers. Ravana was well aware that he was going against Godhead. He was more fortunate than the two thieves, because he was enabled to realize that he was punished for his offense and also the utter wickedness of opposing the Divine Will. The Power of Godhead is really One but acts consistently in opposite ways, accordingly as He is served or opposed. Her external face, which alone is open to the view of those who are opposed to Godhead, seems to be terrible and incalculable as long as they continue to be averse to God. Her benign face is seen only by those who are disposed to serve Godhead. The delusion of Jagannath Misra and his kindred and friends was absolutely wholesome, being of the nature of the benign operation of the Spiritual Power of Godhead in furtherance of the joy of His Divine Activities.


One day Jagannath Misra called to his Son and asked Him to fetch his book from the inner apartment. As the Boy entered the room running, Misra and Sachi distinctly heard exquisitely sweet sounds as of jingling of bells of anklets that were produced by the quick movements of the Child. Presently Nimai came out with the required book and, making it over to His father, ran off for play. The parents were very much perplexed. There were no jingling anklets on the Feet of their Boy. Whence could the sound come? Their astonishment was changed to conviction as they went into the room. There they found, all over the room, prints of Feet marked with the signs of the banner, the bolt and the goad. They at once recognized the Foot-prints of Vishnu, and both of them instinctively exclaimed that there would be no more birth for them as they had a sight of those well-known Wonderful Divine Feet never seen by them before. They reverentially bowed to the foot-prints of Godhead. Misra naturally enough concluded that it was the act of Damodar Sila, i.e., the Salagram Sila  who was the tutelary? Deity of the family and was regularly worshipped in the home. He thought that Gopala (Cow-boy Krishna) Who dwelt in the Salagram Sila walked about in the room, and the prints were of the Feet of Gopala. Misra decided to undertake personally the worship of Damodar Sila from that day and asked Sachi Devi to cook rice boiled in sweet milk mixed with ghee as a special offering to Damodar Sila next morning. Misra with his own hands bathed the Salagram Sila  with the five holy products of the cow and, in the company of his pious consort, reverentially worshipped the Deity of the family. The Lord laughed in His mind at the conduct of His parents.


Thereafter occurred a most wonderful event. A pilgrim Brahmana, who had done many pious deeds in his previous lives, was wont to wander all over the country in quest of Krishna. He worshipped the six-letter mantram of Gopala (Cow-boy Krishna) and ate nothing except such food as had already been offered to Gopala. By good fortune it so chanced that he arrived at the Lord’s House in course of his wanderings. The pilgrim Brahmana wore, as his cherished ornaments, the Holy Forms of Gopala and the Salagram Si1a  suspended from his neck. The whole person of the pilgrim was aglow with the spiritual radiance of the ideal Brahmana which can never be properly described in words. The mouth of the Brahmana constantly recited the Name of Krishna. His eyes were listless by the influence of the sweet quality of Govinda That possessed his heart. At the sight of the newly-arrived stranger-guest, Jagannath Misra, struck by the visible force of his personality, rising from his seat with respect, made obeisance to him. Misra then welcomed his guest with all due formality. He himself washed the feet of his guest and offered him his best seat. After the pilgrim was refreshed and properly seated, the good Misra inquired the place of his residence. To this the Brahmana replied that he was a recluse and wandered about through sheer restlessness of mind. Misra, bowing low, observed that the wanderings of such as he testified to the good fortune of the world which good fortune belonged to him that day, and, if commanded, he would make the necessary arrangements for his cooking of the meal for Krishna.


The Brahmana, signifying his assent to the proposal of Misra, the latter with great pleasure proceeded to make all necessary preparations. He made ready the place of cooking by cleansing it with great care and brought thither all the articles required for cooking. The Brahmana, having cooked the meal with great satisfaction, sat down to make its offering to Krishna.


No sooner did the Brahmana engage in the meditation of Krishna, than Sree Gaursundar appeared before him. The Body of the Child was full of dust and perfectly nude. His beautiful Eyes, Hands, and Feet were red. Smilingly He took up the food offered by the Brahmana with His beautiful Hand and, in the view of the worthy Brahmana, ate a mouthful. The fortunate Bipra shrieked in an agony of grief: ‘That restless Boy has stolen my cooked rice.’ His cry quickly brought Jagannath Misra to the spot who found Sree Gaursundar in the very Act of eating the cooked rice with a smiling Countenance.


Misra was greatly enraged and ran to administer his Son a sound thrashing. The pilgrim Brahmana got up in great fear and caught hold of the hand of Misra. He said that the Child had no knowledge of right and wrong. A wise man should never hurt such a one. He accordingly importuned Misra to do no violence to the Boy. Misra was very much dejected. The Brahmana said that there was no cause for grief; Godhead alone knows what is to happen on any day. ‘I would dine on any fruits, roots or such other food that may be in the house. Be pleased to give the same to me.’ But Misra would not hear. ‘If you indeed regard me as your servant’, he said, ‘be pleased to cook the meal once again. Allow me to make ready the place. I have got everything necessary for your cooking in the house. I shall, indeed, be very glad, if you cook once more.’ Other relatives and well-wishers of Misra joined in the entreaty. The importunity of so many persons had its effect and induced the pilgrim to agree to cook again.


This time, in order to keep the Child out of harm’s way, Sachi Devi took Him to a neighbour’s house. The ladies did not forego such an excellent opportunity of reading a good lesson to the Child. ‘Well, Nimai’, they said, ‘You are so foolish that you ate the rice that was cooked by a stranger. You will be an outcast for this. What will you do now?’ The Boy laughed and made this strange answer, ‘I am a cow-boy. I eat the rice cooked by Brahmanas at all time.’ He looked at them with an arch smile. The reply had its effect. They all burst into uproarious laughter and pressed the Child to their bosom. The Benign Spiritual Power of God prevented them from understanding the actual meaning of His words.


That pilgrim Brahmana after cooking a second time sat down to make the offering to Krishna. He meditated on the Cow-boy Nimai again appeared before the pilgrim, having eluded the vigilance of all watchers, and ate a handful of the cooked rice which was duly perceived only by the Brahmana who at once shouted out with grief. This gave the alarm to Misra who detected the Boy as He ran away after eating the rice. Misra took up a stick and gave chase. But the Boy took refuge inside one of the rooms in great fear. Misra was not to be pacified by the entreaties of anybody. The pilgrim Brahmana himself again interposed. ‘Krishna’, he said, ‘has not allotted cooked rice for me to-day. This is the real truth, I tell you. The Boy is not to blame at all.’ This did not allay the poignant grief of Misra who remained silent and thoughtful.


At this point Viswarup appeared on the scene. The beauty of His person was only equaled by His knowledge of all the Scriptures and His unbounded devotion to Krishna. The very sight of Viswarup was a revelation to the pilgrim who regarded His appearance with great attention and frequently looked at Him with unconcealed admiration. He inquired His parentage and warmly congratulated Misra on the possession of such a son.


Viswarup made obeisance to the Brahmana. His words were extraordinarily sweet. He said that it was, indeed, very great good fortune that had brought a person who finds all his delight in his own soul as guest to their house. There could be no greater calamity than if this guest had to fast in the house against His will. He felt it a great grief, although He was very glad by seeing him. The Brahmana said that he lived in the forest and was habituated to a diet of roots and fruits. He felt amply rewarded by having the sight of Viswrarup. He would take any article of food that had been offered to Krishna. Viswarup said that a person like the pilgrim Brahmana naturally cared only for the happiness of others, in preference to his own. Viswarup was, therefore, emboldened to make the request that he would be pleased to cook a third time. The Brahmana said that the Will of Krishna in the matter was supreme and it had been very clearly declared. It was also almost midnight. He had already cooked twice. As it was not clearly the Will of Krishna that he should eat cooked rice that day, he entreated to be excused any further useless exertion and would accept fruits and roots as his repast for that night.


But Viswarup fell at the feet of the Brahmana and repeated the entreaty of Himself and of the whole family that he would cook once again for the sake of Krishna. The pilgrim had been thoroughly bewitched by the Beauty and Grace of Viswarup. He willingly consented to cook a third time amidst the shouts of ‘Hari, Hari’ that were raised by all present. The place was quickly cleansed and everything was made ready for his cooking.


This time very special care was taken to prevent further mischief by Nimai. He had already hidden Himself inside one of the rooms. On the advice of those present, Misra had the door of the room securely bound from outside. Misra himself guarded the entrance of the room. The ladies at last announced that there was no further cause for anxiety, as the Child had fallen asleep. But they did not relax their vigilance.



At last the cooking of the Brahmana was finished, and, having arranged the meal, that Brahmana of excellent deeds, offered the same to Krishna in meditation. All the people had by this time fallen into a deep slumber. The Son of Sachi Devi again appeared on the spot where the Brahmana was making his offering of food to Gopala. On catching sight of the Boy the Brahmana made a great noise, but no one heard his cries. The Lord said, ‘Bipra! You are so generous! You ask Me to come. Is it My fault ? Repeating My mantram you call upon Me. Finding it impossible to stay away, I have thus come to you. You always long for My Sight. Wherefore, I show Myself to you.’


The Brahmana forthwith had a vision of the Wonderful Divine Form. The Figure had eight Arms which held the Conch, Disc, Club and the Lotus. There was butter in one of His Hands, which He ate with another. And the Lord played on the Murali (flute) with the other two Hands. A garland of jewels and the Gem Kaustuva adorned His Breast which was marked with footprints of Bhrigu. The Brahmana saw that precious ornaments decorated all parts of His Body. The tail of the peacock, set in the fresh twigs of gunja, adorned His Head. His red Lips added to the Beauty of His moonlike Face. He moved His Lotus Eyes smiling. The Vaijayanti Garland waved to and fro as also the Makara pendent hanging from His Ears. The charming Anklet (Nupura) of jewels adorned the Lotus Feet of the Lord. Darkness was flung back afar by the sheen of His gemlike Toe-nails. On the self-same spot the Brahmana also saw the wonderful Kadamba tree in Brindabana, alive with the sounds of birds. He saw the cowherds and milkmaids and cows on all sides. He had direct vision of everything on which he was wont to meditate. That :Brahmana of pious deeds swooned away with excess of joy on beholding splendours never seen before.





Sree Gaursundar touched the body of the Brahmana with His Hand. The Touch of Divine Hand restored external consciousness to the Brahmana. He was rendered passive by joy, and no words came out of his mouth. He swooned away and fell on the ground repeatedly, but, recovering quickly, stood up as often as he fell. No part of his body could be composed by reason of shivering, sweat, horripilation; and tears from his eyes flowed in a stream like the sacred current of the Ganges. Presently the Brahmana clasped the Feet of the Lord and began to cry with a loud voice.


On beholding the restlessness of the Brahmana, Sree Gaursundar smiled as He spoke to him briefly. The Lord said that ‘the Brahmana is His servant in every birth and always thinks of having the Sight of Him. Therefore He had shown him His Form. He had formerly shown His same Form to the Brahmana in the home of Nanda, in another birth. The Brahmana had forgot it. On that previous occasion also when Sree Gauranga had been born in the village of the cowherds, the same Brahmana, pursuing his pilgrim-journeys as now, had accidentally become the guest in the home of Nanda, and the Lord then showed him the same Form by stealthily eating his cooked food while in the act of offering it to Krishna. Those, who are His servants like the Brahmana, are privileged to have the Sight of His Divine Form. He then told the Brahmana not to divulge those secrets to any one as long as He remained Manifest in this world. He also told the Brahmana that His Advent takes place at the beginning of the congregational chanting (samkirtan) and that He will spread the samkirtan to all countries. He will give away to every household the Holy Love which is coveted by the gods including Brahma. The Brahmana will live to see many of those Activities.’ With these words and assuring the Brahmana not to have any fears, the Lord returned to His own apartment, and there lay in His little bed as before, in the likeness of a child. By reason of deep slumber no one could know anything.


The Brahmana was filled with supreme bliss on beholding the wonderful Divine manifestation. He besmeared his body with the cooked rice, cried as he ate, danced, sang, laughed and roared with delight. He repeatedly ejaculated ‘jais’ to the Boy-Krishna (Gopala). The noise made by the Brahmana at last woke ;up everybody, when he restrained himself and finished his meal by the customary performance (achaman).


The first impulse of the Brahmana was to make a clean breast of everything to all the people, so that they might be delivered by recognizing the Lord Whom they all believed to be but a mere mortal child. But he desisted from this rashness on remembering his promise made to the Lord not to divulge anything. This fortunate Brahmana thereupon took up his permanent abode in Nabadwip and daily visited his cherished Divinity at the home of Jagannath Misra on the conclusion of his day’s begging.


The Beatific vision is different from ordinary seeing. The Brahmana thought that if only he proclaimed what he had actually seen to all the people, they would implicitly believe in his words and be saved by knowing the Infant Son of Jagannath Misra as the Lord of the world. This had been forbidden by Sree Gaursundar Himself in anticipation. Why did He forbid such disclosure ? The Lord had Himself told the Brahmana that His servants alone are privileged to have the Sight of the Divine Form. Those who are not the servants of Krishna do not see Him. Knowing Him is identical with seeing Him. Those that are not willing to serve Krishna see only a mortal child in the Son of Jagannath Misra. This hallucination can be removed only by the Lord Himself, because it is His Power that obscures their vision. Unless He allows them to see, they cannot see or know Him as He really is. But the Lord is not unkind to them. He is full of mercy for even those who do not want to serve Him. He does not show Himself to them, lest they are forced to serve Him through fear. He wants their willing service which alone can satisfy also themselves, because that is the really natural relationship between Krishna and jivas.


This freedom of will conferred by Krishna on jivas, which, Therefore, forms a part and parcel of their nature, is allowed free scope by the Lord in order to enable jivas to attain the eternal, natural function of their souls by the process of free rational choice. He does not compel their choice to serve even Himself, against their freedom of will. But the jiva cannot sit idly. He must always serve to exist at all. Those, who do not like to serve Krishna, have to be made to serve their own deluded fancies. They hope to be able to avoid the service of Krishna by following their own selfish inclinations. Krishna freely allows them to make this experiment by providing the means for the seeming realization of their desire.


His Deluding Energy creates this world for the purpose by His Will. Those jivas, who are averse to serve Krishna, find this world to contain more than an endless abundance of what they can conceivably want in such circumstance, viz., all varieties of means of their own selfish enjoyment. In the process of undergoing such enjoyment, they have nothing to do with Krishna as the only Master to be served. They are thus offered, in fulfillment of their own choice, the vision of that Potency of Krishna whose apparent function is to minister to their selfish pleasures. This is the deluding manifestation or non-Krishna which can alone be available to those who want to lord it over the Divinity.


The Potency of Krishna, who thus appears to serve the erring fancies of disloyal souls, is the Deluding Power or Maya. When Krishna Himself comes down in His own proper Form into this world which is built for the above penal purpose by His Deluding Power, those jivas, who happen to be undergoing corrective enjoyment in this lower region, naturally take Him to be an object of this world like the other mundane entities that they know, which are of value to them solely because they minister to their trivial selfish enjoyment. All so-called service, that is so loudly advertised in this world, is only a method of procuring the good, i.e., enjoyable things of this world for oneself and other ungodly persons, for pleasing oneself. There is no place for the service of Krishna in the scheme of the selfish people of this world. The service of Krishna, the only Master, is not desired at all in this world. We want to be ourselves masters of everything including Krishna Himself if possible. Our lip-homage to Krishna is only a piece of pious hypocrisy. God does not perpetrate the anomaly of offering us a Master, Who can be no other than Himself, when we want to be served. This aversion is not due to ignorance, but is an innate disposition which is the result of the abuse of our freedom of will. It is only when the will of the jiva chooses to serve the Truth, i.e., Krishna, that Krishna shows His Form to him in order to receive his offered service.

The Vision Beatific is, therefore, possible only for those who have attained the highest rung of the ladder of spiritual endeavour towards the unadulterated service of the Divinity. There are hypocritical visions of so-called Divinity which are an ordinary device of the pseudo-yogis for deluding those worldly people who desire to see ( ?) Krishna for the gratification of their senses.


These pseudo-visions and miracles are by no means any infringement of the law of physical Nature. They come under the law of physical Nature or Deluding Energy as much as the ordinary events of mundane life. They are events of the mental plane. These mental powers can be obtained by the processes of pseudo-yoga and are coveted by persons who are inordinately anxious to extend their scope of selfish enjoyment. These bad people naturally fall a victim to the pervert yogis who lead them to deeper depths of perdition by producing in their minds such impious hallucinations of mastery over the Divinity. Krishna has His Eternal Divine Form. But His Form is not like those images of God that are set up in the shrines of worldlings for the gratification of fallen jivas. The True Form of Krishna is All-pure and Spiritual and can, by His Nature, be seen only by those who are themselves free from all worldly taint. This caution of the Scriptures should serve as a much-needed warning to all educated and high-born people who are specially liable to accept the assurances of pseudo-yogis and pseudo-sadhus to be enabled to obtain the Sight ( ?) of the Divinity even in their sinful state.


The process of spiritual progress has its strict gradations which bear a close analogy to those of mental progress. The really moral state is the natural condition of the jiva. An immoral or non-moral person is far worse than a brute. This moral condition is the highest ideal of his position conceivable by man as attainable by his empiric thinking and activities based thereon. The spiritual, indeed, transcends the ideal moral, but not in The sense that it transgresses against the so-called moral law, because by such transgression man is only degraded to the condition which is worse than even that of the brute. The spiritual life enables us to realize the moral as a secondary result. The spiritual fulfills the moral ideal by transcending it.


Morality can neither be understood nor perfected in practice by. the empiric efforts of man. Its ideal is attainment of perfect purity ( ? ) of body and mind. This ideal, the Scriptures tell us, can be automatically attained, only if it is made a secondary, and not the primary, object of life, as it happens to be the case with all really immoral people. The perfection of morality is realized as a secondary consequence of serving Krishna and not as a reward of endeavours for the satisfaction of our senses in our temporary worldly sojourn.

Those who serve Krishna are alone necessarily and perfectly moral or free from the evils of the flesh. Those, who are not perfectly moral in this real sense, are not spiritual at all and have no right of entry into Sree Brindavana the Transcendental Abode of the Divinity. But the Deluding Power of God misleads immoral people, through the agency of immoral yogis by showing them a false form resembling that of Godhead, as a means of punishing them for such impious desire of making God an object of the gratification of their senses.


This punishment is a real mercy to such people and is intended to cure them of their rank atheism. It is, therefore, necessary to confront one’s so-called spiritual experiences with the authority of the Scriptures and the corroboration of real sadhus who do not desire to aggrandize themselves at our expense before they are admitted by our serving disposition as genuine. The unambiguous advice on such matters is obtainable only from Sreemad Bhagavatam and in the only intelligible form from the career of Sree Chaitanya as described by His associates, Who is the Living Embodiment of the Eternal Religion described in the Bhagavatam. The other Scriptures avoid the concrete presentation of the Truth, lest He be condemned or disbelieved by those who are deliberately averse to Him.


The rationale of theism is furnished by the Vaishnava philosophy, which is unique in the world, in its positive aspect. The associates and loyal followers of Sree Chaitanya have left an ample exposition of the philosophy of the religion of the Bhagavata  in the clearest possible language. But even so it is suicidal to attempt to understand the highest spiritual principles without availing ourselves of the aid that has been so mercifully placed within our reach by Godhead Himself. The attitude of neglect of the transcendental subject is often due to ignorance, prejudice and irreverence. The two former obstacles can be overcome only by one’s own endeavours; but the last is incurable except by Grace. There cannot well be a greater hypocrite than one who professes the desire of seeing Krishna but has no absolute regard for those perfectly loyal souls who admit no other legitimate function except the service of Godhead. It is for this sufficient reason that Godhead Himself has ordained that by submitting to His devotees, not once nor twice but constantly and eternally with body, mind and speech, that any one can have real access to His Presence. It is, however, this very dictum of the Scriptures, intended for ensuring devotion to Godhead, that is exploited by the knaves and atheists under the external garb of sadhus for passing off the different forms of pseudo-service on willing worldly people for the gratification of their diabolical atheistical purposes which are destructive of even ordinary morality.



Chapter VI

—Growing Boy—



The Lord occupied Himself with these Juvenile Pastimes after the manner of Gopala (Cow-Boy Krishna). Meanwhile the proper time for the performance of the ceremony of making the Boy begin His studies, having arrived, Jagannath Misra chose an auspicious day and moment for ‘putting the writing-chalk into the Hands of his Boy’ to initiate Him into the art of reading, writing and arithmetic. This is one of the ten purificatory ceremonies enjoined by the Scriptures as necessary to be observed by the Brahmanas.


Some time after the ceremony, all friends of the family gathered together to perform the next purificatory rites, viz., perforation of the ears and tonsure. The perforation of the ears is to make possible hearing of the Word of Godhead or the attainment of the fitness of listening to words regarding the highest good, as distinct from ordinary non-spiritual utterances. The making of the tuft known as ‘the tongue of fire’ in the Vedas or subsequently as ‘teaching of Sree Chaitanya’ (Sree Chaitanya siksha), is another of the ten lustrations. Mayavadins (illusionist-Monists), who believe in non-activity, admit the value of the tuft only in the sphere of work which is illusory and, accordingly, in the long run, shave off the tuft on renouncing all activity. But the Vedic theistic renunciation of the triple staff (tridanda) does not dispense with the tuft which, in this case, is emblematic of progress in the sphere of the service of Godhead, even in the stage of sannyasa.


          Sree Chaitanya read all the letters of the Alphabet at the first sight, to the amazement of everybody. He finished all the compound-letters in two or three days and began to write constantly the series of the Names of Krishna. He wrote and read aloud, night and day, with the greatest ardour, the Holy Names of Rama, Krishna, Murari, Mukunda, Vanamali, etc. The fortunate people of Nadia actually saw the Lord of Vaikuntha reading in the company of their children. The sweetness with which the Lord articulates the letters has power to steal the hearts of all jiuas, if they have only a chance of listening to Him.


Sree Gaursundar engaged in diverse kinds of strange frolics, and His demands were always most difficult to satisfy. He would ask to have the bird which flew across the sky and the moon and stars of the firmament, and would cry violently, rolling in the dust and dashing His hands and legs against the ground, if His wishes were not fulfilled. All present would take Him up into their arms to console Him, but Viswambhar always proved intractable and went on crying, ‘I must have it’. There was only one sovereign remedy to stop Him. He was hushed the moment He heard the Name of Hari. All of them recited aloud the Name of Hari by clap of hand. This at once quieted the Child Who forgot all His turbulence. They chanted the Name of Hari to please the Boy and the home of Jagannath was turned into the realm of Vaikuntha.

It is necessary to guard against a possible error. That which is not the Abode of Godhead should not be supposed to be convertible into the same by chanting the Name of Hari. Such speculation, theologically dubbed as ‘transubstantiation’ applies only to mental and physical phenomena. The non-spiritual is never turned into the spiritual. Godhead dwells eternally in the pure spiritual essence which is the manifestation of His Spiritual Power, eternally distinct from the play of His Deluding Energy. The home of Jagannath Misra, in which the Lord appears, is never within the jurisdiction of the Deluding Power of Godhead.


One day Nimai began to cry violently. The Child was not quieted even by the chant of the Name of Hari, but kept on crying. After even, method of consoling the Boy had failed, they implored Him to tell them the cause of His grief, promising to procure whatever He desired. The Lord replied that He was very ill and lacked the strength to move or be quiet. If they really wanted to save His life, they must hasten; to the house of two Brahmanas, Jagadish Pandit and Hiranya Pandit. Those two had prepared a great variety of offerings for Vishnu on that day, which was the ekadashi tithi or the Lord’s Day. If they could get from them all those offerings and give them to Him, He would be cured of His ailment by feeding on those things.


The mother was shocked to hear, thinking it was opposed to custom and the Scriptures for any one to desire to eat offerings intended for Vishnu and that also on the ekadashi day. But the others only burst into merry laughter at these words of the Child and assured Him that they would send for the offerings immediately, so He need have no anxiety on that account any more.


Jagannath Misra himself went down to the house of those two Brahmanas who happened to be his most intimate friends. He told them what the Boy so imperatively wanted. Those two Brahmanas were struck with a sudden wonder on hearing the strange proposal. They thought within themselves, ‘This is most wonderful for a little Boy. How could He know at all that this is the Day of Sree Hari? How could He know that we have prepared to-day a great variety of offerings? This makes it perfectly clear to us that Gopala (Cow-boy Krishna) Himself dwells in the Figure of this beautiful Boy. Narayana Himself sports in the Frame of this Child. May be it is He Who makes Him say these words from His seat in the heart of the Child. Thinking in this way those two Brahmanas were filled with supreme joy, and at once with the greatest pleasure they- brought out all their offerings intended for Vishnu and themselves conveyed them to the Home of Jagannath Misra. They offered them with the greatest delight to Nimai and pressed Him to eat everything, giving out that all their preparations were at last really offered to Krishna Himself. The Lord was very much pleased on receiving the offerings and tasted a little of everything. His distemper was completely healed. He became as naughty and restless as ever, scattering the eatables in all directions and throwing bits of them at those who stood in a circle round Him and chanted the Name of Hari as He danced in the midst of the samkirtan of Himself



It is the custom of the Vaishnavas not to eat anything on the day of ekadashi.. This does not apply to the Lord Himself to Whom accordingly the usual offerings of food are made on the ekadashi day also. Those Brahmanas must have offered the food to Nimai in the firm belief that the Boy was no other than Krishna for Whom the offerings had been prepared. Such instinctive good sense, observes Thakur Brindabandas in this connection, is only possible to one who obtains the special mercy of Krishna. Devotion to the Lord does not make her appearance in the heart as long as the worldly egotistic attitude persists. One, who gives up all reliance upon his own powers and humbly seeks enlightenment from Krishna Himself, or, in other words, becomes His willing servant, obtains the mercy of Krishna in the shape of devotion to the Feet of the Lord. To the worldly egotist all this is utterly incomprehensible. The sudden resolve of the Brahmanas to offer the eatables to Nimai, instinctively believing Him to be Vishnu Himself for Whom they had been prepared, is a circumstance which cannot be properly grasped by any one except the servants of Krishna.

The reader may be reminded of the fact already noted that when the Lord appears in this world, He comes down with His eternal Associates, Servitors and Paraphernalia. This Descent of the Lord serves His merciful purpose of bringing the Divine realm within the vision of fallen souls thereby affording them the opportunity of serving Himself. The narrative of such Activities preserved in the language of this world continues to provide the same opportunity for all succeeding generations. But the Abode, Associates, Servitors, Paraphernalia, Narratives, although They appear to us like the things of this earth, are really spiritual entities, being of the Divine Essence. The Lord ever sports with His Own. He is ever manifest in the pure spiritual essence and all His Activities take place on the plane of the pure soul. His Activities manifesting Themselves in this world also possess the same spiritual nature. The Lord in His Real, positive or Spiritual Nature is knowable and servable by pure souls alone.

This material world is the shadow of the spiritual world. If the soul seeks the Lord in this world, he is perpetually deluded and is forced to arrive at the conclusion sooner or later, if he is really sincere in his quest of the Truth, that He is not to be found in this world. Less sincere people think that they can find Him in this world. But when the Lord actually appears in this world, these insincere people either ignore Him, thinking that He is an ordinary mortal, or, even if they are told of His Divinity, miss the real view of Him believing Him to be Godhead in the guise of mortal and subject to the imperfections of the flesh, as by such process of ‘incarnation’ alone He is wrongly imagined to be able to make Himself visible to the fettered souls.


The first is the frankly sceptical attitude that ignores altogether all possibility of spiritual existence. The second is no less fatal. It supposes that Godhead may be subject to the bondage of Maya, that Godhead may appear in this world as an actually sinful person and may engage in all worldly activities in the same way as we do. That such sinful activities of Godhead are not sinful, that it is the duty of fallen souls to submit to these sinful pastimes of the Lord in his human form; and that by such submission alone they can attain to the highest object of life. This is philanthropism, or the doctrine of prakrita sahajia sects, which is responsible, in some form or other, for all the corruptions of all current spurious creeds that profess to be theistic.

The true view is that the Lord, even when He chooses to be visible to the mortal eye, is nothing less than the Lord in His Fullness, because He is always All-powerful, always All-pure, always All-knowledge. Those alone can join in His Activities who share His Nature Who is Spiritual and incapable-of corruption. That is to say, no sinful person can really see, understand or participate in His Activities. The soul that is averse to Godhead, if by dint of the awakened sincerity of his nature he is convinced that no connection with the Lord can be established so long as the sinful condition itself persists, is enabled to obtain deliverance from the bondage of this world by witnessing with faith, by studying with faith and by listening with faith to the Narratives of these Activities from the lips of the servants of the Lord, by serving with faith those from whom he receives the tidings. the Lord,. His Associates and servitors, His Abode, the Narrative of His Activities, although they choose to be visible in this world from time to time, have nothing in common with anything of this world and are incapable of receiving the least stain of worldliness by their descent into this world.

Those who think otherwise are utterly misguided and are profane atheists, as they imagine that the Lord is only a created being like their false selves and possessing a similar liability to mundane defects and merits. But the Scriptures say that there is no greater slander of the All-pervasive (Vishnu) than to affect to believe that the Body of Vishnu is material. If this point is properly understood, there would be no chance of impostors, full of all the worst vices of humanity, setting up as ‘Incarnations’ ( ?) of Godhead and by their sinful activities and spurious performances bringing about the terrible ruin of themselves and their unfortunate Victims.

Lord Vishwambhar continued to be exceedingly restless and wayward. He became the leader of all the turbulent Brahmana boys of the neighbourhood. He and His company were constantly after some mischief or other and engaged in a campaign of regular raids on different places. No one could check His turbulence. He would cut jokes at other children, whenever He chanced to meet them. They would also retort, till the affair developed into a regular fray. The boys of the Lord’s party were always victorious in these quarrels by reason of the superior strength of the Lord, and their opponents found themselves compelled to retire discomfited. At this period Sree Gaursundar had the most charming Appearance. He was always gray with dust and His Body was beautifully adorned with points of writing ink.

After study was over at midday, Sree Gaursundar, in the company of all the children, went daily for His bath in the Ganges. As soon as He got into the water, He engaged in merry sports in the water with the children who splashed water at one another. Nabadwip was a most opulent city, and the number of bathers at each bathing-place baffled all calculation. They included very staid persons, respectable and grave fathers of families, and revered sannyasins, as well as a very large number of urchins. The Lord, sporting in the company of the children, soon attracted the attention of everybody by the extraordinary Beauty of His Person and by His turbulence. As the Lord played with the children, the shower of water from His Feet drenched all bathers. He paid no attention to the expostulations of the aggrieved parties and moved about so quickly from place to place that no one could catch hold of Him. In this manner the Lord made everybody bathe over and over again. He would touch some of the bathers and even spouted the water by His Mouth at them!


The Brahmanas, who were also treated in this unorthodox fashion, unable to catch hold of the turbulent Boy, at last went to Jagannath Misra and laid before him their grievances. ‘It was impossible for any one to bathe in the proper manner in the Ganges. Sree Gaursundar disturbed one’s meditations by the summary method of deliberately dashing the water at him or by spouting water at a person in the act of meditation for the avowed reason that it was unnecessary to meditate any more, as one could actually see Him on Whom he meditated, by simply opening his eyes, standing before Him; He Himself being Narayana manifest in the Kali Age.’


The Boy, it was alleged, stole one’s phallic symbol of Siva and decamped with the upper cloth of another. He occupied the seat prepared for Vishnu, ate all the offerings and put on His own person the flowers, etc., while the owner of them was engaged in his bath preparatory to worship, and ran away before He could be prevented, and would retort, into the bargain, ‘that one need not feel sorry at all as He Himself, for Whom the offering is meant, has eaten the same.’ Thereafter, coming forward unobserved by diving under the water, He would drag away a bather by the legs, as he was engaged in performing his sandhya standing up in the water. The flower-basket and loin-cloth of another were always missing. The Geeta of one bather was stolen. He had made the baby-boy of another cry by putting water into the ears of the child. He had climbed one’s back to his shoulder and from there jumped back into the water, crying ‘I am Mahesha’. He Himself worshipped Vishnu by occupying the seat arranged for worship by another; after having first eaten the intended offering. He threw sand at one’s body, after one had finished his bath, and had for the purpose all the naughty boys at His heels. He put the cloths of all male persons in the place of those of females and vice versa, to the utter shame of all who put on the wrong cloths. This was done every day. He did not get out of the water for half the day. Was it not likely that He might fall ill?


These Brahmanas were not the only complainants. The girls had serious grievances which they duly laid before Sachi Devi. He stole their cloths, abused them and got up a quarrel if they protested. He forcibly took away all the flowers and fruits brought by them for performing their vowed worships (brata) and scattered them in all directions.


As, after bathing in the Ganges, the girls began to worship the gods, Nimai would appear on the spot with the other children and took His seat in the midst of the girls. He asked the maidens to worship Him and told them that He would give them the boon they desired, that Ganga and Durga are His maid-servants and Mahesha is also only His servant. With His own hands He put the sandal-paste on His Own Person, wore the garlands of flowers, snatched the intended offerings from the girls and ate them. The girls were very indignant and said that ‘He was their brother by the relationship of the village. It was not proper for them to say all this against Him. But He should also not take away their articles for the worship of the gods and should not be boisterous in His behaviour.’ To this He would only say, ‘I give the boon to all of you. The husbands of you all will be most beautiful, learned, adept, youthful and possessing an abundance of grain and other riches. Every one of you will have seven sons a-piece, all of whom will live for ever and be of an excellent understanding.’ The girls were much pleased at heart on hearing about the boon, although externally they took up the scolding attitude by the display of false anger. Some of the girls ran away with their offerings. Nimai, however, called out to them and angrily told them that if they proved miserly, and did not give Him their offerings, they would have old husbands with four co-wives. They were extremely frightened on hearing this, lest He might possess some supernatural art or be possessed by any deity. They accordingly brought their offerings back to Him. The Lord ate those offerings and then gave them the boon which they desired. He threw sand at their bodies, after they had finished their bath, and this was done by Him at the head of all the naughty children. Coming up unobserved He shouted into one’s ear with a loud voice. He spouted water With His Mouth at one’s face. He stuck the prickly seeds of okhra into the hair of a third. He wanted to marry some. He did this every day, as if He was the Son of the King. Nimai, they alleged, acted exactly as the Son of Nanda in old times. If he was not checked, they would be compelled some day to tell their parents, and then there would be serious trouble.


On hearing all this the mother of the Lord smiled and, taking all of them on her lap, spoke kindly to them: ‘Let Nimai come Home to-day. I will tie up His Hands and Feet and punish Him, so that He may not again cause any trouble to you.’ Then the girls, after taking the dust of Sachi’s feet on their heads, made their way once more to the Ganges for their bath.


But, as a matter of fact, all concerned were exceedingly pleased in their minds, however wayward might be the conduct of the Lord towards them, by the force of the actual benefit dispensed. They came to Misra to acquaint him with those occurrences, only for the fun of it. Misra, however, took their complaints seriously and spoke threateningly and with anger: ‘He constantly behaves in this way to all persons and has made it impossible for any one to bathe in the Ganges in a satisfactory manner. I must immediately go there myself and give Him a good thrashing that He may never do this again. If all of you try, you will not prevent me from punishing Him.


Gauranga, the Lord of all beings, was aware of all this. He knew it all, as soon as Misra was on his way to the Ganges with an angry mind. He was then playing with other children, easily recognizable among them all by His extraordinary, Beauty. The girls were the first to inform Him. The said, ‘Be careful, Vishwambhar, Misra will be coming just now, fly at once.’ As the Lord, taking all the children with Him, ran to catch hold of them, those Brahmana maidens scattered in a fright.


The Lord now instructed all His companions to tell Misra that his Son had not come to bathe at all. He had gone home from school by the other road. They were waiting for His coming for His bath. After coaching the boys in this manner, the Lord returned home by another path. The good Misra now appeared at the bathing-place of the Ganges. On reaching the spot Misra eagerly looked about in all directions but could not find his Son in the mist of the children, Misra asked them about the whereabouts of Vishwambhar. The children readily replied, ‘He has not come to bathe to-day. He went home by the other road after school. We are all waiting here for Him.’ Misra, with stick in hand, peered in all directions and stormed and threatened, being unable to find his Boy. Those Brahmanas, who had complained to him for fun, now came forward and informed him that Vishwambhar had fled home for fear; and they entreated Misra to return home but not say any unkind words to the Boy, telling him that they themselves would catch and take the Boy to him, if He again did any mischief. ‘What we had told you, was said in fun. There is no one in the three worlds who is more fortunate than yourself. What can hunger, thirst or sorrow do to him in whose home there happens to be such a Child? You alone have truly served the Feet of the Lord. Most fortunate, indeed, is he who has such a Son. If Vishwambhar commits crores of mischief, hold Him fast to your bosom.’ Misra said, ‘That Child is the Son of you all. Swear by me that you will never be offended with Him.’ And then Misra embraced them all and came back home.


Lord Vishwambhar had gone home by another path, with the beautiful books in His Hands, looking like a second Moon. Points of writing-ink adorned all parts of His Body, as if the champaka flower was besieged on all sides by the black bees. The Lord began to call loudly on His mother asking for oil to rub His Body for going to the Ganges for His bath. The voice of her Son gladdened the heart of Sachi. She could not discover any sign of bath on His Person. She gave Him oil and began to muse. ‘I do not understand what those girls and the Brahmanas said just now. His Body is still spotted with the marks of ink and He has the same books and the same cloth!’ Presently, Misra also returned home. Vishwambhar ran into the arms of Misra as soon as He caught sight of him. By that embrace Misra lost all faculty of his external activity, having been filled with happiness at the very sight of his Boy. Misra also noticed that His Son’s whole body was full of dust and was astonished on finding no sign of bath. Misra said, ‘Viswambhar, is this Your good sense? Why don’t You allow the people to bathe? Why do You steal the offerings for the worship of Vishnu? Are You not afraid even of Vishnu?, The Lord said, ‘I have not gone for my bath to-day. My companions have gone there before Me. They misbehave to all the people. People blame Me even when I am not really there. If they thus slander Me when I am absent, I say truly that I will really treat them ill.’ With these words the Lord ran away laughing to the side of the Ganges to bathe and rejoined those children. As soon as they saw Vishwambhar in their midst, all the children embraced Him and burst into uproarious laughter on hearing of His ruse. They all praised His cleverness and congratulated Him on His narrow escape and resumed their pastimes in the water.


Here at home Sachi and Jagannath cogitated over the affair. ‘What all those people said cannot be false. Why then was there no sign of bath on His Person? The same dusty Body, the same Dress, Books, Cloth and Hair !’ ‘Is it possible Vishwambhar is no mortal? Has Krishna Himself been born as our Son by His own Power, or some transcendental person?’ While they were thinking in this manner, the Crest-jewel of all the twice-born made His Appearance. Their deliberations were ended by joy at the sight of their Son. Both were filled with instinctive gladness and all suspicions, were laid at rest, Half the day, while the Lord was away for His study, seemed to those two as a couple of Ages. In this manner played the Lord of Vaikuntha and by His Own Contrivance not a single person was able to recognize Him.


Those, who put up with the almost intolerable turbulences of this strikingly beautiful Urchin, certainly possessed a more than ordinary share of patience and of the truly aesthetic and tender sentiment. A naughty boy is most liked, if his naughtiness is purely juvenile and the outcome of an abundance of the pure childish energy. It is in this sense that the extraordinary events of the-Childhood of Sree Gaursundar have been affected to be regarded by His empiric admirers.

But the point of view of the associates and narrators of the Transcendental Deeds of the Lord is altogether different and it is their point of view which will give us the attitude of those who were taught the true relation between the religion and His own illustrative Conduct by Sree Chaitanya Himself; and they had also the opportunity of realizing the Absolute Truth of those statements by their actual experience. The sum and substance of their attitude is that these pranks of the Childhood of Sree Gaursundar, Who was by far the most turbulent of all the naughty children who then abounded at Nabadwip, were not only tolerated but they made all those, who were the victims of His turbulence, have an extraordinary affection for the Child Whom a few fortunate persons also regarded as Transcendental. It is on this historical fact that a momentous generalization in regard to these Activities has been made to rest, viz., that when Godhead Himself appears in this world, He comes here with His Divine Associates and Abode and These alone are the directly incorporated helpers of His Leela in this world.


All those persons, who had anything to do with the Activities of Sree Gaursundar, are the, eternal associates and servants of the Lord who came into this world for the purpose of participating in His Activities. But they themselves did not know this fully, as such knowledge would take away the possibility of those Activities. So their knowledge was to that extent modified by the Spiritual Power of Godhead. This apparent obscuration of knowledge, that is thus found in His devotees serves to augment the joy of His Pastimes and is totally different from the effect of the operation of the Deluding Power that shuts out the view of the Divinity from fallen souls of this world by the screen of the material world.


The philanthropists do not understand this vital difference between the apparently similar functions of the two distinct powers and confound the spiritual with the worldly. The result of such ignorance is also most deplorable. A large number of rascals have in all Ages set up as ‘Incarnations’ (the term is theirs) of the Divinity and have imitated the activities, the real Avatars narrated in the Scriptures. The unbelievable boldness and shamelessness of these ‘Incarnations’ have captured the credulity of even sensuously disposed cultured people who have fallen easy victims to their own immoral designs. These events in their turn have re-acted on the beliefs of the more moral sections and have unfortunately enough served to shake their belief in spiritual claims of any kind.


This is the psychology of the sceptics and impersonalists whose condition is not otherwise different from their deluded immoral brethren who are actually misled to accept the worst forms of vice as the means of attaining the promised spiritual condition. Both these deluded groups remain necessarily confined to worldly activities which are, by their very nature, offensive to Godhead, the one through undue credulity and the other through undue incredulity, regarding one’s imperative spiritual duty.

True belief in Godhead is spontaneous and, in its natural form, is very rare in this world. Those who really believe in God are thereby freed from all worldliness. The conduct of perfectly pure souls cannot be understood, so long as we remain in the condition that is dominated by the sensuous outlook. The only way of getting out of the sad plight is to gradually acquire faith in spiritual existence by listening to the accounts of the Transcendental Activities of the Lord in His different Avataras from the lips of true sadhus who alone can prevent us from falling into the errors of the misguided philanthropists (prakrita sahajiyas) on the one hand and sceptics and atheists on the other, the plight that would befall us if we try to understand those accounts in the light (which is really obscuring) of our sensuous understanding.


The Boy continued to be a source of trouble to all the neighbours. They complained to Sachi that the Boy stole their things and beat their little children. On hearing this Sachi scolded Nimai and ordered Him to remain always at home and never to go to anyone’s house. This so much angered the Lord that He forthwith ran into the house and smashed all the earthen pots that He found there. Then Sachi took Him into her arms and He was pleased and felt ashamed for His naughtiness. One day He struck Sachi gently with His Hands and wept when she fainted away being so struck. The women who nursed Sachi said that if He could get green coconuts, His mother would recover. The Lord immediately went out of the house and returned with two green coconuts. This feat astonished everybody, as the green coconut was a rare fruit at Sree Mayapur and almost impossible to procure at that time of the year.


One day as Sachi lay in her couch with her Son, she beheld that the house was filled with celestial beings. Sachi asked Nimai to call His father. As He was leaving the room to fetch His father, the tinkling sound of anklet (nupura) distinctly proceeded from His Feet. Misra told Sachi that he actually heard the sound of nupura coming from the bare Feet of the Child. Sachi said that she had a most strange experience. She had beheld that the courtyard of the house was thronged by a great crowd of celestial beings. She did not understand the noise that they made, but could infer that they must have been chanting hymns of praise to some One. Misra said that there was no cause for anxiety, whatever happened. He only desired the welfare of Vishwambhar.


Another day, on noticing the wayward nature of the Boy, Misra scolded Him very severely and tried to instill in Him the principles of orderliness enjoined by Religion. that night Misra had a dream in which he beheld that a Brahmana came to him and told him with an angry voice that he did not know at all the real truth regarding his Son, and it was owing to his ignorance that he scolded and punished Him under the impression that He was, indeed, his son and protigi. Whereupon Misra said that whatever the Child might be in Himself, even if he were a god, a self realized soul (siddha), a contemplative sage (muni), or howsoever great a personage, He was still only his own Boy to him. It was the specific duty of a father to teach and maintain his son. If he did not tell Him about it, how would the Boy know the meaning of Religion? The Brahmana said that if the Child was perfect in all knowledge by the grace of Godhead Himself and possessed spontaneous Omniscience, then his teaching must be perfectly useless. Whereupon Misra said that it was still the duty of the father to teach his Son, even if He happened to be Narayana Himself. They discoursed in this way, Misra ignoring all other considerations in trying to uphold the point of view of the parent. That Brahmana was at last satisfied and took his leave of Misra with great pleasure. Misra told all his friends about his dream and all of them were very much surprised to hear of it.



Chapter VII

—Growing Boy—(Continued)



Sree Gaursundar pursued His studies at the Academy of Gangadas Pandit with great zeal. He soon acquired a great proficiency in the sutra, panji and tika of Vyakarana. One day the Lord, making obeisance to the feet of His mother, begged for a boon from her. Having made mother promise to give Him whatever boon He desired, the Lord said that she was to promise that she would not eat cooked grain (annam) on the Lord’s Day (ekadashi). Sachi agreed to follow His advice, and from that day, observed the ekadashi fast.


In this manner Sree Gaursundar continued to manifest Himself in various ways under the guise of childhood pastimes. He was extremely turbulent and restless and paid no heed to the expostulations of His mother who tried to teach Him to be quiet. The warnings and entreaties of His mother seemed only to increase His waywardness. He used to break whatever article of the house He could lay His hands on. The parents, for fear of further mischief, gave up all attempt to oppose Him, to the great joy of the Child, Who was thereby afforded an opportunity of unrestrained play. Nimai soon ceased to be afraid of all persons, including His parents. The only person, whom He still feared, was His elder brother, Viswarup, Whose very sight made Him exceedingly meek.


          Viswarup had no attachment for the things of this world even from His birth. He devoted all His time to discourses about Krishna. He served Krishna with the ear, mouth, mind and all senses, and served only Krishna at all time. Viswarup was struck by the habits of His younger Brother, which were altogether different from those of ordinary children. He realized the conduct of Nimai as identical with that of Boy-Krishna. He was aware of the Transcendental Divine Nature of the Boy in Whose Form He could detect the Presence of sportive Krishna. Viswarup was, however, careful not to divulge His knowledge regarding His Brother to any one else. He was in fact always intent on His own devotions, was constantly in the company of the Vaishnavas and was wholly occupied with the joy of Krishna-talk, Krishna-devotion and Krishna-worship.


This aloofness of Viswarup from the world increased apace by the re-action of His godless surroundings. The people of Nadia of that time, as has already been noted, were inordinately and exclusively given to the pursuit of worldly objects. This was the condition not merely of the vulgar, illiterate mass, but also of the most highly educated people. The acknowledged headquarters of all learning of the country of that Age was absolutely devoid of love for God. The teachers of the Bhagavatam themselves were no exception to the rule. These also neither understood, practiced, nor explained the principles of devotion to Godhead and were equally mad after wives, wealth and fame. It was this godless atmosphere of the emporium of learning, abounding in luxuries of all kinds, that appeared to Viswarup to be so stifling and unbearable that He at last made up His mind to leave the place for good, to avoid the sight of such people.

Meanwhile He scrupulously avoided all association with the ungodly. He used to bathe in the Ganges very early in the morning and proceeded immediately to the gathering of the Vaishnavas at the house of Advaita. There He explained all the Shastras showing how all Scriptures proclaimed the supreme excellence of devotion to Krishna. His explanations gave so much pleasure to Advaita that he often broke off abruptly in the midst of his worship with thundering shouts of joy and would clasp Viswarup to his bosom amid the joyous chants of the Name of Hari by all assembled devotees moved to raptures by the edifying spectacle. The devotees, assembled at Advaita's house, spent their time in the greatest happiness and no one was minded to return to his home or leave the company of Viswarup. Neither would Viswarup ever come home from His companions.


          After cooking his meal, Sachi Devi would ask Vishwambhar to fetch His brother from the gathering at Advaita’s. The Lord appeared before the assembly in the midst of Krishna-talk of those devotees. Pleased with their discourse regarding Himself, the Lord would bend His auspicious glance on His devotees as He asked His brother to come home for His meal. He then took hold of His brother’s cloth and led Him away from the place.


On every such occasion the devotees felt the wonderful attraction of the Child. They remained silent, abstaining even from Krishna-talk, all the time the Boy was in their midst. They noticed, with rapt attention, every detail of the beautiful Limbs of the nude Child and every motion of His Body, and drank with the greatest joy His luscious Accents. And, after Vishwambhar had left the place, the great Advaita told them one day that he was unable to understand Who that Boy really was. Advaita had realized that He was no ordinary Child.


The subject has been treated in a remarkable dialogue between Sree Suka and King Parikshit in the Bhagavatam. When this very Gaurchandra, says Thakur Brindabandas, was born in the settlement of the cowherds as Sree Krishna, all the cowherds loved Him from His birth more tenderly than they loved even their own sons. They did not know that Krishna was Godhead Himself, yet they naturally loved Him more than their own sons.


King Parikshit desired Sree Sukadeva to explain how this was possible, as it was opposed to all experience of this world. Sree Suka said that there is nothing dearer to our souls than the great Soul of all souls. The Son of Sree Nanda is the Supreme Soul. Therefore, the milkmaids of Braja had greater love for Krishna, as He is the Supreme Soul himself. But this also holds true only in the case of the devotees; as otherwise, all the world would have loved Krishna. Kamsa and other atheists (asuras) bore malice against Krishna, although Krishna is also the Soul of their souls, by the effect of offenses against Him previously committed by them. Sugar is naturally sweet. But there are some who find its taste bitter by reason of the defect of their own tongues. The fault is of the tongue, not of sugar. Therefore, says Thakur Brindabandas, although Lord Chaitanya is really All-sweet and was visible to everybody in this very town of Nabadwip yet was He unrecognized by any one except the devotees. The Lord ever fascinates the minds of His Own devotees in every manner. This mystery is incomprehensible to the atheists.


Viswarup would go home only in name and was never attached to it. While visiting home He would spend all His time there inside the chamber of worship of Vishnu. This behaviour led His parents to bethink themselves of His marriage. Viswarup thereupon carried out His cherished resolve of quitting the world. The foremost of the Vaishnavas thus became a sannyasin soon after this and left home in quest of the Infinite. As sannyasin Viswarup was known by the appellation of Sree Sankararanya.


These events raise a number of important issues. It is necessary to notice one of them at this place. The fascination that the Divinity exercises over the minds of His devotees, should not be confounded with the clouding of the faculty of judgment produced by an excess of worldly joy or sorrow. The exclusive mood of the devotees at the Sight of Sree Gaursundar and the similar moods of Suka and Narada are not to be put into the same category with the outwardly similar exhibitions of ultra-sentimentalism exhibited by the worldlings. The latter is recognized, under the name of moha, by all the Shastras, as one of the six evil passions (ripus) being classed with anger, lust, etc., that have to be carefully got rid of by all persons who are sincerely desirous of spiritual living. The former is the natural impulse of the pure individual soul who always experiences this spontaneous attraction for the Absolute. The genuine spiritual attraction is not a dry, abstract process; neither does it bear any affinity to the sensuous impulse, to which our body and mind are so wrongly subject, that is exercised by the prospects of worldly enjoyment. Those who have been enabled by their love for the Absolute to overcome the sensuous attraction exercised by the material universe, are thereby enabled to experience the far greater attraction of the service for Krishna. The great Love of Krishna for His servants cannot be consciously realized in the conditioned state. That love for Krishna, which is possible of realization in the fettered state in this world, is somewhat analogous to the attraction that is experienced by the cows, the cane, the flute, etc., for the Lord, in the realm of Braja.


Sree Sankararanya after acceptance of sannyas journeyed to various parts and exhibited the state of realized exclusiveness in the Lord (samadhi) at Pandurangpur or Pandharpur (in the Sholapur District of the Bombay Presidency).


Sachi and Jagannath were most profoundly affected by the sannyas of Viswarup. Sree Gaursundar exhibited the Leela of fainting away at separation from His Brother (devotee). All the people of Nadia, high and low, whoever heard of the sannyas of Viswarup, were filled with a great grief. The home of Jagannath Misra was turned into the abode of mourning. Jagannath and Sachi cried constantly on the name of Viswarup. The friends and relatives of Misra tried their best to compose him. Some of their arguments bear to be repeated here. ‘Be quiet, Misra,’ said they, ‘that great Son has earned the deliverance of all His kindred. If a single member of a family accept sannyas three crores of generations of that family thereby attain to the happy realm of Vaikuntha. Your beloved Son has performed a great meritorious deed. All His learning has at last been crowned with its supreme success. Rejoice greatly at this. All your sorrows will be removed by this other Son of yours. Vishwambhar will be the Support of the family. What are crores of sons to him whose Son is He ?’ Misra was inconsolable. He did not feel certain that the other Son will also stay in the family. He could not forget the many good qualities of Viswarup. By slow degrees, however, the worthy Misra picked up patience and regained the equilibrium of his faculties. He was helped in this by his enlightened faith in Krishna. ‘Krishna gave me the Child and has now taken Him away. The Will of Krishna should certainly prevail. The soul of the jiva has no tittle of power of his own. I, therefore, surrender myself, my body and senses, to Thee, O Krishna.’


The devotees experienced a clinging sorrow in the midst of their joy, when they learnt of the sannyas of Viswarup. ‘Krishna,’ thought they, ‘has robbed us of the only place where we might hear the talk about Him. We also will no longer stay among these people but will go into the forest where we shall not have to see the faces of these sinful persons. It is impossible to bear longer the torment of the blasphemies of these atheists. All people are constantly pursuing the evil course. We cannot convince them of their error. If we tell them of it, they only receive the statement with ridicule, saying that we are not happier than they in any way by worshipping Krishna. What is the use associating with such people ?’


The griefs of neither Jagannath Misra nor of those devotees, are of the nature of the sorrows that overtake all worldly people at the curtailment of any possibility of their selfish enjoyment. Jagannath Misra realized the true significance of the sonnies of Viswarup. His lamentations, properly understood, are really an expression of his appreciation of the transcendental nature of the Son who had left him for good. This realization accordingly also effected the sannyas of Jagannath Misra himself. The language of his friends echoes the attitude of the devotees. The devotees, however, fully sympathized with the keen sorrow of Viswarup at sight of the utter godlessness of the people, and appreciated the quality of Viswarup’s exclusive devotion to Krishna.


The tears of the devotees are always different from those shed by worldly people. The weeping of the devotees is the expression of their absorbing devotion to Krishna. The tears of worldly people are caused by their aversion to Krishna. Worldly people always think of their own personal joys and sorrows. Outwardly the exhibitions of both seem to be identical to those who are not conscious of their categorical difference; and self-deception in this form is unfortunately by no means rare as is proven by the sickening, neurotic performances of hypocritical philanthropists.


Sree Advaita Acharya consoled the assembled devotees. He declared that ‘they would assuredly obtain the highest bliss,—he, indeed, on his part felt perfectly sure about it. He experienced a great joy in his mind. It seemed to him that Krishna-Chandra Himself had appeared in the world.’ He asked them all to sing Krishna with the utmost delight. He assured them that they would see Krishna at that very place within a short time. ‘Krishna will display His joyous Activities in the company of yourselves. Advaita (referring to himself) is a pure servant of Krishna, only if this prove true. This servant of you all will gain such Divine favour that seldom falls to the lot of even Suka or Prahlada.’ These nectarine words of Advaita filled the devotees with great joy and restored cheerfulness to all the faculties of their minds. In their joy they shouted the Name of Hari with a thundering voice. This reached the ears of Sree Gaursundar Who was then playing with the children. He entered Advaita’s Academy on hearing the sound of Hari. ‘What brings Thee here, Darling?’ asked the devotees. The Lord said, ‘Why did you ask Me to come?’ With these words the Lord sped into the midst of the children. No one could understand those, by the contrivance of His Divine Power.


It is the privilege of the pure devotee to have the Sight of Krishna being served by His devotees. Sree Advaita was right in maintaining this view. The empiricists bIunder hopelessly, when they arrive at the conclusion, by the process of induction from their sensuous experience, that Godhead is devoid of Distinct Personality and Activities. By trying to know Godhead by the limited faculties of the human mind, the speculative philosophers, when they care at all to take up the positive attitude, arrive at an abstract conception of Godhead (Brahman) as the antithesis of this limited and imperfect phenomenal world. This is the utmost limit—the ultima  Thule— of the ascending ( ?) effort of the human mind from the data of sense-experience. This consummation is perfectly logical. The human mind can conceive of nothing that is not limited. It, therefore, tries to arrive at the Absolute, simply by destroying the positive content of empiric thought. But this is neither here nor there. The revelationists realize the Absolute, not in this abstract form of the mundane, but as He really is. They find Him as the Living Reality and not an abstraction of the erring mind. They are enabled to receive the knowledge of the Absolute by the resuscitation of the dormant serving faculty of the soul by the Grace of the Absolute Himself. The Absolute descends into this limited world in order to reveal Himself to the redeemed soul of man. When He does so, He is recognized as the Absolute by His pure devotees who are eternally and divinely enlightened. Advaita, the purest of devotees, was the first among the assembled Vaishnavas to realize the Descent of Krishna into the world. he also simultaneously realized that those assembled Vaishnavas were the servants of Krishna, who had appeared in the mundane world preparatory to the Advent of the Lord Himself. Thus the Whole Truth flashed on the spiritual consciousness of Advaita and he realized in it the special mercy of Godhead towards Himself in response to his single-hearted devotion.


The Lord became a little quieter from the time when Viswarup renounced the family. He was now found constantly at the side of His parents evidently for the reason that they might thereby forget their sorrow. He was also less devoted to play than before and gave more attention to His study. He did not leave His books even for a moment. His cleverness was wonderful. He puzzled all persons over every sutra by reading it only once. This became quickly known to all the people who were lavish in their praise of the excellent judgment of the Child and carried the glad tidings to Jagannath Misra. ‘You are, indeed, most fortunate in having such a Son. There is not another child in all the three worlds who is possessed of His good sense. He will surpass Brhaspati himself in learning. He can explain whatever He hears. But no one can explain His puzzles.’


Sachi was very much delighted on hearing these praises of the good qualities of her Son. But Misra was greatly dejected. He now opened his mind to Sachi. ‘The Boy would not remain in the family. The same thing would happen in His case as in that of Viswarup. It was by studying the Shastras in this manner that Viswarup became aware that the world was not true at all, and it was not worth one’s while to live in it for a single moment. It was the knowledge of the transitory nature of the world that made Viswarup quit it. If this Boy came to learn the real meaning of the Shastras, He also would give up all worldly pleasures. But this Son of ours is the Life of us both. If we do not see Him, Both of us will surely die. Therefore, He must have nothing to do with study. Let our Nimai only stay in the family. We do not mind if He is illiterate.’


Sachi at first demurred to the proposal. ‘If He does not read anything, how will He earn His living? Will also any one give Him his daughter in marriage?’ Jagannath Misra told Sachi that she ought to know better, as she was the daughter of a Brahmana. ‘Krishna is the only Slayer, Master and Protector of everybody. The Lord of the world is the sole Maintainer of the world. Who had told her that it was learning that maintained anybody. One will surely have the girl whom Krishna assigns to him, whether he be a scholar or a fool. Family, learning, etc., are only apparent helps. It is Krishna Who maintains everyone. Krishna is the strength of all. He himself has all along been starving, although he is a good scholar; while the door-steps of the most illiterate persons are thronged with hosts of begging savants. A life that is free from want, and death with ease, can never be the lot of a person who does not worship the Feet of Govinda. These blessings are obtained by worshipping Krishna, and not by learning. There can be no end of one’s sorrows save by the mercy of Krishna. The possession of learning, high lineage and great riches does not make any difference. Krishna sometimes afflicts, with some virulent disease, a person whose house is full of all enjoyable things and makes it impossible for him to enjoy any of those things. Such a person is even more miserable than one who has not the wherewithal to procure those luxuries. Know this as certain that nothing of this world is of any avail. What is commanded by Krishna, alone comes to pass. Therefore, you need have no anxiety for your Child. I say Krishna will maintain the Boy. I will not allow any sorrow to touch Him, as long as there is life left in my body. Krishna is the Protector of all of us. There is no anxiety for One Who is the Son of a loyal matron like yourself. I tell you He must not read any more. Let my Son only stay with the family and be a fool.’ The worthy Misra called his Son and told Him on his oath ‘that He must not read from that day. He assured his Son that he would supply all His wants. All He had to do from now was to live at home in every comfort.’ Without stopping for a reply Misra hastily left the place to attend to other works.


Nimai was sorry at heart at this abrupt stoppage of the pleasures of study; but, in obedience to His father’s command, He at once discontinued His studies. His waywardness, however, now increased more and more. It now passed all bounds. He did indiscriminate damage to property both in the house and elsewhere. He took particular delight in smashing everything that came in His way. Some days He stayed away whole nights amusing Himself in all kinds of play with the children.


Two boys hid themselves under a piece of blanket and went about as a bull. In this fashion He and a companion broke up during the night the plantain grove of a household that He had marked out for the raid in the day-time. The inmates of the house lamented their damage under the impression that it was the doing of a bull. The Lord with the children bolted, as soon as people of the house were astir. He would bind fast the door of a house from the outside, preventing the members from attending to calls of nature. As they began to shout in a great perplexity, demanding to know who had done the deed, and tried to find out the mischief monger, the Lord decamped with His followers. The Lord was occupied in this manner night and day in the company of the children. But Misra did not utter a single word, despite all this.


One day while Misra had been called away from the house on some business, the Lord, indignant at being kept out of His studies, sat on a pile of refuse earthen pots that had been cast away after being used by the family in cooking offerings for Vishnu. The soot from the sides of the pots blackened the whole Body of the Boy as He sat there laughing. The children of the neighbourhood were not slow in conveying the tidings to Sachi Devi. ‘Nimai’ they said, ‘is sitting on the refuse cooking-pots.’ The mother was most disagreeably surprised on receiving this news, as she hastened to the spot and found the report true. She importuned her Son to come down from His unclean seat, telling Him that He ought to have known at His age that it was necessary to bathe if one touched a refuse cooking-pot. The Lord at first said that He could not be expected to possess the knowledge, as He was debarred from all study. All places were the same to Him. He possessed no knowledge of good and evil. His knowledge was always one and the same. And when the mother repeated her remarks that He could by no means be considered clean as He sat in a dirty place, the Lord plainly told the truth to His mother.


‘Mother,’ said He in the manner of a child, ‘you are no better than an infant to speak so thoughtlessly. I never stay in any unclean place. The spot where I am, is full of all holinesses. All holy tirthas, the Ganges and the rest, abide there. My cleanliness or uncleanliness is purely a matter of the deluded imagination. Ponder this well. Can there be any sin in the Creator? Even if a thing happens to be impure according to the opinion of men or of the Veda, can such impurity exist when it is touched by Myself? As to these pots, there has been no cause of any uncleanliness in them, as you yourself used them for cooking the offering for Vishnu. The vessel used in cooking offerings for Vishnu is never made unclean thereby. On the contrary, the touch of pots so used sanctifies all places. For all these reasons I am not staying in any bad place. The purity of all things is due to My touch.’


The Lord laughed in the mood of a child as He spoke these words. No one understood their real meaning by the force of the beneficent Power of the Lord. These words of the Child only amused and made them laugh. Thereupon Sachi asked Him to come down to bathe. But the Boy refused to descend from His seat, although Sachi urged Him to make haste lest father might come to know. ‘I will never come down,’ said the Lord, ‘if you do not allow Me to read.


The people, who had collected to the spot, now took the side of the Lord. They found fault with the mother for having stopped the studies of the Child. ‘All people are most careful to make their children learn to read and write. It is a rare good fortune when a child himself wants to read. There could be no greater enemy than a person who had advised her to stop the studies of the Boy in order to keep Him at home and make a dunce of Him. The Child was not at all to blame in this matter.’ They also implored Nimai to come down, telling Him to go on doing all sorts of mischiefs if He was not allowed to read from that very day.


The Boy, however, still lingered where He was and went on laughing from His seat on the top of the pile of the refuse cooking pots. Those who saw it were fascinated, and the joy of those persons of good deeds knew no bounds. Till at last the mother herself went up to the Child and fetched Him with her own hands. The Lord now came away, laughing all the time, like a blue opal shooting its sparkling light in all directions. Thus did the Lord speak out the truth in the mood of Dattatreya; but no one understood it by the interposition of the Power of Vishnu.


Virtuous Sachi, now helping her Son to descend from the pile, made Him bathe in order to be cleansed. Misra then made his appearance. Sachi told Misra everything. ‘The Child is grieved at heart by not being allowed to read.’ All present pressed Misra to lift the ban. ‘He is wise and liberal and should be better advised. What Krishna-Chandra wills, is sure to come to pass. He should, therefore, allow the Boy to read and you need have no anxiety on His account. The Boy Himself is very willing to read. So Misra should forthwith invest the Child with the sacrificial thread on an auspicious day and in a fitting manner.’ Misra agreed to their proposal.


The acts of the Child were super-human and astonished everybody. But no one understood their real significance. Occasionally some, who happened to be exceptionally fortunate, told Misra not to regard his Son as mortal child and had advised him to cherish the Boy with the greatest care and affection. The Lord thus passed the days unrecognized and played in the yard of Sachi after the resumption of His studies which He did with the greatest delight by command of His father. The diverse restrictions that have been put upon worldly activities by the religious codes (smrtis) cannot be understood, if they are regarded as intended for the promotion of worldly enjoyment. Those, who uphold the rules, as rules, have found it necessary to secure their observance by promises of enjoyment and threats of misery. This method has been a failure, because it did not take a long time for worldly people to find out that those promises and treats were not really to be fulfilled. Neither did they attract the really intelligent class of people, as they promised only worldly rewards which naturally appeared to such persons to be out of place in religion. This is the plight of canon-ridden (smarta) ‘Hinduism’. The rules themselves have accordingly lost the effective support of all classes.


It does not follow, therefore, that the mode of life enjoined by the Shastras is defective. That mode, if rightly understood, is necessary to be followed for our eternal welfare. The conduct enjoined by the Shastras forms Divinely ordained system for all those who desire to qualify for a spiritual life, that is to say, are prepared to subordinate their apparent temporary, to the real, permanent and eternal interests. Such a desire is possible only in man and constitutes the special privilege and glory of human life.


Material enjoyment does not satisfy man, as it does other animals. The quest of the spiritual is the distinctive, imperative necessity of man. He wants to know why he is here at all. Those, who think that it is the principal duty of man to improve the conditions of his present worldly existence, try to find out the best way of promoting the scope and quality of mundane activities. The smartas also belong to this class. To this category belong, directly or indirectly, most people of this world. There is, however, a class of people who think that it is our principal, nay- only, duty to serve the Absolute, irrespective of apparent worldly loss and gain which are transitory and unreal. The Shastras are accepted for their constant guidance only by this class of people. The smartas only pretend to agree with this class regarding their acceptance of the shastric method. The smartas, however, really want to serve the false ego, which craves for the transitory enjoyment of this world, by the rules of the Scriptures followed by, the former who serve the true ego by dint of their natural attachment to the Absolute. The method of the, smartas is, therefore, rightly condemned by even consistent worldly people, as being both irrational and ineffective and, in no less unambiguous language, by those who really want to walk in the path of the soul.


The restrictive rules of the Shastras are intended for curtailing the opportunity and scope of worldly enjoyment. This is their negative aspect. But these rules really impose obligations of a positive nature. The object of the rules is to direct the mind towards Godhead. These rules are not numerous nor unintelligible. There are, however, rules of various grades. These Scriptural dogmas differ from ordinary rules of worldly conduct by their possession of a much more advanced and consistent philosophical nature. In the hands of the smartas these rules have suffered mechanical elaboration and stultification for being adopted to the worldly purpose.


Cooking for oneself is discouraged by the Shastras. The act of cooking meal, as every other act, must be performed only for Godhead. For those who do not want to accept this view, the way is prepared by a number of restrictive observances in regard to cooking done for the appeasement of hunger. These restrictive rules are necessarily superfluous, or rather fulfilled, if cooking is actually done only for Godhead. If we search for the spiritual principle, it is not difficult to understand the rules, although it is not possible for a worldly-minded person to follow them consistently, unless he is really prepared to subordinate the worldly out-look to the spiritual requirement.

The ideas of purity and impurity, as applied by the mechanical smartas to lifeless objects, are ridiculous. It is a product of eclipsed cognitive existence due to aversion to Godhead. An object or an act is impure by reference to the attitude towards it of the conscious entity who is responsible for its performance. According to the Shastras, everything is pure which is used in the service of the Absolute by reason of the fully conscious use by the performer of it. An object, which according to the eclipsed point of view appears to be objectionable, is necessarily rendered wholesome, i.e., is purified by being consciously used in the service of Godhead Whereas the cleanest or most wholesome objects from the worldly standpoint may become necessarily dirty by their unspiritual use The reference to Godhead is the only cause of purity in its rational sense. The reference of any object to the false ego is the only cause of its impurity. All the Scriptures bear unanimous testimony to the truth of this conclusion.

‘The Lord, the Moon of the home of Sachi-Jagannath, thus enjoyed His childhood sports, infinitely more diverse than are found in this world, of which an infinitesimally small part will be hereafter made known to the world, by way of revelation, by the Acharya’. These are the words of Sree Brindavandas Thakur. The words of the Veda reach only the ears of the most fortunate persons. The rest of the world must submit to receive the knowledge from those few. These sports of Sree Saursundar were witnessed by all the people. Yet no one recognized the Lord. They all took Him to be a mere human child. Similar is the case as regards the words of the Veda. Most people do not really hear them, although they are available for being heard by all.


While Sree Gaurchandra was occupied with these pastimes of childhood, apparently oblivious of everything else, the time for His investiture with the sacrificial thread drew nigh. The friends and relatives of the family, duly invited by Misra, met together in the house of Jagannath. The different functions connected with the ceremony were distributed among them, each taking up the part that suited him best. There was great rejoicing. The ladies sang of the Excellent Qualities of Krishna amidst frequent exclamations of ‘jai,. The dancers kept pace with those who played on the mrdanga, the sanai and the banshi. Brahmanas read the Veda and minstrels recited eulogies. Thus joy assumed a visible form in the home of Sachi. All auspicious planetary conjunctions hastened to serve the occasion. In this manner did Sree Gaursundar put on the holy thread of sacrifice.


As the beautiful thread adorned the Divine Form, it seemed as if Sree Shesha himself encompassed the Lord in the guise of the slender line. The identical Leela of the Lord, that He performed in His Appearance as Vamana (Dwarf ), was thus reenacted. Sree Gaursundar manifested the Leela of Sree Vamana to the delight of all beholders. All saw the fiery radiance of the Brahmana and no longer thought Him mortal.


As is the practice on such occasions, the Lord, with the Brahmachari’s staff in His hand and the wallet for receiving alms across His shoulders, went on a-begging tour to the doors of all His devotees. The ladies of every household put as much alms into the wallet of the Lord as their resources enabled them to do, with the utmost satisfaction and with a smiling countenance. The consorts of Brahma and Rudra and the helpmates of all the contemplative sages (munis), assuming the forms of Brahmana matrons, availed themselves of this opportunity of beholding the Divine Form of Sree Vamana, and all of them laughingly poured their alms into the wallet of the Lord. The Lord enacted this Leela of amana for the deliverance of all persons.


There is a controversy among worldly sections in regard to the question of the attitude of Sree Chaitanya towards the caste system. The Lord Himself was born in a Brahmana family and went through all the purificatory ceremonies that are enjoined by the Shastras for the observance of Brahmanas. Are we to suppose from this that the fact is to be interpreted as favouring the retention of the present caste-distinctions ? It has also been pointed out by the controversialists that as a sannyasin Sree Chaitanya resorted to the houses of Brahmanas to beg for His meals. This was apparently the rule, though there were also notable exceptions.

Why did Sree Gaursundar assume the sacrificial thread ? Why was He born in a Brahmana family? The answer of course is not very difficult to find. What is the harm? The Lord is free to do as He likes. It will be a mistake to suppose that He can be subject to any limitation whatever. The contention, that He should have proved the futility of castes and ceremonials by, being born outside caste and refusing all ceremonial, is itself an attempt, of its kind, to limit the unlimited. He was not against caste, nor in favour of it. He was above the caste. The hereditary Brahmana caste is, however, very different from the scriptural varna of Brahmanas who know the Brahman, i.e., the greatness of Godhead. The knowledge of the greatness of Godhead is the necessary pre-requisite for attaining to the service of God. Any one who possesses this preliminary knowledge is alone a Brahmana by varna. The knowledge of the Brahman is not the effect of seminal birth. A person born in a Brahmana family is born again, i.e., becomes a dvija, by the ceremony of investiture with the holy thread. He ceases to be a seminal-born by his formal accepted submission to receive spiritual enlightenment from the spiritual Guide. There are two successive enlightening ceremonies. By the first of these ceremonies, which is called the upanayana, the seminal-born obtains the right of listening to the words of the Veda from the good preceptor; by the subsequent ceremony of initiation (diksha), he obtains the positive knowledge of the transcendental.


These are the two successive stages thorough which every disloyal soul has to pass, on the way to the spiritual service of Godhead. These processes have nothing to do with the hereditary caste or lifeless ceremonial that is sought to be monopolized by any hereditary caste.


But Sree Gaursundar does not merely uphold the non-seminal scriptural Brahmana ideal and practice in going through the upanayana ceremony. He was re-enacting the Activities of Vamana, that possess a very much higher significance. Vamana begs for alms from His devotees. Godhead is the Absolute Proprietor of everything. What alms can He beg and what alms can also a soul offer to Him? This is the real point at issue in the Vamana Avatara. Sree Vamana begged from King Bali (Sacrifice) for that measure of space which is covered by His Three Strides. He encompassed the gross world with one Stride and the subtle material world by the second Stride. The surrender of everything, physical and mental is not enough to satisfy the Lord Who also begs for the surrender of the soul of the jiva who is located in the third region, viz., Vaikuntha which transcends both e gross and the subtle material worlds.


This Leela of the Divine Dwarf was re-enacted by Sree Gaursundar for the deliverance of all souls. In other words, the individual soul can be delivered from ignorance regarding himself only by the constant practice of this supreme sacrifice. Godhead chose to be born in a Brahmana family in the Kali Age, not to prove that the seminal Brahmana caste is superior to the other seminal castes; neither for the purpose of establishing the superior excellence of seminal birth in a Brahmana family. Sree Krishna had already been born in the family of a cowherd.


By the express testimony of the Shastras, the pseudo-Brahmanas of this Kali Age are the worst of all classes of the people. Sree Gaursundar appeared in a Brahmana family, in fulfillment of the words of the Scriptures, for showing His mercy to the degraded Brahmanas. As Sanyasin Sree Chaitanya was a strict observer of the Shastric rules that impose various restrictions on a person belonging to that order, in order to set an example to the degenerate sannyasins of the Kali Age. Such conduct does not mean that a sannyasin is, spiritually speaking, superior to a householder, but that both should really follow the Word of God, if they want at all to serve Him which alone matters. It would be a blunder to suppose that there could be any excellence in any institution if it ceases to serve God, or that any institution which serves the Lord can be inferior to any other, or that any mundane class difference can apply to the servants of the Lord. Those, who are unduly attached to the vanities of seminal birth or the externals of ceremonials and institutions, are ever condemned to the delusion that their ungodly worldly preferences are endorsed by God Himself. It is not possible to be completely free from the influence of such worldly predilections except by the Causeless Grace of Sree Gaursundar Manifested in His Activities.


The Shastras fix the eighth year from birth as the proper age for investiture with the sacrificial thread. Such investiture admits one to the right of studying the Word of God under the spiritual preceptor. The Lord was now eligible to study under the spiritual preceptor in the company of other students. He threw out a hint that He would like to study under the great Grammarian Gangadas Pandit.


Sree Jagannath Misra accordingly took his Boy to the Chatuspathi (Academy) of Sree Gangadas Pandit who received him with the greatest respect. Misra communicated to him his intention of placing in his hands the education of his Boy. Gangadas most gladly accepted his new Pupil.


Gangadas always treated Nimai with special consideration. The extraordinary Capacity of the Child soon manifested itself. Nimai fully understood whatever His teacher explained only once. He practiced to refute all the explanations of His teacher in order to re-establish them more firmly. The number of students, who attended Gangadas Pandit’s classes, was very large. But there was no one who had the ability to find fault with the explanations of Nimai. On the contrary Nimai gave constant trouble to all His fellow-students by His puzzling questions. He did not spare even the senior students such as Sree Murari Gupta, Sree Kamalakanta, Krishnananda and their associates. They, however, took this favourably, as they regarded the Child with special affection. Gangadas Pandit was most highly gratified on noticing the wonderful intelligence of his new Pupil and accorded Him the honour of the highest position among all his students.


The Lord went with the boys to bathe in the Ganges at noon after study. To these bathing-places of the Ganges all the students of Nabadwip flocked for their daily bath at midday. The number of students who studied at Nabadwip baffled all calculation. Every single professor taught thousands of students. The pupils of the different teachers quarreled incessantly among themselves. The Lord was on the threshold of budding youth—a period that is naturally full of strange excitement. He disputed freely with all the students. These quarrels of the students possessed certain invariably common features. The ordinary forms of attack were these: ‘Your teacher has no brains’; and ‘Look here; he is the only real teacher whose pupil am I’. In this manner, from small beginnings, the pastime soon came to a free fight in right earnest, in which much water was splashed; then sand was thrown; and finally they began to beat one another using clay as the favourite missile. Some were taken in custody by the police on the spot, in the name of the King. Some escaped the royal officers across the Ganges after thrashing their adversaries. These performances acquired such violence and dimension that the entire stream of the Ganges was converted by them into a thick mixture of sand and clay. Women who came to fetch water were debarred from filling their pitchers, and Brahmanas and honest citizens from their legitimate baths. Lord Vishwambhar was the most turbulent of all. He made a systematic tour of all the bathing-places of the Ganges in this fashion. There was no dearth of scholars at any of the bathing-places (ghats). The Lord quarreled with them at every place. Swimming down with the current, the Lord visited all the bathing-places stopping to sport at each of them for some time.


The senior boys were at last fain to ask Him why He was so extraordinarily quarrelsome. ‘Let the youngsters,’ they said, ‘ask instead questions for testing one another’s knowledge. Only then it could be really known who possessed the correct information of his britti, panji and tika., The Lord welcomed their suggestion and invited all the urchins to put to Himself whatever questions they liked. One of the students protested saying that He ought not to be too boastful. The Lord only repeated His challenge to be asked any questions. The irate scholar forthwith demanded that the Lord would then and there expound all the formulae of verbal root. The Lord, desiring them to listen attentively, at once explained all the sutras in the correct manner. All the students praised His exposition. The Lord said that He would, however, refute all that He had said to them just then, challenging them to defend the very expositions which they had approved. They were struck dumb with astonishment on recognizing that the refutation was also flawless. He told them that He would re-establish the previous expositions and fully satisfied ever one by His explanations to that effect.


The senior students were so highly pleased that they enthusiastically clasped Him to their bosoms. Then the boys took leave of Him for that day with the challenge that He should come prepared to answer their questions again the next day. The Lord of Vaikuntha indulged in these delightful sports in the stream of the Jahnavi tasting unceasingly the pleasures of learning. It seemed that the all-knowing Brhaspati with all his disciples, indeed, appeared in Nabadwip for participating in these sports. Jahnavi’s heart’s desire was thus fulfilled at last. She had envied the superior fortune of her sister Sree Yamuna, in whose water Krishnachandra had sported in the Dvapara Age. Sree Gaursundar is verily the Purpose-tree that fulfills all desires. He sported incessantly in her pure current.


On His return home from these sportive performances in the sacred stream of the Ganges, the Lord, the ideal Brahmacharin, duly worshipped Vishnu and, having offered water to holy tulasi, beloved of Vishnu, sat down to His meal. As soon as meal was finished, the Lord retired to a secluded part of the house with His books. He made His own tippani (annotations) of the sutras of Kalapa Vyakarana and forgot everything else by the sweet taste of books.


Misra noted this exemplary conduct of his Son and was filled with the highest happiness. He knew nothing but joy night and day. Every day he derived fresh and inexhaustible delight by looking on the Face of his Child. The joy of Misra cannot be expressed in words. He drank in the Beauty of his Son with such ardour that he all but merged in the Body of his Boy with his own frame and all individuality, the consummation so vainly wished by the pseudo-1iberationists. But as a matter of fact, the joys of merging in the Divinity or of any other form of liberation are as nothing to the bliss of Jagannath Misra who had no occasion to think of those coveted trivialities. The Lord of all the worlds is the Son of Jagannath Misra. The eternal father of the Lord is the revered of all the devotees of the Supreme Lord.


Misra experienced all the anxieties of this absorbing and exclusive love for his Boy. The marvellous Beauty of every Limb of Sree Gaursundar, surpassing the loveliness of the god of love himself, filled Misra with constant anxiety, lest his Son attracted the malignant attention of the witches and evil spirits. This fear drove Misra to quit all his claims on the Boy and make a complete surrender of Him to Krishna. Gaursundar laughed as He overheard the outpourings of Misra’s prayers. ‘Krishna,’ prayed Misra, ‘Thou are the Protector of all. Deign to cast Thy most auspicious Glance even on my Son. Danger never comes to the threshold of the person who remembers Thy Lotus Feet. Witches, ghosts and bodyless evil spirits haunt those places of sin that are void of the remembrance of Thee. Evil spirits carry their sinister influence to all places where selfish activities and fruitive sacrifices are performed in lieu instead of listening to the account of the Doings of Godhead which destroys the power of all evil-doers. Lord, I am Thy servant. May Thou protect all that belongs to me, as they are Thine. May no evil nor danger ever come near my Soul.’ This was the constant prayer of Sree Jagannath Misra. With both hands lifted in prayer he always supplicated Krishna for this only boon.


One day Misra had a most wonderful dream which filled him with the utmost grief in the midst of all this happiness. Rising up in great anxiety Misra prostrated himself in obeisance, reciting the prayer, ‘Govinda, may my Nimai stay in my house. This is the only boon I pray from Thee, O Krishna, that my Nimai may be a householder and stay in the family.’ Sachi noticed this and being greatly surprised asked Misra the cause of his prayer offered to Krishna with such sudden anguish. Misra narrated to her the story of his vision. ‘I have had a dream,’ said Misra, ‘as if Nimai had shaved His Head. I cannot describe His marvellous attire of sannyasin. He laughed, danced and wept, uttering continuously the Name of Krishna. Advaita Acharya and other devotees, forming a circle round Nimai, chanted the kirtan. Sometimes Nimai seated Himself on the throne of Vishnu and, holding up His Feet, put Them on the heads of all. Four-faced, five-faced, thousand-faced forms sang Victory to the Son of Sree Sachi. All recited hymns of praise to Him from every side with the greatest joy. I was dumb with fear at what I beheld. Then I saw that Nimai went along on His way dancing, through each and every town, taking with Him crores of people. Lakhs of crores of people ran after Nimai and sang the Name of Hari, Whose sound rang through the universe. I could hear on all sides only the praises of Nimai Who journeyed to Puri in the company of all those devotees. It is this most strange dream that has made me so anxious, lest the Boy leave the family through lack of attachment for things of this world.’ Sachi Devi did not think that there was any real ground for anxiety, notwithstanding the dream, as ‘the Boy was so completely engrossed in His books that the taste of learning had verily become the whole of His duty.’ The father and mother of the Lord were of a disposition that was utterly unselfish. They had between them many a discussion on the subject by reason of their exclusive love for their Son.


In this manner Misra passed his days for some time longer and, thereafter, he withdrew his eternally pure form from the view of this world. The Lord wept much at the departure of Misra, like Sree Ramachandra on the disappearance of Dasaratha. The attraction of Sree Gaursundar is irresistible. The life of His mother was preserved thereby. It is a most affecting topic, and Thakur Brindavandas, our authority, stops abruptly, and confesses his inability to linger on the pathetic subject.


The only point that remains to be noticed in this connection is the statement that the form of Sree Jagannath Misra is described as eternally pure and also that he withdrew himself from the view of the people of this world and did not die. In fact, the soul is also our only real body. The physical case is a temporary accretion as a corrective contrivance for curing our godlessness. But Sree Jagannath Misra, the father of Sree Gaursundar, is eternally pure plenary Divine Essence and has no physical body as there can be no godlessness in his case. What seemed to godless people as his physical body was really his eternal all-holy spiritual form. The Father of Godhead, who is ever identical with his body, manifested himself in this world of matter, in obedience to the will of Godhead and for the purpose of participating in the Divine Activities when the Latter appear in this world. He remained visible in this world as long as his part was being played. He ceased to be visible after this function was fulfilled. His manifestation in this world was brought about by the Spiritual Power of Godhead and was a wholly spiritual affair, unlike the birth of sinful jivas, which is brought about by the deluding Power of God and is really transitory and insubstantial. Those, who suppose that there is no difference between this mortal body and the apparently similar bodies of the eternal devotees of Godhead when they manifest their appearance in this world, ignore thereby the eternal and categorical distinction between matter and spirit. To the material eye of the conditioned soul the body of a Vaishnava, when by the Grace of Godhead he becomes visible to him, may appear to be material, just as to a jaundiced eye everything seems to be yellow. The defective vision of the sinner is, however, solely responsible for this delusion. The deluded soul is not privileged to have the sight of the real form of the Vaishnava. The birth, death and activities of the Vaishnava, although they have an external resemblance to those of conditioned souls, are categorically different from the latter. It is only the spiritual eye, the eve of the pure soul, which can actually see this difference.




The Sorrow of Sree Gaursundar at the disappearance of Misra was not also a delusion. It would, however, be a profane delusion, if we suppose that He felt sorry for the death of His father, like ordinary people of this world. To Him Jagannath Misra can never die. Nor can Misra ever disappear from the View of his Son.


 Therefore, neither of these can be the cause of the Sorrow of Sree Gaursundar. Sree Jagannath Misra’s anxiety on account of his Son, lest He became a sannyasin, and Sree Gaursundar’s Sorrow at the apparent disappearance of Sree Jagannath Misra, are instances of Divine Activities which are absolutely free from all taint of unwholesomeness, unlike the apparently similar activities of fettered souls which are altogether unwholesome. There is separation, pang of separation and anxiety at the prospect of separation, also in the Transcendental Realm of the Spirit. The conditions for this are supplied there by the Spiritual Power of the Divinity and are, therefore, also spiritual, that is, absolutely free from all unwholesomeness. This is inconceivable to the fallen jivas but is the only Reality obscured to the view of the latter by the joys and sorrows of the physical body and the materialized mind. In the realm of the Absolute, there is no break of existence but only the semblance of it, in order to heighten, diversify and enrich the positive joy of eternal existence. In regard to the things of this world the case is otherwise, and it is the greatest of mercies that this is so. Had it been otherwise, it would have only perpetuated the barren experience of mundane activities which are the trivial and unacceptable distortions of the facts of the eternal existence. The Absolute exists by Himself. This physical world has not only a relative but also superfluous, unwholesome and altogether subordinate existence. It is so, because everything is real in Godhead, although it is often both unnecessary and impossible for the individual soul to understand it, except in so far as it is actually divulged to his serving disposition by the mercy of the Supreme Lord.



Chapter VIII

—Early Youth and Student Life—



The Lord still chose to remain self-concealed, passing His days mostly in the company of His mother. Sree Sachi Devi, in lieu of His father, now devoted herself exclusively to the service of the Boy. If she did not see her Son for the fraction of an hour, the power of sight left her eyes, and she would lose all self-consciousness. The Lord also displayed constantly His love for His mother and consoled her with encouraging words. He bade her have no anxieties since He Himself belonged to her, and as He would supply all her wants and fetch for her, with ease, things that were obtainable with great difficulty by Brahma and Siva. As she gazed on the beautiful Face of the Child, Sachi Devi lost the memory of her bodily existence, not to speak of her sorrows. The Lord Himself, by the mere remembrance of Whom all wants are fulfilled, was ever present to her in the form of her own Son. How could, therefore, any bodily sorrows persist in her? The Lord made His mother the very soul of joy.


There is no desire for selfish enjoyment in the realm of the Absolute (Vaikuntha). The servants of Godhead, who are the denizens of that Happy Realm, being always in the Presence of the Lord by reason of their entire dependence on Him, are altogether forgetful of their own selves. The inhabitants of this mundane world, due to their forgetfulness of Krishna, put their reliance on their own bodies, and are accordingly liable to cherish all those concerns that minister to its transitory pleasures. It is in this manner that fallen jivas by their own contrivance become subjected to the various miseries of this mundane world. There was no room for selfish grief in the pure heart of Sachi which was wholly occupied with love for Godhead. The eternal spiritual impulse of maternal affection for the Divine Child alone possesses the quality of causing complete forgetfulness of one’s own body. A worldly mother loves her son for her own selfish pleasure. This is also the case with the so-called love of a mundane wife for her husband. All such pretended attachments are impure by reason of their intrinsic selfishness which completely captures the mind the moment it is turned towards the objects of this world.


The Lord Godhead, King of Vaikuntha, thus passed His days in Nabadwip in the form of a Brahmana Boy, in the Ecstatic Bliss of enjoying the moods of His own mind known only to Himself. In the home at Nabadwip the uttermost poverty prevailed. The Lord’s commands were ever worthy of the Lord Paramount of the highest gods. He did not care to know whether there was anything in the house. If whatever He demanded was not instantly supplied, it produced the most terrible consequences. He would immediately smash up everything, the house, doors and windows; and, in fact, nothing escaped the fury of His Anger. He was absolutely heedless of the damage done by Himself to His own property. But despite all mischief that was thus done continuously, Sachi Devi was always assiduous in supplying, with all care, whatever He asked for, by reason of her unmixed affection for her Son.

On a certain day as the Lord was about to go out for His bath in the Ganges, He asked His mother for oil and ‘myrobalan’ and also for choice garlands of flowers and odoriferous sandal paste, as He wished to worship the holy Ganges with the said offerings after His bath. The mother implored Him to wait for a very short time to enable her to procure the garlands. No sooner did Sree Gaursundar catch her words that she was to bring the garlands from elsewhere, He became terrible as Rudra, the God of Destruction, in His sudden anger. With the words, ‘Would you then, indeed, go out for the garlands now?’ He entered His apartment raging furiously. Then first of all He vented His wrath on the earthen pots, in which the holy water from the Ganges was stored, and broke all of them. By the stroke of a big stick, He next broke deliberately all those pots which contained oil, ghee and salt. He then smashed all the pots, big and small, that happened to be in the room. Oil, ghee, milk, rice, cotton, paddy, salt, cakes of pulse, mudga, were mixed up together on the floor of the room. He then snatched away all the nets of rope for hanging up articles and tore them to shreds. All clothing that He found in the house shared the same fate. When there remained no article to break, the Lord’s anger turned against the house itself. He plied the big stick with both Hands on the house, no one venturing to utter a word of protest. Having smashed the doors and windows, He turned to the trees and treated them in the same fashion. In that mad fit of anger there was no disposition to forgive. When there remained no article to break, His stick showered blows on the very earth itself.


All this while Sachi remained in a state of great fear, almost hiding herself behind a remote corner of the house. The Lord, the Establisher of religion Himself the Eternal Religion, did not lift His Hands against His mother. Although He was still fully disposed to manifest the fury of His wrath which knew no bounds, yet He did not go against His mother, nor try to hurt her. Having smashed all things, the Lord came out into the yard and rolled on the bare ground with an angry mind. His golden Body became enveloped in sand and was, it is hardly meet to divulge, a wondrous, beautiful Sight.

After thus rolling frantically on the ground for some time, the Lord became motionless. As he lay in this quiet posture, the Lord glanced at the Power that lulls Him to slumber ( Yoga-maya) and the Lord of Vaikuntha did enjoy His Sleep on the bosom of the Earth. The Lord, Whose resting-place is the All-Holy Form of Sree Ananta Deva, Whose Lotus Feet are ever tended by Lakshmi Herself, the Object of quest of the four Vedas, slept in this fashion in the yard of Sachi ! The Lord, in the vesicle of Whose hair there lies afloat an infinitude of worlds, Whose servants have power to create, maintain and destroy, Whose Qualities Brahma, Siva and their peers sing with rapture, the Self-same Supreme Lord Himself thus reposed in a deep slumber in the yard of Sachi! The Supreme Lord slept on in the Bliss of His Own Consciousness. The Sight made the gods laugh and cry.


After some time had passed, Sree Sachi Devi, having procured the garlands and made ready all requisites for the worship of the Ganges, laying her hand softly on the Body of her Son, tried to awaken Him by- gently wiping the dust from His Person. ‘Wake up, my Darling,, said she, ‘see, here are the garlands; take them for worshipping the Ganges even as Thou likest. It is well and good that Thou hast smashed all things of the house. Let it take away Thy Sorrows., Roused by these words of His mother, Sree Gaursundar, feeling ashamed at heart, set off for His bath without more ado.

After the Lord had left, Sachi made all the rooms clean and prepared to cook His meal. Sachi did not feel the least sorrow in her mind, although the Lord habitually did such intolerable mischief. Sachi put up with all the waywardness of Sree Gaursundar in the same manner that Sree Yasoda bore the restless turn for mischief of Sree Krishna in the cowherd settlement. I have no power to record all the wayward acts of the Lord. But Sachi bore up with all those with unruffled patience of body, speech and mind, like mother earth herself.


The playful Lord returned home after bath and, having worshipped Vishnu and offered water to tulasi, beloved of Vishnu, sat down to His meal. After meal the Lord appeared to be satisfied. He then performed achaman and began chewing betel. His mother then spoke gently. ‘For what purpose, Darling, didst ‘Thou do all this damage ? The house, doors, windows, all articles of the household are Thine. All the loss is Thine. It does not affect me. Even now Thou wilt be going off for Thy study. There is nothing in the house wherewith to buy anything. What wilt Thou eat tomorrow?’ Hearing these words of the mother the Lord laughed. ‘Krishna,’ said He, ‘nourishes; He will maintain.’ With this the Lord of the goddess of learning, book in hand, strolled off to His studies.


A certain interval of time was passed in the joy of study, after which the Lord came to the bank of the Ganges in the evening. Having stayed there awhile, the Lord returned home. He then called His mother and taking her aside gave her two tolas of pure gold. ‘Mother,’ said He, ‘Krishna has given this stuff. By changing it, meet all necessary expenses.’ He then retired to bed.


Sachi was filled with great astonishment. ‘Whence could He procure this gold He had been doing it pretty frequently of late.


In fact whenever there was any want of money, He obtained gold in this manner. Was it likely to bode any danger ? Did He borrow or know some magical art? Whence, how, whose gold was thus brought?, These anxieties troubled the mind of Sachi which was untainted with greed in any form, being perfectly generous. She was also afraid of getting a change for such gold time and again. She always instructed the person; whom she entrusted the changing of it, to do so after he had shown it to a sufficient number of discreet people.


Such conduct in any other boy, as old as Sree Gaursundar, if allowed free scope by his doting mother, would hardly appeal to the judgment of many persons as auguring any good for the future of the child. They would, at any rate, fail to find any decent apology for such excessive and unbounded material leniency. An unruly child is required to be handled, indeed, with tact but also with real firmness if he is to be prevented from getting out of hand. The conduct of Sree Sachi Devi and of Sree Yasoda does not fulfill this ideal of motherhood. Many a child, with an abundance of the animal spirit, have been altogether spoiled by the doting policy of unrestrained motherly indulgence. It should be very difficult, nay almost impossible, for dutiful worldly mothers to appreciate the maternal conduct of Sree Sachi Devi.


Vaishnavism has been charged with the attempt to idolize sentimentalism of the most exaggerated type. Even if for the sake of argument sentimentalism be allowed to possess any outstanding value, it should still be necessary to keep it within natural bounds. The Vaishnava is apparently supposed to know no such limits. He seems to be ready to make a display of his feelings and to evince a great pleasure in carrying his heart on his sleeves. The practical and cognitive sides of one’s nature do not thus appear to receive their due recognition in the conduct that is extolled by the Vaishnavas as ideal, which displays an apparently sickening exuberance of the most effusive sentimentalism. This is doubly inexplicable as coming from persons who deprecate a11 sensuousness.


I think it would not be fair to my readers if I do not avail myself of the first opportunity of trying to clear up misapprehensions that are apt to be entertained even by unprejudiced persons in reward to this feature of Vaishnavism.


Most worldly people identify, religion with morality. Ordinary morality aims at serving the jiva by ensuring for his mundane body and mind an ever-increasing fund of sensuous enjoyment. A child is subjected to rules of discipline in order to aid the realization of the above object. Waywardness has to be checked, lest it becomes a habit which may stand in the way of the worldly well-being of the child when he grows up. Morality would not be valued and is ignored on principle, whenever it is actually opposed to the worldly interest. The instinct which seems to claim for it an absolute value, is apt to be stifled by the voice of the worldly reason, which secures its victory by pointing to the uncertain, transitory enjoyable consequences of any absolute rule of practice.


There are also those who have tried to prove that the moral instinct itself is the product of those untoward material circumstances which it is set up to correct. The Absolute is thus altogether ruled out, and the purely temporary object is substituted in His place, a procedure which has given to the empiric science of ethical conduct its so-called ‘practical’ and definitely worldly character. The rule of expediency has been openly adopted as the final principle of rational human conduct, the object being the amelioration of worldly wants and the consequent extension of worldly happiness. It is taken for granted that there is nothing beyond our present pleasures of this world that need be considered as really valuable. This scheme undoubtedly possesses the qualities of clearness and apparent feasibility. It is admittedly incomplete, as it professes to be ignorant of many things. But if it be identified with religion, it becomes necessary to suppose that there is a dead void beyond the activities of this world, as they, are practiced by the majority of us. This would be inconsistent with the ideal ordinarily professed to be cherished by the empiric moralists.


But it may be urged that, even if morality is not wholly identifiable with religion, it should not, therefore, be also ignored by the latter. If it be pleaded that morality, in the above sense, forms an integral part of religion, this would also be illogical. Such  proposition really begs the question to be proved. The whole scheme of morality is based on a definite and unwarrantably narrow view of life. Is it logical to insist that such narrowness should be allowed to remain intact even after the view of life has been infinitely widened. All we can insist on is that morality must be incorporated in Religion in so far as its retention may not defeat the purpose of Religion. We cannot insist that it must not be enlarged, while admitting that expansion is not mere destruction or involving the loss of any wholesome interest.


It is not asserted that no evil consequences, in the worldly sense, can result from the licensed extreme waywardness of an earthly child due to fond indulgence shown to such a Child by a doting earthly mother. A man of this world will be punished, if he breaks any law of this world. One, who is in quest of worldly pleasures, will not gain ( ?) them by neglecting to follow the course apparently laid down by God Himself for their attainment. A wayward child, who merely refuses to submit to the laws of physical Nature, will incur and deserve the punishment that is attached to such conduct by such law. On the other hand, one who does not desire to enjoy material pleasures is also punished as he chooses to go against the laws of Nature. It is not possible for any possessor of the physical body and limited mind to be immune from the operation of the laws of physical Nature.


But Sree Gaursundar and Sree Sachi Devi, although they may appear to us to be like the people of this world, really belong to the transcendental sphere. They act in accordance with the innate freedom of that higher realm. It would be unwise, therefore, for us, while we are situated in this world, to try to imitate their conduct or to condemn it for the mere reason that it does not correspond to the ideal of mortals. They are beings of another world, endowed with other and higher natures, who have chosen to appear in our midst, independently of the laws of this world. Therefore, what we have to do is to try to learn about that other world from what they say and do. That would be the proper and logical attitude on our part. We must by no means try to imitate them. We shall be punished by the laws of this world, if we try to do so.


In that transcendental world waywardness need not be checked, as no evil consequences are produced, everything being perfectly pure and harmonical and incapable of being curtailed by hostile conflict with anything else. Our souls in their normal state are the denizens of that happy realm. We have been hurled into this nether world by our disinclination to avail ourselves the freedom of that world. We can regain our natural state of purity and unalloyed bliss, if only we agree to accept the Higher Law. Godhead and His beloved ones come down into this world to remind us of our true native land and enlighten us regarding the cause of our exile therefrom. The words of the people of the Spiritual Realm are identical with their conduct. Both mean the same thing. Godhead and His beloved ones come down into this world to tell fallen jivas the tidings of Vaikuntha and, lest they misunderstand their words by supposing them to refer to the things and conditions of this world, Godhead makes All His Activities of Vaikuntha visible to mortal eyes. Even a mortal can see them with the eye of faith, that is to say., if he is disposed to love and obey Godhead which is the only law of the Spiritual Realm. on the contrary, if we seek to please ourselves, those very visible Divine Activities represent only their deluding, i.e., seemingly worldly, face to us.




Common misapprehensions in regard to Vaishnavism owe their origin mainly to that natural aversion to Godhead which is the sedulously cultivated second nature of all fallen jivas, and partly to the misleading activities of the pseudo-Vaishnavas who, in the state of sin, imitate, without caring to understand its real significance, the external conduct of the true devotees of Godhead. The conduct of the true devotees of Krishna is always perfect and combines in itself, without necessitating the least curtailment, the principles of knowing, willing and feeling in the fullest harmonious measure. To us who are wholly sensuous, the Perfectly Pure Activities of God necessarily appear as being also wholly sensuous. They are, however, absolutely pure and without any mundane defect. But this can be fully realized only by the soul who is himself free from all earthly taint. The Activities of Godhead and His devotees rebound to our lasting good, if they are approached with a serving disposition as manifestations of the Divinity by the method of listening to the account of them from the lips  of the true devotees of Godhead. By this method and this method alone we, fallen jivas, may be enabled to understand their real meaning and thereby learn to obey Krishna. If they are approached for any other purpose, they only show their deluding face to us. The pseudo-Vaishnavas are as much more deluded than even those who are openly and frankly skeptical. Both are equally attached to the pleasures of this world; but the former further try to extend the scope of their sensuous enjoying propensities also towards spiritual matters. They seek to procure sensuous pleasure by aping deliberately the performances of the sadhus with fatal consequences both for themselves and their followers. The skeptics are right in holding the pseudo-religionists to be worse than themselves; but they certainly carry their aversion to undue lengths by supposing that the true worship of Godhead, described in the Scriptures, is itself non-existent or harmful. This is the real punishment of Such worldly skepticism.


The Supreme Lord, Who could have easily disarmed the opposition of all the people, even the most skeptical, by the display of His Divine powers, chose to remain in obscurity, and went on with His Pastimes, in this manner at Nabadwip. At this period He never left off His books for a single moment. He was most assiduous in His studies in the company of the other students among whom He could be easily distinguished by His extraordinarily beautiful Appearance. He looked as if the god of love himself had become manifest on this earth. His Appearance of this period is thus described by Thakur Brindavandas: ‘The beautiful tilaka mark, pointing in an upward direction, adorned His Forehead. The profusion of curly hair that graced His Head captivated the minds of all beholders. The sacrificial thread was placed gracefully across His Shoulder. He was the Living Form of the fiery Brahmana spirit. His cheerful and beautiful Face was always covered with smiles. His Teeth were perfectly pure. The pair of His lotus Eyes were inexpressibly wonderful. His Cloth, worn with a triple kachcha, was a thing of most marvellous beauty. Whoever beheld Him gazed on His Beauty and found it impossible to take away their eyes from Him. There was no one who did not pay Him the tribute of his unstinted praise.’



The wonderful manner of His expositions filled His teacher with unbounded joy. His teacher, leading Him by his own hands, made Him occupy the highest seat among all his pupils. The teacher said, “My Dear, read attentively. I strongly declare that Thou shalt be the Greatest of Teachers.” The Lord replied, “Is the position of the Greatest of Teachers difficult to be attained by One Who has your blessing”


No student could answer the questions of the Lord. He Himself settled the interpretation of the sutras and then refuted His own explanations. And when no one was able to establish the right meaning, the Lord explained the text in the proper manner. The Lord had no other thoughts except the Shastras, whether at His bath, at His meal or in His walks.


The Lord thus came to be looked up to as almost their Teacher by the pupils of Pandit Gangadas. Early in the morning, after performing the sandhya ceremony, the Lord went out to study in the company of all His students. He then took His seat at the assembly-hall of Gangadas Pandit and was constantly engaged in polemical discussions in opposing or supporting propositions that might be advanced. The Lord always deprecated those students who did not avail themselves of His Teaching, mercilessly using every opportunity to expose their ignorance. After study with Pandit Gangadas the Lord expounded the texts to the pupils. The leading students, each with his group of junior followers, sat round the Lord in different rows, all with the solitary exception of Murari Gupta who alone refused to be coached by the Lord, for which reason the Lord was never tired of exposing his defects.


While explaining lessons to the students, the Lord sat in the centre wearing his cloth in the style of Yogapatta and in the posture of the seated warrior (beerasana). The upward tilaka mark of sandal-paste adorned His Forehead. The glow of the rows of His charming Teeth put to shame the lustre of pearls. The Lord was in His sixteenth year in the bloom of budding youth. His beauty enchanted the god of love himself. He displayed a scholarship that was deemed superior to that of the celestial sage. He ridiculed all who did not study under Him. He was very proud of His learning and would challenge everybody to refute His conclusions. He often declared that those, who did not know how to combine two words by the process of sandhi (compounding), dared to set up as expounders of the texts in order to console themselves with the idle vanity that they could really understand the books by their unaided intelligence. Many persons unfortunately turned out fools by reason of such vanity which prevented them from learning from their betters.


This was intended for Murari Gupta who would remain silent and obdurate even under this severe castigation. But the Lord always loved to poke His servant whose sight filled Him with joy. The Lord would ask Murari, who belonged to the vaidya caste, to betake himself to his legitimate trade of healing sick persons, by giving up study: ‘The Vyakarana Shastra was difficult in the extreme. There was no prescription in it for phlegm, bile or indigestion. what will you understand of it by your assiduous cogitations ? Better go back home and treat your patients.’


Murari, though of a fighting temperament was prevented from being angry by looking at Vishwambhar, and only replied, “What a great personage ! You poke everybody and brag a good deal. You are author of sutra, britti, panji, tika, etc. But did You ever fail to get a reply to Your questions from me? Without asking any questions You say, ‘What dost thou know?, You are Brahmana and worthy of my reverence. What can I say?” The Lord said, ‘Explain then what you have read to-day.’ As Gupta began to construe, the Lord began to refute. Gupta explained in one sense, the Lord expounded in another. The Master and the servant were equally matched and neither could score a decisive victory.


Gupta was most profoundly learned by the power of the Lord. The Lord was delighted by hearing his explanations. Being pleased, the Lord touched his body with His Lotus Hand and forthwith the whole frame of Murari was thrilled with joy. The thought flashed in the heart of Murari Gupta, ‘This Person is never a man of this earth. Such scholarship is also impossible in man. By the Touch of His Hand one’s body becomes full of transcendental bliss. There is no humiliation to study under Him. In the whole of Nabadwip there is not another who possesses such excellent understanding.’ The worthy Gupta being highly pleased said, ‘I say, Vishwambhar, I agree to study under Thee.’ Godhead and His devotee ever engage in such blissful Pastimes. They went off to bathe in the Ganges after this learned encounter, in the company of all the students. Godhead Himself tasted the delights of study in this manner, as Student.


These details have been handed down by the associates of Sree Chaitanya, regarding His Student Career. Study divorced from religion is not only considered now-a-days to be useful, but also as a necessity. Religion, which appeals to ‘authority,’ is supposed to be the antipode of that ‘freedom of thought’ which is considered necessary for really successful pursuit of knowledge. Knowledge is never pursued for its own sake. In gathering knowledge we suppose to make use of a faculty which the Great God has mercifully bestowed upon us for our physical and mental improvement. This may also be supposed to be corroborated by the conduct of Nimai as Student. He also devoted Himself whole-heartedly to the acquisition of secular knowledge, e.g., Grammar, which is the science of language. He rebelled against His parents, when He was a mere Child, when they stopped His secular studies. He was the terror of all the students for His acumen in purely secular controversy. Does all this look like tame submission on His Own Part to authority by relegation of freedom of thought? It is true He led the life of the ideal Brahmacharin and daily worshipped Vishnu and honoured the tulasi and mahaprasada. But those did not prevent Him from the undiluted pursuit of purely secular studies. His method as well as object as student may thus appear to be identical in practice with those of modern pedagogics.


Why did He find fault with everybody and specially the teachers ? He boasted that no one could meet His objections, nor refute His interpretation. The evident implication is that according to Him a11 those teachers were wandering in a maze of errors. Even as Student He wanted all persons, including the Professors themselves, to learn from Him, and not to depend on themselves. We have the recorded testimony of the Vaishnavas of that period that the learned Professors were no less deeply engrossed than others in the pursuit of worldly objects. This plan was also carried into their Academies in which, in place of the pursuit of Truth, was substituted the dissociated study of different secular subjects, such anarchy being mistaken for real freedom. The result was the absolute want of all real scholarship and the utter disregard of the only proper object of all studies. The conclusions of such spurious scholarship only confirmed the reign of ignorance. Nimai had no respect at all for this system or its products.


European psychologists have tried to establish the rationale of the exclusive pursuit of isolated branches of knowledge, by their denial of the very existence of a soul who is located beyond the jurisdiction of the mind. They make the limited mind identical with the soul. They want to add to the defective equipments of the mind. This they call spiritual effort, as in their opinion the mind is identical with the soul. The mind, thus furnished with knowledge, is regarded as being thereby rendered more capable of successfully performing the various duties of this life. One’s duties are also supposed to be properly performed, if the worldly consequences of one’s acts are duly considered and provided for, the object again being to obtain the maximum pleasant results in the worldly sense. The mind, which lives, moves and has its being in this World, is to be enabled to do all this in such manner that it may not only fall foul of the laws of Nature, but may avail itself of them for overcoming the unpleasant possibilities represented by those very laws. The policy may properly be described as the application of the principle of ‘divide and rule, to Nature. This mastery over, or enjoyment of, physical Nature, according to fashionable Philosophy, is the goal of spiritual progress.


The Pandits of Nabadwip of the time of Sree Chaitanya were famous for their learning and also for their aversion to Krishna. They had no idea of obeying ‘authority,’ that is to say, of serving anybody excepting themselves. The means, whereby this result was to be achieved, might have been more defective than now-a-days, as was to be expected in that comparatively backward Age.


 Their exclusive pursuit of Grammar, Logic and such ‘abstract’ subjects was the cause of their lack of worldly ‘prosperity,’ as was also the case in other countries in the mediaeval period. The pursuit of scientific knowledge by the methods of observation and induction has ensured the wonderful material progress of the present day. The agreement between empiric method and object, which was then lacking, has been effected with greater success by the ‘free’ efforts of the human mind during the last four centuries. Might not Sree Chaitanya’s objection to the comparatively barren pursuits of the Pandits of His day have been due to His perception of this defeat in the systems of the studies of His time ?


Let us take a hypothetical case. Let us suppose that we possessed a vision that enabled us to find out the details of the operation of all the laws of Nature. What use would we then make of this knowledge? Would we try to submit to those laws or control them by making them oppose one another? Why should we consider it our duty to be able to do either? In what way does it profit us ? It would be excellent amusement to be able to manipulate Nature in the way we like. But why do we at all desire to do it? Would we be really satisfied by the temporary seeming possession of this power ? It would not enable us to eliminate our bodily and mental sufferings. It would only modify them. But such modification, in itself, would also be an equally intolerable suffering, if we are thereby doomed to live perpetually under limiting conditions of that sort. So we arrive at no satisfying goal of our efforts by the method of merely modifying the opportunities of material enjoyment, mental or physical, which is the professed and exclusive object of the empiric scientists.


Did Sree Chaitanya only want us to follow this so-called advanced scientific method and object? Did He want us to be more engrossed in material pursuits? The Pandits of that time had made great progress in the sciences of abstract Logic and Grammar. It would be difficult even at the present day to suggest any considerable improvement of the knowledge they then possessed of those subjects. Modern science has put its seal of approval on the abstruse speculations, in those fields, of the ancients although it has supplemented them by the methods of more careful observation of phenomena on which all empiric knowledge is supposed to be based.

The science of Indian Grammar is apparently one of the greatest triumphs of inductive generalization from observed phenomena. Sree Chaitanya seems to have objected neither to the empiric method nor to the subject of investigation. His objection applied to the interpretation. Interpretation means the establishment of the connection of a subject with the self. The interpretations of Nimai were true. The interpretations of everybody else were fallacious. In the absence of the right interpretation, all so-called knowledge remains external to the self and is liable to be used in a way that is harmful to the self. The right interpretation of phenomena can be known by the mercy of Godhead and learnt only by submission to Him. Without this allegiance to the Supreme Lord, all so-called knowledge becomes only a dangerous delusion, although we, in the unsubmissive state, are not properly aware of this. We shall presently learn more regarding this matter, when we consider the Activities of Nimai as Professor of the Real Science of Grammar.




Chapter IX

—Professor Life and Marriage—



Nimai now set up His own Academy in the Hall (mandap) of the family temple of the goddess Chandi which formed part of the frontal division of the residence of Mukunda-Sanjaya, a person of great good fortune and an opulent citizen of Nabadwip. The whole family of Mukunda-Sanjaya was devoted to the Lord. The spacious Chandi-Mandap accommodated a very large number of students. The Lord organised the body of His students into a school and taught them at this place. Thus was formed the Academy under Sree Gauranga as Professor for the pursuit of learning.


          The variety of Nimai Pandit’s interpretations and refutations knew no limit. In these erudite performances the Professors of Nabadwip were a standing subject of His regrets. He used to say that in the Iron Age those, who were ignorant of the elementary process of joining together two syllables (sandhi), which forms the opening chapter of the science of language, passed themselves off as Professors of the Shastras. “I challenge them to expose My mal-interpretations. I would admit they deserve their high-sounding designations of ‘Bhatta’ and ‘Misra,’ if they can point out any flaws in my interpretations” The learned performances of all the Professors were declared to be ‘only tissues of elaborate falsehoods which prevented them from realising the necessity of learning about the Truth by submission to Feet of Truth Himself. If those learned men had possessed the requisite degree of sincerity and clearness of thinking, they would have been inquisitive to know what He had to tell them.’ But they were perfectly content with their ephemeral and misleading speculations and did not feel the least inclination even to give a hearing to their Challenger.


          So it is not the manipulation of so-called material advantages by the pursuit of the different branches of empiric study that can rescue empiric learning from the charge of mischievous worthlessness. The relation of empiric learning itself to the Truth and to oneself must be grasped, if it is to be of any real use to a person. The absence of this knowledge vitiated the whole thing ab initio. It is owing to this fundamental defect that such studies only added to the delusions of obstinately ignorant persons. If those studies had been conceived and carried out in the proper spirit, they would have certainly led them to the Truth. But the real object and method of study are hidden from the view of deliberately ignorant persons and the knowledge of them can be had only from those who know about Him by unconditional submission at His Holy Feet. The Professors of Nabadwip did not know this, and their interminable labours accordingly only served to multiply their delusions and falsehoods which led their pupils and themselves farther away from the Truth Who is admittedly the Only Goal of all learning.


          Sree Sachi Devi now bethought of finding a suitable bride for her youthful Son. There lived at Nabadwip a most worthy Brahmana of the name of Sree Ballabha acharya who managed his household in the spirit of King Janaka of yore. He had a daughter whose name was Lakshmi and who was the same as Sree Lakshmi Devi of Vaikuntha. The Brahmana constantly thought of a suitable Husband for his daughter. Lakshmi was well-known to Sree Sachi Devi and Nimai Himself.


Kaviraj Goswami has recorded the follovving incident of the Boyhood of Nimai in his work Sree Chaitanya-charitamrta. In His Boyhood Nimai was extremely turbulent and a source of trouble to everybody. He took particular delight in teasing the people while they were in the act of bathing in the Ganges. The details of these occurrences, as described by Thakur Brindavandas, have already been reproduced. Nimai, as we saw, did not spare even the girls from His turbulent attentions. One day as the daughter of Ballabha acharya was preparing to worship the gods after her bath in the Ganges, the Lord saw her and felt an inclination to make her acquaintance. Lakshmi also was delighted to see the Lord. The love between Lakshmi and the Supreme Lord is eternal. It now manifested itself under the guise of childish behaviour. They expressed Their mutual joy under pretence of worshipping the gods. The Lord said to her, ‘Worship Me. I am the Great Lord (Maheshwara). By worshipping Me you will get such Husband as you wish to have.’ Lakshmi accordingly placed on His Body flowers sprinkled with the sandal-paste and did reverence by putting on Him garlands made of the mallika  flower. The Lord began to laugh on receiving her devotion and accepted the desire of her heart by reciting the shloka of the Bhagavatam spoken by Sree Krishna to the milkmaids, ‘Loyal maidens, I have become aware of the meaning of your worship which has. indeed, given Me very great pleasure. Your hopes are worthy of fulfilment.’


The Lord also wished to perform the duties enjoined by the Shastras on a householder, as He was now settled in the household life. The spiritual duties of a householder cannot be discharged properly without co-operation of a helping female partner. The Lord accordingly conceived the desire of entering the state of matrimony. In the words of the Smriti, ‘the house itself is not called the household. The mistress is the real household. Being united to her by marriage a person attains the four coveted objects of life, viz., the proper performance of his duties, necessaries, objects of desire and liberation.’


While He was in this mood, the Lord accidentally came across the daughter of Ballabha acharya on her way to the Ganges. He was then returning home from His studies. The sight kindled, in the hearts of both, the love that already existed there in its perfection. The Lord smiled as He met His Own Lakshmi. Sree Lakshmi Devi also greeted in her mind the Twin Lotus Feet of the Lord before They went back to their respective homes. ‘Who, asks Thakur Brindavandas, ‘can understand the Pastimes of Sree Gaursundar ?’


The institution of marriage, as every other institution, misses its proper object if it does not serve the Supreme Lord. The prospect of carnal enjoyment, which the institution seems, to the ungodly, to offer, is the snare that requires to be most carefully avoided. The Union of Lakshmi and Narayana is the Source of ali manifest and non-manifest existence. Sree Narayana is the only Lord of all created things. He creates through the medium of Sree Lakshmi Devi. This eternal Marriage of Sree Lakshmi Narayana is hidden from the view of mortals by the shadow of the desire for carnal enjoyment falling across their vision.


The Shastric institution of marriage is intended to reclaim bound jivas from the deadly slough of carnality. If they follow the life enjoined by the Shastras for the married state, they will thereby be enabled to progress towards freedom from the fascination of carnality. The bound jiva, misled by his sensuous hankering and preferring his own selfish enjoyment to the constant and eternal service of his Lord, is, of course, free to speculate about the advantages and disadvantages of the institution of marriage from the purely secular point of view. But such speculative attitude, however carefully one may try to guard oneself against the natural and inevitable consequences of carnality, will only forge a stronger chain to bind him to an unnatural and miserable existence.


The external gloss supplied by godless speculation only aggravates the real mischief by hiding the unspirituality of all empiric conceptions of one’s duty. The Greek opinion that the gods are opposed to the happiness of man through malice is true in this sense. The gods always try to prevent the sensuous happiness of man. This is most beneficial in its possible results for humanity. The so-called happiness for which man hankers is but gilded misery, because the soul in the conditioned state understands and cares only for the things of this world. This is the disease to which all people of this world are subject. This malady is increased if the cause of it is strengthened. By increased hankering for new opportunities of material enjoyment, the cause of the malady is not likely to be removed.


The quest of happiness itself is not unnatural. But if we want to be happy, we must first of all try to understand what can make us truly happy. Desire for sensuous enjoyment is the cause of unhappiness. Abstinence from such enjoyment also will not do, as it leads to a worse form of misery. Desire to serve the Lord for the sake of service can alone make us happy. Every activity can give us happiness to the extent that it is really service of Godhead, or, in other words, to the extent that it tends to absolute subimission to Him.


The marriage of Lakshmi and Narayana does not belong to the category of the carnal marriage of sensuous jivas The marriage of the fettered jivas becomes successful, according to the Shastras, only if it succeeds in reclaiming them from the bondage of carnality. When this result is actually produced by faithfully following the injunctions of the Shastras, there should necessarily remain no carnal desire in such persons and, therefore, no further sensuous necessity of such bodily union. This is, however, only the negative result. By the elimination of carnality one also gets rid of the delusion that the soul can be either male or female, or have any sex in the worldly sense. No individual soul can be an object of reciprocal enjoyment of another individual soul, either as male or as female. Spiritual love for Godheasd is the sole Enjoyer and the jiva is the object of His exclusive enjoyment. Godhead is the only Lover, the jiva belongs to the category of His beloved. Godhead is the Possessor of power, the jiva is a particle of His obeying power.


The jiva, as an inintegfrated particle of Krishna’s power, can be truly cognisant of Krishna as the sole Proprietor of himself. But the jiva is not the direct plenary Power of Krishna, but a detached particle of His Plenary Power. The Integrated Plenary Power of Krishna is eternally and unswervingly obedient to Krishna and never loses sight of Him. The jiva can be cognisant of Krishna only, if he submits to function in the line of the direct Power under the latter’sdirection. subordination to the direct Power of Krishna, in the case of the jiva, is the same as subordination to Krishna Himself Who is not directly cognisable by him. Sree Lakshmi devi is the Plenary Power of Krishna. Through her Krishna manifests Himself to His dissocxiated particles of His Power. The jiva may become a conscious partner in this process, if he subordinates his freedom of will, a gift of the Divinity, to the direction of the Will of Krishna, manifested for his guidance through Sree Ladshmi Devi. Sree Lakshmi devi is the consort of Sree Narayana, and the jiva, in his proper nature, is the eternal servitor of sree Narayana, under Sree Lakshmi devi as a detached particle of Her Essence. This cannot be realised by the bound jiva til he wakes to his true nature and is thereby freed from all taint of mundane sensuous hankerings.


The marriage of Godhead, as every other Act of His, is identical with Godhead and as such is an object of our worship. The instinct of sexuality, that is so strong in all fallen jivas, is the peverted reflection of the highest function of his real nature which seeks eternally to subordinate herself to Godhead through serving love. This spiritual impllse of serving love appears in bound jivas in the unwholesome perverted form of lust seeking for its own gratification. This is, indeed, the worst of all the perversions appearing in this world and also the one that is the most difficult to get rid of. Man and woman in this world understand well enough the process of exploiting one another’s liust for the reciprocal gatification of their senses. They choose to think gratuitously that, as God Himself has endowed them with the sexual impulse, it must, therefore, be also His intention that it is their duty to avail of the opportunity so mercifully provided. Moderate and well-considered sexuality thus comes to be wrongly regarded as a part and parcel of our proper nature and the institution of marriage for the carnal purpose is looked upon as providing the convenient and proper conditions for the exercise of this lefitimate God-given impulse. The idea of a human being without any sexual weakness hence comes to be regarded with the greatest suspicion, being considered as either an impossibility or an abnormality.


But as a matter of fact carnal sexuality is not any impulse of our higher nature, It is a hankering for material enjoyment which can, by its nature, only gratifyor disgust the material body and mind which have no substantive kinship with the soul. The corresponding pure spiritual impulse is completely free from the desire of any selfish enjoyment. Our soul possesses spiritual senses which abstain from seeking their own gratification by a spontaneous tendency. They want to provide, and not to intercept for themselves, all enjoyments for the Divinity. This service on the spiritual plane has no grossness or impurity which we, from our experience of the corresponding material process, associate with the object of carnal marriage.




The marriage of individual souls with Godhead is the establishment of unreserved spiritual reciprocal communion with the Divinity which is confusedly reflected in an unwholesome and inverted form in the sexual impulse of this world. The realisation of the most intimate spiritual communion is the fulfilment of the same spiritual impulse. The pursuit of sexual gratification of oneself is the obstacle in the way of such realisation and is, in fact; the greatest punishment that is suffered by the jiva by reason of his desire for enjoyment.


God does not accept the carnal sentiment, which is the worst form of aversion to Godhead, an act of personal disloyalty to the sole Enjoyer of all the spiritual senses of the jiva whose highest function consists in serving the Lord with all his spiritual senses. This spiritual service is available to the jiua, only if he happens to be in the state of perfect subordination to Godhead under the unconditional direction of Sree Lakshmi Devi, the Plenary Power Who is the Eternal Consort of the Lord. Sree Narayana communes directly with Sree Lakshmi Devi and the latter carries out the Divine Will in an infinity of ways. The jiva is enabled to commune with Godhead as a particle of thc gratuitous extension of the Divine process by submitting to be a humble agent of Sree Lakshmi Devi Who is entitled to impart to him, for the purpose, a particle of the pure impulse by which She ever serves Her sole Lord. This is the most intimate reciprocal communion, or spiritual marriage, of the jiva with the Divinity. Those, who cherish the marriage of Lakshmi and Narayana, are by such devotion freed from the fell delusion of carnal sexuality on the attainment of the reciprocal spiritual communion with Divinity, which is the very highest form of service for the jiva. The fallen jiva is prepared to admit, at any rate in practice, the inexorable penal laws of physical Nature, but, with strange perversity, is viciously disposed to oppose as irrational the existence of the far more inexorable code of love that regulates the affairs of the spiritual world.


But the Authority of Godhead is no less Absolute in the realm of spirit than it is in this prison-house of the physical world. The scientists try to understand, without questioning their rationale, the absolute potency, or authority, of the laws of this material universe. It is necessary to carry the same rational attitude into all enquiries regarding the spiritual world where, however, the laws of this physical world cannot prevail. The scientific spiritual method for attaining to the knowledge of the spiritual world, should, therefore, by strict analogy, also possess the following order of development, viz., (1) actual perception of the spiritual world, (2) gathering of spiritual experience, (3) analysis of such experience, (4) acquisition of right conduct by assimilated knowledge. As the spiritual realm happens to be wholly unknown to us, we must be disposed to take the help of the experience of those who have access to it, if we hope to have even the initial working knowledge of its conditions during this short span of human life. All this is in strict analogy with the method of empiric science.


On the very day that Sree Gaursundar met Lakshmi Devi, a Brahmana match-maker (match-making by the way was then an honoured offce as it should be) who bore the name of Banamali acharya, providentially made his appearance before Sachi Devi. The Brahmana, after making his obeisance to mother Sachi, accepted a seat which was cordially offered by her. Thereafter Banamali acharya broached his proposal: ‘It was high time for her to think about the Marriage of her Son. Sree Ballabha acharya, who also lived at Nabadwip, offered an unexceptionable connection as regards family, character and piety of life. His Daughter was the goddess Lakshmi Herself by the fame of Her beauty and disposition. Sachi Devi might accept this connection if she deemed it desirable.’ Mother Sachi replied, ‘My Son is a fatherless Boy. Let Him live and study. I am not thinking of any other thing just now.’ The Brahmana felt utterly discouraged by this dry rejoinder and left with a heavy heart.


Banamali Acharya fell in with the Lord on His way back from His Academy, Who embraced him by way of merriment. The Lord asked where he had been. The Brahmana said he had been to His mother to propose His Marriage. He could not understand why she did not take it at all seriously. On hearing of this the Lord became silent. He took His leave of him with a smile and returned home. He laughingly asked His mother why she had not received the acharya in a gracious manner. Sachi was delighted on catching the hint from her Son and sent for the Brahmana on the day following. She then said to him, ‘Settle as expeditiously as possible the affair that you mentioned yesterday.You have my full consent.’


Thereupon, taking the dust of the feet of Sachi, the Brahmana immediately set out for the home of Ballabha acharya. When Banamali Ghatak presented himself before Ballabha acharya the latter received him with great respect. Having accepted a seat duly offered by Ballabha acharya, Banamali proceeded to ask him forthwith to fix an auspicious day for the marriage of his Daughter. ‘The Son of Purandar Misra, by Name Bishwambhar, most learned and possessed of all good qualities, was the only eligible Bridegroom for his daughter.’ That was also the proposal which Banamali had to make to him. He accordingly advises Ballabha Acharya to accept the same, provided, of course, it really commended itself to him.


Ballabha acharya was filled with the greatest joy on receiving the proposal. He said that such a Son-in-law was to be had only by sheer good fortune. ‘If Krishna is gracious to me or the goddesses Lakshmi and Gauri are pleased towards my daughter, only then, and not otherwise, I shall deserve to have such Son-in-law. Be pleased to put forth your best endeavour by all means to settle this affair with the least possible delay. But there is one point which I feel ashamed to mention. I am poor. I am unable to afford any dowry. It is only my daughter whom I shall give away and five myrobalans as her dowry. This is my request to you. You are to obtain their assent to this.’ On hearing these words of Ballabha acharya, the Ghatak felt a deep joy at the success of his mission and, coming back to Sachi, delivered to her the happy news and asked her to fix an auspicious day for the ceremony. All friends of the family were filled with gladness on hearing the happy tidings and applied themselves assiduously to make every preparation for the due solemnization of the Nuptials of Sree Lakshmi and Sree Narayana.




The preliminary (adhibas) ceremony was duly performed on an auspicious day, to the accompaniment of dance, song and a great variety of music. The Brahmanas recited the Veda on all sides. Nimai took His seat in the centre of the gathering. The friends and Brahmanas performed this ceremony of betrothal by making offerings of perfumes and garlands to the Lord. The Brahmanas were specially pleased, being treated to excellent perfumes, sandal-paste, betel and garlands. Ballabha acharya came over to the home of Sachi and, having duly performed the same rite, returned with a joyous heart to his residence.


Rising early next morning the Lord bathed, gave away alms and honoured the Manes with due worship. There was n great jubilation of dance, song and music. On all sides there arose a mighty tumult, amidst shouts of ‘give and take.’ There was a multitudinous gathering of loyal matrons, well-wishers, friends Brahmanas and good people. Mother Sachi joyfully offered to the ladies, who were present, fried rice, plantain, vermilion, betel and oil. The gods and their consorts assuming human forms merrily assembled to witness the Marriage of the Lord. Ballabha acharya also performed the worship of the gods and departed ancestors in the customary manner.


At the hour of twilight, in an auspicious moment, the Lord set out in marriage procession to the house of Ballabha Misra. No sooner did the Lord arrive at the residence of Misra, the minds of Misra and all his family were filled with a boundless joy. Misra with due respect and a glad heart helped his Son-in-law to the Bridegroom’s Seat. He then brought out his daughter Lakshmi, decked in all Her ornaments, to the Presence of the Lord. The people began to shout the Name of Hari. They lifted Lakshmi Devi from the ground and carried Her on their shoulders through the function of perambulating the Lord seven times. Then, after making Her obeisance to Him, Lakshmi stood before the Lord with the palms of Her hands joined in the attitude of supplication. Then the Two threw flowers at Each Other, and Both Lakshmi and Narayana were very much pleased. Lakshmi then placed a beautiful garland at the Feet of the Lord and, making obeisance, made the formal surrender of Herself. The crowd thereupon raised a paean of triumph on all sides, singing with many voices he Name of Hari so that no other sound could be heard. The holy rite of beholding Each Other’s Face was next performed in the same manner. Then the Lord was seated with Lakshmi on His Left Side. The Lord was in the first bloom of youth, surpassing the god of love in beauty, by Whose Side Lakshmi now took Her seat. The beauty and joy that manifested themselves in the house of Misra no one has power to describe.


Thereafter Ballabha sat down to the function of giving away his Daughter. It seemed as if Bhismaka himself had re-appeared in this world. After robing the Body of the Lord with rich clothing, garlands and sandal-paste, the best of Brahmanas washed His Lotus Feet, by Whose adoration Brahma, his prime ancestor, had been enabled to create the world. He then bestowed his Daughter in Marriage in due form. The Brahmana was immersed in the sea of bliss. It was now the turn of the matrons who duly performed the customary rites of the family.


The Lord passed the night in the house of Ballabha acharya. On the following day He set out for His own home in the company of Lakshmi. All the people rushed out to have a Sight of the Lord as He was taken home on the shoulders of men, in a do1a, with Lakshmi seated by His Side. Lakshmi and Narayana were both richly decorated with perfumes, garlands, ornaments, crowns, sandal-paste and collyrium. All the people praised Them, as they caught a glimpse of the Divine Pair. The ladies were specially affected by the Sight. That fortunate Maiden must have long worshipped Hara and Gauri with Her heart’s best devotion. Could such Husband be obtained by a girl except through extraordinary good luck? Some said that the Bridegroom and Bride seemed to be Hara and Gauri themselves. Some said, ‘They were Indra and Sachi, or Rati and Madana.’ Some said, ‘They were Lakshmi and Narayana.’ A group of ladies declared them to be ‘ Seeta and Rama, shining with incomparable Beauty, seated together on the dola.’ Thus said all those ladies. They beheld Lakshmi and Narayana with an auspicious intent. In this manner the Lord returned Home at night-fall with the tumult of dance song and music.


Then Sachi Devi accompanied by the Brahmana matrons, with great joy, led her Daughter-in-law into the house. She satisfied all the Brahmanas and the dancers and musicians by lavish gifts of money, clothing and sweet words. We have it on the authority of Thakur Brindavandas that those who listen to this holy narrative of the Lord’s Marriage are completely freed from the bondage of this world.


As Sree Lakshmi Devi took Her place by the Side of the Lord, ‘The Home of Sachi glowed with a transcendent radiance. Sachi noticed, always both inside and outside the house, a wonderful flaming brilliance which could not, however, be definitely located. ‘She sometimes saw a blazing tongue of fire by the side of her Son; but as she turned to see again, it had vanished. She experienced off and on the fragrance of the lotus flower. Her amazement reached its climax and made her thoughtful. Mother Sachi mused, ‘I understand the cause of it. Lakshmi abides in this Maiden. For this reason I perceive the Light and the Fragrance of the Lotus. There is now also no pinch of the poverty of the bygone days. Ever since this Lakshmi, my Daughter-in-law, came into the house, wealth in every form has been pouring in from all sides in a most unaccountable manner.’ Mother Sachi often spoke in this strain. The Lord still chose to remain unmanifest. No one can understand the Will of God or how He sports at any time. When God does not make Himself known even Lakshmi Herself cannot know. This is testified by all the Scriptures, by the Vedas and: the Puranas, that he alone can know the Supreme Lord whom He Himself favours.

I have retained the actual words of Thakur Brindavandas in describing the Marriage of Sree Gaursundar with Sree Lakshmi Devi. The Activities of Sree Chaitanya are not like those of mortal men. They were manifested in this world for the purpose of healing the disease of mortality by Their contemplation. Most fallen souls, who are denizens of this world, like nothing better than marrying and giving in marriage. It may be supposed that the detailed narrative of the Marriage of Sree Chaitanya has been recorded by His devotee to serve as a model to be followed by the fallen jivas and as sanctioning the institution of marriage itself for ensuring spiritual progress. Such a conclusion would also be most acceptable to those who are disposed to find a religious sanction for carnality.

But the associates of Sree Chaitanya have cautioned us in unmistakable terms against initiation of the conduct of Sree Chaitanya. The Marriage of Sree Chaitanya is not a carnal affair. It is not to be understood as the glorification of the mundane institution of marriage. If Sree Chaitanya is regarded as a mortal, His Marriage will naturally be considered as :an affair like that of man and woman of this world. Those who choose to think in this way are of course free to follow the dictate of their empiric judgment. Only the associates and true followers of Sree Chaitanya, who have recorded the true meaning of the Events of His Career for the benefit of humanity and who have acquired the eligibility to be heard, by fully acting up to their professions, require us to forget tenttively the stubborn insinuations of our worldly experience which is bound to fail utterly to give us the knowledge of the reality of which we stand in such urgent need.


The details of the Marriage of Sree Gaursundar should be listened to from the lips of sadhus, i.e., of those who are wholly devoted to the exclusive service of Godhead. God is the sole Proprietor of our senses. When our senses are directed Godward, they lose their grossness engendered by their wrong employment on subjects of this world. If the spiritual instinct, corresponding to sexuality, could be directed towards Godhead, it would be realised as the spiritual impulse of love. So long as it deliberately courts its stultification by directing itself to non-God for support, it finds itself stranded on this unwholesome mundane plane. Lust is the perversion of love into a loathsome mundane entity due to Its adulterous and perverted application amounting to a suicidal crime against its own nature. In other words, when the faculty of amorous love is exercised by the soul, who is free from alI mundane hankering towards the All-holy, it is love. Once this change of direction is really established, the substantive existence of the spiritual function corresponding to lust is realised on the automatic elimination of all mundane unwholesomeness. The spiritual function possesses perfectly wholesome nature and permanent substantive existence. The corresponding mundane function is devoid of both these essential characteristics. This is altogether inconceivable to the materialised mind.


The perception of the associated correlatives of inferiority and superiority, grossness and wholesomeness, evil and good, smallness and greatness etc. is the inevitable concomitant of our gross sensuous experience. God reserves the right of appearing to any and every entity as He pleases. And as soon as He chooses to favour an entity by His acceptance of his service, he is instantly freed from all grossness by such acceptance. The marriage-rite of a Bengali Brahmana has nothing inherently spiritual in it. But it is nevertheless an Eternal Activity for God to accept these rites and all rites, and by such Acceptance they are necessarily freed from all grossness and imperfection. Those, who do not want to enter fully into this real meaning of the Activities of the Divinity when They become visible in this world, earn only damnation by their mis-reading of the Scriptures.


The marriage-rite of a Bengali pseudo-Brahlnana is categorically different from that of Sree Chaitanya for the reasons suggested above. The former produces and aggravates the malady of carnality. Such a result cannot be avoided by merely choosing to imagine that the sensuous affair is sanctioned by the Divine; because the Divine Marriage is located wholly above the plane of the conditioned soul. The sight or contemplation of the Divine Event re-acts on the conditioned soul, if he does not oppose the process by the persistent abuse of his freedom of will in the matter of sexuality. The result of such re-action is spiritually beneficial. The nonspiritual, even in the case of the votary of intangible ahstractions, can only re-act on the non-spiritual and complicate the non-spiritual condition. The actual Existence and redeeming Potency of the Divinity is unconsciously, but none the less decisively, denied by the idealist whose vision is completely deluded by the subtler potency of matter by reason of such attitude. Gaursundar is Godhead Himself. The contemplation of His Marriage-Rite, in its minutest details with an enlightened serving faith elicited by the instructions of the good preceptor, is bound to re-act on the fettered soul and free him from the bondage of carnality.


We are servants of Krishna. We are not masters of anything. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Eternal Consort of Sree Gaursundar and serves Him as Consort. Sree Gaursundar is the Lord of Sree Lakshmi Devi. The jiva cannot be the Lord of any entity. The marriage institution of this world establishes a mundane connection between two material bodies inside which two offending jivas are imprisoned. Having lost all consciousness of his real, i.e., spiritual nature, the bound jiva, supposing his physical body to be identical with himself, falls under the power of the physical senses and considers himself as an enjoyer of sensuous pleasure accruing from such reciprocation of bodily and mental activities. The sexual relationship in the flesh is the perverted caricature by material symbols of the state of intimate spiritual communion of the individual soul with God in his pure natural state. The institution of marriage is sinful if the jiva regards it as a means of his sensuous gratification, as such amorous activities necessarily tend to prolong the bondage of matter and consequent forgetfulness of Godhead. The bodily marriage is harmful and unnatural. In the conditioned state it may not be always possible to avoid the married state in a natural way. But it is always possible even for a married couple to honestly try to steer clear of carnality. They are enabled to do this if they learn the nature of the real connubial connection, which is possible only in the Supreme Lord, from the lips of sadhus. Being thus enlightened by the mercy of sadhus, one is enabled to realise the true meaning of Shastric provisions in regard to marriage that are intended to unite individual souls to God by the gradual but complete elimination of all carnal desire. Sometimes also a self-realised soul (sadhu) may adopt the married state in order to serve God by setting an example to fallen jivas embodying the shastric ideal of the married state. But nothing is gained by lifeless imitation of the external conduct of such a person. It is necessary first of all to seek for true enlightenment at the feet of the guileless and sincere servants of the Lord. To the understanding, enlightened by the causeless mercy of sadhus, the real significance of the sacrament of marriage discloses itself. Conditioned souls have no right of entry into the spiritual realm until and unless they are enabled to realise the necessity of submitting to the purgatorial process of the cleansing of all worldly dirt by the unconditional service of the true devotees of Godhead.


The ladies of the neighbourhood gave vent to their opinion that the Bride and Bridegroom were no other than Lakshmi and Narayana; or, in other words, They were regarded as Godhead and His Eternal Consort. This was also fully applicable to the case. But we should be on our guard against the utterly profane carnal sentimentalism that proposes to regard every newly married pair as resembling Lakshmi and Narayana, or, for the matter of that, which proposes to regard any jiva as the husband or wife of another by his spiritual nature. The mundane relation of husband and wife is of the flesh, being the grossly perverted eternal relation that unites mediately the individual soul, in his state of grace, with the Fountain head of All-existence through his willing, unconditional submission to the guidance of the pleanary Power. It is sheer folly to confound the one with the other.


Similarly those are also equally deluded who choose to regard the issue born of such bodily union as being on a level with Divine Gopala. Such people affect to be innocently unconscious of the eternal difference that separates this nether world, its concerns and the conditioned souls from the Divinity and His Own. The jiva commits a great offence against Godhead when he marries another jiva for the practice of carnality, and a sacrilege when he chooses to regard such bodily union as Divinely ordained. The soul of the jiva can be neither wife nor husband in the worldly sense. He has nothing to do with this world. The flesh and all its concerns are the snare which entraps the soul who is disinclined to serve Godhead and seeks, in lieu of the spiritual and absolutely pure service of the Lord, his own selfish enjoyment. So long as the desire for such enjoyment retains possession of the mind of the jiva, he is apt to turn a deaf ear to the Word of God always warning him from without and within against the seductions of the flesh. To such a person the world appears to be a place of legitimate sensuous enjoyment. When such a person also sets up as a preacher of the Word of God, he is bound to mis-interpret the Scriptures in order to make them tally with his own sensuous outlook and often carries this mis-interpretation to such lengths that he feels no scruple in representing his sensual activities as being indentical with the service of God on the ground that they are also applauded by all other sinners. It is these pseudo-preachers who also declare the consummation of carnal marriage between one jiva . and another as identical with the institution sanctioned by the Scriptures. Let us beware of these pseudo-preachers who are infinitely worse than even the proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing. One should on principle refuse to be instructed in the Word of God by a worldling who deceives himself and others by putting on the holy garb of a servant of God, and should avoid the society of such a person as that of an open enemy of Godhead. Toleration of such persons is the worst cruelty to oneself as well as to the person himself, being an offence at the Feet of the Lord and against the express teaching of all Scriptures. These hypocritical teachers of the religion are worse than even the rankest of atheists by profession.



Chapter X

—Professor Life—(Contd.)



The figure of Sree Gaursundar as professor (adhyapaka) has been described in some detail by Thakur Brindavandas. He was constantly surrounded by a host of admiring pupils. He was extremely proud of His learning and took a particular pleasure in ridiculing and exposing the ignorance of everybody. He cared for nothing except His books. He had an extraordinarily Beautiful Appearance and was in the bloom of His Youth. Grace and Beauty marked His every Limb. His Hands reached down to the Knee. His wide Eyes resembled the petals of the lotus flower. His Lips were always tinged by betel. He wore the most handsome clothing.


This beautiful, young, arrogant Scholar’s teaching was also unique in character. No savant of the then greatest centre of learning of India presumed to understand it really. The quondam teacher of Sree Gaursundar, fortunate Gangadas Pandit, was the only exception. The Lord opened out the store of His Learning freely to His old teacher. Worldly-minded people praised the Scholar and said that the parents of such a Son were the possessors of the richest of all treasures. To the woman-kind this insolent Scholar appeared in the likeness of the god of love himself. To the atheists He was terrible as Death. To the Pandits He was like a second Brihaspati by His wonderful learning. Different persons viewed Him in a different light in accordance with their particular standards of the highest worth.


          But there was one group of people who did not share this general admiration of the particularly well-dressed Teacher. This was the community of the Vaishnavas. They were utterly disappointed to find no trace of inclination for Krishna in this fascinating Youth Whose great learning, they knew well, would be of no avail to save Him from the clutches of ignorance and death. They did not hesitate to speak out to His Face, ‘Why dost Thou waste Thy time in the delusions of learning ?’ The Lord laughed as He listened to the words of His servants and replied, ‘I am fortunate in that you take the trouble to teach it to Me.’


There was at this time a considerable community of Vaishnavas resident in Nabadwip, as the place offered special facilities for study and the prospect of living close to the holy Ganges. Among them was a large body of devotees from Chattagram (Chittagong). In the afternoon the Vaishnavas assembled in the Academy of Sree Advaita Acharya. They met there regularly to discourse about Krishna. It was a gathering of persons, all of whom were from their birth without the least attachment for the things of this world. In fact they were not of this world at all. They had been born in different parts of the country and were brought together at Nabadwip by the Will of Godhead.




Mukunda sang the kirtana of Hari to this assembly of the pure devotees. All the Vaishnavas were pleased with Mukunda whose song had the quality of melting their hearts. The joy of the assembled devotees, as Mukunda would begin to sing, became so intense that it expressed itself in strange ways. Some wept. Some laughed. Some began to dance. Some rolled on the ground, forgetful of their apparel. Some donned their cloth tightly and shouted challenge of defiance. Some ran up to Mukunda and clasped his feet. So wonderful indeed, was the effect on those Vaishnavas of the Kirtana of Krishna sang by Mukunda. His song produced the highest bliss and made the Vaishnavas forget all cause of grief.


The Lord was specially pleased with Mukunda, in His heart, for this reason. He would tease Mukunda whenever He chanced to meet him, by asking him to solve logical riddles. This led to prolonged controversies. Mukunda was well-versed in the science of Logic and made use of every form of argument in holding his ground against the onslaughts of Sree Gaursundar. But he was always beaten in the long run. Nimai put these riddles also to Shribas Pandit and other devotees. They were very much afraid of His puzzles and always scattered at His Approach. The devotees had no taste for any discourse except regarding Krishna, and Nimai never proposed anything except riddles of dry logic. No one could solve His puzzles and He mercilessly exposed all who broke down.


One day as the Lord was passing along the highway in the company of His pupils with every manifestation of the vanity of a pedantic scholar, Mukunda, who was going to the Ganges for his bath, saw the Lord from a distance and immediately took to his heels, Noticing this the Lord said to His servant Govinda, ‘Why did the rascal bolt on seeing Me?’ Govinda did not understand the reason of Mukunda’s conduct. He suggested that he might have had some business of his own. The Lord said that the real reason was his belief that a Vaishnava should never greet a person who is averse to Godhead. Then the Lord spoke in the hearing of all, ‘Let him keep aloof for the present I will see how long he will avoid Me in this manner. I will become such a good Vaishnava that even Siva and Brahma will dance attendance at My doorsteps. Those very people, who now flee at My Approach, will then sing My praise.’ He said this to His students laughingly as He was returning home in their company.


It was, indeed, a most distressing period for the devotees of Nabadwip. The whole of Nadia was mad with the taste of riches and sons. The people launched into invectives as soon as they heard of kirtana. They, indeed, said openly that it was only a device for filling the belly. They were specially wroth against Shribas and his three brothers.


The arguments they used against the Vaishnavas have been preserved by Thakur Brindavandas. ‘Was there any justification in dancing in their saucy and unmannerly way, giving up the method of intellectual communion ?’ ‘I myself have read the Bhagavata many times over, but I do not find in it any method of dancing and crying.’ ‘I cannot get any sleep after dinner on account of Shribas and his brothers. Is it not pious enough if one calls upon Krishna with a subdued voice? Is there any unavoidable necessity of dancing, singing and shouting?’ This was the universal attitude of all non-Vaishnavas. They talked and jeered in this manner whenever they met the Vaishnavas.


When the devotees used to feel very much depressed at such treatment by the people, Sree Advaita Acharya would repeat His assurance that He would destroy all those atheists, as Sree Krishna would be with them in a very short time in the town of Nabadwip itself. The words of Advaita dispelled all their sorrows and the Vaishnavas kept up the blessed Kirtana of Krishna with the greatest joy. Such was the state of affairs at Nabadwip when Lord Vishwambhar was deeply occupied with His secular studies.


So the Lord Himself, the Teacher of the whole world, by His Conduct as well as Instruction, was apparently pursuing a mode of life which was indistinguishable from that of the average worldly people. Would we be justified in blaming the pseudo-teachers of the Vaishnava religion of these days who, professing to follow the example of Sree Gaursundar, lead a life of luxurious ease with their wives and children ? If Sree Gaursundar chewed betel should they not also do the same as in duty bound? If Professor Nimai dressed faultlessly, poked fun at the Vaishnavas and devoted Himself exclusively to secular studies, why should such innocent amenities of a householder’s life be forbidden to His followers?


The questions no doubt suggest their own answer. In the case of Sree Gaursundar all this was absolutely proper. To the true devotee of Godhead every thing is handy and fit, as he knows their use for the service of Godhead. The eternal conduct of the devotee derives its value for worldly observers from this internal quality. If a woman is really chaste, she can do nothing that is improper. If she is really unchaste, she can do nothing that is proper, not even by mimicking the external conduct of any chaste lady. Such mimicry is in no way different from unchastity and is often the more dangerous form of wickedness. A thing can be but itself. External conduct is always deceptive, being external. By imitating the external Conduct of Sree Gaursundar that was visible to mundane observers at any period of His Activities, nothing but the direst offense is reaped. The Relation of the Lord to His Consort, to His pupils, to His devotees is misunderstood if we choose to misunderstand them by refusing to listen to those who are acquainted with the real Nature of Nimai. Even the Vaishnavas confessed, when they came to know Him later as He really is, that they also had once utterly misunderstood Him and His Activities, before He Himself manifested the real nature of them in their more explicit form to their higher consciousness.


The full view regarding the activities of Sree Gaursundar is attainable only if they are regarded as the Pastimes of Godhead Himself. Sree Gaursundar is identical with Sree Krishna. Those, who ignore this by misunderstanding His Role as Devotee, necessarily fail to obtain the adequate view of His Doings. The want of this knowledge apparently led even the Vaishnavas themselves to deprecations of the external conduct of Sree Gaursundar at this period. They wished that He should become a devotee like themselves. This is the Natural desire of all pure Vaishnavas in regard to non-Vaishnavas. The pursuit of secular studies in which Sree Gaursundar was wholly absorbed and the employment of His controversial powers on subjects other than Krishna were, therefore, condemned by those pure devotees as the abuse of His intellectual powers. It is instructive to find that those Vaishnavas were not under the delusion, which is so much cherished by the pseudo-Vaishnavas of these days, that the Conduct of Nimai was that of the model servant of Godhead. They were right so far. They apparently erred in supposing that Sree Gaursundar was a Vaishnava and not Vishnu Himself. But subsequently also, when they knew the Lord by His grace, they did not, therefore, try to imitate the Conduct of Sree Gaursundar.


Secular studies and pursuits in their purely worldly sense are not only unnecessary but are positively harmful to the jiva in the state of bondage. The object and method of all non-spiritual activities is to be enabled thereby to acquire extended opportunities of selfish, material enjoyment, a desideratum which is foreign to the nature of the jiva in the State of Grace. Any act which is undertaken for securing one’s own enjoyment ceases to have any reference to the service of the Lord Who is the Absolute Master, Proprietor and of everything. The pursuit of the knowledge of the things of this world with reference to ourselves as enjoyers of them is not the function of the pure soul. By all knowledge Godhead alone is properly served. The pursuit of secular knowledge is productive of spiritual well-being if it possesses this exclusive reference to Godhead both as regards its object and method.


The acceptance of this true principle does not destroy any value, it only removes our ignorance and fulfills the only real object of all knowledge. God certainly indwells all knowledge, but inaccessibly to the conditioned soul. As soon as the conditioned soul is enabled to realize His Presence in all learning, his object and method of pursuing knowledge ceases to be secular and harmful. Sree Gaursundar was within His Rights in accepting the service of the goddesses of secular learning and of physical Nature, because He is their Lord and Proprietor. There could be no absence of Reference in the Reference Himself. But because Sree Gaursundar was pleased to exhibit the Leela of pursuing secular knowledge for its own sake, those who are aware of His Divinity should not, with an inexcusable perversity of judgment, jump to the conclusion that His Conduct was intended to justify the apparently similar procedure of any jivas, if they happen to cherish the unnatural desire of becoming the masters or slaves of Material Nature. God is always the Master even when He chooses to manifest His Divine Form in this unspiritual world. Even when the Lord seems, to the perverted judgment of fallen jivas, to be subject, like themselves, to the laws of physical Nature, He remains her Master none the less.


Even the devotees themselves failed to understand the Doings of the Lord at this period, although His conduct was appreciated by worldly people who supposed, in their disloyal delusion, that it resembled their own. This latter kind of appreciation was an unconscious offense against the Lord, while the depreciation of His Conduct by the devotees was not an offense, although it was an error, into which they fell by the Will of Godhead Himself, for the furtherance of His Pastimes.


Worldly people misunderstood the Conduct of both Sree Gaursundar and His devotees. They admired Sree Gaursundar for His great Qualities, for the Beauty of His Person and for His great Learning. They desired those things for themselves and could, therefore, appreciate them by the method of envy. The bound jiva wants to enjoy, to rule, to possess beauty and learning for increasing his supposed power and scope of selfish enjoyment. Sree Gaursundar had all what they so wrongly desire. The worldly people regarded Him as the most successful of worldlings. They disliked the devotees, because they did not approve of their lack of worldliness. The mode of life of the devotees seemed in the eyes of those worldly people to be not merely bad, but ridiculous. It is not possible for worldly people to understand the ways of pure devotees ; it is still less possible for them to understand the Ways of God Himself.


If we want to follow Sree Gaursundar we should in the first place have to know our real relationship to Him. In proportion as this knowledge of our relationship with Godhead is realized, we are in a position to understand His Ways. When Sree Gaursundar took to secular study, apparently for its own sake, His Purpose was to be merciful to the goddess of secular learning inside whose heart He ever dwells in the Form that is incomprehensible to the conditioned jiva; and, secondarily, to establish the principle, for the benefit of the fallen jivas, that they should neither thoughtlessly imitate nor condemn the conduct of the pure devotee, nor suppose that he is ever liable to error by reason of his youth, or apparent ignorance of the concerns of this world, or even apparent devotion to them. The efforts of the servants of God are not governed by the instinct of so-called self-preservation, or for adjustment to the phenomenal environment, which is apt to dominance the activities of fallen jivas. The devotees never do anything except under the pure impulse of serving Krishna. It is not altogether impossible for us, even while we continue in the sinful state, to admit this.


Regarding Sree Mukunda Datta, we have the hint in Sree Chaitanya Charitamrita that ‘Lord Chaitanya Himself dances in the kirtana of Mukunda.’ Mukunda made his appearance in Chittagong. In Gauraganoddesadipika  he is identified with Madhukantha, the singer of Braja. We have seen already that Mukunda Datta was a fellow student of Sree Chaitanya in the Academy of Sree Gangadas Pandit. Mukunda was a most brilliant scholar and Chaitanya found great delight: in putting to him the most difficult riddles of Logic. Mukunda read the Bhagavatam to Sree Chaitanya after the Latter’s return from Gaya. When Sree Chaitanya danced in the yard of Shribas Pandit, Mukunda sang the kirtana. He accompanied Sree Chaitanya to Katwa on the occasion of His Acceptance of Renunciation (sannyas), and subsequently followed Him to Puri. He used to come every year to Puri from Bengal to visit the Lord, in the company of His other devotees


The godless people of that time objected to the kirtana on the ground that dancing and singing with a loud voice are not the method of worship recommended by the Bhagavatam. This is true in regard to the insincere performances of the pseudo Vaishnavas. But the Bhagavatam frequently mentions the manifestation of genuine spiritual perturbations in the forms of laughter, weeping, dancing, singing, etc., in an unaccountable form in the true devotees of Krishna. The people were angered by the loud kirtana of Shribas and his brothers for the ostensible reason that it stood in the way of their sleep, etc.


Those, who profess to be seekers of worldly merit (punya) for its enjoyable rewards, naturally misunderstand the efforts of pure devotees who practice devotion to Godhead, for benefiting all persons by inclining them to the service of Godhead which is obstructed by their hankerings after worldly enjoyment. But those godless people supposed, in their ignorance, that the dancing and singing of the Vaishnavas, which are performed because they are pleasing to Krishna, are a crude and inferior form of worship of which the lonely individualistic method was regarded as the highest. .This insolence of judgment, which is the necessary and invariable concomitant of simulation of worship by conditioned souls, proved its own terrible punishment and effectively prevented those scoffers from listening to the unalloyed kirtana of Hari that was nightly performed within the reach of their hearing, for the benefit of all, by Shribas Pandit and his brothers, in the teeth of the violent, uncalled-for, suicidal opposition of all those self-complaisant worldly egotists.


While Nimai was thus wholly immersed in the pleasures of study, Sree Isvara Puri came to Nabadwip and presented himself at the house of Advaita. He was clad in the garb of an ascetic (sannyasin) of one staff; and so no one suspected him to be a Vaishnava. But Advaita noticed the glow of his extraordinary spiritual energy and recognized him as a theistic (Vaishnava) sannyasin. No sooner did Mukunda begin a song about Krishna in the gathering of the Vaishnavas at Advaita’s, the ocean of natural love for Krishna in the pure heart of Puri was deeply stirred. Presently all the Vaishnavas came to learn that the sannyasin, who loved Krishna so deeply, was no other than Sree Isvara Puri, the loved disciple of Sree Madhabendra Puri.


One day as Sree Gaursundar was returning home after teaching, He accidentally met Sree Iswara Puri on His way and did obeisance to him, as is the duty of every householder towards a sannyasin. Sree Isvara Puri was struck by the wonderfully beautiful appearance of Sree Gauranga and enquired Who He was and what subject He taught. Nimai with due deference answered the questions of Sree Isvara Puri, and, with great respect and cordiality, invited him to accompany. Him to His House and accept the alms of his day’s meal there.


Sachi Devi cooked the offering for Krishna and gave it in alms to Sree Isvara Puri. After the meal Sree Isvara Puri engaged with Nimai Pandit in discourse regarding Krishna and in course of the talk manifested his overwhelming love for Krishna. Sree Isvara Puri spent several months at Nabadwip at the house of Sree Gopinath acharya, sister’s husband (the famous Sarbabhauma Bhattacharchaya of Vidyanagar). Nimai Pandit went to Vidyanagar in the evenings to pay His respects to Sree Isvara Puri at the conclusion of His day’s teaching. Sree lsvara Puri was charmed with the love for Krishna of Sree Gadadhar Pandit who was spontaneously unattached to the world from infancy. Moved by feeling of affection Sree Iswara Puri undertook to read to Gadadhar his own work, ‘Sree Krishnaleelamritam’.


One day Sree Isvara Puri asked Nimai Pandit to correct any, mistakes that He might detect in his book, promising to adopt any alterations that He might suggest. The Lord replied, ‘that as the book contained the account of the Doings of Krishna and had been written by a pure devotee like Sree Isvara Puri, any person, who presumed to detect any fault in it, would certainly commit a grave offense against Godhead. Whatever the external quality of the verses of a devotee might seem to be, Krishna is fully pleased thereby. There was no doubt about it. Any grammatical or other defects that may happen to be present in the language of the devotee are over-looked by Krishna Who is ever subdued by the homage of the heart and accepts nothing but pure love for Himself. If any one found fault with the language of a devotee, it only proved that the critic was devoid of the Grace of Krishna. There did not exist the person who would dare to find fault with the language used by a pure devotee like Puripada to convey the tidings of Krishna.’


But Sree Isvara Puri continued to press his request that Nimai Pandit might point out the defects of his book. In this manner Isvara Puri spent hours in discussing daily a variety of topics with Nimai. One day after listening to a certain shloka, composed by Sree Isvara Puri, Nimai Pandit said to him, by way of fun, that the verb in the said verse should have the form of parasmaipada and not of atmanepada. Thereafter, when Nimai Pandit next made His Appearance another day, Sree Isvara Puri told Him that he had been able to find out the grammatical authority in favour of his conjugation of the verb as atmanepada. The Lord also, in order to enhance the greatness of His devotee, refrained from finding fault with this conclusion. Having passed some time in the pleasures of these learned pastimes in the company of Nimai, Sree Isvara Puri started again on his wanderings in order to sanctify the tirthas, all over India, by his visit.


The above account of Sree Chaitanya’s first meeting with His Guru is reproduced verbatim from Sree Chaitanya Bhagavata. Sree Isvara Puri made his appearance in a Brahmana family of Kumarhatta ( Halishahar, on the E. B. Ry. ) . He was the most beloved disciple of Sree Madhabendra Puri. In Chaitanya-Charitamrita it is narrated (Antya, VIII, 26-29) how Sree Isvara Puri obtained the mercy of his Gurudeva, by his loyal service, who bestowed on his worthy disciple his own love for Krishna. The unique love of Sree Isvara Puri for Krishna, which was aroused in him in this manner, never left him.


Sree Isvara Puri wore the garb of a sannyasin of one staff (the staff being the symbol of self-discipline). The assumption of the single staff is the practice of those sannyasins who follow the path of knowledge to obtain the reward of the six-fold endeavours, viz., sama (equanimity), dama (self-control), titiksha (endurance), etc., by the study of the Vedanta and the other Scriptures. Those who follow the path of fruitive works, on attainment of the stage of yati, take to the triple-staff sannyas and wander about companionless in all directions. The Vaishnava Sannyasins, discarding alike the desire for worldly enjoyment as well as renunciation of such enjoyment, engage in the exclusive service of Hari. In them, therefore, the twin renunciation of worldly enjoyment and renunciation of such renunciation, are simultaneously present. Their position is thus defined in Shrimad Bhagavatam, ‘I shall cross the otherwise impassable ocean of ignorance by serving the Feet of Godhead by practicing devotion to the Supreme Soul in the footsteps of the great sages (rishis) of old’.


The rasa (i.e. mellowing quality) of devotion to Krishna, in which Sree Isvara Puri was established by the mercy of Sree Madhabendra, transcends all other rasas (mellownesses) by its supreme excellence and complete perfection. The transcendental rasas may have the forms of ( 1 ) Brahman bliss, i.e., the bliss of realizing the transcendent greatness of Godhead, (2) the bliss of serving Godhead as a Person Who is Supreme Ruler of the material and spiritual worlds, and (3) the highest bliss of serving Godhead as Recipient of causeless loving devotion. The Object of worship, pointed to by the above three methods of spiritual service, has been called in the Scriptures the Brahman, Sree Narayana and Sree Krishna respectively. All these rasas (mellownesses) are located beyond the zone of operation of the triple qualities that permeate this material world which find their way even to Kailasa, the abode of Siva.


The worthlessness of the worldly rasas (tasty liquid) is due to the existence of plurality of the objects of worship. In the spiritual realm, in Vishnu Who is Full, Indivisible, Pure Cognition, there is no possibility of such defects. In Krishna this spiritual service attains its highest fulfillment. Sree Isvara Puri was loved by Krishna for his attachment to Sree Guru the best-beloved of Krishna. The author of Sree Chaitanya Bhagavata  says, ‘that being most dearly loved by Krishna Sree Isvara Puri was necessarily kind to all jivas without distinction. Such universal kindness is never possible in those who do not serve Krishna.’


The unwillingness of Sree Gaursundar to comply with the express request of Sree Isvara Puri to correct the defects of his book is not a display of insincere civility (which passes in the name of humility in this world). Krishna makes no difference between the highly skilled linguist and one who is ignorant of the alphabet. Krishna is ever more kind to him who possesses the greater inclination of service. Krishna, Who knows the inmost thoughts of our hearts, is never guilty of mistaken partiality. Pedantic scholars devoid of love for Krishna only prove their own real ignorance by trying to find defect in the language of devotees. The ignorance of such scholars is exposed at every step by the mercy of the Lord of the goddess of learning in order to wean them from their suicidal hostility to the devotees of Krishna. This also serves to keep their scholars, pride low. All such vanity is the outcome of ignorance of Krishna Who is the Truth Absolute. All sinfulness and unwholesomeness is due to ignorance of the Real Truth, in an aggravated form under the guise of pseudo-scholarship.


As Professor the Lord was wholly occupied with His studies, teaching and learned disputations. It was specially His practice to test the knowledge of all the teachers without exception. No Professor of Nabadwip ever came victoriously through his searching tests. No one was ever able to give a satisfactory answer to the questions put by Him. Although Nimai Pandit taught only Vyakarana, which is a comparatively elementary subject. He showed very little deference to the most erudite Professors of that celebrated emporium of learning. He often passed with a triumphant bearing through all quarters of the town in the company of His students displaying the aggressive nonchalance of the perfectly self-conceited scholiast.


One day, as Nimai Pandit was thus parading the town with His students, He met Mukunda on His way, quite by accident. The Lord took him by the hand and said ‘Why do you bolt at the very sight of Me? I won’t allow you to escape this time without being enlightened by you.’ Mukunda thought within himself I must beat Him to-day. His special and only forte is Vyakarana. I shall silence Him by asking questions about Rhetoric that He may never again dare to be insolent to me’. Accordingly Mukunda began by deprecating Vyakarana as the Shastra fit only for children. ‘Let us discourse instead about Rhetoric’. The Lord said Mukunda might select any subject he liked. Mukunda thereupon began to quote the most difficult passages from the whole range of poetical literature and asked Him to explain their rhetorical qualities.

Sree Gaursundar impeached every metaphor and simile and all the rhetorical figures that were employed by those poets, and laid bare their defects in their minutest details. Mukunda was unable to justify his own select pieces against the penetrating criticisms of the Lord. The Lord then said laughingly, ‘Go home to-day. Look up your books with more care. I shall again examine you to-morrow. You should come early.’ Mukunda took the dust of the Feet of the Lord and departed. He was amazed and began to reflect, Is such learning possible in a mortal ? There is no Shastra of which He is not perfect Master. Gifted with such extraordinary genius, had He been only a devotee of Krishna, I would never leave His company even for the space of the fraction of a moment !’

Another day in course of His peripatetic wanderings the Lord of Vaikuntha fell in with Gadadhar. The Lord laughingly caught him by both hands and would not quit His hold of him. ‘You study Nyaya. Tell me something about it’. Gadadhar replied, ‘Ask any question’. The Lord said, ‘Tell Me the characteristics of liberation (mukti)’. Gadadhar explained it in accordance with the Nyaya Shastra. The Lord said that the subject was not really explained. The position which Gadadhar took up was that of the Nyaya Shastra according to which liberation (mukti) ensues on the cessation or destruction of the extreme miseries.’ The Lord of the goddess of learning found fault with the proposition in many ways. There is no disputant who can hold his ground against Godhead. As a matter of fact, there was not a single person in the whole of Nabadwip who could come up to the level of Nimai Pandit in learned disputations. Gadadhar now thought of saving his face by flight. The Lord said ‘Gadadhar go home to-day. I have more to learn from you. So do not fail to turn up early to-morrow’. Gadadhar made his obeisance and went off.


The Lord roamed through every part of the town in this manner. He was soon recognized by all persons as a most profound scholar. All people showed Him the highest respect whenever they chanced to meet Him. In the afternoon the Lord proceeded to the side of the Ganges with all His students and sat on the bank with demonstrative joy. The Beauty of the Person of the Lord, Who is served by Sree Lakshmi Devi Herself, is unique in all the three worlds and inspired love in every beholder. The Son of Sachi sat there in the midst of His disciples and expounded the Shastras. The Vaishnavas also gathered to the side of the Ganges in the evening and from a distance listened to the learned dissertations of the Lord. They experienced a mixed feeling of delight and sorrow as they thought within themselves that Nimai Pandit was, indeed, Possessor of Learning and Beauty in an extraordinary measure. ‘But if Krishna is not served thereby those qualifications are of no use whatever’. They also confided to one another the fact that they were in the habit of fleeing the very sight of Him for fear of His puzzling hoaxes. Some complained that He also did not allow them to escape so easily, often holding them up with the peremptory authority of a customs-officer. A few admitted that the Brahmana was possessed of superhuman powers and even suspected that it is a great personage (mahapurusha) who had appeared in the world as Nimai Pandit.

Although the Lord was constantly occupied in putting His puzzles to them, still the Sight of Him somehow always made those Vaishnavas feel very happy. They all realized that such learning was not to be found in man. But this discovery also added to their poignant grief that He did not serve Krishna. They implored one another to bless Him that He might thereby attain to love for Krishna. All the Vaishnavas would prostrate themselves to the Supreme Lord on the bank of the Ganges and all of them blessed Him, ‘May it be Thy pleasure, O Krishna, that the Son of Jagannath be maddened by love for Thee, giving up every other pleasure. May He constantly serve Thee with loving devotion. Vouchsafe to us, O Krishna, Him as our companion.’ The Lord, who knows the inmost thoughts of the heart, was aware of these wishes of the Vaishnavas. He made obeisance to them whenever He chanced to meet Shribas and any of the devotees. The Lord received the blessings of the devotees with His Head bent in submission. ‘By the blessings of the Divinity’, say the Scriptures, ‘love for Krishna is aroused’.

Some of them spoke to Him plainly, ‘Why do You waste Your time in the delusions of learning?, Some said ‘Look here, Nimai Pandit; what does it profit to be learned? Make haste to serve Krishna. Why do people read—It is surely for the purpose of learning devotion to Krishna? If that is missed what is the good of learning?’ The Lord smiled and answered, ‘It is a great good fortune for Me that such as you teach Me to regard devotion to Krishna as essential. It seems to My mind that One, Whose welfare is sought by such as you, is, indeed, most fortunate. I have a mind, after teaching My pupils for a little time longer to betake Myself to good Vaishnavas’. Thus saying the Lord, Who found Himself in the midst of His servants, would begin to laugh. No one could recognize Him by the force of His Own Power. By such ways did the Lord captivate the minds of all persons. There was no one who did not long for the Sight of Him.

The Lord’s leisure was spent in these learned sessions by the side of the Ganges and wanderings through the different quarters of the town. The citizens greeted the Feet of the Lord with the greatest affection no sooner they caught Sight of Him. The ladies said, ‘He is the god of love manifest. May woman be blessed by obtaining this Treasure at her every successive birth !’ The learned regarded Him as the equal of the celestial sage Brihaspati; and the oldest of them made their obeisance to His Lotus Feet. To the yogis, He appeared to possess the realized body. The wicked viewed Him with terror, as the very Form of Death. If the Lord greeted a person only once he was thereby reduced to the condition of His prisoner and wore round his neck the collar of His love. Despite all the outspoken boastings of learning in which the Lord constantly indulged in the hearing of everybody, He was devotedly loved by all the people. Even the Yavanas displayed a great liking for the Lord Who is by nature mercifully disposed to all without exception.


The Lord held His Academy in the suite of rooms that led into the residence of the fortunate Mukunda-Sanjaya. The Son of Sree Sachi Devi engaged there in defending and opposing different interpretations and in refuting, justifying and expounding in endless ways, the texts of the sutras. The fortunate Sanjaya-Mukunda with all his family and dependents felt themselves borne aloft on the high tide of a perennial joy, the cause of which they could not understand. After the day’s triumphs of learning the Lord returned home in the evening. Thus did the Ruler of Vaikuntha choose to divert Himself with the exquisite pastimes of learning.

These accounts from the pen of Thakur Brindavandas leave on the mind a most vivid impression of the realities of the Professor life of Sree Chaitanya. He was evidently the universal Favourite of both Hindus and Mussalmans alike and was feared by all the impious scholars and evil-doers of every description. He was to all appearance the ideal Householder Teacher absorbed in His studies and teaching, which were of a wholly secular character. He was also a most formidable controversialist and had a wonderful faculty of detecting and exposing weak points in the views of the leading scholars of the famous University-town. The Beauty of His Person ravished every beholder. He showed the highest respect to the community of the Vaishnavas although they happened to be the objects of persecution and ridicule by all classes of the people. But He showed very little disposition to listen to their discourses regarding Krishna. On the contrary, His genuine reverence for them did not prevent Him from putting even to them His puzzling riddles of Logic, the activity that He seemed to like best of all. So the Vaishnavas, although they had a genuine liking for Him, were grieved by His engrossing devotion to trivial secular studies and apparently utter indifference to Krishna. But they nevertheless prayed to Krishna to bestow on Him the fullest measure of love for Him that He might be a real Companion to them.



Chapter  XI

—Unrecognised Direct Manifestation—



From the point that we reached in the previous Chapter begin, with a staggering suddenness, the overwhelming series of direct Manifestations which are also at first necessarily unrecognized. The beginning of this change is thus described by Thakur Sree Brindavandas. On a certain day the Lord under pretense of nervous break-down manifested all the perturbations of loving devotion. All on a sudden he began to utter words that are not of this world, rolled on the ground, laughed and smashed the house. He spoke with a deep, loud voice, girded up His loins and beat all persons whom He chanced to find about Him. His whole Body repeatedly attained the state of suspended animation and these fits of exclusiveness were so peculiar that they filled all beholders with terror. The friends came soon to learn the tidings of His supposed indisposition and turned up in a body. They busied themselves with devising the proper treatment of His mental derangement for so it appeared to them to be. Buddhimanta Khan and Mukunda-Sanjaya came to the House of the Lord with all members of their families. They applied to His Head medicinal oils, technically known as Vishnu and Narayana oils. Everyone offered the kind of help that suggested itself to him. But the Lord does everything by His own uncontrolled Will. How could He be cured by any external aid?


The Lord shivered in every Limb and gesticulated violently. His loud exclamations terrified everybody. The Lord said: ‘I am the Lord of all the worlds; I uphold the world, whence My name is Vishwambhar. I am He, but no one knows Me.’ With these words He begins to run at all the people to get hold of them. In this manner The Lord did disclose His own Lordly Nature under the guise of nervous malady. Yet no one understood, being prevented by His Power. Some held that He was possessed by a demon. Others opined that it was the doing of witches. Some expressed the view that it was undoubtedly a case of madness as He manifested the symptom of talking incessantly. By these indications they failed to understand His real Nature, being thus deluded by the Power of the Lord. They applied various curative oils to His Head and kept His Body immersed in oil in a large vat. The Lord laughed without restraint as He lay afloat in oil, which gave all persons the impression that He had a very serious attack of the worst type of the disease.


Having by His Will sported for a while in this manner, the Lord regained His normal health by giving up the show of nervous malady. At this sudden recovery all people rent the sky with loud acclamations of the Name of Hari. In their joy, they made lavish gifts of clothing in such huge quantities that it baffles all calculation. All the people were gladdened by the tidings of the Lord’s recovery. All said, ‘May the great Pandit live for ever!’ ‘The Lord of Vaikuntha,’ observes Thakur Brindavandas, ‘made merry in this manner. Who has power to know Him if He does not make Himself known?’


These manifestations of spiritual perturbations described by Thakur Brindavandas in the above passage, are liable to be misunderstood. They were manifested by Sree Gaursundar under the form of the symptoms of nervous malady. Those who want to understand everything in terms of ordinary mundane experience and are not prepared to admit the existence, or possibility of existence, of the super-mundane, naturally reject the clear testimony of the Vaishnava writers to the effect that the spiritual perturbations are not physical phenomena at all even though they necessarily appear as such to the clouded vision and understanding of all mortals.


The principle has already been discussed elsewhere. It applies to the whole range of spiritual manifestations. The Name Krishna, the Remains of the food tasted by Krishna, the Objects used in the worship of Krishna—such as buildings, utensils, etc., the body and mind of the person who worships Krishna, are, every one of them, spiritual entities, the consensus of opinion of all empiricists to the contrary notwithstanding. It is a difference of view which separates those, who admit the existence of the eternal and unbridgeable gulf that divides the spiritual from the material, from those who consciously or unconsciously, hold that the two are identical. The latter form the large and influential body of the anti-transcendentalists and philanthrophists.


But the real transcendentalists possess an intelligible and consistent theistic philosophy. They believe in the actual substantive existence of the super mundane plane which never submits to the inspection of the material senses. The spiritual manifestations belong to the transcendental plane. They have to be carefully distinguished on the one hand from all worldly phenomena and on the other from dishonest or misguided exhibitions of the pseudo-transcendentalist. Everyone is free to believe or not believe a thing or a proposition. But no clear thinker would claim the right of misrepresenting, or deliberately misunderstanding, a proposition or an occurrence. The materialists and pseudo transcendentalists have deliberately misunderstood and mis-stated the accounts of the Spiritual Scriptures. This is not honest blunder.


It was this possibility, nay the certainty of deliberate misunderstanding on the part of all disbelievers and pseudo-believers, that led Sree Gaursundar to devise this method, for saving them from the offense of blasphemy, of disguising the satvika manifestations of spiritual love under the form of the symptoms of a disease with which they have the closest external similarity. The opinion of those, who hold the view that the so-called satvika manifestations are also themselves due to the diseased condition of the brain, does not carry any more weight than deliberate misrepresentations. No physician can understand the real cause of the appearance or cessation of the phenomenon known as disease. But it is unfortunately only a small number of doctors who suspect and allow for this great insufficiency of the grounds of their knowledge in opining about bodily manifestations of any kind. Medical science is no less subject to the fundamental limitations of sensuous empiricism than its sister sciences. No science in the modern sense of the term would deserve a serious hearing unless it either helped the codification or widening of our stock of worldly experience.


Considered from this point of view the science of medicine has no jurisdiction over spiritual manifestations, and this ought to be more clearly recognized acted upon and proclaimed by the leading scientists of to-day than they are always accustomed to do. They are, of course, free to criticize the methods and experiences of the Absolutists. It is only when they are really unable to understand spiritual matters after proper endeavor that such criticism has its real use in exposing the vagaries or opposition of insincere persons and thereby preventing mischief from that quarter. But let them not forget their legitimate function by themselves setting up as spiritualists and attempting in that unscientific manner to manufacture theories of the Absolute on the basis of any worldly stuff and thereby prove one more nuisance and obstruction in the way of the honest inquiry of the Transcendental. Those who willfully offend against reason are rightly punished by the perpetuation of their ignorance, for which they have to thank only themselves. The satvika perturbations due to love for Krishna, are objects of longing to devotees of the very highest order who are absolutely free from all ignorance and all taint of self-seeking. This is necessarily unintelligible to those who have not thought it worth their while to cross the threshold of spiritual life. Their self-sufficient attitude towards the problems of the eternal duties, is only a proof of their utter slavery to the illusory power of Vishnu, the goddess Maya, who is ever usefully engaged in deluding the race of the hypocrites of all shades.


The utterances and activities of the servants of Vishnu are a perpetual enigma to the shrewdest atheists. No efforts of their perverted intellect can find out their real significance. The words uttered by the Vaishnava are transcendental, as are all activities. They are perfectly incomprehensible to conceited sinners who have been assigned this material world as the place of their abode as the expidatory? punishment of such perversity. The deluding power of Vishnu is ever engaged in guarding the portals of the transcendental realm against the impious assaults of all builders of the Babel. The realisation of this truth alone enables us to attain that perfect humility of the spirit to which the gates of the eternal realm of Vishnu are ever likely to open of themselves. The humility that is current in this world is the perverted reflection of the substantive spiritual quality and is all the more heinous because such disguised form of self-conceit constitutes the deliberate misrepresentation of true humility. External roughness or smoothness of conduct is no criterion of the real humility. The really humble conduct of the self-less devotee of Vishnu may seem as rudeness, conceit and even arrogance to the pretended view of the deliberate hypocrite. There is no help for a person who chooses to willfully misunderstand. Such persons have been aptly compared to the owl whose eyes are denied only the sight of the glorious Sun.

To many impartial critics who are fully conscious of the vagaries of our present intellect in its pretended efforts to approach the Absolute and who are, therefore, prepared to reserve their judgment on a subject so alien to their whole experience the conduct of Sree Gaursundar, on this particular occasion, may still seem to be open to the charge of apparent inconsistency. They may properly enough ask whether Sree Gaursundar wanted to be regarded as the devotee of Krishna, or as Krishna Himself. If He wished to teach the people of this world the highest and only service of the Absolute Person by His own practice, how could the Manifestation of His real Nature as Recipient of worship be consistent with such purpose?


This criticism overlooks the fact that there is a very close approximation to the Divinity in the highest stage of devotion when the devotee is apt to be persuaded that He is Krishna Himself and in that mood sets himself to imitating the Activities of Krishna. This is to be carefully distinguished from the erroneous conclusion of the professors of the cult of the undifferentiated Brahman that the fulfillment of worship, which they regard as only a probationary stage, is attained by complete merging with the Object of worship Who is conceived as being absolutely devoid of form and activity of any kind.


In the case of the true devotee the worship is not a make-believe, temporary expedient as it is in the case of the other. If the service which we offer to Krishna is supposed to be due to certain changing circumstances it at once loses the character of sincerity and truth. The Vaishnava knows Himself to be the eternal servant of the Lord. He does not think it possible or desirable to merge in Krishna and thereby cease to be His servant. This is the ambition of those hypocrites who, while pretending to be the servants of a god whom they cannot or do not purposely attempt to define, really cherish in the back-ground of their disloyal minds the design of being some day freed from the irksome necessity of such service as the reward (?) of their insincerity! To them, therefore, the end is necessarily different from the means.


By the adoption, for the time being, of a particular method, which is to be discarded on the attainment of the object of such endeavor, the Absolute cannot be realized. The relative can never lead, not even as a means, to the Absolute. It involves the fallacy of the major premise. The major premise in this case is too narrow and the middle term is undistributed. Untruth cannot lead to the Truth. By means of the Truth alone the Truth can be realized. As we do not possess the knowledge of the Truth and have no chance of ever knowing Him with the help of our present limited faculties we are either doomed to the state of eternal ignorance or liable to be enlightened from above by grace. There is no other alternative. The Vaishnava; therefore, accepts the latter alternative for attaining to the knowledge of the Truth. The abstract monist holds consistently neither to the one nor to the other. He does not believe fully either in his own ability, or in revelation. He has, therefore, no locus standi and necessarily tumbles headlong into the depths of Uncertainty which he calls God or Brahman in order to delude himself and his followers with the hope, which, despite all perversity, his and their natures instinctively demand, that they are for a time being as a sort of servants of the Absolute. When the true devotee exhibits the moods and activities of his Master he does so as a loyal servant rendered completely oblivious of his own separate existence and interests, by the contemplation of his Beloved. But he knows, specially at such moments more fully than ever, that he himself is not the Master. The conduct of the monist in his so-called realized state (siddhi) bears no resemblance to the activities of the devotee engrossed by the thoughts of his Master who, due to his consequent forgetfulness of his own self, thus enacts the Master’s part. But the monist ceases to function on merging with the Absolute ( ?).




In the case of Sree Chaitanya He is sometimes found to be declaring Himself to be Krishna. Those who want to misunderstand will say that He was guilty of inconsistency of conduct because He could have easily avoided any suspicions being aroused regarding the sincerity of His own conduct by abstaining from such explicit declarations of His possession of the Master’s Nature. But at the same time we must remember that He was not merely simulating but actually personating the devotee. This is incomprehensible to us. But it happens to be the fact, as testified to by the author of Sree-Chaitanya-Charitamrita in the opening verses of his work dealing with the object of the Lord’s Appearance in this world. The real object, says Sree Krishnadas Kaviraj, was to taste His own sweetness by clothing Himself with the disposition and beauty of Sree Radhika. All other work could have been, and was as a matter of fact actually performed by the secondary Avataras. The Lord’s own special Purpose in appearing in the world, which cannot be realized by any except Himself, was to experience the love of Sree Radhika for Himself. He, therefore, could not be recognized by those who were not His innermost devotees.


It is true that He was recognized as Krishna by His followers from whom He did not hide His real Nature. This was necessary for the purpose of the Leela and the possession of such knowledge by His devotees served to enhance the charm of their service and also to regulate their conduct. Therefore, these direct manifestations possess a double face like Sree Chaitanya Himself. Those who choose to ignore the face of the devotee, will miss the real significance of His Conduct and Teaching, no less than those who disregard the Divine face. All so-called partial truth is a deluding empiric conception and has no place in spiritual experience. In the absolute realm there is diversity, without rupturous dividing lines.


In order to be able to understand the activities of the devotees of the Absolute Person Vishnu it is necessary to remember that enlightenment from above is the indispensable essential precondition. It is futile to attempt to know Him by means of our present limited understanding. Hence the necessity of having recourse to the spiritual preceptor and spiritual initiation. Initiation (diksha) consists in complete submission to the Absolute, which is equivalent to loyal and sincere submission to the guidance of the spiritual Preceptor, such submission being identical with obedience to the Word of Krishna as revealed in the satvata Shastras of which the spiritual Preceptor is both the only bona fide exponent and follower, the indispensable requisites for spiritual preceptorship.


The act of the disciple in submitting to the Preceptor, is not to be confounded with the renunciation of the right of private judgment or subordinating one’s own judgment to another’s. Both Preceptor and disciple are under obligation to obey only the spiritual Scriptures. It is a matter of willing admission of superior progress on the path of the Eternal, and not a question of enforced servitude. Both preceptor and disciple are free and sincere enquirers of the Absolute by the method of unconditional submission to the Absolute. Both realize the necessity and the rationale of such submission. Both know that the only real freedom consists in absolute submission to the Truth. All these conditions are scrupulously observed in their mutual relationship by the bona fide Preceptor and disciple. The effect of such practical submission to the Absolute is freedom from the limitations of the materialized senses. No sooner is this act of complete self-surrender to the spiritual Preceptor made then the devotee is accepted by Krishna as His own. The body, senses and mind of such a person are surcharged with the spiritual essence by the Grace of Krishna. And the initiated thereby becomes eligible for eternally serving the Feet of Krishna by the purified body, senses and mind.


The service of the Absolute is possible only on the plane of the Absolute and in the spiritual body by means of the spiritual senses. The soul of jiva possesses body, senses and mind. Krishna has also His own Divine Form, Senses and Mind. The soul of the jiva is constituted to serve Krishna with his spiritual body, mind and senses. The activities of the jiva in this world, in the fallen state, is a perverted deluded caricature of his true and eternal function. The body, mind and senses of the devotee appear to conditioned souls to be similar to their adventitious material body, senses and mind. But this is not really the case. It is the effect of delusion. The satvika perturbations which are possible only in the spiritual body, appear to the materialized vision of sinful jivas as possessing the character of physical manifestations. Such conclusion is equally deluded. Those who do not admit the necessity of submission to Krishna, cannot necessarily understand what the practice of such submission implies. The act of submission is the key to the spiritual realm. The denial of this is tantamount to ignorance. The refusal to submit to the Truth is the logical equivalent of the slavery of untruth by means of the deluding physical senses. The atheists are the only ignorant and unfree persons by their refusal to follow the guidance of their reason.


Sree Gaursundar talked much while He was exhibiting the Leela of Direct Manifestation under the guise of nervous distemper. This confirmed the suspicions of those who were looking out for the symptoms of disease. The words uttered by the devotee are transcendental sounds that have the power of producing spiritual enlightenment by freeing from worldliness, if the unprejudiced ear is turned to them. The Transcendental Lord is served as the Transcendental Sounds. Those who admit the spiritual nature of the devotees of Krishna know that they are constantly engaged in the service of Krishna on the plane of the Absolute. The utterance of too much earthly sound is no doubt a sign of aggravated worldliness and is the malady of madness to which we are sometimes subjected by the mercy of Krishna so that we may be reminded thereby of the insubstantial and transitory nature of our most highly valued worldly possessions. One suffering from the aggravated disease of worldliness is not healed by the application of medicines which are supplied by physical Nature for the restoration of the worldly delusion. Such malady, treatment and cure all belong to the realm of delusions. They only serve to keep up the deluded idea of the wholesome nature of this world and its concerns for the correctness of atheists by such bitter experience. The delusion of those who put their trust in the delusion of the earthly physicians, who have a very high opinion of themselves, their science and its utility, is augmented by the practice of such trust.


The maladies of both worldly patients and worldly doctors can be healed only if they learn to distinguish between the symptoms of real disease, the punishment of sin, and the similar spiritual manifestations of devotees who are absolutely free from all taint of worldliness, which are the only cure of all diseases. But the ill-fated have not the leisure, so wholly engrossed they choose to be in their worldly concerns and self-gratulations, to exercise their unprejudiced reason on the subject of their disease of the worldly sojourn. They are so absolutely persuaded of their own rectitude that they employ their wits in disproving the claims, to any real goodness, of those very persons who endeavour to cure them of their worldly disease by affording them the opportunity of listening to those redeeming sounds that bring the tidings of the Absolute to all benighted souls. They mistake, as the symptoms of an unsound mind with which unfortunately they are only too familiar, words and utterances that are the only medicine of their diseased souls. This infatuity is the corrective punishment of their unwarrantable self-complacency. Krishna’s Deluding Power is ever seeking the holes in the coats of everyone of us in order to disturb us in the most sensitive parts and thereby to cure us of the disease of such fatuous reliance on the resources of our deluded, limited understanding. He, therefore, sends His own beloved ones, in the guise of patients, to the doctors of this world for delivering such of them as keep their ears open to the voice of Krishna spoken through the mouths of His devotees. But the other sort seeing, sees not, and misses their only opportunity, as further corrective punishment for their gross, deliberate worldliness. This is the fate of those worldly-wise people who consider the Unrestrained Talk of Sree Gaursundar as a conclusive proof of His madness.


Of course it is possible, not inevitable for a time even after initiation, for a person to exhibit the state of suffering from the actual effects of sensuous activities that he had indulged in before his initiation. This does not come amiss to the bona fide probationer who never wants to get rid of his merited sufferings in lieu of his intention to serve. Such suffering causes the genuine probationer no pain but, on the contrary, is to him a source of unalloyed spiritual bliss as providing greater opportunities of service. To the uninitiated the sight of apparent suffering of the devotee presents a double face, viz., of those patient sufferings and merited punishment, both of which are untrue and are a trick of the Deluding Power to prevent the obstinate impious from serving the devotee as devotee. The doctor who may be called by the devotee to treat him is afforded the opportunity of rendering unconscious service to the Vaishnava and will obtain his reward in the shape of a lessening of his worldliness, if he is careful not to allow his mind to cherish any prejudice against the bona fide of the real devotee merely from the fact that he might have been guilty of worldly conduct in his past life. This total absence of all irrational prejudice is possible only in a person who is sincerely conscious of his own imperfections.


A doctor who treats a real sadhu without prejudice thereby unconsciously serves Krishna Himself and obtains as his reward freedom. from all ignorance by the mercy of the sadhu who is pleased to manifest to him his real spiritual nature by the will of Krishna. As soon as one obtains the real sight of the Vaishnava he instantly awakes from the deep waking slumber of ignorance to which he was being lulled by the deluding tricks of Maya. No amount of any so-called unprejudiced service rendered to a non-Vaishnava can lead to such a result. On the contrary if a non-Vaishnava is too zealously served his so-called benefactor (?) is liable to be punished by an increase of his delusion as he would thereby only develop the vanity of false humanity which makes him overlook the distinction between the Vaishnava and the non-Vaishnava as recipients of our service. Such a person can hardly be expected to be ever able, unless after he is really cured of his fondness for non-Vaishnavas, to grasp the real significance of the eternal distinction between the spiritual and the material, or to realize the truth that his soul has no affinity whatever with the objects and aspirations of this world.


The apparent defects of a bona fide Vaishnava have been aptly compared to the mud and froth that are sometimes found in the holy water of the Ganges. These in no way affect the eternal and unchangeable purity of the sacred stream that issues from the Holy Feet of the Supreme Lord. On the contrary even such mud and froth themselves imbiblie, by contact with the chastening water of the Ganges, the quality of delivering all really unclean persons from the sticking dirt of worldliness. It requires a really impartial and supremely patient judgment to be able to enter into this spirit of the philosophy of theism. Sree Gaursundar’s teachings are a sealed book to the crooked and captious, but are easily understood by the really candid. Worldly merit or demerit is of no help in this matter. Sincerity of the soul is ~e one thing needful. Insincerity is the concomitant of worldliness which is the cause of all our self-made ignorance and misery.


But some may still raise the objection that Sree Gaursundar could have done even greater good and obtained a better hearing for His teachings if He had exhibited no such symptoms even of apparent madness. Of course the Supreme Lord is free to do whatever He likes and there can be no defect in what He Wills or Does. Gaursundar was, in this instance, exhibiting the Leela of the ideal devotee. The necessity for such performance lay in the fact that the deliverance of all fettered souls is absolutely dependent on the realization of the transcendental nature of the devotee of God. Such realization can alone enlighten him regarding the spiritual nature of His own proper self. The object of Sree Gaursundar was to remove all misconceptions that stand in the way of such realization.


One of the commonest fallacies of this wide world is that religion is only one specific department of human activities out of many; or, in other words that it is possible to serve both God and Mammon at the same time, or at any rate in recurring succession. This idea, it would not be an exaggeration to observe, has been allowed by culpable negligence on the part of writers to pervade all literature of modern times. Religion is pedantically differentiated from politics, from morality, from aesthetics and from worldly activities of all sorts, not so much for the purpose of emphasizing the eternal distinction between the spiritual and the material but with the sinister motive of restricting the scope of religious activity itself within defined worldly bounds. If this fallacy, which is so widely disseminated, once finds a real lodgment in the brain, one can never realize the nature of the spiritual service of God, nor understand that it is possible to practice the same even while we are placed in this world without doing harm to anybody. I may notice in passing that the practice of so-called religious toleration, which is so much affected by a particular stamp of thinkers, is also based upon the above fallacy, viz., that it is possible without any real danger to anyone to keep religion out of the other affairs of life. One, who prays regularly to God in the evening and morning and thinks that thereby his obligations to Godhead are at least partially fulfilled, utterly misunderstands the nature of his duty as the exclusive servant of the Lord. The obligation to serve Krishna is a self-imposed principle which knows no limits. Krishna can and ought to be served in all circumstances by each and every person of this world. One who really serves Him does so in his every act and thought. The devotee serves Krishna at all times both when he wakes and when he seems to sleep. Every act of the devotee under every circumstance is an act of service. One who fails to understand this fundamental principle of spiritual existence, cannot recognize the devotee of God and is doomed to sin and worldliness for this reason, notwithstanding all his exertions resembling the external conduct of the real sadhus.


The devotee of Krishna serves Him under all circumstances and he does nothing else. He neither eats nor sleeps but only serves. When He exhibits the activity of apparent eating and sleeping he does so for our benefit in order to show us how ever we, for whom eating and sleeping are necessary, can get rid of this false existence with its whole round of so-called interminable duties and obligations, if we only obey the Word of God manifested in the holy Scriptures and explained by the discourse and practice, of the eternal servants of Krishna who, by His command, make themselves visible to our mortal senses and who live and move in our midst for the fulfillment of the beneficial Purpose of the Supreme Lord in regard to ourselves. Such is the real nature of the true servants of Krishna. The Vaishnava tells us that the soul of every entity has the capacity of serving Krishna however circumstanced he may appear to be. The souls of the stone, the tree, the baby in the womb, the lunatic, the dying and the dead, are all equally eligible in this matter. Because no circumstance of this deluding world, however formidable or adverse it may seem to be to our eclipsed cognition, can offer any real obstruction to the spiritual service of the Lord. It is the truth of this proposition that the devotees are engaged in establishing for the benefit of the unbelievers of this world, by all their teaching and practice.


It would be a great blunder, therefore, to suppose that any evil can befall the servants of Krishna, here or elsewhere. The devotee is put by Krishna in all possible situations in order to train up the judgment of those who profess to believe in them It is only when a person’s budding faith survives this purgatorial ordeal that he is in a position to understand the teaching of the Vaishnava which is identical with his conduct. Conversely the hypocrites are prevented from committing the offense of the pretense of serving the devotee by such constant searching of their weakest points. These exhibitions serve the doubly beneficial purpose of enhancing the faith of all sincere seekers of the Truth and keeping at a distance all those who have no inclination to serve Krishna but only themselves.


In this world we cannot really serve Krishna; we can only serve those servants of the Lord who are mercifully sent by Him into our midst to deliver us from the state of sin and ignorance. Krishna cannot be served by the sinful and the ignorant. Those who think that it is possible to serve Krishna with the resources of our limited understandings or by the physical bodies, confound the transcendental service of Krishna which passes the understanding of man with the corresponding atheistical performances. To complete this delusion they are also firmly persuaded by reason of their cultivated aversion to Krishna that whatever any individual sinner may choose to fancy as the Truth contains an element of truth. What they really want is that Truth must serve them and not they the Truth. They want to be the masters and not the servants of Krishna. But these irrational, hypocritical, self-seeking, misguided atheists are prevented, by their perversity due to such senseless prostitution of their freedom of will, from having the Sight of Krishna or His devotees.


Those who fail to realize the fatal nature of the offense committed against the Vaishnavas, are unfit to serve the devotees of Krishna although by such service alone conditioned souls can be delivered from the consequences of their willful transgressions. It is an offense against the Vaishnavas to suppose that a bona fide Vaishnava does anything else than the service of Krishna which is absolutely free from the least taint of worldliness. It is also an offense against the Vaishnavas to serve or associate with a non-Vaishnava, or to suppose that a sinner while in the state of sin is a Vaishnava. Until we are freed from these impious errors we cannot be said to desire the mercy of the true devotees of the Lord. The transcendental activities and teachings of Sree Gaursundar as expounded and practiced by His associates and the followers of His associates, can alone save us from these errors to which an Age given to superficial controversies, like the present, has an abnormal besetting tendency to subscribe.


The real significance of these Pastimes of the Lord, although they happened to be perfectly explicit, were not apparently permitted to be understood even by the devotees in order to impress upon worldlings the truth that no one is able to know Him until and unless He enables one to know.


The tidings of the recovery of Sree Gaursundar filled everyone with joy. The Vaishnavas specially availed of this opportunity of impressing upon Him the necessity of serving the Feet of Sree Krishna by arguing the reason that there is no certainty of life or sanity. Sree Chaitanya was naturally partial to the Vaishnavas. Their exhortations made Him smile as He stopped to do obeisance to them all on His way in the company of His innumerable pupils.


Sree Chaitanya then resumed His duties as teacher. He taught His pupils inside the Chandimandap of the house of Mukunda-Sanjaya. While the Lord was thus engaged in expounding the texts to His pupils perfumed medicated oil was applied to His Head by some exceptionally fortunate persons of many good deeds. Sree Chaitanya took His seat in the middle of the room and was surrounded by His pupils who sat in a circle round their Teacher. That gathering is without a parallel in the annals of the world. Sree Brindavandas Thakur ransacked the Scriptures for a parallel instance for the purpose of comparison. At Badarikasrama Sree Narayana teaches Sanaka and other Rishis sitting round Him in a circle. The Act of Sree Gaursundar resembled this Leela of Sree Narayana Himself. The comparison holds good for the reason that the Darling of Sachi is the Same as Sree Narayana who dwells at Badarikasrama. It was, therefore, the very same Pastime of Badarikasrama that Sree Chaitanya was thus enacting in the company of His disciples at Nabadwip.




At the conclusion of His teaching by mid-day Sree Gaursundar would go out with His pupils to the Ganges for His Bath. After sporting for a time in the holy water of the Ganges He returned home and worshipped Vishnu. Offering water and circumambulating Sree Tulasi He sat to His meal by uttering repeatedly the Name of Hari. Sree Lakshmi Devi served the Food and the Lord of Vaikuntha ate the same. The pious mother was privileged to have the full view of this Sight. After meal He used to chew betel and then retired for rest. Sree Lakshmi Devi tended His Feet as the Lord laid Himself down in His Bed. The Lord then bent His Auspicious Glance on the goddess who serves in the office of Sleep of the Supreme Lord. Having rested for a while Sree Gaursundar used to go out of the house a second time with His books.



Chapter  XII

—In the Sreets of Nabadwip—



Sree Gaursundar as Professor chose the afternoons for visiting the citizens of Nabadwip in the company of His pupils. He graciously accosted all the people; and everyone entertained feelings of the deepest regard for the Lord. This respectful attitude towards Him, which was universal, was a matter of instinct, as at this period no one was aware of the Divinity of the Lord. The Lord frequented all the streets of the city affording the people an opportunity of beholding Him Who is inaccessible even to the gods.


          The Lord now behaved with the same absence of reserve on these visits to the citizens as we noticed on the occasion of His nervous malady. In this case also no one was able to recognize Him although He stood fully manifest to all seeming. Thakur Brindavandas has handed down the following particulars of these activities.


          On one of these occasions Sree Gaursundar presented Himself at the door of a weaver’s home. The weaver at once made obeisance to Him with the greatest respect. The Lord asked Him to bring out his best cloth, which the weaver did at once. The Lord asked what price he expected for his cloth. The weaver replied that he would accept whatever was offered. After the bargain had been settled the Lord said He had no money with Him. The weaver replied that it was not necessary for Him to pay immediately. He might take the cloth, wear it and pay in ten days or a fortnight or by installments, according to His convenience. The Lord bestowed His auspicious Glance on that weaver as He left the place.


The Lord then entered the quarter of the town which was occupied by the milkmen. He took His Seat at the door-way of the home of one of the cowherds. The Lord, by the privilege of a Brahmana commanded him jocosely in an imperious tone to bring out his milk and curds, saying that He would favour him that day by accepting the best of the gifts that his household could provide. The cowherds beheld it was the God of love Himself Who thus asked for their gift. With great respect they offered their best seat to Him. The Lord continued to talk in a jocose vein to the cowherds. They addressed Him as their ‘maternal uncle’. Some asked Him to eat their cooked food in their Company. A certain milkman took Him to his home on his shoulders. A few remarked that He had once eaten all the cooked food that was in their houses and He might probably recollect it. Saraswati, the Goddess of speech, spoke truly, but the milkmen themselves did not know. The Lord laughed at these words of the cowherds. All the milkmen now brought out their milk, ghee, curds, sar and excellent butter and gladly gave to the Lord. The Lord expressed His satisfaction at such friendly conduct of the cowherds.




He then went forward and entered the home of a dealer in perfumes (gandha-vanika). The trader made his bow at the Feet of the Lord with great respect. The Lord asked him to bring out his best perfumes. As he did so the Lord inquired their price. The trader replied that the price must be already known to Him and that it would be hardly proper to demand any price from Him. That trader then begged to be allowed to apply the perfumes to His Body and to return home for that day. If enough of fragrance persisted till next day and did not cease after bath, then He might pay any price that He liked. With these words the trader, with his own hand, put his perfumes all over the Holy Form of the Lord in a rapture of joy that was perfectly unaccountable. ‘The Supreme Lord’, observes Thakur Brindavandas, ‘abiding in the heart of all beings, ever attracts their minds unto Himself. Who is not bewitched by the Sight of His Beauty?’


The Lord next made His way to the home of a garland-maker. The garland-maker was smitten with the extraordinary Beauty of the Lord and did obeisance to Him after offering a seat with great respect. The Lord asked Him to give good garlands and told him that He had no money with Him. The garland-maker noticing that He had the appearance of one who had actually realized Godhead said that He might not pay. With these words the garland-maker placed his garlands on the Divine Form of the Lord. This made Sree Gaursundar and all His pupils laugh. The Lord bestowing His auspicious Glance on that garland-maker, made his way to the home of a betel-seller.


The betel-seller was taken by surprise on seeing the Lord Himself crossing the threshold of His humble abode. In his delight the betel-seller, of his own accord, offered Him his betels which made the Lord laugh. The Lord asked why he was offering the betel made up with betel-nut without demanding any price. The betel-seller made reply that it was due to a spontaneous impulse of his mind. The Lord began to chew the prepared betel that had been offered. The betel-seller then presented the Lord with betel-leaf, camphor and other spices of excellent quality used in making up the betel, desiring Him with great reverence, to accept it and would not take any price. Sree Gaursundar favoured that betel-seller in this fashion.


The Lord visited the residence of a dealer in conches who made Him, obeisance with great reverence on beholding Him. The Lord asked for good conches declaring that as He had no money with Him He did not know how He could buy them. The conch dealer, at once gave the Lord his best conches with the remark that He might pay at His leisure and consider Himself under no obligation to pay The Lord was very much pleased by hearing these words of the conch-dealer and bestowed on him the favour of His auspicious Glance.

In this manner the Lord visited regularly the houses of all the towns-people of Nabadwip.


The Lord next made His way to the house of a diviner who could predict everything. The Lord told him that as he was reputed to be a very competent person He had come to him to inquire about information regarding Himself as to what He was in His former births. ‘Right’ said the diviner. But on applying himself as a preliminary to repeating mentally the mantram of Gopala that diviner of excellent deeds at once beheld the Divine Form with the bluish hue, Four-Armed, holding the Conch, Disc, Club and Lotus, His Breast adorned with the jewel Kaustuva and the sign of Shrivatsa. He saw the Lord in the prison-chamber at the dead of night with His parents in front of Him in the act of adoration. Presently he had a vision that the father, taking up his new-born Boy in his arms, put Him away that very night in the cowherd settlement. He saw again the Nude, Beautiful, two-Armed Child, with the belt of jingling bells on His Waist, tasting the butter with both Hands. The diviner in fact saw all those Signs that belong to his own cherished Divinity on Whom he mediated at all time He beheld once again the divine form, with the Flute touching His Lips, in the triple-bent attitude, surrounded by the milk-maids, discoursing instrumental and vocal music. On beholding this extraordinary vision the diviner opened his eyes in wonder and fixing his gaze on Gauranga went on repeating his recitals. He then supplicated the Deity of his cherished worship in these words, ‘Listen, O Gopala, divine Boy! Do Thou show me quickly who this Brahmana was in His former Births.’


Thereupon, the diviner had a vision of the Lord, Bow in Hand, of grass-green Hue, seated in the Attitude of the warrior. He saw Him again in the midst of the Cataclysm of complete destruction in the form of the wonderful Boar Whose Tusk was holding aloft this world. He saw Him once more Appearing as the Man-lion, of most fierce Aspect, infinitely Tender to His devotee. He saw Him again in the Act of deluding the sacrificing King Bali, in the Form of the Dwarf. Then He beheld Him in the form of the Fish in the waters of the Deluge, playing merrily in the Flood. That diviner of excellent deeds saw the Lord once again in the Form of the maddened Holder of the Plough, with the Club in His Hand. The diviner saw the shining Form of Jagannath with Subhadra in the middle and Balarama on His right. The diviner had a vision in is manner of the true Nature of the Lord, but yet he understood nothing. ‘Such’, says Thakur Brindavandas, ‘is the force of the deluding power of the Lord.’


The diviner was very much astonished and thought within himself that the Brahmana must be a great sorcerer or He might be some god who had perchance appeared to him in a frolic in the guise of a Brahmana in order to delude him. He also duly noticed the indications of the super-human fiery glow irradiating the body of the Brahmana and was perplexed thinking that he was being befooled for pretending to know everything. While the diviner was busy with these thoughts the Lord said laughing: ‘Who am I? What do you see? tell me everything without reserve.” The diviner said, “Be pleased to leave me alone for the present. Let me repeat my mantram with a clear mind. I shall tell You in the afternoon.’ ‘Very gook,” said the Lord as He went off on His way laughing.


The Lord now presented Himself at the home of His beloved Shridhar. The Lord often visited Shridhar at his house on various excuses and never left him without exchanging jokes with him for a short time. On seeing the Lord Shridhar at once approached Him with great respect and made Him take a seat. Shridhar was naturally of a most gentle disposition. The Lord’s behaviour was that of a most restless and arrogant person. thereupon the following dialogue ensued between Sree Gaursundar and Shridhar.


The Lord asked, ‘Shridhar, you take the Name of Hari constantly. Why do you yet suffer such great privations? Tell Me how it is that you suffer from want of food and clothing by serving the Lord of the Goddess of wealth?’ Shridhar replied, ‘but I do not actually starve and I also put on clothing of some sort, be it long or short’. the Lord went on, ‘I notice your cloth is patched at a dozen places and there is no straw to the thatch of your hut. Is there the person in the town who is stinted for food and clothing by worshipping Chandi  and Bishahari?’ Shridhar said, ‘Bipra, Thou hast said well. But yet the time of all persons passes all the same. The king lives in a palace of gems and eats and dresses most sumptuously; the birds inhabit the tree-top. Nevertheless the time of both passes away all the same. They enjoy the fruits of their respectively acts awarded by the Will of Isvara.’


The Lord said, ‘You have immense wealth. You dine on it most sumptuously in secret. when will that day be when I shall make your secret known to everybody? then shall I see how you can deceive the people so!’ said Shridhar, ‘Pandit’ it is better for you to return home. It is not meet for us to quarrel with each other., The Lord said, ‘I am not going to let you off in this fashion. Tell me at once what you are going to give Me., Shridhar replied, ‘I live by selling the bark of the plantain tree. You better say what at all I can give your Reverence.’ The Lord said, ‘I am not just now going to take the buried treasures that you possess. I shall have it later. For the present give me gratis plantain, radishes and the soft core of the plantain tree. I shall not trouble you if you do so.’ Shridhar thought within himself, ‘The Brahmana is so very arrogant. He is certainly: going to thrash me one of these days. And even if He hurts me what can I do to a Brahmana? Neither can I afford to give Him daily without being paid. Still what a Brahmana takes even by force or guile is surely my good fortune, and I shall, therefore, give Him everyday., After meditating in this manner Shridhar said, ‘Listen, Your Reverence You need not pay anything. I shall willingly give you core, plantain. radishes and bark. So be pleased not to quarrel with me any more., The Lord said, ‘This is well and good. There will be no more quarrel from now if only you always give Me good core, plantain and radishes.’


The Lord dined everyday off the plantain-bark of Shridhar. The core, plantain and radishes of Shridhar were the most relished dishes at His Daily Meal. The Lord ate the gourd, that grew on the plant trained on Shridhar’s thatch, cooked in milk and pepper. The Lord now asked, ‘Shridhar, what do you think I am? I shall go home as soon as you tell Me only this.’ Shridhar said, ‘You are a Brahmana, a part and parcel of Vishnu Himself., The Lord replied, ‘You do not know. I come of a family of milkmen. But you see Me as the Son of a Brahmana. I, however, know Myself to be a milk-man.’ Shridhar laughed on hearing the Words of the Lord and did not recognize his own cherished Deity by the force of His Deluding Power. Said the Lord, ‘Shridhar, I will tell you the Truth. All the greatness of your Ganges is due to Myself.’ Shridhar protested, ‘Well, Nimai Pandit, art Thou not afraid even of the Ganges? Man grows sober with advancing years. But Your restlessness is increasing with double speed’. After indulging in such merry repertoire with Shridhar Lord Gauranga-Hari returned to His own Home.


The above episodes may seem to represent the Lord in the character of a begging Brahmana who is out among the hard-worked artisans and poor people to squeeze from them the best that their poverty can yield. there are two subjects in this picture, viz., the conduct of the Lord and of the humble folk, both of which deserve our careful consideration.


Sree Gaursundar did not accept the gifts of the poor for any charitable purpose but frankly for His Own Personal Use. He does not appear to have rendered them any service in return; those people did not expect nor wish for any return. Neither did they apparently give their things with the idea that they were giving them to a needy beggar. they gave from a feeling of reverence and not on account of His individual qualities of which they had not always a very decidedly all-round favourable opinion. even Shridhar admitted to himself that the Brahmana was unduly arrogant. the soothsayer, who to many persons would seem to have been the most favoured of all, took Him to be a Person versed in the Black Art Who was trying to befool him. so all these people gave away their best things to this arrogant brahmana in conformity with a customary practice and not for the reason that Sree Gaursundar possessed any outstanding merit or worth of His Own. Shridhar even complains that the Brahmana was not above using both force as well as dissimulation to obtain the lion’s share of his scanty wares. Sree Gaursundar may, thus appear to be evidently exploiting the credulity of ordinary superstitious, ignorant, masses for His own personal profit and thereby countenancing the objectionable practices of those degenerate Brahmanas who go about begging for their livelihood.


Why did those poor people give Him their best things? Let Shridhar speak for the rest. Shridhar said he did not covet the wealth of kings. He thought that the time of himself was passing in exactly the same way as that of kings and he did not hold Godhead responsible for making any inequitable difference between a king and himself as in his opinion there was really no difference. But neither was Shridhar a cynic. He was aware that the things of this world were capable of being rightly used in the service of Vishnu; and that no depth of poverty was an excuse for the neglect of this paramount duty. giving to the Brahmana was in his opinion, identical with giving to Vishnu ‘because Vishnu was represented in this world by the Brahmana for accepting such service through His devotees. True, the Brahmana in question, viz., Sree Gaursundar, appeared to him to be very arrogant and dissembling. But he himself was also not prepared to give willingly anything to the Brahmana on the worthless plea of his utter poverty; and, therefore, the only alternative was to suffer his things to be taken by force or fraud by the Brahmana who did him the favour of accepting his things in this boisterous fashion’. This is the inside of the heart of Shridhar. This was the faith of all those humble people.


But can we really serve Godhead by offering Him the things of this world . Sree Gaursundar says we can. If we regard Godhead and the objects offered to Godhead as categories of this world the process is objectionable involving the degradation of worship. Godhead is not a receiver of any earthly objects. But we have also nothing to offer Him except these very earthly objects, because we ourselves are of this Earth at present. Sree Gaursundar says that we are not earthly; but if we attain our natural, super-mundane, state we are in a position to realize that the objects of this Earth have also a spiritual relationship to ourselves. This spiritual side of the things of this world does not manifest itself to us as long as we continue to regard them as being meant for gratifying our hankering for worldly enjoyment. Such attitude is the sign as well as cause of our real ignorance of our true self.


There is such a thing as the soul, apart from limited and temporary entities of all gross and subtle types. This soul is our proper self. The vision of our souls is for the present clouded by the exclusive contemplation of alien objects which we are apt to consider as having affinity with ourselves. The soul in the sinful state values only such use of things as can afford him pleasure in some form or other. He constantly strives to multiply the opportunity and scope of such enjoyment. This vision is, however, the clouded vision. It was not Shridhar’s vision. Shridhar realized that the enjoyment of the things of this world could not really satisfy his soul. The things of this world are meant not to be enjoyed but to be used in some other way. They are to be offered unconditionally to One for Whose Sole enjoyment they are meant. And Who is that One Person ? He cannot be any sinful creature. He is no mortal, but Godhead Himself. The Brahmana is part and parcel of Vishnu. Vishnu also appears in this gross world for enjoying the things of this world. Shridhar believed that He does so for the benefit of sinners, that Vishnu appears in the form of Brahmanas who are free from all sin. A Brahmana knows the proper use of the things of this world. He does not seek his own enjoyment but serves Godhead therewith. It is because he possesses this knowledge that he is a Brahmana. If anything is given willingly or unwillingly to a Brahmana it is offered to Godhead and is sure to reach Him through the Brahmana. The things of this world in this relationship to Sree Gaursundar also appeared to Shridhar in this light. This was so because Shridhar’s soul was in his natural state who could realize that he has no affinity with the things of this world as a means of his worldly enjoyment.


Shridhar’s philosophy might seem to make no provision for the material prosperity of the world. It may also seem to be akin to blind faith. The last objection has been answered in the preceding paragraph. The so-called clear-sightedness of the conditioned souls is their real blindness. Our faith in the value of the things of this world as objects of our enjoyment, is the real blind faith. Shridhar’s faith is not blinded by this essentially- irrational partiality in favour of worldliness the utter-worthlessness of which must be patent to all as a fact of even one’s daily and hourly experience. Shridhar’s philosophy does not, indeed, trouble about the progress of this world which it attributes to the Direct Action of Godhead awarding the material fruits of the sinful endeavours of conditioned souls who alone happen to be the denizens of this mundane world. He regards so-called worldly prosperity more as a snare than a help. But he is careful not to ignore, for this reason, the very existence of this world. The world is not an illusion.


So long as we are placed in this world we cannot but have to do with things mundane. Our duty, while we are so placed, must however, be to use all kinds of material facility for the service of Vishnu Who has no wants of His Own but Who condescends to

condescends to receive our offerings in order to enable us to live, also under these adverse circumstances, a life of service. The service of Vishnu is the only true and eternal religion. It’s truth can be recognized by our clouded understanding during those lucid intervals when we are impelled by the experience of worldliness to be impartial seekers of a really wholesome function. There are sinless people who are not subject to the domination of the enjoyable side of phenomena to whom all things of this world disclose their spiritual forms who teach us to serve Vishnu with their help. The condition that is ensured by such service is the only true progress and one that, instead of augmenting our blindness, serves to clear up our blinded vision.

But we may still be disposed to ask certain questions, ‘Will the offering of our best things to unworthy and beggarly Brahmanas, who claim them as a matter of right for the purpose of gratifying their worldly appetites, also conduce to such a result?’ It is not necessary to discriminate between a real Brahmana and a real non-Brahmana? And who, indeed, is a real Brahmana? Did Shridhar or the other poor people really know that Sree Gaursundar was Vishnu Himself? Evidently they did not bother. Is such blind devotion to caste Brahmanas recommended as a reliable and wholesome principle by the above episodes? Neither did Shridhar nor any of the other townsmen, who were so liberal to Sree Gaursundar, entertain any suspicions regarding the worth of Sree Gaursundar as recipient of their gifts. They did not venture to gauge the worth of a Brahmana by the measure of their clouded understanding. In this view their conduct was not the denial but the perfection, of the truly rational attitude. They waited to be enlightened, without muddling. This excellence of judgment was the natural concomitant of their own unworldly life which is an indispensable preparatory for the spiritual. They will thereby soon learn about the real Truth and be saved from the degrading effects of indiscriminate, worldly charity to beggars for a worldly purpose. It is the only duty of all true Brahmanas to enlighten everyone who really wants to be enlightened. Unworldly conduct in every relationship of life is the only proof of the possession of such desire. This mode of imparting enlightenment is the eternal Dispensation of Providence and it never fails to operate with unerring beneficence in all cases. Those who are charitable to Brahmanas from any worldly motive never have the sight of a real Brahmana who possesses the knowledge of Godhead.


But it may be argued that Sree Gaursundar was encouraging the trade of a betel-maker by accepting his service. Is not the trade of a betel-seller altogether harmful? Will such encouragement not be misunderstood as approval of a practice which is condemned by the Shrimad Bhagavatam Shrimad Bhagavatam warns us against sensuous enjoyment of the objects of this world and proceeds to enumerate categorically certain forms of sensuous enjoyment that are to be avoided by all means. It says no doubt that no rules are applicable to those who really serve Krishna. Shrimad Bhagavatam does not mean that the bona fide servants of Krishna are privileged to indulge in sensuous conduct. What it means is that Krishna is served by the senses of those who are perfectly unmindful of their own enjoyment. We are not required to give up anything we are required to learn the only proper method of using everything. Till we understand this true method we should agree to be taught, by desisting from the wrong method which would otherwise prevent us from knowing truly by the only effective method, viz. , that of actual personal experience.


Sree Gaursundar did not declare a crusade against the externality of conduct of any kind. All activities are a part and parcel of the eternal scheme of the universe and can and need never be abolished. Sree Gaursundar desired that we should acquire the right vision which enables us to employ all things of this world in the service of Krishna, without interfering with the external appearance which is the eternal perverted concomitant reflection of the real shutting from us the true view of the Reality. But the perverted reflection can no more be abolished than the reality. Both exist for ever in their respective reciprocal relationship. It is not they but our attitude to them that requires to be adjusted. Gaursundar declares that the smarta view, i.e., the ordinary view of so-called orthodox Hindus, which regards a thing of this world as pure or impure by its worldly reference, is opposed to the teaching of the spiritual Scriptures. Nothing can be impure except the attitude of the observer. To the pure vision everything is necessarily pure. According to the Bhagavatam the paramahansas are above all those rules that are meant for the guidance of conditioned souls. This leniency to them means neither undue partiality nor indiscriminate license. The Scriptures provide for the strictest guidance of all dissociable souls by the eternally free sadhus who alone can understand the real spirit of those regulations and can, therefore, apply them in the proper way. This is so because they themselves always spontaneously follow the spirit that is negatively represented by those regulations. The real devotees are privileged to know that for no one there is any such thing as impurity in the sphere of spiritual service. Those who, being themselves averse to Godhead, set up as teachers of the Bhagavatam, delude themselves as well as their pupils by their false teachings.


The eternally free state is not a figment of the atheist’s imagination. It is, on the contrary, the most decisive proof of one’s utter ignorance of the state of the devotee to suppose that the true nature of such state can be realized by the imagination of one who does not serve God. It is tantamount to confounding the shadow with the substance, darkness with light; because such knowledge is real ignorance and such imaginary purity is the most insidious form of aversion to Godhead. Such deluded people bring upon themselves the richly deserved punishment that is due to their hopeless pursuit of the shadow under the willfully mistaken plea that it is the substance. The identification of the unreal with the real, of the wrong idea with the object, is the consciously perpetrated great error of all empiric speculations regarding the Reality. It is equivalent to conscious or unconscious denial of all reality on the dishonest plea that the Reality is incomprehensible to our present limited understanding. On this misapplied plea are we justified in deliberately choosing to be content with an imaginary ‘moral, order and call it also ‘real, on the testimony of a gratuitously assumed universal instinct of the race? In other words are we to recognize the failure of our pervert reason to know the Reality by stifling the faculty of reason itself? Sree Gaursundar warns us against such useless act of suicide and declares that the Reality really exists and can also be really known to us despite the self-created insufficiency of our present understanding; and that it is, therefore, our first and only duty to try to realise the Truth by adopting a life which is really free from all taint of duplicity. That this is also the only truly rational course and one whose success is a foregone conclusion.


On His return home after accosting Shridhar in the manner described above, Sree Gaursundar seated Himself at the door of the room that was consecrated to the worship of Vishnu The students, who had been in attendance, departed to their respective homes. As He caught sight of the rising full moon the Lord’s heart was filled with loving recollections of the Moon of Brindavana. He thereupon began to discourse strains of the Flute, Whose sweetness was never experienced in this world. But no one could catch it except the mother.


On hearing the note of the Flute that bewitches the triple universe, the mother fainted on the spot by complete immersion in the ocean of bliss. Presently recovering her external consciousness, having compassed her mind, she listened to the unprecedented melody of the Divine Flute. She perceived the sound to proceed from the direction where Gaurangasundar was seated Having this wonderful aural experience the mother came out of the room and found her Son still sitting at Vishnu’s doorstep. She could no longer hear the strains of the Flute but beheld the Disc of the Moon in the Bosom of her Son. She saw distinctly the Sphere of the Moon inside the Breast of her Son and looked about her in amazement.


Returning to her room the mother began to think about the reason, but could not arrive at any solution. Such was the high fortune of mother Sachi who constantly beheld such never-ending Divine Manifestations. One day during the night mother Sachi heard hundreds of people singing and playing on musical instruments. She heard various musical sounds made by the mouth, the sound as of a dance, the tread of feet as if a vast Rasa Pastime was in progress. One day she found that all the house, the rooms, doors and windows, were made exclusively of light. Another day she had a sight of celestial nymphs, beautiful as Lakshmi Herself, their hands adorned with the shining lotus flower One day she had a vision of shining gods and, after just catching sight of them, could not see them again. All these visions are nothing at all impossible in the case of the Mother Whom the Veda declares to be the very Form of Devotion to Vishnu. Even those, on whom the Mother casts Her auspicious glance but once, are thereby endowed with the eligibility of beholding those manifestations. Thus did Sree Gaursundar, Wearer of the Garland of Wild Flowers, abide in His Own Eternal Joy, in concealment; such being His Pleasure. although the Lord was manifesting Himself in all these various ways yet He could not be recognized even by any of His Own servants.


The Mothers of Sree Krishna serve the Lord as embodiments of the principle of pure reverential devotion like that of Devaki and Prisni, or by unmixed maternal affection like Yasoda and Sachi. The Mothers are not denied the transcendental un-alloyed service of Krishna although they are His superiors by relationship and are regarded as such by Krishna. It is the special privilege of the servants of Krishna to behold the manifestations of His Divine Power and Majesty. Sree Sachi Devi serves the Lord with greater devotion than His other servants. She loves Sree Gaursundar as her Son standing in constant need of her protecting affection. This is different from the purely reverential attitude of service. In this world parental affection precludes all element of the principle of service as practiced by an inferior. Even when the mother nurses her own child she cannot be supposed, without a jarring violation of all sense of propriety and truth, to be guided by a feeling of reverence for her own offspring. The two sentiments, as they are conceived in this world, are different and incompatible. In the Mothers of Krishna maternal affection perfects and incorporates, instead of excluding, the element of loyal servitude. There is no loss of any principle but only the growing excellence, by additional elements, of the one indivisible basic function which, inconceivably to us, gathers up all minute and nice distinctions that are found pervertedly reflected in the exclusive grades of mundane relationships


The most noticeable Feature of the Activities of Sree Gaursundar at this period, is Arrogance. He chose to carry the Pastime of His Arrogance to such lengths that there was at that time in the whole of Nabadwip no person who could beat Him in this respect. Commenting on this Thakur Brindavandas is led to observe that it is the peculiar and inalienable Characteristic of Krishna that He has no equal in whatever role He chooses to play and Sree Brindavandas Thakur proceeds to recapitulate the most notable instances of His Excesses. When the Lord chooses to indulge in the Pastime of fighting He excels all in the most perfect use of the weapons of warfare. When He wishes to indulge in amorous sports He effects the conquest of myriads of His sweethearts. When He desires to enjoy the pleasures of riches the homes of His servants are filled with the most profuse abundance of all precious jewels. When, at a subsequent period, this very Arrogant Gaursundar renounced the world and turned a Sannyasin, a particle of His Renunciation was vainly to be looked for in all this triple universe. The truth of this Fact, says Thakur Brindavandas, writing of Events that were still fresh in the minds of all the people, is patent to all. The Renunciation of Sree Gaursundar is never possible in any other person.


Those who represent Sree Gaursundar as engaged in amorous pastimes with His mistresses in the manner of His Activities of Dvapara Leela, commit an unpardonable offense against the canons of historical as well as spiritual propriety. It is directly opposed to the testimony of Sree Brindavandas Thakur who says clearly that at this period when Sree Gaursundar was exhibiting the Leela of a house-holder at Nabadwip He was, indeed, a most restless and mischievous Person Who was full of arrogance, but with one most significant reservation, viz., He altogether abstained then and throughout His Career from the society or discourse of women for indulgence in amorous pastimes as Enjoyer. He exhibited all along the role of the ideal servant of Krishna who is exclusively devoted to his Lord and absolutely free from any hankering for enjoyment on His Own Account.


Certain sections of Sree Chaitanya’s professed followers, actuated by their worldly propensity, do not hesitate even from casting the aspersion of adulterous conduct on the perfectly abstemious Character of Sree Gaursundar. This willful and gross misrepresentation of a historical fact only shows the depths of the utter degradation to which the human nature is liable to fall by its efforts to comprehend the Doings of the Divinity under the dictates of its irrepressible hankering for sensuous enjoyment. It is for this reason that the contemplation of the conduct of the devotees of Krishna has been extolled by the Scriptures as being of greater help to souls striving for spiritual amelioration than even the Doings of the Lord Himself; because the Latter are liable to be wholly misunderstood by those who do not properly realize the supreme necessity of being instructed therein by the transcendental preceptor who leads the perfectly unworldly life and who is thereby enabled to have the right understanding of the Divine Activities of Sree Krishna Who is altogether unintelligible even to the candid worldly mind that pretends to seek for the real Truth. By such willful distortion of the Leela of Sree Gaursundar these insincere and thoughtless people only prevent themselves and others who are minded like themselves from realizing the true nature of the genuine devotee whom it was the object of Sree Gaursundar to make known to us by His Own Divine Conduct and Teaching. Unless and until we learn to follow the Teaching of Sree Gaursundar we can never realize the true Nature of the Activities of the Lord in His Avatara. in the different Ages by reference to their Source.


For the same reason a conditioned soul must never try to ape the transcendental conduct of the servants of Krishna; because the activities of the unalloyed devotees cannot be understood except by their mercy, that is to say except by unconditional submission with body, mind and speech to the servant of the Absolute. It is not enough to have listened to the words of the devotee without submitting to be fully guided in our every act. On the transcendental plane there is no difference between idea and word and object denoted by them. This has to be realized not by persisting to differentiate between them while undergoing discipleship under a sadhu, but by submitting to realize them as an indivisible whole in our practice as well. So long as we actually retain an idea of our present disloyal conviction that they are separate from one another and that the Absolute Truth can be realized by merely exercising our intellect in the same way in which we find out the so-called truths of our worldly experience, we are doomed to deceive both ourselves and others by willfully and profanely confounding, against the imperative dictates of our own unalloyed reason, the material with the spiritual. Or, one may fall into deception of the opposite kind and ape the external conduct of a sadhu without caring to listen, with sufficient attention and with a serving disposition, to his words regarding Krishna. This will make one’s conduct a mechanical performance and also prevent the due realization of the momentous fact that on the plane of the Absolute there is no such thing as unintelligibility, i.e., absence of the fullest cognition. Every act of the servant of Krishna is instinct with all real cognitive significance, not in the imagined, figurative, or transferred but undivided absolute sense. The words of the sadhu have to be lived if one is sincerely willing to realize their true significance. Hence there arises the necessity of complete submission to the bona fide spiritual guide at all stages of spiritual endeavour.


The Doings of Krishna are not cognisable even to His Own servants unless He is pleased to let them know The activities of Sree Gaursundar, although He exhibits the Leela of the devotee, are not intelligible to any person except by means of His special Grace vouchsafed through His servants. The Arrogance of Nimai Pandit deceived everybody in regard to His Real Nature. He appeared even to the Vaishnavas as an atheistical pedant whose only ambition was to acquire the reputation of the greatest scholar of His time. They confounded Him with those really egotistic pedants who abounded in Nabadwip and who were the worst enemies of the true religion inasmuch as in their role of teachers of the Religion they supported their impieties by the authority of the Holy Scriptures. They are the Putanas who abound in a controversial Age and it was necessary to stop their mouths if the Religion as not to be stifled at its birth. It is the Nature of Krishna to deal with everybody at his own weapons. He is the Servant of His servants and the Terror of His enemies.


The Ideal Devotee of Krishna, Sree Gaursundar possessed by right of His Devotion all these Qualities of Krishna Himself. He was dealing with the atheistical teachers of religion on their own plane where alone, indeed, they could be met, although they did not deserve such aggressive mercy. But the Lord Himself must not, therefore, be supposed as belonging to their plane. By this conduct Sree Gaursundar was trying to help them in the only way that would be intelligible to them, viz., by proving the insufficiency of their polemics and thereby making it clear that they could not understand the real meaning of the Scriptures.


The Pride and Arrogance of the Lord humbled even those proud and arrogant atheists who had grown hoary, in the practice of sophistry and were too bad to be reformed in any less violent way. This is the case of all empiricists, more or less, of this day or that. They really understand nothing, but always act as they know everything. They only submit to the sophist who is a greater juggler than themselves. Such polemical defeat serves to confirm them more strongly in the wisdom of their suicidal course. But if the art of the juggler is used not to confirm but rescue the juggler from his favourite self-deception such remedial jugglery is thereby raised to the level of the service of Krishna Who wishes to rescue all perverse souls by their own co-operating free choice. Sree Gaursundar set the example of such service in His Leela as ideal House-holder and Teacher. It is the duty of all scholars and teachers, if they want to be saved from self-deception and to prevent others from being deceived by their pedantic untruths, to accept unreservedly the service of the Absolute Truth as the only goal of their endeavours, and, when they find Him, to assert Him against all who parade such untruths as the medicine authorized by the scriptures of all the ills of our mortal estate. If this ideal of teachership were adopted it would really cure all distempers that the flesh is heir to, which can be healed by no other method.


The distinctive feature of the Teaching of Sree Gaursundar is Causeless and Unbounded Mercy to all souls. The very Fullness of His Mercy stands in the way of the realization of its nature and specially by those pedantic worldlings who are proud of their own mis-supposed worth and are thereby led to prescribe their nostrums for the undoing of their unfortunate admirers. Those who mechanically follow the dictums of Vaishnavism or Revealed Religion, i.e., all Pharisees also necessarily fail to understand the supreme Mercy of Sree Gaursundar. Sree Gaursundar sets no value on conduct that is not inspired by unalloyed love for the Absolute. He teaches the function that breaks through all rules and conventions for the purpose of acting up to the Fountainhead of all rules and conventions. He sets His Face against all forms of self-complacency that is unduly vain of its laurels. The pure soul knows no inferior and has no taste for pedantic sophistry for procuring any worldly laurels. He strives under all circumstances, to realize the unconditional service of the Absolute. He has no selfish inclination and no suspicion that anything may not benefit himself. He knows spontaneously by his open-hearted experience of the Reality that to serve the Absolute in all manner and under all circumstances, is the only proper function. The service of the Absolute is capable of being realized and equally liable to be missed, under every form. Those who fix their attention on the external form, can never understand the behaviour of the real servants of the Absolute. No Pharisee can understand why Godhead sends the pouring showers of His Mercy on the just and the unjust. In this case the Nature of the Source from Whom the conduct proceeds, spiritualizes the whole act. Those who confound spirit with matter, the Absolute with the relative, cannot understand, due to want of candour, how that which is apparently opposed to their experience of this world, can be necessarily, True on the plane of the Absolute. But their stupidity happily does not abolish the Truth Himself. The arrogance of the Pharisee misjudges the quality of the Magnanimous Arrogance of Sree Gaursundar. This is the wholly deserved punishment of the hypocrite. It is the only method by which even the Pharisee is saved and those who are needlessly vain of their worldly virtues, are enlightened regarding their real function towards others.


It is the Nature of Krishna to excel every entity in whatever He does, with a single exception. Krishna is always excelled by His devotee. One day the Lord happened to be passing along the public streets in the company of a number of His students who crowded on all sides of Him. The Lord was as richly dressed as a king. He was clad in a yellow robe, like Krishna. His Lips were dyed with the betel and His Holy Face had the splendour of a million Moons. All the people were praising Him. They said, ‘He is verily the God of Love Himself Who has put on His Visible Body.’ On His Forehead shone the tilaka mark pointing upwards. His Beautiful Hands held His books. The Glance of His Lotus Eyes dispelled all sorrow. The Lord was coming along merrily, swinging His Arms, in the company of His students who were naturally of a most restless disposition. Shribas Pandit, fell in with Him on the way quite by accident and burst into laughter as he caught sight of the Lord. Nimai Pandit made obeisance to Shribas. The generous Shribas blessed Him by way of response saying, ‘Live Thou for ever.’ Shribas then laughingly asked, ‘Whither goest Thou, Crest-jewel of the Arrogant? Why waste Thy. time in these vanities foregoing to serve Krishna? Why dost Thou teach Thy students so, night and day without respite? Why do people read at all? Is it not to learn devotion to Krishna? If that is not gained what does such learning avail? For this reason be well-advised not pass all Thy time in such vanity. Thou hast studied till now. It is high time for Thee to serve Krishna without delay.’ The Lord replied smiling, ‘Be assured. revered Pandit, what you say will certainly come to pass by your grace.’ Saying this the Lord proceeded smiling to the bank of the Ganges and there re-joined the body of His pupils.


Shribas Pandit, a Brahmana advanced in years, was accustomed to treat Sree Gaursundar in the manner of a superior and well wisher who regarded his junior as an object of his affectionate concern. Regarded from the point of view of reverential service such conduct towards Godhead must appear as improper. The same kind of objection would apply equally to Sandipani Muni, teacher of Krishna, to Garga Muni who was family-priest of the chief of Braja and, in Gaur-Leela, to Brahmananda Puri, co-disciple of Sree Isvara Puri. It is, however, a comparatively poor conception of our relationship with Krishna to suppose that it should be confined to distant reverence for the High and Mighty Godhead.


The idea of the Absolute involved in the forms of reverential worship, is somewhat analogous to our conduct in this world where the sentiment of reverence precludes all really familiar intimacy. If a person who is situated on the plane of this world affects to conduct himself towards Krishna as towards his Chum or Junior he certainly perpetrates the grossest impropriety. The philanthropists (prakrita sahajiyas) pretend to think that it is possible to adopt the attitude of confidential intimacy found in this world towards Sree Krishna while we are in the sinful state in imaginary imitation of the similar feasible relationships of the absolute world without committing the grossest profanation. At the same time it would be no less untrue to suppose that the method of distant reverence itself is, therefore, the only or proper kind of service of the Divinity.


The method of distant reverence is based on an incomplete view of the Absolute and does not therefore, belong to the highest plane. It is shy and diffident. It is also indicative of a certain reserve of love. Reverential service is of course not to be confounded with any form of hypocritical philanthropism. It is wholly free from all error of judgment and is bound to develop by directing its closer attention to its immature service of the Absolute. Contented reverential service, nevertheless, resembles that of the overjoyed traveler who builds his halfway house and prepares to settle down in it permanently under the impression that he has reached the goal. It is not easy to persuade such a traveler to resume his forward journey, especially if he has already built a solid structure and is supported by a strong body of admirers and colleagues of real purity of purpose. This is the form of service that is attainable in the Majestic Realm of Vaikuntha which supplies the ideal of the current religions. The latter are, however, really a veiled form of quasi-worldliness and often tantamounts to a religious refusal to seek the fullest service of the Absolute. Reverential worship especially in its degenerate forms, has proved the determined foe of all impartial and thorough inquiry in the domain of religion, no less effective than the pseudo authoritative methods that were once prevalent in the sphere of worldly knowledge. This unnatural form of worldliness aping the real service of Vaikuntha has been accepted as the only legitimate form of religion by all worldly persons who have been prepared to justify their practices by a sort of ridiculous assumption that religion is necessarily opposed to science, i.e., to the principle of free inquiry. But neither need the defects of the current forms of religious orthodoxy lead any but a deliberately foolish or wicked person to the serious conclusion that there is no such thing as the Absolute Truth Whose Admitted existence is certainly the only real obstacle in the way of all irresponsible free thinking so much affected by empiricists.


Chapter XIII

—The Ideal Householder—



          Professor Nimai used to stroll in the streets of the city in the company of His pupils. Men of the highest rank stepped down from their conveyances to accost Him as they came across Him on His way and made obeisance to His Feet with all humility. All persons felt an instinctive awe on meeting the Lord. There was none in the whole of Nabadwip who did not now unreservedly admit His pre-eminence as a scholar. Whenever a citizen performed any religious function he made it a point, as was the custom of the times, to send offerings of food and clothing to the House of the Lord.


          Householder Nimai Pandit was most open-handed in spending money. With Lordly Magnanimity He gave to the needy and the distressed unceasingly and without stint. Gaur-Hari thus gave away rice, clothing and money to the poor most generously whenever He chanced to meet them. There was a constant arrival of chance-guests at the House of the Lord. The Lord gave to all in the measure due to each. Sometimes a dozen or score of sannyasins would turn up all on a sudden. The Lord would joyfully invite them all to His House sending word to His mother for immediately providing the alms of cooked food for a score of sannyasins His mother was sometimes put to great perplexity for want of sufficient eatables in the House for meeting these peremptory demands or her Son. But such anxiety was always relieved by the automatic arrival of all requisites from unknown quarters.


Lakshmi Devi would then cook the food most gladly and with special care. The Lord Personally watched Her cooking and Personally attended to the feeding of the sannyasins, never relaxing His attentions till their actual departure. He spared no pains to please His guests. The merciful Lord welcomed every chance-guest in this hospitable manner. The Supreme Lord taught all householders, by. His Own Example, their most distinctive function. ‘The principal duty of every householder,’ said the Lord, ‘is to serve all his chance-guests. I call that person even worse than birds and beasts who, being a householder, does not serve his chance-guests. If one happens to be destitute of every necessary by reason of ill-luck due to his previous bad deeds, he should still gladly spread for the chance-guest some straw as a seat, and offer him water and resting ground. No good man can be without these. Let such a person speak out truly and let him express his regret for not being able to do more. Such loyal conduct would save him from the terrible offense of inhospitality. If one serves sincerely and with a glad heart according to his means his proper duty to his chance-guest is thereby duly performed., Thus taught Sree Gaursundar and His Own Conduct bears out His Teaching.


          Thakur Brindabandas, commenting on the above, observes that those chance-guests to whom Lakshmi and Narayana made the gift of their food, were certainly most fortunate. Even Brahma himself and his following always pin their hopes of deliverance on food from the Hands of the Lord Himself. This supremely coveted food was obtained by any and every chance comer. It was truly most wonderful! There are those who opine otherwise. These maintain that no lesser beings are ever in any way eligible to be recipients of such food; and the Brahma, Siva, Suka, Vyasa, Narada, and the head of all the gods, all the self-realized souls and all eternally free souls came thither in the forms of mendicants, apprised of the Appearance of Lakshmi and Narayana at Nabadwip. Otherwise who else have power to be there? Who else but Brahma and those who are on a level with him, can ever be fit to obtain that food? Others, however, hold that the Descent of the Lord into this world was for the Purpose of delivering all the miserable. The Lord ever relieves the distressed in every way. Brahma and the other gods are His own limbs, and the limbs of those limbs. They are ever and in every way the associates of the Lord. But there is His Own special promise regarding this particular Appearance, ‘I will give all jivas what is attainable with difficulty by Brahma and his peers.’ It is for this reason that the Lord offered His food at His own House to all the distressed.


Charity to the poor and unstinted hospitality to all chance guests are recommended by the Scriptures as the principle duty of all householders. The Varnashrama system permits a person to marry, set up as a householder and pursue an honest trade or profession for earning his livelihood. But no householder must cook any food for his own consumption. He must always cook only for the Lord. Neither should he amass wealth for the livelihood of himself and his family. He may accumulate wealth in order to relieve the distressed and for performing the duty of unstinted hospitality to all chance-guests.


Miserliness is unreservedly condemned. A Brahmana, i.e., one who sincerely professes to lead a regulated spiritual life, is distinguished by this quality of liberality in the spending of his wealth. He must be perfectly open-handed. It is his nature and also his duty, to employ his wealth for relieving distress. It is his duty to give liberally food, clothing and money. It is also his duty to serve and accumulate a certain amount of wealth for this purpose. It is his duty to give with an easy mind. There is no higher duty for a householder than this.


This is clearly opposed to the ideal of the worldly economists who favour the method of niggardly ‘doles, for relieving ( ?) distress. Indiscriminate or lavish charity is considered by the Economists as harmful both to the giver and the recipient of such charity. The recipient of indiscriminate charity is supposed to be encouraged thereby to lead the idle life of a parasite. The giver of such charity is accordingly supposed to be a conscious or an unconscious abettor of unprincipled idleness. It is, therefore, supposed to be the duty of a householder not to countenance any form of begging. That form of charity alone is permitted by the Economists which is exercised for helping people to lead an industrious life. This discrimination is strongly inculcated by all modern Economists. But Sree Chaitanya makes no reservation in regard to hospitality to chance-guests.


As a matter of fact the charitable disposition itself assorts ill with the principle of discrimination. Is a professional beggar really a great nuisance as he is ordinarily supposed to be by the Economists?  He is the inevitable product of the practice recommended by the uncharitable Economist. He is the natural and salutary ( ? ) check on the social triumph of undiluted industrialism. Would the world be an ideal place if it be inhabited solely by uncharitable, rich misers? Is not miserliness after all quite definitely and logically traceable to the same selfish instinct that produces the professional beggar at the other end? Those who discourage indiscriminate charity indirectly encourage miserliness by their deprecation of the vice of improvidence. The economic view cannot be free from this grave defect.


The real danger of all those who live to eat, is due to their besetting desire for the cultivation of undiluted selfishness. This latter is the root-cause of all economic and other troubles of this world. It is, therefore, necessary to insist that the householder must give up the ideal of calculated selfishness if he is to be really at peace with himself and the world. The miser need not suppose that he is a better man than the beggar. Both of them are in equal danger of becoming selfish by, the avoidance of their duty by one another. The householder can be cured of his selfishness not by so-called discriminate or no charity, but only by true magnanimity


          Those who advocate saving in order to increase the capital of a country only extend the application of the principle of exclusive selfishness to the sphere of national economy with its corresponding disastrous result. A nation which lives only to eat, is no better than the uncharitable householder whose case has been considered above. The bubble of the fashionable capitalistic theory will be pricked, and is in course of being pricked, by the rival principle of unselfish brotherly co-operation, for multiplying the so-called necessaries and luxuries, for a higher purpose than that of selfish enjoyment by the nation or the individual. That higher purpose is unreserved service of Godhead, which, however, cannot be understood by those who are too exclusively absorbed in the pursuit of the alternative lines of the selfish ideal.


But it may be urged that the ideal of unselfish living sketched above, has also its danger. An unselfish individual and nation are liable to be exploited by the selfish. This is no doubt true. But is it really harmful to any party? The ,varnashrama system was never properly followed in this country. It is bound to be recognized as the best social arrangement possible in this world, and as the only one that offers the least opposition to the goal of spiritual living.


          The special hospitality shown by Sree Gaursundar to sannyasins points to a spiritual duty on the part of the householder who aims at the attainment of a higher than the merely economic plane of living. By the practice of open-door hospitality alone the householder is brought into proper touch with those who keep up the ideal of spiritual service of the Lord in the form that is least likely to be misunderstood by the economic householder.


          The institution of asceticism (sannyasa) is the distinguishing feature of the varnashrama system. It is the fourth stage in the life of a person belonging to the system; the other three being Brahmacharya (period of spiritual training), Garhastya (householder life) and Vanaprastha (period of retirement from domestic life). The Yati or sannyasin does not cook for himself. He may accept food cooked by the twice-born, who, being worshippers of Vishnu, cook only for the Lord. No articles of food may be offered to Vishnu that may cause pain to any sentient being or stimulate animal passion. Hence there should be no objection on the part of sannyasins to accept food cooked by Brahmana householders.


          But no sannyasin may settle down at any place other than the Abode of the Lord. A sannyasin must continuously move from place to place for the benefit of those who lead a stationary life. A sannyasin has no other purpose than to serve the Pleasure of Vishnu. He is the Guru or spiritual Guide of all persons belonging to the other three stages. It is the duty of every householder to hospitably receive him with the greatest honor. It is the duty of the householder to offer his best hospitality to the sannyasin who is always a chance-guest. It is also his duty to receive the sannyasins with the greatest honour that is due to the order of the spiritual teachers of society.


          The sannyasin is the chance-guest whom Sree Gaursundar specifically teaches all householders as in duty bound to honour. according to the varnashrama system no person is to be permitted to live for himself. The professional beggars are no exception to this rule. But neither the professional beggar nor the self-centered householder is a fit member of the society that is organized for serving the spiritual end although they are tolerated and given the chance of improvement by the generous provision of the system. The loyal members of the system never live unto themselves and are therefore, neither selfish householders nor professional beggars; although all householders are required by the system to tolerate and cherish even disloyal persons for the purpose of mutual improvement.


          The professional beggar and miserly householder necessarily claim the lion’s share of hospitality of every loyal household in a society in which they happen to form the majority of members. It is not laid down in the Shastras that there is any obligatory duty of hospitality toward those guests who insist on staying at a place for more than a single day at a time. From this provision it appears that the obligatory duty of householders towards chance-guests really refers to the sannyasins. The poor and the distressed are also mentioned in the Shastras as objects of charity. But it is carefully laid down that charitable gifts to such persons would benefit the giver and the receiver in the worldly sense only. But the hospitality to the chance-guest is recommended on the ground that it produces spiritual benefit to the householder without the necessity of his having to try to find out sadhus by undertaking journeys that are also enjoined to holy places where only the sadhus are to be ordinarily met with. Every householder was provided by means of such organized hospitality with the opportunity of spiritual communion with the sadhus coming to his door by serving them for his own benefit. In this duty all members of his family could also participate and be benefited thereby. It is not merely social benefit which would be secured by this practice, but an inclination for the spiritual service of the Lord without which no so-called social good is worth a brass farthing.


          The institution of sannyasins is, of course, also liable to degenerate. Those sannyasin who do not serve the Lord are even worse than mere professional beggars. There has been an enormous increase of both species of beggars, as is to be expected in this world. But those professional beggars who pass themselves off as sannyasins in order to exploit the religious homage of the good householders, are also liable to be benefited by having to conform to the rules of the order which require every sannyasin to keep aloof from all association with the other sex and strictly discourage all accumulation of wealth, fixity of habitation and luxurious living. Those professional beggars with the garb of sannyasins who observe none of these rules, should be regarded as mere scoundrels who must not certainly be honoured as the spiritual teachers of the community. But it should be possible for every householder, with a clear realization of the true principles of the varnashrama system, to practice unstinted charity and good will towards all persons in the measure that is due to each. But the claim of pseudo-sannyasins, to be the authorized spiritual teachers of the community, should not also be seriously entertained on any Shastric principle. They may be sent away with kind words and outward respect due to their garb and may be given the bare necessaries of life of which they may actually stand in need.


          There is, however, another and a higher aspect of the matter. Sree Gaursundar was playing the part of a devotee in the position of a householder. Those who were the recipients of the favour of His hospitality were undoubtedly most fortunate. Who then could be those who are really worthy of such high fortune. Do Brahma and other great beings on a level with Brahma stand in need of such favour ? Even they, say the Scriptures, fail to attain the supreme mercy of such favour. Judged by the test of eligibility, however, they ought to have a preferential claim to such favour. So it is maintained by those who take this view that the Householder Leela of the Supreme Lord, acting the part of the ideal devotee, was intended for favouring Brahma and other great personages, who availed the opportunity by presenting themselves in the garb of chance-guests and beggars in distress.


          Food, clothing, rice, a seat, anything offered by the Lord has power to benefit everyone in the fullest measure. Brahma and other great beings are no exceptions to the rule. There call be no true greatness save by the Favour of the Lord. One who attains such greatness by Divine Grace is enabled to realize more and more the infinite mercy involved in the eternal necessity of having to be the recipients of the Divine Favour. Unless the Lord is pleased by one’s activity it has no value whatsoever. Its contribution to the Pleasure of the Lord constitutes the sole and supreme value of all activity for the lowest of jivas, as for the highest. Those who want to serve the Lord without desiring to be favoured, have a very poor idea of spiritual service. It is by all means the only natural function of the soul to desire the Divine Favour in every way. It is unnatural for the soul to desire any favour from any other quarter. Those who have no hankering for the Divine Favour, can have no experience of His Real Nature. This fatal stupor is curable only by the Causeless Mercy of the Lord which is apparently unnecessarily and indiscriminately. showered on all. Those jivas who fail to be reclaimed by the Divine Favour, have equal reason to be grateful to the Supreme Lord Who mercifully permits the fullest liberty of choice to all souls even against His own perfectly beneficent Dispensation.




It was, therefore, no departure from the principle of absolute causelessness of the manifestation of Divine Mercy, but really the most brilliant fulfillment, that is noticeable in the Activities of the Supreme Lord as Householder, in bestowing, His Favour, coveted by Brahma, Siva, and all highest personages, indiscriminately on all. This Conduct of the Supreme Lord also places before us, in true amplitude, the incalculable range of the beneficence of the activities of the bona fide Vaishnava householder. The Lord’s purpose was to vindicate the function of His devotee. The favour of His devotee is superior in the quality of graciousness even to that of the Lord Himself. The devotee is eternally engaged in doing good, of which the recipients are unconscious, to those fallen souls who are deliberately opposed to the willing service of the Lord. This unsolicited favour from His devotee is the sole unknown cause of eligibility for the conscious and willing service of the Lord that is slowly manifested in all conditioned souls who are thus favoured. Rice, clothing and money which conditioned souls readily accept from the Vaishnava householder under the merciful pressure of destitution or even from the desire to beg by assuming the garb of a spiritual mendicant, possess the power of healing our aversion to the Lord that is equal to that of the direct Mercy vouchsafed by the Lord Himself to conscious and grateful recipients.


          Everything possessed by a Vaishnava householder belongs wholly- to the Lord in the special sense that the devotee is fully conscious of the sole proprietorship of the Lord and is also eligible to act up to his conviction. His charity is, therefore, to be distinguished from that of one who usurps a thing by the right of pseudo-proprietorship. Whatever is therefore, accepted, given away or retained by the true devotee, is done on behalf of the Lord and, therefore, possesses the spiritual quality, imparted to an object due to its spiritual dedication to the service of the Lord, viz., that of delivering those concerned in the same from the bondage of this world. The food that is offered by the devotee to the Lord is called maha prasadam after acceptance by the Lord. Those who accept maha prasadam thereby consciously or unconsciously progress towards the activity of spiritual service. The remainder of the maha prasadam, after being honoured by the devotee, is termed-maha,prasadam, who possesses even greater efficacy than the prasadam as he produces faith in the spiritual nature of the devotee. All this is implied in the Hospitable Activities of the Lord acting the part of a Vaishnava householder.

If any trace of doubt is still left in the minds as regards the necessity of a Vaishnava householder serving Vaishnava sannyasins arriving at his house as chance-guests, it may be observed that the Vaishnava householder does not aspire to favour, help or benefit any body but serves all persons with whom he has any dealings. One who fancies himself to be a Vaishnava is a hypocrite. The Vaishnava is really and fully aware of his inferiority to every other entity; all of whom are viewed by him as objects engaged in the service of the Lord who are to be honoured as properties and servants of his Master. The devotee alone is, therefore, fully eligible for consciously serving the Vaishnava sannyasins and understands the real value of their mercy in visiting unsolicited the homes of householders under the Direction of the Lord, in order to afford them an opportunity of serving the Lord in the best manner by showing hospitality to themselves. This function of hospitality is capable of being fully discharged only by the Vaishnava-householder who is in a position to understand its necessity and high value for all concerned.

          From the point of view of the householder the spiritual value of the obligatory duty of hospitality to all chance-guests consists in its being the necessary supplement of the begging and peripatetic guiding function of the sannyasins. The value of such hospitality increases in proportion as its significance is realized and embodied in the act. The external activity is liable to be abused by the misconception of its real nature. But the abrogation of the duty which is so emphatically and clearly enjoined by the Shastras on all householders involves the fatal danger of breeding disbelief in the spiritual principle. One, who is really anxious to find out the duty of a householder, should be careful to avoid the mistakes of supposing it to be a merely mechanical activity on the one hand or as the product of designing hypocrisy or ignorant simplicity on the other. The householder should exercise his hospitality discriminately and must always pay due attention to the spiritual import. The modern institutions of public almshouses, hospitals and other charitable organizations err by trying to remove only the worldly miseries and wants of those whom they desire to serve. The husk is ostentatiously dangled before the greedy imaginations of self-deluded souls who are deliberately disposed to prefer it to the grain which tastes bitter to their diseased palates. These institutions, if they are to do the maximum good to mankind, should change their principles of management and objective by subordinating unconditionally the worldly point of view to the spiritual. The present discriminating worldly charity which they dispense, should give place to indiscriminate spiritual charity. This applies equally to individual householders who make a show of benefitting the needy and the destitute and other chance guests by practicing covert arrogance in the name of serving hospitality. To the purely worldly understanding, the product and the punishment of egotistic vanity which is the proper negation of the principle of spiritual service, these considerations are unfortunately apt to seem visionary and unpractical. Those who deliberately choose to regard the perverted reflection as being itself the substance of which it really happens to be the shadow, have no other alternative but to continue to behave perversely.


          Lakshmi Devi cooked the meals of the family by. Herself, unassisted, and yet experienced the greatest happiness in the performance of this duty. Most fortunate mother Sachi, watching this Behaviour of Lakshmi, felt a great and hourly increase of her gladness. From early dawn Lakshmi performed all the duties of the household alone by Herself. This was Her Nature, or Religion. She drew the circles of the svastika in the shrine for Godhead and the figures of the Conch and the Disc with great care. She made every preparation for the worship of the Lord by perfumes, flowers, incense, lighted lamp and well-scented water. She constantly served the tulasi and applied Her Mind, with even greater assiduity, to the service of Sachi Devi.


          By observing this Conduct of Lakshmi Sree Gaursundar did not say anything openly but felt glad at Heart. On some days, taking into Her Arms the Feet of the Lord, Lakshmi Devi would continue to tend Them for a while. Once Sachi had a most wonderful vision. She saw a most brilliant massive tongue of fire buming under the Feet of her Son. On some days mother Sachi scented a great perfume of the lotus flower everywhere about the rooms, doors and windows, that also never ceased. Thus at Nabadwip abode Lakshmi and Narayana hiding Themselves and so no one could know. Then, after sometime had passed in this manner, the Lord, Who is ever full of every wish, had a desire of beholding the country of East Bengal. The Lord thereupon spoke to His mother to the effect that He intended to go out of Home for a few days. Sree Gaursundar said to Lakshmi to serve the mother unceasingly. Thereafter the Lord, taking with Him a few favored students, started for East Bengal, with great Pleasure.


In the above paragraph I have tried to reproduce the words of Sree Brindabandas Thakur. They afford a glimpse into the ideal of the relationship of the loyal wife to her God-fearing husband in this world. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the ideal servant of Her Husband’s Household. There is no one else to assist her. Mother Sachi as well as Sree Gaursundar are recipients of Her help. She occupies the unconditional subordinate position. There is no question of equality of status or function. Her duties lie within the household and are not shared by Her Husband or mother-in-law. Her principal work is to make careful arrangements for the worship of Vishnu, decorate His shrine by drawing the figures that are emblematic of the Powers of the Lord, tend the tulasi and attend constantly on Sachi Devi.  She cooks and serves the meals offered by the family to Godhead. She tends the Feet of Sree Gaursundar. She works from early dawn till late at night. She does all this with a perfectly loyal and glad heart.


This is no doubt wholly opposed to worldly ideas regarding the proper position of the wife in the household of her husband. It appeals to neither the mundane intellect nor to the mundane connubial sentiment. The life seems to be too mechanical, too narrow and too much subordinated. It does not at all provide for the bodily and mental comforts of the wife. It severely curtails the sphere of her activities to the inside of the house of her husband. There is no variety of work, no provision for leisure or other recreation. There is strangely enough little reference to the sexual conjugal love. It may not be unnaturally supposed-that all this may be convenient from the point of view of the elders but are not likely to be relished either by the husband or, least of all, by the over worked wife herself who is crushed by a system of sheer, joyless, purposeless slavery which can only make her gradually lose even the energy of making any piteous protests. The mother-in-law is the standing dread of a worldly wife who considers it physically impossible to please superimposed elderly mistress at her elbow whose tastes are bound to differ radically from hers.


The difference between willing rational service and slavery is real and need not be overlooked. If one submits to another from a sense of duty and in pursuance of a rational object such submission becomes necessarily differentiated from slavery. The quantity or nature of the work that may be performed is no proof of its slavish character. What should be the proper object of every household? The atheistic conception seems to be that the household is the product of the sensuous outlook and its object is to satisfy our mundane cravings in an effective manner. Work and leisure according to such view, should be so arranged that no undue excess of either may produce harmful bodily or mental discomfort. Liberty of choice in the selection of work and the method of its performance is regarded as the keystone of the arch of social and domestic felicity; although the danger of anarchy in both domestic and social government is also admitted. The two objectives of the household system of this democratic Age of equality are maximum personal liberty and maximum personal comfort of every inmate. The outlook is of course worldly. Those who are disposed to defend the system of purdah and subordination of the wife to her husband, do so because they believe that the worldly ends are likely to be better served by the adoption of those methods.


As a matter of fact inequality in work, temperament and ability are hard facts of our everyday experience, that cannot be abolished by simply overlooking their existence from a conviction of the sheer impossibility of harmonizing all discordant differences. If the object of the household institution be to secure the maximum possible worldly enjoyment for every member, it is not possible to devise any arrangement by which this is really attainable. The full cup of domestic happiness is liable to be dashed in an instant by a solitary whisper and the mischief cannot be healed by the shibboleths of liberty and equality, or by the elaborate cunning of a complicated worldliness. The worldly end in itself is the Tantalu’s Cup and it gives its deluding character to all the details of the system. It is the worldly end which really destroys the peace of the household and is bound to prevent the attainment of any really satisfactory result.


The sole object of the household institution should be to serve the Supreme Lord if it is the purpose to produce real peace and harmony. possible only by spiritual association. Neither the wife nor any other member should aim at personal comfort, nor should be encouraged to do so. But it is not possible to instill into any individual member the principle of unselfishness unless the same forms also the accepted principle of all members of the household. the service of the Supreme Lord alone can impress upon all unselfish persons, the necessity and desirability of its adoption as the only unconditional common function of all members of every household


The Supreme Lord can be served only if He happens to be a person essentially like overselves if He condecends to receive our service. But it does not remove all difficulties, although it establishes the reality. of the serving function.


If the service of the Lord resembles the so-called service that is ordinarily offered to a human being the difficulties connected with the latter will recur in the proposed function. A human being normally desires the satisfaction of his personal needs and is prepared to do willingly what promises such satisfaction. The only difficulty in this case is that he does not know what can actually satisfy him. He is constantly in search of such satisfaction by the adoption of the available defective methods, due to his natural want of judgment and capacity. It is for this reason that he is doomed to suffer from perpetual dissatisfaction. Moreover, there is no reasonable guarantee that the methods adopted by him, for the unattainable ideal of complete personal satisfaction of Himself as a human being, will be, in every case, promotive of the similar satisfaction of those whose services he must require for his purpose. This uncertaintv in regard to both is reflected in the modern democratic cry of liberty and equality, showing that those interests have not been served by the unchecked pursuit of selfish happiness by each individual human being, however high the individualistic ideal may be regarded to be in the abstract. But the proposed democratic method has also its own defects. It quite unnaturally ignores all real differences of capacity, taste and character of the individuals. No lasting habitable structure can be expected to be built on radically unnatural and fallacious assumptions. The attempt is bound to produce fresh causes of discord and disappointment.


The common service of the Supreme Lord should be acceptable if it be really free from the above defects and thus ensure the attainment of the maximum satisfaction of the individual and the community. Vishnu is the Only Person Whose Plans for His Own Personal Satisfaction are ever productive of a perennial variety of conditions of the highest and lasting general and individual satisfactions of all jivas. The Pians of Vishnu benefit everybody, even those who wilfully abstain from receiving the benefit from a deliberate misunderstanding of the Nature of the Divine Personality. The atheists are mistaken in being afraid of losing their independence of action if they have to unconditionally obey the Lord. If they have no rational objection to unconditionally obeying their own real nature they can have none to obeying the Lord. By obeying the Lord all souls are enabled to attain the complete natural function of their own proper selves. By disobeying Him the soul ceases to find either himself or his function. This is proved indirectly by the futility of every effort to institute the perfect household by the misguided soul’s own independent effort, by ignoring his natural relationship to his Lord. The service of the Lord is the source of all knowledge, all existence and all satisfaction of all souls. If we do not submit to serve Him we naturally grope in utter darkness by mistaking darkness for light. The object of every endeavour of every soul should be to seek for the Divine Guidance if he really wants to attain his complete normal existence. The service of the Lord should, therefore, be the only legitimate object of all household and social institutions.


In the Household of Sree Gaursundar every function was performed for pleasing the Supreme Lord. The practice of conjugal love is one of the most coveted objects of worldly life. It is also liable to degenerate into an abnormality due to the sensual nature of depraved man who is impelled by lust to deceive, himself in regard to his sexual responsibilities. Marriage is a failure if it be regarded as a means of satisfying one’s carnal appetites. The wedded husband and wife should not be less free from the offense of sexuality than the bachelor. They marry with the object of attaining perfect immunity from carnality by adopting the regulated conjugal life that leads to this spiritual result. Such conduct for such purpose is practiced in the service of the Supreme Lord. But this natural function can also be neither learnt nor practiced except under spiritual guidance. The unassisted mentality of tiny individual souls does not enable them to realize their own supreme good. The rationality of the reason of man can itself be realized only by being rationalized by the All-knowledge and by consciously sharing in serving His Cosmic Plan. It is only in this way that one can escape the tyranny of his own native littleness.

Religion is not a departmental affair, nor the special business of any particular set of people. It is the practice of the service of the Truth in all affairs. But the Truth cannot be fully served by the limited cognition of the conditioned soul. The Truth in His Proper Nature is always Full and Immutable and is known only to the Supreme Soul Who has also the power to Communicate Himself to the multitude of individual souls. The Truth cannot be known if one acts in opposition to the source of rationality.

Conduct which is irrational is also improper and unnatural for a rational being. There can be no other test of impropriety. All conduct, therefore, ceases to be rational as soon as it neglects to receive inspiration from the Source of all knowledge. No act can be irrational or undesirable that is done in conscious obedience to the Will of the Absolute. The domestic duties of the loyal wife cease to be drudgery and slavishness if they are performed in conformity with the Wishes of the Supreme Lord. The leisure, liberty and comforts of the worldly wife are the means of confirming her taste for dissipations that are bound to react in a most mischievous manner on her real self and on the souls of her aiders and abettors.


The service of the Lord, Who is perfectly free from all defects, is the only natural function of the pure cognitive essence of the free soul. In every work that a truly rational being undertakes there can be only one object, viz., to realize and carry out the Wishes of Godhead. The Conduct of Sree Lakshmi Devi belongs to the plane of the unconditional loving service of the Lord. The unity and concord of the household are fully secured by the willing and indefatigable exertions of the loyal God-fearing wife, and, at the same time, the only function of a perfectly rational existence in the form of the practice of loving devotion of Godhead is realized for herself by the service of those who thus employ her in their service of Godhead. If Sachi Devi had any desire for selfish enjoyment she would have failed to have such high regard for her Daughter-in-law. She accepted the services rendered to her by Sree Lakshmi Devi in the spirit in which they were rendered, viz., in order to honour her Divine Husband’s mother who possessed the spontaneous absorbing serving affection for her Divine Son. Sree Lakshmi Devi loved her Husband on the plane that is absolutely free from all mundane passions attainable to one who is wholly dedicated to the service of the Lord. The Lord responded to Her serving love by pursuing the Role of the ideal Devotee Who serves Krishna with all his faculties. But at the bottom of it all lay Her actual relationship with the Divine Personality, the fulfillment of Whose Wishes tantamounts to the successful performance of one’s whole duty.


The work of a menial is looked down upon, but it can never be banished from this world. It is similarly easy enough to sneer at the loyal wife who sets herself with perfect satisfaction to the exclusive performance of ordinary domestic duties. But the food cooked by Sree Lakshmi Devi is accepted by the Lord and benefits all who partake of the remains of the Lord’s Meal. The rich food cooked by atheists may minister to the pleasures of the palate of an Epicurean, but is never the Great Grace (maha prasadam) of the Lord that the other is. The humblest work that is performed for the Lord has the greatest potency and more than fully satisfies the utmost needs of all the faculties of our souls, because it is most fully free and rational. This makes spiritual conduct eternally different from the worldly and absolutely unintelligible to all worldlings.


The personal subordination of the wife to the good husband makes her the mistress of the household in the sense that she is thereby enabled to have the right of serving every member in the way that is in keeping with the spiritual purpose. If she aspires to be the mistress in the sense of being allowed the right to lord it over the household, her position from the spiritual point of view would be worse than useless, inasmuch as she would altogether cease to render any service to the Lord. On the spiritual plane the only admissible position for the soul is that of the servant of servants. In such case, however, neither the wife nor the husband is really servant or master of one another. Both are servants and servants of the servants of their common and only Lord. Any difference in the nature of their respective forms of service does not affect their natural status of exclusive servants of the Lord. Failure of duty towards the Lord would result if either party misunderstands his or her real status as servant of the Lord. Those who suppose that any authority can be exercised by any of us by the right of selfish enjoyment (the worldly sense of mastership), are thereby led to quarrel about precedence and status. In the spiritual institution of the household precedence is accorded to the female over the male in the service of the servant of the Lord. The wife is truly honoured above all other members in this way. This is the Divine Dispensation and is intended to curb the vanity of mastership and mistressship that are inborn to the conditioned state which is disposed to exploit the difference of sex for selfish enjoyment. There would thus be no difficulty if we regard the arrangement enjoined by the Shastras from the point of view of our mutual service to our common and only Master.


The personal service which was rendered by Sree Lakshmi Devi to Her Husband may be objected to by those females who are unduly addicted to sensuous enjoyment under the impression that it is the goal of all human endeavour. Such persons may be disposed to think that the life led by Sree Lakshmi Devi was too formal or too respectful or wanting in the qualities of sympathy and affection. But everyone will easily perceive the exquisite propriety of Her Conduct as being in perfect conformity with the requirements of the very highest spiritual service.


This brings us to an important issue. The relationship of sensuous enjoyment is wholly forbidden to the conditioned soul although it alone necessarily appears to him or her as the one thing needful. In place of such relationship, which prevails in this world, and which is the root cause of all troubles of conditioned souls, is to be substituted the relationship of common service of the Supreme Lord by the employment of the senses not for the gratification of one another but for the sole satisfaction of their only legitimate Enjoyer. This institution of marriage is intended to lead to the realization of this relationship of spiritual service in the matter of sexual conduct. This is realized by honestly following the injunctions of the Shastras against the natural dictates of our worldly inclination. Enjoyment is the right reserved for the Supreme Lord, because He alone is the only Master. He alone possesses real authority over all persons and its exercise also does not, for this reason, involve any untoward consequences. The true rational order of spiritual cosmos is set at naught by the unnatural proprietary ambitions of conditioned souls, who are by their spiritual nature, servants of every spiritual entity and can never be the Lords of any entity because every entity including themselves, is the exclusive servant of the Supreme Lord.


The failure to realize the spiritual import of the Conduct of Sree Lakshmi Devi is responsible for the sexual excesses that are sometimes practiced under the garb of following loyally the conduct of Sree Gaursundar as Householder. Sree Gaursundar was pleased with the Conduct of Sree Lakshmi Devi because it was in accordance with His Own Purpose and showed His Pleasure by commanding Her to serve Sree Sachi Devi during His sojourn in East Bengal. Sree Gaursundar did not reward the loyal service of Sree Lakshmi Devi by relaxing His strictly regulated Conduct towards Her, but by giving Her further opportunities of service of a higher order. The service of the servant of the Lord is higher than the direct service of the Lord Himself. Whenever the Supreme Lord is-pleased with the devoted service of a soul He shows His appreciation of such devotion by conferring on him the higher privilege of serving His servants. The mother of Sree Gaursundar serves the Lord, by the practice of parental affection. Sree Lakshmi Devi and Sree Tulasi Devi also serve the Lord by their respective aptitudes as consort and maid. Sree Lakshmi Devi also served Sree Tulasi. She now gave Her whole service to Sree Sachi Devi. It was no disrespect to Sree Tulasi Devi on the part of Sree Lakshmi Devi to prefer the service of Sree Sachi Devi to that of Sree Tulasi, inasmuch as Sree Tulasi occupies a position of inferiority to the Mother of Godhead in the scale of reverence. As a matter of fact, however, the apparent indifference shown to the service of Sree Tulasi by Sree Lakshmi Devi in comparison with her reverential and constant attendance on Sree Sachi Devi, was the better way of serving also Sree Tulasi


The Activities of Sree Gaursundar are, however, not fully grasped in all their surpassing excellence unless we remember the cardinal fact that He is actually the Supreme Lord Himself. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Eternal Consort of the Supreme Lord. The inexpressible Mercy of these Activities of the Divine Pair consists in this; that They play the roles of jiva souls, endeavouring to practice the exclusive service of the Lord in this world. The Lord does not appear in His Role of Enjoyer, lest He be misunderstood. But we are so grossly addicted to sensuous enjoyment that there Are not wanting persons among us who have not scrupled to seek to detect the presence of mundane sensuous propensity even in this wonderfully transparent and unambiguous Behaviour of Sree Gaurundar towards Sree Lakshmi Devi.


Sree Thakur Brindabandas dwells lovingly on the incidents of the sojourn of the Lord in Eastern Bengal in the company of His students. The Lord progressed in His journey to East Bengal by slow stages. No one, who had the good fortune of witnessing the Lord on His journey could take away his eyes from Him. Females on catching Sight of the Lord expressed the opinion that it is really worth while for the Mother Whose Son is He to have been born at all. Let us therefore, do humble obeisance to the Feet of His Mother. That Maiden who has obtained such Husband, is also most fortunate. That excellent Lady has obtained the highest goal of Her womanly birth., Thus praised repeatedly and without stint every male and female who chanced to meet the Lord on His journey. The Sight of the Lord, Whom gods aspire to behold, was available to all persons.

In this manner, moving slowly forward, Sree Gaursundar reached the bank of the Padmavati, in course of several days, journey. The Padmavati possesses the charming beauty of her mighty waves and excellent banks which look as if planted with orchards. As the Lord caught sight of Padmavati He sportively plunged into her water with His followers. From that day, sings Thakur Brindabandas, fortunate Padmavati acquired the efficacy to sanctify all the world.

The river Padmavati is a most beautiful sight. Her waves, banks and strong current are most captivating. The Lord beheld the Padmavati, to her great good fortune, with the greatest Pleasure, and took up His residence on her bank. The Padmavati thus obtained the same high favour which had fallen to the lot of the Daughter of Janhu (the Bhagirathi). The Lord with His followers bathed daily in the water of the Padmavati and sported with the greatest ardour in her stream, just in the same way as He had done in the Ganges.


Gaurchandra stayed for sometime in the country of Vanga. It is for this reason that East Bengal is a blessed land to this day. The Lord abode on the bank of the Padmavati. All the people were very much gladdened by the happy tidings of His Appearance in their midst. The tidings quickly spread in all directions that the Greatest of Professors, Nimai Pandit, had arrived in the country. All those worthy Brahmanas, who were really fortunate, soon presented themselves before the Lord with appropriate offerings for the teacher for admission to the high privilege of His Teaching. As they. presented themselves before the Lord they made their humble obeisance and supplicated for His favour with great humility to the effect that it is by our great good fortune that it has come to happen that Thou hast appeared in this country. The selfsame Person to Whom we are wont to resort for our studies carrying with us our treasure and family to distant Nabadwip, that rare Treasure Himself, has been brought Bodily to our own door by the Mercy of Godhead. Thou art the visible Incarnation of Brihaspati himself. There is no other Professor who is like Thee. Even the parallel of Brihaspati is not worthy of Thee. Thou seemst to be an Integral Portion of Godhead Himself, as no one except the Divinity can ever possess such scholarship and may attract so irresistibly the mind and treasure of all of us. We pray to Thee for the gift of a little learning to all of us. May we humbly submit, Best of the Twice-born, that all of us do study and teach by the help of Thy annotations and have thereby received already the indirect benefit of Thy most valuable instructions. May Thou be pleased to make us also Thy direct disciples that Thy Fame may pervade the whole world.’ The Lord encouraged them by His Smile and for a period, condescended to enact His Pastimes of Teacher in the country of East Bengal. ‘By the force of this most fortunate event, writes Thakur Brindabandas, ‘even to this day, all over the country of Bengal, males and females perform the congregational kirtan instituted by Sree Chaitanya.’


The place, where Sree Gaursundar took up His residence during His stay in Eastern Bengal, is not mentioned in any of the available records. Some maintain that it is the village of Magdoba in the district of Faridpur. It is necessary to note that the practice of the congregational kirtan initiated by Sree Chaitanya, in which both males and females took a part, was found to be already well established in different parts of East Bengal shortly after the Disappearance of Lord Chaitanya when Thakur Brindavandas wrote his immortal work. Thakur Brindavandas’s account gives us the further interesting information that Nimai Pandit was the Author of a gloss on the Kalapa Vyakarana which was extensively used in the tols of Eastern Bengal. But we have not yet come across any copy of the gloss if, indeed, one was ever actually penned by Sree Chaitanya.




This puts it beyond all doubt that the Fame of Nimai Pandit as Professor is far from being a myth concocted by His Ignorant followers. The fact that the country of East Bengal with its great river was actually sanctified by the visit of the Supreme Lord, although the spiritual contention may not be really acceptable to the atheistical understanding, is the really momentous feature of the whole episode. There cannot be a greater fortune for a country than the Personal Presence of the Lord on its soil. The result is spiritual and eternal but is impossible to trace in a form that appeals to the heart of persons immersed in secular affairs. There may come a time when it will be possible to write the inner history of the wonderful vicissitudes of conditioned souls during their sojourn in this world from before the beginning of Time. The peripatetic Tour of Nimai Pandit in East Bengal will appear in the true perspective in such a Narrative as fraught with consequences that are not measurable in terms of any mundane value. It is necessary for the purpose of the present account to hint at the associated result. The land trod by the Lotus Feet of Sree Chaitanya becomes the Hallowed Tirtha which it is the bounden duty of all Vaishnavas to visit. The country which is cherished by the Vaishnavas is afforded the only chance of attaining to the pure service of the Lord.


The Lord was seen, as He really is, by many fortunate inhabitants of East Bengal, both male and female. The female realized Him as the ideal Son and Husband. In the literature of the sect which calls itself ‘Gaur-nagaris’ the fact, so clearly stated by Sree Brindavandas Thakur, has been willfully distorted in order to suit their theory that Nimai Pandit excited the passion of unconventional amour in all female beholders. But Nimai Pandit was the Ideal Husband and Son and the Teacher by His Own Personal Example of the spiritual necessity of absolute abstinence from sexuality. The Supreme Lord in His Pastimes as Sree Chaitanya does not appear in His Roll of Enjoyer and Proprietor of all things. Sree Chaitanya is not Sree Krishna as Lover of others, but Sree Krishna as loving Himself. The two roles are wholly different and cannot be confounded with one another. One who loves the Lord has no desire for his own enjoyment; whereas the Lord Himself possesses an infinite desire for every form of enjoyment. The insatiable desire for enjoyment of the Lord provides the perennial opportunity of His service to all pure souls. It was the object of Sree Chaitanya to show by His Own Conduct how this service is to be performed by the pure souls. For the conditioned soul accordingly the Leela of Sree Chaitanya is unambiguously wholesome as affording him the chance of learning the service of the Supreme Lord by His Own Guidance and Example. It is, therefore, necessary to be on one’s guard against any willful distortion of the nature of these Supremely Magnanimous Activities of the Lord. They are not identical with, but correspondent to, the Dvapara Leela of Sree Krishna. The necessity of this caution will appear from a consideration of the following facts recorded by Thakur Brindavandas to warn us against the fatal consequences of misrepresenting the Teachings of Sree Chaitanya from worldly motives.


It is, of course, not possible for any except the specially fortunate to understand the Transcendental Activities of the Divinity. It is no undue disparagement of the nature of the conditioned soul to declare that he has no chance of understanding the Ways of Providence by his own puny effort. That, which becomes intelligible to the reason of man by its assertive exertions, is necessarily limited. We are fatally disposed to be complacently content with such knowledge (?) as comes to us in the shape of our so-called acquisitions. But they are not the Whole Truth. That which is limited, that is to say exceeded or contained by. the limited reason of man, is rejected by his soul as unnecessary and worthless, the moment its limited character is clearly demonstrated. So there is a constitutional spiritual hankering for the limitless in our proper selves. This hankering also imperatively demands complete satisfaction. Such satisfaction is declared by all the scriptures to be realizable by the method of submissive acceptance of the grace of the transcendental teacher. We feel no hesitation to submit to the teacher (?) of the limited and are also proud to be the slaves of the laws of Nature. But when it is proposed that we should submit to the Unlimited or, in other words, be really free, we vehemently object to the process on the ground that we are likely to lose our birth-right of freedom by being deprived of the slavery of Physical Nature. It is this disloyal irrationality that is the only stumbling block in our way and which prevents us, more effectively than we are ever sincerely prepared to admit, from having any access to the actual realm of the Absolute. There are very few persons, indeed, who are not too obsessed by such misconceptions not to misunderstand the logic of the argument set forth above; and fewer persons still who are prepared to act up to it in practice.

The people of East Bengal, enlightened by the mercy of Sree Gaursundar, adopted the method of congregational chanting of the Name of Hari as the true universal method of worshipping Godhead. But no sooner did they accept the form of the pure religion than they were victimized by a regular succession of pseudo-saviours. Even by the time of Thakur Brindavandas there had already arisen quite a large number of these pretenders to savourship and they had actually done a good deal of positive harm. One of these degraded wretches in order to gain his livelihood passed himself off as Raghunath, the Avatara of Vishnu. Another sinner persuaded the people to sing him as Narayana by giving up the congregational chant of Krishna established by Sree Gaursundar.


Commenting on the doings of these profane hoary rascals Thakur Brindavandas notes the height of absurdity of people, who are so entirely at the mercy of Physical Nature that she makes them change their point of view three times in course of every day, being able to induce any one to mistake such ROGUES as themselves as the Supreme Lord. There was one of these devils, a pseudo-Brahmana, in the country of Rarh, who wore the mask of a Brahmana but was really a savage cannibal. This particular rascal had the audacity of making the people call him ‘Gopala’ (the Divine Cow-Boy Krishna); for which reason he was nick-named the ‘Shiala’ (fox) by the people.

Thakur Bindabandas uses very strong language, indeed, in his open condemnation of the practices of both these pretenders to saviourship and their deluded followers. He is specially grieved for the latter, declaring that the wretch who accepts any person as Godhead in lieu of Sree Chaitanya, is the worse criminal of the two. He then solemnly exhorts all persons ‘to accept as true the facts that Gauranga Sree Hari is the Lord of the infinity of worlds, that all bondage wears off by the mere recollection of His Name, that one triumphs over all adverse circumstances if he but recollects even His servants. The Praises of the Lord are sung by the whole world. It is imperatively necessary to serve the Feet of the Lord after the manner of Himself, by discarding the wrong path.’

The danger from pseudo-saviours is twofold. They (1) induce the people to give up the worship of the Lord and (2) make their victims serve their own vile selves. The method that was adopted for gaining these ends was outwardly similar to that of Sree Chaitanyadeva. Thy also prescribed the congregational chanting of the name of Godhead meaning themselves. ‘Sree Chaitanya is Godhead Himself. There is no impropriety in chanting His Name. There would be the most fatal dereliction of one’s duty if one disbelieves the Divinity of Sree Chaitanya. The only duty of all His followers is to proclaim this Truth to all the world in the clearest possible manner so that no one may suffer by missing the excellent opportunity of serving the Supreme Lord in the only feasible way in this controversial Age which is devoid of natural faith. Those people who do not believe in the Divinity of Sree Chaitanya, are alone unfortunate, as they are prevented from adopting the only method of attaining the transcendental service of Godhead. This is the sad lot of the Sceptics. There is, however, a lot that is even worse than that of the Sceptics, viz., that which befalls the disloyal over-credulous. They allow themselves to be misled by the sufficiently transparent artifices of audacious rascals who know very well how to exploit their weakness. The true course lies midway between these extremes. The conduct and speech of the followers of Sree Chaitanya are, indeed, liable to be misunderstood by the hypocrites and their victims, in opposite ways. The atheistic credulous are apt to be misled by rascals who pass themselves off as Godhead for their utter want of faith in Sree Chaitanya. The faith in Sree Chaitanya is to be attained by avoiding the defects of disloyal credulity on the one hand and of scoffing incredulity on the other. It is, therefore, necessary to be cautiously but fully open to real enlightenment. But the case of those unfortunate people who are over-credulous on principle is the most deplorable of all, inasmuch as they are sure to fall into the clutches of those hypocritical rascals whose business it is to lead all those, who deliberately seek the untruth, still further away from the Truth. The only way of avoiding this danger is not to court it by neglecting the proper exercise of one’s natural sense of right and wrong and by not following in all sincerity what really appears to be the right path even to our present imperfect judgment. The only right conduct, which also should spontaneously suggest itself to all persons so conducting themselves, is the cultivation of exclusive association with those who actually lead the spiritual life by avoidance of all unspiritual company. By such conduct the innate tendency for the service of the Truth is strengthened and the chance of benefiting by the instructions of the bona fide sadhus, who come to every seeker of their own accord, is decisively increased.


But it is not till one has the opportunity of the right kind of personal association with sadhus that he has any substantive chance of spiritual enlightenment, i.e., of realizing his natural faith in the Actiue Existence of Personal Godhead. One who seeks to undergo the necessary training for being fitted for the spiritual service of the Supreme Lord, can obtain real and effective help in this Age from no one else except Sree Chaitanya. But it is reserved only for those who are sincere seekers of the Absolute Truth to realize this. One may be very dull or very intelligent, as the world goes. Such dullness and cleverness will equally help or retard one’s progress on the spiritual path according as he is sincerely disposed to serve. The theory of good conduct is related to substantive good conduct itself, as shadow to substance. The substance necessarily includes the shadow, but not vice versa. Right conduct is the practice of substantive sincerity. Those who are disposed to under value actual conduct regarding it as external are liable to overlook this all-important consideration. External conduct can alone feed the inner enlightenment by the process of concrete actual growing experience of the reality. The experience of the service of the Lord resulting from conduct possesses far greater enlightening power than the experience of worldly affairs, inasmuch as on the spiritual plane conduct and theory are really identical. A dull person who sincerely acts under the direction of a sadhu, attains the spiritual vision in much the same time that is taken by an intelligent person who is equally sincere. Worldly dullness does not stand in the way of obtaining the service of the Godhead, provided there is no deliberate insincerity. The dull person is never made intelligent in the worldly sense by his spiritual enlightenment. He still appears to be very dull to worldly people who are devoid of all true intelligence and incapable of understanding the perfectly cognizant spiritual conduct of the bona -fide servant of the Lord.


That, which appears to be wrong or right to the stultified conscience of the conditioned soul, is undoubtedly true for the time being, although the hollow and ephemeral nature of empiric ethical conduct must be patent to everyone who feels the slightest inclination for the ethical principle. Spiritual conduct is not mechanically attained either by practising or by discarding the empiric ethical conduct. In the conditioned state, ethical conduct with the necessary safeguards should be undoubtedly obligatory and one, who may be wantonly disposed to disregard the rules of morality, should be regarded as a real menace not only to social but also to spiritual well-being, and such conduct should be punished by all means. This will also automatically prevent the exploitation of the unthinking masses by the otherwise formidable gang of the pseudo-religionists. It is absolutely necessary to try resolutely to avoid this last-mentioned danger. But one should at the same time be careful not to fall into the blunder of supposing that empiric morality is the absolute principle or that social or domestic well-being is the summum bonum of human life. If the standpoint from which the moralist regards life be incapable of affording us a view of the Truth, in spite of any passing conveniences that may seem to result from its adoption, it should be the bounden duty of the human reason to seek for further enlightenment. Such an attempt may, indeed, show our want of absolute faith in the conclusions of empiric morality. But it is not antagonistic to the empiric moral principle. On the contrary it marks the stage of distinct ethical progress emhodying as it does the conviction that speculative morality does not take us far enough towards the attainment of the goal vaguely proposed by such morality.


Spiritual conduct, indeed, must not be imagined as identical with the empiric moral conduct, nor as its derivative. By the cultivation of so-called moral living the spiritual life is not positively realizable. Moral life is the imaginary Ultima Thulc of the advocates of so-called worldly well-being. The vision of the empiric moralists cannot pass the bounding line of the horizon of this world. The principles of empiric morality have a limited and temporary value. They are rehabilitated, not supplemented by the laws of spiritual living. One, who is truly anxious for spiritual enlightenment must, therefore, be prepared also for a thorough re-adjustment of his moral conduct both as regards its external manifestation and internal attitude. This change will not coincide with the requirements of the really irrational form of living striven for by the worldly minded ethical person and may even be found fault with by those who are thoughtless enough to imagine the correlative worldly principle to be the obligatory rule of human conduct. Such opposition is beside the point and has always to be reckoned with by all sincere seekers of the service of the Absolute Truth. It has its value for the negative well-being of the world in forcing the spiritual novice to explain his purpose to his opponents in an intelligible form thus helping the diffusion of the knowledge of the Truth and preventing hasty adoption of untruth that is found to parade in the garb of truth in this world.


But one may also commit the no less fatal blunder of waiting too long to embrace the Truth when He actually presents Himself by pretending to be cautious. If this is hypocrisy or idleness, as is often the case such a procedure will not help one progress towards the Truth. It is necessary to be sincerely prepared to firmly discard all untruth and to accept actively the Truth at all time in proportion to our real convictions. One who does not do so, is still the unreclaimed egotist who has not yet to acquire the salutary ambition for seeking to become an humble and active servant of the Absolute Truth. A seeker of the active service of the Truth should also be prepared to commit an infinity of mistakes in his honest endeavour to find Him. Indifference and idleness are the masked-forms of hostility to the principle of spiritual service and have to be most carefully avoided by all who are truly desirous of attaining the service of the Truth.


The Lord stayed for two months in East Bengal moving about in different directions always taking a particular interest in visiting the river Padmavati. There was a great resuscitation of sound erudition by His scholastic exertions. Hundreds of persons returned to their homes gaining their diploma by a brief course of study under the Lord;—such is the wonderful Power of Sree Chaitanya. The whole of East Bengal rushed to the Feet of Nimai Pandit for the acquisition of learning. Thousands of persons in this manner became the disciples of the Lord; and it is impossible to ascertain the number of those who obtained the blessing of His Teaching.


Meanwhile at Nabadwip Lakshmi Devi was very much distressed in Her heart by separation from Her Lord. She did not divulge Her condition to any one. She constantly served the mother. She tasted no food since the departure of the Lord but only made a show of accepting food as a mere formality. She was stricken at heart with the deepest grief by separation from Her Lord. She wept all through the nights by Herself. Sree Lakshmi Devi got no respite from Her great anxiety even for a moment. She at last felt the separation to be wholly unbearable and wished to make Her way to the presence of Her Lord. Thereupon, leaving behind in this world a body resembling Her Own Transcendental Form, Lakshmi Devi silently betook Herself to the Side of Her Husband, eluding the notice of everybody. Holding closely to Her heart the Lotus Feet of the Lord, Lakshmi Devi thus found Her way to the bank of the holy Ganges, in the state of beatific contemplation.

Thakur Brindavandas has refrained from describing the grief of Sree Sachi Devi at the Disappearance of Lakshmi, remarking that the cries of the mother melted even hearts of wood. The neighbors were very much pained by hearing of the departure of Sree Lakshmi Devi and turned up to do their customary duties by the departed.


The term used in the Shastras to denote the Consort of Godhead is ‘Shakti’ which may be rendered as ‘Power’. Godhead is the Possessor or Lord, of all Powers. The Power of the Supreme Lord wears a twofold aspect and serves Him in apparently opposite ways. There is in the first place the spiritual Aspect. This is the Enlightening Aspect of the Divine Power and it is this Aspect that is directly obeyed by all bona fide servants of the Lord. There is also the deluding, Material or Limiting Aspect. This Aspect is of the nature of the Shadow of the Spiritual Aspect and as such manifests Herself at the opposite pole as the negative and subordinate form of the Spiritual Aspect. This second Aspect is called in the Shastras ‘Maya Shakti’ or the ‘limliting’ Power ; while the Spiritual Aspect is called ‘Chit Shakti’ or Cognitive Power. The two are not really separate, as the material Aspect is correlative and wholly under the control of the Spiritual Power. The bona -fide servants of the Supreme Lord are not under the necessity of obeying His Material or Limiting Power. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Plenary aspect of the Spiritual Power of the Lord.


The relation of the Spiritual Power to the Supreme Lord, Who bears the Name of Sree Krishna, is one of indivisibility. Sree Krishna as the Lord of His ‘Chit Shakti’ is the Possessor and Controller of Power by means of the Divine Will, while Sree Lakshmi Devi, the Spiritual Power of the Lord is the Executrix of the Divine Will. Between the Divine Will and the Agency of His execution there is no difference of category, the One automatically and fully implying the Other. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Plenary Power of Sree Krishna, representing the Will of Her Lord and carrying out the Same in regard to the secondary powers. Maya or the Material Power, is the Negative, Deluding Face of the Spiritual Power for the performance of a subordinate function that is secondary of correcting the paltry perversity of dissociated souls and for this reason being necessarily superfluous in the Spiritual Realm. The Material Power is comparable in Her action to the operation of a piece of cloud on the broad bosom of the spotless sky preventing the conditioned souls of this phenomenal world from obtaining a view of the Great Sun Sree Krishna. The cloud devised by Maya is a very very small part of the Cosmic arrangement, serving the Spiritual Power in a negative capacity for the sustenance of disloyal souls and correcting their perversity by providing the congenial scope for its indulgence. Maya has to employ deception in order to correct without resorting to any violence, the perversity of the dissociated soul due to the abuse of his freedom to choose his own course. But this necessity to deceive has no place in the economy of the Spiritual Universe


We are in this place concerned with the question of the intervention of the Spiritual Power in the benighted sphere under the penal jurisdiction of Maya. This is the Descent (Avatara) of Sree Krishna into this world For this Purpose the Lord employs the smallest fraction of His Spiritual Power, Or sends down Those Infinity of Plenary Divine Forms of His Own Who serve in diverse ways the Various Purposes of His Endless Activities, or He Himself comes down into this world. Sree Lakshmi Devi, the Eternal Consort of the Lord executes all these Purposes of the Lord through every degree and variety of Her co-ordinate manifestation. She is identical with the Divine Activity.




But the Principle which constitutes the bond between Sree Lakshmi Devi and the Supreme Lord, is not one of mechanical submission and domination. It is not at all like the relationship that exists in this phenomenal world between material power and its deluded possessor or slave. Neither is it the so-called rational submission which is conceivable by the perverted reason of the conditional soul. The Principle is expressed in the Shastras by the term ‘prema’ ordinarily rendered into the English word ‘love’, although the word love, does not possess the spiritual significance of ‘prema’. ‘Prema’, or ‘spiritual love’, may be defined as the principle of conduct that aims exclusively and causelessly at the gratification of the Spiritual Senses of Krishna. Unspiritual love (karma) is defined as the principle that aims at the gratification of the material senses of non-Krishna i.e. of the agent himself.


Divine Personality, as conceived by the conditioned soul, is a profanation. The worldly notion of personality is radically unwholesome, being made of material stuff. It is not possible for the conditioned soul to conceive of personality except in terms of a phy-sical body bound to a sensuous mind delighting in its inextricable union with the former. This gross conception of personality also finds its way into the empiric attempt to conceive a Personal Godhead. The unwillingness on the part of empiricists to recognize the Divine Personality, is due to their apprehension of the inevitable presence of grossness in the personal conception itself. They naturally hesitate to extend to the Supreme Entity who is declared by the Scriptures and the innate senses of all humanity to be free from the least taint of unwholesomeness the degrading notion of personality that is conceivable to the reason of the conditioned soul. But there would be no ground for such hesitation if the Divine Personality were found to be really such as to make Him not only altogether free from our actual gross experience of personality of this world, but in perfect keeping with the highest requirements of our unbiased reason, which Can never be really satisfied with its hypothetical concoctions, and also with the declarations of the Scriptures


The conditioned soul posing as a person is possessed of two conjoined sets of apparatus called indiscriminately in the English language, by the same word viz. ‘senses’. The internal, cognitive sense-principle operates on the external world in the conditioned state by an external process of physical perception through the medium of the physical sense-organs directed and supplemented by the re-action of the material mind which educes the subtle entities of precepts and concepts from the gross impressions of external objects supplied initially by the physical organs. The personality of the conditioned soul is empirically supposed to consist definitely and concretely of the enveloping material principles and processes of the mind and the physical sense-organs directed to the objects of phenomenal Nature and tending to material gratification realizable in terms of the same by the inner conscious principle which remains otherwise passive. The unwholesome element of such personality consists in its material sensuousness. The inner conscious principle, by seeking to establish his affinity with the objects of phenomenal Nature, is ultimately responsible for the perpetuation of the super-imposed unwholesome ego thus realized as the individual personality which is condemned by the spiritual pro-personalists and the empiric impersonalists alike.


Philanthropism is the result of the unpardonable and sacrilegious attempt to make an ideal of this pseudo-personality and to thrust it also on the Divinity Himself. This is not always unaccompanied by a suspicion of the incongruity of such attempt. But the philanthropists fall into this utterly profane error by striving to escape by a natural impulse from the suicidal alternative of the acceptance of the principle of impersonality proposed by the logical school of Empiricism. But by confounding the mundane for the Divine they prove to be even worse enemies of theism than the impersonalists.


The tragedy of the profession of the spiritual( ?) nature the mundane personality is due to the incongruous association of soul with matter in the state of bondage. The conditioned soul deliberately seeks sensuous gratification, which is foreign to his own spiritual nature, by making the world serve the pleasures of the senses. The principle on which he is made to set to work in such a process is supplied by his deluded assumption that he is proprietor, or enjoyer of this material world. But the role which is thus attempted is one that is foreign to the real nature of the jiva soul.


This proposed proprietorship means the domination of the infinitesimally little over the Infinitely Great. Such a process can by its nature be only delusive and disappointing. If the tiny soul allows himself to be dominated by the Supreme Soul he suffers from no such self-elected difficulty. The Supreme Soul can find the employment for the tiny soul that relieves the latter from the necessity of seeking the impossible unnatural paltry satisfaction of the gross physical senses. In the perfectly pure rational existence the subordination of the really little to the really Great is realized as being necessarily natural and congenial. It is the unnatural domination of the non-rational and the non-Great that demoralizes the soul in the conditioned state. The only cure of the aberrations of this frail so-called mundane personality is, therefore, supplied by the arrangement of the positive spiritual service of the supreme Soul by the little souls, not mechanically as proposed by the smartas, for the purpose of the gratification of the physical senses, nor impersonally which tantamounts to self-destruction but for the infinitely higher purpose of seeking the gratification of the Spiritual Senses of the Supreme Person Who is the necessarily Absolute Proprietor of everything.


The Supreme Dominating Person can be served positively and consciously by reciprocal dominated personalities and only negatively and unconsciously by impersonal entities. Hence the real reciprocal spiritual personality of his willing servants, or powers, is proved. The relation of the individual soul to the Supreme Soul is not identical with, but the reciprocal of the relationship of the Supreme Soul to the jiva. Sree Lakshmi Devi seeks the gratification of the Senses of Sree Krishna by an infinite number of complementary little personalities of various dimensions and specifications acting in perfect harmony for ministering to the pleasure of the Perfect Senses of Sree Krishna. The Personality of Sree Lakshmi Devi is not one of enjoyer but of provider of the Enjoyment of Sree Krishna and She serves only the Pleasure of Krishna. This reciprocal function in its twofold aspect, is ‘prema’ or ‘spiritual love’.

So when the Supreme Lord intervenes Personally in the affairs of this mundane world for the deliverance of conditioned souls, Sree Lakshmi Devi ever accompanies Him and carries out the Wishes of Her Lord towards the jiva souls.


This is the real background of the picture drawn by Thakur Brindavandas. But the role that Sree Lakshmi Devi has to play as the consort of the ideal householder-devotee during his sojourn, by command of the Lord, in this material world, is only One Aspect of Her Divine Function as the Eternal consort of Her Supreme Husband in the Realm of the Absolute. She is the servant of the Servant of the Lord. She has to minister to the pleasure of the Supreme Lord under the direction of Himself as Servant in the role of Householder. She must not, therefore regard Her Husband as identical with the Supreme Lord in His Nature of Absolute Proprietor. She must not suppose that Her Husband stands in need of, or has any inclination for, enjoyment of any kind for Himself. Her Function as the Consort of the Devotee corresponds to that of Her Husband, Both acting the part of Associated Servants of the Supreme Lord in Their Roles of Husband and Wife of Each other, in order to teach the deluded wives and husbands of this world their proper relationship to one another in conformity with their absolute loyalty to Krishna.


Her pang of separation is, therefore, inexplicable on the supposition that Sree Lakshmi Devi actually experienced the discomforts of a mortal wife placed in a similar circumstance; although Her Conduct seems to be due to such motive. Her Disappearance from this world, which is ascribed to the intensity of Her Sorrow, also calls for a little explanation to prevent any gross misunderstanding.


Sree Lakshmi Devi was engaged in tending Sree Sachi Devi by Command of Sree Gaursundar during His tour of East Bengal. By refusing to take food and drink and forming the resolution of deliberately starving Herself to death ( ?) to put an end to Her own grief, She might be supposed to have been apparently neglecting the duty assigned to Her by Her Husband. To this the Conduct of Sree Vishnupriya Devi, after Renunciation of the Lord and also subsequently to His Disappearance from this world, would seem to be a great contrast.


The duty of a faithful wife whose husband is abroad, as laid down in the Shastras, is to eschew all comforts for herself and keep her mind perpetually fixed on her absent husband. By this means she would be enabled to retain and augment the constancy and intensity of her love for her husband. A wife may be faithful to her husband either quite causelessly out of pure love, or from a sense of duty, or for her own selfish happiness. The wife, who loves her husband causelessly, is supposed to be the ideal wife; while one, who minds her own advantage in caring for her husband, is rewarded as a hypocrite. But none of these have any, reference to the service of the Supreme Lord. If the husband himself be a servant of Vishnu it is only then that the conduct of the wife, who seeks to assist him in such service, necessarily also attains the level of service of the Divinity. In this case any love, duty or indifference, shown to the husband personally , without any conscious realization of his function as servant of the Lord, would also seem at first sight to fall short of the full service of Krishna. This brings us really to the dangerous ground. It is, of course, possible for his wife to be carnally attached to a Vaishnava husband. If it be so, what will be the consequence of such attachment? A Vaishnava by his very nature can never be a participator in the carnality of his wife. There can, therefore, be no chance of reciprocal carnality in such a case, as the wife would receive no encouragement to follow her suicidal course. There would then remain the chance of her own regeneration if her attachment to the Vaishnava husband, although due to carnal motive, induces her to serve him faithfully through all apparent neglect on his part. This will tend to establish that real contact between the two which will he undoubtedly beneficial for both, if the husband continues true to the Lord. Even if in such a case the wife be not enabled to attain to the conscious service of the Lord she would unconsciously take a long stride in the direction of such service. If, therefore, the husband be a true Vaishnava a path is opened thereby even to a carnally disposed wife to attain to the spiritual condition by serving him in a friendly way. Any service rendered to a Vaishnava from any kind of friendly motive, is rewarded by the attainment of the summum bonum. On the other hand the only conduct, that is really obstructive of the spiritual well-being of any person, is that inspired by disinclination to serve the Vaishnavas or a positive inclination to oppose or vilify them.


The spiritual service of Krishna offers unfettered freedom of choice to every-body as regards the form in which it is to be rendered. The only thing needed is absence of conscious aversion to the Lord or to His servants, and especially the latter. Any aversion shown to the servants of the Lord is fatal for the same reason that makes any form of friendly attachment to him a means of assured safety. There is no other way for the deliverance of conditioned souls except by serving the servants of the Lord, who appear in our midst and who by command of the Lord graciously accept any and every form of service for the well-being of all sinners without exception.


Therefore, judged from the point of view of the wife of the ideal house-holder-devotee the conduct of Sree Lakshmi Devi is self-protected against all adverse criticism for the reason that it happened to be of the nature of an intense friendly attachment for the Servant of the Lord. Her Role was, therefore, exactly in keeping with the Purpose of the Lord Himself and vital for clearing up most serious misconceptions on the subject of one’s duty by a Vaishnava.


The Departure of Sree Lakshmi Devi to Her Own Realm of Vaikuntha did not in anyway obstruct the Activities of the Lord. The loyal wife of the most rabid worldling can desire for no more pleasant exit from this world than was exhibited by Sree Lakshmi Devi without any of the unwholesome factors that are necessarily associated with the departure of the sinner.


But as a matter of fact the mode of Disappearance from this world of the Supreme Lord and His Eternal Consorts, servitors and paraphernalia is altogether different from the death of a mortal. The art of the magician furnishes the nearest parallel of the Divine Activity. The magical performs the feat of dying in his own person to the view of the spectators without really dying at all. Sree Lakshmi Devi deluded the people into believing that they witnessed Her death to the detail of cremating her Supposed dead body, independently of any change to Herself. The creation of an actual physical body was not necessary as the Eternal Consort of the Lord is the Mistress of physical Nature and performs all Her Spiritual Acts, even in this world, without any positive help of the Deluding Material Energy, Who is Her Own subservient Shadow


But the Grief of Sree Lakshmi Devi, which was the cause of Her Departure, was not a pretense. The Lord has the Power of making Himself invisible even to Sree Lakshmi Devi. Herself The Grief of Sree Lakshmi Devi is, however, not like the grief of conditioned souls who are pained by being deprived of their opportunity of selfish enjoyment. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Eternally Inseparable Consort of the Supreme Lord, but is nevertheless not identical with Him. It is this which makes possible Their Relationship of Love in Union and Separation. She has Her Existence in the Divine Function of causeless loving service of the Supreme Lord. She serves the Lord equally both in union and separation. So there is no decrease of love or bliss but only a change of the form of service when Sree Lakshmi Devi displays the extreme Grief of Separation from Her Only Lord.



Chapter  XIV

—Tapan Misra: Return from East Bengal—



After staying for a while in East Bengal the Lord made up His mind to return Home. On being apprised of the intention of the Lord the people of those parts brought various offerings of all their treasure. The presents included gold, silver, pots for holding water, excellent seats, finely dyed blankets, a great variety of clothing, etc. All persons gladly made an offering of all the best things of their households. Lord Gauranga-Sree Hari was pleased to accept their offerings, bestowing His Merciful Glance on all. Having taken His leave of all persons Lord Sree Gauranga set out for His Own Home, Many students from East Bengal followed the Lord to Nabadwip to study under Him there.

The Lord apparently did not think it to be incompatible with the duty of a-house-holder to accept the presents of the people of East Bengal for imparting them knowledge of the Shastras. This may be objected to on the ground that it amounts to nothing less than the selling of knowledge which is forbidden by the Shastras. There is a distinction between professional teachers of different branches of secular knowledge and the preacher of the Religion.


The profession of a secular teacher is recommended by the Shastras as un-objectionable from the worldly point of view and is given preference over other occupations for earning a livelihood. The Lord does not appear in East Bengal as Preacher of the Religion. The Shastras forbid selling of religious teaching. The preacher of religion must not accept any remuneration for his services as preacher. If he accepts payment and is dependent on it for his livelihood he cannot but desire to please his pay-masters and thus fail to maintain his unconditional adherence to the Truth, which is essential in every bona fide preacher of the religion. The least concession to any worldly purpose makes a person. unfit for being a preacher of the Absolute Truth. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to keep the whole arrangement for the preaching of Religion outside the obligations of the social systems devised for the attainment of purely worldly ends; as any adulteration is bound to be productive of irreparable mischief for all concerned, there is no harm in any one accepting presents in return for imparting knowledge of the Shastras to his students. These payments also were voluntary and not confined to the students.


It was apparently regarded as the duty of all house-holders to place the best part of their wealth at the disposal of the secular teachers of the people. This was a social arrangement for the promotion of secular learning. It had nothing to do with the preaching of the religion. The people naturally flocked to Nimai Pandit in order to study Vyakarana as He was reputed to be the greatest scholar of that day. They had their reward in gaining scholarship of a superior order in a short time


There was, however, one notable exception. A most fortunate Brahmana, by name Tapan Misra, presented himself before the Lord on the eve of His return from East Bengal, with the intention of obtaining a solution of his doubts regarding the real nature of the Object and method of spiritual practices. Tapan Misra was not one of the ordinary type of inquirers who believe it to be their duty to be curious about everything and therefore also about religion. The problem, with which Tapan Misra approached the Lord, had been suggested in course of a long endeavour to find the Truth by the method of sincerely following out the injunctions of the Shastras. Tapan Misra had already lost all taste for worldly life. He was in that critical state when the mode of life, with which he had been familiar, had ceased to interest, but when yet no satisfactory substitute had been found. Being naturally of a perfectly sincere turn of mind he had not sat down tightly on his doubts. He had been to all persons whom he considered likely to be able to help him in solving his doubts. These doubts were troubling him in spite of the conventional religious life with its theory and practices which, as the duty of one born in a Brahmana family, he had duly inherited and which he had been trying sincerely to follow up in life. He was too genuinely inquisitive to be content without troubling about the real value of his inherited activities and their necessity for himself as an individual. He was, therefore, deeply pious in his external conduct but distracted within by the gravest doubts regarding his own real condition. This is a very rare combination. Habit is a formidable enemy on the path of progress if it happens to be unduly enamoured of itself and breeds the inclination to be really content with a bad thing. The human soul by his constitution is naturally opposed to anything short of the Absolute Truth. No mechanical dogmatism can satisfy him. The affairs of this world are carried on by most of us on the basis of working hypotheses called by the misleading designations of Natural Laws and Moral Principles. Their proper function is merely to stimulate, without being able to satisfy, our loyal inclination for the service of Truth. Those who suppose that it is never possible for us to-attain the Real, Immutable Truth, soon get reconciled to this ever-shifting hypothetical mode of living which alone is possible with the help of empiric ethics and the other empiric sciences. They are not pessimists as regards their own method. They subsist on the hope of a hypothetical notion called progressive improvement, without really caring to examine seriously the basis of such hope.


Tapan Misra had ceased to be a contented empiricist. He had also failed to understand the basis of his own faith in the Scriptures. A careful study of the Shastras and prolonged performance of Shastric practices had failed to solve his doubts. He was studious, thoughtful and practical and had also been trying honestly to live the unworldly life enjoined by the Shastras. As the result of this he had made the discovery that it was not possible to understand or obey the Shastras, as their theories and injunctions seemed to contradict one another and certain principles also seemed wholly impossible to carry out in practice. He was too honest to be disposed to ignore or lightly explain away such discrepancies. In one word he was a seeker of the Absolute Truth and determined not to serve anything else under the name of the Truth.




In this dilemma Tapan Misra had a wonderful dream. A celestial being appeared to him in his dream and advised him to proceed to Nimai Pandit Who would solve all his doubts. The god told him further that Nimai Pandit is no other than Narayana Himself Who had appeared in this world in His Human Form for delivering the conditioned souls. The Brahmana was also warned not to divulge this secret of the Vedas to anyone else as such conduct would entail trouble for him in all subsequent lives. The Brahmana shed copious tears on beholding this auspicious dream. Recovering his balance of judgment he blessed his good fortune and, fixing. his thoughts on the Lord, hastened to His Presence.


Tapan Misra made his way to the place where the Lord was seated in the midst of His pupils, and, after making obeisance, stood before Him with the palms of his hands joined in the attitude of supplication. He then completely laid open his heart to the Lord, saying that the ordinary duties of life had lost all their charms for him, and that he was passing his days in a state of intense suspense, due to failure to understand the proper method and object of spiritual living. He had, therefore, come to Him for enlightenment on the subject, being fully convinced that there was no other way out of the difficulty except through His Mercy. He hoped to be delivered from the bondage of the world by His Kindness and prayed that He would overlook his unfitness and mercifully communicate to him the right method and object of spiritual living. He desired to learn the Truth from His Own Lips, and to be delivered thereby from the state of unbearable misery.


The Lord told the Brahmana that he was most fortunate, as there cannot be any fortune higher than the condition of one who is desirous of serving Krishna with all his faculties. The service of Godhead is a subject that is most difficult to understand and is vast beyond all measure. The Supreme Lord Himself settles the form of His worship for every Age, proclaiming the same for the information of all. For this purpose He comes down into this mundane world in each of the four Ages. He returns to his Realm after settling the form of the Religion that is appropriate for each particular Age. The account of the Lord’s Appearances in this world is recorded in the Shastras for the information of everyone. The Lord Krishna Himself says in the Geeta, ‘I appear in this world in the successive Ages for the purpose of delivering the sadhus, for eliminating those who are addicted to evil and for fully establishing the Religion.’. The Bhagavatam says that “Krishna appears in each of the four Ages with a Different Complexion. He is White, Red and Yellow respectively in the three other Ages and is of a Dark Hue in Dwapara. The Colour That Krishna assumes in the different Ages corresponds to the character of the particular Age. The form of Religion, laid down by the Lord for the Kali Age, is the congregational chant of the Holy Name. There are four different forms of the religion to be followed by the souls in the different Ages. The object of all forms is the same. This common object is realized in the Krita Age by following the method of meditation (dhyana) on Vishnu; in the Treta Age by worshipping Him with sacrifices (makha); in the Dvapara Age by the mode of serving the Holy Form in the manner of ritualistic worship (archana) and in this Kali Age by chanting (Kirtan) Hari. The performance (yajna) of the chant of the Holy Name is, therefore, the only mode of the worship for the Kali Age. One cannot be delivered in the Iron Age by following any of the other prescribed forms of worship. The Vedas themselves fail to describe fully the praises due to one who takes the Holy Name night and day, eating or sleeping. It is necessary to note carefully that the modes of asceticism (tapas) and sacrifice (yajna) are forbidden in the Kali Age. Those, who worship Krishna, are most fortunate”. The Lord advised Tapan Misra to worship Krishna by staying at home, avoiding whatever was opposed to it positively or negatively, by the method of single-hearted devotion. Sree Gaursundar also assured Tapan Misra that he would realize the true nature of the object and mode of worship, and in fact everything, by means of the congregational chant of the Name of Hari. “The Name of Hari alone is efficacious. There is absolutely no other course in the Kali Age”. The Lord told Misra that the Name, or Mahamantra, That should be chanted consists of sixteen Names and thirty-two letters possessing the potency of the mantra, “Hare Krishna  Hare Krishna  Krishna  Krishna  Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama  Rama  Rama  Hare Hare.”


He assured Misra that he would know the true object as well as method of spiritual living when by constant practice of chanting the Holy Name the first tender shoots of spiritual love (prema) would manifest themselves.


Misra made repeated prostrated obeisances at the Feet of the Lord on learning this Teaching from the Mouth of the Lord Himself. The Misra said that he would like to remain with the Lord, if so commanded. But the Lord asked him to proceed to Varanasi (Benares) without delay, promising to meet him there and to tell him all the principles regarding method and object of spiritual living.


This short Catechism, of the Creed laid down by the Supreme Lord as the only form of Religion of the present Age, will give the reader a concrete and definite but not the detailed idea of the form of worship established by Sree Chaitanya Deva. The principles as well as the practice, that are taught, will become clearer as we follow the Career of the Lord and His devotees through each successive chapter. But it is necessary to make a few observations on the subject without anticipating what is to follow in order to clear uncertain initial misconceptions that may trouble the reader in regard to the outline that is just offered.