|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Nityananda dasa > Prema Vilasa > CHAPTER 10|
As soon as Narottama took birth, the musicians, sitting at the doorway of the house, began playing and continued for eight days. Hundreds of brahmanas of the village constantly chanted the Vedic hymns in celebration.
Six months passed swiftly and his parents then performed the ceremony of offering rice to the child. On that occasion they fed many brahmanas and relatives, and distributed wealth amongst them. When the king heard about the beautiful boy, he sent many gifts in gold and silver, and Narayani happily decorated her son.
At the age of five, the ceremony of piercing the ears of the boy took place. At this time Narottama began his education and proved to be a brilliant student. In this way the years passed and his parents where increasingly enchanted by the charming beauty of their son. When he reached the age of twelve, they decided to give their son in marriage and called on an astrologer to arrange a suitable match. Noting Narottama's growing apathy for material life, the parents were anxious to tie him down to household life. But Narottama had other plans; he constantly thought of leaving his home.
One night Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in Narottama's dream and advised him to go to the Padmavati the next morning to take his bath and receive the love that she was holding for Narottama. The Lord also explained that marriage would create problems for him.
Narottama woke up and in the morning, without waking anyone, rushed towards the Padmavati, joyfully chanting the holy name all the way. When he reached the river, he first bowed to Padmavati then entered the water, chanting the name of Gauranga. As Mahaprabhu had predicted, immediately Padmavati's water surged forth and inundated the land. Remembering the Lord's prediction, Padmavati appeared before Narottama and said, "For your benefit Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu previously deposited his love in me. After doing so, the Lord went to Nilacala. Now please take charge of it. I am no longer able to bear the burden of the love of these two brothers, Chaitanya and Nityananda." Saying this, Padmavati held Narottama's hands and took him with her. She then gave him the love, warning him not to eat it or he would become mad with love of Godhead. But Narottama was overwhelmed with thirst, thus he drank the love and immediately his complexion changed to a golden colour. He became so ecstatic with love that he laughed, cried, danced and sang like a madman.
Meanwhile his absence created panic at home and all Narottama's relatives searched for him frantically. When they heard that he was at the bank of the Padmavati, they all ran to the river. However, the worried parents were unable to recognize their own son due to the change in his complexion. Not finding her beloved son, Narottama's mother cried helplessly.
Narottama, lost in ecstacy, was oblivious to everything. After some time, due to the Lord's influence, Narottama was able to understand that his mother was crying. "Mother," he beckoned, "I am standing right next to you, why are you crying?"
His mother immediately took him on her lap and kissed his face, requesting him again and again to return home. Narottama's peculiar behaviour, however, bewildered and frightened them. Narottama, overwhelmed with ecstatic love, cried, jumped, and danced, singing the name of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. With great difficult his mother brought him home and placed him in his bed. His parents cried piteously, thinking that their son had gone mad.
One day Narottama revealed to his mother that he wanted to leave home. Shocked and bereaved, she held the neck of her son and questioned why he was behaving so strangely; what was his complaint. Seeing the state of his mother, Narottama relented and requested her to bring something to eat. He assured her that after eating he would explain everything.
After accepting prasadam Narottama told his father, "I'm in great difficulty. A golden complexioned child has entered into my body and affected my state of mind. Therefore I feel I can no longer stay here." While saying this Narottama was overcome with ecstatic emotions and lost control of himself. He began to cry and his whole body trembled. Shouting the name of Gauranga, he fell to the ground.
Thinking that some golden complexioned deity had taken hold of there son's body, his parents cried out in misery, wondering if their child would ever return to normalcy. They called upon an exorcist who said that no spirit had entered Narottama's body, rather, he was suffering from a wind disorder. He advised them to bring a fox and rub the oil on the boy's stomach to cure him.
Narottama laughed and told his father, "By killing an animal do you think you can cure me? If a father kills an animal out of blind affection for his son, the disease will become more intense, rather than cured. Oh my parents, it is not a disease, I simply want to go to Vrndavana."
"We would rather drink poison than live without you," they protested. "Do not speak about this anymore."
Narottama fell silent, wondering if Vrndavana would remain an unattainable dream for him. Trying another strategy, Narottama decided to pretend to be cured and behave like an obedient son attached to family life. Thus his parents heaved a great sigh of relief. But at night Narottama could not control his distress and was unable to sleep.
One day the Zagirdara of the village sent a horseman with a letter in which he ordered Majumdar to send Narottama to him at once, indicating that he intended to award some special honour upon the boy. Majumdar was uncertain as to what to do, Out of blind affection for Narottama, he was reluctant to send him anywhere. When he told Narottama about the letter, he laughed and said, "Well I shall go along with the horseman then."
His mother, however, protested, "I will not allow you to go anywhere, regardless of how big the gain may me." But Narottama insisted, "The king will be very pleased if I obey his order." Hearing this, his father consulted an astrologer and fixed a date for Narottama to go. Narottama took this as a significant sign from Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, feeling that their mercy was upon him. Still, his mother lamented, "What shall I do without you my son? Please return within ten days. When you return I shall arrange your marriage." Although Narottama had another plan in mind, he assured his mother that he would return swiftly. She instructed his escort to keep a strict watch on her son, then kissed Narottama's check and bade him farewell.
Narottama eagerly awaited the right moment for his escape. In anticipation he was unable to sleep, but confident that the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's wish is supreme. That night all the companions of Narottama fell into a deep sleep. Taking advantage of the situation, Narottama hurried out to the road and began walking swiftly, yet cautiously towards the west, intently chanting the names of Chaitanya and Nityananda.
In due course of time news of Narottama's disappearance reached the ears of his parents. Stricken with grief, his mother rushed out into the street like a mad woman, lamenting miserably for her son. The neighbors took her back in the house and tried to console her, assuring her that they would surely catch him and bring him home.
Yet, despite all of their efforts, their was no trace of Narottama. His parents then offered one man a sizeable sum to search out their beloved son. The man traveled to various places, reaching as far as Bahudiya, but being unsuccessful he returned to Gadera Hata. The news of his failure broke the heart of Narottama's mother and she fell down unconscious.
Now I shall describe Narottama's journey to Vrndavana. For two or three days he fasted as he rushed towards Vraja. Due to long hours of walking, painful blisters (boils) covered his feet, making it difficult to walk. Exhausted, he lay down under a tree and fell unconscious. When he awoke, he began to lament, "Oh Gaurachandra, Rupa, Sanatana, when will I reach Vrndavana?"
Suddenly a golden complexioned brahmana came before Narottama carrying a bowl of milk. He instructed Narottama to drink the milk as it would cure his blisters. Overwhelmed with fatigue, Narottama fell asleep without drinking the milk. Towards the end of the night, Rupa and Sanatana appeared before Narottama. Placing their hands on Narottama's chest they told him, "Narottama drink the milk. Seeing you so tired from your journey, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself personally brought you this milk. Now get up and continue on to Vrndavana." When Narottama's dream vanished, he woke up and began to cry in separation from the Lord and his devotees. His misery became unbearable, then Rupa and Sanatana again appeared before him. This time Narottama could see them direct and smell the scent of their bodies. The two brothers had golden complexions, they wore sacred threads, tulasi mala, and their foreheads were painted with beautiful tilak. Their red lips were curved in gracious smiles, as they chanting the holy names, counting on their fingers. Sometimes they called out the name of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. They told Narottama, "You are still child, normally not much is expected of a boy your age, but you have received favour of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu so do not worry, just go to Vrndavana. We know that Prabhu has empowered you to flood the universe with love of God and deliver the fallen conditioned souls. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu appeared in Gauda to reveal Their loving pastimes, and they have created you and Shrinivasa to carry on The mission after Their disappearance."
Hearing this, Narottama worshiped the feet of the two brothers, then rolled on the ground crying ecstatically. Rupa and Sanatana placed their feet on Narottama's head, then disappeared.
By the order of my guru I have narrated these pastimes. Those who listen with devotion will soon attain the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the lotus feet of Radha Krishna. Rupa and Sanatana will also mercy their blessings upon the devoted listeners. Remaining faithful to the feet of Shri Jahnava and Viracandra, I, Nityananda Dasa narrate Prem Vilasa. (100-110)