|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Nityananda dasa > Prema Vilasa > CHAPTER 13|
All glories to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the deliverer of the fallen. All glories to Nityananda Prabhu, the wealth of the poor. All glories to Advaitacandra, the reservoir of auspicious qualities. All glories to the devotees, may all of your desires be fulfilled. All glories to Shri Jahnava and Viracandra, by whose grace I am able to write this book.
Gopala Bhatta Gosvami pacified Shrinivasa saying, "Do not cry, you have Narottama with you--you are like one in heart. I will forget my misery only if you write to me regularly about your mission. Be very careful on your journey." Shrinivasa Acarya then bed farewell, leaving Thakura Mahasaya alone with Gosvami. Narottama bowed to his feet and Gosvami said, "I have nothing to say to you Narottama. I know that all your desires have been fulfilled in Vrndavana. Stay with Shriknivasa always." Narottama offered his obeisances and left the kunja.
Shrinivasa and Narottama went to find Shri Jiva Gosvami, who was engaged in arranging the cart. He filled up the cart with the books hand written by Shri Rupa Gosvami and himself. He locked the chestin the presence of everyone and covered the cart with cloth. Shri Jiva gave the three their traveling allowances and warned them to be extremely careful. The cart moved slowly forward and reached the temple of Govinda. Shri Jiva prayed to the Deity for their safe journey and offered them the garlands and sadalwood paste of the Deities. The party and cart, accompanied by Shri Jiva Gosvami then moved on towards Mathura where they stayed for the night. Shri Jiva sent a Mahajana to the king to arrange for a passport. The following morning they began the journey. Whent the caravan reached the border of the country, Shri Jiva said goodbye; "Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the mine of all transcendental rasas, and Shri Rupa and Sanatana are His empowered representatives. Mahaprabhu manifested His love in these two bodies, and under His order they have written these books to propagte the message of devotional love throughout the world. Go quickly to the country of Mahaprabhu, may your journey be successful. You are both the life of my life, always remain together." Saying this he embraced Narottama and Shrinivasa, crying streams of tears. He then took hold of Syamananda's hand and said, "When you are back in your own country engage yourself wholeheartedly in the service of Krishna and the Vaishnavas, and propagate the message of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Do not worry, all will be well. You will get a number of disciples. Murari dasa, the son of Acyutananda has already decided to make you his guru." Shri Jiva placed Syamananda in Narottama's care and told him, "Instruct him in everything which I taught to you from Gaura Ganaddesa, Bhaktirasamrta Sindhu, and Ujjalanilamani. When he has completed these studies give him some money for traveling expenses and send him back to his home." The cart then began its long journey protected by ten armed Hindu guards. Shri Jiva Gosvami then returned to Vrndavana.
The caravan stopped at Agra for the night and continued on the following morning. The passport given by the king helped them to gain entrance to various places. In this way they gradually crossed Itarinagara. From there they decided to take the road to Jharikhanda. Leaving Magadesa on the left, they took the opposite direction, chosing the forest road for a peaceful journey. Upon reaching Tamluka they halted for the night.
Vira Hamvira, the king of Vishnupura was a wicked man who employed a band of dacoits to plunder innocent travelers. Upon hearing about Shrinivasa's caravan, he ordered his dacoits to secretly follow the carts at a distance, but not to do anything until they reached the king's village. Unsuspecting, the carts crossed Pancavati, Raghunathpura and then reached the village of Maliyada, where a man named Bhaoumika welcomed them to rest in his house.
Meanwhile, the dacoits, thinking that the carts were loaded with welath reported to the king, who inquired how many men were guarding the carts. They said that there were fifteen men, thus the king ordered them to take two hundred dacoits with them to rob the carts but requested them not to kill anyone.
The caravan reached the village of Gopalapura and stopped for the night. The dacoits took this opportunity to steathily approach and steal the carts. They happily took the carts to the king who was overjoyed. With great excitement he brought the carts into the palace and eagerly removed the covers and forced open the trunks. To his surprise he found only books. Completeing dissappointed and a bit frightened, the king asked the dacoits about the people who were carrying the trunks, and from were they had come. The king became even more frightened when he heard their reply. He king instructed them not to reveal this incident to anyone. He then carefully protected the carts in an inner room.
In the meantime Acarya Thakura, Thakura Mahasaya, and Syamananda searched frantically for the carts. In desperation they asked everyone if they had seen the stolen carts, but no one could help them in their search. Extremely disheartened they decided to send a letter to Jiva Gosvam and inform him of the disaster. With heavy hearts they enetered the village to collect some paper and a pen to write the letter. All the while Acarya Thakura and Thakura Mahasaya incessantly appealed to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Rupa and Sanatana for their guidance. They cried uncontrollably from some time, but eventually they began to think that there must be divine reason why the carts had been stolen. The dacoits had robbed them thinking that there was a great tresure in the carts, little did they know the actual value of the immense treasure which they now held in their possession. The writings of Krishnadasa Kaviraja, the books of Shri Rupa and Sanatana, the conversatikon between Raya Ramananda and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu were more precious then any mountains of gold and silver. Love for Radha Krishna is the most precious of all wealth. He who possesses such wealthy is the richest man in the three worlds. Shri Acarya thought that the person who had stolen the books, thinking them to be a great wealth, must probably had kept them in his house and would bow down his head to the religion of love. He thought that if the dacoit happened to be a king then surely the whole universe would get a share of the love. In this way Shri Acarya hoped for the best.
Meanwhile the messenger carrying the tragic news reached Mathura. The following day he delivered the letter to Jiva Gosvami in Vrndavana. Shri Jiva immediately reported the calamitous news to Lokanath Gosvami and Shri Gopal Bhatta Gosvami who were sick at heart when they heard the report of the messanger. When word reached Raghunath dasa and Krishnadasa Kaviraja they both fell on the ground crying relentlessly, Kaviraja called out to the Lord piteously, "Prabhu, we cannot understand You." At that time Kaviraja was extremely old and unable to walk. He was unable to bear this misery and thus departed from this world. When Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami hear the news he jumped into the Radha Kunda in despair. Raghunatha also cried helplessly and uttering the names of Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu, he also gave up his life. All of the Vaishnavas cried loudly, shouted out the names of the departed Gosvamis.
Meanwhile, Acarya Thakura, Thakura Mahasaya, and Shri Syamananda continued their desperate search for the precious books. One night Acarya Thakura said, "I think the two of you should return to your own countries. I shall go on searching for the stolen books. If I succed I shall immediately inform you and go to your places with armed guards. Tomorrow you should start your journey."
The next morning Thakura Mahasaya and Syamananda prepared to depart. Holding the hands of Narottama, Acarya Thakura cried, "If I do not recover the books I shall give up this worthless life."
Thakura Mahasaya and Syamananda travel together and eventually rushed the home town of Narottama. His jubilant parents rushed to greet him. Seeing their beloved son they rolled on the ground crying joyfully. All Narottama's relatives also came to see him and he bowed respectfully at their feet. Many brahmanas and friends eagerly greeted him. His parents happily took him home where he spent his days worshiping and meditating on Krishna. There Syamananda studied the scriptures under the guidance of Narottama Thakura. After ten days Syamananda bade farewell to Narottama who gave him some money for traveling as directed by Jiva Gosvami. The pain they both experienced when bidding farewell is indescribable.
In the meantime Acarya Thakura traveled from forest to forest, eventually arriving at Vishnupra. There he roamed through the village as a stranger, unknown by anyone, neither did he know anyone there. Fro ten days he wandered throughout the village, sometimes begging while at other times he lived simply by drinking water. One day while he was sitting under a tree, a brahmana boy came before him. Impressed by the young man's countenance, Acarya Thakura asked his name, to which he replied, "I am Krishna Vallava. I live here under the grace of the king." Acarya then inquired about the king, and the boy replied, "Our king is a wicked man who encourages dacoits to rob. His name is Vira Hamvira, just recently he robbed two carts of wealth, yet he is fond of listening to the Puranas from a brahmana Pandita. We, the subjects, are duty bound to attend the sessions." Acarya inquired as to whether he had learned anything, to which the brahmana replied that he had just completed the study of Vyakarana. Acarya then quizzed him on some aspects of grammar and went on to discuss various subjects with the young brahmana. The man was so impressed by Shri Acarya's knowledge that he immediately requested him to come to his house in the village of Deuli and become his teacher. Acarya agreed and went along with the brahmana to his house. Krishnavallaba welcomed his guest by washing his feet. Acarya then told that he would like to cook something for himself, and Krishnavallava immediately brought all the necessary items. Shri Acarya explained that he ate only boiled food and that he would like to collect the water himself. The youngman gave Acarya a water pot, and Shrinivasa brought water and cooked. After accepting prasad, Shri Acarya began to teach the young brahmana.
Everyday Krishnavallava went to the palace of the king and returned in the evening. In the evening Acarya asked him, "What did you learn today," to which he would replied, "Today I listened to the Bhagavata, but when the king went into the house I immediately returned here as I am much more eager to learn from you." Acarya then requested, "Tomorrow, please take me with you to your king."
Thus the following morning Krishnavallava and Shri Acarya went to the palace of the king. There Shrinivasa listened as the court Pandita, who was bereft of knowledge of the Bhagavata, explained that sacred text to the king. Unable to tolerate the Pandita's false presentation, Shri Acarya pointed out some mistakes in his explanations. The Pandita was deeply insulted and arrognatly addressed the king, "Who except I can explain the Bhagavata? This unknown brahmana is trying to interfer with my explanations." Turning to Shri Acarya he challenged him to compete in a debate. Shrinivasa gladly accepted the challenge and began to explain the Bhagavata in such a charming way that everyone present, including the king, was completed captivated. In the evening when the session came to an end, the Pandita was forced to admit defeat and fell at the feet of Shri Acarya asking for his mercy.
With great interest in the new-comer to his kingdom, the king inquired about Shrinivasa's identity. Upon hearing that he was Shrinivasa of Ganaddesa, the king paid his respects and requested Shri Acarya to remain in his kingdom.
That evening the king went to the house of Krishnavallava and invited Shri Acarya to have dinner in the palace. Shri Acarya declined, explaining, "I am accustomed to eating only onc in the day." But the king would not accept his refusal. Again and again he requested Shrinivasa to bless him with his company, until Shrinivasa agreed on the condition that he would he only uncooked food. Thus the king took him to the palace and happily offered him flat rice, milk, and sugar. Feeling fatigued, Shrinivasa returned to his home and sat on his bed praying intently to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu.
Meanwhile the king was unable to sleep. His mind was filled with thoughts of the exalted sadhu he had met that day. He pondered, how was it possible for a man to have such wonderful qualities and exalted devotion.
In the morning the king again went to meet Acarya, who welcomed him and offered him a seat saying, "I am most fortunate to see a king the first thing in the morning." The king humbly replied, "It is I who am fortunate. All sins can be washed away simply by glancing at you." Shri Acarya told the king that it was time for him to take his bath, and the king immediately took the opportunity to serve Shri Acarya and carried two earthen pots for his bath.
While Shrinivas bathed, the king asked his court Pandita, who had accompanied him, whether he could explain the discourse given by Shri Acarya the previous day. The Pandita admitted that the topics explained by Shrinivasa where far beyond his own understanding. The king then ordered the Pandita to serve Shri Acarya.
After Shrinivasa had bathed and eaten, the king requested him to read something. With a happy heart, Acarya began to read. The beauty of his recitation and the depth of realization in his commentary melted the heart of the king and he began to cry. Suddenly the king had a dream-like vision in which he was ordered to take refuge at the feet of Shrinivasa. When he asked where he could meet Shrinivasa, he was told that he was present in the king's palace. The king immediately repented for all the sins he had committed. Even the Pandita began to cry, as Shri Acarya sat silently. The king got up and bowed at the feet of Acarya asking, "Who are you? From where have you come?"
Acarya replied, "I am Shrinivasa, a disciple of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. In Vrndavana I was ordered by Shri Jiva Gosvami to carry the books of the Gosvamis from Vrndavana to Gaudadesa, where they could be pubblished and distributed. Thakura Mahasaya, Syamananda, and myself brought these precious books in two carts protected by armed guards. We traveled a long distance without any trouble, but in Gopalapura the books were stolen and I have not found any trace of them yet."
Understanding what had happened, the king said, "How fortunate my family is. Because the books were stolen, we have had the great fortune of meeting you. Who other than you could deliver a sinner like me?" Vira Hamvira then admitted that it was he who had stolen the books, and began to cry helplessly, rolling on the ground.
Hearing the remarkable admission of the king, Shrinivasa jumped for joy. With tears in his eyes, Shri Acarya asked, "Where have you kept the books?" The king immediately brought him to the room where the books were hidden. At once, Shri Acarya fell on the ground prostrate in front of the books, while the king held the feet of Acarya, crying.
Shrinivasa went to take a bath then returned and ordered to king to bring flower garlands, Tulasi, and sandalwood paste for worshiping the books. Vira Hamvira quickly brought the necessary ingredients. Shri Acaarya sat on a new seat and ordered the king to take a bath. After bathing, Shrinivasa ordered the king to take a seat near him. Shri Acarya then chanted the Hare Krishna maha mantra name into the ear of the king. He had the king touch the books, then placed a garland around the neck of the king. Vira Hamvira then called his Pandita and ordered him to render service to Shrinivasa Acarya. The Pandita humbly bowed before Acarya, who asked his name. "People call me Vidya guru Vyasa," he replied. "Please allow me to be your servant." Shrinivasa then recited the holy name into the ear of the Pandita, who cried and fell at Acarya's feet. Shrinivasa personally marked the forehead of the Pandita with tilak and placed his foot on the head of the brahmana. Seeing all this, the king was unable to check his tears.
On the third day of the solar eclipse, Shrinivasa gave mantra diksa to the king, naming him Haricarana dasa, and also taught him from the books of Shri Rupa Gosvami. The king then requested Acarya to remain in his kingdom and he agreed to do so. Shrinivasa also taught Shri Vyasa Acarya Pandita the Bhagavata and o ther books by Shri Rupa.
After some time Shrinivasa told the king, "Vyasa has studied the sastra under my guidance. He should now be reinstated as the court Pandita and you should listen to the scriptures jfrom him. From now on he will be known as Shri Vyasa Acarya." The king happily agreed to this proposal.
Shri Acarya then instructed, "O king, please send a man with all traveling expenses to the village of Khetari of Gaderahata to inform Narottama dasa that the books of the Gosvamis have been found. He is spending his days there in utter misery thinking that the books are lost." The king immediately arranged to send a man, and Shri Acarya sent a letter for Narottama along with him. When the messenger departed the king requested Acarya to tell him about Narottama.
Shrinivasa replied, "I met him in Vrndavana and we traveled together carrying the books of the Gosvamis. When the books were stolen by your men, he overwhelmed with grief and returned to his home. He is still in misery due to not getting any information from me. Although Narottama is the son of Krishnadasa Raya, the Zamindara of Gaderahata, from his youth he showed signs of complete detachment from material pleasures. As soon as he was able, he left home and went to Vrndavana where he took shelter at the feet of Lokanath Gosvami. The name Narottama was given by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. I am unable to describe the exalted devotion of Narottama. In Vrndavana he was awarded the title Thakura Mahasya." Hearing this, the king expressed his eagerness jto meet Narottama. To which Shrinivasa replied, "I do not know when I shall get his darshan. There is no better devotee of Krishna then Narottama. He is my dearmost friend."
Meanwhile the two messengers reached Khetari and Thakura Mahasaya asked who had sent them. When he heard that they were send from Vishnupur by Shrinivasa Acarya, Narottama eagerly took the letter and was greatly relieved to read its contents. Tears of happiness flowed profusely from his eyes. He joyfully announced everwhere that the books had been found by Acarya Thakura, and ordered the musicians to begin playing their instruments in celebration. Five days after receiving the wonderful news, he wrote a leter to Shri Acarya and sent the messengers back after giving them money for travel expenses.
Upon receiving Narottama's reply, Shrinivasa was filled with emotion and began to cry, feeling intense separation from Thakura Mahasaya. Acarya read the letter aloud to the king and remarked, "When will I again see my dear friend Narottama?"
One day Acarya announed to the king, "I must go to Rarhadasa where my mother is living alone. I am eager to see her again." The king offered to send Vyasacarya and Krishnavallava, along with some other men, to accompany him on his journey. He also offered Shrinivasa many gifts. Thua Shrinivasa went to Rarha taking the books along with him.
Four days later Shrinivasa reached Yajigrama and went to the house of his mother, who did not recognize her beloved son. When he told his mother that he was Shrinivasa, she began to cry holding his hands. Shri Acarya stayed for some days with his mother, expalining all that had happened to him in his travels.
Now I shall tell you another beautiful story. In a large village called Teliavudhari, situated on the bank of the Padmavati, lived two brothers named Ramacandra and Govinda. They were both scholars born in a Vaidya family. Ramacandra had heard of the glories ot Acarya Thakura and was very eager to meet him. Thus he started out for Vishnupura, accompanied by a servant. On the way he reached Katoya where he heard more reports about Acarya Thakura. Someone explained that he had come from Vrndavana, someone else said that he was living in Vishnupura. Others remarked that there was no scholar like him anywhere. He was also informed that Shri Acarya was presently visiting his mother in Yajigrama. When he asked for directions to Yajigrama he found at that it was only one mile away. Thus he quickly headed towards Yajigrama, but upon arrival he was informed that Shri Acarya had just left for Shri Khanda that morning. I shall continue this story later. Being faithful to the feet of Shri Jahnava and Shri Viracandra, I, Nityananda dasa narrate Prem Vilasa.