|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Nityananda dasa > Prema Vilasa > CHAPTER 17|
All glories to Shri Krishna Chaitanya the embodiment of love. All glories to the king hearted Nityananda Prabhu. All glories to Advaitacandra, the king of the devotees and the main instrument in carrying out the mission of Mahaprabhu. All glories to the Gauranga's dear devotee, Shrinivasa, who is the abode of good qualities. All glories to Narottama dasa Thakura, the possessor of love for the Lord. These two illustrious personalities, Shrinivasa and Narottama, have come to Gauda to carry out the orders of Shri Gaurachandra.
One day one Vaishnava from Gauda came to visit Shri Jiva Gosvami in Vrndavana. Gosvami eagerly begged for news of the devotees in Gauda. He particularly inquired about Shrinivasa and Narottama, and listened happily as the devotee described their activities: "I heard about Shrinivasa and Narottama from many Vaishnavas and I also saw them both with my own eyes. King Hamvira of Vishnupura received the blessings of Shri Acarya Thakura, and Thakura Mahasaya lives in Khetari. Everyone there says that there is no one in this world who serves the Vaishnavas so sincerely as Thakura Mahasaya. His love and sincerity has maddened the residents there and the entire country has become socked with the nectarine juice of divine love. Ramacandra has also joined Narottama in Khetari. Shri Acarya Thakura often visits Khetari, while at other times he travels between Vishnupura, Bhudari, and Yajigrama. (cannot follow the next paragraph)--Acarya Thakura once visited Khetari while on his way to Vrndavana. He visited the place of Lokanath and became very glad to meet him. When Gosvami heard about the coming of Narottama he became very glad and also satisified to see the sincere devotion of Narottama. Acarya Thakura told Lokanath that everything had been possible due to his favor to Narottama and out of ecstatic joy the two Gosvamis began to cry. Gopala Bhatta also heard about Narottama and said the same thing which Acarya had told Lokanath.(???)
Around that time many Vaishnavas planned a trip to Gauda hoping to also visit the temple of Lord Jagannatha. Krishnadasa, the disciple of Pujari Thakura and renowned for his exalted qualities, and Ramadasa, the disciple of Bhugarba Thakura, stayed in Vrndavana and decided to take the trip to Gauda. At the time of their departure, all the Gosvamis told them many things which were on their minds. Lokanath Gosvami said, "Tell Narottama to execute his devotional service with the utmost care, and tell him that I am always desirous of his well being."
In a sad voice Shri Jiva Gosvami said, "I am so sorry that I have not been able to see Thakura Mahasaya for so long. The tree of love grew up in Vrndavana and has begun to give fruit in Khetari. The land of Khetari has now become to most furtile land for cultivation of love of Godhead. People from all parts of the country can now fill their bags with the unlimited supply of Narottama's love. Tell Narottama that Shri Jiva send his loving embrace to him. You should also tell him that my eyes have become like that of a blind man--not having had the opportunity to see his face. Upon reaching there you must request him for some food. And do not hesitate to convey my heartiest greetings to Shri Acarya. From there you should go to the South and tell Syamananda that I send my best wishes to him. Tell him to follow his devotional practices with the utmost strictness and to serve the Vaishnavas with great care."
Bhatta Gosvami said, "Convey my good wishes and embrace Narottama warmly for me. Also give my blessings to Shrinivasa and Ramacandra and tell them that I am eager to see them again. We will be waiting to here your report of everything upon your return."
The Vaishnava assured them all that he would convey their messages and return with news of Gauda. After traveling for sometimes the Vaishnava became a little worried that he would not be able to find Gaderhat. But by inquiring from the people of the area he eventually found the correct path and happily arrived in Gaderhat. There he observed a wonderful scene; all the people were engaged in singing Harinama. He noticed that there were two Vaishnavas sitting in humbly in the midst of the devotees and their feet were being washed. After some time the Vaishnava inquired and found out that the two devotees were Narottama and Ramacandra Kaviraja. Thus the devotee approached and gave the messages of the Vrndavana Gosvamis. Narottama and Ramacandra fell to the ground with joy bowed spontaneously at the remembrace of their divine masters. Ramacandra and Narottama tearfully offered prayers in glorification of their gurus. After accepting some prasad the devotee from Vraja took his. After some time Shrinivasa and Narottama informed the priest of the temple that they would take prasad. Thus the priest prepared the bhoga and offered it to Lord Gauranga. He then arranged two seats and requested them to take prasada. ??????? The two Vaishnavas were very awkward but did not dare disobey the orders of Shri Jiva (?). They sat to eat and told Narottama and Ramacandra to sit with them. They asked the priest to serve them rice, vegetables, kshira, curd, etc, and they happily ate. After finishing their meal they washed their mouths and requested Narottama and Ramacandra to bid them farewell. Reluctantly to let them go, Narottama and Ramacandra requested them to stay the night saying that they could cross the Padmavati the next day. Actually they had something on their minds which they wanted to discuss with the two Vaishnavas. Thus Narottama spoke, "How is my beloved guru Maharaja? Where is he now? I am such a rascal, although I do not remember him, he remembers me with great affection." Saying this Narottama began to cry, "O I have become like dry wood as I have ignored my spiritual master and remained in the well of worldly attractions. O my Prabhu Lokanath, you are my life." He also repented remembering Shri Jiva Gosvami; "O Prabhu, you gave me so much mercy. I do not know why you are so kind to me."
Ramacandra inquired, "How is it that Shri Rupa Gosvami still remembers me? There is no one as sinful as me in this world, when shall I get a chance to see his lotus feet again."
Crying profusely Thakura Mahasaya asked, "Tell me how is Shri Bhatta Gosvami who previously gave me many invaluable instructions." Hearing Narottama and Ramacandra lamenting in this way, the two Vaishnavas decided to stay there for the night.
That night Lord Chaitanya appeared to Narottama in a dream and said, "Shri Jiva Gosvami has sent these two persons here only to feel your pulse. ???You know I would eat food through the eating of the Vaishnavas. But I undersatand why you h ave offered me food for the second time. I know it is the daily practise of your only to show repsect to the customs of the sastras."???
In the morning the two Vaishnavas asked Narottama and Ramacandra where Shrinivasa Acarya was, and they explained that he only a few days ago he had gone to Rarha and could probably be found now in Yajigrama. The devotees then took their leave, bowing at Narottama and Ramacandra's feet. When the two devotees reached the outskirts of the village they again bowed at the memory of the two exalted Gosvamis, remarking, "We have never seen such sincere disciples who have such respect for their guru and dedication to the service of the Vaishnavas. Now I understand that Gosvami sent us here for our own purification. In life or death we pray that we may always remember the lotus feet of these two great devotees." In this way they traveled continually chanting the glories of Narottama and Ramacandra. Upon reaching Katwa they took darsana of the deity of Mahaprabhu, then continued on towards Yajigrama.
In Yajigrama they immediately went to the place where Shrinivasa Acarya was resting on a beautiful seat. When they bowed at his feet he asked where they had come from. When he heard that they were from Vrndavana, Shrinivasa quickly got up from his seat and bowed in memory of Vrndavana. When the devotees conveyed the message of Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Shri Acarya offered his prostrate obeisances at the memory of his guru saying, "Prabhu has send me his blessings knowing that I have sunk into the well of worldly attractions." After crying for sometime he listened to the other messages sent from Vraja. Everyone present began to weep upon hearing Shri Jiva's Gosvamis message. Crying, Shri Acarya said, "He is my master, there is no one like him in all the three worlds. How kind he is to send me his blessings." In this way he went on glorifying the Gosvamis of Vrndavana.
The following morning took their leave after receiving permission permission from Shrinivasa to go to Purusottama. Along the way to Puri they meditated upon the mercy they had received from these exalted souls. "We were sent here to purify our proud minds," they thought. We have never seen or heard of such humility. Even in the sastra we have not read about anyone who has practised such strict religious practices. "
As they traveled soutward, they were pleasantly surprised to note that many of the inhabitants of the area were engaged in the worship of Krishna. One day they came across an assembly of Vaishnavas and asked whose disciple they were. The devotees explained that they had all received the blessings of Syamananda. The two devotees then explained that they had come from Vrndavana with a message for Shri Syamananda and were eager to me him. Thus the disciples of Syamananda took the two Vaishnavas to the home of Syamananda where they were warmly received by the people of the village.
When the two Vaishnavas arrived at his place, Syamananda respectfully got up to greet them. Murari dasa, one of the disciples of Syamananda, immeidately brought a water pot and with the utmost care and respect, bathed the feet of his spiritual master. Syamananda then asked who the two devotees were and where they had come from. The Vaishnavas explained there mission and conveyed the blessings of Shri Jiva Gosvami upon him. Hearing this Syamananda began to lament, "Who on this earth is as worthless as me. Engrossed in useless activities I have forgotten the feet of Shri Jiva, yet he is so kind that he remembers me and even sends his blessings." Syamananda and Murari both began to cry falling on the ground.
That night the two Vaishnavas spoke together, remarking that they had never seen such a devotee like Syamananda or such a disciple as Murari. "It is certainly the earth's good fortune that a wonderful devotee like Syamananda has taken birth here." While discussing the two Vaishnavas decided to return to Vrndavana rather than go on to Kshetra.
In the morning when the two devotees revealed their plan, both Syamananda and Murari bowed at their feet and requested them to stay for a few more days. But the two Vaishnavas humbly expressed their desire to leave for Vrndavana. Thus Syamananda gaved them one hundred coins for the journey and asked that they convey his worthless respects at the merciful feet of Shri Jiva Gosvami. The two Vaishnavas bid farewell feeling great admiration for Syamananda and Murari, who served the Vaishnavas with great devotion.
In the month of Pausa, Acarya came to Yajigrama as he had heard that his mother in poor health. Upon reaching there he found that was seriously ill. In the month of Magha
after his mother's death, he desired to hold a festival in her honor. Thus Shrinivasa began to make preparations; he sent a letter of invitation to the king of Vishnupura, who sent many items for the festival.
After the time of the festival many Mahanats, Adhikaris, and Vaishnavas came to participate in the ceremony. At that time Raghunandana and Sulachana Thakura of Khanda requested Shrinivasa Acarya to accept a wife. Acarya protested asking how he could marry without the permisssion of his spiritual master. But Raghunandana explained that a disciple's only fear is in disobeying the order of his guru, but there is certainly nothing wrong in marrying. Eventually Shri Acarya was convinced and gave his consent. In the meantime the ceremony came to a close and all the invitees returned to their homes.
Sulochana and Raghunandana then took the initiative to find a bride for Shrinivasa. For this purpose one brahmana was engaged to search out a suitable match. The brahmana went to the house of Gopaladasa of Yajigrama and stated that Shrinivasa Acarya would make a suitable bridegroom for his daughter. Gopaladasa consulted with his younger brother Vrndavana who gave his consent to the marriage proposal. Thus on the auspicous day of Tritiya in the month of Vaisakha the marriage took place.
The bride's two brothers, Syamadasa and Ramacarana, studied under Shri Acarya, who had many disciples. Sometimes Acarya stayed in Vishnupura, and at other times he visited Khetari or Bhudari.
In the village of Gopalapura in Rarha there lived a brahmana named Raghu Chakravarti. He had a beautiful daughter adorned with all good qualities. One day she told her father of her desire to marry Shrinivasa Acarya. Her father immediately went to the Acarya and expressed his hope that he would accept his daughter in marriage. Acarya happily accepted the proposal and married the beautiful Padmavati. He took her took his house in Vishnupura where she established a sweet relationship with the first wife of Acarya. Padmavti sometimes visited Yagigrama. By the time she was twenty-five she was still without issue. The first wife of Shri Acarya who was also desirous of having a son, consulted an astrologer and was told that she would soon give birth to a son.
One day the son of Nityananda Prabhu, Viracandra, paid a visit to the king who felt greatly fortunate to have such an exalted guest and welcomed him warmly. He served him food and looked after him with great care. Having heard about Viracandra's arrival, Acarya Thakura quickly came to meet him. Acarya fell flat on the ground before the son of Nityananda Prabhu, then they embraced each other affectionately. The king watched this scene wondering within himself who on the earth could be more beautiful than Viracandra prabhu. Being the son of Nityananda Prabhu he was naturally extremely attractive.
Shrinivasa brought Viracandra to his home, where the family members considered themselves most fortunate to have such a guest. They quickly busied themselves preparing foodstuff and offered him many different types of sweets. Acarya asked Gosvami if he would like to cook for himself, but he requested that Shrinivasa's second wife prepare something for him.
Acarya went into the house and ordered his second wife to cook for Gosvami. She was very happy to have the opportunity to serve the Gosvami and prepared many varieties of food. She arranged all kinds of sweets and fruits, then kAcarya informed Gosvami that the food was ready and requested him to take his seat. Viracandra sat down and requested Shri Acarya to sit on his right side. The wives of Acarya carefully served them prasada and they happily ate everything. Acarya was then requested to tell them something about Krishna. Submitting to their request, Shrinivasa began to sing Gaura lila to Gosvami who at once stopped eating and began to float in an ocean of joy. After washing his mouth, Viracandra took his seat and someone offered im betel leaf. The two wives of Acarya brought garlands, flowers and sandalwood paste and offered them to Gosvami. Thakurani smeared sandalwood paste on the body of Gosvami and placed a garland on his neck saying, "I am the most fortunate woman as Prabhu Viracandra has come to our house."
With his own hands Gosvami placed a garland on the neck of Acarya and smeared sandalwood paste on his body. Gosvami then asked Acarya about his wives, noting that the second wife was named Padma. Viracandra then inquired about their childrenm, and Shrinivasa replied, "We have no children. But if you show us your mercy, I'm sure we will be blessed with a son with your features and strength. In any case I will happily accept what the Lord sends, whether physically handicapped or not."
Viracandra smilingly said, "Lusten to me Acarya, you will soon have a son who will honor your family. From today Padma will be called Gauranga Priya and she will get a beautiful son." Saying this Viracandra gave his chewed betel leaf to Gauranga Priya and while holding her hand transferred his own power into her. She ate the betel leaf and bowed to him falling prostrate on the ground.
The next day Viracandra took his leave of the Acarya who offered him a golden coin, a new piece of cloth, and a pair of silk loin cloth. Ten days after this incident Padmavati became pregnant. Two months later all the inhabitants of the place came to hear of the news and ten months later she had a beautiful son. The parents were very happy and Acarya sent a message to Gosvami announcing the birth of his son.
Two months later Viracandra Gosvami came to Vishnupura and visited the house of Shrinivasa Acarya, which became transformed into the abode of happiness due to his presence there. Shrinivasa happily served Gosvami in various ways. On an auspicious day Gosvami gave Harinama into the ears of the child. After six months, the rice eating ceremony (Anna Prasana) took place. Then the ceremony of tying the sacred thread took place. The child walked with his right leg curved and his features were as beautiful as Cupid. Gosvami named the child Govindagati.
When the child was thirteen years old, Shrinivasa invisted Gosvami to his house and with his help performed the initiation ceremony of his son. Gosvami told Acarya, "Govindagati is my favorite, I shall be very happy if you give your son initiation. You are empowered by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and I by Nityananda Prabhu, thus you and I are the same. Anyone who does not accept this will never get the favor of Shri Chaitanya." Hearing this from Gosvami, Shrinivasa became ecstatic with divine love. Gosvami embraced Acarya and told him to call in an astrologer to calculate an auspicious time for the boy's initiation.
Shrinivasa called on an astrolger who selected an auspicous date. When the appropriate time arrived Acarya gathered many items and asked his son to sit on his left side and gave him initiation. After being initiated the boy came out of the room and fell prostrate on the ground at the feet of Gosvami who blessed him with a long life. Acarya then held a grand festival and concluded it by bowing humbly at the feet of Viracandra Gosvami.
On the eve of Gosvami's leaving, Acarya gave him many gifts. Greatly satisfied Viracandra blessed Acarya saying, "You will have many disciples who will be just like sons." Gosvami then took his leave.
Thereafter Shrinivasa began to teach his son. Due to the favor of Viracandra and the powerful initiation by Shri Acarya, the boy gradually became very spirited and a versatile genius. The other sons of Acarya were also highly qualified. By the mercy of Jahnava Thakurani I am able to describe all these topics. Now, dear readers, listen to the glories of Narottama dasa Thakura. After returning to his own country Thakura Mahasaya absorbed himself in intensely serving Gauranga, Bhallavi Kanta, Krishna Raya, Vraja Mohana, Shri Radha Ramana and Radha Kanta. The sincerity of the brahmanas and Vaisanvas who assisted Thakura Mahasaya in his service is also beyond description. Some of them decorated the deities gorgeously, others cooked for their Lordships, and others prepared twenty-five sears of boiled Atap rice daily. Many varieites of vegetable curries, sweets, ksira made with curd, sugar, milk and ghee were also prepared. Everything was prepared with the utmost sanctity and purity. The cooks were even accustomed to covering their mouths until they had completed the cooking. Arati was performed five times a day, and betel leaves and kesturi perfume (musk) was also regularly offered to the deities.
I shall now describe the festivals performed by Thakura Mahasya throughout the year. He celebrated the appearance day of Shrimati Radharani with great pomp, as well as the appearance of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. He also made special arrangements for worshiping his spiritual master on the occasion of his birthday. All of these days were celebrated by the performance of sankirtan throughout the entire day with many Vaishnavas participating. In the evening they enjoyed taking prasada together. Such festivals, headed by Thakura Mahasaya, were saturated with loving devotion to Krishna. Thus Thakura Mahsaya's fame spread far and wide. I am incapable of fully describing Narottama's quialities, yet due to the order of my guru, as well as for my own purification, I am attempt to glorify the great Vaishnava, Tahkura Mahasaya.
Ramacandra and Thakura Mahasaya were such good friends that they ate, slept, and bathed together. Although in separate bodies, they were one in spirit. They slept for only four hours a night and left their beds early in the morning to perform the arati ceremony before the deity of Lord Gauranga. After offering respects to the deity, they would go inside the house and perform their usual morning duties ; clean their teeth, take bath, etc. After taking bath they sat in their cottage and marked their bodies with tilak. Thereafter, they circumamulated the temple five times, and offered water to the tulasi tree. Then they busied themselves in preparing bhoga for the deities. For this purpose they gathered all varieties of first-class ingredients for cooking. They did not speak a work when worshipping, they simply chanting the holy name softly. After the deities had eaten, Narottama and Ramacandra watched the arati ceremony. Afterwards they took prasad along with all the other Vaishnavas. While accepting prasad, they discussed Krishna with great emotion and then directed the servants to clean the eating place. Thakura Mahasaya ordered his disciples not to touch the leaf plate which he had eaten on. After washing his mouth he used to take a myro balan (Haritaki), whikle Kaviraja was in the habit of chewing betwel leaves. Thereafter they sat together and happily discussed the Bhagavata. At other times they would remain silent for some time. They also chanted one lakh of holy names daily. In the evening they observed the arati ceremony and danced ecstaticlly in the kirtana before the deity. They were very strict about observing the day of the full moon by singing and dancing in kirtana throughout the entire night.
Kaviraja's house stayed in her home and her day to day expenses were borne by Mahasaya. She had one servant and two maid servants but no children. One day she a thought came to her mind and she wrote a letter to Mahasaya saying, "I want to meet Kaviraja just once and then I will not call him again. Please send him to see me if it is possible."
One day while they were sitting discusssing topics about Krishna, Thakura Mahasaya told Ramacandra to go to his house just once, but Kaviraja did not pay any attention to him. Again on another day he told Ramacandra, "It is my wish that you should go once to your house. You can immediately return in the morning." In the afternoon of that day after taking prasada, Ramacandra went to his house feeling very depressed at being seperated from Thakura Mahasaya. Narottama was also sad without the company of Ramacandra and remained silent throughout the rest of the day.
While on his way home Kaviraja began to think about many things. Within his mind he rebelled at the thought of spending the night in his home but he could not return as he had made a promise to Thakura Mahasaya. Knowing that he would find no joy in his house he stopped along the way for the night and in the morning he returned to Kehtari. There he entered the Rasamandala where he found that the arati ceremony had already began. Kaviraja began to clean the place with a broom.
In the meantime Thakura Mahasaya came out of his room and saw Kaviraja from the corner of his eye. Kaviraja, however, did not see him and continued to sweep happily. When Kaviraja realised that Thakura Mahasaya was there he began to hit his back with the broom. Not being able to bear this Narottama placed his hands on his won back telling Kaviraja to stop it saying that he could feel the pain on his own back. How can I describe what took place at that moment? The back of Thakura Mahasaya began to swell. He then placed his hand on the back of Kaviraja and the two of them cried while embracing each other. Only Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could understand the depth of love between Narottama and Ramacadnra.
Just as Narottama and Ramacandra were intimate associates, similarly Ramakrishna and Harirama were the best of friends. One day while Harirama and Ramakrishna were strolling along the path discussing topics related to Krishna, one Kulin brahmana named Ganganarayana Chakravarti began to criticize them stating that brahmanas were certainly superior to Vaishnavas. A heated debate inssued in which Harirama and Ramakrishna presented the opposite view citing references from sastra to back up their statements. Ramakrishna explained, "Even though one may be born in a brahmana family if he does not undersatnd that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then he is certainly a sinner." Ganganarayana, however, stuck to his position. After some time Ramakrishna and Harirama said, "O Chakravarti, listen to us. You should know that in this Kali yuga the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya appeared, along with His companions, to spred love of God throughout the universe. He is the brahmana who has delivered all of the brahmanas. Mahaprabhu has saved many fallen souls, although we two have not received His mercy. But there is still hope as there are two persons, one in Gaderahat and the other in Khetari, who are the embodiments of the mercy of Shri Krishna Chaitanya Himself." They began spontaneously glorifying those two exalted persons and became overwhelmed with ecstatic love while doing so. Observing their transcendental state, Ganganarayana was stunned. He thought for a long time, then politely addressed the two brahmans, "It is very good that you have explained all of this to me. Now please come to my house and we shall carry on with our discussion. I want to clearly understand whether you or I am wrong."
Ganganarayana escorted them to his house and offered them something to eat. Thereafter they sat down any discussed various topics throughout the evening. The conclusion of their discussion was that without attaining the the lotus feet of Krishna, there is no way of salvation for a brahmana. Caste, sastra, meditation, etc. are all of no use if a person does not develop his devotion for the Supreme Lord. A brahmana must accept a pure devotee as his spiritual master and follow him with the utmost sincerity, then only can he attain perfection. After hearing all these statements Ganganaraya's heart changed and he begged, "Oh my brothers, please take me into your confidence and save me from sin. Now my eyes have been opened to the real truth." In this way Ganganarayana began to lament miserably.
Pacifying him Ramakrishna and Harirama said, "Listen to us, you must now find a real guru and take refuge at his feet. Then you will be directed on the proper path."
The following morning the three started off to find Thakura Mahasaya. Along the way Ganganarayana was filled anxiety, "How can a owrthless person like myself obtain the mercy of such a great soul as Thakura Mahasaya," he thought. Thinking in this way, they entered Khetari and headed for the house of Thakura Mahasaya.
Upon entering the house they first took darsana of the deity of Gauranga. Ramakrishna and Harirama then told Ganganarayana to wait in a secluded place and both of them went to see Shri Thakura Mahasaya and bowed at his feet. Thakura asked about their well being and from where they had come. After some discussion they humbly requested Thakura if he would see someone who was eagerly waiting to meet him. Narottama asked, "What is his name and for what purpose has he come here? They replied, "He has come only to see your gracious feet." Thakura then said, "Go and bring him here."
Ramakrishna went to find Ganganarayana, who was standing before the deity of Mahaprabhu drinking in His divine beauty. When Ganganarayana was brought before Narottama, he immediately began to cry helplessly, "There is no one as worthless as me," he cried, "Throughout my entire life I never tried to serve the feet of the Lord, and I am quilty of performing so many sinful deeds. How can I possibly obtain your mercy?"
As Ganganarayana bowed at his feet, Thakura Mahasaya placed his hand on Ganganarayana's head and said, "You will receive the mercy from my beloved guru Maharaja, Lokanatha Gosvami."
Hearing this Ganganarayana, jumped up and ran over to Harirama and Ramakrishna. He fell at their feet and both of them embraced him affectionately. Overcome with emotion Ganganaraya said, "It is due to the kindness of both of you that I have had the good fortune to meet Thakura Mahasaya."
Meahwhile Ramacandra Kaviraja arrived there and bowed at the feet of Thakura Mahasaya. He was as dear as life to Thakura and thus he showered his blessings upon him.
Later, Ramakrishna, Harirama, and Ganagnarayana took initiation from Thakura Mahasaya and received the Radha Krishna mantra. Mahasaya instructed about the various practices of devotional service. Ramakrishna was endowed with strong devotional qualities. He thoroughly studied the sastra and made very rapid progress in his spiritual life.
(I didn't bother working on the rest of the chapter as it is too unclear)
I will now tell abour Haricandra Raya who came one day to meet Thakur Mahasay. He had been a very wicked person but by the favor of Thakur Mahasaya he became a changed person. The landlord of Jalapantha was a very influenctial man but of no good qualities. Due to the favor of Thakur Mahasaya, that landlord became a highly devotional person and completely surrended to the feet of his guru. He had been very sincere in his worship and a man of humble disposition. He used to serve the Vaishnavas with utmost care. One day he came to that place to pay homage to Thakur Mahasaya. He offered not only trife things but also his everything to the feet of Thakur Mahasaya. Then Hari, Ramkrishna and Ganganarayana said humbly to Prabhu, "please direct us as to how we can carry on in our worship. How we can get the feet of Radha Krishna." Thakur told them, "listen to me carefully, sit by my side. According to Shri Rupa, you should follow the religious method as practised by Mahaprabhu. There are many types and methods of religion to be followed by others. He used to put stress on sincere devotion instead of doing activities. He thinks by giving up efforts of activities, mankind can obtain the favor of Krishna. The human beign should keep in mind that serving Krishna is the only way to get Him. Household life is always dealt with by various types f duties and activities and in it mankind is also bound by material love and attractions. His advice is to give up family life. You know it is the method of worship and meditation. All the material duties related to household life are of no use. You should keep yourself away from family life and absorb in religion. Wise persons and accomplished saints used to follow the same way. You should be undaunted in performing your religious duties. For this purpose has given two processes which you should follow strictly. Now listen to what are the proofs of the sayings according to Shri Rupa. The real essnce of religion lies in simple things. Chaitanya has empowered Nityananda. Advaita and other associates are the most favorite followers of Prabhu. All of these have taken Prabhu as the only God. I am also a worthless person but I cannot completely rely on the feet of my guru. Advaita, Sanatana and others are the only life to me and so also Lokenath Bhatta and his brother. This is all I can tell you as I know nothing else besides this. I am not afraid of anybody as I have my guru with me."
They asked him, "if we want to remain in family life, do we have to avoid some duties such as performing the sraddha ceremony of relatives, meeting the loans made by a mother or father. In these cases what should we do?" Thakur said, "Shri Rupa has given some ways to get out of this. But first of all listen to what the scriptures say." In this way he explained some of the meaning of some of the hymns from other scriptures. They bowed at the feet of Prabhu and asked, "are there many problems in family life, how can we save ourselves from all these difficulties." Kaviraja replied, "O my dear friends, he who can discard all these difficulties by remianing indifferent can save devotion out of all these trifle matters. One should everyday pray to God for the fulfillment of his accomplishments. The perfection in sincere devotion becomes possible for one who can discard the attractions of this material world and trifle activities. If one tries to do any action which is against devotional methods, one should be guilty of breaking the rules of the scriptures."
Kaviraja after bowing to his feet said again, "worship of Krishna is not always advised to be done, even in the lives of the ladies of Vraja there has been proof of it. He who remains unmoved even in such circumstances is known as the greatest devotee of all. He who can remain indifferent to family life and serve the Vaishnavas and worship Krishna can attain the happiness of Vrndavana after his death. Heaven and Vrndavana are all the same. If someone tries to disobey the order of Guru and follow the rules of the scriptures only, it seems that he is afraid of being guilty of violating the rules of the Shastras. But if one's guru is with one always then what harm can the Shastras do to one." In reply to all these questions Thakur Mahasaya that day explained Shri Rupa's book Prema Bhakti Candrika.
In this book the sentiments of devotion has been clearly explained. For the good of his disciples Thakur Mahasaya had preached the theories of Shri Rupa everywhere. Again Shri Kaviraja said to them, "listen to me as to what is the method of worship. It is the advise of Shri Rupa which he himslef has practised that we should make numerous disciples." All the sayings of Shri Rupa in his book cannot be grasped by anyone who has not got a real guru. It is the advise of Shri Rupa to always avoid the company and contact of talking to such persons, even avoid eating with them and sever all realations with them. The pride of class, clan or wealth is always against the method of devotion. The guru himself should follow religion and teach his disciples to do the same. The diverse is always to be regarded as faults. THe Shastras, sayings of saintly persons and the words of the guru should be taken as the same in body, mind and words."
Kaviraja again making himself humble asked Thakur Mahasaya, "it is a very stiff and difficult method to be practised but if I can get your favor I may be able to accomplish it. I know that the word of the guru is final but what can I do is any questions arise in me about the real method of worship. Please explain to me as to what a Vaishnava should do in connection with religious practises?" Thakur Mahasaya said, "enjoy and remember the sports of Krishna with a pure mind and body. Try to treat your guru as a confidant. All the confidants of Krishna would treat him differntly, so you should discuss with your guru. Try to think of yourself as one of the members of the family of confidants. Try to be a sincere servant always remianing with your guru. The method of serving Krishna are of various kinds. Sometimes try to serve and sometimes only try to observe the serving of others. The confidants used to serve Krishna by fannign him or offering perfumes of Kasturi and saffron. But always try to serve guru int he kunja (grove). You should go with your guru wherever he wishes to go. This type of sincerity is called Parakiya. If you please your guru, you can please Prabhu."
Kaviraja asked, "what is meant by Swakiya sincerity?" Thakur Mahasaya replied with a smile, "Krishna's love for Radhika is Parakiya but the attraction here is more stronger than anything. It has been explained in the book Rasa Lila. The place where Radha Krishna used to sport always is the most holy place where meeting and separation are both eternal." Kaviraj said, "please explain to me what the time limit in this sphere." Thakur Mahasay said, "it is of two kinds namely gross (sthula) and subtle (sukhma). Shri Rupa and Raghunath have given there opinions in this connection. Some say Astakala and some otherwise (Astakala literally means eight divisions of time or eight incarnation or eight births). I have heard from my guru that Panchakala had been the high time of Radha and her confidants. Try to keep this opinion in your mind. Try to be a sincere servant instead of mixing with undesired persons." After saying so much Thakur Mahasay gave all of them the holy hymns to be worshipped silently. He told everyone that his accomplishments would depend how on much sincerity he was applying in following the principles of serving Prabhu. Kaviraj asked, "then what is the normal method?" Thakur Mahasaya said, "what Shri Krishna Chaitanya had said formerly is all the same as what Shri Rupa has said. Gosvami's opinion is to practise religious formalities lawfully (Vaidiraga Sadhana) which the wise people always used to keep in their minds. Not realising it fully many persons used to speak in different ways. The worship of the body only depends on complete reliance on the gracious feet of the guru. One should worship the three i.e. Krishna, guru and the Vaishnavas in one's Bhavamaya Deha. All parts of the body can be employed in worshipping and getting Krishna. This is called Raganuga Bhakti. By following this type of Bhakti, the gross and subtle, both bodies can attain accomplishments. If the body is devotionless, then accomplishment is nil in that case. Gosvami says that accomplished bodies always remain invisible. The Harinama cited by Shri Chaitanya is just like the Pancha nama given by Shri Rupa. Harinama is the greatest of all names in the sphere of love.
Prabhu used to take nama three lakh times a day and he had favored one lakh of devotees. Shri Rupa had written one lakh books and he used to cite one lakh nama everyday. Dasa Gosvami used to cite one lakh times the Harinama. Gauranga himself had advised Shri that the Vaishnavas should cite harinama at least one lakh times daily. Harinama is like a wishing tree to all devotees." Hearing all these precious teachings, they all bowed at the feet of Thakur Mahasaya who favored them by putting his hand on their heads. I, the poet am only trying to write according to the wish of my Prabhu. What I have written may have some mistakes and misinterpretations which are against devotion, but I think that this fault is only a portion among hundreds of faults done by others. Someone used to cite Harinama while some do not. Some after performing only one or two portions would become afraid. Some types of disciples used to follow blindly their Guru's directions about the religious practises without knowing their real causes and effects. Some types of people would follow the methods directed by some wise persons. Some would not do so till the end. Some wise persons were of the opinion that it was the method of attaining Krishna while others used to say otherwise. Those people could not realise that this type of their repression (Nigraha) had been given by Krishna Himself and ultimately they gave up the real way of attaining accomplishments. Those who could continue their religious practises by discarding trifle interests, could remain undaunted even at the time of death. Those who tried to get material gains by giving up interests in Krishna and used to sell words instead of engaging themselves in worshipping Krishna, their life invariably went in vain. Now I am explaining the intentions of those who pose to be Vaishnavas and for this purpose what are their efforts. Some vaishnavas used to follow strictly the religious practises on their own by doing so they used to say that they have got acknowledgement from Krishna. Some would address him as Thakura and some as Bada Mahasaya. In this way those Acaryas would waste their time. They did not know even what was right and what was wrong and used to be absorbed in duties towards family life which had been adverse to the principles of the Shastras. That Vaishnava used to make numerous disciples and regard himself as an accomplished person. He used to earn much money from the many disciples and would never go to serve the Vaishnavas and remain interested in serving and nursing his own family members. He never tried to perform festivals with regard to Krishna and would give his children in marriage in a Kulina family He would give dowry, sometimes about hundred coins and would say proudly that it was called devotion and sincerity to Krishna. While he used to boast that he had discarded the Shastra or Saiva religious, in the Bhagavata it is called very small initation. He would behave in a rough manner with the parents of bride and regard himself as a great Kulin. He would worship Krishna most negligently and to worship other deities only the pretext of well being and good fortune. From all this it can be understood that he wasted the golden days of his lifetime. In my opinion I think that everyone should discard the above mentioned faults. I suggest that one always does good deeds in this life and then one can get much pleasure from one's second birth. The happiness in one's present birth depends on the good deeds performed by one in one's former birth. I shall also suggest to be very cautious about doing any forbidden activities. I wish I could follow always the word of my Shri Guru, Vaishnavas and Prabhu and by no means get my self mixing with bad elements. I whish I could always keep in my mind the feet of Shri Janhava and Viracandra and in this way Nityananda dasa writes Prem Vilasa.