|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Nityananda dasa > Prema Vilasa > CHAPTER 18|
All gloriends to Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. All glories to Nityananda Prabhu the personification of kindness and mercy. All glories to Advaitacandra, whose sincere prayers summouned the Lord to this earth for the benefit of mankind. All glories to Shri Gadadhara, an ocean of transcendental rasa. All glories to all the devotees of Mahaprabhu. The Gosvamis of Vrndavana are like the main trunk of the tree of devotion. I have not as yet written any descrition of their main branches and twigs.
I attempt to write this book on the order of my spiritual master, Shri Jahnava Thakurani who has been empowered by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Thakurani simply repeats the identical message as that propounded by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Thus the words of my guru are above any criticism. I simply try to repeat whatever I have heard from her.
Rupa and Sanatana were two brothers who were directly empowered by the Lord. They were extremely exalted souls and worshiped the feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with all their hearts. Sanatana also offered great respect to his brother, Rupa.
Kasisvara Pandita was famous throughout Mathura Mandala and had the utmost respect for Rupa and Sanatana. He was the disciple of Iswaripuri and he dedicated himself to the feet of Shri Krishna Chaitanya.
Gadadhara Pandita was also empowered by Mahaprabhu Himself. Once Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began to weep due to separation from Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Gadadhara Pandita was a disicple of this Vidyanidhi.
Bhugarba Gosvami was a favorite devotee of Mahaprabhu and was also a disicple of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Rupa and Sanatana had great respect for Bhugarba.
With some devotees Rupa and Sanatana offered their loving respect, and with others they offered their blessings. Lokanath Gosvami was extremely kind-hearted and always concerned for the well-being of others. He was also a favorite associate of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Rupa and Sanatana greatly respected him. Completely indifferent to the affairs of this material world, Lokanath hardly bothered to eat and spent his time fully engrossed in meditation on the Supreme Lord. Thakura Mahasaya was the disciple of Lokanath.
Kasisvara was another exalted devotee. One of his disciples, Bhakta Kashi, was a Brajabasi belonging to a brahmana family. Govinda Gosvami and Yadava Acarya also took shelter at the feet of Kasisvara after renouncing their household activities. ??a certain son of a brahmana who was a Gauravasi surrendered himself with his Prabhu at the feet of Kasisvara.??
Krishna Pandita Thakura, a pure devotee who lived in Vraja, was highly regarded by Rupa and Sanatana. Shri Rupa Gosvami alone could understand the glories of Kasisvara and Krishnadasa, and their eternal position as the confidants of Shri Radhika.
Raghunath Bhatta lived in constant associate with Rupa and Sanatana. His very life was the service of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Yadunandana was a disciple of Acarya Gosvami??, and Shri Raghunatha dasa was the disciple of yadunandana. By the mercy of Lord Nityananda, Raghunatha dasa was able to give up all worldly pleasure and went to Nilacala to meet Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, where he remained until the the Lord took sannyasa. Mahaprabhu loved Raghunatha dasa and eventually placed him in the care of Svarupa Damodara, who very sincerely educated him. Svarupa was particularly intent on teaching Raghunatha as the boy was ?very efficient in Shringara Lalita Rasa just like Lalita?. This was understood only by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, although He did not disclose it to anyone. Outwardly it appeared that the Lord showed His favor to Raghunatha only because he was a favorite disciple of Svarupa. After some time Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offered a gungamala to Raghunatha and dedicated him to the lotus feet of Shri Radha. Prabhu also gave Raghunatha a salagrama sila to worship and advised him to go to Vrndavana. Following the Lord's order, Raghunatha went to Vraja and dedicated himself to the service of Rupa and Sanatana. In this way three pure souls were united in one string. Raghunatha began more to to Rupa and Sanatana than their very lives, and Raghunatha in turn offered them the highest respect and love. Under their instruction, Raghunatha went to live at Radha Kunda where he was engaged throughout the day and night ( 56 dandas of time) in worshiping Krishna. His renunciation and devotion won the favor of Shri Radha.
Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami became the disciple of Raghunatha dasa and spent much of time with him. ??For the fulfillment of his own religious desires, Kaviraja himself wrote he was the disciple of Yadunandana. One day when Krishnadasa was worshipping Krishna in the village of Jhamatpura in Gaudadesa, Shri Nityananda Prabhu and His associates appeared before him in a dream. Overwhelmed by the Lord's beauty, Kaviraja bowed at His feet, offering prayers. At that time Nityananda Prabhu advised him to go to Vrndavana. In his book Chaitanya-charitamrita Kaviraja wrote that he was the disciple of Prabhu? and also wrote that being an extremely helpless person, he was able to get the favor of Prabhu Nityananda. When he went to Vrndavana he took shelter at the feet of Raghunatha dasa. ?Only those who had real reasoning power could understand why kaviraj had written or done so. This type of behavior had most likely been very pure and because of this quality of Kaviraja, Rupa and Sanatana accepted him cordially.
Gopala Bhatta also decided to remain in Vrndavana. When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was touring South India He took bath in the river Kaveri, then went to the temple of Ranganatha. At that time Mahaprabhu accepted alms from Tarimalla Bhatta. Being pleased with the service of Bhatta, the Lord stayed in his house for four months. There He spent His days and nights discussing topics relted to Krishna with Bhatta. Because Bhatta was a worshiper of Laksmi Narayana, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu smilingly told him, "Though Laksmi resides on the chest of Narayana like a submissive wife, she thinks of attaining the company of Krishna." Bhatta felt a little uncomfortable upon hearing this statement. Unable to understand the real intention of Shri Chaitanya, he asked, "I am completely incompetent to understand You as I know nothing about devotion and meditation. I know only that You are Laksmi Narayana and have favored me greatly by coming to my house in the dress of an ascetic. I find no other words with which to glorify You. Please be kind upon this ignorant fellow."
Being greatly pleased by Bhatta's humble statement, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu embraced him and blessed him with the power to see the divine pastimes of the Lord in Vraja. Ecstatic with joy Bhatta began to dance joyfully. The Lord then revealed to him His real form and ordered Bhatta to bring all his family members to witness.
Quickly following the order of the Lord, Bhatta brought his two brothers along with their wives and children. By Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's causeless mercy He purified the minds of them all and revealed His original transcendental form before them. Witnessing the beauty of the Lord, they fell prostrate on the ground crying ecstatically. Mahaprabhu blessed them by placing His feet on their heads. Then all but three of them left the room.
With a sweet smile Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spoke to Trimalla: "I am very fond of your son Gopala Bhatta. Try to educate him properly and do not give him in marriage." Mahaprabhu then looked at Prabhodhananda and said smilingly, "Your disciple will be a versatile genius."
Turning to Gopala Bhatta, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "For some time you will remain with your family at home but after your parents pass away you should go to Vrndavana. There you will attain the highest happiness."
Prabhu again said to Prabhodananda, "You must send Gopala to Vrdavana as I have a mission wish I want him to fulfill." Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then announced that He would be leaving soon. The hearts of everyone in the family broke at the thought of separation from the Lord and they cried helplessly. By the mercy of Mahaprabhu, Prabhodhananda became a great Bhagavata.
Now I shall describe Gopala Bhatta's arrival in Vrndavana. Eventually Prabhodananda followed the order of the Lord and instructed Gopala Bhatta to leave for Vrndavana at once. Prabhodhananda had become indifferent to family and life and he wroote a letter to Rupa and Sanatana informing them that he was sending Gopala Bhatta to them.
Carrying the letter, Gopala traveled through Jharikhanda and after a long journey finally reached Mathura. The folloiwng morning he went to Vrndavana and met Shri Rupa Gosvami. Bowing at his feet, Gopala Bhatta offered prayers and presented the letter. Rupa and Sanatana very happily welcomed Gopala Bhatta and took him into their hearts. The two brothers instructed Gopala Bhatta to write a book dealing with Vaishnava practices--this book was called Haribhakti Vilasa. After completing the book he dedicated it to Sanatana. Gopala Bhatta begins the book by glorifying his spiritual master.
The following is a list of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's disciples. Shrinivasa Acarya, Harivamsa Brajabasi, and Gopinatha Pujari (the sevait of Shri Radharaman) were disciples of Gopala Bhatta. Harivamsa, however, rejected the order of his guru and thus his spiritual advancement was checked.
??Shri Jiva Gosvami became the disciple of Shri Rupa Gosvami. ??All of these devotees were simply engaged in constant rememberance and worship of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the trunk of the tree of devotional service. His five primary assoicates constitute the five main branches of that tree. These five devotees were always engaged in assisting the Lord in His pastimes. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was always surrounded by numerous devotees who were the recipients of His mercy. Shrinivasa and Narottama are also two main branches of the tree. There are innumerable brances and twigs on Mahaprabhu's tree, to describe them all is far beyond my capacity. I dare not attempt to describe them for fear of this book becoming extremely voluminous. Kavi Karnapura has written a book descriping many of Mahaprabhu's devotees. In this book it is mentioned that numerous devotees received the blessings of Shrinivasa Acarya.
Thakura Mahasaya was also a man of extrordinarily magnetic qualities. Within his mind he was constantly absorbed in meditation on Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and externally as well, he alwways serving the Deity of Gauranga with the utmost care and devotion. Narottama organized grand festivals, and became famous for his extrordinary service attitude towards the Vaishnavas.
??While thinking of himself as the most unfavored disciple of Prabhu, Nityananda used to address his disciples and say, "O my dear fellows, if you want to attain the feet of Krishna, you should chant his holy name one lakh times daily." In this way he got many disciples outside his own country.
Shri Raghavendra Raya, a caste brahmana and ruler of Gaderhat, had two sons named Santosa and Candra Raya. Candra Raya was a powerful man, skilled in the art of weaponry. Everyone was terrified of him. He was a Zamindar and possessed eighty-four thousand coins. He became the Foujdar of a fort which he named Rajmahala and asserted himself as the lord of the place. Candra Raya was a tyrant; he refused to pay the Padsha and eventually the entire village came under his control. Five thousand horses and infantry followed his commands, and in this way he attacked many countries and looted innumerable places. Robbing and killing people became his regular pastime and in carrying out these cruel acts he cared for no one. People would cover their ears as they could not bear to hear about the sinful activities committed by him. Locals began to leave the country in droves. Candra Raya was a Sakti worshiper and was accustomed to eat meat and fish. He also seduced the wives and daughters of the villagers. During the festival of goddess Durga, he would build an image of the goddess and offer thousands of animals at her altar. Even Chitra Gupta (the secretary of Yamaraja) in Yamalaya was unable to keep proper account of the sins committed by Candra Raya. Once Chitra Gupta told Yama, "These two brahmanas, Candra Raya and Santosh, have been performing soo many sinful activities that I am afraid to think of what the future holds for them. Where will they stay and how long will they suffer the punishment of hell? I remember two brothers named Jagai and Madhai who were great debauchees, but these two brothers are far more notorious than them." To this Yamaraja replied, "Let them remain in where they are." Thus Candra Raya continued his reign of terror.
One day the spirit of a wicked brahmana demon entered into the body of Candra Raya. That demon began to constantly beat and rebuke Candra Raya, so much so that Candra Raya gradually lost all his strength and was near death. His father desperately tried to save his life, calling in doctors from all over the country, but to no avail. Finally his father called on a great astrologer who made many calculations then concluded that the evil spirit of a brahmana demon had entered into the body of Candra Raya and had no desire to leave him. The only possible cure was dependenton Narottama Thakura, the son of the Zamindar of Khetari. The demon also admitted to this.
Upon hearing this the father of Candra Raya immediately sent a message to one Pandita, inviting him to his house. He asked the Pandita to write a letter to Thakura Mahasaya requesting his help ??and then sent Sukapala with the letter to Khetari. He gave the letter into the hand of Majumdar who told him flatly that he would not dare send the letter to Thakura. When the father came to know about this, he began to cry in despair, praying to goddess Durga, "O mother Durga, save my son. Who accept you will be able to do so." That night Durga, in the disguise of an old lady, addressed Candra Raya, "There are no sinful activities that have not been practised by you. I am not pleased with your so-called worship. You have neglected the Supreme Lord Krishna, and no one can attain perfection without worshiping Him. Those who try to worship me without worshiping Krishna, will surely lose their chance of earning good fortune in their next birth. My lord, Siva, is always absorbed in singing the glories of Shri Krishna and has dedicated everything at His feet. Trilochana panchanana ?? is made for Krishna and I am His subordinate. You and your brother have sought my favor but there is nothing I can do for you. I accept only the offerings of those who are sattvic by nature. I am never inclined toward those who are covered by rajaguna and tamoguna. The sastras clearly state that Krishna is the Supreme Lord of this universe. Who, other than He, can bestow devotion and salvation in this world? Even Yamaraja and Chitra Gupta are shocked by the mountain of sins you have accumulated. So my sons, just try to worship the feet of Govinda. You should follow the astrologer's advice to take shelter of Thakura Mahasaya. Shri Govinda Kaviraja, who is now a disciple of Shrinivasa Acarya, was previously absorbed in exlusively worshiping me, He prayed to me for salvation but I was unable to fulfill his desires. Narottama is dedicated to Shrinivasa Acarya and his devotion to Krishna has enabled him to conquer over all worldly fears. Shrinivasa and Narottama are identical in heart and mind, yet they appear in separate physical features for enhancing the performance of pastimes. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu appeared in this world to deliver mankind by distributing the holy name of Krishna. These two Prabhus are worshiped and loved by Shrinivasa and Narottama, therefore one one surrenders at their feet is sure to attain Krishna, and conversely, he who criticizes them is sure to suffer miserably." Thus speaking, goddess Durga disappeared.
Candra Raya was astonished. In the morning he revealed his dream to his father and brother and requested them, "Please immediately send two brahmanas with a letter to Thakura Mahasaya begging him to show his mercy upon me."
Thus two brahmanas went to Kheturi and bowed at the feet of Thakura Mahasaya, who heartily recieved them and asked where they had come from. They replied that if he read the letter they carried he would understand everything. Narottama first offered them prasada and gave them a place to stay. He then read the letter and came to know about Candra Raya's problem. He gave the letter to Kaviraja to read and asked his opinion. "It's a delicate matter to handle," Kaviraja replied. What can I say? You are the embodiment of love--The power to do as you like rests in your hands.
As Narottama pondered the situation, suddenly Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared before him and advised him, "Listen to me Narottama, it is not difficult for you to deliver these two wicked sinners. Go there and show them your mercy, they are waiting for your blessings. It is my wish that the evil spirit must leave Candra Raya's body. You have appeared in this world only for the purpose of deliver the fallen conditioned souls, therefore go there, along with Kaviraja, and free them from their sens. When Candra Raya is cured his name shall be changed to Krishnadasa.
After taking bath in the morning, they prepared for the journey. Before their departure Majumdar, who had come to know about the letter, arrived there and said to Thakura Mahasaya, "Candra Raya is an extremely fortunate man to be blessed with your darsana. I wish I could go with you. It is my misfortune that I must stay here, but I will hear everything when you return." After bowing at the feet of Gauranga, Thakura Mahasaya, Ramacandra Kaviraja and many other Vaishnavas started out for Candra Raya's house. Those who could not go along with them began to cry. Thakura Mahasaya pacified them, then the party began walking, followed by the two brahmanas.
That day they stopped to rest in a village and the two brahmanas went ahead to the house of Candra Raya to inform them of Narottama's arrival. Candra Raya began to weep with joy upon receiving the good news. He immediately set out to meet Thakura Mahasaya, accompanied by many wise brahmanas and a band of musicians.
After some time they came upon Narottama's party, and where overwhelmed by the beauty of Thakura Mahasaya. They escorted him into the village which was fully decorated in honor of his arrival. Jugs filled with water lined the roads, bananas trees were placed in various spots, and every house was decorated with flower garlands. The people had gathered in crowds on the streets and the ladies made auspicous sounds with their tongues. Upon hearing of his arrival people form other villages also hurried to see Narottama. The father of Candra Raya came forward and upon seeiang the beauty of Narottama, fell at his feet crying. Narottama addressed all with warm words of affection.
Thakura Mahasaya entered the house of Candra Raya. There Candra Raya's father carefully washed the feet of Narottama with water and offered him a beautiful seat. With great humility Raya stated that he was the most fortunate man to have Thakura Mahasaya bless his house.
Narottama said, "it is very kind of you to have me, now let me see your son." When Narottama was informed that Candra Raya was lying on a bed in his room, Thakura Mahasaya and his men entered the room and stood before Candra Raya. As soon as Candra Raya looked at Narottama the evil spirit within him began to shout, "I have become an evil spirit due to my past sinful activities. I have been living within this body for a long time, now be kind to me and let me and release me to go elsewhere." Everyone present there was shocked to hear this shouting. Again the spirit yelled out, "O my lord, save me this cursed life. For me Khetari is not merely an ordinary village, but it is Vrndavana in disguise. I desire to be born in this village and become your humble servant. O master, be kind upon me."
Addressing the spirit Thakura Mahasaya said, "Listen to me, leave this body at once and go elsewhere." Thus the evil spirit immediately left. Everyone present shouted in joy and began to praise Thakura Mahasaya. Candra Raya returned to his normal state and with folded hands fell at the feet of Narottama crying aloud. "There is no one as cursed as I," he said. "All well being goes away simly by looking at me. I have committed sins that are not even mentioned in the scriptures. How can I be relieved from the reactions to my misdeeds."
Crying profusely Santosa also fell on the ground and touched the feet of Thakura Mahasaya. Filled with lamentation he said, "Although born a brahmana, I have committed innumerable sins and for so long I have been strongly under the grip of worldly attraction. We two brothers were born of the same womb and for many years perfomred sinful activities together. Now we have nothing to pray for other than your merciful glance upon us. O master, please accept these two poor wicked souls and be our lord for life." Raghavendra also fell at the feet of Thakura Mahasaya and said, "I and my family members are now indebted to you life after life."
Thakura Mahasaya assured them that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would certainly bestow His mercy upon them. He then ordered all of them to take their bath. Raghavendra and his sons took bathed, dressed in new loin cloths and came before Narottama. Thakura Mahasaya told them to sit on his left side and then pured the nectar of the holy name into their ears. Observing the endless kindness of Narottama, Ramacandra Kaviraja could not contain himself and rolled on the ground in ecstasy. All the Vaishnavas present there began to weep. Even the ordinary folks who had assembled there were moved to tears. Raya and his sons lay prostrate before Thakura Mahasaya, who placed his foot on their heads.
On another day Narottama chanted the Radhakrishna mantra into the ears of Raya and his two sons. Now listen to what happened next. Yamaraja and Chitra Gupta began to sing the glories of Narottama (Nityananda?). Yamaraja said, "He is the savior of the fallen souls in this world. O Chitra Gupta bring the record book and tear the pages where the sinful accounts of these two brothers is kept. From today I have lost my right to punish them."
??Then the goddess of the earth came to him and suggested that he should worship Krishna. She also lamented, "I have nothing no influence as formerly Jagai and Madhai had been save from damnation and now these two brahmana brothers have got the same favor"??
After receiving initiation, they offered many items of Thakura Mahasaya. He was given villages, clothes, wealth, horses, cows and calves. In the morning cooking began. All types of sweets, curries, scented rice, etc were prepared. After Thakura Mahasayahad eaten, Raya and his twosons took prasada and water for washing the fet. They received the title of Vaishnavas and became famous throughout the world. They took lessons on Vaishnava practices and became engaged in devotional service to Krishna.
??Being orderd by Thakura, Candra Raya sent a letter to the Nawab through his pleader. The Hakim became very afraid and the other ministers advised him, "There is no need of it because he who goes there will lost his life. So no one was willing was go along with him."??
After fully instructing his disciples, Thakura Mahasaya expressed his desire to return to the lotus feet of Gaurarai in Kethuri. Hearing this everyone began to cry at the thought of separation from Narottama. Although everyone was deeply aggrieved, they knew it was the desire of Narottama so what could they do. Thus Raya decorated ten boats with gold and jewels. One boat was made ready for Thakura and his associates, one was prepared for the father and his two sons, and the others were filled with a variety of items like rice, pulses, clothes, etc. Many men accompanied the boat, and other men were engaged in steering the boats. The family members, servants and maidservants of those devotees leaving on the boats, cried piteously as the boats shoved off from the bank.
All the devotees remained immersed in talks of Krishna as the boats swept along the river. About half way to their destination they halted fora rest. The next day at noon they reached Kheturi and visited the temple of Gaurahari. Observing the beauty of the Deity, everyone was filled with ecstatic emotions. Thakura then lovingly invited them to take prasada. ??Candra Raya got up and went forward to meet Raya who came out of the room and Candra Raya fell at his feet. Ray embraced him and asked about his well being. Candra said, "I am a sinner. It is by the kindness of you all that I got your auspicious touch."???
They anxiously took their seats as the fragrant aroma of the prasada entered their nostrils. They relished prasada while discussing Krishna katha, Narottama surrounded by his associates was a beautiful sight to behold, it appeared like the moon surrounded by stars. After washing their mouths, they sat comfortable chewing betel leaves. At this time the Raya family began to contemplate there extrordinary good fortune. Candra Raya explained to all of them how unfortunate he had been for such a long time.
Meanwhile the boats were emptied and everything was stocked in the store room. At night Devidasa and other kirtaniyas began sankirtana before the Deity of Gauranga. Thakura Mahasaya listened to the kirtana with Kaviraja by his left side. Krishnananda Ray and his family enjoyed the singing, and to his left Raghavendra and his two sons were seated. While listening to the beautiful recital they all became ecstatic and trembled with loving emotions. Thakura Mahasaya's entire body trembled and tears rolled down his face like torrents of rain. Suddenly he fell on the ground unconscious. Krishnananda Rai and others offered clothes, gold, scarves and silver to the Deity, and also rolled on the ground in joy. Ramacandra Kaviraja became mad with ecsasty. He wept profusely and the hairs on his body stood on end. His body lay stiff on the ground and only the beating on his heart could be heard. Candra Raya and his father and brother observing this wonderful scene with amazement. Candra Raya became excited and he too rolled on the ground crying and lamenting in various ways. He held the feet of his father and brother and bowed repeatedly at the feet of Thakura Mahasaya. When the kirtana came to an end everyone took their seats, but Thakura remained in an ecstatic condition throughout the entire night. In the morning he came to his senses. In this way ten days sped by filled with the joy of hearing and chanting.
One day Candra Raya requested Thakura to grant his leave. Narottama gave his consent and thus Chandra humbly touched the feet of Thakura Mahasaya sadly bidding him farewell. Narottama said, "My dear son, always remember that the lotus feet of Shri Krishna are the only truth, everything else is illusion." In this way Narottama gave his blessings to Candra Raya and bid him farewell. Crying helplessly Candra Raya went to the side of Kaviraja, who embraced him warmly. Candra Raya said, "Now that I have met such a wonderful devotee as you, my life at last has some meaning." Candra Raya offered Kaviraja one hundred coins and two garments. He also begged Kaviraja to always bestow his kindness upon him by regarding Candra Raya as his servant. All the Vaishnavas present there also said goodbye to the Raya family. After offering their respects to the Deity of Gauranga, Candra Raya and his father and brother got on the boat and started for home. During their journey home they talked about the pastimes of the Lord, as instructed by Thakura Mahasaya.
One day Candra Raya decided to go for bath in the Ganges. He traveled to the riverside with hundreds of horsemen and four hundred companions and everyone happily took their baths in the Ganges then cooked some food. At that time there happened to be a spy of the Pathan king passing by on the bank of the Ganges. He quickly returned to the king and told him what he had seen. The king at once sent his army to capture Candra Raya. The army imprisoned Candra Raya and brought him before the angry Nawab, who angrily asked him, "How dare you conquer so many different countries." He then ordered that Candra Raya be lashed with a whip.
Candra Raya remained undisturbed, thinking that he certainly deserved whatever punishment was sent his way. Candra Raya said to the Nawab, "I am ready to pay whatever fine you find befitting."
The Nawab ordered that he should not be whipped, but imprisoned him in an underground jail. There they kept him in custody without any food. Candra Raya thought that the end of his life was near.
Candra Raya's family members were deeply aggrieved when they heard that he had been captured. His father tried everything possible to help his son. He wrote a letter to Thakura Mahasaya, who was shocked by the news and immediately sent a person who was well known to the Zamindar to try to get Candra released. But Candra Raya remained locked in the prison. His father, Raghavendra, spent his days in extreme sorrow, racking his brain over what to do. He finally issued a statement that anyone who could get his son out of prison would be well rewarded. One person answered his plea, stating, "I will definitely do it." Raghavendra assured him that the would reward him with many villages, horses, cattle and other things if he were successful. "I cannot live with Candra Raya," Raghavendra said.
The person, knowing many tricks, managed to reach Candra Raya through an underground tunnel. Candra Raya was shocked when the man arrived in his cell. "How did you get here," he said, "how did you get here without being injured?" The man explained that his father had sent him and that he was prepared to bring Candra Raya to freedom. Amazed, Candra Raya asked, "How can you get me out?" The man replied, "I shall go first and you follow me. I know some hymns to goddess Kali which I shall recite in your ear. Do not fear, as it well help you to get out of here. Don't speak anymore, lets just get started."
However, Candra Raya spoke in an unexpected way: "Of what use is to me to hear such mantras, my life has come to an end. Although I have performed many sinful activities, Thakura Mahasaya placed his feet on my head and I have become his servant. He has poured the nectar of the Radha Krishna mantra into my ears. Now it is not possible for me to hear any other mantra. Tell my father that I would rather remain faithful to the feet of my spiritual master and cite only the mantra which my lord has given me. According to his wish, I shall remain here. Here I am able to chant the holy name of the Lord peaceful, away from the noise of my home. Tell my father not to be sorry. My only sorrow is that I am unable to see the lotus feet of my guru Maharaja." Saying this he then began to recite the holy name.
In this way Candra Raya remained within the prison singing songs about Krishna and chanting the holy name. He tried his best to follow the order of his guru and keep his mind filled with thought of the pastimes of the Lord. Within his mind he would sometimes meditate on the divine faces of Radha and Krishna. At times he woujld take pleasure in smearing saffron on Their bodies, and at other times he would fan Them and massage Their legs. He prayed intently to the confidants of Shri Radha; Lalita, Visakha, Chitra, Champaka Latika, asking them to bless him to attain the feet of Radha Krishna. He prayed to Rupavati, Lavanga, Gaura Manjari, and Manjulali to favor him. He told them that he always wanted to remain with his guru Narottama and serve Krishna in whatever condition of life he may find himself in. His request to them was to allow him to become one of their confidants. In this way his days and nights passed in reemberance of the Lord.
One day the Nawab paid a visit to Canra Raya in the prison and angrily asked him, "You can see that the end of your life is near, why haven't you offered me any bribe? I will kill you by throwing you unde the feet of an elephant." Thus he ordered a drunken elelphant to be brought to the place. A large crowd gathered to watch and Candra Raya was brought out with his hands and feet tied. The mad elephant charged at Chandra Raya, who simply meditated upon the feet of his spiritual master Thakura Mahasaya. The elephant grabbed Candra with his trunk and threw a short distance away. Again the elephant attacked, running angrily towards Candra Raya. This time Chandra Raya caught hold of the elephant's trunk and with his two hand, pulled the trunk from the elephant's body. With a shout of pain the elephant fell to the ground dead. The crowd was astonished. The stunned Nawab got up from his throne, took hold of Candra Raya's hands and requested him to sit beside him. "What a powerful man you are," the Nawab said with awe. "You killed that elephant with your bare hands." Candra Raya humbly replied, "It is not by my own power that I am able to do anything. It is only due to the grace of my spiritual master." Intriqued, the Nawab inquired further.
Candra Raya explained, "When you ordered your men to imprison me in the underground cell, I tried not to feel sorry for myself and remain jolly by constant rememberance of the mercy of my guru. Though you did not give me any food, I was relished the taste of the holy name of the Lord. In this way I sustained my life. Out of affection for me my father sent me some food through one aged lady nurse. During those days of imprisonment I never felt unhappy, on the contrary, I felt as cosy as if I were at home. Then when you brought me here to kill me, I constatnly meditated upon the feet of my spiritual master. When the elephant caught me for the second time, the power to kill him came from my guru. If you will allow me I will tell you more about when I was imprisoned. One day my father send a man to me through a secret tunnel. When I asked him how he had managed to get there without being hurt, he replied that he knew a Kali mantra which protected. He wanted to chant that mantra into my ear so that I could follow him to freedom. But it was impossible for me to hear any other mantra than the one given to me by my guru. Thus I advised the man to tell my father that I would not leave the jail."
Hearing this amazing story changed the heart of the Nawab and he embraced Candra Raya affectionately. All the people who and seen and heard this incident fell on the ground, offering respects to Candra Raya. The Nawab ordered a horse to be brought as a reward for Candra Raya. He then told Candra that he was free to return to home, and also offered to return his property. The Nawab handed over the Dastaka and letter and ordered his ministers to work cooperatively under Candra Raya. He also gave the Parayana with the mark of his Panja (mark of the palm) to Candra Raya, who happily started on his way home. However, he began to think that since it was his guru Maharaja who had endowed him with such extrordinary strength, it would be more appropriate to visit his guru. Thus he sent a letter to his father and brother explaining everything and asking them to come without delay; "I have been set free from jail, both of you should come here quickly and bring various items to offer to Thakura Mahasaya."
When the bearer of the letter delivered it, Raghava was overwhelmed with joy and rushed to tell Santosh. They immediately gathered all the necessary items and rushed to meet Candra Raya.
Together the party traveled by horse towards Khetari. Upon reaching Khetari, Candra dismounted and walked straight to the residence of Thakura Mahasaya. Seeing Narottama sitting with Ramacandra Kaviraja, Candra Raya fell at his feet crying. Both Thakura and Kaviraja were overjoyed to see him. Narottama embraced his disciple warmly and inquired about his well being. Candra Raya explained the episode of his imprisonment, and Narottama placed his feet of his head. By that time Raghavendra Raya and Santosh arrived there and began singing the glories of Thakura Mahasaya. Narottama favored them by patting them on their backs. Candra Raya turned to his father and brother and they all embraced each other crying. Candra Raya asked his father, "Why did you send that man to me in jail? Didn't you know it was wrong?" Thakura smiled at Candra Raya, and Raghavendra felt ashamed. He bowed at the feet of Thakura Mahasaya, requesting him to forgive him. He even begged his son to forgive him. The father and son embraced each other tearfully. Raghavendra said, "We are all tied tightly together to the merciful feet of Thakura Mahasaya." The family remained there abosrbed in kirtana and darshan for five days. They then started for home.
After sometime Candra Raya went to visit the Nawab, who immediately rushed to greet him followed by his army. He offered the Ahira Pargana to Candra Raya as a gift. The next day Candra Raya took his leave and returned home.
O my listeners, I have no capacity to describe the wonderful characeristics of Thakura Mahasaya. Through his efforts the nectar of divine love flowed out from Vrndavana and flooded the world. The Bhakti sastras describe the qualities of a pure devotee, all of which can be found in the person of Thakura Mahasaya. He lived without any material possessions and was always equipoised, devoid of pride and malice. The magnetic touch of a real guru can turn a disciple into a real jewel. Thus Thakura Mahasaya and Shrinivasa Acarya, the embodiments of Mahaprabhu's love, wer able to deliver he the most fallen souls. Shri Acarya delivered Vira Hamvira, and Thakura Mahsaya delivered Candra Raya. I bow at the feet of these devotees to whom Shri Radhika is the only resort. They are like garlands decorating decorating Shri Rupa Gosvami. Such empowered devotees are the executors of Shri Caitanaya Mahaprabhu's mission. I have given a brief account of some of the disciples of Shrinivasa Acarya and Thakura Mahasaya. These branches and sub-branches gradually grew far and wide.
I write these narrations by the order of my spiritual master. Thus far I have described the qualities of Shri Gopala Bhatta, Shri Lokanatha Gosvami, Shrinivasa Acarya, and Narottama dasa Thakura. I'm confident that the devotees who have dedicated their lives to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will derive great pleasure through hearing these narrations. Remembering the merciful feet of Shri Jahnava and Viracandra prabhu, I, Nityananda dasa write Prem Vilasa.