|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Nityananda dasa > Prema Vilasa > CHAPTER 6|
All glories to Shri Gaurachandra, Nityananda, Advaitacandra, and all the devotees. All glories to Shri Jahnava and Viracandra, their lotus feet are my only shelter. Listen attentively as I continue the narration of Prem Vilasa.
Sitting under a tree Shrinivasa cried incessantly. He rolled on the ground like a madman, and cursed his ill-fate, feeling that he had been deceived in every respect. The orders which he had received from Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could never be executed. He was unable to meet Mahaprabhu in Purusottama, neither was he able to study the Bhagavata from Pandita Gosvami. Despite the fact that Narahari Sarkara Thakura, Shri Isvari, and Shri Jahnava had all ordered him to go to Vrndavana to meet Rupa and Sanatana, he was now unable to execute their desire. He felt his life had become useless. He desired to take shelter at the feet of Gopala Bhatta, but without attaining the association of Shri Rupa Gosvami how could he remain alive. What was the use of living? Lamenting in this way Shrinivasa laid down under the tree like a dead man. Suddenly Rupa and Sanatana appeared before him and said, "Get up my dear boy. You are the embodiment of Mahaprabhu's love and are most to us. We have been waiting for you for so long, now why have you decided to go back instead of going to Vrndavana? We wish you all success. Go to Vrndavana and take shelter at the feet of Gopala Bhatta, you will receive our blessings through him. Live with Shri Jiva Gosvami for some time and he will teach you about the science of devotional service."
Shrinivasa got up and bowed at their feet. With awe he observed their beautiful golden complexions. They wore a tuft of hair on their head, their foreheads were painted with tilaka, and tulasi beads hung from their necks. The names of Radha and Krishna were painted on their bodies, and they wore kaupinas and an outer garment (vahirvasa). They uttered the holy name, counting on their fingers, occasionally chanting Radha Krishna. A sweet aroma arose from their bodies, and their sweet smiles revealed their beautiful teeth. Shrinivasa fell on the ground in ecstacy. Rupa and Sanatana placed their feet upon his head and then disappeared. Shrinivasa changed his mind and decided to continue on to Vrndavana.
In Vrndavana, Rupa Gosvami informed Shri Jiva that Shrinivasa was in Mathura and tomorrow he would come to Vrndavana and take shelter at Shri Jiva's feet. He would arrive in the evening around the time of offering arati to Shri Govinda Deva. Absorbed in the ecstacy of love, Shrinivasa would fall on the left side of the southern door of the temple, Shri Jiva could find him there. He also instructed Jiva Gosvami to keep Shrinivasa with him for the night and then take him the following day to meet Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Shri Rupa instructed Shri Jiva to teach Shrinivasa from all the sastras and then help him to carry the books to Gauda. Saying this Shri Rupa disappeared.
As Shrinivasa neared Vrndavana he became ecstatic and danced all the way. Observing the golden beauty of Vrndavana, Shrinivasa became more and more anxious to see the beautiful deities of Shri Govinda and Gopinatha. He arrived at the temple of Shri Govinda Deva in the evening just at the time of arati. He stood behind the other visitors and was overwhelmed by the sound of the flute, pakhoyaja, and kangara. As the other pilgrims paid their respects and entered the temple, Shrinivasa slowly advanced forward and stood on the terrace of the middle portion of the temple (Jagamohana). As Rupa Gosvami had predicted, Shrinivasa was overwhelmed with ecstatic love and fell on the left side of the temple door. While some of the people where whispering about this newcomer, Shri Jiva arrived and bowed before the deity. Many companions accompanied Shri Jiva carrying lamps in their hands. Searching on the left side of the temple Shri Jiva found Shrinivasa lying unconscious. Jiva sat beside Shrinivasa and caressed his body. Realising that Shrinivasa was in a deep trance, Shri Jiva carried him to his house.
Towards the second half of the night Shrinivasa made some sounds indicating that he was returning to external consciousness. Shri Jiva placed his hand on Shrinivasa's body, and eventually Shrinivasa awoke, chanting the name of Govinda. When Shrinivasa confirmed his identity as the son of Chaitanya dasa, Shri Jiva Gosvami immediately embraced him, mentally thanking Rupa and Sanatana for sending him such a jewel like friend.
The following morning Shri Jiva took Shrinivasa to meet Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. From a distance Shrinivasa bowed to Bhatta, explaining his desire to become his servant. Gopala Bhatta happily welcomed him saying, "Come here my son, Shrinivasa. It is my pleasure to have your association in my old age." Shrinivasa humbly touched the feet of his preceptor, and Gopala Bhatta Gosvami placed his feet on the head of Shrinivasa saying, " I am feeling intense sorrow due to the disappearance of the Gosvamis. Look at me, I have become like a skeleton. Now, I have no one take shelter in. Why have you come here so late? They also were desirous of meeting you."
Shrinivasa replied, "O my master, please forgive me, I went to Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami filled with an intense desire to study the Bhagavata under him. Unfortunately his copy of the Shrimad Bhagavatam was illegible due to the numerous tears shed upon the pages by Pandita Gosvami. I therefore went to Khandagrama to acquire a new book, however, when I was returning Purusottama found out about Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami's demise. Devastated by this news I went to Navadvipa to see Shri Isvari and she ordered me to meet Abhirama Gosvami. They all advised me to go swiftly to Vrndavana. Now, I can only lament that I did not come more quickly."
Hearing this story, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami began to cry. "You are more fortunate than me," he said. I never saw the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu or Shri Advaitacandra. Nor did I ever have the opportunity to worship the feet of Shri Isvari. Narahari Sarkara Thakura also turned his face from me. Now Rupa and Sanatana have also left me. Misery is now my constant companion."
Shri Jiva, who was sitting at Bhatta's side, said despairingly, "I was also deprived of their association. What is the use of this worthless life."
Shrinivasa began to cry while holding the feet of the two Gosvamis. After some time Shri Jiva and Shrinivasa returned to their residence. There they spend their days and nights absorbed in discussions of Krishna's pastimes.
An auspicious date was fixed for the initiation of Shrinivasa and when the day arrived Shrinivasa, accompanied by Jiva Gosvami. went to the place of Gopala Bhatta, carrying with him a tulasi manjari garland and sandalwood paste.
Gopala Bhatta Gosvami asked Shrinivasa what the essence of Vaishnava religion is. Shrinivasa replied, "Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the only guru and the norms have been written by Shri Rupa Gosvami, who is the guide of all devotees life after life. The devotee must always be obedient to his guru."
Shri Jiva agreed with the words of Shrinivasa, and advised him to always remain faithful to these precepts. With great happiness Gopala Bhatta got up and requested Shrinivasa to follow him. Together they went to the temple of Shri Radha Ramana. They first washed their feet then entered the temple and paid their respects. Gosvami told Shrinivasa to sit on his left side, facing east. Shrinivasa did as he was told, then holding the feet of Gopala Bhatta, he dedicated himself to the lotus feet of his guru. Gosvami accepted Shrinivasa and ordered him, "Wash your hands again and begin meditating on Shri Vrajendra Kumara, thinking of Shri Radhika on his left side and surrounded by Lalita and the other Manjaris." With Gosvami's help, Shrinivasa worshiped all of them individually with Tulasi garlands and sandalwood paste. In this way he made Shrinivasa one of the companions of the Manjaris. He then ordered Shrinivasa to again worship Shri Radha Ramana, as He would fulfill all his desires." Shrinivasa applied sandalwood paste on the chest of the deity and tulasi at the feet of the deity. Placing his right hand on his head, he chanted the holy name and then got the five names of Radha Krishna. He chanted Radha Krishna nama while counting it on his fingers. Shri Bhatta Gosvami then gave him the Kamavija and told him, "Follow and remember these hymns while you meditate on Radha Krishna. You are Mani Manjari in the group of Manjaris under Shri Gunamanjari. You should practice worship by following the method called ragatmika vajana. An accomplished worshiper always wants to perform service to Radha Krishna. You should know the 64 methods of worship. If you commit any offense in executing such worship of Radha Krishna, everything will be lost. The practice of austerity is also a part of executing devotional service to Krishna. If you can fully absorb yourself in devotion to Lord Krishna, certainly you will attain His lotus feet.
Now this attentively as I describe the stumbling blocks on the path of devotional service. He who meticulously follows all devotional practices, yet indulges in criticizing others, will not achieve the desired success. A banyan tree is huge, but its fruits are very small and numerous. Similarly, sins double and re-double daily**. One who is able to be detached from material life can attain great devotional qualities. Through study of the sastras all you will understand everything, but now try to understand what I am telling you. A traveller on the path of devotion must be extremely cautious on his journey if he wants to reach the desired goal of Krishna bhakti."
Keeping faith in the lotus feet of Shri Jahnava and Viracandra, I, Nityananda dasa narrate Prem Vilasa. (59-67)