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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter One: Summary of Lord Gaura’s Pastimes
CB Adi-khanda 1.151
madhya-khande, sarva-jiva uddhara-karune
sannyasa karite prabhu karila gamane
In the Madhya-khanda the Lord leaves home and accepts sannyasa in order to deliver the living entities.
There are four social orders in the life of a living entity. Among them, the highest is the order of sannyasa. People of the other orders naturally take instructions from the sannyasis, and as a result they achieve freedom from the bondage of material life. Because Shri Gaurasundara accepted the sannyasa order of life, all living entities attained liberation from their respective status. As stated in the Chaitanya-candramrita (113): “Now that Lord Chaitanyacandra has revealed the path of pure devotional service, the materialists have given up talking about their wives, children, and material affairs, the scholars have given up debating the scriptures, the yogis have given up the trouble to control their breath, the ascetics have given up their austerities, and the impersonalists have given up impersonalism. Now there is only the sweetness of pure devotional service.”
CB Adi-khanda 1.152
kirtana kariya ‘adi’, avadhi ‘sannyasa’
ei haite kahi ‘madhya-khande’ra vilasa
The pastimes of the Madhya-khanda begin with the Lord’s kirtana and end with His acceptance of sannyasa.
CB Adi-khanda 1.153
madhya-khande, ache ara kata-koti lila
vedavyasa varnibena se-sakala khela
There are millions of other pastimes in the Madhya-khanda that will be described in the future by Shrila Vyasadeva.
After hearing from Ishvara Puri, the Lord inaugurates the congregational chanting of the holy names. These pastimes up to His acceptance of sannyasa and leaving Navadvipa are described in the Madhya-khanda. The Lord has unlimited pastimes apart from those described in this book. Shrila Vyasadeva will describe those pastimes in the future. But if one wants to create imaginary pastimes of the Lord that are mixed with rasabhasa and opposing shastric conclusions, that is offensive and must be rejected by the followers of Vyasadeva.
CB Adi-khanda 1.154
shesha-khande, vishvambhara karila sannyasa
‘shri-krishna-chaitanya’-nama tabe parakasha
In the Antya-khanda after Vishvambhara takes sannyasa, He becomes known as Shri Krishna Chaitanya.
Sannyasa means to give up absorption in material enjoyment. Endeavoring for material enjoyment or artificial endeavor for renunciation is known as karma-sannyasa or jnana-sannyasa. Although Shriman Mahaprabhu displayed His sannyasa pastimes like a jnani, His aim was to perform the activities of a tridandi-sannyasi, as mentioned in the Twenty-third Chapter, Eleventh Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam. The Lord often chanted the verse etam sa asthaya spoken by the Avanti mendicant. This is the evidence of the Lord’s service to Mukunda in the guise of a sannyasi. The Lord, who is the supreme teacher of the living entities, did not at all accept the philosophy of ahangrahopasana, which results in becoming one with the Lord.
The shikha and brahmana thread are seen in the external appearance of a tridandi-sannyasi. Even today this shikha is called chaitanya-shikha. The sannyasis who keep a shikha are more dear devotees to Shri Chaitanyadeva than those who do not keep a shikha. The devotee sannyasis give up activities that are unfavorable in the execution of devotional service.
They reject phalgu-vairagya and accept yukta-vairagya as stated in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu:
anasaktasya vishayan yatharham upayunjatah
nirbandhah krishna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate
“Things should be accepted for the Lord’s service and not for one’s personal sense gratification. If one accepts something without attachment and accepts it because it is related to Krishna, one’s renunciation is called yukta-vairagya.”
prapancikataya buddhya hari-sambandhi-vastunah
mumukshubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate
“When persons eager to achieve liberation renounce things which are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, though they are material, this is called incomplete renunciation.”
CB Adi-khanda 1.155
shesha-khande, shuni’ prabhura shikhara mundana
vistara karila prabhu-advaita krandana
In the Antya-khanda Advaita Prabhu cries profusely upon hearing that the Lord has shaved His shikha and hair.
CB Adi-khanda 1.156
chaitanya-prabhave sabara rahila jivana
In the Antya-khanda, Shacidevi’s lamentation is indescribable, and the devotees remained alive only by influence of Shri Chaitanya.
Mother Shaci, Vishnupriyadevi, and the devotees were able to tolerate indescribable distress due to separation from Mahaprabhu only by His mercy. Thus they were able to pass their lives in the service of Lord Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 1.157
shesha-khande, nityananda caitanyera danda
bhangilena, balarama parama-pracanda
In the Antya-khanda the most powerful Shri Nityananda Rama breaks Lord Chaitanya’s sannyasa danda.
According to Vedic injunctions, those who accept the fourth social order of life are supposed to carry a danda. In accordance with those injunctions, only the tridanda was accepted in ancient times. Then, later on, the three dandas were combined together and the system of ekadanda was introduced. This system of ekadanda is accepted as a prescribed activity by the followers of advaita-vada.
The addition of the jiva-danda with the tridanda is accepted by followers of the philosophies of shuddhadvaita (purified oneness), vishishtadvaita (specific monism), and dvaitadvaita (simultaneous oneness and difference). Whenever the philosophy of shuddhadvaita is converted into that of viddhadvaita, or monism, the acceptance of tridanda is replaced with the acceptance of ekadanda. Among the names of Vedic tridandi-sannyasis, the ten principle names have been reserved by the monists. Of those ten names, Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu purified the Bharati branch of the Shankara-sampradaya. Later on, Shri Nityananda Prabhu broke Shriman Mahaprabhu’s ekadanda, which is the symbol of subordination to the Shankara-sampradaya, and threw it in the ocean. By so doing, Nityananda showed the world that only acceptance of tridanda-not ekadanda-is favorable for devotional service.
CB Adi-khanda 1.158
shesha-khande, gauracandra giya nilacale
apanare lukai’ rahila kutuhale
In the Antya-khanda Lord Gaurachandra arrives in Nilacala and hides Himself.
Nilacala is also called Shri Kshetra or Purushottama. Sundaracala Mountain is situated near Nilacala. The word acala means “mountain.”
CB Adi-khanda 1.159
sarvabhauma-prati age kari’ parihasa
sheshe sarvabhaumere shad-bhuja-parakasha
At first the Lord teases Sarvabhauma, but later He displays His six-armed form to him.
Although the Shariraka-bhashya, propounded by the mental speculator jnanis, is a subject of laughter, Mahaprabhu nevertheless heard that commentary from Vasudeva Sarvabhauma, who was a Godbrother of the Lord’s grandfather, Nilambara Cakravarti. The Lord then teased him in the manner of a mischievous child. Later, however, the Lord showed him His six-armed form, endowed with the two hands of Rama, the two hands of Krishna, and the two hands of Gaura, with Their respective articles. Vasudeva Sarvabhauma was a famous logician and Vedantist of Navadvipa. In the last stage of his life he went to Purushottama with his wife and lived there as a kshetra-sannyasi. He was the son of Maheshvara Visharada and brother-in-law of Gopinatha Bhattacarya.
CB Adi-khanda 1.160
shesha-khande, prataparudrere paritrana
kashi-mishra-grihete karila adhishthana
In the Antya-khanda the Lord delivers Maharaja Prataparudra and resides in the house of Kashi Mishra.
Maharaja Prataparudra was the king of Utkala [Orissa] and belonged to the Ganga dynasty. The Lord freed him from material life and brought him into the kingdom of Krishna’s worship. The family priest of this emperor was Kashi Mishra, and it was in his house that the Lord used to live. The house of Kashi Mishra is situated between the temple of Lord Jagannatha and the ocean.
CB Adi-khanda 1.161
damodara svarupa, paramananda-puri
shesha-khande, ei dui sange adhikari
In the Antya-khanda the two great authorities, Svarupa Damodara and Paramananda Puri, reside with the Lord.
Shri Damodara Svarupa is the brahmacari name of Shri Purushottama Bhattacarya of Navadvipa. He went to Varanasi prior to the Lord’s acceptance of sannyasa and expressed to one Chaitanyananda his desire to take sannyasa. Before being formally awarded sannyasa, he was known as Damodara Svarupa. He did not wait for those formalities, however, but went to Shri Kshetra and took shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Gaurasundara. From that time on he was master of the Gaudiya Vaishnava-sampradaya and one of the Lord’s most confidential associates during His eighteen year stay at Nilacala.
Paramananda Puri was one of the principle disciples of Shrila Madhavendra Puri. He was a recipient of Shriman Mahaprabhu’s mercy and respect. As Paramananda Puri and Svarupa Gosvami were both engaged in the service of the Lord, they are both authorities.
CB Adi-khanda 1.162
shesha-khande, prabhu punah aila gauda-deshe
mathura dekhiba bali’ ananda visheshe
In the Antya-khanda the Lord returns to Bengal while traveling in ecstasy to see Mathura.
The word gauda-desha in this verse refers to Shri Navadvipa and the places north of Navadvipa such as Ramakeli (the site of Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika’s office and the capitol of the king of Gauda), which is in the present day district of Maldah.
CB Adi-khanda 1.163
asiya rahila vidyavacaspati-ghare
tabe ta’ aila prabhu kuliya-nagare
On the way the Lord happily stays at the house of Vidya-vacaspati, before going on to Kuliya.
Vidya-vacaspati is the son of Maheshvara Visharada and the brother of Vasudeva Sarvabhauma. It appears that the village of Vidyanagara was named after him.
The place known as Kuliya-nagara is now the city of Navadvipa. Another name for this area is Koladvipa. It is the fifth of the nine islands of Navadvipa and is situated on the western side of the Ganges.
CB Adi-khanda 1.164
ananta arbuda loka gela dekhibare
shesha-khande sarva-jiva paila nistare
In the Antya-khanda innumerable people go to see the Lord and are thus delivered.
CB Adi-khanda 1.165
shesha-khande, madhupuri dekhite calila
katho dura giya prabhu nivrita haila
In the Antya-khanda the Lord goes to see Mathura, but He returns after going part way.
In His desire to visit Mathura, the Lord went up to Kanai Natashala, near the town of Rajmohala, and then returned to Nilacala.
CB Adi-khanda 1.166
shesha-khande, punah ailena nilacale
niravadhi bhakta-sange krishna-kolahale
In the Antya-khanda the Lord returns to Nilacala and engages in discussing topics of Krishna with the devotees.
The term krishna-kolahala indicates a place that is diametrically opposite to a secluded place of material enjoyment. Pure devotees give up gossiping on topics not related with Krishna and become maddened by performing kirtana in the association of other pure devotees.
CB Adi-khanda 1.167
gauda-deshe nityananda-svarupe pathana
rahilena nilacale katho jana lano
The Lord sends Nityananda Svarupa to Bengal and stays Himself in Nilacala with a few devotees.
The Lord sent Nityananda Svarupa to preach in Bengal and personally engaged in preaching at Nilacala with a few devotees.
The brahmacari name “Svarupa” is awarded by Tirtha and Ashrama sannyasis of the ekadandi Shankara-sampradaya. Some people say that Nityananda was awarded the title “Svarupa” by Lakshmipati Tirtha.
CB Adi-khanda 1.168
shesha-khande, rathera sammukhe bhakta-sange
apane karila nritya apanara range
In the Antya-khanda the Lord enjoys His pastime of dancing with the devotees before Lord Jagannatha’s chariot.
CB Adi-khanda 1.169
shesha-khande, setubandhe gela gaura-raya
jharikhanda diya punah gela mathuraya
In the Antya-khanda Lord Gauranga goes to Rameshvara and later travels again to Mathura through the Jharikhanda forest.
In order to reach Setubandha Rameshvara, one should first go to Mandapam Station via Ramanada Station on the S.I.R. Railway. From there one should cross the long bridge over the Panvam Channel and reach Panvam Station. Rameshvaram Station is a couple of stations after this. It is the southernmost tip of the India peninsula and situated on the opposite shore from Shri Lanka. Rameshvaram is situated two stations before Dhanushkoti, the last stop on the S.I.R. line, between Panvam and Rameshvaram island. One mile from the station there are twenty-four lakes, such as Rama-tirtha and Lakshmana-tirtha. One mile from those lakes is the huge Rameshvara-Shiva Temple (the temple of Lord Shiva, who is the greatest devotee and whose worshipable Lord is Rama), which is made of stone. On the four sides of this temple there are four gopuras, or lion gates. Within these gates is the natashala and the main temple room, which is constructed of granite. Beyond the temple is Adams Bridge, or the historical Setubandha.
The forest of Jharikhanda is situated in the present day states of Orissa, western Bengal, the southwestern districts of Bihar, and the eastern districts of Madhya Pradesh. In the book Akabar-nama the forest of Jharikhanda is said to extend from Birbhum up to Ratanpura, Madhya Pradesh, and from Rotoshgarh, South Bihar, up to the border of Orissa. The towns and cities of Athgarh, Dhenkanal, Angul, Sambalpur, Lahara, Keonjhar, Bamra, Bonai, Gangapur, Mayurabhunja, Simbhuma, Ranchi, Manabhuma, Bankura (Vishnupura), Sanotalaparagana, Hazaribag, Palamau, Jashpur, Raigarh, Udayapuragarh, and Saraguja are situated within the mountains and dense forests of Jharikhanda.
CB Adi-khanda 1.170
shesha-khande, ramananda-rayera uddhara
shesha-khande, mathuraya aneka vihara
In the Antya-khanda the Lord delivers Ramananda Raya and performs various pastimes in Mathura.
Ramananda Raya was the governor of Kalinga under the rule of Maharaja Prataparudra, the independent king of Orissa. He was the eldest of Bhavananda Pattanayaka’s five sons. He wrote the drama Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka, and he was a most intimate devotee of the Lord. Throughout South India there was no other unalloyed devotee of Krishna in the raga-marga comparable with him.
CB Adi-khanda 1.171
shesha-khande, shri gaurasundara mahashaya
dabira-khasere prabhu dila paricaya
In the Antya-khanda Lord Gaurasundara reveals Himself to Dabira Khasa.
Dabira Khasa is the Mohammedan name of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He was born in a Karnata (Karnataka) brahmana family. His father was Kumaradeva, his elder brother was Sanatana Gosvami, and his younger brother was Shri Vallabha, or Anupama. The Lord gave him the name “Shri Rupa,” by which he became famous in the society of devotees.
CB Adi-khanda 1.172
prabhu cini’ dui bhaira bandha-vimocana
sheshe nama thuilena ‘rupa’-’sanatana’
The two brothers achieve liberation by recognizing the Lord, and they become known as Rupa and Sanatana.
CB Adi-khanda 1.173
shesha-khande, gauracandra gela varanasi
na paila dekha yata nindaka sannyasi
In the Antya-khanda the Lord goes to Varanasi, where the blasphemous sannyasis cannot recognize Him.
The ancient city of Varanasi is inhabited by highly learned scholars and situated on the banks of the Ganges. It is also inhabited by many Mayavadi sannyasis of the monist school who criticize the devotees and devotional service. Because they criticize the devotees and devotional service, these Mayavadi sannyasis are known as nindaka, or blasphemous, sannyasis.
CB Adi-khanda 1.174
shesha-khande, punah nilacale agamana
ahar-nisha karilena hari-sankirtana
In the Antya-khanda the Lord again returns to Nilacala and engages day and night in sankirtana.
Hari-sankirtana refers to a group of many devotees offenselessly chanting together the names and glories of the Supreme Lord Hari.
CB Adi-khanda 1.175
shesha-khande, nityananda katheka divasa
karilena prithivite paryatana-rasa
In the Antya-khanda Lord Nityananda travels throughout India as a wandering mendicant.
The word paryatana-rasa refers to the occupational duties of a parivrajaka, or wandering mendicant.
CB Adi-khanda 1.176
ananta caritra keha bujhite na pare
carane nupura, sarva-mathura vihare
No one can understand Lord Nityananda’s unlimited characteristics as He wanders about Mathura with ankle bells on His feet.
CB Adi-khanda 1.177
shesha-khande, nityananda panihati-grame
chaitanya-ajnaya bhakti karilena dane
In the Antya-khanda Lord Nityananda distributes devotional service to everyone in Panihati on the order of Lord Chaitanya.
Panihati is a village on the bank of the Ganges near Sodapura Station on the E.B.R. line. The houses of Shri Raghava Pandita and Shri Makaradhvaja are situated here.
CB Adi-khanda 1.178
shesha-khande, nityananda maha-malla-raya
vanikadi uddharila parama-kripaya
In the Antya-khanda the commander-in-chief of the kirtana party, Lord Nityananda, delivers the merchant community.
The term maha-malla-raya indicates the commander-in-chief of the kirtana party.
CB Adi-khanda 1.179
shesha-khande, gauracandra maha-maheshvara
nilacale vasa ashtadasha-samvatsara
In the Antya-khanda the Supreme Lord, Shri Gaurachandra, resides in Nilacala for eighteen years.
Ishvara refers to the worshipable object of the controlled, while maheshvara refers to the controller of the controllers. The chief controller of all maheshvaras is maha-maheshvara, from whom all ishvara-tattvas and maheshvara-tattvas are born. In other words, Shri Gaura-Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, and the Lord of all lords.
CB Adi-khanda 1.180
shesha-khande, caitanyera ananta vilasa
vistariya varnite achena veda-vyasa
The unlimited pastimes of Shri Chaitanya in the Antya-khanda will be described by Vyasadeva in the future.
CB Adi-khanda 1.181
ye-te mate caitanyera gaite mahima
nityananda-priti bada, tara nahi sima
If one somehow or other glorifies Lord Chaitanya, then Lord Nityananda becomes unlimitedly pleased with him.
CB Adi-khanda 1.182
dharani-dharendra nityanandera carana
deha’ prabhu-gauracandra, amare sevana
O Lord Gaurachandra, please allow me to serve the feet of Nityananda Prabhu, who, as Ananta Shesha, holds all the universes on His heads.
The word dharani-dharendra refers to the Lord of Shesha, who supports the universe. In other words, Shri Balarama-Nityananda is the source of all purushavataras.
CB Adi-khanda 1.183
ei ta’ kahilun sutra sankshepa kariya
tina khande arambhira ihai gaiya
In these sutras I have thus briefly described the contents of this book. Now I will begin to narrate these three divisions of pastimes.
CB Adi-khanda 1.184
adi-khanda-katha, bhai, shuna eka-cite
shri-chaitanya avatirna haila yena-mate
My dear brothers, please now hear attentively the topics of Adi-khanda regarding the appearance of Lord Chaitanya.
CB Adi-khanda 1.185
shri krishna-chaitanya nityananda-canda jana
vrindavana dasa tachu pada-yuge gana
Accepting Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu as my life and soul, I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their lotus feet.
The word canda means “moon,” and the word jana is a Pharsee noun that means “life.” Another meaning of jana is the verb “to know.” The word tachu means “Their.”
Thus ends the English translation of the Gaudiya-bhashya of Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Chapter One, entitled “Summary of Lord Gaura’s Pastimes.”