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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Eleven: Meeting with Shri Ishvara Puri
CB Adi-khanda 11.1
jaya jaya maha-maheshvara gauracandra
balya-lilaya shri-vidya-vilasera kendra
All glories to Shri Gaurachandra, the Lord of lords. In His childhood He was the reservoir of scholastic pastimes.
The phrase vidya-vilasera kendra is explained as follows: The lack of proper philosophy or knowledge is called avidya. Although some people claim that to achieve knowledge of an incomplete object is vidya, real knowledge is found only in knowledge of the Supreme Lord, who is complete. Although knowledge of Brahman and Paramatma aspects of the Absolute Truth is part of spiritual knowledge, in a comparative study of spiritual knowledge they are both limited and incomplete. The age for primary education of an ordinary human being is known as balya, or childhood. The enactment of educational pastimes that we find in the pastimes of Gaurasundara at that age are like the childhood activities of the spiritual world. The arrangement for learning and teaching children’s literatures like grammar, the principle subject of language books, is simply based on giving and taking mundane knowledge. With the help of these children’s literatures one can enter into and realize knowledge regarding transcendental sound. Although different languages born from the research of mankind are meant for bringing one to knowledge of the Supreme, they are not actually directing one to knowledge of the Supreme. Ordinary people could not observe even a tinge of spiritual education in the educational pursuits of Shri Gaurasundara in His childhood pastimes. Since Gaurasundara concealed Himself at that time, many people had no opportunity to see Him as the central figure of all spiritual knowledge. Although the objects of the external world, which act as servants of sensual knowledge, did not benefit the living entities through Shri Gaurasundara’s studying grammar or teaching language, from the intellectual point of view He was nevertheless certainly present in each word as the Supersoul.
CB Adi-khanda 11.2
ei-mate gupta-bhave ache dvija-raja
adhyayana vina ara nahi kona kaja
In this way, as Gaura, the best of the brahmanas, confidentially lived in Navadvipa, He had no engagement other than studying.
CB Adi-khanda 11.3-4
jiniya kandarpa-koti rupa manohara
prati-ange nirupama lavanya sundara
adhare tambula, divya-vasa-paridhana
His form was as enchanting as millions of Cupids. Each of His limbs was incomparably charming. His arms extended to His knees, and His eyes were like the petals of a lotus. He chewed betel nut and dressed divinely.
The words adhare tambula, “chewed betel nut,” are explained as follows: On seeing Shri Gaurasundara’s wonderfully sweet beauty, which defeats that of millions of Cupids, His matchless effulgence emanating from His bodily limbs, His long arms that stretch to His knees, His lotus eyes, His fine dress, and betel nuts between His lips, the conditioned souls, who have been awarded ugly material bodies, short arms, and harsh eyes and who desire sense gratification, consider Shri Gaurasundara as attached to material enjoyment and intoxication and possessing a material body like themselves. But if they understand the extraordinary glories of Shri Gaurasundara, it will help the envious living entities realize that their material bodies, which are fit to be eaten by dogs and jackals, and their minds, which are attached to misconceptions, are abominable. Although Shri Gaurasundara accepted innumerable items of enjoyment such as betel nuts, He instructed everyone for their eternal benefit to engage each and every item in the service of Shri Krishna, who is the only object of all enjoyment. In other words, He taught that if living entities eligible for being controlled by maya enjoy insignificant material sense objects, their inauspiciousness is guaranteed, for these items are eternally prescribed as ingredients for the service of the Supreme Lord. Although the display of such pastimes by Shri Gaurasundara is meant to be seen and analyzed by self-controlled sadhakas, the eternally envious ignorant observers are simply bewildered as a reward for their foolishness. Since Shri Gaurasundara is situated on the highest platform of the Absolute Truth, His exhibition of renunciation pastimes was not intended to protect Himself from the mundane difficulties imposed by nondevotional endeavors like those of conditioned souls who desire self-control and liberation and who display an indifferent lifestyle in order to remain detached or separate from material objects; rather, He empowered the most fortunate persons to understand the important truth that in the characteristics and personality of the Supreme Lord the performance of such pastimes is not at all abominable or faulty.
CB Adi-khanda 11.5
sarvadaya parihasa-murti vidya-bale
sahasra paduya-sange, yabe prabhu cale
As the Lord walked with thousands of students, by the strength of His knowledge He entertained everyone with His sharp wit.
CB Adi-khanda 11.6
sarva-navadvipe bhrame’ tribhuvana-pati
pustakera rupe kare priya sarasvati
Vishvambhara, the Lord of the three worlds, traveled all over Navadvipa holding in His hand His beloved Sarasvati, in the form of a book.
In the form of books, Maha-Lakshmi Narayani, the goddess of speech, always remained in the lotus hands of her Lord, Gaura-Narayana, and thus fulfilled the meaning of the Lord’s name, Vacaspati, “the husband of the goddess of speech.”
CB Adi-khanda 11.7
navadvipe hena nahi panditera nama
ye asiya bujhibeka prabhura vyakhyana
There was no scholar throughout Navadvipa who could understand Nimai’s explanations.
CB Adi-khanda 11.8
sabe eka gangadasa maha-bhagyavan
ya’ra thani prabhu kare’ vidyara adana
The Lord discussed His explanations only with the most fortunate Gangadasa Pandita.
CB Adi-khanda 11.9
sakala ‘samsari’ dekhi’ bole,-“dhanya dhanya
e nandana yahara, tahara kon dainya?”
All the materialistic people said, “The parents of this boy are certainly glorious. What can they be lacking?”
CB Adi-khanda 11.10
yateka ‘prakriti’ dekhe madana-samana
‘pashandi’ dekhaye yena yama vidyamana
All the ladies considered the Lord to be as attractive as Cupid, and the atheists considered Him as death personified.
In this material world, the men are the enjoyers and the women are the objects of enjoyment. In other words, the women are enjoyed by the men and the men are enjoyed by the women. An enjoyer enjoys his objects of enjoyment with his senses. Both the male and female enjoy material objects through their jnanendriyas, or knowledge-acquiring senses, and karmendriyas, or working senses. Gaurasundara is directly Lord Krishna, therefore He is the abode of all beauty, surpassing millions of Cupids. Gaurasundara is never an object of enjoyment for mundane women, that is why He cannot be the object of worship for the gaura-nagaris. When a living entity becomes self-realized, the Madana-mohana form of Gaurasundara manifests within his heart. Although the conditioned souls who identify themselves as women may consider Gaurasundara as an object of enjoyment, Gaurahari does not fulfill their prayers. The moods of master and servant are present in this material world. For the living entities to think themselves the masters of material nature rather than considering themselves the servants of the Supreme Lord is an impediment in their constitutional duties of devotional service. Shri Gaurasundara has personally displayed to the living entities the prime example of how to be a servant of the Supreme Lord and thus removed the enjoying mood from their conditioned minds. That is why the followers of Gaurahari cannot accept Him as nagara, the enjoyer of women. Lord Gaurasundara never demonstrated that He was under the control of any material conditions in His pastimes. But even if someone out of great misfortune forgets that he is the eternal servant of the servitor God and thinks himself to be the object of service, Shri Gaurasundara still awakens his service attitude towards Gaura-Krishna by removing such evil propensities.
CB Adi-khanda 11.11
‘pandita’ sakala dekhe yena brihaspati
ei-mata dekhe sabe, ya’ra yena mati
All the learned scholars considered Him equal to Brihaspati. In this way everyone appreciated the Lord according to their own mentality.
CB Adi-khanda 11.12
dekhi’ vishvambhara-rupa sakala vaishnava
harisha-vishada hai’ mane bhave’ saba
Seeing Vishvambhara’s attractive form, the Vaishnavas felt both jubilation and lamentation.
CB Adi-khanda 11.13-14
“hena divya-sharire na haya krishna-rasa
ki karibe vidyaya, haile kala-vasa?”
mohita vaishnava saba prabhura mayaya
dekhiya o tabu keha dekhite na paya
They thought, “Although He has such a divine body, He has no attraction for Krishna. What good is His education if He simply wastes His time?” All the Vaishnavas were bewildered by the internal potency of the Lord, so even though they saw the Lord they didn’t understand Him.
For persons on the path of the ascending process, education continues up to the time of death. The knowledge that a living entity acquires during his lifetime does not help him in his next life. By seeing that Gaurasundara was as learned as Brihaspati and as beautiful as Cupid, ordinary people thought that such transcendental beauty and extraordinary knowledge would remain only for the duration of His life, that is, they were temporary-but the opulences of Krishna are actually eternal. They thought that if the opulences seen in Gaurasundara were those of a devotee rather than those of the absolute independent form of Krishna, who enjoys pastimes out of His own sweet will, it would particularly increase the happiness of the devotees. By the desire of the Lord, the Vaishnavas also did not understand at that time that Lord Gaurahari is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. Shri Krishna is an ocean of transcendental pastimes. By His own will, the influence of Yogamaya neither manifest Gaura’s covered pastimes nor gave an opportunity to the Vaishnavas to understand His Gaura form was that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Though they saw Him, they nevertheless did not see or understand His real form (as the Supreme Personality of Godhead). Ordinary conditioned souls had no right at all to perceive the Lord, who was engaged in covered pastimes.
CB Adi-khanda 11.15
sakshate o prabhu dekhi’ keha keha bole
“ki karye gonao kala tumi vidya-bhole?”
Although they directly saw the Lord, some of them said, “Why do You waste Your time in the fruitless pursuit of knowledge?”
In order to assist in the covered pastimes of the Lord, the Vaishnavas, by the will of the Lord, acted as ignorant people induced by material knowledge as they continually endeavored to convert Gaura into a servant of the Supreme Lord. Besides giving indirect hints, they also directly told Nimai not to remain absorbed in the cultivation of useless knowledge but to worship Hari, for that was beneficial.
CB Adi-khanda 11.16
shuniya hasena prabhu sevakera vakye
prabhu bole,-“tomara shikha o mora bhagye”
The Lord smiled on hearing His servants speak like this, and He replied, “I am fortunate to have You instruct Me.”
In reply, the Lord said, “It is My great fortune that you are all instructing Me to become a devotee of Hari.”
CB Adi-khanda 11.17
hena-mate prabhu gonayena vidya-rase
sevaka cinite nare, anya jana kise?
As the Lord thus passed His time in scholastic pastimes, His servants could not recognize Him, so what to speak of others?
By the will of the Lord, and to assist in His covered pastimes, His eternal associates did not understand His glories but rather acted as ignorant. When the eternal associates of the Lord could not recognize Him, then how could ordinary materialists, who are expert in fruitive activities, know Him?
CB Adi-khanda 11.18
catur-dik haite loka navadvipe yaya
navadvipe padile se vidya-rasa paya
People came from all over India to study in Navadvipa, for if one studied in Navadvipa he got a taste for education.
CB Adi-khanda 11.19
catigrama-nivasi o aneke tathaya
padena vaishnava saba rahena gangaya
Many Vaishnavas came from Cattagrama to live on the bank of the Ganges and study in Navadvipa.
In order to study, the residents of the distant village of Cattagrama resided on the bank of the Ganges in Navadvipa.
CB Adi-khanda 11.20
sabei janmiyachena prabhura ajnaya
sabei virakta krishna-bhakta sarvathaya
They were all renounced devotees of Krishna and had taken birth by the order of the Lord.
By the desire of Gaurasundara, all the devotees who had appeared in this world at that time became totally indifferent to material objects and constantly engaged in worshiping Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 11.21
anyo ‘nye mili’ sabe padiya shuniya
karena govinda-carca nibhrite vasiya
After school hours, they regularly met together in a solitary place to discuss topics of Lord Krishna.
Not receiving any encouragement for worshiping Krishna from Shri Gaurasundara, the Vaishnavas of that time cultivated Krishna consciousness in seclusion. Wherever there is no direct manifestation of the Supreme Lord or His dear associate, nirjana-bhajana, or solitary worship of the Lord, is appropriate. Otherwise it is prescribed that one should engage in hari-kirtana only under the guidance of the Supreme Lord or His devotee.
CB Adi-khanda 11.22
sarva-vaishnavera priya mukunda ekanta
mukundera gane drave’ sakala mahanta
Shri Mukunda was most dear to all the Vaishnavas. Their hearts all melted when He sang.
Those who are detached from material enjoyment and engaged in worshiping the Supreme Lord are called mahantas, or Vaishnavas. On hearing Mukunda singing about the pastimes of Lord Hari, the hearts of such great souls melted.
CB Adi-khanda 11.23
vikala haile asi’ bhagavata-gana
advaita-sabhaya sabe hayena milana
In the afternoon all the devotees regularly met in the house of Advaita Prabhu.
After completing their days work, the devotees gathered in the afternoons at the house of Advaita Acarya Prabhu in Shri Mayapur. Since Shri Gaurasundara had not yet manifest His pastimes as the shelter of the devotees, Shri Advaita Prabhu was the shelter of all Vaishnavas.
CB Adi-khanda 11.24
yei-matra mukunda gayena krishna-gita
hena nahi jani, keba pade kon bhita?
As soon as Mukunda would begin singing about Krishna, everyone there fell to the ground in ecstatic love.
After hearing Mukunda sing about Krishna, all the listeners became overwhelmed with love of God and fell on the ground here and there.
CB Adi-khanda 11.25
keha kande, keha hase, keha nritya kare
gada-gadi yaya keha vastra na sambare
Some of them cried, some laughed, and others danced. The clothes of some persons scattered as they rolled on the ground.
The words vastra na sambare indicate that they were unable to keep their clothes in order.
CB Adi-khanda 11.26
hunkara karaye keha malsat mare
keha giya mukundera dui paye dhare
Someone roared as he challenged the agents of Maya, and someone else caught hold of Mukunda’s feet.
CB Adi-khanda 11.27
ei-mata utheya paramananda-sukha
na jane vaishnava saba ara kona duhkha
In this way the Vaishnavas enjoyed great ecstasy and forgot all forms of distress.
CB Adi-khanda 11.28
prabhu o mukunda-prati bada sukhi mane
dekhilei mukundere dharena apane
The Lord was most satisfied with Mukunda. Whenever the Lord saw him, He would stop him.
CB Adi-khanda 11.29
prabhu jijnasena phanki, vakhane mukunda
prabhu bole,-“kichu nahe”, ara lage dvandva
The Lord would then ask Mukunda for some clarification on a point, and when Mukunda answered Him, the Lord would say, “Wrong!” and immediately an argument would begin.
Whatever Mukunda replied when challenged by the Lord, the Lord would immediately reject, and as a result they would begin to quarrel.
CB Adi-khanda 11.30
mukunda pandita bada, prabhura prabhave
paksha-pratipaksha kari’ prabhu-sane lage
By the mercy of the Lord, Mukunda was very learned. Thus he was able to present arguments and counter-arguments to Nimai’s challenge.
By the mercy of the Lord there was no end to Mukunda’s knowledge. Mukunda engaged in a war of words with the Lord through his debate and counter-debate.
CB Adi-khanda 11.31
ei-mata prabhu nija-sevaka cinina
jijnasena phanki, sabe yayena hariya
In this way the Lord recognized His devotees by challenging them for clarification on some point, but they were all defeated in the ensuing argument.
CB Adi-khanda 11.32
shrivasadi dekhile o phanki jijnasena
mithya-vakya-vyaya-bhahe sabe palayena
Shrivasa and other devotees were all challenged in this way by the Lord, but they would all run away in fear of wasting time in useless arguments.
Fearful of useless talk, in the form of being challenged by Nimai, the devotees headed by Shrivasa would run away from Him in order to avoid confrontation. Although the devotees were qualified to engage in philosophical debate, they were not eager to indulge in arguments on inconceivable subjects since dry arguments are inconclusive.
CB Adi-khanda 11.33
sahaje virakta sabe shri-krishnera rase
krishna-vyakhya vinu ara kichu nahi vase
The devotees were naturally detached due to their advancement in Krishna consciousness. They did not care to hear anything other than topics related with Lord Krishna.
The rasika devotees of Adhokshaja Krishna are naturally detached from all objects not related with Krishna. Their resolute love was displayed by their seeing everything in relationship with Krishna. Because they realized the necessity of having a taste for Krishna consciousness, they considered the taste for inferior objects to be useless.
CB Adi-khanda 11.34
dekhilei prabhu matra phanki se jijnase
prabodhite nare keha, sheshe upahase
As soon as the Lord saw any devotee, He would challenge him; and when he failed to give the correct response, the Lord would tease him.
Whenever Nimai met a devotee, He would greatly disturb him with His challenges. The devotees could not check Nimai by answering His challenges, therefore all their arguments ultimately ended in Nimai teasing them.
CB Adi-khanda 11.35
yadi keha dekhe,-prabhu aisena dure
sabe palayena phanki-jijnasara dare
If any of them saw the Lord coming in the distance, they would run away out of fear of being challenged.
Fearful of uselessly wasting time in insignificant material arguments, the devotees of the Lord always avoided coming face to face with Nimai. In order to avoid meeting Him, they kept a distance from Him.
CB Adi-khanda 11.36
krishna-katha shunitei sabe bhalavase
phanki vinu prabhu krishna-katha na jijnase
The devotees all loved to hear topics concerning Lord Krishna, but Nimai did not mention anything about Krishna when He challenged them.
The devotees loved to hear topics of Krishna, but the Lord bewildered them with subjects not related to Krishna for the purpose of keeping Himself unknown or hidden from the devotees, thus maintaining His covered status.
CB Adi-khanda 11.37
raja-patha diya prabhu aisena eka-dina
paduyara sange maha-auddhatera cina
One day, as Nimai walked on the main street with His students, He displayed symptoms of great pride.
While engaged in a battle of words with the students, Nimai often exhibited impudence or arrogance.
CB Adi-khanda 11.38
mukunda yayena ganga-snana karibare
prabhu dekhi’ ade palaila katho dure
At that time Mukunda was on his way to take bath in the Ganges, but when he saw Nimai coming, he ran away.
CB Adi-khanda 11.39-40
dekhi’ prabhu jijnasena govindera sthane
“e beta amare dekhi’ palaila’ kene?”
govinda bolena,-“ami na jani, pandita!
ara kona-karye va calila kon-bhita”
Seeing this, the Lord inquired from Govinda, “Why did this boy run away upon seeing Me?” Govinda replied, “O Pandita, I don’t know. Perhaps he went somewhere for some work.”
The Govinda referred to in this verse is not the blacksmith Govinda; he was the Lord’s associate, servant, and doorkeeper at that time.
CB Adi-khanda 11.41
prabhu bole,-“janilana ye lagi’ palaya
bahirmukha-sambhasha karite na yuyaya
The Lord said, “I know the reason why he’s avoiding Me. He does not want to speak with a nondevotee.
Speaking on subject matters not related to Krishna is materialist speech. Conditioned souls engage material objects in their sense gratification with the help of their mind. Then, induced by material knowledge, the conditioned souls forget topics of Krishna and spend their time discussing topics related with the external energy. Those who are self-realized engage themselves in topics that are useful for the service of Hari. The conclusion is that a living entity should never waste time discussing anything other than topics of Hari.
CB Adi-khanda 11.42
e beta padaye yata vaishnavera shastra
panji, vritti, tika ami vakhaniye matra
“This boy studies only Vaishnava literatures, while I explain only panji, vritti, and tika.
The words vaishnavera shastra refer to Shrimad Bhagavatam, which is the principle commentary on the Badarayana-sutras, or Brahma-sutras. It is stated: shrimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaishnavanam priyam-“Shrimad Bhagavatam is the spotless Purana and is most dear to the Vaishnavas.” These words also refer to the six Vaishnava Puranas, headed by the Vishnu Purana and the Padma Purana; the Vaishnava smritis, such as that of Harita, from among the twenty Dharma-shastras, headed by that of Manu; the shrutis, such as Gopala-tapani and Nrisimha-tapani; the histories, such as the Mahabharata and the original Ramayana; the Satvata Pancaratras headed by the Narada, Hayashirsha, and Prahlada; and the literatures written by exalted pure devotees.
CB Adi-khanda 11.43
amara sambhashe nahi krishnera kathana
ataeva ama’ dekhi’ kare palayana
“I do not speak anything about Krishna, therefore He ran away when he saw Me.”
Since Shri Gaurasundara’s statements contained no mention of the qualities of Krishna, the devotees left Him in the distance and went far away.
CB Adi-khanda 11.44
santoshe padena gali prabhu mukundere
vyapadeshe prakasha karena apanare
The Lord called Mukunda some ill names, yet He was actually satisfied with him. At the same time He indirectly disclosed His identity.
Being satisfied at heart, the Lord manifested His own identity on the pretext of externally chastising Mukunda; in other words, He approved the discussion of hari-katha. The devotees of Rama discuss the names of Sita-Rama rather than the names of Radha-Krishna, but their external exhibition of such difference in opinion is actually another way of hearing the names of Radha and Krishna. Similarly, the devotees of Krishna chant the names of Radha-Govinda before the devotees of Rama in order to test their qualification for chanting the names of Sita-Rama, the names indicating the regulative opulent feature of the Lord. Such quarrels in the service of Lord Hari are just contradictions of internal and external endeavors.
CB Adi-khanda 11.45
prabhu bole,-“are beta kata dina thaka?
palaile kotha mora edaibe paka?”
The Lord said, “My dear boy, how long will you avoid My clutches? Do you think you will escape My association by running away?”
The word paka (pac+ghana, or a corruption of the word parikrama?) means “by chance or accident,” “device,” or “trick.”
CB Adi-khanda 11.46
hasi’ bole prabhu-“age padon kata-dina
tabe se dekhiba-mora vaishnavera cina
Smiling, the Lord said, “When I finish My studies, then you will all see My Vaishnava qualities.”
CB Adi-khanda 11.47
e-mata vaishnava mui haimu samsare
aja-bhava asibeka amara duyare
“I will be such a Vaishnava that Brahma and Shiva will come to My door.
The authoritative demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva are the dear friends of the Vaishnavas. Brahma, Shiva, Narada, and others make an auspicious appearance wherever there are Vaishnavas who are attached to the service of the Lord. By worldly considerations, the demigods are very exalted. But the arrival of demigods at the doors of Vaishnavas, with whom they are affectionately bound, is a display of their humility.
CB Adi-khanda 11.48
shuna, bhai saba, ei amara vacana
vaishnava haimu mui sarva-vilakshana
“My dear brothers, listen to Me. I will certainly become an extraordinary Vaishnava.
The word sarva-vilakshana refers to one who is more attached to the service of the Lord than all other Vaishnavas. While comparing the levels of abhidheya, in order to ascertain who is the best of the souls surrendered to the Supreme Lord, Shrila Rupa Gosvami has written in his Upadeshamrita (10) as follows: “In the shastra it is said that of all types of fruitive workers, he who is advanced in knowledge of the higher values of life is favored by the Supreme Lord Hari. Out of many such people who are advanced in knowledge [jnanis], one who is practically liberated by virtue of his knowledge may take to devotional service. He is superior to the others. However, one who has actually attained prema, pure love of Krishna, is superior to him. The gopis are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent upon Shri Krishna, the transcendental cowherd boy. Among the gopis, Shrimati Radharani is the most dear to Krishna. Her kunda [lake] is as profoundly dear to Lord Krishna as this most beloved of the gopis. Who, then, will not reside at Radha-kunda and, in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings [aprakrita-bhava], render loving service to the divine couple Shri Shri Radha-Govinda, who perform Their ashta-kaliya-lila, Their eternal eightfold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Radha-kunda are the most fortunate people in the universe.”
CB Adi-khanda 11.49
amare dekhiya ebe ye-saba palaya
tahara o yena mora guna-kirti gaya”
“Those who run away from Me today will chant My glories and qualities tomorrow.”
CB Adi-khanda 11.50
eteka baliya prabhu calila hasite
ghare gela nija-shishya-ganera sahite
After speaking in this way, Nimai smiled and returned home with His students.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.