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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Twelve: The Lord’s Wandering Throughout Navadvipa
CB Adi-khanda 12.1
jaya jaya mahaprabhu shri-gaurasundara
jaya hauka prabhura yateka anucara
All glories to Mahaprabhu Shri Gaurasundara! All glories to the followers of the Lord!
CB Adi-khanda 12.2
hena mate navadvipe shri-gaurasundara
pustaka laiya krida kare nirantara
In this way Shri Gaurasundara, with book in hand, always enjoyed pastimes in Navadvipa.
CB Adi-khanda 12.3
yata adhyapaka, prabhu calena sabare
prabodhite shakti kona jana nahi dhare
He challenged any teacher He would meet, but none of them had the power to defeat Him.
Shri Gaurasundara defeated in scriptural debate all the teachers of Navadvipa, which was the center of education. None of the teachers could compete with Him or satisfy Him with answers to His challenges.
CB Adi-khanda 12.4
vyakarana-shastre sabe vidyara adana
bhattacarya-prati o nahika trina-jnana
Although He was simply a student of grammar, He nevertheless considered the learned Bhattacaryas to be as insignificant as grass.
Learned scholars who are expert in philosophical literatures are known as Bhattacaryas. Although the Lord was studying and teaching only grammar, He nevertheless did not consider such great scholars as equal to even grass.
CB Adi-khanda 12.5
svanubhavanande kare’ nagara-bhramana
samhati parama-bhagyavanta shishya-gana
The self-satisfied Lord traveled throughout Navadvipa along with His most fortunate students.
No one was able to contradict the Lord’s realized knowledge. The Lord wandered the streets of Navadvipa by His own sweet will. At that time the most fortunate subordinate students kept company with the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 12.6
daive pathe mukundera sange darashana
haste dhari’ prabhu ta’ne bolena vacana
One day by providence the Lord met Mukunda on the road. The Lord held Mukunda’s hand and spoke to him.
CB Adi-khanda 12.7
“amare dekhiya tumi ki-karye palao?
aji ama’ prabodhiya vina dekhi yao?”
“Why do you run away as soon as you see Me? Let me see how you run away today without answering Me.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.8
mane bhave mukunda,-“aji jinimu kemane?
ihana abhyasa saba matra vyakarane
Mukunda thought, “How will I defeat Him today? He is well versed only in grammar.
CB Adi-khanda 12.9
thekaimu aji jijnasiya ‘alankara!
mora sane yena garva na karena ara!”
“I’ll defeat Him with questions on alankara. Then He may not again display His pride before me.”
As soon as Mukunda was caught on the road by the Lord, he thought that Nimai always insulted him, thinking him as ignorant of grammar. Therefore, considering Nimai as inexperienced in alankara-shastras, he thought that he would raise questions or problems in alankara and completely defeat Nimai. In other words, if Nimai’s lack of knowledge in alankara-shastra were revealed, He would never again brag or exhibit pride over His learning before Mukunda.
The word thekaimu (thakaimu?-“I will cheat”) means “to put someone in danger or illusion,” “to confuse,” “to embarrass,” “to put obstacles or check one’s movement,” “to defeat,” or in other words “to overpower.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.10
lagila jijnasa mukundera prabhu-sane
prabhu khande’ yata artha mukunda vakhane
Thereafter Mukunda began to ask the Lord questions. Whatever Mukunda established, the Lord would refute.
CB Adi-khanda 12.11
mukunda bolena,-“vyakarana shishu-shastra
balake se ihara vicara kare matra
Mukunda said, “Grammar is studied only by children.
CB Adi-khanda 12.12
alankara vicara kariba toma’ sane”
prabhu kahe,-“bujha tora yeba laya mane”
“Today we should discuss alankara.” The Lord replied, “As you desire.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.13
vishama-vishama yata kavitva-pracara
padiya mukunda jijnasaye ‘alankara’
Mukunda then read some of the most difficult yet well-known verses and asked the Lord to point out any faults.
CB Adi-khanda 12.14
sarva-shakti-maya gauracandra avatara
khanda khanda kari’ doshe saba ‘alankara’
The omnipotent Lord Gaurachandra then pointed out various faults in the verses.
Since Shri Gaurasundara is the omnipotent Supreme Personality of Godhead and the source of all incarnations, His knowledge in all scriptures is matchless. Therefore the Lord pointed out various ornamental faults in Mukunda’s questions.
CB Adi-khanda 12.15
mukunda sthapite nare prabhura khandana!
hasiya hasiya prabhu bolena vacana
Mukunda was unable to reestablish what the Lord had refuted. The Lord then smiled and said to him.
CB Adi-khanda 12.16
“aji ghare giya bhala-mate punthi caha
kali bujhibana jhata asibare caha”
“Go home for today and study your books carefully. Come early tomorrow and we’ll discuss further.”
The word bujhibana means “I will test you by analysis.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.17
calila mukunda lai’ caranera dhuli
mane mane cintaye mukunda kutuhali
After Mukunda took the dust from Nimai’s feet and departed, he thought.
CB Adi-khanda 12.18
“manushyera e-mata panditya ache kotha!
hena shastra nahika, abhyasa nahi yatha!
“An ordinary human being cannot possess such knowledge! There is no literature that He is not conversant with!
The Lord was learned in all scriptures; there was no scripture that the Lord had not already mastered. In fact, unlimited expertise in all scriptures was present in Him.
CB Adi-khanda 12.19
e-mata subuddhi krishna-bhakta haya yabe
tileko ihana sanga na chadiye tabe”
“If such an intelligent person was a devotee of Krishna, then I would not leave His association for even a moment.”
Mukunda began to think about the Lord as follows: “If such an extraordinary knowledgeable and intelligent person engaged His mind in worshiping Krishna, then I would not leave His association and go elsewhere for even a moment.” Knowledge elevates a person to the highest position in this world or makes one extraordinarily respectable, but if along with such knowledge, devotion to the Lord manifests in a great personality, then it is like gold mixed with borax 1. Less-intelligent devotees should always hear the scriptures from learned devotees. By hearing scriptures in this way, one’s devotional service will be refined. If a living entity considers devotional scriptures or spiritual knowledge as equal to ordinary mundane knowledge, which aims at material enjoyment, then his devotional service is not enhanced. Hearing topics of the Lord from pure devotees is the only support in the less-intelligent devotees’ worship of the Supreme Lord. Otherwise their propensity for worshiping the Lord diminishes day by day, and, being attacked by the mundane beliefs of the sahajiyas, they fall from the worship of the Lord. Generally, prakrita-sahajiyas are very foolish. Proudly considering themselves expert in bhajana, they become confused by opposing the scriptures and stray far away from the mahajanas’ all-auspicious statements like sadhu-shastra-guru-vakya, hridaye kariya aikya-“One must consider the instructions of the sadhu, the revealed scriptures, and the spiritual master in order to understand the real purpose of spiritual life.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.20
ei-mate vidya-rase vaikuntha-ishvara
bhramite dekhena ara dine gadadhara
In this way the Lord of Vaikuntha enjoyed the life of a scholar. One day, while wandering about Navadvipa, Nimai met Gadadhara.
CB Adi-khanda 12.21
hasi’ dui hate prabhu rakhila dhariya
“nyaya pada tumi, ama’ yao prabodhiya”
The Lord smiled as He caught Gadadhara’s hands and said, “Aren’t you studying logic? Come, let us debate.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.22
“jijnasaha”,-gadadhara bolaye vacana
prabhu bole,-“kaha dekhi muktira lakshana”
Gadadhara said, “So, question me,” and Nimai asked, “What are the symptoms of liberation?”
CB Adi-khanda 12.23
shastra-artha yena gadadhara vakhanila
prabhu bolena,-“vyakhya karite na janila”
Gadadhara then explained the symptoms of liberation according to the scriptures, but Nimai countered, “You don’t know how to explain properly.”
Shri Gadadhara Pandita explained to Nimai the lesson that he had learned that day. Hearing this, the Lord replied, “Your explanation is not good.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.24
gadadhara bole,-“atyantika duhkha-nasha
iharei shastre kahe muktira prakasha”
Gadadhara then said, “Liberation is freedom from misery. This is the meaning of liberation according to the scriptures.”
Shri Gadadhara said, “It is stated in various scriptures such as the Sankhya-shastras that mitigation of excessive distress is the symptom of liberation.” In the Sankhya-pravacana-sutras (1.1) it is stated: atha trividha-duhkhatyanta nivritir atyanta purusharthah-“Mitigation of the threefold miseries is the goal of life.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.25
nana-rupe doshe’ prabhu sarasvati-pati
hena nahi tarkika, ye karibeka sthiti
Then the Lord, who is the husband of goddess Sarasvati, pointed out various faults in his statement. There was no one who could defeat His argument and silence Him.
The Lord is the direct manifestation of the Vaishnava literatures and the master of the goddess of learning, therefore no one can equal Him in argument. Shri Gaurasundara properly pointed out how the symptoms of liberation mentioned in the nyaya-shastras are most useless and full of faults. Inaugurating the philosophy of Shri Madhvacaryapada, that moksham vishnvanghri-labham-“the symptom of liberation is attainment of the lotus feet of Vishnu,” He established that the existence of the gross and subtle bodies, which enjoy happiness and distress, is temporary, and the living entity’s eternal propensity, or constitutional duty, of devotional service to Lord Krishna is the symptom of liberation.
CB Adi-khanda 12.26
hena jana nahika ye prabhu-sane bole
gadadhara bhave,-“aji varti palaile!”
No one even dared to speak with the Lord, and thus Gadadhara thought, “I’ll be relieved to get out of here!”
No one in the entire universe was qualified to face the Lord’s challenge or converse with Him. Gadadhara Pandita thought, “I’ll be saved if I can run away from Him.”
The word varti (from the Sanskrit dhatu vrit) means “I remain present,” “in this case I am spared,” or “I saved my life.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.27
prabhu bole,-“gadadhara, aji yaha ghara
kali bujhibana, tumi asiha satvara”
The Lord said, “Gadadhara, you can go home today, but come early tomorrow so we can discuss more.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.28
namaskari’ gadadhara calilena ghare
thakura bhramena sarva nagare nagare
Gadadhara offered his respects to Nimai and went home, and Nimai continued to wander through the streets of Navadvipa.
CB Adi-khanda 12.29
parama-pandita-jnana haila sabara
sabei karena dekhi’ sambhrama apara
Everyone considered Nimai a most learned scholar, so they treated Him with awe and reverence.
The Lord defeated all the teachers of Navadvipa by His unparalleled knowledge and was established as the most learned scholar. Everyone respected Him as the foremost scholar.
CB Adi-khanda 12.30
vikale thakura sarva paduyara sange
ganga-tire asiya vaisena maharange
Every afternoon Nimai would sit on the bank of the Ganges with His students.
CB Adi-khanda 12.31
sindhu-suta-sevita prabhura kalevara
tribhuvane advitiya madana sundara
The Lord’s body is served by Lakshmi, the daughter of the ocean. His beauty surpasses that of Cupid and is therefore incomparable throughout the three worlds.
The word sindhu-suta refers to Shri Lakshmidevi, who appeared during the churning of the ocean. She is described in the Brahma-samhita (29) as follows:
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami
“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakshmis or gopis.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.32
catur-dike vediya vaisena shishya-gana
madhye shastra vakhanena shri-shacinandana
Surrounded by His students, Shri Shacinandana would give explanations on the scriptures.
CB Adi-khanda 12.33
vaishnava-sakale tabe sandhya-kala haile
asiya vaisena ganga-tire kutuhale
In the evening all the Vaishnavas also gathered on the bank of the Ganges.
CB Adi-khanda 12.34
dure thaki’ prabhura vyakhyana sabhe shune
harishe vishada sabhe bhave’ mane mane
As they listened to Nimai’s explanations from a distance, they felt both happiness and lamentation.
CB Adi-khanda 12.35
keha bole,-“hena rupa, hena vidya ya’ra
na bhajile krishna, nahe kichu upakara”
One of them said, “If anyone who possesses such beauty and knowledge does not worship Krishna, there is no benefit.”
In this world a beautiful form is the object of praise, so also is great learning. But what is beautiful or learned, when those with beauty or learning factually neither benefit themselves nor others if they do not worship Krishna?
CB Adi-khanda 12.36
sabei bolena, “bhai, uhane dekhiya
phanki-jijnasara bhaye yai palaira”
They all replied, “Dear brother, anyone who sees Him runs away in fear of facing His challenge.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.37
keha bole,-“dekha haile na dena ediya
mahadani-praya yena rakhena dhariya
Someone else said, “When He sees someone, He doesn’t allow him to leave. He captures him just like a tax collector captures a debtor.”
The phrase mahadani-praya means “like a highly posted royal servant who collects taxes, revenues, or rents.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.38
keha bole,-“brahmanera shakti amanushi
kona mahapurusha va haya-hena vasi
Another said, “This brahmana has uncommon potency. I think He must be some great personality.
CB Adi-khanda 12.39
yadyapiha nirantara vakhanena phanki!
tathapi santosha bada pana inha dekhi’
“Although He constantly asks shrewd questions, we still get great satisfaction just by seeing Him.
CB Adi-khanda 12.40
manushyera emana panditya dekhi nai
krishna na bhajena,-sabe ei duhkha pai”
“We’ve never seen such knowledge in an ordinary person. Our only regret is that He doesn’t worship Krishna.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.41
anyo ‘nye sabei sadhena saba’ prati
“sabhe bala,-’ihana hauka krishne rati’”
The Vaishnavas all requested each other, “Bless Nimai so that His mind will be fixed on Krishna.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.42
dandavat hai’ sabhe padila gangare
sarva bhagavata meli’ ashirvada kare
Then they all offered their obeisances on the bank of the Ganges and blessed Nimai with a prayer.
CB Adi-khanda 12.43
“hena kara krishna-jagannathera nandana
to’ra rase matta hau, chadi’ anya-mana
“O Krishna, please let the son of Jagannatha Mishra become absorbed in You without deviation.
The Vaishnavas of Navadvipa began to pray to Lord Krishna, “May Nimai Pandita, the son of Jagannatha Mishra, give up all other endeavors and fully engage in worshiping Krishna. May Nimai Pandita also manifest uncommon endeavors in the devotional service of Krishna like those that have earned Him the highest elevated position of learning in the world.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.44
niravadhi prema-bhave bhajuka tomare
hena, sanga krishna, deha’ ama’ sabakare”
“Let Him constantly worship You in love. O Lord, please let us have such association.”
CB Adi-khanda 12.45
antaryami prabhu,-citta janena sabara
shrivasadi dekhilei kare’ namaskara
As the Supersoul, the Lord knows the heart of all living entities. Whenever He saw devotees like Shrivasa, He would offer them His respects.
CB Adi-khanda 12.46
bhakta ashirvada prabhu shire kari’ laya
bhakta-ashirvade se krishnete bhakti haya
The Lord accepted the devotees’ blessings on His head, for devotional service to Lord Krishna is attained only by the blessings of devotees.
Although the Lord is the only sovereign master of the fourteen worlds, He nevertheless accepted on His head the blessings of His devotees. The devotees’ blessings are so powerful that by their influence even a living entity who is averse to Krishna becomes attached to His lotus feet.
CB Adi-khanda 12.47
keha keha sakshate o prabhu dekhi’ bole
“ki karye gonao kala tumi vidya-bhole?”
Someone also directly told Nimai, “Why are You wasting Your time with mundane education?”
CB Adi-khanda 12.48
keha bole,-“hera dekha, nimani-pandita!
vidyaya ki labha?-krishna bhajaha tvarita
Another person said, “Look, Nimai, what do You gain from studying? Just worship Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 12.49
pade kene loka?-krishna-bhakti janibare
se yadi nahila, tabe vidyaya ki kare?”
“Why do people study? Education is only for understanding devotional service of Lord Krishna. If that purpose is not served, then what is the use of Your education?”
Devotion to Krishna, or achieving devotional service to Krishna, is the perfection of all knowledge and learning. If devotion to Krishna is not attained, then all endeavors for accumulating knowledge are useless. Knowledge that does not awaken one’s attachment for Krishna simply increases one’s material illusion. That is why Shrimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written in his Kalyana-kalpa-taru: jada-vidya yata mayara vaibhava, tomara bhajane badha. moha janamiya, anitya samsare, jivake karaye gadha-“Materialistic studies are the glare of maya only, for they are an obstacle to spiritual progress. They create illusion in this material world and turn the living entity into an ass.” In the Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 8.245) it is stated: “On one occasion the Lord inquired, ‘Of all types of education, which is the most important?’ Ramananda Raya replied, ‘No education is important other than the transcendental devotional service of Krishna.’”
CB Adi-khanda 12.50
hasi’ bole prabhu,-“bada bhagya se amara
tomara shikhao more krishna-bhakti sara
The Lord smiled and said, “I am most fortunate, for you are all teaching Me that devotional service to Krishna is the essence of all education.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.