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Chapter Thirteen: Defeating Digvijayi
This chapter describes Nimai’s victory over and deliverance of Digvijayi Pandita, who had received the favor of Sarasvati and who was proud of his knowledge.
When Nimai Pandita was residing in Navadvipa as the crest-jewel of all teachers, a great Digvijayi Pandita who had received a benediction from Sarasvati arrived there. The Digvijayi had already defeated in argument the learned scholars of all provinces, and after hearing that the scholars of Navadvipa were famous for their learning throughout India, he proudly arrived in Navadvipa in order to defeat the scholars there. Hearing about the arrival of the Digvijayi Pandita, the entire scholarly community of Navadvipa became most restless and worried. When the students of Nimai Pandita gave Him this news, He told them, “The Supreme Lord and destroyer of everyone’s pride always destroys the pride of arrogant persons. Trees with fruits and persons with good qualities are always humble. Because great Digvijayi kings like Haihaya, Nahusha, Vena, Bana, Naraka, and Ravana were excessively intoxicated with pride, the Lord ultimately destroyed their pride. Therefore the Lord will soon destroy the pride of this Digvijayi who has come to Navadvipa.” After speaking in this way, the Lord sat on the bank of the Ganges that evening and began to contemplate how to conquer this Digvijayi. At that time, as the full moon shone in the sky, the Digvijayi arrived before the Lord and was informed by the students about the identity of the wonderfully effulgent Nimai Pandita. The Lord first exchanged a few words with the Digvijayi and then respectfully and tactfully requested him to describe the glories of the Ganges. Thereupon the Digvijayi began to quickly and incessantly compose and recite verses in glorification of Gangadevi like the rumbling of hundreds of clouds. Everyone there was struck with wonder on seeing the amazing poetic ability of the great Digvijayi. When the Digvijayi stopped after incessantly reciting verses for three hours, the Lord requested him to explain the verses. As soon as Digvijayi began to explain, the Lord pointed out innumerable faults in alankara and other literary rules in the beginning, middle, and end of his description. The Digvijayi could not reply to any of the Lord’s challenges; all his ingenuity became overshadowed. When on seeing this, the Lord’s students were about to laugh, the Lord checked them and solaced the Digvijayi in various ways. He told the Digvijayi to go home, take rest, and, after studying further, return the next day. Being extremely embarrassed and saddened within, the Digvijayi began to think, “I have defeated even the extraordinary scholars of the six branches of philosophy, but due to providence I have finally been defeated by a young ordinary grammar teacher! How is it possible? It must be that I have committed some offense at the feet of Sarasvati-devi.” Thinking in this way, he began to chant the Sarasvati mantra and soon fell asleep. That very night, Sarasvati appeared before Digvijayi Pandita and disclosed to him the real identity of Nimai Pandita. She said, “Nimai Pandita is not an ordinary worldly scholar. He is the omnipotent and original Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sarasvati-devi is only a shadow of His internal potency. This Sarasvati, who is the shadow of the internal potency of the Lord, is ashamed to stand before Narayana, therefore she remains in the background.” Devi further told the Digvijayi Pandita that he had now actually achieved the fruit of his worship, because he had the good fortune of seeing the Lord of innumerable universes. Then, after instructing the Digvijayi to quickly go to the Lord and surrender at His lotus feet, she disappeared. When the Digvijayi awoke from his sleep, he immediately went to the Lord and informed Him with faltering words of the details of his dream and the instructions of Sarasvati-devi. The Lord, who is the master of Sarasvati, also instructed Digvijayi about the superiority of spiritual knowledge, which is favorable for worshiping the Supreme Lord, and the abomination of material knowledge, which is the source of false pride and domination. The Lord said, “The fruit of cultivating knowledge is to fix the mind at the lotus feet of Krishna, and devotion to Vishnu, or spiritual knowledge, is the only truth and desirable object.” After speaking these words of instruction, the Lord particularly forbade Digvijayi from revealing to anyone the truths that he had heard from Sarasvati, which are confidential to even the Vedas. By the mercy of the Lord, devotion, detachment, and spiritual knowledge simultaneously manifest in the body of Digvijayi Pandita and, being fully satisfied by achieving pure devotional service, he became trinad api sunica-“more humble than a straw in the street.” While describing the nature of Gaura’s mercy, the author has written, “Even a most proud person becomes extremely humble by the mercy of Gaura. Even persons who are intoxicated with pride due to material wealth give up royal happiness to live in the forest and worship Hari. If the most alluring objects desired by materialistic persons are abundantly available to persons who have received the mercy of the Lord, they can easily abandon them. What to speak of royal happiness, the devotees of Krishna consider even the happiness of liberation as insignificant.” When the scholars of Navadvipa saw the wonderful prowess of Nimai Pandita and His victory over the Digvijayi in this way, they desired to confer on Him the title of Badisimha, and thus His matchless glories were declared.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.