|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Chaitanya Bhagavata > Caitanya Bhagavata with Commentaries > Adi-khanda > 17-The Lord's Travel to Gaya > Adi-khanda 17/1-50|
Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Seventeen: The Lord’s Travel to Gaya
CB Adi-khanda 17.1
jaya jaya shri-gaurasundara maheshvara
jaya nityananda-priya nitya-kalevara
All glories to the Supreme Lord, Shri Gaurasundara. All glories to Nityananda’s beloved Lord, who possesses an eternal body.
CB Adi-khanda 17.2
jaya jaya sarva-vaishnavera dhana prana
kripa-drishtye kara’, prabhu, sarva-jive trana
All glories to the Lord, who is the life and wealth of all the Vaishnavas. O Lord, please deliver the living entities by Your merciful glance.
CB Adi-khanda 17.3
adi-khanda-katha, bhai, shuna savadhane
shri-gaurasundara gaya calila yemane
O brothers, listen carefully to the topics of Adi-khanda, which describe the Lord’s journey to Gaya.
CB Adi-khanda 17.4
hena-mate navadvipe shri-vaikuntha-natha
adhyapaka-shiromani-rupe kare vasa
In this way the Lord of Vaikuntha resided at Navadvipa as the crest jewel of teachers.
CB Adi-khanda 17.5-6
catur-dike pashanda badaye gurutara
‘bhakti-yoga’ nama haila shunite dushkara
mithya-rase dekhi’ ati lokera adara
bhakta-saba duhkha bada bhavena antara
As the number of atheists increased in Navadvipa, it became difficult to even hear the mention of devotional service. The devotees were all distressed to see that people were simply attached to illusory pleasures.
At that time, the devotees of Krishna situated in pure goodness were extremely rare in the world. Since due to aversion to Krishna, many persons were engaged in deceitful, envious, sinful, abominable activities, they were unable to understand the glories of pure devotional service and considered their imaginary processes based on their own respective tastes as topmost. Therefore they took shelter of nondevotional paths and became averse to devotional service. Since ordinary foolish people were covered by sense gratification, fruitive activities, mental speculation, mystic yoga, and austerities, they did not relish topics of pure devotional service in their polluted hearts. Therefore they all became opposed to the propagation of devotional service to the Lord.
Ordinary mundane people were extremely intoxicated by drinking the vishaya-vishtha-rasa, the stool-like mellows of material enjoyment. Seeing that they were averse to drinking the sac-cid-ananda-krishna-rasa, the eternally, cognizant, blissful mellows of Krishna consciousness, and busy collecting temporary anarthas devoid of nectar, the devotees of the Lord were always greatly distressed and desired such persons’ eternal benefit. Aside from the devotees, all the nondevotees simply spent their time uselessly envying each other. Seeing the pathetic condition of the godless people, only the devotees felt distress in their hearts and prayed to the Lord for such persons’ eternal benefit. For a description of the situation at that particular time, one should refer to the purport of verse 308 of the previous chapter.
CB Adi-khanda 17.7
prabhu se avishta hai’ achena adhyayane
bhakta-saba duhkha paya,-dekhena apane
Although the Lord was absorbed in studying and teaching, He noted the devotees’ distress.
CB Adi-khanda 17.8
niravadhi vaishnava-sabere dushta-gane
ninda kari’ bule, taha shunena apane
He heard how the miscreants were constantly blaspheming the Vaishnavas.
Shri Gaurasundara is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the cause of all causes. All living entities are His devotees and controlled subordinate servants. Therefore, on seeing the pathetic sinful propensities, the lack of friendship, and the miserable condition of His servants, resulting from one servant being envious of another servant, His compassion was aroused. The devotees are never envious of other living entities, rather the nondevotees are envious of the devotees. That is why Lord Shri Gaurasundara, who is affectionate to His devotees, continued to hear about the criticism and torture of the pure devotees by the godless nondevotees, who had forgotten their constitutional position. In spite of hearing the blasphemy of His devotees, He had not yet manifest Himself before the eyes of the public as the only protector and maintainer of the devotees.
CB Adi-khanda 17.9-10
citte iccha haila atma-prakasha karite
bhavilena-“age asi’ giya gaya haite”
iccha-maya shri-gaurasundara bhagavan
gaya-bhumi dekhite haila iccha ta’na
The Lord thus desired to manifest Himself, but He thought He should first visit Gaya. The supremely independent Lord Gaurasundara desired to see the holy place of Gaya.
The purport of the Lord’s visit to Gaya is as follows: Shri Gaurasundara desired to visit Gaya in order to personally enact the pastime of accepting the dress of a devotee prior to exhibiting His opulence of being the only shelter of His devotees. One time the city of Gaya was greatly disturbed by the Buddhists. The Buddhists started a powerful movement there for the purpose of destroying karma-kanda. In order to deliver those who follow Vedic principles from the attack of the Buddhist revolutionaries, Gadadhara Vishnu placed His lotus feet on the head of Gayasura. The fruitive workers were engaged in torturing Yajneshvara Vishnu in various ways; that is why the Lord manifested His incarnation of Buddha and exhibited the misuse of karma-kanda before the eyes of the public, thus refuting its false misconceptions. Later on, the so-called followers of Buddha forgot their constitutional duties of devotional service to Vishnu and accepted Buddha as separate from Vishnu, thereby increasing the darkness of godless philosophy that is opposed to the Vedas. Although the lotus feet of Vishnu were placed on the head of the Buddhist acarya, who was polluted with misconceptions, aversion to pure devotional service was found in the consideration process of those who rejected fruitive activities. Various desires for enjoying the imaginary fruits of material enjoyment replaced unalloyed devotional service to Vishnu in various smritis. Gaurasundara enacted the pastime of visiting Gaya in order to cheat and bewilder ordinary mundane people who are attached to fruitive activities and ignorant of the purport of the Vedas. Since the philosophy of Carvaka was very prominent at that time, faith in the concept of reincarnation was totally lost. Although the concept of reincarnation was accepted by the Buddhists, the transcendental variegated pastimes of the Supreme Lord, who is full in six opulences, did not find a place in their understanding. Subduing such Buddhist philosophy, which is opposed to the Vedas, Lord Gadadhara Vishnu established at Gaya His supreme lotus feet, which are full of transcendental variegatedness. According to the mantra from Rig Veda: tredha nidadhe padam-“I placed three steps,” Shri Vamanadeva is the predominating Deity of Gaya-dhama. By worshiping these lotus feet, which are the source of transcendental pastimes, the impersonal conception of the Lord is defeated.
CB Adi-khanda 17.11
shastra-vidhi-mata shraddha karmadi kariya
yatra kari’ calila aneka shishya laiya
After performing the shraddha ceremony for His father according to scriptural injunctions, the Lord departed for Gaya with many of His students.
CB Adi-khanda 17.12
jananira ajna lai’ maha-harsha-mane
calilena mahaprabhu gaya-darashane
The Lord first took permission from mother Shaci and then happily left to see Gaya.
CB Adi-khanda 17.13
sarva-desha-grama kari’ punya-tirtha-maya
shri-carana haila gaya dekhite vijaya
As the Lord passed through the various towns and villages on the way to Gaya, they were all turned into holy places by the touch of His lotus feet.
The second line of this verse indicates that the Lord’s lotus feet came to Gaya; in other words, Lord Shri Gaurasundara, whose sanctified feet are the source of all holy places, came here in order to purify the holy place of Gaya. In the Lord’s journey to Gaya, all those villages and places that were marked by His lotus feet, which purify the entire universe, became famous as most sanctified holy places.
CB Adi-khanda 17.14
dharma-katha, vako-vakya, parihasa-rase
mandare aila prabhu kateka divase
The Lord and His students conversed, joked, and discussed various religious topics, and after a few days they arrived at Mandara Hill.
CB Adi-khanda 17.15
dekhiya mandare madhusudana tathaya
bhramilena sakala parvata svalilaya
The Lord first saw the Deity of Madhusudana at the top of the hill, and then He wandered about the hill according to His desire.
The words mandare madhusudana are explained as follows: From Calcutta on the E.B.R. or E.I.R. railway, one should come to Bhagalpur Station, and from there take the branch railway line up to Mandara Hill Station. Mandara Hill is situated about 3 km. from this station. The peak of Mandara Hill is 3 km. from the foot of the hill. On the top of the hill there are two temples. Of the two, the Deity of Madhusudana was worshiped long ago in the bigger temple. It is heard that both temples are presently under the control of the Jains. Due to fear of the dacoit Kalapahada, the Deity of Madhusudana was shifted to the village Vaumsi, which is situated 3 km. from Mandara Hill and 400 cubits from Mandara Station, where He is presently being worshiped. By the initiative of Shri Chaitanya Matha of Shridhama Mayapur, the site of ancient Navadvipa and birthplace of Shri Gaura, we will soon establish a temple of Shri Chaitanya’s lotus feet at Mandara Hill.
CB Adi-khanda 17.16
ei-mata kata patha asite asite
ara dina jvara prakashilena dehete
While traveling like this, one day the Lord manifested a fever.
Although the original Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Gaurasundara is eternally perfect and possesses a sac-cid-ananda body, in order to deceive and bewilder the conception and intelligence of the materialists, who are illusioned by maya, He performed the drama of becoming afflicted with fever just as the ordinary mundane body of a living entity who is forced to accept the fruits of his karma becomes afflicted with fever.
CB Adi-khanda 17.17
prakrita-lokera praya vaikuntha-ishvara
loka-shiksha dekhaite dharilena jvara
In order to instruct people, the Lord of Vaikuntha displayed a fever like an ordinary person.
The sac-cid-ananda body of Vishnu, who is the controller of maya, is never subjected to transformations like happiness and distress as experienced by ordinary mortal beings. One who will consider the fully sac-cid-ananda-vigraha of Shri Chaitanyadeva as equal to that of an ordinary living entity will certainly sink in the mire of grave offenses. Fearing that living entities who are forced to accept the fruits of their material activities, who are qualified for being punished by Yamaraja, and who are subjected to bewilderment and death would consider their mundane bodies spiritual and that prakrita-sahajiyas would consider themselves transcendentally liberated Vaishnavas, the Lord, in order to prohibit this and instruct people, enacted the pastime of suffering from fever, as generally experienced by godless living entities. In order that ignorant persons bewildered by maya would become more illusioned by seeing these pastimes of Shri Gaurasundara, and to exhibit the insignificance of their bewildered intelligence, Gaurasundara voluntarily accepted the affliction of fever.
CB Adi-khanda 17.18
madhya-pathe jvara prakashilena ishvare
shishya-gana hailena cintita antare
When the Lord manifested His fever halfway to Gaya, the hearts of His students were filled with anxiety.
CB Adi-khanda 17.19
pathe rahi’ karilena bahu pratikara
tathapi na chade jvara,-hena iccha tan’ra
They tried to cure Him with various remedies, but by the desire of the Lord His fever did not subside.
CB Adi-khanda 17.20
tabe prabhu vyavasthila aushadha apane
‘sarva-duhkha khande vipra-padodaka-pane’
Then the Lord prescribed His own medicine, “If I drink the water that has washed the feet of a brahmana, My suffering will be relieved.”
When in spite of using various medicines the Lord’s fever did not subside, then in order to teach people the topmost position of brahmanas who are conversant with the science of Vishnu, the jagad-guru Lord, of His own will, exhibited the pastime of accepting the remedy of water that had washed the feet of a brahmana. By this act, the Lord on one hand exhibited the pastime of creating illusion for mortal beings who are entangled in the fruits of karma and who are eligible for the punishment of Yamaraja and on the other hand He protected the prestige of those topmost brahmanas who know the science of Vishnu. Just as in the pastimes of Narayana, the Lord increased the glories of His devotees by accepting the mark of Bhrigu’s foot on His own chest, in the pastimes of Gaura, He established the prestige of bodies that are related to Him. Without understanding this inconceivable confidential pastime of the Lord, the community of foolish prakrita-sahajiyas often become covered by conceptions of caste consciousness and end up drinking ordinary water that has washed the feet of demoniac brahmanas.
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.11.35) it is stated:
yasya yal lakshanam proktam pumso varnabhivyanjakam
yad anyatrapi drishyeta tat tenaiva vinirdishet
“If one shows the symptoms of being a brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya or shudra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification.”
In order to eternally benefit those who transgress this injunction and consider the Vaishnavas, who are spiritual masters of all brahmanas, as shudras, those who consider non-Vaishnavas as brahmanas, and those who mistakenly accept the qualities of shudras as those of Vaishnavas, the Lord enacted the pastime of drinking the water that had washed the feet of a devotee brahmana. The brahmanas who are devoted to Acyuta are alone able to serve Lord Acyuta, while sinful shudras who are covered by the mode of ignorance are always devoid of the sacred thread due to the predominance of ignorance, and therefore they are averse to the service of the Lord. A brahmana who knows the science of Brahman neither considers his body as his self nor engages in mental speculation. His intelligence is not bewildered by limited, temporary, enjoyable material objects. Since his consciousness is fully spiritualized, he should give up material conceptions and cultivate Krishna consciousness while understanding his relationship with the Lord. The word brahmana does not refer to kripanas, or misers.
The Dharma-shastra writer Atri has stated:
brahma-tattvam na janati brahma-sutrena garvitah
tenaiva sa ca papena viprah pashur udahritah
“One who proudly advertises himself as a sanctified brahmana but is ignorant of the Absolute Truth is because of this sin called a pasu-vipra.” Therefore by drinking the water that has washed the feet of such a pasu-vipra, ordinary, foolish, bewildered living entities will immediately become pasus, or animals.
CB Adi-khanda 17.21
vipra-padodakera mahima bujhaite
pana karilena prabhu apane sakshate
The Lord then drank the water that had washed the feet of brahmanas in order to reveal its glories.
CB Adi-khanda 17.22
vipra-padodaka pana kariya ishvara
sei-kshane sustha haila, ara nahi jvara
As soon as the Lord drank that water, His fever subsided and He felt relief.
CB Adi-khanda 17.23
ishvare ye kare vipra-padodaka pana
e ta’na svabhava,-veda-purana pramana
According to the Vedas and Puranas, it is the nature of the Supreme Lord to drink the water that has washed the feet of a brahmana.
One can never progress on the path of spiritual life by disregarding and deviating from the principles of varnashrama-dharma. Ordinary mundane people who are attached to fruitive activities are unable to understand the higher purpose of varnashrama. One should fully respect those brahmanas who are situated on the highest platform from the material point of view. Shri Gaurasundara neither transgressed the ordinary social customs of the time nor totally disregarded the principles of karma-kanda on the pretext of offering oblations to His forefathers. One should not misunderstand by this that Shri Gaurasundara accepted the path of karma-kanda as the path of spiritual life. Fearing that people may foolishly misunderstand the purport of the scriptures and introduce the process of karma-kanda as the spiritual path, the jagad-guru Lord enacted the pastimes of drinking water that had washed the feet of a brahmana and offering oblations to His forefathers at Gaya and thereafter enacted the pastime of accepting spiritual Vaishnava initiation.
In the ideal God conscious moral character of Shri Gaurasundara one can find enactment of the following injunction mentioned in Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.20.9):
tavat karmani kurvita na nirvidyeta yavata
mat-katha-shravanadau va shraddha yavan na jayate
“As long as one is not satiated by fruitive activity and has not awakened his taste for devotional service by shravanam kirtanam vishnoh one has to act according to the regulative principles of the Vedic injunctions.”
Then such a person is constantly guided by the pure, spiritual, transcendental consideration mentioned in the Narada-pancaratra as follows:
laukiki vaidiki vapi ya kriya kriyate mune
hari-sevanukulaiva sa karya bhaktim icchata
“One should perform only those activities-either worldly or prescribed by Vedic rules and regulations-which are favorable for the cultivation of Krishna consciousness.”
When a living entity thinks that obtaining physical and mental happiness is the goal of life, then the waves of temporary mundane thoughts never leave him, and in course of time his propensity for pious and impious activities based on varnashrama principles gradually transforms into the propensity for prohibited sinful activities. As soon as the living entity develops faith in topics related to the Lord, he realizes in his service inclined heart that taking unalloyed shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya is the only criteria for obtaining supreme eternal auspiciousness.
In Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.93) it is stated:
eta saba chadi’ ara varnashrama-dharma
akincana hana laya krishnaika-sharana
“Without hesitation, one should take the exclusive shelter of Lord Krishna with full confidence, giving up bad association and even neglecting the regulative principles of the four varnas and four ashramas. That is to say, one should abandon all material attachment.”
When one is situated on such an exalted paramahamsa Vaishnava stage, then such a liberated soul no longer needs to go to Gaya and offer oblations to his forefathers or drink the water that has washed the feet of a brahmana.
In the amala pramana (the spotless Vedic authority) Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.11.32) it is stated:
ajnayaivam gunan doshan mayadishtan api svakan
dharman santyajya yah sarvan mam bhajeta sa tu sattamah
“Such a person perfectly understands that the ordinary religious duties prescribed by Me in various Vedic scriptures possess favorable qualities that purify the performer, and he knows that neglect of such duties constitutes a discrepancy in one’s life. Having taken complete shelter at My lotus feet, however, a saintly person ultimately renounces such ordinary religious duties and worships Me alone. He is thus considered to be the best among all living entities.”
And in the Bhagavad-gita (18.66) it is stated:
sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo mokshayishyami ma shucah
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”
If one discusses the above two verses, then he will gradually become indifferent to worldly activities and the search for impersonal Brahman. Although the Lord is the maintainer of everyone, the protector of Sanatana-dharma, and the knower of religious principles, He exhibited the pastime of following the principles of an inferior platform in order to eternally benefit the living entities. One should not misunderstand, however, that the spiritual progress of the living entities is dependent simply on such inferior conceptions, or niyamagraha, simply imitating without effect. From the spiritual point of view, the gradual advancement or levels of the devotional path has been properly described by Shri Ramananda Raya, who is a maha-bhagavata spiritual master of the paramahamsas, while replying to Shri Gaurasundara’s inquiries. The Bhagavad-gita, which was instructed to Arjuna by Lord Gaurasundara in His pastimes as Krishna, also instructs karma-yoga and jnana-yoga to conditioned souls situated within apara-prakriti, material nature, after carefully considering their respective consciousness; and after fully rejecting their behavior it establishes the supremely pure religion of devotional service as the topmost means for achieving the goal of life. After hearing this most confidential instruction, narrow-minded persons consider that engagement in devotional service and engagement in sinful activities based on their narrow-mindedness are equal. Although such considerations are full of ignorance and suitable for unsuccessful yogis, according to Bhagavad-gita (3.26): “So as not to disrupt the minds of ignorant men attached to the fruitive results of prescribed duties, a learned person should not induce them to stop work,” those who have strong material conceptions, or those who make the mistake of considering transcendental subject matters through their material faculties, and thus consider transcendental subjects a product of the material world should, after considering their own narrow-mindedness, forgive the devotees.
CB Adi-khanda 17.24
ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante manushyah partha sarvashah
“As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.”
“Lord Shri Krishna, using Arjuna as an audience, is herein refuting the arguments of opponents, who may say, ‘Isn’t the propensity for discrimination is also present in You? You award devotional service only to those who surrender unto You, but do You award to one who is full of material desires?’ ‘But I am speaking this verse in reply. The word yatha indicates those who worship Me either with material desires or without material desires, whom I simply reward accordingly (I give them fruits according to their worship), in other words, I bestow mercy on them, but I do not neglect even those ambitious persons who reject Me (with the desire to enjoy the fruits of karma) and worship various demigods headed by Indra. This should be considered. The reason is that the servants of various demigod like Indra indirectly follow My path of worship because I alone am worshiped even through the worship of Indra.’” (Shridhara Svami’s Subodhini commentary)
CB Adi-khanda 17.25
ye tahana dasya-pada bhave nirantara
tahana avashya dasya karena ishvara
The Lord desires to be the servant of anyone who always desires to be a servant of the Lord.
There is no possibility of achieving pure devotional service by either karma or jnana. Considering the qualification of those who cannot or do not desire to surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord, the Lord has inaugurated the processes of karma and jnana in this world. The conditioned souls wander throughout the universe while following karma and jnana. It is generally found that such persons have no qualification for achieving devotional service to the Lord. But when the desires for material enjoyment or liberation of persons who are on the platform of devotional service mixed respectively with karma or jnana are gradually uprooted, then by the influence of pure devotional service they can attain eternal supreme auspiciousness. Without surrender, neither the karmis nor the jnanis are qualified for the service of the Lord. The devotees of the Lord are constantly endeavoring to achieve the eternally relishable service of the Lord. They are never prepared to serve any temporary, mundane, enjoyable object that is not related to the Lord. The Lord awards one the qualification to serve Him according to one’s service attitude. One should not misunderstand from this that the conditioned souls may treat the Supreme Lord as a servant or independently subjugate Him by considering Him a controlled instrument for fulfilling one’s illicit desires and expect that the Lord will serve such an atheist as a so-called servant. Rather, one must remember that in order to encourage the demoniac propensity of being completely controlled by the mundane fruitive activities of living entities averse to the Lord from time immemorial-in other words, in order to deceive and bewilder the godless living entities-the Lord has engaged His external energy, maya, on the pretext of facilitating such living entities. Due to illusion the conditioned soul accepts the illusory energy of the Lord as an object of enjoyment, as dear, as related to him, and as worshipable and thus embraces misconceptions about the Absolute Truth, and in this way, rather than worshiping the Lord, he becomes intoxicated with the desire to enjoy the fruits of his karma. If one engages in the uninterrupted and unmotivated devotional service of the Supreme Lord, who is eternally worshipable, the proprietor of maya, and beyond the reach of material perception, then such a fortunate living entity no longer maintains the propensity or desire for serving temporary, separated, material objects. Then, on the pretext of accepting service from His unalloyed devotee, the Lord also serves His own devotee. Lord Shri Gaurasundara enacted the pastime of drinking the water that had washed the feet of a brahmana in order to teach and glorify the propensity for serving the Lord of brahmanas who have given up temporary, abominable material pride, who have become trinad api sunica and taror api sahishnuna, and who have accepted the transcendental water that has washed the lotus feet of the eternal Lord Shri Chaitanyacandra as the only drinkable substance in the entire creation. Being bewildered by the illusory energy of the Lord, the smartas and prakrita-sahajiyas, who are averse to the Lord and baffled by maya, consider that pure brahmanas under the shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya and demoniac brahmanas who are averse to Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava and opposed to Shri Chaitanya are equal; in other words, they consider that so-called brahmanas who are actually kripanas, travelers on the path to hell, absorbed in illusory activities not related to the Lord, and devoid of spiritual knowledge regarding the inexhaustible, infallible Lord and brahmanas who are worshipers of the nondual Lord are of the same platform; but Shri Gaurasundara displays the proper conclusion of the verse: shva-pakam iva neksheta loke vipram avaishnavam-“If a person born in a brahmana family is an avaishnava, a nondevotee, one should not see his face, exactly as one should not look upon the face of a candala, or dog-eater,” and as a bona fide spiritual master, He brings eternal auspiciousness to those prakrita-sahajiyas and smartas by opening their eyes, which are covered by the darkness of ignorance. While distorting the meaning of the Bhagavad-gita (Bg 4.11) verse: ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham, persons who do not follow Vedic principles, who commit mistakes, who are duplicitous, intoxicated, short-sighted, habituated to cheating others, and expert in material knowledge exhibit a type of foolishness that simply results in distortion and change of the actual meaning. They are indifferent to understanding the meaning of the word prapanna, or surrender, and consider proud non-Vaishnava living entities who are devoid of surrender on the same platform as surrendered Vaishnavas. They are fully engaged in activities that are detrimental to the neophytes of this world who are ignorant of scriptural conclusions, in other words, they ruin them. Only those devotees who are nonduplicitous, surrendered worshipers of the Lord are qualified to serve the Lord, and the Lord also reciprocates by awarding His own rare, loving devotional service to such liberated souls. The Lord never reciprocates with deceitful, nondevoted persons who desire liberation.
In Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.6.18) it is stated:
astv evam anga bhagavan bhajatam mukundo
muktim dadati karhicit sma na bhakti-yogam
“Therefore, O King, those engaged in getting the Lord’s favor attain liberation from the Lord very easily, but He does not very easily give the opportunity to render direct service unto Him.”
Maya, as the Lord’s maidservant, bewilders the averse living entities into accepting the Supreme Lord as a product of matter, while in fact she is further increasing the averse living entities’ entanglement in the material modes of nature.
Five types of devotional rasas are exchanged between the devotees and the worshipable Lord, who is beyond the perception of material senses and the only vishaya, or object, of all rasas. The Lord, as the vishaya, can favorably accept any one of five types of rasas. In His form of Narayana, the Lord accepts two and half types of rasas-shanta (neutrality), dasya (servitorship), and gaurava-sakhya (friendship in awe and veneration)-from His devotees on the path of regulative devotional service, and as Vrajendra-nandana Krishna He accepts the other two and half superior rasas-vishrambha-sakhya (friendship in equality), vatsalya (parental), and madhura (conjugal)-from His devotees on the path of anuraga, or attachment. In this way He awards any one of the above-mentioned five rasas to His devotees on the path of attachment and thus exhibits His qualities of bhakta-vatsalya, affection for His devotees, and bhakta-premadhinatva, being controlled by the love of His devotees.
CB Adi-khanda 17.26
ataeva nama ta’na ‘sevaka-vatsala’
apane hariya badayena bhritya-bala
The Lord is therefore known as sevaka-vatsala, or He who is favorably inclined to His servants. He accepts defeat in order to increase His devotees’ glories.
On the path of regulative devotional service in which the worshipable Lord is Vishnu, the qualities of opulence, rather than sweetness, and regulative awe and reverence, rather than attachment, are more prominent. But in Krishna’s service, which is full of sweetness, the sweetness of the Lord’s opulence is not covered, and since affection for His servants is extremely prominent therein, those loving servants are more prestigious and exalted. By this, one should not misunderstand that the diminished prominence of opulence in sweetness diminishes the prominence of sweetness, or that the Lord’s being controlled is an exaggeration.
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.9.37), the Lord’s quality of being conquered by His devotee is described by the great devotee Bhishmadeva, as he prays to Krishna from his bed of arrows as follows: “Fulfilling my desire and sacrificing His own promise, He got down from the chariot, took up its wheel, and ran towards me hurriedly, just as a lion goes to kill an elephant. He even dropped His outer garment on the way.”
The Lord’s quality of being controlled by the love of His devotees is explained by Shri Shukadeva Gosvami to Maharaja Parikshit in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.9.18-19) as follows: “Because of mother Yashoda’s hard labor, her whole body became covered with perspiration, and the flowers and comb were falling from her hair. When child Krishna saw His mother thus fatigued, He became merciful to her and agreed to be bound. O Maharaja Parikshit, this entire universe, with its great, exalted demigods like Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Indra, is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet the Supreme Lord has one transcendental attribute: He comes under the control of His devotees. This was now exhibited by Krishna in this pastime.”
CB Adi-khanda 17.27
sarvatra rakshaka-hena prabhura carana
bala dekhi,-ke-mate chadibe bhakta-gana?
The devotees have only the Lord as their protector, therefore how can they give up His lotus feet?
The unalloyed devotees can never give up the service of the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu, who is very affectionate to His devotees. The Lord also never gives up His unalloyed devotees. In other words, the Lord and His devotees can never be separated for even a moment, rather the Lord always protects His devotees in all respects. The devotees also protect the Lord from the attacks of the impersonal Mayavadis. Delivering the Lord from the cruel hands of those who are hostile to Him is a display of the devotees’ compassion. Moreover, by always broadcasting His glories through His devotees, the Lord protects the nondevotees from immediate destruction. In order to increase the glories of His beloved pure brahmanas, the Lord concluded His pastime of having fever and thus broadcast in this world the glories of brahmanas who are engaged in the service of Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 17.28
hena-mate kari’ prabhu jvarera vinasha
punapuna-tirthe asi’ haila prakasha
After being cured of His fever in this way, the Lord and His students came to the bank of the holy Punpuna River.
The word punpuna-tirtha refers to the Punpuna River. This river is famous in two places. The first is near the Punpun Station, which is the next station after Patna on the Patna-Gaya line branching from the main E.I.R. line, and the other is near the Pamara-ganja Station on the E.I.R. Grand Chord line. Travelers coming from the east alight at Punpun Station, and those coming from the west alight at Pamara-ganja Station. Mahaprabhu marked places near Punpun Station with His sanctified lotus feet, which are rare for even the demigods. Presently the servants of Shri Chaitanya Matha, situated in Shri Mayapur, are attempting, as they are at Mandara Hill, to establish a temple there dedicated to the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya.
CB Adi-khanda 17.29
snana kari’ pitri-deva kariya arcana
gayate pravishta haila shri-shacinandana
After taking bath and offering oblations to His forefathers, Shri Shacinandana entered Gaya.
In order to deceive and bewilder the smartas, who are attached to fruitive activities, Shri Gaurasundara purified Himself by taking bath and displayed the pastime of offering oblations to His forefathers according to karma-kanda injunctions in order to fulfil His debts to His forefathers. According to worldly customs mentioned in the Dharma-shastras, one should take bath in a river before entering a holy place. The Lord exhibited the pastime of following this injunction and then entered Gaya. Simply by undeviated worship of Lord Acyuta, the controller of all controllers, all one’s debts are cleared-those attached householders who lack faith in this statement assist their forefathers in again receiving gross bodies in this world by offering them oblations, imagining that they have become ghosts.
For the description and glories of Gaya-tirtha, one should see the Garuda Purana, Chapters 82-86, the Vayu Purana, Shveta-varaha-kalpa, Chapter 108, and the Agni Purana, Chapters 114-116.
CB Adi-khanda 17.30
gaya tirtha-raje prabhu pravishta haiya
namaskarilena prabhu shrikara yudiya
As the Lord entered Gaya, the king of holy places, He offered obeisances with folded hands.
By offering obeisances to Gaya, which is the king of holy places, the Lord displayed His quality of bhakta-vatsalya, affection for His devotees.
CB Adi-khanda 17.31
brahma-kunde asi’ prabhu karilena snana
yathocita kaila pitri-devera sammana
Thereafter the Lord came to Brahma-kunda, wherein He took bath and offered oblations to His forefathers.
All the activities performed by the Lord beginning at Punpun up to His entrance into Gaya-dhama were simply meant for attracting people, yet it can not be denied that there was also spiritual significance in these activities.
CB Adi-khanda 17.32
tabe ailena cakravedera bhitare
pada-padma dekhibare calila satvare
The Lord then entered Cakraveda and quickly went to see the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu.
The word cakraveda refers to Gaya-tirtha. This is where the lotus feet of Vishnu are situated.
CB Adi-khanda 17.33
vipra-gana vediyache shri-carana-sthana
shri-carane mala,-yena deula-pramana
Countless flower garlands were stacked like a temple dome on Lord Vishnu’s footprints, which were surrounded on all sides by brahmanas.
The word deula (derived from the Sanskrit word deva-kula) means “the house of the Lord” or “a temple.”
CB Adi-khanda 17.34
gandha, pushpa, dhupa, dipa, vastra, alankara
kata padiyache,-lekha-jokha nahi tara
Unlimited sandalwood paste, flowers, incense, and cloth had been offered at the lotus feet of the Lord.
The word lekha in the phrase lekha-jokha is derived from the Sanskrit verb likh, which means “to write,” and the word jokha is derived from the Hindi word jokhna, which means “to weigh.” Therefore the phrase lekha-jokha means “numbers and quantity,” “weight and items,” “writing and counting,” or “accounting and certificates.”
CB Adi-khanda 17.35
catur-dike divya rupa dhari’ vipra-gana
kariteche pada-padma-prabhava varnana
The brahmanas appeared like divine beings as they described the glories of the Lord’s lotus feet.
CB Adi-khanda 17.36
“kashinatha hridaye dharila ye-carana
ye-carana niravadhi lakshmira jivana
“Lord Shiva accepted these same lotus feet in his heart, and these same lotus feet are constantly served by Lakshmi.
The word kashinatha refers to Lord Shiva, the controller of the universe.
CB Adi-khanda 17.37
bali-shire avirbhava haila ye-carana
sei ei dekha, yata bhagyavanta jana
“These lotus feet were placed on the head of Bali Maharaja. O fortunate souls, now see those same lotus feet here.
CB Adi-khanda 17.38
tilarddheko ye-carana dhyana kaile matra
yama tara na hayena adhikara-patra
“One who meditates on these lotus feet for even a moment never comes under the jurisdiction of Yamaraja.
CB Adi-khanda 17.39
yogeshvara-sabara durlabha ye-carana
sei ei dekha, yata bhagyavanta jana
“These lotus feet are rarely attained by even the best of yogis. O fortunate souls, now see those same lotus feet here.
The word yogeshvara refers to a person who has achieved the fruit of mystic perfections in the form of merging into the existence of the Lord or a person who is full of mystic perfections attained through hatha or raja yogas.
Those who are expert in yoga-shastras merge into the existence of the Lord. Such yogis who have merged themselves in the existence of the Lord are never qualified to see the lotus feet of the Lord. The reason for this is that according to them the object of service, the servant, and the service are all one, therefore there is no scope for spiritual variegatedness. Therefore the yogis are most unfortunate; since they are bereft of the highest goal of life, love of God, the fortunate devotees condemn rather than respect their ultimate desired goal.
CB Adi-khanda 17.40
ye-carane bhagirathi haila prakasha
niravadhi hridaye na chade yare dasa
“The Ganges emanated from these lotus feet, and the servants of the Lord constantly keep these lotus feet in their hearts.
CB Adi-khanda 17.41
ananta-shayyaya ati-priya ye-carana
sei ei dekha, yata bhagyavanta jana”
“These lotus feet are most enchanting on the bed of Ananta. O fortunate souls, now see those same lotus feet here.”
CB Adi-khanda 17.42
carana-prabhava shuni’ vipra-gana mukhe
avishta haila prabhu premananda-sukhe
Hearing the glories of the Lord’s lotus feet from the brahmanas, the Lord became absorbed in ecstatic love.
The phrase carana-prabhava is explained as follows: Imagining the Supreme Lord to be formless, the impersonalists cannot understand the wonders of the Lord’s eternal form, which attracts even self-satisfied souls. The impersonalists’ process of consideration arises from material conceptions. After subduing the impersonal philosophy, the lotus feet of the Lord were installed on the head of Gayasura at Gaya; these lotus feet of the Lord are the source of all spiritual pastimes. The voidism of the Buddhists and the impersonalism of the pancopasakas are buried under these lotus feet of Gadadhara. Since the pancopasakas ultimately become impersonalists, they are simply Buddhists in disguise. The conceptions of the fruitive workers who are opposed to Vedic injunctions are under the shelter of ignorance; the conceptions of the Buddhists are opposed to the Vedas and deny spiritual existence; and the conceptions of the impersonalists, though not directly Buddhist, superficially follow the Vedas, deny material existence, and are a covered form of Buddhism. Since the covered Buddhist impersonalists and their followers, the pancopasakas, consider the eternal form and eternal lotus feet of Gadadhara as material, perceivable by their senses, and products of material nature, they are eternally bereft of the good fortune of seeing them. The devotees who accept the eternally variegated pastimes of the Lord never give respect to the philosophy of covered Buddhism that superficially follows the Vedas. The lotus feet of the Lord attract Shiva, Brahma, Shukadeva, and many other self-satisfied souls; they are the eternal Absolute Truth, or sac-cid-ananda-vigraha. Therefore the impersonalists’ conception of pancopasana, which is meant for cheating people, is nothing but a means for cheating innocent foolish people. Therefore the most intelligent devotees never accept impersonalism, the covered form of Buddhism.
CB Adi-khanda 17.43
ashru-dhara vahe dui shri-padma-nayane
loma-harsha-kampa haila carana-darshane
As the Lord looked at those lotus feet, tears flowed from His lotus eyes, His hairs stood on end, and He began shivering.
CB Adi-khanda 17.44
sarva-jagatera bhagye prabhu gauracandra
prema-bhakti-prakashera karila arambha
Lord Gaurachandra then began to manifest ecstatic devotional service for the benefit of the entire world.
Shri Gaurasundara appeared in this world in order to bestow eternal benefit on the universe. So far He had not manifested any sign of awarding loving devotion to the people of this world. But after seeing the lotus feet of the Lord at Gaya, He inaugurated His pastimes of awarding loving devotion to the people of the world. Understanding that these lotus feet of the Lord had appeared in the material world to give pious persons who are free from the clutches of impersonalism an opportunity to serve the Lord’s lotus feet, the Lord became overwhelmed with the eight transformations of ecstatic love. Being bereft of Krishna’s service, persons who are averse to Krishna in this world maintain the sinful desire of becoming the Lord or the enjoyer of the material world. After destroying the conditioned souls’ desire for material enjoyment or liberation, when the lotus feet of the Lord appear in the purified hearts of the living entities, then their propensity for serving the Lord is awakened. In order to exhibit and preach this great truth, the Lord accepted the dress of a devotee and had darshana of the transcendental lotus feet of Gadadhara through His service inclined senses. When living entities bound by gross and subtle chains wander throughout the material sky, they remain averse to the service of the Lord. But when their service propensity is awakened on the strength of mercy received from Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava, then the lotus feet of the worshipable Lord Vishnu become the object of those servants’ awakened spiritual propensity. Without a service mentality, one cannot become fortunate enough to see the form of the Lord. Without the piety resulting from devotional service, one’s faith does not awaken. On the strength of piety born of the devotees’ mercy, a living entity receives the opportunity to hear topics of Lord Hari. Sometimes on the strength of piety born from Krishna’s mercy a living entity becomes freed from the bondage to material sense objects and thus encounters the worshipable Lord Krishna-this is spiritual vision. When, after full surrender, a living entity hears and glorifies topics of Lord Krishna, the propensity of his consciousness is constantly engaged in the service of Krishna-this is the result of piety born of a devotee’s mercy. In spite of being the only worshipable object of all surrendered souls, Shri Gaurasundara considered Himself a servant of the worshipable object and thus began to propagate transcendental love of Krishna by chanting His glories. The eight transformations of ecstatic love manifested in the body of the Lord as a result of seeing the lotus feet of Gadadhara marked the beginning of His propagation of loving devotional service.
CB Adi-khanda 17.45
avicchinna ganga vahe prabhura nayane
parama-adbhuta saba dekhe vipra-gane
The brahmanas were all startled to see tears flow from the Lord’s eyes like the unbroken flow of the Ganges.
CB Adi-khanda 17.46
daiva-yoge ishvara-puri o sei-kshane
ailena ishvara-icchaya sei-sthane
By the divine will of the Supreme Lord, at that moment Shri Ishvara Puri arrived at that place.
When Lord Shri Gaurasundara’s hair stood on end due to love of God while seeing His own lotus feet, by the will of the Lord and by providence, Shri Ishvara Puripada arrived there as a mahanta-guru in order to serve his own Lord by assisting Him in His pastimes. In order to disclose that He is a descendent of Shrimad Purnaprajna Madhvacarya Anandatirtha in the Vedic disciplic succession, Shri Gaurasundara, who is the Supreme Lord of all acaryas, inspired Ishvara Puripada to come there.
CB Adi-khanda 17.47
ishvara-purire dekhi’ shri-gaurasundara
namaskarilena ati kariya adara
On seeing Shri Ishvara Puri, Shri Gaurasundara respectfully offered him obeisances.
CB Adi-khanda 17.48
ishvara-puri o gauracandrere dekhiya
alingana karilena maha-harsha haiya
Ishvara Puri was also delighted to see Gaurachandra, and he happily embraced Him.
CB Adi-khanda 17.49
donhakara vigraha donhakara prema-jale
sincita haila premananda-kutuhale
In the ecstasy of meeting each other, they both became soaked with tears of love.
As an affectionate, unalloyed, confidential disciple of Madhavendra Puri, who is the original seedling of the desire tree of love of God, Shri Ishvara Puripada is attached to prema-bhakti, loving devotional service. By seeing Gaurasundara’s display of a devotee’s characteristics, the eternally perfect mood of the devotees was enhanced and manifested. Now, for the benefit of people, the meeting between the Supreme Lord and the topmost devotee and mahanta-guru blossomed their flowerlike transformations of ecstatic love that destroyed the contamination in the polluted hearts of persons who were averse to Krishna. Being filled with wonderful ecstasy, Shri Gaurasundara began to describe the glories of the lotus feet of the spiritual master, who is the bestower of transcendental knowledge and who is unlimitedly superior to Gaya-tirtha.
CB Adi-khanda 17.50
prabhu bale,-“gaya-yatra saphala amara
yata-kshane dekhilana carana tomara
The Lord said, “My journey to Gaya has become successful the moment I was able to see your lotus feet.
While wandering throughout the fourteen worlds under the shelter of karma and jnana, by good fortune and piety resulting from devotional service, the living entities receive the opportunity to see the lotus feet of the spiritual master, who is the reservoir of the seed of devotional service. Just by seeing the spiritual master, one’s unauthorized, mundane, sensual, argument-based knowledge is checked and the topmost shining glories of devotional service manifest in the heart. This is the fruit of visiting holy places.
Shrimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the crest-jewel of the mahajanas, has written in his Kalyana-kalpa-taru as follows:
mana, tumi tirthe sada rata
ayodhya, mathura, maya, kashi, kanci, avantiya,
dvaravati, ara ache yata
“My dear mind, you are always attached to the different places of pilgrimage such as Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridvara, Kashi, Kanci, Avanti, and Dvaraka.
tumi caha bhramibare, e sakala bare bare,
mukti-labha karibara tare
se sakala taba bhrama, nirarthaka parishrama,
citta sthira tirthe nahi kare
“You want to travel to all these holy places of pilgrimage again and again for the sake of obtaining liberation. But it is clear that your heart is not becoming resolutely fixed by going to all these places; therefore all of your wanderings are simply useless labor.
tirtha-phala sadhu-sanga, sadhu-sange antaranga
yatha sadhu, tatha tirtha, sthira kari’ nija citta,
sadhu-sanga kara nirantara
“The real benefit of visiting any holy place is to achieve the association of the pure-hearted devotees of the Lord living there. Establishing intimate and friendly relations with such great souls, let your heart be captivated by performing the charming worship of Lord Krishna in their association. Wherever the Lord’s devotees are living, that place becomes a place of pilgrimage. Therefore you should become fixed by constantly remaining in the company of such devotees.
ye tirthe vaishnava nai, se tirthete nahi yai,
ki labha hantiya dura-desha
yathaya vaishnava-gana, sei stana vrindavana,
sei sthane ananda ashesha
“I never visit any so-called place of pilgrimage that is devoid of the presence of unalloyed devotees, for what benefit is gained by walking to such distant places? Wherever there are devotees, that place is actually Vrindavana. Only there can one find unlimited spiritual pleasure.
krishna-bhakti yei sthane, mukti dasi seikhane,
salila tathaya mandakini
giri tatha govardhana, bhumi tatha vrindavana,
avirbhuta apani hladini
“Liberation personified is herself the humble maidservant of places that are surcharged with devotion to Krishna. All the water at the place is the celestial Ganges, every hill there is Govardhana, and the very earth is indeed Vrindavana. Only such a place can manifest the eternal spiritual joy which is revealed by the Lord’s pleasure-potency.
vinoda kahiche bhai, bhramiya ki phala pai,
vaishnava-sevana mora vrata
“I ask you now, dear brother, what benefit would I get by circumambulating all the holy places of pilgrimage? Personally, my vow is to serve the Vaishnavas with firm resolution and untiring endeavor.”
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.