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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Seventeen: The Lord’s Travel to Gaya
CB Adi-khanda 17.150
As the birds fly in the sky as far as their capacity allows, so the learned devotees describe the Lord as far as their realization allows.
Before commencing the recitation of the topics of Shrimad Bhagavatam in answer to the questions of the sages of Naimisharanya lead by Shaunaka, who were desirous of hearing the topics of Shrimad Bhagavatam from maha-bhagavata Suta Gosvami, Shri Suta describes the unlimitedness of Krishna’s topics, names, forms, qualities, associates, and pastimes in the following words:
nabhah patanty atma-samam patattrinas
tatha samam vishnu-gatim vipashcitah
“While flying in the sky according to their own strength, the birds stop flying when their energy is exhausted; they do not stop because of thinking that the unlimited sky has an end. Similarly, although learned persons like Brahma attempt to achieve knowledge of Vishnu according to their own capacities, they desist only due to their own insufficient capacity; they do not desist because of thinking that the unlimited qualities of Shri Govinda have an end or limit.” (Shri Vijayadhvaja)
“As a bird or crane flies in the sky according to its own strength, learned persons attempt to grasp the glories of the Lord on the strength of their own intelligence. The purport is that a bird or crane does not return from flight due to a limit in the sky, rather they return due to the limit of their ability. Similarly, learned persons also retire from their attempts to grasp knowledge of Vishnu due to the exhaustion of their intelligence, not because the glories of the Lord are exhausted, finished, or limited.” (Shri Viraraghava)
CB Adi-khanda 17.151
sarva-vaishnavera pa’ye mora namaskara
ithe aparadha kichu nahuka amara
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the feet of all the Vaishnavas, so that they may not consider my offenses.
“Accepting subordination to all Vaishnavas, I am humbly offering obeisances and praying at their lotus feet that they may not consider my offenses.” Without understanding the purport of pure devotional service, the prakrita-sahajiyas, who are so-called devotees, consider themselves devotees or Vaishnavas; but since they are either material enjoyers or pseudo renunciates, they are situated far away from nonduplicitous devotional service. Therefore, rather than achieving the service of Vishnu, they enjoy Vishnu’s illusory energy and mistakenly accept this as service to Vishnu. By using the phrase sarva-vaishnava in this verse, Vaishnava acarya Thakura Vrindavana did not refer to pseudo devotees, atheists, or prakrita-sahajiyas. He has taught everyone to accept subordination to the Vaishnavas.
aula, baula, kartabhaja, neda, daravesha, sani
sahajiya, sakhibheki, smarta, jata-gosani
ativadi, cudadhari, gauranga-nagari
tota kahe, ei tera’ra sanga nahi kari
“One should avoid associating with the thirteen different classes of imitation devotees known as aula, baula, kartabhaja, neda, daravesha, sani, sakhibheki, smarta, jata-gosani, ativadi, cudadhari and gauranga-nagari.”
These thirteen types of apa-sampradayas opposed to Gaura’s teachings and identified by an ancient mahajana cannot be called pure Vaishnavas, because they are purely non-Vaishnava. Giving up their bad association and accepting subordination of pure Vaishnavas has been indicated in this verse. If one offensively thinks that the word sarva-vaishnava has been used at this place out of humility to indicate all human beings, then it is to be understood that such a foolish person is overwhelmed by the illusory energy of Vishnu and qualified to receive the title of asura, or “demon.” All living entities are by nature Vaishnavas, but the mind’s restlessness and the gross body’s sinful activities, which are born from the bodily concept of life, are not included in the pure nonduplicitous principles of Vaishnavism. Acceptance of subordination to the pure Vaishnavas and encouraging vaishnava-aparadha born from the external enjoying propensity are never the same.
CB Adi-khanda 17.152
samsarera para haiya bhaktira sagare
ye dubibe, se bhajuka nitaicandere
Anyone who wants to cross the material ocean and merge in the ocean of devotional service must worship the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda.
Nityananda Prabhu is the master of the transcendental kingdom. One who is conditioned by material existence cannot serve Him with his gross or subtle bodies; but if by the causeless mercy of Nityananda Prabhu one is freed from the desire for material enjoyment, in other words, freed from the conceptions of “I” and “mine” related with the gross and subtle bodies, and one hankers to be merged in the ocean of service to the Absolute Truth, then he should simply serve Nityananda Prabhu with his body, mind, and speech. If one who is bound by the ropes of material existence mistakenly accepts the muddy poisonous canal of nondevotion, in the form of material enjoyment and pseudo renunciation, as the ocean of devotional service, he can never serve Lord Nityananda, because Nityananda Svarupa is the personified manifestation of Shri Chaitanya. The imaginary insignificant object that the prakrita-sahajiyas, the pseudo devotees, and the nondevotee communities misidentify as guru while considering the transcendental guru-tattva is not Nityananda Svarupa.
CB Adi-khanda 17.153
amara prabhura prabhu shri-gaurasundara
e bada bharasa citte dhari nirantara
Since Shri Gaurasundara is the Lord of my Lord, I constantly hope He will bestow mercy on me.
“Although Nityananda Prabhu is a manifestation of Shri Chaitanya, He is a servant of Mahaprabhu. Nityananda Svarupa is my Lord, and Gaurasundara is the Lord of my Lord, or Mahaprabhu. Since Gaurasundara alone is the worshipable Lord of my spiritual master, I always maintain firm faith in my heart that by the mercy of my Lord, who is my spiritual master, I will certainly be qualified in my pure sanctified state to engage in pure devotional service to Mahaprabhu at some time or other; in other words, Mahaprabhu will consider me the servant of the servant of His servant.”
CB Adi-khanda 17.154-158
keha bale,-“caitanyera maha-priya-dhama”
keha bale,-“maha-tejiyan adhikari”
keha bale,-“kona-rupa bujhite na pari”
kiba yati nityananda, kiba bhakta, jnani
yara yena-mata iccha na bolaye keni
ye-se kene caitanyera nityananda nahe
se carana-dhana mora rahuka hridaye
eta parihare o ye papi ninda kare
tabe lathi maron tara shirera upare
Someone says, “Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama,” and another says, “He is the most beloved devotee of Lord Chaitanya.” Someone else says, “He is a powerful personality,” and another says, “We don’t understand who He is.” Someone may consider Nityananda a sannyasi, someone may consider Him a devotee, and someone may consider Him a jnani. They may say whatever they like. Even if Nityananda is a most insignificant servant of Lord Chaitanya, I would still keep His lotus feet in my heart. I therefore kick the head of any sinful person who disregards the glories of Lord Nityananda and dares to criticize Him.
“In some people’s opinion, Nityananda Prabhu is Balarama, the direct manifestation of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other’s opinion, He is the servitor Personality of Godhead, the dearmost servant of Chaitanyadeva. There are others still who consider Him a maha-bhagavata, avadhuta, paramahamsa. And there are some people who cannot understand who He is. Nityananda Svarupa may be the paramahamsa avadhuta spiritual master of the sannyasis, or He may be a devotee learned in the science of God; people may address Him in any way they want, or He may have any kind of relationship with Chaitanyadeva, yet I will always hold Nityananda’s invaluable lotus feet within my heart. If an atheist considers that suffering miseries in the hell known as Andha-tamisra or Maha-raurava is most palatable, and in order to achieve that he blasphemes my spiritual master, then without considering his mundane prestigious position or exalted post I will kick his head, which is the reservoir of all sinful propensities. Seeing the Kauravas’ mischief and hearing their blasphemous words, Shri Baladeva spoke the following words in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.68.31): ‘Clearly the many passions of these scoundrels have made them so proud that they do not want peace. Then let them be pacified by physical punishment, as animals are with a stick.’”
If a genuine disciple lacks this quality of genuine, pure, topmost devotion at the lotus feet of his bona fide spiritual master, then he cannot be called an actual “disciple.” Without understanding this fact, sinful hellish people invite inauspiciousness by blaspheming the spiritual master rather than serving him. As a result of the greatly beneficial topics that Thakura Vrindavana manifested in this world in order to record in brightly effulgent golden words the proper etiquette of a genuine disciple, the entire world of pure Vaishnavas have accepted Thakura Vrindavana as the Gurudeva of the entire Vaishnava community. For those who have the slightest doubt born of abominable cheating propensities or sinful motives in this Vedic conclusion, there is no possibility life after life in achieving devotion to Gaura-Krishna. Receiving the mercy and inheriting the duties of Nityananda Prabhu, Thakura Vrindavana has acted as acarya-guru in this world. The ignorant, asslike, pseudo devotees who consider the prakrita-sahajiyas, who are hellish living incarnations of cheating humility, as ideal spiritual masters simply commit offenses at the lotus feet of Thakura Vrindavana. No pure devotee under the shelter of Chaitanya and Nityananda will ever associate in any way with the sinful apa-sampradayas who are opposed to Thakura Vrindavana. Yet if due to past misdeeds or misfortune one happens to face such bad association, then Gaudiya Vaishnavas have no qualification to associate with that dishonest person whose ill-motivated mind has deviated from the lotus feet of Vrindavana dasa Thakura. The community of arrogant persons will take millions and millions of births to understand Vrindavana dasa Thakura’s causeless mercy, so until their offenses are exhausted, they will never have the opportunity to receive a kick on the head from the sanctified all-auspicious feet of a pure Vaishnava. Even the genuine desire for receiving the nonduplicitous mercy of a pure Vaishnava is a rare commodity for ignorant mundane sinful people, pious fruitive workers, or mental speculators. Living entities who are averse to Hari, Guru, and Vaishnava have not accumulated sufficient piety in their previous lifetimes, nor have thousands of their forefathers accumulated sufficient piety, that they are qualified to receive the all-auspicious kick from the lotus feet of the pure, transcendental, ultimate-benefit-awarding lotus feet of Thakura Vrindavana. The moment that dust from the lotus feet of a pure Vaishnava will fall on the heads of sinful persons, that very moment they will become free from all material contamination and deceit and thus become proprietors of the wealth of devotional service.
CB Adi-khanda 17.159
jaya jaya nityananda chaitanya-jivana
tomara carana mora hauka sharana
All glories to Lord Nityananda, whose life and soul is Lord Chaitanya. Let me take shelter at Your lotus feet.
CB Adi-khanda 17.160
tomara haiya yena gauracandra gana
janme-janme yena toma’ samhati bedana
As Your servant, let me sing the glories of Lord Chaitanya, and let me accompany You birth after birth.
“O Lord, I may take birth in any species of life, but please be merciful that I may remain Your servant. Moreover, O Lord, since You do not engage in any activity other than glorifying the qualities of Mahaprabhu, may I, as Your most insignificant servant, constantly engage in assisting a little in Your service.” Presently the transcendental Vaishnavas who live in the mathas as members of the Vishva-vaishnava Raja-sabha have abandoned all varieties of material activities and are following in the footsteps of Nityananda Svarupa in order to glorify the qualities of Gaurachandra. They alone are the genuine, pure disciples of Thakura Vrindavana. For this reason sinful persons who are victims of the age of Kali and averse to such disciples are certainly sinful and on the path to hell.
CB Adi-khanda 17.161
ye shunaye adi-khande caitanyera katha
tahare shri-gauracandra milibe sarvatha
One who hears the topics of Lord Chaitanya described in Adi-khanda will certainly attain His lotus feet.
CB Adi-khanda 17.162
ishvara-purira sthane haiya vidaya
grihe ailena prabhu shri-gauranga-raya
After taking leave of Ishvara Puri, Lord Gauranga returned home.
CB Adi-khanda 17.163
shuni’ sarva navadvipa haila anandita
prana asi’ dehe yena haila upanita
Everyone in Navadvipa was happy to hear of the Lord’s arrival. They felt as if their life air had returned to their body.
When the life air of a living entity leaves the body, it is called dead; and when the life returns to an inert body, it is called healthy and conscious. Similarly, when Gaurasundara went from Shri Mayapur to Gaya and stayed there for some time, all the residents of Navadvipa became lifeless. Now by Shri Gaurasundara’s return to Shri Mayapur-Navadvipa, they all regained their lives.
CB Adi-khanda 17.164
shri krishna-chaitanya nityananda-canda jana
vrindavana dasa tachu pada-yuge gana
Accepting Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu as my life and soul, I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their lotus feet.
Thus ends this English translation of the Gaudiya-bhashya commentary on Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Adi-khanda, Chapter Seventeen, entitled, “The Lord’s Travel to Gaya.”
End of Adi-khanda