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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Two: The Lord’s Appearance
CB Adi-khanda 2.1
jaya jaya mahaprabhu gaurasundara
jaya jagannatha-putra maha-maheshvara
All glories to Mahaprabhu Shri Gaurasundara! All glories to the son of Jagannatha Mishra, the Lord of all lords!
CB Adi-khanda 2.2
jaya nityananda gadadharera jivana
jaya jaya advaitadi-bhaktera sharana
All glories to the life and soul of Nityananda and Gadadhara! All glories to the shelter of the devotees headed by Advaita Prabhu!
Shri Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami was the foremost amongst Mahaprabhu’s intimate devotees. As he is the origin of the shakti-tattva, he was present in the Lord’s pastimes at both Navadvipa and Nilacala. He lived first in Navadvipa, and later he lived as a kshetra-sannyasi in a subforest near the ocean at Nilacala. The pure devotees who worship the sweet feature of Shri Shri Radha-Govinda take shelter of Gadadhara and thus become known as intimate devotees of Shri Gaura. Those who are not enthusiastic to worship the sweet feature of the Lord perform devotional service under the shelter of Nityananda Prabhu. Some of Gaura’s devotees like Shri Narahari were followers of Shri Gadadhara Pandita who had taken shelter of Gadadhara under the consideration that Shri Gaurasundara was his only worshipable Lord. Some people call Shriman Mahaprabhu the life and soul of Nityananda, and some people call Him the life and soul of Gadadhara.
Shri Gaurasundara was also the Lord of both Shri Advaita Prabhu, the incarnation of Maha-Vishnu, and Shrivasa Pandita, the incarnation of Narada.
The Panca-tattva has thus been described in this way. Shri Gaurasundara is the form of a devotee, Shri Nityananda is the expansion of a devotee, Shri Advaita is the incarnation of a devotee, Shri Gadadhara is the energy of the Lord, and Shrivasa is the pure devotee-Shri Gaura enjoys pastimes in these five features.
CB Adi-khanda 2.3
bhakta-goshthi sahita gauranga jaya jaya
shunile chaitanya-katha bhakti labhya haya
All glories to Lord Gauranga along with His associates! By hearing the topics of Shri Chaitanya, one attains devotional service to the Lord.
The word bhakta-goshthi refers to the worshipable Lord Gaurasundara and His four principle devotees, headed by Shri Nityananda, who are under His shelter. These devotees have no business other than the service of Lord Gaurasundara.
Simply by hearing the pastimes of Shriman Mahaprabhu, one’s constitutional position is revived. The activity of one in that constitutional position is the devotional service of Lord Krishna. Knowledge of Shri Chaitanya, His manifestations, and His glories is nourishment for the living entity’s ears. When the living entity awakens to his constitutional activities, he fully engages in the service of Shri Gaura-Krishna. In other words, he performs pure devotional service with knowledge of his relationship with the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 2.4
punah bhakta-sange prabhu-pade namaskara
sphuruka jihvaya gauracandra avatara
I again offer my obeisances at the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya and His devotees. Let the topics of Shri Gaurachandra become manifest on my tongue.
With a desire to achieve his goal, the author again offers his respectful obeisances to the Lord and His associates and prays for the blessing that the transcendental pastimes of Lord Gaurasundara manifest on his tongue.
CB Adi-khanda 2.5
jaya jaya shri karuna-sindhu gauracandra
jaya jaya shri seva-vigraha nityananda
All glories to Shri Gaurachandra, the ocean of mercy! All glories to Nityananda Prabhu, the personification of devotional service!
Shri Gaurahari is an ocean of mercy. Shri Krishnadasa Kaviraja has described Him in the Chaitanya-caritamrita (Adi 8.15) as follows: “If you are indeed interested in logic and argument, kindly apply it to the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. If you do so, you will find it to be strikingly wonderful.” Shrila Rupa Gosvami Prabhu has also offered his obeisances to the Lord and glorified Him as maha-vadanya, the most magnanimous, and krishna-prema-prada, the bestower of love of Krishna. Lord Shri Krishna, the personification of madhurya-lila, or sweet pastimes, has displayed audarya-lila, or magnanamous pastimes, in His Gaura pastimes.
Shri Nityananda Prabhu is the personification of service. Being a servant of Shri Gaurasundara, who is the supreme worshipable Lord, Shri Nityananda personally worships Gaura and is the worshipable Lord of the pure devotees. Although Shri Nityananda Rama, the Lord of lords, is Vishnu Himself, He is the servant and assistant in svayam-rupa Gaura’s magnanimous pastimes. Lord Nityananda serves His Lord in ten forms. Even today the Deity of Nityananda is seen in Navadvipa and Jagannatha Puri.
CB Adi-khanda 2.6
avijnata-tattva dui bhai ara bhakta
tathapi kripaya tattva karena suvyakta
Although the truths of the two brothers and Their devotees are incomprehensible, they can be realized by the mercy of Their Lordships.
Both Lords, Gaura and Nitai, as well as Their pure devotees are beyond the reach of material senses and eternally full of knowledge and bliss. Therefore proud mundane speculators who are simply interested in sense gratification cannot understand Their real forms. They mercifully manifest Their incomprehensible forms only to Their fully surrendered servants who have taken shelter of Them. Shrila Kaviraja Gosvami has prayed to Gaura-Nitai in the Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Adi 1.2) as follows: “I offer my respectful obeisances unto Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.” Also in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Adi 1.98) he writes: “But these two brothers [Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda] dissipate the darkness of the inner core of the heart, and thus They help one meet the two kinds of bhagavatas [persons or things in relationship with the Personality of Godhead].”
The word avijnata-tattva indicates that the truth of these two brothers is unknown to one with a materialistic enjoying mentality. In other words, They are beyond the jurisdiction of material knowledge or sense perception.
CB Adi-khanda 2.7
brahmadira sphurti haya krishnera kripaya
sarva-shastre, vede, bhagavata ei gaya
The knowledge of personalities like Lord Brahma is enhanced by the mercy of Lord Krishna. This is confirmed in all the scriptures such as the Vedas and the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
CB Adi-khanda 2.8
pracodita yena pura sarasvati
vitanvatajasya satim smritim hridi
sva-lakshana pradurabhut kilasyatah
sa me rishinam rishabhah prasidatam
May the Lord, who in the beginning of the creation amplified the potent knowledge of Brahma from within his heart and inspired him with full knowledge of creation and of His own Self, and who appeared to be generated from the mouth of Brahma, be pleased with me.
When Maharaja Parikshit inquired from Shukadeva Gosvami about Lord Hari’s pastimes of creation, Shri Shukadeva Gosvami first remembered the Supreme Lord and then offered his prayers, such as this verse from the Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.4.22). There are many passages in the Shrimad Bhagavatam that describe how Lord Brahma, the original spiritual master in the Brahma-sampradaya, heard Shrimad Bhagavatam, the ripened fruit of the Vedas, from Lord Narayana. Some of those passages are as follows: tene brahma hrida ya adi-kavaye-“It is He only who first imparted Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being.” (Bhag. 1.1.1); mayadau brahmane prokta dharmo yasyam mad-atmakah-“I spoke the Vedic knowledge to Brahma because I Myself am the religious principles enunciated in the Vedas.” (Bhag. 11.14.3); idam bhagavata purvam brahmane nabhi-pankajesamprakashitam-“It was to Lord Brahma that the Supreme Personality of Godhead first revealed the Shrimad Bhagavatam in full.” (Bhag. 12.13.10); kasmai yena vibhasito ‘yam atulo jnana-pradipah pura-“Who in the beginning personally revealed this incomparable torchlight of knowledge to Brahma.” (Bhag. 12.13.19); and ya idam kripaya kasmai vyacacakshe mumukshave-“Who mercifully explained this science to Brahma when he anxiously desired salvation.” (Bhag. 12.13.20)
This fact is also confirmed in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.18) as follows:
yo brahmanam vidadhati purvam
yo vai vedamsh ca prahinoti tasmai
tam ha devam atma-buddhi-prakasham
mumukshur vai sharanam aham prapadye
“Because I desire liberation, let me surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who first enlightened Lord Brahma in Vedic knowledge through Lord Brahma’s heart. The Lord is the original source of all enlightenment and spiritual advancement.”
Also in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.18) it is stated: vedante paramam guhyam pura kalpe pracoditam-“The confidential knowledge of the Vedas was spoken long ago in a previous kalpa.” And in the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.5.11) it is stated: asya mahato bhutasya nishvasitam etad yad rig-vedo yajur-vedah sama-vedo ‘tharvangirasa itihasah puranam vidya upanishadah shlokah sutranyanuvyakhyananyasyai vaitani sarvani nishvasitani-“The Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda, the Itihasas, or histories, the Puranas, the Upanishads, the shlokas or mantras chanted by the brahmanas, the sutras, or accumulations of Vedic statements, as well as vidya, transcendental knowledge, and the explanations of the sutras and mantras are all emanations from the breathing of the great Personality of Godhead.”
CB Adi-khanda 2.9-11
purve brahma janmilena nabhi-padma haite
tathapiha shakti nai kichui dekhite
tabe yabe sarva-bhave laila sharana
tabe prabhu kripaya dilena darashana
tabe krishna-kripaya sphurila sarasvati
tabe se janila sarva-avatara-sthiti
In the beginning of creation Lord Brahma was born from the lotus sprouted from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Still, he had no power to see anything. When Brahma took full shelter of the Lord, then out of compassion the Lord appeared before him. Then, by the mercy of Krishna, Brahma received transcendental knowledge so that he could understand the various incarnations of the Supreme Lord.
Seven different lives of Brahma are described in the Mahabharata (Shanti 347.40-43). Besides being born from the lotus, Brahma was also born from the mind, eyes, speech, ears, nose, and egg. When Brahma was born from the lotus, he opened his eyes and could not see his worshipable Lord. He then took shelter of the Supreme Lord and was able to see Him.
Therefore it is stated in the Vedas (Katha Upanishad 1.2.23 and Mundaka Upanishad 3.2.3):
nayam atma pravacanena labhyo
na medhasa na bahuna shrutena
yam evaisha vrinute tena labhyas
tasyaisha atma vivrinute tanum svam
“The Supreme Lord is not obtained by expert explanations, by vast intelligence, or even by much hearing. He is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person, He manifests His own form.”
The omnipotent Lord Krishna manifested His quality of magnificence and thus empowered Lord Brahma to realize his constitutional position and disseminate transcendental knowledge. Thereafter the words om and atah manifested from the mouth of Brahma. As a result, Lord Brahma understood the causelessly merciful advent and wonderful variegated pastimes of the sac-cid-ananda Supreme Lord through the descending process, rather than the ascending process. This is confirmed in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.1.1): “It is He only who first imparted Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being.”
Without the powerful glorification of Krishna from the mouths of pure devotees, the living entities are unable to get free from the clutches of maya, in the form of aversion to Krishna, by uttering lifeless words born of material enjoyment.
CB Adi-khanda 2.12
hena krishna-candrera durjneya avatara
tana kripa vine ka’ra shakti janibara?
Lord Krishna’s incarnations are very difficult to understand. Who has the power to understand Them without His mercy?
The pastimes of Krishna are completely incomprehensible for people who are overwhelmed by the knowledge acquired through their material senses. Material scholars do not accept the Lord of all energies and incarnations of Vishnu, Krishna, as the source of the omnipotent four-handed Narayana; rather, they consider Him a political hero and an ordinary historical descendant of the Yadu dynasty. In other words, rather than understanding Krishna as the Absolute Truth and cause of all causes, due to their material conceptions they consider Him an ordinary living entity with a material form and one of various objects of material enjoyment. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, appears in this world, all the occasional lila-avataras combine in His form. This fact is also extremely incomprehensible. Without the mercy of Krishna, one can never understand the science of Krishna by his own endeavor. Only that person to whom Krishnacandra has mercifully revealed His pastimes has attained the fortune to worship Him. In this regard one may discuss the verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.14.3) that begins: jnane prayasam udapasya.
CB Adi-khanda 2.13
acintya, agamya krishna-avatara-lila
sei brahma bhagavate apane kahila
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam Lord Brahma concludes that the pastimes of Krishna’s incarnations are inconceivable and inaccessible.
When Mother Yashoda saw the universe within the mouth of her son, she offered her obeisances to Him as follows: “I offer my respects to the form of the inconceivable and unmanifest, who is without qualities but who is the soul of all qualities, the form holding all the universes, the supreme Brahman.” Lord Brahma also declares that the Lord’s pastimes are inconceivable and incomprehensible in the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, of the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
CB Adi-khanda 2.14
ko vetti bhuman bhagavan paratman
yogeshvarotir bhavatas tri-lokyam
kva va katham va kati va kadeti
vistarayan kridasi yoga-mayam
O supreme great one! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! O Supersoul, master of all mystic power! Your pastimes are taking place continuously in these three worlds, but who can estimate where, how, and when You are employing Your spiritual energy and performing these innumerable pastimes? No one can understand the mystery of how Your spiritual energy acts.
After Lord Krishna smashed the pride of Brahma, who had stolen the calves of Vraja, Brahma offered prayers to Lord Krishna, including the above verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.14.21).
This verse was spoken by Brahma to counteract the following doubts: Why does the supremely independent Lord appear in an lowborn species like Matsya? Why does the Lord exhibit the humble act of begging in His Vamana incarnation? Why did Krishna run away from the battle? By addressing the Lord as bhuman, it is understood that the Lord is incomprehensible. (Shridhara Svami)
The word bhuman means “the supreme great one,” the word bhagavan means “full of all opulences,” the word paratman means “the Supersoul of all” or “the cause of all causes,” and the word yogeshvara means “the eternal master of all mystic potencies.” Since no one knows Your pastimes, You are Yourself the basis of Your unmanifest pastimes; since You are full of all opulences, You are Yourself the source of varieties of pastimes; since You are the Supersoul, You are Yourself the limit of Your pastimes; and since You are ever-existing, You are Yourself the knower of the time of Your pastimes. The word yogamaya refers to the supreme internal energy of the Lord. (Jiva Gosvami)
If it is said that You (Krishna) appeared to minimize the burden of the earth, Rama appeared to kill Ravana, and various other incarnations appeared to reestablish the principles of religion, is Your destruction of the pride of the demons deluded with material knowledge not known? Yes, it is known. But no one is able to fully understand the cause of the Lord’s advent, for what purpose the Lord’s pastimes are performed, when the Lord will appear, and how long the Lord will stay. This verse was spoken to emphasize this point.
The word bhuman refers to the all-pervading personality with innumerable forms. The word bhagavan indicates that although the Lord has a universal form, He is nevertheless full with six opulences. The word paratman indicates that although the Lord is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is also the Supersoul. The word yogeshvara indicates that by the influence of His yogamaya the Lord is full of the greatest opulences, such as His universal form. The word utih refers to the Lord’s pastimes beginning with His appearance. Since Your innumerable forms are all-pervading, full with six opulences, not made of material elements, and forms of the Supersoul, how then is it possible that Your innumerable forms are simultaneously performing various pastimes within the three worlds for the pleasure of the devotees? In answer to this it is understood that these innumerable forms of the Lord perform Their pastimes by manifesting Themselves at appropriate times, according to the desire of His devotees, and by the influence of His inconceivable yogamaya potency. (Shrimad Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura)
Since there is no truth superior to Krishna, no one is able to realize His omnipotency. Although the Lord is the Absolute Truth, He manifests His pastimes within this material world, yet He has not given anyone the ability to fully understand the purposes for which He incarnates.
CB Adi-khanda 2.15
kon hetu krishnacandra kare avatara
ka’ra shakti ache tattva janite tahara?
Who has the ability to know why Krishnacandra incarnates?
CB Adi-khanda 2.16
tathapi shri bhagavate, gitaya ye kaya
taha likhi, ye-nimitte ‘avatara’ haya
Still, I am giving whatever reasons are described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-gita.
People who are on the path of ascending knowledge try to find the cause of the activities of this material world. That this material world is the effect of someone’s actions is very difficult to comprehend, yet the author appropriately explains the cause of all causes, as revealed by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita and in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, the ripened fruit of desire tree of Vedic literature. The author explains the cause of Lord Krishna’s advent by following in the footsteps of the Vedic literature rather than making his own personal endeavor. Shrila Kaviraja Gosvami, however, has ascertained these causes as secondary and meant particularly for devotees following the process of regulative devotional service. Kaviraja Gosvami says that these incarnations of Vishnu are naimittika, or occasional, incarnations.
CB Adi-khanda 2.17
yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam shrijamy aham
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion-at that time I descend Myself.
One should refer to Shrimad Bhagavatam (9.24.56), wherein Shri Shukadeva Gosvami says to Maharaja Parikshit: “Whenever the principles of religion deteriorate and the principles of irreligion increase, the supreme controller, the Personality of Godhead Shri Hari, appears by His own will.”
“I advent Myself”-in other words, to bewilder the demons I manifest Myself in this world like a created being under the clutches of the illusory energy. (Vishvanatha Cakravarti’s Sarartha-darshini)
The word dharma refers to the dharma that is described in the Vedas. The word glanih means “destroy.” The word adharma refers to that which is contrary to dharma. The word abhyutthan means “arising.” The words “I manifest” do not mean created like a material object, because I was personally present even before creation. Therefore created objects have no lordship over Me. (Baladeva Vidyabhushana’s Gita-bhushana commentary)
The word adharma is explained by Narada Muni to Maharaja Yudhishthira in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.15.12-14) in the following words: “There are five branches of irreligion, appropriately known as irreligion [vidharma], religious principles for which one is unfit [para-dharma], pretentious religion [abhasa], analogical religion [upadharma] and cheating religion [chala-dharma]. One who is aware of real religious life must abandon these five as irreligious. Religious principles that obstruct one from following his own religion are called vidharma. Religious principles introduced by others are called para-dharma. A new type of religion created by one who is falsely proud and who opposes the principles of the Vedas is called upadharma. And interpretation by one’s jugglery of words is called chala-dharma. A pretentious religious system manufactured by one who willfully neglects the prescribed duties of his order of life is called abhasa [a dim reflection or false similarity]. But if one performs the prescribed duties for his particular ashrama or varna, why are they not sufficient to mitigate all material distresses?”
The only injunction governing My appearance is that I am independent, so I appear whenever I desire. Whenever there is a decline in religious principles and a predominant rise of irreligion, at that time I descend by My own sweet will. The regulations that govern the entire universe are beginningless. But when in due course of time these regulations become defective by some undetermined cause, irreligiousity becomes prominent. No one is able to counteract this situation other than Me. Therefore I appear in this material world along with My internal potencies in order to destroy irreligious principles. It is not that I appear only in the land of Bharata-varsha, but according to the need I also appear amongst the demigods and lower species. So do not think that I do not appear amongst the mlecchas and other low-born human beings. I also appear among them as a shaktyavesha-avatara, or empowered incarnation, to protect them and whatever little religious principles those impure persons follow. Yet I am more anxious to appear amongst My dependents in India, because varnashrama-dharma is followed there without obstruction. Therefore all the pleasing yuga-avataras and amsha-avataras are found only in the land of Bharata-varsha. Activities performed without fruitive desire (nishkama-karma-yoga), philosophical speculation (jnana-yoga), and the ultimate process of devotional service (bhakti-yoga) are not properly practiced where there is no practice of varnashrama-dharma. But know for certain that the traces of devotion found amongst the low-born humans are due to the mercy of the devotees. (Shrila Bhaktivinoda’s Vidvad-ranjana commentary)
CB Adi-khanda 2.18
paritranaya sadhunam vinashaya ca dushkritam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge
To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.
Do not suspect that the Lord is cruel because He annihilates the miscreants. As a mother’s fondling and chastisement of her children are not displays of cruelty but exhibitions of her affection, it should be understood that the killing of demons and protection of devotees are similar exhibitions of the mercy of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, who is the maintainer of both pious and sinful persons. (Shridhara Svami’s Subodhini commentary)
One may argue that the great sages and devotee kings are qualified to counteract the decline of religious principles and check the increase of irreligious practices, so what is the need for Your appearance? This is true. But delivering the sadhus, destroying the miscreants, and reestablishing the principles of religion are impossible for others to perform, therefore I personally appear. Delivering the sadhus means to deliver the unalloyed devotees from the misery of their intense desire to see Me. The word dushkritam refers to demons like Ravana, Kamsa, and Keshi, who are invincible to others and who give distress to My devotees. The word dharma-samsthapana refers to supreme occupational duties in the form of meditating on, worshiping, serving, and glorifying Me, which cannot be propagated by anyone other than Me. The word yuge yuge refers to every millenium or kalpa. One should not doubt the Lord’s impartiality when He kills the demons, because the demons who are killed by the hand of the Lord are delivered from hellish material life, which has been awarded to them due to their sinful activities. This punishment awarded to the demons by the Lord is also His mercy. (Shrimad Vishvanatha Cakravarti)
Delivering the sadhus means that the Lord delivers His devotees from the distress of intense eagerness to see the Lord. Because the devotees are constantly engaged in remembering the Lord’s form and qualities, they have a strong desire to see the Lord, who thus manifests His enchanting form before them. The word dushkritam refers to demons such as Ravana and Kamsa, who are averse to the devotees and who cannot be killed except by the Lord. The word dharma refers to the pure devotional process of worshiping the Lord and meditating on His form. Although this process of devotional service is performed on the basis of regulative principles, it cannot be propagated by others. The word samsthapana indicates preaching properly. These three purposes are the cause of the Lord’s appearance. No one should doubt the Lord’s impartiality when He kills the demons, because the demons who are killed by the Lord attain liberation. This chastisement of the demons is a display of the Lord’s mercy. (Shri Baladeva Vidyabhushana)
I establish varnashrama-dharma by appearing as an empowered incarnation amongst My devotees, who are sages amongst the brahmanas and kings, but actually I appear to deliver My great devotees who are afflicted by the distress born of intense longing to see Me. Thus, in the form of a yuga-avatara, I deliver My devotees from this distress and I deliver demons like Ravana and Kamsa by killing them. I reestablish the living entities’ eternal religious principles by preaching the devotional processes like hearing and chanting. When I say, “I appear in every millenium,” it is to be accepted that I also appear in the age of Kali. The incarnation for Kali-yuga will distribute the rarely attained benediction of love of God through the process of chanting. Although this incarnation is the best of all, He is hidden to the common person. My great devotees will naturally be attracted by this incarnation. You also (O Arjuna) can see this incarnation when you appear as His assistant. The great mystery of this confidential incarnation for Kali-yuga is that He will destroy only the sinful mentality of the demons, not the demons themselves. (Shrimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
CB Adi-khanda 2.19-20
dharma-parabhava haya yakhane yakhane
adharmera prabalata bade dine-dine
brahmadi prabhura pa’ya kare vijnapane
Whenever there is a decline in religious principles and irreligion becomes more prominent day by day, at that time the demigods headed by Brahma pray at the feet of the Lord to protect the sadhus and destroy the miscreants.
When the living entities who are averse to the Lord remain in the midst of temporary sense enjoyment, their material conceptions gradually increase. From Satya to Treta to Dvapara-yuga, religious principles gradually diminish and the propensity for material enjoyment gradually increases. At the same time, due to a lack of religious activities, irreligious activities become more prominent. The ascending process is a form of irreligion, because in this process there is no service attitude towards Shri Adhokshaja. The pure devotees of the Lord who are engaged in the service of Adhokshaja are always disturbed by the conditioned living entities’ irreligious endeavors. The mental speculators consider themselves rich and powerful by five opulences: (1) gambling, (2) drinking, (3) illicit sex, (4) animal slaughter, and (5) gold. They thus attempt to attack the Absolute Truth, who descends for the eternal benefit of the living entities. In order to check such endeavors of the mental speculators and make them slip from their path, the unlimitedly powerful destroyer of nescience and bewilderer of the demons, the Supreme Absolute Truth, Lord Vishnu, incarnates. In this way Lord Brahma offers prayers at the lotus feet of the Lord in every millenium.
CB Adi-khanda 2.21
tabe prabhu yuga-dharma sthapana karite
sangopange avatirna hana prithivite
The Lord then appears in this material world with His associates and paraphernalia in order to reestablish the principles of religion.
When Lord Brahma, the creator and regulator of the universe, prays for the Lord’s incarnation for the benefit of the entire universe, the Absolute Personality of Godhead descends along with His associates from His own abode in Vaikuntha into this material world. The pure devotees know that reestablishing religious principles appropriate for the particular time is one of the purposes for the Lord’s advent. The function of the naimittika-lila-avataras is to reestablish the principles of religion, or yuga-dharma.
CB Adi-khanda 2.22
kali-yuge ‘dharma’ haya ‘hari-sankirtana’
etad arthe avatirna shri-shaci-nandana
The religious principle for the age of Kali is the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Shri Shacinandana incarnates to establish this principle.
The living entities are delivered by the process of meditation in Satya-yuga, fire sacrifice in Treta-yuga, worship of the Lord in Dvapara-yuga, and congregational chanting of Lord Hari’s names in Kali-yuga. Lord Shri Shacinandana appeared in this world to propagate this congregational chanting.
CB Adi-khanda 2.23
ei kahe bhagavata sarva-tattva-sara
It is stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam that the Supreme Absolute Truth, Lord Gaurachandra, incarnates to propagate the chanting of the holy names.
The people of this age of Kali are engaged in arguments that result in various quarrels. In order to benefit these people, Shri Gaurasundara propagated the congregational chanting of the Lord’s holy name, which is the Supreme Absolute Truth, the destroyer of all illusion, and the form of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam it is also confirmed that Shri Gaurasundara is the essence of all truths, the Supreme Absolute Truth, and the personification of sankirtana.
CB Adi-khanda 2.24
iti dvapara urv-isha stuvanti jagad-ishvaram
nana-tantra-vidhanena kalav api tatha shrinu
O King, in this way people in Dvapara-yuga glorified the Lord of the universe. In Kali-yuga also people worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead by following various regulations of the revealed scriptures. Now kindly hear of this from me.
This and the following verse from the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.5.31-32) were spoken by the great devotee Shri Karabhajana Muni, one of the nine Yogendras, while describing the incarnation and process of worship for the age of Kali. They are part of his reply to Nimi, the king of Videha, who inquired about the colors, features, names, times of advent, and processes for worshiping Lord Hari’s incarnations.
CB Adi-khanda 2.25
krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam sangopangastra-parshadam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah
In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons, and confidential companions.
The word tvisha refers to He whose color is not blackish; in other words, He whose luster is golden. Intelligent persons worship this Lord. “Your son Krishna appears as an incarnation in every millennium. In the past, He assumed three different colors-white, red and yellow-and now He has appeared in a blackish color.” In these words spoken by Gargamuni to Nanda Maharaja in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.8.13) it is proved that apart from white, red, and black, the Lord also appears with a yellow or golden complexion. The word idanim, or “now,” in this verse indicates that the Lord has accepted a blackish color in His present incarnation. It is understood from this statement that the Lord appeared in Dvapara-yuga in a blackish complexion and that He had previously appeared in the Satya-yuga and Treta-yuga with white and red complexions. The word pita, or golden, is used in the past tense to confirm that the Lord had appeared with a golden complexion in previous Kali-yugas.
Lord Shri Krishna will be fully glorified in this book (Shrimad Bhagavatam), so in order to confirm that all incarnations are included in Krishna, He was also known as the yuga-avatara. Whenever Lord Krishna appears in Dvapara-yuga, Lord Gaurasundara appears in the immediately following Kali-yuga. From this statement it is concluded that Shri Gaurasundara is Himself Lord Krishna, because there has never been an exception. The fact that Shri Gaurasundara is Himself Lord Krishna is being disclosed by the author by his use of the following adjectives.
The word krishna-varna indicates one who possesses the two syllables kri and shna. In other words, He whose name, Shri Krishna Chaitanyadeva, includes these two syllables, kri and shna (the Supreme Personality of Godhead). In his commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.3.3), Shridhara Svami has explained that of the words shriyah savarnena, shriyah means “of Shri or of Rukmini,” and savarnena refers to one who possesses the two equal syllables ru and kmi. Such dual meanings are found in various places within the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
Alternatively, the word krishna-varna means “one who describes Krishna.” In other words, He personally chants the holy names while remembering His own ecstatic spiritual pastimes, and He mercifully instructs everyone about His holy names.
Alternatively, although He is personally a-krishna, or golden, He is nevertheless tvisha, or lustrous. In other words, He distributes the holy names of Krishna to everyone by His sweet beauty; or in other words, everyone becomes Krishna consciousness by seeing Him.
Alternatively, although Shri Krishna appears as Gaura, in the eyes of His devotees He is tvisha, or of lustrous blackish complexion. In other words, He is seen by His devotees as Shri Shyamasundara. Therefore Shri Gaurasundara is Shri Krishna Himself, or, in other words, Shri Krishna has personally appeared as Shri Gaurasundara. Therefore the conclusion is that Shri Gaurasundara is Shri Krishna Himself.
The supremacy of Shri Gaurasundara is established by the words sangopangastra-parshadam. In other words, the Lord appears with His anga, upanga, astra, and parshada-His limbs, decorations, weapons, and associates. (This term has been used in karma-dharaya, an appositional compound. According to Shrila Vyasadeva the angas of the Lord are also called upangas, astras, and parshadas.) Since the limbs of the Supreme Lord are most enchanting, they are known as decorations; since the limbs of the Supreme Lord are most powerful, they are known as weapons; and since the limbs of the Supreme Lord always remain with the Lord, they are called associates of the Lord. Many great personalities have seen this form of the Lord. This is a well-known fact among the residents of West Bengal, Orissa, and Bangladesh. Another meaning of this phrase is that the Lord has appeared along with His most powerful devoted companions, like Shrimad Advaita Acarya, who are counted as angas, upangas, and astras of the Lord.
By which processes do the devotees worship Shri Gaurasundara? In answer to this, it is explained that people worship Him by sacrifice. The evidence of this fact is the statement of the demigods in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.19.24): na yatra yajnesha-makha mahotsavah-“where there are no festivals of sankirtana-yajna to satisfy the Lord.” The use of the adjective sankirtana-prayair is a confirmation of accepting this sacrifice as the means of attaining perfection. The word sankirtana refers to a large gathering of people chanting the holy names of Krishna. The process of sankirtana-yajna, or congregational glorification of Lord Krishna, which is prominently displayed by devotees of the Lord, is thus concluded to be the process of attaining perfection.
In the Vishnu-sahasra-nama of the Mahabharata (Dana-dharma 149.92, 75) the following characteristics of the Lord (Shri Gaura) are described: suvarna-varnah-He whose body is the color of gold; hema-angah-He whose body is like molten gold; sutham-He whose body is most beautiful; candana-balai-yukta-He whose body was smeared with sandalwood; sannyasa-lila-avinaya-kari-He who practices the renounced order of life; shama-guna-yukta-He who is equipoised; and shantah-He who is peaceful. Shri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, the crest jewel amongst learned scholars, also described this subject matter (the appearance of Gaura) in the following verse: “Let my consciousness, which is like a honeybee, take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has just now appeared as Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to teach the ancient system of devotional service to Himself. This system had almost been lost due to the influence of time.” (Jiva Gosvami’s Krama-sandarbha and Sarva-samvadini)
CB Adi-khanda 2.26
saba prakashilena chaitanya-narayana
Lord Chaitanya inaugurated the congregational chanting of the holy names as the essence of all religious principles for the age of Kali.
In his commentary on the Mundaka Upanishad, the senior Vaishnava Shri Madhva Muni has quoted the following verse from Shri Narayana-samhita:
dvapariyair janair vishnuh pancaratrais tu kevalaih
kalau tu nama-matrena pujyate bhagavan harih
“In the Dvapara-yuga people should worship Lord Vishnu only by the regulative principles of the Narada-pancaratra and other such authorized books. In the age of Kali, however, people should simply chant the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
Whenever there is a disagreement about the process of spiritual advancement, the process itself is generally criticized. But only the chanting of hari-nama is undisputedly situated above all other processes of sadhana.
In the first verse of His Shri Shikshashtaka, Shri Chaitanya Narayana has stated:
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate shri-krishna-sankirtanam
“Glory to the Shri Krishna sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.”
The second and third verses of Shri Shikshashtaka also explain the process of chanting Krishna’s names, the fourth verse explains the process of anartha-nivritti, cleansing the heart of all unwanted things, the fifth verse explains the living entity’s constitutional position, the sixth verse explains the state of a living entity who chants the holy name, the seventh verse explains the result of that state, and the eighth verse explains the symptoms of perfection. In his Bhakti-sandarbha (273) and in his Krama-sandarbha commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.5.23-24) Shri Jiva Gosvami Prabhu has given the following process regarding the chanting of the holy names as instructed by Shri Gaurasundara: yadyapy anya bhaktih kalau kartavya, tada tat (kirtanakhya-bhakti) samyogenaiva-“Although other processes of devotional service should be performed in Kali-yuga, they must all be accompanied by the chanting of the holy names.”
CB Adi-khanda 2.27
kali-yuge sankirtana-dharma palibare
avatirna haila prabhu sarva-parikare
In Kali-yuga the Lord incarnates with His associates in order to maintain the religious principle of sankirtana.
The word sankirtana refers to loud congregational chanting of taraka-brahma, the holy names that deliver one. The taraka-brahma names contain knowledge of one’s eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord. The Lord’s holy names are compared with the bud of a flower; from the holy names, the Lord’s form, qualities, associates, and pastimes gradually unfold. That is why Namacarya Shri Thakura Haridasa always chanted the taraka-brahma maha-mantra for everyone’s benefit. Those who have recorded the transcendental activities of Shri Gaurasundara have specifically refrained from describing His pastimes of giving formal initiation to anyone so that no one would glorify Him only as a “guru” who gave initiation into the maha-mantra. The devotees of Shri Chaitanya are initiated into the chanting of this maha-mantra and always chant loudly as well as softly in a secluded place.
The word sarva-parikare indicates that the five types of Krishna devotees neither considered the incarnation of vipralambha, Shri Gaurasundara, as the object of madhura-rasa nor did they assist Him in conjugal affairs in the course of His magnanimous pastimes; rather, they nourished His feelings of separation from Krishna by helping Him cultivate those mellows. Those who want to contradict the Gaura pastimes of the supreme shelter, Krishna, by putting a flute or cowherd stick in Gaurasundara’s hands, imposing the mood of a paramour on Him, or considering Him the charioteer of Arjuna can never be counted amongst Gaura’s associates or servants.
Many damsels from the sweet pastimes of Krishna have displayed their service to Gaura by accepting male bodies in Gaura’s pastimes; therefore external appearance and activities are irrelevant in their service to the Supreme Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 2.28
prabhura ajnaya age sarva-parikara
janma labhilena sabe manusha-bhitara
On the order of the Lord, all of His associates took birth in human society.
The associates of the Lord appeared on His order in the human society of this world in order to assist in Shri Gaura’s pastimes. They are not ordinary human beings, prone to suffer the results of their past karma and subject to Yamaraja’s punishment.
CB Adi-khanda 2.29
ki ananta, ki shiva, virinci, rishi-gana
yata avatarera parshada apta-gana
Ananta, Shiva, Brahma, various sages, and the associates of all the Lord’s previous incarnations-all took birth as great devotees.
Various demigods and sages who had expertly offered prayers to the Lord in His various incarnations appeared in this material world as associates in Gaura’s eternal pastimes.
CB Adi-khanda 2.30
‘bhagavata’ rupe janma haila sabara
krishna se janena,-yanra amshe janma yanra
Only Gaura-Krishna knew which associate took birth as which devotee.
The associates who had assisted in the pastimes of Krishna now displayed their respective services to Shri Gaurasundara as Vaishnavas of this world. The original Personality of Godhead, Shri Gaura-Krishna, personally knew where each of His devotees appeared.
CB Adi-khanda 2.31
karo janma navadvipe, karo catigrame
keha radhe, odhra-deshe, shrihatte, pashcime
Some took birth in Navadvipa, some in Cattagrama, some in Radha-desha, some in Orissa, some in Shrihatöa, and some in the West.
Many devotees of the Lord such as Shrila Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami, Shri Jagadananda Pandita Gosvami, Pandita Sadashiva, Gangadasa, Shuklambara, Shridhara, Purushottama, Sanjaya, Hiranya, and Jagadisha appeared in Navadvipa.
Shrila Pundarika Vidyanidhi (Acaryanidhi or Premanidhi), Shri Vasudeva Datta Thakura, and his brother Mukunda Datta appeared in the village of Caöigrama (presently known as Caööagrama).
Radha-desha refers to places on the western side of the Ganges. Shri Nityananda Prabhu appeared in the village of Ekacaka, or Vircandrapura, in the district of Birbhum. Shri Satyaraja Khan and Shri Ramananda Vasu appeared in the village of Kulina, in the district of Varddhamana (Burdwan). Shri Mukunda, Shri Narahari, Shri Raghunanda, Ciranjiva, and Sulocana appeared at Shrikhanda. Many devotees like Shri Govinda, Shri Madhava, Shri Vasudeva Ghosh, Dvija Haridasa, and Dvija Vaninatha Brahmacari appeared at Agradvipa.
The word odhra in this verse refers to Utkala, the state of Orissa, which is described in statements like: “Odhra-kshetra [Orissa] is very famous as the abode of Purushottama (Lord Jagannatha),” and “These four [sampradayas] will appear in Kali-yuga at Utkala, from the Supreme Lord Purushottama.” Shri Bhavananda Raya and his sons, headed by Shrila Ramananda Raya, Shri Vaninatha, and Gopinatha, as well as Shri Shikhi Mahiti, Shri Madhavidevi, Murari Mahiti, Paramananda Mahapatra, Orissa Shivananda, Prataparudra, Kashi Mishra, Pradyumna Mishra, and many other devotees appeared there. (See Chaitanya-bhagavata, Antya-khanda, Chapter 5.)
Shrihaööa is presently situated in the state of Assam, which is adjacent to Bengal. Many great devotees like Shrivasa Pandita, Shrirama Pandita, Shri Candrashekhara Acarya, Shri Jagannatha Mishra, and Shri Advaita Prabhu appeared in this district.
The word pashcime indicates the place presently known as Trihut. The Sanskrit name of this place is Tirabhukti. Shripada Paramananda Puri and Shri Raghupati Upadhyaya appeared at this place. They were both disciples of Shrila Madhavendra Puripada and very intimate associates of Shriman Mahaprabhu.
CB Adi-khanda 2.32
nana-sthane ‘avatirna’ haila bhakta-gana
navadvipe asi’ haila sabara milana
Although the devotees appeared in different places, they all gathered in Navadvipa.
The words sabara milana indicate that the associates of Shri Gaurasundara appeared in various impure places in order to illuminate and increase the glories of these places, and later they came to the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya in Shri Navadvipa and joined His sankirtana movement.
CB Adi-khanda 2.33
sarva-vaishnavera janma navadvipa dhame
kona maha-priya dasera janma anya-sthane
Most of the Vaishnavas took birth in Navadvipa, and some beloved associates appeared elsewhere.
Most of the Vaishnavas appeared in the various villages of Navadvipa, but some of the followers of Shri Gaura, headed by Shri Nityananda, appeared elsewhere.
CB Adi-khanda 2.34
shrivasa-pandita, ara shrirama-pandita
Shrivasa Pandita, Shrirama Pandita, and Shri Candrashekhara are worshiped throughout the three worlds.
Shrivasa and Shrirama are described in Shri Kavi-karnapura’s Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika (90) as follows: “The most intelligent Shrivasa Pandita is nondifferent from Shri Narada Muni. Shri Parvata Muni, who was very dear to Narada Muni, has now appeared as Shrirama Pandita, the younger brother of Shrivasa Pandita.” After the Lord took sannyasa, Shrivasa and Shrirama left Navadvipa and resided at Kumarahaööa. (See Antya-khanda, Chapter 5.)
Shriman Candrashekhara Deva was the Lord’s devotee uncle (husband of Shaci’s sister). According to the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika, he was one of the nine Nidhis or Candra. Shriman Mahaprabhu danced and sang in his house in the mood of Devi for the first time in Bengal. The place where Candrashekhara’s house was situated is now known as Vrajapattana. The huge octagonal temple known as Shri Chaitanya Maöha is situated at this place. It is the center of nourishment for the world-famous Vishva-vaishnava Raja-sabha. Deities of the four Vaishnava-sampradaya acaryas are established on the four sides of this temple. Shri Guru-Gauranga and Gandharvika-Giridhari are being worshiped in the middle of the temple. Nityananda Prabhu gave prior information to Shri Candrashekhara of the Lord’s plan to take sannyasa. (See Madhya-khanda, Chapter 26.) Shri Candrashekhara was present with Shri Nityananda and Mukunda Datta at Katwa when the Lord took sannyasa. He duly performed the prescribed sannyasa rituals and then returned to Navadvipa to inform everyone of the Lord’s acceptance of sannyasa. A description of the Lord’s kirtana in the house of Candrashekhara Acarya prior to His acceptance of sannyasa is found in the Madhya-khanda, Chapter 8. The presence of Candrashekhara Acarya during the huge sankirtana procession to subdue the Kazi and when the Lord bestowed His mercy on Shridhara is described in the Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila, Chapter 23. He would accompany the devotees of Bengal to visit the Lord in Nilacala every year.
CB Adi-khanda 2.35
bhava-roga-vaidya shri murari-nama yanra
‘shrihaööa’ e-saba vaishnavera ‘avatara’
They, along with Shri Murari Gupta, who cures the living entities of their material disease, all took birth in Shrihaööa.
The word bhava-roga refers to the disease of material life. In other words, bhava refers to the material miseries born of attachment to one’s home. In this connection one should refer to Jiva Gosvami’s Laghu-toshani commentary on the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.51.53).
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura has referred to Murari Gupta as a vaidya, or doctor. By doing so, he indicated that Murari exhibited great compassion on the living entities who have been averse to the Lord since time immemorial by destroying the seed of nescience and thus curing their disease of rebelliousness. Shri Vrindavana dasa Thakura has never referred to Murari Gupta as a doctor of simply the material body. The incarnation of Vyasadeva and prime example of one recording the activities of the Lord and His devotees has thus confirmed that it is totally prohibited, hellish, and inauspicious to consider Lord Vishnu and the Vaishnavas as belonging to a particular caste and mode of nature. They are in fact transcendental spiritual beings.
The words vaidya shri murari refer to Shri Murari Gupta, the writer of the celebrated book Shri Chaitanya-carita. He appeared in a doctor’s family in Shrihaööa and later became a resident of Shri Navadvipa. He was elder to Shriman Mahaprabhu. In his house the Lord exhibited His form of Varaha (Madhya-khanda, Chapter 3), and during the Lord’s maha-prakasha pastimes the Lord revealed to him His form as Rama (Madhya-khanda, Chapter 10). Once in the house of Shrivasa, when Murari Gupta saw both Nityananda and Gaurasundara, he offered his obeisances first to Mahaprabhu and then to Nityananda Prabhu. Seeing this, Mahaprabhu told him, “You have violated proper etiquette by offering obeisances first to Me.” Later that night the Lord appeared to him in a dream and glorified the position of Nityananda. Early the next day Murari offered obeisances first to Nityananda and then Mahaprabhu. This pleased Mahaprabhu, who then gave him His chewed betel nut remnants. One day Murari offered fried rice to Mahaprabhu, and the next day the Lord displayed His pastime of having indigestion from eating that indigestible rice. The Lord therefore came to Murari Gupta for treatment and drank water from his waterpot, saying, “This is the only remedy.” Another day, when Shriman Mahaprabhu accepted a four-armed form in the house of Shrivasa, Murari manifested the mood of Garuda. The Lord then sat on his shoulders and exhibited His opulent pastimes.
Once Murari considered that when the Lord disappeared, separation from Him would be unbearable, so he decided to give up his body while the Lord was still present in this world. The Lord, who is the Supersoul, forbade him from this act (Madhya-khanda, Chapter 20). On another occasion, Murari offered prayers to the Lord when He accepted the form of Varaha in Murari’s house (Antya-khanda, Chapter 4). His humble entreaties are found in Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila, Chapter 11, verses 152 to 158. His attachment to Lord Ramacandra is mentioned in the Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila, Chapter Fifteen, verses 137 to 157.
The words vaishnavera ‘avatara’ indicate that the Vaishnavas belong to Goloka. They do not possess gross or subtle designations. These residents of Goloka appear in this material world for the benefit of the living entities. The Vaishnavas accept gross and subtle bodies to bewilder the demons and accomplish some task; those bodies are not their constitutional forms. If fruitive workers consider a Vaishnava low-class because of his external appearance, this improper vision makes them offenders. Everyone within eight hundred thousand miles from where a Vaishnava appears or incarnates in this world is freed from all material conceptions. They then become relieved from the misunderstandings of considering the Vaishnavas as born in a particular caste, as belonging to a particular creed or ashrama, as being simply ordinary scholars, or as being objects of mundane enjoyment. The real sadhus who worship Shri Hari and give proper respect to the demigods and brahmanas never fall under the clutches of demonic vehement karmis by disrespecting the Vaishnavas and thereby cleansing and widening their path to hell.
CB Adi-khanda 2.36-37
chaitanya-vallabha datta-vasudeva nama
‘caöigrame’ haila inha-sabara parakasha
‘budhane’ haila avatirna haridasa
Pundarika Vidyanidhi, the topmost Vaishnava, Chaitanya Vallabha, and Vasudeva Datta all appeared in Caööagrama. Haridasa Thakura appeared in the village of Budhana.
Pundarika Vidyanidhi is also known as Premanidhi and Acaryanidhi. He is described in Shri Kavi-karnapura’s Shri Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika (54) as follows: “King Vrishabhanu of Vraja-mandala has now appeared as Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi.”
Pundarika Vidyanidhi was the disciple of Shri Madhavendra Puripada and the spiritual master of Shri Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami. His wife’s name was Ratnavati, his father’s name was Baneshvara (or, in other’s opinion, Shuklambara) Brahmacari, and his mother’s name was Gangadevi. His ancestral house is situated in the village of Mekhala, which is two miles east of the Hata-hajari police station, which is twelve miles north of Caööagrama. One can approach Mekhala-grama from Caööagrama either on horseback, by bullock cart, or by steamer. The steamer station is known as Annapurnara-ghaöa. The birthplace of Pundarika Vidyanidhi is about two miles southwest of Annapurnara-ghaöa. Although the father of Vidyanidhi belonged to the Varendra class of brahmanas, when he shifted to the village of Baghiya, in the district of Dacca, the brahmana community of Radha-desha did not accept him. For this reason his descendants who followed Shakta-dharma [worship of Durga] were isolated from the community and became the priests for the members of the isolated community. One of the members of this family is living in Vrindavana and is named Sarojananda Gosvami. One special characteristic of this family is that each of its members had only one son or no son at all, and therefore the family was not very expansive.
Shriman Mahaprabhu used to address Pundarika as bapa, or “father,” and He gave him the title Premanidhi to indicate that he was the servant of the Supreme Lord. In Madhya-lila, Chapter Seven, it is described that Pundarika Vidyanidhi was the spiritual master of Shri Gadadhara Pandita Gosvami. The description of Shri Jagannathadeva slapping the cheeks of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and his disclosing this fact to his dear friend Shri Damodara Svarupa are found in the Antya-lila, Chapter Ten.
The bhajana-kuöira of Pundarika Vidyanidhi is now very old and dilapidated. Without repair, it may soon crumble. There are two verses inscribed on the wall of that temple, but they are so old that one cannot read or understand them. There is another temple, however, about two hundred yards southeast of this one, and the inscriptions on the wall of that temple are also illegible. One can infer from the pile of broken bricks ten yards from this temple that there used to be another temple there. Descendants there say that Mukunda Datta often came there to perform his bhajana. There are two living descendants of the family of Shrila Vidyanidhi named Shri Harakumara Smrititirtha and Shri Krishnakinkara Vidyalankara. For further information one should refer to the dictionary known as Vaishnava-manjusha.
There was a devotee named Chaitanya-vallabha in the line of Gadadhara Pandita (see Cc. Adi 12.87). There is a difference in opinion whether or not this is the Chaitanya-vallabha mentioned in this verse, otherwise the word chaitanya-vallabha may be accepted as meaning “one who is very dear to Shri Chaitanya” (an adjective for Shri Vasudeva Datta Thakura).
Shri Vasudeva Datta Thakura was born in the village Chanhara, near the Paöiya police station in the district of Caööagrama. This village is situated twenty miles from Mekhala, the birthplace of Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi. It is stated in the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika (140): “In Vraja there were two very nice singers named Madhukanöha and Madhuvrata. They appeared in chaitanya-lila as Mukunda and Vasudeva Datta, who were singers in the society of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” He was the dear well-wisher of Shrivasa Pandita and Shri Shivananda Sena. There is a railway station named Purvasthali on the E.I.R. Howra-Katwa line, and about one mile away, in a village known as Mamagachi, which is the birthplace of Vrindavana dasa Thakura, there is an old temple of Madana-gopala that was established by Vasudeva Datta. He later on shifted to Kumarahaööa, or Kancanapalli, and lived with Shrivasa and Shivananda. Seeing his liberal nature, Shriman Mahaprabhu ordered Shivananda to act as his manager and reduce his excessive expenditure (see Cc. Madhya 15.93-96). His heart-rending prayers to Shriman Mahaprabhu on behalf of the miserable, misguided living entities who are averse to Lord Hari are found in the Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 15.159-180). It is also explained in the Chaitanya-caritamrita (Adi 10.41-42): “Vasudeva Datta, the nineteenth branch of the Shri Chaitanya tree, was a great personality and a most confidential devotee of the Lord. One could not describe his qualities even with thousands of mouths. Shrila Vasudeva Datta Thakura wanted to suffer for the sinful activities of all the people of the world so that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu might deliver them.” His disciple was Shri Yadunandana Acarya, who was the initiating spiritual master of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami (see Cc. Antya 6.161). Shri Mukunda Datta was his brother.
It is not definitely certain whether Shri Haridasa Thakura appeared in the village named Budhana that is in the district of Khulna. Formerly this village was within a district of twenty-four parganas within the Satakshira division.
CB Adi-khanda 2.38
radha-majhe ‘ekacaka’-name ache grama
yanhi avatirna nityananda bhagavan
The Supreme Lord, Nityananda Prabhu, appeared in the village of Ekacakra, in Radha-desha.
The village previously known Ekacaka, or Ekacakra, is presently known as Vircandrapura and Garbhavasa. It is situated 8 miles from the Mallarapura station, which is on the E.I.R loopline.
In his commentary on Bhagavad-gita (2.72) Madhvacarya quotes the Padma Purana as follows: “By His own sweet will He exhibits various forms through His own internal potency. He does not appear from Vasudeva in the womb of Devaki. He is not born of Dasharatha, nor from Jamadagni. Rather, He eternally enjoys ecstasy in pure pastimes that are free from duality.”
CB Adi-khanda 2.39
mule sarva-pita tane kare pita-vyaja
The exalted Hadai Pandita was the king of the brahmanas. He was accepted as the father of Lord Nityananda, who is the original father of all.
Hadai Pandita, or Hado Ojha, was born in a Maithila brahmana family. His wife’s name was Padmavati. Although Lord Shri Nityananda Prabhu is the father of all universes, the Vaikunöhas, the living entities, and the vishnu-tattvas, He nevertheless appeared as the son of Hadai Pandita. Some time back a false rumor was spread that Shri Nityananda Prabhu was born in a non-brahmana family. This is totally baseless and born from the duplicitous smartas’ envy and hatred of Lord Vishnu.
CB Adi-khanda 2.40
kripa-sindhu, bhakti-data, shri vaishnava-dhama
radhe avatirna haila nityananda-rama
The ocean of mercy, the giver of devotional service, and the shelter of all Vaishnavas, Shri Nityananda Rama, appeared in Radha-desha.
CB Adi-khanda 2.41
samgope devata-gane kailena takhana
At the time of Nityananda’s appearance, all the demigods secretly showered flowers and chanted, “Jaya! Jaya!”
When Shri Nityananda Prabhu appeared, all the demigods chanted His glories in ecstasy and showered flowers on Him. This incident was beyond the realm of those who believe only in direct perception.
CB Adi-khanda 2.42
sei dina haite radha-mandala sakala
punah punah badite lagila sumangala
From that day on, the land of Radha began to prosper and signs of auspiciousness became visible.
After the appearance of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, the barren areas of Gauda-desha began to prosper. Gradually the entire Radha-desha became a center of advanced learning and culture.
CB Adi-khanda 2.43
trihute paramananda-purira prakasha
nilacale yanra sange ekatra vilasa
Paramananda Puri, who enjoyed pastimes with the Lord in Nilacala, appeared at Trihuta.
Trihuta consists of the districts presently known as Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, and Chhapra. In his previous ashrama, Shri Paramananda Puri lived in Trihuta. He was the dear disciple of Shri Madhavendra Puripada. In the last portion of this book, various topics related to Paramananda Puri in Nilacala, such as his well, are described.
CB Adi-khanda 2.44-45
ganga-tira punya-sthana-sakala thakite
‘vaishnava’ janmaye kene shocya-deshete?
apane haila avatirna ganga-tire
sangera parshade kene janmayena dure?
The banks of the Ganges are most sanctified. Why then would a Vaishnava take birth at an impious place? The Lord appeared on the bank of the Ganges, so why did His associates appear in distant places?
The term shocya-desha, or impious places, is described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.21.8) as follows: “Among places, those bereft of the spotted antelope, those devoid of devotion to the brahmanas, those possessing spotted antelopes but bereft of respectable men, provinces like Kikaöa and places where cleanliness and purificatory rites are neglected, where meat-eaters are prominent or where the earth is barren, are all considered to be contaminated lands.” In Manu-samhita (2.23) it is stated: “Places devoid of sacrificial performances and naturally grazing spotted antelopes are known as Mleccha-deshas, or impious lands.”
The Ganges, which emanates from the lotus feet of Vishnu and which is the best of the seven sacred rivers, is glorified by the Puranas as possessing the topmost potency for purification. That is why she has a special position amongst the devotees. The Ganges, also known as Bhagirathi, flows through Navadvipa of Gauda-desha. Since many of Shri Chaitanya’s associates appeared outside of Gauda-desha, many questions may arise in the hearts of materialistic people. If Vaishnavas appear in a place that is so contaminated that the visitor requires atonement, a place that hinders one’s purification, then people will consider these pure Vaishnavas as materially contaminated and forced to enjoy the fruits of pious and impious activities. Therefore the following question arises: Why did the pious Vaishnavas take birth in places not visited by the Pandavas or touched by the Ganges instead of appearing on the banks of the Ganges? One may also question why Shri Chaitanyadeva personally appeared in the highest brahmana family of Navadvipa, which is situated on the banks of the supremely pure Ganges, yet He had His associates appear in places far from the Ganges in families other than brahmanas. In answer to these questions it may be said that pure Vaishnavas appeared in such places and in such families in order to purify those places and families. This will be explained by the author in verses 46 to 52.
CB Adi-khanda 2.46-47
ye-deshe pandava nahi gela kadacit
se-saba jivere krishna vatsala haiya
maha-bhakta saba janmayena ajna diya
Out of compassion, Lord Krishna ordered His great devotees to appear in places where the Ganges does not flow, where the holy names are not chanted, and where the Pandavas did not visit.
For an elaboration on the meaning of this verse one can refer to the following verses from the Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.10.18-19 and 1.1.15): “The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Prahlada, O most pure, O great saintly person, your father has been purified, along with twenty-one forefathers in your family. Because you were born in this family, the entire dynasty has been purified. Whenever and wherever there are peaceful, equipoised devotees who are well behaved and decorated with all good qualities, that place and the dynasties there, even if condemned, are purified.” And, “O Suta, those great sages who have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord can at once sanctify those who come in touch with them, whereas the waters of the Ganges can sanctify only after prolonged use.”
One requires atonement after visiting those places where Krishna’s friends, the Pandavas, did not visit, as such places are not frequented by devotees. The Pandavas are as good as Krishna, therefore the people of countries beyond the jurisdiction of their rule were fallen, devoid of devotional service, and absorbed in material sense gratification. In Dvapara-yuga Lord Krishna sent the Pandavas to various provinces and thus established His bhakta-vatsalya, affection for His devotees. Similarly, in Kali-yuga the magnanimous personality Shri Gaurasundara displayed His extraordinary munificence by sending His own associates to places where even Krishna had not sent the Pandavas.
CB Adi-khanda 2.48
samsara tarite shri-chaitanya-avatara
apane shri-mukhe kariyachena angikara
Shri Chaitanya descended to deliver the entire universe. He has confirmed this with His own words.
CB Adi-khanda 2.49
shocya-deshe, shocya-kule apana-samana
janmaiya vaishnave, sabare kare trana
The Lord had His devotees, who are equal to Him, appear at impious places and in impious families in order to deliver everyone.
The term shocya-kule is explained as follows: Pious people are not affected by low-birth, because they are born in pure brahmana families. Kshatriyas, vaishyas, shudras, and antyajas are progressively more impious. Fruitive workers are born in impious families due to their sinful activities, but Vaishnavas, who are engaged in the service of Lord Vishnu, are as good as Vishnu. They are able to purify all sorts of impious countries and families. In the shastras it is also stated:
kulam pavitram janani kritartha
vasundhara va vasatish ca dhanya
nrityanti svarge pitaro ‘pi tesham
yesham kule vaishnava-namadheyam
“In whatever family a Vaishnava appears, his family, mother, birthplace, and residence become purified and his forefathers dance in the heavens.”
The words apana-samana indicate that Vaishnavas are the spiritual masters of the entire world and inconceivably one with and different from Lord Krishna. They represent the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Absolute Truth, and they personify the syllable omkara. Through the Vaishnavas, Shri Krishna delivers the conditioned souls, whose aversion to Hari is born from accepting materialistic varnashrama and caste consciousness.
That is why the Vaishnava shastras (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 4.366) loudly declare:
avaishnavopadishöena mantrena nirayam vrajet
punash ca vidhina samyag grahayed vaishnavad guroh
“One who receives a mantra from a guru who is a nondevotee or who is addicted to sense enjoyment is doomed to a life in hell. Such a person must immediately approach a genuine Vaishnava guru and again accept the mantra from him.”
Other than pure Vaishnavas, no one can properly act as an acarya. Anyone other than a pure Vaishnava is a conditioned soul who suffers the results of his karma. But Vaishnavas are transcendental worshipers of Vishnu and have conquered the illusory energy, therefore they are as good as Lord Vishnu. They are liberated souls, situated in pure goodness, beyond the three modes of material nature. They are eternal associates of Lord Vishnu and capable of protecting the conditioned souls from the covering and throwing potencies of Maya by their instructions on sadhana-bhakti. People other than Vaishnavas reject the service of Vishnu and serve Maya, thus accepting temporary material objects as the controller. Eventually they accept the doctrine of impersonalism and fall in the path of atheism or godlessness. In this way they lose all inclination for serving Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 2.50
yei deshe yai kule vaishnava ‘avatare’
tanhara prabhave laksha-yojana nistare
In whatever place or family a Vaishnava appears, people for hundreds of thousands of miles around are all delivered.
One may refer to the commentary on verse 35 for an explanation of the words vaishnava avatare.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.