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Chapter Five: Eating the Mendicant Brahmana’s Offerings
This chapter describes Shaci and Jagannatha Mishra hearing the sound of ankle bells and seeing wonderful footprints inside their house and Gaura-gopala’s eating the wandering mendicant’s food.
One day Shri Jagannatha Mishra ordered his son to bring a book from the house. As Nimai went in the house to bring the book, Shaci and Jagannatha heard the pleasing sound of ankle bells. After Vishvambhara brought the book and went out to play, the brahmana couple saw footprints marked with a flag, thunderbolt, goad, and banner in their house. But due to the nature of paternal affection, they could not understand that those footprints belonged to their own jewel-like son, rather they concluded that their family Deity, Shri Damodara-shalagrama, had walked about their house unseen. Thinking in this way, they arranged an abhisheka, a special offering, and worship for their Deity, Lord Damodara. On another day a mendicant brahmana who worshiped Bala-gopala became a guest at the house of Jagannatha Mishra. After completing his cooking, the brahmana offered Lord Krishna the foodstuffs in meditation. In order to bestow mercy on the devoted brahmana, Gaura-gopala came there and ate a handful of the rice offering. Seeing the boy eat the food that he had offered to Krishna, the mendicant brahmana shouted, “This naughty boy has spoiled the offering.” When Jagannatha Mishra heard this he prepared to beat the boy in anger, but he was stopped by the brahmana’s request. Jagannatha Mishra then requested the brahmana to again cook an offering for Krishna. At the suggestion of those present, mother Shacidevi took the boy to the neighbor’s house until the brahmana finished eating. Meanwhile, the brahmana cooked for the second time and then offered the foodstuffs to Bala-gopala in meditation. At that moment, Shri Gaurasundara, the predominating Deity of the mind, bewildered everyone with His yogamaya potency, came before the brahmana, and began to eat the offering. When the brahmana again loudly shouted, “The offering is spoiled!” Jagannatha Mishra became even more angry at Nimai. Thereafter, on the special request of Vishvarupa, Vishvambhara’s elder brother, the brahmana agreed to cook again. All the relatives then sat around the Lord in a room, and Jagannatha Mishra sat at the doorway to ensure that the naughty boy could not spoil the offering again. Jagannatha Mishra and the others even considered binding the boy with ropes. When the child Gaurahari displayed His pastimes of yoga-nidra (mystic sleep) inside the room, everyone felt relieved. Then, since it was late at night, everyone fell asleep. When the brahmana meditated on offering the foodstuffs to Bala-gopala for the third time, Gaura-gopala again came and ate the offering. Shri Gaurasundara then appeared before the brahmana in a four-armed form holding conch, disc, club, and lotus; He ate butter with one hand from a pot held in another hand and with two other hands He played flute. After appearing in that wonderful form along with His own abode, the Lord bestowed unlimited mercy on the pious brahmana. He explained to the brahmana His own identity, the brahmana’s position as His eternal servant, and the cause of His incarnation, and then the Lord forbade the brahmana from disclosing these secret topics to anyone. After this incident the brahmana would beg alms here and there during the day, but one time everyday he would visit the house of Jagannatha Mishra in Navadvipa to see his worshipable Lord.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.