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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Nine: Nityananda’s Childhood Pastimes and Travels to Holy Places
CB Adi-khanda 9.101
tirtha-yatra karilena vimshati vatsara
tabe sheshe ailena chaitanya-gocara
He traveled to the holy places for the next twenty years and then finally joined the association of Lord Chaitanya.
CB Adi-khanda 9.102-104
nityananda-tirtha-yatra shuna adi-khande
ye-prabhure ninde dushta papishtha pashande
ye-prabhu karila sarva-jagat-uddhara
karuna-samudra yanha bai nahi ara
yanhara kripaya jani caitanyera tattva
ye prabhura dvare vyakta chaitanya-mahattva
Please listen to this narration in the Adi-khanda of the holy places visited by Lord Nityananda, who only the most degraded sinful atheists would dare criticize. That Lord who delivered the entire universe is nothing but an ocean of mercy. Only by His mercy can we know the truth about Lord Chaitanya. In fact, the glories of Lord Chaitanya are manifested through Him.
Shri Nityananda Prabhu exhibited compassion towards the fallen, averse living entities and thus delivered the entire world. Being bereft of receiving His mercy, only wicked, sinful atheists criticized Him.
Only Shri Nityananda has made the truth regarding Shri Chaitanya known to the world. Without His mercy, no one is able to enter into the glories of Shri Chaitanya by independent endeavor.
CB Adi-khanda 9.105
shuna shri-chaitanya-priyatamera kathana
ye-mate karila tirtha-mandali bhramana
Please listen to topics concerning Lord Chaitanya’s dearest associate visiting the various pilgrimage sites.
Regarding the holy places mentioned in verses 105-151 and 194-202 that were sanctified by the touch of Nityananda’s lotus feet, one should refer to the various commentators’ descriptions of the places mentioned in Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.78.17-20 and 10.79.9-21) that were visited by Shri Baladeva.
CB Adi-khanda 9.106
prathame calila prabhu tirtha-vakreshvara
tabe vaidyanatha-vane gela ekeshvara
The Lord first went to Vakreshvara, then He went alone to Vaidyanatha.
The word ekeshvara means “alone” or “being devoid of other’s association.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.107
gaya giya kashi gela shiva-rajadhani
yanhi dhara vahe ganga uttara-vahini
He went to Gaya and then to Lord Shiva’s abode, Kashi, where the Ganges flows towards the north.
CB Adi-khanda 9.108
ganga dekhi’ bada sukhi nityananda-raya
snana kare, pana kare, arti nahi yaya
Seeing the Ganges, Lord Nityananda was greatly pleased. He took bath and drank some water, yet His grief was not mitigated.
CB Adi-khanda 9.109
prayage karila magha-mase pratah-snana
tabe mathuraya gela purva-janma-sthana
In the month of Magha (January-February) the Lord took an early morning bath at Prayaga, then He went to Mathura, His former birthplace.
The phrase purva-janma-sthana refers to the appearance place in the Dvapara-yuga pastimes.
CB Adi-khanda 9.110
yamuna-vishrama-ghate kari’ jala-keli
govardhana-parvate bulena kutuhali
The Lord sported in the waters of the Yamuna at Vishrama-ghata and thereafter went with great interest to see Govardhana.
CB Adi-khanda 9.111
shri-vrindavana-adi yata dvadasha vana
eke eke prabhu saba karena bhramana
The Lord visited each of the twelve forests beginning with Vrindavana.
CB Adi-khanda 9.112
gokule nandera ghara-vasati dekhiya
vistara rodana prabhu karila vasiya
When He saw the house and courtyard of Nanda Maharaja at Gokula, He sat down and cried profusely.
CB Adi-khanda 9.113
tabe prabhu madana-gopala namaskari’
calila hastinapura pandavera puri
Nityananda offered His obeisances to Madana-gopala and then went to Hastinapura, the abode of the Pandavas.
CB Adi-khanda 9.114
bhakta-sthana dekhi’ prabhu karena krandana
na bujhe tairthika bhakti-shunyera karana
Seeing the home of those devotees, Nityananda began to cry. The local people, however, could not understand the Lord’s sentiments due to their lack of devotion.
The word tairthika refers to the so-called residents of the holy places, or local people. The words bhakti-shunyera karana mean “due to the absence of devotion.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.115
balarama kirti dekhi’ hastinanagare
‘trahi haladhara!’ bali’ namaskara kare
As Nityananda remembered Balarama’s glorious activities in Hastinapura, He exclaimed, “O Haladhara, please save Me!” and then offered obeisances.
CB Adi-khanda 9.116
tabe dvarakaya ailena nityananda
samudre karila snana, haila ananda
Thereafter Nityananda went to Dvaraka, where He joyfully took bath in the ocean.
CB Adi-khanda 9.117
siddhapura gela yatha kapilera sthana
matsya-tirthe mahotsave karila anna-dana
He next went to Siddhapura, the place of Lord Kapila. Then He went to Matsya-tirtha, where He distributed foodstuffs at a festival.
CB Adi-khanda 9.118
shiva-kanci, vishnu-kanci gela nityananda
dekhi’ hase dui gane maha-maha-dvandva
Lord Nityananda then visited Shiva-kanci and the adjoining Vishnu-kanci. He laughed when He saw the two groups of followers quarreling there.
The second line of this verse refers to the Vishnu-kanci residents, who are Vaishnavas, and the Shiva-kanci residents, who are devotees of Shiva, the devotee of Sankarshana. Due to their poor fund of knowledge, these two groups always debate over the positions of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. In other words, after observing their fierce animosity towards each other, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, who is nondifferent from Mula-Sankarshana Vishnu, began to laugh.
CB Adi-khanda 9.119
kurukshetre prithudake bindu-sarovare
prabhase gelena sudarshana-tirthabare
Nityananda Prabhu also visited Kurukshetra, Prithudaka, Bindu-sarovara, Prabhasa, and Sudarshana-tirtha.
CB Adi-khanda 9.120
trita-kupa-mahatirtha gelena vishala
tabe brahma-tirtha-cakra-tirthere calila
He also visited the great holy place called Trita-kupa. He also went to Vishala, Brahma-tirtha, and Cakra-tirtha.
CB Adi-khanda 9.121
pratisrota gela yatha praci-sarasvati
naimisharanye tabe gela mahamati
The Lord visited Pratisrota, where the Sarasvati River flows in the opposite direction. The most magnanimous Nityananda then went to Naimisharanya.
The word pratisrota refers to the Sarasvati River. In this connection one should refer to the explanations on Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.78.18) by the various commentators such as Shridhara Svami. In ordinary language the word pratisrota refers to a river that is flowing in the opposite direction. In other words, at Prabhasa-kshetra the River Sarasvati flows west and enters into the ocean. Shrimad Vallabhacarya, who visited various holy places of northern and western India, described Shri Baladeva’s travel to the holy places in his Subodhani commentary on the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.78.18) as follows: “Shri Baladeva went to Prabhasa and after taking bath and offering oblations, He departed. Shri Baladeva took bath at Prabhasa in the place known as Agni-kunda as well as at the confluence of the Sarasvati River and the ocean. He went to the place known as Pratisrota, on the bank of the Sarasvati, where the river flows in the opposite direction.” In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.30.6) it is clearly stated: vayam prabhasam yasyamo yatra pratyak sarasvati-“We shall go to Prabhasa-kshetra, where the river Sarasvati flows west.” According to Shridhara Svami’s commentary, the word pratyak means “flowing towards the west,” and according to the Bhagavata-candra-candrika of Shri Viraraghava Acarya: “We shall go to the place known as Prabhasa, where the Sarasvati River flows in the opposite direction and enters into the ocean.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.122
tabe gela nityananda ayodhya-nagara
rama-janma-bhumi dekhi’ kandila vistara
He then visited the city of Ayodhya, where He cried upon seeing the birthplace of Lord Rama.
CB Adi-khanda 9.123
tabe gela guhaka-candala-rajya yatha
maha-murcha nityananda pailena tatha
Nityananda then visited the candala Guhaka’s kingdom, where He fell unconscious.
CB Adi-khanda 9.124
guhaka-candala matra haila smarana
tina-dina achila anande acetana
Simply by remembering the activities of the candala Guhaka, Nityananda lost consciousness in ecstasy for three days.
CB Adi-khanda 9.125
ye-ye vane achila thakura ramacandra
dekhiya virahe gadi yaya nityananda
On seeing the forests where Lord Ramacandra had resided, Nityananda rolled on the ground in separation.
CB Adi-khanda 9.126
tabe gela sarayu kaushiki kari snana
tabe gela paulasta-ashrama punya-sthana
Thereafter the Lord took bath in the Sarayu and Kaushiki Rivers. Then He went to the ashrama of Pulastya Rishi.
CB Adi-khanda 9.127
gomati, gandaki, shona-tirthe snana kari’
tabe gela mahendra-parvata-cudopari
Lord Nityananda took bath in the Gomati, Gandaki, and Shona Rivers. Then He climbed to the top of Mahendra Mountain.
CB Adi-khanda 9.128
parashuramere tatha kari’ namaskara
tabe gela ganga-janma-bhumi haridvara
There He offered obeisances to Parashurama. Nityananda also visited Haridvara, the source of the Ganges.
CB Adi-khanda 9.129
pampa, bhimarathi gela sapta-godavari
venva-tirtha, vipashaya majjana acari’
The Lord took bath in the Pampa, Bhimarathi, Godavari, Venva, and Vipasha Rivers.
CB Adi-khanda 9.130
kartika dekhiya nityananda mahamati
shri-parvata gela yatha mahesha-parvati
After seeing Kartikeya at Madurai, the most intelligent Nityananda went to Shri-shaila, the abode of Shiva and Parvati.
CB Adi-khanda 9.131
sei shri-parvate donhe karena vasati
Shiva and Parvati reside on this mountain in the form of a brahmana couple.
CB Adi-khanda 9.132
nija-ishta-deva cinilena dui-jana
avadhuta-rupe kare tirtha-paryatana
Upon Nityananda’s arrival there, they understood that their worshipable Lord was wandering on pilgrimage as a mendicant.
CB Adi-khanda 9.133
parama-santosha donhe atithi dekhiya
paka karilena devi harashita haiya
They were most satisfied to receive such a guest, and Parvati happily cooked for the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 9.134
parama-adare bhiksha dilena prabhure
hasi’ nityananda donhe kare namaskare
They fed the Lord with great affection, and Nityananda smiled and offered them His respects.
CB Adi-khanda 9.135
ki antara-katha haila, krishna se janena
tabe nityananda-prabhu dravide gelena
Only Krishna knows what they confidentially discussed. Then the Lord continued His journey to Dravida, or South India.
CB Adi-khanda 9.136
dekhiya vyenkata-natha kamakoshthi-puri
kanci giya saridvara gelena kaveri
The Lord visited Venkatanatha, Kamakoshthi Puri, Kanci, and the Kaveri, the best of rivers.
The word saridvara is an adjective for the Kaveri River.
CB Adi-khanda 9.137
tabe gela shri-ranganathera punya-sthana
tabe karilena hari-kshetrere payana
Then the Lord visited the sacred place of Shri Ranganatha, and thereafter He went to Hari-kshetra.
CB Adi-khanda 9.138
rishabha-parvate gela dakshina-mathura
kritamala, tamraparni, yamuna uttara
He visited the Rishabha Mountain, Madurai, and the Kritamala, Tamraparni, and Uttara Yamuna Rivers.
CB Adi-khanda 9.139
malaya-parvata gela agastya-alaye
tahara o hrishta haila dekhi’ mahashaye
Nityananda Prabhu visited the ashrama of Agastya Rishi in the Malaya Hills. The residents there were all jubilant to see the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 9.140
ta’sabara atithi haila nityananda
badarikashrame gela parama-ananda
Nityananda stayed as a guest in their ashrama and then departed in great ecstasy for Badrikashrama.
CB Adi-khanda 9.141
kata-dina nara-narayanera ashrame
achilena nityananda parama-nirjane
Lord Nityananda resided in seclusion for some days in the ashrama of Nara-Narayana Rishis.
CB Adi-khanda 9.142
tabe nityananda gela vyasera alaye
vyasa cinilena balarama mahashaye
He then went to the ashrama of Shrila Vyasadeva, who recognized that Nityananda was Balarama Himself.
CB Adi-khanda 9.143
sakshat haiya vyasa atithya karila
prabhu o vyasere danda-pranata haila
Shrila Vyasadeva personally received Nityananda as a guest, and the Lord offered His obeisances to Shrila Vyasadeva.
CB Adi-khanda 9.144
tabe nityananda gela bauddhera bhavana
dekhilena prabhu,-vasi’ ache bauddha-gana
Lord Nityananda then visited the residence of the Buddhists. When He arrived there, He saw they were all sitting together.
CB Adi-khanda 9.145-146
jijnasena prabhu, keha uttara na kare
kruddha hai’ prabhu lathi marilena shire
palaila bauddha-gana hasiya hasiya
vane bhrame’ nityananda nirbhaya haiya
The Lord asked a question, but no one replied. Becoming angry at them, the Lord kicked them in the head, but they all simply smiled and ran away. Nityananda thus fearlessly continued His travels through the forest.
CB Adi-khanda 9.147
tabe prabhu ailena kanyaka-nagara
durgadevi dekhi’ gela dakshina-sagara
The Lord eventually arrived in Kanya-kumari. After seeing Durga there, He went to see the southern ocean.
CB Adi-khanda 9.148
tabe nityananda gela shri-anantapure
tabe gela panca-apsarara sarovare
Nityananda then went to Anantapura, and after that He went to Pancapsara-kunda.
CB Adi-khanda 9.149
gokarnakhya gela prabhu shivera mandire
kerale, trigartake bule ghare ghare
He next visited the temple of Shiva known as Gokarna. He visited Kerala and the various places in Trigarta.
CB Adi-khanda 9.150
dvaipayani-arya dekhi’ nityananda raya
nirvindhya, payoshni, tapti bhramena lilaya
He then visited goddess Parvati, who dwells on an island near Gokarna. Lord Nityananda also visited the Nirvindhya, Payoshni, and Tapti Rivers.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.