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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Nine: Nityananda’s Childhood Pastimes and Travels to Holy Places
kampa, sveda pulakashru, achada, hunkara
ke kahite pare nityanandera vikara?
Shivering, perspiring, crying, falling to the ground, and loud roaring-who can describe these ecstatic transformations that were exhibited by Lord Nityananda?
The word achada (as used in common language) means “falling to the ground.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.202
ei-mata nityananda thaki’ nilacale
dekhi, ganga-sagara aila kutuhale
After remaining in Nilacala for some time, Nityananda went in jubilation to Ganga-sagara.
CB Adi-khanda 9.203
tan’ra tirtha-yatra saba ke pare kahite?
kichu likhilana matra tan’ra kripa haite
Who can describe the Lord’s pilgrimage? I have written in brief only by His mercy.
CB Adi-khanda 9.204
ei-mata tirtha bhrami’ nityananda-raya
punar-bara asiya milila mathuraya
After visiting various holy places in this way, Lord Nityananda returned again to Mathura.
CB Adi-khanda 9.205
niravadhi vrindavane karena vasati
krishnera aveshe na janena diva-rati
He continually stayed in Vrindavana and became so absorbed in Krishna that He did not know whether it was day or night.
CB Adi-khanda 9.206
ahara nahika, kadacit dugdha-pana
seha yadi ayacita keha kare dana
He did not eat, but He occasionally drank some milk whenever someone offered it to Him.
CB Adi-khanda 9.207
navadvipe gauracandra ache gupta-bhave
iha nityananda-svarupera mane jage
Lord Nityananda knew well that Lord Gaurachandra was living incognito in Navadvipa. He thought to Himself.
CB Adi-khanda 9.208
“apana-aishvarya prabhu prakashibe yabe
ami giya karimu apana seva tabe”
“I will go serve Lord Gauranga when He manifests His opulences.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.209
ei manasika kari’ nityananda-raya
mathura chadiya navadvipa nahi yaya
Thinking in this way, Lord Nityananda did not go to Navadvipa but remained at Mathura.
The word manasika means “arising from the mind,” “thinking,” “desiring,” “aspiring,” and “wishing.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.210
niravadhi viharaye kalindira jale
shishu-sange vrindavane dhula khela khele
He regularly enjoyed sporting in the waters of the Yamuna and playing with the children in Vrindavana.
CB Adi-khanda 9.211-213
yadyapiha nityananda dhare sarva shakti
tathapiha ka’reha na dilena vishnu-bhakti
yabe gauracandra prabhu karibe prakasha
ta’na se ajnaya bhakti-danera vilasa
keha kichu na kare chaitanya-ajna vine
ihate ‘alpata’ nahi paya prabhu-gane
Although Lord Nityananda is omnipotent, He did not distribute devotional service to the Lord at that time. When Lord Gaurachandra manifests His opulence, then on His order He would begin to distribute devotional service. The servants and associates of Lord Chaitanya did not like to do anything without His instruction, but this does not diminish their glories in the least.
Being a personal expansion of and nondifferent from Shri Gaura-Krishna, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, who is Baladeva, the personification of pure goodness, and who is the only bestower of love for Gaura-Krishna, neither displayed mercy on anyone nor distributed or preached chanting the holy names in love of God while visiting the holy places, thereby surpassing His eternally worshipable Lord Shriman Mahaprabhu’s desire, direct order, or time for the pastimes of preaching the chanting of the holy names in love of God (see verse 208). When the supreme independent Lord Mahaprabhu, out of His own free will and causeless mercy, will manifest His own glories to the fallen souls, at that time Shri Nityananda Prabhu will also manifest the pastime of door to door distribution of the holy names and love of God to the sinful living entities.
Therefore, following in the footsteps of Shri Nityananda, anyone who desires his own welfare does not transgress etiquette and manifest elevated language or material ego on the pretext of preaching topics of Krishna while proudly masquerading as a guru in the presence of the Supreme Lord or His empowered representative, the Vaishnava guru.
That is why Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written in his pure devotional song book Kalyana-kalpa-taru as follows:
ami ta’ vaishnava, e buddhi haile,
amani na ha’ba ami
pratishthasha asi’ hridaya dushibe,
“If I think I am a Vaishnava, I shall look forward to receiving respect from others. And if the desire for fame and reputation pollute my heart, I shall certainly go to hell.”
The eternally blissful form of knowledge, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, is the eternal worshipable Lord of the living entities, and to carry out His order with body, mind, and speech is real Vaishnava fame; this is pure transcendental spiritual identification. This position is most relishable and beyond the insignificant, partial, abominable nature of perishable matter. And becoming prominent or dominant in the material sense is actually abominable, anxiety-filled service and simply another way of describing one’s insignificance.
CB Adi-khanda 9.214
ki ananta, kiba shiva-ajadi devata
chaitanya-ajnaya harta-karta palayita
Brahma, Ananta, Shiva, and the other demigods create, maintain, and destroy under the order of Lord Chaitanya.
The word ananta refers to Vishnu, the maintainer, the word aja refers to Brahma, the creator, and the word shiva refers to Hara, the destroyer.
CB Adi-khanda 9.215
ihate ye papi-gana mane duhkha paya
vaishnavera adrishya se papi sarvathaya
Sinful persons who do not like to hear such things are not fit to be seen by the Vaishnavas.
CB Adi-khanda 9.216
sakshatei dekha sabe ei tribhuvane
nityananda-dvare pailena prema-dhane
Just see for yourself how Nityananda Prabhu has blessed the people of this universe with the treasure of devotional service.
CB Adi-khanda 9.217
caitanyera adi-bhakta nityananda-raya
caitanyera yasha vaise yanhara jihvaya
Lord Nityananda is the foremost devotee of Lord Chaitanya, for the glories of Lord Chaitanya always reside on His tongue.
CB Adi-khanda 9.218
ahar-nisha caitanyera katha prabhu kaya
tan’re bhajile se chaitanya-bhakti haya
Day and night Lord Nityananda chants the glories of Lord Chaitanya, so when one worships Nityananda he certainly attains devotion for Lord Chaitanya.
If a living entity worships Shri Nityananda Prabhu and His Vaishnava followers, who constantly chant the glories of Shri Gaura-Krishna, then his propensity for pure devotional service to Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya is enhanced.
CB Adi-khanda 9.219
adi-deva jaya jaya nityananda-raya
chaitanya-mahima sphure yanhara kripaya
All glories to Lord Nityananda, who is the first manifestation of Lord Chaitanya. The glories of Lord Chaitanya become manifest by His mercy.
CB Adi-khanda 9.220
chaitanya-kripaya haya nityanande rati
nityanande janile apad nahi kati
One becomes attached to Nityananda by the mercy of Shri Chaitanya, and one who knows Nityananda never faces any adversities.
On the strength of nonduplicitous surrender to the lotus feet of Shri Nityananda Rama, a living entity achieves freedom from the conditioned state and becomes qualified to assist Shri Nityananda in His ten forms of service to Gaura-Krishna.
Shri Thakura Narottama has sung:
hena nitai vine bhai, radha-krishna paite nai,
dridha kari’ dhara nitaira paya
“Without the mercy of Lord Nityananda, no one can achieve Radha-Krishna. Therefore tightly catch hold of Nitai’s lotus feet.”
Liberated souls are eligible to drown in the ocean of Shri Gaura’s service under the guidance of Shri Nityananda.
CB Adi-khanda 9.221
samsarera para hana bhaktira sagare
ye dubibe, se bhajuka nitaicandere
Those who wish to cross the ocean of material existence and drown in the ocean of devotional service must worship Lord Nityananda.
CB Adi-khanda 9.222
keha bole,-“nityananda yena balarama”
keha bole,-“caitanyera bada priya-dhama”
Someone said, “Nityananda is just like Balarama.” Another person said, “He is most dear to Shri Chaitanya.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.223-224
kiba yati nityananda, kiba bhakta jnani
ya’ra yena mata iccha, na bolaye keni
ye-se kene caitanyera nityananda nahe
tabu sei pada-padma rahuka hridaye
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 was a most insignificant servant of Lord Chaitanya, still I would keep His lotus feet in my heart.
“Some people consider Shri Nityananda Prabhu as the sannyasi disciple of Shri Lakshmipati Tirtha, some people, on seeing His love for Krishna, consider Him a devotee, and other people consider Him a great renunciate and learned scholar of Vedanta. They may consider my Lord in whichever way they want, or my worshipable Lord Shri Nityananda Prabhu may be related to the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu simply as a menial servant, but I will not enter into this unnecessary subject. I will place the lotus feet of Shri Nityananda within my heart while considering him my eternal worshipable Lord.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.225
eta parihare o ye papi ninda kare
tabe lathi maron ta’ra shirera upare
Therefore I kick the head of any sinful person who disregards the glories of Lord Nityananda and dares to criticize Him.
The word parihara means “to rectify the faults,” “to drop the charges,” “to pray,” “to offer,” “to abandon,” and “to neglect.”
In order to permanently stop the continual irreverence towards the Supreme Lord by those hellish people who enviously criticize Shri Nityananda Prabhu and to render them eternal benefit and good sense, the author is ready to kick them in the head. By this statement of the most merciful Shri Thakura Mahashaya to the staunch atheists, the transcendental goddess of learning, Shuddha Sarasvati, displays the firm attachment of a servant towards his master, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, thus teaching everyone through illuminating words that although Thakura Mahashaya and other pure devotees who act and preach in his footsteps are detached from those who are extremely uninterested in their own welfare, who are determined to run towards hell, and who are ignorant of the truth regarding Shri Nityananda, they are nevertheless selflessly and causelessly merciful towards the fallen souls. While Shrila Thakura Vrindavana, who is a Vaishnava acarya, the direct incarnation of Vyasa, and servant of Shri Nityananda, enacts his pastime of transcendentally kicking, if even one particle of dust falls on the head of some fortunate persons, they will certainly achieve auspiciousness, in other words, their anartha-nivritti, or freedom from unwanted things, is guaranteed. The exhibition of such great compassion by Shri Vishnu or the Vaishnavas is beyond the imagination or intelligence of the foolish nondevotees, who can not discriminate between what is favorable and what is unfavorable for their own welfare. The all-auspicious endeavors and behavior of the preachers and practitioners of pure devotional service to Gaura-Krishna who follow in the footsteps of Thakura Shri Vrindavana, who is the direct incarnation of Shri Vyasa, display on one hand gross punishment on the fallen averse living entities and on the other hand subtle unlimited compassion on them.
CB Adi-khanda 9.226
kona caitanyera loka nityananda-prati
‘manda’ bole, hena dekha,-se kevala ‘stuti’
If you find any follower of Lord Chaitanya appear to say something bad about Nityananda, you should know for certain that what they said was actually glorification.
No pure devotee of Gaura can criticize or tolerate criticism against Shri Nityananda Prabhu. If anyone thinks that the statements of Shri Advaita Prabhu towards Shri Nityananda Prabhu were criticisms, that is simply his misunderstanding and offense. One should not lose faith in the lotus feet of Nityananda, who is the only shelter and goal of all living entities, by considering the so-called criticism of Nityananda to be criticism, when it is actually glorification of Nityananda.
CB Adi-khanda 9.227
nitya shuddha jnanavanta vaishnava-sakala
tabe ye kalaha dekha, saba kutuhala
Vaishnavas are always pure and full of knowledge, so if there is ever any quarrel between them you should know it is simply part of their pastimes.
It should be understood that the apparent act of quarreling on the pretext of criticizing Nityananda by the pure devotees of Gaura, headed by Advaita, is meant to awaken the living entities’ interest and increase their service attitude towards Nityananda, because all of Shri Gaura’s devotees are eternally pure and endowed with pure transcendental knowledge. Ignorance, such as dualities, aversion, or opposition to Vishnu and the Vaishnavas, cannot remain in them.
CB Adi-khanda 9.228
ithe eka-janera haiya paksha yei
anya-jane ninda kare, kshaya yaya sei
If a person takes the side of one Vaishnava and criticizes another, he is certainly vanquished.
If someone due to misfortune and material conceptions considers the loving quarrels of the eternally liberated devotees, who are always eager to please Krishna, to be like the dualities enjoyed by the conditioned souls, who are agitated by disturbances to their sense gratification, and thus takes the side of one and criticizes the other, then, as a result of his imprudence, his ruination is guaranteed. Without understanding how the most pleasing transcendental opposing parties, who nourish the pastimes of the Absolute Lord Shri Gaura-Krishna, are wonderfully increasing their respective attachment for the Lord, if someone praises one and condemns another due to his enjoying spirit and fruitive mentality, he is certainly inviting his own downfall, or in other words, he is ruining himself.
CB Adi-khanda 9.229
nityananda-svarupe se ninda na laoyaya
ta’na pathe thakile se gauracandra paya
Anyone who follows Nityananda without finding fault in Him will surely attain the shelter of Shri Gaurachandra.
If a living entity desiring his own welfare personally engages in the service of Shri Nityananda Prabhu without taking any part whatsoever in criticizing Shri Nityananda Prabhu, personally or through others, he can be qualified to receive the mercy of Shriman Mahaprabhu. Simply by following in the footsteps of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, the merciful glance of Shri Gaura is guaranteed. But endeavors to directly or indirectly criticize or diminish Shri Nityananda Prabhu’s glories, on the pretext of serving Him, certainly leads one to hell.
CB Adi-khanda 9.230
hena dina haiba ki chaitanya-nityananda
dekhiba veshtita catur-dike bhakta-vrinda
When will that day come when I will see Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda surrounded by Their devotees?
CB Adi-khanda 9.231
sarva-bhave svami yena haya nityananda
tan’ra haiya bhaji yena prabhu-gauracandra
Let me serve Lord Gaurachandra under the instructions of Lord Nityananda, who is my worshipable Lord in all respects.
Just by seeing the word svami [which also means “husband”] in this verse, no one should try, like the gaura-nagaris, to become the consort of Nityananda. The eternal desire of the author, who is a devotee of Gaura, is to engage with firm determination in the service of Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Shri Nityananda Prabhu under the guidance of his spiritual master, Shri Nityananda Prabhu. ??Under the guidance of Shri Nityananda Prabhu and accepting Him as his Lord, the author’s endeavor to favorably assist in Shri Gaura’s service, of which Nityananda Prabhu is the proprietor and sole authority, proves the author’s strong attachment for worshiping Gaura.
CB Adi-khanda 9.232
nityananda-svarupera sthane bhagavata
janme janme padibana,-ei abhimata
I desire to study Shrimad Bhagavatam under Shri Nityananda Svarupa birth after birth.
CB Adi-khanda 9.233
jaya jaya mahaprabhu shri-gaurangacandra
dila o nila o tumi prabhu-nityananda
All glories to the Supreme Lord, Shri Gauranga! You have given me and then taken from me the association of Lord Nityananda.
“If Shri Nityananda Prabhu empowers me to understand the meaning of Shrimad Bhagavatam, as His servant I will constantly keep the conclusions of Shrimad Bhagavatam and the process of service approved by Shrimad Bhagavatam and learned from Him within my heart. May I never become controlled by self-interest and transgress the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Shri Nityananda, or consider Shrimad Bhagavatam, which is nondifferent from Shri Nityananda, as a commodity of sense gratification.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.234
tathapiha ei kripa kara, mahashaya
tomate tanhate yena citta-vritti raya
Still, I beg for Your mercy, so that my mind may remain absorbed in His and Your lotus feet.
“By sending Shri Nityananda Prabhu as my spiritual master, Shriman Mahaprabhu has bestowed causeless mercy on such a fallen soul as me, and when the pastimes of Shri Nityananda Prabhu were completed, He has taken Him away from me. O my Lord, bless me so that my mind may not deviate in Your absence after You have both enacted Your disappearance pastimes. May I ever fix my restless uncontrolled mind at the lotus feet of You both.” By this statement the author has taught the constitutional duty and principle of humility to every servant of the spiritual master.”
CB Adi-khanda 9.235
tomara parama-bhakta nityananda-raya
vina tumi dile tan’re keha nahi paya
Lord Nityananda is Your greatest devotee. No one can attain Him without Your sanction.
Unless Shriman Mahaprabhu reveals Shri Nityananda Prabhu to a living entity, no one is able to attain His lotus feet. Shri Nityananda Prabhu alone is the highest respected servant and nondifferent from Shriman Mahaprabhu.
CB Adi-khanda 9.236
vrindavana-adi kari’ bhrame nityananda
yavat na apana’ prakashe’ gauracandra
Lord Nityananda traveled throughout the forests of Vrindavana until Lord Gaurachandra displayed His opulences.
Until Shri Gaurasundara displayed His pastimes of distributing His holy names and love of God, Shri Nityananda Prabhu was traveling to various holy places like Shridhama Vrindavana. Until Shri Gaurasundara completed His covered scholastic pastimes and began manifesting His most magnanimous pastimes to His intimate devotees, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, being afflicted by separation from His Lord, visited holy places throughout India and thus exhibited the pastime of searching for Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 9.237
yei iha shune, ta’re mile prema-dhana
Whoever hears these descriptions of Nityananda Svarupa’s visit to the holy places will attain the treasure of divine love.
CB Adi-khanda 9.238
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 Nine, entitled, “Nityananda’s Childhood Pastimes and Travels to Holy Places.”