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Chapter Nine: Nityananda’s Childhood Pastimes and Travels to Holy Places
This chapter describes the various dramas related to Shri Krishna, Rama, and Vamana that Shrimad Nityananda Prabhu enacted up to His twelfth year and His subsequent travel to the holy places up to the age of twenty.
On the order of Shri Gaura-Krishna, Shri Anantadeva personally appeared in the village of Ekacaka, in the district of Radha-desha, from the womb of Padmavati, the wife of Hado Ojha, as Shri Nityananda-candra. In the wake of His appearance, all the prevalent inauspicious symptoms were totally uprooted.
In His childhood pastimes, Shrimad Nityananda Prabhu and His associate childhood friends remained engaged in imitating various pastimes of Lord Krishna. Sometimes He and His friends would form the assembly of the demigods, and someone dressed as mother earth, burdened by the atrocities of the demons, would come before that assembly and offer prayers. At that time Shrimad Nityananda Prabhu and the boys who were part of that assembly would go to the bank of a river and pray to Lord Kshirodakashayi. Thereafter, a boy acting as Kshirodakashayi would announce from a hidden place, “I will soon appear in Mathura Gokula in order to diminish the burden of the earth.” At other times they imitated the various Dvapara pastimes of Krishna like the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki, the birth of Krishna in the prison cell, Vasudeva’s taking Krishna to the house of Nanda, Vasudeva’s return with Mahamaya, the daughter of Yashoda, the killing of Putana, the breaking of Shakata, Krishna’s stealing butter and milk from the house of the cowherds, the killing of Dhenuka, Agha, and Bakasura, tending the cows, lifting Govardhana, stealing the gopis’ clothes, Krishna’s bestowing mercy on the wives of the sacrificial brahmanas, Narada’s giving advice to Kamsa in a secluded place, and the killing of the elephant Kuvalaya, the wrestlers Canura and Mushtika, and Kamsa. Sometimes in the form of Vamana, He deceived Bali; sometimes while enacting the pastimes of Rama, He would gather His friends to form an army of monkey soldiers and build a bridge; He would personally play the role of Lakshmana and approach Sugriva with bow and arrows in His hands; in the form of Rama, He would diminish the pride of Parashurama; and while enacting the killing of Indrajit, He would fall unconscious in the mood of Lakshmana having been hit by Indrajit’s powerful arrow until Hanuman brought medicine, under His previous directions, and revived Him. In this way He exhibited pastimes of the various incarnations of the Lord.
In this way Shrimad Nityananda Prabhu engaged in enacting various pastimes up to the age of twelve. Thereafter, on the pretext of purifying Himself, He traveled to the holy places of Aryavarta and Dakshinatya up to the age of twenty. He then came to Navadvipa and met His own Lord, Shri Gaurasundara. In the course of visiting the holy places, Nityananda Prabhu met Shriman Madhavendra Puri, Shripada Ishvara Puri, and Shrila Brahmananda Puri. In this way Shrimad Nityananda Prabhu passed a few days discussing topics of Krishna with Shriman Madhavendra Puri, who was accompanied by his disciples. Thereafter He proceeded to Setubandha, Dhanus-tirtha, Mayapuri, Avanti, Godavari, Jiyada-nrisimha, Devapuri, Trimalla, Kurma-kshetra, and many other holy places before arriving in Nilacala. At Nilacala, He saw Shri Jagannathadeva, the source of the catur-vyuha, and became overwhelmed in ecstasy. From Shri Kshetra, He returned to Shri Mathura. This chapter ends with an explanation of why He did not exhibit the pastime of distributing the holy names and love of God at that time and a glorification of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, who is nondifferent from the omnipotent Baladeva.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.