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(XVIII) THE GLORIES OF SRI CAITANYA-BHAGAVATA
Cc Adi Chp 8 Text 33
ore mudha loka, shuna chaitanya-mangala
chaitanya-mahima yate janibe sakala
O fools, just read Shri Chaitanya-mangala! By reading this book you can understand all the glories of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Shri Vrindavana dasa Thakura’s Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata was originally entitled Shri Chaitanya-mangala, but when Shrila Locana dasa Thakura later wrote another book named Shri Chaitanya-mangala, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura changed the name of his own book, which is now therefore known as Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata. The life of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is very elaborately described in the Chaitanya-bhagavata, and Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has already informed us that in his Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita he has described whatever Vrindavana dasa Thakura has not mentioned. This acceptance of Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata by Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami indicates his acceptance of the disciplic succession. A writer of transcendental literature never tries to surpass the previous acaryas.
krishna-lila bhagavate kahe veda-vyasa
As Vyasadeva has compiled all the pastimes of Lord Krishna in Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Thakura Vrindavana dasa has depicted the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya.
vrindavana-dasa kaila ‘chaitanya-mangala’
yanhara shravane nashe sarva amangala
Thakura Vrindavana dasa has composed Shri Chaitanya-mangala. Hearing this book annihilates all misfortune.
chaitanya-nitaira yate janiye mahima
yate jani krishna-bhakti-siddhantera sima
By reading Shri Chaitanya-mangala one can understand all the glories and truths of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda and come to the ultimate conclusion of devotional service to Lord Krishna.
Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the authoritative reference book from which to understand devotional service, but because it is very elaborate, few men can understand its purport. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the original commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, which is called nyaya-prasthana. It was written to enable one to understand the Absolute Truth through infallible logic and argument, and therefore its natural commentary, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, is extremely elaborate. Professional reciters have created the impression that Shrimad-Bhagavatam deals only with Krishna’s rasa-lila, although Krishna’s rasa-lila is described only in chapters 29 through 33 of the Tenth Canto. They have in this way presented Krishna to the Western world as a great woman-hunter, and therefore we sometimes have to deal with such misconceptions in preaching. Another difficulty in understanding Shrimad-Bhagavatam is that the professional reciters have introduced bhagavata-saptaha, or seven-day readings of the Bhagavatam. They want to finish Shrimad-Bhagavatam in a week, although it is so sublime that even one verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, if properly explained, cannot be completed in three months. Under these circumstances, it is a great aid for the common man to read Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura’s Chaitanya-bhagavata, for thus he can actually understand devotional service, Krishna, Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda. Shrila Rupa Gosvami has said:
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate
“Devotional service to the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures-the Upanishads, Puranas, Narada-pancaratra, etc.-is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.” Due to misunderstanding Shrimad-Bhagavatam, people are misled regarding the science of Krishna. However, by reading Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura’s book one can very easily understand this science.
bhagavate yata bhakti-siddhantera sara
likhiyachena inha jani’ kariya uddhara
In Shri Chaitanya-mangala [later known as Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata] Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura has given the conclusion and essence of devotional service by quoting the authoritative statements of Shrimad-Bhagavatam.
‘chaitanya-mangala’ shune yadi pashandi, yavana
seha maha-vaishnava haya tatakshana
If even a great atheist hears Shri Chaitanya-mangala, he immediately becomes a great devotee.
manushye racite nare aiche grantha dhanya
vrindavana-dasa-mukhe vakta shri-chaitanya
The subject matter of this book is so sublime that it appears that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has personally spoken through the writings of Shri Vrindavana dasa Thakura.
[…]Since a devotee writes in service to the Lord, the Lord from within gives him so much intelligence that he sits down near the Lord and goes on writing books. Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami confirms that what Vrindavana dasa Thakura wrote was actually spoken by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and he simply repeated it. The same holds true for Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita. Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami wrote Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita in his old age, in an invalid condition, but it is such a sublime literature that Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja used to say, “The time will come when the people of the world will learn Bengali to read Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita.” We are trying to present Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita in English and do not know how successful it will be, but if one reads the original Chaitanya-caritamrita in Bengali he will relish increasing ecstasy in devotional service.
vrindavana-dasa-pade koti namaskara
aiche grantha kari’ tenho tarila samsara
I offer millions of obeisances unto the lotus feet of Vrindavana dasa Thakura. No one else could write such a wonderful book for the deliverance of all fallen souls.
tanra garbhe janmila shri-dasa-vrindavana
Narayani eternally eats the remnants of the food of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura was born of her womb.
tanra ki adbhuta chaitanya-carita-varnana
yahara shravane shuddha kaila tri-bhuvana
What a wonderful description he has given of the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya! Anyone in the three worlds who hears it is purified.
ataeva bhaja, loka, chaitanya-nityananda
khandibe samsara-duhkha, pabe premananda
I fervently appeal to everyone to adopt the method of devotional service given by Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda and thus be freed from the miseries of material existence and ultimately achieve the loving service of the Lord.
vrindavana-dasa kaila ‘chaitanya-mangala’
tahate chaitanya-lila varnila sakala
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura has written Shri Chaitanya-mangala and therein described in all respects the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya.
sutra kari’ saba lila karila granthana
pache vistariya tahara kaila vivarana
He first summarized all the pastimes of the Lord and later described them vividly in detail.
chaitanya-candrera lila ananta apara
varnite varnite grantha ha-ila vistara
The pastimes of Lord Chaitanya are unlimited and unfathomable. Therefore, in describing all those pastimes, the book became voluminous.
vistara dekhiya kichu sankoca haila mana
sutra-dhrita kona lila na kaila varnana
He saw them to be so extensive that he later felt that some had not been properly described.
nityananda-lila-varnane ha-ila avesha
caitanyera shesha-lila rahila avashesha
He ecstatically described the pastimes of Lord Nityananda, but the later pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu remained untold.
Cc Adi Chp 8,
vrindavana-dasera pada-padma kari’ dhyana
tanra ajna lana likhi yahate kalyana
I took permission from Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura by praying at his lotus feet, and upon receiving his order I have attempted to write this auspicious literature.
Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami took permission not only from the Vaishnavas and Madana-mohana but also from Vrindavana dasa Thakura, who is understood to be the Vyasa of the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
tanra kripa vina anye na haya prakasha
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura is the authorized writer on the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya. Without his mercy, therefore, one cannot describe these pastimes.
Cc Adi 11.54
‘chaitanya-mangala’ yenho karila racana
Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the son of Shrimati Narayani, composed Shri Chaitanya-mangala [later known as Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata].
bhagavate krishna-lila varnila vedavyasa
chaitanya-lilate vyasa--vrindavana dasa
Shrila Vyasadeva described the pastimes of Krishna in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The Vyasa of the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was Vrindavana dasa.
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura was an incarnation of Vedavyasa and also a friendly cowherd boy named Kusumapida in krishna-lila. In other words, the author of Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the son of Shrivasa Thakura’s niece Narayani, was a combined incarnation of Vedavyasa and the cowherd boy Kusumapida. There is a descriptive statement by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in his commentary on Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata giving the biographical details of the life of Vrindavana dasa Thakura.
Cc Adi 13.48
chaitanya-lilara vyasa,--dasa vrindavana
madhura kariya lila karila racana
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the authorized writer of the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is as good as Shrila Vyasadeva. He has described the pastimes in such a way as to make them sweeter and sweeter.
Cc Madhya 1.13
chaitanya-lilara vyasa--dasa vrindavana
tanra ajnaya karon tanra ucchishta carvana
Actually the authorized compiler of the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Shrila Vrindavana dasa, the incarnation of Vyasadeva. Only upon his orders am I trying to chew the remnants of food that he has left.
bhakti kari’ shire dhari tanhara carana
shesha-lilara sutra-gana kariye varnana
Placing his lotus feet upon my head in great devotion, I shall now describe in summary the Lord’s final pastimes.
Cc Madhya Chp 4
sahaje vicitra madhura chaitanya-vihara
vrindavana-dasa-mukhe amritera dhara
By nature all the activities of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are very wonderful and sweet, and when they are described by Vrindavana dasa Thakura, they become like a shower of nectar.
ataeva taha varnile haya punarukti
dambha kari’ varni yadi taiche nahi shakti
Therefore I very humbly submit that since these incidents have already been nicely described by Vrindavana dasa Thakura, I would be very proud to repeat the same thing, and this would not be very good. I do not have such powers.
chaitanya-mangale yaha karila varnana
sutra-rupe sei lila kariye sucana
I am therefore presenting only a synopsis of those events already described elaborately by Vrindavana dasa Thakura in his Chaitanya-mangala [now known as Chaitanya-bhagavata].
tanra sutre ache, tenha na kaila varnana
yatha-kathancit kari’ se lila kathana
Some of the incidents he did not describe elaborately but only summarized, and these I shall try to describe in this book.
ataeva tanra paye kari namaskara
tanra paya aparadha na ha-uk amara
I thus offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Vrindavana dasa Thakura. I hope that I will not offend his lotus feet by this action.
Cc Antya 20.73
vrindavana-dasa prathama ye lila varnila
sei-saba lilara ami sutra-matra kaila
Whatever pastimes Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura has first described I have merely summarized.
tanra tyakta ‘avashesha’ sankshepe kahila
lilara bahulye grantha tathapi badila
I have only very briefly described the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu not described by Vrindavana dasa Thakura. Nevertheless, because those transcendental pastimes are so numerous, the size of this book has increased.
Cc Antya 20.82
chaitanya-lilaya tenho hayena ‘adi-vyasa’
Vrindavana dasa Thakura is Lord Nityananda’s favorite devotee, and therefore he is the original Vyasadeva in describing the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that all writers after Vrindavana dasa Thakura who are pure devotees of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and who have tried to describe the Lord’s activities are to be considered like Vyasa. Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura is the original Vyasadeva in describing chaitanya-lila, and all others who follow in his footsteps by describing Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes are also to be called Vyasadeva. The bona fide spiritual master is called Vyasa because he is a representative of Vyasa. Worshiping the birthday of such a spiritual master is called Vyasa-puja.
tanra age yadyapi saba lilara bhandara
tathapi alpa varniya chadilena ara
Although Vrindavana dasa Thakura has within his jurisdiction the full store of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, he has left aside most of them and described but a small portion.
ye kichu varnilun, seha sankshepa kariya
likhite na parena, tabu rakhiyachena likhiya
What I have described was left aside by Vrindavana dasa Thakura, but although he could not describe these pastimes, he gave us a synopsis.
chaitanya-mangale tenho likhiyache sthane-sthane
sei vacana shuna, sei parama-pramane
In his book named Chaitanya-mangala [Chaitanya-bhagavata], he has described these pastimes in many places. I request my readers to hear that book, for that is the best evidence.
sankshepe kahilun, vistara na yaya kathane
vistariya veda-vyasa kariba varnane
I have described the pastimes very briefly, for it is impossible for me to describe them in full. In the future, however, Vedavyasa will describe them elaborately.
chaitanya-mangale iha likhiyache sthane-sthane
satya kahena,--‘age vyasa kariba varnane’
In the Chaitanya-mangala, Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura has stated in many places the factual truth that in the future Vyasadeva will describe the Lord’s pastimes elaborately.
The statement age vyasa kariba varnane is similar to a text in the Chaitanya-bhagavata (Adi-khanda, 1.180) in which Vrindavana dasa Thakura says:
shesha-khande caitanyera ananta vilasa
vistariya varnite achena veda-vyasa
“The unlimited pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will be described by Vyasadeva in the future.” Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that these statements indicate that in the future, other representatives of Vyasadeva will elaborately describe Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes. The purport is that any pure devotee in the disciplic succession who describes the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is confirmed to be a representative of Vyasadeva.
From the Gaudiya Bhasya of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta translated
by Bhumipati Prabhu and Pundarika Prabhu:
ashraya-vishaya-dvaya, anyo 'nya-sambhoga-maya,
radha-krishna madhurya dekhaya
vipralambha-bhava-maya, shri-chaitanya dinashraya,
duye mili' audarya vilaya
The worshipable Lord and His devotee enjoy each other's association as Radha and Krishna reveal Their sweet pastimes. The combined form of Radha and Krishna, Lord Shri Chaitanya, is the shelter of the fallen souls and the personification of audarya, magnanimity, and vipralambha-bhava, service in separation.
bhakta raya-ramananda, gaure vraja-yuva-dvandva
sei kale raya bhupa, krishnera sannyasi-rupa,
nahi paya sadhakera lakshye
When the confidential devotee of Shri Gaura, Shri Ramananda Raya, saw with divine eyes that Gaura is the combined form of Radha and Krishna, he was not able to see the sannyasi form of Krishna.
radha-bhave nija-bhranti, suvalita radha-kanti,
audarye madhurya aprakasha
audarye madhurya-bhrama, na karibe tahe shrama,
Being absorbed in the mood of Radha, Krishna forgets Himself and exhibits Her dazzling complexion. The conjugal pastimes of the Lord are not manifest in His magnanimous pastimes. Vrindavana dasa Thakura teaches us that one should not labor hard to find the conjugal pastimes of the Lord in His magnanimous pastimes.
gandharvika-citta-hari, krishna-yogye kripakari,
radha vina tinho karo naya
kangala dinera saba, shri-chaitanya dayarnava,
tanre sevi' taha siddha haya
Lord Krishna, who enchants the heart of Gandharvika and who bestows mercy on the qualified devotees, does not belong to anyone other than Radharani. The perfection of attaining His lotus feet is achieved by serving Shri Chaitanya, who is the ocean of mercy and friend of the poor.
chaitanya-nitai-katha, shunile hridaya-vyatha,
ciratare yaya sunishcita
krishne anuraga haya, vishaye asakti-kshaya,
shrota labhe nija-nitya-hita
If one hears the topics of Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda, the pangs of one's heart are certainly destroyed forever. By this process of hearing one attains the eternal benefit of attachment to Krishna and detachment from material enjoyment.
bhagavate krishna-katha, vyasera lekhani yatha,
tara marma vrindavana jani'
shri-chaitanya-bhagavate, varne anurupa-mate,
gaura-krishne eka kari' mani'
Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura understood the topics of Krishna described by Shrila Vyasadeva in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, and in the same way He wrote Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata, describing the pastimes of Gaura, who he accepted as nondifferent from Krishna.
gaurera gaurava-lila, shuddha-tattva prakashila,
ye nitai-dasa vrindavana
tanhara padabja dhari', anukshana shiropari,
The glorious pastimes of Gaura have been revealed by Shri Vrindavana dasa, the servant of Lord Nityananda. Following in his footsteps and always keeping his lotus feet on my head, I write the Gaudiya-bhashya commentary on Chaitanya-bhagavata.
shune sarva-kshana karne, sahasra-mukhete varne,
Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata is a collection of the jewel-like pastimes of Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda. One should always hear and chant with thousands of mouths the unsurpassable glorification of the Lord contained in this great book.
shri-bhaktivinoda-pada, yate nashe bhogi-gada,
shuddha-bhakti yan-ha 'te pracara
likhite gaudiya-bhashya, rahu citte tava dasya,
yaci, prabho! karuna tomara
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura preached the process of pure devotional service, and his lotus feet destroy the desire for material enjoyment. While writing this Gaudiya-bhashya commentary I beg for his mercy. O Prabhu, let the desire for serving you always remain in my heart.
hari-vinodera asha, bhagavata-vyakhya-bhasha,
kunja-seva kariba yatane
bhakata-karuna ha 'le, sarva-siddhi tabe mile,
nahi rakhi anya asha mane
By the desire of Lord Hari and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura I am writing this commentary on Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata. I will attentively serve Their Lordships in the kunjas. By the mercy of the devotees, one can achieve all perfection. Therefore I do not keep any other desire in my mind.
shuddha-bhakta murtiman, shunaye yanhara kana,
shri-gaura-kishora vara, e dasera guruvara,
sada kripa kara more dana
The pure devotees of the Lord hear and chant this Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata. Shri Gaurakishora dasa Babaji is the spiritual master of this servant, so I always beg for his mercy.
shri-varshabhanavi-devi- ashlishta-dayite sevi',
yena chadi aparadha ghora
shri-vrajapattane vasi', gandharvike, diva-nishi,
giridhara seva pai tora
Shri Varshabhanavi dayita dasa desires to serve the beloved Lord of Shri Varshabhanavidevi by giving up all offenses. O Gandharvika-Giridhari, I pray day and night for Your service while sitting at Shri Vrajapattana, Mayapur.
trishnanurupa jhari bhari’ tenho kaila pana
The ocean of nectarean pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is like the ocean of milk. According to the thirst, Vrindavana dasa Thakura filled his pitcher and drank from that ocean.
tanra jhari-sheshamrita kichu more dila
tateke bharila peta, trishna mora gela
Whatever remanants of milk Vrindavana dasa Thakura has given me are sufficient to fill my belly. Now my thirst is completely satiated.
The Glories of Shri Gauranga
(from Prarthana by Shrila Narottama Dasa Thakura)
gaurangera duti pada, jar dhana sampada,
se jane bhakati-rasa-sar
gaurangera madhura-lila, jar karne praveshila,
hridoya nirmala bhelo tar
(1) Anyone who has accepted the two lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya as their only asset knows the true essence of devotional service. If anyone gives submissive aural reception to the pleasing and sweet pastimes of Lord Chaitanya, then immediately his heart becomes cleansed of all material contamination.
je gaurangera nama loy, tara hoy premodoy,
tare mui jai bolihari
gauranga-gunete jhure, nitya-lila tare sphure,
se jana bhakati-adhikari
(2) Anyone who simply chants the name of Shri Krishna Chaitanya will immediately develop love of Godhead. I offer him all congratulations by saying, 'Bravo!' If anyone feels ecstasy and cries by simply hearing the transcendental qualities of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he at once understands the eternal loving affairs between Radha and Krishna.
gaurangera sangi-gane, nitya-siddha kori’ mane,
se jay brajendra-suta-pash
shri-gauda-mandala-bhumi, jeba jane cintamani,
tara hoy braja-bhume bas
(3) Anyone who has understood that the associates of Lord Chaitanya are eternally liberated souls immediately becomes eligible to enter into the abode of Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja in Vrindavana, in his next birth. If anyone understands that there is no difference between Gau;da-man;dala, the place in West Bengal wherein Lord Chaitanya had His pastimes, and the transcendental abode of Shri Vrindavana-dhama, then he actually lives in Vrindavana.
gaura-prema-rasarnave, she tarange jeba dube,
grihe ba vanete thake, ‘ha gauranga’ bo’le dake,
narottama mage tara sanga
(4) Anyone who takes pleasure sporting within the waves of the ocean of Lord Chaitanya's distribution of love of God immediately becomes a confidential devotee of Shri Shri Radha-Madhava. It doesn't matter whether such a devotee is in the renounced order of life or whether he is a householder. If he is actually taking part in Lord Chaitanya's sankirtana activities and actually understanding what it is, then such a person is always liberated. Narottama dasa aspires for his association.