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The Victorious Journey to East Bengal and the Disappearance of Lakshmi-devi
Text 1 Glory, glory to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu! Glory, glory to the Lord who is very dear to Nityananda, and whose transcendental form is eternal!
Text 2 Glory, glory to He who is the life of Pradyumna Misra! Glory to He who is the life and wealth of Shri Paramananda Puri!
Text 3 Glory, glory to He who is the life and wealth of all the Vaishnavas! O Lord, please give Your merciful glance, and thus save all the conditioned souls.
Text 4 O brother, with a single mind please hear the Adi-khanda, which describes how Lord Krishna enjoyed pastimes as a brahmana.
Text 5 Accompanied by His students, at every moment He who is the king of Vaikuntha enjoyed pastimes of tasting the nectar of learning.
Text 6 Accompanied by His students, in town after town in Navadvipa the Lord enjoyed pastimes of tasting the nectar of learning.
Text 7 Everyone in Navadvipa said, "Nimai Pandita is the crest jewel of teachers."
Text 8 Very, very rich men would at once descend from their palanquins and very respectfully bow down before Him.
Text 9 Simply by seeing the Lord, everyone became filled with awe. In Navadvipa there was not a single person who was not submissive to Him.
Th pious people in Navadvipa would always send foodstuffs to the Lord's home.
The supremely generous Lord would always give charity to the distressed.
When He saw a person in distress, Lord Chaitanya would always very kindly give food, clothing, and money.
Guests would always visit the Lord's home. The Lord always received everyone with appropriate hospitality.
One day the Lord happily invited ten or twenty sannyasis.
He sent a messenger to tell His mother that twenty sannyasis would soon come to take their meal.
There was nothing in the house. In her heart Mohter Saci thought, "How will I feed twenty sannyasis?"
As she was worrying in this way, someone, I do not know who, suddenly brought all the needed foodstuffs.
Lakshmi-devi then cooked a feast. Then the Lord came home.
After giving them their sitting places, the Lord happily fed the sannyasis.
In this way the merciful Lord received guests and asked how He could serve them.
Lord Chaitanya gave this instruction about a householder's duty: "Hospitality to guests is at the root of a householder's duty.
"I say that a householder who is not hospitable to guests is lower than a bird or a beast.
"A householder who, because previous bad karma has nothing to give may give a straw sitting mat, water, and a place to rest.
"In the Manu-samhita (3.10, it is said:
trinani bhumir udakam
vak caturthi ca sunrita
etasyapi satam gehe
" `A grass (sitting mat), a place (to rest), water (to wash the feet), and, the fourth (in this sequence): sweet words, are never unavailable in the homes of pious persons."
"A person who, unable to give anything else, gives pleasant words, is not considered inhospitable.
"A person who with an honest heart offers hospitality as far as he is able is called a gracious host."
Thus the Supreme Lord showed hospitality to His guests, very respectfully asking how He could serve them.
Those guests were very fortunate, for Shri Shri Lakshmi-Narayana personally gave them food.
They ate the wonderful foods that Brahma and the demigods at every moment yearn to taste.
Texts Texts 30-31
Some people said, "The guests who ate then were not ordinary persons. They must have been Brahma, Siva, Sukadeva, Vyasa, Narada, and other exalted persons. They must have been demigods and perfect sages who can do whatever they like.
"Aware that Shri Shri Lakshmi-Narayana had descended to this world in Navadvipa, these demigods and sage came here in the forms of sannyasis.
"Others would not have had the power to do as they did. Who but Brahma and the demigods and sages could have taken that meal?"
Someone else said, "The Lord has descended to this world in order to relieve the sufferings of the conditioned souls.He always delivers the suffering souls.
Brahma and all the demigods and sages are like the primary and secondary limbs of the Supreme Lord. They are His associates always.
"Still, in this incarnation the Lord has declared, `To all living entities I will give what even Brahma and the demigods cannot attain.'
"In His own home the Supreme Lord feeds the distressed conditioned souls. He does this to deliver them from the material world."
Devoted to her husband, with a happy heart Lakshmi-devi cooked His meals.
Seeing Lakshmi's virtues, fortunate Saci found her joy increase hour by hour.
From dawn she was busy with household chores. She did everything. That was her nature.
In the auspicious circle of the temple-room she happily drew a conchshell and a cakra.
She prepared fragrances, flowers, incense, lamps and scented water for the worship of the Lord.
She always served Tulasi. With a respectful heart she served Saci.
Seeing Lakshmi's virtues, Lord Chaitanya was very satisfied at heart, although with His mouth He never spoke any words about it.
Some days Lakshmi would place the Lord's feet on her lap and massage His soles at every moment.
Sometimes Saci would see a wonderful flame of light come from the soles of Her son's feet.
Some days Mother Saci could smell the fragrance of lotus flowers everywhere in the house. The fragrance had no end.
In this way Shri Shri Lakshmi-Narayana stayed in Navadvipa. Because They had concealed Their true identities, no one knew who They were.
One day the supremely independent Lord decided that He wished to see East Bengal.
The Lord spoke these words to His mother: "O mother, I will go on a journey for some days."
To Lakshmi the Lord said, "Always serve My mother."
Taking with Him some of His kinsmen and students, the Lord happily went to East Bengal.
Whoever saw the Lord on His travels could not turn his eyes away from Him.
Seeing Him, the women said, "I offer my respectful obeisances to the fortunate woman who gave birth to such a son.
"The fortunate a glorious woman who has such a husband has certainly made her birth as a woman a great success."
Gazing at the Lord as He walked on the path, the men and women happily spoke in this way again and again.
The demigods yearn to see the Lord. By the Lord's mercy these people saw Him.
After some days of slow travel in this way, Lord Chaitanya came to the banks of the Padmavati.
The Padmavati's waters were beautiful with many waves. Its banks were beautiful with gardens and forests.
After happily gazing at the Padmavati, the Lord and His companions bathed in her waters.
From that day the Padmavati became very fortunate and glorious. It became able to purify all the worlds.
The Padmavati River was very beautiful to see. Its current, waves, and banks were very beautiful and charming.
Gazing at the Padmavati, the Lord became very happy. Because of her good fortune, the Lord stayed there for some days.
Texts Texts 64-65
It was her good fortune that every day the Lord played in the Padmavati's waters, as before He happily played with His students in the waters of the Ganga.
Because Lord Chaitanya traveled there, to this day East Bengal is very fortunate and glorious.
Hearing that Lord Chaitanya was staying on thre banks of the Padmavati, everyone there became filled with joy.
In every direction were the words, "Nimai Pandita, the crest jewel of teachers, has come here."
With gifts in their hands, the fortunate brahmanas at once came to meet Him.
They approached the Lord, bowed down, presented their gifts, and said,
"We are all very fortunate to have Your glorious presence in our country.
Here people work to collect money so they may go to Navadvipa and study under Your guidance.
"Now, without any effort on our part, Your Lordship has coem to our door.
"You must be an incarnation of Brihaspati. No other teacher is like You.
"Then again, it is not right to compare You to Brihaspati. You must be an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. That is what I think within my heart.
"No one but the Lord Himself can be as learned as You are. No has in their heart the wealth of knowledge that You have.
"We place this request before You: Please give a little learning to us all.
"O jewel of the brahmanas, we read and teach and hear Your commentaries.
Please accept us all as Your students. Please place Your glory in our country."
Smiling, the Lord assured them that He would stay. Thus for some days the Lord enjoyed pastimes in East Beangal.
Because of this fortunate event, even today all the men and women in East Bengal are followers of Lord Chaitanya's sankirtana movement.
Gradually, some sinners came and destroyed everything.
Interested only in filling their bellies, these sinners claim, "I am Lord Ramacandra."
Some of these sinners gave up chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna. Instead they chanted the name "Narayana", thinking that name refereed to themselves.
I can see the truth of these people. Why are they not ashamed to make these useless claims about themselves, claims that are like a heap of ashes?
In Radha-desa lives a great brahmana-demon. In his heart he is a demon, but he has a glass-facade of being a brahmana.
This sinner claims that he is Krishna and calls himself "Gopala". Everyone else called him "the jackal".
Only Lord Chaitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one else. Degraded persons who claim to be God are only a patheti heaps of ashes.
Raising my arms, I proclaim the truth: "Lord Chaitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, who is master of countless universes!
"By remembering His holy name one becomes free of all material bondage. By remembering His servants one is victorious everywhere.
"Look. His glories are sung in all the worlds. Leave the wrong path and worship Lord Chaitanya's feet."
In this way Lord Chaitanya, who is the king of Vaikuntha, stayed in East Bengal and happily enjoyed pastimes of tasting the nectar of learning.
In this way the Lord enjoyed pastimes as a great scholar. Always looking at the Padmavati, He happily traveled.
In East Bengal the Lord had thousands and thousands of students. I do not know what it was like, who were the Lord's students and where they stayed.
Hearing of His arrival, the people of East Bengal flocked to the Lord. They declared, "I will go and study under Nimai Pandita."
Casting His merciful glance on the people, the Lord gave lectures. In two months all His students were learned scholars.
Hundreds and hundreds of students became learned and returned to their homes. Then many others came, also to hear from the Lord.
In this way the king of Vaikuntha stayed in East Bengal and enjoyed pastimes of tasting the nectar of learning.
Meanwhile, in Navadvipa, Lakshmi was very unhappy at heart to be separated from her Lord. Still, the goddess did not say anything.
The goddess always served Mother Saci. From the time of her Lord's departure she did not eat anything.
In name only did she accept only a little food. In her heart she was very unhappy to be separated from her Lord.
The Lord was her only master. Every night she wept. Not for a moment was she happy at heart.
Lakshmi could not bear separation from her Lord. She longed to be with Him.
Leaving behind, in this earthly world, a false image of her form, she went, unseen, to her master's side.
By the Ganga's bank, in meditation holding her master's lotus feet to her breast, she departed in glory.
I do not have the power to describe Saci's suffering. Hearing Mother Saci weep, wood began to melt.
I do not have the power to describe all of her sufferings. Therefore I will describe them briefly, in the form of sutras.
Hearing this news, all the pious people became very unhappy. They all came and acted appropriately.
After staying for some days in East Bengal, the Lord wished to return home.
Hearing, "The Lord will return home", everyone came and gave gifts, as far as they were able.
They brought gold, silver, waterpots, splendid sitting mats, glorious rugs, and many kinds of clothing.
Everyone brought whatever was the best in his house and happily gave it to the Lord.
Casting His glance of mercy on everyone, Lord Chaitanya, who is Lord Hari Himself, accepted the gifts.
Happily bidding farewell to everyone, Lord Chaitanya returned to His own home.
Wishing to study under the Lord at His own place, many students accompanied Him.
At that time there was a pious and intelligent (sara-grahi, brahmana named Tapana Misra.
He could not understand what was the goal of life and the way to attain it. He asked about it, but no one could answer his questions.
Day and night he chanted the mantra to his worshipable Deity, but there was no peace in his heart, for he did not know how to attain the goal of life.
One time, at the end of night, because of his great good fortune, this brahmana saw an auspicious dream.
A divine form came before the brahmana and told him a secret.
"Please listen. Listen, O saintly brahmana. Don't worry. Be peaceful at heart.
"Go to Nimai Pandita. He will explain to you the goal of life and the way to attain it.
"He is not a human being. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Nara-Narayana Rishi, enjoying pastimes in a humanlike form. He is the origin of all the universes.
"Do not tell this secret, which is hidden even from the Vedas. If you tell it, you will suffer birth after birth."
Then the divine form disappeared. The brahmana woke up. After seeing that dream, the brahmana wept.
Again and again he thought in his heart, "How fortunate I am!" Thinking in this way, he at once went to meet the Lord.
Supremely handsome and charming Lord Chaitanya was sitting, surrounded by His students.
The brahmana approached, fell before the Lord's feet, and then stood in that assembly with folded hands.
The brahmana said, "I am a very fallen and lowly person. With Your merciful glance please deliver me from this material world.
"I do not have any knowledge of the goal of life or the way to attain it. Please be merciful and explain them to me.
"Material sense pleasures do not please my heart. How will I make my heart peaceful. Please tell me, O merciful one."
The Lord said, "O brahmana, how can I describe your good fortune? You desire to worship Lord Krishna perfectly.
"Devotional service to the Lord is very difficult to attain. It is like an ocean that has no shore. The Supreme Lord Himself explains how it should be done in each yuga (yuga-dharma).
"In each of the four yugas the Supreme Lord personally establishes the appropriate one of the four yuga-dharmas. When He has established the yuga-dharma, He returns to His own abode.
"The Lord Himself declares in Bhagavad-gita (4.8):
vinasaya ca dushkritam
sambhavami yuge yuge
"In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium."*
"In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.8.13, it is said:
asan varnas trayo hy asya
grihnato 'nuyugam tanuh
suklo raktas tatha pita
idanim krishnatam gatah
"Your son Krishna appears as an incarnation in every millennium. In the past, He assumed three different colors-white, red, and yellow-and now He has appeared in a blackish color."*
"In each of the four yugas one of the four yuga-dharmas is the cause of auspiciousness for the conditioned souls. In the Kali-yuga the yuga-dharma is nama-sankirtana (chanting the holy name of the Lord).
"In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.3.52, it is said:
krite yad dhyayato vishnum
Tretayam yajato makhaih
kalau tad dhari-kirtanat
"Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Vishnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvapara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet can also be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra."*
"Therefore in Kali-yuga the sacrifice of chanting the Lord's holy names (nama-yajna, is the best spiritual activity. No other dharma is better than it.
"The Vedas do not have the power to describe the glories of a person who day and night tastes and hears the holy names of the Lord.
"Please listen, O Tapana Misra. neither austerities nor sacrifices are the dharma for Kali-yuga. Truly fortunate is the person who worships Lord Krishna.
"Therefore, please go home and worship Lord Krishna. Avoid duplicity, and keep Lord Krishna as the only goal of your life.
"The goal of life and the way to attain it are this: Meet with others and together chant the holy names of Lord Hari.
"In the Brihan-Naradiya Purana it is said:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way."*
"Here are the holy names of the Lord:
hare krishna hare krishna
krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare
"These sixteen names and thirty-two syllables are called the maha-mantra (great mantra).
"When you chant these names again and again, pure love of Krishna will sprout within you. Then you will understand what is the goal of life and the way to attain it."
Hearing this teaching from the Lord, the brahmana bowed down again and again.
Tapana Misra said, "Give the order, and I will join your company." The Lord replied, "Go at once to Varanasi.
"There you will meet Me again and have My association. There I will explain to you everything about the goal of life and the way to attain it."
After speaking these words, the Lord embraced him. The brahmana was filled with spiritual love. The hairs on his body stood erect.
Embraced by the king of Vaikuntha, the brahmana was happy with spiritual bliss.
At the time of the Lord's departure, the brahmana grasped the Lord's feet. In a secluded place he described his dream.
Hearing it, the Lord replied, "It is true. But do not tell it to anyone."
Again and again, and with great earnestness, the Lord forbade him to reveal the dream. Then the Lord smiled, stood up, and, at an auspicious moment, began His journey.
Thus, after blessing the land of East Bengal and making it fortunate, Lord Chaitanya, who is Lord Hari Himself, returned to His own home.
Bringing with Him the many gifts, at sunset the Lord arrived at His home.
The Lord offered dandavat obeisances at His mother's feet. All the gifts He gave to her.
Then, accompanied by His students, the Lord quickly went to dite into the Ganga.
Then, unhappy at heart, and accomopanied by her associates, Mother Saci began to cook.
Accompanied by His associates, Lord Chaitanya, the supreme siksha-guru, respectfully offered dandavat obeisances to the Ganga.
For some moments He played in the water. Then He bathed. Then, after seeing the Ganga, He returned home.
Then, after performing His regular duties, Lord Chaitanya, who is Lord Hari Himself, sat down to eat.
After enjoying His meal, He who is the king of Vaikuntha entered the room that was a Vishnu temple.
Then the Lord left the temple-room to talk with His kinsmen. Everyone gathered around Him in the house.
The Lord very happily talked and joked with evereyone. He described His activities in East Bengal.
Laughing and laughing, the Lord imitated the East Bengali dialect.
Although they were all grieving, none of the kinsmen described Lakshmi's glorious departure from this world.
After staying for some moments, the kinsmen took their leave and returned to their homes.
Sitting down, the Lord chewed betelnuts and spoke many joking words.
Unhappy at heart, Saci-devi stayed hidden in the house. She did not come before her son.
The Lord came before His mother. He gazed at her unhappy face.
The Lord spoke sweet words to His mother. "Mother, I see that you are unhappy. What is the reason?
"I have happily returned from a faraway country. You should be happy at heart.
"Instead, I see from your face that you are unhappy. Look. Tell Me the truth. Mother, what is the reason?"
Hearing her son's words, Mother Saci lowered her face. She wept. Unhappy, she gave no answer.
The Lord said, "Mother, I know everything. I know that some inauspiciousness has come to your daughter-in-law.
Everyone said, "Listen, O pandita. Your brahmani has gone to the Ganga."
Hearing of His wife's glorious departure from this world, Lord Chaitanya, who is Lord Hari Himself, bowed His head for a moment.
Voluntarily accepting the unhappiness of separation from His beloved, He who is the essence of all the Vedas stood silent.
For a moment He imitated the unhappiness of ordinary men. Then with a peaceful heart He began to speak.
The Lord said, "In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.16.19, it is said:
kasya ke pati-putradya
moha eva hi karanam
" mBecause of bodily attachment, one is regarded as a husband or son. These illusory relationships are caused by misunderstanding.' "
The Lord said, "Mother, why are you unhappy? How can you break what is destined to be?
"No one can stop time. That is why the Vedas say, `The material world is not eternal.'
"The whole material world is subject to the Supreme Lord's will. Who but He can bring people together and then separate them from each other?
"Therefore this was done by the wish of the Supreme Lord Himself. Why, then, should you be unhappy?
"Who but a very pious and fortunate woman would thus attain the Ganga before her husband does?
Thus the Lord consoled His mother. Accompanied by His kinsmen, the Lord performed the proper rituals.
Hearing the Lord's very sweet nectar words, everyone became free of all unhappiness.
In this way Lord Chaitanya, who is the king of Vaikuntha, enjoyed pastimes of tasting the nectar of learning.
The two moons Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Shri Nityananda are my life and soul. I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their feet.