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Description of the Pilgrimage to Gaya
Text 1 Glory, glory to Lord Chaitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead! Glory to Lord Chaitanya, whose form is eternal and who is dear to Lord Nityananda!
Text 2 Glory, glory to He who is the life treasure of all the Vaishnavas! O Lord, casting Your glance of mercy on them, please deliver all the conditioned souls.
Text 3 O my brother, please attentively hear this chapter of the Adi-khanda, a chapter that describes Lord Chaitanya's journey to Gaya.
Text 4 He who is the king of Vaikuntha manifested the form of the crest-jewel of teachers and lived in Navadvipa.
Text 5 The four directions were filled with great materialists and offenders. These wicked people never heard the word "bhakti-yoga" (devotional service).
Text 6 Seeing that everyone was intent on tasting the sweetness of material illusion, the devotees became very happy at heart.
Text 7 When they saw that Lord Chaitanya had entered the role of a teacher of material subjects, all the devotees became unhappy.
Text 8 The wicked people always mocked the Vaishnavas. The Vaishnavas.always heard these insults.
Text 9 In His heart desiring to reveal Himself, the Lord thought, "Now I will go to Gaya."
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Chaitanya, whose desires are always fulfilled, desired to see the land of Gaya.
After performing sraddha and other rituals described in the scriptures, Lord Chaitanya, accompanied by many students, began His journey.
After taking permission from His mother, Lord Chaitanya began, with a very happy heart, His journey to see Gaya.
Making every village and country into a holy place with the touch of His feet, the Lord walked in His glorious journey to see Gaya.
Discussing religion and tasting the nectar of joking words as He went, after some days the Lord came to Mandara Hill.
After seeing the Deity of Lord Madhusudana on Mandara Hill, the Lord, enjoying His pastimes, wandered on the hillside.
After some days of traveling on different paths, the Lord manifested a fever in His body.
He who is the king of Vaikuntha manifested this fever, as if He were an ordinary human being, to show a lesson to the people of the world.
When the Lord manifested this fever in the middle of the path, His students became very worried at heart.
Stopping the journey on the path, the students tried many different remedies, but the fever did not go away, for that was the Lord's desire.
Then the Lord prescribed His own medicine. He said, "All these troubles will be cut to pieces when I drink the water that has washed a brahmana's feet."
To teach the glories of drinking the water that has washed a brahmana's feet. The Lord personally drank that water.
The Lord drank water that has washed a brahmana's feet. At that moment He became at once cured. The fever was no more.
The Lord drank water that has washed a brahmana's feet. The Vedas and Puranas give evidence to show that this act is part of the Lord's nature.
In Bhagavad-gita (4.11), the Lord declares:
ye yatha mam prapqadyante
Tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
manushyah partha sarvasah
"All of them-as they surrender unto Me-I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha."*
This means that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself becomes a servant of His servants.
That is why the Lord is called "bhakta-vatsala" (He who loves His devotees). He is conquered by His servants.
The Lord's feet always give protection in every circumstance. Please consider all this and tell me: Why would the Lord ever abandon His devotee?
With His fever now destroyed in this way, the Lord continued traveling to various holy places.
After first bathing and then worshiping the pitas and demigods, Lord Chaitanya entered Gaya.
As He entered, Lord Chaitanya folded His hands and offered obeisances to Gaya, the king of holy places.
The Lord went ot Brahma-kunda and bathed there. Then He properly worshiped the pitas and demigods.
Entering the cakra-decorated temple, He hurried to see the Lord's lotus footprints.
The brahmanas sat in a circle around the Lord's footprints. A garland was placed around the footprints. The temple was a shrine to these footprints.
Fragrances, flowers, incense, lamps, garments, and ornaments were placed there. They cannot be counted.
Their forms splendid, brahmanas in the four directions described the glories of the Lord's lotus feet.
They said, "Lord Siva, the master of Varanasi, holds these feet close to his heart. These feet are the life and soul of Goddess Lakshmi.
"The Lord placed these feet on Bali Maharaja's head. O fortunate people, please gaze on these feet.
"Yamaraja has no power over a person who for half a sesame-seed of time meditates on these feet.
"The masters of yoga find these feet very difficult to attain. O fortunate people, please gaze on these feet.
"From these feet the Ganga was manifested. The servants of the Lord never renounce these feet. They keep them always in their hearts.
"These very dear feet rest on the bed of Ananta Sessha. O fortunate people, please gaze on these feet."
From these brahmanas' mouths hearing the glories of the Lord's feet, Lord Chaitanya entered great transcendental bliss.
As Lord Chaitanya gazed at the Lord's feet, a stream of tears flowed from His two lotus eyes. He trembled. The hairs of His body stood erect.
For the welfare of all the worlds, Lord Chaitanya now began to manifest His activities of prema-bhakti (loving devotional service).
An endless Ganga of tears flowed from the Lord's eyes. The brahmanas saw all these great wonders.
Then, by divine arrangement, by Lord Chaitanya's own wish, at that moment Isvara Puri came to that place.
Seeing Isvara Puri, Lord Chaitanya at once bowed down with great respect.
Seeing each other, Isvara Puri and Lord Chaitanya very happily embraced.
Filled with the happiness of spiritual love, they sprinkled each other's bodies with tears of love.
The Lord said, "My pilgrimage to Gaya is now fruitful, for now I can see your feet.
"By offering pinda at this holy place, a person delivers his ancestors. By offering that pinda one delivers only certain specifi persons.
"However, simply by seeing you one at once makes many millions of anscestor free from all material bondage.
"Therefore no holy place is equal to you. You bring the greatest auspiciousness to the holy places.
"Please lift Me from this world of birth and death. I offer My body to you.
"The only gift I wish from you is that you give me the nectar of Lord Krishna's lotus feet."
Then Isvara Puri said, "Please listen, O pandita. You are an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This I know for certain.
"Who but an incarnation of the Supreme Lord could have the great learning You do, or act as You act?
"Last night I saw an auspicious dream. Now I have directly attained the fruit of that dream.
"O pandita, I tell You the truth: By seeing You I have attained transcendental bliss at every moment.
"Since the time I first saw You in Nadiya, nothing else stays in my heart.
"I tell You the truth: Nothing else stays in my heart. By seeing You I attain the happiness of seeing Lord Krishna Himself."
Hearing Isvara Puri's sweet words, the Lord smiled and said, "Now I am very fortunate."
In this way they talked very happily. In the future Vedavyasa will describe what they said.
Then, after taking permission from Isvara Puri, Lord Chaitanya left to perform the sraddha ceremony.
Going to Phalgu-tirtha, He offered pinda in the sand. Then He went to Preta-gaya, which was on a hilltop.
After offering sraddha at Preta-gaya, Lord Chaitanya satisfied the brahmanas by offering them sweet words as dakshina.
After thus pleasing and delivering His ancestors, the Lord happily went to Dakshina-manasa.
Then Lord Chaitanya went to Rama-gaya and offered sraddha to the incarnation Ramacandra.
After offering sraddha there to the incarnation Ramacandra, Lord Chaitanya went to Yudhishthira-gaya.
There He offered pinda to King Yudhishthira. In this way the Lord happily offered sraddha.
In the four directions the brahmanas would encircle the Lord, perform the sraddha, and chant mantras.
After performing the sraddha, and after offering pinda into the water, the Gaya brahmanas, greedy for dakshina, approached the Lord.
Seeing them, Lord Chaitanya smiled. He cut the bonds that tied them to the material world.
Then the Lord offered pinda at Uttara-manasa. Then Lord Chaitanya, who is Lord Hari Himself, went to Bhima-gaya.
Then the Lord went to Siva-gaya, Brahma-gaya, and many other places. Performing all the rituals, He went to the sixteen Gayas.
At each of the sixteen Gayas the Lord made the sixteen offerings. In this way He performed sraddha and offered pinda to all His ancestors.
Then, after bathing in Brahma-kunda, Lord Chaitanya offered pinda at Gaya-sira.
Then, offering splendid garlands and sandal paste with His own graceful hands, Lord Chaitanya happily worshiped Lord Vishnu's footprints.
Then, after offering sraddha at all these places, and after conversing with the brahmanas, the Lord returned to His own home.
After resting for some moments, the Lord sat down to cook.
When the cooking was finished, Isvara Puri suddenly arrived.
Overcome with love, again and again He chanted the holy name of Lord Krishna. Walking as if he were intoxicated, he approached the Lord.
Leaving His cooking, the Lord very respectfully bowed down and offered him a seat.
Laughing, Isvara Puri said, "O pandita, please listen. I have come at the right time."
The Lord said, "Today I am fortunate. O saintly one, please accept this meal."
Laughing, Isvara Puri said, "What will You eat?" The Lord replied, "I will cook again."
Isvara Puri said, "Why should You cook again? Divide the food into two parts."
Laughing, the Lord said, "If you wish, then please eat everything.
"In a sesame-seed's worth of time I will cook more food. Please don't hesitate. Accept the alms I offer."
Then the Lord offered His meal to Isvara Puri. Then the Lord happily went to cook another meal.
In this way Lord Chaitanya was merciful to Isvara Puri. Isvara Puri never stopped thinking of Krishna. He never thought of anything but Him.
With His own graceful hand the Lord served the meal to Isvara Puri. Filled with transcendental bliss, Isvara Puri ate.
At that moment, unobserved by anyone, Goddess Lakshmi hurried there and cooked another meal for the Lord.
Then, after offering a meal to Isvara Puri, Lord Chaitanya happily ate His own meal.
Anyone who hears this account of the Lord's offering a meal to Isvara Puri attains a great treasure of pure love for Lord Krishna.
Then, with His own graceful hand, the Lord anointed Isvara Puri's limbs with splendid fragrances.
The Lord was very pleased with Isvara Puri. Who has the power to describe how the Lord was pleased?
Lord Chaitanya, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, personally saw Isvara Puri's birthplace.
Lord Chaitanya said, "I offer My respectful obeisances to Kumarahatta, the village where Shri Isvara Puri descended to this world."
Whehn he visited that place Lord Chaitanya shed many tears. There He said no word other than "Isvara Puri".
At that place the Lord picked up some earth, placed it in a bag, and tied that bag to His outer garment.
The Lord said, "This earth is from the birthplace of Isvara Puri. It is My wealth. It is My life-breath. It keeps Me alive."
In this way Lord Chaitanya loved Isvara Puri. The all-powerful Lord thus expands the glories of His devotee.
The Lord said, "What I came to Gaya to do is now done. I have seen Isvara Puri."
On another day, in a secluded place, Lord Chaitanya, speaking sweet words, told Isvara Puri a of His desire for mantra-diksha (spiritual initiation).
Isvara Puri said, "Why do You ask for mantra initiation? It is I who should surrender my life to You>"
Then, in that place, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana, who is the siksha-guru (insturcting spiritual master, of everyone, accepted initiation into chanting the ten-syllable mantra.
Then Lord Chaitanya circumambulated Isvara Puri. The Lord said, "Now I give My body to you.
"Please cast your glance of mercy upon Me, so I may be flooded by an ocean of pure love for Lord Krishna."
Hearing these words, Isvara Puri embraced the Lord, holding Him to his chest.
The tears of love flowing from their eyes drenched their bodies. Agitated with love, they could not remain peaceful.
In this way giving His mercy to Isvara Puri, Lord Chaitanya, who is Lord Hari with a fair complexion, remained in Gaya for some days.
Now was the time for the Lord to reveal His true self. Day by day the glory of His devotional love grew greater and greater.
One day Lord Chaitanya sat down in a secluded place to meditate on the mantra for His worshipable Deity.
Emerging from the bliss of meditation, the Lord wept and cried out.
"O Krishna! O My dear father! O My life! O Lord Hari! Robbing from Me My life, in what direction have You fled?
"In what direction shall I go to find You?" Speaking these verses, Lord Chaitanya wept.
Plunged in the nectar of loving devotion (prema-bhakti-rasa), He who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself covered His every limā with dust.
The Lord screamed in agony, "Dear Father Krishna, leaving Me, where have You gone?"
The same Lord who was once grave and peaceful was now very unsteady, agitated with spiritual love.
He rolled about on the ground. He wept. He floated in a nectar ocean of love-in-separation, separation from Himself.
After some moments His students came and tried to bring Him back to His natural state.
The Lord declared, "You all go home. I will not return to the material world.
"I will go to see Mathura. I will meet Krishnacandra, the master of My life."
The students tried in various ways to bring the Lord back to common sense. Gathering around, they tried to pacify Him.
He who is the king of Vaikuntha was now plunged in the nectar of pure devotion. His heart was not peaceful and steady. He would be like that for some days.
Overcome with love, and not saying anything to anyone, at the end of night the Lord left for Mathura.
"O Krishna! O My father! Where will I find You?" Lord Chaitanya called out.
After traveling a certain distance, He heard a divine voice. The voice said, "O jewel of the brahmanas, at this time You should not go to Mathura.
"When the time comes for You to go there, then You will go. For now You should return to Your home in Navadvipa.
"You are the king of Vaikuntha. Accompanied by Your associates, You have descended to the earth to deliver the people.
"You will fill the limitless universes with the chanting of the holy names. You will freely distribute the great treasure pure love of God to the people of the world.
"You have descended here to give to the entire world the same nectar of spiritual love that makes Brahma, Siva, Sanaka Kumara and host of others wild with bliss. Please understand this.
"We, Your servants, desire to tell this to You. Therefore we speak this before Your feet.
"You are the creator. You are the Supreme Lord. What You desire no one can jump over.
"Therefore, O Supreme Lord, please return to Your home. After some delay, eventually You will go and see Mathura."
Hearing this voice from the sky, Lord Chaitanya returned with a happy heart.
Accompanied by His students, the Lord returned home. To manifest pure devotional service there, the Lord entered His home.
In this way Lord Chaitanya returned to Navadvipa. Day by day His feelings of love (prema-bhakti, for Lord Krishna grew stronger and stronger.
This concludes the narration of the Adi-khanda. Now please attentively hear the narration of the Madhya-khanda.
Anyone who hears of the Lord's journey to Gaya will in his heart meet Lord Chaitanya.
Anyone who hears about Lord Krishna will attain Lord Krishna's association. Anyone who thus attains Lord Krishna's association will never leave it.
Residing in my heart, Lord Nityananda happily dictated these pastimes of Lord Chaitanya so they would be written in this book.
By Lord Nityananda's mercy I write these words about Lord Chaitanya. By myself I do not have the power to write them.
As a puppet-master makes a wooden puppet dance, so Lord Chaitanya makes me speak.
I do not know where is the beginning and where is the end of Lord Chaitanya's pastimes. I describe Lord Chaitanya's glories as far as I know them.
A bird does not reach the end of the sky. It flies as far as it has the power.
In the same way, Lord Chaitanya's glories have no end. I describe them as far as the Lord's mercy gives me the power.
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.18.23, it is said:
nabhah patatnty atma-samam patattrinas
Tatha samam vishnu-gatim vipascitah
"As the birds fly in the sky as far as their capacity allows, so do the learned devotees describe the Lord as far as their realization allows."*
I offer my respectful obeisances to the feet of all the Vaishnavas. I pray that I may never offend them.
A person who wishes to cross beyond the material world and then dive into the ocean of pure devotional service should worship Lord Nityanandacandra.
Shri Chaitanya is my Lord and master. In my heart I always keep great faith in Him.
Someone may say, "Lord Nityananda is Balarama." Someone else may say, "He is very dear to Lord Chaitanya."
Someone else may say, "He is most powerful and glorious." Someone else may say, "I do not have the power to know who He is."
Lord Nityananda may be a sannyasi, or He may be a devotee, or He may be a philosopher. Why should the people not speak of Him in whatever way they wish?
Why should they not describe Lord Chaitanya's Nityananda in these ways? I pray that the great treasure that is Lord Nityananda's feet may always stay in my heart.
I kick the head of any sinner or mocks or blasphemes Lord Nityananda.
O Lord Nityananda, O life of Lord Chaitanya, glory, glory to You! I pray that Your feet may always be my shelter.
As I sing the glories of Lord Chaitanya, so I also sing Your glories. I pray that I may have Your association birth after birth.
Anyone who hears the descriptions of Lord Chaitanya in this Adi-khanda will meet Lord Chaitanya.
After taking permission from Isvara Puri, Lord Chaitanya returned to His own home.
Hearing this news all of Navadvipa became blissful. It was as if the life-breath that had left their bodies had now returned.
The two moons Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Shri Nityananda are my life and soul. I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their feet.
Thus Ends the Adi-khanda