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Eating the Food of the Pilgrim Brahmana
Text 1 Glory, glory to Lord Visvambhara, who is the supreme master of all masters, who is very dear to the devotees, and whose feet are marked with the flag, thunderbolt, and elephant-goad.
Text 2 Staying in Jagannatha Misra's home, and His true identity unknown to others, in many ways the boy Lord revealed the truth about Himself.
Text 3 One day Jagannatha Misra called out, "O Visvambhara my son, bring me my book."
Text 4 Hearing His father's words, the boy ran inside the house, bringing with Him the sound of tinkling anklets.
Text 5 Jagannatha Misra said, "Where are the tinkling anklets I hear?" The brahmana and brahmani parents searched the four directions.
Text 6 He said, "My son does not waer anklets on His feet. Who makes that sweet sound of tinkling anklets?"
Text 7 "How surprising!" they thought. But they did not say anything.
Text 8 After bringing the book, the boy Lord went outside to play. Then the parents saw another wonder inside their home.
Text 9 All over the floor they saw wonderful footprints, footprints marked with the flag, thunderbolt, elephant-goad, pennant, and other auspicious signs.
Gazing at the wonderful footprints, the parents became filled with bliss. Tears flowed from their eyes. The hairs of their bodies stood erect.
The gazed at the footprints and then they bowed down before them. They said, "We are delivered. We will not take birth again."
Jagannatha Misra said, "O mother of Visvarupa, please listen. Please prepare sweet-rice mixed with ghee.
"In the morning with bathe with panca-gavya the Damodara Salagrama-sila that stays in our home.
"I think the Salagrama-sila is secretly walking in our home. That is why we heard the tinkling of anklets.
As His parents joyfully worshiped the Salagrama-sila, the boy Lord smiled within His heart.
Now please hear another wonderful pastime of Lord Chaitanya, the son of Jagannatha Misra.
Tp please Lord Krishna a certain very pious brahmana went on pilgrimage to many holy places.
Chanting the sių-syllable Gopala-mantra, He worshiped the Lord. He did not eat anything that was not the remnants of food offered to Lord Gopala.
After traveling and traveling to many holy places, by destiny the fortunate brahmana came to Lord Chaitanya's home.
A Salagrama-sila and a Deity of Lord Bala-Gopala were the ornaments he wore around his neck. He shone with a peerless brahminical luster.
The brahmana always chanted "Krishna! Krishna!" His eyes closed, in his heart he tasted the nectar of Lord Govinda.
Seeing this brahmana's effulgence, Jagannatha Misra at once stood up and respectfully bowed before him.
Jagannatha Misra honored his guest with respectful hospitality.
He washed his guest's feet and offered him an elevated sitting place.
When the guest was comfortably seated, Jagannatha Misra asked him, "Where is your home?"
The brahmana replied, "I do not belong to any country or province. I travel wherever my heart takes me."
Jagannatha Misra bowed down and said, "The world is fortunate that You travel in that way.
"Today I am very fortunate. If you give permission, I will arrange for you to cook."
The brahmana said, "O Jagannatha Misra, You may do as you like." Then Jagannatha Misra made splendid arrangements for cooking.
First he nicely cleaned the kitchen, and then he brought all the ingredients for cooking.
The brahmana guest personally did the cooking with great happiness, and then he also made the offering to Lord Krishna.
Then Lord Chaitanya, who is the Supersoul in all hearts, thought, "I will reveal Myself to this brahmana."
When the brahmana began his meditation, Lord Chaitanya suddenly came before him.
Lord Chaitanya's limbs were covered with dust and clothed only by the four directions. His hands and feet were very graceful. His eyes were reddish.
Smiling, He took some of the brahmana's food and placed it is His own graceful mouth. He ate one mouthful. Then He looked at the brahmana.
"Haya! Haya!" the fortunate brahmana called out. l"This restless boy stole the food!"
Jagannatha Misra at once came. He saw smiling Lord Chaitanya eating the rice.
Angry Jagannatha Misra wanted to chase after the boy and beat Him. The anxious brahmana guest stood up and grasped Jagannatha Misra's hand.
The brahmana said, "O Jagannatha Misra, look. You are a respectable and learned person. What knowledge does this little boy have? What will beating Him accomplish?
"It is one thing to beat a person who can reason right from wrong. But if you beat this little boy, I will curse you."
Jagannatha Misra unhappily placed his head in his hands. He did not lift his head. He did not speak.
The brahmana said, "O Jagannatha Misra, do not be unhappy at heart. The Supreme Lord always knows everything that happens.
"Bring the fruits, roots, and other like things that are in your house and give them to me. That will be my meal for today."
Jagannatha Misra said, "If you accept me as your servant, then please agree to cook again.
"In my home are the the ingredients for cooking. When you cook again, then I will be happy."
All the family members also requested, "It is our wish that you cook again."
The brahmana said, "If it is your desire, then I will cook everything again."
Everyone was pleased by the brahmana's words. At once everyone cleaned the kitchen.
They quickly made the arrangements for cooking, and the brahmana cooked again.
Everyone said, "The boy is very restless. He may spoil the offering again.
"Take the child to another house and keep him there while the brahmana cooks and eats."
Saci-devi picked up her son and carried Him to another house.
All the ladies said, "O Nimai, listen. Why do You eat that brahmana's food like that?
With a smile on His moonlike face, the Lord replied, "How am I at fault? The brahmana called for Me."
Everyone said, "Nimai, You rascal! Now that Your caste is gone, what will You do?
"Who is this brahmana? From what family does he come? Who knows him? Now that You have eaten his food, how can You keep Your caste?"
The Lord smiled and said, "I belong to the gopa caste. I always eat food cooked by brahmanas.
"How does a gopa lose his caste by eating food cooked by a brahmana?" Speaking these words, the Lord smiled and looked at everyone.
Speaking these tricky words, the Lord explained the truth about Himself. Still, no one understood Him. They were bewildered by Maya.
Hearing the Lord's words, everyone laughed. They did not try to conceal the thoughts within their hearts.
Smiling and laughing, the people held the Lord in their arms. Whoever held the Lord floated in an ocean of bliss.
The brahmana cooked again. Then he sat down to offer the food to his Deity.
Meditating, the brahmana made the offering to Lord Bala-Gopala. The boy Chaitanya, who is the Supersoul in everyone's heart, was fully aware of all this.
Bewildering everyone, Lord Chaitanya slipped away unnoticed. Smiling and laughing, He approached the brahmana.
Unnoticed, the Lord took a handful of rice and ate it. Then the brahmana saw Him.
"Haya! Haya!" the brahmana screamed. The Supreme Lord ate the rice and ran away.
Jagannatha Misra jumped up, grabbed a stick, and angrily chased the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Terrified, the Lord ran into a room. Screaming in anger, Jagannatha Misra followed Him.
Jagannatha Misra said, "See what You have done today! I am learned and respectable. But to Your mind I am only a great fool!
"Who has such a big thief in his home?" Angrily speaking these words, Jagannatha Misra chased after the Lord.
Everyone tried to graā Jagannatha Misra and stop him. Jagannatha Misra said to them, "Let go! Today I will beat Him."
Everyone said, "O Jagannatha Misra, you are noble and generous. If you beat Him, what will happen to Your saintly qualities?
"A child of His age is naturally very foolish. He cannot know right from wrong. Still you want to beat Him.
"How will you teach Him anything by beating Him? You will not teach Him anything in that way. Small children are restless by nature."
Hurrying there, the pilgrim brahmana grasped Jagannatha Misra hand and said,
"O king of the Misras, this boy is not at fault. What is destined to happen on a certain day must happen.
"It is not written in my destiny that today I may eat food offered to Lord Krishna. This secret truth I now tell to you."
Unhappy, Jagannatha Misra could not lift his face. Unhappy at heart, he placed his head in his hands.
At that moment effulgent Lord Visvarupa came there.
The highest limit of handsomeness rested on all His limbs. In the fourteen worlds no one was like Him.
A brahmana-thread rested on His shoulder. He was brahminical power personified. He was Lord Nityananda, who had taken birth in a separate form.
The truths of all the scriptures were always on His tongue. He always explained the truth of devotional service to Lord Krishna.
Seeing this wonderful form, the pilgrim brahmana became enchanted. He stared with fixed eyes.
The brahmana asked, "Whose son is He?" Everyone said, "He is Jagannatha Misra's son."
Hearing this, the brahmana happily embraced Him and said, "Fortunate are the father and mother of such a son."
Visvarupa offered obeisances to the brahmana, sat down, and spoke words that were a stream of nectar.
He said, "Anyone who has you for a guest in his home becomes very fortunate.
"Your heart filled with bliss, You travel here and there only to purify the world.
"I am very fortunate to have you as My guest. I am very unfortunate that I made you fast.
"A house where you are made to fast will attain the fruit of great inauspiciousness.
"Seeing you, I became very happy. But hearing of what happened, I became very sad."
The brahmana said, "Please do not be sad at heart. Whatever fruits and roots You have I will eat.
"I live in the forest. I cannot always get rice. Mostly I eat only fruits and roots.
"Sometimes, if it naturally comes my way, I eat rice.
"When I gaze at You, I feel great happiness. It is as if I have eaten millions and millions of times.
"Please bring some fruits and roots that in this house have been offered to the Lord, and I will eat them now."
Jagannatha Misra gave no reply. Dejected, he sat with his head in his hands.
Visvarupa said, "O saintly one, you are an ocean of mercy. Still, I am afraid to speak before you.
"Saintly persons feel sad at others' sufferings and happy at others' joys.
"If you still have some strength left you can cook an offering for Lord Krishna.
"In this way my family's unhappiness will perish, and we will all feel transcendental happiness."
The brahmana replied, "I already cooked twice. Still, Lord Krishna would not allow me to eat.
"This much I understand: It is not written in my destiny that today I shall eat. Lord Krishna does not desire it. Why should I struggle to do it?
"One may have at home many millions of things to eat, but if Lord Krishna does not give the order, one will not be able to eat any of them.
"When Lord Krishna writes in one's destiny that a certain thing shall not be, then one may struggle millions of times to make it so, but one will never succeed.
"Four and a half hours of the night have already passed. Soon sių hours will have passed. Is it right to cook so late at night?
"Therefore I will not make a great endeavor to cook. I will simply eat some fruits and roots."
The Visvarupa said, "It is not wrong to cook now. Cook, and we will all be happy."
Speaking these words, Visvarupa grasped the brahmana's feet. Everyone requested the brahmana to cook.
Gazing at Visvrupa, the brahmana became charmed. "I will cook", he declared.
"Happily chanting "Hari!", everyone cleaned the kitchen.
Everyone hastily cleaned the kitchen and brought all the ingredients for cooking.
Then the brahmana began to cook. Everyone surrounded the boy Chaitanya.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Chaitanya, was confined to His room. Jagannatha Misra stood guard at the door.
Everyone said, "Bolt the doors from the outside. Then He will not be able to escape."
Jagannatha Misra said, "Good. Good. That is a good plan." Everyone bolted the doors and stayed outside.
The ladies inside the room said, "Don't worry. Nimai has gone to sleep. He does not know anything but sleep."
In this way everyone guarded the boy. Meanwhile, after some time the brahmana finished cooking.
After the cooking was finished, the pious brahmana sat down and in meditation offered the food to Lord Krishna.
Lord Chaitanya, who is the Supersoul in all hearts, knew all that had happened. In His heart He thought, "I will reveal Myself to this brahmana."
Then, following the Supreme Lord's wish, Nidra-devi, the goddess of sleep, bewildered everyone. Without a struggle everyone fell asleep.
Lord Chaitanya came to the place where the brahmana was offering the food.
Seeing the boy, the brahmana called out, "Haya! Haya!" But everyone was deeply asleep. No one heard him.
The Lord said, "O brahmana, you are a kind and generous person. You called Me, so I came. How am I at fault?
"Chanting My mantra, You called for Me to come. I could not stay away. I have come to You.
"You always yearn to see Me, so now I am showing Myself to you."
At that moment the brahmana saw a very wonderful eight-armed form holding conchshell, cakra, club, and lotus.
He who manifested the form held fresh butter in one hand, ate it with the other hand, and played the flute with the remaining two hands.
A Kaustubha jewel, Shrivatsa mark, and jewel necklace decorated His chest. Jewel ornaments could be seen on all His limbs.
He wore a necklace of new gunja. On His head was a peacock feather. His red lips were very glorious on His moonlike face.
His smiling lotus eyes were restless. He wore a vaijayanti garland and swaying shark-shaped earrings.
Jewel anklets decorated His lotus feet. The effulgence of His jewellike toenails dispelled the darkness for a great distance.
Then the brahmana saw a wonderful kadamba tree. He saw Vrindavana forest, filled with the chirping of birds.
In the four directions he saw gopas, gopis, and cows. What before he had seen only in meditation, now he saw directly.
Seeing this wonderful opulence, the pious brahmana fainted in ecstasy.
Then Lord Chaitanya, who is an ocean of mercy, placed His graceful hand on the brahmana's body.
Touched by the Lord's hand, the brahmana regained consciousness. He was stunned with bliss. He did not speak a word.
Again and again the brahmana fainted, falling to the ground. Again he stood up, and again he fainted, overcome with bliss.
The hairs of his body stood erect. He trembled and perspired. He could not stay still. From his eyes tears flowed like the Ganga river.
He grasped the Lord's feet and loudly wept.
Seeing the brahmana's distress, the Lord smiled and spoke.
The Lord said, "Listen. Please listen, O brahmana. For many births you have been My servant.
"Yearning to see Me, you always meditated on Me. For this reason I now show Myself to you.
"In a different birth I showed this same form to You in Nanda's home, but you do not remember it.
"When I descended to this world in Gokula, you also took birth. At that time You happily went on pilgrimage.
"By destiny you became a guest in Nanda's home. At that time you also offered food to Me.
"At that time I showed this same form to you and I also ate the food you offered.
"Birth after birth you are My servant. Persons who are not My servant cannot see My form.
"What I have told you is a secret. Do not tell anyone.
"If you reveal it while My present incarnation remains on the earth, I will destroy you.
"In this incarnation I will begin the sankirtana movement. In every country I will preach sankirtana.
"In every home I will place the pure loving devotional service (prema-bhakti-yoga, that Brahma and the demigods yearn to attain.
"Stay for some days and you will see many things, but you must not tell any of them."
In this way giving both mercy and comfort to the brahmana, Lord Chaitanya returned to His room.
Then the Lord again became a child and again lay down on His bed. Overpowered by the Yoga-nidra potency, no one awakened.
Seeing these wonders, the brahmana found that his body was filled with bliss.
The brahmana smeared the food on all his limbs. Weeping and weeping, he ate it.
The brahmana danced, sang, and laughed. Again and again he called out, "Jaya Bala-Gopala!"
When the brahmana shouted everyone awakened. The brahmana immediately stopped and began to wash himself.
The brahmana peacefully ate. Seeing this, everyone became happy.
In his heart the brahmana considered telling everyone what had happened. He thought, "When they know He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they will all become liberated.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom Brahma and Siva yearn to meet, has descended to this world and taken birth in a brahmana's home.
"I will tell the whole world that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has now become a little boy. Then the Lord will deliver everyone.
"But the Lord forbade me to do that." Afraid to disobey the Lord, the brahmana did not speak.
Keeping the Lord's identity a secret, the brahmana stayed near the Him in Navadvipa.
After begging alms in different places, every day the brahmana would return and see the Lord.
All these pastimes are secretly described in the Vedas. One who hears these pastimes will meet Lord Krishna.
The narrations of the Adi-khanda, which describe the pastimes Lord Narayana enjoyed as a small boy, are like a stream of nectar.
Lord Chaitanya is the crest jewel of all the worlds. He is the king of Vaikuntha. He is Lord Narayana, the husband of Lakshmi. He is Lord Ramacandra, the husband of Sita.
In the Treta-yuga He appeared as Rama aand Lakshmana. Then He enjoyed many pastimes and He killed Ravana.
In the Dvapara-yuga He appeared as Krishna and Balarama. Then He enjoyed many pastimes and He removed the earth's burden.
Those two persons whom the Vedas call "Mukunda" and "Ananta" are identical with Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda. That is certain.
The two moons Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Shri Nityananda are my life and soul. I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their feet.