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Description of Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi's Pastimes
Text 1 Glory, glory to Lord Chaitanya, who bears the mark fo Shrivatsa! Glory to Lord Chaitanya, who is eternal religion personified and who is the jewel taken from Saci's womb!
Text 2 Glory to Lord Chaitanya, who is Lord Krishna Himself, and who enjoys pastimes of sankirtana! Glory to Lord Chaitanya, who loves the devotees! Glory to Lord Chaitanya, who stands before the wicked as all-devouring time!
Text 3 Glory, glory to Lord Chaitanya and His devotees! Anyone who hears these narrations of Lord Chaitanya will attain pure devotional service.
Text 4 Manifesting the form of a sannyasi, the king of Vaikuntha enjoyed pastimes in this way with His devotees.
Text 5 One day Lord Chaitanya happily sat down. Then Lord Advaita approached Him.
Text 6 Advaiat offered obeisances and then sat down next to the Lord. Smiling, Lord Chaitanya asked a question of Advaita.
Text 7 Lord Chaitanya cheerfully said, "O Acarya, please tell Me: Where did You go and what did You do?"
Text 8 Lord Advaita said, "I saw Lord Jagannatha. Then I camr to You."
Text 9 Lord Chaitanya said, "After seeing Lord Jagannatha what else did You do? Please tell Me."
Lord Advaita said, "Before seeing Lord Jagannatha, I circumambulated Him five or seven times."
Hearing the word, "circumambulated", Lord Chaitanya smiled. Smiling, Lord Chaitanya said, "You are defeated. Defeated."
Then Advaita Acarya said, "How am I defeated? Show Me the reason, and You will have defeated Me."
Lord Chaitanya said, "Hear how You are defeated. You performed a circumambulation.
"When You walk behind Lord Jagannatha, then You cannot see Him.
"When I see Lord Jagannatha, My eyes do not go anywhere else.
"Where is right? Where is left? Where is circumambulation? I only Lord Jagannatha's face and nothing else."
Folding His hands, Lord Advaita said, "In this way I am defeated by You.
"No one in the three worlds can eloquently talk like You. I say the truth. There is no one like You.
"You alone are the Lord. You alone are the great one. With these words I am defeated by You."
Hearing these words, the circle of Vaishnavas smiled. Chanting, "Hario!", they made a great tumult of auspicious sounds.
Speaking very wonderfully in this way, Lord Chaitanya delighted Advaita Acarya.
One day, with Lord Chaitanya, Gadadhara discussed his previous mantra-initiation
Gadadhara said, "The ishta-mantra I say does not stay very well in my mind.
"Please tell me that mantra again. Then my heart will be happy."
Lord Chaitanya said, "Anyone who gives you that mantra again will become an offender.
"The person who gave you that mantra is the very life of both you and Me. It is not right for Me to tell you that mantra again."
Then Gadadhara said, "Then You cannot act on my guru's behalf."
Lord Chaitanya said, "Your guru is Pundarika Vidyanidhi. By the Supreme Lord's arrangement, you will meet him again, and he will gite you the mantra again."
Then Lord Chaitanya, who knows everything, who is the crest-jewel of they who know everything, said, "Pundarika Vidyanidhi will soon come to Orissa.
"In ten days he will come here to see Me.
"Pundarika Vidyanidhi always stays in My heart. I know that you will draw him to this place."
Hearing Shri Shrimad-Bhagavatam from His dear devotee Gadadhara's mouth, Lord Chaitanya would enjoy great happiness.
Hearing Gadadhara read Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Chaitanya would manifest many symptoms of ecstati love.
A hundred times Lord Chaitanya attentively heard Gadadhara read the story of Prahlada and the story of Dhruva.
Lord Chaitanya had no time for any other activity. Again and again He heard and chanted the names and glories of Lord Krishna.
Saintly Gadadhara would read Shrimad-Bhagavatam and Svarupa Damodara would sing kirtana.
When Svarupa Damodara sang songs glorifying Lord Krishna, Lord Chaitanya would dance in ecstasy.
Tears, trembling, laughter, fainting, roaring, and standing up of the body's hairs were only some of symptoms of ecstati love Lord Chaitanya manifested.
All these ecstati symptoms became personified in Lord Chaitanya. Manifesting them all, Lord Chaitanya danced.
Hearing Svarupa Damodara's loud kirtana, Lord Chaitanya could not stay in external consciousness. Moment after moment He fell to the ground.
No other sannyasi associate of the Lord was Svarupa Damodara's equal.
In the same way He loved Parmananda Puri Gosvami, so Lord Chaitanya loved Svarupa Damodara.
Svarupa Damodara's singing was like nectar. Hearing it, Lord Chaitanya would dance.
Disguised, he would wander in the city. No one had the power to recognize who he was.
He sang kirtana like Narada who plays the tumburu. He would make Lord Chaitanya dance. Who was more glorious and fortunate than Him?
Among the sannyasis none was dear to Lord Chaitanya like Svarupa Damodara. Only Paramananda Puri was like him.
Svarupa Damodara and Paramananda Puri were the two foremost sannyasi associates of Lord Chaitanya.
They always stayed with the Lord They carried the Lord's sannyasa-danda.
Paramananda Puri was fond of meditation, and Svarupa Damodara was fond of kirtana. These two sannyasis were like the two arms on the body of the sannyasi Shri Chaitanya.
Accompanied by Svarupa Damodara, Lord Chaitanya enjoyed pastimes of sankirtana day and night.
Whether sleeping, eating, or walking, Lord Chaitanya would not leave Svarupa Dnmodara even for a moment.
In his previous asrama, as a householder, Svarupa Damodara's name was Purushottama Acarya, and his close friend was Pundarika Vidyanidhi.
When Lord Chaitanya walked on the path, Svarupa Damodara would sing. Then Lord Chaitanya, dancing in ecstasy, no longer knew where the path was.
In Svarupa Damodara's company, Lord Chaitanya would fall into ecstasy. No longer was He aware of the external world.
Lord Chaitanya no longer knew what was water, what was dry land, what was a forest, and what were bushes. He roared in ecstasy.
Svarupa Damodara would sing kirtana. When Lord Chaitanya would fall into bushes or in the forest, Svarupa Damodara would pick Him up.
Svarupa Damodara's good fortune had no limit. No one was Svarupa Damodara's equal.
One day, as He was rapt in ecstasy, Lord Chaitanya fell into a well.
Seeing this, Lord Advaita and the other devotees became bewildered. With head in hand, they all wept.
Tasting the nectar of ecstati love and devotion, Lord Chaitanya was not aware of the external world. Now like a child, He fell into a well. There He floated.
In a moment the well became filled with fresh butter. There was not even a scratch anywhere on the Lord's graceful body.
How were these wonders manifested? They were manifested by the power of ecstati devotion. Seeing that thorns had not pricked the Lord's body, the Vaishnavas danced.
Within a few moments Advaita Acarya and the other devotees had pulled Lord Chaitanya out of the well.
No one knew how Lord Chaitanya had fallen into the well. "Can you say? Can you say?", Lord Chaitanya asked.
Tasting the nectar of ecstati love and devotion, Lord Chaitanya was not aware of the external world. Acting as if He did not already know everything, He questioned everyone.
Hearing these nectar words from the Lord's graceful mouth, Advaita and the devotees floated in bliss.
Tasting the nectar of ecstati devotion, Lord Chaitanya enjoyed pastimes like these. In His heart He knew Pundarika Vidyanidhi would soon come.
The moment Pundarika Vidyanidhi came, Lord Chaitanya at once knew of it in His heart. At once the Lord arranged to see him.
Seeing Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Lord Chaitanya laughed. "Father has come! Father has come!", He said.
Pundariks Vidyanidhi became wild with bliss. All auspiciousness filled his heart.
Lord Chaitanya-Narayana, who dearly loves His devotees, embraced Pundarika Vidyanidhi to His chest and wept.
In the four directions the Vaishnavas wept. The bliss of Vaikuntha was suddenly manifested there.
Moment after moment the love Lord Chaitanya and the devotees felt for Pundarika Vidyanidhi grew stronger and stronger.
Pundarika Vidyanidhi's old friend Svarupa Damodara was there with Lord Chaitanya. The two old friends saw each other.
Seeing each other, the two old friends grasped the dust of each other's feet. They embraced. Playing, they pushed each other.
The two powerful men played and laughed. Lord Chaitanya was pleased.
Manifesting external consciousness, Lord Chaitanya said to Pundarika Vidyanidhi, "Please stay for some days in Jagannatha Puri."
Hearing this, Pundarika Vidyanidhi was very pleased. Thinking himself very fortunate, he always stayed with the Lord.
Then, with great love Gadadhara again accepted his ishta-mantra from Pundarika Vidyanidhi.
How can I describe the glories of Pundarika Vidyanidhi, whose glories were sung by Advaita, Shrivasa, Murari Gupta, and Haridasa Thakura, and whose disciple was Gadadhara, a disciple who had the most exalted kind of ecstati spiritual love?
No other Vaishnava was like Pundarika Vidyanidhi. The devotees could not describe all the devotional activities Pundarika Vidyanidhi performed with his body, words, and mind.
Not even a single sesame seed's worth of false-ego was present in his body. What was the great wonder of mercy that Lord Chaitanya gave to him? I have no power to understand it.
Having heard some stories from Gadadhara's mouth, I will write a little about how Pundarika Vidyanidhi was dear to Lord Krishna.
Making his home at Yamesvara by the seashore, Pundarika Vidyanidhi stayed near Lord Chaitanya.
Thus staying in Jagannatha Puri, he regularly saw Lord Jagannatha. Svarupa Damodara loved him dearly.
Together the two friends would see Lord Jagannatha. Together they joyfully tasted the nectar of narrations about Lord Krishna.
Then came the festival called "Odana-shashthi", when Lord Jagannatha receives new garments.
On that day, according to their own desires, the devotees offer new starched garments to Lord Jagannatha.
Lord Chaitanya and the devotees went to see the festival of offering new garments.
The mridangas, muharis, conchshells, dundubhis, kahalas, dakas, dagadas, and kadas made a great muscial sound.
Numberless different garments of many kinds were offered on that day. Then there was a festival from the sixth day (shashthi, until the end of the month of Magha.
Seeing this festival from the offering of garments to the end of night, Lord Chaitanya and His devotees floated in ecstati love.
Lord Chaitanya was both the worshiper and the object of worship, but without His mercy no one could understand this.
Manifesting the wooden form of Lord Jagannatha, the Lord sat on His throne. Manifesting the form of a sannyasi, the Lord worshiped Himself.
Many silken garments were offered, garments of white, yellow, blue, and many other colors, splendid garments, garments sewn with gold and pearls.
After the garments were offered, there was an offering of flower ornaments. There were flower bracelets, flower crowns, and flower garlands.
With incense, lamps, and all the sixteen kinds of offerings now scented with flower fragrances, arati was offered to Lord Jagannatha. Many different kinds of food were offered to Him.
After seeing this festival with His associates, Lord Chaitanya happily returned to His home.
At home He bid good night to His associates. Then the Lord happily retired to His own room.
When everyone had left, Pundarika Vidyanidhi stayed there with Svarupa Damodara.
The two of them spoke from their hearts. Without deception, they told everything.
A doubt about Lord Jagannatha's accepting new starched garments took birth within Pundarika Vidyanidhi.
He asked Svarupa Damodara, "Why do they give new starched garments to the Lord?
"Why, ignoring the srutis and smritis, and without even washing them first, in this country do they offer starched garments to the Lord?"
Svarupa Damodara replied, "Listen to this explanation. There is no fault in the custom of this country.
"Persons who know the sruti and smriti may not always observe this festival.
"Still, if the Supreme Lord did not desire this festival, why did He not forbid the king to observe it?"
Then Pundarika Vidyanidhi said, "Good, the Supreme Lord may do whatever He wishes. But how can the Lord's servants imitate Him and do whatever they wish?
"Why would Lord Jagannatha's priests, decorators, servants, and message-carriers offer Him impure, unwashed, starched garments?
"Lord Jagannatha is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He may do whatever He wishes. But does that mean that everyone else may do whatever they wish?
"When one touches an unwashed starched garment one must immediately wash his hand. Why would an intelligent person not follow this rule?
"Not thinking of this, the king's representative puts unwashed, starched garments on the Supreme King's head."
Then Svarupa Damodara said, "Listen, O my brother. I think there is nothing wrong with the odana-shashthi festival.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead has descended to this world as Lord Jagannatha. He does not have to think about rules and prohibitions."
Pundarika Vidyanidhi said, "O my brother, please hear my words. Lord Jagannatha is indeed the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"If He jumps over any rule or prohibition, He is not to be blamed. He is indeed the Supreme Personality of Godhead staying in Jagannatha Puri.
"He indeed may neglect all ordinary customs. He is indeed the Supreme Personality of Godhead descended to this world!"
After this conversation, the two friends walked on the path. They smiled. They laughed and laughed.
Holding hands, the two friends laughed at the idea that Lord Jagannatha's servants could have been at fault.
They knew the power and glory of the Lord's servants. They knew how much Lord Krishna loves His servants.
Sometimes Lord Krishna bewilders His servant. Then, with a merciful heart, the Lord breaks that bewilderment.
The Lord had personally bewildered Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Please hear how the Lord mercifully broke that bewilderment.
The two friends left the room and happily performed their duties for Lord Krishna.
After accepting a meal, they returned to Lord Chaitanya's place. Returning to the Lord's place, they fell asleep.
Lord Chaitanya knows everything. Manifesting the form of Lord Jagannatha, He entered Pundarika Vidyanidhi's dream.
Pundarika Vidyanidhi saw Lord Jagannatha enter that dream.
Lord Jagannatha angrily stared at Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Then He slapped Pundarika's face.
Both brothers, Jagannatha and Balarama, violently slapped Pundarika's cheeks.
Pundarika Vidyanidhi was in pain. "Krishna! Save me!", he called out. "Please forgive my offense!", he begged and fell at the Lord's feet.
He asked, "O Lord, what is my offense that You beat me?" The Lord said, "Your offenses have no end.
"You do not know anything about the exalted nature of Me or My servants, even though you stay in this place.
"Why do you stay in this place? It will ruin your status in the upper castes. You should go to your own home. Then you will protect you upper-caste status.
"You thought there was something wrong with My festival.
"You treat Me like the Supreme Lord, but you criticize My servants. You saw a mistake in the offering of starched, unwashed garments."
In the dream Pundarika Vidyanidhi became terrified at heart. Holding the Lord's graceful feet to his head, he wept.
He said, "Lord, please forgive this sinner's offenses. I am an offender. I am an offender. Lord, this I tell to You.
"Lord, You have punished this mouth that mocked Your servants. Lord, in this way You have been very good to me.
"An auspicious day now dawns for me. With Your own graceful hand You slapped my mouth and cheeks."
Then Lord Jagannatha said, "Seeing that you are my servant, I have been kind to you. That is why I punished you."
In that dream the two Lords cast an affectionate glance at Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Then the two brothers, Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balarama, returned to Their temple.
After seeing this dream, Pundarika Vidyanidhi woke up. Seeing on his cheeks the marks of the Lord's slaps, Pundarika smiled.
Seeing on his cheeks the marks of Lord Jagannatha's slaps, Pundarika Vidyanidhi said. "This is auspicious. This is very auspicious.
"I committed an offense, and the Lord punished me. I am fortunate the Lord punished me only slightly."
Look! Look at Pundarika Vidyanidhi's glories! The Supreme Lord's mercy to his servant is very great.
To teach him, the Lord never even punished His own son Pradyumna in the same way.
Neither did the Lord punish Sita, Rukmini, Satyabhama, His other personal associates, or the hosts of demigods and demigoddesses in that way.
It is not often that the Lord will directly appear before someone in a dream and mercifully punish him for an offense.
A devotee punished in a dream is very fortunate. When he awakes, his offenses are no more.
If he is mercifully punished by the Lord in a dream, a devotee attains all that is good in this world.
In this world no one is fortunate like Him. The Lord never speaks in dreams to non-devotees.
Please consider this. The yavanas may commit many acts of blasphemy and violence.
They may see many dreams. Even though He sees their acts of blasphemy and violence, the Supreme Lord never punishes them in dreams.
Moment after moment the yavanas commit offenses to the saintly brahmanas.
Because of these offenses the yavanas suffer in this world and the next. Still, the Supreme Lord will not punish the nondevotee sinners in a dream.
If the Supreme Lord appears before someone in a dream, that person is very fortunate. That is my opinion.
Everyone should see the great mercy the Supreme Lord gave to Pundarika Vidyanidhi by personally punishing him in a dream.
At dawn Pundarika Vidyanidhi awakened. On his cheeks he saw the marks where the Lord's two hands had slapped him.
Every day he visited Svarupa Damodara, and then the two of them went to see Lord Jagannatha.
As every day he went to visit Svarupa Damodara, so on this day Pundarika Vidyanidhi also went. He had something to tell him.
Svarupa Damodara said, "This morning why did you not rise from sleep and go to see Lord Jagannatha?"
Pundarika Vidyanidhi said, "My brother, I have come here because there is something I must say."
Then Svarupa Damodara saw on Pundarika Vidyanidhi's cheeks the prominent marks of the Lord's slaps.
Svarupa Damodara asked, "Tell me: How did you get those marks on your cheeks?"
Smiling, saintly Pundarika Vidyanidhi said, "Listen, my brother. Yesterday I had a doubt.
"I criticized the offering of starched, unwashed garments to the Lord. For that I was hot on the cheeks. Today you can see the marks.
"Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balarama came to me in a dream. They both slapped me. They would not stop.
"Saying, `You criticized the offering of garments to Us', They both slapped my cheeks.
"The struck my cheeks with the rings on their fingers. I cannot say anything more.
"Embarrassed, I cannot say anything more. Today my cheeks have become glorious."
Pundarika Vidyanidhi had no power to say anything more. O my brothers, in your hearts please know that he was very fortunate.
I was never fortunate to be punished in this way. I remain fallen in a blind well.
Seeing Lord Jagannatha's great love for Pundarika Vidyanidhi, saintly Svarupa Damodara floated in bliss.
A true friend is happy to see his friend become fortunate. The two friends laughed with great joy.
Svarupa Damodara said, "Listen, O my brother. I have never seen or heard of any punishment wonderful like this.
I have never seen or heard that the Supreme Lord would appear before someone in a dream and personally give punishemnt."
In this way the two friends floated in bliss. Day and night tasting the nectar of narrations about Lord Krishna, they did not know anything of the external world.
In this way Pundarika Vidyanidhi was very glorious. That is why Lord Chaitanya called him, "Father".
Afraid that his feet would touch her, Pundarika Vidyanidhi never bathed in the Ganga. He only saw her and drank her water.
Lord Chaitanya would chant Pundarika Vidyanidhi's name. He would say, "Father Pundarika!", and weep.
Anyone who hears these activities of Pundariks Vidyanidhi will attain Lord Krishna's lotus feet. That is inevitable.
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 Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata