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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Chaitanya Bhagavata > Chaitanya Bhagavata Translation > Madhya Khanda > 16.

Chapter Sixteen



The Lord Eats Suklambara's Rice


Text 1 Glory, glory to Lord Chaitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead! Glory, glory to the dear devotees of Lord Chaitanya!

Text 2 Accompanied by His devotees, Lord Chaitanya always performed sankirtana in Navadvipa.

Text 3 At night, and behind closed doors, Lord Chaitanya performed kirtana. Outsiders could not enter.

Text 4 One day, as Lord Chaitanya danced in Shrivasa's house, Shrivasa's mother-in-law hid in the house.

Text 5 Shrivasa Pandita and the other devotees did not know this. She hid behind a large basket in a corner.

Text 6 By hiding how can one become fortunate at heart? Persons who have only a little good fortune do not have the power to see Lord Chaitanya's dancing.

Text 7 Dancing and dancing from room to room, Lord Chaitanya said, "Why am I not ecstatic?"

Text 8 As the Supersoul in the hearts of all beings, Lord Chaitanya knew everything. Even though He knew, He acted as if He were eager to know.

Text 9 Dancing again and again, He finally said, "I am not happy. Is someone hiding here?"

Text 10

Everyone searched the whole house. Shrivasa personally looked in every room.

Text 11

Saying, "There is no outsider here", he resumed the kirtana. Still, Lord Chaitanya did not feel ecstasy.

Text 12

Again Lord Chaitanya stopped and said, "I do not feel happy. Lord Krishna is not merciful to Me today."

Text 13

All the devotees became very afraid at heart. They said, "But for us, no one is here.

Text 14

"Perhaps one of us committed an offense, and that is why the Lord is not happy at heart."

Text 15

Again Shrivasa went through the house. This time he saw his mother-in-law hiding.

Text 16

Overcome with love for Lord Krishna, Shrivasa became like a wild man. Shrivasa wasn't a materialist, an outsider. Why did he become proud and angry?

Text 17

It was because of Lord Chaitanya's words that Shrivasa's body trembled. On Shrivasa's order, the mother-in-law was grabbed by the hair and thrown outside.

Text 18

Only Shrivasa knew this had happened. No one else knew. At that moment Lord Chaitanya became ecstati as He danced.

Text 19

Lord Chaitanya said, "Now I feel the ecstasy in My heart." Smiling, Shrivasa Pandita sang in the kirtana.

Text 20

Then circle of Vaishnavas blissfully sang a tumultuous kirtana.

Text 21

The fair lion that was Lord Chaitanya blissfuly danced. Powerful Lord Nityananda danced with Him.


Text 22

Who has the power to see Lord Chaitanya's pastimes? Only when the Lord gives the right to see them can a person see them.

Text 23

Every day Lord Chaitanya performed hari-nama sankirtana. Not everyone could see these pastimes.

Text 24

Another day Lord Chaitanya danced and danced, but did not feel ecstasy. He looked in the four directions.

Text 25

Lord Chaitanya said, "Why am I not happy today? Did I commit an offense? To whom?"

Text 26

Advaita Acarya was naturally devoted to Lord Chaitanya. He thought Himself a servant of Lord Chaitanya. He never thought Himself anything else.

Text 27

When Lord Chaitanya sat on the Deity-throne, Advaita placed the Lord's feet on His head.

Text 28

When Lord Chaitanya displayed His divine powers and opulences, Advaita floated in an ocean of bliss.

Text 29

Then Lord Chaitanya would declare, "Nar#a, You are My servant. At those times Advaita felt limitless joy.

Text 30

No one has the power to understand the inconceivable nature of Lord Chaitanya. One moment He grasps the Vaishnavas' feet.

Text 31

Then He places a blade of grass between His teeth. Then He weeps. Then He calls out, "O father Krishna! You are My very life!"

Text 32

When He wept, even the stones broke into pieces. Always thinking Himself a servant of Lord Krishna, Lord Chaitanya enjoyed pastimes.

Text 33

Before everyone, Lord Chaitanya would break apart the idea that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As if He did not already know everything, He asked,

Text 34

"I must have acted badly. Tell me what I did. If I acted badly, I will die in a moment.

Text 35

"Krishna is My life and My treasure. He is My duty. O My brothers, You are My friends birth after birth.

Text 36

"My goal is to serve Lord Krishna. I have no other goal. All of you please teach Me how to serve Him. If you don't, then My heart will go astray."

Text 37

Frightened, the devotees drew back. No one breathed. No one spoke.

Text 38

At other times, the Lord would give orders to the devotees. At those times the devotees were able to touch the Lord's feet.

Text 39

Seeing the Vaishnavas, Lord Chaitanya would think Himself their servant. Standing up, He would respectfully touch the dust of their feet.

Text 40

At this the Vaishnava would feel unhappy at heart. That is why the Lord would then embrace them.

Text 41

Lord Chaitanya always thought Advaita Acarya His spiritual master. At this Advaita would feel very unhappy.

Text 42

Advaita was not able to serve Lord Chaitanya directly. While Lord Chaitanya slept, Advaita would grasp the Lord's feet.

Text 43

In His heart He meditated on Lord Chaitanya's feet. Advaita always desired to serve Lord Chaitanya directly. That was His constant desire.

Text 44

Although He did not have the power to serve Him directly, Advaita yearned to serve Lord Chaitanya. Therefore Advaita resorted to stealing the dust from Lord Chaitanya's feet.

Text 45

When Lord Chaitanya fainted in ecstati love, Advaita approached the Lord's feet.

Text 46

Offering dandavat obeisances, Advaita fell before the soles of the Lord's feet. With the tears from His eyes, Advaita washed Lord Chaitanya's feet.

Text 47

When Lord Chaitanya fainted in ecstasy, on His own head Advaita wiped the Lord's feet. Offering dandavat obeisances, He worshiped the Lord.

Text 48

Only because he had attained Lord Chaitanya's great, great mercy could Advaita act in these ways.

Text 49

Therefore Advaita was the first of the Vaishnavas. All the Vaishnavas affirmed, "Advaita is very fortunate."

Text 50

Wicked persons do not understand the secret of Lord Advaita's transcendental glories.

Text 51

One day Lord Chaitanya danced, and Advaita happily followed Him.

Text 52

Then Lord Chaitanya fell unconscious. Seeing this, Advaita anointed His limbs with the dust of the Lord's feet. Then He hid.

Text 53

Lord Chaitanya was perfectly aware of all these wonderful activities. Then Lord Chaitanya began dancing again. Dancing and dancing, He did not feel happy.

Text 54

Lord Chaitanya said, "Why is it not revealed to My heart? Whom have I offended, that now I do not feel joyful?

Text 55

"What was stolen from Me. Who stole it? Because of this offense, I have no power to dance in ecstasy.

Text 56

"Did someone touch the dust of My feet? Tell the truth. Don't worry. This I tell to you."

Text 57

Hearing the words of He who is the Supersoul present in everyone's heart, the devotees became afraid. Silent, no one spoke.

Text 58

If they spoke, they were afraid of Advaita's response. If they did not speak they would die. Understanding their dilemma, Advaita folded His hands and said,

Text 59

"If a thief cannot take directly, he will take when no one is looking.

Text 60

"I am the thief. Please forgive My transgression. If it displeases You, I will not do it."

Text 61

Advaita's words made Lord Chaitanya angry. On the preText of angry words Lord Chaitanya described the glories of Advaita.

Text 62

He said, "You destroy everything, and even then You feel no remorse in Your heart.

Text 63

"Then, when everything is destroyed, You won't be happy unless You destroy Me also.

Text 64

"You kill the ascetics, sannyasis, yogis, and philosophers. Whom do You not kill with Your trident?

Text 65

"When people grasp Your feet to attain the goal of life, You respond by killing them.

Text 66

"A certain sincere Vaishnava who lives in Mathura has come to see the glory of Your feet.

Text 67

"After seeing You, how can anyone attain devotion to Lord Vishnu? Whatever devotion he attains, Your eternal potency will take away.

Text 68

"When You touch the dust of a person's feet, You destroy him. Without mercy You destroy him.

Text 69

"Lord Krishna has given to You all the devotion that exists in the countless universes.

Text 70

"Still You ro‚ from a small person who has little. There is no mercy in Your heart. You ro‚ from the poor.

Text 71

"You are a hoodlum. You are the greatest of robbers. You have robbed My happiness of love for Lord Krishna."

Text 72

In this way, on the preText of criticizing Him, Lord Chaitanya praised Advaita Acarya. Hearing the Lord's words, all the devotees floated in bliss.

Text 73

Then Lord Chaitanya said, "You have robbed Me. Can I not ro‚ You? Look! Look! I will ro‚ from the robber."

Text 74

After speaking these words, Lord Chaitanya grasped Advaita's feet and, laughing and laughing, took the dust that was there.

Text 75

Advaita had no power to defeat the fair lion of Lord Chaitanya. On His own head Lord Chaitanya rubbed Advaita's feet.

Text 76

Holding to His own chest Advaita's feet, Lord Chaitanya said, "Look! Look! I have tied up the thief. I have imprisoned Him in My heart.

Text 77

"A hundred times You robbed Me. I am the master of the house. Now, in one time, I reclaim all that was robbed from My house."

Text 78

Then Advaita said, "What You say is true. You are the master of the house. I did not understand anything.

Text 79

"My life, intelligence, mind, and body are all Your property. Lord, if You kill someone, who can protect him?

Text 80

"You give happiness, and You also give suffering. If You punish someone, who can protect him?

Text 81

"Narada and the sages went to Dvaraka City to see the life's treasure that is Your feet.

Text 82

"Then You would take the dust from their feet. What could they do then? That I ask You.

Text 83

"When You take the dust of his feet, what can Your servant do?

Text 84

"How can Your servant give the dust of his feet to You? Who can disobey Your command?

Text 85

"It is not right for the Supreme Lord to act in this way. You will destroy me, and You think it is funny.

Text 86

"You may either protect Me or destroy Me. Lord, You will do whatever You wish."

Text 87

Then Lord Chaitanya said, "You are the keeper of the storehouse of devotional service. That is why I serve Your feet.

Text 88

"Anyone who anoints his body with the dust of Your feet will float in the nectar of pure love for Lord Krishna.

Text 89

"If You do not give it, no one can attain devotional service. Please know perfectly well that, "I am Your property."

Text 90

"You can sell Me as You like. Lord, I tell You the truth."

Text 91

In their hearts all the devotees meditated on Lord Chaitanya's great mercy to Advaita.

Text 92

They said, "The Lord has truly served Him. Therefore Advaita is a very exalted person. Ten million liberations are not equal to a small fragment of the mercy Advaita has attained.

Text 93

"Even the demigod Siva never attained mercy like the mercy Advaita attained from Lord Chaitanya."

Text 94

"We are fortunate to associate with such an exalted devotee. The dust of this devotee's feet we place on all our limbs."

Text 95

The devotees were very happy to praise Advaita. Because of their past misdeeds, the sinners feel unhappy to hear Advaita's glories.

Text 96

Everything I have now said is true. They who have no faith in the Vaishnavas' words will perish.

Text 97

Lord Chaitanya stood up and said, "Haribol!" Then the devotees around Him in the four directions began to sing.

Text 98

Overcome with bliss, forgetting all else, and now become like a wild man, Advaita Acarya danced.

Text 99

Placing His hand on His beard and knitting His eyebrows, Advaita Acarya, the master of Santipura, loudly roared. Then He began to dance.

Text 100

Day and night everyone happily sang, "Jaya Krishna! Gopala! Govinda! Vanamali!"

†††† 101-Text 102

When Lord Chaitanya danced, powerful, glorious, and ecstati Lord Nityananda carefully watched from every direction, He held His arms out, ready to catch Lord Chaitanya if He fell.

Text 103

Filled with ecstati love, Lord Chaitanya danced. What tongue has the power to describe Him?

Text 104

Fulfilling the desires of His heart, Balarama and Sarasvati sing the Lord's glories.

Text 105

One moment Lord Chaitanya fell unconscious. The next moment He trembled. The next moment He humbly placed a blade of grass between His teeth. The next moment He was wild and arrogant.

Text 106

The next moment He laughed. The next moment He sighed. The next moment He became morose. In this way Lord Chaitanya manifested the symptoms of ecstati love.

Text 107

One moment Lord Chaitanya sat in a virasana posture and laughed uproariously.

Text 108

In this way He gave His mercy to everyone and made everyone fortunate. Then the all the Vaishnavas became plunged in an ocean of bliss.

Text 109

Seeing Suklambara Brahmacari before Him, Lord Chaitanya, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, gave His mercy.

Text 110

Please hear the story of Suklambara. He lived in Navadvipa, where the Lord Himself was born.

Text 111

Suklambara was very peaceful and dutiful. No one could understand that he was a very great devotee of the Lord.

Text 112

Carrying a small satchel over his shoulder, he begged alms from house to house in Navadvipa. Day and night chanting, "Krishna!", he wept.

Text 113

The people thought him an ordinary beggar. They did not understand him. He begged alms even from the poorest persons.

Text 114

Each day the brahmana Suklambara begged alms, offered the food he had received to Lord Krishna, and then ate the remnants Lord Krishna left.

Text 115

By Lord Krishna's blissful mercy, he never knew poverty. At home he always chanted, "Krishna!"

Text 116

Who has the power to understand a person who has received Lord Chaitanya's mercy. One one who has himself received Lord Chaitanya's mercy can understand.

Text 117

Suklambara was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He was like poverty-stricken Sudama brahmana, who lived in ancient times.

Text 118

He was always present when Lord Chaitanya danced. That was Lord Chaitanya's special mercy to him.

Text 119

His satchel still over his shoulder, the brahmana Suklambara happily danced. Watching him, Lord Chaitanya and all the Vaishnavas smiled.

Text 120

Entering the mood of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Chaitanya sat down. His satchel over his shoulder, the brahmana Suklambara danced, wept, and laughed.

Text 121

Watching Suklambara, merciful Lord Chaitanya said, "Come here. Come here." Then the merciful Lord said to him,

Text 122

"Birth after birth you are My poverty-stricken servant. Giving Me everything, you remain a beggar.

Text 123

"At every moment I wish to accept what you offer. If you do not give, then by force I take and eat.

Text 124

"I Dvaraka I forcibly took your rice and ate it. Have you forgotten? Goddess Lakshmi grabbed My hand."

Text 125

After speaking these words, Lord Chaitanya thrust His hand into Skulambara's satchel and began to chew handful after handful of rice.

Text 126

Suklambara said, "Lord, all is lost! These are all broken pieces of rice!"

Text 127

The Lord said, "I eat your broken pieces of rice, but I do not desire even nectar when it is offered by persons who are not My devotees."

Text 128

The Lord is blissful and independent. He is His devotees' life. Who can stop Him from eating His devotees' rice?

Text 129

Seeing the Lord's mercy, all the devotees placed their heads in their hands and wept.

Text 130

Not knowing where they were, they fell to the ground and wept. Seeing the Lord's mercy, everyone was overcome.

Text 131

Then arose a very blissful kirtana of Lord Krishna's names. From children to elders, everyone sang and wept.

Text 132

Some humbly placed a blade of grass between their teeth. Some bowed down. Some said, "Lord, please never abandon me."

Text 133

Saintly Suklambara rolled on the ground. The king of Vaikuntha had happily eaten his rice.

Text 134

The Lord said, "Listen. Listen, Suklambara Brahmacari. I always enjoy pastimes in Your heart.

Text 135

"What you eat is what I eat. When You walk about collecting alms, I also walk about.

Text 136

"I descended to this world to give devotional service and pure love (prema-bhakti,. Birth after birth you are My affectionate servant.

Text 137

"Now I give you devotional service and pure love. Please know for certain: `Devotional service and pure love are My life breath'."

Text 138

Hearing this blessing given to Suklambara, the circle of Vaishnavas made a great sound of "Jaya! Jaya! Hari!"

Text 139

What fortunate person knows the nectar heart of the devotees? Even though they are servants of Goddess Lakshmi's husband, they still go begging from house to house.

Text 140

Goddess Lakshmi's husband, Lord Chaitanya, ate the rice Suklambara brahmana had begged from ten homes.

Text 141

In the Vedas the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is a great treasure-house of transcendental virtues, describes the rules of offering, with mudras, food to Him.

Text 142

If these rules are not followed, the Lord will not accept anything. Still, when He comes to His devotee's doorstep, the Lord pounds those rules into powder.

Text 143

Suklambara's rice is the proof of this. Therefore love and devotion are the life-breath of all rules and regulations.

Text 144

Orders and prohibitions are all servants of love and devotion. Anyone unhappy with this will perish.

Text 145

Vedavyasa affirms that love and devotion are at the root of all rules and regulations. Lord Chaitanya showed how this is true.

Text 146

Suklambara brahmana did not do any mudras. He did not even make an offering. Still, the Lord ate his rice with great care.

Text 147

Persons blinded by sense pleasures do not understand the heart of all this. Persons intoxicated by wealth, family, and children do not understand the Vaishnavas.

Text 148

Lord Krishna never accepts the opulent worship and offerings of fools who, seeing them only as poverty-stricken people, mock the Vaishnavas.

Text 149

This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.31.21):


na bhajati kumanishinam sa ijyam

†††† harir adhanatma-dhana-priyo rasa-jnah

sruta-dhana-kula-karmanam madair ye

†††† vidadhati papam akincaneshu satsu


†††† "The Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes very dear to those devotees who have no material possessions but are fully happy in possessing the devotional service of the Lord. Indeed, the Lord relishes the devotional activities of such devotees. Those who are puffed up with material education, wealth, aristocracy, and fruitive activity are very proud of possessing material things, and they often deride the devotees. Even if such people offer the Lord worship, the Lord never accepts them.*


Text 150

"Lord Krishna is the life-breath of the materially impoverished devotees." This all the Vedas sing. Lord Chaitanya personally showed the truth of this.

Text 151

Anyone who hears this story of how the Lord ate Suklambara's rice will attain pure love and devotion for Lord Chaitanya's feet.

Text 152

The two moons Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Shri Nityananda are my life and soul. I, Vrindavana dasa, sing the glories of Their feet.